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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Full Review

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Full Review - Read our full review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1, a premium weather sealed mirrorless camera with DSLR styling.

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Category : Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera
Product : Olympus OM-D E-M1
Price : £1,089
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Olympus OM D E M1 (2)

Ten years ago the Olympus E-1 and Four Thirds system was launched, with the last Four Thirds camera released three years ago, the Olympus E-5

During the design study of the next professional grade camera to replace the Olympus E-5, it was decided that the Micro Four Thirds system was the best way to go, with the benefits of a smaller size, as well as the ability to use both Micro Four Thirds, and Four Thirds lenses.

Olympus were also performing a design study on the Olympus E-7 digital SLR, however, by using an electronic viewfinder (EVF) in the new Olympus OM-D E-M1, they are able to provide a much larger view, compared to an optical viewfinder - the optical prism would need to be significantly larger to match the EVF.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Features

Olympus OM D E M1 (5)

With compatibility with Micro Four Thirds, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 has access to 16 Olympus Micro Four Thirds lenses, and 26 lenses from other manufacturers. There is also access to 23 Four Thirds lenses using the MMF-3 adapter, which provides auto focus for the lenses, bringing the total number of lenses available to 65.

Olympus OM D E M1 (6)

The camera is designed to have a comfortable handgrip that will suit the use of both Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds lenses, and the new OM-D E-M1 is designed to merge the best of Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds, with Olympus officially saying there will not be another Four Thirds Digital SLR. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 will remain on the market.

Key features

  • 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor - new
  • Phase detection AF on sensor
  • Dual Fast AF: Phase Detection / Contrast Detection Focus
  • 2.36million dot LCD EVF with 0.74x magnification
  • No AA / Optical Low Pass Filter on the sensor
  • New TruPic VII image processor
  • ISO100 (Low) to ISO25600
  • 1/8000s shutter speed
  • Full HD video with stereo sound, Mic socket
  • 5-axis in body image stabilisation
  • 10fps continuous shooting (upto 41 RAW shots)
  • 6.5fps continuous AF (upto 50 RAW shots)
  • Wi-Fi and remote operation
  • Dust / Splash / Freeze proof (to -10C)
The new TruPic VII image processor combined with the new sensor is designed to give better noise at ISO25600, compared to the E-M5, and as well as better noise performance it does not lose as much colour saturation. The new image processor also provides chromatic aberration correction (a first for Olympus Micro / Four Thirds cameras), sharpness optimisation based on lens attached (when using Olympus 43 or M43 lenses), this also works to correct for diffraction due to a small aperture, and it also provides low-pass filter-less moiré removal.

Olympus OM D E M1 (3)

Improved remote operation - the new E-M1 comes with an updated remote shooting app, giving access to P/A/S/M shooting modes, shutter / aperture settings, as well as WB, exposure compensation, and ISO settings. The new remote control app also supports the Olympus Live Bulb / Live Time feature so you can see the photo exposure on the smartphone.

Olympus OM D E M1

Interval shooting has been improved with the camera now allowing up to 999 shots to be taken, and the camera will automatically create a 100 second video inside the camera.

The EVF uses the same LCD at the VF-4, but has been improved to give a more natural feeling view, with adaptive brightness technology that automatically adjusts the brightness level depending on the lighting conditions. EVF preview options include: Aspect control, Magnified view, Tone (Highlight / Shadow Tone control), and Colour Creator, and to switch between these you simply hold the Fn2 button and scroll the rear control dial.

Olympus OM D E M1 Colour Creator
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Colour Creator

Colour creator is a new feature that easily lets you alter the hue and colour saturation using the front and rear dials. It can be adjusted in real time in the viewfinder with the front and rear control dials, and you can save up to 4 settings for your own photo styles.

Olympus Om D E M1 Sensor Phase Detection Area0
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sensor Phase Detection Area

Focus: Phase detection is used for Four Thirds lenses and covers a smaller area of the sensor, as can be seen above, with the faint lines visible on the sensor. Contrast Detection is used for Micro Four Thirds lenses, and covers nearly the entirety of the frame, with the Micro Four Thirds lenses optimised to work well with contrast detection focus. Phase detection AF uses spaced out pixels to avoid image quality degradation. Focus peaking is available, although unfortunately this is not available in video mode.

Olympus OM D E M1 (10)

New Art Filters including a vertical diorama mode, as well as a portrait diorama mode for smooth out of focus areas. Photo story has been improved to include a new speed frame mode, where you simply swipe your finger across the screen to follow the action of your subject.

In camera HDR processing has also been added, with the camera showing a preview of HDR before taking the photo, as well as giving the option of natural or artistic HDR styles.

The weather sealed magnesium body is dust, splash and freeze proof up to -10C. Olympus also says that all Olympus lenses are freeze proof.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Handling

Olympus OM D E M1 (7)

The camera is not designed to be the smallest, with other Micro Four Thirds cameras providing that solution, however the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is designed to be the right size and weight for photographers. With the MMF-3 adapter, you are able to use AF with Olympus Zuiko lenses such as the 14-35mm f/2.0 and 35-100mm f/2.0 lenses, unique in the DSLR market, although if recording video, this will be manual focus only.

Olympus OM D E M1 (9)

The Olympus menus have not been noticeably updated or redesigned, however they do provide a massive amount of options and settings, which we go through in the video below. You can also customise the function buttons, or use the super control panel to get quicker access to your most used settings.


A video of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 shooting at 10fps can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel.

The 5-axis image stabilisation system is entirely mechanical, rather than electronic on some competitors, and has been improved when using a slow shutter speed. Using the new CIPA test standards, the system is said to give 4-stops IS performance, although under Olympus testing it gives 5-stops, as does the E-M5.

Focusing points / selection mode:
81-area multiple AF (Contrast detection AF)
37-area multiple AF (Phase-difference detection AF)

Continuous AF with Micro Four Thirds lenses uses both contrast and phase detection AF for improved speed. The OM-D E-M1 is said to use the same shutter unit as the Olympus PEN E-P5 but with an improved housing for a quiet shutter sound.

Olympus OM D E M1 (15)

The OM-D E-M1 features a locking mode dial, which has a central button that you press once to release, and another press will lock the mode dial, this means you don't have to press and hold the button to turn the mode dial like you do on other cameras. It also takes the dual-dial 2x2 control system from the E-P5, so that you can quickly and easily change what the front and rear dials do.

Olympus OM D E M1 (14)

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 feels extremely well built, with the new rubberised handgrip giving a good area to hold on to and a large area of rubber on the rear. The rear also features an updated button design compared to the E-M5, with larger buttons, as well as a better layout making them easier to use. There are also two buttons at the front of the camera next to the lens giving the camera the same or similar level of control as professional Digital SLRs. The top left of the camera is where you will find the on/off switch, as well as drive and focus buttons.
Olympus OM D E M1 (1)
 
The E-M1 uses the same battery as the OM-D E-M5 and PEN E-P5, and weighs 442g body only, or 496g with battery and memory card.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05s
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15s
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.15s
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.4s
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.5s
Shot to Shot with Flash 1.7s
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
10fps (52 shots)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 1.7s
Continuous Shooting - RAW 10fps (42 shots)

Tested with the 12-50mm lens, focus and shutter response is very quick. After shooting 52 shots in JPEG Fine, it takes roughly 13 seconds while the photos are written to the card before you can get into play mode. After shooting 42 raw shots, it takes roughly 22 seconds before you can get into play mode. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sample Photos


Sample Photos - Focus is very quick and face detection works really well, with the camera giving priority to focusing on faces, including the nearest eye, the right eye or the left eye depending on what your preference is. The camera delivers bright colourful photos with excellent JPEG results straight from the camera, and the focus assist lamp helps to focus in low light.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Lens test images


Lens Performance - Dynamic range is very good and the lens is quite resistant to flare. Exposure is good with bright saturated colours. The 12-50mm kit lens is capable of taking an excellent macro photo at the telephoto end of the lens, with the macro button. The lens features a useful zoom range, and performs quite well for a kit lens producing sharp photos into the corners whether using the lens at the wide-angle end or the telephoto end. It is also splash proof so suits the camera body well, although for best results there are a number of prime lenses available. Chromatic aberration is noticeably lower than previous Olympus cameras, thanks to built in image correction with Olympus lenses. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 ISO test images


ISO Noise Performance - The ISO range is expanded with a new Low ISO100 option compared to the E-M5 - ISO100 shows extremely low noise, although with slightly less dynamic range, and some over-exposure / highlight clipping. Noise is low at ISO200, with good levels of detail, and the same can be said about ISO400. Low noise and good detail continues until ISO1600, where there is a slight drop in levels of detail, although noise is low at this setting, and at ISO3200. At ISO6400 noise increases, although results are still quite impressive, and the E-M1 retains more detail than the E-M5 at this setting, and at ISO12800, with better colour. At ISO25600, noise becomes more noticeable as it reduces levels of detail and colour is lost, although again results are better than the E-M5, and also slightly better than the Panasonic Lumix GX7.

Keep warm colour was switched ON. Noise reduction Auto. Noise filter standard. The camera has a number of noise reduction options: Off, On, Auto, with the noise filter options of: Off, Low, Standard, High. 

Olympus OM-D E-M1 White-balance test images


White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under tungsten and fluorescent lighting, often producing better results than using the respective presets. The camera has an option to "Keep warm colour" when using auto white balance under tungsten lighting, which can be useful for capturing the mood of a scene - examples can be seen above.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Outdoor images


A new HDR Mode can be used handheld although a tripod is recommended, and there are two modes, one more natural, the other more vivid.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Digital filters


Digital Filters - There are a large amount of art filters, with each having a number of options and additional effects that can be applied such as a vignette frame. A new feature is the story mode - there is the choice of 1:1, or 4:3 aspect with 4 different styles of story boards, as well as frame options, and layout options. There are also three different styles of "Fun Frames", and a speed setting that takes a continuous set of photos, great for action shots or other creative styles. There is an excellent range of black and white filter options, although unfortunately there is no automatic panoramic stitching mode. The camera also saves all the original raw files, which is great if you want to go back later and tweak the image.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Other sample images


Video quality is said to be improved due to the new image processor, although the functionality of the video mode remains largely unchanged with the same functionality as the Olympus PEN E-P5. Focus peaking isn't available in video mode, and the highest ISO setting manually selectable is ISO3200, so a bright lens will be needed for low light. There is now a microphone socket on the body, and the different sound input levels can be adjusted. The 5-axis image stabilisation system is excellent and helps record smooth videos even handheld, although unfortunately there is only one frame rate available, at 25fps, with 30 and 24fps unavailable. Additional videos can be found on the ePHOTOzine YouTube channel, as well as low light video examples.


Value for Money

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is available for £1299 ERP (€1499 Euros) body only, £1499 ERP with 12-50mm kit lens, or £1949 ERP with the new 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens. This makes it one of the most expensive Micro Four Thirds cameras available, although it is also one of the most advanced.

Alternative Digital SLRs to consider, although note that the body and lens size and weight increase is noticeable, compared to the OM-D E-M1:
Canon EOS 70D, 20mp, 7fps, Weather sealed
Nikon D7100, 24mp, no AA, 6fps, Weather sealed
Pentax K-3, 24mp, no AA, 8.3fps, Weather sealed

Alternative Mirrorless cameras to consider:
Panasonic Lumix GX7, 16mp, 9fps, not weather sealed
Panasonic Lumix GH3, 16mp, 6fps, Weather sealed
Olympus OM-D E-M5, 16mp, 9fps, Weather sealed

The MMF-3 adapter will be provided free to purchasers of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 if they own an Olympus Four Thirds Digital SLR, if ordered before November 2013. The grip will also be provided free to those people who pre-order the camera.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Verdict

As the first Micro Four Thirds camera with no Anti-Aliasing filter, this means this camera should be, and thankfully is capable of the highest quality photos of any Micro Four Thirds camera, and when used with high quality prime lenses, the difference can be seen, although is quite subtle at times, with the previous model, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 already providing very sharp and detailed photos with prime lenses. The addition of distortion correction, as well as chromatic aberration correction for Olympus lenses is welcome, as this has been available on Panasonic cameras (with Panasonic lenses) for a long time. 

Many people were convinced by the handling and design of the Olympus OM-D E-M5, with a weather sealed body, and classic Olympus OM SLR styling, causing many to switch from heavy full frame Digital SLRs. However, there were still those that thought its body was too small, and others who were not entirely convinced by the image quality offered by the camera. With the new Olympus OM-D E-M1, with a larger body that more closely resembles a Digital SLR, and improved image sensor and image quality, as well as an impressive and large electronic viewfinder, there should now be little or no reason to avoid the Micro Four Thirds system. The size and weight advantages alone should give you reason to seriously consider this camera. 

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has improved image quality, and with improved handling, as well as an excellent and large electronic viewfinder this should be much more appealing to the professional user. With the addition of built in Wi-Fi, improved handling and controls, as well as support for Four Thirds, and new PRO Micro Four Thirds lenses coming we think the Olympus OM-D E-M1 could be all the camera you'll ever need, as well as being a significantly smaller complete package than traditional Digital SLR and lenses. 

The biggest issue may be the price, with a number of alternatives available, such as the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and Panasonic Lumix GX7, available for quite a lot less. However, for those that want the best available Micro Four Thirds camera, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is certainly it! Highly Recommended!

 
  The Olympus OM-D E-M1 delivers an excellent package with all the features you could want and more.  

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Pros

Best ever image quality from Micro Four Thirds
Support for both Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds lenses
In camera HDR preview and creation
Wi-Fi remote shooting improved
Improved handling and DSLR styling
10fps continuous shooting, with good number before slowing down
Impressive 5-axis image stabilisation
Stunning high resolution electronic viewfinder
Colour creator feature
Clever locking mode dial button
Focus peaking
New PRO lens

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Cons

Focus peaking not available in video mode
Video options better on other cameras (GH3) 
High price when bought with kit lenses
Lacks automatic panoramic creation mode

FEATURES  
HANDLING  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Specifications

ManufacturerOlympus
Image Sensor
CCD pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
  • 4:5
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution1037k
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Spot
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
  • Touch AF
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/8000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
Metering
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Bracket
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Flash
Exposure Comp+/-5
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Resolution2.36million
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting10fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080
  • 1280x720 720p
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMIYes
USBUSB 2
Storage
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeBLN-1 Li-ion battery
CIPA RatingNo Data
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data
Dimensions
Weight442g
Width130.4mm
Height93.5mm
Depth63.1mm

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Photographs taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M1

Egret DisputeBengal CatAm I only dreamingcool new eats in Melbournes eastPre Loved Fire TenderHeronHeronLovely young ladiesPostman - I thinkVintage DayGrastrack Sidecar racingTree NymthThe Alien in my OrchidLampostDryadula
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Comments


10 Sep 2013 11:42AM
Looks to be a great camera - will be very interested to see how much the continuos AF performance has been improved over the EM-5 etc.

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StrayCat e2
10 14.7k 2 Canada
10 Sep 2013 6:18PM
I think I'll wait till spring, I have no complaints whatsoever about the E-M5, it's still a much better camera than I am a photographer.Smile
brian1208 e2
11 10.2k 12 United Kingdom
10 Sep 2013 8:41PM
Pre-ordered and waiting impatiently for delivery some time in the (near) future.

The reviews and videos I've seen have convinced me its worth the risk of being an early adopter this time.

The EM-5 will become my 2nd camera / back up (time it had a rest, 50k shots in around 14 months Smile )
11 Sep 2013 2:09PM
Thanks for sharing the canteen clatter with us during the menu walk through... Commentary might have been more helpful.
kodachrome 2 463
11 Sep 2013 2:43PM
Nice camera, improved up date over older EM-5, but even if I could afford it which I can't, I wouldn't want it as I prefer the APS-C format.
I'm sure it will be a great success like the older model but only when the price comes down.
richshep 12 9 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2013 4:17PM
Rubbish. If you want great pictures you need full frame.
I didn't mean a word of that but I just fancied being the first to say it.
Goggz e2
7 2.3k 72 Wales
11 Sep 2013 5:39PM
LOL @ richshep!!

Hmmm... I too will wait. I want to see if it will track small birds in flight and if the battery lasts all day before I shell out...
brian1208 e2
11 10.2k 12 United Kingdom
11 Sep 2013 10:51PM

Quote: and if the battery lasts all day before I shell out...

Its the same battery as the EM-5 and if the power consumption remains the same you can expect a CIPA rating of 350 shots / charge which in real life can be anything from 300 to 1500+ shots, depending on what you are shooting

I am regularly seeing 1000+/- when shooting with only the EVF activated at things like air shows, shooting BIF, windsurfing etc (got around 3,500 shots from 3 batteries at the Bournemouth Air Festival)

I'm not alone in this, if you do a search you will find quite a few of us have been surprised and delighted to find this out from our own experiences

3rd party batteries don't do quite so well but 500+ can be seen under the same shooting conditions

The larger EVF of the EM-1 may up the consumption a bit, hopefully I will be able to let you know soon Smile
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
12 Sep 2013 3:32PM
This camera is still quire small as well, alongside the EM5 and GH3 it sits in the middle, the size looks just about right to me.

http://j.mp/185pM6c
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2013 5:55PM
I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere - has this got one of those awful clip-on extension flashes? It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but considering they're optimising this for handling, not size, I can't think why they wouldn't include an in-body flash.

That apart and Olympus's poor menu system, this looks like it could be the camera for me. Nothing's perfect I suppose, but this has just trumped the GX7 SFAIC and the new 12-40 looks good too...
joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2013 6:25PM

Quote: I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere - has this got one of those awful clip-on extension flashes? It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but considering they're optimising this for handling, not size, I can't think why they wouldn't include an in-body flash.

Hi, yes unfortunately there's no built in flash, and it's provided with the same flash as the E-M5. To be honest, I very rarely use the flash with the E-M5, as I'm quite happy with the noise performance at ISO3200. The E-M1 is even better, so I can't see much need for the flash (except perhaps for fill-in etc).
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
12 Sep 2013 10:45PM

Quote: I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere - has this got one of those awful clip-on extension flashes? It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but considering they're optimising this for handling, not size, I can't think why they wouldn't include an in-body flash.

Hi, yes unfortunately there's no built in flash, and it's provided with the same flash as the E-M5. To be honest, I very rarely use the flash with the E-M5, as I'm quite happy with the noise performance at ISO3200. The E-M1 is even better, so I can't see much need for the flash (except perhaps for fill-in etc).

Hi Josh - thanks for the reply.

Fill-in is just the sort of thing I'd want from on-body flash, especially if just carrying the camera and one lens and not especially going on a specific job (in which case I'd probably have a proper bounce flash anyway). It just seems unnecessarily fiddly in such circumstances to carry a clip in unit, no matter how small (and easy to forget!) Such things are sent to vex us I suppose - just seems like such a silly omission.
StrayCat e2
10 14.7k 2 Canada
16 Sep 2013 5:53AM
Don't know if this matters, but the clip-on flash is also a transmitter for wireless capable flashes, and it does come with a little black velvet bag.Smile
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2013 4:43PM

Quote: Don't know if this matters, but the clip-on flash is also a transmitter for wireless capable flashes, and it does come with a little black velvet bag.Smile

Makes it a bit worse if anything - I was kidding myself that wireless flash control was via the WiFi rather than light-pulse controlled [as it always was on the Nikons I used in the dim and distant].

Nevertheless I'm almost 100% certain to be getting one of these to use as my mainstay camera - it ticks so many boxes and so has supplanted my idea of getting a GX7 [which if the timing hadn't been that its release overlapped with the announcement of this, I would have acquired].
Carabosse e2
11 39.4k 269 England
5 Oct 2013 1:45PM
This is a tempting proposition. I think I'll wait for the price to drop a bit, though.
Isis 8 7 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2013 2:59PM
Yes, a tempting proposition! I am getting fed up with lugging about a EOS5D Mk III and various L lenses as they are becoming too heavy. Will wait until price comes down and full range of lenses are available then make my mind up.
brian1208 e2
11 10.2k 12 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2013 3:49PM
I've had mine for 2 days now (= 2hours of shooting) and first reactions are very positive comparing it to my current EM-5,

I have no argument with any of Josh's observations above.

If I had to pick one thing to moan about (it can't all be positive) - its sufficiently like the EM-5 that the differences confuse me at times - but that's my problem Grin
I would have liked to have seen how compatible the 4/3rd & micro 4/3rd lens were included in the test. All of both types of lens I own are fully compatible including A/F with my OMD EM5 if the subject is patient enough. Please provide focus speed comparisons with both 4/3rd & micro 4/3 lens between the EM1 & the EM5. Thank you.
JohnHoppy 5 5 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2013 5:37PM
Most interesting. Two comments - and you may say, not specific to this review - 1) As most EM5 users like me probably use the grip in situ PERMANENTLY (because it transforms the camera's handling) why didn't Oly design it the way they have the EM1, a fixed grip? The EM1 allows func buttons where the EM5 has a redundant dial/shutter button. Doesn't that kind of say, "This is the way we should have done it"? 2) You know, this stiff tilting LCD has become de rigeur - but the fully rotating one on Panasonics is far, far, far more easy and useful. Surely the reason can't be cost. With a rotating screen, this EM1 would be one tough act to follow.
joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
9 Oct 2013 11:45PM

Quote: I would have liked to have seen how compatible the 4/3rd & micro 4/3rd lens were included in the test. All of both types of lens I own are fully compatible including A/F with my OMD EM5 if the subject is patient enough. Please provide focus speed comparisons with both 4/3rd & micro 4/3 lens between the EM1 & the EM5. Thank you.

Hi, thanks for the comment, this is something we hope to do in the future, thanks Josh
duratorque 11 413 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2013 10:43AM
Very good camera, but I would have liked to see some focus tracking tests in the review. Examples would be a football match or cars moving towards you.
JVV
10 Oct 2013 11:42AM
Seems like a great camera Smile Love my E-M5 and this seems to add few nice features, such as 1/8000s shutter speed and slightly improved high ISO performance.

However one comment about the test methodology here. Most of the real world base ISO 200 samples are taken with small apertures such as f/8-f/11. While these provide often the best sharpness in full frame cameras, the image quality in micro 4/3 system is already softened due to diffraction when using these apertures. The best sharpness with most micro 4/3 lenses can be achieved somewhere around f/2.8-f/5.6. Therefore I think it would be beneficial to take most of the pictures using these apertures to show how good the image quality actually is with these m4/3 cameras when using the optimal settings.
lemmy 7 1.8k United Kingdom
10 Oct 2013 3:36PM
I see quite a few people comparing the GX7 and the E-M1 but they are hardly competitors. The GX7 is nearly 500 cheaper and designed as the MFT cameras originally were, as a high quality but compact camera.

Any comparison would be between the GH3 and the E-M1. If the competitor to the E-M1 was the GX7 then it would be equally logical to say that the GX7 competed against its LX7 stablemate.

I'm not a fetishist about sharpness and noise performance, so MFT became good enough quality for my needs with the Panasonic GH2. Subsequent improvements just guild the lily but the sheer technical capabilities of these truly modern, truly digital in concept cameras are stunning.

I think FF (and larger) cameras will go on forever but I cannot see APS-C remaining competitive forever. I was out in my French village shooting some night shots recently and the mayor came out with me with his DSLR to get a few tips. When he looked though the EVF and at the monitor of my GH3 and compared it to the gloom in his DSLR's finder he was stunned.
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2013 4:24PM

Quote: Most interesting. Two comments - and you may say, not specific to this review - 1) As most EM5 users like me probably use the grip in situ PERMANENTLY (because it transforms the camera's handling) why didn't Oly design it the way they have the EM1, a fixed grip? The EM1 allows func buttons where the EM5 has a redundant dial/shutter button. Doesn't that kind of say, "This is the way we should have done it"? 2) You know, this stiff tilting LCD has become de rigeur - but the fully rotating one on Panasonics is far, far, far more easy and useful. Surely the reason can't be cost. With a rotating screen, this EM1 would be one tough act to follow.

I'm encouraged that people find the portrait grip 'transformative' for handling ]on the EM-5] 'cause I'll be getting one for the EM1. But on balance I'm glad to have the option of doing without the extra bulk so I can choose. I too like the flip-out screens on the Panasonics [I have the G6], but I wonder if it's all that necessary on a camera that you can control via smartphone/tablet. You can shoot high or low angles on the tilting screen, but if you want your subject [even if that's you] to see the image it's probably even better to see it from a separate screen. I imagine there's a toughness/sealing issue with a completely rotating screen although I have to say I mostly use the Pannys with the screen facing in [and therefore arguably better protected].

One question for Josh: You say there's a drive control on the upper top left of the camera - Does that include focus mode? One of the criticisms of the G6 I have is there's no such physical control and the one custom button I've changed [because it's the only one I thought was fairly redundant] I've used to activate the focus control point from the four way controller. A quick way of toggling the drive options [including AFs and AFc] would be very welcome.
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
10 Oct 2013 4:30PM

Quote: I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere - has this got one of those awful clip-on extension flashes? It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, but considering they're optimising this for handling, not size, I can't think why they wouldn't include an in-body flash.

That apart and Olympus's poor menu system, this looks like it could be the camera for me. Nothing's perfect I suppose, but this has just trumped the GX7 SFAIC and the new 12-40 looks good too...

Poor menu system ?

It`s very good once you have given the camera a few days to get used to, the Panasonic system is no better if you don`t know there menu.

Separate flash again its not a problem, generally if you want to use flash you will be using it of camera anyway.


Quote: I see quite a few people comparing the GX7 and the E-M1 but they are hardly
competitors

It see it more like

GX7 = EP5
GH3 = EM5
,,,,, = EM1

The EM1 hasn`t got a Panasonic equivalent yet.
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
10 Oct 2013 5:31PM

Quote:
Poor menu system ?

It`s very good once you have given the camera a few days to get used to, the Panasonic system is no better if you don`t know there menu.


Sorry but we're going to have to agree to disagree on this Paul, I've used both and I find the Panasonic menus much better - from this article it looks as if Olympus has done some work on that front, so they perhaps they thought some things needed addressing?


Quote: Separate flash again its not a problem, generally if you want to use flash you will be using it of camera anyway.

I will of course have a separate flash for serious work [I'm thinking the Metz 58AF-2 rather than the FL600 - anyone with experience of these as alternatives - the Metz is more powerful and more expensive]. But an onboard flash is always useful for emergencies or fill when you don't carry a big speedlight.


Quote: I see quite a few people comparing the GX7 and the E-M1 but they are hardly
competitors

It see it more like

GX7 = EP5
GH3 = EM5
,,,,, = EM1

The EM1 hasn`t got a Panasonic equivalent yet.

I agree the GX7 is closer to the EP5, but the built in EVF makes the Panny a clear winner IMO. I'd also say the GH3 is equivalent to the EM-1 - the video still outclasses the newer camera and the size/build/ergonomics are closer to it than the EM-5. It is due a refresh though and particularly if you're a stills shooter the EM-1 trumps it [again IMO]. Things seem to be moving far more rapidly in the m4/3 market than the DSLR mainstream - which is of course good for us!
12 Oct 2013 12:00PM
I have an E-M5 and have just taken delivery of an E-M1.

Like a previous poster the grip never comes off my M5 and, assuming it arrives from Germany, nor will the M1 grip.

Likewise I keep the clip-on flash in place at all times; it adds little to the bulk but is handy to have.

I think the major benefit of M4/3 is the compact nature of the lenses rather than the bodies (I also have a GH3 which, with the grip, is a 'monster'). The Panasonic 12-35mm and 35-100mm at F2.8 constant are a revelation compared with my EF Canon equivalents.

There is little doubt that M4/3 (despite the cries of the FF and APS-C zealots) is here to stay.
lemmy 7 1.8k United Kingdom
12 Oct 2013 3:29PM

Quote: There is little doubt that M4/3 (despite the cries of the FF and APS-C zealots) is here to stay.

It doesn't fare well in the USA as I understand it which would be a shame because without that market everything consumer struggles to establish itself.

I think the main threat of M43 is to APS-C. It cannot do what FF does and a sensor 4x bigger will always have an advantage for the highest quality work - and there will always be people for whom that highest technical quality will be important, thank goodness.

It's a bit unfair to call people who prefer a different format to yourself 'zealots'. They are simply other people who prefer another format.
c40uk e2
1 82 United Kingdom
12 Oct 2013 3:33PM
im thinking of moving to m 4/3 but am leaning more to the gh3 than the om`s . but only thing stopping me getting the gh3 is
will a newer model be comin out soon (gh4) meanin the the price will come down
lemmy 7 1.8k United Kingdom
12 Oct 2013 3:48PM

Quote: will a newer model be comin out soon (gh4) meanin the the price will come down

There don't even seem to be any rumours about it yet, so I'd have thought it would be while. My GH3 with battery grip feels like it was made for me, handles like a dream and after just a year has become one of my all time favourite cameras.

Unless there is an overriding reason to prefer the Olympus the GH3 looks a bargain at 430 less for the body. Actually, it looks bargain against the GX7, too, much as I like mine. I never thought I'd say Panasonic camera were bargains Wink
Paul Morgan e2
13 15.2k 6 England
13 Oct 2013 11:18PM

Quote: Poor menu system ?

It`s very good once you have given the camera a few days to get used to, the Panasonic system is no better if you don`t know there menu.


Sorry but we're going to have to agree to disagree on this Paul, I've used both and I find the Panasonic menus much better - from this article it looks as if Olympus has done some work on that front, so they perhaps they thought some things needed addressing?

Do you own and use both or have you just played ?

I own and use both, none is any more difficult to use than the other, there just different, and just like anything new, it may take some time to learn and adjust to.
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
13 Oct 2013 11:47PM
I had an EPL2 for quite a while (I've passed it on to my brother recently) and found it generally a frustrating and disappointing camera in use. Any sort if advanced control (to an even greater degree than the later GF models, which are perhaps the closest comparison) requires a lot of diving through menu systems. In that respect the GFs (apart from the 1, which was only truly succeeded by the GX models), are also not great if you want to take control, but nowhere near as poor, or quite so frequently necessary. I also lost count of the number of times I inadvertently triggered video mode and found myself in possession of a flat battery and footage of random, jiggling, torsos, walls and table tops. Not a camera I took to although I probably used it for long enough to get a pretty fair knowledge of its workings to gain a considered dislike of them.
joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2013 10:38AM

Quote: One question for Josh: You say there's a drive control on the upper top left of the camera - Does that include focus mode? One of the criticisms of the G6 I have is there's no such physical control and the one custom button I've changed [because it's the only one I thought was fairly redundant] I've used to activate the focus control point from the four way controller. A quick way of toggling the drive options [including AFs and AFc] would be very welcome.

Hi, yes the top button (top, left) lets you set drive mode, and the button below lets you set AF mode. The focus position can be set quickly using the 4-way controller. Alternatively you can set the 4-way pad to do something else if you want.

I think someone (stevedigip) asked how continuous AF performs, and I've taken some test shots, and it was capable of tracking this car going 30-35mph at 5fps (Camera was set to ISO800, Continuous Low speed 6.5fps, C-AF + Tracking)




joshwa e2
3 600 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2013 11:49AM
Despite Olympus saying they correct CA on Olympus lenses, it also appears to work on Panasonic lenses, so far I've checked the 20mm f/1.7 Panasonic lens on the E-M5 and E-M1, here's an actual crop from the same image taken on both the E-M5 and E-M1 at f/4:

http://www.magezinepublishing.com/equipment/images/equipment/OMD-EM1-5261/highres/olympus-om-d-e-m1-purple-fringing_1381747513.jpg
ChrisV 7 763 26 United Kingdom
14 Oct 2013 5:16PM
Thanks Josh - sounds like I'll be able to set it up just the way I like and have the things I want quickly to hand. It's also encouraging to hear that CAF works well as it's one of the chief selling points of this camera in the m4/3 market.

Good also to hear that my Panasonic lenses may be as impressive with this as they are with their maker's bodies. I've been blown away by the consistency of quality the 14-140 has and wondered how much of its geometric distortion and fringing character [ie little or none] is down to software. I'm quite relieved I won't get to find out the hard way.

I note some people already seem to have got hold of a copy of this camera - I'm led to believe stockists in the UK are still awaiting first deliveries?
lemmy 7 1.8k United Kingdom
14 Oct 2013 6:59PM

Quote: I own and use both, none is any more difficult to use than the other, there just different, and just like anything new, it may take some time to learn and adjust to.

I own and use both, Paul and have for several years. There is no question that the Panasonic menu system is better. I've never met anyone with wide experience of both marques who didn't think so.

You don't buy cameras for the menu system, however, and the Olympus one is perfectly usable in the end.
14 Oct 2013 7:10PM

Quote: It's a bit unfair to call people who prefer a different format to yourself 'zealots'. They are simply other people who prefer another format.

Lemmy I did not mean that all FF and APS-C users are zealots but there are a number who turn up on various forums and decry anything except their format.

I personally use an EOS6D and Fuji Xpro1 as well as M4/3 but my comment was aimed at those who still believe that 'Large Sensor = Good, Small Sensor = Bad!
jamsa 10 17 United Kingdom
16 Oct 2013 7:30PM

Quote:

Likewise I keep the clip-on flash in place at all times; it adds little to the bulk but is handy to have.



Is this still shower proof with the flash always on the mount?

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