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OlympusOM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only)
 
4.6

(based on 194 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (140)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (35)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (9)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

90%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (126)
  • Large clear LCD (109)
  • Great resolution (102)
  • Fast shutter speed (93)
  • Easy to use (90)

Cons

  • Short battery life (46)
  • Complicated controls (26)
  • Poor in low light (5)
  • Lag / shutter delay (4)
  • Poor image quality (4)

Best Uses

  • Travel (126)
  • Family photos (83)
  • Macro photography (66)
  • Low light (65)
  • Wildlife (56)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (79), Semi-pro photographer (42), Pro photographer (27), Casual photographer (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (152)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

The light choice

During almost 20 years of retirement I've been a dedicated Canon user (20D, 40D, 5DMk3), and I have, without complaint, toted a heavy equipment load during world travels and nature treks....Read complete review

During almost 20 years of retirement I've been a dedicated Canon user (20D, 40D, 5DMk3), and I have, without complaint, toted a heavy equipment load during world travels and nature treks. Recently on a forest path as I held focus with a massive telephoto lens on a pair of pileated woodpeckers, my arms just gave out. Age had caught up with me. I began looking for the very lightest, yet heaviest-duty camera I could find. I settled on the Olympus OMD E-M1.
Pros:
1. It's really light, almost negligible in the hand. The heaviest thing in my pack is the M Zuiko 12-40 pro lens.
2. On the body are 7 buttons to directly access functions. With a button press and a dial twist, I can adjust preview, white balance, sequential shooting, self-timer, HDR, exposure, focus, and on and on. I find one of the most useful to be the highlight/shadow control button.
3. Because the system is mirrorless, live view is permanently live, and a zoom feature permits zooming way in on an image for precise focusing.
4. Image stabilization is rock solid, the best I've ever seen.
5. There are many options for tweaking results and function; I count over 100 menu choices.
6. Image quality is on the whole very fine. Color and clarity are probably as good as a 1/2 sized CMOS can currently get. I find noise needs the most careful attention: "High" NR is necessary at ISO 800. At 1600 and above NR will need serious software massaging.
7. The accompanying software, Olympus Viewer 3, is excellent. I am content to use it until Lightroom accepts the E-M1 raw image.
Cons
1. The battery seems to want to run out. I have shut down everything permitted and take only fleeting glances at my completed shots to insure composition, exposure and focus, but I've yet to complete a day's outing without a battery winning its race to dead.
2. It's small. There's no room for my thumb among all the buttons and dials. I've had to disable direct access for the function 1 button and the arrow pad. An accessory battery pack would preclude my L plate attachment.
3. See number 5 above. I expect my learning curve to flatten long before all the options become relevant.
The flower shot was done with the Zuiko 60 mm macro lens focused at 1:1, f11, 2.5 sec, ISO 100. The rivershot was done with the 12-40 pro lens, 12 mm 1/60 sec, ISO 100. On the whole, I'm very glad to have the new light weight system.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

A killer flaw in the EVF

I could say so many good things about this camera: AF, IBIS, handling, construction, resolution,.... But would be a waste of time. Because the camera has a huge flaw...Read complete review

I could say so many good things about this camera: AF, IBIS, handling, construction, resolution,.... But would be a waste of time. Because the camera has a huge flaw on its EVF (viewfinder): you can easily damage it. Very easily. Several users, including myself, got strange, permanent green spots in the EVF. It *seems* this is caused by the sun being amplified by the EVF loupe and burning the EVF screen. The problem is that this can happen in an instant, even while your camera is off and hanging off your shoulder. The worst part: despite a very well known and documented flaw, Olympus has remained completely silent about this huge issue, so users are not even sure about how to prevent it. Some users are even trying to protect their EVFs by strange means: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/53896750So, unless you only use the rear LCD screen, or only shoot indoors, I would think twice before buying this camera. There are other great m43rds options available. If interested, please see the images attached of my burned EVF and search in dpreview.com m43rds forum to know more about the issue.

Reviewed by 194 customers

Displaying reviews 1-20

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very flexible and powerful little camera

By Ted

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

I am very happy with this E-M1. There is a pretty steep learning curve because this camera can be customized to many shooting styles. It's very comfortable to hold and takes tack sharp photos. I teamed this body with the 12-40 2.8 pro lens. AWESOME results. he M1 is a very powerful little camera. Love it, and would recommend its purchase. Once you try it as a backup camera, you just might switch it to primary.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great camera

By Olha

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

The camera is great. I use it with the latest 14-150mm as all-around lens. It is very good overall, but struggles in low light. I am about to buy 85mm f/1.4 for it as my first prime. E-M1 has tons of useful settings, although it takes time to adjust. Not everything is intuitive or easy to access, but customizations are possible. I like that lenses are smaller and lighter than most APS-С lenses. MFT performance and quality might be worse, but difference is not important for non-professional use.

(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Solid!

By prymsnap

from Glenview, IL

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

A solid step up from my EM10, although I'll still turn to the smaller camera for "pocket" use. Recent firmware upgrade makes it even better.

(0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

One Small Issue, Otherwise It's Golden

By Laura

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

Olympus does not disappoint; it's a beautiful camera, comfortable to hold, not difficult to get accustomed to. However, the white balance seems way off, and I've tried everything to fix it. Every photo, unless it's taken in broad daylight, has an ugly yellow tint and I have to correct every single photo in Lightroom, which is a pain. I've already changed settings and troubleshooted, so I'm not sure what the issue is. However, every other aspect of the camera is dynamite, and I would purchase again.

 
5.0

5 star camera

By Suzanne

from undisclosed

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

Great camera. Has a lot of nice features.

(0 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

I don't when my puchurse come in vietnam

By Nguyen

from Undisclosed

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

I have placed an order with you but I can not contact the company. I want to know when the order is sent.

(2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Excellent Handling and Output

By JR24

from Virginia

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

Right-sized and comfortable when compared to full-frame bodies. In-camera jpgs and the 5-axis IBIS are excellent. Continuous autofocus needs attention, but overall a fine product.

(2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fine Camera

By JR24

from VA

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

Not much to add here that hasn't been said, this is a terrific camera. With the Mark II version scheduled for arrival soon, this will be the backup body.

(1 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

 
1.0

Failed after two days

By Frank

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

Purchased this camera and after two days use (250 pictures), consistently was prompted to "Please check stats of a lens" error.  Camera was then unusable after several attempts to resolve issue.  Sent camera and 12-40/2.8 Pro lens back to Olympus for repair.  Will post update to this review when camera and lens is returned.

(6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Nice compliment to the EM5II

By TS_59

from Kalamazoo Michigan

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

I use this camera as an avid enthusiast. I was pretty much on board with Olympus image quality and ergonomics so was pleased when the price dropped on the EM1. While a bit bigger than the EM5II the grip is easy to hold onto. I will have this camera for a while!

(6 of 23 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

not quite ready for prime time

By Bill

from Undisclosed

Site Member

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

Previously I have shot Nikon film cameras and Canon digital (various FF and cropped sensors), but wanted to migrate to lighter gear for travel.  I’m a serious hobbyist, primarily shooting landscapes and wildlife. 
I’ve had Olympus kit for over a year now, and made three extensive wildlife trips in that time.  The gear was purchased gradually and now consists of two M1 bodies, an M5mkII body, and all the pro lenses except the 8mm fisheye, plus the 1.4X extender.  The M1 bodies typically have the 300/4 and 40-150 attached to them, and the wide stuff goes on the M5 where focus is less critical and I might benefit from the more flexible screen.
There’s a lot to like about mirrorless, and those attributes are well documented elsewhere.  Olympus in particular has a good package with the in-body stabilization and excellent lens selection.  The build quality is good and I can attest that the dust sealing really works well.  The fact that the slip-up lens hood on the 40-150 works even with a 72-77mm step-up ring installed was a pleasant surprise.  People put some serious thought into the mechanics as well as the optics.
Different menu controls and layout always take some getting used to.  The documentation, as with any of the camera manufacturers, is of help primarily telling you what the buttons are rather than why they exist and how to get the most out of the camera in given situations.  With Canon and Nikon there’s a lot of 3rd party documentation to fall back on for this information, but extremely limited for Olympus.
There are a lot of controls directed at so-called art filters for both still and video work.  Sadly this has taken up effort best directed elsewhere for me; I shoot RAW stills and a bit of video and would never think of creating a treatment or editing in the field.  The 1-2 mode switch at the back can provide quick access to switch the wheels to ISO and WB.  ISO control is critical.  WB control is not needed when shooting RAW but is paired with ISO and no option to substitute anything else. 
The back AEL/AFL button needs to be larger and have a more positive feel.  I have both bodies set up for back-button focus, typically on C-AF, so I really need to feel this more clearly.  Even when I am sure I’m pressing it, there is not always the AF confirmation square in the viewfinder.  The frame looks in focus, so I shot anyway only to find out it wasn’t focussed.  No idea why not, but I suspect it couldn’t handle the low contrast.  My shooting partners did not have this problem with their Canon and Nikon gear.
While still on AF, the tracking mode for C-AF just doesn’t seem to work at all.  AF works most of the time, but really struggles as soon as the light fades or the subject has low contrast.  This is a significant problem shooting wildlife at dawn and dusk and many opportunities were lost on recent trips.  It might be easier to see the lack of focus if the viewfinder had higher resolution, equivalent to an optical viewfinder.  I’m always expecting some disappointments on review, often where I have made mistakes, but with these cameras/lenses there were just too many out-of-focus images compared to previous trips with my Canon gear. 
It seems crazy to have to resort to MF, but problems here as well.  Having set the Fn2 button for Magnify function, this does not first work with your eye to the viewfinder, only when you take your eye away and the screen comes on.  Then it works, either from the screen or now through the viewfinder.  But then the green magnify marker won’t go away; it’s always present until you switch the camera off.  This is unacceptable behaviour, easily curable with a 3-second timer.  Both E-M1 bodies do this so clearly a software bug rather than a bad button in a particular body.
A tip for those shooting with the PRO lenses from beanbags.  The MF/AF clutch is great, but can inadvertently be switched by dragging across the beanbag.  This was the cause of some out-of-focus shots.  I recommend disabling the clutch in the menu, and using the L-Fn button to change from AF to MF when needed.
A big issue for this camera is battery life.  Presumably in an effort to reduce camera size and weight, a smaller battery is used.  This was a bad compromise.  Olympus put a smaller capacity battery into a camera that consumes more power than my Canon 5DmkIII.  The Canon battery can easily last all day while I was popping in Olympus batteries on a regular basis.  Normally I would have the camera shut off quickly to save battery life, but out shooting wildlife you need the camera on and ready since wake-up time is too long.  Also recognize that the batteries are not inexpensive.  Making the camera bodies just a little bit bigger, but putting all that extra budget into the battery would make a huge difference.
Still regarding batteries is the inconsistent monitor indication.  A battery indicates low charge, but if you turn off the camera, take the battery out and put it back in again, it now shows fully charged.  But then it soon shows low charge again.  Another issue is when charging the batteries, sometimes the charging light does not go off, indicating that the battery is still charging.  I found that taking the battery out of the charger and putting it back in would then give an indication that charging was completed.  This is very frustrating when you have several batteries to charge and are waiting for the light to go out. 
Final verdict:  not quite ready for prime time wildlife shooting.  There are more than a few items to improve, but rather than further firmware upgrades we hear of an upcoming Mark II body.  So I’ll need to buy a new camera body to get the performance I thought I’d get with my current E-M1.  The question is whether I put my faith in the E-M1 mkII, or switch back to Canon or Nikon.
Bill, from Ottawa

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Best Mirrorless MFT

By Pam

from Undisclosed

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

This is my second OMD E-M1 body. I have used my first E-M1 for 2 years and love it, especially the live view through the view finder and the size/weight aspects. When looking for a camera system for my husband I didn't think twice. Now we can share the pro lenses when we shoot together. When by myself I can use both bodies without changing lenses as often. Highly recommend this system.

 
5.0

Great and capable camera!

By BocaCat

from Boca Raton, FL

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

I have been following the micro 4/3 cameras for a while and have owned several throughout the years but none of them are as capable as the OMD-E-M1. It has all the bells and whistles and it produces great images with good glass. I have my eye on several Olympus pro lenses to complete this camera. I am hoping to retire my Canon 7D and replace it with this camera. Get one, you won't be disappointed!

(4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Fabulous & handy

By Brooklyn

from Brooklyn

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

Dual phase & contrast detection. 5 axis in body stabilization Small with built in grip. The 2.8 lenses from Panasonic work beautifully with Olympus camera. Similar Olympus lenses are fantastic. So you can have more than one lense company to choose from Very sharp, stabilization is a must. Traded in my Canons due to size & weight. Have been using zoom lenses only. Cary small extra batteries in my pocket. No need for extra grips. Stay light & small Try it you'll like it.

 
5.0

Olympus is King of MFT

By Chaos

from Tucson

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

Nice. Lots of features. Very flexibly configured. AND ONLY 17 ounces.

(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

I love my OM-D-EM1!!!

By Ohcorgis

from Hudson OH

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

I needed to have a more lightweight camera for walkabouts. I love this camera so much I barely use my big Nikons any more. The menu takes some getting used to, but once there you are set to go. I am very happy with my Olympus lenses....I get true colors, sharp images, set properly very little highlights.

 
5.0

Best Camera I've Purchased

By Paul

from California

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

Have only had the camera a few days but it is now my primary of choice followed by my E3. It is amazingly complete in features and they are so readily selectable while shooting. It is so much lighter to use even when using my four thirds lenses with an adapter. This camera far exceeds my expectations and I've only scratched the surface of all the built in features!

 
5.0

New toy!!

By Elaycee

from Sacramento, CA

Verified Buyer

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

I'm having so much fun with this camera! Love all the built-in features, wifi connectivity and of course the most important thing: it takes great pictures. I'm still learning about all of the functionality of this camera, but just knowing a few basics is enough to take great pictures. I highly recommend this camera.

(21 of 21 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Long term review - the EM-1 holds up

By Raincheck

from The Great southwest

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Silver, Body Only):

I've had this camera for 2 1/2 years. I've used it for landscapes and portraits. For telephoto wildlife shots in Africa and street photography. Family get together soon and European trips.

This camera just works. Yes, it is complex in some ways, especially at first. But if you know how you like to shoot you can customize it to your needs and almost never go in a menu again while shooting.

It has multiple personalities. With a telephoto it was the perfect rugged and compact kit for wildlife shooting, but with the 17mm 1.8 it is lightweight, inconspicuous camera for everyday shooting. Love it with portrait lenses (45 and 75mm) as well.

The small sensor size does affect depth of field and low light situations (though the 5 way stabilization enables lower ISO values in low light that offset that). But I almost never feel that limitation when I shoot. And I have printed up to 18 x 24 with beautiful results.

I get GAS now and then. The Fuji's are tempting. Those Sonys with the full size sensor look good. Or the Panasonic G8. Or the sexy Pen F. But that is when I am not shooting. When I am out shooting I am always glad to have the EM-1 in my hand. The size, form factor, solid build, ergonomics, and the quality of shots I get are spot on.

At 2 1/2 years I remain very happy with this camera, I still look forward to grabbing it and going out to shoot. I wanted a versatile everyday workhorse and this is it. Five stars is generous, I know, but feeling as good about a camera or better after long term use, with all the competition out there, I really feel like Olympus got it right. And I appreciate all the firmware updates that have kept it pretty up to date.

The pixel race will go on, the feature race will continue, and I will get a new body one day. But it will be because I gave in to GAS, not because this tool no longer worked. Probably the Mark II, with more pixels, a hand held hi-res, 4K video. All things I don't need at all.

(13 of 13 customers found this review helpful)

 
4.0

Some Great, Mostly Very Good, A Little Bad, and One Ugly

By gbingo

from East Tennessee

About Me Semi-Pro Photographer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Build Quality
  • Feature Rich
  • Good Battery Life
  • Great Zoom
  • Small / Compact

Cons

  • 8 Bit Capture Only
  • Complex Array Of Features

Best Uses

  • Macro Photography
  • Scenic Landscape
  • Travel
  • Wildlife photos

Comments about OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera (Black, Body Only):

The Nitty Gritty: A beautifully built, weather resistant, and durable system with the OL Pro lenses. Good handling despite small size. Very good image quality with OL Pro lenses -- but with a major caveat -- the system processor is not capable of capturing16 bit RAW, don't know if a firmware upgrade could change this, only found this out after the buy.

Best pixel count in RAW Super Fine is 4680 x 3456 in 8 bit only. For a scenic / nature photographer and someone extensively using Adobe LR and PS plus Google Nik Sweet this a substantial let down. I want all the data I can get from the RAW digital files. Notable also, the learning curve for this system is truly substantial, the number of controllable camera features are almost mind boggling. Obviously you don't have to use them all, but the sort through is a chore. Documentation is adequate but a bit convoluted.

The Rest: I have been using the Olympus OM-D E-M1 for about 6 months. I am school trained in photography and have been shooting avidly for about 20 years. I first started digital process around 2000. My last 2 systems were Canon Pro SLRs, most recently the 5D Mk 3 with top of the line Canon lenses. My move to Olympus and this camera was a weight based decision, the 35 lb. camera pack was getting a bit much at 70+. Current set up cut the weight in half, but I also eliminated a dedicated macro lens.

MY SYSTEM: The E-M1 with: M Zuiko glass: ED 40-150 F2.8 Pro, the 12-40 F2.8 Pro, and the 1.4X Pro Tel Extender. I shoot mostly off a Gitzo carbon fiber Mountaineer Tripod.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

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