Olympus OM-D E-M1 review
- Solid chassis
- High-res tilting LCD and EVF
- DSLR-esque images
- Could be more intuitive
- Fiddly controls
The 16 megapixel Olympus OM-D E-M1 is currently both the latest and most expensive Olympus camera you can own.
And it's one in which its manufacturer has invested a massive amount of faith, promising that it delivers the best quality of any Olympus camera ever. That's 'ever'.
Just as well then that the mirror-less, interchangeable lens model had us uttering a series of wows upon taking delivery.
Firstly, for the deluxe-looking box/packaging it arrives in. Secondly, for the eye catching classic shape of the camera body, and thirdly for the lens supplied. The kit bundle includes a 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom that's an all-encompassing starter option equivalent to 24-100mm in 35mm film terms, and features both zoom ring and manual focus ring.
For those who slavishly follow numerical sequences, it might seem odd that an E-M1 follows last year's Olympus E-M5. But the brand is simply expanding its OM-D compact system camera (CSC) line up rather than upgrading what's gone before.
This new range-topping camera now sits above the still current E-M5, and is its maker's most determined wooing yet of current DSLR owners and professional photographers.
While the OM-D E-M1 looks very cool, it can also handle the cold, maintaining full operability down to -10°C according to Olympus. Additionally it's dust proof and splash proof; basically British winter proof, if not quite fully waterproof like the Nikon AW1. What's more it can be operated remotely via the aid of built-in Wi-Fi, an iPad and a free downloadable Olympus app.
Where this pricier camera also differs from the earlier E-M5 is that it has an all-new sensor plus a latest generation TruePic VII image processor, as well as prior innovations like a tilting LCD screen that also offers touch panel control. Outwardly retro, but at the same time thoroughly modern; that's the OM-D E-M1 in a nutshell.
The cost of body plus the lens we had to play with is an initially sizeable sounding £1,500, though if its 'body only' you need the cost is £200 less.
Alternatively go for a bright f/2.8 aperture 12-40mm zoom bundled with the E-M1 instead and expect to shell out just under £1,950.
But, first things first, is the Olympus OM-D E-M1 worth spending upwards of £1300 on?