Olympus OM-D E-M1 Review

Overall 47
Imaging 21
Features 74
Size 74
Price 0

Main Features

  • 16.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 10.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 130 x 94 x 63 mm
  • Weight: 497 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced by Olympus E-M1 II.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Summary

This review is devoted to OM-D E-M1 that Olympus has first introduced to the public in Oct 28, 2013. This model is a Pro Mirrorless camera with a resolution of 16.0 MP and a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

Olympus has replaced this product with their most recent model E-M1 II.

In Pro Mirrorless cameras (Top 10 MirrorLess Cameras) this model has taken rank #98 out of 180. Its Overall Score has reached 47/100 and it takes a rank of #182 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Compared to other MirrorLess Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Olympus OM-D E-M1 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Screen Type: Tilting
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Continuous Shooting: 10.0 fps
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Af Touch: Yes
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Number Of Focus Points: 81
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Wireless Connectivity: Built-In
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Timelapse Recording: Yes

CONs

  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 12.7
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 757
  • Headphone Port: No
  • Battery Life: 350 shots
  • Storage Slots: 1

Complete Comparison of Olympus OM-D E-M1 With Other Cameras in Pro Mirrorless Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Olympus OM-D E-M1. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Pro Mirrorless cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1 has the following external dimensions 130 x 130 x 63 mm (51.18 x 37.01 x 24.8″) with the weight of 497 g.

The typical weight for average Pro Mirrorless type cameras is 672g. If we compare the average indicator of the weight of Olympus OM-D E-M1, we can conclude that this model is lighter than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Olympus OM-D E-M1 has about an average thickness compared to other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 63mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

HTML
BB

If you want to have a better idea of how big the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

HTML
BB

Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Olympus OM-D E-M1 — 350 shots
Min: 210 shots
Average: 432 shots
Max: 870 shots

Thickness

Olympus OM-D E-M1 — 63 mm
Min: 37 mm
Average: 63 mm
Max: 97 mm

Weight

Olympus OM-D E-M1 — 497 g
Min: 465 g
Average: 672 g
Max: 1320 g

Unfortunately, Olympus OM-D E-M1 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Olympus OM-D E-M1 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Photo and Sensor Features

Olympus OM-D E-M1 comes with TruePIC VII processor. This model also boasts of a resolution of 16.0 MP and is equipped with a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Olympus OM-D E-M1 has the following ISO range 100 - 25600 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 features a 16.0 MP Four Thirds sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Olympus OM-D E-M1, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 73 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Olympus OM-D E-M1’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Olympus OM-D E-M1 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Four Thirds sensor featured in Olympus OM-D E-M1 with other standard sensor sizes.

HTML
BB

Other Characteristics And Features of Olympus OM-D E-M1

LCD and ViewFinder

Olympus OM-D E-M1 is equipped with a Tilting 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 1,037k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Electronic ViewFinder.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1’s embedded ViewFinder comes with coverage of 100 and a resolution of 2,360k dots.

100% ensures that the resulting photo will capture the exact scene you could see in the viewfinder while shooting. Such coverage indicator also means that the framing of your shot will be more accurate, so there won’t be need for further cropping.

This model comes with a high-quality LCD screen. This is a type of a touch screen, which makes shooting much more convenient and simple, allowing you to adjust the point of focus and camera settings with fingertips.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Olympus OM-D E-M1 are its 10.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Besides, OM-D E-M1 comes with an electronic shutter, which has a max speed of 1/8000 sec. It also means that you can take shots without any noise. However, there is one thing to keep in mind. While electronic shutter is great for continuous and noiseless shooting, in some cases, it may result in rolling shutter effects on your images.

Flash

Unlike some other cameras from this category, OM-D E-M1 unfortunately, is not equipped with a built-in flash. Luckily, it has a special slot for external flashes instead.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Olympus OM-D E-M1 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 81 points.

In addition, OM-D E-M1 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Focus Stacking

Without a doubt, macro shooting is an interesting branch of photography. If this is something you are interested in, then you should love the way Olympus OM-D E-M1 handles such tasks. This model has a smart Focus Stacking feature that brings macro shooting to an entirely new level. How does it work? When you enable this feature, the camera uses focus bracketing automatically compounds multiple pictures taken at different focal lengths to unite them in a single shot that has a maximum depth of field.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Olympus OM-D E-M1, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1920 x 1080 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Olympus OM-D E-M1 allows you to save files in H.264 and Motion JPEG formats.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 provides full HD resolution, which means that this model shows decent performance in most situations.

In addition, Olympus OM-D E-M1 is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone for recording high-quality sound with its help.

Connectivity and Storage

One more advantage of Olympus OM-D E-M1 is its embedded wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity. This feature makes it possible to share files with suitable devices without the necessity to connect them physically.

In addition, OM-D E-M1 is equipped with its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports that make it possible to connect OM-D E-M1 with suitable external devices.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Olympus OM-D E-M1 provides a shooting life of 350, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 432 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Olympus OM-D E-M1 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Olympus OM-D E-M1’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Olympus OM-D E-M1’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the OM-D E-M1 to the average MirrorLess camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus OM-D E-M1 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 70. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus OM-D E-M1 can be called a Strong model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus OM-D E-M1 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 95. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus OM-D E-M1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (130 x 94 x 63 mm)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus OM-D E-M1 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 93. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus OM-D E-M1 can be called a 93 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (81)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (10.0 fps)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (757)
  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus OM-D E-M1 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 93. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus OM-D E-M1 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (497 g)
  • Big size (130 x 94 x 63 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Olympus OM-D E-M1 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus OM-D E-M1 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 87. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus OM-D E-M1 can be called a 87 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Good Dynamic Range (12.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (16 MP)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (757)

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Olympus
Model OM-D E-M1
Announced Oct 28, 2013
Body Type SLR-style mirrorless
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 94
Focal Length Multiplier 2x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Tilting
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 2,360k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.74
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 10.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash No
Flash Range 0
Flash Modes Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 73
DxO Color Depth 23.0
DxO Dynamic Range 12.7
DxO Low Light ISO 757
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 16.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4608 x 3456
Max Native ISO 25,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch Yes
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking Yes
AF Selective Yes
AF Center Yes
AF Multi Area Yes
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 81
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080
Video Formats H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity Yes
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 497 g
Physical Dimensions 130 x 94 x 63 mm
Battery Life 350 shots
Battery Type 350 shots
Battery Model BLN-1
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes
GPS
Storage Type SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 1

Most popular Pro Mirrorless cameras

Sony Alpha A7S II 12.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II 20.0 MP CMOS
Four Thirds
Sony Alpha A7R 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony Alpha A7 II 24.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony Alpha A7R III 42.0 MP BSI-CMOS
Full frame