My hands-on/test with EM-1 with 45mm, 75mm and new 12-40mm

Started Sep 20, 2013 | Discussions thread
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reygon Senior Member • Posts: 2,037
My hands-on/test with EM-1 with 45mm, 75mm and new 12-40mm

Last week at Melbourne’s (Aus) Digital Show I was able to test and play with the new EM-1 and the following are my ‘personal’ key observations:

· Size and weight – dimensions is slightly bigger compared to my EM-5. The extra weight (i.e. EM-5 71g lighter) was offset by the new very comfortable grip. I thought I will hate it but relative to my medium hand size I don’t need to buy the optional battery grip because it is already very comfortable and the grip does add substantial extra weight so it is a lot heavier that defeats the m43 body-lens weight advantage. I have extra batteries so few seconds of changing battery is not an issue.

· Built and layout – I like it better than EM-5 relative to its better EVF, layout and controls (thanks Oly for additional HDR button and customizable buttons), OLED screen resolution and the new grip does not really make it ugly. I love the new lock dial (easier to push to lock or un-lock it). The redesigned and extended flash cap/cover will prevent it from falling off easily. The on/off power switch is the only awkward location at the left side so it will be challenging or a risk to drop the camera when turning it on-off without the support of right or left hand on the body. I have not try focus peaking.

· AF and Image Quality – with m43 lenses the new AF is very fast compared to my EM-5. I don’t own 43 lenses so I cannot comment on the AF speed but I tried it with the old lenses and it was reasonably quick on its focus. Even though it is the same 16 mega pixel sensor, without the low-pass filter it produced excellent results. I was able to use and keep my SD cards so some camera JPGs shots below and with 10-12 units to test I tried m43 lenses – 45mm, 75mm and the new 12-40mm.

EM-1 with 45mm

EM-1 with the new 12-40mm

EM-1 with 75mm

For me (again it’s me) Olympus 75mm is an excellent and the best m43 lens – built and image quality. The new 12-40mm will be a wonderful and fast “all a round” lens that will compliment the weather sealed body.

The large (A3 and even larger) test prints even compared with full frames are very impressive in actual.

I don’t think EM-1 price body or kit with the 12-40mm will be attractive to substantial non M43 users (i.e. APS-C and compact camera users). On my opinion Olympus priced it too high. If I’m in Olympus marketing or management team I’ll apply the “economies of scale” rule - i.e. I’ll aim to sell more units even at modest profit than set it at expensive/premium price but less new or current m43 customers.

I can afford the body or kit but I will let the earlier adaptors to pay for the premium as early buyers and let them explore potential manufacturing issues J In the next 6 months or more I expect it will be cheaper and improved manufacturing QA (in case there are flaws ).

Are you one of those early adaptor? I suggest to buy the new 12-40mm lens first

Exciting months ahead on m43 and if the news are accurate then hopefully Kodak will release their M43 body and lens this year or early next year so more choices for us

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Take nothing but photos... Kill nothing but time... Leave nothing but footprints...

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