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OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions
  
 
Jman13
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Well, I have the E-M1 in my hands for a week, and took it out for a tiny bit of a spin last night. Thought I'd do a first impressions type post and add any other pertinent thoughts leading up to my full review.

The camera:






While I admit it isn't the best looking camera from the front, it looks good from the back, and that's how you see it when you're using it. The grip and rear thumb rest/grip is also extremely comfortable. The contouring of the grip conforms exactly to the way I hold a camera. Really nice. If you have larger hands, you'll probably wish the camera was about a 1/2 inch taller, though.

It is a small camera, though a little larger than the E-M5. It's a good compromise in size for comfortable use of controls without being too big (like the GH3).







There are so many buttons and dials and switches and direct controls that it can be a bit overwhelming. I spent a while setting the camera up to my preferences, and I'm starting to get a feel for where everything is, but it'll be a bit of a learning process. The good news is that all the controls are very accessible and fall to your fingers naturally. I have a feeling when I start remembering to flick the 1/2 switch back to position 1 after changing the ISO, I'll start operating this thing very quickly.

Needless to say, the camera is exceptionally well built. It's completely solid without a single creak or flex anywhere in the body. It just feels like you're holding a solid block of metal (with a comfy rubber grip). The mode dial has a great resistance and the push button lock is a great idea. I don't generally lock my dials, but being able to choose whether it's locked or not is nice.

AF is predictably fast. I haven't had time to extensively test continuous AF, but I did do some limited testing. Indoors with my daughter running full bore at me in dim light with the 25/1.4 yielded basically nothing of use. Of course, this would be hard for any camera. Outdoors, I did test the AF on some passing cyclists and it performed pretty well. I had a few series where the camera didn't quite pick up tracking, though that could be just as much my fault as the camera's. On this sequence, I took 7 shots, and all 7 are in perfect focus, at near 100mm, f/2.8. The shot below is the final shot in the sequence. While not an ultra challenging test, it's the first time I've used a mirrorless camera that could do this.







Image quality at first blush looks the same as the E-M5. Some noise at base ISO, good dynamic range and color. I have to say, I'm beginning to be spoiled by the output of my Fuji cameras, as with the E-M1 and the GX7, my first thought when viewing base ISO images is "Wow, these are pretty noisy." Of course, they are fine, and will never show noise in a print or on screen at this ISO, but I do notice it more when I've gone through a stretch shooting with my Fuji cams, and since I got the Speed Booster and such, I actually hadn't shot with any of my m4/3 stuff since I finished my GX7 review.

Overall, though, my first impression is that I really like this camera. The GX7 I liked a lot too, but it took me about 5 days to really start to dig it. This took about 10 minutes. It's wonderfully constructed and gives you so much control at your fingertips. The remote control aspect on WiFi is improved over the E-P5 too, so that's a nice surprise....essentially the same level of control as the Panasonic cameras over WiFi now.

Three other quick shots from last night (not a great night for artistic merit from me):












My daughter acting like a doofus (she was making all sorts of strange stares into the camera. Love it.)






Edited on Nov 08, 2013 at 02:12 PM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2013 at 01:50 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


I see somebody feeding one of our "agents" from Canada. It's how we keep tabs on the NSA.


Nov 08, 2013 at 01:55 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


I was lucky enough to be there for a secret 'dropoff' to your agent.


Nov 08, 2013 at 02:13 PM
httivals
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Jordan: I recently got the EM1 as well. My impression, without doing side by side comparisons, is that it is quite a bit sharper than the E5, which I attribute to the lack of an AA filter. I've turned off all default sharpening in lightroom and it still seems sharper. Maybe it's my imagination. I've thus far only tried it with the 25mm f1.4. . . . What are your impressions about whether the lack of AA filter affects the resolution/sharpness?



Nov 08, 2013 at 02:17 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


To be honest with you, at first blush things seem a little softer. Need to shoot a lot more.


Nov 08, 2013 at 02:18 PM
bcaslis
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


FYI, the default JPEG sharpening on the E-M1 is less than the E-M5. So if you are looking at JPEGs it will seem a little softer than E-M5 images. But it has as much or more detail if you increase sharpening or look at RAW.



Nov 08, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


I'm definitely looking at RAW. Basically, what I'm saying is that I see very little difference. I will do a side by side with the E-M5 at some point, but I don't think it's a big difference.


Nov 08, 2013 at 02:34 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Jman13 wrote:
If you have larger hands, you'll probably wish the camera was about a 1/2 inch taller, though.


I solved this problem quite by accident. I wanted an L-plate so I ordered one from RRS. The L-plate fits the entire base of the camera and adds 1/2 inch so your 3 fingers will rest very comfortably on the grip. And, of course, you can change the battery without having to take the plate off - unlike the E-M5's horizontal grip.







Edited on Nov 09, 2013 at 12:55 AM · View previous versions



Nov 08, 2013 at 04:46 PM
millsart
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Jman13 wrote:
I'm definitely looking at RAW. Basically, what I'm saying is that I see very little difference. I will do a side by side with the E-M5 at some point, but I don't think it's a big difference.


Agreed, I really had high hopes that the removal of the AA filter would present some advantages over what I used to get with the old OM-D but I really saw no differences in general shooting.

I think if you do a side by side of the cameras on certain subjects you may be able to detect a slight resolution gain, but it seems quite subject specific .

There was certainly no "wow factor" with the EM-5 in terms of resolution advantage, as if suddenly a veil had been lifted off my lenses or anything like that.

Steve Huff mentioned that he felt the 17mm f1.8 suddenly went from decent to a stellar performer and that those who weren't pleased with it previously needed to try it on the new camera but I certainly didn't find that to be my experience.

Plenty of great new features on the E-M1 and its totally worth the price of upgrading, IMO, but improvements in IQ just didn't seem to be there..



Nov 08, 2013 at 05:31 PM
bobbytan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


+1. Don't expect any difference in IQ or you will be disappointed. In terms of ergonomics, handling, feature set and looks, the difference is night and day. My friends refer to my E-M5 as a "Nancy-boy" camera. Well, the E-M1 is certainly no Nancy-boy camera. It's like an E-M5 clad in an armor suit - ready for battle. It looks every bit as serious as any DSLR and would not be out of place in a wedding shoot. I was hoping the E-M5 Mk II would have the ergonomics and feel of a GH3 ... and Olympus made it even better, so I am a happy camper!

millsart wrote:
Agreed, I really had high hopes that the removal of the AA filter would present some advantages over what I used to get with the old OM-D but I really saw no differences in general shooting.

I think if you do a side by side of the cameras on certain subjects you may be able to detect a slight resolution gain, but it seems quite subject specific .

There was certainly no "wow factor" with the EM-5 in terms of resolution advantage, as if suddenly a veil had been lifted off my lenses or anything like that.

Steve Huff mentioned that he felt
...Show more



Nov 08, 2013 at 05:40 PM
 

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fsiagian
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Jman13 wrote:
... I'm beginning to be spoiled by the output of my Fuji cameras, as with the E-M1 and the GX7, my first thought when viewing base ISO images is "Wow, these are pretty noisy." Of course, they are fine, and will never show noise in a print or on screen at this ISO, but I do notice it more when I've gone through a stretch shooting with my Fuji cams, and since I got the Speed Booster and such, I actually hadn't shot with any of my m4/3 stuff since I finished my GX7 review.



Would you please elaborate further? Does it mean that Fuji's IQ at base ISO is much cleaner or the same?

Thanks for the review.



Nov 08, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Yes, Fuji's base ISO is much cleaner than the E-M1's. The E-M1 still has very good image quality, but there is a fine grained noise even at base ISO. Overall, it doesn't impact prints until you start getting really big, and has no impact on screen viewing, so it's not a big deal, but it is there.

IBIS works really well, as you'll see below, but again, like the E-P5, shutter shock seems to be a concern from about 1/50s to 1/160s. Don't know what they did to the IBIS with this iteration, but I never have this issue with my E-M5 (or if I do, it's so imperceptible as to be essentially invisible). With the E-P5 and now the E-M1, I'm having shots physically blurred by the IS due to shutter shock in these shutter ranges.

Some other shots:

9-18, Handheld:






35-100:






9-18:









Nov 08, 2013 at 08:46 PM
millsart
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Jordan, is that Indian Run falls over in Dublin ?


Nov 08, 2013 at 08:50 PM
carstenw
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


That red bush shot is terrific!


Nov 08, 2013 at 08:51 PM
Jman13
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


millsart wrote:
Jordan, is that Indian Run falls over in Dublin ?


Yes.



Nov 08, 2013 at 08:53 PM
fsiagian
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Thanks for the explanation I love the red bush shot too and it's a little sexy camera.


Nov 08, 2013 at 09:07 PM
bcaslis
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


FYI, Lightroom 5.3 RC was released today. Color profile is better than 5.2, but still not as good as OOC JPEGs.



Nov 09, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Spyro P.
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


with the L-plate it looks much better


Nov 09, 2013 at 12:48 AM
millsart
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


Spyro P. wrote:
with the L-plate it looks much better


That or the 75/1.8



Nov 09, 2013 at 01:56 AM
bobbytan
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · OM-D E-M1 Rolling Impressions


millsart wrote:
That or the 75/1.8


Both! I had the silver 75/1.8 but I sold it to get the black version. Lost $200 but it's worth it to me, as the black version looks so much sexier on a black body.


Edited on Nov 09, 2013 at 04:45 AM · View previous versions



Nov 09, 2013 at 04:40 AM
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