If you’re itching to pick up a new Olympus camera, you might want to hold off until Black Friday. Every Friday after Thanksgiving is celebrated as the start of the holiday shopping season with massive deals and discounts on a wide range of products, including cameras.
Prices are at the year’s lowest both online and in-store, and lately retailers have been extending sales well beyond Black Friday itself. There certainly isn’t a better time to grab a bargain than with these Olympus Black Friday deals!
Owned partly by Sony and Mitsubishi (Nikon), Olympus has been making cameras since the 1930s. They made a name for themselves with the Micro Four-Thirds standard for mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras and camcorders.
Announced in 2008, this standard allows for a smaller lens and body design than the Four Thirds system by omitting the space that would’ve housed the mirror box and a pentaprism.
As of 2012, Olympus (in addition to Panasonic) committed to the MFT system and hasn’t released a DSLR since 2010.
The OM-D line is comprised of Olympus’s high-performance mirrorless MFT cameras and hit the market in 2012 with the OM-D E-M5. The launch price was $999 (body only), and features included a top-notch electronic EVF, loads of manual controls, weather sealing and phase-detection AF with 35 points.
Its successor, the OM-D E-M5 II was released three years later in 2015 for just a $100 more and boasted improvements such as more than twice the number of AF points, faster continuous shooting, a variable-angle touch screen LCD and a larger, more detailed viewfinder.
Both of these models were on sale during last year’s Black Friday events. With the OM-D E-M5 being outdated, it saw a reduction of nearly half its original price. Even though the OM-D E-M5 II was new last year, it still was marked down $200.
Savings on this model will likely be similar this year, but look for bigger discounts on the OM-D E-M5 as it continues to grow with age.
SEE MORE: Best mirrorless cameras in the world
The OM-D E-M10 and the OM-D E-M10 II represent the lowest tier of Olympus’s OM-D line with prices at $499 and $549, respectively.
They both share the same 16.1 MP sensor and tiltable LCD screen (same size and resolution), focusing modes, metering options, ISO range and white balance.
The OM-D E-M10 II differs with features like a high speed video mode, extended battery life, in-built 5-axis image stabilisation and an improved viewfinder. Grip is also a bit better, as is the body weight by about 6 grams.
Black Friday 2016 sales featured on average a $50 markdown on the OM-D E-M10 II on both body-only and kit options. This 10% discount seems to be the standard reduction rate for new or current Olympus models during Black Friday sales, so look for a greater markdown on the OM-D E-M10 III this year.
For older models, such as the OM-D E-M10, look for up to $150 off (a 30% markdown) and kits for $200 off.
Currently, the OM-D E-M10 is offered at an even lower price tag of $250. While this is already a rock-bottom price on a model that’s only three years out of date, you might find that Olympus marks it down even more come this year’s Black Friday.
Released in 2016, the OM-D E-M1 Mark II is the most expensive camera in the OM-D line. It pushes the envelope further into that ever-growing semi-pro/advanced enthusiast demographic.
SEE MORE: Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II review
The OM-D E-M1 Mark II, though just over a year old, has been included in Olympus’s own rebate schemes offering up to $200 / £200 in cashback on purchases.
With these price reductions already in play, expect to see at least another $50 in markdowns this holiday season.
Aside from the OM-D line, Olympus also offers a stylish, portable PEN line of cameras. These MFT cameras maintain a vintage look while producing modern results. The more popular models tend to be the E-P5, E-PL6, E-PL7 and the PEN-F.
The E-PL6 and E-PL7 are quite similar, with the E-PL6 boasting lower body weight while the E-PL7 features an improved contrast AF system and higher resolution touch screen.
The E-P5 is more expensive than these two, coming in at $999 (body only). It’s AF system isn’t as advanced as the E-PL7 but it does feature much faster continuous shooting rates.
The PEN-F is the most expensive of these popular PEN models ($1199 body only). It was just released in January of this year, and so far it has been highly praised as a great camera for street photography.
Its 20 MP sensor, 2.36-million-dot electronic viewfinder, 5-axis image stabilisation, user-friendly control layout and creative processing features make the PEN-F a contender for the equitably-priced OM-DE 5II.
In fact, the PEN-F stands out with its sleek, refined vintage look – very appealing to those people you’ll be shooting on the street.
Where to find your Olympus deals on Black Friday
After you’ve sorted out which Olympus model is right for you, it’s time to track down your merchants.
Retailers will typically announce their Black Friday deals well ahead of the actual sale date. Compare advertisements and use what you’ve learned from this post to determine who is offering the biggest bargain on your favorite Olympus.