The Olympus OM-D E-M1, the King of Micro 4/3


The King of Micro 4/3 has leaked..The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is almost here…

This morning a video leaked from Engadget (which is now gone) showing the new Olympus OM-D E-M1 in full detail. I saw the video at 5AM while laying in bed and even though Engadget took it down once it was picked up by the rumor sites, I still have the video loaded on my iPhone and have watched it a few times. After doing so I am 100% convinved that THIS camera will be the KING of MICRO 4/3!


It is a professional build camera, up there in build with cameras like the Nikon D800, etc. It is fully weather and freeze proof. It has the amazing 5-Axis IS and a HUGE LCD screen. Olympus said in the video that they have “listened to their customers” this time. 🙂 The E-M1 now has phase and contrast detect AF and is compatible with normal 4/3 glass, meaning when you use normal 4/3 glass you will get FAST AF, in the video he says it is just as fast using Micro 4/3 glass or 4/3 glass. It appears the VF-4 is built into the camera as well as they are saying the EVF is larger than what is on most full frame cameras. Looks like a VF4, which is amazingly cool because the VF4 is really really great. I have been using it on the E-P5. The guy in the video did say an EVF with 2.83 million pixels so not sure if that was a slip or if he meant 2.36 million, which is what the VF 4 has. He did say 2.83 though, which if true, will beat the VF4.

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This is a serious camera folks…



The OM-D E-M1 IS the Pro Micro 4/3 we have been waiting years for. Yes, it is about to land. The camera also has a built-in grip as well as an external battery grip that attached much like a Nikon battery grip does. The top of the camera is beautiful and screams pro build and feel and control. With the amazing quality of the OM-D E-M5 this camera appears to take it up a notch in EVERY area – build, feel, control, amazing WiFi features, etc.

I am guessing we will see an announcement soon because now that all of us in internet land are full aware of the camera due to the leak (which I feel was done on purpose, as always) Olympus should be ready to announce it soon. WHen I reviewed the OM-D E-M5 I said “Micro 4/3 Matured”. Well, looking at the video of the E-M1 it tells me not only has it matured, it has excelled into the land of premium pro build cameras.

I feel this video was made to leak because the rep in the video never mentioned details like Megapixel count, size of the LCD, ISO range, etc. If it never leaked, this post would have never been here.



The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 – What we know as fact so far.

2.83 million dot EVF

5-Axis IS

New DSLR type grip

16MP sensor

Built-in Wi-Fi

Shutter speed: 1/8000s-60s

Micro Four Thirds mount

Not only “weather proof” but “FREEZE PROOF”


So it is an exciting time for micro 4/3 users. 🙂 Time to stock up on some lenses 🙂 I have no idea what this will cost but I expect it to come in around $1500. It is higher end than the older OM-D E-M5, built to a higher standard with new features so it will not be the same price, I can guarantee that one. To me, at $1500 it would be just about right for a pro built and made and controlled OM-D.

What are YOUR thoughts?



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  1. Why don’t you use nice camera photos , when your promoting a product,
    Like the new omd em1. Your photos are horrible looking. Try using some nice clean
    Photos when representing a camera companies product. Your photos look so cheap
    On your site! Good luck!

    • Lol, I hate it when the uninformed and clueless come here to attempt to bash me without knowing what they are talking about. Kind of funny though really. Since you are unaware, this article was the first ever photos of the E-M1 that leaked online. At this time it did not even exists so these photos were video grabs from a leaked video. Try looking at my review of the E-M1 and countless other articles posted on it here at this blog before you go and attempt to discredit or attack me. In other words, be informed.

  2. Steve did you get a chance to play around in the menus ? I am hoping Olympus put a little more thought into navigating through them than they did with the EM-5. Also can you give us an idea maybe an over all shooting experience as compared to the EM-5. For example as much as I like my EM-5 it can be a fiddly little camera and sometimes frustrating when trying to choose a focus point in a fluid shooting environment.

    • I am one who found the E_M5 and PEN menus easy as pie to navigate. One button access to everything, or just set up your buttons to your liking. One too: Stay away from the SCP on Olympus bodies. That makes it more confusing. Just use the quick menu instead. One button brings up everything you need for quick access. But that is not even necessary once you set up the camera. A for the E-M1, I will have one soon but from what I remember from my limited use is that the menus were very similar.

  3. awesome. they made it phase detect. I knew they’d make an Olympus E-5 replacement. finally a proper camera. I hope The E-M7 will be as good, as i prefer the smaller size of the E-M5 without the grip.

  4. So it is about the size of a rebel with much more expensive glass for similar results with less dof control. .

    Love mft, don’t see the point of a dslr style one

    • Smaller and thinner than a REBEL. Its the same size as an E-M5 with a grip. Much more slim, sleek and built much better BTW (The E-M1). The rebel is a plasticky starter DSLR that is still plastic feeling bulk. The E-M1 like the E-M5 is not anything like a DSLR in size or shape.

      • Also don’t forget if you buy a good lens for that Rebel it will be bigger and heavier than something similar on the EM 1

        • It will also have tangibly better high ISO and a much wider range choice with cheaper lenses. The weight difference is minimal. Neither fit in a coat pocket.

          I am all for mft, I just don’t get – and never have- the mini dslr ones

    • It isn’t as pretty as my silver EM5. The new EM1 reminds me of the Nikon F4 film camera from back in the day. It looks all business. I personally think this is going to be a fantastic camera to shoot with. Count me in.

  5. Looking at these shots I have linked to below the EM1 looks much nicer than the one in the video from Engaget. Much better fit and finish. Also to my eyes it looks about the same size as my EM5 with the half grip on. Maybe just a smidgen larger. Nothing to be worried about. In fact as a wedding photographer this camera looks to be much more ergonomicly comfortable than my EM5. I think it just might be the perfect companion with the EM5 or one of the Pens as a second camera to the EM1 for weddings etc.

    • of course it does because as I and many said, that was a pre production camera which often look rough and unfinished. Nothing new. The release camera will be nice, polished and finished. 🙂

    • I must agree with you. Those new pics makes it look desirable. I would, however, preferred the grip as an option…but thats just me;-) What shall I do with my newly bought Gariz case now? The answer my friend, is to keep it on my e-m5…;-)


  6. The new pictures of the E-M1 with the new 12-40 make it look so much better. I’m about to pre-order the moment it’s available, hopefully they’ll sell both as a kit and knock off a couple hundred from the price.

  7. Love my OMD EM5. And it really looks like this camera fixes a few of the issues I have with it. However it is ugly. It looks like the OM 4 with a few bits and pieces glued on. Anyway if the rumors are correct then I will be adding this to my kit.

  8. It’s not about sensor size; it’s about glass. Bodies become rapidly obsolete, while a great lens can last a lifetime. My now ancient E-510 purchase was driven largely by its class-leading kit lenses and HG mid-range lenses (not to mention the E-510’s state of the art engineering and ergonomics.)

    My guess is that Zuiko used cutting edge optical CAD to design the 14-42 and 40-150 mk2 kit lenses. Test reports from that era show these lenses to be optically and mechanically excellent. By contrast, kit lenses from that era by Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Sony were junk.

    I’m a big fan of the weather-sealed Zuiko HG lenses: 11-22, 50, 14-54, 12-60, 50-200. These were great values when new and a steal right now. No doubt the depressed market for these lenses will heat up with the intro of the E-M1.

  9. they have to be kidding with that grip. Something looks wrong with it, like it was just slapped on and not designed. It’s hard to believe that is the intended design. Strange !

  10. If this camera really will work as well with my 4/3 lenses as with my MFT lenses, then I am MOST DEFINITELY getting this camera. Anybody interested in buying a used E-3 & EM-5 in excellent condition? 🙂

  11. As a Pentax user this design reminds me of a mini K-5, which has my favorite ergonomics of any camera I’ve ever used, where the OM-D EM-5 I prefer for casual shooting with its small size. This might be a nice compromise somewhere in the middle.

    I agree the grip looks a little odd on a small camera, but this flat front rangefinder design fad has also irked me a bit because there is nothing to hold onto in the front (one of the few things I dislike about the Nikon V1) The grip will be nice in addition to the added functionality of the 4/3 lenses.

    • Agreed, and if you don’t like the grip, stick with the EM-5, or the E-P5, or GX7, or….

      And, for those that don’t like M4/3, why have you read all the way to comment #80???

  12. I only worry two things from compact cameras like this one: too small grip like new Canon SL100, and 20Mb/s video, especially the latter makes Olympus and Pentax not fully developed for today’s standard.

      • That is an easy reply in retrospect but I don’t buy it. When the EM-5 came out there was no way of knowing if there would be an EM-1 brought to market, even if it was in the planning stage.

        • Why on earth are you worrying about this????????????????????????????????
          Why are you called h20 engineer? I mean what happened to h19? Was there a h1? Is there an a series?

  13. I hope it has focus peaking for my M mount lenses… I already have the Panasonic Leica M to micro four thirds adapter…

  14. So how big is this camera?
    Either the reviewers hands are small or the Camera looks pretty big to me.
    Compared to a Nikon D3200 or what ever the newest bottom end one is?
    To me neither go in your pocket. Similar resolution?

    $1500 to us in UK means £1500. That is 2 Nikon D7100’s

    I am sure it will be a very popular camera.
    As is the Leica M2astronomical.
    But a lot of things make no sense to me………….

    About the only thing that does make sense to me at the moment is a heavily discounted Nikon 1 V1 with a 10mm 1:2.8…………..

  15. She looks like she’s all about substance right out of the box, unlike her little sister, the EM5, which first wowed you with her sleek retro styling before surprising you with her feature set. The effectiveness of the phase detect AF will be the key for me. It has to do more than enhance compatibility with 4/3 lenses. It needs to bring M4/3 up to (or near) the level of today’s SLR in terms of sports photography. If it can track a tennis player across a court and get sharp photos of a basketball player in a dingy gym then I’m sold. That’s the only thing I find lacking in my EM5. If there isn’t sharp improvement in this regard then I’m sticking with the little sister.

  16. The future of mirrorless camera’s belongs to Sony, Olympus (also Sony), Fujifilm and Panasonic. Add the organic sensor design on top of this, those companies are having them ready in their R&D depts and in 2014 latest 2015 there will be a serious technology jump. Also the traditional Bayer filter design seems to be under pressure.

    Nikon & Canon are virtually not present in this segment with real serious mirrorless cameras as they don’t want to erode their DSLR and compact margins and they will soon regret it. Who is waiting for yet another DSLR, a few dollars cheaper? If nothing unexpected happens, I’m afraid that the traditional big two will face the same kind of drama as when the market had to convert to the digital era, walk around in every city or tourist area, less DSLR’s and more and more people with advanced mirrorless stuff. Read through their quarterly reports and you immediately understand there is a lot of fear as the massive market of compacts is entirely evaporating into the new smartphone designs and even DSLR’s are no longer selling as before. Same as in the car industry: wrong choices lead to overcapacity, bad sales, killing inefficiencies…

    Because this is such a Leica fan site, Leica has always been very much fighting to keep themselves alive in the digital era and I’m very sceptic they will be able to maintain their market based upon Jenoptik, Cmosis and still, old Kodak technology. Buying from others is a very dangerous dependency, certainly in their niche. For instance, the M should have received a revolutionary sensor, now it’s just an ‘very good one’, at the speed this market is evolving, they are able to survive with this concept maybe a one or two years versus competition, not more. Leica buyers are not always so ‘technology driven’, but f.i. isn’t Sony already ahead of the CMosis-sensor technical capabilities?

    To say it with Dylan: the times, they are a’changin’ – who doesn’t see it is blind. Over two years, all stuff now on the market will be very outdated.

  17. olympus did promise to keep supporting 4/3rds users ( the original , not m4/3rds) , they did that with the E5 but of course it sold poorly because most would not buy knowing this was a dead system . however there are many out there with E3 , E620 etc cameras and GREAT glass , so now having got phase detection and contrast detection sensor they can tap into another market- those that have not upgraded since say the E3 may well be tempted because they will still be able to effectively use their exsisting lenses , perhaps the slightly bulkier design is intended for more comortable shooting with these older lenses . so now they hit the market at lots of different levels , pen e-pm2 – e-pl5 – e-p5 – om-d em-5 -e-m1 . it also perhaps allows them to sell existing ? stocks of super high grade lenses such as the 14-35mm f2 ??? etc . i for one might be tempted – even though i have a m4/3rds camera and lenses i still have my e620 and a number of lenses . so for instance i have the 12-60mm f2.8-4 and the 50mm f2 – to replace these lenses in m4/3rds would cost me a lot – so perhaps i sell my e-m5 and buy an e-m1 so i can utilise both my great 4/3rds glass and my great m4/3rds primes

  18. Sorry, one more thought… I hope we can convince Olympus to work a little bit on their marketing and naming conventions. I don’t think it would have been so bad to call this camera the OM-D1…!

    The EM-5 and EM-1 doesn’t really make too much sense to me…

  19. Is the EM1 just a little bit bigger than the EM5…? Kind of difficult to tell from the pics.
    If you use Four Thirds lenses on the EM1 (presumably with an adapter), there is a 2x crop factor still?

  20. Maybe I am missing the point here, but what is the point in this? looks practically as big as a Canon 6D with the battery Grip attached, so for the sake of a few hundred dollars why not get the real thing? the allure of m4/3 is small bodies, this is large for a m4/3 so whats the point in compromising on the image quality at that size of body??

  21. Just one look at this camera with that huge Nikkor zoom on it turns me off. I started out with Olympus back in 1978 working my way from the entry level OM-10 to a pair of OM-4T bodies with motor drives for newspaper work. I truly loved my Oly cameras but needed to move on to autofocus. Now that I am retired the thought of lugging something around with a huge zoom on it does not entice me in the least. I know I am in the minority but I have recently dumped my Nikon gear in total for a Fuji X100S and X-E1 w/35mm f1.4. It is truly all I feel I need at this point in my photographic life. All I have to do is choose whether I want a 35mm POV or 50mm POV for a particular day’s adventure! But, then again, G.A.S. has never been a problem for me. The Nikon bodies I recently sold were D2H models that had served me well for a decade. All they did was produce images for weekly publication in a small newspaper, occasionally magazines, and even once an image was blown up to roughly 6 feet by 12 feet for use on a billboard.

    Get what works (film or digital, micro 4/3, medium format, large format) and to hell with G.A.S.!!!! It is the experience of image making and producing your vision. Just find the camera that will inspire you to do that and never let it leave your hands!

  22. Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room shall we? We’re not playing a game here of mine’s bigger than yours in relations to sensor size unless your client specifically demands a certain kind of resolution for an advertising product. W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier Bresson, Andre kertez, Brassai and Robert Capa, only to mention a few all shot with what we would consider mediocre equipment today. Digital and todays’ glass are far superior to what they used in the field by comparison. It’s okay to be interested in resolution but it’s been said that a camera is for photographing life, not resolution charts and we know it’s the photographer and not the camera. Anybody worth their salt can use any camera to come with the necessary result. So let’s get over ourselves shall we. This is a great camera and any of these “greats” would have given their eye-teeth for a system like this. I’m interested in people- street or otherwise and I know this system is the perfect fit- Amen.

    • Than, Kevin, let’s all hope the shutter delay is as brief as an analogue Leica. Because except for the only one of your named shooters that I’ve actually spent time with they didn’t use SLRs. Only quicker shutter release cameras. And most certainly in comparison to the acquisition time required by the present kinda slowpoke OMD.

      • The point is every one of these photographers mentioned all spent time with cameras that required adaptability and know-how with technology that was constrained by today’s’ standards, in order to capture “the shot”. We are all getting too caught up in the technology and forgetting about the end result…”the moment”.

  23. I wonder if Olympus has improved the user interface. I had a difficult time trying to adapt to the OMD coming from Nikon, and what I thought were the poor instructions ( I even bought the paper user manual) didn’t help. The OMD would fit in my parka pocket, but the new one looks to bulkier.

  24. Micro 4/3, a bad name.
    Because almost everyone thinks about it as only a compact system, and it’s not necessarily true.
    I think, that versatility of offers, is a strong point of the system, you can have camera of any size and shape(from E-pm2/Gf6, to Gh3 and E-m1), you can have compact good lenses, or great performer just a little bit bigger.
    For some thing, with a good integration of 4/3 and m4/3, you can have the most flexible system that can be bought today.
    And all this complaints about sensor size…c’mon, it’s big enough and performs well enough for the 85% of general use.

    • Unfortunately, from a marketing perspective, the term ‘micro’ doesn’t have the aspirational draw that brandishing a large ‘pro’ dslr has for western consumers. We are quite a stupid people collectively.

  25. The current one is so much nicer finish and smaller. The new one is like a mini SLR. The current one is the one I will keep…

  26. Hm… I have to admit that… it looks a little bit ugly to me. I loved the OMD E-M5 for it’s great retro-design, but this one… And aside from that I’m not sure if a pro-MFT makes sense… Other cameras with bigger sensors getting smaller and smaller… and if I had the choice between two small cameras, one with MFT, the other with APS-C (or perhaps sometime fullframe) I always would lean towards the bigger sensors. So since the cameras with big sensors getting smaller, where is the advantage for MFT?

  27. they had to find a way to take advantage of the awesome array of 4/3 glass…and maybe they did with the em1. i tried using the 12-60SWD and the 14-54 mk II on my em5, but the focus was way too slow. loved the lenses, though, which might tempt me into getting the em1 one of these days.

  28. In contrast to the professional EM-1 and the great EM-5, I wish that the “low-end” OM-D places itself as a more simpler stills-dedicated camera that keeps the minimum essentials like the dual control dials, EVF, 5axis, silent shutter but shedding some of the complex features and peripheral nice-to-haves such as articulating screen and art modes. While I love my EM-5, there is something alleviating with the bare-minimum simplicity in the OM-1, which I have yet to see in a digital camera(other than Leica, perhaps). This camera would be not the “pro-use”, but a “pro-enjoyable/hobbyist” camera, much like the Olympus XA was a vacation camera for many professionals back in the day.

    This way, the PEN series can start with the fun stuff without the advanced features (like the current EPM), working up to a more advanced flagship model. The OMD-lineup would be the opposite in that the low-end model starts off with the bare but best essentials, but adds on more helpful features as it goes up the line.

    Personal and futile wish, thanks for reading.

  29. Hi Steve.
    Can you plspls pls do us a favour, and when you review this camera, also review some of the best 4/3 lenses.
    Would love to see any one of these:
    Olympus 35-100mm f/2.0 ED Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens
    50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED SWD Zuiko Zoom Lens
    14-35mm f/2.0 ED SWD Zuiko Zoom Lens
    150mm f/2.0 ED Lens
    300mm f/2.8 ED Lens
    7-14mm f/4.0 Zuiko ED Zoom Lens

    • I would LOVE To if I could get them 🙂 No way I can buy those to review them, so if I can get some sent to me no problem. If not, then there is no way to do all of them. I may rent the 14-35 and 150 f/2 to review on the new camera though.

        • Hey undergrounddigga,
          The Zuiko 35-100 f2.0 is a top lens easily on par with Canon or Nikon’s versions. It is also, as you know, a stop faster. It renders, when wide open, images that look 3D. I’ve owned both the Canon (two versions) and Nikon (two versions) 70-200 f/2.8 zooms, and I’ve never seen a rendering like the Zuiko.
          The 55-200 is a very sharp piece of glass too, and a lot lighter. If you don’t shoot night sports or action in super low light, I’d go for the 55-200 SWD.
          I personally didn’t care for the 14-35 f/2 (at least on the E-5). It missed focus a lot and wasn’t as fast as the amazing 12-60 f/2.8-4. That lens is nearly perfect. Hope this helps.

          • So… I’ve considered this boat anchor just for grins and I’m wondering if you or others have actually owned and used it? It’s fairly cheap as a good medium tele-zoom, especially for f:2, but as it’s not native to the OMD system I’m wondering about focus speed issues…

      • Hi Steve and others.
        I think by opening the door to these amazing 4/3 lenses, Olympus really made the m4/3 system a serious contender – even for professional photographers (yes I know, you can get shallower DOF on FF). These amazing 4/3 lenses, were really the missing link to a full lens setup. Especially if they work just as well as native m4/3 lenses.

        I personally like using prime lenses (I don’t even have a single zoom lens), and probably at this point wouldn’t consider buying any of these. But perhaps in the future. However these lenses are legendary for their quality – and would love to see how they perform in Steve’s hands.

        Saying that, is Steve could get it on loan …
        I guess the one that would interest me the most, would be the 7-14mm f/4.0. I love shooting landscape and architecture. And besides that, I guess the most useful for me would be the 50-200mm. Yes, would also love to see, how the 150 or 300 perform (If I’m not mistaken the 300 mm is the most expensive lens, ?6000$ – not sure), just out of curiosity. 🙂

        If anything is missing now from the m4/3 format, than that is a high quality ~ 8mm prime (not fisheye). I never had the opportunity to use one, bout would certainly be open to one, as I love my 12mm f.2 very much indeed 🙂

        Cheers Steve, and great looking on the website!

  30. Steve.

    One question please. Was any mention of tethered capture made or implied? And if it has a wifi chip is that going to be their version of tethering? God forbid.

    Okay. Kinda two questions.

    And I like the look of the new little body. Workmanlike.


  31. Not quite as pretty as my OMD E-M5, but if it has a cut iso of 100, and video without the micro jitters I might just be sold.

  32. I’m stoked about this camera. I have the 50mm macro, 50-200mm ED zoom, and a local store has a 12-60 SWD for half price 🙂 Fast AF with those lenses would really help solidify MFT for pro use – opening up a great set of lenses that are available used…

  33. Rumors are it has the same sensor as in the OMD, but AA filter free. Interesting and looking like a very capable tool.

      • Sounds like just the ticket and what I’ve been waiting for…ready to sell my EOS 7D today…finished with heavy bulky cameras and lenses that hold you back from many shoots. Thanks Steve… much appreciated.

        • SO happy to read this. Started years ago w/ a Canon Ftb. Worked w/ a 7D, great camera but still rehabbing my shoulder. Gave away my Panasonic G1 a few years back. Going on the wildlife trip of a lifetime next year, an I no longer think I’m crazy for going to a micro 4/3 again. Just can’t haul the heavy stuff anymore, but don’t want to give up IQ. So thanks for the reassurance.

          • Like me, I don’t think you’ll regret it Cathy. Being able to carry everything you need in one small bag will be well worth it. Looking forward to how your thoughts after the wildlife shoot.

  34. I’m not sure why I really don’t like the grip on that camera. I personally prefer the grip as an option. There are people who prefers the grip, as also some who prefers without the grip. Like the OM-D EM-5, it’s a great thing, those who wishes for a grip can add it! This one can’t be removed…

    • Its not big 🙂 With a battery grip and large 4/3 lens, yes. Without the battery attachment and large lens it is small. Smaller than a GH3 and slim/short like the E-M5, just built better with a grip.

  35. I added the (fantastic) grip from Really Right Stuff to my OM-D, and that made a huge difference ergonomically but it didn’t make the camera bigger nor heavier.
    So if this new E-M1 is about the same size as the E-M5 but with an added grip, that will be a very good thing !

  36. Between this providing a weather sealed, pro style body for those that want it and the GX7 providing a rangefinder style for those that want a sleeker body, m4/3 fans have a good selection of upcoming bodies to choose from. At least we have choices unlike some systems where its a take it or leave it mentality. You get continued upgrades on the bodies and good glass coming consistently. I’m sure NEX users would like to have the type of glass that’s available (2.8 zooms, sharp primes without having to pay a Zeiss premium) and Fuji users would like to have equally quick AF. And would probaly love IBIS. On the other hand I’m sure m4/3 users would like to have the larger sensor, increased DoF, and access to native Zeiss glass.

    The point is now is a great time for fans of cameras, no matter what system you shoot.

  37. I truly love that OLY never gave up on this format. It is 90% perfect for most users above all other systems when weight, portability, lens options and cost are weighed against much more expensive alternatives given the end result.

    What really takes the cake is this systems versatility with manual lens adaptability. How nice it is to embrace modern automatic lenses while at the same time being able to achieve exceptional retro results with OM manual glass. If you haven’t done it yet you absolutely need to play with original PEN 1/2 frame lenses and any new PEN or OMD camera….sexy, retro-cool and one of a kind OOC pics!

    I love my Leica M8 and M9 and can’t seem to cut loose of Sigma but the versatility and effortlessness of m4/3 is second to none!

  38. I have right now a Pentax K10D, that I have had since 2006 and a Panasonic G3 that I have for a year or so. For me, the problem with the Panny is its sensor compared with APS-C. I cannot make a long exposure without loads of noise and banding (even at base iso) and I miss that fine detail of a larger sensor when pixel peeping, for example, the branches of trees on the background of a landscape.
    I really hope this sensor can overcome those limitations vs larger sensors because I would really like to stay with the M43 system!

  39. The technical part of this camera looks good for me but i do not like the display. I need a swivel display like the E3 or GH-x. For a pro camera is that a step in wrong way. 🙁

  40. For everybody complaining about the size.

    First: There are smaller M4/3 cameras with non-DSLR style for YOU!
    And the E-M5 is still a fine camera if you want a smaller camera.

    Second: EM-1 is clearly based on the E-M5 body and overall SAME size, ONLY about half inch wider on the grip side and with a built-in grip in front.

    For everybody who thought E-M5 needed the add-on grip E-M1 will be clearly superior in ergonomics as the thumbgrip and placement of controls now are much improved, the reason I never fancied the E-M5.

  41. It’s more than adequate on the MP issue. Everything else is just what “we” needed these endoscope makers to deliver! I’ve never before bought as many lenses for my single OMD body as in the past year and a quarter or whatever since the intro. So all I as one who hates having just one body in a system can say is: FINALLY!

  42. It would be great if this system became the digital camera version of what the Pentax Spotmatic line did in the 70s for film (eventually evolving into the K-Mount cameras.) Really give a well-built, solid small camera to a wide audience through affordability. The smaller lenses and small body are really enticing!

    This looks like a fantastic camera.

  43. This development has made my day. I’ve been investing in micro 4/3 lenses and waiting for the successor to the OM-D EM-5. While I wouldn’t mind a sensor improvement, the existing sensor is very good, and the other improvements such as screen, viewfinder, and autofocus are enough to get me to pre-order at the first opportunity.

  44. These 4 thirds are getting a bit too big and too pricey for my tastes, I still prefer my tidy d600 and 50 1.4g over this.

  45. It’s a camera. There will be things which delight, things which disappoint all relative to each photog & their needs. Cameras keep getting better, photographs somewhat more difficult. Click!

  46. I understand, I guess, why people react negatively to a DSLR like shape, due to the grip. From a my personal point of view though I find the grip useful, and I had to add one (just the side grip) to the EM-5 to make it comfortable to use for any length of time. I have fairly average sized hands and find the gripless version too small to operate, many people have a grip on the V1 for the same reason. I agree that it looks “cooler” without but it’s function over form for me.

    As long as the front of the grip doesn’t protrude beyond my smallest lens (17/1.8 for me, pany 20/1.7 for others) then it doesnt make the camera any more cumbersome to carry, you can’t fit it in your pocket anyway, and it’s still nice and light with an m4/3 prime on, and another in my pocket (usually the 45). I own (and enjoy using for some purposes) a DSLR too so I suppose I dont have any hang ups about the shape. But I think you’ll find if you put the Olympus next to any DSLR with a lens it will still be considerably smaller, and the better quality the DSLR and glass, the greater the difference will be.

    • That front grip can be a boon more than a detriment. Especially for those of us who have slight hand tremors when holding cameras. The shape and the size of the grip can make a big difference in how easy it is to reliably get a sharp photo. The grip allows one to wrap ones fingers in a more relaxed way around the side of the body while cradling under the lens with the other hand. This is an improvement over the flat design of the current digital OM.

  47. I have an OM-D E-M5 and love the new features on the E-M1. The price isn’t that bad when you consider that the E-M1 includes the grip. My E-M5 with the grip was about the same price when new (now they are going for less). I am concerned about the size and weight of the E-M1. As much as I’d like the new features, I truly don’t want to go back to traveling with a micro 4/3 of DSLR proportions. The video compared the E-M5 with the E-M1 in most every respect except size and weight. If the E-M1 is not too much heavier or larger, then I’m in.

  48. Sounds GREAT to me. I am wondering whether the sensor is new or the ‘old’ one. I would like to see a bit more ‘depth’ in the colours (like larger sensor can deliver) – whether that is possible with current technology is yet to be seen. I really appreciate Olympus added the VF-4 as I found the one in OM-D M5 on the small side. I for one am happy that the pixel count did not grow – 16Mpix is more than good enough for A3+ sized prints and in my opinion on the upper edge for m4/3 – it would make no senses to bring a m4/3 camera that would give a P&S like image (read missing detail and color depth) at pixel level.

    I will soon get a mirrorless camera and what my keep me from the M1 is the price – $1500 will translate to about €1500 here in Germany and that may be too much for me. But let’s see first.

  49. I’m trying to decide on what to replace my D7000 with. I want something much smaller and have pretty much narrowed it down to the EM-5, the NEX 7 or the GX7. However, I’ve now realised that this is the new release time of year so I’m hesitating. The EM-1 definitely interests me but it does look bigger, bulkier and generally much less attractive than any of the other cameras I’m currently considering. It’s difficult to be sure about these things from the video alone and I really do hope it’s better in the flesh.

  50. When M43 start becoming little DSLRs, that’s when I lose interest. May as well just get a small DSLR, with great AF, for a fraction of the cost.

    • I dont think its going to a single direction. I think this the beauty of m43! Choices! Its like picking clothes to wear. Gf7 E-pl5 gx7 gh3 e-m1. Even the lenses! 17/2.8 20/1.7 17/1.8 12-35/2.8

      • Some people lack the mental flexibility to understand this unfortunately. They see the world as black and white and cant handle the tones of grey in between. Add some colour and they’re go nuts 🙂

        • I have the “mental flexibility” to grasp his point just fine. Your post lacks a lot of class, but then again it’s easy to hide behind the internet. My simple point is the flagship cameras from both Panasonic and Olympus are moving more and more towards the design of small DSLRs. I didn’t like that idea with Panasonic and don’t like it with Olympus either.

  51. I hope you will hang on to the E-P5 with VF4 long enough to do a comparison test with the GX7 when you get it. I think many will be looking for this comparison even more than the OM-D E-M1 vs. GX7.

  52. I find the E-M5 looking much better. Really hope, this is a fake.

    oh… and freeze proof until -10° C. what kind of a feature is that supposed to be? I think, any camera can do that.

    IS in Video-Mode is impressive, though…

  53. A very utilitarian, some would say ugly camera. Obviously this is form over function. I would be surprised if it was as successful in terms of sales as the OMD E5 but it will probably be a better camera for some. Will it really appeal to professionals? No doubt the IQ and small size will appeal but giving up full frame and shallow depth of field will be a barrier to many I would think.

  54. Hi Steve, did I understand it correct from the video, that PDAF can be used for 43 lenses, and combined PDAF and CDAF for m43 lenses?

  55. Now I’m even MORE glad I jumped from M43/OM-D to the Fuji X system! That is one UGLY Frankencamera. I don’t care if it does dishes and takes out the trash, I would not buy that monstrosity.

  56. I love my OM-D E-M5 and am eager to see what the E-M1 will offer. The build and look of the E-M5 is awesome. The look of the all black E-M1 isn’t as exciting though. Can’t wait for your review Steve!

  57. Is it just me or does this camera, if real, seem to be crossing over into dslr territory? I had the e450 and e620 and this reminds me very much of that series of cameras in size at least. Isn’t one of the main attractions of m4/3 their diminutive size? This offering looks ( when compared to the hands in shot) to be larger than the e-m5. Could just be me of course but if the “the best camera is the one you have with you” argument is negated by this camera’s size, wouldn’t most people go for a d600?

    • Agreed. Some MFT cameras are suffering from feature bloat IMHO and losing the main attraction of the system, namely size. If they get any bigger, there will be room for a mirror. They could call them something like, oh I dunno, how about Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras? Oh, wait a minute…

      • There is already small size camera like Pen Mini and GF series for people who want minimum size, and isn’t there a rumor say Panasonic is going to release a M43 camera that is smaller than current GF

        Btw where can you get a10X zoom for only 265g on APS-C or FF…?

        • I have never really understood the idea of making cameras without a viewfinder. The e-m 5 is near perfect in size, controls etc. Why change a winning receipe? I am totally convinced that Olympus can make the e-m 1small and without the built-in grip and still make it a major success.

    • It is meant to cross over into ‘dslr territory’ because it is designed for use with both m4/3 lenses and 4/3 dslr lenses.

  58. Steve, this is the first Micro 4/3 camera that excites me. What would be your “dream team” of lenses for it?

    • Tough one as there are so many good ones. If spending $$ I would probably do Olympus 12, 20 1.7II, 45 1.8 and 75 1.8. Then again, the Panasonic 12-35 is also very nice.

      • Hi Steve! What about the Panasonic – Leica 25 1.4 Summilux Lens you raved about back in January of last year?

        • Great lens. There are many great lenses for this system. The 25 1.4 is wonderful but larger and more pricey than the 20, which is also superb. All depends on what you want. Cant go wrong with the 20 or 25.

          • Hope that Oly will start making a few more water resistent lenses for it. Nice to have a waterproof body, and only one lens that does the same. This camera excites me, I was interested in a 4/3 when I saw the GX7, this one has a lot more, except the size for sure. I like that old style look.

          • Dude. Or Dudette!

            What possible difference does the degree of weatherization actually make? I’m not “weartherproof”! And I’ve got underwater housings if I cared to do such a job. And have.

            Specious. IMO

          • No thanks.
            But that’s why great sports-centric bodies like the D4 and the 1DX exist. The OMD would seem to me to be both a lousy first choice and way too slow in many ways. Water resistance being only one further concern. And I’d have an umbrella held by another. But that’s obvious. I’m lazy. And only have two hands.
            But regardless if I was stuck in that exact situation you are doubtless correct regards weather resistance.
            Though here in Portlandia we simply ignore the darn rain.

  59. Really disappointed by the “DSLR grip”: with that grip the camera will be definitely bulkier than the E-M5. I still prefer the form factor of my old GF1, I don’t want a DSLR_like M4/3 camera

    • More a form factor of the e-1, but slightly more aggressive-looking grip shape. That seems to buy additional real estate on the top of the camera. It does look slightly more bulky, but since many of the installed base of e-3, e-5, e-520, etc. users are actually looking for something a little bigger than the E-M5, from their point of view, the size is not a bad thing.

    • If you don’t want a 43-SLR then you already should be happy. You have the EM-5.

      This camera sits uncomfortably between the two. It’s not a small/light MFT body, but neither is it a “proper” SLR. It’s a camera designed by a committee.

  60. Technical spec that’s one rhing, I agree. But I also liked OMD-EM5 for it’s stylish look which is gone here, at least for me. Ugly hand grip. I own excellent 4/3 primes (12, 25, 45, 75) and will never quit 4/3 but want to wait for a second body. This is not the one – for me.

  61. My notes:

    1. The grip surely got my first attention. It really doesn’t look as good as EM-5. Well, considering all other points after number one, I will buy this camera but I will carry my E-M5 more often than this one. I will only bring this cam when I go specially for photo hunting. Won’t carry this one daily.

    2. Surely glad that I can use my 12-60, 35-100 and little tuna 150mm FT lenses. Image quality will surely rock! Again, ONLY for special photo hunting purpose.

    3. Now lets talk about buttons and dials. I like the on off switch location better than the E-M5. I think would be better if the power switch is on the right hand side though.

    4. The buttons on the top left plate: AF mode (s-AF, C-AF, Tr-AF, M-AF. could be also to choose between CDAF and PDAF.), metering mode button (ESP, center weight, spot, spot hi, spot low), in-camera HDR mode button, burst mode button (single, low speed burst and high speed burst shots)

    5. Then to the hump. I like that they use the PEN type of hot shoe & accessory port cover, not 2 pieces like E-M5 version. Would be easier to remove and to attach it again. No internal flash, well, its a pity but not really too at the same time. I could not recall when is the last time I used the small flash included with EM-5. The fast prime lenses, IBIS and exellent sensor made me never use the small flash. If I need flash, I always use the FL-600 or FL-50r.

    6. The lock button on the PASM-Art dial would is a nice fine detail they put. A bit unusual they put i-auto and Art on the dial mode in a pro level camera, but hey, many of us love using Art filter mode.

    7. The 2 dials location is nice ergonomically. Shutter button location is also nice.

    8. curve button (fn 2 button) and record (tick) button, I have to try it to comment further. In the case of E-M5, I don’t really like the location of the curve button. I set it as magnifying button but sometimes I struggle a bit to find the button while keeping my eye at the EVF.

    9. Lets go to the back side. EVF-LCD display switch I like it better at the back rather than on the side of the hump ala E-M5.

    10. Nice large and high res EVF! Just hope the eyecup rubber sticks better because I lost it several times from my E-M5.

    11. info, play, fn1, menu, erase and the direction pad buttons are well placed. much better than button locations at the back of E-M5.

    12. LCD I think looks like it is a swivel LCD. It is yes and no for me. For difficult angles, surely swivel LCD would be great. In case for shooting from the hips for candid shots, tilting screen is more discreet.

    13. To the front of the cam, I see 2 buttons on the right hand aide beside the lens. One is DOF preview for sure. Don’t know what the other one is. I’m thinking there would be 2 possibility. One is that is an extra fn button, or it could be IR sensor for IR shutter remote.

    14. AF light assist still there. Nice.

    15. Lens release button is bigger, I prefer smaller one like E-M5.

    16. Sync port would be good for pros using flash, I never use it though.

    17. I hope the big grip means bigger room for battery, meaning more powerful battery and therefor more shots per battery cycle. Crucial for pro level camera.

    18. Memory card slot cover, I really like the lever release style from E-1 or E-3. From the size of the slot cover also, I think no dual memory slot card is available. One memory card slot only.

  62. IMO the OM-D E-M5 looks a lot better than this! The built-in grip ruins it and makes it too big…who needs an extra grip anyway? Isn´t one of the major points with m4/3 to keep it small? If I want a big body I´ll get a new EOS 5D MkIII or something…

    BTW my E-M5 is still good enough for many years – I´ll guess I´ll put my money into new lenses rather than a new camera;-)

    • My hopes are still that Olympus at some point will launch a digital Olympus 35 SP with a hybrid optical/digital viewfinder. I still don´t “get it” when they launch cameras without an integrated viewfinder. IMO much more important than a built-in grip… Besides, my guess is that a digital Olympus 35 SP would be even cooler and better than the Fuji X-100s…;-)

    • Well, at least you won’t have to spend hundreds (or thousands) of dollars buying different lenses! One thing I like about my X100 is that I can’t sit around wondering if there’s a better lens I should be using. Sometimes it’s nice to be limited 🙂

    • The E-P5 and VF4 are $1300 – this will be better built, EVF built in, better control and more features than the OM-D or E-P5 with AF improvements as well as improved compatibility with 4/3 glass. This has the same sensor as a camera like the E-5, but should be even better. How much is the E-5? It’s discontinued but it was more than $1500 for the body only. This one is slimmer, smaller, faster, better in low light, worlds best IS, huge VF, and ability to mount the best mirrorless glass made for any format. $1500 would be just right IMO. Any more and they would be pushing it. This will beat full frame cameras in many areas and fall short in only a few. Will also be better made than most. Id take this over a D600 in a nano second. For me, ANY DSLR and glass is much too large, heavy and expensive if you want the best glass.

  63. When I saw this video I thought the same thing that some people are commenting about the grip being glued on. My guess is when Panasonic announced the GX7 (which has a lot of nice features that I like) Olympus rushed this video to make people stall before committing their money to the Panasonic. If I had some nice 4/3 glass sitting around I would be interested in the new OM-D but having finally upgraded to the E-M5 a few months ago I’ll be much more excited if Olympus also announces a nice fast affordable and relatively small standard zoom. I’ll probably wait to buy a used E-M7 before I upgrade my camera. Either way, it’s exciting to see some great features on these new cameras and is great for m4/3

  64. Damnit. I need to hide my wallet.

    I only hope it’s no too much bigger than the em5 and that it has better video capability.

    Also, unlike the em5, this doesn’t seem to be a looker O.o

  65. Not that this matter photography-wise, but it just looks like a frankenstein. It may just be a pre-production camera or something, but personally I found it pretty ugly. Again, not that this matter and that’s just a first impression on the looks – and no one is obligated to agree.

    By the rumors it seems like it’s the same sensor used on the E-M5, E-P5 and GH3 but now with some tweaks, PDAF and no AA filter. It’s a great sensor, don’t get me wrong, but for a product like this, I expected a new sensor, just like the GH3 would have been better with a custom made multi-aspect Panasonic sensor – one that was fully optimized for video.

    But Panasonic finally stepped up and produced a new sensor for the GX7 – which would probably had found its way to the GH3 but Panasonic didn’t manage to have it in time – and it seems to be on par and some say that it’s slightly better. So for a product like the E-M1 I thought they would get a new sensor with more improvements.

    This camera has specific aim I guess, because if you don’t have 4/3 lenses you may be better off with the E-M5, which is getting a better value each day. Sure, the E-M5 is not “PRO” built, Olympus themselves said that when they launched the E-M5, so unless you really need that edge in build quality, a more durable camera, a shutter made to last, what is the great advantage? As I said, I’m not saying that these are unimportant things or that it should be overlooked but rather that if you take price into account and what’s new, one may wonder if it’s not better to stick with the E-M5.

    It’s too early in the rumors to conclude, but I think that these are fair questions.

    Will this finally have an upgraded video quality? I don’t say in a Panasonic level but maybe in a Sony level at least, after all this is also a part of their partnership, right? But if they manage to get a better video, couldn’t it be implemented via firmware to the E-M5 and E-P5?

    Overall, with the GH3 and this E-M1, it’s good to see m4/3 accending to a higher level which should help more people acknowledge this system. Sony NEX has great cameras – in some ways – but as long as they don’t have enough great lenses covering more focal length AND with great optics it’s hard to take them seriously. Sure, one can use legacy lenses and adapters but that’s a big limitation and there is this much you can depend on that. Sony will probably keep this attitude towards APS-C as they are going to enter the NEX FF, which is a shame, NEX users deserved more respect and commitment but for everybody else wanting a serious mirrorless system, there is Fuji.

    Mirrorless are getting more and more exciting.

    • Doesn’t adding PDAF make this a new sensor? What other m4/3 sensor has that capability?
      The E-M5 sensor is excellent for the format and I see improvements being incremental for the time being in terms of IQ.

      • Not really, don’t you think? I mean, let’s not grip on technicalities because yes, technically this is new since it’s not exactly the same, but it’s more like a tweaked version and just that. Sony, Canon and even Fuji added the PDAF on their sensors and there was little to no improvement at all, they performed just like the formers. Sony has some new sensors, be it for FF or APS-C, we could have expected a m4/3 sensor based on their new tech, it wouldn’t be farfetched.

    • I have the GX7 on pre order but I do not think it will compete with this one in most areas. Smaller EVF, no 5-Axis IS, no weather sealing, lower quality build, smaller controls and we have no clue on the IQ or AF speed yet. All depends on your preference though as both will take fantastic images. I always say to go with whatever excites you the most, and then you will use it more and that is what it is all about. Sleek and retro with the GX7 or pro build and design with this one. I love the design and style of the GX7, as well as the flip up EVF. I will use and test both though and see what I prefer. I loved my OM-D E-M5 and only sold it due to new things coming that I have to review long term. Exciting time of the year once again 🙂

      • Actually in your GX7 post I linked to a website that has speed tests of the GX7 with the 12-35, 20 pancake, and shows burst shooting mode along with wifi and remote shooting.

  66. Ok, I just looked at the video and yes, it does look much better than the photos represent. I can now see that the grip is intentionally taller than the body. With the 4/3 lens, it really is in DSLR territory, and those 4/3 lenses are not cheap either. I really like the mirrorless offerings and they can be a lot of fun. I enjoyed my EM-5, and XE-1, but never could warm up to the EVF and had to go back to my DSLR. Sooner or later, I’m sure the EVFs will rival opticals and I do believe that will be very soon.

    BTW, keep up the great work on this site Steve. I’m not a mirrorless user, but love your format and reporting. 🙂

  67. Sounds very enticing! I will be having my eye on the new Nex FF that is suppose to be announced soon and this camera. I am looking forward to a second body with a smaller footprint than my present A-mount. My concern with the Nex is with the speed and accuracy of the focus system. I thought I was down to deciding between the Fuji or Nex FF. Now I guess I have to add another camera to the mix. One of the things to consider is the amount of nice low profile glass for the micro 4/3 bodies. Decisions decisions. Without regards to the dollars, I imagine this will have a hard time going toe to toe with a FF but I maybe wrong.

  68. Mmmm well if you say it’s real Steve it must be real – otherwise I would say it looks like a mock up too! That awful looking grip looks like it has been cut off another model and literally stuck on the body, there even seems to be wide gaps and the grip material does not line up at all with the body covering? Looks are not everything and I love micro 4/3 but this looks naff.

  69. One thing is for sure, and that what is pictured is a rough prototype. The hand grip looks as if it was slapped on since the lines do not match up with the top of the body. Having said that, I’m sure this is very close to the final product. I enjoyed my EM-5 when I had it, and they are fun cameras, but you buy a micro 4/3 to get a compact camera and this sure won’t be compact. Can’t see how these can compete with a D600 and kit or 50mm f/1.4 lens.

    • “This sure won’t be compact”.
      Sorry, but is the same nonsense that they said about adding the horizontal grip to the EM-5. She doesn’t get “bigger” at all.

  70. This looks great. I wonder if the sensor has been improved in other ways beyond adding phase detect AF. If I didn’t already have an E-M5 I’d be all over this. As it stands, unless there’s a huge improvement in image quality compared to the E-M5 I’ll probably just watch from the sidelines.

    • D600 and lenses are HUGE..much different than this camera and much more expensive to get lenses for D600 that perform as well as the OM-D. If you take a cheap $300 50mm lens on a D600 and pit it against the OM-D E-M5 with say a 20 1.7 it will not beat it. The OM-D would win by a mile (and yes, I did this test long ago with a D3s and 50 1.8 against an E-P2 and 20 1.7) Was no contest. So you have to take into consideration..size, weight, cost and joy of use. For some it will be Micro 4/3, no contest. Others will stick with the trusty DSLR. The oM-D E-M5 has propven itself many times over and I have seen and taken images with it that beats many full frame images I have seen. It’s just as capable as any other camera in 96% of situations.

      • Concerning your size comment: If sony can produce the RX1 with full frame sensor, why can’t Olympus do the same? Create the same OMD with more or less the same size but with a full frame sensor.. It’s a shame in my opinion cause I would really like a DSLR in the OMD’s size… which isn’t totally impossible these days (as Sony proved so).

        • They have no reason to. That would mean slower AF, all new lenses needing to be made, larger body (have you seen the FF rumored Sony yet? one has) and the fact is they have sold a ton of OM-D’s and a have a huge and happy user base. Many LOVE Micro 4/3 as the quality is and can be used for any pro job (I know many who use OM-D for pro work). Full frame benefits will be more shallow DOF, slightly better low light, and much more money and that is really it. Full frame is better, yes, but Micro 4/3 is no slouch at all. Neither is Nikon 1 (though many get hung up on sensor size instead of using cameras and seeing what they can do). The E-P5 I have been shooting has been doing VERY well in all situations. Bright light, low light, large DOF, shallow DOF, etc. This camera appears to take all of the E-M5 weaknesses and fix them – larger controls, more solid controls, better grip and feel, plus much more.

          To those already invested in Micro 4/3 with the superb lenses (and there are a ton) this will be a no brainer IMO. A camera that inspires will get you out there shooting and doing things you wouldnt normally do 🙂

          To those not invested in Micro 4/3 then it is not as interesting. To those who just knock it due to sensor size, that is silly and it is not for them either.

          But Olympus would not do a full frame camera as they already have grand slam hits with these and they perform exceptionally well. A FF camera would take time, money, and serious time and at the end of the day, the results would be slightly better in some areas and worse in others. Would be a bad move to make.

          • Okey Steve, I agree with you about the size and weight. what’s good about the full frame camera is that you can crop image. In fact I never used one. But my m8(APS-H) sensor gives me a good result,
            that’s why I prefer D600.

            Speaking about tests: I really would like to see, how a GX7(with Leica lens) competes the new OM-D

          • First, thanks for your thorough answer.

            Second, I agree the 4/3 cameras are no slouch and you can for sure accomplish excellent results using them, but it still seems to me like 4/3 and smaller than FF sensors are in the end – transitory sensors which be eventually replaces by FF as FF is the current standard. As sensor production costs lowers then less 4/3 cameras and gear will be produced and I personally don’t like the idea that I will need to rebuild my gear in 5 years and not be able to use the line of lenses I purchased because they became obsolete.

            As for the size, I was referring to the current Sony RX1 – it true that it isn’t an interchangeable lens camera but it’s smaller the the OMD and so size-wise I don’t see a problem accomplishing a small DSLR – in the size of old time film SLRs which would be a hit in my opinion..


          • I think the RX1 uses a leaf shutter built into the lens to achieve the insanely small size (aside from the fact that sony are masters of minaturization). A FF NEX is coming so if you prefer the shallower dof that FF provides then maybe thats the camera for you. Otherwise, m43 is as good as any camera. Ff dslrs included.

          • ” transitory sensors which be eventually replaces by FF as FF is the current standard. As sensor production costs lowers then less 4/3 cameras and gear will be produced and I personally don’t like the idea that I will need to rebuild my gear in 5 years and not be able to use the line of lenses I purchased because they became obsolete.”

            I’m sorry, but IMHO you are starting from a wrong assumptions (FF sensor based cameras sales in all Asia are becoming minority, who can say it will not be the future trend in all the planet?), so the rest of the reasoning is wrong as well.

          • As you said, neither of us can tell the future and therefore your reasoning is as “wrong” as mine… and IMHO you are forgetting the millions that are invested in FF gear…which makes my reasoning more likely then yours 🙂

          • maybe, some day, we will see a camera where you just have a drawer at the bottom, and you just slide in slides with sensors of different sizes. I don’t know if camera makers ever thought about such a solution, but i imagine that that is possible. One camera, 5 slides type drawers with different sensor sizes, you change sensor on the spot and you get what you want. Ricoh has the gx with lens and sensor you can change, so why not the sensor only.

        • You do also realise that the RX1 is not a interchangeable lens cam…so part of the reason why it’s smaller is that it doesn’t need to fit in the locking mechanisms and that the distance between the sensor and the back of the lens can be minimal, effectively allowing the whole lens to be smaller as well.

        • 100% agree with Steve. The performance per dollar for smaller cameras like this is impressive to say the least. Add in that they’re small, sturdy, have all the features of a big, bulky DSLR, and have excellent image quality to boot and you have a winner of a camera.

          I think you’re forgetting that the RX1 is well over 2000 dollars. Putting a huge sensor in this camera would make this a niche product, and not a replacement for the cheaper, more accessible E-M5.

      • Gotta agree with Steve here. I too had doubts about the quality of m4/3 compared to full-frame–until I reviewed an Olympus E-P5 for The Online Photographer. The images were MUCH better than I expected and I had reasonably high expectations. All things being equal, full-frame still produces slightly better results, but at the cost of much larger, heavier, and more expensive cameras and lenses. I prefer not to shoot with full-frame equipment unless someone pays me to. When shooting for my own enjoyment, I’d take the size, weight, and reliable IBIS of a camera like the E-M1 any day. But that’s just me. YMMV.

        • If you’re limiting your enlargement sizes, and you’re not shooting at ISOs beyond 800, the results between Micro 4/3 and full-frame are going to be close to indistinguishable, it’s true.

          It’s when you start making 16×20 enlargements and/or are shooting at ISO1600+ that things begin to go to sh*t with Micro 4/3 when compared alongside larger formats.

          If you stay within these [ ] parameters, no difference.

          But if you move to these [ ] parameters, things quickly change.

          Like many, I believe the trend will be to move full-frame sensors into progressively smaller bodies, most likely mirrorless. As sensor costs fall, this trend will continue.

          Still, my local major photo retailer tells me that mirrorless is not selling well in North America. Buyers are still dismissive of it, and continue to gravitate towards entry-level DSLRs.

          • It’s exactly what I said (the second part of your comment)… buyers do not like to create a whole set based on a format that is less likely to hold on in the future… people are already invested with full frame gear – lenses and such and more compact cameras are putting in FF sensors – see Ricoh GX (or is it XR or GR ? :))
            so I can’t see the 4/3 holding on in 10 years time… maybe just for point and shoot cameras and if that is the case why start now.

            Also, it’s true the RX1 is small because it doesn’t have an interchangeable lens but I believe they can make an interchangeable lens camera roughly the size of and good old film SLR….

            anyway.. good morning to you all 🙂

          • I agree. I think Micro 4/3 will die out eventually for precisely this reason. That’s why, much as I love the Olympus cameras — and to a bit lesser extent the Lumix ones — I would never invest money in this format.

            People who argue about all the tech advancements that can be used to improve the smaller sensors forget that the same tech can also be applied to the larger sensors as well.

            It’s why Micro 4/3 will never equal FF, and FF will never equal MF. It’s not just ultimate resolution and noise, either, it’s also fine tonal gradation, which gets better as sensors get bigger.

            Of course, it’s all academic if you don’t have an eye for making arresting images…

          • Robert, most people are not making prints bigger than 16 x 20 in the age of digital media and I think you are SO wrong about Micro 4/3. I have not seen better results from FF than I’m seeing from the OMD series in terms of sharpness and color which is exactly why I chose to invest in the Olympus as my digital system. Steve’s evaluation above is right on the money.
            I think on balance Micro 4/3 is ALREADY equalling FF for the kind of photography most people do.
            You have some good arguments but presented from the perspective of someone whose primary motivation is to sell highest quality images for publication at large magnifications.
            Magazine pages will not stretch Micro 4/5 for quality, neither will a 20 – 24 inch monitor ( I’m looking at one now).

          • Sorry,of course I meant Micro 4/3.
            Results I’m getting from the system are really quite impressive.

  71. Soon to be followed by the Olympus OM-D-EP-M1, and then the one everyone is waiting for, the Olympus OM-D-OMG-EPL-M1-2.

  72. If I was waiting for this camera (i’m not because I just bought a GH3) I’d be on the edge of my seat, however I think it may be mock up….sorry!

    • Not a mock up, saw the full video with it being used. I have the video and watched it several times. It’s real. Did you see the video? It’s as real as it gets.

    • Who would want more than 16MP on a Micro 4/3 sensor? I’d be happy with 12 🙂 But 16 is the sweet spot max IMO. The OM-D has proven itself to stand toe to toe with APS-C in IQ and quality, beating many in color and all in speed and usability. Looks like this one takes it up a notch, which is pretty exciting IMO. Will have the best EVF, fastest AF, amazing usability with solid dial controls, and fantastic high ISO quality. There is nothing NOT to like except to those who still trash micro 4/3 for the sake of trashing them. 🙂

        • APS-C sensors have almost no advantage over 4/3 except for some aspect ratio shots with fairly large prints.

          The area of a sensor cell is determined by the smallest dimension of the sensor. APS-C sensors are only slightly taller meaning they don’t collect much more light.

          APS-C senors vary but are only bit taller than 4/3 sensors. The actual light collection area of a cell is the linear dimension squared. Not a very big deal these days!

      • No matter how good it is at high ISO. This camera will not match to NEXUS 5x,6 IQ because of the smaller sensor IMHo.. Of course. the body design/ergonomics and 5ixis impress me much.

        • How often does anyone use ISO 6400? That is the question 🙂 The OM-D ISO 6400 is good, even in low light, as you can see in samples in my many reviews using the camera. Not as clean as APS-C but not far off. The camera is much faster, more accurate and more fun to use than any APS-C I have used. In fact, I never had an APS-C that I kept for the long haul. Always finicky focus or other issues such as lens selection. But everyone will like different things. This will not beat APS-C of FF at high ISO or very shallow DOF. Other than that it beats it in most areas.

          • Steve, best 4/3 sensors are miles away from APS-C or FF in low light. And if you try to take pictures during party, wedding, in some dark rooms, yes, you often need 6400, 12800 and sometimes higher iso value. Not for everyday, not everytime, but it happens.

            It’s strange to see some users (APS-C, FF, 4/3, medium format, no matter) trying to persuade themselves that the sensor size they used at most have “almost” the same benefits of the larger ones, but of course without their flaws.

            Just for fun, I have downloaded raw files from OM-D, D7100 and D800 of the same scene : same aperture, iso value, shutter speed, both at ISO 6400. EVEN AT 100%, D800 AND D7100 files are far ahead. This is not a criticism, it’s just logical. All sensor sizes have their benefits and flaws, I personnaly don’t believe in the “magic compromise”.

            However, this camera seems very promising.

          • Not true, I speak from VAST experience in this matter. I have shot full frame extensively, micro 4/3 extensively and APS-C extensively, all in every situation. I owned all three at the same time. The OM-D E-M5 was just as capable if not more so because the camera focused so well in low light. I have shot the OM-D at 6400 at night, without lights and have prints from the images. I have shot the same scenes, at the same time with FF and APS-C. Guess what? The E-M5 files beat APS-C and were not far off from full frame. With the right lenses anything is possible. Use the kit lens and yes, there is a large difference. Use the fast primes and there is not. But do not take my word for it. There are TONS of posts here by others who shot the E_M5 in low light and have images that are just as gorgeous as those from full frame cameras.

            The beauty of the Olympus bodies is the 5 AXIS IS. You can shoot a 90mm equiv lens at 1/10th second hand held at night and get a sharp image thus lowering your ISO. ISO 6400 is not needed when using fast glass, in fact, mine usually maxes out at 1600 in the lowest of light.

            I have seen images from the E-M5 that were mistaken for full frame images. Slap on any of the Voigtlander 0.95 lenses and it gets even harder to distinguish. Yes, full frame is better for noise, DR and richness of file but unless you are printing very very large it will be tough to tell the difference in most scenarios. I love my full frame cameras but also give credit where it is due, and the Olympus Micro 4/3 bodies, namely the E-M5 and now E-P5 and soon to be E-M1 beat mostly all APS-C cameras for me. If they didn’t I would never have owned one.

          • Steve are you aware of the overstated ISO that newer Olympus cameras use? (Same goes for Fuji by the way) ISO 6400 on the NEX is to be compared with ISO 3200 on the Olympus, around 1 stop difference in their ways to measure ISO.

            Try to make a test yourself with your E-M5 and a latest gen NEX, go ahead and use the NEX-7. Choose identical shutter speed and aperture for both cameras, and you will see that Olympus will need ISO 6400 and the NEX 3200 to expose the pictures the same – in conclusion you’ll see the noise levels be a little higher on the E-M5.

            This way DxOMark scores makes much better sense than your conclusion, when it comes to low light performance.

            I just think it is pretty important that reviewers are aware of this.

          • THe omd is double the panasonic gx1 for iso. Shoot the same scene with the two cameras with the same lens set at the same aperture and you’ll see that the gx1 has the same shutter speed at iso 1600 as the omd has at 3200. I tested it before I sold my gx1

          • Not quite, spaceman. What the DXO charts really means is that internally in the camera, the sensor sensitivity stays at a certain level, but the camera “pushes” the exposure to attain the higher ISO level. All camera manufacturers do this. DXO themselves explained it at one point.

            DPreview also comments that the OM-D ISO sensitivity is off compared to other cameras, but is only within 1/3 of a stop or so, so the difference is quite slight, and not the 1-stop difference you claim. Most other cameras are within 1/6 of a stop from “norm.”

          • All right, I forgot the 5 axis IBIS Steve. It allows lower isos, longer shutter speed. However : “I have shot the OM-D at 6400 at night, without lights and have prints from the images. I have shot the same scenes, at the same time with FF and APS-C. Guess what? The E-M5 files beat APS-C and were not far off from full frame”.

            My “protocol” :
            – Downloading raw files at focusnumérique (french website) : all at 6400 isos, f/5.6, 200 lux, 1/4s (for me, 6400 is where the real différences are obvious)

            D7000 :


            D7100 :


            D800 :


            Nex 6 :


            Nex 7 :


            Om-d :


            – Opening in lightroom
            – Turning off all noise reduction
            – Exporting in full size .tif
            – Comparison in photoshop : at 100% first, then at the same size.

            –> There is just one camera which is on par with OM-D : the Nex7. But it’s also much more exposed to the right… So in addition of being the most noisy of all (or one of the two most), it seems that spaceman is right, Oly is overstating the iso values. To be fair, D7000 is also dark. Om-d and D7000 files are the most underexposed. But D7000 is far more cleaner.

            Weakness of the protocol : Om-d, Nex 6 and 7 files were taken with kit lenses, reflex with 50mm (1.8 and 1.4). So to be even more fair play, don’t look at the sarpness.

            “In real life”, of course IBIS and good lenses are important in low light. If you can lower your iso, fine, you’ve got clean pictures. Only final results matter. But you told me that your OM-D files beats “AT 6400” your APS-C files. I don’t know which APS-C camera you used. If it’s a modern one in raw, I remain skeptical.

            (Sorry for my poor English)

      • I am a HUGE Olympus fan. That said, I feel I need to jump into the fray (don’t get mad at me for what I’m about to say, Steve)…

        “The OM-D has proven itself to stand toe to toe with APS-C in IQ and quality…”

        In some cases, but certainly not in all. It can’t match Fuji’s XP1 or Nikon’s D7100 … especially as the ISOs climb — that’s already been demonstrated aptly around the web. The tech is evolving, but it’s evolving across all sensor sizes. Good as it is, I would never expect my full-frame to match a Phase One, either. At a certain point, the laws of physics come into play.

        While I’m sure there are a few out there, I don’t personally know a single professional shooting commercial work with Micro 4/3. Most clients in that world demand larger files.

        At the same time, I do like what Olympus has done here. It’s an impressive bit of kit, to be sure. And I do agree that they’ve done a terrific job with speed and usability (if not menu simplicity). But this has always been Olympus’ hallmark, going back to the original OM-1/OM-2 cameras.

        • Just as an aside my clients haven’t given a hoot about actual file size or format in years. And we’ve been shooting digital since first buying two Leaf backs in 1993. For $36K each.
          I have personally shot jobs with the OMD though I actually took and intended to use 5D mkIIIs or bigger but felt the little bugger was going to be easier to get the visual results required. And after the occasional jokes about size the results are all that have counted.
          But what do I know…

        • Larger files, larger sensors, larger anything do not make better pictures. They are marketing magnets for the companies that want to sell new products. You need ENOUGH quality in your images, not THE MOST, THE BIGGEST, THE NEWEST, THE BEST. Even professional photographers have been lured into following this mindset with digital.. A Nikon F2 from way back when is MORE than good enough to take professional quality pictures even though it’s HIGH ISO is much less than today’s digital cameras. It didn’t stop countless photographers using it professionally.
          As far as I can see, the OMD series, even the EM5 offers more than enough for professional work if that’s what you are doing. No client is going to turn down an excellent image because it was taken on a camera with smaller files than this weeks Fuji/ Sony camera, whatever. A great picture is a great picture, and a great picture is worth publishing.Many cameras these days have ONE new advanced feature that momentarily gives them a lead on the competition. Few of them have implemented all of the useful features needed in picture taking as well as the Olympus OMD series( in my opinion). You don’t buy a camera for one feature only do you? Somebody on the Olympus design team has their head screwed on properly.On balance, this is a VERY capable picture taking machine as far as I can see and plenty good enough for Pro results.
          What on earth are people taking pictures of with these high ISO’s I wonder?
          How can ISO 3,200 not be enough? In most situations, even low light stuff in caves ( yes, i’ve done it with Leica M, F2 lens and ISO 400 film ) you don’t need those kind of high ISO’s. Digital has not made people better photographers, just greedy ones…more ISO please! Bigger sensor please! Faster focus please! New camera please! more pixels please. You need more than 16mp. Really? Why?

    • I agree with the comment that 16mp is a little disappointing, given that Sony and Samsung have smaller sensors that have 20mp. Though, it still may be too soon for this technology to be transferred to the M43 sensor size. It is only a matter of time and processing power.

      • If you think that a higher megapixel count on a (relatively) small sensor is a good thing, you’re going about it all wrong.

        16-18MP is a great resolution for most cameras IMO. Hell, even my Leica M-E has an 18MP full frame sensor and I have never seen better pictures come out of a camera before.

        That is unless you plan to make prints the size of your wall, in which case get a D800E.

        • There is one reason for higher resolution that I can think of, and that would be to add cropping potential. But cropping a photo to gain more “tele” out of something is really just a bandaid for lacking gear for what you are trying to do.

        • Jonathan &Sonaten

          It’s not only about enlargement or cropping. First, it is about being perceived in the marketplace as keeping up with the leaders. Since “everyone” knows more is better, even it it really isn’t. As I mentioned, both Sony and Samsung have smaller sensors with higher pixel counts and both are regarded to have very good image quality.

          Second, is over sampling. Which means that more pixels really are better in terms of color information. If we reduce the pixel size by 50% the number of pixels is increased by 4x. At some point in time the increase in resolution is going to exceed what the lenses can resolve. Even at this point we still gain the ability to get more color information in the same area as our original pixel. It’s the equivalent of moving up a film size or two.


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