Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  

10 Things I Love About The Olympus OM-D E-M1


Dallas

Here are 10 Cool things I love about my OM-D E-M1

#1 Neck or Wrist Strap (or both)

I’ve mentioned before that I dislike camera straps quite a lot. They always seem to get in my way or restrict me from positioning the camera where I want it. I used to loop the strap around my wrist but now I have begun using proper wrist straps. Not the kind that attach to your wrist, but the kind that simply allow you to slip your hand into the loop they form between the battery grip and the top of the camera. I find this much tidier. However, there are times when I do wish I had a neck strap so that if I am using two cameras I can sling the one not in use over my shoulder and not have to worry about it.

Recently I discovered that Olympus have already thought about this a bit and they have developed a grip strap (GS-5) that has a loop built into it that you can use to attach your camera strap too. So you can have the shoulder strap and the wrist strap attached to the camera at the same time. Nice little touch!

#2 Locking the Mode Dial

When using the E-M5 I have sometimes inadvertently moved the mode dial from A to something else without realising it. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it when it does it has caused me some confusion, especially when I think I am shifting aperture values using the command dial but in actual fact I am shifting the shutter speed. I know, one should observe all the indicators in the EVF, but hell, when I’m busy thinking about composition I don’t think about camera settings as much as I should. My bad.

So it’s great that on the E-M1 you now have the ability to lock the mode dial, even though it’s new position on the opposite side of the hump means it's less likely to get shifted inadvertently.

#3 Battery Priority

Because of the power hungry nature of having an EVF and Live View active all the time (not to mention IBIS), the OM-D cameras tend to offer fewer shots per charge than you’d get out of a DSLR. For professional use you need to have a lot of batteries on you, or at least make sure you have the grip. If you’re using the HLD-6 or HLD-7 battery grips for them you do get to prioritise which of the batteries the camera uses first. I have set mine to always use the one in the grip first and then when its exhausted move on to the one in the body. This allows me to remove the one in the grip and then go charge it without slowing down while the other one is being charged. I think of the one in the body as my “reserve” tank. After every shoot I do swap them around so that each unit is getting regular use.

#4 HDR & Bracketing Mode

Making HDR photos has now become a cinch with the E-M1. By simply pushing the HDR button on the top of the camera you get to chose between two in-camera HDR methods (standard and high contrast) where the E-M1 will create a single image from a burst of three different exposures, or a variety of bracketing methods ranging from 3 to 7 frames covering 2.0 or 3.0 EV. The E-M1 automatically switches itself into high speed FPS for these modes, so you will hardly notice its taken multiple frames if your exposures times are all relatively fast. The IBIS combined with the HDR modes allows you to get some very cool HDR shots that you would ordinarily have required a tripod for.

#5 Time Lapse Movie

I’ve never done a time lapse movie before, but having seen many of them it’s something I really want to try. It’s made even easier now because the E-M1 does it all in camera. Simply go to the Time Lapse settings in the camera, set up the intervalometer and then use the Time Lapse Movie option to create the movie in the camera. I’m so going to do this soon! I just need to find some inspiration.

#6 Remote Control Via Smartphone

This is the coolest feature of the E-M1 in my opinion. You turn on the wifi settings, connect your smartphone or tablet to its wifi signal and in conjunction with the free Olympus OI.share app you have full control over the camera, including it’s live view which gets streamed to your device over the wifi connection. There are so many cool applications you could use this for, not least of which is to use it to shoot groups or selfies where you are in the shot too. However, something I am thinking of doing at my next event shoot is to put the camera on a monopod, hoist it high above a table with a wide angle lens on it and using the iPhone compose an image of the people sitting at that table. I’ve done this before without the remote, but it’s always guesswork when it comes to composing. I may have to attach the phone to the monopod too, but it’s worth a go.

#7 Set the FPS rate

Having a small camera that can shoot at 10 fps in the high speed mode setting is way cool. Having one that can shoot at 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or even 9 fps in the same mode depending on your needs is even cooler. The E-M1 lets you set the FPS for both its High and Low burst settings. I like having that control.

#8 Live Bulb and Live Time Exposures in Live View

Something I have never experienced first hand is the magic of seeing a print come to life in a darkroom. Some day I will, but for now Olympus have allowed me to use the Live setting when I am creating long Live Time or Live Bulb exposures and experience something similar. You actually get to see the image “developing” as you have the shutter open for long periods. Combine this with the wifi connection to your iPad and you’ve got a cool way of doing star trails or astrophotography. The system lets you chose how often you want the image on the screen to refresh too. Nice touch!

#9 Lens Function Button

On the new range of PRO lenses from Olympus there is a new L-Fn button. This lets you program an available function into the button that you haven’t already programmed into the numerous function buttons on the E-M1 (or other OM-D). I have programmed it to use the 2x teleconverter function. This will be quite neat with the 40-150/2.8 and the 300/4. Basically it doubles their field of view electronically and creates an in-camera JPG interpolation at your full 16MP resolution.

#10 Remote Flash Control

This isn’t something that is unique to Olympus, Nikon have had it for quite a while, but it does add another very cool feature to the OM-D that a lot of other systems don’t have. If you have Olympus FL-600R or FL-300R flash units you can control these items remotely from the camera using the little clip on flash (or another FL-600R) as a commander. You can control 3 groups of lights, set whether you want them to fire in manual, TTL or A mode, adjust their output by up to 10 stops (you won’t find many lights from any manufacturer that allows such a big EV range to be set) and also whether they should fire in FP mode or not. That is pretty cool.

If you are an O-MD user what are your favourite features of your camera?

  • Like 1
Sign in to follow this  


Comments

Recommended Comments

I just received my EM-1 and until I go through the manual and online instruction videos, I'd say that my favorite feature is the size and weight.  This is just what I was hoping for.  I've started carrying it everywhere I go even though it's only been two days and I don't really know how to operate it!

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a complex camera to get to grips with, mainly because of all the possible customisations. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I have mine set up very similar to the way I have always set up my Nikons in the past, but getting there wasn't plain sailing. :) 

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

In addition to the features that Dallas has mentioned, one that I really like is the touch to focus screen. At first I thought it was a gimmick, but in usage, I've found it to be very useful in getting unique perspectives of a subject. I recently returned from India where the ability to put the camera either very high or very low to vary perspective or control the background was very useful. Additionally, touching the object you want to focus on and take the photo was extremely helpful.

I'll post some photos later on Zones, but having used the E-M1 exclusively instead of my usual Nikons, was a treat. The only Nikon feature I missed, but was able to overcome, was not being able to use Auto ISO while in Manual mode. I did not miss carrying the bricks or lose any shots while using the E-M1. Richard

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

You couldn't use Auto-ISO in M mode? I will check that out in the morning. Pretty sure I have done that with the E-M1, but I might be wrong...

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey Richard, I have just had a look into the menus and it is possible to activate Auto-ISO when in manual mode. 

 

Go to Custom Menu E and the last item on the first page there is ISO-Auto. You want to set this to ALL. Now here's the weird thing; I just did this and the first time I tried it, it still wouldn't show the Auto ISO as an option in the super control panel. As soon as I switched the camera off and then back on again it was available. Must run on Windows or something... :) 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dallas: my mistake. What I meant to write is that Exposure Compensation cannot be used while in Manual and Auto ISO. EC and Auto ISO is available when in A or S. Richard

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I see what you're getting at. You can assign compensation to a function button, but then when you compensate either on A or S, it moves the Auto-ISO by the corresponding amount. Hmmmmm... I think we should ask them to look into this. Maybe we should get an over-ride option?

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
Guest Danie

Posted

I have my E-M1 since December 2013 with 12-40 and powergrip, and love the excellent ergonomics of the camera. It is a piece of art. The viewfinder is exceptional. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have my E-M1 since December 2013 with 12-40 and powergrip, and love the excellent ergonomics of the camera. It is a piece of art. The viewfinder is exceptional. 

Danie, The EM-1 also strikes me as a piece of art.  It's just beautiful.  I'm a sucker for great design, quality, and ergonomics.  I almost want to sleep with it in bed next to me.

  • Like 1

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I took the wife to the local store to see the EM-1 and 12-40 in person.   She was hooked.  I just ordered a set for her that will hopefully be here for her birthday next Wednesday.   Through the first week of April you can get a rebate from Olympus of different combos of bodies and lenses.  Don't know if something similar applies to all Olympus global regions.

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Similar Content

    • By waltonksm
      Another "non-technical review."  Yes, the zoom range is fantastic. But if you start enlarging the images, I find they are not particularly sharp. I am talking about landscape shots.  I have not done any macro shots with this yet. Frankly, had I spent more time with the lens after purchasing, I think I would have sent this one back.  Perhaps I got a "dud?"
    • By Dallas
      Durban recently hosted its 10th annual Durban International Blues Festival at the lively Zack’s Wilson’s Wharf venue on the Bay. I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph the Fender evening on a few occasions, but this year it was extra special because my son and his Rock Academy band were one of the acts. They played 2 numbers on the night, namely “House Of The Rising Sun” by the Animals and “Before You Accuse Me” by Eric Clapton (I think he wrote it?). Very proud moment for me. Sometimes I find myself living vicariously… not such a bad thing coz I sure as hell wouldn’t ever have the nerve to get up on a stage in front of a lot of people and entertain them. No sir. I gots me some issues with stage confidence.
       
      I love photographing bands and performers though. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few images of artists who played on various stages. I’d love to put on an exhibition of these works someday. Photographing live music is not easy, but I have managed to perfect my own method which sort of comes naturally to me. A lot of photographers struggle with things like metering methods, colour balance, auto focus and whatever else the camera battles with when left to its own devices. I’ve come to know my cameras over the years, wringing the best out of them wherever possible and recently with my move to the Olympus micro four thirds system I find I am just getting better and better shots as the technology improves. The things I lean on are the new fast lenses that the smaller m43 format has brought us, in particular the Olympus 75mm f/1.8, the ability to shoot at high ISO and get a usable image and image stabilisation. Without those three elements you’re going to be in for a lot of disappointment as far as shot quality goes (and I’m seeing that evident in the work of others who cover the same events I do).
       
      That said, there’s also a lot to be said for personal experience. I recently discovered something that the Olympus cameras do that kind of makes low light photography a lot easier. On the Olympus bodies you’ll find this thing called a Shadow Spot Meter. I accidentally activated this while on safari recently while we were photographing this pack of stinky hyenas at Sabi Sabi. It was night time and the only lights we had on the scene were the spotlights that the trackers use. I usually auto float my ISO values between 100 and 8000 on the Olympus E-M1 but I couldn’t understand why I was getting decent exposures at low ISO values of 400 and sometimes even 200 in such dim conditions. It didn’t make sense to me, yet there I was looking at these great shots on the back of the camera and zoomed in at pixel level I had hardly any noise. So I tried using that metering method on the stage at this years festival and it worked well there too. Yes, the rest of the scene goes quite dark, but your subject gets just the right amount of exposure if you’re looking for that low key, moody look. Just so happens that I like that. A lot. See if you can pick out which of these shots got the shadow spot treatment.
       

      My boy playing a Fender Telecaster (he usually plays a Charvel, but with it being a Fender evening he was handed this job and got on with it.
       

      Their lead guitarist, Rorke.
       

      16-year-old Cyndi didn't get the memo about it being a Fender evening (nice Guild though)
       

      My buddy Reg (also a photographer) and Roland
       

      Sadly I do not know what this fellas name is. But he sure could sing them blues.
       

      Eloise, awesome vocalist and vocals tutor.
       

      My good friend and all round good guy, John.
       

      From Chicago, USA Mr. Charlie Rose, singer of the blues.
       

       

      Reg's very talented son, Rowan Stuart. Look him up on iTunes.
       

      Another multi-talented guy, Andy Turrell (former drummer for Dan Patlansky).

      View full article
    • By Dallas
      Durban recently hosted its 10th annual Durban International Blues Festival at the lively Zack’s Wilson’s Wharf venue on the Bay. I’ve been fortunate enough to photograph the Fender evening on a few occasions, but this year it was extra special because my son and his Rock Academy band were one of the acts. They played 2 numbers on the night, namely “House Of The Rising Sun” by the Animals and “Before You Accuse Me” by Eric Clapton (I think he wrote it?). Very proud moment for me. Sometimes I find myself living vicariously… not such a bad thing coz I sure as hell wouldn’t ever have the nerve to get up on a stage in front of a lot of people and entertain them. No sir. I gots me some issues with stage confidence.
       
      I love photographing bands and performers though. Over the years I have accumulated quite a few images of artists who played on various stages. I’d love to put on an exhibition of these works someday. Photographing live music is not easy, but I have managed to perfect my own method which sort of comes naturally to me. A lot of photographers struggle with things like metering methods, colour balance, auto focus and whatever else the camera battles with when left to its own devices. I’ve come to know my cameras over the years, wringing the best out of them wherever possible and recently with my move to the Olympus micro four thirds system I find I am just getting better and better shots as the technology improves. The things I lean on are the new fast lenses that the smaller m43 format has brought us, in particular the Olympus 75mm f/1.8, the ability to shoot at high ISO and get a usable image and image stabilisation. Without those three elements you’re going to be in for a lot of disappointment as far as shot quality goes (and I’m seeing that evident in the work of others who cover the same events I do).
       
      That said, there’s also a lot to be said for personal experience. I recently discovered something that the Olympus cameras do that kind of makes low light photography a lot easier. On the Olympus bodies you’ll find this thing called a Shadow Spot Meter. I accidentally activated this while on safari recently while we were photographing this pack of stinky hyenas at Sabi Sabi. It was night time and the only lights we had on the scene were the spotlights that the trackers use. I usually auto float my ISO values between 100 and 8000 on the Olympus E-M1 but I couldn’t understand why I was getting decent exposures at low ISO values of 400 and sometimes even 200 in such dim conditions. It didn’t make sense to me, yet there I was looking at these great shots on the back of the camera and zoomed in at pixel level I had hardly any noise. So I tried using that metering method on the stage at this years festival and it worked well there too. Yes, the rest of the scene goes quite dark, but your subject gets just the right amount of exposure if you’re looking for that low key, moody look. Just so happens that I like that. A lot. See if you can pick out which of these shots got the shadow spot treatment.
       

      My boy playing a Fender Telecaster (he usually plays a Charvel, but with it being a Fender evening he was handed this job and got on with it.
       

      Their lead guitarist, Rorke.
       

      16-year-old Cyndi didn't get the memo about it being a Fender evening (nice Guild though)
       

      My buddy Reg (also a photographer) and Roland
       

      Sadly I do not know what this fellas name is. But he sure could sing them blues.
       

      Eloise, awesome vocalist and vocals tutor.
       

      My good friend and all round good guy, John.
       

      From Chicago, USA Mr. Charlie Rose, singer of the blues.
       

       

      Reg's very talented son, Rowan Stuart. Look him up on iTunes.
       

      Another multi-talented guy, Andy Turrell (former drummer for Dan Patlansky).
  • Join Our Small Community

    Like what you see on Fotozones? Join up here and make friends with like-minded photography enthusiasts from all across the planet without having to sell your soul to the Facebook monster. We are limiting our membership to no more than 2000 individuals, so if you are seeing this message there is still space available for you to join. We'd love to have you along. :)  

     

     

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By visiting this website you are agreeing to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy & Guidelines.