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Tuesday, 24 April 2012


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Mike, it is *because* you don't work as a photographer that we care about your buying decisions. YOu are a lot more like the - dare I say it? - 99% then, say Kirk Tuck or even Ctein.

You are more of the Everyman of photographers.

Silver or black? I suggest silver. The less pro you look, the better, at least when it comes to a decisive moment. Black SUVs, men in black, dark shades...they all impart an aggressiveness that can be off putting. Not to mention that the silver is real purty.

For once, silver rather than black. The black covering looks a little '80s industrial chic, the silver leatherette covering more classic.

Go with the black body; silver is for students and dilettantes...

Oh wait, it's 2012 not 1979? Reverse that suggestion! ;)

As a NEX user (in addition to DSLRs) I'm intrigued by this camera. I probably won't seriously consider it (I just switched DSLR brands and don't want to find out the limits of my wifes understanding !) But the key features of this camera that seem to be lacking in any other ILC are:
compact fast primes in the FLs I want
built in EVF (I prefer the form factor of the NEX-7)
tilting LCD

The Panasonic 20/1.7 and Oly 45/1.8 and Oly's IBIS plus a built in EVF are a killer combination.

I agree on the retro styling. It's fine; I'm more interested in accessible controls to do what I want to do. The NEX-7 design is fine, too, though a menu overhaul is desperately needed.

I really really want an OM-D too. A silver one.
Why? I want a camera I can carry around my neck ALL THE TIME. I love my SLR, but there are times (school run, at the supermarket, y'know day to day stuff) when I feel just too self-conscious carrying it around. The OM-D would not draw so much attention perversely, by looking better.

I went for black because I wasn't sure I'd be able to put hands on a silver before leaving town later this week. I'm pretty sad about it. If you buy a silver one and change your mind, I'll gladly swap you.


About a year ago, I asked for your advice on buying a DSLR as some physical constraints would no longer allow me to carry my film cameras. You kindly and correctly steered me to a Pentax K-r which has proved to be a great choice. Unfortunately, my physical situation has gotten somewhat worse and the K-r has also gotten too heavy.

Knowing the day was coming soon that I'd have to stop with the K-r, and after obsessive research, I ended up pre-ordering the OMD. It arrived a few days ago and is a great little camera that is about half the weight or less of my K-r/lens combos. Hopefully this will give me several more years of shooting.

I know you're going to be happy with it. I'd love to see your thoughts about it on TOP sometime in the future.


FWIW, the silver body looks more retro, even to the body covering. Perhaps one way to ask the question is whether you want to 'retro' back to the 70s or to the 90s. Or, perhaps a more salient question: which body looks better with your favorite lens?

I bought a new E-PL3 at an unbelievably low price during Focus on Imaging, the annual exhibition here in the UK that you reported on a few weeks back. What amazes me about this new Pen Lite is its speed of focus -- it's quite extraordinary for a camera of that size, particularly with the kit lens, which is the fourth version of the M.Zuiko 14-42mm. This combination focuses silently, very speedily and accurately. (It uses contrast-detect focus, which is why the speed of focus takes some believing, if you've experienced previous compacts, including earlier Pens.)

I'm putting the pennies aside for a 20mm f/1.7 but I just know I'm going to be a little disappointed by focus speed and noise -- this kit lens really spoils you. When you order the E-M5, consider the 14-42mm II R MSC (!) kit, if that's an option. It's a very creditable daylight lens — with the E-M5's sensor, it might be pressed into indoor use as well.

I handled and shot with a pre-production E-M5 during the show and absolutely loved it. It's a beautiful thing to use, particularly for anyone whose idea of an SLR's size comes from shooting an OM-10 as a youngster . The E-PL3 supplements my DSLR but an E-M5 would replace it.

Can we vote ?


It's pretty wonky looking. The black version slightly less so.

For me, silver and black is just How A Camera Should Look.

My first camera was a Pentax ES II, then I had an ME Super, an MZ-5 and a Z-5p, all in silver top and black body. Then I found a Z1-p and, a 67 and an MX, all in Black. (I had a Mamiya C330 in Silver and Black during my MF phase too).

When I moved to DSLR, the only Pentax available to me was a *istDS in Silver and Black, which I have had for the last 7 years, and which is a fine camera. Waiting for a K-1, which better be available in silver and black.

If the silver is plastic that looks a lot like old-style silver cameras, buy the black one. If it is actually a silver metal, buy whichever you think looks nicest hanging from your neck. Image is everything, don't you know.

The item in your list that rings true for me is the 20mm 1.7 lens. I use both the 20mm 1.7 and 45mm 1.8 mounted on separate bodies. Both lenses produce excellent quality results. The two bodies ready to shoot take up much less volume than my 60D with 85mm and a 17-35mm zoom.

I went with the black body. It looks nicer with the accessory grip.

For me, silver. I have several black cameras, but none of them appeal to me aesthetically like my OM-1n.

Personally I would get the silver. Unless you never plan on selling the black, which the paint will wear off faster.
Besides, most new cameras are black now so a change is nice.

It will be a great buy. Go for it Mike.

I like the silver. Well, it's not silver, it's silver-black and it reminds me of my FM3a. I don't like cross-lined pattern on the grip/body of the black. I prefer grainy silver. It looks like it won't come off :)

I am sort of torn between this and the Sony A57.
The thing which goes for Sony is the FAST auto focussing in live view. In fact this is the only dslr which can focus like a dslr in live view. Has tilt lcd, has evf, has a great sensor, etc etc...but that's the main thing. And yes, one can mount a ZA 24 F2 or a ZA 135 1.8 on it. Or better still, the creamiest of the them all: Minolta STF 135 2.8.

OM-d has gorgeous looks which Sony lacks. It is weather sealed too. It begs to be paired with a 12, a 20 and a 45. Since you have 2 of them, it's an easy choice for you.

Surprised that you didn't think of Fuji X-Pro 1?

I got lucky and happened across the Adorama site last Thursday when they had the Black EM5 with the 14-42 kit available for about 20 minutes. Of course I overnighted it and was very happy with the purchase. That being said I already own a GX1. I put the GX1 on ebay and after having the EM5 in my hand for about an hour i convinced myself to take the listing off of ebay and keep both.

The EM5 is a great camera. I was initially not so hot on the retro looks but it has seriously grown on me. Moving from the GX1 with almost all prime lenses, I cant tell you how nice the IBIS is. It makes a big difference. That being said the EM5 is definitely a more substantial camera in the hand than the GX1. I suspect you will probably want to hold on to your GF1 as well.

I have a Nikon DSLR that i use for paid work. Right now 90% of my personal pictures are taken with M4/3'rds. I did have a point and shoot (LX5) but that was the camera i decided to get rid of instead of the GX1. Now my phone serves as my true P&S. The EM5 is great but in terms of portability it fits somewhere in between the PEN/GF/GX series cameras and the smaller DSLR's. Sometimes I want something that is truly small and lightweight and that is the GX1 with the 14 or 20. I see me mostly growing my M4/3rds kit at this point rather than my DSLR.

(unlike the kid at the department-store electronics counter who told me a certain camera "has really good megapixel")

Pretty knowledgeable on his subject, although this week I heard about a similar salesperson explaining how a tripod "wasn't compatible with Canon cameras".

I say black. Not sure why, except black camera bodies have appealed to me since the time a while back when I had the simple requirement of a K-mount film body and all I could find was a black MX.

Mike, the two camera choices seem to have different body coverings. Go with the one which feels the best. (I'd be leaning to the silver, myself.)

The textures of the two look different. Silver has the faux animal skin and black has straight lines.

Their black ZX-1 has more grip than the slick-feel white version, for example.

So if there's a difference in hand feel or grip, let that be the deciding factor. I agree they both look good.

I got my black one today from Adorama. I have a GH2 as well; but I want the IBIS of the EM5 because I have 8 legacy lenses (5 Nikkor AIS lenses and 3 reg43 Oly lenses). They work fine on the GH2, even generally without stabilization since all but one of the lenses has an evof of 170mm or less. I just have to bump the ISO up to ensure 1/focal length shutter speed. But the Oly 70-300 could use some help. And of course in low light I am hoping IBIS allows me to shoot without tripod in more situations. The 70-300 will be the first lens I try.

Peter F.

It must be silver! My first SLR was a silver Nikon FM and the Oly, if I ever will be able to afford it, must be silver, too! :)

I seem to remember my OM 1 was silver and my OM 4 ( I got it before the 4T was available). I think I preferred the silver of the OM 1. I'd have to dig them up and look at them again.

I'll be interested in your take on the electronic user interface (aka buttons and menus). I own both a GH1 and an EP1 and I just never quite cottoned to the Oly e-interface. You might want to test drive one before you open your wallet. Of course I hear from lots of folks who argue the other way `round...

I have a hard time getting past that pentaprism peak. I know it's not totally phony, it carries some electronic, etc., but c'mon...it's phony, and it offends my Sullivanesque sense of aesthetics. I like everything else about the camera. When I bought two GX1s (or G1Xs, I can't remember which it is, and I'm too lazy to go look) I got one black and one silver. The black holds up better over time, IMHO.

Got my black one last Friday and already love it. Do yourself the favor and either take both, silver for the 45/1.8 and black for the 20/1.7, or else black only. The Panasonic pancakes look gorgeous on the black and entirely crappy on the silver.

Don't forget the new Panasonic-Leica 25mm f1.4 Summilux. It's about $550, balances well, and is very sharp indeed, although somewhat larger than the 20 f1.7.

Oddly, this Panasonic lens also lacks IS, so it's a natural to use with Olympus.

I prefer black, but I don't like the texture of the "leather" covering on the black model, so I'm getting the silver one.

I've been using a Pen E-PL1 as my travel camera for almost two years, and am eager to get the OM-D.

I confess that nostalgia is a big factor for me. I used the OM system for 13 years and carried it on PJ assignments to 27 countries and around much of the US. Those were some of the best years of my career, and I only abandoned the OMs because aging eyes made it more and more difficult to focus quickly and accurately.

I choose the black version (have had it a week and a half!!!) because it will balance with the OMs that I have (1, 1N, 2N, 4T). Now I will have just about an equal number of silver and black bodies! The Oly 12mm (silver) looks great on the black body (the photographs look even better). This camera is even better than I expected.

You don't mention your previous avowed interest(?) in the DMD...
I thought that would be your prime motivation behind acquiring this camera.
Your thoughts about the digital DMD inspired me at the time, and I have been waiting for someone to make one. The OM-D does seem to fill the bill here -- as long as the sensor is good enough...

Silver if metal, fuji x100 if plastic

Dear Mike,

Silver. At least, if you plan to go out on sunny days. Hot cameras are unhappy cameras.

pax / Ctein

Love my GF1 and plan to buy the Oly when they arrive here. Chrome might not bake as hot on a sunny day. Cool is good. It ought to wear better - a plus, unless you want to cultivate the worn and battered working pro camera look.

I had a Nikon D5000 and now upgraded to Fuji X-Pro 1 so I'm a black camera fan and APS-C sensor lover ready to do battle with you 4/3 barbarians! Must admit deep down Olympus has always impressed though.

I like the black color of my E-M5. The silver is nice, but seems a little retro fetishism. It also looks awkward with the clip-on flash, and even worse if you opt for the grip: all the black accessories make the silver look out of place.

Even though the camera is black, it lacks that melted-ice-block shape that so many DSLR's have and is really compact (many superzooms are larger), so it by means looks "professional," or looks like it has pretensions of "professionalism."

I am getting a silver one for a couple of reasons; the silver 45 mm looks better on it, the grip is more firm in your hand (the all black is a little more slippery), I will get more comments from people and it will remind me if my first SLR a silver OM-1. I will be getting the extra grip too as it made a substantial difference ro my handling experience of the camera, giving it a very positive grip, as I don't use my cameras with a neck strap, and really love having something to wrap my fingers around. The extra grip gives you an extra dial, so it suddenly now has tri wheel controls.

Follow you own advice and put them both in your hands before buying to see how they feel. This little camera hums all the time, as the sensor is magnetically suspended for the image stabilization, switching off the image stabilization doesn't remove the hum. It is a small price to pay for the huge gains in image stabilization this camera has.

Yesterday I picked up my Voitlander 17.5 0.95 for this camera which is a lovely complement to my 25mm 0.95 ... I can't wait to get the Olympus 45 mm and the forthcoming macro.

With so many lenses to choose from in micro four thirds this system seems set to stay. Let's hope another camera manufacturer joins in too. Me my fingers are crossed that Leica does, but I do doubt that they will. But they may bring out some more lenses with Panasonic...

For me this camera is a no brainer...

and I thought that you are buying it because OM-D is closest naming yet to DM-D

Hi Mike ..... I haven't gone down the M43 route but this is the first camera to tempt me. I realise after a fruitless affair with an Panasonic LX5 that however able I cant cope without a viewfinder ... and if I have to use a viewfinder then an articulting LCD is vital ...
The Olympus looks quite good ... and to be honest a bit weird .... and looks like good High ISO performance, good viewfinder and screen BUT ...... are you sure . I have just upgraded from my lovely clunky old K200D to the K5 .. and I cant believe it!! It is small neat and .... and this is the point ... with a fabulous handgrip ... just for me the best ever .. it almost feels like part of me .... and I just wonder how the OMD will feel in the hand .....

Not a reason to avoid ... but I wonder if in a year or two which of these lovely cameras you are using ..... I think the K5 is just fantastic ..... hope you find the OMD even better .. but somehow I doubt it ..... and you'll miss that 35 Macro ...

I'll be buying one soon. After 3 spinal surgeries and major shoulder surgery, I have been investing the the M4/3 Olympus cameras, habitually carrying an EP2 and an EP3 with wide zooms, and tele-zooms on respcetive bodies.I love shooting in the rain and snow, where I wrap the cameras in plastic-wrap/sandwich-wrap.And no camera has ever failed me in the last 20 years in torrential downpour. Go for the black one Mike. I find that as I lift the camera to eye-level, a black camera is less distracting to my eye. Every drop of zen counts!

Back, too many silver orders which is why I don't have mine :-~

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if anyone doesn't like the covering on the black version, i'm sure olympus would be willing to mail you the leatherette from the silver version. aki-asahi will probably come up with something, too.

Back again. I live about a mile from a Samy's camera in Pasadena, and I went on-line to see if they had OM-Ds in stock. They have one, and it's quite annoying -- it only comes with the 14-42 kit. I already have two 14-42s, and they are not that great of a lens. They are out-of-stock on both the body-only packs. This same thing happened with the GX1 -- lots of kits, no body-only for quite some time. The m4/3 people have got to understand that they've got a big established market out here and many people who've bought into their systems are not looking for a somewhat average zoom lens: they've got their lenses, and now they may want to upgrade their bodies. In other words, they need to realize that they've got a lot of enthusiast fans, just like Canon, Nikon and Sony - can you imagine Nikon selling D800s (or D7000s) only as a kit with their cheapest zoom?


I still remember a column you wrote many years ago about the cameras used by professionals, and you wrote about yours saying: "I have a silver OM-4 for shooting in daylight and a black OM-4 for shooting at night". That was in Photo Techniques or in Darkroom Photography, I don't remember which one. Having that past, I have no doubt you will buy an OM-D. It was funny because at that time I also had a black and a silver OM-4 and I'm also buying an OM-D in a few month. A few days ago I was balancing the purchase of the OM-D against a preorder for the Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm f0.95, and finally decided for the lens. I believe the lens will be harder to find than the camera a few month from now. I read that Voigtlander is overwhelmed due to preorders of this lens.

Darn, were I in the market for another camera and I could get one without forking over my money to those running Olympus, I might consider the camera that sorta looks like an old Oly OM.

It actually appears to be an E-P4 with a long-overdue sensor upgrade, weather-proofing and the near excellent tilt-able EVF (excellent 'cause it tilts and 'cause I can use it to adjust and preview for ETTR w/o a histogram by using exposure-lock and highlight warnings set).

I would be worried about the overall speed of the camera, including on-off time, wake time, EVF delay, and yes, focusing speed. Hopefully the focus speed has improved with the OM-D to include reasonably fast (E-P3 the world's fastest? Hardy-har-har! I'm the world's fastest sprinter too!) speed with anything other than the select few newer Oly lenses, fast focus in less than very good light, and, last by not least, fast, accurate focus on moving subjects. Of course, if you use the Panny 1.7 on it, you ain't too worried about focus speed anyway.

Despite my snarkiness made snarkier by Oly's past exaggerations of the digital PEN abilities and the recent unethical, bigoted, and likely criminal behavior of its leaders and board, it seems like a nice little camera that is getting closer and closer to being an outstanding tool for many uses---that don't require speed. Sorry. Can't help the snark.

(The E-P3 in black with cute fake black leatherette covering and a nice black leather case is quite the babe magnet. A silver 1978 OM1 gets yawns from the ladies. Hope this helps.)

I meant to write above "near excellent tiltable EVF replaced by a built-in non-tiltable EVF).

Black because it will mirror your GF1 and K-5.

How irritating is the gyro noise?

If it's silver paint over metal or plastic, then it'll be a perfect match for the skeuomorphic prism housing.

OTOH, if it's real chrome over metal, then I'd call it a toss up between that and honest black paint, but I'd still have reservations about the faux prism hump. ;-)

Hi Mike,

I have been playing with my OM-D a couple of days and looking at your list I think you will like it.

- The sensor is much improved over the GF-1 (I also have the GF-1), high ISO performance is much better, and the images resolve much more detail (at the moment I can only compare JPGs, as the OM-D raw files are not yet supported by LR4).

- The EVF is obviously better than the external one of the GF-1, although there are some usability issues that Olympus must enhance with the next firmware (among others, pressing the playback button does only show the image on the LCD, regardless of the EVF/LCD config selected; only exception is automatic image playback after shot, but there is no zoom option for it).

- The LCD is very nice and much better than the GF-1 LCD, and the flipping is nice, but has the disadvantage that it produdes when in standard position somewhat from the body and difficults pressing the playback and the AEL buttons (and no, the playback button cannot be mapped to a function button).

- The new image stabilisation system is (for my use, combined with high ISO) the real killer feature of this new body. In my opinion it works better than advertised. Videos look really professional when panning or rotating the body in any direction, and images are blur-free even at very low shutter speeds.

I tested also some Nikon lenses on it (150 and 200-400mm), you can set the focal length of third party lenses on the IS-system of the OM-D, and it works incredibly well, giving me about 75% blur-free images with 1/5sec handholed at 150mm and 1/30sec at 400mm, about the same which I am able to shoot blur-free with a Nikon FX body using the 200-400mm lens VR (IS). Keeping in mind that the equivalent focal length on the OM-D is double the FX one, this is quite impressive.

- The body seems to have a kind of cooling mechanism that produces some small but perceptible fan-like noise. When in video mode the sound is lower, so video sound recording seems not or less affected by it.

- I prefer the buttons on the GF-1 (and much more the ones on the GX-1) than the plastic and not so tacticle ones on the OM-D.

Hope this helps with your decision


I agree with John Camp: But for the posturing pentaprism Olympus saw fit to incorporate into the OM-D's design, I would have bought a black one.

So I bought an X-Pro 1 instead and I can scarcely imagine being any happier with it, its many quirks notwithstanding...

Those negative green stripes (because magenta is an imaginary color ! ) look more like a bug in the raw converting software , like somome is using signed integers and someone else is using unsigned integers.

Also , it's interesting how the magenta corresponds to how much white there is in a particular column and how much magenta is in the column to its left. If there were a little noise you wouldn't see this happening , but of course when the image is blown out , there is by definition no noise.

It's a good illustration of how recovering detail in the shadows and in the highlights are not at all the same problem, and sometimes noise is your friend.

Oh, and I'd vote for a Keith Harring or plaid finish on my camera.

K-01 Mike, K-01. Gotta have a sense of humor, not to mention sterling IQ. I'm done with retro. Keeping my GX1 but only 'cause I have lenses for it. But for everyday, I'm a hip guy with my swanky Pentax.

When I had my silver AE-1, I lusted for the all-black A-1. Then I double-lusted for the all-black T90.

So I have an inner bias for all-black.

But as a purely visual thing, putting aside what the colour of my camera says about me by association, I always like the visuals of the brushed aluminium look of my AE-1, and on the new Oly it is very nicely done.

Mike, since you are a man steeped in and respectful of the history of photography, and Olympus is specifically doffing its cap to its own history wth the PEN series and this new model in its silver incarnation, I suggest that to take the silver is to more fully participate in what Olympus is doing.

Great choice with good reasons. A writer with a photographer in heart can do a wonderful job in finding the reasons for owning three top cameras from three brands and updating...

The black OM-D looks like a Members Only jacket. The silver one looks like bell bottoms.

More wood ... go to


Silver. For some reason it just looks better.

Many a year ago I bought an M2 in silver. I had no idea how I'd ever use it for street photography being such a glaringly obvious color. It ended up working great for that work, no one ever saw the camera, I don't know how. And for some reason, it just felt right in that color.

I've had lots of black cameras, but given the choice, I'll take silver (or whatever the marketing department calls it.) If nothing else, I can photograph with some pzazz.

Black. These are modelled on the OM-4 rather than the OM-1, and there never was a silver OM-4. Later on there was a "champagne" OM-4Ti and a charcoal grey OM-3Ti, which were identical shapes.

Olympus made the right choice here. I shot with OM cameras for more than 20 years up to 2007, and always thought the OM-4 and OM-3 looked much more handsome. Still, the OM-D looks too small to me.

A few years ago (maybe 8-9 years ago), while I was researching to buy my first DSLR, I ran into an article you had written about the Pentax *ist DS. I loved the way you described the camera, and when I handled one, it just felt right! I bought it on the spot. (And, I bought the DA35/2.8 after your glowing article about it.) Later, I also bought a GF1 based on your writings. And tomorrow I will receive my own Black EM-5 ;-) Oh BTW, I also have the 20/1.7 & 45/1.8 !!

Your writtings has certainly "influenced" my decisions.


My thought exactly.....those tripes, now way that can be sensor related, that has the handwriting of a integer (maybe overflow) error written all over it (in big ugly fat letters).

I have tried to reproduce it Mike (blowing out the sky intentionally and using all slider positions in both my SilkyPics and RawTherapee RW2 to tiff converters and I have seen some wild colorcasts :-) but no way I saw these stripes. BTW the GF1 sensor produces some magenta (not to imaginary colorcasts in the magenta range as well, now I know the GF1 sensor was spiked a bit in the green department (no nice fat yellows as well on which DPREVIEW was allerted) so that could very well be related. BTW I own a GF1 since may 2010 and have shot about 8.000 raws with it in every lighting conditions known to man upto and including with the sun in the picture.

So it maybe the RAW processor that is at fault, Mike as a former test manager I would say you struck gold especially if you can reproduce it. Send it to Pana or the Adobe clan. Someone at the testing department (or the development department) needs some serious bootwork up the fanny, if you catch my drift.

Greetings, Ed

Oh Mike, why do you tease me by putting images of those beauties there? Don't you know I'm trying to save for a wedding?!

Go for silver and I'll have the black one. We can always compare.

I am with you and have ordered one - WHY
Anyone who has experienced the beautiful files from Pens will know why and the added facilities seal the deal.
Ad the 12mm and 45 mm and it makes it a no brainier.
I never understood the manical following of the GF1 (I have one) because the files from EP1/2/3 etc. are so beautiful and the only digital files that remind me of film, albeit 400ISO colour neg.

It's strange that generically I prefer black cameras but all of my favourites (of those I own) are silver.

If you love your GF1 why not try the GX1?

About 2 weeks ago, I was looking at the windows shop of an alpha shop in Hong Kong, thinking about switching system. One of the guys I know just passed by and talking about his new camera EM5 (OMD). I have a few minute go and for some reasons find it too heavy ... I wonder why as other than Nex, my last camera actively using is P67 and I do not find it heavy on hand! I guess it must be the density, as it obviously it cannot be weight. I hope you can try it first (and have a return policy).

The focusing is very fast but I do not like the sensor (which have not much improvement since my last selling of G1).

May be you get a reason to use IBIS with OMD. Today I finally get around to sell my D300 gears and switch to Sony Alpha/Nex, using Alpha to supplement Nex the time I want good focusing speed and IBIS. I guess you will have both but a smaller package.

I assume that your only lens 28-75 F2.8 does not by itself push you one way or the others towards a system building of Alpha. Or, perhaps you are waiting for A99 in that stream of equipment (of one?).

I agree that black is better for not drawing attention and I do not have much experience as black camera being too hot.

Good luck to your purchase.

I bought a black one because that's what the dealer had. In all honesty, it doesn't make much difference -- the body is so small that your hands cover it up almost completely when you're taking pictures

Actually the silver color looked plastic too, at least on dummy demo bodies.

From a person who just get a Black OM-D (because there is no silver body available)

"If you love your GF1 why not try the GX1?"

I really like the GX1 as well. But the answer is, IBIS.


I use my OMD and Pen in a professional environment shooting for editorial and advertising. They are great cameras that can be used for most commercial projects.

I did have some fears I had to overcome when switching from a Canon 5DMKII system which I listed in detail on my blog.

The speed and features of the OMD EM5 are great. Now if I can just find an extra battery or two.

Prefer black. Do not want anything shiny and flashy, which might attract unwanted attention. Anonymity and invisibility are what I seek when shooting, and in my experience a small black camera does not stand out.

I do think its small size, low noise and quick focus are going to make it a killer street shooting camera, at least it seems that way from a video I saw.

One question: has anyone used an Olympus E-series lens on this camera? Heard there might be focusing issues. If so , what has been your experience?

"Silver", real metal bodies really triggers my gear lust. I have a collection of sixties- and seventies cameras, and they are all silver.
Here in UK the silver OM-D is coming a month later than the black one, but I'm sticking it out.

Admittedly, if all my cameras were silver instead of black, then black would probably be the thing giving me heart palpitations instead.

But I so like the OM-D, in that it's a machine and not a plastic blob.

Another vote for black. I bought my first black OM-1n in 1979 (I say first, because I just picked up another one a couple weeks ago) because my father suggested that the extra $40 (a lot of money for HS student in 1979) was worth it because it looked "smarter" (his word) and more professional. Over the years it has taken on a nice patina with the brassing those old black cameras get. Guessing the OM-D won't brass, but that's ok.

It sounds like a very nice camera, and I'm tempted myself - torn really between this and the Fuji X100. The video monitor rather than an OVF puts me off somewhat - I can't get used to those things.

Given that almost everything else seems snappier and more responsive than the Fuji, I'm still considering though. The combination with the Panasonic 20/1.7 sounds excellent - will the OMD offer any software correction for that lens though?

Lastly, is there any chance that anyone could measure the distance between the back of the camera and the tip of the 20/1.7 (without filter or cap) in millimeters? It is this depth measurement that interests me more than anything else.

I mostly bought silver cameras. Not only was it cheaper -- but, with film, heat absorption was more of an issue, and I didn't want to cook the film in the camera if I was out in the sun for extended periods.

Black was definitely "cooler" though.

I went with black. I would say it wasn't for nostalgia, but I learned how to use a camera on my dads OM2S. Now I really wish I had kept those lenses.

And, judging by your comments, no wonder my OM-D hasn't shipped yet. Everyone else pre-ordered one too!

I also shoot with a GF1 (along with an older Nikon D200), and my favorite lenses are the 20mm f/1.7 and Oly 45mm f/1.8. The OM-D definitely appeals to me. The GX1 would be the logical step up from the GF1, but since I always have the accessory viewfinder mounted I might as well get a camera with a built-in EVF. As far as IQ goes... I have been quite happy with the 13x19 prints I've made from the GF1 (at least at low ISO) and even the high ISO shots printed in black & white at 4x6 and 5x7 look quite good to me. Of course I will be happy with something better, and I do look forward to IBIS. Not necessarily as much for still photography. I like to keep my shutter speeds fast enough to stop average action, which means I can usually get a sharp handheld shot without stabilization (even if I drop shutter speeds down below 1/40s where most action will be blurred). But as a father of young children I really want the IBIS and a power zoom capable lens for shooting video of the kids. I can't always keep up with kids when using a tripod, and without IBIS my handheld GF1 videos are a shaky mess. Still... I'm a still photographer 99% of the time, so the video improvements are just icing on the cake for me. More than that I want a camera with enough external controls and customization to keep me happy while shooting in Aperture Priority or M mode. The EM-5 looks pretty dreamy. As excited as I was about the GX1 (the G3 doesn't have enough buttons for me), I'm just a bit more excited about the OM-D. I'm "this" close to selling off my Nikon gear and shooting only with m4/3 (I'm most of the way there already), but for the moment there are times when I'm very happy to have my Nikon f/2.8 zooms. The DSLR is definitely becoming a specialty camera for me though, and not one I like to carry around too much.

I ran across this interesting blog post from a pro who has been using micro4/3 cameras for his work...it effectively pushes asides quite a few myths about m4/3 cameras. http://blog.giuliosciorio.com/

Yes, Giulio commented in this very thread....


Darn. 4 years into a love/hate relationship with my Sigma DP1 I am quite interested in looking at the new version with their large sensor. Pretty much made my mind up to get one. I had discounted the OM-D. With your column though I've looked at it again and it does look like a shooter's camera. Also I too love the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens which is on my (IR converted) G2. Darn!

Forgive me if I just throw this spanner in the works - Panasonic has filed a patent for in-camera image stabilisation.

Obviously it may be a while for it to appear, and a few product iterations before the design, er, stabilises...


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