Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review
The E-M1 includes all the features added on recent Olympus cameras, including time lapse, multiple exposure, 'Live Bulb' (that allows you to check on the state of your exposure while the shutter is still open), along with a whole host of others. The most significant additions are highlighted below.
In-camera High Dynamic Range (HDR)
Alongside the HDR bracketing modes that recent Olympus cameras have included, the E-M1 becomes the first model able to combine multiple exposures into a single final image. There are two options for this: Mode 1 shoots three exposures and attempts to incorporate the tones in a subtle and realistic manner. Mode 2 takes four exposures and results in a much more extreme version.
Both modes shoot at 'Continuous Hi' speed (10 fps) and make some attempt to auto-align and correct for subject movement, so work pretty well for hand-held HDR shots. In the composite modes the camera will save a single Raw file alongside the combined JPEG, but this only represents the neutral exposure shot. The full HDR bracketing options still exist if you'd prefer to combine the images later on your computer - this will result in better quality overall.
Uniquely, the E-M1 can preview the likely results in the viewfinder, by brightening the shadow areas and balancing the overall tonality. The HDR Modes lock the ISO to 200 and disable exposure compensation, and we've found it's best to meter so that highlights don't look blown in the viewfinder, then let the camera take care of the rest.
|HDR Mode 1||HDR Mode 2|
|100% Crop||100% Crop|
As you might expect, the four-shot, Mode 2 image has a broader range of tones but ends up looking 'flatter,' with lower contrast as a result. The image is also less sharp, in part because of the very long exposures required for this low-light example. Note the awkward hard-edged transition between the mountains and the sky in both images. Still, both are impressive results for an effortless, hand-held capture.
The example below shows how an in-camera HDR image, this time taken in low light, compares to the base-exposure RAW file converted in-camera after the event. The HDR version retains more detail in both the highlights and shadows, but without making the latter look excessively noisy. Again if you look closely there's some blurring of fine detail due to the use of a long shutter speed, but the HDR version looks more balanced as a whole.
|HDR version||Base exposure RAW, converted in camera|
100% crops, highlights
100% crops, shadows
The E-M1 becomes the first Olympus camera to conduct lens-specific corrections (beyond the designed-in correction of distortion in some lenses). Olympus says the E-M1 will attempt to tune its sharpening to suit the attached lens, as well as correcting lateral chromatic aberrations - something Panasonic has always done if its lenses were used on its cameras.
|Olympus E-M1 with M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8||Olympus E-P5 with M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Here you can see a comparison between the OM-D E-M1 and the PEN E-P5, both using the M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8 lens. It's a lens that's rather prone to lateral chromatic aberration and the E-P5's inability to correct this is something we've highlighted in that camera's review. The E-M1's image is essentially indistinguishable from the PEN's, except for its complete removal of the otherwise distracting CA from the edges.
The E-M1 also appears to be fully capable of correcting lateral CA with Panasonic lenses - something Olympus has been a little vague about. The comparison below shows this, using the Panasonic Lumix G X Vario 12-35mm F2.8 ASPH OIS on both the E-M1 and E-M5. Again, the E-M1's removal of fringing results in a visibly cleaner image.
|Olympus E-M1 + Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8||Olympus E-M5 + Panasonic 12-35mm F2.8|
|100% crop||100% crop|
For the record, here's the same scene with the hugely impressive new Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm 1:2.8 PRO. In this quick comparison the Olympus lens has visibly less chromatic aberration than its Panasonic equivalent when used on the E-M5 (and therefore without any corrections), and shows visibly more detail in this crop from the top left corner.
|Olympus E-M1 + Olympus 12-40mm F2.8||Olympus E-M5 + Olympus 12-40mm F2.8|
|100% crop||100% crop|
Time Lapse Movie
The E-M1, like the E-P5, includes an intervalometer function, with the option to let the camera automatically create a time lapse video too. With time lapse movie enabled, a separate 1280x720p movie file is saved alongside recorded images, and Raw or Raw+JPEG capture modes may be used. Intervals may be as short as a second or up to 24 hours, and up to 999 frames can be shot in one go.
Art Filters (like diorama, as seen in the sample video above) may be enabled in interval shooting, but only in a P/A/S/M shooting mode rather than the dedicated Art Filter mode.
Apr 27, 2016
Apr 6, 2016
Mar 14, 2016
Mar 21, 2016
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.
A report by USSRPhoto is shedding some light on the return of the famed Zenit camera brand. It seems the full-frame mirrorless camera they're working on will be made in part by Leica using components from the Leica SL.
According to a reliable Korean report, Samsung is developing a smartphone sensor that's capable of super slow motion. Translation: Samsung's next batch of Galaxy smartphones may be able to shoot 1,000fps.
This simple photograph of a seahorse and Q-tip has taken the internet by storm. We spoke to photographer Justin Hofman about how it was captured, and what it means to him.
After a massive leak last week, Profoto has officially debuted the Profoto A1: the company's first on-camera flash system that they're calling "the world's smallest studio flash."
"When the first hyperfocal distance charts were designed, someone decided that an acceptably sharp background contained some blur — enough to notice in a medium-sized print [...] After that point, nearly every other hyperfocal chart followed suit."
The Canon EOS Rebel SL2 (also known as the EOS 200D) is the company's impressively compact entry-level DSLR. Packing a 24MP APS-C sensor, DIGIC 7 processor and Dual Pixel AF, it promises a lot of bang for the buck. And while not mind-blowing, it handles most tasks very well.
Correct these four common composition mistakes and your photos will be more balanced, tell a better story, and lead your viewer's eye where you want it to go.
The rugged, compact 360° action camera Kodak unveiled at Photokina in 2016, the Kodak PixPro Orbit 360, is finally available in the United States.
iOS 11 launches tomorrow, and it'll save all of your pictures in a new high efficiency image format called HEIC. Fortunately, there's now a converter that will let you turn those photos back into JPEGs.
Photo protection company ImageRights recently released a new service that lets non-subscribers take advantage of their streamlined copyright registration system that checks for errors and fills out all the required forms for you.
What's the difference between a $200 circular polarizing filter and a $100 circular polarizing filter? Roger Cicala at Lens Rentals put six different filters through a few tests to find out.
A flurry of leaks reveal that GoPro's upcoming Hero6 will shoot 4K at 60fps, 1080p at 240fps, will cost $500, and is scheduled for announcement/release on September 28th.
Before he became the iconic director whose name we've all heard, a teenage Stanley Kubrick struck up a business relationship with New York’s Look magazine. No surprise: he was an incredibly talented photographer.
WD's new G-Technology G-Drive mobile SSD R-Series is a portable solid state option for photographers who want the reliability of an SSD in a rugged water and dust-resistant package.
Fast, stabilized and affordable is an appealing combination when it comes to lenses. With its latest 24-70mm F2.8, Tamron aims to upgrade autofocus speed and stabilization. We've got a full gallery from this updated full-frame zoom.
Photographer Clay Cook tells the story of his most ambitious photographic dream and career goal coming true: photographing A-list actress Jennifer Lawrence.
In an interview with a Chinese website, Nikon Japan's Director of Development dropped a bombshell, saying that a Nikon mirrorless camera "must be full-frame."
Here's a side-by-side spec comparison of two flagship devices with particular attention to the things that really matter – at least to people who prioritize photography features.
A month and a half after revealing the finalists of the 2017 EyeEm Awards, the photo sharing community and licensing marketplace has finally revealed the winners.