Olympus OM-D E-M1 announced, Price, Specs, Release Date, Where to Buy

Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus has announced its new OM-D E-M1 interchangeable lens camera, which is now the flagship of its Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the ‘successor’ to the E-5, a Four Thirds DSLR introduced back in 2010.

The E-M1’s 16.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor has on-chip phase detection, which promises to focus legacy Four Thirds lenses (using the optional MMF-3 adapter) at much faster speeds than previous Olympus m4/3 cameras.

Other interesting features include the E-M1’s large electronic viewfinder, which has a magnification of 1.48X, a touch-enabled LCD, a rugged body that is water, dust, and freezeproof, and an impressive number of customizable buttons. Wi-Fi is also included.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Price

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Price – $1,399.00.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Features and Specifications

The Olympus OMD E-M1 Micro Four Thirds Camera fills a void left when Olympus quietly shifted its pro and enthusiast camera focus from DSLRs to MILCs. Designed with high-end enthusiasts and professionals in mind, the ruggedly built Olympus OM-D E-M1 shares Olympus’s classic compact OM SLR design elements, adding a more robust feature set including features (some borrowed from the pro-level E-5) and more rugged build than its mid-range sibling, the widely acclaimed Olympus OM-D EM-5.

Designed for Knowledgeable Photographers

The Olympus OM-D EM-1 is rich with features, and is highly customizable. In the hands of a beginner-intermediate photographer it will deliver outstanding results and ease of use via its flip-out touch screen operation, multiple art/scene filters, and iAuto modes, but its strengths will be most appreciated by experienced shooters. It will be of special interest to those understand the utility of multiple, at-your-fingertips HDR settings, custom function assignments to particular buttons, multiple RAW and JPEG image capture options, and lightening-fast autofocus.

In the Hands

Grasp the Olympus OM-D EM-1 and you’ll immediately notice its substantial grip and build. The EM-1 has a multitude of buttons and controls. The drive /HDR button, located on the left side of the top plate, provides quick access to burst rates and seven flavors of HDR exposure bracketing, including a setting that shoots up to 7 frames with a 2 EV spread or 5 frames with a 3 EV spread.

The bulk of navigation is done via thumb and forefinger dials atop the camera that are within easy reach. There’s a PASM dial that also includes access to iAuto mode, Art filters (12 total, along with an “art Bracket” setting that automatically creates 12 different images with each filter applied) and 24 Scene settings, as well as multi-image montage templates and movie mode.

The flip-out LCD monitor offers touch focus (touch the part of the picture you want in focus and it immediately snaps into focus), touch shutter release, etc. I found the LCD monitor to be bright and usable in sunlight. I also give high marks to the eye-level EVF, which projected excellent image quality with barely any “jaggies” when moving the camera.

The EM-1’s convenient articulated LCD monitor lets you place the camera on the ground and compose from a comfortable position.

Favorite Features

Such a feature-packed camera has a mile-long list of capabilities; here are a few favorites that are relatively new for this class of camera, or new to Olympus.

In-camera image editing: Whether you’re shooting JPEG or RAW, the OM-D EM-1 offers several post-processing options, including shadow adjustment, redeye fix, crop, changing the aspect ratio, converting to sepia or black-and-white, adjusting color saturation, or changing resolution. If you shoot RAW, you can apply any number of Art filters after the fact and the camera will generate filtered JPEG images. Very cool!

WiFi: The OM-D EM-1 offers hot-spot connectivity, as well as the ability to load images into your tablet or smart phone, and all Wi-Fi options can be password protected.

Custom settings: A good pro-oriented camera lets you tweak its settings, and the OM-D EM-1 offers plenty of options. Some custom resets include: Changing flash sync from the default to as high as 1/320 sec; an extensive array of white balance choices, Color Balance Bracketing, changing the direction of the focus ring, MF focus peaking or magnification, reassigning functions to 5 different dials and buttons, setting the number of images shot in burst mode, tweaking the shutter release’s sensitivity to pressure, histogram settings, adjusting amount of noise reduction, and changing the ISO setting steps. There are many more options, but this should give you a sense of how extensive and exacting these settings are.

It offers ample customization to meet the needs of particular photographers, and lets you adjust image quality before, during, or after exposure. It has a fast enough burst rate to keep sports photographers happy and thanks to Olympus’s growing line of lenses, enough optic choices to meet a wide range of picture-taking needs for demanding photographers.

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Body material Magnesium alloy
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16.3 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 16.8 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor TruePIC VII
Color space sRGB, Adobe RGB
Color filter array Primary color filter
ISO 100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes ‘5-axis’ IS
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Super Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
File format
  • JPEG (DCF/Exif)
  • Raw (ORF)
  • MPO
Image parameters
  • Sharpness, contrast, saturation
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Autofocus assist lamp Yes
Digital zoom Yes (2X)
Manual focus Yes (with focus peaking)
Number of focus points 81
Lens mount Micro 4/3 Lens Mount
Focal length multiplier
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 1,037,000
Touch screen Yes
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100 %
Viewfinder magnification 1.3×
Viewfinder resolution 2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Exposure modes
  • iAuto
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority
  • Shutter Priority
  • Manual
  • Bulb
  • Time
  • Scene Select
  • Art Filter
Scene modes
  • Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye conversion lens, Wide conversion lens, Macro Conv., 3D
Built-in flash No (compact external flash included)
External flash Yes (hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modes Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
Flash X sync speed 1/320 sec
Drive modes
  • Single, sequential H, sequential L, self-timer (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing ±2 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
Videography features
  • H.264
  • Motion JPEG
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Videography notes 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
Remote control Yes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
Environmentally sealed Yes (Dust, splash, freeze resistent)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions 130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48″)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Release Date

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 starts shipping on October 14, 2013.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sample Images

See Olympus OM-D E-M1 Sample Images.

Product images & Videos

Olympus OM-D E-M1 2 Olympus OM-D E-M1 3 Olympus OM-D E-M1 4