PDA

View Full Version : Two weeks with the E-M1


David Morison
18th October 2013, 07:09 AM
Now having had the E-M1 for two weeks and having taken nearly 2000 images I thought I'd share my first impressions.

Overview

The feel of the camera for me is perfect, so different from the over-miniaturised E-M5. Loads more buttons in all the right places and so many options for assigning tasks to them makes using the camera a delight (although my old brain is struggling to remember which task I assigned to which button). I like the in built vertical grip and the fact I don't have to remove it to replace the battery, it also gives more space for fat finger between it and the wider 4/3 lenses. The HLD-7, when it arrives, probably won't be used as the camera still feels good with the 4/3 lenses I have, not sure yet whether to sell it on or not, I'll decide later.

IQ is superb with the lenses I have, although I still have to do more testing with the 75-300mm, and I am very impressed with the low noise levels - all making substantial cropping (which I do often) so much more feasible. I, like Stephen, find no difference in the appearance of jpegs and RAW files on LR5 but further processing the jpegs is more restricted than with RAW.

There many more functions I haven't yet had time to explore but will do when I get over the initial excitement of owning the camera but I can see that the HDR and Wifi will be the first to be tried out.

Build quality/finish

Excellent compared to the E-M5, it feels so much less of a toy and more of a proper camera. The finish is superb and much better than the shiny paint of it's sibling and I think it will last much longer. However the black paint on the flash shoe is wearing already just with placing and removing the camera from my CCS Tusker bag - wish it had been finished in chrome.

AF

The AF works fine on my 4/3 lenses (7-14mm, 14-150mm) although I am still not convinced it is faster than the E5, low contrast landscape subjects cause a few minor issues.

The IBIS question

As I have mentioned in an earlier thread, I have the impression that the IBIS was causing difficulties with long telephoto lenses. The seems to be resolving itself but needs more study to be sure, at the moment I am mainly using it switched off for these lenses. More in another thread later.

BIF

As many on this forum will know my requirement for BIF performance are based mainly on ID and record purposes and rarely for pictorial use. So I may only use it for small or distant birds of interest and this is where I feel the E-M1 falls down. It will work well with larger birds or larger flocks of birds but for a small group of passerines at 50m plus, for instance, it can't do the job. However I still have to do more work and will post this in a another thread later. Suffice to say that on my recent trip to a Nature reserve in Corfu I could have kicked myself, several times, for not taking my Canon 7D!

Well that's a brief assessment, I am sure others will have their own which may in some cases complement or contradict mine and I am looking forward to reading these.

David

P.S I will be bombarding this forum with loads of images taken in the first two weeks so be warned!

StephenL
18th October 2013, 07:32 AM
I have just a week (today at noon) with the camera, and my feelings echo yours, David. Though I have no 4/3 lenses to try it with. I was very happy with the M5, but I am very delighted with the M1. It just feels so right, it makes me want to go out and use it.

snaarman
18th October 2013, 08:21 AM
Oh dear.

It does sound as much of a jump forward as the E-M5 was, and all these reports of excellence remind me of one year ago...

I did register for the grip and adapter before the deadline but I can't remember how long I have before the offer runs out.

I suspect I am going to pass up the opportunity, it sounds like a really great camera but I can't bring myself to spend that much money right now :-(

Keep the glowing reports coming..

Pete

brian1208
18th October 2013, 08:54 AM
An interesting review much of which agrees echoes my feelings.

Where we diverge is in the longing for the 7D, having come from the canon system with 7d and 5Dmk2 + a variety of L lenses I find with the EM-1 + m4/3rds 75-300 I am getting shots that I was not able to achieve with my 7D + 70-300LIS (nor my 300f4 LIS)

this may in part down to the fact that I find the EM-1 system much easier to hand-hold than the canon and also, perhaps, because I had 14 months or so struggling to find a technique for BIF work with the EM-5 (where I did yearn for the 7D)?

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 09:02 AM
David, a great report !

To which I would add that the settings Matt Hope advised me to use, work for me with Bif - do phone Matt at SRS :)

I also found, yesterday, capturing Fungi in dense woodland, shaded to almost dark with a summer canopy still :eek: that the C-AF+Tr worked wonderfully to capture more sharp images - even when I had a tremble/shake (not from excitement - med. prob :( ) which may be very useful for many here in that "boat" !

for two weeks, the ONE was too tiny for me - I was comparing it to the E-5 and its 1/3rd in size and weight with a lense to 200+ BUT NOW :D I am used to it! :D *chr

edmund473
18th October 2013, 09:21 AM
Hello David, I am pleased for you owning the E-M1 and I am looking forward to your threads and the images that you have to show. Thanks for all your information.John. *chr

David Morison
18th October 2013, 09:36 AM
An interesting review much of which agrees echoes my feelings.

Where we diverge is in the longing for the 7D, having come from the canon system with 7d and 5Dmk2 + a variety of L lenses I find with the EM-1 + m4/3rds 75-300 I am getting shots that I was not able to achieve with my 7D + 70-300LIS (nor my 300f4 LIS)

this may in part down to the fact that I find the EM-1 system much easier to hand-hold than the canon and also, perhaps, because I had 14 months or so struggling to find a technique for BIF work with the EM-5 (where I did yearn for the 7D)?
Thank you Brian & Chevvy

As I said I have a lot more work to do, I haven't yet encountered enough birds in flight to have a proper practice so hope to get more worthwhile results soon.
I agree that the E-M1 has better IQ than the 7D and with the 75-300mm is superior for static birds, but like yesterday when a flock of six Redwings flew over at 50 ft plus the M1 wouldn't lock focus in time before they were too far off - I know the 7D would have given me a few good shots in that time. I have tried lots of recommended settings including Matt's but have more work to do and will post my findings in a few days.

David

Wee man
18th October 2013, 09:46 AM
David thanks for all this looking forward to your shots.

brian1208
18th October 2013, 09:53 AM
stick with it David, if you can find the right settings (maybe SAF single shot with single focus point in this case?) it should be able to grab the shot for you, based on my experience of shooting starling mobs in flight at about the same distance

Zuiko
18th October 2013, 09:57 AM
Oh dear.

It does sound as much of a jump forward as the E-M5 was, and all these reports of excellence remind me of one year ago...

I did register for the grip and adapter before the deadline but I can't remember how long I have before the offer runs out.

I suspect I am going to pass up the opportunity, it sounds like a really great camera but I can't bring myself to spend that much money right now :-(

Keep the glowing reports coming..

Pete

We're in the same boat, Pete, so let's remind ourselves that the E-M5 is still a superb camera in its own right. *chr

Iansky
18th October 2013, 09:59 AM
Thanks All for sharing your thoughts.

I have had mine for just over a week and find it more comfortable to hold/carry for a period than the EM5, the built in grip certainly does feel comfortable.

The shutter button is a lot more sensitive than that on the EM5 but this I like and the shutter sound is a very subtle and pleasant noise.

I love the AF in all its settings and do think it is a tad faster than the EM5 - the AFC / tracking is superb and does exactly as advertised and that is something I am very happy about it and it has already allowed me to capture shots I would not have got previously (except with my big heavy full frame).

I have also used the remote control capability by way of a smartphone and I have to say it is great and will save the need for a cable and allow you to put more distance between yourself and the subject (without risking your camera), it was easy to set up and once done just requires turning on to use again..........simple!

I also suspect they have made some "tweaks" to the infrared flash triggering as I was having problems getting the EM5 to fire the FL600R reliably, the EM1 does it efficiently every time and from more acute angles so another winner in my book.

I do have one complaint - that extra wide, hideous camera strap.....too bright so screams "nice camera, steal me" the one on the EM5 was a lot more subtle! I have now replaced mine and use one of my old Leica black, inconspicuous straps that work well over shoulder, round neck and wrapped around the wrist.

Thank you Olympus - good job!

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 11:37 AM
stick with it David, if you can find the right settings (maybe SAF single shot with single focus point in this case?) it should be able to grab the shot for you, based on my experience of shooting starling mobs in flight at about the same distance

David, I did S-AF and found this good with the Seagulls :)

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 11:37 AM
We're in the same boat, Pete, so let's remind ourselves that the E-M5 is still a superb camera in its own right. *chr

IT IS stunning - just look at Bryce Bradfords Bif with it :)

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 11:39 AM
Thanks All for sharing your thoughts.

I have had mine for just over a week and find it more comfortable to hold/carry for a period than the EM5, the built in grip certainly does feel comfortable.

The shutter button is a lot more sensitive than that on the EM5 but this I like and the shutter sound is a very subtle and pleasant noise.

I love the AF in all its settings and do think it is a tad faster than the EM5 - the AFC / tracking is superb and does exactly as advertised and that is something I am very happy about it and it has already allowed me to capture shots I would not have got previously (except with my big heavy full frame).

I have also used the remote control capability by way of a smartphone and I have to say it is great and will save the need for a cable and allow you to put more distance between yourself and the subject (without risking your camera), it was easy to set up and once done just requires turning on to use again..........simple!

I also suspect they have made some "tweaks" to the infrared flash triggering as I was having problems getting the EM5 to fire the FL600R reliably, the EM1 does it efficiently every time and from more acute angles so another winner in my book.

I do have one complaint - that extra wide, hideous camera strap.....too bright so screams "nice camera, steal me" the one on the EM5 was a lot more subtle! I have now replaced mine and use one of my old Leica black, inconspicuous straps that work well over shoulder, round neck and wrapped around the wrist.

Thank you Olympus - good job!

I turn the Olympus side of the strap in :eek:

David Morison
18th October 2013, 11:40 AM
David, I did S-AF and found this good with the Seagulls :)

Yes, so far this works best for me but with "H" burst rate (which means CDAF!)

David

StephenL
18th October 2013, 11:41 AM
I don't use any supplied camera straps. They're always too short for the way I like to carry my cameras. And too complicated to attach and detach!

David Morison
18th October 2013, 11:45 AM
I don't use any supplied camera straps. They're always too short for the way I like to carry my cameras. And too complicated to attach and detach!

I don't either, but it's mainly because I'm also carrying my binos so I need to use a shoulder strap so the camera doesn't clash.

David

Grumpy Hec
18th October 2013, 12:50 PM
I don'y use straps at all. I either carry or I have one of the clip on belt or back strap systems which I find very good. Avoids any weight on neck/shoulders both of which have suffered due to many years of yacht racing.

cheers

Hec

brian1208
18th October 2013, 02:19 PM
David, you must have found you way around the menu, if so, please help a stupid old man with a stupid question.

I had my system set so that it didn't show the image immediately after shooting. Since I've head to do the full reset I've spent 30 mins or so trying to find how to switch it off again and have had no luck

Can you tell me where to find this please - I'm going bonkers reading and re-reading the manual!

David Morison
18th October 2013, 02:29 PM
David, you must have found you way around the menu, if so, please help a stupid old man with a stupid question.

I had my system set so that it didn't show the image immediately after shooting. Since I've head to do the full reset I've spent 30 mins or so trying to find how to switch it off again and have had no luck

Can you tell me where to find this please - I'm going bonkers reading and re-reading the manual!

Brian,

You'll find it in:

Menu - Spanner - Record view - Off

David

brian1208
18th October 2013, 02:44 PM
David, thanks, you are a star.

Can I ask one more that has got me totally flummoxed. Since the reset I don't seem to be able to set my EVF refresh rate to High (cogwheel D Frame Rate), is greyed out and only displays Normal, yet I'm sure this is where I was able to set it to High before.

I'm really feeling like an old fool this afternoon but I'm having real problems trying to get it reset to where I had it before the "Crash"

Olybirder
18th October 2013, 03:00 PM
I'm really feeling like an old fool this afternoon but I'm having real problems trying to get it reset to where I had it before the "Crash"
Brian, what we need is a 'cheat sheet' like Wrotniak produced for the E-30, see here (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e30-sett-sheet.html). The last column could be left blank so that we could enter our preferred settings. I suppose it would be a lot bigger than the E-30 version with all those extra settings, though. Any takers to produce one?

Ron

StephenL
18th October 2013, 03:28 PM
Brian, what we need is a 'cheat sheet' like Wrotniak produced for the E-30, see here (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e30-sett-sheet.html). The last column could be left blank so that we could enter our preferred settings. I suppose it would be a lot bigger than the E-30 version with all those extra settings, though. Any takers to produce one?

Ron

I'm sort-of working on one. If I can get it into a sensible state of course I'll share it.

David Morison
18th October 2013, 03:51 PM
David, thanks, you are a star.

Can I ask one more that has got me totally flummoxed. Since the reset I don't seem to be able to set my EVF refresh rate to High (cogwheel D Frame Rate), is greyed out and only displays Normal, yet I'm sure this is where I was able to set it to High before.

I'm really feeling like an old fool this afternoon but I'm having real problems trying to get it reset to where I had it before the "Crash"

Not sure Brian, mine is greyed out as well although I haven't tried changing it so I'm not sure if it ever was available.

David

brian1208
18th October 2013, 04:20 PM
Thanks David, I had it showing when I received the camera and set it to High (which is my usual setting) and this is the entry in the manual that defines it

Frame Rate Select [High] to reduce frame lag. However, the image
quality may drop.

most odd, maybe another "work in progress"?

Zuiko
18th October 2013, 05:34 PM
I've checked on my E-M5 and you can definitely adjust the frame rate between Normal and High through Gears > menu J > Frame Rate (probably a different menu on E-M1). I'll play around after dinner to see if I can find a setting which disables it (greys out).

catkins
18th October 2013, 05:49 PM
Brian, what we need is a 'cheat sheet' like Wrotniak produced for the E-30, see here (http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e30-sett-sheet.html). The last column could be left blank so that we could enter our preferred settings. I suppose it would be a lot bigger than the E-30 version with all those extra settings, though. Any takers to produce one?

Ron

Totally agree - the Wrotniak guides were always my first stop for informative and helpful guidance about various Olympus cameras, so I'm sure that as many of us begin to use, test, and rely on the E-M1 it will be a great resource idea for the forum to contribute to a 'Settings Guide'.
It's already been useful to read about some of the issues and ideas and I had been wondering about trying to keep track of them all for when the One arrives!
Regards
Chris

brian1208
18th October 2013, 05:50 PM
Thanks John, nope, its the same menu for this function with the 5 and 1.

The irritation for me is that, as I said, when it arrived I was straight into the menu and set as, as I did on the EM-5, after the lock-up and reset that option is gone and the manual is silent on why that might be

TonyR
18th October 2013, 06:20 PM
Just a hunch but I think I read that focus peaking is disabled or not available if you set evf frame rate to "high". Maybe, if you set peaking to "on", frame rate gets greyed out?

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 06:30 PM
I don'y use straps at all. I either carry or I have one of the clip on belt or back strap systems which I find very good. Avoids any weight on neck/shoulders both of which have suffered due to many years of yacht racing.

cheers

Hec


Hec, while walking through fields alongside a lake ... on a slippy muddy path, I had the E-5 and 50-200 SWD (the latter a heavy beast :rolleyes: let alone the E-5 :cool: ) and suddenly I felt "something go" ... lucky I had hold of the 50-200 by the Tripod grip ad the Olympus strap magnesiam "bit" had broken ... since that day I used an after market, screws into the tripod orifice ... over shoulder Optech strap :)

brian1208
18th October 2013, 06:37 PM
Just a hunch but I think I read that focus peaking is disabled or not available if you set evf frame rate to "high". Maybe, if you set peaking to "on", frame rate gets greyed out?


Spot on Tony, thanks - that was driving me mad.

There are some very clever and helpful people here - thank goodness! *chr

another one to put in the "Crib Sheet"

Ian
18th October 2013, 06:41 PM
Last Wednesday I was returning from a meeting at the Glazier's Hall, which is just by the north side of London bridge at river bank level and to get to the station I climbed a wet set of stone stairs up to the bridge level and as I got to the top I slipped, lost my balance and fell flat on my face carrying a golf umbrella, a shoulder strap laptop bag which also contained my E-P5 and a couple of lenses, and I had another bag with a bottle of champagne in it (Nikon always give out champers at their press launches).

Coins flew out of my pockets and my right thumb was bloodied and my knee was wet :( I was very cheered up by concerned bystanders who helped me up. The champagne survied, as did my uumbrella and my bits of kit in the laptop bag, just my ego was a bit shaken although Julia has told me off for getting blood (from my thumb) on my shirt pocket...

To provide some focus for this ramblling - I think straps are very important! :)

Ian

Zuiko
18th October 2013, 07:24 PM
Just a hunch but I think I read that focus peaking is disabled or not available if you set evf frame rate to "high". Maybe, if you set peaking to "on", frame rate gets greyed out?

That's a possibility. I've yet to find a combination of settings on the E-M5 that disables high refresh rate, but of course I don't have focus peaking.

EDIT I see Brian has already confirmed it is the cause.

catkins
18th October 2013, 07:27 PM
Last Wednesday I was returning from a meeting at the Glazier's Hall, which is just by the north side of London bridge at river bank level and to get to the station I climbed a wet set of stone stairs up to the bridge level and as I got to the top I slipped, lost my balance and fell flat on my face carrying a golf umbrella, a shoulder strap laptop bag which also contained my E-P5 and a couple of lenses, and I had another bag with a bottle of champagne in it (Nikon always give out champers at their press launches).

Coins flew out of my pockets and my right thumb was bloodied and my knee was wet :( I was very cheered up by concerned bystanders who helped me up. The champagne survied, as did my uumbrella and my bits of kit in the laptop bag, just my ego was a bit shaken although Julia has told me off for getting blood (from my thumb) on my shirt pocket...

To provide some focus for this ramblling - I think straps are very important! :)

Ian

Hi Ian - not good (having myself taken a tumble recently while acting as 'safety' {!} on a gorge walk) and hope 'shaken ego' now on road to recovery! You obviously had your mind on just ONE thing!!

Regards
Chris

Zuiko
18th October 2013, 07:30 PM
Last Wednesday I was returning from a meeting at the Glazier's Hall, which is just by the north side of London bridge at river bank level and to get to the station I climbed a wet set of stone stairs up to the bridge level and as I got to the top I slipped, lost my balance and fell flat on my face carrying a golf umbrella, a shoulder strap laptop bag which also contained my E-P5 and a couple of lenses, and I had another bag with a bottle of champagne in it (Nikon always give out champers at their press launches).

Coins flew out of my pockets and my right thumb was bloodied and my knee was wet :( I was very cheered up by concerned bystanders who helped me up. The champagne survied, as did my uumbrella and my bits of kit in the laptop bag, just my ego was a bit shaken although Julia has told me off for getting blood (from my thumb) on my shirt pocket...

To provide some focus for this ramblling - I think straps are very important! :)

Ian

Unlike you to lose your balance, Ian, are you sure that wasn't an empty champagne bottle? :D

Thank goodness you wasn't badly hurt and your kit was undamaged. :)

Chevvyf1
18th October 2013, 07:32 PM
Last Wednesday I was returning from a meeting at the Glazier's Hall, which is just by the north side of London bridge at river bank level and to get to the station I climbed a wet set of stone stairs up to the bridge level and as I got to the top I slipped, lost my balance and fell flat on my face carrying a golf umbrella, a shoulder strap laptop bag which also contained my E-P5 and a couple of lenses, and I had another bag with a bottle of champagne in it (Nikon always give out champers at their press launches).

Coins flew out of my pockets and my right thumb was bloodied and my knee was wet :( I was very cheered up by concerned bystanders who helped me up. The champagne survied, as did my uumbrella and my bits of kit in the laptop bag, just my ego was a bit shaken although Julia has told me off for getting blood (from my thumb) on my shirt pocket...

To provide some focus for this ramblling - I think straps are very important! :)

Ian

Hi Ian, I hope you are recovered and the shirt pocket is clear of blood now :) straps YES ! I hate seeing people holding a camera by the "grip" or "lens" and no strap around somewhere ! feeling sorry for them (when they drop it in an accident of losing balance :eek:) or the damage they do to the lens mount ! :cool:

Ralph Harwood
18th October 2013, 10:11 PM
I hate seeing people holding a camera by the "grip" or "lens" and no strap around somewhere ! feeling sorry for them (when they drop it in an accident of losing balance :eek:) or the damage they do to the lens mount ! :cool:

Hi there Chevvy!

I was always told that you should hold the lens not the camera when taking photos - so often when I have finished the lens remains in my left hand to support the weight of the camera and lens (with the E-30 and 70-200 f2.8 Sigma it's a LOT) to save my neck (which does have a strap round it). Is this likely to cause damage to the lens mount, or do you just mean in the event of a fall / drop? Given the weight of the Sigma I'd of thought there would be less strain on the mount holding the lens as it weighs more than the camera!.

Cheers,

Ralph.

Wee man
18th October 2013, 10:18 PM
Ian how did your knee get wet, fright? Hope all well and whiplash has not set in, it did happen in working hours. Expect lots of phone calls when this gets out and all they take is 12%.

Chevvyf1
19th October 2013, 08:01 AM
Hi there Chevvy!

I was always told that you should hold the lens not the camera when taking photos - so often when I have finished the lens remains in my left hand to support the weight of the camera and lens (with the E-30 and 70-200 f2.8 Sigma it's a LOT) to save my neck (which does have a strap round it). Is this likely to cause damage to the lens mount, or do you just mean in the event of a fall / drop? Given the weight of the Sigma I'd of thought there would be less strain on the mount holding the lens as it weighs more than the camera!.

Cheers,

Ralph.


Ralph, I too have held the BIGMA lens to take some of the weight off my neck/the neckstrap :)

I see people walking about, town or wherever just holding the lens and did think it is not good for the mount plate ?

I do often hold the lens taking photos - as using manual focus :)

pvasc
19th October 2013, 08:48 AM
I think if you have a lens on that's big enough it has it's own tripod mount you might want to support the lens regardless. I only have one, 50-200, and always support the lens. Especially after seeing the deformed MMF on here. That's a lot of weight to have hanging on either an MMF or camera mount flange no matter what the body is made out of. When I'm carrying it the whole thing is cradled in my left arm. After a while it becomes no less of a pain than having it hang on your neck though. No wonder the PL5 gets more use!