I got to take this little beauty for a test drive yesterday evening. Roberts Camera in downtown Indianapolis hosted a photowalk sponsored by Olympus. I've done a couple of these photowalks before, and they are always fun. The best part of the walk is that the Olympus regional rep brought cameras for everyone to try. I checked out the OM-D E-M1.
I was curious to see how the Olympus handled & performed. As you probably know I use full frame Nikon kit for my studio work, and until recently used a DSLR for my street work. For street photography I wanted to go a little stealthier, so I moved from the DSLR to a FujiFilm X-20. I love that little guy, but decided I needed to upgrade to a micro 4/3 or an ILC with an APS-C sensor. I bought a Sony Alpha A6000.
However, I looked at the Olympus line, but at the end decided to go with the Sony line. Absolutely no knock on Olympus or other manufacturers. So in a way, this walk was an opportunity to see what I missed.
Thought I would give you my impressions of the EM-1. Please be aware, this ISN'T a product review. There are lots of other blogs and reviews out there that have fully reviewed the EM-1. This is simply my impression based on 1 walk. For a side by side, I also brought my A6000.
First impression - it's sturdy. This is not an inexpensive feeling camera. For approximately $1,300 US you are getting a substancially built piece of kit. I used the f/2.8 12-40mm lens which is a good focal range for street. Plenty bright. So with that here are my observations:
> Lots of buttons and dials. My impression is that the camera looks cluttered. Several dials and buttons on the top of the camera and on the back.
> I noticed a very slight shutter lag in single frame mode. This is compared to my Nikon DSLR (really not a fair comparison), and my Sony A6000.
> I constantly changed the single focal point (I set it to center focus point so I could focus & recompose) by hitting the right arrow button on the back of the camera. If there is a way to lock the center focus point I couldn't find it.
> The menu is well laid out and easy to navigate. I had no problems finding the primary functions
> The adjustable monitor on the back is easy to view even in bright light. My A6000 sucks in bright light
> The on/off button is on the wrong side of the camera. What gives with this?
> Another personal observation, but the camera felt off balanced in my hand. The grip is very deep, but it just felt off
> The burst mode is SUPER fast and focused on every shot on 3 tests I did
> The ART filters are hipsterish, but they were fun
> Image quality is solid
Overall, a fun / solid camera. Anyone looking for a DSLR replacement or a top end micro 4/3 should give this a look.
Thanks to Roberts for a well run photowalk and to Olympus for letting us play with their kit.