January 10, 2015
I have used Olympus cameras exclusively since the E-300 came out and I own the E-300, E-3 and Pen. So When the Em-1 came out I jumped in. That might have been a mistake.
The EVF is great as long as you are shooting a non-moving object in available light. It has a hard time keeping up with fast moving objects such as birds in flight. It is also completely useless when shooting in a studio with strobes.
The dials which are programmable (a nice feature) are not as responsive as previous DSLR cameras such as the E-3. One click of the dial should be one point of adjustment and many times it is not.
The Video would be nice unless you are shooting at night. I shot a firework display as part of an event a client was putting on and had a couple of distracting pixels that showed white through the entire video even when there was nothing but darkness.
The add on flash is a problem, small pieces are easily lost and having to carry around the little flash in the event you want to use off camera flash is a pain. So you either always have it on which sticks out and catches on things or you stick it in a draw and never use it.
Another issue is battery life. This thing sucks down batteries like there is no tomorrow. With previous DSLRs 2 batteries would last me a weekend of shooting. This thing will go though 2 batteries in less than a day.
I am not sure if this is a bad model or I may have just got a lemon. One thing I did notice is the E-5 camera prices have increased steadily since the EM-1 came out. I wonder if this is because the E-5 was a better camera.
Conclusion: I really hate to give a bad review on a product from a company I believe in, but I think I would stay away from this camera. It seems the more I use it the more problems I find with it. Definitely NOT for professional use. On the good side, it's small size makes it a nice travel camera, just buy lots of batteries.
NOTE FROM OLYMPUS:
Olympus Digital Technical Support advises to call 888-553-4448 (Monday to Friday, 9am - 9pm ET) so we may review the settings on your camera for your shooting situations and the firmware in use.
January 05, 2015
This camera places a caption under every frame on video and every picture that says "OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA" and it is NOT an option. If I had known this I would have purchase something else.
NOTE FROM OLYMPUS:
This is EXIF data that displays in some programs while reviewing video.
December 26, 2014
I've just gone from the E-5 to the Olympus upgrade E-M1. There's a learning curve here. This is a highly sophisticate camera with additional features. I've had this for a week and enjoy it. If you're going from a E-5 to this camera, keep in mind that the micro 4/3 is different from the 4/3. You will need an adaptor if you want to use your "old" DSLR lenses. The battery and memory card are also different. I suggest that you get the battery grip to go with the E-M1. The micro lenses are small and lighter. However, I have a lot of cash invested in my DSLR lenses, so a micro lens is not in my future.
It will take awhile to get the feel of the E-M1. I'm impressed. What I do not like is the LCD screen. Why Olympus couldn't have kept the design of the LCD E-5, I don't understand. It had a wider range of positioning and you could turn the screen inward when not using to prevent scratches etc.
I give this a 4.9 rating and highly recommend.
December 10, 2014
I have waited 9 months to write my little blurb... Overall I am in love with the camera - I have a few of lenses: the kit lens from my PEN Mini, 25, M.60mm f2.8 macro, M.40-150mm zoom and 70-300mm. I am an everyday shooter and the OM-D is generally with me. My reason for 4 stars: There needs to be a lock on the dial surrounding the shutter. Every once in a while I accidentally bump it, changing my exposure and not realizing it until its too late. My other beef is that I keep losing the hot shoe covers. I am on my 3rd and have ordered 4 more to keep in reserve. These need to be constructed to stay on the camera. So disappointing to look down and realize its gone...again. Have the same problem with my Pen Mini - come on Olympus - build a better one!
Other than that I am quite pleased with the camera - love the art filters and all the creative ways to capture my moments.
November 28, 2014
I purchased my OM-D E-M1 last December along with the 12-40mm PRO lens it did take me a while to learn the camera but once I did it has been the best camera I purchased. Photos are clear and professional, the camera is light and easy to carry I have purchased the macro 60mm, the 75-300mm, the 17mm prime and the new 40-150mm PRO this month. This entire system you can take anywhere in one bag. Test this camera and lens before buying any other model. You will not be disappointed trust me.
November 18, 2014
Does Olympus actually read these? :) It was this or the Fuji system. While I am generally quite happy with the E-M1, I probably would have gone for the Fuji system if they were a little more finger-friendly. I’ve only had a few weeks with the E-M1, so I still need to shoot and learn more.
Let me divide this review into two broad parts. First, is the most important part – the IQ and handling. The E-M1 IQ seems to be quite good. Many say the images are a bit soft and I tend to agree. However, when you look at the enlarged images then there is plenty of sharpness, detail and subtleties in the colors. A lot of course, will also depend on the lenses and print quality. So, I will give a thumbs-up to the IQ. I still need to shoot RAW and work with the images.
Second, is the handling. The two-dial system, lever, super control panel and buttons make it easy to use and quick to change the most important parameters, especially at eye-level. I thoroughly enjoy holding the camera. So, another thumbs-up with caveats below.
Now, for part two of the review:
First, it’s a $1,400 camera, the world’s most sophisticated and customizable system, and it comes with a completely useless “starter’s guide.” I ordered (paid for) the “full manual” from Olympus. It’s horrible, lousy explanations, lousy images and lousy print quality. Completely inexcusable. Thankfully, John Foster has a very nice online guide with practical observations for every setting.
Second, no camera on the planet needs more than 200 customizable options. Did a photographer design the camera, or a software engineer? There are some quite useful functions, but still there is too much “crapware.” Professionals and enthusiasts are going to do 99.9% in post-processing. Beginners and amateurs will be turned off by the complexity.
Can anyone tell me which settings are overridden if you are in JPEG or RAW shooting mode?
Third, all those buttons and customization, but there aren’t separate buttons for AE-L and AF-L.
Fourth, a hybrid EVF/OVF would have been nice and I’d get rid of the video capability. Does anybody really buy this camera for video?
Fifth, the 6-foot long, quarter-inch thick extension cord for the battery charger is completely impractical and a pain for traveling. My 4-year old Nikon came with a simple plugin charger and adapter. I paid $40 for a third-party portable charger. Come on Olympus, think!
Sixth, I don’t particularly mind the external flash, but why do I need to keep track of the three tiny black plastic covers needed for the hotshoe and external flash?
Seventh, the neck strap practically cuts my neck.
Eighth, I find the vertical and horizontal guide levels a little too obtrusive, but I may just be getting a little nitpicky by now :)
All-in-all, I am happy with the IQ and the handling of the camera for the things I need to adjust quickly. That and a few good pieces of glass should make for fun and quality shots. I’m sure I’ll have and shoot with it for years to come.
But, I can’t help but feel that Olympus is thinking about their pockets first, human beings last. The camera should be priced at $1,200. For some lenses, you have to buy a $50-$60 lens hood. That’s a flat-out rip-off. There should be a real user manual and a real instructional dvd in the box as well as an Olympus website-based real-life shooting video tutorial. Stupid stuff like the extension cord, the neck strap and flash covers are annoying. So much thought put into some things, so little into other things. In the end, I’m betting that the IQ, handling and lenses will make it a great and fun shooting experience.
October 27, 2014
I am very impressed with the design and functions on this camera. I think mirrorless cameras will lead the way for future generations of DSLR cameras. Light body and fast autofocus. Thanks Olympus, way to go!
September 29, 2014
I've been shooting almost exclusively with my E-M1 and the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO lens for over six months now. I'm convinced it's the perfect travel and industrial field camera for pros and enthusiasts, with the following caveats:
1.) At least three fully charged batteries should be carried with the camera whenever out shooting in the field, particularly for all-day events and schedules. One in the body and two extra. Once the level indicator drops below three bars, the power drains pretty quickly.
2.) While the myriad function buttons, lever and dials are an ergonomic fantasy land of control IN THEORY, the camera is just small enough, especially when not using the optional battery grip, where unintentional pushing of pre-set controls WILL happen in a run-and-gun situation. I recently spoke to a famous E-M1 endorser who confided in me that he actually has all his extra function buttons set to OFF. In addition, an Olympus rep reluctantly confessed that the back 1-2 position lever is so sophisticated as to be slightly volatile, explaining why my E-M1 has "locked up" a few times during strenuous, fast shooting periods.
That being said, none of this is enough to detract from a five star rating. This camera (and the image quality of remarkably high-end M.Zuiko lenses) has brought my shots up to a level I never thought I's reach at this price point. This camera body really seems to have been designed and built as relatively "future-proof," as well as immediately usable at any skill level.
Just be careful how you hold it if you're going to set all those fancy function buttons.
September 21, 2014
Seldom do I go out and purchase the latest and greatest of anything. I came from the OM-D film world and had several of the E-Series cameras in the digital world and enjoyed them all. Two months after this camera came out, I bought one. By comparison, I did not purchase the E-5 until it had been out for two years. An early adopter, well this is new territory.
I own seventeen of the lenses designed for the four thirds system, and I have been most impressed with how they delve together with the E-M1 and produce quality and beautiful images, so long as the owner is paying attention and knows what he is doing. It is clear I am the weak link in the equation. I have yet to master nearly all the settings this instrument is capable of, and now I have the version 2 firmware to tackle. Those are my limitations and challenges, and that is what makes this camera a joy to use...it produces in spite of what I bring to the table.
Read the manual, read it again and again, seek out advice and assistance, and most of all experiment. The instrument delivers, and in the right hands it delivers spectacular images. If at first you do not succeed, don't complain, but get out and practice. Your new teacher, the E-M1, is well up to the task. Enjoy it.
August 01, 2014
This is a very complicated camera to operate, and the manual is next to useless. We need more outside manuals for users as it is obvious that the camera companies don't care about anything than sales. I have Friedman's The Complete Guide to Olympus' OM-D E-M1, but its organization leaves a lot to be desired.