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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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Olympus OM-D E-M1

Comments

Total comments: 2127
12345
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (6 months ago)

"Its Four Thirds sensor is smaller than the APS-C imagers of its Nikon D7100 and Canon EOS 70D peers, but we think the difference it makes in real world shooting is hard to spot. You need to put the E-M1 up against a full frame camera to really see a significant difference in image quality."

If the Space Needle shot is any indication, the D7100 thoroughly trounces this good offering from Olympus for subjects wanting lots of intricate detail. It's by no means a difficult call. The bar has been raised and the price of admission lowered.

4 upvotes
PDidd117w3n7y
By PDidd117w3n7y (6 months ago)

that pic uses an art filter....idiot

6 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Haha, and I fell for it too :-)

Actually I never really looked at that picture as I am interested in good quality. The first sample they post is purposely degraded using a "Grainy Film Art Filter". Don't know what they were thinking. Probably they wanted to be artists too, for once :-) Silly ...
Still Reilly Diefenbach is not an idiot :-)
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2731320/p9240316?inalbum=olympus-om-d-em-1-final-review-samples

0 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

Dumb comment.

1 upvote
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (6 months ago)

I'm referring to the Space Needle shot on page 15 "raw image quality," you numbnuts.

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

He is right, again, there is noise at base ISO, even in the clear blue sky. Looks like the sensor is just too small to capture high quality images.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/samples/raw/PA010046-ACR.jpg

0 upvotes
Reilly Diefenbach
By Reilly Diefenbach (6 months ago)

Space Needle, Raw Image quality, page 15, gentlemen!

1 upvote
Karl Gnter Wnsch
By Karl Gnter Wnsch (6 months ago)

Why didn't you test the focusing performance in a more relevant scenario - where you use a tele zoom lens of 200 or 300mm length and not those piddly wide angle lenses? A big fail to put the finger on the sore wound that is focusing performance of this camera when challenged!

5 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Classic. Similar mistake was done by plenty of reviewers for Nikon 1 - where they tried to test AF and concluded its brilliant only forgetting that depth of field reaches everywhere from 10 meters in front of target to 20 meters behind it. o_O

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

It's not by mistake, Plastek, they are usually just trying to sell as many cameras as possible while looking unbiased.

0 upvotes
mrdancer
By mrdancer (6 months ago)

I was waiting for DPReview to do a full review of the GX7, but I suspect it will be very similar to this review. It looks like Olympus has adopted some of the in-camera features that the GX7 has, such as the color tool and intervalometer.

I've been shooting with a GX7 for a week or so now. It's low-light capabilities have surprised me. The starlight photos are, well, stellar! With shutter set to 60 seconds with the F1.4 lens, I can capture thousands (millions?) of stars in the backdrop of a sharply-focused tree or un-lit building(although the stars appear slightly blurry due to earth's rotation during the 60 seconds - at least they all blur in the same direction!). It even captures stars when there are bright landscape lights on the horizon.

Of course, shorter shutter speeds reduce star movement, but don't quite capture the depth that a million or so stars can create.

4 upvotes
falconeyes
By falconeyes (6 months ago)

millions of stars create millions of white pixels, or a white wall :)

Number of stars visible to a human eye under perfect conditions is about 2000.

The challenge with night photography is to capture the starry night w/o trails and blur. A fast 35mm-equivalent F/1.4 35mm, or F/2.8 14mm, can do the trick. Exposure should be less than 30s, dep. on the focal length.

With a long exposure, any camera can capture the stars.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Raskolnikow90
By Raskolnikow90 (6 months ago)

stellar =D

there is also a new trick from pentax, to use the IBIS to compensate for "startrailing"
Astrotracer:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentax-k-5-ii-k-5-ii-s/7

0 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

falconeyes - in defense of the OP, keep in mind that once you have a camera set up for longer exposure (30-60 seconds), you will pick up a lot more stars than you would see with the naked eye. That is a fact.

0 upvotes
aandegoons
By aandegoons (6 months ago)

Nice looking large camera. Seems a bit expensive given it's limited photo and lens capabilities.

It would be nice if Olympus could release a camera that would not limit you to certain types of photography. Especially in this price range and size.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (6 months ago)

aandegoons, yes of course Medium format cameras are not limited at all, neither are 35mm cameras.

2 upvotes
leno
By leno (6 months ago)

The only limit is your imagination

15 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

in what way is this limited? IQ on par with APSC. Apart from tracking, camera performance is pro grade. Glass is small & extremely high quality optically and plenty of fast glass. Build is pro grade.

The only m4/3 glass that are of poor quality are the kit glass. Everythign else is mostly considered exceptional.

0 upvotes
digitalanalog
By digitalanalog (6 months ago)

Optional nick name: OMG EM1

3 upvotes
Zvonimir Tosic
By Zvonimir Tosic (6 months ago)

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” ― Dorothea Lange, American documentary photographer and photojournalist

If this camera allows people same that aim Dorothea talks about, then it is a perfect camera for all those who find it sufficing and made for their taste, and I can see, many can. I wouldn't mind either.

Everything else, like 80% of nonsense in these comments, is irrelevant.

6 upvotes
photobeans
By photobeans (6 months ago)

After about 2 years of carrying around m43 cameras and lenses I can't go back to larger DSLRs. I stuff my m43 and 2 lenses in the small back pocket for a hiking trip and I don't even notice it. What's worse is when you have small kids with baby bottles, clothes, extra food, and still need to carry a camera. M43 is a blessing. Image quality is really good enough for the majority of shooters.

17 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (6 months ago)

A lot of people I know have made the same decision, despite some saying that the smaller camera would be a back-up system.

2 upvotes
JadedGamer
By JadedGamer (6 months ago)

Personally, I cannot be without the strength workout that hand-holding a 5D mk III plus 100mm macro plus Sigma's ring flash gives me :)

3 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (6 months ago)

I hang EM5 around my neck and stick the 2 spare lenses in my pockets!
A table top tripod and a polariser and lens cloth and off I go.
Then off I go.

I love my D7000 - but I certainly can't go out shooting with a pair of business slacks and a business shirt as my camera bag with the D7000.

0 upvotes
Allen Yang
By Allen Yang (6 months ago)

I prefer Nikon D7100 to this!

5 upvotes
George Veltchev
By George Veltchev (6 months ago)

who cares indeed ... but I just wonder is there a camera with more ridiculous code name .. OK ... lets repeat... OM D E M1 ... well bad, bad starting point Olympus ! Why don't you call it simply DeLorean DMC-12 ... from the Back to the Future film trilogy. It looks exactly the same as the car of that time !

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Rupert Bottomsworth
By Rupert Bottomsworth (6 months ago)

George, why can't you just call it the EM1? Seems simple enough to me.

15 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (6 months ago)

George, how about "Canon EOS Rebel T5i"? "Nikon 1 AW1"? "Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7"? Or maybe even "Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II"?

Most cameras sound stupid if use their full make, series and model number.

11 upvotes
Segaman
By Segaman (6 months ago)

Yep, ridiculous names, as worst as a Big Mac ingredients sheet
Then again, there is a lot of technology under the hood, and they use it to sell a camera.

1 upvote
leno
By leno (6 months ago)

Because it is Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark .

4 upvotes
BBking83
By BBking83 (6 months ago)

I guess you don't know Olympus' history then, do you George. Like the OM film cameras. And the D couldn't possibly stand for... Wait for it. DIGITAL!!

As for E-M1. Olympus have always used E for their SLRs, so M is for Micro (mirrorless). 1, well I'm sure you can cope with that.

1 upvote
AlpCns2
By AlpCns2 (6 months ago)

Camera names and/or model designations are completely irrelevant.

0 upvotes
ChromeDome
By ChromeDome (6 months ago)

BBking83 - I'm with you up until the "1" bit. I don't get that. Why did my EM-5 start at "5" and not "1" surely someone in marketing, way back when, could spot the numbering anomaly? If EM-5 had been "1" then this camera could have been "2"

What happens when EM-1 becomes 2 then 3 then 4 then doh! ???

1 upvote
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (6 months ago)

@ChromeDome "What happens when EM-1 becomes 2 then 3 then 4 then doh! ???"

Probably the same as the Canon 1D / 5D, where you'll get the EM-1 mk2/3/4 etc.

1 upvote
RichRMA
By RichRMA (6 months ago)

For those who think the camera costs too much, the E-5, the ancient DSLR this replaces, was $1800 new, for the body.

3 upvotes
boggis the cat
By boggis the cat (6 months ago)

US$1700, back in 2009. ("Ancient", apparently.)

0 upvotes
CollBaxter
By CollBaxter (6 months ago)

Boggis.

E-5 = US$1699 a month or 2 ago. :) All gone with no fire sales.

Comment edited 37 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

And back in '80s you paid for each photograph taken. Who cares?!

2 upvotes
Brooks11
By Brooks11 (6 months ago)

Thinking about purchasing this camera. I would like some feedback on how this camera works with the 7-14mm Lumix lens. Specifically fringing.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (6 months ago)

Olympus does CA correction for Olympus lenses only... so far..

0 upvotes
klauser
By klauser (6 months ago)

wrong

1 upvote
bluevellet
By bluevellet (6 months ago)

pdelux, did you even read the review? They talk about software correction on Panasonic lenses in the "Features" section.

Brooks1, they didn't test all lenses though. Gordon Laing at Cameralabs tested the lens you are interested in and noticed some purple flare artefacts when used with the EM1. You should check it out.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (6 months ago)

I really amazes me that people would buy, or consider buying, a camera of this sophistication (in the good sense) and then shooting JPEGs! The CA/defringing capacity of most RAW converters surely makes these problems a minor consideration. Flare's another matter of course.

2 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (6 months ago)

Enjoy your purple flare!

3 upvotes
Don051348
By Don051348 (6 months ago)

SeeRoy...

And if the camera (any camera actually) can produce excellent OOC Jpegs why not use it? Using in camera software vs software on a PC; does it really matter which one you use if it produces the desired results? Software is software; doesn't really matter where it physically resides.

3 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (6 months ago)

I Stand corrected, didn't see the features section.

0 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (6 months ago)

I notice that we no longer get comprehensive examples of the menu system UI in your reviews. It sounds like Olympus has made no progress simplifying camera configuration. That was the worst aspect of the E-M5, and the UI doesn't get much more friendly with familiarity. Finding and changing infrequently used settings is annoying with the complex and sometimes obtuse Olympus UI. It's also too bad that with a little extra bulk, Olympus didn't include a fully articulating display. Nice cameras.

1 upvote
SeeRoy
By SeeRoy (6 months ago)

Yes indeed. Even after more than a year of continuous use I manage to blunder into unwanted VF modes and struggle to escape, not helped by the tiny buttons and a control layout that never becomes second nature. God help anyone for whom this is their first "proper" camera.

1 upvote
boggis the cat
By boggis the cat (6 months ago)

Well, the solution to highly configurable cameras is to gradually set them up how you want. Then you use the user presets system ("Mysets" in Olympus speak) to store your setup(s).

I also prefer the "Super Control Panel" to the Canon-esque "Live Control" interface, to give you better access to functions.

1 upvote
Yohan Pamudji
By Yohan Pamudji (6 months ago)

Is there a mistake at ISO 6400 on the daylight studio shot? Up to ISO 3200 compared to the E-M5 and E-P5 the E-M1 is almost identical. Then at 6400 the E-M1 is very smudgy compared to the other 2. At 12800 they're comparable again. The problem doesn't seem to occur in the low light studio shots at ISO 6400 so it shouldn't be the camera at fault.

2 upvotes
jonathanj
By jonathanj (6 months ago)

Thank you for a very comprehensive review delivered extremely quickly! Sorry to point out 1 (very minor!) point, on the wi-fi page, where next to the screen shot of the app you say:
"• Remote Control - operate the camera from your phone or tablet. The mode is limited to iAuto only, but you can specify your desired focus point and set a self timer."
But later on down the page it's clear this mode works in PASM modes too. Did you copy that bit from the E-P5 Review? :-)

Comment edited 27 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

Dear DPR, objective, quantitative testing of tracking performance please?

10 upvotes
white shadow
By white shadow (6 months ago)

Agree.

Where is the quantitative testing of tracking performance?

I have tried this camera during the launch more than a month ago and found the tracking focus not really up to my expectation. I need an independant confirmation whether I am right or wrong. It would be good if DPR or someone out there can shoot a bird flying across the frame or a motorbike zooming across. I know I would be able to do it with my Canon 1DX and the EF 400 mm f/2.8L IS.

2 upvotes
Rockaw
By Rockaw (6 months ago)

Seriously. You're asking a $1400 camera to meet or surpass the $12,000 combo of 1DX and 400 F/2.8L lens. If it can't do it, it must be TRASH, right? If it gets 80% there, I would regard the E-M1 as a huge WINNER.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
32 upvotes
DaveE1
By DaveE1 (6 months ago)

@Rockaw: It's a reasonable request.

2 upvotes
Brian Wadie
By Brian Wadie (6 months ago)

". It would be good if DPR or someone out there can shoot a bird flying across the frame or a motorbike zooming across."

have a look here:

http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/thruxton-race-meet-12-10-2013-19933

and

here

http://imagesfromnature.foliopic.com/gallery/hawk-conservancy-trust-15-10-13-19977

1 upvote
Ramyeah
By Ramyeah (6 months ago)

Good series Brian...
Impressive shots indeed and demonstrates how the CAF works very well now.
And your prior experience with 7D is quite relevant to get a comparative perspective as well..
Cheers.

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

If you've used the EM5, take that tracking as a benchmark. Now make it 90% accurate tracking a moderately moving target. That's the EM1's tracking performance.

It's usable and mostly reliable now relative to the useless tracking of the EM5.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (6 months ago)

Guys, "objective, quantitative" means repeatable (by other reviewers too) and expressed as an easy to understand number, for the topic it would be "well-focused frames per second" on a controlled subject with controlled speed, trajectory and level of light (both daylight level and gym level are interesting, especially the latter). Not just some bird or some bike in some unique circumstances which would never be exactly repeated to compare with other cameras.

1 upvote
Brian Wadie
By Brian Wadie (6 months ago)

Can't argue with that peeve,

however, I put the pics up in response to this plea:

" It would be good if DPR or someone out there can shoot a bird flying across the frame or a motorbike zooming across"

so it wasn't there to satisfy your requirements (its over to DPR or some other outfit that cares to do that for you :) )

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (6 months ago)

IMO a bit dissapointed to see that the continuous AF section of the review is completely pulled from an Olympus press event shooting white riders on top of white horses. Would have liked to see the extra effort towards continuous AF. I mean its an Olympus press even showcasing the EM-1...in a way the shooting environment is controlled by Olympus.

7 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (6 months ago)

"True, you can switch out a heavy zoom for a lightweight prime on a DSLR and get something of the same feeling, but the DSLR doesn't transition into the role of a take-me-anywhere camera quite like a Micro Four Thirds body does"

And yet somehow we do manage to take our DSLRs everywhere with us and certainly to the same places we'd take the almost-as-large as Canon SL1 E-M1. SL1 and 40mm pancake is actually lighter by 70g than E-M1 + 17 f1.8/20f1.7.

What you said might be true for the smaller PEN style bodies but E-M1 is getting seriously large and straying away from the small and compact concept. It's larger and heavier than Sony A7(R) twins!

Certainly wouldn't upgrade from my E-M5 for this one.

5 upvotes
Impulses
By Impulses (6 months ago)

The body is still only a third of the equation... A 10x super zoom on MFT is the size of a 3x kit zoom on a DSLR. Similarly, there's no comparison between f/2.8 zooms... If you're sticking with primes it might not matter much, but for a lot of others there's still a very tangible difference even with a body as large as the EM1...

It's not my preference either, though if I was made of money I'd certainly grab one. There's something appealing about a system that can scale from a GM1 to an EM1! I'm fairly new to it so I only have the one body at the moment, but I could seemyself with two in the future.

2 upvotes
JBurnett
By JBurnett (6 months ago)

It's all about finding your own PERSONAL blend of size, weight, usability, IQ, etc. I have a friend (enthusiast, NOT professional) who takes two Canon bodies (1-full-frame, 1-APS), and a whole raft of L-lenses from 16mm to 400mm in a giant backpack wherever he goes. I take a Panny G3, two small zooms and a fast prime in a tiny shoulder bag to the same locations. Am I jealous of his equipment or his pictures? Absolutely not. I very much respect his ability as a photographer, but it has nothing to do with his equipment.

0 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (6 months ago)

Well, when the SL1 has weather sealing and a viewfinder as big as a Canon 1DX and can use four thirds lenses then I'll consider it. In the meantime....

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Why would you want to use 4/3 lenses instead of Canon glass?!

To counter your point: I guess I would consider EM1 if it'd offer APS-C or larger sensor and an optical viewfinder.

1 upvote
Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (6 months ago)

Because its the Canon *glass* that weighs my backpack down, not the body(s).

0 upvotes
Jon Ragnarsson
By Jon Ragnarsson (6 months ago)

Yes, if only you could find smaller/lighter m43 cameras to choose from if weight was your concern...

0 upvotes
ericnats73
By ericnats73 (6 months ago)

Olympus had outdone itself again. For micro 4/3 users, this is the best camera available right now. APSC and Full-Frame users need not to worry coz their IQ and DR would always be better due to their sensor size. I got this camera coz of its compatibility with the old 4/3 lenses I have and it's light weight and weather-sealed.

Kudos olympus for a job well done!

6 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (6 months ago)

Not if your APSC camera is a Canon.

2 upvotes
alatchin
By alatchin (6 months ago)

Greater OOC JPEG control, greater connectivity and greater lens selection.

I can now use my growing set of m43rds primes, or my family of superb 43rds optics on the same camera. Brilliant.

What gets me is the connectivity and creative control in camera, the personalization of colour allowed in camera, the ability for me to fine tune, tweak and perfect my very own look from tone control to hue to saturation... in camera.

Why is the in camera so important to me... Because I sit in front of a computer all day for my work... the less I have to do for my photography the better.

Superb.

5 upvotes
IZO100
By IZO100 (6 months ago)

This review before the Canon 70D ? Why ?

What is the market share of this toy again ??

8 upvotes
Light Bender
By Light Bender (6 months ago)

Oh dear, well you won't like how this 'toy' outperforms the 70D sensor in all areas except high ISO according to DXO...

I'm pretty sure it outperforms the 70D in most other areas too...darn 'toys'...

26 upvotes
RichRMA
By RichRMA (6 months ago)

A line-up of cookie-cutter black DSLRs is beginning to look like those old shots of the Soviet Politburo octogenarians.

8 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (6 months ago)

@RichRMA:
After all these years, DSLRs STILL outsell MILCs by a ratio of 4:1. Market share for MILCs has remained stagnant in the last few years.

5 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (6 months ago)

The Canon EOS 70D has been conducted in tandem with the E-M1 - it's just that the Olympus review got finished a fraction earlier. The 70D will follow shortly.

8 upvotes
DaddyG
By DaddyG (6 months ago)

It would be interesting for DPR to segregate such reviews into performance by photographic subject, e.g. sports/wedding/landscape/macro (etc) performance compared to competition. Comparing MILC v APS-C would be interesting in this format.

2 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (6 months ago)

@photo nuts:
Family sedans outsells sporty coupés, so what's your point?

4 upvotes
Olymore
By Olymore (6 months ago)

And Ford and GM outsell BMW and Mercedes. It always amazes me when people look at the sales figures as proof that something is better. I suppose it makes them feel 'safe' that they went with the same as everyone else instead of evaluating what is best for their needs.

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

flipmac - only here m4/3 is like a Sedan and DSLRs are like Sport cars. So in did - that's an achievement worth a note.

Comment edited 21 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
sanchil
By sanchil (6 months ago)

I guess dpr follows the dictum "quality first and then quantity"

0 upvotes
sanchil
By sanchil (6 months ago)

@plastek ... dSLR's are more like pickup trucks ... bigger ... n better .... depending upon how u choose to live ur life ...

3 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

Anyone who considers the EM1 a toy is just not a photographer. At all. How's that medium format working for you when you carry it around your neck to an event shoot?

I'd rather take the toy, thank you very much.

2 upvotes
sadwitch
By sadwitch (6 months ago)

Handled one briefly and must say the EVF is definitely a step up, FF vf sized with more fluid response than the GX7 or fuji's Xe. Continuous FPS is really fast too with a very light flutter and shutter sound seem even more damped compared to EM5. AF is blazingly fast which DPR failed to list in their pros. Its a camera or system that needs to be experienced as a whole to see it's benefits. For those who can't see pass its 'small' sensor size, your depth of view are as narrow as your FF or MF or LF systems.

4 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (6 months ago)

"depth of view"I have to remember this one :) brilliant ! wishing for this omd like a little kid waiting for that one birthday present, could not care less for depth of view debate :P

1 upvote
steven_k
By steven_k (6 months ago)

I would have stuck with Olympus, but even with the new EM-1 at base ISO do a comparison RAW ISO 200 to the Fuji X-Pro then hover the blue square on the color checker chart. Olympus has very visible noise where as the Fuji has none.
Even at ISO 100 which basically giving the Oly one more stop of light there is still noise. What's up with that?

Don't get me wrong the Olyqmpus is an amazing over all camera, but for me a base ISO shooter, like to shot landscapes at F8, the Fuji produces a noise free image.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Brett Goodhew
By Brett Goodhew (6 months ago)

I have owned the x-pro for more than a year and love it. But the autofocus, write speeds and evf (when I need it) are all horrible. Image quality is sublime, imo.
A few days ago, I bought the Olympus EM1 with the 12-40mm. That lens is fantastic. But I have obviously been spoilt by the Fuji's IQ because the Olympus IQ is disappointing. I'd be reluctant to use this camera beyond iso400. I cannot for the life of me see how dpr can say that the EM1's image quality is pretty much the same as the X-Pro. The EM-1 has a lot of things going for it, but great image quality isn't one of them. The autofocus, write speeds and evf easily trump the x-pro. (yes, I know the x-pro has an ovf. but sometimes you need the evf!) I'll keep both and use them for different applications.

5 upvotes
CharlesTokyo
By CharlesTokyo (6 months ago)

How do you compare image quality? I look at my final prints and there isn't a difference between the E-M1/5 or a Fuji body. Maybe at a specific size barrier or specific ISO one might have a noticeable difference, but it's just getting used to your camera. Often I have to add noise to my prints to get them to look more natural as it is. The ultra clean Fuji files aren't exactly an advantage for me.

1 upvote
steven_k
By steven_k (6 months ago)

Charles, I print my own images on my HPZ3200 24" printer.
I printed numerous 16x20 from my now sold Oly EM-5 and for landscapes my Fuji produces a mush cleaner looking print.

Believe me I am no Fuji Fanboy, As Brett pointed out! the EVF sucks IMHO on the X-E1 but for static subjects it does the job.

I will repeat, the Oly is for sure a better al around camera yet to me does not excel at anything, it's just good at everything, which fork 99% of us is good enough.

For what I shoot I am still saving up for a used Leica M9

2 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

@Brett,

Sounds like you're spoiled by the X-Pro. You have to understand that camera IQ pretty much trounces everything in its class; but its overall performance is pretty abysmal for pro use.

I think Steve Huff said it best; There's no camera makers making bad cameras nowadays; it's just a matter of what you want and what you need it for.

I shoot events so the absolute performance gain of the OMD's are of a much higher priority for me considering that all cameras now produce good IQ.

0 upvotes
DougVaughn
By DougVaughn (6 months ago)

Some have posted below that image quality isn't up to full frame standards, and I will agree my 5DIII with L lenses can beat the OMD when pixel peeping. I purchased the E-M5 for the combination of size/weight/quality and have upgraded to the E-M1 for the same reason. At 49, the weight of the FF DSLR and lenses hurts my back after a couple hours, but I can walk all day with the Olympus and a lens or two.

By the way, my E-M1 arrived on Friday, and I took it out shooting for the first time on Saturday. It produced my favorite image of the year, and when it gets right down to it, what I want from a camera is something that gets the job done in real world shooting as opposed to tests in a lab.

11 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Image quality of this camera isn't even up to current generation of APS-C sensors found in DSLRs for half the price of EM1. If you care mostly about image quality - EM1 is not a camera for you.

3 upvotes
david vella
By david vella (6 months ago)

Simply not true Plastek , let us see your images that prove your statement in any meaningful, real world photographic situation.

Total tosh in fact , look at the work of Neil Buchan-Grant and then compare it with your efforts using APS-C at any price. Please let us see if your statement is actually fact, or merely biased opinion.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (6 months ago)

@plastek,

pretty much every professional review and end-user review of the OMD EM5 and now the EM1, states there is no appreciable difference between what you get out of the OMD sensors and what you get out of the APSC sensors except depth of field differences.

I've used a bunch of midrange DSLR and the OMD EM5 IQ trounces them in absolute IQ. It's competitive with higher end APSC. I also used to own a Nex7 with Zeiss - that produced lovely images in good light but the IQ difference was neglible with the Nex 7 obviously showing more detail for its 24mp sensor, but in all other ways, they were effectively neck & neck even at base ISO.

You are the ONLY person I've ever heard say the OMD performs at low end APSC. That's simply not true. Even against the very best APSC sensor/camera, the OMD would only lose out by maybe 1/3 a stop - and frankly, you're not paying 1/2 price for that.

2 upvotes
budi0251
By budi0251 (6 months ago)

Where is Olympus Pen F with 1/2 frame sensor a.k.a. APS-C sized?

They did it back around 40 years ago, now technology has advanced tremendously, so where is it today?

2 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

It was NOT a sensor back then. Sheesh! And the half frame is NOT the size of APS-C.

1 upvote
rfsIII
By rfsIII (6 months ago)

Half frame was around 24x18mm, APS-C is slightly smaller at 23.6x15.7, micro 4/3rds sensors are about 17x13.

As to whether a strip of acetate coated with a light-sensitive emulsion can be called a sensor, that's a bar discussion.

2 upvotes
jkrumm
By jkrumm (6 months ago)

You mean, where is the completely new lens system for a new mount not much larger?

1 upvote
david vella
By david vella (6 months ago)

Have you seen the work of Neil Buchan Grant or Steve Huff taken with the EM5,EM1/EP5 and various M4/3s lenses?

Neil's pictures in particular are spectacular, and really show what these 'small sensor' system cameras are really capable of in the right creative hands. Forget sensor size and look at the images and their content.

The M4/3s system as a whole from EM1 to GM1 has most bases covered , other than the extremes, and is more than 99.9 % of posters on this forum need in the real world of worthwhile image making.

If OTOH measurebators want to photograph brick walls and pixel peep all day long ,well jolly good luck and enjoy your strange pastime, but it has nothing to do with photography .

2 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

"not much larger" - lol

0 upvotes
u43
By u43 (6 months ago)

I don't understand why dpreview complains of a "lack of detail resolution" in the E-M1's video footage. I can read street signs and car license plates just fine in dpreviews own E-M1 video sample: https://vimeo.com/76649713 And I see no glaring moire or artifacts and just a hint of focus hunting. So I don't understand why reviewers are continually knocking the E-M1's video output.

6 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

They have to have something nonsensical to complain about. After all, it is a great camera, but they just can't admit it. And the video features of the E-M1 are what 99.5% of us would use and be happy with. The other 0.5% are actual videographers who will need to figure out if it is good enough for them.

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
CharlesTokyo
By CharlesTokyo (6 months ago)

I agree with both of you. For serious people the E-M1 may lack some features they require, but for the rest of us the video quality is quite good. I love IBIS more than any special frame rate options or higher bit rates.

4 upvotes
Darrell500
By Darrell500 (6 months ago)

What I like is you can use the 4/3 lenses with this body and for those that don't already know they are some of the best lenses ever made for any format. When I travel I can remove the grip and adapter and mount a mZuiko 14-150 and maybe throw a macro in the bag and I'm ready to go.

Want narrow depth of field for shooting a wedding attach, a 35-100 f2 (70-200 FOV) on one body and a 14-35 f2 on another and your in narrow depth of field heaven, with sharpness that will rival and exceed most any other camera.

So hats off to all of you that are so good that this sensor size holds you back, please provide a link so that I may view these wonderful photos that the EM-1 or any 4/3rds camera isn't capable of.

4 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

I shot with my E-5 and 43 lenses (12-60 and 50-200 SWD) 10 months ago in Antarctica. Now I can use the E-M1 in similar environments with those same GREAT lenses.

3 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (6 months ago)

You have to find two stops to match the creative DOF control of full-frame at equivalent crops. f/2.0 vs. f/2.8 is far from DOF equivalence, let alone "heaven". But go ahead and work closer so you can pretend. BTW, I have a full MFT system and an FX system. Horses for courses.

1 upvote
olypan
By olypan (6 months ago)

You have to find two stops to match the creative DOF control of full-frame at equivalent crops. f/2.0 vs. f/2.8 is far from DOF equivalence, let alone "heaven". But go ahead and work closer so you can pretend. BTW, I have a full MFT system and an FX system. Horses for courses.

So do I, and you are talking nonsense. My D600 is a HUGE disappointment !

1 upvote
photo nuts
By photo nuts (6 months ago)

Wow, it's been a long while since DPReview reviews a camera so soon after launch. The last time this happened was during the Canon 350D-400D era. :)

9 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (6 months ago)

Yawn. Too much of an "in-betweener." Give me a $2K full frame, 35mm equiv. RXxx something or other. Point and shoots are the way to go. Interchangeable lenses are so unnecessary. LMAO!

1 upvote
Gesture
By Gesture (6 months ago)

What is shutter shock?

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

The shutter used here is a small lid, opening and closing typically within a fraction of a second to get the exact moment you want to capture. This curtain's fast action can shake the camera, capturing an object at different locations in the same image, producing a small effect of seeing double images :-)

0 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (6 months ago)

Thanks. Hard to believe Olympus couldn't damper it somehow.

1 upvote
Iskender
By Iskender (6 months ago)

Everything points to there being an effective anti-shake technology available: it's called a "heavy camera". Unfortunately it's not always possible to use this technology with mirrorless cameras. =)

Sony have solved this problem with an electronic first shutter curtain (basically having the mechanical shutter do less work), but Olympus/Panasonic do not have this technology. Or at least they haven't used it yet.

2 upvotes
Gesture
By Gesture (6 months ago)

I think the EOS-M has the electronic first shutter curtain, also. Wonder what Samsung and Fuji have.

0 upvotes
SirSeth
By SirSeth (6 months ago)

To my eyes, this looks like a very good camera for a lot of folks. For those wanting a very high quality carry everywhere camera as a companion to a FF system, it would be great. For those looking for their first enthusiast system camera--also great. For those that value a robust sealed system without the Pro price, or a tilt LCD and large VF that entry level DSLRs lack, good news. Better set of lenses than any other mirrorless camera too. The IQ is competitive to any APS-C camera in real world shooting. Adding excellent 5-axis IS for all lenses (even legacy and macro) may actually mean using lower ISOs than needed on other cameras. It's a much smaller as a system, with small lighter body and lenses without sacrificing ergonomics or control options. No it's not for everyone, but my bet is that for most people who are not wanting the cost, size, and weight of a FF DSLR, this is a serious contender.

7 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

"without the Pro price" - seriously? You just said it under EM1 review? Forgot how much this thing costs? Add 200$ and you have a FULL FRAME camera with TWICE THE SENSOR SIZE.

1 upvote
Andrew Elliott
By Andrew Elliott (6 months ago)

FOUR TIMES THE SENSOR SIZE.

0 upvotes
RStyga
By RStyga (6 months ago)

So, which Olympus cameras produce blurred images at relatively slow (1/50-1/200 or so) shutter speeds?

1 upvote
linux99
By linux99 (6 months ago)

The ones with owners who have bad technique. Same as the DSLRs which get mirror slap.

2 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

The shuttershock sample picture in this review was shot by a professional, linux99.

0 upvotes
Sergey Borachev
By Sergey Borachev (6 months ago)

I see a lot of reaction from DSLR users.

Especially for all those who keep pointing out the small M43 sensor, I wonder why they bother to read this review at all, and why they then feel the need to post what we all know - that M43 cameras have a smaller sensor, no good, blah blah.

Shouldn't they be happy about what they use, the bigger sensor and cameras etc, and not feel so threatened?

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

it's not the sensor but the lenses.

1 upvote
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

Canikon users should fear good Olympus optics. Should fear: PanaLeica, Samsung NX, Fuji X too lenses too.

Right say a Nikon D610 is easy to use at ISO 6400, this Olympus is useable there but starting to have trouble.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

it´s the smaller sensor together with the price.

when you buy into a system you are bound to the sensor size.

FF gets cheaper and cheaper.. m43 get more expensive every year.

so i rather buy more FF lenses i can use with a bigger sensor (yes i love bigger sensors, that´s why i have a phase one too).

with m43 i get a smaller camera body... well i don´t want or need one. but i will ALWAYS have a smaller sensor. and with falling FF cost i see no reason to buy into m43.

next year i can probably buy another FF backup body for 1300 euro.

another point.. the EVF is draining battery power.
as a wildlife shooter i look through my viewfinder for hours.

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
jorg14
By jorg14 (6 months ago)

For years I had Nikon DSLR's and Canon G series. The Nikon stayed in the closet most of the time. Then I switched to the Sony Nex7. How nice that light weight was and I do a lot more with it. For years also, I entertained getting a FF. But on my last trip abroad I shot 1800 pictures, and with a 27" monitor couldn't tell my Nikon P7700 1.7 sensor from my APS-C. If I ever give up the Nex 7, it will probably be for a smaller sensor yet like the 4/3 or 1" R10. People often forget it's the light, subject matter and composition that make a picture. Not size of sensor. I have no desire to carry a 5 lb camera, print up a 4'X6' picture and look at it with a magnifying glass.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
caver3d
By caver3d (6 months ago)

Not everybody is foolish enough to spend thousands of dollars to support a FF habit, when you can get the same IQ and satisfactory shooting experience with a 43 camera for over 95% of one's photography. Even landscape shooting with an excellent 43 camera looks great. I know. I've done it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (6 months ago)

@Henry M. Hertz: last time I checked you can still buy an m43 camera w/ lens for less than $500, like the E-PM2. How much is a 6D/D600 + lens, and how much bigger and heavier is it? As for those EVFs that suck battery, the newest FF bodies (A7/A7r) has 'em.

1 upvote
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

caver3d - the same IQ? Interesting, because somehow I don't see it. Shots start to loose details from ISO200 and as soon as on ISO400 you can easily see how it looses in IQ to even an entry level DSLR (either Sony/Nikon or Pentax).

2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

I love the two dials. they were designed for space saving and they are easier to operate, too.

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

can i have a hasselblad edition with wood grip?

this thing looks not ugly enough.....

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
yabokkie
By yabokkie (6 months ago)

5 grips for E-M5.

0 upvotes
GodSpeaks
By GodSpeaks (6 months ago)

You are thinking of Sony.

1 upvote
jerry367
By jerry367 (6 months ago)

That will cost you over $5,000...

0 upvotes
pelicaneng
By pelicaneng (6 months ago)

The E-M1 may not be a DSLR sport shooter but it is the best mirrorless sport shooter so far. I have had very good success shooting sports with the E-M1 and the 50-200 4/3 lens.

3 upvotes
Gazeomon
By Gazeomon (6 months ago)

Surely a very good camera, but I'll wait for more info on the Pentax K3 which is not much larger than the EM-1 but has a new sensor. I also miss the top panel display on the Olympus to which I got so used to on my DSLR's (all the important info's at a glance). But there is a lot to like on the EM-1.

1 upvote
flipmac
By flipmac (6 months ago)

The EVF has all the info you need and it shows you what the sensor "sees". Plus you get other info like live histogram, grid, level, etc.

2 upvotes
ThorstenMUC
By ThorstenMUC (6 months ago)

From what you read in the previews K-3 has the same sensor as the Nikon D7100 - so IQ should be compareable.

Of course Pentax does the trick with the moire-filter simulation and I agree - K-3 is a very interesting new camera in the same category as E-M1 and D7100 - even cheaper than the E-M1.

I personally just don't warm to the Pentax lens-lineup... some are really old designs and/or really expensive (Limited).

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (6 months ago)

Why people continue to make ridiculous comparisons. Of different league with totally different cameras, with different purposes, it seems that they stand in time and your stubbornness, can only observe life with the perspective of telephoto lens, forgetting to use a large and open more algular your field of view.
I have a formula one car, which costs millions and walks faster than a rally car, can I walk on gravel and win the race with slick tires? The world is funny...

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

are you saying that Olympic games are ridiculous?

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

well it´s a money making maschinery.

doped brainless people competing for better PR deals.. so yes olympics are ridiculous.

4 upvotes
YuYen
By YuYen (6 months ago)

Is this the fastest ever review from dpreview? E-M1 is not even available in either US or UK.

0 upvotes
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (6 months ago)

It's been available already in the USA -- a number of people on the forums have one.

1 upvote
pelicaneng
By pelicaneng (6 months ago)

That was my first thought too.

0 upvotes
sgoldswo
By sgoldswo (6 months ago)

I've had one for two weeks in the UK...

0 upvotes
DLBlack
By DLBlack (6 months ago)

I have the E-M1 for three plus weeks and have shot over a 1,000 shots with it so far. I previously owned the E-M5. Anyhow, I have to basically agree with the DPR review. Still surprising how quick the review was done.

0 upvotes
agray88
By agray88 (6 months ago)

Making up for the E-M5 review which took *forever*.

3 upvotes
Paul JM
By Paul JM (6 months ago)

Funny camera to place. I have owned the OMD original now for about a year. I like it, but I hardly use it.
Great camera, but for me it is neither here nor there. Not small enough to put in the pocket, but for me the sensor is just too small to act as my everyday serious camera.
When travelling now, I take the Fuji XE1. In low light, in combination with the wonderful Fuji lenses for me it is a league ahead of the OMD
For serious work, I still use the 5D mk2
If I want something casual to put in my pocket I take the RX100
So, for me, I am struggling to find a role for the Olympus. Great piece of kit, but I see it as being caught in the middle now. This body looks and sounds great, but it is still bridled with that tiny sensor

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
Tapper123
By Tapper123 (6 months ago)

I hear you. I currently have cut my kit down to just my RX100M2, which is my pocket/anywhere/anytime camera.

I'm now in the difficult process of choosing a system for more serious shooting, travel, nature/macro etc. The EM-1 is arguably the best overall package out there if you want a rich feature set, good lens selection and smaller size/weight. BUT the IQ is definitely no match for good APS-C or FF systems.

If Fuji had a similarly weather sealed body with tilt screen, I'd go Fuji for sure. But weather seals and tilt screen are key features for me. As for NEX, and Sony in general -- don't trust them to build a good system. Beyond that there are DSLR's like the Canon 70D, which hasn't even got much better IQ than the OMD's from what I've read and looked at, despite having an APS-C sized sensor. *sigh*

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

OMD, XE1, 5D mk2 & RX100? Sigh, its obvious now that I live in poverty.

12 upvotes
Antonio Rojilla
By Antonio Rojilla (6 months ago)

@nikoninmybag You are here wasting your time in the internets... you don't have a clue what poverty is.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Rojilla, it sounds like you are trying to win a competition.

0 upvotes
Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (6 months ago)

>I like it, but I hardly use it.

Sounds like you need a proper bag. I keep mine in a small canvas "purse" with foam inserts that secures the EM5, 7-14, 14-45, and 45-175 with one pocket to spare (usually the GH2 as backup). Since the camera is (in my car, travels) with me everyday, the system gets a lot of use where my DSLRs sit at home. Over 15k since January, and many of those are in print now. Focus accuracy in single shot is so good, the only times I use DSLRs anymore are 5D2 low-low light (with primes), and tripod work with liveview for landscapes. Handheld landscapes are all m43 now.

1 upvote
SirSeth
By SirSeth (6 months ago)

If we could all collect the whole set, why not, but consider the person who can't afford an expensive FF system and a premium compact as you can. This is less cost and weight than a FF system, yet offers some compelling enthusiast features (like sealed body, dual controls, customizable interface, large viewfinder...) in a very small package. Might be hard to place for you unless you saw a specific use or simply wanted a system camera smaller than your FF setup. No problem if you don't, but I can see why someone might.

1 upvote
Paul JM
By Paul JM (6 months ago)

Thanks Seth. Perhaps the moral of my story is that if I were to purchase again now, and looking for the 'smaller' system, I would clearly go for the Fuji X system. That is what I use most of the time now. To be frank, the difference in IQ in print, between the XE1 and the 5DMk 2, even in low light, is so small that it hardly matters

1 upvote
gotompoes
By gotompoes (6 months ago)

Depends on your way of shooting. For me it complements my Leica FF set and i need high AF speed for street work. Tried the Fuji XE 1 but that did not work for me, AF far too slow and i did not connect to the camera. Simply did not like the build quality. For me the EM 1 with 12-40 and some of the best primes is a fantastic kit. The EM 1 with the Panasonic Leica 25 mm 1.4 works very well in low light situations. I bought is for AF speed.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Well done review, beautiful sample pictures, thank you. Also many comments offer valuable insights from a broad range of experiences.

Unfortunately shuttershock is haunting this generation of mirrorless cameras, EM1 and A7r included. Manufacturers think they can save money by not offering a global shutter. I guess most don't mind, but it looks impossible to get clean images hand-held between 1/60s and 1/200s at 60mm and up.
Look at the central flower:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2732672/p9160794?inalbum=olympus-om-d-em-1-final-review-samples

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (6 months ago)

There's no evidence whatsoever for shutter shock in the image you've linked.

10 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (6 months ago)

(Withdrawn)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
m87501
By m87501 (6 months ago)

Nonsense. I've shot over a thousand shots now with my EP5 and not one single instance of it with a total of 8 different lenses now, including 4 heavy adapted AI-S Nikons....not one shot has this "shutter shock" myth.

1 upvote
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

It is best visible in sharp high contrast areas like the well defined upper edges of the top pink petals and the horizontal (stalk) leaf just above them, a faint double outline and coloured shadow typically reaching some 3 pixels directly above the object.

0 upvotes
m87501
By m87501 (6 months ago)

I never said "all others must be wrong", just to clarify. (Looks like a comment was removed).

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (6 months ago)

@FreedomLover - here you're misinterpreting slight out-of-focus blur as movement (this was shot close-up at 150mm F5.6, with the cheap 40-150mm R). You need to look at the unequivocally sharp, in-focus areas of the image instead, which show no evidence of blur at all.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
m87501
By m87501 (6 months ago)

I should apologize to anyone offended with my use of the word "myth". I spent a lot of money on this camera and tried to re-create the issue within the return window over the past month; while there have only been a few examples shown with the ghosting issue caused by the shutter. I don't think for one-sixtieth of a second that some cameras did/do not have this issue, like all camera models have a few bad apples in the mix and I feel bad for anyone who had to return one because of it, because it's such a terrific camera. There is another camera of another make/brand with a real issue with hundreds/thousands examples posted online.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

There is a horizontal green leaf in focus pointing just below the heart of the central flower. Look at the white line hovering just above its tip, with a dark shadow following in between. it's a double take of the leaf edge's exact features.

Also look at the little lilac flowers directly above the central pink flower. They have a ghost image directly above them. And that double image has the exact same detailed outlines, it's obviously not blur.

m87501, I'm glad it does not bother you and you are happy with your camera :-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
panduru
By panduru (6 months ago)

@FreedomLover At 1/50s, this could well be caused by wind. I think shutter shock should be evaluated on static objects.

0 upvotes
llkkmm
By llkkmm (6 months ago)

I agree that it is hard to know whether this is shutter shock, given that the objects are not static. Furthermore, wouldn't shutter shock be expected to yield this type of blurring in more than just a few isolated spots in a photo? Concerning none-the-less, especially as I have an A7r on preorder which has no electronic first curtain...

0 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (6 months ago)

There is indeed a feeble hint of double image here and there (visible over the the crisper horizontal borders). Where it's visible it always shows the same amplitude, it can't be caused by the wind. It is so feeble not to represent a problem at all in this image; for sure this stuff will be indagated deeply. Those not seeing/not feeling the problem are perhaps less prone to the pixel peeping illness. I would propose to separate the issues: extreme pixel peeping is bad and unuseful in the end, but the technical limit is there. Photo n.24 is another example: 1/60 plus stabilization at 14mm, what for. It's blurry, it's the typical example of the misteriously bad shots this system may give sometimes.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Panduru, it could but it isn't. Wind isn't always exactly vertical.

Llkkmm, you will find it in practically all samples at the mentioned conditions, which unfortunately are frequently met. The "isolated spots" are those with high contrast in focus. Faces have such "spots" around the eyes, for example, and typical focal lengths for portraits are in the range of moderate tele primes and normal zooms.
To illustrate, this one was taken with a Pen EP5 at 45mm:
http://www.dpreview.com/galleries/reviewsamples/photos/2620248/p7020351?inAlbum=olympus-pen-e-p5-preview-samples

As you can see in the sample from this review, the EM1 has the same problem.

Alessandro, those not "prone to the pixel peeping illness" (looking for high image quality) are likely to use smartphones or cheaper cameras to take pictures.

0 upvotes
FreedomLover
By FreedomLover (6 months ago)

Don't forget what is shown here is the best the cameras can do, the samples were taken by professionals at best matching conditions to showcase their quality. Defects you see here will be in your pictures.

0 upvotes
Alessandro63
By Alessandro63 (6 months ago)

@FreedomLover: as you see, I acknowledge the problem. Sorry for the strong wording, didn't think it could be misunderstood, perhaps my pidgin english should be addressed. Sometimes in this forum there is an apparently manic attitude towards pixel level analisys, and on the other side an uninformed denial. Indeed, I would not always connect pixel peeping with the search for quality (or let say it depends on what we mean with "quality")... But in the end I still agree that the linked image is showing some hints of the dreaded shutter shock issue, in the form of some vertical doubling which can be seen in different points.

0 upvotes
sdribetahi
By sdribetahi (6 months ago)

Why don't they ever test AF with moving objects. It's not even discussed? If I don't shoot still life scenes, what am I getting with AF, or AF tracking?

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (6 months ago)

In shortcut?

Nothing you would like.

But at this point of time I think everyone knows that AF-C in mirrorless is something you dont want to try.

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (6 months ago)

Did you see the Continuous AF/Tracking section on the Real World AF experience page? http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympus-om-d-e-m1/8

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

@sdribetahi -- So, you didn't read the review then, before making wrong comments?

0 upvotes
vesa1tahti
By vesa1tahti (6 months ago)

Nobody says these kind of cameras are TOO small to be kept in hands. I buy a Nikon D7100, an impressive camera, having optimal size.

3 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (6 months ago)

Well, they hope that we will grow smaller fingers..

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

i love a tiny EOS M body on my 400mm f2.8. :-)

no you are right.. it has to be balanced.
i would not wish for a smaller body then a 5D MK3 with BG for my 400mm f2.8.

Comment edited 11 seconds after posting
1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

Hands come in many sizes. I'm surprised you haven't noticed this!

2 upvotes
areichow
By areichow (6 months ago)

People don't say that because most enough people seem to disagree. Not everyone wants the same size, shape, or weight of camera. Shocking, isn't it?

0 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

So how did all those people use to cope holding Olympus OM series and Pentax M series cameras then for all those years?

1 upvote
Shamael
By Shamael (6 months ago)

If nobody said that, it is because they never used one. The problem with small cameras is shooting at slow shutter speeds. Lower than 1/60 is difficult for most. I can use the Fuji S5, Nikon D200 body, with shutter speeds and handheld up to 2 seconds. 5 shots on 10 end clean. With the NEX-7 I am limited to 1/30 second and here, 3 shots on 10 end clean. Those cameras are too light for handheld slow speed shooting and Makro. For that you need a heavy camera. Sony had the good idea to make a grip for the new A7 series, what gives it more weight. One can not have it all. In normal situations, sports and every days press events, a small camera is a bargain. With a tele lens, a heavy barrel, the problem occurs again. You have no counterbalance and for that, you need a heavy camera again. What proves that for some reasons you need a DSLR as well as a mirrorless. You will shoot much more mirrorless as a normal all day user, but Pro's in certain specific works can't live wthout the heavy box.

1 upvote
Olymore
By Olymore (6 months ago)

Well, if you can't shoot at lower shutter speeds with a small camera don't buy one then. There's plenty of choice out there.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Sure, but it's still important to point that out to unaware buyers.

1 upvote
PerL
By PerL (6 months ago)

This is a beautifully made camera that sits much better in the hand than an EM-5, but it is not as capable for action shooting as its semi pro APS-C rivals. It is also not as good in IQ (compare the DxO Marks scores that is just out to a Nikon D7100).
And the bottom line for me, the images. I don't like using APS-C kit lenses - not for the sharpness, but for the flat look with to much DOF. Why would I want a sensor size with even more DOF, no matter that the camera body is very nice. One has to decide - are you more interested in a camera body - or the images? That is why FF is the right answer for me personally. But I can see why many are attracted to this camera - just not me.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (6 months ago)

What matters to buyers of m43 camwera's is their ideal of small size- good IQ and flexibility (types of shooting you can do). This OMD simply adds good PDAF for fast action, one box extra is checked now. That is all.
To others it is the best IQ they can get for the money. So may be they can buy an 800E or a A7 or 600D. Etcetc.

This review is clear: the camera does very well in so many apsects that it deserves 84 points and a Gold Award. For those who like the m43 cams and have the money, this one might be the right choice.

1 upvote
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

I don't shoot anything with a sensor smaller than APS-C. The reason is very simple: I've never seen anything with a smaller sensor that can output comparable images. I bailed out of m43 after three cameras because the dynamic range wasn't good enough, the 2X crop factor was, and is, pretty inconvenient and the images often looked 'flat' as you say.

People say that things have moved on, and maybe they have, but I gave it a good try and it didn't work for me.

Good luck to anyone who disagrees with me - I'm no expert, anyway.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
joseluismx
By joseluismx (6 months ago)

I'm at a point were I need more DOF. I mostly shoot ballet presentations and 4/3 is probably the limit of high ISO noise and DOF I need to do the job.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

Most people need MORE depth of field, not less. This "half of one eyebrow in focus" look is like a one-trick pony: it has no photographic merit and gets tiring very quickly.

8 upvotes
Stu 5
By Stu 5 (6 months ago)

TN Args it is already getting to be a very dated look. Something that the vast majority of pros avoid.

3 upvotes
PerL
By PerL (6 months ago)

@TN Args and Stu 5
Is creative use of DOF control a "dated look"? Well, it has been used as a tool in the box by professionals for 50 years and still is, since most professionals don't use small sensors.

2 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

Like I said, it's a trick. You can paint it on afterwards if you're really desperate to copy some pro you know. But you can't paint sharpness back onto a ruined Big Glass shot when the client says they don't like the fuzzy noses and one fuzzy iris. :)

0 upvotes
Abu Mahendra
By Abu Mahendra (6 months ago)

Let me see it I get this straight: Olympus wants me to pay $1399 for a camera with a Sensor smaller than APS-c? Yeah... right...

21 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (6 months ago)

but hey.... RETRO DESIGN!!!

2 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

I think the price is a bit high too, but not because the sensor size only merits a certain price.

Olympus have long felt that 43 is the optimal digital camera format combining image quality and total kit size. They have stuck to this product philosophy and good luck to them for that.

The camera is made for people who agree with that product philosophy, not people like you who disagree with it. You just go buy something else, bigger and clunkier, okay? But for those who agree on philosophy, what better product is there, at any price?

1 upvote
Dave Oddie
By Dave Oddie (6 months ago)

"Let me see it I get this straight: Olympus wants me to pay $1399 for a camera with a Sensor smaller than APS-c? Yeah... right..."

Why would you care if it delivers comparable performance to its aps-c competitors which it clearly does?

You can effectively choose between cameras on features and you tend to have to pay more for cameras with more features.

If "size matters" above all else just buy an entry level aps-c camera and brag about the size of its sensor.

Comment edited 54 seconds after posting
8 upvotes
Chez Wimpy
By Chez Wimpy (6 months ago)

Its not the sensor, its the lenses... and since "bigger" APS-C lines *across all makers* still don't compare with the dedicated optics m43 has amassed (in barely 5 years!), if you intend to shoot the classic focal lengths, its this or FF. And of course with m43, 28/40/90 equivalent primes fit together in a single pocket.

3 upvotes
Abu Mahendra
By Abu Mahendra (6 months ago)

Why do I care? Because, despite being able to afford the Olympus at $1,399 I try to remain grounded in reality and still care about being sensible with my money. A Canon Rebel is still a more complete package in a more mature and varied system. And it's half the price.

1 upvote
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

I agree the Canon Rebel is unbeatable IQ per dollar. But too plasticky for some, and clunky when you include the lenses. And what do you do for a 24mm equivalent prime, high quality, compact?

Comment edited 45 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
David Stinson
By David Stinson (6 months ago)

Then go troll somewhere else and save your money.

0 upvotes
chj
By chj (5 months ago)

Weather sealed, live view continuous shooting, touchscreen. This combination is extremely appealing to people who take photos in dynamic situations. The only other camera with this combination is the EM-5.

0 upvotes
KariIceland
By KariIceland (6 months ago)

Thank you Olympus very much for just stabbing the E-M5 users in the back when you said back in 2012 "this is our highest range and will be the top in our range of mirrorless cameras, and low and behold then you bring the E-M1.

I am leaving Olympus after years of dedication since the E-PL2 and going back to my roots the company I started with.
You don't even know if you want the lenses and cameras to be silver or black. you release a silver lens and say "we will never make this model in black" then you bring a black model ask for twice the price & then you lower it effing the customers who already bought it.

If there are two things olympus are good at, it's making good primes & effing it's customers over and over.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (6 months ago)

So you think Olympus should stop making progress once they sold you a camera?

You said in your first sentence "back in 2012".

24 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (6 months ago)

They were referring to the OM-D range, not specifically the E-M5 model. OM-D is still their highest range, sitting above the PEN range. They said from the start, that they would make a more "professional" OM-D model, and possibly also a more beginner-friendly model than the E-M5.

Anyway, I don't see in what way you've been stabbed in the back. The E-M1 takes nothing away from the E-M5 being an excellent camera. The only thing you lost is the bragging rights of having the top-of-the-line model. But what serious photographer cares about that?

7 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (6 months ago)

Good luck on your quest to find an honest decent cameramaker that always keeps his promises and never changes its strategy..

2 upvotes
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (6 months ago)

Go to Nikon, they are so much better (D600 vs D610).

Go to Canon, they are so much better (one sensor, recycled over and over and over..).

Go to Sony, they are so much better (temporary dSLTs, unsure future of Alpha mount lenses .. not much lens upgrades).

Go to.. nowhere left to go.

9 upvotes
TN Args
By TN Args (6 months ago)

Looks like you didn't notice what the word 'range' means! :)

1 upvote
mrmiguel
By mrmiguel (6 months ago)

The E-M5 is still a great camera! The sensor is not that different if you look at the actual DXOMark numbers. In fact, the one thing the E-M5 has in its favor is the fact that is actually modular. You can go smaller if you want to.

I see the E-M1 as a camera for those that want to use 4/3 glass.

2 upvotes
Jude McDowell
By Jude McDowell (6 months ago)

I have an E-M5 and I don't think I've been stabbed in the back; now if they had arranged for the E-M5 to stop working when the E-M1 started shipping I would have agreed with the OP. As it stands I really can't see what he's complaining about - they introduced a new model to the range which adds new features; I would call this a) an upgrade path and b) evidence that Olympus are continuing to invest in the OM-D range. I consider both of these to be good things.

6 upvotes
linux99
By linux99 (6 months ago)

Have you been drinking?

0 upvotes
RPJG
By RPJG (6 months ago)

Bwahahaha. Poor baby.

1 upvote
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (6 months ago)

Easily the winner of the prestigious award: "Made You Look! 2013"

.

4 upvotes
Brian Wadie
By Brian Wadie (6 months ago)

As with the EM-5, if you set this up to use as a "Real" camera ie: EVF only, post-shot review off etc then it is possible to comfortably exceed the CIPA rated shots / battery charge.

With both cameras, shooting sequential action shots (motorcycle racing, windsurfing, birds in flight etc) I regularly exceed 1000 shots / battery charge (even with a bit of Chimping)

4 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (6 months ago)

"Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Olympus E-M1?
My friends all drive DSLR's, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won't you buy me a Olympus E-M1?"

9 upvotes
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

BECAUSE IT'S NOT AS GOOD AT SPORTS!

2 upvotes
Brian Wadie
By Brian Wadie (6 months ago)

Depends on how you define "Sports", indoor basketball / soccer probably not, but for m'cycle track racing, windsurfing, surfing, kite surfing etc - its more than capable. If you want the ultimate, shallow DOF, continuous tracking shooting with minimum intervention from the photographer under difficult lighting conditions, then you are stuck with the likes of the 1DX + top L lenses ( with the associated extra weight and cost) for anything else the EM-1 will meet the needs of 90%+ of most photographers (in my opinion, having come from a 7D + L lenses) YMMV of course, particularly if you haven't tried the EM-1 for sports shooting

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

I wonder what fraction of 1% of photographers shoot sports of any kind...

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (6 months ago)

Lot's of photographers shoot sports of all kinds. But if this EM-1 is being marketed as a sports / wildlife cameras (the above poster mentioned the 1DX + L lenses) it sure is missing the high grade telephoto part of the equation.

Consumer variable aperture telezooms are not going to get it done.

4 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (6 months ago)

Anyone with children or grandchildren likely shoots sports at some time in their life.

5 upvotes
Jorginho
By Jorginho (6 months ago)

@marike6....There are not any 4/3 lenses that fall in yoru category of high grade telephotozooms???

0 upvotes
Ocolon
By Ocolon (6 months ago)

Actually, I think this Janis Joplin song (“Mercedes Benz”) would be interpreted as: Both DSLRs and E-M1s are prestigious quality products, but more than we really need. Asking god to buy you one is ridiculous. And the motivation – not to take photos, but to own something as impressive as your “friends” – is even more ridiculous. You'd ask god for help if you don't have anything to eat. The song criticizes or ridicules the attitude of people who get as serious about being able to show off with luxury articles as if they were struggling to stay alive (and while others in the world actually have to struggle for life).

Not sure how this turned into a discussion which type of camera is a notch better for sports. ^^

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (6 months ago)

Cailean Gallimore - Every mother and father shot sports at some point. ;)

1 upvote
Cailean Gallimore
By Cailean Gallimore (6 months ago)

Looks like a nice camera.

DSLR user: "It's not as good as a DSLR for sports!"
Mirrorless user: "That's no problem - I don't shoot sports."
DSLR user: "BUT IT'S NOT AS GOOD AS A DSLR FOR SPORTS!!!!"
Mirrorless user: I don't shoot sports - I shoot portraits and landscapes!"
DSLR user: "OK fair enough then. I don't shoot sports either.

And then they lived happily ever after.

45 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (6 months ago)

best comment ever.

0 upvotes
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (6 months ago)

And the retraction of the shutter shock is here in this review. Did olympus really change the ibis or shutter between this and the ep5? I'll probably upgrade to this camera because I like the form factor and the integrated EVF, but there is nothing wrong with my EP5

2 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (6 months ago)

A Reuter's article points out that mirrorless "has so far failed to connect with consumers outside of Japan" and "Olympus admits that its overseas marketing has been lacking so far."

If Olympus is going to stay in the digital camera business, it is going to have to improve in that area.

3 upvotes
Shamael
By Shamael (6 months ago)

What makes Olympus a non attractive gear is the 4/3 sensor. Yes, you might say that it is proper to Pana and OLy, we all know that. But, me, as an advertized photographer since more than 50 years now, will never buy it, it can be as good as it can be. The GX7 is a dream camera in functionallity, but I wait to see such a camera with an APS-C sensor, or even a FF sensor. Sony has made the A7, but the viewfinder position is not what I expected. They have done it in right position in the NEX-6&7, Pana has shown us the optimal way to do it on GX7, and Sony puts it in the center, conform to Nikon's ugly V2 duckling. No camera will ever be perfect in our view, but there are elementary things one can do and that will open marketing possibilities. Oly and Pana should produce there cameras in APS-C as well and then see what of the both options has the better sales rates. After that they can chose to keep or to drop one or the other format, and I bet all you want that 4/3 will lose that game.

2 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (6 months ago)

Shamael dumbest post ever. Why would you want all cameras to be the same? ASP-C or FF.

M4/3 gives you another alternative almost as good in some areas and miles ahead in others.. Not everyone wants an APSC

1 upvote
chj
By chj (5 months ago)

nah, I agree with Shamael. I want the functionality of the GX7 with an APS-C sensor. I'm holding out for a camera that shoots low light moving subjects and goes where I go. The technology is here, just give the NEX6 or XE2 a touchscreen (and weatherproofing) and I'm sold. If you just shoot stills in good light, well just about any camera will do.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 2127
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