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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

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Based on a production Olympus OM-D E-M1 with Firmware 1.0

The E-M1 is the second model in Olympus's OM-D series and extends the range further into semi-pro/enthusiast territory. There are two main distinctions that set the E-M1 apart from its little brother (the E-M5) - a more sophisticated autofocus system and a 'buttons for everything' design approach. As such the two models will coexist, with the E-M1 sitting at the very top of Olympus's lineup.

The biggest technological step forward on the E-M1 is the addition of on-sensor phase detection elements, giving the camera two distinct focus modes. The phase-detection system is used when lenses from the original Four Thirds system, which were designed for use that way, are attached. With native, Micro Four Thirds lenses, the camera will mainly stick with the contrast detection system that has proved so fast and accurate on the E-M5. Only if you use tracking AF will the camera utilize phase-detection information with a Micro Four Thirds lens.

The E-M1 also gains the excellent 2.3M-dot electronic viewfinder panel we first saw as the VF-4 accessory for the PEN E-P5. Not only is the resolution very impressive, but the viewfinder optics give a viewfinder with magnification of up to 1.48x (depending on display mode), which puts it only a fraction behind the 0.76x viewfinder in Canon's 1D X and ahead of Nikon's pro-grade D4 DSLRs.

There's also a more advanced 'TruePic VII' processor in the E-M1 that conducts a variety of lens corrections, when creating JPEGs, leading the company to proclaim the best image quality offered by one of its cameras. Not only can the E-M1 remove the colour fringing caused by lateral chromatic aberration, Olympus says that it also tunes its sharpening to take into account the lens's sharpness, and to combat any softening due to diffraction (particularly at very small apertures).

The biggest difference between the E-M1 and the E-M5, though, is the degree of direct control on offer. We really liked the E-M5's twin-dial control system, but the E-M1 goes beyond that by providing button-and-dial combinations for quickly changing almost every imaginable setting on the camera. It's the kind of approach you don't usually get until the very top of manufacturers' lineups - it means you have to get used to where every function is, but can shoot fluidly once you have.

The E-M1 inherits the '2x2' dial approach Olympus previously used on the E-P5 - flicking a switch on the camera changes the dials from controlling shutter speed, aperture or exposure compensation to changing ISO and white balance. However, all this direct control doesn't come at the expense of the potentially slower but easier to find touch-screen interface - the E-M1 has this too. Overall the camera can be operated pretty much however you fancy.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 specification highlights:

  • 16MP MOS Four Thirds format sensor with no low-pass filter
  • On-sensor phase detection elements
  • Twin control dials (front and rear) with '2x2' dual-mode option
  • '5-axis' image stabilization with automatic panning detection ('S-IS Auto')
  • ISO 'LOW' (100 equiv) - ISO 25,600
  • Up to 10fps continuous shooting (6.5 fps shooting with continuous AF)
  • 1.04M-dot 3" LCD touchscreen display - tilts 80° upwards and 50° downwards
  • Electronic viewfinder: 2.36M-dot LCD, 0.74x magnification (equiv.), eye sensor
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting and image transfer to smartphone or tablet
  • Dust, splash and freeze-proof (to -10 °C)

Gained over the E-M5

  • True Pic VII processor, with lens corrections
  • 1/8000 sec top shutter speed, 1/320 sec flash sync
  • Built-in microphone socket (rather than optional accessory adapter)
  • Flash X-sync socket
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Focus 'peaking' display
  • In-camera HDR blending (two modes), previewed in viewfinder

Four Thirds is dead. Long live Four Thirds.

As well as representing the highest-end Micro Four Thirds camera yet, the E-M1's role is also about offering continued support for users of the original Four Thirds SLR system. Olympus created some very nice Four Thirds lenses, but the company struggled to make enough impact in the SLR market to justify the cost of continuing development for both systems in parallel.

The company claims to have studied what the E-M1 and a hypothetical 'E-7' SLR could offer, and concluded that, while image quality, durability and speed would have been the same, the OM-D design allowed both a substantial size advantage and a much greater viewfinder magnification than would be possible with an optical finder. As such the E-M1 should be considered the successor to the E-5.

We'll look at the performance of the camera with Four Thirds lenses in a little more depth later in this article. But in principle, the on-sensor phase detection autofocus system should be much more effective than contrast detection when it comes to controlling Four Thirds lenses, all of which were primarily designed to be driven by phase detection-based systems.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2013 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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Comments

Total comments: 2065
12345
wsalopek

The EM-1 looks gorgeous...but it's only slightly smaller than the FULL FRAME Sony A7...that's a pretty serious jump in sensor capability for almost no increase in physical size.

I suppose if low light and maximum subject isolation does not matter, the Olympus is the way to go, but if those things DO matter, go with the Sony.

0 upvotes
KZMike

UMMM have you cccchecked the body only pricing for the Oly $1300 [with rebate of $100] vs. $2500 for the Sony body.

That's a serious pricing differential for my photo budget.

4 upvotes
ThatCamFan

Or go with the olympus for travel size and a regular nikon full frame for low light.

0 upvotes
Ken Takes Photos

Along with a big price difference, I will state again since it seems we must say this every time someone compares the E-M1 to a Sony.

Look at the size of the lenses.

3 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

Nothing beats FF IQ but for some people like me
Price
Lens Size
Matters over the IQ.
I really tried those FF lenses. And It looks so conspicuous.
It will be harder for me to enjoy my hobby with those huge lenses.

2 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

Updated blog using olympus OMD EM-1 with 45-150mm f4-f6.3
http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/2014/02/blog-4-tips-for-taking-bird-pictures.html

0 upvotes
newtonseye

I am still happy with my E-620 the uk price of this camera seems rather high to say the least. Too high to make an upgrade as yet. https://flic.kr/s/aHsjZpc1so

0 upvotes
Richard Briscoe

I was surprised at the higher ISO image degradation compared to the E-M5. The difference between the two is noticeable beginning at ISO 3,200 in the test images. At ISO 12,800 all of the cameras images were equally bad.

0 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

Updated blog using olympus OMD EM-1 with 45-150mm f4-f6.3
http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/2014/02/blog-4-tips-for-taking-bird-pictures.html

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
orchidontist

First use of my Olympus OM-D EM1 using 50 mm macro four thirds lens. Replacing Olympus E620 from which I have never had great results even at ISO100 producing pixilated backgrounds. The image clarity and depth of field is outstanding on the EM1.

0 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

Another blog using OMD EM-1

http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/2014/06/xiii-shooting-for-desktop-wall-papers.html

0 upvotes
vaclav1

There is something missing in the review about auto focus and shutter lag in the real life:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/news/2014/05/29/sony-a6000-panasonic-gh4-tested-head-to-head-against-nikon-d4s.-the-result

0 upvotes
Gregm61

Good follow-up to add to this review of the E-M1 from several months ago. It's still an excellent mirrorless performer relative to newer cameras, like the GH4.

If I was still using a DSLR I'd never be in a position to afford a camera like the Nikon D4s, much less the better lenses you really need to add to the D4s to get the best possible performance out of it.

0 upvotes
bluevellet

Yes, the GH4 ups the stakes with stunning AF (fast and stays fast in low light) and everything video.

But if still photography is your main priority, then the E-M1 is a better choice still. The better EVF, the IBIS and and better compativbility with 43 DSLR lenses make it more of an all-rounder for still photography.

0 upvotes
Rolfens

So the "enthusiast videographer" would be perfectly OK with not being able to change any setting during (not even exposure compensation) during video recording? The AEL retention being available only when the camera was switched in movie mode beforehand is IMO a shortcoming due to bad software, almost a bug. I really don't see why this should not be available otherwise, and since it seems to be possible to affect exposure during video shooting, there seems to be no hardware limitation to having exposure compensation control while shooting video as well.

2 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

RAW vs JPEG
a histogram comparison!

http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/2014/04/blog11-what-is-difference-between-raw.html

0 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

After 5 months of use this are my best captures:
http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/

0 upvotes
gandalfII

The grip is very sturdy but has a notch in the lower right corner that digs into the heel of my hand. My most serious gripe about this otherwise near-perfect camera.

0 upvotes
Zoron

is the EM1 HLD-7 vertical grip made of metal or plastic?

Comment edited 36 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

This Camera have rejuvenated my love for Photography.
http://robertevangelista.blogspot.com/

0 upvotes
JeanPierre Thibaudeau

Mistake?
I think theres a mistake on page 14 of the EM1 review, when comparing EM1 with EM5, right above the yellow pencils in the 3rd group of images: both columns indicates EM1 ISO 6400. Shouldn't the right column indicate EM5?
Thank you.

0 upvotes
17868AC9D7564D0187414294149CADCF

Can you adjust the focus point on the M1 while looking through the viewfinder?

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

Yes, this can be done simply by using the 4-way controller

2 upvotes
MJohns

Yes again, press FN1 and then use the front and rear dials for horizontal and vertical.

0 upvotes
Augustus Urbex

Are there any updates on the hot pixel/extreme noise issue in long exposures on the E-M1 yet? I havent heard anything new in a long time. Has Olympus fixed the issue? Were only early EM-1s affected? I want to buy one, but with this issue, that is unlikely.

For those of you who don't know what I am talking about, it is well known that the E-M1 produces an ocean of hot pixels on long exposures of 30 seconds or more at base ISO, and the exposure time needed to make them visible drops by one stop for every stop you bump the ISO. Turning on dark frame subtraction almost eliminates the issue, but this makes star trails, fireworks, bracketed long exposures impossible. Examples can be seen here : http://www.seldomscenephotography.com/2013/11/14/the-olympus-e-m1-and-long-exposures/

DPReview : PLEASE update your review to include information on this issue with sample images. This is a HUGE problem that big review sites need to address and let be known, or Olympus may never fix the issue.

3 upvotes
rich889

Excellent link, thanks for posting. I too have been on the fence regarding the E-M1. I have rented it and loved it, loved the image quality, EVF, and handling, but this hot pixels issue affects more than just stargazers.

0 upvotes
Frank C.

Great camera but sensor is too small to control dof or generate bokeh properly, I'll stick to my iPhone for everyday shooting and my D610 for the serious stuff

3 upvotes
bluevellet

Cool. Have fun shooting with your iphone.

10 upvotes
gchamp727

Unless you are a professional portrait shooter, or one of those amateurs who is hung-up on blurred backgrounds, dof is just one small ingredient in a good photo. Besides, there are other ways to get a shallow dof. If you like shooting posed portraits and have an addiction to shallow dof fine, but for shooting from the hip, spontaneous portraits or street shooting ... good luck sticking that bazooka full frame and giant lens in someones face. And if minimal depth of field is what you crave, dump the D610 soccer mom full frame camera and jump up to a medium frame Hasselblad. Meanwhile, if you look at the pro level photos on 500px, you will see that only a small percentage of them use a shallow dof to blur out the background. My point is .. shallow depth of field is not and should not be the single criterion for buying a camera.

12 upvotes
McFern

Back as a teenager, I schooled my knowledge of photography from Aaron Sussman's book, written mostly in the 60's, wherein the statement is made to the effect of, 'Even the simplest camera is better than any photographer'. Still true after all the improvements. Still true with musical instruments, golf clubs, hunting rifles, etc. There is no best camera, just good and better. A better musician, golfer, shooter, or photographer will embarrass us with our own inadequate equipment. Consequently, we can use their better equipment to our same result.

Anyhoo, depth of field has more aspects than just format size. Camera to subject distance, subject to background distance, focal length are all examples of how to control depth of field. The physics of photography have not changed but apparently the knowledge of them has, sadly.

Interestingly, in the 60's, 35mm (same size as Full Frame today) was considered a amateur miniature format and one of it's advantages was it's deep depth of field.

8 upvotes
rich889

Panasonic's 35-100mm f2.8 is sharp wide open and will give you great bokeh on the E-M1 as will the Olympus 75mm f 1.8.

2 upvotes
Zoron

Em-1 sensor sames as GH4 ? or inferior?

0 upvotes
igorek7

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 contains a Panasonic 34231 (MN34230 die markings) CMOS Image Sensor with on-chip phase detection pixel array http://chipworks.force.com/catalog/ProductDetails?sku=OLY-E-M1_Pri-Camera

1 upvote
bluevellet

It explains why on-sensor PDAF doesn't work so well on Sony cameras (so far anyway).

Previously, it was assumed the technology was from Sony and Olympus made it magically work better on their camera.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Whitefalcon

The in camera flash or flash add on has never been a viable solution. For that reason an external flash is recommended. Stronger flash and bounce flash are two good reasonsI am wondering if I will be able to use my Evolt 510 flash with this camera?

0 upvotes
Fri13

It has and always will be a viable solution, but not on every situation. Just like using a large flashgun is not always the best choice or a ringflash etc.

Like I use a lot the bundled flash because it fits to pocket and can be uses for portraits and macro very well by its nature.

People too often blame camera flash as terrible and advice it should never be used. But think about it. Olympus made a $1500 camera and then couldn't add a integrated flash because EVF so they bundled one small. Why? If it is so inferior, why to add? E-M1 is for professional use and why to add one when all pros has a flashgun? The fact is, do not tell what gear you can't use of you are a pro , because as creative photographer you are required to know all gear and what to use and when.
In so many situations you can't bounce flash or (red eyes). And you really don't need more than fill-flash so it doesn't need to be a huge. So often the required reason to use flashgun is because you just look pro.

0 upvotes
Whitefalcon

You can get 2 batteries and a charger on Amazon for $22.00 for this camera making the battery issue mute.
I bought some for mine. So that gives you 1000 photos you can shoot.

0 upvotes
SRHEdD

It's "moot" okay?

6 upvotes
Whitefalcon
2 upvotes
srados

2-3 years ago I was trying Oly's(many of them) in a camera show, with not so challenging lighting situation.All Olympus cameras did struggle to focus...Pentax too.I do not know did this did improved lately. I know 3 years are like 1000 years in technology terms, passed.

Canon/Nikon did not had issues in focusing...My impression from Olympus that they struggle in that(focusing) department.

2 upvotes
photohounds

Ancient history (but partly true)

0 upvotes
photogalleryonline

Funny I am selling my E-M5 OMD for just this issue, I don't know why everybody says it has great autofocusing, its crap in low light, hunts all the time back and forth in video low light, and i am talking sitting around the dinner table at a restaurant with full overhead lighting it hunts! A compact camera can do better. The Nikon D300s I have never has this problem. Does anybody own an OMD E-M1 is it any good at focusing in low light? I am wanting one for underwater photography, was going to buy a housing for the E-M5 but gave up on that idea because of this low light issue with autofocus

2 upvotes
photohounds

EM-5 slow to focus in low light?
NOT my experience

I got ten times as many keepers these evenings as The CaN IkSon bricks and bazooka brigade got (and a MUCH greater variety of shooting angles..

HERE:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts/Eurobeat-by-Supa/

...
and HERE:

http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts/Music/

Other galleries under
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts/
.. shot mostly with the OMD-EM5

The thing focussed instantly and accurately almost all the time.
Often, I could not even see the subjects without the EFV.

The 5-axis IS also helped drive the keeper rate' up.
Sounds like "the low light issue" is user error...

1 upvote
photohounds

Party last night - took the OMD as instead of my SONY or Panny P&S cams ...

Nothing critical.
I set the TOUCH screen up to SHOOT when pressed, press on display at the subject's head, WHAM!
Even in quite dim light, it nailed focus instantly (like the EM-5 does)!

Much faster than fiddling with the focus point adjustment.
It trounced the CaNikon users there and they WERE surprised.

I must use this feature more ...
Low light AF issues are NOT present with this camera OR the OMD.

Of course like EVERY cam I've ever tried, if there's strong enough backlight to cause FLARE, or there simply isn't any detail, it will hunt. If that's an "issue", learn how to use a camera!

Comment edited 50 seconds after posting
1 upvote
jim stirling

The E-M5.E-M1 have excellent S-AF and as fast as any camera the weakness and it is a very real weakness comes when you need C-AF or tracking.Along with the poorer high ISO .I speak as a long term mFT user and I currently still have the E-M1 though it will probably be sold to make way for the GH4 as video is a major interest to me. The only way Nikon users were getting worse results { AF,DR,image quality, high ISO} was if they were using P&S. Despite all its wonders the E-M1 actually managed to have slightly worse high ISO than the E-P5 etc. The 5 axis IS or any for of IS , is only advantageous in low light if you are shooting static subjects as IS has zero value for moving subjects.

1 upvote
laughingor

now the Fuji X-T1 is out. I feel that it will top EM-1 for IQ, and yet cheaper by $100. what do you all guy comment?

0 upvotes
photohounds

EM-1 usability looks superior - fewer needs for menus.
Depends if you ever need to shoot fast and not everyone does.

0 upvotes
jim stirling

The X-T1 looks to be a super camera with clearly superior image quality to the E-M1 , pity the video sucks or I would ditch mFT completly.Though to be fair the E-M1 has pretty weak video compared to the Panasonics.

0 upvotes
white shadow

For a mirrorless camera, Micro 4/3 still has a better selection of lenses and to me that is a deal breaker. The lenses are also smaller. The Fuji lenses are too big, almost equal in size to a DSLR.

Having tried the X-T1, I must say it is attractive in terms of looks but the EM1 is much more user friendly. It is also more responsive.

For image quality, the EM1 will give a crisper look with better colours. Good for landscape and general photography. The Fuji will give a better "green" if one prefer this bias. It has to do with the different sensor used.

Overall, I would prefer the EM1. Unfortunately, for the moment, the EM1 is more expensive but it has a true weather proof body with the 12-40mm f/2.8 lens. The Fuji is still trying to make its first weather proof camera.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
wilkes888

C-MOUNT LENSES

Question for EM-1 users: Has anyone tried using old C-Mount lenses? Also is there a list of 'lenses which work well' with the MFT mount cameras? I hear that some produce much better quality circles on the MFT sensor than others.

Note: I did try to search at the top of the page but it I didn't seem to bring up anything on the forums. Is there a dedicated forum search which I've missed?

0 upvotes
photohounds

Lossless compression - saves space.

Lossless means like a ZIP file or FLAC ..

ALL of the original data is recovered when opening the file and it therefore we have PRECISELY the original data with no loss at all. It has to work that way.

http://www.olympusamerica.com/crm/oneoffpages/crm_raw.asp

1 upvote
Kiril Karaatanasov

...and what battery life did you get? Is 350 frames ok for M1 since ..it is not a high profile camera as another one which too does 350 frames on a battery charge, but is evidently higher class and so is judged differently?

1 upvote
bluevellet

ha ha Kiril youj crack me up.

DPR doesn't fall in love with your A7 and you lose it, flooding other comment sections and forums with your "findings."

DPR also didn't really report about the limited bracketing (common Sony oversight) in the A7, yet I don't see you reminding them of that.

2 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov

What is limited in the A7 bracketing?

1 upvote
bluevellet

You should pay closer attention to the NEX forum, it's common complaint. Not sure if there's an app that fixes all of this (don't think so), but I know those are striking oversights with the camera without apps:

Inability to set bracketing and steps separately.

inability to set timer with bracketing (only possible with remote and even that comes with its own limitations)

Inability not to hold the shutter button with multiple bracketing steps

1 upvote
photohounds

Batteries are compact, easily three in a pocket.

If you are bracketing it is easy to get 500+ shots on one charge. Presumably the VF to shutter ratio alters the effective consumption.
Aftermarket batteries on eBay are cheap and there are even ones called full "process" or something like that - it means the original charger can be used.

They are $9 and work perfectly.

In the dark that VF dusts glass finders!

My competition could not even SEE some of the things I shot. Without the EVF, in some cases, I could not see THE ACTION either ..

http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts/Footloose-Supa/i-FcghWZ6/A

OMDs are brilliant in the dark.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jim stirling

EVFs are a major weakness in low light becoming both laggy and super noisy

0 upvotes
dcgoeb

Just double up on the frame rate. drains battery quicker, but helps eliminate EVF lagginess. Besides as far as seeing what the result will (mostly) look like, just chimp a few shots and then the camera for the best possible settings and use the EVF for overall composition and pay attention to that histogram. It tells a story that most don't seem to understand.

0 upvotes
Andy16666

I recommend against using after-market batteries. I had one expand inside my E-M5. It did some damage and I had to send it away for repair.

The good news is that the repair service from Olympus was excellent. They turned around my camera inside of a week: sent it on Monday, had it back on Friday.

0 upvotes
Kiril Karaatanasov

BTW where is the section on compressed RAW that Olypus are using and analysis of the effects of this compresison? or this is only for high profile cameras? and M1 is a.. ..not so high profile?

0 upvotes
photohounds

Lossless compression saves space and like a ZIP file or FLAC file ALL the original is recovered when opening the file.

Lossless compression WORKS that way.

READ:
http://www.olympusamerica.com/crm/oneoffpages/crm_raw.asp

1 upvote
Kiril Karaatanasov

DPR where is the "Camera hangs when multiple live view effects are turned on" Cons? Did you even try switching on the Art filters and peaking together?

ohh or you just love the camera and did not bother go that deep in the review process?

0 upvotes
photohounds

Hasn't happened to me - ever.

I just retried it, latest firmware now, but I did not see this before, either.

0 upvotes
SLOOPB

I find nothing on flash photography in here. It appears you can only use flash when using the EVF. Using live view mode darkens the results.

0 upvotes
coroander

.Just upgrading from the E-M5 after purchasing a couple of the 4/3 lenses off eBay before this camera was released. Opens up a whole new world of great lenses.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Just Ed

There are a lot of small APS-C cameras out there. Even some compact lenses to go with them.

Personally, I would not buy into 4/3'rds at this point in time. jmo

2 upvotes
McFern

Granted, APS-C cameras can be smallish since the sensors are in the same size range. 4/3 is not that much smaller as the conversion to FF is 1.85 vs 1.6 for Canon and 1.55 for Nikon. BUT, with 4/3 you don't have to deal with that old, non standard, oblong, 3/2 format. Oddly enough, in the day when film medium format was cutting edge, there was always the argument of the merits of 6x9 over 6x7 as though the oblong format would somehow make a so so picture an award winning photograph. Personally, I will never again use 3/2 format, I despise it that much. If 4/3 goes the way of the Studabaker, I will use medium format digital or just use film large and medium format. JMO

2 upvotes
coroander

APS-C fails in the lens department. There's a lack of choice from every manufacturer. Kit lenses there are plenty, but nice primes and constant aperture zooms are lacking across all manufacturers. For Canon and Nikon you constantly have to resort to full frame glass, particularly at the wide end and you end up with strange focal lengths and larger than needed lenses. For NEX it's adapted lenses because of the lack of choice and now that Sony's gone full frame all those holes in the APS-C lens line are likely never to get filled. Fuji has nice lenses, but again not many. It's hard to see that APS-C has any future at all (except as the nichest of players), too big to be small, and not supported by a decent stable of lenses.

4 upvotes
Nuno Armando

Not true with Pentax. Pentax has a very extensive APS-C lens portfolio

4 upvotes
photohounds

And mostly BAZOOKA lenses ...
I carry and EM-1, 8 lenses, FL50 flash, filters, plenty batteries, PL-200 QR, and a few other bits in a LowePro 180 Nova AW bag.

There is NO apsc or FMF (Full Marketing Frame) camera that you could even remotely do that with.
I sometimes don't know the situation so I take ALL the glass with me. Sometimes an EM-5 too.

Both OMDs leave my RB-67 in the DUST.
It had an actual picture area of 56 x 69.5mm, or about - about 4.5 times the 35mm format

Both OMDs leave it in the dust for quality. When there's time, I'll dig out some 4x5 inch negs - about 14.2 TIMES as big as FMF.
I would comfortably expect the OMDs comfortably beating 4x5 IQ. With Zuiko pro or prime lenses I'd expect better sharpness and less grain "noise" - except maybe for unprocessed night shots.

A few samples:
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/6x7-early-80s/

... t b c

0 upvotes
photohounds

3:2 was made popular by good hardware, NOT by having usable ideal proportions!
... it was rarely useful without cropping. You had to "learn the proportions" and try to shoot according to its non intuitive nature.

The proportions were NOT chosen to make good pictures!
They came about by adding 2 movie frames together, and also explains WHY the 6x9 format had VERY few users.

The VAST majority of roll film users (pretty well the only film where you had any choice in negative proportions) prefered 6x4.5 (4:3) and 6x7 (about 5:4, actually) or Hasselblad's SQUARE format (and its nice portable cameras) -NOT- the 3:2 of 6x9 format.

I saw the boxes leave the store.

FEW film formats had such weird elongation, all used a more ART-like aspect.

Pity it wasn't a much better 25x35mm format. (1.4:1)

I'm starting an informal 4:3 lens sample gallery.

http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Gear-tests

I plan to do an EM-1 and EM-5 comparisons of near identical shots soon.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
jazzybatra

Hello, I have an OMD EM5 and 75mm 1.8 lens. Most of my shots aure either out of focus or slow to focus small kids. Is this fast in OMD EM1? Is there a firmware or setting I should look at to make the focussing faster and accurate?

1 upvote
Mister H

If you're using the lens at wide aperture (such as f1.8) then it has a very narrow depth of field, so fast, relatively close to the camera children will always be a challenge. Tracking auto focus will help - it isn't brilliant on the E-M5 and is reported to be much better on the E-M1 due to its phase detection autofocus. I'm not guaranteeing it'll solve your problem though. If you post in the Micro Four-Thirds forums there are a lot of helpful people there who may be able to offer suggestions.

1 upvote
digifan

a 75 is like a 150 on 35mmFF totally the wrong lens for children up close. A 45mm is a much better choice here as it is 90mm equiv. but imo a 25mm (equiv to the nifty fifty) is the best choice.
The DOF of the 75 is so narrow it's like 8 cm on a three meter distance a challenge for any camera, a 45 the DOF is 25 cm.
I guess you're a beginner that bought into an advanced system.
Learn to use it first before spending too much money on lenses that are not suitable for the job!

0 upvotes
photohounds

It's a great lens for kids. Make sure both Lens and camera are at latest firmware levels and narrow the focussing spots. Also yurm eye focus on.

Here .. shot with lowered sharpness/contrast, NO additional lighting.no problem.

http://photohounds.smugmug.com/People/Kids/

Try to have the child move across the frame, as few longish lenses can cope with a child at close chil running towards the camera.

Gives the parents a hard time too :P

0 upvotes
Timmbits

I can't help but wonder if the MFT consortium (Panasonic, Olympus) will be offering a larger sensor at these prices! (aps or larger)

1 upvote
Timmbits

ie: put all that extra space and money to work!

1 upvote
Rocky ID Olympian

No they won't. Its at this price because of many other features. I also don't want any camera at this price that only has large sensors but without the features that E-M1 has.

1 upvote
photohounds

By that 'reasoning', an F-150 is a "better car" than a BMW ... must be .. more materials.

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
1 upvote
0E2F21A46E13411B9C93C0F0A25CB661

Andy, thank you for all your info and help. On the Olympus OM-D E-M1 can the camera generate immediately after shooting a playback of the image you just took without pressing any buttons (like Nikon)?

Thank you for your help!

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake

Yes, it can. It's configured in the Setup Menu (spanner icon), 'Rev View' - you can select how long the just-shot image will display from 0.3sec to 30sec.

1 upvote
R Johns

Nice...

Olympus in finally making some really excellent M4/3 cameras and glass. I'm almost in, but will wait to see if they will ever get around to adding a "Fully" articulating LCD on their cameras. It's almost as if they think having a limited articulating LCD is somehow a niche'. LOL...Weird...Hopefully, they'll get with the program.

I am really loving what I'm seeing, otherwise... :0)

0 upvotes
audiomarc

I originally thought the tilt screen was a step backwards compared to the fully articulated screen of my E-620. However, on second thoughts, I feel the tilt screen makes more sense on a touch screen.since it provides a more stable platform when pressing buttons.

2 upvotes
McFern

You know, the articulating LCD on the 620 was one of those "cool" features like the 'back lit buttons' that I thought would be really handy until day to day practice kinda proved differently. After moving the LCD around for a while first out of the box and saying "cool" a couple times, it rarely moves. I heavily rely on the veiwfinder, so typically, Im not going to-have time/feel like-moving it out and around. I know other's mileage may vary, but Im not sure that a non articulated LCD is a step back like an LCD that you cant see in daylight would be.

0 upvotes
R Johns

I think it's great we are living in a time where all of the camera manufactures are stepping up and producing some really fine products to choose from. Especially when the weakest links are basically subjective ones.

When I use my cameras on a tripod, the fully articulating LCD really shines, for me. When I'm handholding a camera, I prefer to have the LCD closed, which is actually another good reason I prefer a fully articulating LCD.

Still, the newer Olympus cameras are impressive... :0)

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
vaskelovo

As far as street shooting is concerned, tilting screen is preferable: it is much quicker to deploy. As far as self-shooting, E-PL5 has tilting screen which flips ~180 degrees up. Of course E-PL5 doesn't have a built-in viewfinder hump.

0 upvotes
soundsculpture

The OMD-E-M! is a great camera except for one big problem. I want to shoot HD video with it and send the HDMI output to an external video recorder. like a Sound Devices Pix. This camera will not output a video signal through HDMI while shooting, only in playback mode. For me this is a serious flaw on an otherwise great camera.

1 upvote
WhyNot

Panasonic, I believe, introduced something called pinpoint auto focus with the GX1 or G5. Does the E-M1 have a similar auto focus setting? Is this what is refereed to as Single in the Specs? If either of these is true does it work the same way with Olympus as with Panasonic?

0 upvotes
Nukunukoo

Has a nice weight/handling combo and feels comfy on my hands. Design reminds me of the Japanese Gundam... but I'm leaning towards the GX-7 at the moment.

0 upvotes
laughingor

I am struggling to choose from these two systems. May I know what is the factor you think GX 7 is over em-1 in your thoughts. Lol, just for my reference. Thx

0 upvotes
memo90061

The links to download the original videos haven't fixed yet. :/

0 upvotes
KKramer

This Oly, or its successor, will be in camera stable one day.

0 upvotes
photo perzon

No built in flash. Even the silly add on does not bounce. So you have to be that guy...the guy that blinds everybody with no bounce. The flip LCD does not allow for self biographical.

1 upvote
TJer

I've discovered that using something like a "softbox flash diffuser" add on to the flash produces the same effect; I rubber band a kleenex to the flash and achieve the same result and costs less. 

1 upvote
concert photographer

Hi, when I have made a picture with the M1, I always have to wait quite a long time to take the next. I use new very fast writing chips (90MBS/sec), but have to wait 2 sec until te camera is ready for the next picture.
Why? the last OMD was quicker.
second question: when I use an adapted telephoto lens (nikon IF-ED 4,5/300 or Leica Telyt 6,8/400) and use the magnification for focusing accuracy, I can't stabilize the viewfinder image, perhps I overlooked the user's manual? Is it possible to activate the IBIS with adapted lenses with minimum fuss? The viewfinder is not really usable without a stabilization because the image is much too unsteady.
With panasonic one have only to half-press the button of the shutter and the viewfinder is stable.
Marc

2 upvotes
GasGas

I have a EM5. Try turn off the "Reduce the noise" option. This will solve your issue.

1 upvote
Rocky ID Olympian

Number one, make sure you turn off the "rec view". Also Noise reduction should be off.

As fore the IS, you go to SCP, select IS, press OK, then press info. Adjust the focal length to the closest focal length of the lens you are using.

0 upvotes
sunberries

Just had this yesterday with the 12-40 2.8 Still trying out everything but only one thing has really been bothering me, the EVF is so sensitive that it keeps activating and thereby shutting down the screen. This even happens when viewing the pictures in Play mode, a slight pass of anything (shadow, finger, hand) over the EVF turns the screen off and goes to shooting mode. I measured the distance from which the EVF activates and it is 41mm (1.6 inches) from the rubber cup. Anybody got a fix to this?

0 upvotes
dgnelson

Just turn the auto-switch feature off, it's a nuisance. It's just as easy to go from viewfinder to LCD with a button push.

3 upvotes
photohounds

Or keep your fingers away from the eyepiece - it is seeing them and 'thinks' you've lifted the cam to your face!

I cured myself after half a dozen times. No problem now.

0 upvotes
Robert Evagelista

I had 6 Digital Cameras since 2001. And this Camera makes me Emotional.
This is the best one I have used. The one that keeps me excited everyday.
Fastest in everything, Sharpest, Cleanest, Great color, Very versatile, Complete bang for the buck. Amazing lens selection at the most reasonable price. Bleeding edge Software and functions. It makes me drop down in tears. I cant believe I was able to save up and get the pre-order and find out that it will go way above my expectation. Thank you olympus, this year was very tough for me, but you are a source of my inspiration... Looking forward to weekend adventures with you.!

7 upvotes
audiomarc

Hi Robert,

I looked up some of your shots on 500px.com . Congratulations! Some really nice pictures there, and not only when using the E-M1. You are very talented. Keep up the great work and enjoy life!

1 upvote
Gofindjp

Yep, I totally agree. I've owned many cameras, film and digital, but nothing comes close to my O-MD E-M1. Not since a stint with an OM2 Spot Program back in the '80s, have I had so much fun with, and been so impressed by a camera. So glad I offloaded my Nikon D600 and it's bulky everything. That was a nice camera too, but there are too many benefits of this system, like great little lenses, everything's more affordable, way lighter kit, more intuitive GUI, touch screen focus/shoot. I could go on...

3 upvotes
The AmsterdamWhale

Aw, hell..... now I'm misty-eyed. Really, without sarcasm....I'm not that cold-sunnovah out here trolling and tracking; hunting whatever shreds of civil discourse may still be found online, between the lines, so as to crush it and watch it die.. Nor did I ever think a comment might braid itself into a strand of human truth complete with visual, photographic storytelling.... So cool. Now that's inspiring - thanks fellas!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Ty Slothrop

Oly mentions uploading to a PC in their specs for the EM-1. Is there anything in the firmware/hardware/flatware that precludes interfacing with a Mac, or requires something that I'm overlooking? (It shouldn't matter but for complete disclosure I'm using Aperture for PP.)
2. I'm not clear if a tethered off-camera flash is fully auto TTL?
3. Is it necessary that the cable be a dedicated Oly product to an Oly flash unit?
If my questions reflect some confusion and don't make sense please feel free to reframe them as needed.
Many thanks, Ty

0 upvotes
Richard Earney

There is an Olympus app for the Mac - you connect the camera via the provided cable and check for and install firmware updates via the app. All works fine!

1 upvote
Rocky ID Olympian

Yes, off camera flash is fully auto TTL.

0 upvotes
photohounds

AND off-camera flash can also be wireless :) No tether needed.

0 upvotes
seri_art

It's the same size as my XSi and 10% heavier. What did it do with the should-have size advantage of the 4/3 sensor and lack of a mirror?

0 upvotes
alendrake

It has smaller volume. So when diving you have more chances to be unnoticed by the fish.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Dr Aref

XSi is a consumer grade SLR without
1. Magnesium alloy body
2. Tilting & much higher resolution screen
3. Weather proofing
4. High speed burst till 9 frames/sec
5. Continuous focusing in full HD movies (XSi can take movie)
6. Much smaller form factor when coupled with MFT pancake lenses like Lumix 20mm F1.7. There more................
I really wonder why you wanted to compare XSi with EM-1.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
yabokkie

the operation is better for E-M1 and I hope Canon and Nikon entry-level SLRs could catch up.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian

Umh... comparing with XSi, you should compare it with E-PM2, which I think would be the same class and market. Not to E-M1. Too many features that XSi dont have.

0 upvotes
photohounds

What do you "need" a mirror for?
Shake the camera more? Adjust make-up?

The brilliant EVF, dusts any OVF for dim light work - period.

OMD's shine in dim light. To Wit: http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts

2 upvotes
alendrake

A question to DPReview team:

I was comparing the lowlight and daylight charts of Olympus E-M1 and Panasonic G6 and I noticed that G6 output is much softer in daylight test than in lowlight. Unfortunately I can't attach screenshots in the comment, but you will easily notice this issue, for example at ISO 200 when comparing the resolution test circles with radial lines. Most probably there was some difference in G6 settings in daylight and lowlight tests. I just wonder what could be the cause of that? Thanks

0 upvotes
yabokkie

> much softer in daylight test than in lowlight.

it's the noise that makes images look "sharper"
why people prefer D800E over D800.

ISO really means readout and process than exposure and even for exposure/metering ISO doesn't tell it right when you go to check a small portion of the image.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Michael Jardine

Just be aware that you cannot stream photos onto your smartphone while you are shooting (great for live blogging and tweeting of events); the software only works when it's controlling the camera.

0 upvotes
PGen

Can I have some advice/feedback on the quality/usefulness of electronic viewfinders? My reference is the optical viewfinder in a pre-digital SLR, which I liked very much.

0 upvotes
audiomarc

You might want to read this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_viewfinder

as well as read this thread:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52591454

My personal experience with electronic viewfinders is with older cameras (Olympus E-100RS and Minolta Dimage 7i). They were pretty bad. Although they did not prevent me from shooting good pictures, I much prefer the optical viewfinder of my E-510 and E-620 which are currently in my camera bag. Cameras with 24x36 sensors (aka Full Frame) and even APS-C sensors have bigger and brighter viewfinders than OVF in 4/3 models but these cameras are generally too large and heavy to suit my needs. Other prefer them. To each his own.

As much as I like my current cameras with OVF, my next camera will likely use an EVF.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
samfan

IMHO, the best EVFs are about equal to the worst (mirror) SLR finders.

Advantages - they can be larger, they provide lots of detail, you can see white balance, exposure directly and picture styles in the finder (more or less) and usually provide a more visible image in the dark.

Disadvantages: overall they just look like TVs: contrasty, with lover resolution and unreal colors. They're shiny/bright, which can be distracting when shooting in the dark. You can often see the noise. Sometimes the color balance is quite off. Often not fast enough for action photography (though not really an issue these days i think). You also have to keep them on all the time in order to shoot together with the imaging sensor, i.e. battery drain and potential heat issues.

So compared to low-end DSLRs, the best EVFs are about equal.. Compared to pentaprism OVFs in better DSLRs, EVFs are still pretty crap though they have some advantages in some situations.

0 upvotes
yabokkie

EVFs are not so good but usable, especically if the user is willing to accept it.

the most unpleasant may be the color balance, and may be that's why many people close their left eye when peeping into an EVF.

0 upvotes
Rocky ID Olympian

The advantage in DSLR compared to film in my opinion, is the ability to see the result instantly AFTER we shoot. Well, using EVF the most useful benefit is, we can preview the result BEFORE we shoot. So, the most important benefits for photographers would be: More precise shooting. We set the WB right, exposure right, etc from the very beginning. Shoot more, less chimping.

0 upvotes
photohounds

Even the EVF in the EM-5 which I still have is quite usable.

One had to "learn" that the VF dims when testing DOF with a preview.
No more.

One had to "learn' to guess focus in really dim light or accept some camera guess.
No more.

The EM-5 (and especially the EM-1) finder gives you pretty well the look of the file it will create (with the current settings!) and they are good files indeed.
.
The EM1- has no noticeable graininess is and very sharp indeed (when actually using the camera to TAKE PICTURES, that is) . It gives nothing important away to OVFs and in fast action you turn the image preview off and it's pretty smooth and fast too. OVF had a slight edge there.

The EVFs absolutely leaves OVFs in the Dust when you are shooting scenes like this ..

http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts

.. cont

0 upvotes
photohounds

.... cont

And in bright light? Well let's go straight to the brightest light in the soar system ..
http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Nature/Gazing/i-vqv5hmh/A

You'd even CONSIDER looking through an OVF at this?

Real use is far more relevant (to me) than some technical discussion that hinges on nostalgia and on how well pentaprisms are ground and silvered.

If EVFs were available in 1936 do you really think the Germans would have bothered grinding a lump of glass?
Not likely ...

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2065
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