Olympus OM-D E-M1 review

Olympus's best MFT camera to date and one of the best CSCs on the market, now with firmware update 2.0

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Editor's Choice
With the release of the OM-D E-M1 Silver, Olympus also announced a firmware update 2.0. It comes pre-loaded on the Silver edition but can be downloaded and install on existing black OM-D E-M1s.

There are four key additions:

  • Tethered shooting, using new Olympus Capture software
  • In-camera Keystone Compensation for correcting perspective issues
  • New Art Filters: Vintage and Partial Color
  • Live Composite mode for fireworks displays and star trails, for example

Tethered shooting with Olympus Capture

This could be very useful to studio/commercial photographers because they can use it to view images remotely on a computer and make adjustments to the camera settings.

Olympus Capture tethered shooting
Tethered shooting is popular amongst portrait/studio photographers.

It's a popular way of working for studio pros, especially if they have clients or art directors there to oversee the shoot.

Keystone Compensation

Converging verticals are a big problem for architectural photographers. The problem is solved if you keep the camera level, but it's often impossible to find a shooting position where you can do this, so you end up having to tilt the camera upwards to get everything in.

The only optical solution here is a tilt-shift lens. This will straighten the verticals, but it's an expensive bit of kit that's time-consuming to set up and use.

Olympus Keystone Correction
The Keystone Correction option corrects converging verticals in-camera.

But the OM-D E-M1 firmware update adds digital in-camera keystone correction. It's no different to the kind of correction you can apply in software later, but it's still useful nonetheless. You can correct vertical perspective distortion, horizontal distortion or both.

Art Filters: Vintage and Partial Color

Olympus has put a lot of time and effort into developing these filters, and they're now a long way from the 'novelty' effects you see on other cameras. Both the range of filters and the adjustments for each are growing all the time.

Olympus Vintage Art Filter
The new Vintage Art Filter in Olympus Firmware update 2.0

The new Vintage filter comes in three types – the shot above is Type I and produces a light and sunny, faded look.

Olympus Partial Color Art Filter
You turn the camera's control dial to choose the colour you want to pick out.

The Partial Color filter is equally interesting. It produces black and white images with a single highlighted colour – you can choose the strength of the effect (the breadth of the colour range) and the colour you want to highlight, using the control wheel.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.3 Megapixel
Product FamilyOM-D
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical, Digital
Digital Zoom2x
Brand NameOlympus
DurabilityWater Proof, Dust Proof, Freeze Proof, Splash Resistant
FeaturesContinuous Shooting Mode, Live View, External Flash Shoe, Orientation Sensor, Time Lapse Function, Face Detection, Noise Reduction, Eye Detect
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4 AVC, H.264, Motion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)443 g
Image Sensor Size17.30 mm x 13 mm
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height93.5 mm
Width130.4 mm
Depth63.1 mm
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
External FlashIncluded
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-M1
Product NameOM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineOM-D
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV207010BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

E-M1: The whole package. In a perfectly-sized Package.

The new E-M1 gives you more freedom to take the shots you want, with all the image quality you expect. The new E-M1 is the most advanced compact system camera ever produced.
It is based on the Micro Four Thirds standard and comes packed with sophisticated technologies like the enhanced Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor, the world premiere of DUAL FAST AF and extended WiFi controls from your smartphone - all delivering outstanding image quality and performance, raising the OM-D series to a whole new level. This superiority is matched by a body design that has the perfect dimensions with a portable weight. All things considered, it outperforms D-SLR cameras both in terms of its size and imaging excellence.

Package Contents
  • OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera
  • BLN-1 Lithium-Ion Battery
  • BCN-1 Battery Charger
  • Detachable Flash
  • Micro Four Thirds Body Cap (BC-2)
  • Software Media
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
Limited Warranty1 Year