Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera, Body Only

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84% Gold Award
If you want to feel like you're shooting with a DSLR, but still want the size and agility of a mirrorless camera, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option than the E-M1.”

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Key Features

  • 16.3MP CMOS Four Thirds sensor with 5-axis sensor shift image stabilization
  • 10 frames per second continuous shooting
  • Contrast detect and phase detect AF
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 1080 30 fps HD video (H.264/Motion JPEG)
  • Tiltable 3 inch touchscreen LCD with 1,037,000 dots
  • Electronic viewfinder with 2,360,000 dots (1.3x magnification)
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • Magnesium alloy body
  • Flash hot shoe and Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible
  • Water, dust, and freezeproof
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Product Description

The OM-D E-M1 interchangeable lens camera is now the flagship of Olympus's Micro Four Thirds lineup. Rather than calling it the follow-up to the E-M5, Olympus says that the E-M1 is actually the 'successor' to the E-5, a Four Thirds DSLR introduced back in 2010. The E-M1's 16.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor has on-chip 37-point phase detection, which allows the E-M1 to focus legacy Four Thirds lenses (using the optional MMF-3 adapter) at much faster speeds than previous Olympus m4/3 cameras. When you're using Micro Four Thirds lenses, focusing is handled by the EM-1's 81-point contrast detect AF system.

The EM-1 is weather, dust, splash and freezeproof, with a large high resolution touch LCD and electronic viewfinder. It retains the E-M5's built-in 5-axis image stabilization, plenty of customizable controls, and Wi-Fi image transfer and camera controls via Olympus's Image Share 2.0 smartphone app.


Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor TruePIC VII
ISO 100-25600 in 1/3EV or 1EV increments
White balance presets 7
Custom white balance Yes
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Image stabilization notes '5-axis' IS
Uncompressed format RAW
JPEG quality levels Super Fine, Fine, Normal, Basic
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Phase Detect
  • Multi-area
  • Center
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom Yes (2X)
Manual focus Yes (with focus peaking)
Number of focus points 81
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 1,037,000
Touch screen Yes
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 1.48×
Viewfinder resolution 2,360,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash No (compact external flash included)
External flash Yes (hot-shoe, wireless)
Flash modes Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
Continuous drive 10.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
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 Bracketing Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (micro HDMI)
Wireless Built-In
Wireless notes 802.11b/g/n with smartphone connectivity
Remote control Yes (optional RM-UC1 wired remote)
Environmentally sealed Yes (Dust, splash, freeze resistent)
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description BLN-1 lithium-ion battery pack
Battery Life (CIPA) 350
Weight (inc. batteries) 497 g (1.10 lb / 17.53 oz)
Dimensions 130 x 94 x 63 mm (5.13 x 3.68 x 2.48)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording Yes
GPS None


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
Gold Award
Gold Award
84 %
Overall Score

In most respects the E-M1 does a good job bridging the gap between a traditional DSLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera. Its controls and customizability may overwhelm less hands-on users, but those who don't mind tinkering will love its flexibility. The improved autofocus tracking and performance with original Four Thirds lenses adds to the appeal of a camera with blazingly fast AF acquisition speeds with its native lenses.

Good For

Those who prefer viewfinder shooting, want a relatively compact system camera without sacrificing external controls of a DSLR.

Not So Good For

User Reviews

4.71816 out of 5 stars
  • Jouko, Oct 27, 2013 GMT:
    About a month with EM1

    Some comments after about 1000 shots... Built is good, and also the ergonomics with bare hands. Not so much with gloves - but I have never used a camera that has been handy with thick gloves or mittens. Problem in wintertimes... Maybe the extra grip (coming somewhere) will help a bit. Focusing with FT-lenses is reasonable fast and reliable. So far I have used 9-18, 12-60, PL25, Zuiko 50mm macro, Sigma 50mm, 50-200 aone and with EC14. Fastest are the 9-18 and 25mm - no suprice there. But all ...

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  • light_bulb, Oct 28, 2013 GMT:
    EM-1 and FT 150 2/50 2: AF performance with static subjects and E-3/E-5

    I have posted parts of this in another thread but it may be worthwhile for other people less interested in the OP's issue. My first impression from an EM-1 Oly promotional event is as follows: - I had more FT lenses available but due to time constraints and the usual talks with Oly staff and other people I only tested the 150 f2 and 50 f2. - I started with S-AF and the 150 and felt somewhat unhappy in not so good light until I switched the EM-1 to eye recognition-AF and did some portraiture ...

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  • joeletx, Dec 2, 2013 GMT:
    Olympus E-M1 from my POV

    I have this camera for about a month now and have been taking it to shoot on weekends to learn and get used to its new features and capability. This is the first mirror-less camera for me from the E-5 so I was overwhelmed with the way the menu and button customization work on these smaller space mirror-less. Simple task such as saving "Myset" took me some time to figure out with the helps from people on DPR forum. This does not work the same way the E-5 does; You have to assign the saved ...

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  • Semar2000, Dec 26, 2013 GMT:
    Zuiko FT + EM1 = Excellent

    Being an olympus user with many ZD SHQ lens, I have been waiting for this moment. An MFT with AF speed that can match FT lenses, with addition to image quality and other improvements. A perfect combination (yet, until EM2 born…).Definitely Improved: AF, IS sensor, Noise, Wifi, and many others. Honestly, Olympus should announce these improvement more open to the public. But as always, Olympus marketing never say much…. Anyway, I gave up my EM5, and start my day with EM1 and Fourthird lenses ...

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DPReview's Allison Johnson gives an overview of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 Compact System Camera

Olympus OM-D E-M1 Compact System Camera

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