DPReview Gear of the Year Part 3: Olympus OM-D E-M1

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16 MP sensor | Large high-resolution EVF | Weatherproof construction | Wi-Fi

One of the privileges of working for DPReview is that we get to shoot with all of the latest and greatest cameras. Over the past year I've got my hands on most of the top-end SLRs and mirrorless cameras, and used some pretty exotic lenses. All have their own strengths and weaknesses, and inevitably a couple of inexplicable design decisions too. But of all this year's top cameras, my favourite has to be the Olympus OM-D E-M1, especially when paired up with its M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO 'kit' lens.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 - What I love

  • Excellent image quality in both JPEG and RAW
  • Extensive array of external controls
  • Superb electronic viewfinder - large and high resolution 
  • Tilting touchscreen
  • Weatherproof construction
  • 12-40mm F2.8 zoom is optically superb

As a disclaimer, I'm naturally predisposed to like the E-M1. I started using Micro Four Thirds shortly after reviewing the Panasonic 20mm F1.7, initially buying the DMC-GF1 with this tiny pancake lens as a complement to my SLR. But over time I found myself using it more and more, and when the OM-D E-M5 appeared last year I bought one to use as my main camera for personal shooting. I love this camera because it offers image quality that's good enough for most of what I want to do, in a small, lightweight and highly capable package (and crucially, with equally compact lenses). 

The E-M1 takes the E-M5 and improves on it in almost every imaginable way. It's more pleasant to hold due to its large, comfortable grip, and has a comprehensive array of external controls to place almost every shooting setting at your fingertips. It has built-in Wi-Fi to share your pictures, or use your phone as a remote control complete with onscreen live view - a surprisingly useful feature. Overall it just feels like a genuinely serious photographic tool, giving up nothing compared to high-end APS-C SLRs like the Nikon D7100 or Pentax K-3. Crucially, it's simply a great camera to pick up and take out shooting.

What else does the E-M1 have going for it? Its electronic viewfinder is excellent - large and high resolution - and personally I find it to be the best of any mirrorless camera yet. Indeed, perhaps for the first time, I really don't feel it's in any way worse than shooting with the optical finder of an SLR, just different (and in some ways better). The E-M1 is also genuinely fast and responsive, and its autofocus is unerringly accurate. It includes Olympus's somewhat under-appreciated trick of taking face detection a step further and being able to focus specifically on your subject's eyes. This may sound like a gimmick, but it genuinely seems to work.

Seven years ago, before I started working at DPReview, I shot almost exclusively with an SLR, taking everything in RAW and post-processing my shots until they were just so. But in the intervening years I've really come to appreciate the value of high quality out-of-camera JPEGs for everyday or social shots (not every image has to be tweaked to perfection), and the E-M1's are very good indeed. I also really like the portability offered by mirrorless systems; the E-M1 itself may not be the smallest of its type, but I can fit a comprehensive Micro Four Thirds lens set into a bag that I would otherwise use to carry an SLR with just a couple of zooms.

 Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ

Of course I'm something of a lens geek, so have to talk about the E-M1's premium 'kit' lens - the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO. This offers a really useful range (24-80mm equivalent), lightning fast and silent autofocus, and well-implemented manual focus (not traditionally a strength of lenses for mirrorless systems). But crucially, I've been really pleased with its image quality, and found barely anything to complain about at all so far. A high-end camera needs a high-end lens to shine most brightly, and the 12-40mm certainly fits the bill.  

Mirrorless cameras have really come of age over the past few years, and indeed reached a point where the size advantage of the overall system has, for me, really started to outweigh any disadvantages compared to SLRs. There are still subjects that SLRs are better for, of course, but I don't tend to shoot them. Picking the best of the current crop of high end mirrorless models isn't easy - I'm also a huge fan of Fujifilm's X-Pro1 - but if I was selling every camera I own and starting afresh, the E-M1 would probably be the one I'd buy.

This is part 3 in a series of articles where DPReview staff will be highlighting their personal standout products of the year.

Andy Westlake

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sample Images

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Olympus OM-D E-M1

Comments

Total comments: 396
12
acebritpilot
By acebritpilot (2 months ago)

This absolutely beautiful camera rekindled my passion for photography in a single weekend of using it! A wedding anniversary present from my wife, it replaces a worn out Nikon D70 that I bought when I went digital- replacing a Nikon F80 and before that, OM1 and OM2… Anyway, once back from our weekend getaway I started on the E-M1's instruction manual and decided to run the firmware update. All went (more or less, its very clunky software) well until the end of the update (i.e. "OK"), when the lens (12-50 kit lens) is no longer operating or recognized by the body. The body update seems ok (V1.1) but the body/info and updater cannot even see the lens firmware version (it should be V1.2). No image at all visible with the lens on, no lens focusing or e-zoom, but some sensor image visible with lens taken off. Anyone else had this problem or know how to restore the lens to life?

0 upvotes
Opinionator
By Opinionator (2 months ago)

I own the a7 R w/ the FE 35mm 2.8 and it beats everything i have seen. Anyone complaining abt the click or the UI should return it & find another hobby. It blows away Nikon & Canon, Fuji &Oly. Don't bother w / Leica or any Minolta lenses or Voit. Stick w/ the FE series & have more fun w/ a camera than u could imagine.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
sauchiyong
By sauchiyong (3 months ago)

I think EM-1 is great as a still camera. I think it can be a great film camera with only 1-2 firmware upgrades and a new grip. Uncompress HDMI, and CinemaDNG that can store extra frame raw info on the grip with extra CPU power, bandwidth, buffer, and SD slot. It has unusual amount of extra contacts under the camera now. It can record 50 frames per second, and record odd frames on camera, and even frames on grip. Or even frames that is underexpose for highlight, HDR process in camera after. Also with 4.6K raw file recording which can crop and process to output a 4K further stablized footage that can make expensive tripod head, tripod, roller, tracks... a history for film industry. I think it can happen very soon.

0 upvotes
NyArtBoy
By NyArtBoy (3 months ago)

Yes they are. Do a search for 40-150 f2.8. It's the next Pro series lens they are coming out with that matches the build and styling of the 12-40. It's big and looks like it will have a tripod mount. If I were you I'd wait for that bad boy to come out.

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Heh, heh .. I AM!

0 upvotes
gardengrrrl
By gardengrrrl (3 months ago)

I bought the E-M1 with the 12-40 Pro lense for myself as a Christmas present and I'm loving it. I especially love the manual focus. I'd like to get another lense in the 40-150 length and I see there are 2 different ones that Olympus makes 1) Olympus ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 and 2) Olympus M. 40-150mm F4.0-5.6 R. My questions are:
1) what's the difference between these 2 lenses?
2) will I still be able to use the manual focus option with either of these?
3) Is Olympus planning on coming out with any other Pro level lenses in this focal range?

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
1 upvote
deep7
By deep7 (2 months ago)

The Olympus 14-150 (at least the one I had) is very good as a 14-50 but quality deteriorates as you go longer and it is very soft at the long end. The 40-150 is much better at the long end, very cheap and very light. The 75-300 is very good from 75-200, so you could also consider that. The upcoming 40-150/2.8 is likely to be far better than any of these but that is still speculation! An alternative is the Panasonic 45-200, which is actually very good from 45-150 but deteriorates terribly beyond there.

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Seeing that the 12-40 bests the 12-35, it is hard to believe it won't trounce lenses in the 40-150 range.

I have used the panny 35-100 and which is quite good, and small/light.

However, that 50% extra reach (still at 2.8) will be killer for live stage events, and maybe even a little theatre portrait use.

I'll bet it's iver 1299 though.

The Panny 45-200. The latter is easily trounced by my old zuiko 50-200 on the EM-1.

I am leaning to the 7-14, which I have also used and like very much.

0 upvotes
David Smith - Photographer
By David Smith - Photographer (3 months ago)

I think the E-M1 is an excellent camera, but to me it is rendered useless by the serious shutter vibration issue. Even with safe settings this camera surprised me again and again with unsharp pictures. You can't always see this on the small sharp LCD. Only when you look at the results on your computer screen, you'll watch in horror how the E-M1 has destroyed your favorite photo of the day. Quickly sold mine.

0 upvotes
Maff maff
By Maff maff (3 months ago)

Hy David,
Up to now I have no such issues with my E-M1. My Pictures especially with the 12-40 are razor sharp. Can you tell us more about this, like your settings and picture parameter to investigate?
The only small hurdel I have is that the camera is frequently jumping in rec mode when I change settings by turning the front wheel.

0 upvotes
tdekany
By tdekany (3 months ago)

David - first, I hope you feel good about selling a faulty unit to somebody else. Good job. Second, do you really believe that anyone will buy your post? Funny how out of all the reviews on the net, no one else ran into this same problem. Instead the EM-1 gets like 7 "Camera of the year" awards that I have seen. The EM-1 is an excellent camera. Not sure what it is that you were trying to accomplish with your post.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (3 months ago)

But his handle has "photographer" in it, I have to trust him.

3 upvotes
deep7
By deep7 (2 months ago)

My first EM1 had the same problem. I took it back to the shop. We tried a second one, same problem, not as bad. The third one was much better and I still have it but shutter shake is still there and I avoid shooting between 1/50 and 1/250 with certain lenses. Otherwise, it is a very good camera.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

David, seeing you buy NP-FW50 batteries, and al your zeiss/sony posts, you're not an Oly use at all, you're a SONY user!

In fact you list no gear at all and don't seem to take pictures either (or have I missed your galleries?).
If I HAVE missed them, my sincere apologies.

I've read about this SUPPOSED shutter shock "problem".

Neither my EM-1 nor EM-5 have it, I've seen no trustworthy _quantified_ articles on it, so it sounds like the problem of inept photographers, ot too trusting of its excellent IS to me.

Do you have any actual pictures taken by you, where you've taken reasonable care avoid camera movement that prove this claim?

The "shock issue", so called, is far less severe than MIRROR SHOCK on any DSLR I've ever had (about 5 cameras).

I DO have a few of my photos online:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com
(mostly non paid work there - NO shutter shock).

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
LaFonte
By LaFonte (2 months ago)

I like those great helpful reviews that put various variations of "its useless" meme. I am not Olympus user and now I know why, because unlike everything else it is useless. Wow.

0 upvotes
Peter Hartland
By Peter Hartland (4 months ago)

Having moved up from the EM5, found this beauty now covers all my needs from Landscape, renewed interest in Street Photography to Sport/Birds in Flight. Haven't touched my Canons !DS MkIII & 1D MKIII since I purchased it in Sept.

0 upvotes
zuikowesty
By zuikowesty (3 months ago)

I am curious what are the main differences between the EM5 and EM1 are for you? I am still longing for the EM1, but since I've never handled one, I don't know if I would like the grip. I like the E410 format, find the EM5 cramped, so the EM1 might be the answer. But nobody can get them locally, and I'd rather invest in some decent glass and wait for the EM2...

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Spot on, and the EM-5 makes a nice back up.

0 upvotes
Miron09
By Miron09 (2 months ago)

the grip is so good that I use it without strap - the first camera ever I use without strap

0 upvotes
Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (4 months ago)

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a great camera because it's small ,theres really good lenses ,down the road there will be a 300mm f4 and that will change every thing ,and i know you street guys don't care but us 40 to 50 year old guys are the ones buying the cameras to go birding and wild life ,and yes we have 5D's and D800 ,7D's and 7100's and we are sick of the weight of these cameras if you want to see a big drop off in sales of canon and nikon you will see that day the 300mm f4 Olympus lens comes out ,the Tamron 150-600mm is the only saving grace of nikon and canon only because of the cost....

4 upvotes
Fred Mueller
By Fred Mueller (4 months ago)

Andy

- I can't see that there is an equivalent of AF-On or any button that it could be comfortably assigned to - which is how I've shot my Nikons for years now. That would be missed by me.

- Another comment - the "full frame Gestapo" make a big deal out of DOF "control", but more often than not (w. D600/D700) I find myself shooting at smaller F-Stops than I would like in low light to INCREASE available DOF. There goes your FF noise advantage.

It is also my impression that most of the better M4/3 primes are quite sharp and behaved at max aperture - this is not generally true, at least historically, for the full frame lens catalogs. It is what is so notable about the 35mm Sigma for instance.

Another question - if you fit and ND filter does the EVF show normal gain?

And finally - multi aspect ratios in the VF - that seems like a huge thing to me.

As well as - the flip screen and shooting discreetly, and just a generally over-all much more stelthy shooting rig than full frame

1 upvote
AceP
By AceP (4 months ago)

If it's like the other Olympus cameras, there should be a custom function setting that turns autofocus off in the shutter button and assigns it to either the AFL button or another custom function button instead. So you should be able to replicate the Af-On feature of the Nikons here as well.

1 upvote
bcalkins
By bcalkins (3 months ago)

See page 98 of the manual. Setting the AEL/AFL button mode to mode 3 make the shutter button to exposure lock and the AEL/AFL button do one shot focus in S-AF mode. When in C-AF it does continuous AF when the AFL button is pressed...

Mode 2 flips that around to do focus with the shutter button (but not exposure lock) and exposure lock with the AEL button.

2 upvotes
tecnoworld
By tecnoworld (4 months ago)

This camera is great and has all the features I want. Except for one: sensor size, which I want to be at least aps-c. But for the rest it's #1.

Comment edited 56 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (4 months ago)

Lucky you. This m4/3 sensor beats every Canon APS-C sensor there is.

8 upvotes
photobeans
By photobeans (4 months ago)

There's only one thing the APS-C does noticeably better than the m43 sensor. You can have nice Bokeh with the m43 but not quite like an APS-C. If that matters to you, pick the APS-C.

0 upvotes
Roland111
By Roland111 (4 months ago)

Don't understand, get Panasonic 25mm 1/1.4 Summilux, which starts sharp full open or when even more sharpness is required shoot at F1.7 and you get bookeh. And there is Oly 45mm F1.8, even for more bookeh.

2 upvotes
PatsyK
By PatsyK (2 months ago)

But is the bokeh as nice as apc?? that is the quesitoneeee!

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

The reason they do this is money: create a system that obsoletes the previous one by making everything in all old systems completely incompatible- they are all doing it. Nikon and their G mount. Olympus invents 4:3 system scraps it and devises micro 4:3 system, then ? Reverts to full-frame system to compete with Leica having mastered necessary technologies leaving stranded everyone who bought all those dinky micro-4:3 system lenses whilst Nikon and Canon rewrite their firmware to outlaw use of Sigma, Tokina and Tamron Lenses?? All of which will self-destruct adding massively to our eco-meltdown since they took the lead out of your pencil (sorry, I meant solder) resulting in the tin sprouting"tin whiskers" after a decade or so and shorting out all said circuits (see Ken Rockwell, NASA, Toyota "tin whiskers").
To get you all to buy even more adding to our economic dependency on China, Japan and Korea...

Comment edited 47 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
zukiboy
By zukiboy (4 months ago)

Society does not seem to grasp that if they work a day for 200$ and Spend it all on a foreign made camera, at a store that sells 98% of its goods (Walmart) from other countries... That the biggest LOSER is their OWN country. North America designs things for others to manufacture (loosing any copyright by doing so) and the rich get richer and the poor will stay poor. Whats left in cameras really? Shutterless, 1000 fps cameras with auto-focus will be here in a year. Someone will hack it, and make an adapter to fit any lens out there. What then? What more will we need? What more could we need? You can print an 8x10 from and iPhone. Camera manufacturer's need to be worried in general. Phones are the camera's of choice these day's. Canon and Nikon and the rest should start making phones as they will need to in order to keep factories open I suspect.
Unless there is a cure for greed, its all going downhill at the corporate and social level.

1 upvote
CosmoZooo
By CosmoZooo (4 months ago)

What a pointless rent. First of no one is loosing any copyright by manufacturing overseas - that is a load of nonsense.

Second you know those folks who keep predicting the end of the world every couple of years - they are always wrong and so are you.

There is a place in the market for more the one thing and no single thing will satisfy everyone. It's always been that way and it will continue to be that way (end of the world or other cataclysmic events aside).

And no there will not be a shutterless 1000 fps camera that has a super focus and a super sensor and will blow away all other cameras in all categories and will be affordable to everyone - wake up - most DSLRs today can't even handle proper AF in the movie mode and barely go over 10fps with continuous AF - what have you been smoking?

And have you not noticed crowds of former P&S folks walking with DSLRs around their necks? You know why? Because not even the best phones can compare to a cheap DSLR and that's a fact.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Kerahdah
By Kerahdah (4 months ago)

Pointless RANT, not rent as written!

2 upvotes
JoeDesperado
By JoeDesperado (4 months ago)

could be both, though.

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Agree on the throw away comments, but ...

Ever since Johann Heinrich Schulze discovered that silver nitrate darkened upon exposure to light, the only consistent direction of film/sensor size change has been DOWNWARD.
NO amount of wishful thinking will stop it.

FMF (Full Marketing Frame) will be hard core only soon enough. To wit: Remember larger format digital sensors? Almost gone! (except for specialised uses like astronomy)

Consumer electronics has shrunk dramatically and will continue to do so. Great!

Some cameras bodies are tiny while WE get larger.
Hanging giant lenses that resemble bazookas off them does not help very much.

The EM-1 strikes a usable and quality balance between competing requirements.

Pics here: or see my profile.
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/

Oh yes, MFT wastes LESS raw material than larger formats do.

Cheers .. shoot more, carry less.
(made with recycled electrons)

1 upvote
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

A friend of mine is quite happy with one of these, but I dont get it, no. The camera is as big as a 35mm full-frame Olympus OM2n and bigger than a D40x Nikon.
It is almost as big as my Nikon 7100 and a lot more expensive. With the good f2.8 zoom it costs as much as a new Nikon D800 body, WIERD!!
OMD is nowhere near as flexible as the old R1 Sony which was a complete system in itself with a great 24-120mm lens (still the best available-but not on NEX machines).
You can then spend another fortune on another set of doubtless excellent lenses, and get Leica quality for less..... but existentially WHY would you do this? Beats me, mate....

2 upvotes
photobeans
By photobeans (4 months ago)

Pro photographers asked for a larger body with more buttons. This is what they wanted. Did Olympus have to make it large? No. They did it in purpose because there is a market. On the other hand, they can make an m43 camera as small as the point and shoot bodies. You can pick an m43 in all sizes, but not APS-C.

1 upvote
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (4 months ago)

Poor munro, you really seem to have problems with this product. ;-)
Let me try to help:
"It is almost as big as my Nikon 7100 and a lot more expensive."
If it is too large for you, take the E-M1 or a PEN.

"With the good f2.8 zoom it costs as much as a new Nikon D800 body"
Why not? The D800 has quite different features and is of no use without a lens. Get a comparable lens for it and you spend another 1000€, but beware of rain or dust and prepare for some "weight-lifting".

"OMD is nowhere near as flexible as the old R1"
Are you joking? Try to put a pancake lens on the R1...

"You can then spend another fortune..."
You can, but do not have to. Excellent Zuikos start from 250€.
Very good Sigmas like the 60mm/F2,8 from 160€.

M43 is simply the most versatile system out there regarding sizes, bodies and lenses: No other system offers a pocket-sized GM1 and a fully featured E-M1.

Finally, if you still wonder why so many people like it: Just ask your friend, why he's so happy with it. ;-)

4 upvotes
webber15
By webber15 (3 months ago)

Munro,stop being silly,its now are near as big as a Nikon d7100...dopey...

1 upvote
azm
By azm (4 months ago)

This is a camera that gathers the ambition of accurate and calibrated photographs and the versatility of all the best specs packed in a very small/light body/lens.

The only thing that offers less than a full format is the depth of field efect, slightly reducing the bouquet and the relative amount of light that reaches the sensor resulting the inherent smaller physical size of the picture.

Wanting to have all these advantages is wanting to have the Holy Grail!

Maybe ... one day in the near future ...

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Not that near I think, but ...

As soon as the next quantum leap in sensor tech comes along (don't ask me when) , WHAM! Al the large sensor cams will be practically become irrelevant curios overnight.

Bokeh? Technical frippery aside, it's very good with the fast. sharp lenses available.

To wit:
Have a look at some of my non-commercial shots. here:
http//photohounds.smugmug.com

The bokeh's fine unless you want ears to disappear in portraits. You can do this with Full Marketing Frame, and an 85/1.2 but try SELLING a portrait like that ...

Shoot more, have fun :)

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Markrl
By Markrl (4 months ago)

It seems like many people that say they do not like the MFT format, the IQ, etc. must print HUGE images where the format may make a difference. I have seen images from those cameras that are spectacular in more normal print sizes.

2 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (4 months ago)

For me is the limitation of the optical angle of a smaller sensor compared to a full frame or larger, and the lack of responsiveness compared to a DSLR that makes these cameras not very attractive, at least at this price point.

Comment edited 22 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

nothing to do with printing which is no more than a display format among many, and an old and low quality one.

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (4 months ago)

Firstly FF has better absolute IQ, no doubt, I say this as the a RX1R owner, which apart from the A7R and the D800E, is the best thing below MF full stop IMHO.
Secondly however the IQ of the E-M1 is so close in most circumstances, it's quietness, portability and speed are clear advantages.
The lens size difference is massive.
It's also about technique as well, look at Ming Thein to see what can be done with the OM-D.
This is an absolutely superb camera that is still impressing me every day.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Sixpm
By Sixpm (4 months ago)

I have even made a 60" x 40" print from the 6MP Epson RD1 file which look every bit as good as any modern camera sensor, so I consider the 6MP then was at the threshold of matching FF 35mm of the old. There's little doubt that most modern 10 plus megapixel cameras can now print to 40" x 30" or even 60" x 40" with quality good enough for exhibition. We are now way past the quality point of FF 35mm film photography from this perspective.

I use both the FF Sony A7R along with the OMD 1 & 5 because of the 'feel' I can obtain from the sensor and lens combination. For instance, the smaller sensor lenses has smaller physical apertures and so offers better depth of field than FF. On top of this is that we now can married up almost any lenses to these bodies via adapters and we can obtain all sorts of look and feel.

To me, photography is now at the BEST as it can get.... :)

4 upvotes
jstop
By jstop (3 months ago)

So why can't Olympus go and make an APS-C with ALL these great features of OMD? Then they can count me in.

APS-C and 20 mp is the minimum I will go. I must say this OMD is very impressive in every other aspect though.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Yes, the EM-5 was an 'OMG' moment- EM-1 just refined the concept. I have both.

EM-5 with that nifty and quite 14-42 kit lens fits in a coat pocket! I do often in winter, and it is not much more trouble than a phone cam like that.

No wafer thin DOF with that combo, of course.

0 upvotes
Edd2013
By Edd2013 (4 months ago)

I enjoyed reading all the comments on the Olympus OMD E M1. I believe there is a camera for everyone. In my case, I have a Nikon D7000, lens and flash. At age 77, they have become somewhat heavy to carry around. I purchased the M1 for it size and quality. I have been searching the Internet for examples of camera settings, with on luck. If someone could post their settings I would truly appreciated it. If my request is not appropriate on this site, I apologize

2 upvotes
texinwien
By texinwien (4 months ago)

Edd, head over to DPReview's Micro Four-Thirds forum for tips, answers to questions and help setting things up: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/1041

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Happy to assist if you've found no one yet. Just email me, mate.

0 upvotes
topstuff
By topstuff (4 months ago)

I know that Oly and the EM5 and EM1 has a lot of fans. There is a lot to like about the camera.

But for me, and this is just my personal view, the IQ just isn't doing it for me.

I can't see any general improvement over my RX100. Images have that similar quality - very pleasing and perfectly satisfactory, but somehow lacking depth to me. I guess the sensor size is still , for me at least, an issue.

I much, much prefer the output I am seeing from Fuji. Having spent several days in research comparing them, I find myself wishing Oly made an APSC camera...

But that is just me, YMMV. :)

1 upvote
harold1968
By harold1968 (4 months ago)

The RX100 is excellent, however OM-D is a significant jump with the right lenses. FF is again a jump.

2 upvotes
mpix345
By mpix345 (4 months ago)

I would agree that the E-M5 + kit lens is not hugely different from RX100. But as harold1968 says, the right lenses make a big difference.

If we're talking RX100 vs E-M5 + fast prime vs Fuji X + fast prime I find the Fuji and E-M5 to be much closer than the RX100 and the E-M5.

1 upvote
bofo777
By bofo777 (4 months ago)

Lacking depth?? I guess you have never used the Olympus SHG lenses on an EM-1 Have You???

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

yabboke (or is it "david the photographer"?) gregbartgis is right!

For the record, "Pro" means versatile and robust enough to produce quality, paid-for work, not dreaming on sites and reading brochures.

I research, buy, shoot, rather than argue with self-professed "experts" with no photos to show.

EM-1 is robust, handles well and is small compared to others with the same level of facilities robustness, water resistance and a quality lens range.

In dim light the EM-1 (and the EM-5) blows away ANY optical viewfinder camera.
You can actually SEE the subject - even when with a DOF preview.

Why is that important? I need to SEE what I am shooting because I USE my gear.

gregbartgis: the Panny 7-14 and maybe a 12/2.0 might convert you to MFT wides?
I sold my large gear soon after EM-5 day, and NEVER looked back.
NO customer ever says: "it's too small" :)

Pics:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com

The 9-lens, 2 flash take-anywhere outfit lives in this:
http://store.lowepro.com/nova-180-aw

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
VertigonA380
By VertigonA380 (4 months ago)

I really love the specs of this unit, but it's about the size of a small DSLR.....what's that all about?

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

Oly is not very good at camera design but E-M1 is far better than other Oly designs for better handling, better reaction/response.

give them some encouragement for a less worse camera.

2 upvotes
Robert Deutsch
By Robert Deutsch (4 months ago)

For me, the change in size/weight from the E-M5 was moving in the wrong direction--and the added features did not make up for it. For less than the price difference trading in my E-M5 on an E-M1, I bought a GM1/12-32. It's a delightful little camera, and has the very useful silent shutter feature that's lacking in OMD cameras.

Bob

0 upvotes
harold1968
By harold1968 (4 months ago)

Actually only the 100D is the same size.
However this is a professional camera competing more with the 5D, and it's really tiny(see one in a shop).
The same size of the lenses for M4/3s is really the killer, especially telephoto

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

E-M1 is a "professional camera" for those who have no idea what what a professional camera is.

0 upvotes
gregbartgis
By gregbartgis (4 months ago)

Sorry Yabokkie. You're sadly misinformed by the look of your last statement. As a "pro" of the film era and having used the best available throughout my career, Oly does a mighty fine job and has the sense to realize where the effort needs to be made. Size is important. Getting print quality images is important. Versatility is important. Durability is important. Olympus exceeds the spec and has since the film days. I give them high praise for raising the bar for what's to be expected from micro 4/3. The fact that they improve the product after seeing how successful the E-M5 has become makes sense. It's also a sign of their confidence that they can produce a small format camera that can be used by "pros". My only quandary is whether I want to sink money into a FF sensor Nikon to utilize my assortment of AI Nikkor wide angle lenses(pretty much the only reason I would want a FF sensor).

3 upvotes
bofo777
By bofo777 (4 months ago)

Coming from an E-5 the EM-1 is a very very small camera but I love it even with my bigger SHG lenses with battery holder it becomes the PERFECT SIZE and weight.....

0 upvotes
Tete
By Tete (4 months ago)

The fact that this conversation is taking place says a lot about how far m43 has come. I used it for a while. Great system but for skateboarding, which is what I primarily shoot these days, I will stick to the D3. For everything else I like use fuji x100 and x10. I used weddings and such to buy my gear. The occasional family shoot for friends and such too. I like m43a and find the primes superb. I used to have the gf1 20mm for a couple years and it was nice altho af was rubbish back then. I have some larger prints of my kids from that little camera 11x17. Look fine to most people I know. It's about pictures after all. Keep it simple. Dxo is the complete opposite of photography. It's pure lab BS. You will find many pros, commercial pros shooting m43 for their own personal uses. I know a few that are fine with much lesser alternatives. Just saying. Print it in a quality lab and then argue Print it. It changes everything. Get off the internet and keep shooting.

6 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

good to see someone .. using a camera system for his use..

every system has its use, benefits and market over the other!!

1 upvote
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Bingo!

A former user who does not feel the need to rubbish what others use. What's the (*^&^&* point?

If I shot what you shoot or billboards I might get some big gear again, but it's not the direction at the moment.

Cameras SHOULD be about the pictures, not dreaming, brochures and knocking what other people find successful.

Have a guess how much time I spend maintaining fake user IDs, and trolling Canon, Nikon or Sony forums?

I applaud you, sir and agree about dxo's relevance to pictures.

For non-paid stuff I like to shoot, look here if interested.
http://photohounds.smugmug.com

0 upvotes
petebryan
By petebryan (4 months ago)

I wonder why Olympus have put such a limited movement articulated screen on the back. I have a Pana G3 whose screen flexes in any direction - so for example I can use the camera at waist height in portrait mode which can't be done with the Olympus. By comparison the Olympus screen is a very poor design.

Incidentally, this is not a moan about the brand, as Panasonic have done the same with their new GX7. I just don't get why you would make an artic screen that is very restrictive and must cost more to manufacture compared to the simple two way hinge on the Pana G3,G5 or G6.

2 upvotes
captura
By captura (4 months ago)

Not just the G3, but the G1 which was the very first m43 camera! And it had many features; ahead of it's time!
...And oh by the way, my G1 is blue, in reference to the post about blue cameras down below!

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

bec tilting screens are more discrete .. great for stealth waist level shooting .. all the rest almost equal

1 upvote
calterg
By calterg (4 months ago)

Although full articulation sounds good, in practice it kind of doubles the size of yhe cam when folded out and found it fiddly to use.

2 upvotes
Pierre Couture
By Pierre Couture (4 months ago)

I believe that there's a matter of patent involved here, but I could be wrong...

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (4 months ago)

I don't think it's a patent issue. Canon, Nikon and Sony all have cameras with fully articulated screens, so it's not just Panasonic.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Robustness.

Friends have the little panny units. Nice cameras and I have used both types and we swap lenses at times. (a great advantage between Oly/Panny)

The 2-way screen is FAR more robust than any fully articulated one I've seen, if a little more limited.

I am not always careful and sometimes hurries to get from shoot to shoot, so I break things. Everything I have has a case/cover to try to save it.

I said what you said for about 5 minutes after I got my EM-5, then I operated it and thought "aha". EM-1's the same, tight, strong.

0 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (4 months ago)

Here is my own experience for what it’s worth, as the EM-5 and EM-1 are fairly similar.

In early 2013 I purchased 2 cameras, a D600 and an EM-5. The D600 I bought with my fingers crossed based on all the baggage and negative reviews about oil spots and stuff. The EM-5 I excitingly purchased based on the extremely positive reviews.

Almost a year later, the D600 never had any oil spot issues (or whatever) and it has surpassed my expectations. The image quality is just superb. Regarding the EM-5, I found all those overwhelmingly positive reviews to contain a fair amount of exaggeration. While being a good camera, the EM-5 image quality is not as great as many would want you to believe; definitely not on par with the D600.

Verdict: I take the D600 any day of the week and will be keeping it indefinitely. The EM-5 will be sold (as will be the pana 14mm f2.5 and pana 20mm f1.7). Anyone interested let me know.

5 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (4 months ago)

I agree with you on d600 being superb, but it is weird to be comparing them. I know the OMD does look like dslr, but that is where it ends - with looks.

5 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

I use Canon DSLRs (as well as m43) but I share your view. It is a nice camera for a smaller camera, but the size is it's only real advantage, and anyone who says they would not LIKE DSLR benefits in that same size body - if physically possible - is kidding themselves.

3 upvotes
captura
By captura (4 months ago)

It seems to me that the OMD cameras have been over-hyped, made flavor of the year, ad-nauseum. I prefer the lower echelon M43 models which seem more befitting the capacity of the quarter-frame M43 sensor and appropriate price point. The E-PL5, G6, GH3, etc. How can the expensive OMD cameras compete successfully with the Canikon mass-market buyers? Even now that APS-C Sony NEX cameras are being discontinued as a line?

3 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

interesting .. could you please tell us more, like what you shoot? and at what settings normally and with what lenses .. if possible?

0 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (4 months ago)

The two lenses I use with the OMD are listed above. I primarily shood people/portraits (about 75% of the time) and remainder are landscapes and things. I always shoot raw, so settings don't mean mouch. To be fair, I rarely shoot above F16. Most of my shooting is from f1.4 - f8. For landscapes, the OMD is a reasonable camera. I took it recently on a trip to Mexico and it was an overall good experience. People shots, however, are typically a mixed bag. If the lighting is not ideal, there is the usual noise starting around ISO 640, underexposures (easly corrected, but still extra work), lack of dynamic range, which on the whole, give the photograph a bit of a point & shoot feel. Now, all of these "issues" can be mitigated with a good speedlight/lighting kit, but then again, carrying all that equipment counters what the OMD is about. Again, just my experience.

1 upvote
wansai
By wansai (4 months ago)

Ummm you are comparing a pretty capable full frame camera to a m4/3 camera and are surprised the d600 produces better IQ? Not to mention the pricing is not even comparable, neither is the size and weight.

these are two very different cameras. For what the em5 is, it competes very well against all but the absolute best apsc. All the hype the em5 received is warranted but I'm not sure what hype you read because even here they state moving up to FF would get your appreciable quality difference over the em5.

you might as well compare a phase one with a apsc camera and tell us how you were surprised the phase one takes more detailed pictures!

0 upvotes
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (4 months ago)

wansai, I am making this comparison, as I own an OMD-EM5, which as I pointed out in my opening post, is very similar to the OMD-EM1. The comparison is fair (in my view) as the D600 sells for $1.5K, and the OMD-EM1 sells for $1.4K. Price is always a top consideration whenever one is buying cameras or anything else. My point being, if a friend came to me for advice on cameras and he/she had $1.5K to spend on a body, my recomendation would be the D600.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
harold1968
By harold1968 (4 months ago)

Firstly the D600 has better absolute IQ.
Secondly however the IQ of the E-M1 is so close in most circumstances, it's quietness, portability and speed are clear advantages.
The lens size difference is massive.
It's also about technique as well look at Ming Thein to see what can be done with the OM-D.
Lastly its a bit silly to suggest that experienced photographers who use tons of different gear would over-hype something. Mostly the other way.
I say this as the a RX1R owner, which apart from the A7R, is the best thing below MF full stop.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
AlexRuiz
By AlexRuiz (4 months ago)

The EM-1 vs the D600?....I give you speed, that is about it. Put a decent lens on the EM-1 vs the D600 with a 50mm f1.4. The difference is really not that significant....neither is exactly "portable", neither is exactly light weight. Besides, you will need to carry 2 extra batteries for the EM-1 as well, just to keep up. And again the price issue. We all have our preferences, and Ming Thein has his. Ming is actually to blame for me for me buying the EM-5. Oh well!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
bofo777
By bofo777 (4 months ago)

Again you apparently have never used the Olympus SHG lenses on the EM-1 and with the EVF I would take it over any D600.......any day...

0 upvotes
Paddys Owner
By Paddys Owner (4 months ago)

I have an extensive collection of 4/3 lenses. I am attracted to this camera because these lenses perform beautifully with the adaptor. I also got an adaptor for my Canon FD lenses. Now I have so many choices it is mind boggling.

0 upvotes
Dgeer
By Dgeer (4 months ago)

Lol....hey m43 is my choice for the same reasons as many others but I went from Nikon D90 to lumix G2 and now G3 simply because the Nikon wouldn't take ready to use shots from camera in daylight situations anywhere in the world. Nikon claim there is nothing wrong with it and friends always used there's in manual and raw and spent time in Photoshop or similar. I don't spend time touching up as I was originally a film user and you got 36 expensive shots only so you want to get it right in camera. You can take many more digitalis but at the end of the day you want the best compositions etc rather than anything else so I try to get exposure etc correct in camera. With the Lumix M43 and even their Tz smaller cameras they do this very well. The iA button lets u slip in and out of auto and now I rarely need to use A or S or other settings. Portability is another major reason for choosing m43 and the lenses quality from Panasoic and of course Olympus is awesome.

0 upvotes
LaFonte
By LaFonte (4 months ago)

This is why I went with fuji. Excellent image straight from the camera, no fiddling with computer, no so called "developing". I think holiday shooters have more time on their hands than I do.

1 upvote
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

Just shows how subjective things are. I had a D90 - nothing wrong with those colors, but I think the Panasonics suffer from from an unpleasant magenta tint.

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

I used d90 an excellent camera .. and then moved to Pany GH1 and stick to it for last 4 years. I have no problem with colours or IQ of any of these two. I switched to Pany because I like its superb handling and excellent Contrast based AF system in Live view mode.

0 upvotes
jwinberg1
By jwinberg1 (4 months ago)

Andy:

SO glad you like your EM-1 so much, so do I, for similar reasons.

ANY chance your sharing your configured button settings???

Jack Winberg

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)

Hi Jack, here's my settings (and reasoning): I don't much like the 2x2 controls, so I have the lever either 'Off' or 'Mode 5', which makes it an AF/MF switch. I do want quick access to ISO control, so I have that set on Fn1. Fn2 as default. Front Fn buttons - 'Focus Peaking' on upper (for manual focus), DOF preview on lower. I also have the Super Control Panel enabled to give touchscreen access to other settings (Settings D - Camera Control Settings - enable 'Live SCP' in all modes). Hope this helps, Andy

2 upvotes
Tonio Loewald
By Tonio Loewald (4 months ago)

Aside: before recommending cameras in shopping guides or featuring them in "gear of the year" articles, how about posting an actual review? If you're saying you haven't got the data to complete a review, how can you be recommending it?

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
pacnwhobbyist
By pacnwhobbyist (4 months ago)

2 of the 3 cameras they have showcased for gear of the year have been fully reviewed already (OMD-EM1 and X100S). THe GM1 has not, but that's a pretty new camera. My assumption is that they are in the process of testing it now and liked it enough already to consider it worth for their gear of the year feature. So what's the big deal?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (4 months ago)
Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
enenzo
By enenzo (4 months ago)

Canon? Do they still make cameras?

2 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

i like innovations in 70d.. canon has the potential to rise again!!

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (4 months ago)

they actually make real cameras, not expensive toys

Comment edited 25 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
SalmanH
By SalmanH (4 months ago)

Reading all the full frame fan boy comments here it would appear that there is little more to good photography than shallow depth of field. In reality a lot of the time shallow depth of field merely hides bad or lazy composition, making a poor photo look a little better.

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> shallow depth of field

more the shallow understanding of 4/3" among 4/3" fans.

3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

I use both formats, as well as even smaller sensors. But if you do not see how shallow focus can be used to isolate subjects in often cluttered situations, particularly in street photography, it is not the "fanboys" of whom you speak who have the lack of photographic knowledge. I have spent a lot of money on my m43 system, including the EM-1, and bought the 75 mm f1.8 just yesterday but I still find it funny how the true zealots have to trash every camera and sensor that is (a) bigger and (b) smaller. Lucky all m43 cameras are not blue, or blue would be a vital prerequisite to photography. Still, I guess as long as "good enough is good enough" many will be fine. I really do wonder about this "short man in a bar" syndrome I see exhibited far too much here. Just accept that it is what it is, without the silly "death of DSLR" nonsense.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> lack of photographic knowledge

it's more the wrong photographic knowledge that works against correct intuitions.

for example it's easy to see that deeper the depth of field, worse the image quality (which has simple and sound base in physics no matter one knows it or not). one doesn't have to see the size of sensor, which most people actually never see especially inside a compact or mobile phone and that's why some kind people show you on paper (or display).

that lack of "photographic knowledge" could mean power to see the truth, and the "photographic knowledge" works against the user's own goods.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
SalmanH
By SalmanH (4 months ago)

GaryJP, sorry to disappoint but I actually don't own a micro four thirds camera, although I did have a GF1 a few years back. All I'm trying to say is that there's a LOT more to good photographs than shallow depth of field, but so many on the forums here are obsessed with 35mm equivalence nonsense. And don’t get me started on ‘street photography’...

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> 35mm equivalence nonsense.

you should understand that it's not sensor size, but shallow depth of field, that decides the image quality (in terms of signal to noise ratio, or the low light image quality that people usually say).

if you don't have shallow depth of field, you simply won't have that image quality at same shutter speed, no matter whatever sensor size you use (isn't this obvious that we observe? that deeper the depth of field, more noisy image we get, that people should be able to see it without knowing the physical rules behind it).

the problem with 4/3" isn't the small sensor but small lenses.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
samfan
By samfan (4 months ago)

yabokkie: Are you from the mirror universe? Because everything you just wrote is exactly the opposite of reality.

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

SalmanH, the ABILITY to have shallow depth of field is not the same as making it compulsory. I believe most cameras that allow it still stop down to f22. This appears to be something the m43 devotees have a problem understanding. Street photography is rarely my cup of tea either, but you can substitute sports photography or much other action photography.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
kadardr
By kadardr (4 months ago)

DOF is a function of the distance of the object (the closer the shallower), the f number (the lower number the shallower) and the focal length of the lens (the higher length - in absolute mm and not relative to sensor size - the shallower DOF).

It actually says nothing about sensor size or lens size.
BUT with smaller sensor it is more difficult anyways.

0 upvotes
audiomarc
By audiomarc (4 months ago)

I believe this would be worthwhile reading for many people around here...

http://toothwalker.org/optics/dof.html

Enjoy!

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

And I believe nothing in that article contradicts what we are talking about. In a given situation, with same framing, focal length, distance, etc., the depth of field is smaller the larger the sensor/film.

The sensor size does influence the lens choices you make regarding the field of view. Thus the changes in lenses to compensate for FoV reasons change the focal length variable in the DoF equation.

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

dof is an effect .. shallow or large .. depends on your needs

for eg landscape and street photography its a curse in portraits its blessing

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Odd that yabber thinks you MUST have shallow DOF to have a 'quality' pic. (but posts NONE of his own that I can find to "prove" the point).

What a LUXURY to be an "expert" without actually producing any good or salable work.

While shallow DOF is great for some shots, it is NOT necessary for a good picture.
When you were forced to shoot at 50 ISO, you NEEDED wide apertures to slow or freeze motion within acceptable limits, so PROS bought fast lenses and much work - by necessity - had shallow DOF.

Fact is, formats have been SHRINKING and Full Marketing Frame (FMF) will be "zealots only" soon enough. Maybe ever 4/3 will be a "dinosaur" one day?

Real world, 4/3 is a good compromise for a great many people using cameras to actually make pictures.

The REAL reason these fools quote techobabble? Not pictures!
Thin DOF is the ONLY "feature" they can find refuge in.

My Zuiko 75/1.8 produces delightful OOF areas - on demand.
http://photohounds.smugmug.con

0 upvotes
DogsareGodsgifttous
By DogsareGodsgifttous (4 months ago)

GREAT VALUE! This Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the best camera I've ever owned - BLOWS AWAY MY CANON 5D system in terms of size, functions, image quality, and ease of handling. I'm a professional studio portrait and wedding photographer for 31 years and started back in the film days. Don't let anyone fool you- sensor size, prime lenses, go ahead and spend on this and spend on that. This is the best bang for the buck in years for the amount of quality you get for the price. Go ahead and spend thousands more on a "better" system, only to be outdated in 2 years or less anyway. It's not the equipment- it's how you use it folks! Great images do not have to come only from spending 5k or more for the body and lenses. Thank you Olympus for giving us high quality on par with the Canon spenders!

11 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

okay I see the word Canon stuck in your head.
people should stop admiring Canon, or any brand,
the value of which is to inflict losses on the users.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
technic
By technic (4 months ago)

of course it SHOULD blow away the 5D due to its old age...
And although I don't doubt EM1 is a very nice camera, IMHO the 'bang for the buck' ratio is really wanting compared to e.g. mid level APS-C DSLRs.

Quality on par with Canon? Definitely not on par with a current FF Canon with quality glass...

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

Even if he's talking about the original 5D, the two cameras score similarly on DxOMark, but 5D sensor still has close to 1 EV high ISO advantage. But the idea that IQ "blows aways" the 5D is a reach at best owing to better DOF control of the FF sensor.

I've owned the 5D II and an EPL-5. People reading the above comments about image quality and changing systems expecting modern FF IQ might be disappointed. Even as crop sensors improve, so too do FF sensors. Besides the laws of physics cannot change. Professional looking images will often be easier to achieve with a FF camera. That's just how it is. And m43 has some good lenses, but distinct weakness in UWA and telephoto zooms. Plus the high grade EF mount lenses simply do not have any equivalents in m43 - 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8 and f/4 L IS, 50 f/1.2, 135 f/2 L, 300 f/4 L IS, etc. And from an investment standpoint, the Canikon pro-grade lenses are gold, retaining their value as well as on the market.

6 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (4 months ago)

"Even if he's talking about the original 5D, the two cameras score similarly on DxOMark, but 5D sensor still has close to 1 EV high ISO advantage."

He writes about studio use, meaning low ISO. And at low ISO, E-M1 blows out of the water not just 5D, but even 5D Mark III.
In JPEG, E-M1 bests 5D even at high ISOs (not to mention that 5D does not even have high ISOs, only up to 3200, while E-M1 has up to 25600 and 12800 is still useable).

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (4 months ago)

> at low ISO, E-M1 blows out of the water not just 5D, but even 5D Mark III.

Lol. Just look at the DPR Studio Scene RAWs. Not only does the EM-1 NOT "blow the 5D III out of the water", it doesn't even best the 100D, or 70D. The D7100 forget it.

Not sure how you think the EM-1 blows the 5D III away when it doesn't even compete with the D7100.

Any new DPR member can make all kinds of claims about pro experience, but without a gallery, the link to a website, something, it's frankly just talk.

So what can we do? Look at DPR Studio RAWs.

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/16

I don't see any "blowing out of the water" happening even with the EM-1 vs the APS-C cameras. How you guys think the EM1 is competing with a FFs for IQ is beyond me. It's a bit smaller I'll give you that.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

> meaning low ISO

small sensors don't perform well at low ISO though our eyes don't care much the difference when the image qualities are not so bad.

> E-M1 has up to 25600 and 12800

subjective feeling is not something for debate, especically when it's based on some advertised numbers.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

Both systems got its uses .... there is a market and demand for both m43 and FF .. so move on from this silly sensor size .. discussion
take the one that suits your need .. no one system completely blows the other out of water..

1 upvote
oselimg
By oselimg (4 months ago)

Photography isn't about blowing away systems. It's rather about making use of the gear you have for the sake of photography. And when it comes to comparing image quality of the Olympus to a full frame camera?Please don't, because there is more to it than overcooked jpegs with sharp edges.

2 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (4 months ago)

It beats the 5D? A years-old camera you can buy used for about $300? Where is the brag? Also, your 5D wasn't outdated for years after it appeared, it was a benchmark. The same won't be said for the current m4/3rds cameras.

1 upvote
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

where you seeing OMD-EM5 for 300$?

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (4 months ago)

If he is using the camera for studio then even if the EM-1 might have more dynamic range is not of much help, unless he does not know how to control light. The sensor is tiny and for professional use the body is too small for any use except reportage. Canon 5DMKIII is probably the best camera out there in terms of ergonomics and controls. Smaller sensor cannot compete with a far larger sensor, it cannot defeat the law of physics.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (2 months ago)

Yes ... add to that, the coming PRO 40-150/2.8!
(I wait)
It will complement the PRO 12-40/2.8 and make 4/3 even more useful.

Again, CaNiikSon will have no comparable FMF (Full Marketing Frame) lens because they'd need an 80-300/2.8 to produce a similar looking pic. What a BAZOOKA that would be!!

An inconvenient (but relevant) truth:
Excepting a brief blip of FMF ...
For a diminishing amount of real-world need the bigger formats still shine.
However film/sensor formats for a given quality have shrunk for the last 150 years as film/sensors improved.
No amount of FMF marketing is going to stop that.

Good article here for anyone still afraid of the FMF marketing.

I found the same as he and others have ...
http://www.smallcamerabigpicture.com/how-to-overcome-fears-using-micro-43rds-cameras-in-a-professional-environment/

My personal (mostly 4/3) work:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Frank C.
By Frank C. (4 months ago)

for 500$ I would consider it ... but barely. That sensor is not worth the money they're asking for no matter how you slice or dice it

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (4 months ago)

The market (and the author) seems to think otherwise.

13 upvotes
Ross the Fidller
By Ross the Fidller (4 months ago)

And you are.....(FrankC)? And we should take notice of you because.....?

I don't think so!

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

for 500$ you can't even get a decent enthusiast compact :)

0 upvotes
oselimg
By oselimg (4 months ago)

And why should we take notice of people who pass "writer's" opinion for himself and let market forces dictate their opinion. What a sad counter argument...

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (4 months ago)

For $500 you can buy an entry level mirrorless or a low end dslr. This thing is fully weather sealed, mag alloy body, manual controls, large evf, has the fastest and most accurate s-af outside of a 1DX, is light, is small and is fully body stabilized allowing you to hand hold shots as slow as 1/2 sec.

let me know any camera that can best that at $500. Even in its price range, you'll be hard pressed to find anything comparable.

0 upvotes
armandino
By armandino (4 months ago)

still a fiat 500 turbocharged with leather interiors is silly if priced as a BMW

0 upvotes
DogsareGodsgifttous
By DogsareGodsgifttous (4 months ago)

Let's step back a moment. The majority of cameras out there today are capable of taking amazing photographs- especially those above the "point and shoot" category but even those can be superb-just look at the Canon G series cameras. It's not so much the equipment, it's the photographer and the LIGHTING, VIEWPOINT, FOCAL POINT, and INTERESTING SUBJECT that makes the photo. The fundamental elements of photography make the photo-not the equipment. That being said- this Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera is a superbly designed and highly professional camera - easily as good as other high end cameras for taking outstanding shots-Canon, Nikon, Fuji, etc. Given any high quality camera- a good photographer will use their photography skills and patience to take great photos- regardless of whether or not they have the "big shot" camera to show off to everyone.....

4 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

And you were doing so well until the last sentence.

2 upvotes
tongki
By tongki (4 months ago)

INTIMIDATING OTHERS is the key,
a small toy you can't do nothing than being intimidated by other BIG GUY

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

anyone please don't mistake DPReview for an art school. of course photographic techniques should not be excluded for operability, ease of use, ergonomics are important features but they are otherwise irrelevant here.

> OM-D E-M1 camera is a superbly designed and highly professional camera -

E-M1 is much better than all previous m4/3" cameras from Oly that no one should call it a toy. it's called profressional for obviously it's not. but still it's a very positive fisrt step out from toyrus (or Africa).

keep moving Oly!

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
MrJabbee
By MrJabbee (4 months ago)

i think yakky works for canikon, such a FF fan boy, why ridicule people who are just breaking into photography or are in it for the image, higher than thou attitude only makes you look like an ass? it leads me to think that all canikons are asses... but, that would only benefit obtuse thinking such as yours, please try to be less disrespectful to your fellow photogs, regardless of the system they use, they do love photography

0 upvotes
John Mason
By John Mason (4 months ago)

My favorite Canon of all time was the 5d3 often with the 85 1.2 lens attached. However, after over a decade shooting both Olympus and Canon systems, I finally went all in and got 2 EM1 bodies and some more lenses.

While there are still fringe occasions where the 5d3 would have served me better, for the vast majority of my shooting, the EM1 gets me more keepers.

Part of this is the sensor. The little sony sensor the em1 is using has even more raw post processing adjustment range than the 5d3 did.

But the biggest reason for the larger keeper rate, is the ability to use some amazing primes with the 5 stop IBIS. Whether its causal street shooting at night, or low light events, the EM1 was more consistent in getting me great results.

Interestingly, as I sold off all my Canon gear the buyer told me how in NYC the weekend before he had a Nikon guy sell off all his D800 gear for the EM1 for the same reasons.

This Gear of the Year award is well deserved in my mind.

14 upvotes
String
By String (4 months ago)

Well John, you made a huge mistake! According to at least one FF shooter, you could have had a 5D1 with a cheap ass 24-85 zoom and could get "anyway better IQ and subject isolation. Just read DxO" - tongue firmly in cheek!

6 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (4 months ago)

Why two E-M1's?

Two different m43 bodies make more sense to me. You cover more bases.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

5 stop IBIS for E-M5, and 1 stop for E-M1.

0 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (4 months ago)

Bluevellet, If you are doing any kind of photography that has you reacting fast, it's nice to have two bodies with the same controls. When I switch between my GH2 and GH3 it can be a little confusing when I need to make quick changes because of the different layout.

4 upvotes
tongki
By tongki (4 months ago)

you just playing with a TOY and mentioned that you are FAST,
even 5D mark III is not a FAST like u described !

If you play with the real machine gun line up like 1D series
and you're saying that you are FAST,
that make sense,
but playing with a toy and u call it fast ? come on !

1 upvote
munro harrap
By munro harrap (4 months ago)

To be asked to pay out £1949 for this machime when you can buy a brand new Nikon Full-frame D800 and a good secondhand 28-105mm lens for the same money today says you are pushing poor product on purpose. I do not believe you actually ever bought one any more than Ken Rockwell buys all his.

I have an Oly 8080 with a similarly excellent Olympus zoom lens that delivers as much detail as is in your woodland scene, which is flat-no dynamic range to speak of, and I can guarantee that a Sony R1 would trash the IQ of this micro 4/3rds machine and all such, it just would and the lens-on this showing-is better.

£2000 is a lot of deception-amounting to fraud, sir, shame on you!

5 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (4 months ago)

Btw. that price includes the Zuiko 12-40mm 1:2.8 lens, which has superb IQ already @ f2.8. Same cannot be said for cheap FF zooms, which has to stopped down atleast one stop to be useable at all IMHO.

If the price for EM-1 is too high for you, then EM-5 is still a very good camera.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
String
By String (4 months ago)

$2999.00 for a D800 (body) VS $1399.00 for an EM-1 (body). You must be doing "new math".

13 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

A low cost 24-85 on a FF gives anyway better IQ and subject isolation than a "pro zoom" on m43. Just read DxO.

3 upvotes
String
By String (4 months ago)

Well then PerL, you should go get yourself a D800 and a cheap ass zoom to carry around everywhere. Sounds like a great deal and you'll even have the added bonus of looking like a total geek!

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

@String,
I was more thinking about Nikon D610 with a 24-85 3.5-
4.5. Scores higher on DxO vs an OM-D w 12-40 2.8, and have more subject isolation vs the m43 zoom (5.6 eqv). Might even be cheaper. Weight of combo about 1300g vs 900g or so. Surely that is an option some consider. Btw I certainly did not mean a seven year old Canon 5d, which you suggested in an other reply.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Le Frog
By Le Frog (4 months ago)

Ever heard of the f8 and be there" rule? If you could compose in three dimensions and integrate subject with background, you would not need or want "subject isolation". Shallow DoF is NOT an advantage, it is an optical limitation, that you must either cleverly overcome, or exploit for special effect. Of course, if you only take pictures of your cat in indifferent surroundings, you may need shallow DoF; you see, cats are always gorgeous, but sometimes the surroundings and the framing is sooo hideous, that even the beauty of the cat cannot hide the fact.

5 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

Le Frog,
Subject isolation is a very important creative option, heavily used by pros and good shooters. If you dont want it, fine. But many, many talented photographers wants to have that tool in the box.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (4 months ago)

Where is the DISLIKE Button when you need it...

1 upvote
Ayoh
By Ayoh (4 months ago)

I am surprised by the unilateral enthusiasm for the EVF viewfinder. Based on my experience with the EM-1, the EVF gives a very pleasant experience in low and general indoor light. However in bright outdoor lighting with high contrast, the EVF experience is really behind that of an optical viewfinder due to low DR, brightness and washout due to stray light.

However it is still probably the flagship EVF experience. Especially compared to say a Fuji XE-1 which is genuinely poor with its slow refresh rate causing tearing effects even with slow panning, pixaleted view during AF, noise in low light. An OVF is still definitely best for clarity in bright light.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
John Mason
By John Mason (4 months ago)

Having come from Canon series of cameras to the EM1, the advantages of the evf over optical are:
1. Ability to see and compose clearly in low light shooting
2. To see real time the actual effect of exposure compensation
3. Focus peaking and auto zoom in when focusing manually or with legacy lenses.

I'm sure the evf will still be improved. Yet, there are already real advantages to the technology over prior Optical viewfinders and now the size is right up there with FF.

6 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

You only see a very crude representation of exposure compensation, it is not based on RAW. The DR of the sensor is much better than the DR of EVF.
The "advantages" are mainly if you often have problems with exposing right. Otherwise it is better to have a true view of the subject. IMO.
Focus peaking and auto zoom with MF lenses - if you got time for that you have time for careful manual focus with the OVF or LCD.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 11 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Iskender
By Iskender (4 months ago)

"You only see a very crude representation of exposure compensation, it is not based on RAW. The DR of the sensor is much better than the DR of EVF."
"Very crude"? Usually it's more like, see picture, press button, get picture. There may be edge cases where things work worse, but those are mostly a concern in forum discussions.
"Focus peaking and auto zoom with MF lenses - if you got time for that you have time for careful manual focus with the OVF or LCD."
So if you have time to do it the fast way, you also have time to do it the slow way? That makes as much sense as saying that if you have time for the fastest AF on the market, you also have time for the slowest.

1 upvote
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

Its crude in that way that the EVF might show that highlights are blown or shadows blocked, even if it is within the DR of the sensor.
"MF with focus peaking and auto zoom" - if I shot a scene with people moving I can shot faster with ordinary MF on a FF OVF. If things are standing still, I can take all the time I want, even checking the LCD. Thats is what I meant.

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (4 months ago)

@PerL,

what exactly do you use your viewfinder for? The optical viewfinder's ONLY purpose is composition. That is it. That is its one and only purpose.

what is an EVF used for? Composition. Same as the OVF.

everything you've listed as a positive for an ovf is quite inconsequential to composition. I could composed using a b&w viewfinder. It really wouldn't matter. All that unlimited dynamic range you see in your viewfinder? Doesn't do squat all for taking the shot. When I shoot, I don't sit there enjoying my.dynamic range. I compose and shoot.

both ovf and evf perform the same exact function.

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

I have spent the last couple of days shooting an open air rock music festival. The first day, and night, I took out the Olympus. It is without a doubt my favourite M4/3 camera. But let's not keep pretending it does the job as well as a DSLR. It does not. I had far too many missed-focus shots, and the focus was slow, particularly in low light. I have used my 5D Mark III after that first session and the difference is night and day. There are situations where it is okay, but even an entry level APS-C DSLR would have outperformed it in these specific circumstances.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (4 months ago)

Yet there is one big rock photographer who has used the camera at various concerts without problem. There are others that say the AF is more reliable than the 5D's as well. There are also many wedding photographers that complain you cannot see the focus points of the 5D MK III in low light either. The E-M1 does not do everything as well as a DSLR but lets not keep pretending a DSLR does everything better or as well.

11 upvotes
John Mason
By John Mason (4 months ago)

I'm finding my shooting in low light events easier on my EM1 than my 5D3. Not sure which lenses you are using, but the focusing on the EM1 has been instant and accurate. The IBIS with the primes give me a more consistent keeper rate.

I'd be curious to know which lens you are using? I'm typically using the 12 2, 25 1.4, and 75 1.8 for indoor low light event shooting.

2 upvotes
DogsareGodsgifttous
By DogsareGodsgifttous (4 months ago)

I had a Canon 5D Mark III and sold it after shooting this camera. I now shoot weddings with the Olympus OM-D, and it's definitely as good if not better than my Canon was- speed, low light, and all. But I carry around a bag half the size now. The only disadvantage is I can't show off my big Canon lenses anymore , my work has to stand in it's own merit :)

2 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

@John, I am using the new 24-70 Pro. And the 45 - 200 Lumix. I will probably get the f2.8 telephoto when it comes out, and hope that makes the difference

@Stu, there are people who say everything, but overhyping the EM-1 is buillshit in my opinion and helps no one, least of all people who actually need the shot.

6 upvotes
MarcLee
By MarcLee (4 months ago)

Anyone wanting to try this system and the EM1 would be well advised to rent or borrow first, and try it in ALL the shooting situations they are likely to encounter. The physics of a smaller lens does create limitations and it is wise to be wary of fanboy claims otherwise. Those of us who carry around heavy DSLRs for 12 hour shooting days do not do it for fun. We do it because the lighter systems do not do what we need.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

Sorry John, got my cameras mixed up. Using the 12-40 mm PRO on the EM-1. Interested in your use of the 75 1.8. Have you tried the Panasonic Lumix G X VARIO 35-100mm f/2.8? Just wondering if that's a good alternative to the 75 at around the same price.

0 upvotes
GaryJP
By GaryJP (4 months ago)

"I had a Canon 5D Mark III and sold it after shooting this camera." More fool you. But you seem to have decided to "show off" your Olympus instead. When I consider my EM 1 outperforms the 5D for MY uses I will use it more. Until then, not.

2 upvotes
Mike Ronesia
By Mike Ronesia (4 months ago)

This looks to be a great camera. I went from a GH2 to a GH3 and it felt huge. I was starting to think I might as well get a FF camera. Today I went to a friends house and he had his 5DII with 24-70 and battery grip on. I held it in one hand while holding my GH3 with the 35-100 and battery grip in the other and it was like night and day. The GH3 may be a brick, but the 5DII was like a much bigger lead brick. I can't see ever carrying something that big. I can shoot just about anything I want with my M4/3's with very few limitations. In the past week I've been paid to do a portrait session, photo booth, sold 9 large prints that will hang in the Governor's office and shot a magic show for SandCastle entertainment for their promo posters and web site. Next week I shoot a bike race with pro's from across the planet. These were all paid gigs based on previous work with my GH2. M4/3's can get it done and without a wrist brace.

5 upvotes
Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (4 months ago)

Totally agree. I shoot dancesport with my GH3 as well with 12-35 and 35-100. It can get the job done most of the time. Very little need for a heavy DSLR nowadays !

2 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (4 months ago)

that 12-40 pro zoom is an incredible lense. i prefer the images shot with them to any of my primes. for all intents and purposes, it performs like a prime at all focal lengths, albeit slower at f2.8.

i only pop on the primes now if i really need a smaller package and depth of field control. but in terms of optical quality, it's very impressive.

3 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (5 months ago)

Slowly coming in full circle and looks very much like the APS-C DSLRs it is competing with. The usual argument for mirror less is that people leave their DSLRs at home, because of the weight and bulk. Is this so radically different?

2 upvotes
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (4 months ago)

Yes. compare it against a D7100 or D70

2 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (4 months ago)

500g vs 670g vs760g. Is that the difference between always carry the camera with you vs always leaving it at home?

0 upvotes
bcalkins
By bcalkins (4 months ago)

Sure: http://camerasize.com/compact/#469.287,482.30,440.333,ha,t

PS: What do people use for a wide prime for Canikon APS-C these days?

0 upvotes
Alpha Whiskey Photography
By Alpha Whiskey Photography (5 months ago)

Love my compact EM-5. Shoots a variety of subjects just fine:

http://alphawhiskey.slickpic.com/photoblog

0 upvotes
lolopasstrail
By lolopasstrail (5 months ago)

Congrats to Olympus. I have an EM-5, but passed on this new Olympus EM1. I find it too big and bulky for the format.

It's the same size as the Sony A7, but with a much smaller sensor. This gets away from the entire raison d'etre of micro 4/3, and it's a trend that makes me uneasy.

No doubt it's great for the 100 people in the world that have the old full 4/3 lenses, but it's way too full figured for me. I'm holding out for the EM-6.

5 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (5 months ago)

sure mate, size factor is very personal and I am with you on it. From oly perspective though, the slightly bigger size mean more controls and better handling and grip.

I also, skipped GH3 for the same reason, much bigger than GH1. Sony A7 is a great camera but the only advantage it got is a bigger sensor and so better higher ISO performance. Go beyond (by no mean, OMD sensor has any issue though) it and OM-D is more usable and useful!!

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

"No doubt it's great for the 100 people in the world that have the old full 4/3 lenses [...]"

Have you seen the demo sample of the 2.8/40-150mm lens?

Bright lenses would be always relatively large. And for them you need large cameras.

P.S. Even more so for the Sony A7 which doesn't have much native options and adapted A-mount lenses aren't particularly small.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

though there are things that can be improved there is no doubt E-M1 is a usable camera at least better operation than APS-C NEX and entry-level SLRs.

actually low light performance has nothing to do with the sensor size. it all depends on aperture size that there should be no problem 4/3" sensor cameras with f/1.4 zooms beat 35mm full-frames with f/2.8 ones.

1 upvote
Andy16666
By Andy16666 (5 months ago)

Yeah, exactly. You can get exact equivalence between DOF and noise performance at the same time by using a brighter f-number. :) That's what I love about MFT...you don't have to compromise image quality at all.

1 upvote
Bruce Clarke
By Bruce Clarke (5 months ago)

It's only very slightly larger than the E-M5 with the landscape grip attached, which is how most people use the E-M5. Recognising that, Oly used the real estate for a much more ergonomic set of buttons. I hope the E-M6 suits you better.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

> you don't have to compromise image quality at all.

image quality is compromised at base ISO, that for the same number of pixels, 4/3" sensors need four times deeper well (two stops lower ISO) to have comparable image quality as 35mm full-frame.

this is why people choose medium or large format cameras for portraits and landscapes, at slow or moderate shutter speeds (medium or large format usually cannot compete in low light for we have larger aperture lenses for 35mm format).

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

contd.,
but then image quality at ISO200 (ISO800 equiv. image quality to 35mm format) is good enough for casual shooting and multi-shot HDR is standard now for landscapes (only we need more pixels, twice the current 16 MPix, and four times faster frame rates).

0 upvotes
QuarterToDoom
By QuarterToDoom (5 months ago)

I have skipped all M43 cameras after using my EPL1. WAY too small and cramped for me. The GH1 was a nice size but too plasticy and haven't handled the EM1 yet but I'll stick to my E5 and E1 (which has the finest ergonomics of any Oly camera)

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (5 months ago)

QuarterToDoom you should get to handle an E-M1 for yourself. I to have a E-PL1 and E-1 and the handling is much more E-1 than it is E-PL1. Infact their best handling camera since the E-1. Better ergonomics than a E-5 for sure.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (4 months ago)

in the 1970s all cameras and lenses were made of metal including crappy ones (that worked fine) from Olympus, Minolta, and third- or forth-class makers.

definitely cameras and lenses should not feel like metal even made of metal, and plastic ones work better as tools.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (4 months ago)

You forgot that obviously A7 has much larger lenses.

Compare length of the A7r with FE 55mm/1.8 to EM-1 with 45mm/1.8. The Zeiss is much larger lens than Zuiko.

0 upvotes
xrosscountry
By xrosscountry (5 months ago)

Thanks DPr! This "Gear of the year" series is great!

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (5 months ago)

You're very welcome!

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (5 months ago)

I just have to say it. Although the image seem to show this is a capable camera the general quality of photography in this site is quite average. Maybe that's part of it's appeal? It is more of a gear site than a photo site. Still useful but maybe not so inspiring.

3 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (5 months ago)

Keep an eye on the Challenges. Some of the best photos you will ever see.

4 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (5 months ago)

you must have some confusion Dougbm .. DPReview is without any doubt a camera gear review site ..

1 upvote
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (4 months ago)

I am referring to the review photography not the challenges.
I would expect a camera review site to have very good quality photography eg Steve Huff's site. I just don't find the review images ever inspire me the way Steve's do.

1 upvote
kimchiflower
By kimchiflower (4 months ago)

I agree, although the images here are for pixel peepers to download in RAW and inspect each of those 16 million pixels individually

2 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (4 months ago)

Pictures here mean to show the IQ and functionality not the photographer talent. Dp-Reviewers are technical guys who knows camera system .. and their photography skills are more than good enough for me, to chose a camera gear! Actually some of their (intentionally) bad photos tells me more about the gear, for example photos with sun flare or taken at very high iso!

1 upvote
erichK
By erichK (5 months ago)

Already owning an OM-D, I somewhat reluctantly decided to buy the EM-1 after getting a chance to try Calgary's The Camera Store review copy with half a dozen Four Thirds lenses when I passed through there a month ago, and finding that it worked much better with them than anticipated.

It was only after they were finally able to send me one that I was really able to really examine and try both cameras side by side, and fully comprehend just how much of a further refinement and improvement the EM-1 represents over the already very capable OM-D. Close examination and exploration of all the (many) features and functions shows that a great deal of thought and careful design engineering has gone into a superbly usable camera. The "feel' of the camera, that is the functional ergonomics are so good that they remind me of the E-1. They have even greatly impressed a "pro" friend who almost sleeps with his Nikon D3 and D4. It is a camera any that serious photographer should have a look at.

5 upvotes
le_alain
By le_alain (5 months ago)

"that is the functional ergonomics are so good that they remind me of the E-1"

So much improvements: 10 years to go back to Essentials .... !

2 greats cameras, and E1 is a Bargain now ! :)

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (5 months ago)

not go back but go ahead, to the NEX stage.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Beat Traveller
By Beat Traveller (5 months ago)

I remember when I was choosing between the Em-5 and the Xe-1, the main thing in favour of the Xe-1 was the feel of the controls, button/dial size etc. Great to see Olympus have refined that aspect so I can quietly covet this new camera :)

0 upvotes
Patrick Kristiansen
By Patrick Kristiansen (5 months ago)

If one needs 40+mp's to crop a pic into something worth watching, one is not taking one's pics right. And 16mp is enough for just about anyone without a very special need. Not many lenses justify a higher resolution either. And not to mention the need for exceedingly high shutterspeed and/or tripods. Nah, super-high resoultion is bonk imo. Can't wait to receive my em1 and 12-40 lens. And can wait even less to try out my OM-lenses on it.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

If you are referring to the 36 mp FF cameras, it's fantastic to be able to crop an image to 16 mp, for example and still get a great print. It doesn't mean you aren't shooting right, it means you have the ability to make a given composition better by cropping.

And you don't need tripods or fast shutter speeds anymore than you do with a 24 mp or 16 mp camera. Camera shake is camera shake so shutter speed = 1/focal length is still just fine. But a tripod will give the best IQ no matter the resolution.

Anyway, I'm not sure why the some FF cameras seem to generate so much tension around here. What is right for you, may not be right for another user but having lots of choices is great for all of us.

m43 users have lots of choices and number of terrific cameras as do some other image formats. It's all good.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
7 upvotes
Archiver
By Archiver (5 months ago)

There's an obvious emotional backlash against full frame cameras in the mirrorless community, and m43 in particular. The same mentality plays out in the Canikon vs Leica camp, the Subaru vs Ferrari camp, and the Timex vs Rolex camp.

A number of m43 users start threads entitled 'why you don't need full frame', 'why full frame is a waste for most people', and the eternal 'who needs full frame when you get results like this', including shallow depth of field portraits taken with long m43 lenses.

It's not about gear. It's about the owner's emotional justification for its purchase.

The funny thing is, you don't get regular 'who needs micro four thirds' threads in the full frame camera forums. The guy with the Ferrari has no need to justify why he didn't buy a Subaru.

20 upvotes
StevenE
By StevenE (5 months ago)

Archiver ... I've sensed that too. I would love to save some money and weight by getting a smaller system, and I watch the APS-C and m4/3 systems hoping to see something worthwhile, but nothing yet comes close to full frame. Especially when you stick an appropriate lens on it. m4/3 lenses have to be 2 full stops faster to match performance of a lens on a FF camera. That makes the lenses bigger, and the overall system size and weights become similar.

I'll stick with my 5DIII. Better performance, better ergonomics, better results.

2 upvotes
S Severs
By S Severs (5 months ago)

You know what they say about the guy who buys the Ferrari - he's probably trying to compensate for something. Your tired arguments sound like the same folks who said they would never go digital or that digital could never hold its own with film cameras. You do understand that some folks cannot afford 5D3s and its costly system or Ferraris. Sorry - but there is room for both m4/3 and FF.

9 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (5 months ago)

@Archiver
MFT’s users will have it potentially harder with emotional justification for their purchase and you are right to expect some signs of that in the forums.
It is a generalization you can chose to make. It puts them in one bag that doesn’t exist, though. Most of them know why and what they do.
Half baked thoughts will be popular with the crowd, and they are the easy way (to another kind of satisfaction).
And when it comes to funny, if you give me a choice (and I couldn’t sell) I take that Subaru. It is a much better car.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (5 months ago)

Complete rubbish marike6. If you need to heavily crop a shot to make it work you have not taken the photograph correctly in the first place.

Plus if you do need to crop a 36mp photo heavily or print it large you do need to use a tripod to a higher shutter speed because any shake will notice more.

2 upvotes
Le Frog
By Le Frog (5 months ago)

For once, I must agree with Marike6: do you remember the famous Eugene Smith picture of Marine Sgt. Angelo Klonis, after the capture of Saipan? It is actually the result of a heavy crop of a group photo. But you still don't need a D800 to achieve that! The D4, after all, makes do with 16mp (which are also much easier to send to your news agency over a slow connection). The whole debate is, given the quality of all modern cameras, under what circumstances do you still need to carry four times the weight, to get four times the sensor size of an m4/3. And that's not a Timex/Rolex comparison, it's more like a sea dweller/daytona comparison. Sure, the sea dweller has no chronograph; but it goes places where you could never take the daytona with you.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (5 months ago)

With a bit of experience you will find out that sometimes things don't always sit nicely in front of your lens waiting for you to compose the shot nicely. Sometimes the action happens too far away. 36Mp or more can help make or save a great shot. But for most of my photographs, 16Mp is more than good enough. Eventually sensors will have many more pixels than today. 4/3 will be no different. It does not make sense to refuse a 50Mp sensor. You might need a bigger disk though.

1 upvote
lolopasstrail
By lolopasstrail (5 months ago)

The ability to crop a shot is a feature. It means you can eliminate carrying one more long lens. This reduces weight and load.

I thought weight was the bete noir of the micro 4/3 zealots who need to buttonhole every passerby to tell them that DSLRs are dead and micro 4/3 is as good as 135 format. Instead, they deem such opportunity for weight reduction a bad thing.

Every aspect of every other camera is bad to these micro 4/3 zealots. The Nikon 1 can never be as good because it is smaller. The line stops at micro 4/3, however, as the laws of physics are at that point suspended because micro 4/3 is automatically better than any larger format.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

> Every aspect of every other camera is bad to these micro 4/3 zealots.

There is an interesting dynamic with extreme fans of that format. For them, ALL cameras should be as small as possible, that is unless really nice cameras like the EM-1 or GH3 get released.

Shallow DOF, who needs it? Unless you mention the 1" sensor cameras. Then the argument becomes, "the Nikon 1 and Sony RX cameras have far too deep DOF". Yuck.

IQ? For fans, if DxOMark scores a m43 camera higher than a older APS-C or Canon DSLR, that means you need a FF to get better IQ, and even then, FF is not that much better. Besides, everybody knows that FF cameras are too heavy for most mortals. :-)

Lenses are pricey, software corrected and easier to design. But for fans, m43 lenses are as good or better than the best pro-grade, optically corrected FF lenses. And so on.

Goal posts often get moved about. But it's all good. I keep my hacked GH2 because it's a good video camera, at least resolution wise.

5 upvotes
Le Frog
By Le Frog (5 months ago)

Actually, m4/3 users are equally enthusiastic about the RX100. What they tend to dislike about Nikon1 is its size. Here is a perfectly fair comparison with the gm1:
http://camerasize.com/compact/#401,491.397,392.41,402.358,484.390,ha,t.
GH3 is huge by the standards of most m3/4 users, and probably holds a special appeal only for videographers. I don't know whether Panasonic could made it smaller, without causing heat dissipation problems. EM1 is also a big camera (that's about the size of an F3, if you are old enough to remember it!), but rain and freeze proof.
As for DoF, let's put our differences down to generation gap, shall we? It looks like m4/3 users tend to be either old enough to have learned photography at a time when shallow DoF was acceptable only as a special effect, or young enough to consider it an old-fashioned tired and trite fad (cinematographers on the other hand tend to rely more and more on it: wide aperture [= shallow DoF] = fewer lights = lower production costs).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
palinode
By palinode (4 months ago)

@Archiver,you have it backwards. Micro 4/3 users are generally quite happy with their gear (that's why they bought it and keep using it). The actual backlash comes from bizarrely insecure people who seem compelled to boast about the size of their (possibly imaginary) sensors. What these people tend to have in common is a reliance on equations, generally gleaned from other forums, and "the laws of physics," little of which has much to do with the experience of shooting. Then there are the ones who like to explain that micro 4/3 isn't the same as full-frame, which is hardly news. So when you see a flinty article on the topic, it's a reaction to being poked at by people who are more invested in sensor size than actual photography.

1 upvote
John King
By John King (4 months ago)

@HSway

I agree about the Subarus. We now own two, and previously owned another one for nearly 18 years.

And before anyone asks: Yes, I have driven two Ferraris a long time ago. A 250 LM and a 275 LM. They were not pleasant cars to drive, and I far preferred the Aston Martin, Jensen Interceptor ff, and the 4.2L E-Type Jag; along with many other such cars that I have driven. Anyone here ever driven a car that has no synchromesh in the gearbox? Try the Ferraris of the late 1960s - ugh!

Give me our two Subaru Foresters, any day ... :-) . Balanced ...

I apply the same reasoning to my preference for 4/3rds cameras and LENSES compared with 135 format cameras.

I am not an early adopter, and will probably wait 6-12 months before buying into an EM-1 (or whatever). However, very interesting to read the truthful comments of the many people I know and trust about this camera's good and not so good points.

Regards, john, from Melbourne, etc ...

0 upvotes
HSway
By HSway (5 months ago)

The IQ of MFT has matured so other more refined choices just like the pure joy of using a particular camera/system are gaining importance. The more now when the choices in CSC have developed so nicely and together with accompanying lenses. great read. &happy shooting

6 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (5 months ago)

Hm... E-M1 with mPL25? I see what you did there.

0 upvotes
Tord S Eriksson
By Tord S Eriksson (5 months ago)

If I didn't have my V1 kit, and my D600, with its select lens kit (with as few zooms as I can afford), this OM-D E-M1 would be a perfect camera, just the right weight, and size for me, and a Sony RX1R/Sony A7R for those pictures you just can't take with such a camera! A light and capable kit! If you compare the weight of your 5D III lenses with those for m4/3 cameras you in for a great surprise - they are not quite as small as those for my Nikon 1, but yet impressively small, and very sharp!

0 upvotes
jl_smith
By jl_smith (5 months ago)

It's a very nice combo indeed, and I've been enjoying mine ever since I got them both in.

You guys and your measurebating, when does it end? Who cares if FF has a larger sensor? There's more to photos than how big the sensor is.

All this tech talk, and zero photographic persuasion to back any of it up. The EM1 and 12-40 combo is very nice indeed, granted not the smallest m43 setup, but there are other options. The setup handles and performs excellently - not perfect, but very, very well.

Definitely less bulky than my FF setup (6D, 17-40L ,40 pancake).

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
9 upvotes
davids8560
By davids8560 (5 months ago)

I do enjoy the candor and personal tastes expressed in these write-ups, but darn it, now I feel like I have to have an OM-D E-M1 myself, too. I mean, just because! LOL

My very first camera was an Olympus Trip 35. Maybe I should just quit clowning around and come on back home...

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
Richt2000
By Richt2000 (5 months ago)

Surely the A7R is the remaining (and real) gear of the year.... ?

3 upvotes
WACONimages
By WACONimages (5 months ago)

Real... because of the bigger full-frame sensor? Would like to try or even buy a A7(r) in the near future. Seems like brilliant equipment. But a A7 versus the OM-D E-M1 is apples versus oranges in my opinion. Both fill-in in their own way. Different camera for different needs. And if my budget wasn't limited I would like to own both. Last year I sold all Canon gear, including full-frame in favor of MFT. Is that a perfect system, no it isn't. But it is a compleet system and does the job pretty well.

11 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

Based on this excellent review and these terrific images, I'd say the Nikon Df is an extremely strong contender. Great IQ, super quiet shutter and big, bright OVF. Anyway, I wish all user reviews were like this one.

http://www.samhurdphotography.com/2013/gear-reviews/nikon-df-dslr-retro-styled-camera-real-world-review-compared-to-nikon-d4

1 upvote
kecajkerugo
By kecajkerugo (5 months ago)

marike6 again..and its Nikon....nothing against Nikons but reading your posts I am (and so many here reading your posts) one can immediately become Nikon enemy.
Th last example you gave (DF) is just immature my friend.

4 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (5 months ago)

I have FF cameras. They ain't all that...

1 upvote
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (5 months ago)

Interesting that one of the nicest features of the Df (besides the D4 sensor, the D4 sensor, the D4 sensor--you'd think it was the only sensor on earth)--anyhow, as I was saying, is the quiet shutter--which is a weaknesses of the Sony. When I got the 5D3, I didn't even know about the quiet option but I think it's one of the more impressive engineering accomplishments of the last few years.

2 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (5 months ago)

No in-body I.S. is barbaric, especially with its pixel-count.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (5 months ago)

@kecajkerugo Lots of people hate Nikon, the point is the OP gave his opinion on the Sony, the next person the EM-1, and I mentioned the Df because it's an one of the more interesting cameras recently and DPR should give it a shot. I'm pretty sure there are enough mirrorless articles lately to keep many happy. Not sure what is "immature", saying the Df should be considered as a Gear of the Year or the Df itself. People can follow the link above if they want to see what it can do (or not). But I'm getting a bit tired of posters pulling the fanboy nonsense on me as my gallery is filled with images from compacts, Nikon 1, m43, Fujifilm X, and Nikon, and I own 3 cameras from 3 different brands. But I didn't know there was a rule against mentioning interesting new cameras. But all you guys do is gush all day long about these small mirrorless cameras and you expect everybody do love them as much as you. Sorry it doesn't work that way.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
John Mason
By John Mason (4 months ago)

Pop Photography agrees with you about the A7R. However, with no IBIS and the size once you put good lenses on the A7R, it's shutter, lack of optimized system lenses, the vagaries of Sony jumping from format to format without a clear commitment make this a pre-mature camera system for any type of gear of the year award in my mind.

I do believe there is great potential with the A7 series and might become the main direction of future Sony development.

0 upvotes
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