2013-09-10

Introducing the new Olympus OM-D E-M1


Read our review of the Olympus OM-D E-ME Mark II

Today, Olympus unveiled the new OM-D E-M1. This camera will be their flagship camera, sitting at the top of their interchangeable lens camera range and has many of the features that the first OM-D included (E-M5), but have added to this to make this new camera superior. We have been fortunate enough to see a pre-production version of this camera, and here are our initial thoughts.

When first looking at the OM-D E-M1  the styling is pretty much the same as the E-M5  keeping with the more retro styling that many customers fell in love with. This camera is certainly not bulky at all, and is therefore ideal to be used out and about on the go. When looking at the camera in more detail, it becomes clear that some of the buttons and dials have been moved around, and in general gives it a more professional look and feel. Although we didn't have the benefit of seeing the HLD-7 battery grip that was available, having seen images of this attached to the camera, we think this only enhances the look of the camera, and will improve the overall ‘feel’ of the camera when in use.

When the E-M5 came out in early 2012, the autofocus system was the worlds fastest, and now with the E-M1 they have improved on this again to be amongst some of the world’s fastest AF systems both for sequential shooting and for regular stills. When mounting either a Micro 4/3 or 4/3 lens (using an adapter), the camera will detect which type of lens you’re using and automatically make a switch in camera to provide the most suitable AF technology (as Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds lenses use different technologies). Don’t worry though, you’ll not notice any change, apart from the fact that the focus should be fast and accurate.

Similar to the E-M5, the E-M1 has an Electronic viewfinder in addition to the tilting 3.0” OLED display. However, they have improved on this making it super large with an increased field of view, displaying 2.36 million dots. When raising it to you eye, you certainly notice this improved size (it might even be slightly larger than can be found on some DSLRs), and whilst we only had access to a pre-production model, the clarity was excellent. The viewfinder will also feature something that has not been seen before, with its HDR preview mode. When this is activated, you’ll be able to get a preview of how your image is likely to look once shot, along with the ability to adjust colour before the shutter button is pressed.

Like the OM-D E-M5, the E-M1 is both dust and splashproof. However, the new E-M1 will now allow you to work not only in damp habitats or sandy situations, but also in cold conditions as well, working down to -10oC. Connect this to the new 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens which is also freezeproof, dustproof and splashproof, allowing you to enjoy absolute peace of mind even in the toughest environments.

Similarly to many other new cameras that are now available on the market, the E-M1  features built-in Wi-Fi, allowing you to send images to a smartphone or tablet to then e-mail or share on the various social media platforms. Connecting the camera to your device is really simple as the camera generates a QR code on the LCD which you ‘scan’ using your device and that should then ‘pair’ them together. You’ll need to download the Olympus Image Share App first of all, but once you’ve done this you’ll be able to do things such as mirror the LCD screen on your phone, or release the shutter remotely.
In terms of caring for your camera, Olympus know that cameras such as the E-M1 deserve special care and attention. As such, with the launch of the E-M1 they’ve also announced a ‘Service Plus’ package that is free of charge. This includes an extended warranty of 6 months and offers a more personal service with things such as a priority hotline number should you encounter any problems. To get this service, you’ll simply have to sign up after purchasing an E-M1 at https://olympus.co.uk/serviceplus.

The OM-D E-M1 will be available as a body only, with the 12-50mm lens, or with the new 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens. The body only and standard kit is anticipated to arrive with Park Cameras in early October, with the 12-40mm kit due hopefully in early November.

Pre-ordering this camera will ensure not only that you’ll be one of the first in the UK to get your hands on it, but will also give you the opportunity to receive a FREE HLD-7 battery grip. If you are an existing E-system user and were registered with MyOlympus, you’ll also be entitled to claim a FREE MMF-3 adapter. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.olympus.co.uk/buy-OMD for full details.


Want to be one of the first in the UK to see the OM-D E-M1 in the flesh? At Park Cameras you can! Visit our showroom on Saturday 14th September 2013, and you’ll find a technical expert from Olympus UK who will be able to show you through this latest addition to Olympus’ range of cameras and answer any questions you might have. For our opening times and directions to the store, visit parkcameras.com.

Andy Steel
Park Cameras Ltd.

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