So I finally succumbed and splashed out on the Olympus OM-D E-M1 to supplement (most definitely not replace) my E-M5.
To test out the camera I did a shoot with Hannah at The Pit and Pendulum in Nottingham. Here are a few images, all taken with the E-M1 and M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8 lens. I’m no camera reviewer, apart from anything else I’m too bought into the OM-D brand to be impartial, but here are the things that stood out for me with this camera:
- Size wise the E-M1 is not noticeably bigger than the E-M5 when compared with the latter having the hand grip attached (which I nearly always do). One good thing about the E-M1 having a built-in grip is that the battery can easily be accessed without having to first remove the grip.
- Ergonomically the layout of the controls is a definite improvement. Everything feels a bit more solid on this camera and the dials are more accessible without having to do anything too unnatural with your fingers whilst shooting.
- The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is significantly improved. Apparently it has near twice the resolution of the E-M5, is brighter and has noticeably higher magnification.
- Whilst I was not photographing a particularly fast moving subject I did notice focusing was quicker than the E-M5 with less tracking back and forward. This, apparently, is because of phase detection AF capability on the E-M1’s sensor.
- The great thing about the E-M5 was the five-axis image stabilizer. This is slightly improved on the E-M1 giving an extra stop of stability. Many of the images I took on this shoot were in fading daylight (i.e. it was raining outside) so I had quite slow shutter speeds, there was no noticeable camera shake.
- The E-M1 uses the same battery as the E-M5 thank goodness so I now have enough batteries to allow me to shoot probably in excess of 1500 images (on three batteries).
- Some features I did not get to try out on this shoot were the extra art filters (Watercolour, Vintage and Partial Colour), built-in Wi-Fi, a HDR mode, tethered shooting and the built-in ‘digital shift’ which allows you to straighten tall buildings in-camera. All good stuff which I shall look forward to trying imminently.
After a very quick initial shoot I am hugely pleased with the E-M1. It feels like a solid step up from the E-M5 which I will continue to use as a back-up as well as my take anywhere camera in its basic configuration (i.e. no grip or battery holder) and fitted with the 25mm M.ZUIKO lens.
Interesting that you bought the E-M1 to supplement, not replace the E-M5. But it does make sense.
Will you be trying the 40-150/2.8 zoom?
Hi, I don’t think I’ll be getting the new zoom, no. I’m pretty happy with the lenses I have right now (Olympus 25mm, 45mm and 60mm and Panasonic 12-35mm). I don’t have a huge need to go to much longer than 60mm for the type of photography I do.
Hello Peter, Please may I explore the rational behind the supplement, not replace statement. Presumably when you decided to purchase an E-M1 you felt that the E-M1 gave you something extra that the E-M5 didn’t? I was wondering what that was? Many thanks, Huw
Hello Huw. I’ve always had both a studio camera as well as a street camera. Up until last month I was using my E-M5 as a studio camera and a Panasonic GX7 as my street camera. Although the GX7 is a great camera I never quite got on with the viewfinder. I decided therefore to sell that and look around for an alternative. I realised however that I actually already had the perfect street camera in the E-M5 if I remove the grip and battery holder making it small and discreet. My logic therefore was to use that as my street camera and upgrade to the E-M1 as my main studio camera. The E-M5 is also a better back up for studio use as putting on the grip and battery holder makes it great for portrait use. Also, when I do events I like to use prime lenses so it’s quite handy to have two bodies that I can use with my 25mm and 45mm lenses attached without having to keep changing lenses. Thanks for reading my blog and your comment. Pete
[…] Composer, Mistress and fetishist Christian Director” so is clearly a lady of many talents. I worked with Hannah a couple of weeks ago where she told me about her upcoming performance and I said I’d like to […]
[…] I figured that £102 (actually only £87 because of a 15% discount offered by Olympus for people purchasing an OM-D E-M1 before 31st January 2015) is actually quite a good deal. Of course that’s per year but I […]
[…] it’s time to move on and rationalise my kit a little. I now pretty much exclusively use the Olympus OM-D E-M1 as my main camera with the M.ZUIKO 25mm, 45mm, 60mm and 12-40mm lenses as well as the fixed lens […]
[…] Mark I E-M1 which has been my workhorse for the past four and a half years, has served me well. So well in fact that I eschewed the next version, the Mark II which came out […]
[…] camera for over a year until it’s bigger and more professional sibling was released, the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Even then I hung onto the EM-5 as my backup camera and, as you do, started to acquire a set of […]