Olympus OMD EM1 review - official!

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Olympus OMD EM1 review - official!

Postby Gordon Laing » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:49 pm

Hi everyone, this is the official thread to discuss the Olympus OMD EM1 - see my Olympus OMD EM1 review for details!

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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby kimchi » Fri Sep 13, 2013 6:51 pm

It's good to see another video review. It's been a while since I saw one and I know how much effort they are to make. Must mean that you think this camera is well worth your time. You sounded a little under the weather in the video though :(

I'm no early adopter. I bought an Olympus E520 in 2009 and upgraded to a Panasonic G3 a few years later as the Olly always struggled in night street shots, and I wasn't prepared to invest in glass looking at the Olympus DLSR support.

I really miss the ergonomics of the Olympus though. It was a real fotog's tool and just felt like a natural extension of my hand. I real pleasure to use. I almost always shot it 1-handed while continually adjusting the settings. There was something about the Olympus that I never could feel from my friends' Canikons (Pentax excluded). My Panasonic is a wonderful piece of technology, but it feels more like an appliance than a designed-for-purpose tool and leaves me feeling a little cold. I skipped the Olympus E-M5 as it wasn't much of an upgrade for me, so I just bought lenses instead for my G3, but this new E-M1 looks too good to miss. It's pretty much what I've been looking for.

It's a good upgrade for me, but it looks like a camera many people will want more than they need.

Looking forward to the full review :D
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Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Hans » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:20 pm

It seems like a nice new camera with improved continuous shooting combined with a good buffer. As Gorden said, it is a pity PD-AF does not work during filming as well, but mostly because the technology seems to be there already, so why not use it. It's not a big deal though.
I won't buy it though, because I'm still happy with my EM5, which I bought less then a year ago.
Olympus E-M5, 9-18, 12-50, 25 f1.8, 45 f1.8, 12-60, 40-150, 70-300
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Rick Baumhauer » Fri Sep 13, 2013 10:22 pm

Looking forward to reading/viewing your review.

A quick note regarding the issue with the 7-14 Panasonic on Olympus bodies - the "purple blobs" can be greatly diminished (brought down to the level of a Panasonic body) via the use of a Wratten 2A filter on the lens, which can be accomplished by swapping out a plastic piece at the very back of lens and replacing it with the same part from the Panasonic 8mm fisheye, which has a filter holder built in. The solution was discovered by DPReview user Anders W, and he details how to do it and where to get the parts at http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51377579. I've done the modification to my 7-14, and it works very well.
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Lizpaul » Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:34 am

Thank your for your initial review on the OMD E-M1. It sounds like a really exciting product. I have an aging E-3 and some great 4/3 lenses. I have been patiently waiting on a successor for the E5 to decide whether to upgrade with Olympus or switch to another brand.

Can you tell me more about the wifi capability please? Does that mean I can tether via wifi, by which I mean can I use a laptop (directly or via iPad mirroring) to review images as they are shot? I have been able to use Olympus's old studio master software to tether using a cable connected to my E-3. Is wifi fast enough to transfer a raw image and display it promptly, or does it display a version. Ideally it would be nice to have an Olympus tethering option that integrates with Aperture and/or Lightroom.
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Gordon Laing » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi Rick, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

I've actually followed those threads over at dpreview concerning the filter modification with interest - I'm certainly tempted to give it a try. How easy was it to do, and did you at any point feel you were damaging your lens?!

I'm also reluctant to insert any filter in the optical path of such a good lens and wonder if anyone has done any before and after comparison shots to check the sharpness. Could you possibly mount your camera on a tripod and take two shots, one with and one without the filter please?

Cheers!

Gordon
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Gordon Laing » Sat Sep 14, 2013 2:14 pm

Hi Lizpaul, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

I have good news and bad news for you. The good news is the Wifi does let you view a live image and trigger the shutter, but the bad news is it ONLY runs on iOS and Android devices. There is now Windows or Mac version which means no remote controlling the EM1 over Wifi using a laptop for now. I asked Olympus about this as our mod Bob Andersson is also interested in laptop control, and they reckoned most of the demand for remote control was using smartphones and tablets.

It's a shame, but there you go. For more info, see our Olympus EP5 review as the implementation is almost identical except you can now shoot in PASM modes with full exposure control.

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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Bob Andersson » Sun Sep 15, 2013 1:44 pm

Hi Gordon,

If you do decide to try the mod for the 7-14mm lens please share your experiences, not the least of which would be finding a source for the required spare part, VXQ1911, here in the UK.

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Maestro » Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:26 am

Gordon Laing wrote:The good news is the Wifi does let you view a live image and trigger the shutter, but the bad news is it ONLY runs on iOS and Android devices. There is now Windows or Mac version which means no remote controlling the EM1 over Wifi using a laptop for now.

There are several ways to run Android apps on Windows. From BlueStacks to SocketeQ to VirtualBox depending on your level of geekiness.

Of course, emulators will probably introduce an additional delay - Mark
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Rick Baumhauer » Mon Sep 23, 2013 4:56 am

Gordon Laing wrote:Hi Rick, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

I've actually followed those threads over at dpreview concerning the filter modification with interest - I'm certainly tempted to give it a try. How easy was it to do, and did you at any point feel you were damaging your lens?!

I'm also reluctant to insert any filter in the optical path of such a good lens and wonder if anyone has done any before and after comparison shots to check the sharpness. Could you possibly mount your camera on a tripod and take two shots, one with and one without the filter please?

Cheers!

Gordon


Gordon - thanks for the warm welcome!

I'd love to do a back-to-back test for you, but the filter is delicate and fiddly to deal with, so I'm honestly loathe to mess with it since I got it in place with relatively little incident. The best I can say is that I have not noticed any adverse effects from the Wratten filter, only the benefit of no purple blobs (no purple evident in normal flare, either, though flare is still present). I wouldn't hesitate to recommend making the modification.

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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby kimchi » Tue Sep 24, 2013 3:13 am

Gordon, in your preview you compared the E-M1 to the E-M5 and asked for suggestions on what else it could be compared with.

I think equivalent offerings from its DSLR competitors would be Nikon D7100 and Canon D70. Price, performace, features, and ruggedness seem approximately similar.

I'm not sure which other mirrorless offerings it could be compared with (aside from the GH3). Maybe the Fuji Xpro1?
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Gonzo » Tue Sep 24, 2013 4:58 pm

Hi Gordon,

thanks for the nice review, it was, as so often, a pleasure to read.
I'm looking since a few month for a replacement of my G5. I'm very unhappy with
the jpg engine of panasonic, as well as with the colours (also in raw). But the worst ist the
bad long time high iso exposure noise performance. It isn't possible to exposure for 20 or 30 Seconds for example in high ISO (above 1600) without heavy noise, including banding in the blue chanel.
May be I got a bad one, but I think, the sensor isn't really a masterpeace.

Because of that, I have a look to your EM-1 review. As you said in the review, the noise is nearly in distinguishable between the three Cams. I would find it very intresting to see how the EM-1 behaves with longer exposures in really low light, like it is available in astro-photography.

May be you already have an example in your pictures and can add some words to it in your review.
It would help me a lot making the decision between the EM-1 and the K5II.

best regards
Jörg
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby pxnewton » Fri Oct 04, 2013 7:58 pm

Is the tripod mount on the Em1 more robust than the EM5 and is it centred on the lens?
I've sent my EM 5 back to replace the tripod mount as it distorted and cracked. now starting to happen again! I use my tripod a lot. It is also a pain if you are doing tripod mounted panorama stitching with an off centre tripod mount.
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby SpecFoto » Sat Oct 19, 2013 8:10 pm

Hi Gordon,

My first time here. Thank you for the excellent review of the E-M1. I have the E-M5, and you provided the information I was looking for in considering adding the E-M1 as a 2nd body for my M4/3 collection.

There seems to be a lot of little positives in the new body, but the one I am most interested in is the better handling and the ease of selecting needed settings through larger buttons. In the heat of shooting I find trying to make ISO, AF, and WB setting changes sometimes daunting with the small dials/buttons of the EM-5, it really is my only compliant.

And thank you for providing the full size photos, I downloaded 9 of them for close inspection. One thing I was interested in was the new 12-40mm lens. Frankly I am somewhat disappointed in the lack of sharpness of this lens in your photos. I have 5 Oly primes, 12-17-45-60-75mm, and I would expect all of them to be sharper than a zoom. Other than the close-up photo of the castle and the one of the statue with sun dial, the photos are really soft at the focus point, and those two are not that crisp. The 75mm photos you posted just simply blows the 12-40mm away. Of couse the 75mm is about as good as it gets, but I am surprised by the difference in this supposedly "pro" grade lens.

I assume your 12-40 was a pre-production model. However I would still be interested in your comments on the 12-40 and it's apparent lack of sharpness.

Regards

Jim
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Re: Olympus OMD EM1 review - official - sample images!

Postby Bob Andersson » Fri Nov 01, 2013 10:02 am

Hi folks,

The E-M1 plus 12-40mm kit seems to be in short supply, the lens being the spanner in the works I believe. My own copy is currently on back-order and I note that Amazon UK, who initially promised availability today, are this morning quoting 1 to 4 months! I doubt it will be as long as four months but if you are thinking of placing an order you might have noticed that for the last couple of days Amazon UK were quoting a price of £1689.85 instead of the SRP of £1949 that is currently listed. That price may not be repeated soon but I think it's indicative of the sort of discounts that we may see in the not too distant future so if you pre-order now make sure the company you order from will honour any price discounts that may apply on the shipping date.

Update: Nov. 2nd - Amazon UK have adjusted their own price back down to £1688.96. They still quote 1 to 4 months but the price drop appears (my assumption) to be automatically generated in response to a third party seller in Japan advertising at £1643.29 and dispatch "usually" in 6 to 10 business days. I make no comment about whether the third party seller should be used but it does seem as though Olympus is supplying the E-M1 plus 12-40mm kit to its wholesalers at comfortably less than £1600 else Amazon UK couldn't make a profit on the sale!

Bob.
Sony RX1R II. Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f/2.8 + 1.4x T/C, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8
M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8, Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.
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