Olympus OM-D – First day in Singapore by Colin Steel

Olympus OM-D  – First day in Singapore by Colin Steel

I got a very big surprise yesterday when the guys at Artworkfoto in Singapore contacted me to say they had OMD’s in stock !!! I jumped at the chance and bought the two lens kit (they didn’t have the new 12-50 one) as I wanted a longer zoom for the trip to China and the 40-150 would fit the bill nicely. I have slightly mixed feelings about this as I will never use the 14-42 and to be perfectly frank found the build quality to be way, way bellow the Lumix lenses that I have. Oh well, too late now. I will use the 40-150 for the upcoming China trip but can’t see it standing up to the rigors of prolonged travel use. Having said that, the OMD in black is to my eyes absolutely gorgeous. It has a real quality feel to it and appears to be very well put together and I am so glad to see Olympus paying homage to the stunning designs of the 70’s OM’s.

I didn’t have a choice and I know many people are favoring the silver one but to me the black one has the killer looks. My instant reaction on getting it home was to stick on the Zuiko 50mm F1.8 and try it out and I think this combo not only looks great but delivers lovely dreamy results, definitely one for a future portrait session 🙂

Back to my thoughts on the camera. I am not a camera reviewer per se and will leave that to guys like Steve Huff and Kirk Tuck who are better at that than me. All I wanted to do here was show some early shots and share my thoughts on it as a travel camera. This post will focus on my views of the handling and usability of the camera and I will leave the technical and image quality tests to other better qualified testers. Please also bear in mind here that I couldn’t open RAW files in Lightroom so I just edited the jpg’s in Snapseed which I find great for simple stuff anyway. I have been looking a lot recently at the work of fashion photographers and had an opportunity to try the OMD with a model so I jumped at the chance. I immediately took a liking to the handling and the EVF which is nice to use. I personally use exposure compensation continually and I was delighted to find it on the front dial near the shutter so that I could find and use it with the camera to my eye. I have never overly concerned myself with camera metering accuracy preferring instead to use my eye and compensate or, as I have been doing more and more recently, bracketing the exposures by one stop over a set of three. I do think this is very important with smaller cameras as you don’t want to be too far underexposed if it can be avoided.

It was pouring rain in Singapore so I decided to try some still life shots using the 45 mm f2.8 Lumix macro. I was delighted with the OMD rear screen and touch focus, this for me is a major boon for this type of shooting. I simply set up the OMD and 45 on a tripod and configured a 2 second timer delay, touched the screen on the focus point and a few seconds later I had the shot. I know this is dreadfully clichéd but I couldn’t help but pay homage to the film OM’s and a couple of very nice books that I have been reading lately.

 

Please remember my comment at the start, this review is not about the image quality, I am simply sharing my early thoughts on the use of the camera. Having said that, with some simple Snapseed editing I got some pleasing results.

Again, I apologize for the cliché, I am sure we will all get sick of these soon but it did look rather lovely and that tasty little 50 mm Zuiko will be working its butt off shortly on the OMD.

The good news is that I was finding this very simple and after a few shots the camera was out-of-the-way and I got more focused on the composition and look of the shot. I have mentioned this previously when I re-visited the GF1 but I can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to know how you shoot and know your camera intimately for the control you need for your style. this was a major objective for me today, I know how I like to shoot and I had to get to grips quickly with the focusing (manual for the Zuiko’s), bracketing for exposure and fast exposure compensation. Once I get these things nailed I can get on with the look and composition and forget the camera settings.

 

I tried a few different presets in Snapseed and really liked the B&W one above. I am not usually a fan of the Snapseed B&W but this seems to have come out fine. Finally, here’s a color shot using my other favorite read of the moment.

 

At last the weather picked up and I headed off to my favorite shooting location in Singapore – Marina Bay. I just love the afternoon light there and I stuck the Lumix 14 and 20 lenses into the bag and off I went.

Here are the first two shots which both benefited from the 46 mm polarizer which, as I have mentioned previously, fits both the 14 & 20 Lumix lenses, this is a huge benefit and one that is often overlooked. Like many of the shots I took at Marina Bay these have had a tweak in Snapseed ‘dramatone’ filter. Somehow I felt it worked really nicely for the contrasty shots at the Bay.

The one above was taken low and again the benefit of being able to fold out the screen and focus by touch point was significant in making the shot. This is a great feature of mirrorless cameras like the Sony Nex’s and some of the Lumix models and I have to say that I pretty much consider this essential in a modern camera, it really does make a difference as we shall see with my late afternoon shots.

I am no fan at all of many of the options in the OMD menus but couldn’t level this criticism at Olympus alone. They simply clutter though and all of the pointless art filters and so on are better managed in simple apps like Snapseed which offer more flexibility. I am a bit of a fan of the Snapseed drama tone for example and found it more subtle and flexible than the OMD efforts, Similarly with the above grainy B&W shot. Here are another two using the same effects and I really liked the EVF in the OMD, I read that it’s not as good as the Sony NEX 7 one but it is very usable and I found that it was preferable to disable the eye sensor trigger and leave it on either the EVF or the screen and manually switching depending on what I was doing.

I was trying so hard to close the lens down to maximize the sunburst that I got surprised by this cyclist and the shutter speed is a shade too slow but I liked the shot anyway and I found the focusing and speed of the OMD to be spot on for this kind of street work, the motion blur on the subject was all my fault.

 

As the sun started to go down I found myself relying more and more on the screen and touch focusing. This allowed me to get some interesting low angle shots of the late afternoon walkers.

 

This sequence of shots were taken with the OMD on the ground and pre-focused on where I thought the feet were going to be. Much as I liked the subtlety of color above, I found drawn to the drama tone in Snapseed when I was looking at these as it really brought out the boardwalk nicely.

 

I quickly found that people don’t really take so much notice of little cams like this and was able to sit for ages capturing a wide variety of contrasting shots.

I know that effects like ‘drama tone’ become tiresome very quickly but as this was a fun shoot and more about me learning to use the OMD than anything else I shot away until the sun went down.

Just in case anyone is thinking that I have gone all voyeuristic, I also found that it was extraordinary the variety of different subjects that I shot and everything from cycles and scooters whizzed into the sunset view. I also get a sense from using the jpg files that they were easy to work with and I have high expectations of the RAW files when I get the Lightroom update.

I suspect we will all have ‘drama tone’ overdose by now so here is a nice simple shot taken as the sun descended behind the Fullarton Hotel and the new LV store. This was hand-held and it looks like Olympus’s grand claims for the in camera stabilization look justified and this will be awesome for using with the old Zuiko lenses.

Time to wrap up then with some early thoughts on the camera.

Despite some early irritations with the menu system I have gotten to grips with it quite quickly. I still feel that Lumix spoiled us with the GF1 and its usability, but the OMD comes reasonably close and in some respects the dual dials work better giving really fast control over vital exposure compensation and aperture variation. The flip out screen is superb and the touch screen focusing brilliant, this is a real step forward for varied angle shooting and works really well. I didn’t find the limited articulation of the screen limiting at all but I think it might disturb some users who want vertical movement as well. The stabilization works well and I am a big fan of in-camera type as opposed to the lens version. This allows for more effective use of legacy lenses for example and once I got to grips with the magnification manual focus assist, I found that my Zuiko 50 mm f1.8 had a new lease of life. I also have a nice 135 that became unusually long on the GF1 and I look forward to trying it out. My real disappointment with the kit so far is with the lenses which I am sure will be adequate optical performers but they simply don’t look strong enough for prolonged travel use.

It will be interesting to see how the image quality reviews but I have to say that for my purposes as a travel cam this thing looks perfect and its rugged build and out-and-out usability have me itching to get it on the road for a more thorough workout.

I hope you enjoyed this somewhat lightweight first look at a very interesting camera and I know the clichéd OM shots are a bit stiff and the ‘drama tome’ overused but please look on it as what it was – a learning experience for me in using the camera the way I want and a bit of fun into the bargain.

Here’s a nice moody street shot to finish and I think this was with the lovely 50mm Zuiko. Until next time, safe traveling and if you are looking for a new travel cam don’t hesitate on the OMD its a cracking camera, just don’t buy the two lens kit 🙂

Cheers,

Colin Steel

My Blog: Photo Travel Asia

 

81 Comments

  1. Colin, I like your blog!

    Do you plan on keeping the V1 (which is the system I have bought into)? Just curious.

    It seems like a person could buy a mirrorless camera and sell it one quarter later in order to upgrade to the newest body.

    Where does it end?

    You go totally lightweight on your trips now, don’t you? I mean no big Lieca or FF bodies and lenses.

    Do you feel you miss much by not having the big gear?

    Thanks

    • Hi Paul,

      Yes, on the V1, I like it a lot. I have it in my workbag beside my laptop as I have decided to shoot more during work time. Your right on the camera thing but I am afraid I am a real addict, I just love messing around with cameras that I like.

      Its only in the last year that I have gone light-wieght, I used to carry a D3 and some heavy duty primes like the 24 f 1.4 etc. I will go back to the Nikon for certain trips as I really love the D3 and 24 f1.4 combo, I have some really nice shots with it. Somehow though I find that my most creative work comes with the smaller cameras and I am at a loss to explain it.

      I really don’t think I miss out at all by not carrying bigger gear, and I think the OMD has really closed that gap for me, the ISO is now usable at 1600 and with the fast primes it can compete now with the bigger cams from 2-3 years ago. The D800 is a different kettle of fish and I can’t make up my mind on it 🙂

      What I really try to do when planning a trip is work out what the shooting requirement will be and the last few (Myanmar and Fujian) have required longer zoom to get the shots so that is why I went with the V1 and then the OMD. Having said that I always think my best stuff comes with the wider angles and people shots.

      I feel that I haven’t really answered your question Paul but I hope this helps a little to understand me.

      I really appreciate you taking the time to look and comment.

      Thanks,

      Colin

  2. So far, I find OM5 images inferior to XPro1’s. Both are clearly digital in texture, but X1Pro’s have much better resolution (except in dpreview curious samples). Maybe my eyes are too used to B&W files from my Ricoh GRD2, or still glued to paper.

  3. thanks colin, and there is nothing wrong with the process style theycomplement the camera’s style.

    i have ordered one its too cool not to. However was hoping the dynamic range was going to beat my lumix G3. looks good here but i guess we have to wait for DXO mark to gives the number…what are your thoughts?

    cheers

    • Hi Robert, thanks 🙂

      On the dynamic range, I am sure I saw somewhere on 43 rumors or something that early tests showed it to be the best M43 in terms of DR. I will be able to comment better once I get back from my trip to China that starts on Sunday as there will be a fair bit of landscale shooting and I think that will be a good test. I still dont have the RAW convertor in Lightroom yet so haven’t been able to see how the files behave but to be perfectly honest Robert, I dont forsee any issue.

      Cheers.

      Colin

  4. I used to go to Marina Bay area, these shots are really creative from a different angle that the “tourist” site. Although it’s always about the photographer rather that camera, but I think OM-D has given the opportunity to take these great shots… really enjoy all the pictures here

    • Thanks Didit, I really enjoy late afternoons there, the light is great. Some weekend I will drag my lazy butt over in the morning to see how it looks then. Thanks for looking and commenting.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  5. Hi Folks,

    I just want to make a quick point here about my perspective on modern cameras. I think the image quality from any Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Ricoh, Olympus, Lumix, Leica et al RAW shooter made in the last year or so will be great for all of our purposes and therefore I largely ignore that aspect of the camera I am looking at, I take it for granted. What is to be gained from looking at shots of dolls, coloured squares, coins at 100% crop at 10 different ISO’s compared to 8 different cameras is beyond me for my purposes.

    What I am completely focused on however is how quickly can I get this camera ‘out of the way of what I want to shoot’ and how it will stand up to heavy travel use? Let me explain that a bit. I learned the hard way in the last few years that the more intimate I became with a camera with respect to my shooting style, the better the images completely regardless of the sensor and even to a degree the lenses. I found that I simply got much better shots becasue I didn’t have to go through a conscious thought process or make choices that got in the way. My requirements of a camera are simple – how quickly and easily can I; set and change aperture, change exposure compensation, bracket exposure, lock exposure, spot meter if needed and focus ? (automatically or manualy with legacy lenses) and that’s it. For the most part I know that if I can do these things without thinking and preset my camera to the shooting environment (indoors/outdoors, sunset, low light etc) I will get better creative results and this is nothing to do with intrsinsic image quality, jpeg processing or any of these things that, as I said, I believe can be taken for granted. This was my main thinking when I bought the OMD. Now I will freely admit to being a camera addict, this is my passion and hobby so I love messing around and shooting with loads of different peices of equipment and I was imedeatelty drawn to its rugged build, psuedo OM looks and apparent usability. What I was after in this post (my first day with camera) was how quickly I could get used to the things that I need it to do? As a bonus I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked the flip out screen and touch focusing and will incorporate these into my shooting style now and learn how to use them without thinking. The Snapseed processing was a bit of fun for me and I genuinely like the way the boardwalk looked in the low angle shots, please have a look at the original blog post to see them accurately.

    Sorry that this is a ramble but I really would urge the consideration on how a camera handles for your style over image quality and DoF any day.

    Just to add a little interest to this, here are two guys whose work I admire hugely and the shots are taken in Damien’s case with the OMD (and other Olympus small cams) and in Frank Doorhof’s case with an X10. the quality of these images look superb to my eye and at internet resolutions I would be unable to tell that Frank’s were not taken with his normal monster medium format cams !!!! These guys both are expert in their chosen style, maximise their skills and focus on the creativity of the lighting, contrast and composition of the shots.

    http://www.damianmcgillicuddy.com/journal/

    http://www.frankdoorhof.com/site/2012/04/fuji-x10-review/

    Again, I am not trying to enforce my views or patronise anyone here, simply stating some things from my own personal perspective.

    Again, big thanks to everyone who shared a view here.

    Colin

    • Looking forward to seeing your China pics. As always, you have proven that it is the photographer and not the camera that makes an excellent capture. And oh, having used Snapseed 2 weeks ago on the iPad on a recent trip, it was indeed a great photo-editing app. Better than Picasa 3, actually. :-p

      • Hey, Thanks. I just think its great that you take some shots and edit them quickly on the bus on the way home !!!! I know the results are low res from the ipad but a lot of these shots end up on the net so it doesn’t matter.

        Incidently, I shot some OMD jpg’s last night and took them straight from the camera and as far as I can tell they look fine, as I said in the ramble above though, I dont think this matters that much to me. I will try to post them on the blog though as I know some folkd are genuinely interested in this aspect of the camera. If I have time I will try to do some stuff with the legacy Zuiko’s as well.

        Cheers,

        Colin

  6. Looks like the OM-D E-M5 is a great camera. Images quality at high ISO’s is almost acceptable. Maybe the next generation sensors will be usable for me.

  7. Hi Colin, thanks for you first impressions on what seems to be an excellent camera. I played with the Olympus OMD at Focus on Imaging in UK and I was impressed.
    I have been waiting patiently for this camera to be released and reviewing any first impressions I can find. Excellent review and thanks for the great photos. I cannot wait to get my hands on one.

  8. If it was an APS-C, I’d probably buy it tomorrow to use with some of those light, excellent Zuikos from the past. But double the focal length and half the bokeh is a problem for me.

    • Hi Harry,

      I found the cracking stabilisation in camera seemed to help a lot with the double focal lenth and the bokeh looked great from the 50 f 1.8. I do agree with you though that, as a wide shooter I don’t really find that the doubled focal lengths suit me with a 28 becoming a 56 and so on, they are nice for portraits but really too long for my normal game.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  9. As you pointed out before, Snapseed jpegs aren’t going to perform up to RAW and LR or whatever. How does it compare with the V1 for focus speed? Does the kit come with a flash and does that bounce? I had my flash on for 90% of my shots for the last 2 weeks shooting in Cambodia and was very impressed with fill, bounce and rear curtain.

    OM…the most beautiful cameras I never owned. I well remember just staring at the OM1 brochures as a lad and then stupidly getting a Nikon F2 used when I could finally afford an SLR. What a pity they couldn’t make this D anything like as gorgeous…

    • Hi Jon,

      Agree with you on the OM’s, really lovely cameras and whilw the OMD isn’t really as pretty or simplistic, I personally really like the design.

      It does come with a seperate pop on flash that is not as versatile as the V1 version in that it doesn’t tilt or swivel. I will be taking the OMD and V1 to China next week so will be able to comment better then. I find the focus speed very good and although it may measure slightly differently from the V1, neither would let you down.

      Look forward to seeing your Cambodia shots, its a great destination.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  10. I always get sad, when I see a black OM4. At my 14th birthday, I was allowed to take all my money from my bank account. I bought a OM4, 21/2.8, 40/2.0, and 85/2.0. A gitzo, and about 50 rolls of kodachrome 25 and 64. What a birthday. A half year later I tramped alone to Photokina Cologne 1988, and all my stuff was stolen, except the gitzo and 2 dozen rolls pf film. What a year ….

    • Oh man, what a bummer. You owe it to yourself to get a nice one now !!! for some reason (I think its the fact that its electronic) I often see them cheaper used than OM1’s. I am sure you wouldn’t regret the purchase and the cracking lenses you mention can be used with adaptors for loads of fun.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  11. Most photographs reproduced on the web look like they were shot with camera-phones. These meaningless comments about format minutiae make me laugh. Its about CONTENT. Think about what you’re shooting, pay attention, put your soul into your images. Do this and it doesn’t matter whether you shoot with a camera-phone or an ultra large format view camera. By the way that last shot, the silhouette of the woman in front of the window is good by standard.

    • “Most photographs reproduced on the web look like they were shot with camera-phones”

      This is simply not the case – and the post is about new gear, not soul minutiae

    • The processing style also doesn’t do much for me, but I respect Colin’s choices and free will and also his talents. That being said:

      Hear hear!

  12. I wish he had not post processed the shots with snapseed, i want to see what the OMD can do on its own. Why should I spend $1000 on a camera if I am going to use post processing apps to change the pics into something else? I could do this with any digital camera.
    I want to see what the OMD can do with a fine lens and native jpeg. That is what matters.

    • Different films have a certain look. Don’t digital images have their “look” by software processing of some sort?

    • Hey, you got me there, I am ashamed to admit I have onley ever shot a handfull of rolls through it. I really do admire the looks and design of the camera though, I guess its all part of being an addict 🙂

      Cheers.

      Colin

  13. Thanks to Colin for the first look at the new OMD … great job! If possible at all, i would like to see some shots taken indoor or at night under low light condtions in color using the OMD.

  14. Interesting first shots. However, they look like what I expected from M4/3: lack of color depth, narrow DR, and somehow uninspiring (that’s why I sold my E620 and Pen E-P2).

    I would appreciate to see Olympus jump in the middle of the market with the first full format DSLR of the size of an OM. I hoped that Nikon would bring us such a kind of camera (a digital FM2, I would lovve it to say in W. Allen’s words), but I think they’ll stay big for the foreseeable future.

    2 all OM-D users: wish you good shots within the range of possibilities.

    • Post processing with snapseed probably. Here’s a thought, show some of your “work” with whatever you’re using now. I know others would love to see it too.

  15. I’m grateful to Colin for sharing his first impressions. It’s not easy to demonstrate what one camera can do that others can’t, unless the format is significantly different. For me, these shots demonstrate the abilty of MFT format to mimic images from a cameraphone.

  16. C’MON AMAZON!!!!!!!! What are you doing to those of us who preordered on Feb 8th!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Nice camera, too bad all those great OM lenses are tele on it. Unless its used on micro bodies with micro pancakes, 43 sensors needs to go, its high time Olympus and Panasonic get out of their format rut and release a proper full frame mirror less. Let past accomplishments define what you will do next, not how you will be restricted and may the apologist be silent as they are the fuel that powers hubris.

    • EF lenses are all “tele” on “crop body” Canons also. They were introduced (way back) in 1987, but at least are of modern design and will autofocus.

  18. Thanks for your opinion on the EM5. I appreciate user reports like this. They compliment the dozens of multi page technical reviews that will flood the net in the coming weeks. As I contemplate whether to get an EM5 I’ll add this to the others that have helped me in making my decision.

    Gordon

  19. I may be one of the few with this opinion, but while I think the old OM1 to OM4 cameras are beautiful works of art (I always wanted an OM4, it’s close to perfection), I feel this redesign not being harmonic (is this the right word)? The camera appears too small to me, too “unbalanced”, and too ostentatiously retro, so I decided to pass.
    Cheers,
    Michael

  20. While I appreciate the review and are glad you are enjoying the camera I have to concur with some of the posters above; there is just too much in camera filter or HDR effect going on here to really get a feel for the camera’s native ability. I’ve read great things about this camera despite its small sensor but I have yet to see a quality image come out of it that even compares to an M8 or X1 let alone a X Pro 1 or M9. I’ll keep reading because I really want to love this camera if only because I will be able to use my Digilux 3 Elmarit on it with a adapter.

  21. It is good to see some pictures from the new Olympus OMD. It may be slightly better than the GH2 I have. I agree with someone it will be a good travel camera. I believe it is very difficult to achieve shallow DOF when shooting wide angle lens (12mm f/2 may help a little). Thanks for posting this review!

    • Thanks,

      I think its a great travel camera, no question about it, my only slight fear is around battery life and I can’t source a spare just now 🙁

      I honestly don’t think you would notice much difference with your GH2 in real life use, they are both well sorted cameras. On the DoF thing, thanks for bringing that up, none of these shots required creative DoF and therfore its irrelevant and as you say its tricky with a wide angle lens unless your extremely close to the subject (which is incidently something I like a lot about the little Lumix)

      I am glad you enjoyed the review though, much of it seems to be getting taken out of context,

      Thanks again,

      Colin

  22. Once I liked very much OM1 but this current 4/3 format I simply cannot stand, whatever the camera! That’s why I switched to ILC by Sony, namely NEX3 – big APS-C sensor, small versatile body.

    • Funny, how one mans meat is another mans poison. I own a NEX-5 before switching to my GF1, the colours balance on the Sony was way off to me and could not get on with the lenses. I still use the NEX from time to time, but feel that is more of a budget camera compared to the GF1.

      • I had the nex3 and then I got a panny g3 and that panny ran circles around the nex3. And yes it totally felt like a budget camera cause it is.

    • APS sized sensor is not really much bigger than the MFT. It is MUCH smaller in relation to a 35mm sensor though. Funny how people keep trying to say a 1.5-1.6 crop factor sensor is HUGE.

    • APS-C, especially Canon APS-C, isn’t that much bigger than MFT. In fact, if you count the non-imaging area of the sensor, the 4/3 sensor size is basically Canon’s APS-C size with the “wings” clipped.

      (I’m referring here to the fact that only the 4/3 sensor size gives its actual imaging area, and not the whole sensor size. At these sizes, shaving off milimetres will have a big sway on total “perceived” size, especially since Sony, Canon, et al don’t give their imaging-area specs, and only their total sensor size).

      • A Nikon APS-C sensor is at least 1.6 times larger than a 4/3 sensor while a full frame sensor is almost 4 times larger than a 4/3 sensor.

        If you take the D7000 the sensor is 15.6 x 23.6mm = 368mm2.
        The 4/3 sensor in comparison is 17.3x13mm = 225mm2

        Pixel wise you get 4928 x 3264 pixels on the Nikon APS-C and on and 4032 x 3024 pixels on for instance an E-P3.

    • Hi Tommy, many of the shots were taken with the Lumix 14mm prime so its a pretty wide angle.

      I am glad the post was of interest to you though, thanks for reading it.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  23. That ‘grainy’ black-&-white cyclist shot really looks as if it was shot with that OM4 on Tri-X film! (..And the marvellous OM4 was unique in that it could be used with flash – the Oly F280 flashgun – at every shutter speed ..up to and including 1/2000th!..)

    Thanks for all the info, Colin, and I do look forward to trying an OM-D myself soon, after reading your considered opinion, and seeing your pics.

    • Hey thanks David, I am ashamed to say that I have only ever shot a few rolls with the OM4 but I do think its a delightfully designed camera and appears to be extraordinarily advanced for its time.

      Glad you liked the post, I am sure you will enjoy the OMD, its a cracking little camera.

      Colin

  24. Great review, I have a GF1 and loads of old lenses that I use with the camera.
    I love using it, but I have to ask do you think this is a massive upgrade over the GF1?

    • Hi Poppop,

      I am a huge fan of the GF1 and Lumix primes, I think it is the most usable camera I own so I am a bit coloured in my veiw. I would have to say though that the EVF is much better and of course integrated, the rear screen is also a big improvement and I do like the touchscreen focusing. The build is also superb so I guess I would have to say in many respects, yes, this is a big step up but there is an intangible in me that I just love using the GF1 and feel that I get some of my best shots with it. I would unhesitatingly recommend the OMD at this point though, I firmly believe this image quality thing is overdone and that any modern digital camera will give decent enough image quality, the key thing for me is becoming so intimate with your camera of choice that you can create instead of thinking your way through the shooting process. It has to become that you know and understand the quirks or limitations of your camera of choice and get it out of your way.

      Sorry to ramble on such a simple question, I would fail to see how anyone would not enjoy using the OMD though and its a quality product, no mistake.

      Cheers,

      Colin

  25. I love the Passed Sticker !! it was part of my photography for so many years ! I still have it on my Pentax
    MX

    Greg

    • Hey Greg, that’s cool, I find these neat as well and strangely enough have an MX too. If I recall these little labels emerged as part of a marketing drive by Japan to create a feel of quality around the products (when I was a kid Far Eastern products from Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong etc were viewed as junk !!!!!!!)

      Does anyone else know the story behind these labels ??

      Cheers,

      Colin

  26. Looking very good for a m4/3 camera. I think the lack of depth of field on such small-ish sensors will remain an issue for me though. If this had been a direct X-Pro 1 competitor with the sensor format and all, I’d be way more interested.

    If I were into m4/3 cameras, this would easily have belonged to the top 3 for 2012 though, if you ask me.

  27. I don’t really like how those files look. I feel like I am viewing them through a foggy gray cloth.

    • Hi John, sorry to hear that, they look fine on my monitor and please bear in mind that I did some ‘for fun’ editing in Snapseed. Can I ask that you (and anyone else that wants to see the originals) have a look at the blog itself and click on the photos to enlarge? Can you please let me know if they still look the same?

      Thanks,

      Colin

  28. Thanks for the first impressions Colin! And thanks for the photos as well. Lovely photos of the film OMD!

    It looks like the new OMD could be another great travel companion for you with the touch variable LCD, and weatherproofing (assuming you get the 12-50 lens).

    Did you find the auto focus of the OMD to be comparable to the V1? Thanks!

      • Hi Armanius,

        Thanks, and yes the autofocus seems pretty much on par to me and I certainly have no complaints – its fast and responsive. It’s early days for me with this camera but I am going to China at the weekend and despaerately trying to get completely comfortable with the camera before I go. I do think that the robust build, weatherproofing and my experience of the genral handling so far, make this a stunning travel camera. It seems to many of the best 43 features and bring them all together in one place. Very impressive.

        Thanks for looking and viewing the post in the spirit in which it was intended, i.e. my first impressions of the handling of the camera – not the image quality which I am sure will be fine anyway.

        Cheers,

        Colin

  29. Nice review, photos look good or ok. Oly omd gives probably even better photo quality than I get from my mighty and glorious Ricoh grd2. It was a surprise for me and holy photo community.

    Best regards,

    Pelle

  30. Yes, the micro (read: micro as in tiny sensor) has arrived. Glad you enjoy the OM-D. I’ll pass. The world is electronic enough and I can’t handle more and more options on cameras. All these mini computers with lenses are driving me insane. That said, I think there’s a substantial market for the OM-D. Lots of people out there who will love to pretend holding a real OM camera in their hands. Albeit, a toy version.

    • Best that you leave the Internet alone then Ron. All this technology must surely be too much to handle!

      • Come on, guys. You don’t need all the filters, switches, buttons, etc. to take good photos. You only need your imagination and your eyes.

        • Hi Ron, I agree completely with you on this and am going to leave a comment on my personal opinion to bring some of the views on image quality, DoF, OMD jpg’s etc into perspective.

          Please see lower down.

          Thanks,

          Colin

      • Really Ron? You seem intelligent enough to know that judging a tool is silly at best. Yeah it has art filters. It also has the standard M,A,S,P modes which is more than enough for anyone inclined enough to learn. Do the art filters somehow stop me from composing my shots to traditional root rectangles? Absolutely not. It’s just a tool. Opinions on photos are welcome, cameras? Really who cares? Not me. And I don’t think you really do either.

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