The new flagship Olympus OM-D E-M1 compact system camera sits above the existing Olympus OM-D E-M5 and has been designed to work with both Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds DSLR lenses.
While some of the brand's previous Micro Four Thirds models were compatible with DSLR lenses, the autofocus system was't really designed to work with both. That's not the case on the OMD-E-M1, which sports a new Dual Fast autofocus, effectively giving you access to a huge selection of 65 lenses.
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Size and build
Olympus has paid lots of attention to the design, going for a sleek look with all the lines on the model "pointing towards the subject", we were told. The chassis is totally black for a very slick, premium look, while the large front- facing handgrip (combined with a modest thumbgrip on the back) gives the camera the look and feel of an SLR.
There are a few changes to the familiar Olympus control layout, with the main mode dial moving from the left to the right-hand side of the camera top, while the power switch is now on the left.
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Features
Olympus has removed the low pass filter from the the 16MP Live MOS sensor so it should be capable of capturing more detail that the sensors on previous models.
Built-in Wi-Fi means that you can upload images direct to the web using the brand's dedicated smartphone app, and you can also use your phone's screen to compose shots and fire the shutter release remotely.
Dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof to -10 degrees C, while all compatible lenses are also freezeproof. Other new features include an arty filter called Diorama II, which enables you to get a tilt-shift effect on portrait shots.
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Viewfinder
There's no optical viewfinder, but you do get a 2.36-million dot LCD electronic viewfinder. Based on the ambient light and the size of the user's pupil, the viewfinder will automatically adjust its backlight (although you can turn this setting off if you choose).
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Picture quality
Compact System Cameras
According to the maker, the E-M1 sports the best image quality to date on an Olympus camera. Given our short time with the model, it's impossible for us to make a call on that just yet, but we'll get stuck into testing this out more thoroughly as soon as we get our mitts on a full review sample.
Olympus OM-D E-M1: Verdict
So far we've only seen a pre-production model of the Olympus OM-D E-M1, but we were very impressed with what we saw. The DSLR-style design will appeal to enthusiasts looking for top-notch picture quality rather than those looking for a space-saving compact system camera, while the inclusion of Wi-Fi, and the ability to use two different lens systems are also compelling reasons to shell out your hard-earned cash. Stay tuned for a full review.
Olympus OM-D E-M1 release date: October 2013
Olympus OM-D E-M1 price: £1299 (body only), £1499.99 (with M.ZUKIKO DIGITAL 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 lens) £1,949 (with M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm 1:2.8 lens)