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Showing 1-10 of 129 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 180 reviews
on October 29, 2013
Should you buy this camera?

1. Absolutely YES...if you are a dedicated Olympus guy/gal with a serious investment in Zuiko lenses, then this upgrade is an absolute no-brainer. Buy it now and you will finally be able to compete with your Canon and Nikon buddies in low-light and high resolution. They'll be jealous of the small package and amazing array of features in this camera, and you'll finally get the full performance out of the Zuiko HG and SHG lenses that were always overmatched for the Olympus bodies (more on the performance of the camera below).

2. Almost certainly...if you are looking for your first DSL system and prefer a very lightweight and compact camera system over the bulkier full-size DSLRs YET you still want pro-level control and image quality AND a large selection of medium-to-high grade lenses. If that description fits you, then this camera is the best choice today. The micro four thirds standard is the most diverse system in this category, as Nikon and Canon have yet to really compete in the mirrorless segment beyond a few entries and lenses. Sony is another good option, but their mirrorless lens choices are very thin and overpriced IMO...but I digress.

3. Seriously Consider...if you are Canon/Nikon pro who makes money with your photography and you're looking for a smaller rig on occasion. The EM-1 could be a nice second (or third) rig with image quality that will impress you even in low light. The light weight and small size of the lenses (especially the fast primes) will surprise you. You might find yourself in places and situations where the full-size camera is too imposing or distracting, while the EM-1 is barely even noticeable (and the shutter is nearly silent). I think we're going to see the mirrorless systems showing up more often in professional settings, especially as the bodies improve and the lens choices increase. Right now, this is the best of the breed.

4. Maybe...if you have an aging full-size DSLR from Canon or Nikon and it's time for an upgrade. Depending on how much you have invested in your glass, a switch to this system should give you substantially better image performance, much smaller size and probably less cost when compared to buying a new full-size sensor body with several fast lenses. It's a commitment to a new system, but if your current setup is old and can't cut it any longer, then this might be the right time to switch.

5. Probably not...if you are invested heavily in Canon and Nikon glass and accessories. The quality of this camera is very, very good, but not good enough to justify significant expense in new lenses.

I bought this camera because I fit into category 1 above. I am a long-time Olympus digital SLR owner (which has not been an easy road, frankly). I originally bought into the Olympus four-thirds system because their lenses were so much faster (i.e., brighter) than competitors at a similar price point, and their equipment is very well made. I think the price was a bit steep (even more than I paid for my E-5), but the quality to match the price is there, and let's face it...Olympus owners don't really have a choice if we want to continue using our high-end Olympus glass.

Some background on my perspective...skip the nex paragraph if you don't care.

I started with the E-1, moved to the E-620 and then the E-5. I've been using the E-5 exclusively for the past three years. (I also bought a Panasonic mirrorless micro four thirds body to play with, but I never liked the lack of control it offered, so I stuck with the E-5.) I also have many Olympus lenses, including four of their high-end SHG lenses, and if it hadn't been for my (significant) investment in this glass, I would have abandoned the four-thirds standard long ago. I've long been jealous of my Canon and Nikon friends with much better low-light performance and better resolution. On the other hand, they were jealous of my insanely fast Olympus glass, so I waited to see Olympus' next move before deciding whether to stay or jump ship.

The OM-D EM-1 wasn't exactly the body I was expecting, but now that I have shot with it for a week, I'm sold. Finally, I have a camera that competes nicely (not equally, but close) with full frame sensor bodies. The build quality on this camera is top notch, equal to the E-5 and even better in some respects. The controls will be familiar to anyone who has used (and loved) the unique Olympus body control layouts. Everything on this camera is fast, fast, fast. Contrast focus is great with MFT lenses and the phase-detection is even faster than my E-5 (which was no slouch with SWF lenses).

Now, here are answers to questions I had before I bought the EM-1 (that no else seemed to address). I think they will be particularly helpful for existing Olympus camera owners:

1. Is the EM-1 image quality *finally* competitive with the "big boys?"

In a word, yes. Olympus owners can finally take the bag off their heads! No more making excuses for our low light performance, poor focus speed or low resolution. I'm continually surprised (in a good way) by the image quality of the EM-1. It's visibly better than the E-5, and in low light situations the difference between the EM-1 and previous Olympus bodies is...well...night and day. Noise is all but nonexistent at ISO 6400 or below (and even higher ISOs are very usable). This was always Olympus biggest weakness compared to other cameras, but that difference is mostly erased with this camera. Compared to my friend's full frame Canon, the EM-1 colors look a little over saturated (in the typical Olympus way, especially the reds), but I kinda like the pumped look, and you can always desaturate in post if you prefer the flatter, more neutral Canon look. White balance is outstanding. Olympus bodies typically handled white balance well, but this one nails it every time.

2. Is the camera still easy to configure and control in the typical Olympus way of doing things?

Look up the word "configurable" on wikipedia, and you will find a picture of the EM-1. Virtually every button can be remapped to another purpose. Olympus might as well have labeled every button on the camera with a letter (e.g., A, B, C, etc.) instead of a specific function, because you can change every button to do whatever function you prefer. In fact, you can make multiple buttons do the SAME thing. The manual comes on a CD, but it's not that long and you can print it at home with a laser printer for a few pennies. It's worth it because you'll need it to configure the camera properly. After about an hour, I had the EM-1 buttons remapped to match the configuration on my E-5. Yeah...zero retraining required!

3. Do I need the new Olympus M Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 or should I stick with my four-thirds lenses and the adapter?

How rich are you? If you have the money, replace your four thirds lenses with good M4/3, but it will cost you. The 12-40mm is a cool $1,000. After I got my EM-1 I attached a few of my SHG lenses, and they worked perfectly, but they look ridiculous. I initial intended to stick my big Olympus glass to save money, but after one day with the EM-1, I decided to invest in high-end micro four thirds lenses. It completely ruins the point of a svelte micro four thirds body when mated to oversized lenses. I love the quality of SHG glass, and I certainly won't be dumping those lenses anytime soon, but for everyday photography needs (i.e., with the kids at the amusement park, walking around the tourist spots, a casual moment with the family and pets, etc.) you don't want to mate a small, lightweight camera with a ginormous, heavy lens. My first purchase was the 12-40mm (on the wait list now) and I've already bought a few of the M4/3 primes including the Oly 17mm, Pana/Leica 25mm, Oly 45mm and Oly 75mm (my favorite). I'm told Olympus is working to replicate the fast zooms of the SHG four thirds line in M4/3 versions. Let's hope for it.

4. Can I live with an electronic viewfinder instead of optical?

The electronic viewfinder is absolutely stunning. When I first heard Olympus was abandoning their traditional four-third bodies in favor of mirrorless, I was VERY concerned about losing an optical viewfinder like in my E-5. I took one look through the EM-1, and I was sold on electronic viewfinders. It's bigger and brighter than the E-5 - and most other cameras I'm told. My only complaint is that colors are rendered a little cooler and unsaturated in the viewfinder (as compared to the back screen and the actual photo), but you can adjust the tone and brightness of the viewfinder screen in the endless control settings on this camera. There are three different viewfinder modes so you can select the data you prefer to see, and it automatically turns on and off when you bring it to your eye. Very smart. The first time you try to focus your shot at dusk in near total darkness, you'll learn to appreciate the advantages of electronic viewfinders over optical. No regrets here.

5. What accessories should I buy?

Personally, I think the $200 battery extender grip accessory is a must-have for this camera. First, it makes the camera easier to hold, since the EM-1 is quite small in larger hands. Obviously, you can always remove the battery holder when you want the smallest possible camera. More importantly, if you are accustomed to the 600+ shots of the E-5 battery, be aware you aren't going to get that with this camera. You can only get that level of performance with the extended battery pack. The single internal battery in the camera is good for maybe 300 or so. Other than the battery extender grip, there's not much else you need. You can reuse Olympus lenses, flashes, wired remotes, etc.

6. How does it feel and sound?

It feels wonderful. The button actions are noticeably better than the E-5 buttons, which always felt a little "squishy" to me. Every switch action oozes quality, like a finely made device. Except the SC card door...it's nothing special. Sound wise, the EM-5 uses the same "double beep" focus confirmation as the E-5 (with volume settings, of course). More importantly, everyone remarks on how quiet the shutter is. It has a very quiet but satisfying "thunk" sound compared to the more traditional "click" DSLR shutter sound. Sounds like the shutter is under a pillow, but still very reassuring. Sounds like quality, like a German car door closing. It's perfect for taking photos in sensitive surroundings. All in all, the camera feels like the money you paid for it.

7. How will I process RAW images from this thing? No one has a RAW profile for this camera yet.

I have long used Olympus' Studio Pro software to do RAW processing to JPG for my E-series cameras. The software had the unique ability to apply Olympus' lens correction data to the final image to eliminate distortion, aberrations and corner shadows. I tried comparing the output of Studio Pro to ACR and Apple's RAW converters, and Olympus always came up better. But Olympus hasn't updated this software in forever, so I wondered what software Olympus would bundle with the EM-1. I was pleasantly surprised. The software provided is basically an updated version of Studio Pro, though it goes by a different name and lacks some pro features. (Specifically, it lacks the ability to control the camera by wire, but this feature is now available through the smartphone app, so it's a wash.) The update still includes all the RAW processing features I liked in Studio Pro, including applying lens correction data for any Olympus digital lens. But, I also learned that if you prefer to shoot in JPG, the EM-1's in-camera JPG processing also applies the lens correction data automatically. So if you only shot in RAW in the past so you could correct lens errors in software, now you can stick with shooting JPG and still get corrected images. I still shoot in RAW for the extra color control.

Finally, some nit-picky complaints:

- There is no way to completely turn off the backlighting for the main screen like you can in the E-5. You can turn off live view image and the menu so the screen is blank, but even then the screen's backlighting remains on whenever the camera is turned on (so it's still draining the battery). The only time the backlighting goes off is when your eye comes up to the viewfinder (which is nice). With such a small battery, this is a dumb design. I hope Olympus fixes it with a firmware update.

- The shutter release is VERY sensitive. I've occasionally taken two of three photos when I intended to take only one (and yes, the drive setting was set to single exposure). Just hesitating as I release my finger from the shutter release button can trigger one or two additional shots. On the positive side, the camera can reel off a burst of photos as fast as the new iPhone 5S (10/sec) and the super fast focus means they are all sharp.

- On a camera at this price, Olympus should have included GPS in the camera. The smartphone app works, but it requires you keep the app open and running on your phone (albeit in the background) for the entire time you are shooting pictures, so that the app can log your location data during the period you were taking pictures and then pass that logged data to the camera at a later point. Cumbersome to say the least. Look Olympus, if you're gonna charge $1,500 for a compact DSLR body, you can afford to put a freakin' $1 GPS chip in the camera body!

- Olympus includes a compact camera-style flash accessory you can attach on the hotshot. It's designed to be removed from the camera when not in use, so it's a bit of a pain (though they do include a nice velvet carry pouch that velcros to your strap). I haven't used the flash yet. One benefit of the EM-1's high ISO performance is almost never needing a flash anyway. Obviously, there are times with a flash is required (for very low light or to fill shadows, etc.), but this little flash probably isn't going to be the one you want to use on an expensive body like this, so if you need flash, plan on buying one of Olympus' big off-camera flashes. I wish Olympus had made the included flash an accessory and just cut $150 off the EM-1 price.

- The EM-1 screen doesn't articulate outward to the side of the camera (so it can be seen by the subject) or folded back against the body to protect the screen (like the E-5). It's limited to simply angling up or down. Not sure how much I will miss the extra flexibility, but I do hate to see it go. Oh well.
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on October 20, 2014
I got tired of lugging my pro-grade Canon gear around to take photos, especially on recreational outdoor excursions. I wanted a compact camera solution, but I was hesitant to move away from a full-frame sensor and L lenses; I spent a lot of time researching different options and form factors. I was intrigued by the Sony a7, but it's "shutter shock" issue deterred me, and the fact that it's a full-frame sensor means it still requires a lot of heavy glass to get good photos. I looked at the Fuji X-series, and although it has a bigger sensor than the MFT in the Olympus, it seemed the usability wasn't quite as good.

I finally bit the bullet and dropped the cash on the E-M1, along with the Olympus 12-40mm Pro lens to get me started. I've taken about 150 photos over the last month, in conditions ranging from low-light pixel-peeping to real-world indoor/outdoor shots. Thus far, I have been thoroughly impressed with the camera. It has enough physical controls to allow "pro" shooters to quickly adjust settings, its interface is convenient and highly-customizable, its focus speed and accuracy is superb, and the image quality is really excellent. Using the WiFi for live-shooting and instant transfer seems pretty convenient, too, although I haven't really used it except to test it out.

I don't doubt that there will be times when I miss shots that I could have taken with my 5DIII, or I want to get a gallery-worthy shot that I can't quite pull off with MFT, but for the convenience and size of the camera, I'm happy to make that tradeoff.
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on March 4, 2015
I was reluctant to get a compact system camera when my E-5 started to wear out, but after being unhappy with a brief stint with Canon I decided to buy it. Now, I wish I had bought it sooner. The pictures are incredible and the high ISOs are amazing, and it is amazingly fast. It also has enough weight and size to handle the higher quality e-series lenses such as the 50-200 (with adaptor). I have a mixed opinion of the electronic viewfinder. The positive is that it does a better job of showing you when you are over exposing or there is too much contrast than an optical viewfinder. The downside is that you can't instantly see to refocus when taking rapid exposures as the previous exposure stays for a moment in the viewfinder. This takes some getting used to.
The picture of the armadillo is at 16000 ISO in a poorly lit setting.
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on October 14, 2013
I have thoroughly used and reviewed this camera over the past several weeks (review sample from Olympus) and have been wowed, shocked and surprised at the results. I originally thought this would be an E-M5 with a better build, feel and faster AF and at the end of the day I found it to be much more. Due to the lack of an AA filter, the IQ has indeed been enhanced. Images are sharper/crisper and the high ISO has also been improved. I have written 5700 words on this camera and shared a ton of images as well as a comparison against a Leica M. At the end of the day this camera is so good, I ordered one from Amazon for myself.

Below is my "FInal Conclusion" from the full review I posted on my website on the E-M1:

Well here we are in 2013 and the choices for all of us crazy enthusiasts are plentiful and excellent. We finally have a definitive Micro 4/3 camera body that is pro level and can do just about anything one needs it to do and do it in any weather. As always, I review cameras from an enthusiasts point of view in a real world way. There are things I do not even get into like Flash, because I have not used a flash in 14 years. I am anti-flash even though I know it is good to have on some occasions. But as an enthusiast and a passionate photographer who has seen it all and used them all, I can say with confidence that the OM-D E-M1 is one of the best cameras "as a whole" that I have ever reviewed. It is superb. Yes, there are others with better overall IQ and others with better high ISO but as a whole, speaking of the whole package, nothing else has come close.

You have seen me rant and rave about a few different camera models over the year. Leica's and Sony's for the most part. Well as of today there is a new camera in town that offers the perfect mix of speed, usability, build, image quality, cost and lenses to place it at the top of the heap in the world of mirrorless cameras. Someone asked me today if I would take a Canon 6D and 85L or an E-M1 and 25 1.4. For me that choice is easy. The E-M1 only because it would go with me everywhere when the 6D would be left behind. It is just too large, too bulky and too heavy and the lenses, while fantastic are just too much weight wise for everyday use.

The image quality of the E-M1 is an improvement over the E-M5 due to the new processor and lack of an AA filter. The files pop more and I feel they also have slightly different color that I prefer. Crisp. Beautiful. The exposure metering is fantastic, the AWB is fantastic, the out of camera colors are beautiful.

There will always be naysayers no matter what towards this Micro 4/3 system. But those who disregard or trash Micro 4/3 or the E-M1 have no idea what they are doing or saying. There is simply nothing to trash and that is fact.

It will not match full frame like the RX1 or M in all out flat out IQ but it will meet head to head ANY APS-C mirrorless and beat them on build, speed, and every other area usability area with ease. What it boils down to for me is..Olympus E-M1 or Full Frame? The answer for me is BOTH. One all out IQ monster and one usability and IQ monster. :)

Also, let us not forget the lenses. Micro 4/3 has some of the best lenses made for any system, period. There are many highly recommended jewels in the lineup. At the end of the day this camera gets my highest recommendation. Buy the E-M1 and a couple of nice fast primes and go out and use it and it will be hard to put it down. The Olympus E-M1 has the charm, the soul and the goods to Be my pick for Camera of the Year 2013. Not sure if it will as I hear Sony has something on the way but as it stands now, the E-M1 is at the top of the list. :)

As of this writing (October 12th 2013) I can say that for me, the Olympus E-M1 is the best Mirrorless camera on the market today when looking at the "Whole Picture" of cost, size, build, speed, toughness, EVF, performance, features and lenses available. No one else even comes close and I should know, I have used EVERYTHING out there. Well done Olympus, you have indeed created a mirrorless masterpiece!

Which would I take?

Panasonic GX7 or E-M1: E-M1 no contest.

E-M1 or Fuji X Body: E-M1 no contest.

E-M1 or new rumored Sony Full Frame: BOTH, one for the Full Frame IQ and look and one for all that I have raved about.

E-M1 or NEX-6: E-M1 due to the lenses and speed and build and IQ.

E-M1 or Fuji X100s: Close, but for me, E-M1

E-M1 or Pentax K3? The new Pentax looks amazing on Paper, but is still a DSLR. I can not say until I test the K3 :)

E-M1 or Leica M: Two different cameras for different audiences. End of story, so BOTH :)
2121 comments| 198 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 27, 2015
I had purchased an Olympus omd em-10 and after using it for a few months I decided that it was really an great camera, but decided to buy the EM1 as my main camera and use the OM-10 as a backup. I am really pleased with the EM-1. The picture quality is superb, the body is solid and well built. I sold my Canon 70D and all the lenses and purchased the EM-1, 12-40 Pro lens, 40-150, lens,9-18, lens and the 60mm Macro lens. All Olympus lenses. I couldn't be happier. The photo quality is just as good and in some areas passes the 70D and all other crop cameras. The controls are all very intuitive. Anything on the camera can be customized. Once you have the menu set, you rarely have to go back in to and change anything. The EM-1 is smaller and so intuitive that you don't even know you are carrying it. I bought it from Amazon and they had it to me in two days. Amazon is fantastic.

This camera is a pro camera and may be difficult for someone not familiar with pro cameras, but once you learn it, you will love it.
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on April 7, 2016
As a professional photographer, I have a great deal of money invested in my Nikon system, but I felt that I needed a change. I purchased an Olympus omd-5 and generally enjoyed shooting travel photographs with it. The images were sharp, and the overall photo quality was similar to what I got with my Nikons. It was a fun camera to use, so I didn't see a compelling reason to upgrade when the OMD E-1 came out. After all, the Nikons were my work tools, and the Olympus system was my fun stuff.
Boy, was I ever wrong as the OMD E1 improved every minor irritation I had with the OMD-5! It is now the camera I use more and more as it is very responsive with the olympus pro series of lenses and has proven to be a sound camera decision.
While the weight of the camera is very nice, it was never my reason for buying it. It simply is a very capable camera that allows me to do my work well.
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on August 22, 2014
Olympus OMD EM1 is an awesome camera. I used to be a Nikon guy with D300. i bought D300 for better quality from my friend but hated the size. I wanted a smaller size camera with DSLR quality. I purchased Nikon 1 series camera but was never satisfied with the image quality. I was waiting for one of the new Nikon 1 series which kept getting delayed so i thought to try out Olympus OMD EM5. it was an expensive camera and i never tried Olympus before, i thought it was some cheap company since you never see in Bestbuy and all Anyway, the reviews were so good for EM5 that i thought, i would try it out from Amazon since Amazon's return policy is awesome and worst case scenario, i can always return it. i also purchased 45mm F1.8 lens since it was cheap and had very good reviews. When i got the EM5,i took 3 pictures of my daughter in the night and I couldn't believe what i saw. The pictures were sharp, bokeh was amazing (45mm f1.8) and the pictures were better than my D300. it just became better when i realized how awesome the stabilization was specially in videos. My videos were smooth, not jerky.

So, when OMD EM1 came, i purchased it immediately. EM1 - this is the next generation of OMD EM5. It's even better than EM5 (EM5 looks better).

Pros -
1) Image Stabilization on the sensor - If you have never tried Olympus with 5 axis image stabilization, you have no idea how good and important this is. Period. I can never think about taking a picture of my daughter in the room light without some flash ot tripod with D300. With OMD, i hardly ever use flash with EM5 or EM1. There is no lens stabilization by any other company which even comes near and here is the best part, it works on video too. So, your video looks smooth.

2) M43 lens are not only awesome, they are cheap - With Nikon, a good quality lens were atleast $1000 or more. Just buy Olympus 45mm f1.8 for $279 refurbished or buy Olympus 25mm F1.8 for $319 refurbished or Panasonic 25mm F1.4 for $529 new. Not only you can buy these high quality lens, you will be blown away by the image quality they produce + bokeh is awesome.

3) Size - this was also big for me. There were times, i just didn't feel like carrying around my DSLR. t was big bulky and the lenses were bulky too. M43 lens are much smaller and light. in the winter, i can carry a pancake on EM5 in my jacket pocket. Try that with DSLR.

4) image quality - EM1 and even EM5 produces better quality than D300.

5) Olympus colors - This is something you have to try. The colors, skin tones with olympus camera are better. BTW, the auto white balance works way better than Nikon if i remember.

Cons -
1) Video - If you want video, you are better off with Panasonic bodies. Specially in high motion in day light when i'm taking video of my kids, the fast action shows pixilation. I wish Olympus provides better video codec.

I would say unless you are carry fullframe Canon or Leica, try Olympus. You would be impressed by the quality.
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on June 28, 2015
Last year I ditched my Nikon D7000 in favor of an Olympus OMD-E-M10 and a set of smaller lighter lenses. Loved the switch even though I lost a tiny bit of low light shots and the autofocus hunted a little bit more than the Nikon. Last week I upgraded to an E-M1 and am totally delighted with the upgrade. The camera is slightly bigger, slightly heavier but much better built. The menu system is very similar to the E-M10 which is to say complex and confusing with little rhyme or reason so the transition was pretty straightforward. Some careful shopping on Amazon enabled me to buy the E-M1 for the exact same price that I had paid for the E-M10. Very highly recommended.
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on January 27, 2017
I got a great deal on this camera from an Amazon 3rd party merchant. It arrived quickly, and in perfect condition. It reminds me of my Olympus film cameras (om-1, om-2,om10) etc. That was a consideration with how it fell to hand. I've always liked that about Olympus cameras - slightly smaller and with clock-like precision workings. This camera is seriously over-engineered. Along with it, I bought Mastering the Olympus OM-D E-M1 by Darrell Young. After twiddling with a few things on the camera, expecting to learn some things I turned to the book. OK this guy is a genius when it comes to memorizing menus and such, and has written the most comprehensive treatise on the world's smallest and most complicated object. My hat is tipped to you sir! I figure I'll read a few pages a day, and by Christmas I'll be ready to shoot some Christmas photos. The camera works in "auto" type modes, so don't be put off. I'm really just making some jokes. It's a lovely camera, but it really excels in what it offers for lenses. I'm mad for wide angle right now, so the 7-14mm and 8mm f1.8 are my faves currently. Camera and lenses all weather-proof to boot. My love affair with Olympus continues!!
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on December 2, 2013
Wow. I came from an E-PL5 which I loved and cannot recommend highly enough, but after a year of usage I was ready for the next level up. I was not disappointed, the photos coming out of this thing are amazing, and I have to say that the image stabilization makes a difference for low light shooting. I have the 45mm f1.8, the 75mm f1.8, the 20mm f/1.7, and the 12mm f/2.0 which all worked amazing with the E-PL5 - but the E-M1's extra grip, WiFi features for your iPhone & iPad, the aforementioned extra axis of image stabilization are huge additions. Other favorite items are not having to dig through software menus for Aperture and Shutter Speed controls, the balance from counterweight when using a large lens like the 75mm, the viewfinder and included flash (and not having to choose between the two for one hotshoe), the several shots per second you can take in rapid fire to capture the moment without blinking or motion blur.This feels like a pro DSLR in every way to me, but with lenses that are considerably more affordable, and a size that fits in my wife's purse or slung over my shoulder easily. 5 Stars.

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Updated now that I had some more time to write. 12/2/13
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A year ago I decided to get more serious about taking photos. I've always loved photography and I took classes in college, I used to do bottle shots in the Napa wine industry, and I love portraiture. There was one problem: I hate lugging around a DSLR and lenses, I hate how much DSLR lenses cost, and I always end up shooting everything fun in my life with my iPhone unless go leave the house thinking "today is a day dedicated to shooting photos." I hate using a flash and taking terrible flat photos with a DSLR, I hate having to use a flash because the only lens I could afford had an unacceptably high f-stop floor (anything above f/2.0 is unacceptable to me).

This lead to my Canon Rebel XT sitting in the closet for months at a time. After hearing of the advancements and affordability in the Micro 4/3 standard of camera and lenses, I decided to take the plunge. I decided to invest in a new camera so that I could have with me without it being an event in itself, one that people would not be intimidated by when I point it at their faces, one that has an affordable but killer range of lenses available.

That camera was the Olympus E-PL5. It's been a great year with the E-PL5, and I've taken the best pictures of my life with it for a fraction of the cost of a DSLR, without sacrificing any tangible quality (to my eyes). In fact, I would say the quality is actually better and more fully realized since I can now afford a wealth of lenses with much greater ease and no guilt! I now have a full range of amazing lenses to use with it from 24mm - 150mm (in micro 4/3 parlance that would be 12mm-75mm, you simply divide by 2).

Also notable is that I do not buy any lens with an f-stop floor over f2.0 - this keeps me able to shoot excellent photos in natural light even indoors with no flash required at ISO 800-1600. I never go higher than that because I hate noise in my photos. And this also means that since I require lenses at f/2.0 or below, that I will only shoot prime lenses - no zooms. This means I zoom with my feet, not with the barrel of the lens. It's an adjustment but ultimately worth it for the types of things I like to shoot.

I just the sold the E-PL5 and am now rocking an Olympus E-M1, which has many similar components within it but is pretty much improved all around. It has excellent improved 5-axis image stabilization which makes my grip on the camera even steadier, enabling me to work with slightly slower shutter speeds at lower ISOs, reducing noise and the necessity of using a flash in low light. It has dedicated hardware knobs for adjusting shutter speed, aperture and ISO - so no more taking my eyes off the viewfinder to dig through software to adjust. It's got a ridiculously rugged magnesium alloy exterior and is weather proof, freeze proof and dust proof. It can connect to iOS devices through a wifi network it spawns itself, no external network needed. And best of all, my lenses still work with it.

Can't recommend the micro 4/3 camera world enough. I wrote this because I have never been happier shooting photos in my life, and if I were me before this photographic evolution, I would want to read this review.

The E-M1 is the best experience the Micro 4/3 world has to offer. I'm amazed.
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