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View Full Version : An Amateur's Review of the OM-D E-M1


DavyG
21st September 2013, 03:38 PM
LCE Colchester held an OM-D E-M1 touch and try event today, as an amateur with a reasonably large collection of 4/3 lenses and accessories, I decided to take a look at Olympus’s latest offering.

I took my Olympus 50–200 (Non SWD) and my Sigma 150mm lens with me to test the focus speed of these lenses on the OM-D E-M1 with the MMF-3 adapter.

To be honest, my expectations weren’t too high despite the other reviews I’ve read however, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

As a user of Olympus E1 and E510 DSLR’s, I was very impressed by the speed the E-M1 focused the 50-200, I think it was at least as fast as my E510 focuses this lens, when I tried the Sigma 150 I was even more surprised as, despite being in a shop lit by fluorescent light on a fairly dull day, the E-M1 focused the lens quickly and smoothly. I tested the Sigma 150 on my E510 in better light conditions when I returned home, I’m now convinced that the E-M1 focuses the lens faster than my E510 does.

I also tried the camera with the native micro 4/3d’s 12-40 lens and was very impressed by the focus speed, the build of the lens and the overall ergonomics of the camera.

I was sceptical about the electronic viewfinder before seeing and handling the camera, I was pleasantly surprised by how effective, large and bright the viewfinder was.

When I arrived at LCE this afternoon I had no intention of being an early purchaser of the E-M1, I merely wanted to know if this camera and/or it’s successors would enable me to continue to use my range of 4/3 lenses, flashes and accessories when my E510 finally gave up the ghost or if I would have to make the decision to look at the alternative systems.

I’m very pleased to say that Olympus have produced a camera which appears to deliver what I would like and which will allow me to continue to use the lenses I already have whilst giving me the opportunity to expand if/when I find the need.

Despite my best intentions, I left LCE having pre-ordered an OM-D E-M1 with a 12-40 lens and I look forward to continuing using my current 4/3 kit with it when it arrives circa October/November.

I appreciate that this is a review by an amateur however, I hope this will be of interest and assistance to those of you who have not yet had the opportunity to try the OM-D E-M1 and are sceptical of buying into yet another Olympus system.

Dave

birdboy
21st September 2013, 04:30 PM
Hi Dave

Thanks for your review.

I also visited LCE Colchester branch this morning. What a fantastic group of people. I was made very welcome and Claire Voyle and Dave were very knowable on Olympus and the OM-D E-M1. So a big thanks to them. There seemed quite a bit of interest in the 90 mins I was there. Claire already had the E-M1 set up for focus peaking and what a joy to use. I used it on the 50-500mm bigma outside on a tripod and the 50mmf2 on biscuits. The sugar just glistened when the focus came in.

I still have concerns about, battery life, the EVF lag and how well it will perform on CAF with BIF and at British Super Bike events. But the only way I shall find that out is to test it for myself. There are enough other features that are temping me at moment.

I got home and pre registered for the grip and MMF3. I shall be going away on holiday now and short of major disaster reviews shall be ordering from LCE Colchester.

Ulfric M Douglas
21st September 2013, 04:34 PM
Very useful report Davy, thanks.

DavyG
21st September 2013, 04:53 PM
Hi Dave

Thanks for your review.

I also visited LCE Colchester branch this morning. What a fantastic group of people. I was made very welcome and Claire Voyle and Dave were very knowable on Olympus and the OM-D E-M1. So a big thanks to them. There seemed quite a bit of interest in the 90 mins I was there. Claire already had the E-M1 set up for focus peaking and what a joy to use. I used it on the 50-500mm bigma outside on a tripod and the 50mmf2 on biscuits. The sugar just glistened when the focus came in.

I still have concerns about, battery life, the EVF lag and how well it will perform on CAF with BIF and at British Super Bike events. But the only way I shall find that out is to test it for myself. There are enough other features that are temping me at moment.

I got home and pre registered for the grip and MMF3. I shall be going away on holiday now and short of major disaster reviews shall be ordering from LCE Colchester.

Thanks birdboy,

I'm sorry I missed you at LCE, I delberately waited until this afternoon before visiting, it proved worthwhile as I was the only one looking at the camera during the period I was there.

Like you, I was impressed by Claire and Dave, they were both very helpful and knowledgeable, I mentioned that I'd considered bringing my Bigma to try and Claire told me that someone had done so earlier in the day, I suspect that would have been you, I also used the biscuits as my subject with Sigma 150mm.

Dave informed me that he had 8 E-M1's on pre-order and that mine was the sixth order placed therefore, he had two left as at this afternoon, I hope you manage to get one of these.

DavyG
21st September 2013, 04:54 PM
Very useful report Davy, thanks.

Thanks Ulfric.

tomphotofx
21st September 2013, 05:25 PM
Thanks Davy for the report, I have both of those lenses and that is just the hands on info I wanted to hear I'm sure others will too especially Chevvy.

I will now be placing my order, exciting times ahead for all of us taking a giant leap of faith.

Tom :)

timd1230
21st September 2013, 06:48 PM
I was also there this morning - as a wedding shoter I was looking at whether I would be able to move completely to olympus - currently shoot omd for candids and people pics and D800 for portraits / moving shots and low light.

From my perspective and what I tried the AF issues are resolved - sure things will improve in future generations but usable now - had the 150 and 50-150 tracking people up and down the street and it was good and tracked and kept focus well.

It feels better in the hand than the e-m5 and the slightly larger buttons are better - really impressed with the AF selector system.

Will be a learning curve but planning to move over during the winter

Eubios
22nd September 2013, 12:01 AM
Thank you Dave for sharing your experience with us. I am particularly interested in the 50-200 non SWD. I have the OM-1 on pre-order since day one with Olympus Canada and I have a brand new 14-54 II to go with. I guess the 50-200 will be next.

I had bought the 14-54 thinking of pairing it with an OM-5 but I could not resist the OM-1...

Carlo

Phill D
22nd September 2013, 06:07 AM
Dave good to hear your views. I came away from the London event with much the same perspective. Pretty relieved actually as I'd actually gone and pushed the pre order button the night before :eek:

Grumpy Hec
22nd September 2013, 07:05 AM
Thanks Dave. I had wanted to get to this event but it clashed with racing to which I was committed.

I'm delighted to hear your comments as I've already pressed the pre-order button.

cheers

Hec

timd1230
22nd September 2013, 10:03 AM
I had a good play with 50 -200 non SWD focus issues of pen and OMd e-m5 resolved- focuses well had it out in a busy street and easily follows people walking towards you at speed and children playing.

Robin Wong has a very good piece on his blog with a video of different. 4/3 lenses focussing including SWD and non SWD 50-200