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December 10, 2013


Wise decision!

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


Fine Camera

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


It is a great camera

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 knew this camera would be the best one for me! Love at first sight!

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


Flat. Out. Amazing.

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




December 01, 2013


very rugged camera

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


So far, so fast

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'm so glad I switched!

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


A very capable camera for a Pro

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.

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