We’ve already given you the short spec-sheet review of the Olympus OM-D E-M1. Our very own Jamie MacDonald has also given you his impressions as well. SCBP was invited to attend Olympus’s E-M1 event aboard the U.S.S. Intrepid Seas, Air, and Space Museum in New York City, here our E-M1 first impressions.
Body, Build, and Construction
Make no mistake, this is a serious shooter for serious shooter. The Olympus E-M1 is built like an aircraft (pun intended), it’s sleek, solid to the point it’s nearly menacing, but extremely lightweight with a sleekness to its footprint. If we were to continue the aircraft analogy, the E-M1 is Olympus’s Blackbird of the future.
That’s great and all, but what about those pictures?
For the better part of our Photowalk with Olympus Visionary, Jay Dickman, we found ourselves on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Intrepid. With the city twinkling in the background and us literally walking around in the dark, the stage was set to push the brand new TruePic VII sensor to its limits. The above was taken in near total darkness at 1600 ISO with a ZUIKO super wide 7-14mm lens on a four-thirds to micro four-thirds adapter.
One of the first thing that stands out is how well it performs in low light. At an ISO rating of 1600, the E-M1 still produces sharp images that aren’t completely drowned out in noise. Sure there’s some present, but for a straight-out-the-camera JPEG, color me impressed.
The other thing that really struck me was just how quickly I was able to frame, focus, and then capture my subject using the E-M1′s much larger and sharper EVF. That EVF is a huge improvement over the E-M5′s – it’s super sharp, quickly and accurately adjusts its display strength based on ambient lighting, and combined the TruePic VII offers near-zero lag. If you’re worried about missing the shot (especially if you’re using a mount adapter) consider this the answer you’ve been waiting on.