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Olympus OMD EM1 - Feedback

Thomas Piorkowski , Dec 22, 2013; 09:12 p.m.

Hello Group,

I thought I would add this request to the forum asking those who have purchase the Olympus OMD EM1 for their feedback on what they like, and don’t like.

Based on the large number of reviews, and, the numerous cameras of the year awards, it seem to be an excellent product with many advanced features.

Coming from the Nikon world, the 4/3 camera seem to have improved in product and image quality, and, I like small format, not having to carrier a large amount of weight with traditional DSLR’s.

From what I can see, the only disadvantage is the long exposure issue with added noise compared to the EM5. However, with NR on, it seems to take care of this. With the dark frame subtraction, it seems to clear this up. Shooting fireworks, and other quick action long exposures, will cause issued trying to take frame after frame, and, will need to waiting for the subtraction to do its job before taking the next image.

I think the positives outweigh the one negative, and, the camera is a leading product in mirror less technology. I hope 4/3 lenses are here to stay.

Any feedback, good or bad would be appreciated.

I would be looking to add the 12-40 Pro lenses, curious on how it performs in low light conditions.


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Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) , Dec 23, 2013; 01:44 a.m.

Pros: Solid construction. Good design and layout, not a first generation item, shows input from real photographers. Good ergonomics. Handles and focuses both the micro four thirds lenses and the stable of very nice four thirds lenses. Has all the latest technology like WI FI and very good Epson electronic viewfinder which is as nice as an optical finder for many of us; Weather resistant to a fine degree. Best dust removal system in the business. Very customizable. Takes good pictures in low light conditions. For what most people shoot.
Cons: Costs more than some folks think they want to spend on a small size camera. Said about most of Olympus flagship models from day one, but hey....Has no built in flash. Battery is small, and not powerful like some batteries so shooting times are lessened. Good lenses are still going to cost some money because Olympus does not have the buyer base to make them cheap. And probably some more, but I see the cup as half full vs half empty. Oh yes, it takes some time to learn its tricks. Murky big manual with non standard nomenclature at times that boggles some of us. I mean not for the hasty or half serious types. Accessory selection such as flash is not as great as the big boys....
--Also nota bene: Do review the John Foster and Dr Wrotniak (an owner and user) reviews as well as DPR to get other points of view. I have provided links below in earlier threads. I consider it one of Olympus's best releases to date and worth the price. Micro four thirds as a format has made a showing in the mirrorless camera scene with addition of Panasonic, one of the world's biggest consumer electronics firms which is going to be around for a while. It will, I predict be adopted by professionals who are tired of lugging a big bag of lenses.

Jamie Robertson , Dec 23, 2013; 11:14 a.m.

Coming from a DSLR, the only thing you will probably miss is decent AF on moving subjects. The only other concern for me is throwing the background out of focus. You have to work a bit harder with m43 to get a nice shallow depth of field but it can be done, usually by using a longer focal length and stepping back a little.

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) , Dec 23, 2013; 01:05 p.m.

Jamie has a point when you are doing portraits and want to throw the background out of focus. Probably explains why the single focal length fast lenses are so sought after, even the older FD lenses with adapters. It is a trade off if that shallow DOF is something you care about compared to the full frame DSLRs. Not as big a difference over the APS-C sized sensors. Here is a quote from an article by A. Wrotniak on depth of field with different size sensors and their corresponding lenses,( a little dated since he wrote it in 2008, since faster prime lenses are in production at a price naturally for micro including one from Voigtlander which is f 0.95 as I have read.)
I shoot regularly with one good zoom at F 2.8. And have a 20mm available that is F 1.7. Not perfect but not bad..... This DOF thing is not insignificant, depending....one can't optimize the whole show I mean...photographers have had to deal with different DOF issues since the days of 6X7 folders I mean. If you like math, seek out his whole article here:

Excerpt from above:
"The bad news is that it is much more difficult, using a digital camera, to blow the background out of focus, which is a pleasing effect in portrait and nature photography. You will have to use the longest possible focal length, and keep your lens wide open. Well, there is no free lunch. I would love to see a 50 mm, F/1.4 Four Thirds lens, capable of DoF as shallow as a 100/2.8 lens on my film SLRs. (The 30/1.4 lens from Sigma comes close, but may be a tad too wide for portraits. 50 to 60 mm would be perfect!)"

For my purposes, I can manage to get a fuzzy background without too much hurdles. And if you use the stop down button you can see exactly what the image will look like while the electronics raises the gain so you are not left in the dark. I use to use MF where it was a struggle to get enough depth of focus for nose and ears, if you catch my drift.....Mele Kelikimaka from me and Barry over here:-) gs

Jamie Robertson , Dec 23, 2013; 04:41 p.m.

e.g. if you shoot portraits with an 85mm f/1.8 on full frame, shoot the same portrait using the beautiful Olympus 75mm f/1.8 to get a similar result. The only difference is that you will need to stand much further back when using the Olympus.

Bruce Rubenstein , Dec 23, 2013; 05:23 p.m.

Not exactly. The look depends on the aperture and the subject to camera distance. With the 1/2 size sensor, the camera would have to be almost twice the distance away from the subject for the same FOV.

Gerry Siegel (Honolulu) , Dec 23, 2013; 05:37 p.m.

...will need to stand much further back

I think that is what the man said. This out of focus background business has got a lot of play lately. It took me little time to figure it out by empirical means...I use to use hyperfocal distancw when shooting stereos but not since and lenses now don't hardly have them. I guess one could chart the whole mess if you feel up to it. Me, incidentally I am not going to have time in this lifetime to go next step and seek the ultimate brokeh ,got to say:-)

Elliot Bernstein , Dec 23, 2013; 05:51 p.m.

I have used my D800 once in the last six months since I started using the OMD EM5, and now use and am thrilled with the OMD EM1. I am considering selling my D800 because it is simply not going to get used - no need - the EM1 does it all! Frankly, Nikon could use a few lessons from Olympus (hope no one from the Nikon forum reads this).

I also just recently received and started using the 12-40mm and it is an incredible lens in every way!
I think the only genuine negative that most will agree on is the lack of reliable continuous AF.

Jamie Robertson , Dec 24, 2013; 04:12 a.m.

Not exactly. The look depends on the aperture and the subject to camera distance.

Hence my use of the word similar

Elliot Bernstein , Dec 24, 2013; 07:42 a.m.

" it is much more difficult...., to blow the background out of focus"

Something must be wrong with my camera and lenses as I have no problems with doing this with any of my lenses, even the wide angle ones.

The beauty of the M43 system is that you can shoot wide open and even though you may need to be a bit farther away from your subject - the 'net' result is a scene very similar to that of a full frame camera. I find that lenses for my OMD system are as sharp wide open as they are stopped down a bit so I often find myself shooting wide open where I would have had to stop down with my previous system - amazing!

"The look depends on the aperture and the subject to camera distance"
...an the distance from the subject to the background.

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