Shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 in Ireland


Shooting with the Olympus OM-D E-M1 in Dublin Ireland 

by Steve Huff

ATTENTION: My full and complete thorough E-M1 Review is HERE!

Check out the video below that goes over the E-M1 and my use with it over the past few days. Everything I can say about this new E-M1 is said in this video!

So as some of you know from reading yesterdays post I am in Ireland.

I spent the last three days in Dublin Ireland as well as Castle Leslie with Olympus and about 15 other photographers testing out the latest and greatest Micro 4/3 camera, the E-M1. I used to own the E-M5 which is the model that preceded the E-M1 and I LOVED It. It was small, light, fast and highly capable. I have always been a fan of Micro 4/3 and the love just continues with this release 🙂

The new E-M1 takes it up a few notches and is titled the First PRO Micro 4/3 body and not only does it shoot with Micro 4/3 lenses, it can shoot your 4/3 glass as well, and the AF speed is quick and snappy even when using the adapter for that 4/3 glass. See a sample below with the 14-35 at f/2. 

The 4/3 14-35 f/2 lens on the E-M1. Focused fast and nice.

Has some of my own Processing style and a crop in this one 🙂 


Olympus had the set up at the castle and allowed us to all shoot with an E-M1 (we were all supplied with our own E-M1, bag and two lenses). We shot models, we shot horses and we shot some very cool light painting effects with Live Time, which is exclusive to Olympus.

Improvements Galore that I noticed in my real world use…

Body & IS

But what about the camera in general? Is it an improvement over the E-M5? YES, YES, and YES! It is a pretty nice improvement in body style and ergonomics…it feels better than the E-M5 no question. The grip was added and the body feels better made, more solid. The buttons and dials are placed nicely in the correct positions and also feel professional and solid. The E-M1 still has the incredible class leading 5-Axis IS but it has been tweaked a little for better performance.

The 17 1.8 at 1.8 – click it for more detail and to see just how sharp this lens is on the E-M1



We also have the EVF upgrade which gives us the huge VF4 built-in to the body, which means this is the mirrorless camera with the best EVF to date. It is beautiful to look through and work with. Id take this over an optical any day, but I love EVF’s these days. They are damn good from Sony and Olympus.


SPEED – contrast and phase AF

The camera also has dual fast AF, Contrast and Phase Detect which means faster AF. I did not really notice the AF to be much faster over the E-M5 but did like the new options. When shooting some action scenes I was able to change my AF points from single to a patch of them in the center which made it easier  and faster to lock on and follow, and lock on and follow it did.

The next three shots: The 12-40, then the last two are with the beautiful 75 1.8. The camera had no problem tracking these fast-moving subjects!





One amazing thing I loved about the E-M5 and now E-M1 is the Live Time feature. This is not new on the E-M5 but just wanted to show how easy it is to get an amazing long exposure JUST right. If you like light painting or shooting the stars, this is your camera, hands down. It takes the guesswork out as you watch in realtime as your image develops. Leaving the shutter open for your long exposure allows you to see via the LCD just how it is exposing, and coming along. When it looks right to you, you stop the exposure. Amazing capabilities and this feature is only in Olympus cameras.

Me as an Angel


and then there is the Devil


Both of those images were done by Light Painting which is leaving the shutter open while lights are moved and placed in areas to allow them to get exposed. These were exposures up to 2 minutes in length. Pretty cool. You can tell when your image is ready just by viewing the exposure in real-time. Amazing.

WiFi – EASY to access and set up

One thing I go over in the video at the top of the page is WiFi and how to set it up. It is easy and takes about 1 minute and once you are all set up you can use yoru smart phone as your viewfinder, control settings and snap the image, all remotely. You can also transfer images from the cameras SD card to your smart phone or iPad, quick and easy. It works well.

The lens every Micro 4/3 shooter should own. The 45 1.8 – (buy it here). It seems that most lenses are REALLY sharp on the E-M1



What was once ISO 6400 is now 3200. The high ISO is improved with the camera and while it is still no full frame or Fuji X in the extreme high-end range of ISO, it does very well.

ISO 640 – 75 1.8


ISO 400 – 45 1.8


ISO 12800


ISO 6400 using “Grainy B&W” Art Filter


So while I recommend shooting B&W after ISO 3200, the camera is more capable than the E-M5 was before it when it comes to low light and high ISO. Micro 4/3 sensors just keep getting better and better.



The Art Filters are still here including two of my faves, Grainy B&W and Pinhole. Below is a sample OOC file using the Pinhole filter.


At the end of the day…

The new Olympus E-M1 is a “Mirrorless Masterpiece” it does almost everything right, and really gets nothing wrong. Olympus wants us to know that this camera is just as capable as a huge DSLR at half the size, and they are correct. The E-M1 does everything that a DSLR can do, but in some cases better and in a some ways not so much.

Will this match the overall IQ of a full frame DSLR or Leica M? No. Will it match an APS-C DSLR or camera? YES, and then some.

The reason why I call this a “Mirrorless Masterpiece” is because it has class leading features, build, feel, AF speed, lenses, and usability. No other mirrorless has the 5-axis IS, no other mirrorless has the innovative Live Time feature and no other mirrorless has this many amazing prime and zoom lenses available for their system. No other Mirrorless has this kind of EVF attached and built-in.

No other mirrorless can beat the E-M1 for speed either. I had a hard time finding something to NOT like about the E-M1 and after two days of use and thinking, I really have nothing bad at all to say about it. If  you know what Micro 4/3 can do then you will love this camera. If you are someone who refuses to believe that a Micro 4/3 can deliver, well it can. Just do not expect full frame performance 🙂



The new 12-40 2.8 lens is also a fantastic lens if you want a convenient 2.8 aperture zoom. I loved it but I still prefer my prime lenses with even faster apertures but those looking for a pro level zoom, the 12-40 rocks and I prefer it to the Panasonic 12-35 2.8. It’s also blazing fast and Olympus says it beats the quality of their 4/3 lenses, so fans of the old 12-60 rejoice, your Micro 4/3 version is here (sort of).

Olympus says this is the biggest digital camera release ever for them, and now I can see why. If Micro 4/3 is in your future or in your life right now, there is no way you would or could be disappointed by the OM-D E-M1. Some will not enjoy the looks as that snazzy new Panasonic GX7 is pretty damn sexy but at the end of the day Olympus has yet another winner in the E-M1 and 12-40 Zoom.

If you have not watched the video at the top of the page, do so as I say quite a bit about the camera as well as give a WiFi tutorial. If you have not seen my long and full Olympus E-M5 review, click here to see it. 

The E-M1 is an achievement in the Mirrorless world. yes my friends, these cameras just keep getting better.

The video from the US Launch Event (I am in the video for a short bit) 🙂 

Where to BUY? 

You can pre-order the Olympus E-M1 at the links below, and if you do use the links  you are helping this site to keep on chugging along. So I thank you!

Buy the E-M1 at B&H Photo – Buy the new 12-40 2.8 Zoom at B&H Photo

Buy the E-M1 at Amazon – Buy the new 12-40 2.8 Zoom at Amazon

Buy the E-M1 at

I will leave you with a few more samples 🙂 Enjoy!








UPDATE: Full size from RAW image samples. Click any image below for the full size file!

By Request: Full size from RAW Olympus OM-D E-M1 Images

Hello to all! I just arrived back home from Ireland after an 18 hour travel day, delayed flights and missed connections but hey, it was worth it just to go to the gorgeous castle and put the E-M1 to  the test in a beautiful environment. The weather was not so hot on the day at the Castle which required me to up the ISO on the camera but I still feel the images are superb. I have had a few email requests for full size images, from RAW from the camera. So here you go!

Enjoy and have a great rest of the weekend! I will be back Monday morning!

You must click on each image to get the full size. Text is embedded on each image with the lens used as well as ISO.








…and for comparison, a full size Leica M 240 file from the same day, same weather at ISO 200:

Many were complaining of the visible noise at 100% with the Olympus E-M1 files. Well, the Micro 4/3 files have always been like this. It has been one thing that has remained constant. The E-M5 does it, the E-P1 does it and the GX7 does it as well. What you see in my full size samples are images with all Noise Reduction turned OFF. When you print these images and view them at web size  you will not see the noise. While I did not do any side by sides with my Leica M (only took 6 shots with my Leica) I did take the one below with the M from my Blacony. ISO 200, 50 1.4 Summilux. A $11,000 combo. You can see noise in this sample as well at 100%. Again, I turn off all NR on every camera I own for maximum detail as slight noise at 100% does not bother me. : ) The dreary weather also adds to this effect.




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  1. Steve,

    Just curious how EM5MII matches up to the Fuji X-T1 EVF

    Fuji claims 0.005 second lag @ .77x magnification

    EM5MII not sure the lag @ .74x magnification.

    You mentioned Sony and Olympus EVFs. What don’t you like about Fuji EVF?

    • The E-M1 and E-M5II EVF are the same. This was written well before the X-T1 existed and was being judged on the X-Pro 1 EVF as well as the XE-2, etc. The X-T! EVF is superb.

  2. Steve, Great review, thanks a lot. I wonder if you can have any comments on the ability of E-M1 to completely switch LCD similar to E-M5. Do you think there will be a FW upgrade fixing this? Thanks

  3. Steve, can I finally shoot my son’s soccer with this camera? If so, then it might be time for me to sell the 5D3. The ONLY reason I hold on to that tank is because of sports. If the E-M1 can step in with a good zoom and good subject tracking and AF speed, it’s time to make the switch.

  4. Steve, I got my E-M1 yesterday, love it so far, but for one detail.

    It’s impossible to turn the LCD/EVF completely OFF.

    When I turn the LCD off, it remains “illuminated” (very dark grey, but lit; not completely “off”) until I bring the camera to my eye; then the EVF comes on and the LCD goes “off.”

    Olympus Tech Support directed me to the “J. Built-In EVF” menu and instructed me to turn “EVF Auto Switch to “OFF.” That turns off the LCD when it’s not in use, but it turns the EVF on permanently (unlike E-M5 – in that model, when LCD is “off”, EVF only comes on when camera is at my eye).

    The one drawback to this camera that I noticed using it last night is that it drains the battery pretty quickly – an issue in part because they haven’t shipped my battery grip yet. So I’m looking for the setting that turns all the viewfinders/LCDs OFF when I’m not using the camera to conserve battery power.

    The guy at Olympus Tech Support told me it was “designed that way,” which strikes me as pretty dumb.

    Is this the way your E-M1 works? Is there a setting that will make the interchaged between LCD and EVF work the way it does in the E-M5.

    • If it helps & puts your mind at ease I have the same issue with my EM1… Looks like a firmware update is required already

      • Thanks for confirming that… umm… “feature.” I spent an hour on the phone with various personnel at Olympus today, trying to find somebody on whom to impress the need for a firmware update. GFL with that. They told me you can’t get to the “designers” without going through “marketing.” I too often wish designers AND marketing people could be forced to witness through a one-way mirror how users actually use their products. Too many times I pick up a gizmo and wonder “who the f thought THAT was a good idea…”

  5. Steve, at the outset, again – thanks for this review!!

    If I missed it above, or if it is in another post, apologize in advance – just cite links.

    How are you handling Luminance and Color noise; right now I am using the EM-5 – I have already purchased the EM-1 (the 5 will be my backup). I am experiencing a lot of noise at 1600; barely acceptable at 800.

    All suggestions appreciated.

  6. I’ve just purchased this camera and am in the process of getting used to it. Being a canon user (5D III, 1DX and various L lenses) it may take some time. I have purchased this camera mainly for personal use (the canon gear is used professionally). All I can say is my first impressions are that for a micro 4/3rds camera it is truly awesome… Really annoys me when readers can be so picky searching for its downfalls.. I’m not going to go into detail but In my humble opinion this little beauty seems pretty faultless…..

    • John, why are you still using Canon “professionally.” What kind of work are you doing that requires any greater quality than you can get from a camera like the E-M1 – and the best glass (which, admittedly, does not offer as robust a selection as the more mature lines like Nikanon) ?

      • Professionally I shoot weddings and studio portraits. M 4/3rds sensors cannot compete with the canon pro series cameras in low light I’m afraid. Low light high ISO is critical for me as a wedding photographer as I rarely use flash. I also like the build, weight etc of my canons. This is a personal opinion but I like to have a tank in my hands. I would disagree with your comment re lenses though, I shoot with primes all the time and in my opinion M 4/3rd lenses cannot compete with Canon L series glass (with the odd exception). Don’t get me wrong here, the EM1 is an awesome camera, I’ve just purchased one, but for me it will be a personal camera, not one I will be using professionally. I guess, at the end of the day, I’m a canon man

  7. The real question for me is: will the dials fall off like on the EM-5? I love my EM-5, but I am salivating for the EM-1, mostly for a more rugged build and wifi. How did the dials feel?

  8. Very nice sample photos in your review Steve. It seems to me you are still on the Olympus cloud. The Olympus E-M1 must be a great camera, but it’s not for me. I own a E-M5 and for me there’s no reason to upgrade to an E-M1. Image quality wise both are exactly the same as is the Panasonic GX7. That leaves the body, the autofocus and the EVF. The body is almost the same as an E-M5 with a grip (without the battery part), I don’t need phase detect autofocus and although the viewfinder is great, it’s not enough to pay double for this camera body. So, if you already own the E-M5 I don’t think it’s an interesting switch, but if you haven’t got a camera yet the E-M1 seems to be the one to get.

    • Thanks 🙂 not on an Olympus cloud..just stating facts. The E-M1 is the best Micro 4/3 camera ever made, period. The GX7 is nice, but does not match the E-M1. I love the E-M5 (as you know) but the E-M1 takes it up 2-3 notches. Improved 5-Axis (slight), MUCH better EVF, MUCH better build/feel, faster AF and more pro features. The differences are there, and quite noticeable in use. The only thing is that the E-M1 is larger than the E-M5. They had to make it larger to make buttons bigger and make the build more pro. It is still small and much smaller than a DSLR but its more than an E-M5 with a grip.

      In any case, you cant go wrong with the E-M5, E-M1, GX7 or E-P5. All are fantastic. Thanks for reading.

  9. Hi Steve again

    Given improved AF and IBIS do you think E-M1 would now be adequate for wildlife photography? Sure would be easier to carry through rough terrains.

    Thanks again

    • I feel the E-M1 would make an AMAZING Wildlife camera. Up there with a Nikon D4 or D800 and pro prime telephotos? NO. But it is great for this style of shooting no question. At least I would use it without question.

  10. Great article Steve!
    Appreciate suggestions for best way(s) to improve DOF with m4/3 cameras(ie, lenses, technique).
    Also is E-M1any better than other m4/3 cameras for reducing DOF?

    Many Thanks

    • DOF will be the same with ALL Micro 4/3 cameras as they all share the same sensor and use the same lenses. If you use the Voigtlander 25 0.95 or 42.5 0.95 you will get superb shallow DOF rivaling APS-C and even full frame.

  11. Hi Steve
    Good review, positive and unbiased for a good camera and lens system, quick question I like all-round photographing so street,portrait and all the rest, I feel I will buy the E-M1 but I only want and need two lenses to cover 90/95% of all, so question is is it 12-40 & 75 or what???


    Will support your site with this purchase.

    • Was my question so simple it does not need an answer ? or are we all pro’s and should not ask such questions ??

    • I love the panasonic 12-35 f2.8 and the 45 f1.8 combination. I would say 95% of the time that’s on my camera. When I’m shooting product or small stuff I’ll use the 60mm f2.8 macro, but when I travel with the above two lenses, I’m a pretty happy camper!

  12. Hey Steve,

    can you please tell us wich camera you use to take your first look video-reviev..? Real crisp pictures…

    Thank you for all…

    • A sony video camera, last years $1200 model, not sure of the model number but it was replaced in 2013 with an upgraded IS system. It has been my workhorse and just works every time 🙂

  13. I got a Nikon D600 for a trip (Scotland/England) last spring, and have never really been happy with it. The center-weighted AF points drive me nutz, and the sensor suffers from the spotting that many others have observed (which was supposed to be fixed by the time I got mine, but no….).

    I’ve also had the E-M5 for a year and find that I use it much more than the Nikon. I got just as many fine results from the Olympus in my travels as I did from the Nikon.

    I placed an order for the E-M1 the day it became available and I hope it and the new 12-40 lens arrive in their first batch that ships for B&H (they told me I’m in the first 100).

    The D600 (aka the ‘Anvil 600’) will probably go on eBay as soon as it comes back from Nikon — for sensor cleaning. Then I’ll wonder about what to do with the high-end glass I’ve been accumulating… it’s been a long time collecting, I’m reluctant to let it all go.

    Steve, if you read this: are you at liberty to divulge the name of the high-end wedding photographer you referred to in your video who uses only the OM-D? I’d like to see some of his work. I don’t shoot weddings myself (yet?), but I think there’s a fair likelihood that I will be “all OM-D” before the end of the year.

    Thanks for your fine reporting.

  14. Hi Steve, since you own the RX1R with the external EVF. Can I have your view on how the EM1’s EVF compares to the RX1R’s EVF? Is it better?

    • The EVF of the E-M1 is nicer and so so large. No lag, etc. The RX1R is my 2nd fave EVF but will Sony have something even better coming up? Maybe. Either way, the one in the Oly is fantastic from IQ to color to size.

      • Thanks for the helpful info Steve! I bought the RX1 upon your glowing review and loving it! Thinking of getting either the GX7 or EM1 as my system camera.

  15. Hi Steve, great real world review as well as great photos (I wonder if somebody could even find them as 4/3 in a blind test…)
    Do you expect the 5 axis IS to be used by Sony in the coming NEX full frame which is almost due out?

  16. Steve great review….I was wondering how this guy performs with flash particularly the clip on one during day time and low light, did you try it. I moved from the EM5 to a D600 some time back and find the onboard flash and settings much more balanced then the EM5 was. Especially when illuminating faces with back lit subjects etc. Just wondered if you had any thoughts on this other than the obvious that I suspect yu dont like flash lol

  17. Good review and info. Very helpful in making it easy to jump in, almost got the em5 and still may. But I’m a landscape shooter & don’t think I need the EM1. Maybe not?

    Plus it’s hilarious reading the nitpickers, grammar nazis, trolls! Hahaha! I can’t understand gear-nuts, more insane than political ideologues who fall in love with politicians!

  18. If you we’re to rate a top of the line Nikon or Canon as 100, what score would you give the Olympus when rated action as well as still photography?

  19. Steve, can you compare a couple of crazy setups — the Nikon V2 versus this using the Nikon adaptor and fast glass such as the voightlander SLII lenses or the Nikkor f1.4 35mm (plus the Nikon Primes) and this with fast 4/3 glass?

    Neither can do what a good Full Frame can do, but both have the ability to use a LOT of glass. One application is as a second body with more “reach” — your 200mm zoom on full frame becomes more like a 500 mm zoom on these cameras — at half the price of using a double full frame setup.

    And I have used the Nikon as a travel camera, and it works quite well, thank you very much.

    • A Nikon V with a 35 1.4 would be the equiv of a 90mm lens. I hate using other lenses on the V series due to the extreme crop factor. If that as my criteria it would be Micro 4/3 all the way. But the V series sensor is like a mini Micro 4/3 in many ways 🙂

  20. Thanks for the insightful review.I have an EM-5 and a Panny 12-35.Is it simply better IQ in the 12-40 OLY versus the 12-35 or are there other issues?I’m planning to get the EM-1 soon and a 2nd job!

  21. I guess no body expects the smaller sensor to compete with a full frame 35mm on resolution but you mention the Oly was behind in DR also (in a post above), I don’t see why that should be the case with a moder sensor design. Did you find this to be an obvious issue? or how far behind a D800 (DR champ…) would it be in your opinion?

    • All I know is that the DR does not match the Sony RX1, Leica M 240 or D800. It is good, superb even, but does not match the best FF sensors. I have no way to technically measure this but I am sure DXO did and will.

      • I’d agree as I noticed slightly better DR on my RX1 compared to the same scene I take secs later with the EM-5 on the Pana 12-35mm. This is presumably the E-M1 has the same sensor performance as the E-M5 …as all recent reviews seems to indicate.

  22. Hey Steve, you know you are _quite_ the speed freak when pumped up about a camera? 😀

    I love that you always maintain your enthusiasm (and still keep your head sort-o-straight anyway). The web needs good enthusiasts around to balance all the error searchers lurking everywhere. Keep it up!

  23. Steve, the portrait you took with the pinhole art filter is awesome.

    Concerning high ISO – you mentioned that M1 does better than M5, but when I look at direct comparisons (over at DPreview) – what I see (ISO 3200 and above) is that with M1 noise is less pronounced, but also the detail is more smeared. Below ISO 3200 I do not see any difference at all. Just an observation. Anyhow – this just makes me mo curios about your coming review 🙂

  24. Great initial review Steve! Could you cover a bit of BIF in your in-depth review? If Olympus nailed it then I hope they make a 300 or 400mm to satisfy our needs 🙂

    • Well I can not say as I take it all in to consideration. Such as Size, Weight, Cost, Speed, etc. I would give the E-M1 a 95% on Cost, Weight, Size, Speed and a full frame DSLR a 55% on these. IQ wise, a good Full Frame DSLR with a very nice prime will win in most cases (if you want shallow DOF, noise free base ISO files at 100% and richer color/more DR). But you also lose with extreme size, weight, cost. I would take an E-M1 with a 12mm, 25mm and 75mm before I would buy a Canon FF DSLR with a set of three L primes because I know as beautiful as the 6D files are with those primes, I would never use them in everyday life due to the size and weight. Its all a trade off. With Micro 4/3 you gain some noise at all ISO when viewing at 100% on screen, you lose a little bit of the richness and depth in the file and lose some of the shallow DOF capability (but can be fixed with certain lenses that are now available).

      Overall Micro 4/3 and the E-M1 and even new GX7 are the best Mirrorless choice for someone wanting the best of both worlds. With the right lenses these cameras can sing and are good enough for 95% of us. For the others who stress about 100% on screen views and noise, it will never be enough to satisfy them.

      The IQ coming from my Leica M 240 is indeed better, richer, etc but how far off? Not that far in reality. Micro 4/3 is about good quality in a small size, and the E_M1 does it in a pro way. Many know I have always loved M 4/3, even from the 1st cameras and today they are about as good as they can get IMO.

  25. The Live Time feature looks cool, wasn’t until reading you comments that I realised my EM-5 has it as well! Hah! Must spend more time reading the manual!

    Love your hands on articles and photos as always Steve.

  26. Hi Steve…

    Your photos are stunning and I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of my own E-M1. But to help me put your review in perspective–and please don’t take this question the wrong way because I’m not challenging your enthusiasm for this camera which I can see is genuine–did you pay your own way to Ireland or did Olympus pick up the tab for you and the other 15 or so photographers?

  27. Steve I just wanted to say how refreshing I find both the style of your blog and also your reviews – a lot of photography websites focus too heavily on things which in actual day to day photography are somewhat irrelevant and unhelpful in deciding between cameras.

    You are one of a handful of photographers that offers the reader something of actual value which they cannot read from the manufacturers website themselves. I know many readers give you abuse for your honest approach but believe me far more of us applaud you for it.

    The only that makes choosing a camera from your reviews a struggle is that you have an amazing ability to make all cameras shoot beautifully but I guess thats the whole point 🙂

    Keep up the great work.

  28. Steve, forgive me for quick geography lesson…..

    The Castle you were in for two days is not even close to Dublin.


    • I stayed two nights in Dublin and one at the Castle, which was a 90 min drive from Dublin. So yes, you are correct. I did shoot a bit in Dublin though, just not posted yet. 🙂

  29. I’m actually moving away from full frame to a 2 body EM1 setup and won’t miss the 10kg I will lose in my camera bag when shooting assignments overseas.
    I’ve ordered one 12-40 kit and one body alone, with the 40-150 to come for the other body on release. All we need now is a 2.8 7-12 UWA which I think will be essential to get more professional users.

    • Yah, to me, this is the huge, glaring absence in the m4/3 lens line-up. I was a bit disappointed when Olympus said they were doing the long over the wide first in their pro lens line-up 🙁 🙁 I think Sigma could step in here and do something wonderful, or panasonic could update the f4, heck, even a ultra-wide prime would be MOST welcome!

  30. Olympus can be proud.

    But why they dressed it up like a 1970s SLR for 35mm film, incl. fake bulge for the non-existant prism finder?

  31. It seems very nice… I was there with the great Steve… First impression is very positive (both of Steve and E-M1 🙂 ).
    I already use E-M5 for weddings an editorial works… Now I have a lot of files with me shot with a bunch of different lenses and I will see how the files behave…
    Ergonomics, autofocus and viewfinder simply rock…
    I will do a pixel peeping in the next days and if the camera match my standard I will try to have it before my next trip to Mexico…
    I’m a simple man one camera for all…
    But remember what Steve said in the video
    For those that are thinking that I’m not a professional check it out:

    • Some truly beautiful images.
      Thank you for sharing.

      the 12-40 f2.8 for its good optics and weather seal is a very tempting option. I can only imagine how fantastic would be in tropical and subtropical climate, especially using it in rain.

  32. What’s wrong with the photo of the riding woman titled “ISO 640 – 75 1.8” (OMD60052.jpg)? If you look the face of the woman it looks quite grainy and unflattering for ISO 640. No offense, just curious.

  33. Steve, this is kind of off topic, but since you are there with Olympus can you ask them if they will ever release a black 12mm f/2.0 like they did with all the other primes (I’m aware there was a limited number 12mm black lenses). Thanks! Great stuff as always!

  34. Steve, I also got my E-M1 today and my early thoughts echo yours. It takes the best of the E-M5 and just makes them better. The better build, grip, best in class EVF, easy access to bracketing, etc make this a great camera.

    I can’t wait to take some pictures this weekend.

  35. Steve,
    I think you have not made it clear how the motion detect AF compares with simply using an EM-5 in your report you say the speeds are very close, and you really don’t address the differences at focusing at moving objects/people. You wrote: “The camera also has dual fast AF, Contrast and Phase Detect which means faster AF. I did not really notice the AF to be much faster over the E-M5 but did like the new options. “.. Please clarify, as I get the feeling the difference is small, thanks, j

  36. Steve, First, I enjoy your writings and I appreciate the education you have provided me and others. I am a newbie to MFT having recently sold all of my bricks (Canon DSLRs and big glass) and purchased the EM-5 and the three Panasonic zooms: 12-35, 35-100, 100-300.

    I have on order the EM-1 and the 12-40 f/2.8.

    If you didn’t have the 14-35 f/2, would you consider purchasing it instead of the 12-40 f/2.8 for the .8 of a stop? I am guessing no; I wanted to hear it from you.

    I am also considering replacing the 35-100 when the 40-150 is released next year. I will still keep the 100-300 for the 150-300 focal length. Unlike others, I have been very happy with the results at 300mm.


    Cheers, Jay

  37. I bought the V1 because of you Steve and have been enjoying it a lot. It’s just a perfect little beauty.
    Do you think I should finally sell my X Pro 1 to get the EM1? While I jumped the gun to an EM5 briefly, I had to move back to the X Pro 1 because of High ISO noise. Around 90% of my pictures are in the dark where the Fuji comes in handy.

    • The X-Pro 1 will require you to slow down and ensure that your technique is perfect. Its speed — particularly autofocus — will not match the E-M1, and the E-M1 also offers the advantage of 5-axis image stabilization.

      Unless your SUBJECT is moving, you may well be able to compensate for the lack of high ISO capability by simply lowering it by a couple of stops and relying on the Olympus’ image stabilization.

      If you’re forced to shoot at 3200 or 6400, however, there’s no question the Fuji will provide better IQ.

      The X-Pro 1 is really the closest thing to an M camera Japan has built, except with autofocus. It’s shooting capability and capacity should probably be viewed in a similar vein.

      It’ll beat the OM-D on overall image quality … but the OM-D will walk all over it on speed and features.

  38. Steve these photos, especially the first several portraits are amazing, I could swear full frame took it! Are those jpegs or did you converted Raw?

  39. Thanks Steve. Really nice pre-review. What do you think about the video capabilities of this Om-d versus the Panasonic GH3? The 5 axis IS looks terrific for recording video but it would be an overall better choise comparing with the GH3?
    I´m in the final countdown to purchase a camera with the best video capabilities. Any recommendations?
    Thank you so much for such a gook work.

    • the video capabilities are no match for GH3. It does not even do 1080p 60fps or 24fps. Also the bitrate is just 24mbps for 30fps. GH3 can go upto 72mbps bitrate. Certainly no match. But on the stills department, this one will obliterate GH3. Its IBIS is an engineering marvel. Hopefully the next version wil offer better video capabilities.

  40. The one thing where the E-M5 is a problem for _some_ photographers is access speed:
    how fast does it start up (especially since these cameras eat way more battery than a DSLR when on), how fast is the viewfinder back after a shot, how fast does it wake up from standby etc.

    Many photographers who have assignments where spontaneous reaction is important have a hard time with the E-M5 compared to DSLRs.

    How is the E-M1 in this aspect?

  41. Hi Steve, wonderful pics… are you making it over to London at any point? Just wanted to ask a quick question regarding the light sources you used for your lighting painting shots. Thanks, Andy

  42. Looking forward to more articles on this camera. Perhaps, comparison to full frame cameras? Wonder if even with nice IQ, is it still lacking FF image quality?

    • I know you said in the article that don’t expect FF quality but in what terms that it’s lacking. Perhaps something that I can leave without…

      • Basically you will not get as shallow of a depth of field as with full frame, nor full frame high ISO capability nor that richness and DR that comes with full frame files.

        • E-M1 has less than half stop smaller dynamic range than example Nikon D800 so it is not losing to it. In fact it wins if you need to keep shutter speed same with D800 and get same DOF (2 stops) range, as you need to rise ISO by two stops and then E-M1 has better DR by one stop. So when you shoot with a f/1.8 what is f/3.2 as 35mm, you need boost FF camera ISO to get same or then lower shutter speed. Of course if you want those shallow depth shots where only one eye is sharp, just get speed booster with a nice OM f/1.2 lens (booster is 400$) and you get f/0.85 what has f/1.0 DoF….

  43. Thanks for the detailed initial review and great pictures Steve! It’s been hard to decide which camera to order – the EM5 or EM1, but you have me convinced that the couple hundred buck more for the EM1 will be well worth it. I have a bunch of great manual focus lenses (OM, Leica, Pentax) that I’m sure will work well with the huge EVF and focus peaking … Cheers!

  44. To choose a mirror-less camera (for me) is easy, but there are just too many great lenses – it is hard to figure out where to start (the 12-40 is so tempting).

    Please, Steve, once you get to review – give the video abilities a good test if possible. Thank you.

      • B&H shipped my E-M1 today, should be here Monday. I have had the E-M5 for a year and use it a lot more than my Nikon ‘Anvil 600’ and very well may abandon the Anvil altogether if this E-M1 is as good as it looks like it will be. No word though on when they will be able to ship the battery/grip, and now I guess the 12-40 f/2.8 lens isn’t shipping until around Thanksgiving.

        I have the 12m f/2.0, the 45m f/1.8, and the 75m f/1.8… but the lens I use the most is the 17m f/2.8 – not as fast obviously as your recommended 1.8, but it’s a ‘pancake’ lens that fits easily in the bag that I carry all the time – so I always have that with me.

        Next week should be fun…

        • When did you order your E-M1. Mine was ordered 9/12 and I haven’t heard a peep out of B&H yet about when it will ship.

          • I placed my order at the crack of dawn (Central time) on September 10, the day that B&H first opened for pre-orders. I was somewhere in the first 100. That’s as much as I know, now I wait until Monday…

  45. I am new to the photograph world and it is my husbands passion. He and I both look up to professionals such as Steve Huff and Helene Marie Pambrun who both have a wealth of experience with cameras and photography.

  46. The images are absolutely fantastic. Have a Panny GX1 with their 20mm prime and I’m ready for the upgrade. The old Panny has been wonderful to me, but I do prefer the Olympus color signature. Glad I’ve waited this long. Definitely appears to be a very mature camera as well. Thanks Steve!

  47. Interesting you did not address the lag in the EVF. I assume there is some. And for that reason, it cannot be as good as a crop sensor DSLR. The “best” EVF to date. OK, but that doesn’t mean it is up to the level of an OVF. Once the lag gets fixed, then we will have something.

    • That is because I noticed no lag in the EVF and I much prefer a good EVf to an OVF anyway. WHY? 100% framing, what you see is what you get exposure, etc. The EVF 4 is superb and this is what is built into this camera. I am testing it at this very second in my dimly lit hotel room and see no lag. No issues for me.

    • “…then WE will have something.” Sir, I think you should say “I” and not “we”.
      I see wonderful photographs (my favourite is the lady and the ramping horse framed for the tree in the background) and I think that is the measure to value a camera. I have taken photographs with several cameras with and without viewfinders, evf and ovf. From my amateur side I find more comfortable an evf. But of course that is just a personal preference.

    • There’s no need to assume, the numbers are published! Also, the importance of negligible lag depends on your shooting style. If you do landscapes, architecture, street, portraits, etc, it probably won’t matter.

      In any case, I often shoot sports and action, so it does matter to me. Thankfully, the E-M1’s standard lag is measured at 29 milliseconds, or 0.029 seconds. To give you an idea, this is less than half of the E-M5’s standard 62 millisecond lag. It’s about equal to the E-M5’s lowered resolution high refresh rate mode, which I always used when shooting sports, as it meant my eyes could notice virtually no difference between the EVF/liveview and an OVF. This is obviously not faster than actual speed of light in an OVF, but you’d be very hard pressed to detect a difference. Average human reaction time is somewhere in the fifth to a quarter of second range. Unless you’re trying to catch bullets in midflight, adding 0.029 to that is negligible.

      Furthermore, I believe this camera also features a high refresh rate mode at lowered resolution. It’s almost a given that this will reduce the lag even more.

    • Based on your comment I’ll assume that you have limited experience with EVFs. As an EM5 owner, I can say that with the high refresh rate setting (from camera menu) lag is imperceptible, though it burns thru the battery a tad faster. Still not as fast as using the rear LCD though. Turn on B&W or Art filters though, and then there is noticeable lag. Actually seeing a B&W image as you’re composing is pretty nifty though.

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