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November 16, 2013


Exceptional replacement for the E-5

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


The Camera I've been waiting for

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 14, 2013

Derek Dean

The Next Step

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!

Happy shooting!

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 am already in love with the E-M1 and I just got it yesterday

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


A Dream Camera Come to Life

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


An Exceptional Photographic Tool

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


Truly a five-star camera

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


Powerful Tool

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


Incredible Camera

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!

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