Conclusion: Should E-M5 owners upgrade to an E-M1? Probably not, especially if they’ve got the optional battery grip. But everyone else should sell every camera they own, plus a body part and any heirlooms knocking about in the loft, and buy the new Olympus’ flagship. It’s a complete package, with superb performance, great ergonomics, portability and a lovely selection of available lenses. In fact, it’s our Stuff Gadget Awards Camera of the Year.
Summary: The OM-D E-M1 is one of the best current ILCs and marks a high point for the Olympus system. Extremely versatile controls, a rugged body, and a lovely EVF combine with some of the highest image quality you can get from a Micro Four Thirds camera. At $1,399 it may not be cheap, but it does provide a suitably luxurious shooting experience.
Conclusion: Many pros flocked to the Olympus OM-D E-M5 as a lighter, more compact alternative to their big, bulky DSLRs. It was decidedly different from the Micro Four Thirds models that came before it, featuring blazing speed, a 5-axis in-camera stabilization system and best-in-class image quality.
Pros: Superior pro-level, weatherproof design and build, with magnesium alloy construction, Lots of physical controls, including the 2x2 Control Dial system, with immense customizability, Excellent image quality with very good high ISO performance that rivals APS-C models, New ISO 100 setting offers lower noise and noticeably better detail in JPEGs, M.Zuiko Pro 12-40mm f/2.8 unofficial kit lens is excellent, Incredibly fast contrast-detect autofocus is faster than most DSLR...
Cons: Larger and heavier than most compact system cameras, Lack of AA filter means moiré can be an issue (but seemingly little worse than the OM-D E-M5), Physical control customization and menu navigation has a high learning curve, Touchscreen controls not very helpful for navigating menus and changing settings, Power switch location, Video frame rate limited to 30p; overall video capabilities not an upgrade over the E-P5, Single card slot, No built-in flash, Bundled extern...
Excerpt: The Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the flagship camera in Olympus’ Micro Four Thirds mirrorless lineup. When you pick up the camera, it certainly feels like a flagship model. The tough, magnesium alloy body is immediately apparent, as are the plentiful controls available via external buttons, dials and switches.
Conclusion: We don’t understand the sometimes over-the-top positive online reaction to this capable but hardly extraordinary mirrorless camera. Yes, it certainly can capture quality stills and good 1080/30p videos. But for $1,400 body only? No way. Although much larger, you can purchase a Canon 20-megapixel EOS 70D with two lenses at Costco for less. And one of favorite DSLRs, the Nikon D7100, is a couple of hundred cheaper for a body-only configuration.
Pros: Quality 16-megapixel CSC, Excellent built-in EVF, Superior ISO capability
Cons: Much too expensive, Top video quality only 1080/30p, Great images, but not full-frame level
Summary: In most respects the E-M1 does a good job bridging the gap between a traditional DSLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera. Its controls and customizability may overwhelm less hands-on users, but those who don't mind tinkering will love its flexibility. The improved autofocus tracking and performance with original Four Thirds lenses adds to the appeal of a camera with blazingly fast AF acquisition speeds with its native lenses.
Pros: Sturdy, weather-resistant body with lovely retro styling, Excellent image quality, Chromatic aberration corrected in-camera making JPEGs more usable, 2x2 interface puts more controls at your fingers, Impressive number of customizable controls, Bright, sharp electronic viewfinder, Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control and easy transfer of images to mobile device, Color Creator introduces more in-camera processing options, Neat in-camera time lapse creation, Ne...
Cons: Interface and controls can be overwhelming initially, In-camera Raw conversion interface is somewhat unintuitive, Auto focus with Four Thirds lenses is slow in dim conditions with tricky subjects, Only one SD card slot, Inconveniently-placed power switch, Disappointing video quality, Multi-screen live view interface looks very dated (e.g. can't combine electronic level and histogram)
Conclusion: With gorgeous images—even in low light, incredible speed, and a wealth of high-end features, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera that money can buy. It's an easy Editors' Choice award winner.
Pros: Impressive image quality, even at high ISO settings. Dust-proof, splash-proof design. Solid build quality. Excellent ergonomics. Best-in-class EVF. Wi-Fi. In-camera art filters and color control. Robust time lapse feature. Quick autofocus. 10.5fps burst shooting. In-camera image stabilization. Sharp, tilting touch screen.
Cons: On the pricey side. No built-in flash. No support for 60fps video.
Excerpt: Olympus is pushing the limits with its new ILC (Interchangeable Lens Camera), the OM-D E-M1. This compact camera has been designed to provide professional quality features, performance and image quality without the size and price tag that is associated with a professional camera.
Excerpt: A big Olympus announcement was rumored even before my trip to NYC to unveil what is now known to be the OM-D E-M1. Although we all hoped for something huge, we weren't really sure if the unveiling would match our expectations. Within a half an hour after the announcement I had my hands on the new OM-D and have had a hard time putting it down since.
Pros: Great image quality, Weather proofed, Awesome grip, Great autofocus, Great viewfinder and LCD screen, DSLR-like feature set
Cons: Noise can be an issue at high ISOs, Cost, No second memory card slot