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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

The Olympus E-M1 is the most recent addition to the line-up of small system cameras (CSC) that Olympus offers. It is designed to meet the needs of both experienced photographers and amateurs. It is intended to be used in addition to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 rather than in instead of it. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has been referred to in most contexts as the Olympus OM-D up to this point, but we will have to get used to referring to it as the Olympus E-M5.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Features

The 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor included in the OM-D E-M1 does not have a low-pass filter on top of it. This is a first for Olympus. Because of this, it ought to be able to record more detail than the first Olympus OM-D camera, the OM-D E-M5.

In addition, we have been informed that the new TruPic VII image processor has been adjusted in such a way as to place a focus on the visibility of finer details at the price of an increased level of noise.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Build Quality

According to Olympus, the E-M1 is not designed to be the most miniature camera on the market but is intended to have a size suitable for usage in professional settings. It is comparable in size to the OM-D E-M5, however, the front and rear grips have been redesigned to give a different appearance.

The thumb grip on the rear of the E-M1 is not as pronounced as on the E-M5, but the grip on the front of the camera is more significant, providing a better and more comfortable grasp on the camera. When you hold it, it gives you a sense of complete safety.

It’s easy to assume that because something is large it must be robust, yet the E-M1 is surprisingly hardy despite its size. It has a solid, well-built feel and features seals that prevent dust and moisture from getting inside. Additionally, functionality is ensured down to a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. It’s a relief to know that none of Olympus’s latest lenses are susceptible to freezing.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Performance

Even while a 16-megapixel sensor isn’t something to get excited about these days (unless it’s in a full-frame retro-style Nikon SLR, of course), the E-M1 makes the most out of the gadget it’s built inside.

The images have astonishing detail in addition to their rich, natural colours and seamless gradations. However, the results of our resolution testing show that, except for the E-most M1’s sensitive settings, the E-M5 can resolve a more significant amount of information than the E-M1.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Image Quality

Throughout the test, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 generated photographs of an exceptionally high standard. The dynamic range in the Natural image setting is excellent, and the colours are vivid without being gaudy or oversaturated. The noise is extremely well managed from ISO 100 up to ISO 1600. It does not typically become a problem until ISO 3200, an exceptional Micro Four Thirds camera performance. The two quickest settings, ISO 12800 and 25600, are the only ones that are truly struggling, whereas ISO 3200 and 6400 are still perfectly useable.

Even when the camera is being held manually at slow shutter rates or when a hand-held video is being shot, the image stabilization technology performs quite well. It is pretty rare for a high-end prosumer camera to have Art Filters. Still, these filters do offer distinctive effects that, if you were to achieve them manually, would need a significant amount of time spent in the digital darkroom.

The camera is exceptionally well adapted to infrared photography since the Live View Boost option allows you to frame your images via an R72 filter. The autofocus mechanism continues to function even when the camera is used in infrared mode.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium alloy
Sensor
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorTruePIC VII
Color spacesRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter arrayPrimary color filter
Image
ISO100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes‘5-axis’ IS
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
File formatJPEG (DCF/Exif)Raw (ORF)MPO
Image parametersSharpness, contrast, saturation
Optics & Focus
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusYes (with focus peaking)
Number of focus points81
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.74× (0.37× 35mm equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Exposure modesiAutoProgram AEAperture PriorityShutter PriorityManualBulbTimeScene SelectArt Filter
Scene modesPortrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye conversion lens, Wide conversion lens, Macro Conv., 3D
Built-in flashNo (compact external flash included)
External flashYes (hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modesFlash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
Flash X sync speed1/320 sec
Drive modesSingle, sequential H, sequential L, self-timer (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
Videography features
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264, Motion JPEG
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
Remote controlYes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
Physical
Environmentally sealedYes (Dust, splash, freeze resistent)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes
GPSNone

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Verdict

Images captured with this camera include a high resolution, accurate exposure, a wealth of detail, rich colour, and a level of noise that is well under control. Additionally, the feature set is outstanding, and the touchscreen is very nicely executed.

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