Olympus Air A01 to be available in the US in July with prices starting at $299

Olympus has already announced the Air A01, a micro four-thirds style camera that is shaped to look just like a regular lens. Instead of using a regular camera body, users would compose images using their smartphone or tablet, which communicates with the unit through Wi-Fi and OA Central for Olympus Air app. Previously, this camera was only available in Japan, but now the company has announced US and Canadian availability. With this lens-style camera, you get a 16MP sensor, and full compatability with all of Olympus' micro four thirds lenses.

Some of the other key specs include RAW capture, 1080p video recording, a 10-frames-per-second consecutive shooting mode, and an electronic shutter with a 1/16,000-second maximum shutter speed. In the US, the body is retailing for $299, or it can be paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens for $499, with availability starting in July. In Canada the same kits will retail for $399 and $599 respectively, with availability beginning in August.

Pre-order the Olympus Air A01 from B&H for $299


16-Megapixel Micro Four Thirds® Sensor, Built-in Wi-Fi® and Bluetooth, Silent Electronic Shutter, 10 fps Consecutive Shooting, Full HD Video, USB Charging, Dedicated Smartphone App

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., June 30, 2015, 1:00pm EDT — Olympus America Inc. is pleased to announce availability of the Olympus Air A01 camera in Canada and the United States. Olympus Air A01 with Amazon Cloud Drive integration is a compact camera excluding an integrated display; images are instead composed using a smartphone or tablet, which communicates with the camera via Wi-Fi and OA.Central for Olympus Air, Air A01's dedicated app. The camera includes a 16-megapixel sensor and a Micro Four Thirds mount, delivering DSLR image quality and full compatibility with Olympus's comprehensive collection of Micro Four Thirds lenses, expanding the capabilities of your smartphone.

Olympus Air A01 relies on the cutting-edge imaging technology of Olympus's mirrorless cameras and world-renowned family of M.ZUIKO® digital lenses. By incorporating the same 16-megapixel sensor and TruePic VII image processor as the latest OM-D and PEN® cameras, users can expect excellent image quality, even in low light. Additionally, the integrated FAST AF system enables high-speed, high-precision focusing whenever a user taps the focus location on a connected smart device. The camera includes RAW capture, 1080p video recording, a 10-frames-per-second consecutive shooting mode (with focus and exposure fixed) and a silent electronic shutter with a 1/16,000-second maximum shutter speed, transforming smartphones with previously limited imaging capabilities into cameras that enthusiasts and semi-professionals alike can enjoy! The included battery can be charged using any USB power source, and is rated for 320 shots per charge.

With an ever-growing family of premium and professional lenses, users can choose from a variety of lens options that meet their individual shooting needs. From wide-angle landscape lenses for discreet street shooting to high-powered zoom lenses, nearly all styles of photography are supported by this innovative concept. Combining the flexibility of lens selection with the virtually limitless shooting style afforded by the free-form design, users will enjoy unique imaging angles and a newfound freedom in composition.

Olympus Air A01 has a newly developed and dedicated app, OA.Central for Olympus Air, which is available in the Apple App Store, Google Play and Amazon Appstore. Customers will be able to instantly transfer DSLR image quality photos to eMail, social networks, and automatically upload to securely store their photos in Amazon Cloud Drive. Olympus Air A01 is the first Olympus camera to include integration with Amazon Cloud Drive. By allowing for direct-to-cloud storage, users minimize the strain on the memory of their smart devices, immediately and securely store their photos, and have instant access to their images for upload across social media outlets.

Local storage is also available on Air A01 using a microSD memory card. Images and video files can be transferred instantly to a connected smartphone or tablet for easy sharing. Because Air A01 is an open platform, developers can create their own apps for the camera using the available software development kit.

The included Olympus Air A01 Coupling accessory enables users to securely attach the camera to a smartphone if desired. The angled mount allows you to see a live view through the lens from various positions for maximum flexibility. Additionally, as the camera and smartphone or tablet communicate wirelessly; the Air A01 can be operated while detached from a smart device, making it possible to capture selfies and other shots that are difficult to obtain using conventional cameras. You can also connect the Air A01 to a tripod for capturing steady shots at night.

OA.Central for Olympus Air

The basic setup app for the Olympus Air A01 open platform camera, OA.Central for Olympus Air, provides total support for Air A01. When you launch the app for the first time, connection preparations, Bluetooth settings and Wi-Fi settings are all explained with illustrations for easy setup. After setting up Air A01 using the app, six unique shooting functions are available for use depending on your style of photography and skill level:

Mode Dial Control your camera settings right on your smartphone's screen. Change your exposure, white balance and ISO speed. The same P, A, S and M modes as on an interchangeable lens camera are available. The camera is also packed with enhanced shooting functions such as movie modes and iAuto, which automatically detects up to 42 different shooting scenes and applies optimal exposure control. Art Filter Simply select one of 14 available Art Filters that matches your creative vision and touch the screen to capture an artistic image. Art Filters can be combined with Art Effects to create truly inspiring photos. Color Creator With an intuitive Color Ring, the user can bring out emotion by adjusting color hues (30 levels) and saturation (8 levels) to enhance a scene. Photo Story Capture a single scene of everyday life from multiple viewpoints. Select from four different frame patterns, then, depending upon your selection, choose the number of frames or add an Art Filter. Then simply follow the on-screen instructions and release the shutter to make your very own Photo Story. Clips Shoot, combine and rearrange multiple short clips into a single short movie of up to 64 seconds in length. The user can select clip lengths from 1 sec, 2 sec, 4 sec and 8 sec. Additionally, you can choose from 14 different Art Filters, touch the smartphone screen to focus using Touch AF, operate the zoom (when using an electronic zoom lens) and use digital zoom up to 3x. Add transition effects, Art Effects and music (default only), all in-camera. Genius With a single release of the shutter, subjects are automatically detected, and Genius provides the user with six different creative versions of a single image. Users can also save their favorite picture and access those same settings anytime to utilize in the future.

View Images

An option once the app is installed, View Images, in addition to editing functions such as adjusting aspect ratio and trimming images, allows music saved on a smartphone to be used as background music in a slideshow. The user has the ability to display (thumbnail, single-frame display) and delete images stored on the microSD card inserted in the Air A01. You can upload images to social networks and send them as email attachments to your family and friends.

Amazon Cloud Drive

This option lets you access all of the photos and videos you've saved in your Amazon Cloud Drive, securely back up your photos on the go, save storage space on your phone and keep your photos safe, even if your smart device is lost, damaged or upgraded.

Software Development Kit

Olympus Air A01's new and exciting technology affords itself the unique opportunity for development of business-to-business applications. The open platform concept of this product allows for any application developer to request access to the Software Development Kit and create new and compelling use cases. App developers interested in the Software Development Kit can visit: http://opc.olympus-imaging.com/en/.

U.S. & Canada Pricing and Availability

The Olympus Air A01 will be available in the United States in July 2015 in Black or White for $299.99 (body only) or $499.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens, and in Canada in August 2015 in Black or White for $399.99 (body only) or $599.99 paired with a 14-42mm EZ lens.

To find out more about the Olympus Air A01, and for a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website at www.getolympus.com

Jared DiPane
Jared started off writing about mobile phones back when BlackBerry ruled the market, and Windows Mobile was kinda cool. Now, with a family, mortgage and other responsibilities he has no choice but to look for the best deals, and he's here to share them with you.