How to Format Memory Cards on the Olympus OM-1

Whether you need to free up space on your SD cards or prepare a new card, here’s how to format SD cards on the Olympus OM-1 mirrorless camera.

Olympus OM-1 SD Cards. Photo by David Coleman "
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:

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It’s always best practice to format memory cards in the camera that you’ll be using them in. That sets the card up with the filesystem, folder hierarchy, and, in some cameras, a database file, so that the card is just how the camera expects. And it greatly reduces the risk of unexpected errors and unpleasant surprises.

Olympus is now OM System

In 2020-21, the photography business of iconic camera brand Olympus was spun off and sold. The core remaining Olympus brand is focusing on medical and scientific products. The camera and photography side was then rebranded as OM System, with the first cameras and lenses under that brand coming out at the end of 2021.

On the Olympus OM-1, you can find the memory card format function under:

Menu > Wrench/Spanner Icon > 1. Card/Folder/File > Card Formatting

If you have two SD cards in, you’ll get a screen to select which card to format.

You’ll then run into the first of two confirmation screens (they seem to want to make extra sure that you’re not going to delete something unknowingly.

And just in case you weren’t sure there, it becomes even more explicit.

And, finally, once you select that, you’ll get the progress bar as the format process performs.

Things Worth Knowing

The format function on the OM-1 is only a high-level format, which means it’s only wiping the file allocation table and referencing data, not the actual data itself. That makes it easier to recover photos and videos from the SD card if you need to, but it also means that the data is still there.

Much of the time, that’s all you need. But if you’re shooting sensitive material, you might want to take the SD card/s out of the camera and submit them to low-level formatting on your computer to fully wipe the data.

SD Cards for the Olympus OM-1

I’ve put together a much more detailed post on recommendations for SD cards for the Olympus for the OM-1 separately. But here’s the short version.

The OM-1 has two SD card slots. It’s not required to fill both slots—the camera will work just fine with only one memory card—but there are advantages to doing so.

You can use SDHC or SDXC. As a practical matter, SDXC cards are probably the more logical choice simply because that designation applies to SD cards with storage capacities of 64GB and up.

Both SD card slots in the OM-1 are UHS-II slots. So to take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities, it makes sense to use UHS-II SD cards in this camera.

  1. ProGrade Digital V60 UHS-II
  2. Lexar Professional 1667x Silver V60 UHS-II
  3. SanDisk Extreme Pro
ProGrade Digital V60 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC / SDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V90
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Lexar Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC
  • Video Speed Class: V60
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
SanDisk Extreme Pro V90 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC / SDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V90
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

How to Format SD Cards with a Computer

Having said that, it is still possible to format memory cards using a card reader and computer. You get a lot more flexibility that way, but also some extra risk if things aren’t set up just how the camera wants them. It’s also sometimes a good troubleshooting step if you’re having issues with a memory card.

There are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.

Price & Availability of the Olympus OM-1

The Olympus OM-1 has an MSRP of $2199 for the body. It’s also available bundled with an impressive OM SYSTEM M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO II kits lens (MSRP of $2799 on the bundle).

Check the current price and availability at:

Olympus OM-1 Micro Four Thirds Camera
  • 20MP Stacked BSI Live MOS MFT Sensor
  • 10 fps Shooting (120 fps with electronic shutter)
  • DCI/UHD 4K 60p 10-Bit Video Recording
  • IP53 Weather-Sealed & Freezeproof Design
  • Dual UHS-II SD Card Slots

Olympus OM-1 Accessories

These are the model numbers for the official accessories for the Olympus OM-1.

  • Battery: BLX-1 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • External Charger: BCX-1 (or SBCX-1, which includes a spare battery)
  • USB-AC Adapter: F-7AC AC wall adapter
  • Grip/Extended Battery Holder: HLD-10 grip
  • Remote: RM-WR1 wireless remote control
  • Eyecup: EP-18
  • Flash:
    • FL-LM3 electronic flash (the smallest of the flash units)
    • FL-900R electronic flash unit
    • FL-700WR electronic flash unit
    • STF-8 macro flash
    • FC-WR wireless commander
    • FR-WR wireless receiver

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-12-01 at 13:56. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.

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