The Olympus E-M1 is the most recent addition to the line-up of small system cameras (CSC) that Olympus offers. It is designed to meet the needs of both experienced photographers and amateurs.
It is intended to be used in addition to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 rather than in instead of it. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has been referred to in most contexts as the Olympus OM-D up to this point, but we will have to get used to referring to it as the Olympus E-M5.
In the part of Techradar devoted to camera reviews, we have already discussed these various models. The Olympus OM-D E-M5 was awarded four stars, while the more contemporary OM-D E-M10 was awarded five stars.
The new OM-D E-M1 from Olympus features a dual focusing system optimized for use with both Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds lenses. As a result, the company believes that this camera will be able to meet the requirements of both Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds enthusiast users.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Price
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Features
The 16-megapixel Live MOS sensor included in the OM-D E-M1 does not have a low-pass filter on top of it. This is a first for Olympus. Because of this, it ought to be able to record more detail than the first Olympus OM-D camera, the OM-D E-M5. In addition, we have been informed that the new TruPic VII image processor has been adjusted in such a way as to place a focus on the visibility of finer details at the price of an increased level of noise.
The new processing engine allows for the correction of lateral chromatic aberrations and sharpness optimization by the attached lens. In addition, the aperture is chosen (for Olympus lenses). Users should now be able to get the most out of their camera and lens combo.
According to Olympus, the E-M1 is not designed to be the most miniature camera on the market but is intended to have a size suitable for usage in professional settings. Therefore, it is pretty comparable in size to the OM-D E-M5. However, the front and rear grips have been redesigned to give a different appearance.
The thumb grip on the rear of the E-M1 is not as pronounced as on the E-M5, but the grip on the front of the camera is more significant, providing a better and more comfortable grasp. Moreover, when you hold it, it gives you a sense of complete safety.
It’s easy to assume that because something is significant, it must be robust, yet the E-M1 is surprisingly hardy despite its size. It has a solid, well-built feel and features seals that prevent dust and moisture from getting in. Additionally, functionality is ensured down to a temperature of -10 degrees Celsius. It’s a relief to know that none of Olympus’s latest lenses are susceptible to freezing.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Performance
Even though a sensor with 16 megapixels isn’t something to get excited about in this day and age (unless it’s in a full-frame retro-style Nikon SLR, of course), the E-M1 makes the most out of what it has to offer.
The images feature a high degree of detail, accompanied by vibrant, realistic colors; smooth gradations; and an overall stunning level of detail. However, the results of our resolution testing show that, except for the E-most M1’s sensitive settings, the E-M5 can resolve a greater level of detail than the E-M1. In addition, the noise is effectively controlled over the whole sensitivity range, and the color saturation is maintained adequately, even at the highest sensitivity levels.
The results are awe-inspiring when the maximum sensitivity option is used, which is ISO 25,600. Even when viewed at 100%, the photographs have very little noise, and the softening is kept to a reasonably local level. However, even when the sensitivity is set to a sufficiently low level, some luminance noise is still apparent.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Image Quality
Throughout the test, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 generated photographs of an exceptionally high standard. The Natural image option produces vivid colors without being gaudy or too saturated, and the dynamic range is excellent in this setting.
Noise is exceptionally well controlled from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, and it does not often become an issue until ISO 3200, which is an exceptional performance for a Micro Four Thirds camera. Only the two fastest settings, ISO 12800 and 25600, are suffering from noise. However, ISO 3200 and 6400 may still be used.
Even when the camera is being held manually at slow shutter rates or when a hand-held video is being shot, the image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well. Including Art Filters on a high-end prosumer camera may seem like an unexpected choice. Still, these filters allow you to create extraordinary effects requiring you to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom without them.
The camera is exceptionally well adapted to infrared photography. The Live View Boost option allows you to frame your images via an R72 filter, and the autofocus mechanism continues to function even if the camera is being used in this mode.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Specs
|4608 x 3456
|Image ratio w h
|1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
|Sensor photo detectors
|Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
|sRGB, Adobe RGB
|Color filter array
|Primary color filter
|100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
|Boosted ISO (minimum)
|White balance presets
|Custom white balance
|Image stabilization notes
|JPEG quality levels
|Super Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
|JPEG (DCF/Exif)Raw (ORF)MPO
|Sharpness, contrast, saturation
|Optics & Focus
|Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
|Autofocus assist lamp
|Yes (with focus peaking)
|Number of focus points
|Micro Four Thirds
|Focal length multiplier
|0.74× (0.37× 35mm equiv.)
|Minimum shutter speed
|Maximum shutter speed
|auto program AEAperture PriorityShutter PriorityManualBulbTimeScene SelectArt Filter
|Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye conversion lens, Wide conversion lens, Macro Conv., 3D
|No (compact external flash included)
|Yes (hot-shoe, wireless)
|Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Redeye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
|Flash X sync speed
|Single, sequential H, sequential L, self-timer (2 or 12 secs, custom)
|Yes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
|±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
|±2 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
|Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, and 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
|1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
|H.264, Motion JPEG
|USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
|Yes (micro HDMI)
|802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
|Yes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
|Yes (Dust, splash, freeze resistant)
|BLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
|Battery Life (CIPA)
|Weight (inc. batteries)
|497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
|130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48″)
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Verdict
Olympus views the OM-D E-M1 as the successor of the E-5, the company’s most recent high-end single-lens reflex camera. It has high hopes that it can convince devoted users of SLR cameras to make the conversion to a camera that is smaller, more lightweight, and easier to carry.
Olympus appears to have a good chance of achieving its goals, given that the E-M1 has an extensive feature set and its handling has been well considered. Additionally, it possesses the appearance and weight of a “proper camera.”
It is weather-sealed, which allows it to be used regardless of the circumstances, it has plenty of straightforward controls that are easy to reach, and it has almost all of the capabilities that a photography enthusiast might desire from a good walk-around camera.
It offers such a vast array of capabilities that it is quite conceivable that some photographers will continue to discover new modes and settings even after they have purchased the product.