When Olympus released the OM-D E-M5 Micro 4/3 camera, it quickly became one of the most popular image making machines on the market, and is arguably the first camera that made pro photographers begin to consider moving away from their bulky DSLR gear in favor of the smaller and lighter M43 setup. Who could blame them, as the OM-D E-M5 had so much going for it. It was small and light, but still had a rugged, professional grade, weather sealed build quality; and the images produced by the camera are nothing short of breathtaking.
Now, Olympus have launched the follow up to this highly popular camera – the all new Olympus OM-D E-M1. Yes, they’ve stepped backwards in model number, but does the OM-D E-M1 represent a leap forward in performance?
The Camera Store‘s Chris Niccolls got his hands on the E-M1 and took it our for a hands on field test (video above) to see just how the new camera stacks up to it’s predecessor. In this test, the TCS crew “heads out to the famous Okotoks Big Rock to check out the handling, features and image quality of one of this year’s coolest mirrorless cameras.”
My 2 Cents
While the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is justifiably popular, the new OM-D E-M1 does , indeed, represent a step forward from the previous model. It packs everything you loved about the E-M5 into a body that’s about the same size and maintains the E-M5’s cool retro styling, but with a much more substantial grip (i.e. – no need to purchase an extra battery grip) and intuitively laid out on body controls, as well as a high resolution EVF and tiltable touch screen. The top notch image quality and rock solid in body image stabilization are still there too, with some new auto tracking features added in for good measure.
The OM-D E-M1 has decent video capabilities and can be used as a Hybrid Camera as well, but it’s not on the same level of Panasonic’s Lumix GH3 in that regard (the GH3 is still the best Hybrid Camera available today) and is better suited for still photo first shooters, who will get some amazing images from this camera.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a fantastic camera that rightfully takes it’s place as Olympus’ new flagship camera. At $1,399.00 USD, it’s priced at the high end in this category, and pro and enthusiast photographers may also want to consider less expensive alternatives such as the aforementioned Panasonic Lumix GH3, the Panasonic Lumix GX7 or even the E-M1’s predecessor, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which is still one of the finest camera’s on the market today. Another camera in the E-M1’s price range that’s worthy of consideration is the new Fujifilm X-E2. All comparisons aside, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a tremendous camera that produces outstanding images, and we’re awarding it with our Editor’s Choice Status.