Olympus has at long last announced the replacement for the ageing E-5 DSLR, but it might not be what people were expecting. Richard Sibley tests the micro four thirds OM-D E-M1. Read the Olympus OM-D E-M1 review...

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 review


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Olympus OM-D E-M1 review – Our verdict

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is one of the best micro four thirds-system cameras yet, so if this test makes it look like a serious camera, that’s because it is. The rugged-looking magnesium-alloy, weather-sealed body has all the features an enthusiast photographer (or professional, for that matter) would want, including little details like a PC flash socket.

E-series DSLR users may be a little disappointed that the line appears to have come to an end, but thankfully the E-M1’s phase-detection AF sensor works well in combination with the MMF-3 adapter and four thirds lenses.

Image quality has improved, although luminance noise appears at lower sensitivities than I would have hoped. However, it is still an excellent camera and images look good even at comparatively high ISO sensitivities.

Until now, photographers wanting a small CSC to replace a DSLR had few real options, but thanks to its features, build and handling, the E-M1 should be ideal.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 – Key features

The E-M1 has a flash-sync speed of 1/250sec, or 1/4000sec in Super FP Mode. It comes with a small detachable flash that can also act as a wireless controller for FL‑36R, FL‑50R, FL‑300R and FL‑600R wireless flashguns.

Dial mode switch
Switching between option 1 and 2 changes the functions of the front and rear dials.

Screen brightness
The 3in, 1.037-million-dot-resolution screen has seven different levels of brightness for a variety of shooting conditions.

Function button
This is easily accessed while shooting with your eye to the viewfinder, and can be used to change a number of different settings.

  1. 1. Olympus OM-D E-M1 at a glance:
  2. 2. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Using four thirds lenses
  3. 3. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Metering
  5. 5. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Dynamic range
  6. 6. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - White balance and colour
  7. 7. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Autofocus
  8. 8. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  10. 10. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - The competition
  11. 11. Olympus OM-D E-M1 review - Our verdict
  12. 12. Hands-on
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