Sep 092013
 

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The Olympus OMD E-M1 in hand quick 1st look report!

Hello to all stevehuffphoto.com readers! It is Monday, 9/10 at 12:44 AM New York Time and I just arrived back to my room after a very cool event put on by Olympus USA where they presented the new OM-D E-M1 PRO Micro 4/3 camera. Yes my friends, the rumor sites were true and the OM-D E-M1 is already available to pre-order at B&H HERE or Amazon HERE. The new 12-40 PRO 2.8 Zoom is HERE.

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The OM-D E-M1 is truly a pro-built body with a much nicer feel in my hand over the OM-D E-M5. I had the chance to hold it, shoot with it a little and even shoot one after the event (though with the slow as mollasses 12-50 kit zoom) but the speed of the camera in regards to AF is now up one more notch over the E-M5. When the new upcoming 12-40 was attached it was a speed demon, and much faster than the Canon 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 I was shooting with. I REALLY liked what I saw in the 12-40 f/2.8. Top class all the way. This is a lens that will eventually come bundled with the E-M1 in a kit for around $2200 or so (The 12-40 is pro..similar to the $1200 Panasonic 12-35 but smaller and feels nicer as well AND a couple hundred less at $999)

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Many of you know I am a huge fan of the Olympus Micro 4/3 cameras. They simply…rock.

The E-P1, E-P2, E-P3, OM-D E-M5, E-P5..all fantastic and cameras I adored and used heavily. With the E-M1 Olympus has made it into a true pro body with advanced weather sealing (they even displayed it in a block of ice all night to show it can take the extreme freezing temps), faster AF with phase and contrast detect, improved 5-AXIS I.S. (yes, improved) and the buttons, dials and controls felt AMAZING and they were placed in the right spots.

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So what do I think after using it for a few minutes? I think it is a definite improvement in the E-M5 in just about ALL areas and I can not wait to shoot  this bad boy with the 12, 45 and 75 1.8 and maybe a Voigtlander or two :)

The viewfinder is AMAZING!! This is a HUGE improvement over the E-M5..when I say the EVF is amazing, believe me, it is the best looking EVF fro any camera to date, period. The grip feels NICE..just right.

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So the bottom line is that the camera feels amazing in the hand, is built to pro spec (except no dual memory card slots), is weatherproof and freezeproof, is fast as lightning and I predict Olympus will have a HUGE hit on their hands. The E-M5 has proven itself in big time ways over the past year or so and I believe this one will as well.

One thing I have not even mentioned yet is that this camera does MUCH MUCH better with 4/3 glass than ANY Micro 4/3 camera ever. Slap on the 4/3 to Micro 4/3 adapter to use some of the best 4/3 glass. Even lenses like the 14-35 f/2 or 150 f/2. They will now focus FAST. In a way this camera is a replacement for the E-5 and E-M5 and has come full circle. The E1 was the 1st Olympus 4/3 camera and now we have the E-M1 (Like a Mini E1, but much better)!

I said in my E-M5 review that Micro 4/3 has matured..well now it has blossomed into a full grown beauty named the OMD E-M1.

Not much else I can say as this is NOT a review, just my thoughts after seeing one, holding one and firing off shots with one. My full review will be coming soon as well as a review of the Panasonic GX7. STAY TUNED!!!!

I snapped a few shots with the camera but they were all set to JPEG only, all had NR set to on and all were..well..just set up by Olympus to shoot in auto mode with basic settings. When I get a hold of one for extended testing the 1st thing I will do is set it to RAW and JPEG, turn off NR, and set it up to my liking :)

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You can pre-order the OMD E-M1 at B&H Photo at the links below:

OMD E-M1 BODY ONLY – $1399 – SHIPS OCTOBER 4TH (Olympus said the earliest orders may go out end of September)

OLYMPUS 12-40 F/2.8 PRO ZOOM – $999

OMD E-M1 BATTERY GRIP

AMAZON IS ALSO TAKING PRE-ORDERS:

OMD-EM1 BODY ONLY – $1399

OLYMPUS 12-40 F/2.8 PRO ZOOM – $999

OMD E-M1 BATTERY GRIP

To those who complain the price is too high, the OM-D E-M5 was a great camera at a RIGHT price. The E-M1 is improved in EVERY way from build, to controls, to performance so $1399 is expensive but priced RIGHT. This camera, just like the E-P5 and E-M5 can do what the big guys do WHEN USED WITH THE GOOD LENSES. It’s small, solid, and performs so yes, it is worth the premium over the E-M5. I have seen E-M5 images that are better than some images taken with a full frame camera like the M9, 5D, etc. It’s all about the glass my friends, and Olympus and Panasonic have a ton of it to choose from.

BTW, Olympus also said they are commited to releasing more PRO lenses with the very 1st pro lens being the 12-40 f/2.8 zoom. Yep, they called this their 1st ever PRO Micro 4/3 lens. It is expected to ship in December 2013.

I was only able to get off a few shots with the camera, and only in JPEG mode and mainly with the 12-50 Kit Zoom with the camera in default settings. MUCH more will come in my review with a bevy of lenses being used. Stay tuned!

A couple of quick shots in JPEG with the OMD E-M1 and the 12-50 Kit Zoom, ISO 1000

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A 20 second long exposure with the 17 1.8

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ISO 1600

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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE:

NEW FLAGSHIP OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1® CAMERA IS THE PINNACLE OF OLYMPUS INNOVATION

Micro Four Thirds® Camera Delivers Maximum Four Thirds® Lens Performance, DSLR Image Quality, Rugged Durability and Super-Large EVF; New Lenses Establish M.ZUIKO® PRO Category

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., September 10, 2013 – In response to the demand for a compact system camera as powerful as a professional DSLR, Olympus introduces the OM-D E-M1®, its new premium flagship camera and worthy Micro Four Thirds successor to the Olympus E-5 DSLR. The E-M1 has a revolutionary design for advanced photographers looking for a high-performance tool in a compact system camera package. The powerful E-M1 is packed with incredible speed and image quality that rivals full-frame DSLRs, in a portable yet lightweight body designed to go anywhere.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 now works seamlessly with all ZUIKO Digital lenses, in addition to working with M.ZUIKO Digital lenses, so photographers can enjoy optimum performance of the entire Olympus lens lineup. This is possible due to advanced DUAL FAST AF system that combines both Contrast AF and On-Chip Phase Detection AF. DSLR users familiar with an optical viewfinder will marvel at its electronic viewfinder (EVF) that is as large as a full-frame DSLR viewfinder and has added creative control. Its ergonomic body provides easy access to all manual controls and is ready for action in the most difficult shooting conditions.

Olympus also announces today the development of two new high-performance lenses, establishing the M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. The ZUIKO Digital ED 12–40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) and the ZUIKO Digital ED 40–150mm f2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) will expand the imaging options for professionals and serious photo enthusiasts alike.

DSLR Image Quality

With the OM-D E-M1, experience the highest image quality of any Olympus camera through the combination of a new 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, a new TruePic VII image processor, and its best-in-class M.ZUIKO lenses. The TruePic VII image processor reduces noise and color fading at high ISOs for improved image reproduction. New Fine Detail Processing II technology configures the appropriate sharpness processing for each individual lens for natural, high-quality resolution, as well as reducing compression artifacts when recording movies.

Fast and Accurate AF for Complete Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds Lens Compatibility

The newly developed DUAL FAST AF selects the ideal method, depending on lens type and settings: either 37-point On-Chip Phase Detection AF or 81-point Contrast Detection AF to maximize the performance of both ZUIKO and M.ZUIKO lenses. Both systems work together to significantly improve continuous autofocus tracking performance when a Micro Four Thirds lens is attached and C-AF is selected. Users can select Group Target AF for a variety of situations, Small Target AF for pinpoint shooting, or Super Spot AF for capturing even smaller subjects and specifying a small area focus location during macro shooting.

The TruePic VII engine supports 10 frames-per-second shooting with a 41-picture RAW buffer in single autofocus (S-AF) mode and 6.5 frames-per-second shooting with a 50-picture RAW buffer in continuous autofocus (C-AF) mode.

New Super-Large Interactive Electronic Viewfinder

The E-M1’s advanced, built-in Interactive Electronic Viewfinder features a 1.48x (35mm equivalent of .74x) magnification factor that rivals full-frame DSLR cameras. The extremely high-resolution 2.36 million-dot LCD panel provides a large, clear image that is on a par with optical viewfinders. Tracking moving subjects is completely natural, with a display time lag of only 0.029 seconds. Users can experiment with aspect ratio, magnification, color, and highlight and shadow, and the effects of camera settings on subjects are viewable prior to capturing the finished image. Adaptive Brightness Control raises the brightness when shooting in bright outdoor conditions and lowers the brightness in dark indoor conditions, reducing visual errors from light and dark adaptation of the eye.

Color Creator is a new easy-to-use tool that fine-tunes hue and color saturation using the intuitive GUI and Live View screen, so users can create original images imbued with their own choice of colors. Creative Color was created with a designer’s sensitivity in mind, and hue can be adjusted in 30 steps, and color saturation adjusted in eight steps, including the baseline.

The Most Effective 5-Axis Image Stabilization System

The Olympus E-M1’s built-in 5-Axis Image Stabilization with Multi-Motion IS mechanism reduces the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions. Whether shooting stills or HD video, even the motion blur caused by walking or running is stabilized. New algorithms make image stabilization more effective at low shutter speeds. When it is employed while panning during still image shooting or movie recording, IS-AUTO mode automatically detects the camera’s movements and provides optimal correction regardless of direction or camera orientation – even when panning in a diagonal direction. Users can check the image stabilization effects on the Live View screen as well as the viewfinder to accurately frame and focus, even during telephoto or macro shooting. Multi-Motion IS, used in combination with the 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism, produces excellent correction during movie recording.

Rugged Freeze, Splash, Dustproof Durability

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 expands the dustproof and splashproof capabilities of the E-M5 even further with freezeproof capabilities — guaranteed operation down to 14 ºF — for the best environmental resistance of any Olympus interchangeable lens camera. Its durable magnesium alloy body, and weather-resistant seals and gaskets block moisture and dust for use in any environment, without sacrificing image quality. The camera’s Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF) dust reduction system vibrates at a super-high speed of more than 30,000 times per second to powerfully remove dust particles so users can shoot in dusty environments.

Ultimate Camera Control

Advanced photographers will appreciate the intuitive 2×2 Dial Control system to easily adjust four often-used functions with the camera’s lever or two dials: aperture/shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO speed and white balance. A built-in grip similar to that of the E-M5 makes shooting with Four Thirds lenses more comfortable, and all frequently accessed buttons are logically laid out. Controls are now more functional: the settings reset function is activated by pressing and holding the OK button and there is a toggle option for the My Settings shortcut and a locking mode dial to prevent unintentional movement of the mode dial during shooting or when removing the camera from a case or bag. The dedicated “mic-in” jack supports an external microphone when recording HD movies and a built-in X-Sync socket easily connects to studio strobes.

Built-In Wi-Fi

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 includes built-in Wi-Fi, and the set-up is simple. By quickly scanning the QR code displayed on the camera’s LCD with a smart device, it syncs with the Wi-Fi network created by the camera. The free Olympus Image Share 2.0 smartphone app synchronizes a user’s smartphone and E-M1 so the camera’s “Live View” is effectively displayed on the phone, and the camera can be controlled by touching the smartphone display as if it were the camera. This is ideal for taking self-portraits, capturing images of wildlife from a distance and sharing images easily online. The E-M1’s remote shooting function has been improved for use in all main shooting modes (P, A, S, M and iAUTO). Users can now wirelessly adjust various settings, such as the shutter speed, aperture value, ISO and exposure compensation, as well as operate the Live Bulb shooting mode from their Wi-Fi devices. They can also use their smartphone to embed GPS information into their images.

More Creative Features

New Diorama II adds to the popular range of Olympus in-camera Art Filters and offers left and right blur effect in addition to the top and bottom blur effect of Diorama I. The Olympus E-M1 is equipped with two variations of HDR Shooting – HDR1 and HDR2. With a single press of the shutter button, four images with differing exposures are captured and automatically merged in the camera into a single HDR high-contrast image or super-high-contrast image. Photo Story mode enables users to capture a scene from multiple viewpoints and then combine the images into a single image to create unique collages inside the camera. Time Lapse Movie converts the series of pictures taken using interval shooting into a movie inside the camera. The Time Lapse Movie length has been increased to a maximum of 100 seconds. The number of possible shots that can be captured with Interval Shooting has been increased to 999. The E-M1 is also equipped with Focus Peaking, which dramatically improves the usability of older manual focus lenses.

New High-Performance Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-40mm f2.8 PRO lens (24–80mm, 35mm equivalent) is the first model in the new M.ZUIKO PRO category and is scheduled for release at the same time as the Olympus OM-D E-M1. It features dustproof and waterproof performance, toughness and excellent image quality. Its mount employs the same type of sealing as the camera body and is Movie & Still Compatible (MSC) with high-speed, near-silent autofocus during still shooting and high-definition (HD) video capture. It maintains the brightness of a constant f2.8 aperture for high-grade image creation, one of the requirements of professional photographers for a high-performance lens.

The M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150mm F2.8 PRO (80–300mm, 35mm equivalent) also joins the new M.ZUIKO PRO lens category. This lens is currently under development, with a planned release in the latter half of 2014. It will be a telephoto zoom lens with a bright constant f2.8 aperture and will feature a dustproof and splashproof construction rugged enough for professional use.

Several new accessories are designed to complement the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and broaden the creative horizons of all advanced photographers. The HLD-7 Power Battery Holder is a dustproof and splashproof power battery holder that can enable the capture of approximately 680 shots (based on CIPA tests) between charges. It features a shutter button for shooting with the camera held vertically and two control dials and two function buttons for the same easy controls as when shooting from a horizontal position. The GS-5 Grip Strap for the HLD-7 keeps buttons and dials accessible even when the battery holder is attached. The PT-EP11 Underwater Case is made exclusively for the Olympus E-M1 and allows shooting down to 45 meters.

The new CBG-10 Camera Bag is compact, yet designed with Four Thirds lens use in mind, and the highly water-resistant CS-42SF Soft Camera Case, which is part of the Camera Bag CBG-10 system, is made exclusively for use with the E-M1. The CSS-P118 Shoulder Strap is made of washable material with a slender width that matches the versatility of the Micro Four Thirds System.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 will be available in October 2013 in the following configurations.

Estimated Street Price:

$1399.99 Body only, available in Black

 

  114 Responses to “The Olympus OM-D E-M1 in hand quick 1st look report!”

  1. I just got back from an Olympus presentation here, where the EM1 was on display and available to use. Feels similar to the EM5, but I had to give the C-AF a go…well, either I was doing it wrong, or it was nowhere even close to a good DSLR. I mean, it was miles off. The single AF was lightning quick as you’d expect, but the continuous? A bit better than the EM5, but that’s not saying anything.

    Put it this way, if I was going to be shooting a lot of action, there’s no way on earth I’d consider it. I was under the impression that it was now good at tracking moving objects. Not in my experience from what I saw and felt of it today.

    I’ll definitely wait and see on this one.

  2. How does the flash compare against the SB 900 or SB 910 or to a Canon (I have D300s with SB 900) I shoot events (indoors in low light conditions allot), weddings, portraits, model(s). I also use it in studio with my Elinchrom BXRI 500. The D300s always performs and well. I am considering a major switch in systems and want to upgrade and need to know if the OMD-EM 1 can handle the stress it will go through. p.s., I have over 180,000 clicks on D300s in 3 years. Please reply thoughtfully, Danny

  3. You can add any custom settings to a MySet feature and overwrite any of the modes on the mode dial.

  4. One thing I don’t see is custom settings (C1, C2 etc) on the PASM dial. Is there a way to save regularly used settings?

  5. Man, being tempted again.

  6. I was on the verge of buying the EM-5 but just couldn’t get used to the EVF in it. Then the rumours started about the EM-1 so i waited. Sadly though the UK price of £1300 is just way to high for body only and £2000 with 12-40 lens. Rip off Britain. Wish i lived in the US

  7. I am curious, will this camera completely replace the OMD EM-5 or is Olympus going to upgrade the EM-5. I have been waiting for the announcement but no word yet on an upgrade, does any one know?

    • I think this is an upgrade to the E-M5. I do not thing there will be an E-M6 or E-M5s or whatever. This is like an E-M5 but with all of the improvements. I am not 100%, but my guess is that this is the upgrade. Not sure what they could do with an E-M5 upgrade without being just like the E-M1. E-M1 is the same size, same basic idea, just faster, better low light, better build, etc.

      • Steve, I do appreciate the reply, I shoot professionally with a Nikon D300s but want to upgrade to a better camera with greater low light capabilities. I have followed your reviews on the EM-5 and have waited t make this decision. I shoot portraits, weddings, events and outside on location. I use a SB 900 FLASH allot and it provides great quality of light. I like the mirrorless technology concept and want to create a different look and feel to images. Your advice is helpful in my decision.

      • Steve, though I can’t fault your reasoning, I hope Olympus do continue with the EM5 – I am very happy with my mine but would welcome the updates that were included in the new EP5, i.e. faster shutter (to make the most of the fast primes in bright light), improved EVF (I uses the EVF exclusively and good as it is, there is room for improvement), and Wi-fi control etc. For me personally I would choose the slightly smaller form factor of teh EM5 over the additional controls and more pro handling of the EM1 (which I doubt I would make the most of). On the other hand I am delighted the EM1 exists, not only as a possible next step if I need it, but also for the level of commitment it shows Olympus has to the m 4/3 system. For me and the “everyday” use I put this camera to, this sensor size is the perfect balance/compromise – and I for one enjoy the unavoidably deeper depth of field at large apertures (compared to full frame) which can be useful in low light situations allowing for larger apertures whilst maintaing a deeper depth of field which the subject might require. That said, I would also have an RX1 in my bag if funds allowed.

  8. This looks like an awesome camera.Looking forward to your review! Now just to see what Fujifilm releases (rumor about Fuji Xe-2 possibility going on in the next few months). Then I guess I will have to decide what system to jump into…

  9. Hi, I have the OMD with 12-35 Panasonic… will upgrade the OMD to EM1 but what about the lens? worth selling the Pana and buying as bundle?
    Thanks
    Rainer

  10. The Olympus stand at the Digital Imaging Show in Melbourne (Australia) this coming weekend is going to have 20 x EM-1s on display for the public to play with. Fr once us Australians will really be able to one up the rest of the world!

    • Thanks for the tip!

      I will be there playing with an EM1.

      At 2pm on Saturday there is a a big Iceland presentation by Joshua Holko. Looks great!

  11. I am an amateur and happy to be one. I do not need to make money with my camera, so I can manage with lesser than perfect cameras and even without bringing any picture home “from the assignment”. I take pictures besides my real job and during my leisure time. I tend to spend more time carrying my gear than using it. Hence I prefer light and compact gear over perfect gear. Cheaper gear means I can work less hours, less hard or retire earlier, with more leisure time, more time to play with photo gear and more time to rave about theoretically perfect gear. So please join in my praise of the imperfect amateur camera and lens.

    But couldn’t Olympus move the EVF to the corner where I don’t squeeze my nose on the LCD, smearing it with nose grease?

  12. It is a great shame that the Olympus still didnt give up on the children size senzor.

  13. Steve – you have a mistake in what you wrote.

    The 12-40 F2.8 lens is both bigger and heavier than the 12-35 F2.8

    I also takes 62mm filters as opposed to 58mm.

    What you neglected to say about the 12-40 is that it has much better magnification – 0.6x !

  14. But can it shoot my wonderful 35-100 2.0, 14-35 2.0, 50mm 2.0 macro, 7-14 4.0 4/3 lenses as well as my old reliable E-5?????

  15. Is the EVF better than the Sony A77 or A99?

  16. Thanks for early impressions. I’m really looking forward to the better electronic viewfinder which should add a lot to the shooting experience. I’ve pe-ordered a body via your links. I’m keeping my EM-5 for now.

  17. Still think its one ugly camera, that grip looks like something my daughter designed and stuck on when she was at pre-school! Sorry but its no work of art, hopefully it will perform well which is the bit that really matters !

    • I am an Oly fan…but I have to agree…the grip intigration does look like Dr. Frankenstein had a hand in it…no doubt. Camera is a winner on paper and in sales right now though!

  18. I sold my E-M5 in anticipation of this camera (thanks Steve!), and I’m ready to place my pre-order. I was hoping for a discount for buying the new 12-40mm along with the E-M1. Oh well, that’s the price one pays for getting in at the get-go.
    Steve thanks for all the good information. I’ll be sure to pre-order through your links.

    • I was looking for the same thing. I think the kit bundles aren’t available yet because the body is coming out in October and the lens won’t be out until December. I think once December rolls around the kits will start showing up at $2200.

      Maybe that’s why Oly has the free MMF or 300r flash promo going on now…

      • Joel.. I’m sure you’re right. Oh well… I bit the bullet and pre-ordered the E-M1, the 12-40 and added the free flash. This is an expensive hobby. Thank goodness I have an understanding wife.

  19. Very nice and tempting camera. Love the looks! Still, appr 35% reduction in weight and sive, paired with a way more than 50% reduction in sensor size? Can’t see myself abandoning full frame for that. Can’t see myself doing without the control my fast primes give me either.

    Still, I want to try it out quickly!

    Still #2, I still think 4/3 is a dead end street. Look at what APS-C is doing.

  20. The EM1 looks like a very well thought out camera.

    – I think it is quite silly they didn’t simply call it the OM-D1. That would have been perfect.

    – Secondly, they should have no choice but to drop pricing for the EP-5 now.

    I don’t know that they can justify it at $1450.

  21. GAS GAS GAS. Is the camera you are currently using giving you pleasure and allowing you to capture images that you are happy with? If so, STOP! Enjoy your photography and resist the literally never-ending line of new offerings from commercial companies which are after your hard-earned money. Remember when the e-p3 was WOW? Here’s the news, it still takes great photographs! The constant chasing of the latest gear in the mistaken belief that it will improve your photography is a road to unhappiness. Release yourselves from GAS. I’m vowing to stick with my v1 kit until something comes along which will REALLY improve my ability to capture better images. Who’s with me?

    • I think you’re right, Mark. Had to look it up-GAS- what a great acronym. Some of the shots I took back in the day with Kodachrome 64 can’t be beat. Think I’ll stop salivating and go take some pictures. A dose of reality is a welcome thing.

      • Hooray! At least one person with me. Thanks Cathy. Salivating is fine, but not at the cost of going out to take pictures. That’s what photography is all about after all, not simply amassing more and more gear.

        • This, from one of the earlier comments, says it all:

          “I’ve lost countless hours over the last week or so pouring over reviews and first looks and blogs and my head is spinning.”

          If only that time had been spent out in the real world taking photographs…

      • Not the only person with you. I’ll definitely stick to my E-M5. But was about to get the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 lens. Now I’ll just wait for the cheaper 12-40. Or is that also too gassy? :)

    • Yes, you are quite right………the latest camera won’t mean you will get better images! I just got a cheap as chips V1 which has a small sensor and produces ‘grainy’ images…………..but love it!

      I also like shooting with my OM-D and RX100M2.

      People upgrade their mobile phones. They all still make calls………..but if you can afford the new latest all singing dancing camera then I say ‘go for it!’ You only live once.

      • So long as they add something to your photography, I say go for it too.
        A leica mm would be lovely for intimate portraits, street, landscape and the like, however I wouldn’t fancy using one to capture sports action. Possible obviously but not ideal. Horses for courses. Just try to avoid many horses for one course. That is gas.

  22. Steve Does it Feel a lot bigger then the E-M5. Do you think the size of it makes it less portable then the e-p5 and the e-m5. Thanks Looking to move from a Nikon D5100 cause I wanted something more fun and portable.

  23. Hi Steve,

    Nice camera indeed. Not that it matters, but any chatter about a silver body?

  24. OK, so now I have 2 expensive camera bodies on order in addition to the 14-40 f/2.8 lens. I’ve lost countless hours over the last week or so pouring over reviews and first looks and blogs and my head is spinning. But I keep coming back to the new Panisonic GX7- and why? Because the 2 aperture and shutter speed dials remind me of my first “real” camera, my old Canon Ftb from 1975. Very basic, just me and my 50 mm lens.
    So I’m trading in my Canon 7D to return to M4/3. Used it with a 70-300L lens at Yellowstone last year and while I got some wonderful shots, I am still rehabbing my shoulder. Wish I was kidding. So now all I want is my new camera (and a “pro” long tele M4/3 lens before my wildlife trip of a lifetime in Sept. 2014). And I want to start learning my new camera ASAP.
    THOUGHTS?
    Any advice, Steve?

    PS ordered everything through your GREAT website. Thanks for all the terrific info

    • The E-M5 (and now E-M1) also has/have “..the 2 aperture and shutter speed dials..” when used in Manual mode. Those dials are not exclusive to the Panasonic GX7. Left upper dial (of E-M5) for aperture; right top-plate dial for shutter speed. Same with E-M1.

    • In operation, the OM-D E-M1 will feel much more like your Ftb — and all the SLRs of the ’70s — than the GX7. In fact, this E-M1 is much more like the original OM film cameras that began in the ’70s.

      GX7 is a great camera, to be sure — and even more compact still — but the OM takes it up another notch and offers even more capability … and system capability. If you’re looking for a “trip of a lifetime” camera, and think this might be your last camera purchase for a long while, I think you’re better to go with the OM-D E-M1.

      • sorry, but there is no “trip of a lifetime” camera in our digital age. Many GAS victims searching for the perfect camera. But cameras are not perfect and never will. So it’s up to YOU to be happy with your camera and stop lusting for the latest and greatest.

        In other words, in 2 years, when the next super cool E-M1S-PRO (or whatever) comes out, it depends on you to be happy with your (than aged) E-M1 as your a “trip of a lifetime” camera, not on the camera itself.

        • Perhaps I was unclear. I used my 1975 Canon Ftb-happily- for about 20 years, until one of my kids knocked it to the floor and it was not repairable. Now I’m in the market for a m4/3 since I gave my Panasonic G-1 to a relative. My Canon 7D is just too heavy-and honestly, too much camera for me. While I am NOT feeble as many photo geeks like to label my kind, I am older and I just can’t carry the big guns any more. So my quest is to buy either the new GX7 or E-M1 and keep it for the duration. The best IQ, fast focus and ease of use in one of these lighter weight babies is what I’m looking for; I have the 7-14 and Leica 25mm lenses, and I am anxious to get to learning on my new camera.
          So my “trip of a lifetime” was a bit misleading. I’d love for a fast M4/3 tele lens to appear before next September, but the body will likely go to the grave with me. Guess that’s why I got a bit obsessed about the choice. Could probably flip a coin and be happy with the result, but in our Information age, it’s easy to lose one’s way.

          • Simple answer? Determine what you’re planning to shoot, then get the camera that best matches your requirements. You can’t go “wrong” with either of these cameras. Same with the EP-5.

            However, if any tele or action or wildlife is involved, my guess is that would be best served by the OM-D EM-1.

          • there will be a 40-150 Pro lens in 2014 for the em1 – also remember you can use the older 4/3 lenses that Oly makes ( excellent lenses ) with this camera and have good autofocus ( up to 600mm FF equivalent ) – but not cheap ( used would bring it down though grab them before people start buying them to use with the em1 ) see:
            http://www.getolympus.com/ca/en/lenses/slr.html?icn=topnav&ici=lensesnav_slr-viewall

          • Cathy, I was delighted to read your passion for the Canon FTb. It’s the camera I had as a teenager. It’s the camera that made me fall in love with photography. I took amazing photos of Alice Cooper and The Faces/Rod Stewart … in addition to landscapes.

            LOVED my FTb. HATED when some jerk stole it out of my car in the 1980s. Your comments alone make me leaning toward to E-M1 over the GX7 (and I’m a major Lumix/Paasonic owner).

  25. Great, now put this EVF to an E-Px body and I am set ;).

  26. so what´s new, i have 16 MB sensor already on OMD.

    BIG disappointment!

    • 1/8000, ISO 100, improved sensor apparently, even better EVF still highly portable with nice small prime lenses…..each to their own, but that will do me. I’ll keep the DSLR for sport, wildlife and hedging my bets, but upgrade to this for my go-to always with me walkabout. Will work out how to explain that the the financial side of my brain later. I have never used a camera so much as I have the EM5 though, there will certainly be better IQ options, but upto A3 prints this will be excellent and the best camera is the one you want to take with you.

  27. Just placed my pre-order. I’ll have to think about whether this makes sense or if I should just get the RX1 instead. Currently using the Nikon V1 and RX100 and am planning to sell my OMD E-M5. Will keep the Leica 25/1.4 and the Olympus 45mm for now until I decide.

    • i was looking at the rx1, too! but in the end, i want to use different lenses, so i’m keeping my em5. i have the 25/1.4 and just ordered the 12-40. wondering if i should sell the 25/1.4 and pick up the 75/1.8…so many choices!

    • Sony will release a FF interchangeable lens camera ( Nex7 style ) before the end of the year ( possible announcement next month ) so no need to confine yourself to fixed lens….

  28. Looks nice. But I still have issue with cameras made in China. I have the Sony X100 (made in Japan) and love it. I wanted to upgrade to the RX100 until I learn that it’s now made it China. I’ll stick with my ‘made in Japan’ Fuji XE-1. Free Tibet and the people of China!

    • Well, Japan isn’t immune from issues… I just bought an x100 on eBay (made in Japan of course) that has the sticky aperture blade problem. Trying to return it now because the seller “forgot” to mention anything.

      The country that a product is made has less importance than the QC of the parent company.

  29. Steve, the picture captioned ’20 second long exposure’… may be a stupid question but is it hand held? (It would be incredible… I am only asking because of other reviews showing sharp 2 second exposures, and because judging from your quick review I don’t think you’d have gotten it onto a tripod. But I always leave room to be surprised!)

  30. Steve,

    Do you think its worth moving from the Panasonic 12-35 2.8 to this new one?

    • Well, I can not say until I get to really use it. It looks amazing, feels amazing and focused fast as lightning, even in dim conditions. Thats all I can say about it so far.

  31. Since i found my passion in photography with the OMD EM5 at the start the year it has never left my side. My toddler must be slow then others as it focuses so fast with the primes like the 17mm 1.8. I have rarely missed shots due to lack of focus.
    My only issue with the EM5 is the poor C-AF capability. If the EM1 has over come that then i want it. I just need flowers, alot of wine and some husband points to convince my wife we need a $2k upgrade of a system that has taken so many beautiful shots that will tell our story forever. Even then i doubt i will convince her.
    I should not complain as the EM5 would meet any enthusiasts needs as it does mine however that does not stop me wanting its bigger brother. It about boys and their toys. Doh.

  32. PRO is a overstaded word these day. Mike Johnston found that out when he read a commercial (about matrasses) that said “sleep like a pro”. Yeah, i’dd love to be payed to sleep to, Mike. So attaching the word Pro to a lens designation always has me suspecting the worst. Pro means getting payed for something, just that….nothing more…..and I have never had a camera earn me money….I’d have to do that myself, no matter what lens.

    • I think they want a label for the pro series like the canon “L” series.

    • I don’t think calling it PRO is an overstatement at all in the case of this particular lens.

      Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s the only 24-80 (FF equiv.) fixed f/2.8 on the market right now.

      That means it competes with — and actually beats in focal length — the equivalent 24-70 f/2.8 lenses from Nikon and Canon.

      And as others have mentioned, it will probably offer a better level of build quality and weather sealing than a non-“pro” lens.

      All these features make a lens more appealing to professionals … whether you label it “pro” or not.

  33. Thanks, Steve. Now you’ve got me thinking that I might have to sell my E-M5 and upgrade. Your comment about the AF being faster than the 6D and 85 1.2 lens really caught my interest. The biggest complaint I have about the E-M5 is that the autofocus is fast, but not fast enough for a toddler!

    • @David:
      What “85/1,2” lens?

      This is what Steve wrote:

      “When the new upcoming 12-40 was attached it was a speed demon, and much faster than the Canon 6D and Sigma 35 1.4 I was shooting with.”

      Presumably a EOS 6D with a EF 85/1,2 would focus faster than it would with the Sigma 35/1,4…

      Anyway, I get veeerrry tempted to get this camera in due time(read: finances allowing), to replace or maybe add to my E-M5.
      From what I´ve read yet it seems to be such a fine instrument as any could have hoped for.

      Just want to know more about AF w 4/3 glass.
      Steve write “much much faster” than with the E-M5, but that says not much. How fast compared to fex a E-5 would be MUCH more informative to know…

      • (excuse me for the lousy treatment of English in my previous post; I wrote it a fair bit to quickly I believe…) ;-)

      • Actually the Sigma 35 1.4 focuses quite a bit faster than the slow AF of the 85 1.2 II on the 6D. The quality of the Sigma is flat out amazing.

        • OK, thanks, Steve!

          I tried neither the Sigma 35/1,4 nor the EF 85/1,2.
          I believed the opposite to what you say regarding AF speeds of those 2 lenses was the fact, but know better now! ;-)

        • Hey Steve – Curious about you shooting the 6D with 35mm Art: Are you planning to do a review of this combo by any chance? I know these types of cameras aren’t really your thing but would be great to read you opinions on it. And yes the Sigma 35mm is amazing :)

  34. so if the 12-40 is the first “pro” lens, what separates it from, say, the 75mm or the 12mm, both of which are excellent lenses? are the pro lenses just going to be weather sealed?

  35. very nice! can’t wait to see one…;) tell me Steve, how was the shutter sound? one thing I noticed a out the EP5 was the very slick futuristic and quiet sound from the shutter. Is this like that or more like the EM5?

  36. Hey, they have unveiled the 40-200 either?
    Is in the 7th picture, right?

  37. Judging from the Dpreview compare the high ISO improvement is like more than 1 stop over E-M5, definitely better than NEX or D7100, but X-Pro1 is still better though

    • Even if it’s a full stop better than the E-M5, I still don’t think that would place it above the latest APS-C NEX cameras would it? (ie. DX0 Mark rates the OMD EM-5 at 826 for low light, and the NEX 3N at 1067). No doubt the next NEX will be much improved. The Camera Store didn’t feel it would match the ISO performance of APS-C cameras in their review.

    • No, low noise, high ISO combinations will not be on par with the X-Pro1 or full-frame.

      But for Micro 4/3s, this camera is a grand slam!

  38. I love what I see :-)

  39. Bugger, just ditched Olympus E-5, EM-5 and lenses for Nikon D600 because Olympus was looking dead in the water. No plans were revealed for proper lenses, had to use Panasonic or 4/3rd lenses if the subject held very still! Oh well, never mind.

  40. Too bad not yet a double SD slot :((
    goodbye to my project to adopt it as a primary choice for events…

    • I agree, would have been nice, but lets face facts here too! I went from shooting my Hasselblad set with 12 images a roll for weddings and public events (risking losing 12 images per roll if I had an accidental exposure) to shooting my first digi, a Canon 20D, with 4 4gig cards in case one should fail. Then a 5D, with 4 4 gig cards. Then a 5D2 with 4 8gig cards. If I would have ever lost a card to failure, I would have lost just one small portion of the event as I changed cards often to be safe. Never did lose a card in 10 years of professional shooting. Now there are cameras with dual slots. YEAH! that rocks! It really does! But honestly, there are a lot of pro’s out there still shooting 5D2 and other cams without dual slots. Change cards a little more often. Make sure you legalities are in line in your paperwork with regards to card failure and fault, and lastly, shoot away!!! Odds are vastly in your favor pal! Happy shooting!

      • I lost some images on Kingston card with nikon camera, but it worked fine with Canon. And once I bought 32 GB SanDisk Extreme that failed after the first shot. May be I am not as lucky as you :(

        So, it is a good idea to test a new card before you go to a wedding.

    • Just use Wi-Fi feature to back up your files to a tablet or phone.

      No dual SD slots needed.

  41. This camera is pretty extraordinary in so many ways.

    For those who remember back to the days of the OM-1 and OM-2, this OM-D E-M1 follows in their footsteps. It’s 35% smaller and lighter than a full frame camera (50% smaller and lighter than a D4 or EOS-1D), and yet offers a viewfinder as big as a full-frame camera, with increased operability. Same hallmarks as the original film OMs.

    Tech, design, and ergonomics are all very, very impressive. Feels like the spiritual descendent of the OM-4, in fact. Even the controls and switch gear on the top left deck look and operate like the OM film cameras.

    I wish it had dual card slots, but alas, you can’t have everything I guess.

    They’re marketing the E-M1 (and two new lenses) as ‘PRO’, but it will be interesting to see if this camera can actually capture a larger share of the pro market. The lack of dual card slots ― and, of course, small sensor size ― handicap the camera for the majority of professionals, I suspect … but for certain types of shooting an increasing number of pros may opt for this as a secondary or alternative system.

    Love it…

    • One thing that never get’s mentioned is tethered shooting, for any camera to really enter the “Pro” market, it must have some form of tethered shooting.
      I don’t know if the EM1 does or not, please let us know if you have the answer.

      • It does. And you can do it wirelessly from your iPad or smartphone.

        • As to my knowledge, the camera does not have tethering in the Nikon/Canon way. You cannot open full resolution image. With Nikon I can shoot and my customer see all of the shots in RAW (+calibrated IPS monitor). Olympus and Panasonic shows low quality low resolution image. I am agree that the camera could not be called professional only because it lacks tethering feature. Otherwise, the camera is great.

  42. Hi Steve, really interesting. Things are moving so fast!
    Now this beast is out, are you still planning a full review of the E-P5?

  43. First Micro 4/2 to tempt me to switch. The 4/3 lenses on it – 150 f2, 50-100 f2, 90-250 f2.8 and 300 f2.8 will be amazing for (relatively) lightweight reach.

    • The m4/3 + 4/3 system is absolutely mouthwatering at the moment. So many amazing lenses. My single problem is the lack of money :)
      I will probably not going to upgrade from E-M5. Maybe in 2-3 years time.
      Well done Olympus for combining the two systems!!

      • Nope, won’t upgrade either. Bottom line is, does my IQ improve and that is dependend on the sensor for 95% at least….more options I don’t need. Allthough I could do with a tad more bracketing for IBL sphere shooting, but for that I will buy a Canon 5D mk II second hand if they hit 750 euro and install Magic Lantarn on it, then I have a lot more bracketing possibilities and a lot beats a little anytime.

        Greets, Ed.

        P.S. The 12-40 could be verry, verry tempting though if it beats my 14-45 in sharpness (I don;t care about aperture as much since I shoot landscape) but first I have to design and build a 3D printer (preferably from reclaimed parts) and when that’s up and running I’ll think about cameras again.

  44. youve got amazons body only link saying $999 fyi

    • Even at the retail price of $1399.99 for the body this translates to £900 in the UK where it has been launched at a list price of £1299.00 (or $2050.00)

      Price differences always a point of discontent but this seems unusually high ? I feel a trip to New York coming on……..

  45. Olympus … 5 years on and video is still stuck on 30fps. Please tell me there will be a 25/50P version for the PAL half of the world.

  46. The Olympus site has it available for order too and it is described as (Black) So does that mean we will see a silver?

  47. Looks nice, but why Wi-Fi and not GPS instead? Would have been more useful on a camera for travel.

    • It can sync with a smartphone’s GPS over wi-fi.

      • If you connect the camera with the Olympus application on your smartphone the camera can use the GPS coordinates from your phone’s GPS.

        • Wouldnt you need to have a phone plan where you are traveling then?

          • If you can afford that camera, you can also afford a 20$ pay-as-you-go internet sim card when you get to a new country :)
            Thats at least what I always do when coming to a new place, today local sims are so cheap, so i never use my home sim outside my home country.

  48. This is awesome! I would love to see a side-by-side image quality comparison between this new Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Fuji X100S!

    I do get a headache though trying to pronounce the name of this camera. Olympus? Could you please simplify the name?

  49. WOW!!! I love my OM-D E-M5 and was even thinking of grabbing a P5 for more portability, but this upgrade is tempting!!! Can’t wait for the full review although it seems as if it’s WAY better than the E-M5.

    • yeah…I have an OMD EM5 and just sold off my GX1 and LVF2 and purchased the EP5 kit with VF4 and 17mm this week…… OK…I cannot believe the build quality of the EP5….REALLY sweet. They layout and just everything about the camera is fluid..so fluid! I decided not to get the M1 as I have a complete FF Kit and use MFT to compliment that (at the rate this is going I will soon replace my FF kit!!!! LOL!)…. So I am really happy with my decision, although the M1 looks great and has some nice bells and whistles my little MFT kit does most of what it can and I have great choices I can make when I go out to shoot.
      I am sure whichever camera you buy from Oly…you will be happy about it. Good luck with the temptation!!!!!! LOL!

  50. Not as pretty as the OND E5 but looks a lot better ergonomically.

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