The Olympus OM-707, also known as the OM-77 in some markets was the first and last 35 mm SLR automatic focus (AF) Olympus camera.
Released between 1986 and 1991, the OM 77 wasn’t as successful as its predecessors despite it being among the first AF cameras in the market—the only other AF cameras in the market were the Nikon F501 and the Minolta Dynax 7000
However, despite the low popularity, the OM-707 had some unique features that make it a worthy addition to your classic SLR collection.
Features of the Camera
The OM-707 came with several innovative features.
For starters, it was the first camera to feature a flash system with flash synch to all shutter speeds. At the time of production, this unique F280 Full-Synchro Electronic Flash had the highest syncing speed at 1/2000s.
Another unique feature of the Olympus OM-707 was the two grips that let you choose how to hold the camera. One was the Power Flash Grip 300, which had a small pop-up flash and a shutter release button. The other grip was the Power Grip 100 which had a shutter release button but didn’t have the flash.
The OM-707 was also one of the first cameras to introduce a lens without focus control but used an on-body power focus control. The knob for the Power Focus was on the right side where you could adjust the focus. You could also lock the Automatic Exposure through a button labelled AE on the camera.
What about the lens?
Like other OM cameras, the OM-77 lenses are quite sharp. Image quality is excellent.
The OM-707 also came with eight unique Autofocus lenses—more than any other AF 35 mm SLR camera at the time.
And that’s not all
This camera also featured the OM bayonet mount which could mount lenses from other OM cameras. So, if you have other OMs in your collection, you’ll have an endless supply of lenses to use with your OM707.
However, you should know that the OM-707 was an autofocus camera. When using legacy lenses, you’re only limited to changing only the aperture.
This camera featured an automatic film winding system that moved at 1.5 fps. It also used the centre-weighted metering technique.
At the top of the camera, there as an LCD that showed the film speed, battery level, the Mode selected (AF or PF), and self-timer indicator.
The self-timer had a 12-second delay. Since you can’t set the ISO manually, it features the DX code reading capability that ranges from 25-3200
With all these features, why didn’t the OM-707 take off?
For starters, the power grips were faulty and got easily destroyed. After Olympus ceased manufacturing of this camera, it becomes hard to find a functional power grip in the market today.
This camera also lacked some crucial features that were in its predecessors. These include the manual focus ring, the aperture settings ring, the ISO dial, and spot-metering. The viewfinder also didn’t have the shutter speed and aperture suggestion information.
It was also quite heavy when compared to the OM- single-digit and double-digit series.
I’ll be honest.
The OM-707 wasn’t the best camera in the OM series.
It was heavy and lacked a manual focus ring, aperture settings ring, shutter speed dial, and any other aspects for professional photographers
Its many shortcomings made it less popular among many professional photographers.
However, its lack of popularity is what makes it such a valuable collector’s item. It’s rare and is the only Olympus SLR with Autofocus. Although you may not use it as your everyday camera, the Olympus OM-707 is still a worthy addition to your collection of vintage classic cameras.