« Comment Note | Main | Happy Fourth! If Applicable »

Tuesday, 01 July 2014

Comments

I find myself using the Olympus macro 60mm f/2.8 Lens around 60% of the time. It's fast, has a razor thin depth of field when I want it, and gives me the shorter telephoto equivalent of 120mm that I find ideal for the kind of shots I lean toward. Another lens I turn toward for the rest of my shooting is a 100-300mm telephoto zoom from Panasonic. The equivalence of 200-600mm makes it ideal for the nature shots I take. I got this camera to be my "telephoto camera". With a 2x crop factor, it gives enormous versatility without weighing down my neck. But I find the image quality is so good I've been tempted to get rid of my full frame Sony A7 (that I got primarily for wide shots) and invest in an ultra-wide angle zoom for this MFT.

I don't own one but I have used one, and frankly I have mixed feelings. It seems too big (same size as an E400 DSLR), too heavy, and getting very, very confused about what m43 is supposed to be about. Oh, and way too expensive as well. It has all of the disadvantages of my Pen E-P3 (compromised IQ) and few of the advantages (light, unobtrusive).

All I can say is I love it. No annoyances. I love working with it and love the results.
I recently attended a photography workshop at the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and decided to put aside my "Full Frame" camera and took my EM1 and EM5 instead. No regrets with that choice. The OM1's light weight, great image quality, and ease of use with all of my lenses including my older 4:3 lenses and 30 year old OM Zuiko film lenses.
The live view made shooting with ND filters so much easier to compose. The touchscreen made focusing while the camera was on a tripod fast and painless.

I like my E-M1 a lot (even though its shutter freaked out a couple days ago...gotta send it in for repair). It has a solid and balanced feel, the controls are responsive and image quality is very good. It's small but not too small. The EVF is superb, having the best combo of acuity, tonal clarity, refresh speed and magnification I've yet seen. The menu system is very complex and will likely require multiple deep dives before you get a handle on all the available options. On the plus side this means the camera is highly configurable. Once you've set up everything to taste the Super Control Panel lets you quickly & easily access parameters like ISO, White Balance, drive mode, color/tonal profile, etc. The E-M1's dials and function buttons are also highly configurable.

I own other camera systems, and each excels over the E-M1 + lenses in one area or another. But none of 'em do so many things so well.

I really like the camera for the stuff I do which is entirely underwater macro stuff. The IQ with the Oly 60 macro lens is excellent (better than Canon 7D with the Canon 100 macro, according to a blind tasting). Easy to travel with, and nice to shoot with. The only issue I have had is that the mode knob has fallen off of both of my copies (a little superglue solves that problem).
Bill

I've had mine for about half a year, and am very happy with the purchase. The E-M1 falls to hand incredibly well, has a usable and informative EVF, and a well-developed lens lineup. Lightroom handles the RAW files well. My only request is that Olympus let me put ISO and aperture on the control dials simultaneously. Oly lets you customize almost anything, but really, really, wants you to have EV comp/aperture as a pair and white balance/ISO as the other. Not my preference.

I had a brief flirtation with the Fuji X-T1 due to the attractiveness of the XF lineup, but couldn't justify a switch. The EM-1 is more comfortable to me, and the direct control dials of the Fuji were less compelling than I had hoped. I am jealous of the aperture ring on the XF lenses, however.

I'm curious what lenses other E-M1 owners use most of the time. My 12-40mm 2.8 is the default, but I am also loving the 75mm 1.8 - so much so that I am even considering the Nocticron 42.5mm for something a bit wider. Tempting, but pricey...

I've owned my EM-1 since February of this year. I purchased this camera due to glowing reports about its viewfinder and its 5 axis
stabilization. I am NOT disappointed. After 45+ years of shooting,
and having owned the best gear money can buy (Leica, Hasselblad,
Linhof, Nikon, Canon, Fuji and APO S lenses from Rodenstock and Schneider) I must say the EM-1 is now my favorite camera. Just the sound of the shutter makes you want to use this little device. Lenses....12-35, 35-100, 7-14, leica pana 25mm, oly 45mm, pany 20mm, and some of the longer zooms.....all an outgrowth of getting my first Micro Four Thirds camera in 2011...the GH, followed shortly by a GH2 and then GH3.

Favorite lens on the camera....a difficult call. The 25mm f1.4 provides wonderful color and creamy diffused areas....while the
20mm f1.7 is so small and compact...it takes you where ever you want to go...and sharp as a tack. And of course the oly 45mm f1.8....fantastic image quality from such a small package. The zooms really deliver the goods, especially the 35-100 which I use
in my studio for small product work. The 12-35 is of equal quality
...its just that I find shooting with a prime a more enjoyable photographic experience...i.e., If it is for work..than the zooms....if it is for fun...than the primes. Also...short tele's from
Leica, the 90mm Elmarit-M in particular provide wonderful image
quality...and of course so does the Leica APO Macro 100mm R lens.
And you want to shoot telephoto...the Leica Telyt 400mm f6.8 works beautifully with the EM-1. Love that stabilization.
RAW conversion is by Adobe.

Complaints. Sure, the menu is a little complicated but if you use the camera every day for two or three months than all of the functions become second nature. Power on switch...I like it on
the left side contrary to conventional wisdom. So...no "real" complaints...except the battery life. Make sure you have a couple backups...but again...a minor concern. Just use common sense...put two or three in your bag.

Hi, Mike, I'm a long time Canon user who made the switch a month ago after seeing the number of "keepers" from my Oly EP3 backup camera at weddings almost match the Canon's. The jpegs straight out of both the camera are excellent, its 3200 ISO performance is more than good enough, the 45mm f1.8 and eye recognition makes portraits of brides so easy, and I'm not exhausted at the end of a long day carrying 2 Canons and heavy lenses over my shoulders ( despite Black Rapid straps) Even the cheap 40-150 is sensational!! I have an adapter to use an old Takumar 500mm f4.5, which, when combined with focus peaking on one of the function buttons, and magnification on the other, gives astounding super tele results after a simple CA removal in Lightroom. In body IS is just extraordinary-- many keepers at 1/8 sec in low light. Off camera flash FL60 almost as good and easy to use as the 580EX - anyone have a radio solution for E-M1 cheaper than Pocket Wizards?
Gripes.... I still haven't figured out how to get HDR and self timer for real estate shots, (waiting for remote release.. the Giga T Pro won't allow HDR ) I have to buy three more batteries, I had a guest saunter up to me at the last wedding and say "you call yourself a professional??" -he had a Nikon D3100 around his neck.... Overall, absolutely no regrets, and I'll get an E-M10 or little used E-M5 as second backup very soon. Tossing up between the astounding 75mm 1.8 or the 12-40 as next purchase. Have the 9-18 for real estate. Barrel distortion easily corrected in LR. May experiment with Samyang 7.5 fisheye and correct that... possibly not quite good enough.. we'll see! I've not been as excited about a new camera since I bought my OM-1 in 1973, but I'm still seeking out youtube videos to help me fine tune the little darling!!

I have one. I have very little to say about it because it Just Works. Great responsiveness, great files, great EVF (though all else being equal I'd still prefer an OVF).

I mostly use the Panasonic 20mm and 25mm. Eagerly awaiting the new 15mm so I can go a little wider. I had the 14mm but I found it unsatisfying and sold it.

I use Lightroom for everything from RAW development to printing to publishing to Flickr.

Re. P.S. ya right

I'm a rangefinder guy so take my comments with a grain... But here goes.

I think it's an excellent autofocus camera, even though some of the haptics and ergonomic choices are terrible. The function and other customizable buttons are generally poorly placed for my hands, and there are things I wish I could do with the customization that I can't. Why do face detect and auto iso settings have to be buried in the menus, and why can't I set a minimum aperture in auto iso? Why can't I have a histogram and a level at the same time? Or blinkies and the histogram together?

It is also a terrible manual focus camera—I can't figure out why they bothered to implement focus peaking yet in order to do so the evf frame rate drops so precipitously? Sony has had much better focus peaking since the early NEXs, without the drawback that makes the OLY's implementation unusable. Then if you want to zoom in for critical focus, you can do it, but it requires multiple button pushes to get in and out and get back to normal screen/evf and button functionality. Again, why? Especially since Olympus was smart enough to implement one touch focus point change.

The on/off switch doesn't bother me so much, and in fact the camera never turns on by accident in my bag (I'm looking at you, x100s), but I would be very happy to have that dual function switch on the back reversed, so the ae-l button was to the right of it, closer to where my thumb is when I'm changing aperture. Not having a push button focus right under the rear control dial is irritating!

But as an AF camera it's generally good and mostly well sorted. I think it's pretty near perfect with the 12-40 2.8 zoom... Size, weather sealing, and general feel are all very good.

I bought the older OMD EM5 with 12-50mm Zuiko kit lens (a Boxing day sale impulse purchase) and it has become my take everywhere camera.

The zoom range covers the 35mm equivalent of 24-100mm which meets 90% of my picture taking needs. All the images hold up well when enlarged to 20 inches.

In the past the common wisdom was that primes are always better than zooms. Today, the images from the 12-50mm kit lens look no different from the prime lenses.

I have always liked a wide field of view so I purchased the 9-18mm Zuiko zoom too. The design of this lens is unique: it collapses to a tiny size when it is not used and takes a 52mm filter. The 9-18mm Zuiko has 12 elements in 8 groups, of which five are of special glass. This is the most compact wide zoom that I have ever owned. Most importantly the images are superb when enlarged.

I had the opportunity to buy the EM1 but the EM5 was less than half the price so my decision was easy.

I liked the look of the Olympus 4/3rds cameras (even had an E300 for a while) but I have found all their Micro 4/3rds cameras ugly, the latest ones especially so.

I've had one since November, and while the 4:3 aspect ratio is not the most natural ratio for me, the camera has become the go-to camera for me when I'm not sure of shooting conditions. It has the widest shooting envelope of any camera I've used. It's tiny and light, but still has good ergonomics, especially once it's setup. You don't need to enter the menus after that.

The 5-axis IBIS is like magic: handheld 0.5-second shots are not a problem. This is its killer feature for me, and the main reason I got it, and still keep it despite flaws like its shutter shock (which you can work around in somewhat inconvenient ways).

The weather sealing is great. I've used it in a blustering snowstorm mountainside, and the only thing I had to remember to do was to scoop all the snow out of the lens hood before taking a picture. Some of the small buttons on the back are hard to work with thick gloves on. Here's a picture from that snowstorm: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andreyew/12399495143/

The autofocus is good enough: great in good to decent light, and usable at lower light levels. I wish its battery life was longer, and the manufacturer batteries cheaper. I also wish that its various covers weren't so prone to falling off: I've taped down the hotshoe cover, but I lost the PC sync port cover this past weekend. Its replacement is getting taped down, too.

I mainly use the 12-40/2.8 lens or the 75/1.8 lens with it. I also have the PanaLeica 25/1.4, but that hasn't seen much action since I got the 12-40. I'm looking forward to the two pro zooms coming out soon. It's great having options like the Panasonic 42.5, too. The lens library is great.

I often pair it with a Ricoh GR, because 3:2 28mm gives me a very different look, and it's an intuitive field of view and aspect ratio for me. The GR is also a fantastic camera.

RAW conversion is by Adobe Lightroom, and I use a color profile from Huelight. The RAW files are malleable. I know how to produce good-looking B&W files from it (for my tastes), and I can fix a lot of exposure problems or do 1-frame HDR. I actually prefer the B&W I can make from the E-M1 to the GR, and that's a testament to how good the E-M1 is rather than some kind of contrarian statement about the GR, which is widely regarded for how good its color pictures look converted to B&W.

I've been enjoying mine more than I thought I would. I had an E-M5, and wanted focus peaking. However, the E-M1 just feels a lot better in my hands, and I love the quick HDR button. Before, I had to use a MySet for that, since HDR required both setting the camera to fast sequential and exposure bracketing. I also really like using the mode dial for most of my MySet choices (I don't plan on ever using scene mode, so that's an easy replacement for my "on a tripod shooting long exposure" setting).

I've also found that one of the EVF modes replaces the exposure meter with a bubble level when pressing the shutter. That let's me display more info in the EVF, as before I used the bubble levels view to keep my pictures from being too wonky. Now, I get that from the exposure meter area, and can also see the highlights warning or the standard info, whichever is more useful to me at that time. Of course, it would be better if Olympus would allow me to pick and choose what info I want, but this is at least better than it was.

I got the Really Right Stuff L bracket, and mostly keep the bottom bracket on the camera all the time. I add the L bracket portion only when I need it, as I need access to the side door more than I need the L bracket.

I have been shooting with an OMD-E-M1 along with other cameras (Nikon full frame and Sony NEX-6) for a few months now. I really like the camera, but it didn't sing for me until I got the 12-40mm Olympus zoom to go with it. I'm very pleased with this combination, although I am generally a prime lens person. The files have pop with this lens. The camera falls easily to hand, although the menu system is the usual nightmare. It's a well thought out piece os work.

Having said all of that, I'm wondering whether micro 4/3 is really my thing. I think that the APS-C format may have an edge over micro 4/3. The files form APS-C are more "there" for me. It's not just better detail at 100%. There seems to be a depth in APS=C files out of the Sony that I don't often see out of the Olympus. Obviously, full frame is much better quality, but has the disadvantage of weight. The Sony NEX cameras at least don't give anything away in that dept. to micro 4/3. Now, if we could just get the excellent selection of lenses for Sony E mount that exist for micro 4/3....

I don't have one but have used one long enough to form an opinion (like many people on the Internet, I'll answer a slight variant of the actual question asked or person sought). It's a very nice camera. Perhaps even awesome, for all the reasons much discussed on the Internet. The AF is faster and more responsive or at least feels that way. The grip is nice. And so on.

But the E-M1 isn't sufficiently better than my E-M5 to make me want to upgrade. It's at least twice as expensive as a used E-M5. The E-M10 is slightly less fast, slightly less this, and slightly less that... and I'd buy one over an E-M1. I don't tax the AF enough to want the E-M1. The E-M1 grip also feels physically better when holding the camera, but size and weight are paramount concerns, and I prefer the smaller cameras.

Mike,

Late last year, my wife (also a photographer) and I dropped by Samy’s to look at the E-M1, E-M5, Panasonic GX 7, Fuji X-E2, and the Pentax K-5II (as a proxy for a recently released K-3). The Pentax felt great in the hand. Very nice, and smallish compared to its competition – APS-C DSLRs. Unfortunately, we were looking for something more compact, and the other cameras beat the Pentax on that score. Sorry Pentax. I have some nice Limited primes to sell now!

The X-E2 was nice enough. The viewfinder was just OK. There was nothing special about the handling. We wanted to pick up the M4/3 cameras before making a decision, so we moved down the counter and around the corner. The E-M5 was nice, but the GX 7 felt better. I liked it a lot.

Then I picked up the E-M1. This camera felt just right from the moment I picked it up. The right size, the right control placement, well balanced with the 17mm lens or a zoom on it. The viewfinder was very nice. This was the first time I looked through an EVF and did not think that I was going to have to compromise heavily to benefit from the smaller size of a mirrorless camera. I handed the camera to my wife, and she had the same reaction. We bought the camera and a 17mm f/1.8 on the spot.

No regrets. Not one. Up until the E-M1, I hated non-point-and-shoot digital cameras - Too big, clunky, heavy, etc. It took some time to figure out the menu system and all of the options (still working on that a bit), but once I got the basics and found The Super Control Panel, I have been very, very happy with the camera. It is rugged, well-built, and feels like it.

We purchased a couple of inexpensive used zooms from KEH – the 12-50mm and the 40-150mm - to augment the 17mm. Both proved to be surprisingly good for their price! We also scrimped and saved to purchase a 12-40mm f/2.8. That is a very nice lens - a little heavy, but very useful. (Kudos to Olympus. The 12-40mm was not available when I purchased the camera. Later, when I was ready to purchase one, I Emailed Olympus and they gave me a discount on a new lens purchased directly from the company. The customer service rep was very nice and helpful.) The plan is to take our time and augment these lenses with a prime or two.

We will probably own a second one someday. Or an E-M2!

I have one since April and I love it. I have an OMD-EM5 also, and I love it to. Image quality is very similar to me, but ergonomically the EM1 is quite superior. Quality of buttons and dials are much better on the EM1. I do quite a bit of long exposures and find the real time long exposure monitor super useful. I have several lenses, Oly 12mm, 45mm, macro 60mm, 75mm, Leica 25mm summilux, and Voigtlander 17.5mm and 42.5mm, both f0.95. The last two are my favorites, even though they are manual focus, large, and weight a lot. No special interest in zooms, although I'm waiting to see the coming Olympus 7-14mm f2.8.

The camera is very enjoyable to use, with buttons and dials in the right place (except for the on/off button). Its size is right for my hands, much better than the EM5 that I have to use with the additional battery grip. Auto focus is very fast with MFT AF lenses, and decent using FT lenses.

In summary I like the EM1 very much, it has the right small size, it is fast to use and it gives, through LightRoom, excellent files to print up to my maximum 17x22" size. I have played a bit with other cameras, including the new Sony a7, and the fujies X-E1 and X-T1, they are very nice, but still like better my EM1.

Best Regards.

P. S. Quote: "..... then, right after that, I am not spending any more money on anything ever again. Nothing. Ever."

This is the most amusing, unbelievable, unrealistic, utopical declaration I have ever heard.

Hi Mike. I do not have one, but I do sell them. I do own a couple of EM5 bodies and have fully converted to a hybrid oly/fuji kit.
The image quality at Jpeg is smoother and the lens fixes, noise and other areas are better, but not the Raws. Of more interest to me are some strange noise characteristics of the EM1 with long exposures. The EM5 seems to be a cleaner running sensor with over 30 second exposures.
Their is a bit around on the interweb about this, but it first came to light(!) for me on a long exposure product night where some users noticed odd behaviour.
In Australia where I come from, they are, with the other mirrorless, becoming a huge thing, often thanks to sites like yours, although ironically the US has low sales figures in them?
It's a shame I did not read you post in time, we were selling the Em5 with the Oly 12-40 for $999 after rebate, but only until the end of financial year. You could have sold the camera and netted that amazing lens for $500 AU!

About 8 months, bought with the 12-40 as a kit. I have to say I much prefer the 12-40 over the Panasonic 12-35 that I also have - the 12-35 has lots of weird curvature and distortion going on (like lots of modern zooms) that mean you have to constantly out-think it to get the zone of focus where you want it (at the wide end anyway). My only niggle with the E-M1 is the grip isn't long enough. I keep telling myself I should get the accessory grip but then it would be bigger... Can't say much about the files, m43 isn't 35mm "FF" but they're easy enough to work with in ACR. I'm not trying to fill museum walls!

I traded in my Canon 1d MkIII and all associated kit (5 lenses, 2 flashes, cable releases, etc) for the EM-1, battery grip, the Oly 12-40mm PRO, the Oly 75mm, and a flash (give or take) and I am very happy with the outcome. I went with the EM-1 because (1) I loved my old OM film cameras, (2) because it was built rugged and waterproof, and (3) because it appeared to be a nice size.

Pros for me: 16MP seems a nice file size, the image stabilzer is incredible (hand hold at 1/5 with 75mm), I feel I got value from investing in learning the menus and configuration features, light weight, nice feel in the hand, RAW files are quite malleable in Aperture, image sharpness is superb, the camera is very smooth in operation. Also, I change lenses a lot and I haven't had to deal with sensor dust AT ALL since I bought the camera last November - does the IS shake it off?

Nits for me: When I can't use long exposure noise reduction (star trail sequences), files can be pretty noisy; I have more lenses now but why does every lens take a different size filter?;

Summary - I am really happy with my choice and am happy to pick it up and use it even after reading the reviews/commentary on the latest Fuji's and Sony's. No regrets!

My experience echos others - went to the store intending to buy a different camera (in my case a Fuji X-E2) and walked out with the Olympus.

The Lenses are unutterably amazing. Words cannot even describe their unrestrained awesomeness, so I won't try. I have the 17mm/1.8 and the 75mm/1.8, and basically go around shooting them wide open all them time and giggle at how pretty everything is and how much detail is resolved.

But the thing that I like more than anything is the B&W art filter. With minor tweaking I have it dialed into exactly what I like - best described as Tri-X in HC110 Dil.B, or P3200 in Rodinal. Sure it's contrasty and grainy - but I really like it. Just set the camera record a raw as well, and that way you can have the best of both worlds.

I'm sure there is a metric crap-ton more that it can do, but for me it's all about running around and taking photos - something that I haven't done much of since getting rid of my M6 quite a while ago at seems.

As I said in an earlier comment, I had no idea that it was the camera that I have been looking for my whole life... but it is, and I adore it.

I'm just a couple of months in on the 1. upgrade from E-30. got the 75 and 60 macro and 4/3 mm3 adapter for the 12-60 and 50 200 (marry the glass!)
Also got the RRS L plate which fits like glove.
Happiness is the my sets that can be programmed to the PASM wheel for fast change up as Mr. Richman suggested in his review. Some work and fiddling to do this but worth the effort and gets you intimate with the beast. I suggest a visit to Biofos.com for help on the set up.
Focussing is generally very responsive with all lenses, super happy with the 75. The 12-60 covers the standard range adequately, I'll save for the coming 7-14.
Always been an Oly shooter since the OM-2 and stuck with them through their hiccups. I think m4/3 is a keeper range of products for most anything I would ever want to do.
Two featured galleries on my Zenfolio site were made with the 1.

I love the EM1. I have two if them in fact. It's my favorite camera, ever, having used a variety of 35mm, medium format, large format and digital cameras over the past 40 years or so. I love the ergonomics of the EM1, the size and weight (of course), the in body image stabilization and, of course, the lenses. The image quality is also top notch, IMHO, though I've only owned m43 cameras for the past five years, so I can't compare to recent sensors in other formats. About five years ago I sold a Canon 5D and 5DII - and the EM1 bests them both in every aspect of image quality. The lenses are pretty much all at least very good, and many are excellent or better. I currently own the 14mm f2.5, 12-40mm Oly zoom (best "normal" zoom I've ever owned), 17mm f1.8, 25mm f1.4, 45mm f1.8, 75mm f1.8, 150mm f2.0 (regular four thirds) and 45-175mm Panasonic "X" zoom. Lately, I use the lowly 45-175mm Panasonic "X" zoom most. It's light and very sharp. Great for how I've been seeing recently. I've realized how consistently sharp it is only since I upgraded the EM1 firmware with the "0" anti-shutter shock settings.

Oh - I forgot to add that one of the best things about the EM1 is that I never feel the need to carry a tripod . . . ever. This is the first camera that has allowed me to do this and it's liberating and makes photography more enjoyable.

Have owned the EM1 for about a month with the 12-40 f2.8 Coming from aps-c Nikon dslr's. Went around and around about going with a new Nikon again as I have lenses from 1970 on to use. So down to Fuji XT1, Sony A7, Oly EM1 or upgrade to a newer Nikon body.
At this level money was a non factor. All about the same give or take.
To me its about how the camera feels in the hand, quality of the viewfinder,buttons,dials,levers that don't land in the wrong place. I really feel the picture quality was good whatever choice I made. I don't pixel peek, prefer to print small when pix are printed at all (11x14 as big as I ever have had printed) and on screen it just does not matter.
1)To much fuss over the "complicated" menu of the EM1. Geez, read the manual, watch some Youtube videos spend a bit of time with the camera- it will become as one with you. Its not brain surgery people.
2)The camera just feels right to me. The EVF is wonderful and the wealth of info in the finder is great. The cameras operation is smooth, wonderful piece of gear. Feels like a luxury to me (and it is).
3)12-40 f2.8 feels as good as the images it creates. Never a problem with focus, as sharp as you could need with a 3 dimensional quality to the files.
4)I can use my Nikkors with an adapter, the metabones works well. I use focus peeking and it works fine, if a bit slow.
5)I use Lightroom. I don't know what I might be missing by not using other software.
In the end I would probably be happy with any of the above choices. But I know I'm happy with the Oly.
Joe

Mike, I have an OMD ME1, and really like it a lot. My main camera has been the D800, but most of my photography is travel related, and the D800 is far too large, and heavy to travel with comfortably. My two favorite lens are the Panasonic/Leica 25, and the Olympus 12-40 zoom. I use LR and PS6 via the creative cloud. I find it does an very good job with the images, but also use Nik programs as well. The files are good, not as good as the D800, but adequate for the screen, and prints up to 16x20, the largest that I tend to make.
I will say the prime lenses that I have used with the little camera are terrific. I fully intend to purchase the Panasonic 45 or the Olympus 45 soon. Both are suppose to be very sharp and would be a good addition to my lens collection. I am selling much of my Nikon gear that is currently collecting dust on the shelf. I love your web site and read it daily. Thanks for the post.

I have one, having moved from a D800E. When the D800E is used with outstanding technique, the files are so much better then the Olympus that there is no comparison on my monitor...BUT...getting a non-blurry shot with the focal plane is the right location is no joke on the Nikon.

The Olympus has a far higher percentage of keepers due to the IBIS, the increased DOF at equivalent FOVs, and the fact that it is small enough that it actually gets used. With the D800E and 24-70 F2.8 lens I also needed a tripod. Now I can use the camera handheld. It is a vast difference.

While I have the primes, it is hard to beat the flexibility of the 12-40 F2.8 lens. I spent all day yesterday shooting the EM-1 and the 12-40 F2.8, handheld at ISO 200 across a wide range of situations. Only 1 shot was blurry and none had the focus location misplaced.

Do I wish the file quality were higher? Yes, of course. But getting the shot is far more important than the file quality. I never print large enough that it really matters.

Regarding the form factor, I think I'd prefer a slightly smaller body, but the EM-1 is much more comfortable to use than the EM-5 or the D800E. On the EM-5 I have to use a 3rd party grip and the D800E is just uncomfortable to hold under any circumstance, especially with anything except a nifty-fifty.

I have one and I love it. It reminds me of my Pentax LX I had 30 years ago. It just fits my hand right; it feels right held up to my eye. Most of the controls are right too (although the rear "A-B" control switch doesn't really work for me. I don't know why. I ended mapping my preferred "secondary" adjustments to other buttons).

I shoot the lovely Panasonic/Leica 25mm Summilux which had been glued to my previous m43 camera. However, now that I have the EM-1 I can *also* shoot my 4/3 zooms. Particularly my 11-22, which is a delightful lens, and also my 50-200. I'm tempted to get the M.Zuiko 17mm/1.8 which would give me the same setup as my Pentax LX & SMC 35mm/f.2 that I carried around my neck constantly for several years in the 80's. But, well, I do have 3 zoom lenses that cover that focal length (including the aforementoned 11-22) so I'm having to think on that one a bit.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying my EM-1 very much. Thanks for asking.

Cheers Mike,

Have had mine since spring, and an E-M5 for two years. As a bridge from the E-system, where I'm heavily invested in lenses, the newer camera fulfills the promise implied by the E-M5: the PDAF actually works, and nearly on par with the E-M5. Add the glorious EVF and a proper 1/8000 shutter and this still small camera can tackle big tasks. The HLD-7 grip helps manage things when shooting big lenses like the 150/2.0 and 35-100/2.0 (which are comically large on the camera itself).

There's likewise a lot to be said for the many fine, small µ4/3 primes paired with the E-M1. Again, the faster shutter allows shooting in daylight w/o ND filters at the widest apertures--a compelling reason to own fast lenses to begin with.

After what, three months? am still plowing through the vast menus to dig out more performance. It may be an easy camera to use but it's not a simple camera to master. At the very least I think Oly's recent moves bode well for the format. I'd be more Panny-centric were I a video buff, but for still work I'm happy in this camp.

I'll second much of what's already been said, including having been tempted to abandon a Nikon D800 system altogether. A couple of other observations:

I love the way the camera feels and handles. It's a high-quality piece of kit.

With the right glass (and solid technique) it's astonishing what you can wring from this sensor. Wish the DR was a little better, but color is fantastic.

I'm shooting mainly primes:12/2, 20/1.7, 25/1.4, 45/1.8, 75/1.7. All render the world in a beautiful way and are plenty sharp, even wide open. Add in the smallish-ness of even fast glass and it's a bit like shooting a Leica. It's also fun in a throw-back kind of way to shoot M-mount lenses with an adapter.

Batteries don't last long (compared to a DSLR.) Solution? Buy a few extras - they're fairly cheap.

Lastly, there has been a lot of talk about the "horrific" menu system. My experience has been that once you get the camera set up to your taste, you rarely visit the menus again. With one's preferred configurations programmed to the four "MySet" memory presets, it's incredibly quick and simple to change among them.

All in all, this is the first mirrorless camera that feels "pro" to me. Not perfect, but so close that the advantages it offers are impossible to ignore. It's now firmly in place as my "daily driver."

I have an E-M1 and really like it. It reminds me very much of a M4/3 equivalent of a Canon 1D-series camera: fully weatherproof, highly configurable to a broad range of shooting applications, very responsive and built like a tank. I use it 99% of the time with the two Panasonic "pro" zooms, the Lumix G X Vario f2.8 12-35 and 35-100 lenses, which are quite pricey, but optically superb.

What I like best about the camera is it's image quality, it's touch screen LCD and it's responsiveness. It's really fast. The EVF is excellent, and displays (reasonably) accurately in a broad range of lighting conditions, something that is hard for a lot of EVFs to do well. The only inaccuracy in the EVF is that I had to adjust the EVF's default color temperature to be a bit less green and bit more neutral. From an image quality perspective, files are excellent in quality with a lot of headroom for making editing moves, the colors are punchy and natural looking, and they convert to black and white beautifully. I shoot it in RAW and edit in Lightroom for the most part, though I get the very best image quality converting in Capture One (which is true for virtually every camera I use).

My gripes with it are few: it doesn't have the auto white balance accuracy, dynamic range, or noise performance at high ISO of the Fuji X-series APS-C cameras. While it doesn't have the image quality to match my Fujis in an absolute sense, it's image quality is excellent, and fully up to meeting professional needs. I think of the E-M1 as a scaled-down version of a professional DSLR body, and in using it in that way and in those applications, it's truly excellent, and I enjoy the experience of shooting with it in professional user scenarios.

I take my Fujis out when I want to make images for me, I grab the E-M1 when I have work to do.

Had mine since December. In the shop for the rear wheel problem right now. See no reason to look at another system/model. No micro lenses yet.....running 4/3 and legacy film glass. Favorite lens...Oly 90/2 macro. Happy, happy, happy.

Interesting, I'm going to upgrade my gh2 one of these days, and am leaning to the em1 over the gh4. When I was in a Australia in May, all the stores (camera stores and mass market, similar to best buy here) had m4/3 cameras, including Costco which had the em10 and ep5 (I think, I get all the oly,pus cameras confused). Here in the US it nearly impossible to find a m4/3 camera (specially here in Madison)

curious to know why you are interested in the Pany 42.5 over the Oly 45? You don't strike me as a macro enthusiast.

[I owned the Oly 45 for a while and sold it on. It didn't grab me for some reason. Nothing against the lens, though, it's Ctein's favorite and I know lots of people who adore it. --Mike]

I've had my E-M1 since October, and shot with two E-M5s previously. An E-M10 has since replaced the other E-M5 in my shooting bag - they make a nice combo.

The E-M1 inspires confidence, no matter the conditions - it's every inch a pro camera. It's very comfortable in-hand, and I rarely need to use the RAWs any more for my bread-and-butter commercial work (though I still shoot RAW+JPEG, just to be safe). The in-camera HDRs are pretty amazing, and are a real boon for any high contrast situations I find myself in (another reason why RAW doesn't get touched much these days).

That said, for any day trips into NYC, etc, I'm more likely to pack the E-M10. It's a bit more discrete, a bit smaller in the bag, with no major downsides other than the lack of 1/8000 (hardly a deal breaker). For higher end gigs, though, I usually rent a second E-M1, just to be safe.

I commented on your recent post about the Panasonic 12-25mm X f/2.8 zoom lens, noting that it has become my go-to lens for m43. However, checking my Lightroom catalogue, the lens I take most photos with is the PL 45mm f/2.8. Don't know why folk think it's expensive; for the price, the quality is remarkable. Hope you enjoy it, too.

Owned the E-M1 for fews months, and found it, in many ways, both exceptional and revolutionary. It is a superbly thought photographic tool, and it makes other cameras look like dinosaurs in comparison :)

And yet, my experience was globally negative and in the end I sold it (along with a long list of lenses...).
For those coming from full frame cameras, the advantages (size, weight, lenses...) are self-evident.
But limits, they are more subtle, and difficult to intuit, clouded as they are in the justified enthusiams of those who rightfully love this little camera. So, here's a list from a disgruntled user :)

• IQ I found good, but limited to good light. When fed with bad (i.e. tungsten) light, files become tough to deal with. Mixed lighting is even more a curse... Also, dynamic range is a far cry from current full frame imagers, and you have to choose whether to have thin highlights, or noisy shadows. So, sometimes surprising IQ, other times unacceptable.

Defocusing, m4/3s greatest enemy: m4/3s images have a tendency to be "not blurred enough" even with very fast (1.2) lenses. Fact is, sharpness decreases very slowly away from the point of focus, and the resulting images have OOF regions that are blurred enough to appear unsharp, and yet not enough to be pleasing. I am not a bokeh freak, but lenses like the 17 1.8 or the 12-40 really got on my nerves for this reason alone. Even at 1.8, the 17 has an "almost all in focus" rendering that makes subjects often drown in their surroundings. I bailed after using the PanaLeica 42.5 ƒ1.2... wonderful lens, exceptional rendition, and yet, same "almost all in focus" representation... unless of course shot at 1m :)

• autofocus tracking is still not there: even on the very fast 12-40 it is hit and miss at best. Viewfinder blackout makes tracking very difficult, and causes jitter. This jitter slightly reframes your image, and of course, shifts your focus point enough to have the camera often lose track... an exercise in frustration sometimes!

Am I bashing the E-M1? Of course I am, like all rejected lovers do! :D
The camera really clicked with me, it is sensational in the hand, works like a clock, and is so well thought out for the photographer that it was impossible to resist. Plus, some of its features are simply peerless (stabilization first, 1/2 lever second).
When the time came to depart (after a big "investment" in all the best glass), I was not angry, merely very sad at the thought of going back to the clunky full frame dSLRs...
Now I love my images, but have much less fun taking them (and my back is sore once again...).
Btw: am I the only one to dream of this camera in full frame? :) (no, Sonys do not qualify: the E-M1 is despite IQ simply in another cathegory...).

Thanks to this amazing blog for having allowed me to finally vent that... which I can't vent at home for fear of the wife killing me! :D
Lorenzo

[Too long for a "Featured" comment, but a great comment just the same. Thanks, Lorenzo. --Mike]

Being mostly a prime lens shooter, I have tried several "small cameras for travel" in the past. So the other day I went to my usual photographic store, and tried one of these with a 17 1.8 lens. The camera fits in my hands perfectly, it is small and robust, and after a bit of customization in the menus, one can drive it from the SCP.

So, camera passed muster with flying colours. As for the lenses, well, we all know that Olympus makes some wonderful ones, and I will end up with the 17 1.8, and the 75 1.8 as a travel/going light kit.

The image quality from the sensor is more than good enough, and no problems with the files in my Raw converter (Lightroom).

The icing on the cake was the excellent deal/promotion Olympus is running right now, basically with a big discount in the EM1 plus 17 1.8 lens kit, including +3 years extended warranty (making it a total of 5 years, which is eternity in digital terms) and HLD7 grip.

So this will be my go to camera from now on, but my Canon 6D and Zeiss 21 2.8 will still see a lot of use for landscapes and starscapes.

I have an E-M1 and it is a joy to use. It has joined the Minolta 600si and Olympus E-1 in my list of all time favourite cameras.

Its defining strengths are, to me, the EVF, the small size (yet retaining a grip), build quality, a good splattering of direct access buttons (that take a while to customise) and compatibility with m4/3 and 4/3 lenses. I actually prefer the 4:3 format over 3:2 as well.

The camera is not without downsides, of course. I was initially disappointed with the number of shots affected by shutter vibrations (especially with lighter lenses), but the 1.4 firmware has largely addressed that.

Also, I am still learning to control the AF system to my satisfaction. Contrast AF has a tendency to lock onto contrasty backgrounds, even using a small focus box. I have settled on using face detection for most pictures, but there is no easy way to override it if it locks on to the wrong face - or a tree that looks like a face, for that matter.

I am using Lightroom to process the raw images, but I use the HueLight profile instead of Adobe's version. I find that it gives me slightly more pleasing (and usually more realistic) colours.

I reread your post - you also asked about raw converters. Lightroom is excellent. If you want to make large prints (13" x 19" or larger - I find that I can comfortably print to about 24" in the long dimension; a minimum of 200 dpi in the original file before uprezzing), you should try DXO Optics Pro. It works wonders, especiallly the lens softness feature which does some sort of deconvolution sharpening to effectively eliminate any softness across the frame or in the corners. The latest version also has an amazing noise reduction filter if you need it (I rarely do). I also often prefer the color rendition from DXO Optics Pro - though Lightroom's color rendition is also nice. I use Lightroom for cataloguing and sorting and if I'm going to print at 13" x 19" or larger usualliy DXO and then back to Lightroom (they're now integrated) for final tone and color adjustment. If I want to print black and white, Nik Silver FX is grand. If I want to print in color, the FX tone filter (part of the Google, former Nik package) is fantastic. . . . BTW, don't be dissuaded by luke warm internet reviews of the 17mm f1.8 lens. It's a treat. I think that I must have been expeiencing "shutter shock" previously because since doing the latest firmware upgrade and using the antiishutter shock setting (0 time lag) the lens seems quite a bit sharper. . . What a system!

I have owned an EM1 + 12-40mm for the past 5 months. Previous cameras were EP1 & EPM1 + M43 lenses and flash units. The EM1 is a great camera with descent ergonomics. The 12-40 zoom is very sharp and delivers quality results.

The EM1 has kept me in the M43 category. It has a descent build quality and a good speed of operation. The files are enough for my needs and it is still reasonably portable. I use it with a sling strap and this has made a huge difference to carry the camera for long periods and removing the strap lugs from the camera sides that hindered the handling.

This is the first M43 camera I have owned that delivers consistent TTL output without constant adjustment. The camera is a solid and not light when compared with APSC DSLR offerings. The difference is the feel and operation from the twin dials and mode lever. That is the benefit that the EM1 has over many DSLR bodies.

In reality the 16MP sensor only excels over the original 12mp offering in the higher ISO ranges and in dim lighting. At low ISO, both deliver similar results, but the 12MP shot must be exposed correctly to reduce PP recoveries for highlights and shadows.

I find the best PP results are achieved from using OV3 to convert a RAW files to 16 bit TIFFs, before importing to LR. This brings out the best Oly colours.

Another happy shooter checking in! Bought mine about a month ago to replace a PEN P3 (which itself replaced a Canon DSLR) which I loved in many ways but always missed not having a built-in viewfinder.

Prevaricated over an M5 for ages but when I saw the M1 I knew that was the camera I wanted. Was too expensive at first, but then I got lucky on an eBay auction and could not be happier using it.

Lenses: 14-42 from the P3, Panasonic 20 f1.7, Panasonic 45-150mm, and some old SMC-M Pentaxes from the 35mm kit I bought off my dad a decade ago!

What I love most about the M1: having spent a day configuring it to my liking, I can just pick it up and shoot. Any on-the-fly changes I need to make (switch viewfinder display info, switch to manual focus etc) have dedicated buttons in exactly the right place for me to find them without thinking!

The only gripe I have with it in fact is that I can't use my right hand/thumb to switch the camera on once I've brought it up to eye level and realised it is powered down.

Now just saving up for the 60mm Macro and I'll be done!

I had an E-1 long ago; loved it. I got into Olympus M4/3 over a year ago while waiting for the long delivery queue on the Leica M240 to end. Bought an Olympus VF2 viewer in anticipation since it was half the price of the Leica rebranded EVF, and could be used with a still unobtainable M240. Then I bought an E-PL5 to see what the viewer could do. Liked it, upgraded to the E-P5 and VF4 which are in most ways the same as the E-M1 in IBIS and UI, and a bit better for macro work. On an Iceland visit last summer, the E-P5 and Olympus 75/1.8 proved to be an outstanding puffin-cam and portrait combination. I had a fall, the E-P5 got a bit smashed up, but repair was perfect (and free!). Got an E-M1 in November 2013, and have used it with the quite excellent Olympus 4/3 11-22/2.8-3.5 zoom, which focuses quickly and reliably in good light, taking advantage of the phase-contrast focusing. I also like to use the Pana/Leica 25/1.4 on the E-M1.

I've recently obtained the new "pro" 12-40/2.8 zoom and find it smaller, lighter and just as nice as the 11-22. Although the 25/1.4 and 12-40 are certainly making heavy use of software in camera or during raw development to control distortion I can't say that they have sacrificed any image quality at the edges, and I have done a few comparison tests with the 11-22 to look for this. I develop raw files in Capture One. There is at least a stop of headroom beyond the in-camera JPEGs in the raw files from E-M1 and E-P5, and the Capture One shadow slider pulls out about the same in extra shadow detail.

My preference for working close with focal lengths of 50 mm and down is Leica M240. For travel, (effective) focal lengths of 50 and longer, and macro work the Olympus M43 comes into its own. The Leica M files are richer and more robust, but not by a huge amount.

scott

Good camera. Right size and weight, solid, dependable in all sorts of conditions, fast operation. There are probably a thousand ways to customize its controls, which can be considered a pro or a con. Personally, I like that flexibility.
Image quality is by far good enough for me (I shoot jpeg). AWB is accurate, metering is predictable, IBIS is mostly effective and the viewfinder is large, bright and accurate. The only annoyance it gives me is the high red saturation of the jpegs. Focus peaking is not dead accurate, but the viewfinder is nice enough to render it redundant.
I use it with various lenses: Samyang 7.5, 12/2, 17/1.8, 25/1.8, 50/2 macro (4/3), 75/1.8 and some 4/3 zooms. PDAF performance is brilliant, which is why I bought it.

All in all, the E-M1 belongs to a rare breed I call "cameras for the road". Well built, not too bulky and capable enough for any conceivable situation one might encounter. A camera that can be thrown in a rucksack with a small prime or two without worry.

Mike, this is a bit late, considering all the other comments and, in a self-serving way, highlights many of my blog posts on the E-M1 as well as the X-T1. But I thought it much more expedient to send the links than try to write this all over again. If you feel it is not appropriate to post these post, that is fine, use this information for your personal knowledge. I thought some of this might be of interest to your readers as they were the most popular of my blog posts to date.

Additionally, there are a few other blog posts over the past several months that talk about the two cameras that I have not included.

Olympus E-M1—A Photographer’s Three Month Evaluation (as of February 17th)

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/02/e-m1a-three-month-photographers.html

The Practical Difference Between Full Frame and M4/3–Tested!

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/02/the-practical-difference-between-full.html
The Practical Difference (Part 2) between 20” X 24” (50 X 60 cm) Prints from an Olympus E-M1 and Nikon D800E—None!

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/02/the-practical-difference-part-2-between.html

Comments and Comparisons about the Olympus E-M1in comparison to the Fujifilm X-T1

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/03/comments-and-comparisons-about-olympus.html

The E-M1 is a Real Enthusiasts Camera!

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/04/the-olympus-e-m1-is-real-enthusiasts.html

The X-T1 is a “Photographer’s Camera”

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/04/the-x-t1-is-photographers-camera.html

Image Comparisons from the X-T1 and E-M1 with Adobe’s Final Version of ACR and Lightroom

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/04/image-comparisons-from-x-t1-and-e-m1.html

Some Thoughts on the X-T1 and Raw Processing

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/03/some-thoughts-on-x-t1-and-raw-processing.html

“Micro 4/3” is No Good!

http://www.thewanderinglensman.com/2014/02/micro-43-is-no-good.html

The last one is a pet peeve of mine. Its semantics, but I think important for accuracy rather than popularity.

I've had the OM-D EM-1 since January, and love it. In fact, I've just sold all my Sony DSLR gear to raise cash for more m4/3 lenses, and an EM-10 backup body!

Only minor gripes are the on/off location ('wrong' side for me), and it being too easy on the Oly 12-40 Pro lens to inadvertently switch the ring to manual focus when pulling out of a bag. You then can't autofocus, and wonder what the heck is going on ... took me 15mins the first time to figure out what I'd done!

The Oly 60mm macro is superb glass, and I also like the fact that I can now hand-hold the equivalent of a 600mm lens, and still get sharp results. Even got some sharp shots of a WWII aircraft in flight at the weekend, 600mm equivalent ... first time I've ever tried that kind of shot, so very pleased with the result.

Lightroom and Photoshop CC are my weapons of choice for processing, and have given no issues with the RAWs. All in all, I'm a very happy m4/3 convert, and love my Olympus kit. It's so small and cute, and packs a big punch .. what's not to love?! DSLRs are so yesterday... :-)

My "go to" camera. Definitely the inheritor of the Maitani legacy. All the advantages of a rangefinder-- small, light, quiet--with lightning-fast autofocus. Proves the truth of the saying "big things come in small packages." Now that I've got it, my other cameras sit at home gathering dust...

I don't have much to add to what most of the other positive comments above (my praise for the E-M1 is nothing but effusive), but I will add my two gripes, one legit and one petty:

1. The E-M1 is DSLR-equivalent in all ways I've truly noticed (moving up from an E-3 & E-5) in all ways but one, that being its battery life. 300 shots to a charge is decidedly unDSLR performance.

2. I love the smaller size of the body, but does Olympus REALLY have to make their lenses SO small? As an Olympus shooter, I already have a well-developed inferiority complex compared to my full frame brethren (wedding togs all), and using lenses that can charitably be described as "cute" hurts my ego more than it should.

Off-topic, but in reply to your "sold it on) response to the comment I'm now seeing as the last posted:

How about a post devoted to used camera and lens buying and selling? I've sold a couple to KEH but always have to lingering feeling I might have done better. Your experience and readers' experiences with KEH, other commercial resellers, and Ebay or other direct sale channels would be helpful. As would info on determining a "best price", one to maximize yield but not deflect buyers. Terms for satisfaction guarantee also would be of interest.

I've had the EM1 for two weeks, having previously used an EP3 for two years and an EPL1 for a year before that. Hence no problems finding my way through the EM1 menu system. I own the 17/1.8, 45/1.8 and 75/1.8 Olympus lenses as well as the 25/0.95 Voigtländer. I might add that I'm not a professional.

As it happens, I also have a Leica M-E with a 35/1.4 and a Nikon D610 with a 50/1.4, which gives me something to compare against.

I love the relatively low weight yet substantial feel of the EM1, both in build quality and in button/lever feel. The ergonomics are superb with fantastic customization available.

The size of the EM1 definitely makes me pick up up over the Nikon almost every time while compared to the Leica there isn't that much of a weight/size difference so then it comes down to the type of shooting and mood I'm in. The Leica wins for image quality and classic shooting style (it makes me slow down in a way that I'd otherwise only do with a film camera).

Do I miss full frame? Yes. The Leica has a sharpness and noise free images (at low ISO) which the EM1 cannot begin to touch. Even at high ISO, the M9 sensor (which doesn't have a great high ISO reputation) looks slightly better to me than what comes out of the EM1. But the Leica is a nice product. And the Nikon - same thing but of course better high ISO performance than the Leica.

The Nikon is very bulky and I couln't see myself taking it on any form of travel. For low light I'll pick it over the EM1 unless I'm using a flash on the EM1, but as a daily go-everywhere workhorse, the EM1 wins hands down. The EM1 is a great compromise that does a bit of everything and it does it very well. I could easily have it as my one and only camera - I am fortunate to have several other options and I appreciate them for what the are (particularly the Leica, whereas the Nikon I could easily live without).

The EM1 has two downsides imho:

1) Image quality compared to full frame sensors
2) The EVF, which is very good for what it is but there's still a delay which means I have to work harder to predict the moment. Does it matter hugely? Probably not but I do prefer street photography with the Leica because I can see in real time.

Now please ask the same question of Fuji XT-1 owners. I suspect many of your readers are on the fence between the Oly and Fuji "1"s.

I've been upgrading my Olympus bodies since the 420, so the EM-1 is a very nice continuation of a line. It works well enough with my 4/3 lenses to make me happy (not perfectly) and it works extremely well with my m43 lenses. I just bought the 25 1.8 and love it. To me it's a perfect people lens and it makes the camera look a bit like my OM4 (all black).

Of course I walked in to our local shop and Fuji dealer the other day and the owner pulled out his personal XT-1 with the 56 1.2 on the front. It does make me wonder if the grass could be greener (even if a bit smudgy).

This is not directly relevant to this topic, but I recently bought the kid brother E-M10, which probably puts me lower than even an amateur. This would make me feel inadequate, but I like it fine and my neck doesn't hurt anymore. :)

Adding this base plate to my E-M1 changed the grip dynamics substantially, especially for longer or heavier lenses. Made by J.B. Camera Designs. http://www.jbcameradesigns.com/products/grip-base-for-olympus-om-d-e-m1. Recommended

I am primarily a wildlife photographer and try to compete at the highest level. I bought the M1 to save weight. My camera bag with top of the line Nikon equipment weighs 53 pounds. With the M1 and equivalent lenses it weighs 19 pounds. I tested the M1 in New Orleans, Costa Rica, and Alaska and took over 7,000 frames. In summary I have to conclude that the M1 is not ready for serious wildlife photography because adequate long focal length lenses are not yet available. For other types of photography it produces excellent, sharp, images and should be seriously considered.

I tested the M1 with the OLY 12-40 mm f/2.8 PRO, the OLY 60 mm f/2.8 macro, the Lumix 12-35 mm f/2.8, and the Lumix 100-300 f/5.6-4.0. I also tested it with two excellent 4/3 lenses using an adapter: the OLY 50-200 mm f/2.8-3.5 and the OLY 159 mm F/2.0.

The legacy 4/3 lenses were very sharp, but the focusing delay was much too long. The critter often moved before the shutter clicked. I lost two dozen shots in Costa Rica and two dozen in Alaska. With my Nikon equipment I have only lost one shot in 3 years for that reason. The bargain price Lumix 100-300 has no shutter delay issues but the images are so soft and lose so much color that they are not suitable for serious work.

So, the longest suitable lens for serious work is the Lumix 35-100 mm. It focuses rapidly and produces high quality images comparable to the highly regarded Nikon 70-200mm. But the equivalent of 200 mm is not enough. For mammals you need to reach the equivalent of 400mm (full frame) and 600 mm for birds.

Olympus is said to have a 300 mm PRO lens in development. If that works out I will sell all my Nikon equipment and convert to the M1.

Other observations,

The 60 mm micro is superb, particularly with Olympus's ring flash. I just took the flash out of the box, attached it, an took perfectly exposed, sharp, photos of little critters in the dark every time. My companions with Canon and Nikon gear were still adjusting things.

I compared Adobe Camera Raw to DxO Optics Pro 9 and to Olympus Viewer 3 to process raw files. With no further adjustments, the color was identical with each. Exposure and contrast was a teeny bit better with DxO than with Adobe, and a teeny bit better in Olympus Viewer than with DxO. It appeared the that the different processors had set the black point and white point slightly differently. Im my personal opinion the differences were not enough to prefer any processor over another and also when I process raw images I make adjustments that probably eliminate the any differences between the these three programs.

With continuos shooting, the M1 does not do as good a job of predictive focusing as Canon and Nikon. That's not a big deal for me because I do not photograph many birds in flight, but it might deter some other nature photographers. The M1 is poorly suited for sports photography for that same reason.

The E-M1 is the FourThirds format camera I've been waiting for since the E-1. Had a few others that worked well but this is the first that finally goes one better on ergonomics for me—along with a better sensor, stabilization, oodles more speed and responsiveness, etc. This is my go-to camera when I know I must get the shot. It simply works.

I purchased the Summilux 25 and Macro-Elmarit 45 when I bought the body last October, I use them the most of my FT/mFT lens kit. I specifically chose the ME45 over the Oly 45 and upcoming Nocticron as I had former experience with it and loved its rendering qualities, weight, size, and macro capabilities.

Off topic, since I don't actually have mine yet...

I have an EM-5 which has pretty much displaced all my other digital cameras.
I ordered an EM-1 because I have a slew of Oly lenses, both m4/3 and old 4/3, and because you talked me into it.
If my wife notices, I'm blaming you.

I've had one for about 6 months and have an EM-5 kept as a backup. I've been using the 12-40f2.8, the 75-300 (which is a surprisingly good lens-- imagine, 600mm equivalent that you can easily handhold), and the 17mmf1.8. This long ago replaced my Canon gear. I had, and loved the 24-70f2.8 L lens. As far as I can see, the 12-40 is every bit it's equal at a fraction of the weight. The weather sealing, IBIS, and just the premium feel of it in hand has sold me.

I've dabbled in Fuji X gear but lately I've decided to settle with m43. Something may be better, but the em-1 is good enough, for me at least.

I keep looking for an excuse to upgrade my less-than-one-year "old" EM5 and buy this beatiful Olympus flagship, but it's files are so great that I'm afraid I'll stuck with it for years.
Damn you Olympus!

Mike, am I dreaming, confused... or do you also have a Fuji X-T1? I know you at least had access to one for a while. Care to compare the two cameras?

I have been shooting the EM1 for about 6 months now alongside my workhorse D3s and my less used D800.

I desperately want lighter, smaller gear. I have the 12-40, the Panasonic 25mm 1.4, the 75mm 1.8 and the Panasonic 75-300.

I love using the camera. There is a noticeable difference in image quality for pixel peeping but not sure how much it matters in the real world. Never had a client notice / comment on the EM1 files vs the Nikons.

That being said, I use this camera when the conditions don't exploit its weaknesses. If I'm shooting flash, I use Nikon. If I am very low light, I use Nikon. The IBIS is great, but I'm mostly shooting people so at some point the subject is moving as well. And most importantly, when I need C-AF, I use the Nikon.

The C-AF, to me, is the huge achilles heel of this camera for me. If the focus tracking on this came close to Nikon, I would be using the EM1 more than the Nikons. The C-AF is unusable and for me, that is a big deal.

I shoot a few PGA events each year and it is amazing to walk around with the EM1 and the 75-300 - getting the 35mmequiv of 150-600. For golf, the C-AF is not a factor. I found myself leaving the D3S and 200-400 F4 in the hotel room. Don't get me wrong, the D3S with the 200-400 does produce better image quality. But it is taxing to carry that rig around and I felt I was gaining more in nimbleness and composition options than I was losing in quality.

Another big feature for me vs Nikon is the very quiet shutter. When the M43 C-AF gets competitive, Nikon will be a tough sell for me.

John

I had a couple of Oly's (the ep something and an e-420?) and would never subject myself to that menu system again. And the IQ although okay wasn't as good as the larger sensors.

I've been happy with the EM-5 for a couple years.

Looked at the EM-1, but found it heavy, bulky, largeish, the antithesis of going with the micro 4/3 format in the first place.

I'm sure it's a fine fine machine. But it's the same size or larger than the Fuji XT-1 or the Sony A7. Violating the prime directive of going with a small format in the first place.

The second hurdle was and is the price. Hard to justify spending twice as much as a DSLR+2 kit lenses for an EM-1 body alone.

Finally, there is no real life difference in output quality from the EM-5. Olympus peaked in image quality three models ago, and hasn't advanced since.

Hence, I had or have no compelling reason to buy one.

I have an EM5 and found that CS6 (and presumably Lightroom with the same converter) did not do a great job on raw files. More irritating, it applied an auto adjustment that I couldn't turn off (distortion correction and crop).

After many hours of experimentation I found the best raw converters were Capture One Pro and, surprisingly, the free Raw Therapee. Both could extract more detail. That said, I decided to make do with Adobe as it was 'good enough' most of the time.

I'm tempted to download RawTherapee again as they have a new release out.

I bought the E-P5 as a lightweight travel and snapshot camera to complement my Leica M gear and a huge Canon DSLR outfit. I was so impressed with IQ using primes (such as the 1,4/25 and the 1,8/45, both of which I love), that I decided I didn't need the big, heavy DSLR outfit any longer. But I was underwhelmed with the performance of the small 14-42 lens - I wanted a camera with a small lightweight pro quality zoom lens. For a while I considered buying the wonderful 2.8/12-40 to use it on the E-P5, but the E-P5 body is too small to use this lens comfortably, and it couldn't replace the EOS 7D for photographing in bad weather, so then I decided to buy the 12-40 in a set with the E-M1. Now, the small 9-18, the 12-40 and the 75-300 provide a complete outfit for almost every situation I can think of, that fits into a very small bag. This is the perfect equipment for travelling light. IQ is good enough for almost every purpose and easily on par with that of the EOS 7D I just got rid of. That said, the Leica M 240 plays in a different league.

I did try the EM5 and more recently the EM1, but simply prefer Fuji's interface, simplicity and lens choice. OTOH if you are wedded to the SLR interface (I guess many people never used a manual camera) then the control layout on the EM1 is an easier transition from Nikon or Canon than the one on the Fuji.

There are certainly a lot of lenses for MFT, and some very good ones, but I didn't know which ones to get. I don't have that issue with Fuji. Want a specific focal length? Buy the lens. Done.

It struck me that the EM1 and most of the highly regarded lenses are actually quite expensive. I am sure it's a great camera and all, but it doesn't seem to be much of a bargain given the small sensor.

In the end, personal preference plays a large role in such choices, and I opted for the traditional control set and simple choice of optics. I accepted a slightly slower AF system (though accurate) and a bit of a learning curve with PP (solved by PhotoNinja, though LR does a fine job most of the time nowadays).

Fuji may indeed be a more emotional choice, but then so is a car, a house or a wife. I just think it's important to actually have some kind of connection to the gear I use, provided it actually delivers decent images of course. I believe that works in either case.

The EM1 is very competent indeed as far as I can tell, but I feel far more connected to the process when using a Fuji than I have done with any other camera since my Canon AE-1.

I used to be a Nikon user. Heavy Nikon user, to the point where I had a very successful Nikon website called Nikongear.com. A year with the E-M5 and a month with the E-M1 was all I needed to convince me that DSLR's did more to restrict me than enable me.

Nikongear.com has now given way to www.fotozones.com where we discuss everything about mirrorless cameras and more, so if anyone is looking for more information on m43 and Olympus pop in and have a look around. :-)

Oh yes, I also have the 45/2.8 Pana/Leica and I prefer it to the Olympus 45/1.8 - awesome lens.

Fantastic camera - just one real annoyance for me - using the EVF as the default you can't review images automatically in the EVF. As soon as you hit review they show on the back screen and you have to hit the button to get them in the EVF. Gets annoying after the xth time.

I noticed that the color in my OM-D E M1 photos seemed different than my Nikon or Sony photos. So, I made a test. I photographed some landscape scenes with my Sony RX1 and my Olympus OM-D E M1. In each case the camera settings were the same and each pair of photos were taken within two minutes of each other. The resulting colors were clearly different.

In the pair of photos below the top image was from the Sony RX1 and the bottom was from the M1. The blue sky is clearly different and my artist wife points out that the green bushes near the far side of the road are different. In this example, the Sony image was processed by Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 and the Olympus image was processed by Olympus Viewer 3. However I got similar results whatever processor I used including DxO Optics Pro 9.

I do not know which camera is the more accurate.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmoule/14410923429/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmoule/14410866090/

[Looks to me like the Olympus image is just a little warmer. Try subtracting some yellow and see if you can get it to match the Sony image. --Mike]

Late addition, I was away on vacation and was not able to post via iPhone.

I have had this camera since release and really enjoy it, especially the speed, handling and ergonomics. The highlight and shadow clipping warnings in the EVF are really great, and I can't imagine owning a camera without them now. The capacity to use my few remaining 4/3 lenses was not nearly as useful as I thought.

I use the PL 25mm f/1.4 almost exclusively. It is a tad large with the hood on, but the rendering is so nice I forgive it and get on with making images. I also have the Olympus 45mm f/1.8, but don't particularly like it. It does something strange to the light which I was wowed by initially, but find draws too much attention to itself. I also have the 12-40mm f/2.8, which is practical and useful (weather sealed, reasonable zoom range covered, good close focusing, nice wide angle), except I very rarely use it and am always thinking about selling it to fund something else. I guess I am not much of a zoom guy anymore, and it spoils the marvelous balance this camera has when used with lighter lenses. Had the 12-50mm, but sold it without regret as I found it rather tepid and uninspiring.

I upgraded from an E-M5 (also had since release) so the learning curve was short and shallow. That said, it took me a little while to warm to the E-M1. Despite several niggles, I had bonded well with the E-M5 w/ HLD-6. I upgraded to address both perceived and imagined shortcomings. Since I never shot the cameras side by side (E-M5 sold to fund E-M1), I wasted a bunch of time pining for the E-M5 after getting the E-M1. Fortunately, I've gotten over it and am quite happy for now, but always on the hunt for another lens that might have the warmth and magic as the PL 25mm.

The comments to this entry are closed.