Olympus OM-D E-M1 first user impressions by Francois Nadeau

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Francois Nadeau recently got an Olympus OMD EM1, after getting some great shots, he submitted his first impressions about the camera.


For some time now, I was interested with the latest mirrorless cameras. Usually, when I shoot digital, I use my Canon 5D MIII. I really love the quality of the 5D but for street photography, that's a big piece to carry around and you don't go unnoticed. Every time, when I'm doing street, I usually carry a film camera (I have a bunch of film camera but the ones I usually work with are the Nikon FM2, Canon AE-1 or Yahisca Electro 35) and a digital camera.


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I got a fuji X20 that I like a lot. Very compact and fast. But I wanted something better with interchangeable lenses. And I also wanted a backup for my 5D for important gigs. I had a 7D but I sold it in order to get a new camera. I hesitated between a Fuji Xpro-1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M1.


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After spending a few hours at my favorite camera shop, trying both cameras, photographing the salesmen in every angle possible, my choice went for the Olympus for multiple reasons, besides the good reviews that the camera gets on the Internet. One of them is the fact that it's weatherproof. Here in Québec, there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of snow during winter and temperatures can go to -30 celsius (-22 F).


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I love to go out in extreme weather but I was getting tired of having a raincover on my other cameras, so I really like that feature. I like the way the Olympus OMD EM1 holds in your hand. Since I like film cameras, I like the look of the camera it's similar to old 35mm camera. Plus the mu43 system has good lenses and a few very interesting features. The wifi is great with my iPhone and the timelapse and bracketing features are easy to work with. Plus you can customize almost every button on the camera.


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How did it perform on the street? I was really surprised. It focuses very very fast, just look at the photo below of the doves. And the stabilization is amazing!! I took shots a 1/8 of a second and if was very very sharp and defined!!! ISO is very decent up to 3200, even 6400. With my Panasonic LEICA DG SUMMILUX 25mm f/1.4 and the stabilization system, I can get great images in low ligth situations.


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I'm very happy with the colors of the images I get out of the camera and I love shooting with it in the monochrome style filter. Even if afterwards I post process my images. One of the things I really enjoy it's the fact that it's small and it's Light!!! I can hold it in my hands all day and my arms do not get tired, unlike when I have my 5D.


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I'm very happy with that acquisition. It has its special place between with 35mm cameras of old and my x20 and my big digital setup. I carry my Olympus OMD EM1 everywhere I go now, and I'm going to try it with an adapter and some vintage lens (with the Focus Peaking abilities, you can try those old lenses!!). I really think its one of the best piece of gear on the market right now and it's worthy of your consideration.


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More of Francois
Check out Francois's website and please follow him on Twitter.


Thanks Francois for your first impressions! He will be back for further impressions when he shoots with the camera more. Do you have an OMD EM1? Share your thoughts about the camera below!

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7 thoughts on “Olympus OM-D E-M1 first user impressions by Francois Nadeau”

  1. Pingback: Olympus OM-D E-M1 first user impressions by Fra...

  2. Great review. I’m considering this camera as well, having also felt the pull of Fuji, but am now committing to M43 — the sensor is big enough, and the lens selection and camera options are insane. So I’m looking at the EM1, EM5, GX7 and GH3. Like you, I find the weather sealing really appealing, at least conceptually. I picture myself stepping out onto Broadway in the rain to shoot my version of that great James Dean portrait. 🙂 But I’m confused about the sealing on these cameras. The EM5, which has been out for years now, is sealed. But none of the lenses (except the macro) were sealed (until the new pro zoom). What’s up with that? Why would Oly release a weather sealed camera a few years ago, but not make their lenses weather sealed?

  3. Pingback: Olympus OM-D E-M1 first user impressions by Fra...

  4. I sold my d7000 for an em1 and I’m having a ball with it. Don’t see many around. So that means there are 2 em1’s in Quebec now 😉

  5. Pingback: INSPIRED EYE | The big, fat list of all things Street Photography

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