The Olympus AIR A01 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that wirelessly connects to your smartphone and use the latter as its control and view display screen. In that sense, the AIR is not unlike the other Olympus mirrorless cameras that also provide the same functionality. However, the AIR A01 is shaped, not as the typical rectangular camera, but like a cylindrical lens adapter about 57 mm in diameter and 44 mm deep, with a Micro Four Thirds (M43) lens mount at one (open) end and a Four Thirds image sensor at the other (closed) end. Inside, it bristles with all the latest mirrorless technology that has made Olympus one of the more popular professional and enthusiast camera makers.
The cylindrical lens shape is on purpose: the A01 primarily and initially targets all those smartphone users who want to augment the capability of their phone cameras. Because it’s shaped like a lens, it gives the impression that you are adding a quality lens to your smartphone to get image quality results that are way better than what your smartphone camera is capable of delivering.
You pair the A01 with your smartphone (or tablet) via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and the A01 streams the image it captures on its sensor to your smartphone’s display. There you can compose and control the AIR on the touch panel of your smartphone.
The M43 lens mount means that you are not limited to the one focal length on your smartphone, but can use all of Olympus and Panasonic M43 lenses, from wide-angle to portrait to macro to telephoto to super telephoto. Attach one of the many optional lens adaptors, and you can even use vintage lenses from other camera companies.
The Olympus AIR A01 is affordably priced at US $299 / CAD $399 (body only) or US $499 / CAD $599 with a 14-42 mm (24-48 mm equiv.) 3x optical zoom kit lens. If you already own a M43 system, it’s another creative tool you may well want to add on.
The Olympus AIR A01 features a 16.1MP Four Thirds sensor, the Micro Four Thirds mount (thus allowing the use of any M43 lens), a built-in battery and a microSD card slot. Wireless capabilities include Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to connect to your smartphone. To remotely control the camera and view images stored on the microSD card, you need to download and install the free OA.Central app onto your smartphone or tablet.
|Sensor||16.1-MP 4/3 LIVE MOS|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|LCD||N/A (Uses the display on your smartphone)|
|Video||MOV 1920 X 1080 @ 30 fps|
|ISO||ISO 200-12800 + Extended ISO 100|
|Wireless||BLUETOOTH, WI-FI (Need to download and install the OA.CENTRAL App)|
|Other||Electronic shutter up to 1/16000 s|
|Dimensions||56.9 x 57.1 x 43.6 mm (W x H x D)|
|Weight||147 g with battery|
|Price||US $299 / CAD $399.99 body only (list); US $499 / CAD $599.99 with 14-42mm EZ lens (list)|
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|2015-06-30||Olympus AIR A01||Photoxels|
|2015-06-30||Olympus Air A01||Press Release|
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