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Friday, 04 May 2012


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Go ahead, rub it in. I'm still waiting for mine(and I am getting it through B&H).

I thought I was going to have a similar experience in Japan earlier this month. I took a chance, found a store, and found an OM-D! Alas - it was a fake one complete with interchangeable lens, buttons and dials, but no sensor inside, no EVF, etc. Plastic. I was so disappointed...it was like seeing an interesting book on a shelf at Ikea and realizing it was only 1" deep :)

Mike, I had the opportunity to shoot with a friend last weekend on the day he received his black one. I concur with your sentiments. Olympus nailed it - the chance to shoot Rollie style, plus EVF and a solid build.
On the same day, we had a chance to try all 3 Fuji X series - at least to hold them - store doesn't appear to think keeping batteries charged in cameras will help those looking (and ready to purchase) to make a purchase decision. Fuji's stopped just short of the finish line for me with the aperture ring in the way on the x-100 when I tried the Manual focus. The X-Pro1 was nice, but too expensive for a camera with autofocus issues - unacceptable in today's world.
Ordered my OMD kit on Monday. Finally, a camera I will carry every day (iPhone doesn't count - I carry it, but it's not the same for me). A real camera with real controls. My first camera was a TLR and the first camera I purchased on my own was an OM1 back in college days. The OMD feels right - solid build and with the Panny 20mm 1.7, it's the perfect kit for every day. It will be the foundation for my light weight kit when I can't or don't want to carry the Canon 5DmkII kit. Is it the DMD? I think so, for me.

When I found an E-M5 in stock I didn't even ask to try it out. I just told them to ring it up.

No regrets.

(We actually did open the box but that was because the sales guy wanted to see it.)

No thanks, it's just way TOO small.

My black body is coming Monday - pre-ordered minutes after it was officially announced on Feb 7. Looking forward to a long and happy relationship....


It's readily available here in India, body only or with the kit lens. It's indeed rare for something like this to happen and it's $25 cheaper than bhphotovideo to boot!

I had a similar experience at my local 'Pro' camera store a couple of weeks ago. I got to handle camera but they would not sell the display unit. I even called back and offered more money.

To make a long story short my E-M5 is out for delivery and should be in my hands this afternoon. I ended up getting one with 14 to 40 something kit lens. As you mentioned in another post the body only units were unavailable.

Now that you're officially in love, do you think you will try to coax Ctein into repeating the last sale, but with an image from the E-M5? Maybe not next week, of course, but hopefully not too far in the future?

That'd be really cool, and perhaps even more relevant (many do expect that new sensor to rapidly change the MFT landscape).

I've had one for a week. I am of the age that the camera looks wonderful. For me, the most significant difference between this camera and my E-PL2 is that between the dials, the directional buttons on the back and configuring one of the buttons, I can directly control, aperture, shutter speed, AF sensor, exposure compensation and ISO. Being able to do this makes it feel like a "real" camera instead of a mutant P&S.

I'm just thrilled it's not a big, heavy, shapeless blob camera like my D7000.

John F. Opie - "Buy-it-now-reflex"?

Nope - "Buy-it-now-mirrorless" surely

It's wonderful to shoot with, just the right size, really fast and quiet. You can set it up exactly like you want. The hand grip is worth it with it attached it fits my hands perfectly. Really good image quality. The only down side is a short battery life and you can't find extra batteries anywhere. Still using jpgs while I wait for the Lightroom upgrade. The jpgs are wonderful. With the 45 f 1.7 it's Camera Love

OK, a confession. Shortly after declaring, in a comment here, that I had decided to pass on the E-M5 I "came upon" an offer I couldn't refuse to reconsider my position. So an E-M5 will arrive here next week. Perhaps we can compare notes.

But, separately, I have positively decided to pass on the Fuji XPro 1, regardless of any enticing offers. Mixed early reports aside, I actually did have a chance to handle one last week at a SF camera shop. Light but too big. Already have that niche filled.

Oh, and just so you'll be ALL READY when the little jewel shows up, ACR 6.7 with support for it is available for download now...

Another month and the body shop bill on the MINI will be paid off, and the Olympus is right on the top of the list.

Mike, get the silver one if you love the old OM bodies

"Aaaaand, they're off!" We have a race: ordered mine one month ago, tomorrow, so I should be receiving it very, very soon. Right? Right?!?

Frankly, I've never committed an impetuous act of digicam ordering prior to the usual dissection by the various testers and the early adopters, but this one seems somehow different. And while I have a very specific trip in mind to take it on, it would appear I need to make other plans. OTOH my credit card balance remains zero, so there's that.

But it's okay if you get yours first and I won't be the least jealous. I won't, I won't, I won't! [Faint sound of stamping feet is heard.]


And take pictures, dammit. (Okay, since I can't reasonably demand you post them here, I don't actually know that you haven't been.)

Speaking of which, how's the darkroom?

I played with it for a few minutes last week. Since I only use the E-3 for event / taiko shooting, which I am not doing too much nowadays, the OM-D is not a big draw for me. Face it, when my regular kit is an M9 and a pair of XPan II, anything else can seem short at times.

I was pretty impressed that the little camera can handle my 35-100/2 lens well enough though. On good light, it seems to focus fast enough - slower than the E-3, but good enough for the work I do. Not sure about under bad light, which is where I need the long lens to shine.

Overall, if I have the dough and need the camera, I'd buy it, but since neither is true, it's of academic interest only...

Yes, I too am smitten. I had an opportunity to slip a memory card into a store demo unit, slapped on my small collection of Lumix and adapted FD lenses and got to work for an hour. What a treat! Yes, that shutter sound is just perfect, and the viewing screen so bright and clear, and easy with glasses too. I had the time to dig through the easy to parse menus, and it's not too bad. Everything you need is right there. And, the image quality is a very decent step up from my GH2. As soon as it's more widely available, especially the batteries, I'll by two. I'll be using them on jobs, and one is a no-no. The best part though is how the IS works with ANY lens! I can't wait to slap on my Hasselblad F250 4.0 lens.

When did you get a Miata? I thought you had a Mercedes.
I am afraid that I would not have had your lack of impulsiveness and would have bought the kit.
Hope it arrives in a reasonably short amount of time. Congratulations.

Black OM-D? Not Silver? That's either "half-arsed retro" or "trying not to be too obvious that I hope this makes me feel (look?) 22 again." ;)

With reference to the "faux-Rolleiflex" expression. I believe that some great photographers (including Diane Arbus) got a different look with their portraits because of their lower camera position when using Rolleiflexes. When using a Rolleiflex they held their cameras at about their bellybuttons. This centralized the photo at the subject's stomach or chest. This different viewpoint gave a more "down-to-earth" feeling. With cameras like the E-M5 we can experiment with this effect.

I received mine at noon today and the battery just finished charging. I also received the battery grip a few days ago. Fate has a way of teasing me. Once you marry the two together the camera becomes more than than the sum of the two parts. I am in love.

We've had a dozen in our shop here in Melbourne, Australia- all go almost immediately. All have been black, but the rep brought in a silver one with 12mm f2 and 45 f1.8 lenses- got to play with it for ten minutes. LOVE the silver one to pieces.... the "beyond bulb " setting for watching a night photo coming up on the screen is sensational, as are the 3200 ISO jpegs.The 12-50 is beautiful.. especially the incredible macro. You will not regret it, Mike. Shutter is especially quiet- almost the same as the Canon 5D III in "silent" mode, and that is rather excellent. Overall a definite winner for Olympus. Now, when's the next shipment????

Mike, there seems to be a technical problem with the blog -- your photo of the saleswoman didn't come up.

Yes, but is the image left-right reversed as it is supposed to be?

"Yes, but is the image left-right reversed as it is supposed to be?"

There should be an app for that.


I've had mine for a week or so, and I'm still in love. The ergonomics, the shutter sound, no menu diving or teensy buttons for exposure comp or aperture, even the thoughtfully designed and necessary thumb-hook on the back.

Nicer color, I think, than the Panasonic offerings. I've made some very nice 11x14 prints, and I think it could easily go bigger, but I almost never do that.

Overall, the first small digital camera that I've really liked.

Onliest thing is, I'm kind of big, (6'2", 250) and I think it would be even better with the (too expensive) grip/battery holder accessory, which seems not to exist yet in the US. I think Olympus should have made that part of the camera, but I'm not complaining.

Really a home run for Olympus, and I hope they sell a jillion of them.

was it Kertesz who said "the camera is a musical instrument"? You have to love holding it. So many great cameras, but they didn;t feel right, in the hand. For me, for some reason, the Olympus M4/3 cameras feel right. Image quality...do I really care about miniscule measurements? I just like holding my cameras. Looks like I'll buy one of those new Olympus ones as well.....(and I print 2ft x 3ft)

"When did you get a Miata?"

The Miata's an old one, eleven years young. It's a "fair-weather," summer-only car. Its purpose is to get me out of the house. However now that my son has made the other car more or less his own, I have to resort to driving the Miata most of the time just to get around...you know what they say: "Oh well."


With the closing of Boot's in Fresno, (Although I hear that Horn's is still open for bidnizz), I found myself going up to Modesto for a repair on my favorite lens.

Like you, Mike, I was assisted by a knowledgeable, charming young woman. But I have one more sigh to add to the pot--not only was she too young for me, she probably doesn't play on my team. *wink*

Putting aside the minor heartbreak of helpful but uninterested sales people, I have come to appreciate independently owned camera stores. Nice to make friends in meat-space, real living, breathing human beings with knowledge and experience.

My trip to the store ended well, a new-to-me lens (Canon 75-300) for $125, a new tripod ball head pistol grip for $120, and my gerborken lens is off to the manufacturer for factory repair. And one other nice bit of news, which will be announced on my own blog in a few days.

I have my issues with B&H. But here's to the little, out-of-the-way camera shops. Go spend some time and some money in them. You'll be glad you did.

I've been eyeing the OM-D since it was announced. I really like my GF1, but the farther I get from 2001 (when I packed up the SLRs and went compact digital) the more I miss a viewfinder. Got to try out a Sony Nex7 a couple of weeks ago and for the first time was convinced that an EVF might be do-able. Shortly afterwards you posted your "why I'm buying an OM-D" post, and by the end of the day I had ordered a black one.

Got word Tuesday that it's backordered 6-10 days. Grrr! But I can wait. Really looking forward to it.

BTW, I think this is the first time I've bought a camera sight-unseen. But oddly, I'm really not worried.

Lightroom 4.1 Release Candidate 2 supports the OM-D, and it's free,
for now.


I saw one the other day at the local camera store in Venlo......accompanied by not one but two Voigtlanders (the 17,5 and the 25 mm) so at least Olympus has it's global distribution chain up and runnig smoothly. It is bewilderingly small compared to lets say a Canon 1D III. It sat there one the shelf with the attitude of a featherweight teakwondo expert next to a sumo wrestler. I think I need one.....sometime.....but not now, the GF1 does still sufice (I'm not that hot for high ISO and the 12 Mpixel output is more then okay for an A2 print if treated well, as Ctein so nicely demonstrated). And I will wait till the Photokina, since Pana has something cooking as well, something that will give the OM-D a fight for it's money (all new sensor and 51200 ISO max is circulating the rumours department). But if looks would be a factor in my life, hell the OM-D is one of the most gorgeous looking camera's since the original Pen hit the market.

Greetings, Ed

Mike, a cute post where you communicated your excitement about your new forthcoming toy; and now, just as I had to wait for my X-Pro 1 to come, time will move like thick glue down a 1% slope...


I worry about the EVF experience. I've tried and returned a few EVF cameras over the last few months. Brought up on the traditional SLR I find looking through the EVF to be like trying to take a photograph of a photograph. I really can't seem to engage with the image in a satisfactory way. the EVF seems to me to be a barrier in a way that the LCD screen isn't. Maybe something to do with the dynamic range? Why can't the EVF look like a small LCD screen? I would be interested to hear comments from others on how satisfactory they find EVF's when they are really trying to engage with their subject as opposed to being merely a convenient viewing device that reduces the cost and size of today's cameras

I'd better not go near any camera stores for a while, then. I read the reviews and now I'm in lust after one...

And can I point out for potential UK customers that it is much cheaper to order it from B&H (and give Mike a bit of commission) than it is to order for a UK retailer, even once you've paid for VAT and shipping.

She got that glow? Then you probably looked at her through a Leica lens?! ;-)

I agree, there really should be a picture here.
You could have asked her to hold the camera if you needed an excuse.

(Sorry, but I am the founder of the Dirty Old Men's Association International, after all.)

Mike, congratulate me.
I saw one yesterday, and bought it today.
Your posts are to blame, apart from the thing itself.
By the way, mine is black.

@ Len: "I would be interested to hear comments from others on how satisfactory they find EVF's when they are really trying to engage with their subject..."

The feature of the E-M5 I find most appealing is its tiltable LCD finder. The to-the-eye OLED finders on the E-P3 (accessory) and the Sony NEX-7 are very handy in bright light. But the tilt-up high-res LCD of the NEX is really a terrific feature for, as Mike calls it, that "faux Rolleiflex experience". (This is completely different from the "flip-out" style LCDs on some dslrs.) I expect the E-M5's to be identical. I could write an entire column on just this topic, and your preferences may differ. But for me this is my preferred manner of shooting nearly everything. I miss it when I'm using a more conventional camera and despair when I have to put the camera to my face and peek through a little hole...like a peeping tom. Optical finders? So uninformative, so imprecise, so...C-20!

What? No photo of the sales lady ?!? What kind of photographer are you? Get back there and take a nice portrait, you owe it to us, Mike.

I see lots of people saying they've gone for MFT cameras to ease the pain on their shoulders caused by "brute" things like the 5D's. I also had problems with FF Canons, but I had them attached to things like the 70-200mm F2.8 L or 24-70 F2.8 L..... once I ditched those and moved to primes, I don't even notice the size of the 5D. And on top of that, the lenses are cheaper, and the quality is better..

I saw an EM-5 out in the wild in London yesterday. The guy who was photographing with it had just got it. It looks a lot better in real life than on pictures.

Well, I'm far from an Oly h8r (C5050, loved it, C8080, loved it even more!, E330, loved it even more!!, E-3, oh, wow, REALLY loved it---wonderful camera). But I was constantly disappointed with the m4/3 bodies by both Panny and Oly, and I didn't get one.

Instead, after an amazing windfall of money out of the clear blue, I went Sony FF, the A850---and I haven't looked back. As suspicious as I am about Sony corp (rightfully, I think. but even more so about Oly, now, I'm afraid...), I believe they are doing all the right things with their cameras.

And that includes my 6 week old NEX 7. just as the A850 was the FF camera I was waiting for (and drooling over and plotting about how to afford for more than a year...), so is the NEX 7 the small camera I've been waiting for for a long time. It's true that there's a lens deficit---that is, for lenses that scale to the camera properly, don't need adapters, don't have problems in the corners (although I went ahead and snapped up 3 CV lenses, 15, 21 and 35 f2.5...and they are a joy to use, just a hassle in color in PP...). But that lens deficit is already changing---witness the Sigma 30 f2.8 for $200 giving performance that rivals lenses 4x and more x the price. And it will continue to change.

The only thing I miss is IBIS. So, call me an OMD....yawner. After IBIS, the NEX 7 blows the OMD away as a photographic (and video!) tool. And it does indeed fit in my jacket pocket...it is just an amazing instrument.

Hi,another one who bought it. Today i was in a store for a second handling, this time with the lumix 20mm. The shop owner made me such a good offer, so i could not resist. The camera is very good to operate, but menu-diving is a pita. Some first shots in the evening showed wonderful colors, and i think the combination of this lens and olysensor is what i have been looking. Very nice!

You ordered it. I am insanely jealous! Alas, I can console myself that my E-PM1 with the Pany:Leica 45mm f/2.8 attached will fit into the not so big pocket of my spring jacket. I doubt that the M5 would fit, with the lens on. So there! :)

I have had mine for two weeks now. The guy who came by today for some of my now totally irrelevant Canon gear, he looked as much on my Oly as he did on the Canon glass. Can't blame him ;-)

i've made my living as a photographer for over 25 years and during that period of time have shot quite a few of the "agreed upon classics" and, to this day i still shoot with some of those cameras ..... today i did a shoot with the om-d switching off between a 25mm 1.4 panny leica and an old 25mm 0.95 c mount schneider . . . . the experience was so good it was humbling . . . . . the om-d is really a sweet little camera

I think the OM-D is a fine looking camera. My main gripe is the EVF hump, which is unusually large. I switched from the NEX-5N + EVF to the NEX-7 mainly to trim the height of the camera down, so that it works in smaller bags, and the Olympus' height kills if for me, as it isn't really any shorter than using the EVF on a Pen camera.

I am glad to see that Olympus added the tilt up LCD that us NEX users have been so fond of for a couple of years. Waist-level shooting is great!

For some odd reason, the option to stabilize the view through the EVF is turned off by default and hidden deep in the menus. You have to to menu *C and set Half Way Rls With IS to "On".

Once you do that, the view is as stable as it gets. Really impressive, and the results are equally impressive.

Got alpha 77 and Nex 5N with the eVf, I found the evf is working quite alright. High contrast still dark but you can judge quickly focus. With the peaking aid it is very good.

Also bought a Minolta alpha 7 as well and part of my shifting to Sony (really does not like the name of this company) and bring it to the walk.

It is not too bright (for a ISO 100 film ProFoto XL) and I really want the stabilization (of the film!) and also the manual x7/x14 features to judge the focus.

May be time to argue the one need the A900 scene is gone and waiting for the A99 instead of A990 then.

@Steve Jacob: I think the Canon G1X is an interesting combo as well. If it had a faster zoom lens (say f2.8 to 4) then it would cause more people to pause before buying a more sophisticated camera (like the OM-D et al).

The IS does look very promising, indeed:


At least in Nikon land the set of basic zooms (24-70/2.8, 70-200/2.8) is about $3300, whereas the set of fast primes (which 24, 35, 50, and 85 at f/1.4) is almost twice that, AND doesn't reach 200mm. (And are two stops faster, which is big). But really, they don't replace the 24-70 for all situations, or the 70-200 hardly at all.

Just wanted to chip in that I'm taking my X-Pro 1 and my 2005 Winning Blue NC soft top for a bout of Miatatherapy (thanks for that term!) myself, in a couple of days - 12 days in New Zealand's South Island. Much needed! And looking forward to quality time with the camera, nearly as much as I am the roads...

I am no longer "insanely jealous". I stopped at my local camera shop in Hartford, CT ("Camera Bar " - A great camera store, for over 48 years) to look at the M5. I thought they had only the 12-50mm and 14-42mm kits in stock, but wanted to see the M5, so at least I could see and feel one and determine if it was small enough for my needs. I looked at it and the size/weight was fine (it is heavier and bigger than my PM1, but still fits in the pockets of my shorts or jackets. ). I asked if they could order the body only. The answer was, oh we have a body only in stock. So now I am the happy and proud owner of a black M5! The choice of Black was easy, as that is all hey had

"I am no longer 'insanely jealous'."

Yes, but now *I* am!


Hi Mike, I placed my order after dithering between OMD and Xpro1 since both were first announced. The OMD won on the basis it was smaller and I have a few lens adapters I love the qualities of old Zeiss Canon FD and early Leica R lenses. I ordered the 12-50 black kit and was 'lucky' enough to get a body two weeks ago the lens could be another month! But so far I have to say it is one of the best cameras I have used in fifty years. Everything about it has been well thought through in a way that only traditional camera manufacturers know how, even the menu s/w is better than previous offerings. Mike, you will not be disappointed...

I'd just like to confirm the warnings seen elsewhere. Don't risk handling one of these unless you're prepared to spend the money. I went to take a look at the camera today. Now I own one (with the cheapo 12-50 zoom.)

Day one of Miatatherapy, I have three words for you. South. Island. Roads. That is all. (Get over here! Seriously!)

"(Get over here! Seriously!)"

It's a long drive from here.


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