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Olympus blends E-M5 and E-5 to create OM-D E-M1 flagship ILC

By dpreview staff on Sep 10, 2013 at 04:00 GMT
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Olympus has announced its new OM-D E-M1 interchangeable lens camera, which is now the flagship of its Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the 'successor' to the E-5, a Four Thirds DSLR introduced back in 2010.  

The E-M1's 16.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor has on-chip phase detection, which promises to focus legacy Four Thirds lenses (using the optional MMF-3 adapter) at much faster speeds than previous Olympus m4/3 cameras.

Other interesting features include the E-M1's large electronic viewfinder, which has a magnification of 1.48X, a touch-enabled LCD, a rugged body that is water, dust, and freezeproof, and an impressive number of customizable buttons. Wi-Fi is also included.

The OM-D EM-1 will be available in October in a body-only configuration for $1399.99 / £1299.99. Buyers in the UK can get the HLD-7 battery grip if they pre-order the camera before launch, plus the MMF-3 Four Thirds adapter if they purchase the E-M1 by the end of November.

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Press Release:

NEW FLAGSHIP OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 CAMERA IS THE PINNACLE OF OLYMPUS INNOVATION

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 10, 2013 – In response to the demand for a compact system camera as powerful as a professional DSLR, Olympus introduces the OM-D E-M1®, its new premium flagship camera and worthy Micro Four Thirds successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR. The E-M1 has a revolutionary design for advanced photographers looking for a high-performance tool in a compact system camera package. The powerful E-M1 is packed with incredible speed and image quality that rivals full-frame DSLRs, in a portable yet lightweight body designed to go anywhere.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 now works seamlessly with all ZUIKO Digital lenses, in addition to working with M.ZUIKO Digital lenses, so photographers can enjoy optimum performance of the entire Olympus lens lineup. This is possible due to advanced DUAL FAST AF system that combines both Contrast AF and On-Chip Phase Detection AF. DSLR users familiar with an optical viewfinder will marvel at its electronic viewfinder (EVF) that is as large as a full-frame DSLR viewfinder and has added creative control. Its ergonomic body provides easy access to all manual controls and is ready for action in the most difficult shooting conditions.

Olympus also announces today the development of two new high-performance lenses, establishing the M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. The ZUIKO Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) and the ZUIKO Digital ED 40–150mm f2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) will expand the imaging options for professionals and serious photo enthusiasts alike.

DSLR Image Quality

With the OM-D E-M1, experience the highest image quality of any Olympus camera through the combination of a new 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, a new TruePic VII image processor, and its best-in-class M.ZUIKO lenses. The TruePic VII image processor reduces noise and color fading at high ISOs for improved image reproduction. New Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens for natural, high-quality resolution, as well as reducing compression artifacts when recording movies.

Fast and Accurate AF for Complete Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds Lens Compatibility

The newly developed DUAL FAST AF selects the ideal method, depending on lens type and settings: either 37-point On-Chip Phase Detection AF or 81-point Contrast Detection AF to maximize the performance of both ZUIKO and M.ZUIKO lenses. Both systems work together to significantly improve continuous autofocus tracking performance when a Micro Four Thirds lens is attached and C-AF is selected. Users can select Group Target AF for a variety of situations, Small Target AF for pinpoint shooting, or Super Spot AF for capturing even smaller subjects and specifying a small area focus location during macro shooting.

The TruePic VII engine supports 10 frames-per-second shooting with a 41-picture RAW buffer in single autofocus (S-AF) mode and 6.5 frames-per-second shooting with a 50-picture RAW buffer in continuous autofocus (C-AF) mode.

New Super-Large Interactive Electronic Viewfinder

The E-M1’s advanced, built-in Interactive Electronic Viewfinder features a 1.48x (35mm equivalent of .74x) magnification factor that rivals full-frame DSLR cameras. The extremely high-resolution 2.36 million-dot LCD panel provides a large, clear image that is on a par with optical viewfinders. Tracking moving subjects is completely natural, with a display time lag of only 0.029 seconds. Users can experiment with aspect ratio, magnification, color, and highlight and shadow, and the effects of camera settings on subjects are viewable prior to capturing the finished image. Adaptive Brightness Control raises the brightness when shooting in bright outdoor conditions and lowers the brightness in dark indoor conditions, reducing visual errors from light and dark adaptation of the eye.

Color Creator is a new easy-to-use tool that fine-tunes hue and color saturation using the intuitive GUI and Live View screen, so users can create original images imbued with their own choice of colors. Creative Color was created with a designer's sensitivity in mind, and hue can be adjusted in 30 steps, and color saturation adjusted in eight steps, including the baseline.

The Most Effective 5-Axis Image Stabilization System

The Olympus E-M1’s built-in 5-Axis Image Stabilization with Multi-Motion IS mechanism reduces the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions. Whether shooting stills or HD video, even the motion blur caused by walking or running is stabilized. New algorithms make image stabilization more effective at low shutter speeds. When it is employed while panning during still image shooting or movie recording, IS-AUTO mode automatically detects the camera's movements and provides optimal correction regardless of direction or camera orientation – even when panning in a diagonal direction. Users can check the image stabilization effects on the Live View screen as well as the viewfinder to accurately frame and focus, even during telephoto or macro shooting. Multi-Motion IS, used in combination with the 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism, produces excellent correction during movie recording.

Rugged Freeze, Splash, Dustproof Durability

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 expands the dustproof and splashproof capabilities of the E-M5 even further with freezeproof capabilities — guaranteed operation down to 14 ºF — for the best environmental resistance of any Olympus interchangeable lens camera. Its durable magnesium alloy body, and weather-resistant seals and gaskets block moisture and dust for use in any environment, without sacrificing image quality. The camera’s Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) dust reduction system vibrates at a super-high speed of more than 30,000 times per second to powerfully remove dust particles so users can shoot in dusty environments.

Ultimate Camera Control
Advanced photographers will appreciate the intuitive 2x2 Dial Control system to easily adjust four often-used functions with the camera’s lever or two dials: aperture/shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO speed and white balance. A built-in grip similar to that of the E-M5 makes shooting with Four Thirds lenses more comfortable, and all frequently accessed buttons are logically laid out. Controls are now more functional: the settings reset function is activated by pressing and holding the OK button and there is a toggle option for the My Settings shortcut and a locking mode dial to prevent unintentional movement of the mode dial during shooting or when removing the camera from a case or bag. The dedicated “mic-in” jack supports an external microphone when recording HD movies and a built-in X-Sync socket easily connects to studio strobes.

Built-In Wi-Fi
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and the set-up is simple. By quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera's LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share 2.0 smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M1 so the camera’s “Live View” is effectively displayed on the phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera. This is ideal for taking self-portraits, capturing images of wildlife from a distance and sharing images easily online. The E-M1’s remote shooting function has been improved for use in all main shooting modes (P, A, S, M and iAUTO). Users can now wirelessly adjust various settings, such as the shutter speed, aperture value, ISO and exposure compensation, as well as operate the Live Bulb shooting mode from their Wi-Fi devices. They can also use their smartphone to embed GPS information into their images.

More Creative Features
New Diorama II adds to the popular range of Olympus in-camera Art Filters and offers left and right blur effect in addition to the top and bottom blur effect of Diorama I. The Olympus E-M1 is equipped with two variations of HDR Shooting – HDR1 and HDR2. With a single press of the shutter button, four images with differing exposures are captured and automatically merged in the camera into a single HDR high-contrast image or super-high-contrast image. Photo Story mode enables users to capture a scene from multiple viewpoints and then combine the images into a single image to create unique collages inside the camera. Time Lapse Movie converts the series of pictures taken using interval shooting into a movie inside the camera. The Time Lapse Movie length has been increased to a maximum of 100 seconds. The number of possible shots that can be captured with Interval Shooting has been increased to 999. The E-M1 is also equipped with Focus Peaking, which dramatically improves the usability of older manual focus lenses.

New High-Performance Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge
The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) is the first model in the new M.ZUIKO PRO category and is scheduled for release at the same time as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. It features dustproof and waterproof performance, toughness and excellent image quality. Its mount employs the same type of sealing as the camera body and is Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) with high-speed, near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. It maintains the brightness of a constant f2.8 aperture for high-grade image creation, one of the requirements of professional photographers for a high-performance lens.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) also joins the new M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. This lens is currently under development, with a planned release in the latter half of 2014. It will be a telephoto zoom lens with a bright constant f2.8 aperture and will feature a dustproof and splashproof construction rugged enough for professional use.

Several new accessories are designed to complement the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and broaden the creative horizons of all advanced photographers. The HLD-7 Power Battery Holder is a dustproof and splashproof power battery holder that can enable the capture of approximately 680 shots (based on CIPA tests) between charges. It features a shutter button for shooting with the camera held vertically and two control dials and two function buttons for the same easy controls as when shooting from a horizontal position. The GS-5 Grip Strap for the HLD-7 keeps buttons and dials accessible even when the battery holder is attached. The PT-EP11 Underwater Case is made exclusively for the Olympus E-M1 and allows shooting down to 45 meters.

The new CBG-10 Camera Bag is compact, yet designed with Four Thirds lens use in mind, and the highly water-resistant CS-42SF Soft Camera Case, which is part of the Camera Bag CBG-10 system, is made exclusively for use with the E-M1. The CSS-P118 Shoulder Strap is made of washable material with a slender width that matches the versatility of the Micro Four Thirds System.

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 will be available in October 2013 in the following configurations.
Estimated Street Price:
$1399.99 Body only, available in Black

To find out more about the OM-D E-M1, and for a complete list of specifications, visit the Olympus website at: http://www.getolympus.com/e-m1.html

Olympus OM-D EM-1 specifications

Price
MSRP$1399/£1299
Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorTruePIC VII
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISO100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes'5-axis' IS
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
File format
  • JPEG (DCF/Exif)
  • Raw (ORF)
  • MPO
Image parameters
  • Sharpness, contrast, saturation
Optics & Focus
Autofocus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusYes (with focus peaking)
Number of focus points81
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification1.48×
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
  • Bulb
  • Time
  • Scene Select
  • Art Filter
Scene modes
  • Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye conversion lens, Wide conversion lens, Macro Conv., 3D
Built-in flashNo (compact external flash included)
External flashYes (hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modesFlash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
Flash X sync speed1/320 sec
Drive modes
  • Single, sequential H, sequential L, self-timer (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Continuous drive10 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264, Motion JPEG
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
Remote controlYes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (Dust, splash, freeze resistent)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Additional images

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Olympus OM-D E-M1

Comments

Total comments: 223
12
AnniM
By AnniM (7 months ago)

By the way - this camera does NOT ship with the small external flash (like the E-M5 did/does). I wrote Olympus directly and asked, because I was seeing conflicting reports - some sites said it did, others said it didn't. If you want a flash with this camera and you don't already have a good external, Olympus is now selling that small external by itself: http://www.getolympus.com/us/en/accessories/camera/flashes-brackets/fl-lm2-flash.html
At least this little thing doesn't break the bank much further than the initial E-M1 purchase :)
Me personally, I want to buy this new camera as soon as I can afford it. It's got to be a step up from my E-600 :)

Comment edited 18 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (7 months ago)

just wait three months, and you get this one for price of the current EP-5 at least.

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (7 months ago)

Hah, if any of you fools knew what is inside the E-M1 you would not be complaining. It's a bargain for 2500 Euros.

1 upvote
Francis Carver
By Francis Carver (7 months ago)

There are no "bargains" in the Micro 4/3rds Panasonic-Olympus Duopoly World, unfortunately. In fact, next to medium format digital cameras, M4/3rd bodies and lenses must be the most expensive form factor cameras in the world right now. I mean, $1,400 for a M4/3 camera body? Plueeeese.... You pay more to get a smaller sensor inside vis-a-vis APS-C and full frame, or what?

1 upvote
gnewsch
By gnewsch (7 months ago)

Olympus conversion rates continue to be of utmost bafflingness. 1400$ = 1500€ = 1300£? Even with taxes and such taken into the equation, this is just beyond ridiculous. I wonder what the Swiss price will be. Given their track record, it'll be 2000.- CHF, or more.

Should I ever get one, I'm not getting it in Europe, that's dor sure.

0 upvotes
gnewsch
By gnewsch (7 months ago)

One of the big discounters has it on preorder for 1839.- CHF (1245£ or 1488€ or 1977$ US), body only, no MMF-3 or grip. Go figure.

0 upvotes
rxbot
By rxbot (7 months ago)

Missing in specs above is that this camera is only 12 bit not 14. At this price I would call that a deal breaker no matter who made the camera.

3 upvotes
ksang
By ksang (7 months ago)

Great job, Olympus! Thank you and Panasonic for delivering innovation. And you're delivering them in spades!

3 upvotes
rxbot
By rxbot (7 months ago)

No PDAF cross type sensors only vertical no horizontal , not a big deal but I thought they were calling this a pro grade camera.

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

they must have lost their mind to sell this for 1499 euro.
maybe the aftermath of the nuclear fallout...

2 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

Give it a rest, Henry. People want different things from a camera, let them spend their money on what they want. Nobody is forcing you to buy one, I hope.

10 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

maybe Oly think the pain thresholds of their users are high.

1 upvote
Anadrol
By Anadrol (7 months ago)

Way overpriced ! The 70D costs 1200 USD...
A used D600 costs 1500 !

Just interesting for people that have many m43 lenses already.

3 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

Ultimately Oly will know if it is or not, the market will decide. I personally wouldn't shell out that much cash for a m4/3 camera, but that's just me.

This camera is meant as a people pleaser. Those E5 customers who wanted a new E camera, the m4/3 shooters who wanted a top level m4/3 camera- its trying to please both (and others) all that the same time. I prefer a camera that doesn't try to please too many groups at once, rather, one that targets the biggest audience and is more specific to it. I think you get a more pure product that way.

4 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

cgarrard, true to a certain degree, but you can also overspecialise. Making this camera appeal to both 4:3 customers as well as M43 should allow for more sales and a overall smaller price.

Anadrol: The E-M1 has features that neither the D600 or 70D has, just as they have features the E-M1 lacks. How you set a price on that is and thereby whether an item is overpriced is very subjective. This is obviously not a camera aimed at everybody, however, so it's clear that a lot of people won't be interested. That's fine, but that doesn't mean that there isn't any customers for it at all, or that they won't be perfectly happy to pay the price for it. (And it should go without saying that personal preferences isn't necessarily indicative of whether people are being smart or dumb for liking or disliking the camera at its price)

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

yes 70D is over priced, too, and APS-C SLR isn't a good idea.
mirrorless is. though m4/3" is not as good as it should be.

would recommend D800 for 24MPix is too low resolution.

2 upvotes
Franka T.L.
By Franka T.L. (7 months ago)

Though I use FF myself, I see the E-M1 simply being another format instead of trying to see it as directly competing against the like of FF or APS-C.

For full setup, with the optional grip, and a fast zoom, yes its almost priced just as such, but I wager there is some form of alternatives instead. It will have to wait and see how the MMF-3+E-M1 work out. I really think Oly should have both the 12-40 and 40-150 both ready together.

2 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

@yabokkie: You'd recommenced the D800 to everyone?
For many, the D800 fails on size, price and weight. A definite "leave at home" camera. There are different markets.

1 upvote
JTHAIN
By JTHAIN (7 months ago)

I'm starting to feel like Olympus is on track with this and the Pro lenses. Bravo.

5 upvotes
Rod McD
By Rod McD (7 months ago)

I invite DPR to look at the use of these comment pages in relation to the carpet bombing of negative posts from certain posters. If a poster has an adverse view of a camera that's fine - let it be said. However, once should be enough if you don't like it and you're not going to buy it. And if you're not, what is the ongoing purpose of being here and continuing to post multiple negative comments. This surely invites the reader to suspect that some of these posters are trolls at best and at worst, that it's a deliberate strategy to denigrate a product.

FWIW, I'm not an Olympus user, have no plans to buy it, and read this page out of interest only. However the repeated criticism from posters known to have interests elsewhere is just plain obvious and hardly fair.

18 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (7 months ago)

I agree with Rod, but I guess there no way of stopping them, you just have to use your own common sense have your own mental "noise" filter. Haters are everywhere.

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (7 months ago)

you all stress yourself, and generally stress occurs if people and things around you do not behave the way you want them to do. Imagine, all of us had the same opinion, how boring it would be, both of you would sit there without knowing what to write about. It's for you as for all others, if it doesn't fits in your concept, ignore it. People will anyway always spend first all the time they have to find out what it does not has and where to put sh.. on it. But that's life, and life is a b.i.t.c.h., but someone has to live it on the end, isn't it. I would suggest you get a good cool beer first, after that, all looks different again, hahaha. Mayb it got even cheaper in the mean time, who knows?

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

@Rod McD
Been happening the last 12 months, also they have infested 43rumors, petapixel and some flickr groups.... Then they wonder why their traffic is down!

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

You may have a point, but do note that Olympus cameras are not the only to experience this phenomenon. The Nikon V2 and Nikon 32 f/1.2 lens announcements, had page after page of the same negative comments. Same for the Canon SL1 announcement.

I will also say that some m43 users, whether out of genuine excitement or something closer to reverse trolling, kind of invite users of other formats to post with overenthusiastic predictions about "this is definitely the nail in the mirrorbox coffin" and other similar nonsense.

1 upvote
MrTritium
By MrTritium (7 months ago)

My god, this is so THICK and HEAVY when compared with the Nex6/7 !!!
http://camerasize.com/compare/#33,482

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (7 months ago)

Yet it's so much smaller than a DSLR of comparable build quality.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

Thicker and heavier can be an asset and is, in the right hands.

I don't get how one cannot look at both sides of a topic. Pros and cons to larger and heavier cameras and smaller and lighter ones equally. Use the tool best for the job you want it to do. Period.

4 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (7 months ago)

To continue my message below: you can also expect, if you buy this camera, that they will not have an API for developers to use the WiFi (like Sony does), nor any robust control interface with active software development behind it (like Canon does). They will not have any open-source firmware like Samsung does (so that when they cease development of the firmware in a year from now, you might actually be able to improve your camera if you know how to program).

I really wish Oly would bring on someone to make sure their video features, user interface, and support for third-party developers was all greatly enhanced. I would gladly pay $200 higher for this camera if it had the additional features I lamented in my first post below. But now I have to buy a GH3 if I want decent video. It makes me sick.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

I agree. I would also prefer if Olympus (and other manufacturers like them) dared to open up their firmware somewhat to third party developers and "hackers".. I can see that they might have certain code and algorithms that they wouldn't want to share, and especially with wifi and net connectivity you would want some protection from malicious apps or hacks, but if that could be overcome it would be great to have a community working on improving and adding features to the cameras.

Regarding video, I think it's probably "decent enough" for most with the 24 mbps 1080p30, but I'm disappointed too about the lack of 24/25 fps to reduce flicker from 50 Hz lighting, as well as the lack of the PDAF during video. The IBIS is such an enormous improvement for handheld video, that a few extra bells and whistles could have made it one of the absolute top cameras for video.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
1 upvote
dark goob
By dark goob (7 months ago)

No fully articulating screen, no headphones jack, no uncompressed HDMI out, no way to set the focus to infinity, no 4-way controller on the vertical grip, no 24P, no high-speed video modes (120FPS, 240FPS), and no touch-to-focus while recording video. Olympus is great at making products that are simultaneously must-haves, yet still, huge let-downs, full of "if only's" that leave loyal users such as myself feeling like citizens of a third-world country where you can only expect minimal things from the society despite it being a beautiful paradise in most regards.

Here's what you can expect if you become an Olympus owner, even of their top-of-the-line products: they will only update the firmware to fix a major bug, but not to add any new features or functionality. If you email Olympus a suggestion for how to improve the firmware of your camera, they won't do it, but you'll see that improvement on the next camera they come out with. Buy a new one. Meanwhile Canon 7D is on firmware 2.x..

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

this is only a casual handy walk-around snap camera.

0 upvotes
P@l
By P@l (7 months ago)

" Here's what you can expect if you become an Olympus owner, even of their top-of-the-line products: they will only update the firmware to fix a major bug, but not to add any new features or functionality. If you email Olympus a suggestion for how to improve the firmware of your camera, they won't do it, but you'll see that improvement on the next camera they come out with. Buy a new one... "

I could not agree more ...

I have about 3-clip on Olympus flashes (multiple camera purchases) and an older EP-2 which has necessary port and connectivity ... alas ... can't do.

The "milking" of customer base enforced by Olympus constant "buy-our-next" cycle ... seem to only benefit the company as for the most part is not offering anything more to the end user than minor operational fixes and ergonomic improvements. The truth to be said - EM1 is not "that much better" in picture quality department than their basic E-PM2 ... and hardly justifies 4-times the initial price.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Kirppu
By Kirppu (7 months ago)

yabokkie: "this is only a casual handy walk-around snap camera."
I would choose between GX-7 or some 99$ m43 body only deal for that usage.

0 upvotes
dweberphotography
By dweberphotography (7 months ago)

Maybe someone here can answer this for me:

What is the difference between Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds? Is the sensor size different?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

Four Thirds is a DSLR mount, Micro Four Thirds is a mount for Mirrorless camera, meaning it can offer a shorter flange-back distance (the gap between the mount and the sensor), because it doesn't need to leave room for a movable mirror.

Both are based around 'Four Thirds' sensors (Usually 17.3 x 13mm, 4:3 aspect ratio).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
Don Wiss
By Don Wiss (7 months ago)

And with a shorter flange-back distance the lens can be smaller.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (7 months ago)

But even 4/3rds is shorter mount than (many) APS-C sensor cameras. Thus, there are adapters from Nikon F, Olympus OM, M42, etc. to 4/3rds cameras.

1 upvote
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

Yes. There are many enthusiasts who put all sorts of lenses on their m43 adapter. There is quite a market for secondhand lenses with all sorts of fittings. I've just dug out my old OM 50mm 1.4 lens which equates to 100mm. Great for portraits.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

Greed won over Olympus managers this time once again. They somehow decided that people bought E-M5 because it is Olympus and not because it was a better camera at cheaper price 19 months ago. After E-P5 pricing fiasco, now E-M1 pricing fiasco.

3 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (7 months ago)

There is a nice intereview in which the olympus rep says that they don't intend to make money on the cameras - they use it as a testing ground for their medical imaging technologies. So if you will, camera division is their pet project, like F-1 to Mercedes Benz.
Perhaps they don't want to sell all that many of E-M1s.

1 upvote
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

The price is always determined by what they think the market will pay. And it will drop over time to keep sales moving. Everyone camera maker does that. It would be foolish not to.

0 upvotes
rxbot
By rxbot (7 months ago)

With the M5 selling for $850 body only who is going to want to pay $1400 for the M 1 body only. Either the M5 or G7 are looking as a better deal to many people.

1 upvote
Nappe1
By Nappe1 (7 months ago)

Quite few 4/3 lens owners. For example, my E-420 has reached 5 years age and I certainly will buy E-M1. It is a gigantic leap from where I am coming from and allows me to continue using 11-22, 50-200 lenses and EC-14 teleconverter. Neither one has real substitute in micro4/3 lenses. (and even if there would be, It would be rather expensive switch with almost nothing to gain.)

3 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (7 months ago)

Now a fully-manual focus, Full-Frame DSLR with the original OM mount, would SERIOUSLY get my chequebook out and into action ...

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

It's not going to happen. Olympus took a gamble by committing to Four Thirds years ago. And now with their entire lens line-up only covering the smaller image circle, and a lack of strong financial resources required to produce an entire new lens mount, it's unlikely that Olympus will go FF anytime soon, if ever.

6 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (7 months ago)

Biowizard, if you want a fully-manual focus, Full-Frame DSLR with the original OM mount, you've got lots of options: Olympus OM-1, OM-1n, OM-2, OM-2n, OM-2SP, OM-3, OM-4T, OM-4Ti, etc. You can get them for peanuts nowadays. The only thing missing will be the «D» from DSLR, of course, but it's full-frame anyway...

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (7 months ago)

And would make Olympus NO money because you'd be using lenses they sold decades ago.

0 upvotes
groucher
By groucher (7 months ago)

I was slobbering over an OM-1 today in Oxfam. If only Olympus would make a digital version of that great camera without all the scene selection crud etc. they'd be onto a big seller.

0 upvotes
areichow
By areichow (7 months ago)

@groucher - you do know you can use a digital camera without using art modes, right? They don't make you use them.

3 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

I think his point is that it clutters the menu system with distracting choices. If its not there, there is no distraction. I personally like the art filters but I do understand his point too.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (7 months ago)

You don't even need to go into the menu to change the standard exposure controls. Just park the dial in M and pretend it is 1970.

2 upvotes
nekrosoft13
By nekrosoft13 (7 months ago)

where is the silver body?

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

think the body should be made of gold. so expensive.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

With most Olympus lenses having silver barrels, you make an excellent point.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

marike6, almost all Olympus lenses have both silver and black versions. Or just black. I think the only "silver-only" is the old 17/2.8 nobody buys anymore anyway.

0 upvotes
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (7 months ago)

DPR viewfinder size fiction continues. "Dividing (viewfinder magnification) by the crop factor" is essentially an assumption (in this case) that the MFT sensor is 1/2 the size of a FF sensor, which it is not. It is little more than 1/4 the size.

The correct relative size calculation is as follows:

OM-D EM-1:

17.3 * 13 * 100% * 1.48 = 332.852 sq mm

D800:

35.9 * 24 * 100% * 0.7 = 603.12 sq mm

So the new Oly's "wonder viewfinder is actually little more than 1/2 as big as a typical FF dSLR viewfinder.

1 upvote
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

Nonsense.

5 upvotes
Biowizard
By Biowizard (7 months ago)

That's rubbish: the magnification value is LINEAR, and you are quoting AREA. So you should SQUARE the magnification factor in your calculations:

OM-D EM-1:

17.3 * 13 * (1.48^2) = 492.62096

D800:

35.9 * 24 * (0.7^2) = 422.184

So DPREVIEW is CORRECT.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 33 seconds after posting
14 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

not interested in comparison of size of keyholes.
would prefer retina display, 240 fps or more.
maybe a future iPad minimi clipped on a rail or the lens.

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (7 months ago)

Fail!

0 upvotes
lighthunter80
By lighthunter80 (7 months ago)

Just look through an VF-4 for instance. I have a 5Dmk2 and love the finder but the new VF-4 (and presumably the EM-1) is simply huge. I was always a hater of all sorts of non-OVF and thought I could never live without one but now this is changing.

It started with my Fuji X100 and the hybrid VF which I think was a fantastic idea. Now that VFs get better and better with every increment, I believe that I won't miss my 5D any time soon. I never thought I would think this way.

I feared the day when they would announce the last produced DSLR with OVF and I am sure this won't take more than a couple of years anymore. Today I am happy to see what is coming. A FF mirrorless with small lenses in a Pen-like design would be a killer.

2 upvotes
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (7 months ago)

The only "rubbish" here is the ridiculous notion that "magnification" is a "linear" measurement. Based on your brilliant logic, a FF viewfinder with 70% magnification is less than half the size of the sensor. BS. The fallacy of DPR's calculations is readily evident; a 100% coverage, 100% magnification MFT/FT sensor, according to DPR calculations, would be roughly 1/2 the size of a 100%, 100% magnification FF sensor, which is actually is FOUR times the size (roughly).

Believe any nonsense you like, but it's still BS.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (7 months ago)

You really need to go back to physics and math classes. Magnification IS a linear property. 2x magnification means doubling the lenghts of the sides, which gives an image with four times as large area. So yes, the FF sensor is four times as large, in terms of area, but magnification is proportional to the square root of the area, or the image diagonal.

1 upvote
PK24X36NOW
By PK24X36NOW (7 months ago)

No, it does NOT mean "doubling the lengths of the sides." Magnification is an expression of the apparent size of an object (as seen through an optical instrument) relative to the actual size of the object.

"magnification — a measure of the ability of a lens or other optical instrument to magnify, EXPRESSED AS THE RATIO OF THE SIZE OF THE IMAGE TO THAT OF THE OBJECT."

SO, A FF dSLR viewfinder with a "magnification" of 0.70x is 70% as big as the sensor. It is NOT 49% as big as the sensor, which it would be according to your ridiculous "physics and math." If the viewfinder WAS 49% of the size of the sensor, the "magnification" would be 0.49x!

Viewfinder COVERAGE is SOMETIMES expressed as "linear" and sometimes as "area." Magnification, being an expression of relative size, is ALWAYS expressed as area, otherwise it wouldn't BE an expression of relative size at all. If anyone needs to go back to school, it is you.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

I don't know about the maths, but my E-M5 has a gorgeous viewfinder. Apparently the E-M1 is even better. Though I dont feel the need to upgrade. The E-M5 has it's faults. But I still love using it.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 54 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
samhain
By samhain (7 months ago)

I wish Olympus would put out aps-c cameras, or better yet FF. they sure know how to build nice cameras & lenses.

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

It's too late now. They should have done that when they built the E1 (not the EM1).

Digital is retracting, and the market is flooded with more cameras than ever. The novelty of digital also wearing off a bit which is adding to the retraction stew (economy, and other ingredients too).

The chance is next to none that Oly would do something like that unless they could find a new niche. But build a whole new system of lenses and cameras, nope dot com.

1 upvote
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

The results from m43 sensors are excellent. Better than many aps-c cameras. It is pointless for Olympus and Panasonic to make big bulky cameras as it would for Nikon to make a medium format camera.
Pointless to make all the cameras the same.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
samhain
By samhain (7 months ago)

$1400?!! Wow. They're proud of that camera.

0 upvotes
SLOtographer
By SLOtographer (7 months ago)

Great camera! The only bummer is the video spec. No 24/25P? I think Oly leaves some money on the table here.

2 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

I have to agree with this. Especially since the IBIS makes it a good candidate for handheld video.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

30p only is not only a bummer, but a deal breaker for some. In this case, for a growing number of multimedia shooters the GH3 is looking more like the actual "pro" m43 body.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

30p is perfectly useable on any computer screen and any tablet screen anywhere in the world, and on any TV screen in Japan (their primary market) and US, Canada and most of Latin America. And I bet it can be displayed on newer televisions in other countries too. 24 fps is too choppy (especially on your 60 fps LCD monitors), 60 fps @1080p cannot be displayed by most devices yet. Sure they should have provided 25 fps for some Europeans who want to watch the video on their old TVs, but it is a small market for them.

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

The issue isn't really TV, but the underlying reason to the difference in the TV standards: The type of electrical power coming out of the wall.

In most of the Americas and Japan they run with 60 Hz mains, and in most of the rest of the world they run with 50 Hz. This frequency can make your artificial lights flicker, and the easiest way to avoid it is to shoot with a shutter speed of 1/60 s when the power is 60 Hz and 1/50 s when the power is 50 Hz. But if you shoot with a 1/50 s shutter speed while you record 30p you risk getting smearing.

1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

it's interesting that Oly only get 30 fps while Pana can have 60 fps. then someone tell me that both of them use Sony sensor that can do 240 fps readout (AF pixels only).

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

To avoid flicker, keep shutter speed close to your fps (i.e. shoot at 360 degrees or at least 180 if your system matches, not anything lower) with ND filters. Otherwise, because of the slight differences in frequency, you WILL have artifacts.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

None of them read out ALL pixels for video, they have to skip lines with that sensor. Probably Pana skips more lines at 60p, leading to lower real resolution and higher noise in low light. The readout of the full sensor at 60p would require 1.5GB/s of data processing, no camera has that yet AFAIK.

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (7 months ago)

I hope it's good, being the last one? of this is the pinnacle of Olympus evolution. I would have made the body a bit larger to better handle the 4/3rds lenses that this flagship model was "promised" to handle well. There obviously will not be any more OVF cameras from Olympus.

Actually, I wonder where all this leaves Pentax-with 3 pretty conventional APS-C DSLRs, whilst Olympus, Panasonic, Fuji, Sony are doing some exciting things-refining micro 4/3rds or really offering variety in APS-C.

2 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

if you want a bigger body you can add the battery grip. The E-M1 is easy to hold with it's front grip.

Nobody knows where the various formats are going. We'll have to wait and see. Even Nikons troubled 1 series might make a comeback.

0 upvotes
Model Mike
By Model Mike (7 months ago)

Ugghh - that faux pentaprism is so passe! Might make a good perch for a parrot.

3 upvotes
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (7 months ago)

You think they could have housed the massive VF any other way?

1 upvote
JackM
By JackM (7 months ago)

yeah, like an X-Pro1.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

I like the look of it. Better than the square box style. The X-Pro1. is also big compared to the Olympus.
The GX7 manages to squeeze anEVF in. But it is compromised compared to the Olympus.

0 upvotes
JackM
By JackM (7 months ago)

Only 14mp in proper 3:2 aspect ratio. :-/

1 upvote
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

You mean, only 12 MP in proper 1:1 aspect ratio. What's this 3:2 nonsense?

5 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (7 months ago)

And only 8MP if you do a 2:3 portrait shot in landscape mode ;)
Err... what would be the MP for round exposure of 180 fisheye? ...yeah crappy camera indeed.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (7 months ago)

What a lame complaint. Seriously. It's not like any regular display media are 3:2 anyway.

0 upvotes
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (7 months ago)

4x6, 8x12, 12x18, 16x24, 20x30, 24x36" are all 3:2 and pretty standard print sizes at any lab.

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

@oklaphotog
When I speak to print labs they tell me their volume is 5 by 7, 8 by 10 and 16 by 12's

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

Don't fight, nobody prints anymore except a few old f..ts anyway. :)

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

Every picture needs whatever ratio that suits it best. Who wants an artificial constraint based on 35mm film when you want to be creative.
Call one ratio "proper" looks more like wanting to follow rules rather than wanting freedom. "I will never change!" Sad.

0 upvotes
pancromat
By pancromat (7 months ago)

these days engineering could be wildly free to put any controls anywhere. no mechanical constraint. so why should a modern camera look like this. olympus, you don't get me with this, tiny, edgy, retro - whatever. your OM 35mm SLRs where legendary, but thats over now. why do i still have to press my greasy nosetip against the screen? IQ might be real good and the technology impressive, but this gear looks ridiculous to me. you let all this behind you when you burried the OM SLRs, only selling "bridge cameras" from there on. your FT DSLRs where plucky. liked them. serious tools. but this. give me a brick like Fuji X or the new panasonic gx-7, or excellent prospective ergonimics, or ....

5 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

I'm all for honest and functional design, but there are two ways of designing something like a camera. Designing for how you think it should be used, or designing for how it is actually used. You may be able to change a few things here and there, but people are used to using cameras in a particular way, and they want to pick the camera up and shoot without having to check the manual for where the shutter button and viewfinder are.

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (7 months ago)

You don't need a manual to tell you where the viewfinder is - you can tell in a nanosecond just by looking.

I agree with pancromat that Oly should think about moving the viewfinder further to the left, creating space for the shooter's nose. With DSLR there is no choice, because the mirror has to be in line with the lens, but an EVF can go anywhere.

Sony's NEX 7 has the right kind of layout, I think, and it is also a very compact camera.

0 upvotes
ianp5a
By ianp5a (7 months ago)

The NEX is good. But not all cameras should be the same. Now we have a choice. The E-M5 retro look was very popular. Many other brands successfully use retro styling.

0 upvotes
kimnk
By kimnk (7 months ago)

Unfortunately its so ugly!

It appears way too big with the built in grip. I went M43 because i wanted something smaller than my FF... with proportions like this it is approaching APS-C size (and smaller FF sizes).

Why couldn't they keep the original OM-D E-M5's form factor?

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Thorgrem
By Thorgrem (7 months ago)

Just wait for the successor of the E-M5.

0 upvotes
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (7 months ago)

it is far smaller than your FF body, yet I bet it handles much better than an EM5. It is pretty much the same size an EM5 if it didn't have the grip

0 upvotes
iae aa eia
By iae aa eia (7 months ago)

I still don't feel like the design of the digital OMs is working. With a grip, the Evolts still look more balanced, and without a grip, which I think is the design that would live up better to the OM design, still show unbalanced design of the pentaprism-like top, and the general layout design of the top and (especially) the back look unattractive. They should try to get closer to the general proportions of the OM-1, that is, more rectangular body and less protruding pentaprism housing top.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (7 months ago)

I have to admit that Oly resolved the problem of legacy/DSLR lens backward-compatibility in somewhat better fasion than Pentax did with his K-01. Ergonomics are included this time.

1 upvote
oklaphotog
By oklaphotog (7 months ago)

Kind of, unfortunately it looks like it doesn't track as well as an E-5 with ZD lenses, which pretty much killed the reasons to want to use the 4/3 glass and left 4/3 users up a creek. Maybe it will improve with firmware updates.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

@okkaphotog
Maybe read real reviews that aren't from dpreview, bythom or amateur photographer...

0 upvotes
Mike Arledge
By Mike Arledge (7 months ago)

Way too much money for that tiny sensor. While it is an impressive piece of equipment, there are too many other options with larger sensors at this price point. With many more lenses to choose from with other systems.

13 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

The price reflects the feature set rather than the sensor size. If it is out of your price range, there are plenty more affordable M43 cameras.

12 upvotes
Mike Arledge
By Mike Arledge (7 months ago)

it is not out of my price range, but I question spending this much on ANY M43 at all, I think it is a niche and gimic system that does not warrant these kinds of prices

2 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (7 months ago)

Well, there is of course no accounting for taste, and every photographer has different needs and wants. Some will want a camera with the feature set of the E-M1, but for others it will be a massive overkill, and not worth the extra cost.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

The sensor isn't a big part of the final cost ( that's a big lie you've been fed for years). The E-M1 has a tonne of features and ease of use that those DSLRs don't have. How many lenses do you need to choose from?

3 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

"The price reflects the feature set rather than the sensor size."

What "feature set" over, say, Nikon D7100 or Canon 70D or Pentax K-5 II (or even Pentax k-30)? WiFi? ;) Art modes? :) :) Come on, without competitive performance and at higher price it will be another E-5 coming right after 7D.

Comment edited 9 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (7 months ago)

peevee1: "What feature set"?

Weatherproofing and 5-axis image stabiliser spring to mind.

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (7 months ago)

Hmmm...if they keep making more and more awesome bodies and lenses like this, I may finally feel fine getting rid of my FF DSLR. I loved the image quality of the E-M5 I had, but I could never get used to that weird body. It just felt bad in my hands. I hope they addressed the squishy buttons in this new model too ;-) Next time around, I may not buy another SLR. I may very well be on my last SLR.....maybe.

2 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (7 months ago)

I had the same experience with the E-M5. I went in to a shop expecting to buy one and thoroughly disliked it from the moment I picked it up. Ergonomically, it was all wrong for me.

This new camera looks much better ergonomically. I'm certainly goiing to check it out.

At the moment I'm shooting with an E-P3 with the optional large grip.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

Only 6.5 fps with C-AF. EPIC FAIL (at this price, 7 fps 70D is $1200).

They needed 9-10 fps with C-AF+Tracking to have the price they want. As it is, it is a $1000 camera, not $1400.

4 upvotes
Bill Rees
By Bill Rees (7 months ago)

Only an "epic fail" if burst rate is the only reason you choose a camera.

13 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

well bill, i would never buy a sports camera that has only 3 FPS..... and that is not a fail.

some features are deal breakers when you need them.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Chatokun
By Chatokun (7 months ago)

I just looked up the 7D and saw it is 1499 MSRP, at 1339 now at Amazon. Cameras always come out a bit higher and lower quickly, probably as a marketing ploy. The prices are close to the same actually, with the EM1 having the same MSRP but being $60 more in the reduced price.

After looking around, it seems the 7D's original MSRP was $1699. Apple to oranges, comparing launch price that will likely drop in a short while.

4 upvotes
photofan1986
By photofan1986 (7 months ago)

You are an epic fail.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

"I just looked up the 7D and saw it is 1499 MSRP, at 1339 now at Amazon. "

Read more carefully - I was talking about brand spanking new just released 70D, not 4 y/o 7D. Which BTW can be bought new from $750 on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Canon-EOS-7D-18-0-MP-Digital-SLR-Camera-/281138519040?pt=Digital_Cameras&hash=item4175295c00
for example.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

"Only an "epic fail" if burst rate is the only reason you choose a camera."

Over other cameras which has everything else, only better? What else, brand name?

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (7 months ago)

I wonder who's going to break the m4/3 16MP barrier first... It seems a struggle every time a resolution upgrade is expected on (m)4/3 systems.

0 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (7 months ago)

Well... there's a reason they stay at 16. If you go higher, you get more noise, less dynamic range, and no appreciable increase in detail to compensate for the reduction in the other areas. 16 is already pushing it a bit.

It would be just like all compact cameras today, which were ruined by the megapixel race and would have been so much better if they'd stayed below 6 megapixels. Considering that most people never enlarge their images beyond 2 megapixels anyway, neither for screen display or printing, that would have been a good thing.

2 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (7 months ago)

16MP seems to be rather optimal value for this sensor size...For pixel density considered, m43 is already having tough diffraction limit issues. Putting more pixels on it would get you no extra detail even from the best lenses available.
Seriously - what would you need more MP for? It's more or less same resolution as 1DX...

2 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (7 months ago)

I guess someone, then, needs to inform Canon, Sony, and Nikon to stop increasing resolution and switch back to lower MP... But something tells me that it has been a good thing that Canon moved on from 12MP 5D to 22MP 5D III... It is one thing that m4/3 sensors are reaching their limit and another whether more resolution can be actually used to improve IQ and crop tolerance. The 4/3 initiative committee should have thought of the innate limitation of a smaller sensor.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

How do you know that if the 16mp barrier hasn't been broken by m4/3 yet? I doubt it, considering Sony sensors are on the case, I see a 20mp m4/3 sensor on the horizon. Next year. Mark my words :).

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (7 months ago)

I sure hope so.

0 upvotes
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (7 months ago)

Wow, Mr. RStyga, you must be a high-grade professional studio photographer if you really need more than 16mp.

You must certainly be a better photographer than Joe Holmes, whose limited-edition 13 x 19" prints sell at Manhattan's Jen Bekman Gallery for $650 each.

They were made on a 6mp D70.

2 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (7 months ago)

I do not subscribe to the masochist's show-off argument that a photographer needs to be struggling to get his/her camera to shoot what he/she aims for. It's nonsense. As for the art industry and how they ascribe value and -especially- prices on 'art', I could not care less. I've seen some more galleries filled with insults to photographic art than I can remember.

1 upvote
NZ Scott
By NZ Scott (7 months ago)

The fact is that you can make enormous prints with a 16mp camera.

The only people needing to print larger are professionals working on billboards.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

DPR: "Other interesting features include the E-M1's large electronic viewfinder, which has a magnification of 1.48X"

But in the spec table you have 1.3x.

Also, you have put resolutions into "Videography notes", comparison tables don't look right because of it.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (7 months ago)

I'll look into the videography notes thing.

The EVF has several modes - some of which put a shooting data strip along the bottom, reducing the size available for the preview. The full figure is 1.48x, it's 1.3x if you devote some of the panel to shooting data.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

no question this is a nice camera.

question is... will it save olympus camera division?

m43 is under attack from other system cameras (most use APS-C sensors) and even smartphones.
we are speaking about the mass market here.. not a few enthusiasts.
m43 will always have the stigma of a smaller sensor.
you can produce excellent products and miss the market completely… i have seen it again and again.

4 upvotes
electrophoto
By electrophoto (7 months ago)

I can agree about "being under attack" from APS-C...

but smartphones? how exactly... by any standards, the m4/3 sensor is still a LOT larger than for example Sony's RX100/II sensor... and that is still larger than anything found in ANY smartphone to this very day.
arguably smartphones have improved a lot over the past 3 years... but in neither IQ (not even nokia's flagship or sony's flagship), nor Low Light, etc do they match even the "worst" of the m4/3 cameras out there (even outdated old ones).

Without doubt m4/3 is lacking in comparison to APS-C (and APS-C is lacking in comp. to 35mm full frame... and that is lacking compared to medium... etc.)
But m4/3 is better than any compact camera sensor out there.

so far only sony has managed to come close with it's 1" sensor.... which is still smaller than a m4/3

excellent product missing the market?
Last time I checked, Oly's OM-D EM-5 was quite a successful camera (actually I guess it was one of their most successful models)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

well if you speak about the enthusiasts... who will even buy a second lens for their m43 system... you are right. :)

problem is most customers out there don´t care.
they either want a DSLR (means big sensor to them) or a very small camera (easy to carry in a pocket) or they are happy with a smartphone camera.

the OM-D EM1 is neither.....

this 1300$ m43 camera is only attractive to a small percentage of customers.

yes IQ is better then smartphones.. question is.. how many customers bother?
MY SMARTPHONE CAMERA IS GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME... that is the problem oly has to face. the overall decline in camera sales.

and as you sure noticed the high end mirrorless camera market is getting very crowded. im not sure oly will have such a big piece of it.

successfull means making a profit. olympus does not make a profit with the camera division.

shareholders would sure prefer to see olympus making a profit.
and that puts the camera divison into danger.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Chatokun
By Chatokun (7 months ago)

If the EM-1 was the only camera in the system, you'd make some sense, but you're saying, sure, the people the camera was designed for (enthusiasts, and Pros who don't want to use larger cameras anymore) will use them, but the ones who want a smaller camera, the EM1 won't work.

Of course it won't, that's why we have the EPM, EPL, GX, and GF series. All of those cameras are far more compact, and many like the small size, while still beating the compact cameras and cell phone cameras in quality and options.

1 upvote
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

Its DSLRs that are under attack from micro four thirds cameras as people want WYSIWYG shooting, the latest technologies, pleasing design and practical size cameras....

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

The E5 now has instant classic status with this announcement. Too bad they can't drop the internals of the EM1 into a refreshed E5 body so users have an even larger more spacious camera with an optical viewfinder alternative and of course, the improved sensor and real PDAF.

It's a cool camera, but I think a real E5 successor with this sensor would still win over 4/3 shooters more than Oly may think.

C

4 upvotes
whtchocla7e
By whtchocla7e (7 months ago)

Sometimes it's just better to march on forward and not look back. Olympus might just be better off without the weight of 4/3.

5 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

Not much weight to lug around when the $ in development of the system is already mostly spent... A larger camera like the E5 is what I've seen a lot of 4/3 users asking for for years now. It wouldn't take much more development cost to produce an E7 considering. But Oly made its choice. We'll see if its a good one or not in the long run. Perhaps their next move will be... I don't know.

Comment edited 24 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

A vocal minority of dinosaurs

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

"A vocal minority of dinosaurs"

An incomplete sentence.

I remember being young and thinking I knew it all, and that older people were just in the way.

At mid point, I've got a good indication now that kids are largely full of sh!t and older people do know a thing or two.

1 upvote
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

honestly i don´t see a reason for this.
don´t get me wrong i had the E-PL1 and just bought a cheap used E-PL3 last week.
when i buy a mirrorless i do it because i want a SMALL camera, as small as possible.

i think this is a nice camera with great features.

but... this is not so much smaller then a DSLR.
sure it is smaller... but not much more comfortable to carry.
at least i would not care.

and they can talk about how great EVF are as long as they want... i have yet to see one that impresses me. in 3-4 generations maybe.

if i would start to build me a new system, i would pay 200$ more and buy a 6D or D600.
and have the biggest systems i could wish for.

and as much as m43 fans will hate me for what i said above, the majority of customers seems to think the same.
m43 sales are not that good and oly and pana are in trouble.

i guess it´s another good camera from oly that will fail to make a real profit for the company.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (7 months ago)

There are some advantages as with m4/3 you can have both a bulky "work" camera and a smaller carry round camera that share the same lenses and accessories.

Of course I suspect this camera is more aimed at people who already have 4/3rds lenses than people getting their first camera.

4 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (7 months ago)

as canon user i could buy the M system or the small 100D as carry around camera and use all EF lenses.
as i said i don´t see much of a difference.

there is no question that this olympus camera is better then both canons featurewise. but that would not make me shell out 1300$ for a m43 camera.

sure the 35mm lenses are usually bigger and weight more.
but i also have way more choices.

for me m43 (or say a smaller sensor camera) only makes sense when it is MUCH smaller.
i don´t care much about weight... size is the important factor for me.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
wyoming
By wyoming (7 months ago)

i also have the epl and i like his compactness. but it seems that someone really needs the viewfinder, so olympus is simply trying to stay on the market.
hope they invest even on the smaller cameras

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (7 months ago)

> as canon user i could buy the M system or the small 100D as carry around camera and use all EF lenses.

There's no high grade M camera yet though, where with m4/3 you have the entire range from small, relatively cheap consumer cameras and lenses to higher spec "pro" gear.

The 100D is small by DSLR standards but is still considerably bigger with any lens other than the 40mm f2.8 than the smallest mirrorless cameras.

0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

@Hertz
Wow you speak for the majority of n43 customers...amazing! And you know exactly which cameras do and don't make a profit for Oly and Panny.Small as practical for the particular users needs is what you meant to say wasn't it....

0 upvotes
Camediadude
By Camediadude (7 months ago)

This is my absolute dream camera. Combined with some SHG glass as well as some weather proofed compact zoom lenses, and nice primes too for traveling light.

Yes, I know, I know, I have been an Oly fanboy since my 80's youth. I admit this!

But seriously though, I am going out to buy a couple of lotto tickets first thing tomorrow ... please wish me some pure dumb luck! :P

6 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (7 months ago)

Was it only a few months ago that Olympus was saying they wouldn't be forgetting their loyal 4/3rds followers? Well, they haven't, unless you honestly believe that an EVF is a legitimate substitute for an optical slr viewfinder and with, hopefully, full compatibility for older 4/3rds lenses. The obvious problem here is no new lens designs for 4/3rds users who will be forced to move over to ILC to benefit. Does this new model herald the end of the road for 4/3rds slrs?

Despite this slight gloom, I do believe it is uneconomic for Olympus to run two production lines for 4/3 and M4/3, and given that 4/3 never fully delivered on its promise and M4/3 is producing better IQ anyway, it seems a brave move for Olympus to finally concede the lack of viability and cost effectiveness in continuing with 4/3 which would be competing against more advanced APS-C contenders. To continue would only be money down the drain and which Olympus can little afford at present.

3 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (7 months ago)

Other positive aspect - since grip is already there, hasselblad cannot touch it!

12 upvotes
Artistico
By Artistico (7 months ago)

Well... if this had been a Sony, you'd probably still get a version with a near-extinct exotic hardwood grip and a snow leopard half-case for only a small premium of $3,000 more.

2 upvotes
ABM Barry
By ABM Barry (7 months ago)

I have an OMD 5, I have had it about a year now, ... It is superb!

I bought it to take to places like Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam where my Nikon gear stands out just a tad too much. I bought the Silver traditional look, again less conspicuous.

Upon return I naturally gravitated to the Nikon with it's associated fast glass.
I then bought the Novex Nikon to m43 adapter. A new system was borne for me. I often use the Nikkor 60mm f2.8 macro and the 80 - 400mm on the OM-D. This camera has become a very serious & capable tool. (way beyond my expectations!)

The EM-1 has a Flash sync, .. Fantastic! Now it is in the pro class when it comes to functionality.
The on/off switch now moved to the top plate; much better.

Linholf "L" System, 4" x 5", ELM 500, Art Panorama, RB67, .. Now the OM-D has earned it's own space in my kit.

I would not have believed it possible 5 years ago!

I'm looking forward to shooting with the new EM-1
Barry M Australia

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

should be careful not to build a system around the m4/3" mount. a "dumb still cute video" camera with a couple of lenses that are not too overly priced sounds good.

0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

there is no E-5 in it. there should not.
some don't know how bad the SLR 4/3" is as a system. really bad.
Olympus know it, only they didn't have the encurage to correct error.

Panasonic offered them a better system, where Olympus is doing well.
it's against everyone's interest to go back to the dark days.

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (7 months ago)

> some don't know how bad the SLR 4/3" is as a system. really bad.

Olympus released some very well regarded lenses for 4/3 (like the 12-60mm and 14-35mm), the main mistake they made with the system IMHO was they concentrated on the pro market (with lots of expensive premium lenses) without sensors that could compete, and it's only really recently that 4/3rds sensors have become on-par with APS.

1 upvote
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

And it's only one sensor that competes with APS. Still the best m4/3 sensor can't rival the best APS-C sensor, and never will. At least in terms of sheer performance. I'm evaluating an EP5 right now and I'm not all that impressed. Banding at higher ISO's isn't a good thing at all.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

Banding with Pana 20mm?

0 upvotes
Chatokun
By Chatokun (7 months ago)

One of the definite things to think about with EP5 is that you don't have to use high ISO as much with 5-axis IBIS. It's superb. I think I've only used ISO 2000 so far for real pictures. and that was a street at night lit by ambient street lights. This was the 20mm also, which is the lens known for the banding. Came out perfectly fine.

Normally I stay at 1600 and below, and I think the banding issues happen around 6400. Possibly some at 3200, but I think it was 6400.

Of course, IBIS doesn't work for stopping motion, but I still think with the 20mm 1.7 you wouldn't need above 3200 that much anyway.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

the name was Katsuhiro Takata. he was an optical guy but the SLR 4/3 was totally a crap from lens design point of view.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
YouDidntDidYou
By YouDidntDidYou (7 months ago)

Clueless

0 upvotes
cgarrard
By cgarrard (7 months ago)

@peevee
"Banding with Pana 20mm?"

No, with any lens.

C

0 upvotes
aris14
By aris14 (7 months ago)

Αnother M43 gem...

3 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (7 months ago)

Nice job Oly. This is how Canon should be innovating.

12 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

the dual-pixel AF is a great invention of our times. only Canon is stuck in an old architecture for some reason we cannot understand. they should be able to do it but they chose not.

maybe they are playing Nintendo to make good money with cheap components (I do think Nintendo is attractive with some tricks).

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

Not a Canon user, but that is such rubbish. Canon has forgotten more camera and lens designs than most companies.

You don't get to the top by not innovating.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (7 months ago)

They have innovated. In 1987.

4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

> They have innovated. In 1987.

They innovated when the created the 5D Mk II, the camera that started the whole HDSLR video revolution. They innovated when they created the EOS Cinema cameras. When they created the 200-400 f4 IS L with the built-in TC. When they created the 70D dual AF system. They innovated with they created one of the two most complete SLR systems in the world.

Not a Canon fan, but it's time for reality check.

What's so innovative about the E-M1? It's basically a larger, pricier EM-5 with a grip.

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

yes, all modern camera mounts and lenses are designed following the same design guidelines and rules of Canon EOS though others also contributed a lot of bells and whistles, Nikon lighting system, Minolta sensor based Anti-Shake, Olympus SSWF dust-shaker, ...

0 upvotes
gefrorenezeit
By gefrorenezeit (7 months ago)

I guess slowly but surely the end of the mirror box is coming. Dont get me wrong - i love my Canon 1DX, but i can't imagine SLRs getting better than that (FPS, AF sensor coverage, etc.). What do you think?

4 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (7 months ago)

In theory you could have all this in an SLR's live view mode, although you wouldn't get the generously sized EVF with it tho (whether that's an advantage or disadvantage is down to personal preference :)

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

Putting a little lipstick on an EM-5 and calling it the EM-1 is definitely not going to hasten the demise of ANY camera type, let alone the most popular that has ever existed.

Mirrorless vendors need to figure out how to actually sell cameras first.

3 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

yes, Canon is killing the mirror box with dual-pixel AF.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (7 months ago)

> yes, Canon is killing the mirror box with dual-pixel AF.

Except that they are not. The dual-pixel AF is for LiveView LCD use geared to videographers. You will likely not find a single Canon professional who wants Canon to remove the proper Pentaprism OVF in favor of an EVF. Not one.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

there is no technical reason to stay with SLR. there is no technical reason not to provide inferior products that the custmers want, either.

0 upvotes
Langusta
By Langusta (7 months ago)

Ok - I want one...

5 upvotes
h2k
By h2k (7 months ago)

I can't understand why they don't use a side-hinging monitor. It offers many more angles than a vertically hinging monitor (and no, i don't think of self-portraits). Some time ago, Panasonic and Olympus used side-hinging monitors, as they are best for composing a frame comfortably. I don't know, why both companies switched to vertically swinging ones. Only Canon, it seems, prefers side-hinging today.

1 upvote
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (7 months ago)

The main reason for using the tilt-only monitor, according to Olympus, is size - it allows a smaller, slimmer body. Panasonic offers fully-articulated LCDs on Micro Four Thirds SLR-style bodes, and they tend to be bigger than the OM-Ds. Even so, whether this is the best choice for the E-M1's target user is open to discussion.

4 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (7 months ago)

I'd prefer this one over more flexible side-hinging for most of time I only want to tilt it up and it's by far more efficient this way (would personally prefer a bottom-hinged one).

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
1 upvote
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (7 months ago)

fresh news. Who could have suspected?

0 upvotes
Photoworks
By Photoworks (7 months ago)

I like it, but ... 30 fps. Seriously? Olympus have been stuck on 30 fps since day one. What a wasted opportunity!

6 upvotes
Total comments: 223
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