The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has been in and out of my camera bag a few times, now. Like the proverbial Moth to the Flame, I seem to be irresistibly drawn to the small but powerful Olympus. I loved the Sony A-7RM2 and Leica Q, but they were just a bit pricey for my “enthusiast’s” budget. And while the Fujifilm X-T1 and X100T are awesome cameras, they just don’t completely satisfy my desires. (Although I must admit that I’m keeping a very close eye on the new X-T2. :-))
Why the E-M1?
So what is it? Why does the E-M1 seem to be (for me) the camera that most meets my needs?
I’m not a professional photographer, but I do appreciate the fact that the E-M1 is the camera of choice of many pros around the world, including at least one National Geographic photographer, +Jay Dickman . It’s also relatively small, and the micro four thirds sensor allows Olympus to build small but very high quality lenses for it. And there’s another thing I like … interchangeable lenses. I know many of you swear by and thrive on fixed lens cameras like the X100 series, RX1 series, and others, but personally I like to have more variety. Much of the time, I just leave a 35mm or 50mm (equiv.) lens on my camera, but sometimes I really like to shoot real macro, or use a long telephoto for reach and/or compression. Or maybe I need a true wide angle for interior architecture. Like they say, “Different strokes for different folks”.
I also favor the external control setup that offers many buttons, dials, and a lever that can all be customized to some extent. Many reviewers complain about the deep and sometimes confusing menu system of the E-M1, but I’ve found that with time and patience, it’s a virtue since almost any aspect of camera operation can be tweaked to your liking. So yes, the menus are long and complex, but they are also a powerful part of the OM-D system.
Other Great Features
Of course the E-M1 offers just about all of the standard things that we’ve become accustomed to, like time lapse, multiple exposure, creative filters, and silent operation with it’s very fast electronic shutter option. But there are about three standout features that are either unique to Olympus or at the very least rare among today’s cameras. Those include what is considered the best image stabilization system on the market, extensive touch screen capabilities, and the awesome Live Composite and Live Time features. If you haven’t had a chance to try these for light painting or long exposure work, then you may not know what you’re missing. 🙂
And there was one other mitigating factor. In addition to being able to sell my Fuji X-T1 for almost what I paid for it (used), I also found an awesome deal at +LensRentals.com‘s Lens Authority website where they sell used equipment after using it for rentals for a while. They rate each piece of equipment and give a good description of its condition, plus offer a 1 year warranty (3rd party) for only $17.
If you’re interested in further reading about the E-M1, please check my Popular Posts section in the right column of this page, or take a look at my Olympus Links page, also on this blog.
And if you really want to dig deep, check out Gary Friedman’s excellent Complete Guide to Olympus’ OM-D E-M1.
|Olympus OM-D Live Composite Image|