Olympus' compact alternative to a DLSR

Not a fan of big, heavy cameras? This might make your day

Olympus, since their launch of the original PEN series in 2009, has made many strides in its camera lineup – but never before like the one they are announcing today. The new E-M1 brings the Four Thirds DSLR to the current generation, at the same time signalling Olympus's exit from the DSLR business.


The lowdown

The new OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 is the new flagship for the company's system camera lineup, replacing the previously announced E-M5.

What’s new with this camera? Just about everything. While maintaining the megapixel count from the E-M5 (16 megapixels), the new camera brings in many new updates such as a new image processor (TruPic VII) and also for the first time in Olympus’s history, dual Auto Focus (AF) systems on the sensor.

Yep, you get the usual Contrast Detection system from the previous generation, plus you will also get Phase Detection AF ala DSLRs, together called the Dual Fast AF.

What does this mean? It means you can use the Micro Four Thirds lensvalready in the market, plus you can now use older Four Thirds lenses previously launched before today with focus lock.

Other juicy bits includes a built-in 2.36 million dot pixel LCD Electronic View Finder (EVF) with 0.74x magnification factor (similar to high end full frame DSLRs), a 3 inch LCD back touch-panel that tilts, an in-body 5-axis image stabilizer system and also a weather-sealed body that is now Dust/Freeze/Water-proof. Yes, this is the camera that you can take to the jungle, through waterfalls and the desert – while still taking good pictures for memories sake.

To transfer the pictures you took during your trip, Olympus has now included WiFi in their OM-D line of camera – previously present only on the E-P5 camera body.

Along with the new body, Olympus also announced several new accessories and lens, which includes the new 12-40mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko PRO lens (which is also offered as part of a kit for the E-M1) and also an upcoming 40-150mm f/2.8 M.Zuiko PRO lens. There is also a new battery grip for the E-M5 to round up the accessory announcement.


The new OLYMPUS OM-D E-M1 will be retailing from RM 4999 to RM 7999, and will be in stores by middle of Q4 2013. It is available for preorder now from authorised Olympus distributors. In the meantime, check out our hands-on review of the camera here.

Will the price hurt the camera?

We love the body and build of the E-M1, especially the new 12-40mm lens. 

However the pricing for the camera places it strictly in the 'If I have the money' category rather than the 'I must have this now' column.

We will see how the market takes to this beautiful camera from the land of the rising sun.