Olympus OM-D E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera in silver is a small, ergonomically designed camera with a 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor that produces high-resolution still images and full HD 1080p video with exceptional low-light performance and high-speed operation.

With the combination of these two technologies, the camera is capable of capturing images with a high sensitivity range of ISO 100-25600 while also maintaining a fast shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. and continuous shooting at up to 10 frames per second.

It also lends itself to a more advanced FAST autofocus technology, which employs dual contrast- and on-chip phase-detection focusing techniques to swiftly and reliably acquire focus, as well as customizable focus zones for even better accuracy.

The presence of in-body 5-axis image stabilization, which adjusts for vertical, horizontal, and the rolling camera shaking, also helps to improve image clarity. A third mode, known as IS-Auto, may be used to stabilize images when capturing moving subjects.

This mode uses artificial intelligence to detect both vertical and horizontal panning and automatically disengages image stabilization along the identified axes.

For live view monitoring, picture playback, and menu navigation, a high-resolution electronic viewfinder, and a tilting touchscreen monitor are both offered. For comfortable eye-level viewing, the interactive EVF has a resolution of 2,360k dots and a magnification of 1.48x.

It also has the ability to evaluate picture effects in real-time and has a 2,360k dot resolution. As an alternative, the 3.0″ 1,037k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD monitor can be adjusted to tilt upward 80° or downward 50° to accommodate working from high and low positions, respectively.

The touchscreen design makes controlling settings and navigating through the menu system simple and straightforward. Both of these viewing mechanisms are placed within the ruggedly constructed magnesium alloy body, which is dust, splash, and freezeproof. It is also shockproof. Integrated into the design is a big grip, which provides a comfortable manner of gripping the camera while also allowing for more efficient control over a wide variety of camera settings.

Additionally, the inclusion of an X-Sync connector, an HDMI port, an external microphone connection, and a hot shoe all contribute to the total usefulness of the E-M1 camera body.

When used in conjunction with the Olympus O.I. Share software for iOS and Android mobile devices, built-in wireless networking allows for more nuanced off-board control and picture sharing. QR Code Connect is a simple and smooth method of connecting mobile devices to the camera. It also supports the use of a smartphone to incorporate locational data into picture files for geotagging, which is very useful.

TruePic VII image processor and 16.3MP Live MOS sensor are included.

High-resolution still photography, full-HD video recording, and exceptional low-light sensitivity up to ISO 25600 are all made possible by the 16.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor and TruePic VII image processor working together.

The combination of these two technologies also contributes to the overall high-speed performance of the camera system, which includes a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000 sec. with a mechanical shutter, a continuous shooting rate of up to 10 frames per second with Tracking AF, and continuous shooting at 6 frames per second with continuous autofocusing.

Additional features include the ability to record full HD 1080p movies at 30 frames per second with stereo sound in either the MOV or AVI formats. In addition, a Direct HD Video Button is provided for rapid access to movie recording, and a variety of Art Filters and effects may be added while recording to give you even more creative freedom. In addition, an external microphone connection is included for improving the sound quality when recordings are being made.

Infrared AF with FAST Dual-Phase and Contrast Detection

A second feature of the sensor is dual-mode autofocusing, which uses both contrast- and on-sensor phase-detection algorithms to acquire focus as rapidly and correctly as possible. It is composed of 81 areas for the contrast-detection method and 37 areas for the phase-detection method, which together form the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) focusing system, which is able to reap the benefits of both technologies to produce all-around focusing that is as fast as it is precise.

Moreover, there are four different AF area sizes available, with the lowest one, Super Spot AF, offering pinpoint precision that is well-suited to macro and close-up photography among them. Within the 81 zones of contrast-detection, selectable 3 x 3 groups may also be created and coupled according to the subject type being taken. A 0.044 second focus lag time guarantees that moving subjects are captured quickly and accurately.

Image Stabilization on Five Axes

When used in conjunction with any lens, in-body image stabilization helps to eliminate the appearance of camera wobble and compensates for camera motions up to the equivalent of five shutter speed steps.

The camera’s unique image stabilization system works across five axes, rather than the conventional two, and compensates for vertical angle rotation, horizontal angle rotation, horizontal shift, vertical shift, and rolling camera shake movements.

It also compensates for a variety of other camera shake movements. This range of observed motions is beneficial for both traditional still picture photography and video recording, as well as for working more efficiently with moving subjects.

While the 5-Axis IS is effective, IS-Auto mode may be used to detect both vertical and horizontal panning, automatically deactivating image stabilization along the identified panning axis to provide more stability when tracking moving subjects.

Interactive Electronic Visualization System with 3.0″ Tilting Touchscreen

A brilliant 2,360k-dot electronic viewfinder has been integrated into the design, and it has a smart eye detect function, a 29ms picture display lag time, and a 1.48x magnification. It is also equipped with a smart eye detection function. With this finder, you can see realistic, high-resolution images while sitting in a comfortable position, which is especially useful while working in bright environments.

Another advantage of using the viewfinder is that it enables real-time observation of many camera settings, including aspect ratio, highlight/shadow, and magnification. The adaptive brightness settings also make it simpler to see in a variety of lighting circumstances, with the brightness being adjusted in accordance with the surrounding surroundings to more closely imitate the usage of an optical viewfinder in varied lighting conditions.

As an alternative to the viewfinder, a large 3.0″ 1,037k-dot tilting touchscreen LCD panel is also available for real-time monitoring, picture playback, and menu navigation, among other things. The monitor’s design allows it to be tilted 80 degrees upward and 50 degrees downward, making it suitable for usage from both high and low viewing angles.

A variety of extra functions are available through the intuitive touchscreen control, including the ability to touch the screen to activate or deactivate the shutter, pick the focusing point, enlarge the image, apply filter effects, and navigate among photographs and settings.

Design of the Body

The E-M1, which is made of magnesium alloy, has a dust-, splash-, and freezeproof construction that allows it to perform well even in unfavorable weather circumstances, such as rain. The robust metal body has also been engineered to be as lightweight and ergonomic as possible in order to allow for comfortable use over extended periods of time while shooting.

  • Aside from that, the body is designed to allow the easiest and most efficient control over critical camera settings possible. Direct buttons are available in eight different configurations and may be used to control a wide range of settings simply by pressing the relevant button and spinning the main or sub-dials.
  • As well as being built within the wide ergonomic grip, a locking mode dial is also included, and the 2 x 2 dial control gives improved manipulation over exposure settings through the use of two dials and a function lever. Additionally, an X-Sync connector for direct connecting of external strobes, an HDMI output for connection to an HDTV for high-quality photo and movie playback, as well as USB and component video connections, have been incorporated into the body’s design. Additionally, a proprietary auxiliary connector and hot shoe are provided for attaching external flashes, the Olympus PENPAL, and the MAL-1 Macro Light (not included).
  • Wireless connectivity is pre-installed.
  • Wireless control of the E-M1 is made possible through the use of the O.I. Share software, which connects to connected iOS and Android mobile devices. The mobile device may be used to preview compositions, choose an AF point, and press the shutter release button, all of which is accomplished through a simple app interface. In addition, the self-timer may be adjusted, and others can be granted access privileges to download selected photographs straight from the camera. A simple QR Code Connect system, which shows a unique QR code on the camera’s monitor, which can subsequently be recognized by a mobile device for rapid connection, makes it feasible to connect mobile devices to the camera. Also possible is the incorporation of GPS data into image file metadata for geotagging applications, which may subsequently be displayed on interactive maps using Olympus Viewer 3 or other apps that handle GPS log data.
  • Control of the image captured within the camera
  • The Color Creator tool allows you to alter the hue and chroma of your image right in the EVF, with the results seen immediately. When combined with a simple user interface, this allows for more precise and accurate control over the color balance of an image.
  • When seen through the viewfinder, HDR Preview simulates the completed appearance of an HDR image, prior to the camera processing the shots together. This allows for better control and selection over how extended dynamic range photographs are captured. HDR images are achievable with a wide range of bracketed photographs spanning up to 12 EV in an exposure.
  • A total of 12 art filters are available for creatively enhancing imagery and movies, and they can be further customized by using filter variation, art effects, and Art Filter Bracketing. These filters include Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone; Grainy Film; Pin Hole; Diorama; Cross Process; Gentle Sepia; Dramatic Tone; Key Line; Water Color; and Pop Art.
  • Using Photo Story, you may capture various perspectives of a scene, which can subsequently be combined into a single image using a variety of pre-defined formats.
  • Real-time exposure progression during a bulb exposure may be observed in Live Bulb mode, and a live view histogram displays how the exposure is built-up over all locations of the image.
  • In manual or automatic shooting modes, Live Control is an enhanced control panel system that shows the image as well as the camera controls at the same time, allowing for a greater range of options.
  • When working in manual or autofocus modes, the MF (Magnified Focus) Assist and Magnification Display allow up to 10x enlargement of a scene to assist in attaining crucial focus when working in either mode.
  • It is possible to edit both JPEG and RAW file formats in-camera, allowing for speedy cropping of images, removal of red-eye, and conversion of images to black and white, amongst other editing possibilities.
  • A camera’s intelligent automatic shooting mode, or iAUTO, allows it to choose between 42 pre-determined shooting modes based on the detected scene type in order to optimize camera settings. The iAUTO software is especially useful while working with moving subject matter since it can alter the fundamental exposure settings in order to reduce blurred subjects.
  • A technique known as multiple exposure photography allows for the stacking of several exposures inside the same frame, resulting in more creative effects.

Additional Camera Functions

  • Focus Peaking is useful when working with manual focus since it highlights edges of contrast in either black or white to give a more objective way of evaluating critical focus while working with manual focus.
  • Fine Detail II technology automatically corrects for chromatic aberration based on the exact lens in use, eliminating the need for manual correction. The application of clever sharpening procedures based on the focal length and aperture value of the lens being used results in high-resolution images that seem natural in appearance.
  • By softly vibrating at a rate of 30,000 times per second, the Dust Reduction System, when used in conjunction with the Supersonic Wave Filter (SWF) self-cleaning ultrasonic sensor unit, eliminates dust particles on the sensor surface and prevents poor picture quality from occurring. It is possible to integrate the complete sealed unit into the stabilizer and sensor assembly.
  • Interval photography, which allows for the successive recording of 1-999 photographs at intervals ranging from 1 second to 24 hours, makes it simple to shoot a series of consecutive photos. Furthermore, the series of photographs may be transformed into a time-lapse video, which allows for more straightforward playback.
  • An automatic focus illumination (AF illuminator) assists with precise focusing in low-light circumstances.
  • It is possible to make a slideshow with sound in-camera utilizing a variety of effects, including fade-in/out methods, control over the movie and still picture mix and pace, as well as the option of inserting a soundtrack in the mix.
  • When filming movies, a 4x digital teleconverter may be utilized to expand the effective reach of any lens by using the easy zooming control on the touchscreen LCD of the camera body.
  • Face Detect, Face Priority, and Eye Detection are all features that enable you to choose different priorities for focusing and exposing your camera. There may be up to eight distinct faces recognized, and Eye Detection allows you to prioritize either the right or left eye based on your preference.
  • With the help of a built-in level gauge, you can create flawlessly level compositions that take into account the horizon and architectural components in the environment..
  • Using Shadow Adjustment Technology, a photographer may compensate for severe contrast between shadows and highlights in a photograph either during the exposure or during post-processing in the camera.
  • Both still photographs and movie recordings may be captured in one of four distinct aspect ratios, which are as follows: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9, and 1:1.
  • There are over a dozen languages supported including English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croat, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovakian, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Malay, and Thai.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Specs

Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ProcessorTruePic VII
ISO100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
Boosted ISO (minimum)100
White balance presets7
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notes‘5-axis’ IS
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsSuper Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (2X)
Manual focusYes (with focus peaking)
Number of focus points81
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots1,037,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.74× (0.37× 35mm Equiv.)
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/8000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashNo (compact external flash included)
External flashYes (hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modesFlash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing±2 (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatH.264, Motion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
Remote controlYes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
Environmentally sealedYes (Dust, splash, freeze resistant)
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionBLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA)350
Weight (inc. batteries)497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

About Author


Freelance journalist Corey has been writing about digital photography since 2006, first as a deputy editor and then as the editor of a variety of photographic journals. Featuring expert product reviews and in-depth features

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