Olympus OM-D E-M1

Micro Four Thirds camera packs DLSR image quality in a rugged compact body


Building off the same mirrorless Micro Four Thirds base that made the PEN series so popular, the new compact Olympus OM-D E-M1 takes aim at the DLSR-loyal photographer. Released today, 10 September, as the second camera in the OM-D series and the brand’s new flagship camera, the E-M1 succeeds the E-5 DSLR and claims to produce the highest quality images of any Olympus camera to date—making it more than on par with other professional standard full-frame DSLRs. While CH’s hands-on experience has been brief so far, shooting at night on NYC’s famed Intrepid aircraft carrier gave some insight into the camera’s superior low light ability, impressive image stabilization and auto-focus speeds, and extremely capable interactive electronic viewfinder.


With built-in Wi-Fi, the OM-D E-M1 achieves DLSR quality images through a combination of 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor, a new TruePic VII image-processor and compatibility with all ZUIKO and M.ZUIKO Digital lenses. Taking into account the fact that a camera is often only as good as the eye behind it, the compact camera features an intuitive 2×2 Dial Control system to allow the user to quickly adjust aperture and shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO speed and white balance—all of which is observable in real time through the impressively clear, high-res 2.36 million-dot LCD panel digital viewfinder. Plus the OM-D E-M1 is extremely durable, dust resistant, splash-proof and freeze-proof, so it can be used to the best of its capabilities even challenging environments.

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Announced in conjunction with the introduction of the OM-D E-M1, Olympus unveiled two new high-performance lenses to establish the M.ZUIKO Pro lens category, led by a digital 12-40mm f.28 and 40-150mm f.28. Both M.ZUIKO PRO lenses and OM-D E-M1 camera will be available in October 2013—although pre-order is now open at Amazon. The OM-D E-M1 body is projected to sell for $1400 alone.

Stock images courtesy of Olympus, cityscape image by Graham Hiemstra