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.
July 29, 2014
I have had many Olympus cameras through the years.This is a very complicated camera and not very intuitive. Took me forever to even figure out how to adjust the flash for a flash fill in. I was hoping for a good fast focus with good results. Many of the pictures have way too soft focus with blur when you don't want it. I was trying to shoot some photos last week of a dinner and gave up with the blur and lighting and just grabbed my Oly Tough G2 and that point and shoot was better. I went to the Olympus site for learning and saw they sold a video, but it had universal bad reviews as being worthless information with someone only reading parts of the instruction manual. For a product of this price and supposed quality, there should be an informative video included in the product itself. I bought this camera as an upgrade from my Oly Tough G2 for use underwater and land use. I am now holding off buying the underwater housing because I don't think it will work like I had hoped. I am disappointed.
July 21, 2014
I have owned a number of Olympus compact cameras and have been impressed with their durability, quality and the quality of the photos they were able to produce. I was hoping that moving to this model would provide me with more professional features I could grow into while maintaining the Olympus functional style. This purchase has worked out very well for me, so far.
Features are generally where I would have looked for them on previous models. There's no shortage of professional features, in addition to what I've been used to with compact systems. Olympus also makes one of the most flexible systems available in any format, considering there are direct access buttons for just about everything you would need quick access to, and most are user customizable!
The 'Live View' LCD is crisp and clear. I am able to see it clearly even in bright sunlight. The electronic viewfinder is excellent. Not having worked with an EVF, except with video cameras, and not having worked with SLR viewfinders since using film model SLR's years ago, I was unsure how much I would use the EVF versus the LCD. I am happy with both, and surprisingly very comfortable with the EVF, now that I have gotten used to where the controls are by touch.
I plan on using the camera mostly for photos, not for video shooting. I can definitely say that I am very happy with the camera for my purposes and look forward to many years of enjoying this camera!
July 19, 2014
This is a real good landscape camera, but the the telephoto lenses that I have tried are real soft, unless there is bright sunlight. I have the 14-150mm and the 75-300mm, if it is cloudy forget it, very soft. Olympus needs a 300mm f4.0 for a good price. Very limited on the prime lens choices, unless you have thousands to spend. I also have a 25mm f1.8, this is a good walking around lens. Image stabilizer works good, but you have to set the focal length for it to be effective. I have not tried any of the creative setting yet, still trying to get sharp results. Only about 1/2 of the shots that I have taken are keepers, either too soft or out of focus. I think it is easier to shoot with the full size SLRs.
July 06, 2014
I am loving this wonder. Learning as I go, as I'm not too keen on manuals. Olympus has been in my pocket or backpack for quite a few years, and never disappoints.. the E-M1 rocks it.
July 06, 2014
Purchased the OM-D E-M1 about one month ago and have to say it is just a fantastic camera! Finally, the "big boy" and lenses can go to a new home and make somebody else very happy. OM-D E-M1 is a very intuitive camera to use. It is simply amazing how many features that are packed into that little camera. The OM-D EM-1 paired with the PRO Series glass is win-win scenario.
#1. The batteries are very short-lived they need to be better;
#2. There needs to be a dedicated wireless remote control device. The Olympus Image Share app is nice but it doesn't replace a wireless remote control device;
#3. Olympus please include pouches/cases as well as hoods for your lenses in the box, it is silly to have to piecemeal this stuff after you purchase lens, it isn't like those lenses are given away!
Despite these things it deserves a full 5 stars!
Wish list stuff: PRO Series telephoto super zoom.
July 03, 2014
I was a Nikon shooter, going back to the justly proclaimed F and ending with the D610. The weight, price and size of lenses and bodies was getting to me. After reading reviews of the E-M1 and the m4/3 lenses for it, I went to B&H to try one out; I was hooked! Small, by DSLR standards, light, solid and incredibly flexible. The mysteries of the menu system become clear after 2-3 hours with camera/lens in hand and reading the manual. Customizable beyond belief and intelligently laid out. Once you get past more depth of field than you are used to and lower battery life (buy at least one spare!), this machine takes great pictures. The in camera shake reduction is exceptional and the lenses, even the less expensive ones, are superb.
Get the M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO and Zuiko ED 35-100mm ranges; the M.Zuiko 9-18mm is an excellent Wide Angle and close to as good as the Zuiko ED 7-14mm offerings and a lot smaller, lighter and cheaper and takes filters!
July 01, 2014
I have been traveling a lot lately with a wonderful but heavy DSLR--the Pentax K3. After hauling two bodies, four lenses, and a flash across two countries and on several flights, I decided to switch to a mirrorless system. I was very worried, of course, that I would lose image quality, especially if I moved to a 4/3 system. But I chose the Olympus E-M1 ultimately because of good reviews and an extensive array of very light lenses. So far I've bought the M.Zuiko 14-150mm (28-300mm equivalent), which is unbelievably small, light, and sharp. I've also bought the M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 portrait lens (90mm equivalent), which I think has no weight at all. Amazing lens.
I am very happy with the choice. The image quality is terrific, although I lose a little bit when I try to get a really sharp image after cropping 80% or more. Other than that, I'm getting terrific image quality.
The camera is a bit complicated to use. ( I still have lots to learn). An intelligible manual would be a big help. Too much to hope for, right? But I've been able to figure out enough to get the photos I've wanted on my most recent trip. I found a tutorial that looks helpful just before my trip. I'll see.
So--this camera and the lenses I chose have done just what I wanted. Lightened my load without any significant loss of image quality.
May 27, 2014
This is truly an amazing camera. The photos are terrific...in good light they are as good as you would get with a full frame camera. The incredible number of things you can do with this camera is almost overwhelming. Another great thing: I can use my legacy lenses (with an adapter) that I purchased more than 30 years ago. And also great is, IS works with them because the IS is in the body, not in the lens. Finally, it's a beautiful camera.
May 16, 2014
Own it for 6 days, still learning. So far working good with 50-22 swd and 12-60, 45mm 1.8, 20mm. Fast focus, accurate. IBIS is magic, my old Signa 180mm 3.5 marco turn out handheldable; I can get sharp pics at 200mm +2x at 1/25sec handheld. 0 sec anti-shock is good too. Really good camera, fun to use, super good pic quality, also appreciate Olympus lens.
May 07, 2014
My limited understanding of using the a point and shoot for most of life is that a camera (as a tool) has two components: the lens and the camera itself. I have to let you know that several images that I am clicking with this are using a prime lens (75 mm/1.8f). Needless to say that the results have far exceeded my expectations.
The best AF focusing (speed and accuracy) I have ever experienced
Much lighter than an equivalent DSLR
Weather proof design (both body and lens)
Several shooting modes where the camera adjusts itself (shutter, aperture, ISO, etc.)
Seamless backup to iPhone
Substantial bulk in a small body
too many features (I think I should have purchased the E-M5 for the lower price tag)
poorly written product manual (I had to call them in order to attach the flash)
Overall, I would happily recommend this product to anyone, with a clear warning (about the high price tag the kit could run up); each of the pro M.Zuiko lenses are between $700 to $1,100 apiece.
April 16, 2014
This camera is a perfect compliment to my older E-30, E-410, and E-500's and all my 4/3 lenses that I have purchased over the years.
Seamless transition to micro 4/3 with the adapter. Saving my pennies for the micro 4/3 12-40mm and the micro 4/3 75-300mm lenses.
This camera took beautiful pictures of the blood moon (well except for the cloudy conditions in my area) during the eclipse with a vintage manual Tamron 60-300mm lens.
Beautiful camera, beautiful shots!
March 28, 2014
This is the third of the OM series cameras that I own. The models keep getting better & better. The weight of this model is very good compared to the E-5 that I am used to lugging. The lens selection is very good. Function of the camera takes a little getting used to. There are so many capabilities that are available. I like the ability to switch on the run. WIFI is yet to be explored.
March 27, 2014
I purchased the E-M1 as an upgrade to my E-M5, true the specs are great, I am amazed so much could be built into this little camera. With the 12-40mm lens the pictures are just as good if not better than cameras selling twice as much. My major disappointment began when after just a few months the carcass (the rubber trimmings) started peeling off! This does not speak very well to the ruggedness olympus is touting about! I am heart broken, took my camera back to my dealer. You will get my camera soon. I also your extended warranty thinking its a lifetime investment. Call me a not ver happy customer. FYI I also own the E-P5.
March 27, 2014
I just changed brands from one complete system to the OMD M1. I was getting ready for a trip and realized the size and weight of my camera gear was unacceptable. After careful thought and talking to several M1 owners I traded and purchased the new system. I do love it. The ergonomics fit and the quality is first rate. There is a learning curve from the other brands, but the features are outstanding and it doesn't take long to master the controls. I'm taking the camera and lenses on my first trip next month, so that will be the test of total satisfaction.
March 24, 2014
The Olympus OMD EM-1 is a most impressive photographic tool. This was the first new camera I had purchased in many years, and so far, I am delighted. After agonizing over whether or not to go with a full-frame DSLR, I finally decided to try the more compact Olympus micro 4:3 system based on features and on-line reviews.
This camera is a very sophisticated and well-built instrument. It functions extremely well as a high-end point and shoot camera, but it also has every imaginable adjustment, setting, and photo option that one could want. I have been working my way through the 160 page manual (which is included on the DVD along with other software) and have realized that it will take some time to be completely comfortable with all the possibilities for fine-tuning images. All the buttons and wheels are well laid out and easy to reach, however, and the camera is well-balanced and comfortable to hold even with larger hands. I was especially pleased with the customization options in which one can assign varying functions to different buttons as needed. The electronic viewfinder is very clear and the menu features are bright and easy to read. The adjustable touch-screen provides another option for manipulation of all parameters as well as quick focusing on selected areas of the picture. Image stabilization is simply amazing, and I am getting crystal clear shots even with relatively slow shutter speeds. Focus is lightening fast with the 12-40mm pro zoom lens which I purchased along with the camera. Image quality seems excellent even at higher ISO speeds, especially considering the camera’s smaller-sized sensor, and low light sensitivity is surprisingly good as well. I do wish the EM-1 had a built-in flash, although the images I have taken in relatively low light are so good that I haven’t used the optional removable flash, even once.
Battery life is so-so, so I purchased an extra one with the camera and am very glad I did. The camera’s battery indicator doesn’t give a very long warning between a full charge and a depleted battery, so having an extra battery is a must, in my opinion. I am looking forward to purchasing a couple of fixed focal length lenses soon, although the 12-40mm pro lens is excellent for most shooting applications throughout its useful zoom range, and is light-years beyond the typical “kit” zoom lens. As an avid amateur photographer, the purchase of this camera made a bit of a dent in the budget, but the kind of quality it exhibits does not come cheap, and I look forward to using it for many years to come.
March 02, 2014
I have great success with my new OMD EM-1. The transition from my previous Olympus camera to the OMD EM-1 was seamless and effortless.
The higher ISO choices are very powerful with no noise present. The micro four thirds and Pro lens choices highly flatter this dynamic camera. Burst mode is ideal for quick moving wildlife, or fidgeting young children. The speed of the camera breaks the sound barrier. Sunrises and sunsets gain acutely more detailed precision with the Shadow and Highlight adjustments feature. Having two dials to control Aperture and Shutter in Manual Shooting mode turns the camera into almost a musical instrument. The OMD EM-1 sings Italian Opera.
One scene mode that intrigues me is hand-held starlight. The North Star and its siblings come through clearly holding the camera in my hand.
Frigid river air temperatures are yet to overpower the OMD EM-1. At 20 degrees Fahrenheit I was able to capture the ending of a beautiful sunset with no condensation to think of.
The HD video produced with the OMD EM-1 is of excellent quality, particularly with its stereo sound. In combination with the various shooting modes and lenses, your creative potential sky rockets.
Images created with the OMD EM-1 exceed industry potential. Photoshop smiles when I open them.
If you want to be the leader of your photography abilities, the OMD EM-1 is the camera of choice for you.
February 26, 2014
The E-M1 is an impressive camera...lots of features in a compact package. Don't be confused by "all the dials." It has no more dials than a comparable Nikon or Canon. They are just located differently. The menus have a learning curve, but they are no more complex with the named larger cameras, and they become intuitive with time. It focuses quickly and has a secure, comfortable feel. The viewfinder and monitor both are bright and sharp, even in bright sunlight. I have not had to test the dust and splash resistance, but my friends who have the E-M1 give that feature high marks. In short, Olympus has a winner, and I hope to use this camera for years to come...
I have one recommended improvement: Olympus needs to improve the design of the hot shoe cover and the accessory port cover. These parts are small. If a photographer, wanting to use the E-M1's flash, dropped either of these parts in the field, they would be almost impossible to find. Moreover, the accessory port cover is flimsy and might break or crack if a person put it in a pocket with other items. The small hot shoe cover and small, flimsy accessory port cover are distractions (not worth the penalty of a star in the ratings) from an otherwise superb camera and system.
February 20, 2014
entered the electronic viewfinder world from a full frame camera.
i don't have it long enough to give an in depth review.
16 mp will give a moderate poster size print but, in my opinion, not over a 16" poster. that is the only negative i have to say. unless i'm doing something wrong.
i can't get over the operation of this camera, it is amazing. the ease of shooting, not having to move your eye from the viewfinder, the button placement, and so many other features makes shooting 'fun' again.
not having to carry heavy lenses is a big plus, one can get buy with just 2 lenses, zuiko 12-40 pro and 40-150 pro, (which has not been released yet) so i purchased a regular 40-150, on sale, and i am not sorry. lenses are fantastic.
yes the camera is pricey and so are the lenses but you only pass through one time, might as well go for it. the quality is there.
it is fast and a real pleasure to use.
i also purchased the 15mm 1.8 lens that doesn't talk to the camera. simply move the lever to wherever, take the shot and you will be surprised.
the learning curve is interesting, buy the dvd.
so, in my opinion, this camera is great, fun and easy to use however i need to give olympus a shot;
a camera system bag for $315.99----really????
February 15, 2014
I previously owned the EM-5 and loved it but sold it because it was still lacking a couple things that i knew would get better with time. One being the EVF, i love the evf for letting you actually preview how your shot will actually look with WB, Monotone, Saturation, Contrast and all but it was only good for daylight use. I found that for doing night shots like star trails or anything at night was a no go for the em-5 because you just couldn't see anything just a bright square blinding your night vision. The EM-1 to my surprise is miles ahead in that area as i found i can shoot in really dim conditions and still see through the EVF Sweet!! I will tell you from my experience being a big DSLR shooter using all kinds of camera's Canon 5d mark3, Nikon d800 and many others that Olympus is really doing some amazing things with the OMD Line. I found it hard to believe that the files coming out of this little camera can handle processing and have an incredible dynamic range right up there with the D800, believe it or not, rent one and see for yourself. I love the small footprint of this little camera along with the great build and all the programmable buttons that let me set this little gem up to my personal machine. My big dslr's get so heavy out hiking carrying glass and tripod that i longed for a small interchangeable lens camera that would be light , tough and not skimp on image quality. Believe me if the image quality wasn't there i would not carry this little camera but would still be lugging around my big guns and deal with the shoulder ache. There are only a couple of things i would love to see in the next OMD but for now i will take this as it is.
Keep up the great work Olympus!
February 14, 2014
I'm not going to bore you with all of the great aspects of this camera. You can read about them. What I will tell you is that I am just an amateur photographer who loves taking pictures. However, my last camera was 7 years ago - one of the first Canon Rebels. I wanted to get a new camera as I knew that technology has changed in 7 years. Every bit of research I did always came up with the OM-D being at the top of the list. So, I bought it with the 17mm 1.8, 45 mm and 60mm. lenses. I am absolutely amazed as to the shots I achieve with this camera. The camera has me looking at what I am shooting much differently. You will not be disappointed.
February 10, 2014
Highly customizable, but completely intuitive, my new E-M1 is the most natural way to take pictures I have ever known. It knows what I want and gives to to me every time. I recommend this camera to everyone, regardless of your experience. The E-M1 knows what you know and adapts!
February 10, 2014
I've only had mine for 3 days and I can hardly tear myself from the manual and trying all the new things offered. For example, every button, it seems, can be re-programed. I've finally settled on using the FN1 for obtaining the 2X digital zoom, and the FN2 for setting the ISO. The other buttons I've left as is. The Info button can bring up full info of the settings and you can make other changes from there - in that respect a carry over from the E- series, except with the M1 it can be there all the time and disappears when you bring your eye to the finder. The size of the camera is perfect - just a bit smaller than my E-620. Great camera.
February 07, 2014
Love the new EVF, sharp and great colours.The grip is a great addition.Camera feels like a "Pro" model , a little heft to it.
Wi-fi is also a great addition.All in all love it more than my EM-5, which
i was also crazy about!!
January 22, 2014
I love this gem of a camera! Wow! It is so lightening fast and so well made, it is a true pleasure to use. I don't want to put it down. I am very impressed with the photos. I also own a Canon EOS Rebel SL1, which I also enjoy using, but this is my favorite and since I can't put it down, my husband will be using the Canon from now on. ;-) I definitely recommend this camera. Try one for yourself; you'll see what I mean.
January 18, 2014
For a few years I was feeling burdened by my Pentax K-5. It did nearly everything I wanted. But… It was big. It was heavy. You know what I mean. I had been watching the rise in CSCs and M4/3 caught my eye because of the great selection of lenses. So I planned my transition. I bought a used EPL-1 with two kit lens. Played a round. It was fun inspire of the technical limitations.
So I planned it out. I sold my Pentax gear after investing in an EPL-5. The upgrade was a good camera, The EM-6 had been out quite awhile & I decided to be patient & get Olympus' upgrade. When the EM-1 came out the sticker shock was real. I bided my time & read all the reviews and waited until the back orders were mainly cleared.
When the time was right I bought it. It is everything all reviews say. Tear them. even the criticisms are true. For me it is the perfect camera. I'm not a pro so all that doesn't matter to me. The moment I held it it fit well in my average size hands. The ability to customize the controls is awesome and intimidating. The Olympus image quality is great. I already knew form the EPL-5 how to work the supper controls so I was off & running.
I know I will be keeping this camera for a long long time.
January 13, 2014
I know it will be some time before I uncover all the hidden gems in this camera, but I have been sold on Olympus since film days, and have had several Olympus digitals (C-2500L, E-20N, SP-565UZ, and two E-620s) before picking up the OM-D E-M1. I must admit that I NEVER thought I would be able to accept an Electronic ViewFinder in my primary camera, but the E-M1 demonstrates that the EVF's time has finally come. I also typically ignored Scene Modes, but was intrigued by the "Hand-Held Starlight" mode, which takes a quick sequence of shots and stacks them into one, as is typically done in astrophotography. I tried it out it recently while walking through the "Magic Christmas In Lights" nighttime display at Bellingrath Gardens in Mobile, AL. The results were spectacular! Yes, it was an expensive purchase, but I'm glad I took the plunge! [I would also add that while it's nice to be able to use my old Four-Thirds lenses, the Micro Four-Thirds lenses are so much lighter and more compact that I'll seldom travel with the old lenses!]
January 01, 2014
After a lot of research, I decided that my first DSLR would be an Olympus 4/3. Although not stellar at the time (2009), I decided to go with the entry level E-520 and invest in glass (12-60 SWD, 50-200 SWD). Since then I added extension tubes and flashes. I was becoming more and more frustrated by the E-520 capabilities and kept waiting for a significant upgrade. When it became clear that there would be no replacement for the E-5, I was getting close to jumping ship from Olympus. Thankfully, the EM-1 came out which allowed me to use the glass I had already invested in while getting a first rate professional body. This camera is amazing and blows my old E-520 away in every way. It works great with my legacy 4/3 lenses and I love the high ISO performance.
December 29, 2013
I upgraded from the Olympus E-3. The only negative thing I had about the EM-1 is the size. there is a large difference going from the Pro version of the E-3 to the EM-1. Using the Verticle Grip helps to balance the difference in the feel.
So far, I have used the camera around the house and have been impressed with the sharp image display. I have been a working pro for over 30 years and have always used Olympus for my personal camera.
The features brought in with the EM-1 I hope will bring back many of those that were hesitant in making the change waiting for the next camera in the E series line.
I was skeptical until I put it in my hands, the options took over and I could see the improvements over my former favorite camera. One of the features that helped sway my choice was the option of being able to use the full line of E series lenses I already have.
The MMF-3 adapter makes it a breeze to both maintain the splash proof seals and the investment I have in my glass. My general all around lens (the 12mm to 60mm ) feels good on the camera.
December 29, 2013
I am very impressed with this camera. With the addition of the PRO 12-40mm lens I have a setup that is second to none! I know the common argument is the price, but with the latest upgrades to the e-m1 this camera is priced in a range that compares to other cameras at the same price. Olympus is really on to something here! The new sensor is nearly perfect at high ISO's and the detail is a bit better than the e-m5! Good buy!
December 27, 2013
I don’t need to mention about this camera too much. There are lots of positive reviews from experts on line. Having been used E-PL 5 with Pan 20 mm, Oly 45 mm for last one year, I had been convinced I have to buy this one and ordered it with 12-40 mm, 75 mm. Now only one week’s try with 75 mm (still waiting for 12-40 mm) is not enough time to judge, but I am totally exhilarated with both of them. Only minor problem with me is my Light Room 4 can’t support E-M 1 Raw file, so I am going to upgrade to LR 5..3(Using Adobe DNG converter 8.3, I noticed more noise in LR 4 than Oly viewer 3)
December 24, 2013
Great full featured camera with a wide selection of lenses. It has all of the features of my Nikon D7000 and several more that I find useful such as HDR in camera: a wide range of bracketing with 3, 5, and 7 shots instead of just 3 shots: remote control from a smartphone; and color creator for a few examples, The image quality is as good as well as the quality at high iso settings. It is very easy to quickly change settings. viewfinder is sharp and Peak Focusing helps when using manual focusing. The number of shots per second is higher with the M1 along with a much higher buffer capacity. The size and weight of the camera make it very easy to carry and shoot. I find myself taking the M1 with me almost all of the time now and taking a lot more pictures.
December 24, 2013
I hardily concur with the reviews praising this beautiful, powerful, and efficient (size wise) camera. There is little left to say that hasn't already been said, so I will dig down deep and find some faults and offer a few suggestions to Olympus...
1) The lens cap ought to come with a tether. I ordered one from eBay for $3 - problem solved.
2) The little plastic cover for the hot shoe is just begging to be accidentally knocked off and lost. Mine disappeared after one day, despite my being aware that the slightest brushing against my clothing could remove it. Now the hot shoe contacts are exposed. Should I be concerned?
Wish list: 60 fps video
So that is it. It has been a long time since I was as impressed with a product as I am with this camera. Oh, the 12-40 PRO lens is very sharp and has beautiful creamy bokeh.
December 21, 2013
I have been buying the top of the line Olympus camera starting with the E10 through the E5, and I have always been pleased with the Olympus design.
I love the features of the E-M1, but am disappointed that I can't tether this camera to my Windows computer. I shoot in my studio and have been tethering my cameras for many years. For me, this is a very important feature that is missing from this camera.
December 18, 2013
This is my first digital camera after working with film. It is beyond belief a fantastic camera. Wonderful to handle, built like a tank and extremely flexible. Expect a bit of a learning curve, even if you are fully experienced in photography. After a few weeks it all becomes second nature. To my eye, the image quality is better than 35mm film IMO. For what I do, I do not see any benefits in going full frame as the quality is fine by me.
December 17, 2013
I have been using SLR and DSLR for quit some time but still a novice. I value equipment for performance and auesthetics (personal taste). I am not particularly wedded to any brand. I use to own the OM1 back in the 70s? followed with a Canon EOS 650 (film). I currently have Canon T1i, Nikon 1 J1, Canon 6D, EOS M and various compacts that have since died. I have to admit I love the features of my 6D specially the low light capabilities. I have several lenses for the 6D already but not too heavily invested. I am starting to get more involved with photography as a hobby. I've been surfing the internet and happened to read several reviews of the E5 then saw reveiws of the improved E1. I finally decided to take the plunge and try it out. One of the main reasons for taking the step towards the E1 was the size and weight of the 6D. Lugging the 6D with 24-105mm or 70-300mm was a real chore. I've had the E1 for several weeks and had to re-adjust to it's controls and menu system. It not a simple task plus there is very little help from existing literature to describe what all the different features do. But I am getting the hang of it and I believe it is much simpler to use than the 6D once one becomes accustomed. There was a beatiful sunrise last week and I ran into the house and grabbed the E1 to see what king of photo I can get. I didn't get a chance to review the photo until I got home from work and uploaded to my computer. Boy was I impressed! Unfortunately I can't seem to post photos. But the pictures I got is one of the best sunrise photo I've taken (my opinon). I used the E1 with the 45mm f1.8. What amazes me was the ease I was able to capture this photo. I played with the settings and was able to take many different photos using the different picture styles etc. The picture is jpeg and unedit straight from the memory card. The photo had black figures in the upper right quadrant which turns out to be crows flying high in the sky!!! The camera and lense is amazing! I could not believe the camera was able to capture (resolve??) the crows way up in the sky. I really didn't notice they were there when I took the picture. I probably could have done the same with the 6D but I don't think I am giving up anything with the E1. Plus it was very easy to change the setting on the E1 with the Live SCP menu and custom Fn buttons. The next big test for me is to use the E1 with sports. I have kids active in high scholl sports and would like to see how the E1 performs with tracking players with continuous focus. I will still keep the 6D for certain situations but my go to camera will be the E1. That's it for now!
December 13, 2013
The latest in a 35 year progression of cameras that I have owned that ranged from medium format film to professional-grade APS-sized digital. The EM-1 is my first Oly and has reignited my passion for photography. So light and compact but feature-heavy, this camera delivers consistent results. It's difficult to even produce a bad photo with it! In the days of film it was the emulsion you chose that gave you the results that you sought, With digital, it's all in the algorithms that camera manufacturers use to deliver the results--the "secret sauce" that makes one particular camera produce more pleasing images than others do. The EM-1 is that cameras. It is a very powerful and well made little gem that delivers in any situation.
December 10, 2013
Im very impressed with this EM-1. Its a vast improvement over my E-30. I was always trying to keep my photos at ISO 800 and under. And now so far I have used ISO 2500 and am quite happy with the results. And the use of my 4/3 lenses works faster on focusing then my E-30 ever did. Very good job keeping 4/3 users happy!
Less then 24 hours with this camera I was doing action photography at one of my wife's marathon runs. And with the new view finder I was easily able to keep track of the subjects in multiple shots as the runners past by.
My only compliant with the camera is the horrible flash it came with. It casts a horrible shadow on the floor when using my 4/3 lenses. It would have been nice if they made it bounce capable. But the upside is my FL36 flash works great with it. But a compact flash with bounce sure would have been from Olympus with the bit of a high price tag.
December 10, 2013
My transition from Nikon D5000 DSLR to this really light and feature
filled camera has been one of the main highlights of year 2013 that will ending soon
I am really excited by the little hands- on experience I have had with it so far!
Navigation through various menus is a breeze although the reviews
I had read before I bought the camera had me worried. As a person who has used a DSLR before, I did not find it intimidating at all.
I love the compactness of the camera and I am also amazed at the beautiful images I got using the 12-40mm M.Zuiko PRO lens.
My decision not to move on to a full frame camera has proved to be a wise one!
Thank you Olympus!
December 09, 2013
I bought this camera based on magazine and online reviews. I wanted to move from my full frame Canon to a four thirds format. I was doing this to save space and weight. Most of my photos are taken while hiking in National and State Parks. My pack was approaching 25 lbs.
This camera and it's lens are saving me a lot of pounds and space.
So far I only have the 40 -150 mm zoom. The combination did a great job on the first outing at the Akron Zoo. I was very pleased with the results.
I am looking forward to trying other lenses and have the 12- 40 mm 2.8 and the 57 -300 zooms on order. I expect those lenses will perform even better.
My only complaint is with the lack of detailed instructions for the camera. I feel the manual does not go into near enough detail.
In particular, the exposure and focus systems need a lot more detail about how each of the choices operate and what results to expect form them. Those responsible should read the manual form the Canon 5D MKii for some insight on how a camera manual should be written.
December 06, 2013
I recently received my E-M1 and have been customizing it. Several of the videos on "you tube" are really helpful. I have had an E 510 and E 620 for several years and have 4 lenses in the 4/3rd line. They work very well with the adaptor. The instruction manual needs work, in my opinion. If I was not familiar with other Olympus cameras, I think that I would really be frustrated. The wifi connection is something that sounds simple in the manual but is not that straight forward in real useage. My pictures are great and I am sure that with more time, it will be customized just right for me, in spite of the manual.
December 05, 2013
I owned the very good predecessor to this camera, the OM-D E-M5. The image files are great and the customizability and lens options available are perhaps the best I've ever had the experience of working with... all in a stylish retro-inspired design. When I first heard and saw pics of the new E-M1 flagship camera that basically takes everything that made the E-M5 so great, but took it up more than just a few notches, it was instant ecstasy running down the improved specs and the increased potential with the E-M1.
There are plenty of camera reviews about the features and technical marvels of this camera, so I'll let you research and read and see all that's already out there already. What I want to talk about is why I love this camera and why I think it was the best new camera for me personally. There are way too many to name in this little review, but I'll try and point out the top ones, imho.
- Improved image quality over the E-M5 with Truepic7 image processor which has improved lens correction software that optimizes final images for each individual MFT lens used.
- Dual fast autofocus system with integrated phase detect AF.. this has greatly improved the speed, accuracy and focus locking abilities for taking fast moving action shots. It's not the best ever, but for MFT systems, it's about the best that's out to date
- Improved design and ergonomics. You have better placed buttons that are spread out and not so crammed together like on the E-M5. Ever dial and button feels like they are in the right location and easily accessible. Sure, overall the E-M1 is slightly larger than the E-M5, but it's still reasonably small and compact and adds just enough body to get the right hold and placement of controls without being too big. Perfectly sized!
- Even more customizability, so much I sometimes run out of ideas on what to apply the extra buttons I can customize towards.. still, it's better than not having enough and makes adjusting camera settings as fast as intuitive as it's ever been
- Solid build.. have you seen how much metal the whole body of this camera is composed of? You will know and appreciate the solid feeling in the build as soon as you hold and pick it up.
- Oh! The new EVF! It makes viewing and framing the shots so nice and pleasurable... It's just so detailed, also, manual focusing has never been easier with an EVF.
- Speaking of manual focusing, the focus peaking feature further aids ones pinpoint focusing with confidence.
The overall experience of this camera is a joy to use and it just feels so much more faster & intuitive to use over the E-M5.. not to say that the E-M5 is bad and I would gladly have kept it as a back up camera if I didn't need to sell it to fund the E-M1 and new lenses.
Coupled with some of Olympus's excellent primes (17mm F1.8 & 75mm F1.8, for example) and the new pro 12-40mm lens... I prefer the ones that are made of all metal, this camera is a solid performer and feels like a tank or precision machined instrument like a gun in hand(s).
BTW, I was debating this over the Sony A7(&A7R) and the Nikon DF, but ultimately chose the E-M1 for the solid build and full featured packed camera with large excellent lens options for the best price possible that lead me to stick with Olympus and purchase the E-M1 for myself. I can say I am very very satisfied with my decision.
December 03, 2013
A year ago I decided to get more serious about taking photos. I've always loved photography and I took classes in college, I used to do bottle shots in the Napa wine industry, and I love portraiture. There was one problem: I hate lugging around a DSLR and lenses, I hate how much DSLR lenses cost, and I always end up shooting everything fun in my life with my iPhone unless go leave the house thinking "today is a day dedicated to shooting photos." I hate using a flash and taking terrible flat photos with a DSLR, I hate having to use a flash because the only lens I could afford had an unacceptably high f-stop floor (anything above f/2.0 is unacceptable to me).
This lead to my Canon Rebel XT sitting in the closet for months at a time. After hearing of the advancements and affordability in the Micro 4/3 standard of camera and lenses, I decided to take the plunge. I decided to invest in a new, smaller camera so that I could have with me without it being an event in itself, one that people would not be intimidated by when I point it at their faces, one that has an affordable but killer range of lenses available. I did not want to skimp on quality.
That camera was the Olympus E-PL5. It's been a great year with the E-PL5, and I've taken the best pictures of my life with it for a fraction of the cost of a DSLR, without sacrificing any tangible quality (to my eyes). In fact, I would say the quality is actually better and more fully realized since I could now afford a wealth of lenses with much greater ease and no guilt! I now have a full range of amazing lenses to use with it from 24mm - 150mm (in micro 4/3 parlance that would be 12mm-75mm, you simply divide by 2).
Also notable is that I do not buy any lens with an f-stop floor over f2.0 - this keeps me able to shoot excellent photos in natural light even indoors with no flash required at ISO 800-1600. I never go higher than that because I hate noise in my photos. And this also means that since I require lenses at f/2.0 or below, that I will only shoot prime lenses - no zooms. It must be the physics of zoom lenses but you cannot find one under f/2.8. This means I zoom with my feet, not with the barrel of the lens. It's an adjustment but ultimately worth it for the types of things I like to shoot.
I just the sold the E-PL5 and am now rocking an Olympus E-M1, which has many similar components within it but is pretty much improved all around. It has excellent improved 5-axis image stabilization which makes my grip on the camera even steadier, enabling me to work with slightly slower shutter speeds at lower ISOs, reducing noise and the necessity of using a flash in low light. It has dedicated hardware knobs for adjusting shutter speed, aperture and ISO - so no more taking my eyes off the viewfinder to dig through software to adjust. It's got a ridiculously rugged magnesium alloy exterior and is weather proof, freeze proof and dust proof. It can connect to iOS devices through a wifi network it spawns itself, no external network needed. It takes 10 photos per second to make sure I get the one you didn't blink in. And best of all, my lenses still work with it.
Can't recommend the micro 4/3 camera world enough. I wrote this because I have never been happier shooting photos in my life, and if I were me transported back before this photographic evolution, I would want to read this review. So I hope if you experience any of the frustrations I mentioned above, that you liked this quick rant.
The E-M1 is the best experience the Micro 4/3 world has to offer. I'm amazed.
December 02, 2013
I STARTED WITH THE OM-1 AND NOW I HAVE THE E-M1 AND SOME OTHER MODELS AS WELL. ALL THE OLYMPUS CAMERS AND LENSES HAVE GIVEN ME THE BEST PICTURES I COULD HOPE FOR .I HAVE NEVER DISAPPOINTED A CUSTOMER WITH THE PHOTOS I HAVE DELIVERED TO THEM.I TEACH AND WHEN ASKED TO RECOMMEND CAMERAS I SAY THE BEST BUY IS OLYMPUS .JL
December 01, 2013
very rugged camera--the on off switch is in a bad spot for me--I'm always going for the right not the left--still have to get a handle on the auto focus system--tried flying birds in bright light--about 50% rate of focus--they were soaring above and below--I'm still learning the camera so probably results will be better later. shot some 12,5oo ISO pics from a moving boat in the dark--they came out great! not for big prints but look good for the web.
The Art BW gunge look is very fun for Landscapes--the camera makes some great Landscape Black and Whites--Battery life was ok but I would have a second one for backup if shooting heavy--the little rubber covers for the hot shoe are funky--would be easy to drop and lose them-they are small and it takes to of them to cover things up. I really like the front and back dials for shutter speed and Apeture. its very similar to my Nikon's. Would really like to have some pro glass to really see what this camera can do. Hopefully my 12-40mm F2.8 will show up by dec 5th.
really looking forward to the performance match with this camera body. Overall I'm up in the air somewhat, but am sure that I will get more proficent with the controls and auto focus so will be more positive. I've been using a Nikon D4 with pro glass for last year and half so I'm used that level of overall performance.
thank you Olympus for making this camera, it has one super good thing I like--the light tiny waterproof size!!
hope this comes off as a positive overall statement--would recomend the E-M1 to other photographers
November 27, 2013
How can we come so far so fast? Well, not "we". How can Olympus do it? I received my EM-1 a week ago and the 12-40 today. It is so shockingly, blindingly, unwaveringly perfect. In every respect and in every single detail. The design is as if I had done it myself. The craftsmanship, the utility and the quality of the results are not simply incrementally better. They are not even "game changer" better. It is much more than that. No, these items were designed and built by people and a company with a passion for doing it right. You can tell it is something special when you hold it. I suspect these people actually use what they build in their spare time. I liquidated 15 years of Canon "L" gear and I look back at that stuff and laugh. Sell it while you can. This is the future and these 2 items are maybe that and a little beyond. In this day of i-everything and "form over function" this takes me back to a time when more honorable things mattered. Like pride in what you produce. These items are a pleasure to use and to hold. Congratulations Olympus, and thank you.
Pro is the way to go. Keep those Pro lenses coming. A 40-100 and then a long (200+) fast prime please...
(Read this and weep... My kit: Oly EM-1 and EM-5. Oly 75, 45 12-40 and 60 macro. Oly 100-300 (hmmm). Rokinon 7.5. Pan-Leica 25 and Voightlander 17.5. Three 600R flashes. Yes kids, that is THE kit you want AND I have cash left over from my Canon sell off!)
November 26, 2013
I've wanted to upgrade from my Nikon d90 for quite a while but didn't do anything because my options just didn't seem to fit. Nothing "jelled". Then a friend showed me this E-M1 and told me more about mirror less cameras, and I knew that was what I wanted! So I sold all my Nikon stuff and bought my E-M1, and I love it! It really is fun to use and takes gorgeous photos. Because of its size I don't feel conspicuous when taking photos in public places, either. I don't care if strangers think I've got a point and shoot! I know I've got a quality product. My only two problems will be solved with time. I knew all the controls and how to use the d90 so well, and it's going to take me some time to learn to set up and get used to Olympus controls. Also, Aperture doesn't yet have RAW support for the E-M1. But as I said, these drawbacks will be taken care of in time. This isn't a real technical review, just telling you how glad I am that I switched!
November 24, 2013
Coming from Nikon and Fuji gear, this camera combines the best from other brands. Fast focus speeds for action and very very nice JPEGs straight out of camera. I have already used the camera out in the cold rain with no issues. On the back end, the menu options are something else. It will take some time to get through the options provided. However the user is well rewarded for what Olympus has designed. I have been putting the camera and the 12-40mm lens through its paces for the last month and very pleased with what I am seeing. This camera is used professionally.
November 22, 2013
Great Photos, probably the best mirror-less camera on the market. Love the new size and weight, coming from the E-3 this is much lighter with the battery holder then the E-3 ever was. I have only one issue, the RAW image format is not supported by Apples Aperture - why would you not make the new image format available to Apple so it would be ready for day 1 launch of the new camera?
Also, un-related to the camera, my purchase experience from Oly was less then good. I ordered the camera in the beginging of October and was told it was a one week back order. Then it was two, then 3, 4 etc. So, I went to a different U.S. based on-line retail and had the camera in two days. I don't understand how you can be so bad at inventory management that your re-sellers have mor einventory then you do? High-end e-goods move Air not Ocean so how can you slip from 1 to 4 weeks? To not have avialbel inventory less then 3 weeks before Black Friday is in-excusable. Who ever manages your supply chain and inventory needs to be re-placed ASAP.
November 19, 2013
I have had my OM-D E-M1 for only a few days but am very impressed with the camera. I won't go into all the features as they have been covered by others and you can check them in countless other sites and reviews. I am an experienced photographer who used Nikon equipment up until last year, although I have also owned M43 cameras for 4 or 5 years now - mostly Panasonic G series. I also had an Olympus E-PL2 and more recently, an E-P5, which is in for repair after only 4 months. Hopefully, the E-M1 will be trouble-free.
The camera is really nice in the hand, with a substantial grip. It pays to download the manual and study it carefully as there is a bit of a learning curve due to the many features and buttons on the body. Might as well set up the function buttons to do what you want them to. Makes shooting a better experience. As there are a pile of programmable buttons, it can get confusing as to which does what until you use them regularly. I programmed the iAuto spot on the main dial to give me small JPEGs in sRGB colour space - very handy for occasional photos to send by email. Otherwise I shoot in RAW 90% of the time.
The E-M5 has a great reputation and I can see the E-M1 being a huge hit. There's something different about it compared to the many plasticky cameras out there. Sure it's expensive compared to an entry-level Nikon or Canon, but the high quality and smaller size and weight make it worth it. I should return to this site in 6 months and write a follow-up when I've had plenty of time to really use the camera. So far, so good!
November 16, 2013
Olympus did a very good job on the new EM-1 as a replacement for the E-5 and added lots of welcome improvements to make it competitive in cropped sensor market place. I most like the new tracking continuous AF and locking mode dial. I did not like the short battery life, the lack of having diamond pattern focus zone, and I can only assign one MySet to a button. On the E-5 I can assign MyMode's to mode dial and can access using the back wheel. Other than that, Olympus should not stop finding way to increase the Megapixel number as 16MP may be outgunned or no longer good enough in IQ. I also like to see Olympus making fast 75-300 2.8 or 100-400 3.5
November 16, 2013
I've been shooting Olympus since the E-10 and always believed in the promise of the 4/3 system theory. I invested in the 4/3 system Pro zooms from 7mm to 250mm.
I was concerned that my substantial investment in glass was wasted, but the EM-1 works great with my 4/3 glass and takes everything to a higher level.
The feeling of quality feels German or Swiss.
I used my 90 to 250 zoom with the 2X adaptor to shoot frieze work (at 35mm equivalent of 1000mm) from 100 yards away. I could make out the texture of the mortar and see hairline cracks, I blew the panorama up to a 3 foot X 12 foot print. Tack Sharp.
The E-M1 works great with my 4/3 lenses.
Combined with the 12 to 40 mm F2.8, the quality is much better than any other camera I have used. This new lens is as sharp as any of the 4/3 pro lenses and the weight seems like half of the E-5 with the 14-35 F2.0.
I sum the promise that Olympus made with the /3 system has finally been kept.
November 16, 2013
Somewhere, buried inside the E-M1 there is a GREAT camera. But first, you have to make your way through ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY TWO PAGES of the instruction manual, and endless menus, which only clutter up the learning process. The whole design of the project reflects an engineer’s rather than a photographer’s world view. The engineer says, “Wouldn’t it be cool if you could do—?” whether there was any reason to believe that the user might actually WANT to do it. Engineers love “features.” Professionals or advanced amateur photographers love simplicity. They want to take the picture, not have the algorithm decide what the picture will look like. This is like Windows 95, where the engineers used up precious space so that you could custom design the cursor.
I have an E-M5 which had exactly the same issue-Olympus apparently didn’t learn. I had a whole series of OM film cameras, whose manuals were typically under 20 pages.
Here’s what I think Olympus should do for the E-M2, the next version.
1. Hire tech writers who had undergrad degrees in English, not engineering. Have a panel of users review the manual for confusion.
2. After the camera has been out for maybe 6 months, and people have had a chance to use it, form a large and varied user panel, and ask users which features they actually use. If at least 80% of the users don’t use the feature on a regular basis–get rid of it on the next version. Cut the number of options on the menu by 75%. If somebody wants “art” features, there are plenty of amateur cameras that will do it, or you can add the feature in post. Having it in the camera just slows down the learning curve.
3. Have some specific goals. The manual should be clear, concise, include every critical feature in good detail, and be no longer than 50 pages. Cut the menus by 60%.
4. Have one button you can push that will essentially set the camera up like an OM-4. Dials for aperture, f-stop, and “film speed”. A simple “Magnify” is good for manual focus.
5. In advertising, push the idea that the E-Mx is for photographers, not snapshooters. This is EXACTLY how Nikon cornered the SLR market in the 70s. While the long forgotten Topcon (which was a much better camera) was emphasizing features in ads, Nikon gave free complete sets of Nikon equipment to famous photographers with the proviso that any published photos had to credit Nikon. Within a few years, Topcon was gone, and Nikon (and later Canon, which played the same game) won the world.
Once I figure it out, I think the E-M1 will be a wonderful camera, but I resent all the time I have to waste getting to its core functions.
November 14, 2013
Gee, where to start. I've been shooting since I was 6 years old, that would be in 1961. I got my degree in Fine Art Photography/Video/Film from the University of Oklahoma.
From the early 70s until 2003 I shot with a Canon Ftb and 3 prime lenses (28mm, 50mm, 200mm). For the past 10 years I've been shooting digital files with a Canon G3 and then a G10, both wonderful cameras.
I spent the last several years reading reviews and searching threads on various on-line forums to help me decide what direction to take my next camera purchase.
Because I liked the small, easy to carry size of the Canon G series, but also wanted the flexibility offered from an interchangeable lens system, I decided to go with a micro 4/3 system.
I was tempted by the Olympus E-M5 and the Panasonic GH3, but neither were quite right. When I finally got to see some early reviews of the Olympus E-M1 with the new Pro 12-40mm lens, I knew I'd found my camera.
I've only had the E-M1/12-40mm combo for a little over a week (along with the Olympus 60mm macro and Olympus 75-300mm tele), but it already feels like it's a part of me.
With the Canon G series, you're more or less forced to compose your shots using the rear LCD screen, which means holding the camera up and a foot or so away from your face. I adapted, but I sure got a lot of blurry photos.
After 10 years of shooting like that I'd forgotten how nice it is to hold the camera up to your eye and look through a viewfinder, and man, what a viewfinder! I have to keep reminding myself it's not optical, it's that good. I wear glasses, and with the stock eyecup I can see the whole, beautiful image. And it's sharp from corner to corner, with gorgeous color and contrast.
And, it's better than optical in the sense that you can set it up so that when you change your exposure you see the image become darker or lighter in the viewfinder, so what you see is what you get.
And of course you can review the shot without taking your eye from the viewfinder, which means not missing another shot because your looking at the rear screen to check your previous shot. Very neat.
Then there's the 2x2 control system and the ability to customize the controls by assigning your choice of functions to most of the buttons, dials, and levers. If it's more intuitive for you to change the aperture lower by turning the dial left, rather than right, then you can change that. Want one button access to white balance or ISO. You can do that. This camera is HIGHLY customizable.
Personally, I recommend that you download the manual from the Olympus website and check it out for yourself.
All this is important because it lets you set the camera up so that you almost never have to take your eye away from the viewfinder while shooting, meaning you won't miss that magic moment.
Then there's the amazing IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). This 5 axis stabilization system is so incredible that I was able to shoot some closeup shots of Jellyfish in the water at the end of the Monterey pier, using my 75-300mm lens and the E-M1's electronic 2x digital teleconverter (meaning I was shooting at almost 1200mm equivalent), HANDHELD, and nearly every shot was sharp and blur free. Simply amazing.
The combination of the added stability from having my eye up to the viewfinder and the excellent IBIS has instantly increased the number of "keepers" that I get each time I go out shooting.
By the way, the new built-in grip is great. It fits my hand well, and with the new 12-40mm lens the balance is nearly perfect, like they were made for each other. But hey, it felt good with the 75-300mm too.
Oh, and the focusing is near instantaneous, and snaps right on with rarely any searching. And of course you can configure how you want to focus in many ways, and even go in and fine tune the focusing for each lens if you like. Very neat.
Now, what do the images look like. Well, that will mostly depend on you. This camera won't be the limiting factor. I set my upper ISO limit at 6400, and have no problem with out of the camera .jpgs.
I'm sorry to gush on like this, but honestly, this is a well thought out and executed camera. I paid retail for it, and it was worth every penny.
I chose m43 because I wanted a small system that I could carry all day and not feel tired, but with enough lens combinations to cover most shooting scenarios.
I chose the Olympus E-M1 because it's ergonomic design seems just right, it's got a very durable, weather resistant body, IBIS, killer viewfinder, and a feature set that give me the ability to customize the camera any way I want. Thanks Olympus!
November 12, 2013
OK! This camera has exceeded in three weeks all of my expectations. Year's ago I was a loyal Olympus E-20 user then moved over to Canon 5D camera's for the picture quality. After getting an entire system built around that camera the weight of carrying the system around got to be an issue. Left the system at home most of the time. Now I have got two lenses, the remote flash, and the E-M1 everything fits into a small bag that goes everywhere. Picture quality has been excellent and the camera focus has been great. Two issues I was concerned about.
November 09, 2013
I have owned Olympus cameras starting with the first digital camera up through the E-10, E-1, E-3, E-5 and OM-D E-M5.
Each camera was a wonderful evolution that built on the best of the previous camera. By the time I embraced Micro Fourthirds, I have not looked back to a full size (and Olympus DSLR's were small for DSLR's) camera. As a photojournalist, real estate, and landscape photographer, I have needed a small but highly capable camera and lens system that could meet such a varied set of challenges including photographing outdoors in the middle of winter without worrying about the snow or rain on my gear.
The E-M1 has given me what I was hoping for (primarily a fast focusing system for my four thirds lenses, the 12-60mm and the 50-200mm). Not only has the E-M1 met that challenge surprisingly well, but now Olympus has developed the Pro line, starting with the 12-40mm lens, which I have on order; from what I've read, Olympus has been able to create a compact lens that equals or surpasses my beautiful Zuiko SQ lenses.
I was concerned that in order for Olympus to make an OM-D with a grip and more buttons that I might be giving up the small, fit in my hand, camera I have grown to love. I was so pleased when I opened the box (I bought it without even seeing one ahead of time) to find a small little tank of a camera. I even think it is still beautiful, and I thought my silver and black EM-5 was the prettiest little camera I had seen other than a Leica.
I look forward to exploring the WiFi (already imagining myself staying in my tent nice and warm while I take night photos of winter skies), and some of the other features.
Great Job, Olympus!
November 06, 2013
I've been using cameras for over 50 years. In the 70's I built up a very nice Canon outfit with 2 bodies and 10 lenses. I drifted away from photography because of the expense of film and processing and enlargements, etc.
I rejoined with my first digital. An Olympus C-740 Ultra Zoom for about $800.00. A remarkable camera.
My upgrade was an E-500 with 2 kit zoom lenses, which cost about the same. After a couple of years I upgraded my basic zoom to a 14-54. I still use that lens but I moved on to an E-620. Now I got more lenses and an E-5. I thought that this is the ultimate camera.
Oops; along comes the E-M1 and trumps all of them.
+ Great pictures + Great feel in your hands + Obvious quality
+ An incredible bundle of features + More ways to control what you are doing with the image than I have learned yet
In spite of spending 2800.00 less rebates of 379.00, I feel that this camera is a great value. I am able to use all of my Zuiko lenses and my old Canon lenses with an adaptor I found on line.
November 02, 2013
I've owned many cameras since the 1960's, starting with Pentax SLR's (SV followed by the LX in '84) and then on to large Nikons (film and digital) before making the shift to micro 4/3rds (Panasonic GF1 and GH2) mainly for size and weight reasons. Although I've enjoyed using all of these cameras over the years, none of them since the Pentax LX, have given me the genuine joy of photography until the E-M1. The feel, classical look and responsiveness of the EM-1 is what photography is all about for me. I picked up the vertical grip/battery pack for it as I like having a little extra support in my palm as well as the vertical release of course.
I've tried the camera with my 4/3 rds Leica 14-150 lens/adapter and it focuses very quickly and also tracks moving objects very well with the motor drive on.
Thanks Olympus, for making a camera that has rejuvenated my addiction to photography!!
October 30, 2013
I've been using my E-M1 for a few days now and can say that it's an excellent upgrade from my E-3. I've been lucky to acquire many of the High Grade 4/3rds lenses so to have such a solid, well laid out, easy to carry, configurable camera with fantastic image quality that focuses those lenses well is just what I needed. It hasn't taken long to appreciate that even though there's a significant difference in size from the E-3, it doesn't matter. I don't even care it's an EVF - it's so good. The ZD 9-18, 11-22, 12-60 and even the 50-200 all handle very well indeed on my new camera. I'm really impressed with what Olympus have created and to offer the MMF-3 for free, which I obviously needed, was the right thing to do. I'm looking forward to many more years using my excellent 4/3rds lenses and being able to add some m4/3rds too!
October 30, 2013
The EM-1 is a powerful tool for the photographer who does not want to sacrifice quality but does not want to carry a heavy gear bag. The perfect combination of power, size, and function.
With the EM-1 you see a nice speed boost from the wonderful EM-5. With the added buttons and features there is a learning curve but it's not huge. I love the programable buttons so this camera will work exactly how I want it to.
Check out this powerhouse and be amazed!
October 25, 2013
When I first opened the box with the camera in it I thought, "Uh-oh, maybe this was a mistake..." The camera seemed really small (even though it's about the same size as my E-620), but the reviews so far have been great . Then I thought ,
"Maybe I'm just jumping to conclusions"...and I was. After testing the camera for only a couple of days, the pictures have been coming out better than I could have ever imagined!
I bought the lens adapter for the 4/3 lenses and have been surprised by the speed of the auto focus on the E-M1. I've really enjoyed using my 50 mm f2 macro lens and the camera seems to bring new life to all the other lenses as well. If you plan on using 4/3 lenses on the E-M1, I do suggest getting the battery grip; it makes the camera more balanced with the larger lenses.
Even though I know the menu system on the camera really well (thanks to using Olympus cameras in the past), there's still a lot to learn about all the great new features in the E-M1 and that makes it more inspiring and fun to use.
While I've heard that a number of people basically "jumped ship" on Olympus because of the 4/3 system being dropped, I'm happy to have stayed aboard for the entire trip. Thank you Olympus for a camera that takes both 4/3 and micro 4/3 lenses!
Now after I receive the new 12-40 pro lens, I'm going to have to watch my spending. The Zuiko lenses are addicting!
October 16, 2013
This is my 1st m4:3 camera. I have a large collection of 4:3 lenses and I waited for this camera because Olympus says it will properly focus the 4:3 lenses. It does a decent job of that.
However I realize that in order to get the full benefit of the camera, I will likely buy a few m4:3 lenses as well.
Most amazing thing is the ergonomics. Amazing how such a small camera is so very comfortable in my hand. Everything seems to be exactly where it should be.
The viewfinder is astonishing! I alway reviled EVFs, but this one is different. Using it, I forget it's not an optical finder. I hate to admit this, but I actually LIKE it!
Image quality is excellent...including ISO ranges up to 3200, with 6,400 being perfectly useable. Something I'm not used to.
It has so many features, it would take too much space to cover all of them. It's a complicated little camera and it will take a while to master it. But it's also easy to use.
This camera IS the future of photography. It is to photography what hybrid technology is to the automobile.
Get one, you'll LOVE it!
October 14, 2013
I come from a long line of using full frame DSLRs. Currently using Nikon D4 and the D800 with every pro lens under the sun for when I want the highest resolve power but I must say, this EM1 (body vs body) gives even the best a run for their money.
Comparatively, the body is so cheap for what you get. What I mean is that for the features packed into the EM-1, I am used to spending 5-7 thousand USD for body and add-on dongles and BS like that to get the same type of features. Not with the EM-1, it is all inside the tiny little body! Just to list a few of the major key features:
5axis stabilization which nobody has, built in wifi where u can use to remotely gain full control and trigger the camera with a smartphone. No low pass filter improving resolve power! Touch screen controls and the EVF is beautiful! Focus is blazing fast. Built like a tank! I could literally go on and on.
One other exciting fact to note is that the m4/3 lineup of lenses is already plentiful to choose from, BUT Olympus is one upping everybody by engineering the new 12-40mm 2.8 lens and from what I hear, a slew of pro level lenses like this are on the way! It shall shortly become a fully complete system leaving you with wanting nothing more!
I would highly recommend this camera to anyone pro or beginner because it is SO bang for your buck even if you don't know it, you'll be glad the features are already in this camera as you grow with it!
October 12, 2013
I am a professional shooting mostly in a studio along with location and some sports work. I have owned every professional Olympus camera since the E-10. I was very content with the E-5 but since I shoot over 40,000 images per year I knew I was ready for a replacement soon. I was hesitant to think Olympus was going to replace the E-5 with a mirrorless camera and wasn't sure I was going to stay on with Olympus but I have quite a bit invested in Olympus SHG lenses and frankly just love them. After reading quite a bit regarding the new E-M1 I purchased it and am so far delighted. I really don't mind the smaller size as it actually works quite well with my current lenses. Actually, while I have not made a side by side test, I think the E-M1 focuses faster with the 14-35mm than on my E-5. The image quality is great especially in low light. I would rarely use anything above 800 ISO but I am confident shooting 2500 ISO and perhaps above. The battery grip I feel is necessary for the larger lenses like the 14-35mm although I always shoot my 35-100mm on a tripod so I feel with this lens it is a non issue. I have to say there is so much this camera can do and thankfully the menu and super control panel are laid out in a similar way that it was easy for me to figure it out. I am also thankful that Olympus has provided the camera with a variety of options for buttons and dials. There are more options than I can use! As well, I like the electronic viewfinder. I didn't know how I would like it but with use it has proved itself to be a great asset. I can now judge exposure through the viewfinder. Really, so far, no complaints. I'm just happy I can continue to use my SHG lenses, the best lenses made.
October 12, 2013
Really enjoying this camera. Right of the box it felt good. Tried my 14 to 35 f2 with the mm3 adapter and this camera focused faster and nailed the focus point. Image sharpness better than any of my previous olympus cameras. Now I really love this lens.
Camera has to many features to mention, but the most important is the images look great and the camera works flawlessly.
October 08, 2013
This is a fantastic camera. It produces sharp pictures that are as sharp as any DSLR available. The many features make this a very too ease camera with lots of flexibility, and its weight and ease of use make it a pleasure to use. This is the first Olympus camera I have owned, but it was easy to pick up and use without an instruction manual. I decided to preorder it after taking it on a test drive at Mike's Camera. The Olympus representative handed each one of us a camera and lens and said go try it for 2 hours in downtown Denver. Two Mike's employees went along with us to provide any needed help. This was the first time I had ever shot an Olympus camera, and I had no problems. After checking out the pictures at home for image quality, I preordered the camera. After only 3 days of shooting with the new camera, I am convinced I did the right thing in buying the camera. I would recommend this camera for anyone avid enthusiast or professional photographer and anyone who wants a camera they can grow into.
October 08, 2013
No wireless remote control on the E-M5, and also NO wireless remote control on the new E-M1, you guys forgot that us, photographer do a LOT of selfportrait, and selftimer is no good to do this job :(
Hope the next one could have wireless remote control.
October 08, 2013
Warning: The OM-D E-M1 is not for the feint of heart. It takes excellent photos when it does what I expect, which isn't all the time. The controls have a steep learning curve, which I haven't climbed yet. I'm going to give it five stars on the assumption that I'll climb that mountain.
• Takes great photos, if you know what you're doing.
• Battery let's you take at least 300 photos per charge, even with some flash.
• Fast shutter delay; very responsive (even if you don't want it to be).
• Can change settings on the fly quickly, if you know what you're doing.
• Six-hour sleep; you don't have to turn the camera off most of the time.
• iPad/Smartphone app works pretty well via WiFi, if you know what you're doing
• Olympus tech support is excellent.
• Lightweight and strong, even with a lens attached, with an easy grip.
• LED screen is very good and shows a greed deal of information.
• Viewfinder is excellent.
• Steep learning curve. Even on "auto" you have to know a little about the controls.
• Buttons are so sensitive that you can easily change settings or take unwanted photos.
• Included added flash is only okay.
• Lens designed to be bundled with this camera isn't out as of this writing (10/8/13) and will be pricey.
I've had the camera for a week, and have taken several hundred photos (look for me on Facebook), so feel I can comment, from a mid-level user's perspective. Most cameras I've owned have powerful controls, but if you just want to set it to "Auto" and take pics, a beginner can do it. Not so this camera.
The default settings for the OMD1 (how I tend to refer to it) are for the high-end user… with some odd exceptions. The arrow buttons change the focus. This is incredibly annoying, given how sensitive the buttons are, and if you don't pay attention the focus point will be waaaay off very easily. You can change how the arrow buttons work, but that reduces a great deal of the ease of the Live Screen controls. There is no command to lock the focus. Meanwhile, the default for the lever is "off". If you want to use the AF or HDR buttons to change the flash settings, you have to go into the menus and turn on the lever.
Most of the menu commands and settings have at least three ways of accessing them. This is good, as you'll probably want to turn off one or two. If you set it up right, one button gets you access to flash settings, HDR exposures, etc. The front and back dials give you control of two aspects on one screen. The touch screen commands take a delicate touch, but work well. I haven't even played with the function buttons yet.
The upside to the very sensitive controls: Almost no shutter delay. The OMD1 is very responsive. This is not always a good thing, if you happen to hit a button at the wrong time or chose the wrong setting by mistake. A little care is required.
Turning on the camera wakes it up quickly, but you don't even have to do that; "sleep"k kicks in after a minute (by default) and lasts 6 hours, so merely touching a button wakes it up. The battery has to handle a lot, but so far each charge has lasted over 300 shots. Haven't tried energy draining aspects like HDR combinations or RAW.
The manual is very good, and Olympus tech support is excellent (1-800-201-7766 press 1 (maybe))).
The viewfinder is great, though I usually use Live View.
Every now and then, the camera does something odd (such as take a photo for 2 seconds) that I didn't set up and don't quite understand why. I'm assuming that all will become clear in the fullness of time.
L SF (Large/Super Fine) .jpg compression puts it at resolution of 350 and smaller height x width, which means I have to massage the files in Photoshop more than I want to, even for simple Facebook uploads. This is the setting that gives the most info this side of RAW (according to tech support) and so what I, in theory, want. The extra steps in Photoshop are worth the results.
When the camera is doing what I expect, the images are excellent. Massaged in PS, they come out very nice. Sharp and clean.
The focusing works spectacularly well. I'm not sure how the AE works. It seems to be about a quarter f-stop off, at least for the people's faces when the background is lighter. I hope to figure out how to highlight the faces better.
WiFi connection via app to my iPad works, but is also non-intuitive. The app is brand new, just released, an update of a previous Olympus app. The connection, which should be simple, is handled strangely: The "Connection to Smartphone" is in a different menu than the settings for wifi connection, and you can't get out of the wifi screen when it's on. You either use the camera manually OR connect via WiFi. You have to change some settings on the iPad to connect and to allow access to the files on the camera.
So: final word, for now: An exceptionally good camera that takes great photos… when the symbiosis between photographer and equipment is complete. I do not yet grok the OMD1. I am going to give it five stars because the small camera takes great pictures. But please, note all the caveats.
October 07, 2013
I come from the film OM series and moved to P&S as I did not want the bulk of conventional DSLR. It's sure nice to be back to a professional / advanced amateur machine !
I paired the E-M1 to a Zuiko 4/3 14-54 II via the MMF-3 adapter and the results are brilliant, with sharp and color-gorgeus images. I particularly like the famous Olympus reds.
The E-M1 can be customized in a million ways and it's extremely quick to start up, to focus, etc.
Highly recommended !