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Old Tuesday 10th September 2013, 09:49   #1
NoSpringChicken
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Olympus OM-D EM-1

The rumours have finally been confirmed and Olympus has just launched the new OM-D EM1 micro four thirds camera. After a quick scan of the specs I think it looks brilliant.

It is the new flagship semi-pro model in the OM-D range with a magnesium body and weather sealing and has a new sensor incorporating on-chip phase detecting focusing elements. This means that the existing four thirds lenses are reputed to focus just as quickly and accurately as the micro versions. An adapter is required to fit four thirds lenses and that is being included free when pre-ordering, along with the new bespoke battery grip. That is very good news for my existing four thirds lenses. It would allow me to buy a body only without having to purchase new lenses and then add micro four thirds glass later as desired. There is also a new 12-40 zoom lens available, with a higher spec 40-150 f2.8 coming next year.

I am very tempted! The DP Review First Impressions Review is here.

Ron

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Old Tuesday 10th September 2013, 16:40   #2
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This is definitely an interesting concept. I am looking forward to reviews of how good the new continuous hybrid AF mode is. The road map on the rumor site saying that there will be some new supertele as well (maybe a 300f4) makes it even more interesting (even though my personal preference would be something like a 150-450 f4-whatever).

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Old Tuesday 10th September 2013, 16:44   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoSpringChicken View Post
This means that the existing four thirds lenses are reputed to focus just as quickly and accurately as the micro versions.
DP Review says the micro 4/3rds lenses focused faster; though focusing was still good with 4/3rds.
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Old Tuesday 10th September 2013, 16:50   #4
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Big plusses for me include an excellent, big EVF and focus peaking. Both of which should make manual focusing considerably easier. Continuous autofocus is supposed be DSLR standard, so at least in theory that should make it much better for birds in flight. No anti-aliasing filter should mean better image quality in theory. There's also some special image processing corrections for specific lenses, but this only applies to Olympus lenses.

Minuses include cost ($1399 body only), weight and bulk. It's still a small camera compared to a DSLR, but c. 3 oz heavier than my G3.

Both this and the Panny GX-7 look to be excellent upgrade options. I'll have to see thorough reviews before deciding which one I prefer.

Here's an early informal review of EM-1:

http://blog.mingthein.com/2013/09/10...e-m1-review-1/
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2013, 18:21   #5
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I never was very good at resisting temptation, so I have placed my order for an E-M1 body, mainly to take advantage of the pre-order offer of a free MMF-3 adapter and an HLD-7 battery grip.

I don't own any m4/3 lenses at the moment, so I hope the adapter arrives at the same time as the body. It will be interesting to see how the camera performs with my 50-200 SWD and EC-14.


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Old Wednesday 11th September 2013, 20:30   #6
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In one of the reviews it stated that tracking AF was at about the same quality as in a camera of the D200 generation, which means not quite as good as in a D600 or D800 (I think these comparisons all are to Nikon). Everything else seems quite good.

Niels
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2013, 22:48   #7
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Is it odd that the upgrade of the OM-D E-M5 is called the OM-D E-M1? Where does the numbering go from here?

Looking at the side by side comparison of the two on dpreview, they seem similar, apart from the phase detection, double the resolution EVF, and focus peaking. Significant things, but is there anything else? ISO performance seems similar.

What exactly is focus peaking? Will this help with manual focusing? I'm wondering how this camera would perform for me using ancient manual focus lenses compared to my E-520. The EVF resolution sounds very usable now, and perhaps this focus peaking would be useful.
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Old Wednesday 11th September 2013, 23:35   #8
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DPReview's initial testing suggests that the AF performance with adapted four third lenses is on par with the Canon 70D's live view performance, which is to say fast but slightly slower than native micro 4/3 lenses on a modern micro 4/3 camera. Let us know how you find the performance!
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 01:09   #9
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Jim linked to a review by Ming Thein that on page two has a comparison table to several different cameras including the EM5.

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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 01:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pshute View Post
Is it odd that the upgrade of the OM-D E-M5 is called the OM-D E-M1? Where does the numbering go from here?

Looking at the side by side comparison of the two on dpreview, they seem similar, apart from the phase detection, double the resolution EVF, and focus peaking. Significant things, but is there anything else? ISO performance seems similar.

What exactly is focus peaking? Will this help with manual focusing? I'm wondering how this camera would perform for me using ancient manual focus lenses compared to my E-520. The EVF resolution sounds very usable now, and perhaps this focus peaking would be useful.
The E-M1 is not intended as an updated successor to the E-M5 it is supposed to be a "pro" camera that is the pinnacle of the Olympus line. It is slightly larger, has a more robust grip, and more physical buttons. Rumor has it that an update to the E-M5 will be released next year.

"Focus peaking" is indeed designed to assist manual focusing. Areas that are in focus are outlined in the viewfinder in black or white (other cameras allow you to choose even more colors). Most people think it is quite useful, though others find it less so.

There are a number of differences between the two cameras mentioned in the reviews other than those you mention; but nothing that earthshaking. One of particular interest to bird photographers is the ability to select different size focus targets; many have complained that the focus area on the EM-5 is too large. I think the jury is still out on the extent to which the EM-1 has improved image quality.

Best,
Jim
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 02:34   #11
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The comparison table by Ming Thein I mentioned can also be found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mingthein/9666604337/

The two things I have noticed from his review that is most interesting to me is one stop better high iso performance and the tracking AF that he says is usable on this camera as (this is paraphrased) the first m4/3 camera where it actually works.

Niels
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 03:12   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim M. View Post
"Focus peaking" is indeed designed to assist manual focusing. Areas that are in focus are outlined in the viewfinder in black or white (other cameras allow you to choose even more colors). Most people think it is quite useful, though others find it less so.
Does it work well enough for flight shots?
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Old Thursday 12th September 2013, 05:14   #13
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Does it work well enough for flight shots?
I have not personally used a camera with focus peaking yet, but I don't think of it as being that relevant for flight shots. I think most people favor continuous autofocus for flight shots rather than manual focus. And the improvements in that regard in the EM-1 are quite promising for flight shots. But I suppose if you do favor manual focus for flight shots, it would probably help.

Best,
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 03:41   #14
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43rumors.com had this little notice today:
Quote:
And our reader BLI (Thanks!) just noted an important change at Dpreview AF first impression article. Dpreview originally suggested that the AF of 43 lenses was *slower* on the E-M1 than on the E-5. It now seems like they have changed their opinion: they state that their first claim was based on “memory” of using E-5, not actual comparison. After reusing 43 lenses on the E-5, they tend to suggest equally fast AF for 43 lenses.
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 03:57   #15
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And a link to this review which I found interesting: http://robinwong.blogspot.it/2013/09...iew-image.html

Niels
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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 09:11   #16
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And a link to this review which I found interesting: http://robinwong.blogspot.it/2013/09...iew-image.html

Niels
Thanks for that link Niels. I like Robin Wong's reviews which always give a good idea of what it is like using the camera in a real life situation.

The Continuous AF results with the m4/3 lens look very promising. I don't expect the 4/3 lenses to perform as well but, hopefully, they shouldn't be too far behind.

Those macro images are stunning.

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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 15:32   #17
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I agree on the look of those macros!

I would have liked him to use a longer lens when doing the tracking, simply because it would be a bigger challenge for the camera (I think)

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Old Friday 13th September 2013, 15:41   #18
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I would have liked him to use a longer lens when doing the tracking, simply because it would be a bigger challenge for the camera (I think)
He says that he will be using 4/3 lenses for his next review, so perhaps he will use the 50-200 SWD.

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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 19:40   #19
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will pretend that i did not see this, and convince my self that i am a happy owner of E5 and EPL5 and i should not think of any change.

i think i will be sick of frustration.
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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 21:09   #20
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The E-M1 does look like a beautifully designed camera! I am pleased to see Olympus re-committing to the "serious" or semi-pro micro 4/3 concept, and I will be tempted to upgrade from the E-M5. For me personally, the most appealing new features are the slight increase in size with a bigger built-in hand grip, better ergonomics overall with more space for buttons, and more direct controls for easier adjustments without looking at the camera, better EVF, focus-peaking, and built-in WiFi with remote camera control from a mobile device. The improved autofocus is also nice but less important to me because I use a Nikon D7100 system for telephoto/autofocus bird photography. I don't think the new E-M1 sensor will show significant or noticeably better image quality over the E-M5.

But still, all of that together is tempting. Damn... Even if I sell my E-M5 it would only cover less than half the cost of the E-M1... I'll probably wait for now. I think I'll try to wait until the Fuji X-Pro2 comes out (could be a while yet), and decide then whether to stick with Olympus & micro 4/3 for my smaller camera system or move to a slightly larger or perhaps equally compact APS-C system.

--Dave

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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 21:38   #21
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will pretend that i did not see this, and convince my self that i am a happy owner of E5 and EPL5 and i should not think of any change.

i think i will be sick of frustration.
I don't think you really need an E-M1 Duha. You get some magnificent images with the E5 AND EPL5. On the other hand I need all the help I can get.

Ron
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Old Saturday 14th September 2013, 21:47   #22
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The E-M1 does look like a beautifully designed camera! I am pleased to see Olympus re-committing to the "serious" or semi-pro micro 4/3 concept, and I will be tempted to upgrade from the E-M5. For me personally, the most appealing new features are the slight increase in size with a bigger built-in hand grip, better ergonomics overall with more space for buttons, and more direct controls for easier adjustments without looking at the camera, better EVF, focus-peaking, and built-in WiFi with remote camera control from a mobile device. The improved autofocus is also nice but less important to me because I use a Nikon D7100 system for telephoto/autofocus bird photography. I don't think the new E-M1 sensor will show significant or noticeably better image quality over the E-M5.
I think you have summed up the appealing features of the E-M1 very well Dave. I don't think there is much point updating from the E-M5 at the moment as I doubt that there will be any great improvement in the image quality.

My E-30 is four years old and, although I really like the handling, the sensor is now lagging well behind the latest models. It also developed a fault in the on/off switch recently and, although I managed to cure that, I don't trust it completely. It just felt as if it was the right time to invest in a new camera.

I have downloaded the Owners' Manual and, boy, it is complicated. Every control is programmable and can be set up in different ways. I hope I can get my head around it when it arrives!

Ron

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Old Sunday 15th September 2013, 17:50   #23
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I'm tempted to get the e-m1 as my e510 is on it's last legs. It' a bit pricey though, but might work out cheaper than selling all my lenses and switching to a different system.
I'm hoping to try one out with my lenses including the crucial Bigma next Saturday.

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Old Sunday 15th September 2013, 18:50   #24
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I'm tempted to get the e-m1 as my e510 is on it's last legs. It' a bit pricey though, but might work out cheaper than selling all my lenses and switching to a different system.
I'm hoping to try one out with my lenses including the crucial Bigma next Saturday.

Mick
Hi Mick you have the 4/3 Bigma ?
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Old Sunday 15th September 2013, 18:57   #25
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Yes. Got one from ebay last year.
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