skip to Main Content

CameraLabs says the E-M1 is a “triumph” ($500 off on the DEMO E-M1 with 12-40mm lens).


Image of the score via CameraLabs (Click here).


Short note: Two Demo E-M5 cameras with 12-40mm as kit lens are sold for $1899 at CameraLand on eBay (Click here). You save $500! P.S.: Full Olympus deals list on that page at Amazon and on that page at GetOlympus.


And now to the latest E-M1 review written by CameraLabs (Click here). As usual it’s a very long, detailed and interesting review. But I think that single part says it all:

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the Olympus OMD EM1 is a triumph, a highly satisfying camera that I can highly recommend to anyone who wants semi-pro performance and handling without the heft of a traditional DSLR. If you’re looking for a high-performance mirrorless camera or DSLR, the EM1 should be high on your shortlist.

There is nothing to add :)


E-M1 Store Links:
Olympus E-M1 body at Amazon, Adorama and BHphoto, Amazon DE (via DL), Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL), WexUK, Topshot FI, CameraWorldUK.
Olympus E-M1 with 12-40mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK and CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
Olympus E-M1 with 12-50mm Lens kit at Amazon DE (via DL), WexUK, CameraWorldUK, Amazon UK (via DL), Amazon ES (via DL).
E-M1 Hariz case in Black (Click here) or Brown (Click here).

  • Demo E-M5 should be in the title. you might confuse some people :)

    • Arend

      No, the text is wrong, the title is correct, click the link

  • Arend

    Who cares, they are gone…..

  • TAZ

    That was a long.. review!

  • kk

    I just don’t understand why these “experts” keep saying EM1 or the E-M5 could replaced a DSLR bla bla bla. Can’t they see how difference the DR and color is as compare to a good APS-C camera (ie. Nikon’s)? It’s so obvious for me actually, by just looking at photos shot from them by judgement of just my human eyes. The highlight and shadows, and the colors on M43 is just more fake and unnatural as compare to a APS-C. And DxO test shows some scientific proof. On DR, EM1 scored 12.7 stops and D5300 13.9 stops. On color depth EM1 23 bits and D5300 24 bits. When we talk about functionality etc., yes I agree high end M43 cameras today are professional grade. But what is the most important thing on a camera? Isn’t it image quality? I’m confused.

    • jaydubstar

      it’s all about usability… I take out my em-5 WAY more than my e-5… Image quality aside, I’m in the right place at the right time with the m43, the slr stays at home!

    • Bobafett

      ‘But what is the most important thing ON a camera? Isn’t it image quality? I’m confused’

      Nope! It’s the finger pressing the shutter-button :)

    • Viezevure

      +1 KK, any normal thinking person would buy APSC or FF for that kind of money. And Yes the output from M43 looks very very unnatural.

      • TAZ

        I agree most would buy an APSC or FF for that price.
        But remember you’re on m43 rumors, where many fanboys will blindly argue that m43 sensor is better or equal to APSC & FF..

      • kk

        That’s what they all saying. Art is degrading years after years while technology leads all the way. People are fancy on technology much more than art. Image quality? That’s art, so not important. “Experts” don’t care. They even can’t tell, I bet! Absolutely agree with you guys that anyone care about IQ will definitely go for APS-C or add a little more for FF. They keep saying sensor size is all about crop factor. Come on experts! You really can’t tell the IQ difference? I am sweating for the fate of future photography.

        • digifan

          I beg to differ. Art is NOT about image quality but all about the image.
          You guys have absolutely no clue!
          You can even make art with a lomo cam!!!

    • MarcoSartoriPhoto

      It depends on your needs.
      A friend of mine uses Hasselblad for still life, taking photos at jewels. No “full frame” equals its IQ.
      I saw comparision of the same scene (a garage) taken with that 50MP monster and stitched shots of d800e and D800e sucks.

      Then, add the fact that the most important thing is the eye and brain of the photographer.

      We know that Shenkie, alias viezevre, never showed his photos and like to gather attention repeating the same old things li,e a dumb broken record..

      You need power? Go medium format.

      Not so much? Go full frame.

      Need portability? An x100s or ricoh GR might be enough.

      Want portability and flexibility? Go m43.

      And then go out and take photos.

    • no.. you are not confused.

      you just cannot accept the fact.

      • TAZ

        Perfect example of a nonsense comment..

        • C. C.

          No, you and Viezevure are the two nonsense trolls on this forum. Why do you come here? Because of your insecurity that m43 does indeed have IQ that is competitive with APS-C. And, of course, the E-M1 and GX7 are more feature-rich than any APS-C system. And, I also happen to own APS-C dSLRs and mirrorless systems, and m43. I know what I’m talking about. You morons are too cheap to buy these cameras, so do us all a favor and get lost. Idiots.

          • OH??

            Like the way you Troll on Fuji Rumors, C.C.??

            Huh… Pot meet kettle?

          • rastafari

            C.C. always come out of his dark cave to defend the other fanboys, it’s one big family you know?

          • thecat

            You mean just like you C.C troll the Fuji rumors site because secretly you harbour a desire for a larger sensor? You are like the man with a small penis, looking at all the other guys in the shower.

        • a guy that need to pretend that he is confuse when he just want to say that apsc and FF is superior, is really a guy that make a nonsense comment. All he need to say is he still believe apsc and ff is superior.

          • digifan

            And again APS-C isn’t superior, that is a stupid blanket remark.
            Allthough measured by DxO APS-C often gets a higher score than m43 you don’t seem to “get the picture” (pun intended). DxO biasses for larger sensors for it’s ability to take in more light. So bigger sensor have will have a better score at theit logic.
            I use 35mmFF camera(‘s) that I rent for special purpose events, and yes they have better IQ in some area’s. But MF has even better IQ than 35mmFF, but that’s beside the point. Ultimate IQ isn’t important, what’s important is that you can do the gig with as less effort as possible resulting in the least time consuming PP workflow.
            35mmFF is just way to big to schlepp everywhere, I need a big backpack to accomodate 2cams and lenses, whereas with m43 I just need a small sholderbag for the same.
            Don’t get me started on APS-C because that’s the same sice as 35mmFF, so no advantage.
            Also with the latest Panasonic cams (GM1 and GX7) jpg quality is much better than before, but I mainly use Olympus where jpg is usable >95% of the time. RAW is just a backup for me.
            Pro’s need to have an easy workflow alse their ROI (“I” also stands for time spend) is shoddy and you can’t make a living.

            • digifan

              Ah no edit mode to get rid of the stupid spelling errors

    • Stu

      I wish you were wrong because MFT cameras have everything to be great. Nice price, nice size, nice lenses, wide variety of bodies, two companies behind it. Some picture look nice, they can have shallow DoF but I have yet to see a picture that I’d like to hang on my wall because the colors are… off. I’ve seen black and white pictures today that look very nice though, so it really seems to be the colors that put me off.

      • @Stu, I don’t believe your eyes…….

        Try calibrating your monitor. Better yet, try processing a raw image so the colour suits your perception. You really can have any colour you want, don’t blame the camera for being “off”.

        There are some weird comments on this website, but yours is one of the strangest ever!

        • Actually, he will have to do proper color management in his imaging pipeline all the way to the output on paper. Otherwise there are too many variables when it comes to color.

        • Stu

          I don’t understand how it’s weird that I don’t enjoy the colors. I was thinking of downloading raw files from DPreview to see if I can get enjoyable results but I will wait to see what Sony will offer with the not-NEX they will be releasing soon.

        • kk

          For my case, whenever I talked about IQ, I always mean RAW file. Jpg is not an option at all. If I were to shoot jpg, I’d be using my phone and not a camera.

          • digifan

            @kk than your a geek only and don’t know photography. Go ahead and tweak your RAW’s as long as you can, while I’ll use my jpegs.
            Can’t frame well? Can’t expose well? You need to crop and correct?

            Well I see it all the time young guys/girls that click away in RAW affraid they didn’t get the “correct frame”, often bracketing or as a machinegun racketing.

            Not so many photogs that can take a well exposed well framed shot!
            They need absolute best IQ (on paper), but what they really make is snaps!

      • kk

        That’s exactly why I am very much interested in M43 development and stick to this forum for a long time. I love M43 cameras’ rich and very useful features set, but I hate that it can’t deliver natural looking pictures to me in most cases. And I agree with you that it’s good on B&W, especially if you push the contrast higher, it looks great. However, it’s very sad that such brilliant camera can’t let me shoot a natural looking picture. I’m still waiting for their improvement on IQ. But so far, still no sign of it. I couldn’t understand why. Why Blackmagic pocket camera can use a 2.88x crop sensor to produced excellent IQ (absolutely comparable to FF cameras) but M43 can’t. D5300 produced much more natural looking IQ, and it has 50% more resolution than EM1 with a sensor only 33% larger! Why??

    • Rchard

      DR on the EM-1 i better than anything Canon, including the flagship FF 1Dx. Color depth for the EM-1 is better than any of Canon APS-C and most of their FF. Conclution: All Pictures from a Canon camera looks flat and unnatural?

    • Sepo

      That´s not true. Look at the numbers of the Canon D70. In almost every regard it is inferior than the EM1. Means, the range of pic-quality within apsc differs a lot. The EM1 is perfectly somewhere in the middle regarding pic-qual. Regarding its buildquality and functions it is on top, together with only a few apsc-models. So, a logical argument could say its picture quality is inferior to that of most Nikon models but better than Canon. You can´t anymore say it´s worse than apsc.

    • Es

      You are confused.

      Basically every new camera on the market today takes great pictures. EVERY camera. The Olympus E-M1 is better than past generation full frame cameras – and people took great photos with those cameras. Your comparisons are completely meaningless, because clients cannot tell the difference between any of these cameras.

      The only things that matter today are handling and features. Sports shooters need fast tele lenses and C-AF. Street shooters want small cameras with small primes. Travelers want small camera and small zooms. Video people want codecs, IBIS, RAW recording. People who take portraits want shallow depth of field. People who take macros want deep depth of field. Landscapers need resolution, deep depth of field and excellent picture edge IQ.

      You figure out what your needs are and you pick the correct camera system for you.

      • ronin

        No, something else matters. Price.

        It matters to the millions of consumers that are buying Nikon and Canon DSLRs with two lens kits that are cheaper than the EM1 body alone… and are taking pictures that no viewer can distinguish from an EM1.

        • yaa

          And such people are buying 650Ds and such. Different kind of camera really. If we follow your argument, Canon shouldn’t bother with a 5Dmk3, Nikon shouldn’t bother with a D4, as their prices make those uncompetitive, and customers can’t see the difference anyway.

          Or maybe, just maybe, that e-m1 and those D4 and 5D offerings are simply not meant for the same kinds of users as the 650D, D3200 and such?

      • kk

        Clients cannot tell (after post adjustment), but I can tell. That’s what matter the most. Well, if we are talking about just jobs, that’s fine, not a problem. I’m here just talking about the love on photography, therefore IQ matters a lot. I saw hundreds of final products shot by M43 vs APS-C/FF, all of them were presented after professional grading, and there is no evidence that a M43 pictures can “become” a APS-C/FF pictures after grading. You can always find high contrast look on any M34 pictures, unless that’s a totally flat lighting picture. However, an APS-C/FF pictures can easily graded to look like a M43 picture.

        • digifan

          @kk you definately need to go to the ophthalmologist. There’s something seriously wrong with your eyes.

    • Anonymous

      Yes, because the difference between 23 bits colour depth and 24 bits colour depth is soooo huge.
      In fact all the digital photographs taken in the past with cameras that lacked 24 bits colour depth and 13.9 stops of DR should just be binned.

      This is getting more like the HiFi forums everyday where people say systems are useless because they’re only using $1000 cables instead of pure gold $5000 cables.

      • Clubber Lang

        I watched a great documentary on Eddie Arnold this week. It puts things into perspective and really makes discussions such as these seem rather amusing.

    • Bob B.

      I have a FF kit and an MFT kit. I feel that they complement one another. When I need FF quality MFT can’t come close (especially in printed image quality) to the image quality that my large camera produces. No way. …BUT …which camera(s) get used the most?…LOL my MFT’s of course because they are so much fun to use…and if I stand back and get honest…90% of what I shoot only makes it to electronic media….I find no need to shoot that material with the beasts (FF). I think that there is less of an argument between APSC and up-to-date MFT …yes… there is a difference …but that is diminishing…

    • El Caballero que dice Ní

      If IQ was the most important thing on a camera, we would all be using 8×10 view cameras. No; practicality, flexibility, ease of use, size and weight and are all very important factors too.

      Once you get to the “good enough” level, you focus on the other factors. The OMD’s are equivalent in quality to the Nikon D7000 (I know because I switched from that to the E-M5), and that is perfectly fine. Yes, the D7100 is better, but I prefer the smaller camera with the killer IBIS.

      Oh and I also prefer Olympus’s colors to Nikon’s. Nothing wrong with Nikon, but they are number 3 in my opinion (Fuji and Olympus being 1 and 2).

    • Lodovico

      “But what is the most important thing on a camera? Isn’t it image quality?”

      Only to a certain degree. Of course nobody would like to buy a camera with crappy image quality – no matter how great the handling and speed is. We all have, after all, certain expectations, requirements and standards in terms of image quality. Luckily we live in an age where digital imaging technology has advanced to such a degree that even current entry-level DSLRs and MILCs are capable of delivering excellent results that easily exceed the image quality of extremly expensive DSLRs used by professionals 10 years ago. Sure, some sensors will always be superior to others, but at some point you really have to aks yourself: What is good enough?

      Many hobby photographers seem incapable of grasping the concept of ‘good enough’. They are so fixated on getting the best bang for buck sensor, that they completely forget that there is a lot more to a camera. If image quality was everything, every pro photographer would use either medium format or a Nikon D800, and Canon would be out of business. Obviously there are other variables. And one of them is weight, size and portablity. That’s where m4/3 comes in. Like everything in photography it is a compromise. Nobody denies that. But why is it so hard to understand that there are a great many people who don’t want to lug around heavy DSLR equipment and instead prefer to trade in 7 percent image quality for 70 percent less weight?

      For professionals those 7 percent can make a real difference, but I highly doubt that it will improve the photography of any amateur. But try to explain that to dedicated pixel peepers and gear heads.

  • Viezevure

    Nice review. Its indeed a nice SEMI pro camera and somewhat expensive for that matter.

    • C. C.

      It’s worth every penny, you troll cheapskate. Get lost.

      • Hans

        mum should give you your pills now

        • sure it’s to expensive, like most stuff from Olympus is to expensive.

  • zesty

    Awesome camera but I think calling it a triumph would be this scenario. The company got off their Arses and put these things in stores for customers to pick up, hold and buy. As of now I am unable to do so and just reading reviews online and ordering online is fine for photo enthusiasts but to be a triumph Olympus needs better marketing and visual presence here in the states.

    • Anonymous

      The ‘states’ is becoming less relevant everyday.
      Personally I think they should give up trying to sell m43 there as nearly everybody just buys the default Canikon and it is so geographically dispersed it will cost a lot of money to support a network.
      Greater Tokyo area probably buys more m43 than the whole of the USA.

      They’d be better concentrating resources in Asia, Europe and Brazil where there is greater population density and Olympus is better known (not sure about better known in Brazil)

      • ronin

        Not a good time to advise Olympus to abandon markets and therefore lose even more money.

        Pretty sure their problem is not that they are selling too much product in too many markets.

        • yaa

          I know you like totally lobsidedarguments but that totally depends on what it costs to maintain that market.

  • Cupid Stunt

    Gordon was unable to see any significant improvement in image quality compared to the E-M5. So unless you have a collection of 43 lenses I personally see no reason to buy this camera over the E-M5 given the growing disparity in pricing between the two models. Maybe the continuous autofocusing is much improved with m43 lenses? My E-M5 is disappointing photographing children or just about anything that moves. Maybe when the 40-150/2.8 comes out I will take another look at the E-M1.

    Does Olympus (USA or where you live) offer any support for professional photogs using this camera? I’ve seen nothing but maybe there is some documentation to that effect when you buy the camera?

    • C. C.

      Do you understand that the E-M1 has on sensor PDAF for 43 lenses, and some of us have those great lenses? And that continuous AF is improved? The E-M1 is not the logical successor to the E-M5. You can wait for that. The E-M1 is a significant step up for some of us, as a pro level camera.

      • Cupid Stunt

        Did you read my comments? Clearly not as you need to defend the E-M1 regardless. For me, I want a camera that can follow action without being a large DSLR nor that I need a buy inot another system. One menu system is enough!

        And don’t keep going on about being a pro camera, it is no more pro that the E-M5 and it seems you don’t get any pro services for the camera.

        • ronin

          The EM-1 has other improvements over the EM-5, however. It is pricier, bulkier, heavier. Three traits that should be counterintuitive for a small format camera.

          • yaa

            Trying to become a more notorious troll then shenkie? If not then maybe consider shutting up about things you dvidently don’t know a thing about.

    • @C.S., you answered your own question, partly…C-AF is better, much better for m43 lenses. The PDAF is THE most important reason, to me, to buy this camera. I deliberately didn’t buy an E-M5 because it was obvious that PDAF had to come to this system.
      Will it keep up with kids in a dark room? Maybe, with a fast lens. When the light levels come down, my E-M1 does much better at F1.8 than it does at F3.5. It does keep up with kids and sports in good light.
      As far as the Pro label goes, labels are marketing ploys, for every company. Olympus does have a Pro Service though, but it requires you to BE a Pro:

      • It is funny that Oly requires a pro to own at least one E body (SLR). Neither OMD body counts. That’s per the info given via the above link.

        • Svenlovesflo

          It is silly in my opinion that companies designate certain cameras that you must use to be a pro…Nikon recognized the D300 as such…which I owned …and the E-M1 just blows the D300 away

          • In effect, if you own an Oly E-330, you can get pro service! :-P

    • El Caballero que dice Ní

      To me, the best improvement is the ergonomics. The buttons and dials are better placed, and feel better too. There are also more of them (perhaps too many). The grip is excellent. The camera is a pleasure to hold even with the bigger/heavier lenses.

      Unfortunately, the grip also makes the camera a little bigger. At least with the E-M5 the grip can be added or taken off.

      The rest of the new features are really not that important to me. I don’t have any 4/3 lenses. The Wi-Fi is nice, but not killer. I never use CAF. I prefer magnification to peaking when focusing manually. 1/8000 shutter speed is nice, but I rarely need it. The new EVF is better, but the old one was already excellent.

      In conclusion, I’m happy with my new toy (the E-M1) but if I was being practical I would have kept the E-M5.

  • That’s interesting….. He gave the E-M1 the same score as the Panasonic G6:
    Plus he mentions that the image quality is no better than the GX7.
    The 16mp 43 sensor is getting stale.

    • Michael

      There will be an Olympus fanboy in 3..2..1. to “proof” you that it’s a non scientific test, DXO is of course biased and all M43 sensors and cameras and lenses are “good enough”.

      • Rchard

        Atleast Oly fanboys doesn’t visit sites for other brands and post puke, like you do. So who’s the biggest fanboy?

      • Sepo

        …7199, 7200

        Huh, that was fast. ;)

        But I have to disapoint you because I´m not going to question dxo mark. To the contrary, I´ll refer to the test of Canon D70. You certainly know, hm?! Will it be excluded from the “apsc is supirior club”? Don´t think so. It is definitly a nice camera.

        It´s no valid point to refer to iq alone. It is the overall concept. And this is very very nice with EM1 and m43 in general. It gets small as GM1 or “big” as EM1, you can have it all. That is the beauty of the system.

        I admitt, sometimes I´d really like to buy an additional dslr, again. I miss it´s look and heavy feel, esspecially when I´m in a friends studio and shooting his 5DMKII.

        But then, when I compare the slightly visible but negligible difference regarding iq-output and think about the portability… there is no way back for me.

        He uses his cam only in studio. He likes my outdoor pics and vids a lot and tried for some time to do the same with… his iphone! ;) Honestly, he was this typical guy who won´t take m43 serious. Because of its size he thinks of m43 as a toy.

        But he was allways surprised by the output and finally had to admitted that it is hard to see a difference BUT! anyway he couldn´t use it for work, because people wouldn´t take him serious. So I attached the bg, put on a big lenshood, a flash and mounted it on my professional tripod (a relict of my dslr area)and… nobody cared anymore. Isn´t that stupid?!

        Best thing is, when we finish a shooting and I start to disassamble the chunk and finally there is only a small cam left. Then I like to refer to peoples smarthones etc.

  • Steven

    when are they going to put a bigger sensor in that mount? Is it possible with taht mount? I might get interested in mirrorless cameras, but a 2x crop is just too much. EM-1 seems to be a nice camera, but for this price at this moment I rather get a FF Sony A7, seems the better offer for me. And the lenses in M43 are there, but rather expensive compared to DSLR. I doubt if it’s a good investment…

    • yaa

      When looking for an investment, stocks, precious metals, gems etc are your thing. A camera is a tool.

    • digifan

      People without a clue to photography always talk about the “investment”.
      A camera is a tool to do a job nothing more and nothing less. It’s part of the total investments a photographer has to make to be able to do his work and sell pics.
      An amateur or hobbyist hasn’t got this need. He will buy what he thinks he needs. Only a gear geek is worried about “investment”because he needs to get rid of the stuff fast in order to buy the latest and greatest and he needs to get a good price.
      So a gear geek is best served with the brands that are popular not the best, popular camera’s resell at higher prices.

  • Charles

    If the E-M1 is so triumphal than why does it get only 17 points for image quality in comparison to the E-P5 that got 18?

  • Charles

    That is what Gordon Liang says: “This is slightly disappointing as both the GX7 and EM1 are a year newer than the OMD EM5, and the EM1 of course also dispenses with its optical low pass filter. Like many I hoped to see crisper results from the EM1 compared to rivals and predecessors because of this, but I just can’t see it here.”

    In fact iso 100 of my E-Pl1 looks better than iso 200 of the E-M5 or E-M1 and that´s a shame.

    • Es

      I had both the E-PL1 and the E-M5. To put it bluntly: no.

      • Charles

        Colors, sharpness and noise are better! I tested E-M1, E-M5 and E-P5 with the Pana/Leica 25mm 1.4.

  • MarcoSartoriPhoto

    It’s 8 hour that my comment is under moderation.

    Anyway, it was in reply to Shenkie/Viezeuvre, always in need of attention repeating always the same things like a broken record.

    There’s not a best system. It depends on your needs.
    A friend of mine uses Hasselblad for still life, taking photos at jewels. No “full frame” equals its IQ.
    I saw comparision of the same scene (a garage) taken with that 50MP monster and stitched shots of d800e and D800e looks garbage when pixel peeping: does it mean that the Nikon horsepower is not good? No my dear.

    Then, add the fact that the most important thing is the eye and brain of the photographer.

    You need power? Go medium format.

    Not so much? Go full frame.

    Need portability? An x100s or ricoh GR might be enough. Even a smartphone.

    Want portability and flexibility? Go m43.

    And then go out and take photos.

    (I don’t even ask these people why they need to visit forums about systems they don’t like)

  • Pixnat

    Trolls VS Experts : an entertaining pseudo-battle :-)

    Unfortunately for them, Trolls have zero credibility ;-)

  • Andrew Rizal

    But i’m Canon expert

Back To Top

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

What are Cookies?
A cookie is a small file of letters and numbers that is stored in a temporary location on your computer to allow our website to distinguish you from other users of the website. If you don't want to accept cookies, you'll still be able to browse the site and use it for research purposes. Most web browsers have cookies enabled, but at the bottom of this page you can see how to disable cookies. Please note that cookies can't harm your computer. We don't store personally identifiable information in the cookies, but we do use encrypted information gathered from them to help provide you with a good experience when you browse our website and also allow us to improve our site. You can watch a simple video from Google to find more information about cookies.

Cookies used by our Website
The 43rumors website,, uses the following cookies for the collection of website usage statistics and to ensure that we can . These are anonymous and temporary. By using our website, you agree that we may place these types of cookies on your device.
Read how Google uses data when you use our partners' sites or apps:
Google Analytics Cookie Usage on Websites: Addthis cookies:
Disqus cookies:
Vimeo cookies:
Youtube cookies:

Disabling/Enabling Cookies
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying the settings in your browser. Please note however that by deleting our cookies or disabling future cookies you may not be able to access certain areas or features of our site. For information about how to disable cookies in your browser please visit the About Cookies website.