My analysis of the E-M1 video

Started Aug 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Timur Born
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My analysis of the E-M1 video
Aug 20, 2013

Hey everyone,

here is my analysis of what can be learned from the leaked E-M1 video. I am neither enthusiastic nor disappointed, just curious. Feel free do discuss or ignore.

- If the screen is the same size as the E-M5's then the E-M1 is slightly wider, allowing for more backside grip area and less cramped buttons. I especially hope the changed arrow buttons feel better on pressing them down. The placement of the buttons (especially arrows relative to thumb) and inclusion of a lever around AEL/AFL also looks useful.

But the placement of the FN1 button gives reason to worry. As awkward as it can be on the E-M5, I am still able to hold down FN1 and hold the camera in hold hand. We will have to wait and see how this works out on the E-M1.

- The E-M1's - including its built in landscape grip - seems to be smaller in height than the E-M5 combined with only the landscape portion of the HLD-6 grip. The guy in the video can barely put two (2!) fingers around it. The protruding portion with the shutter button is one reason for the cramped space, another reason is that the HLD-6 increases the height of the E-M5 even with only the landscape part. Also the portion where the grip meets the body (is it rubberized or hard plastic?) seems to be a good place for collecting dirt.

Even more worrisome is the statement that the grip had to be included as a fixed accessory due to "consumer" demand. I thought that the optional grip was just the ticket to please everyone. Overall I don't like too pronounced grips as they force my wrist into an unnatural and thus hurting angled position. But sometimes you need the extra body mass and size to get a good balance. Even the "kit" lens 12-50 of the E-M5 tipped its balanced forward, and the small lenses (45/1.8) are too small to firmly grab on. But why not keep the modular concept? "One of our consumers' wishes" I guess...

- "The autofocus is nearly as fast on four-third as it is on micro four-third", "able to use phase detection when you are using four third glass", "also contrast detection when you are using micro four-third glass". No mentioning of phase detection in combination with contrast detection, no mentioning of using phase detection for continuous AF, and overall sounds a bit as if phase detection is seen as the lesser option that may or may only be used if you need faster four third focusing.

Again we will have to wait, but compare that to the fuss about Canon's dual pixel phase detection AF.

- The visible green AF confirmation dot still seems to lack behind the audible beep and thus still lacks behind the true focus acquisition moment, just as on the E-M5.

- The demonstration of IBIS was done in VIDEO mode, which in current models applies software IS on top of hardware IS. This cuts away 5% on every side of the image. And the special "rocking quite a bit" shaking device is doing very regular up and down movement. So while IBIS is still good and impressive (and the reason why the bodies are cramped inside) the whole part is more marketing blurb than useful information.

Furthermore the image is not completely still! I am not entirely sure, but the farther away object are from the camera the more they seem to shake in the image.

- WIFI control in all modes is absolutely a nice option! Curiously there is a lag of nearly 2 seconds between him releasing the shutter and the E-M1's IBIS turning off, while it seemed to be less lagged when he pressed the button.

- Several times the tablet app used to control the camera didn't react to his finger input. It might be the awkward position of him having to control it from behind, but several times he seemed to have hit the right spot, but the app just didn't react.

- "Our E-P5 also had the ability to do WIFI. But it was somewhat limited..." Seriously? Half a year later and you already push the E-P5 to the past? No software update to make the E-P5 offer the same WIFI controls? Just as the E-M5 got no software update to get a smaller AF box? It's all just software, but you sell it as if it was a brand new "camera" thing.

One of my customers (company) still releases firmware and driver updates for their hardware that was released more than 10 years ago. They even go to length in adding features to models that originally was limited by hardware (no internal RAM) by thinking out of the box (using part of the processor logic as RAM to implement a new feature). Camera makers ask us to buy a new piece of kit just to get the software updates, which is something that makes me want to stay away from buying cameras at all.

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