The Olympus OM-101 was a single lens reflex released in 1988 by Olympus, as part of the OM System. The camera features a powered OM mount, which takes Olympus OM lenses as well as OM AF (autofocus) and OM PF (Power Focus) lenses. It was called OM-88 on some markets.
After the unsuccessful autofocus SLR OM-707, the OM-101 was a simpler model aimed at the amateur market, which could take the autofocus lenses but only had an electric focusing command with no autofocus. There were even two lenses released without any focusing ring or autofocus capacity — only compatible with the OM-101 and labelled 'PF' for PowerFocus. These were the 50mm/F2 PF and 35–70mm/F3.5–4.5 PF. Along similar lines to the OM-707, the OM-101 is not an 'OM System' camera either, with almost no compatibility with system components other than lenses and most flashes. All AF OM Lenses can be used on the OM-101 however, although only in PF mode.
As standard, the OM-101 body only has a program exposure mode; no program shift or shutter speed information is displayed at all (unlike the OM-707 which at least shows the shutter speed/program shift when using AF OM lenses in AF mode) so there is no way of knowing the camera's selected program. With manual focus OM lenses, the body operates in aperture priority mode, again with no information displayed about the selected shutter setting.
Along with a dearth of information about the camera's chosen settings, there is a shortage of manual controls: apart from the shutter release and the Mode/Power switch, the camera features only a 'Backlight' button (which makes no visible difference to the user when pressed) and a 'self-timer' button. To have more control, users need to attach an accessory called Manual Adapter 2, allowing manual exposure and aperture priority modes with all lenses. When using the OM-101 in manual exposure mode, there are under- and over-exposure arrows shown in the viewfinder; when using aperture priority mode, the letter 'A' is all that is displayed in the viewfinder, which flashes to signify an under-exposure warning (the letter 'P' is shown, and performs the same function, in Program mode).
The camera's only smart interface component is the Power Focus wheel which is fast, responsive and intuitive. Unlike the OM-707 which also offers PF (with a less user-friendly sliding switch), the OM-101 features a split-image viewfinder, making Power Focus quick and accurate.
- 'The Unofficial Olympus Sales Information File' page about the OM-101
- OM-101 manual (.pdf) from olympus.com
- OM-101 in the Olympus Global History.
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