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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens by Review Summary ,  Jul 30, 2015

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mirrorless Camera with Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm F2.8 PRO Lens
Report Date: 12/31/2015
Based on 141 customer reviews
Overall satisfaction: 4.5
Returned or considering to return: 7.8%

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Frequently Mentioned by Customers:


Individual Feature Rating
Weight5.0   above average
Light4.5   above average
Price4.5   average
Focus4.4   exceptional
Quality4.4   average
Body4.3   average
Control4.3   average
Image4.3   average
Color4.2   below average
Lens4.2   above average
Photo4.2   average
Size4.2   average
Button4.0   above average
Manual3.9   average
Shutter3.9   above average
Speed3.9   average
DSLR3.4   below average
Video3.3   below average
Sensor3.2   below average


Quotes from the Reviews - What People Say about:

Body

Body:
"As these have been out for only a couple of months, I am thinking it's probably a firmware issue, but unacceptable for a ~$1500 package body only."
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"The dealer immediately confirmed a problem and gave me a new body."
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"(I also bought a Panasonic mirrorless micro four thirds body to play with, but I never liked the lack of control it offered, so I stuck with the E-5.)"
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"angle you like even towards the camera body for protection, which is much more effective than only a tiltable one, and it is lighter and less expensive, apart from that theres no important difference, the brilliant results are the same of course."
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"The picture quality is superb, the body is solid and well built."
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"I thought about getting an excellent DSLR like a 70D or D7100, which certainly have some advantages, but the combination of image quality with lens body size was a winner."
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"The body feels good in the hand."
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"Sad to give up such a nice body."
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Button

Button:
"So many buttons to customize its ridiculous!"
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"I switched from Nikon to Olympus when the E-M5 came out and haven't looked back, but there were always a few things about the E-M5 that still irritated me (mushy small buttons, EVF good but not great, just a biiiit too small to be completely comfortable)."
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"This is incredibly annoying, given how sensitive the buttons are, and if you don't pay attention the focus point will be waaaay off very easily."
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"This is not always a good thing, if you happen to hit a button at the wrong time or chose the wrong setting by mistake."
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"Love how customizable the buttons are."
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"The tactile feel of the buttons on the E-M1 is superior to the E-M5 except the shutter release."
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"This is a minor issue and I have the Fn1 button set to magnify, but it would be nice if the auto magnify would persist and revert to full view on a half press (they could make this user configurable)."
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"all the buttons are in the right places and the grip is great."
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"While we are waiting for Busch to get with it, if youd like to understand which button does what on the OM-D EM-5, I highly recommend the QuickPRO Guide DVD for this model."
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Color

Color:
"You're given the choice of two colors to peak with, black and white, and they're typically very hard to see."
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"My only complaint is that colors are rendered a little cooler and unsaturated in the viewfinder (as compared to the back screen and the actual photo), but you can adjust the tone and brightness of the viewfinder screen in the endless control settings on this camera."
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"I use the older E series lenses and I get excellent sharpness, color, and general results."
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"It makes great images with good color."
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"I am amazed by the results, colors are beautiful and saturated."
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"I have yet to test the extremes (for example, many good cameras can't handle the color range found in brilliant sunsets, and tend to convert many other colors to oranges and yellows).--The zoom capability is fantastic for long-range shooting."
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"There is such a thing as too much choice (a fact well known to marketers).--Default colors are good in easy shooting situations."
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Customization

Customization:
"So many buttons to customize its ridiculous!"
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"Love how customizable the buttons are."
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"The camera is highly customizable, which means it's easy to avoid delving into menus once it's set up."
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"The EVF is just as good (maybe even better) than any optical VF I've ever used; the controls fall easily to hand (and are customizable to the max), the grip fits me like a glove, and this thing is FAST."
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"This is a professional grade camera body with excellent feel and just about any kind of adjustment and customization imaginable (expect a steep learning curve)."
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"Controls and customization:The controls are pretty well placed for me with the exception of the auto exposure lock button."
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DSLR

DSLR:
"Well, I agree with most assessments out there; ie there is a definite improvement over the E-M5, but it's not as good compared to the lens being mated to a 4 3 DSLR."
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"I hate using a flash and taking terrible flat photos with a DSLR, I hate having to use a flash because the only lens I could afford had an unacceptably high f-stop floor (anything above f 2.0 is unacceptable to me).This lead to my Canon Rebel XT sitting in the closet for months at a time."
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"There was one problem: I hate lugging around a DSLR and lenses, I hate how much DSLR lenses cost, and I always end up shooting everything fun in my life with my iPhone unless go leave the house thinking today is a day dedicated to shooting photos."
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"The EVF is excellent - you can see the depth of field in it; something not so easy on a DSLR."
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"I thought about getting an excellent DSLR like a 70D or D7100, which certainly have some advantages, but the combination of image quality with lens body size was a winner."
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"Well built, with DSLR styling which I prefer to some of the smaller MFT cameras."
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"Alot of people don't like the design especially the hump but for me the grip is perfect since its so familiar coming from dslr."
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"Combine this with the new 12-40mm f2.8 and you have an amazing kit that is still a fraction of the size of a DSLR."
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"Toward the end of my career, I had a Nikon DSLR and liked it very much, but the fact that I am now retired and have strength issues in my arms, the 5 way stabilization in the EM-1 makes it worth the price of admission all by itself!"
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Focus

Focus:
"I still find manual focus with the 12-40 unpleasant to use."
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"I was tired of the size and weight of my 5D Mark III when going out on casual trips, and while my wife's Lumix LX5 and my Galaxy Note 3 are quite capable when shooting well-lit scenes, they are quite disappointing in low-light or when I need blazing autofocus speed and reliable accuracy."
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"The m43 cameras have always had fantastic contrast detection auto focus, which is faster and more reliable than phase detection auto focus, but contrast detection AF doesn't work well for sports or wildlife."
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"I am currently an owner of an EM-5 and the one problem i have had is the slow performance autofocus on lens like the 12-60mm and the 8mm Fisheye."
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"The so called live view systems on the DSLRs are really the only accurate way to auto or manual focus and is terribly slow (What you see thought the prism is not what the sensor is seeing it is what the autofocus is seeing.)"
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"With that, however, the DOF was so small I often missed the focus especially on wiggly subjects such as kids."
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"I understood the menu fairly well and tried different focusing modes (and the menu is very very complicated)."
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"It has enough physical controls to allow pro shooters to quickly adjust settings, its interface is convenient and highly-customizable, its focus speed and accuracy is superb, and the image quality is really excellent."
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"It is said that the E series lenses use phase detect focusing but being older lenses, they are still pretty slow to focus."
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"It is so good in detail that I rely less on focus peaking."
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Image

Image:
"I purchased Nikon 1 series camera but was never satisfied with the image quality."
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"It's even better than EM5 (EM5 looks better).Pros -1) Image Stabilization on the sensor - If you have never tried Olympus with 5 axis image stabilization, you have no idea how good and important this is."
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"Without long exposure NR on the images were terribly noisy and unusable."
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"While the image quality was superb the lack of flexibility was frustrating."
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"It's not for everyone (no camera is) but it's a great all around camera that can produce impressive images."
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"I shot over 1000 images with the same battery I used on my EM5 (and there was still power to spare) and have never been able to shoot much over 300-400 images previously.6."
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"Got this camera for 2 months now taking thousand of pic so far and i love it ."
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"The photo quality is just as good and in some areas passes the 70D and all other crop cameras."
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"The image stabilization is absolutely amazing - shooting the 45mm at 1 10 and it turns out sharp - wow."
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"It has enough physical controls to allow pro shooters to quickly adjust settings, its interface is convenient and highly-customizable, its focus speed and accuracy is superb, and the image quality is really excellent."
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"The image quality is very good, and I found autofocus fast and reliable for most subjects (very fast-moving objects in the distance can be a challenge but everything short of that is great)."
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Lens

Lens:
"On tours when I don't have much time to compose a shot having to change lenses was a problem."
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"Well, I agree with most assessments out there; ie there is a definite improvement over the E-M5, but it's not as good compared to the lens being mated to a 4 3 DSLR."
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"I got tired of lugging around a large DSLR with heavy lenses on travel, and this Olympus E-M1 was too hard to resist."
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"I hate using a flash and taking terrible flat photos with a DSLR, I hate having to use a flash because the only lens I could afford had an unacceptably high f-stop floor (anything above f 2.0 is unacceptable to me).This lead to my Canon Rebel XT sitting in the closet for months at a time."
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"There was one problem: I hate lugging around a DSLR and lenses, I hate how much DSLR lenses cost, and I always end up shooting everything fun in my life with my iPhone unless go leave the house thinking today is a day dedicated to shooting photos."
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"The main reason i got this camera because it works better with my old fourthird lenses .It easily outperform my old olympus e3 in every way from high iso to autofocus speed."
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"v=3k69P8f-DKgThis camera in combination with the brilliant Olympus lenses, especially the PRO serie, is a brilliant team."
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"Have been Olympus user since my film SLR became obsolete, thrilled to be able to use all my four-thirds lenses."
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"Paired with good quality prime lenses or Olympus Pro M4 3 lenses it is a perfect system."
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Light

Light:
"Its so functional in nearly every scenario except sports and indoor low lights that I find it hard to justify bringing anything else."
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"However its low light performance is not as good as the GX7."
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"The camera is compact but well-made and light enough for a day in the field."
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"After playing the full frame game, I am willing to trade a bit of resolution for light weight and ease of use."
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"I particularly like that it is light and small enough to easily travel with, especially with light, quality primes (the 25mm and 45mm Olympus lenses in my case), and it's still comparatively compact even with the excellent 12-40 2.8 Pro."
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"It performs well in low light and the AF is nice and fast."
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Manual

Manual:
"I still find manual focus with the 12-40 unpleasant to use."
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"The first problem is that the user manual and menu is obscenely complicated, in part because the camera is designed to do numerous things which I prefer to do on my computer."
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"The so called live view systems on the DSLRs are really the only accurate way to auto or manual focus and is terribly slow (What you see thought the prism is not what the sensor is seeing it is what the autofocus is seeing.)"
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"Clean and sharp files that are very malleable in post processing.+ 1 8000th shutter speed lets you shoot wide open during the day+ Manual focus is easy with the new EVF+ Camera does not interfere with shooting experience.+ Camera is built like a tank and will survive most outdoor excursions."
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"I find myself using fully manual controls much more often since they're that easy and the electronic view finder shows you what the picture will look like before you take it."
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"Zuiko digital lenses are great on it, but I can also use manual focus lenses from any manufacturer."
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"The in-body image stabilization (IBIS) works great, for all lenses including manual ones (you have to tell the camera the approximate focal length, but that's easily done)."
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"pin hole - kicks ass)the features i love are- manual zoom with auto 5x 10x resolution with focus assist (for uber clear shots)- HDR which very coolly combines the different exposures into one shot- automatic detect when you shove your eye into the viewfinder- it would take me a week to get used to the menus, but once you put your heart into it everything else will follow..- their raw image noise is much higher than i expectedbut they gotta kick-ass jpeg engine that gives real good performance."
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Performance

Performance:
"But for me, the mediocre performance of the E-M5 was a constant minor annoyance."
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"I am currently an owner of an EM-5 and the one problem i have had is the slow performance autofocus on lens like the 12-60mm and the 8mm Fisheye."
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"However its low light performance is not as good as the GX7."
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"I love the smaller footprint of the mirrorless 4 3rds cameras and am amazed everyday how well they perform for me."
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"Still learning to use this camera but am very happy with its performance."
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"That combination performed well outside in the bright light, but in lower light, it had trouble with the autofocus."
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"This is the camera that most open minded photographers were - have been - are looking for from Olympus; ie a relatively compact, well built, high performance camera with great ergononics and high possibility for producing excellent images."
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"pin hole - kicks ass)the features i love are- manual zoom with auto 5x 10x resolution with focus assist (for uber clear shots)- HDR which very coolly combines the different exposures into one shot- automatic detect when you shove your eye into the viewfinder- it would take me a week to get used to the menus, but once you put your heart into it everything else will follow..- their raw image noise is much higher than i expectedbut they gotta kick-ass jpeg engine that gives real good performance."
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Photo

Photo:
"A camera you don't carry cannot take good photos."
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"I hate using a flash and taking terrible flat photos with a DSLR, I hate having to use a flash because the only lens I could afford had an unacceptably high f-stop floor (anything above f 2.0 is unacceptable to me).This lead to my Canon Rebel XT sitting in the closet for months at a time."
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"If the battery was dead, it still took photos, you just lost the exposure meter!"
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"Unfortunately because it is so small it is not as spectacular as 1080p on a TV but even so if you like the EM1 photos and can't easilly tell the difference between sensors in the challenge, you might just be amazed and overjoyed with the EM1.The short version of what you need to know about sensor IQ is it is very much like horsepower in a car."
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"Love the new camera; it takes such crisp photos and has many great settings."
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"I was intrigued by the Sony a7, but it's shutter shock issue deterred me, and the fact that it's a full-frame sensor means it still requires a lot of heavy glass to get good photos."
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"Typically the photos this produces are fantastic (I used it with the 12-40mm 2.8 and 75mm 1.8)."
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"Its all about the image, fulfillment and enjoyment of taking photos."
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"Put the Lumix Leica 25mm f 1.4 on and love the photos! "
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Price

Price:
"it was an expensive camera and i never tried Olympus before, i thought it was some cheap company since you never see in Bestbuy and all Anyway, the reviews were so good for EM5 that i thought, i would try it out from Amazon since Amazon's return policy is awesome and worst case scenario, i can always return it."
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"The OM-D E-M1 has all the combined advantages of both the G1X Mark II and RX100 Mark II, with the larger physical size and higher price being the only drawbacks."
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"So, your video looks smooth.2) M43 lens are not only awesome, they are cheap - With Nikon, a good quality lens were atleast $1000 or more."
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"i also purchased 45mm F1.8 lens since it was cheap and had very good reviews."
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"This camera is a great value if you buy it below its original price (as now seems to be the case)."
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")Seamless backup to iPhoneSome gripsSubstantial bulk in a small bodytoo many features (I think I should have purchased the e-M5 for the lower price tag)poorly written product manual (I had to call them in order to attach the flash)Overall, I would happily recommend this product to anyone, with a clear warning (about the high price tag the kit could run up); each of the pro M. Zuiko lenses are between $700 to $1,100 apiece."
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"The M1 does not take better images than my OM-D-5 but that camera will not focus 43 lenses of which there are a number of excellent cheap varieties available."
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Quality

Quality:
"Rare manufacturing defects are understandable, but I'm really disappointing that Olympus didn't stand by their build quality since this was clearly a manufacturing defect."
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"I purchased Nikon 1 series camera but was never satisfied with the image quality."
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"While the image quality was superb the lack of flexibility was frustrating."
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"Yes, you get image quality degradation and noise at that ISO, but the in-camera JPEG processor can actually give you some relief from the problems at higher ISOs."
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"The quality of this camera is very, very good, but not good enough to justify significant expense in new lenses."
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"IQ not quite as good as the EM1, build quality not as good as GX7, and has slower flash sync and shutter speed."
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"The photo quality is just as good and in some areas passes the 70D and all other crop cameras."
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"The picture quality is superb, the body is solid and well built."
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"The controls are well laid out and it has a very high quality feel."
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"Paired with good quality prime lenses or Olympus Pro M4 3 lenses it is a perfect system."
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"It has enough physical controls to allow pro shooters to quickly adjust settings, its interface is convenient and highly-customizable, its focus speed and accuracy is superb, and the image quality is really excellent."
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Sensor

Sensor:
"This is why I ultimately chose m4 3, having an APS-C sensor meant compromise; I will not get the thin DOF of a Full-Frame, nor do I get the greater DOF of m4 3's."
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"Another drawback of the FX sensor is it is stuck in the archaic 2:3 ratio which is not as friendly for printing as a 4:3 ration is."
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"So what are the downsides of FX sensors."
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"The only downside I see for this is you are marrying a very expensive lens to a sensor."
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"Unfortunately because it is so small it is not as spectacular as 1080p on a TV but even so if you like the EM1 photos and can't easilly tell the difference between sensors in the challenge, you might just be amazed and overjoyed with the EM1.The short version of what you need to know about sensor IQ is it is very much like horsepower in a car."
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"While most will be satisfied with that sensor, I am not."
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"Well if sensor size is the only determining factor in quality, then we should be lugging around 8 x 10 film cameras on a mule."
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"And the fact that you can see real-time what is hitting the actual sensor has a lot of advantages.5."
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"If all you care about is IQ and you need all that IQ, then by all means the D800 is even better than the best medium format except in color depth used for portraits so get the D800.However, as I showed you with the 1Ds MkII, the IQ of sensors, long ago exceeded what we need for home use."
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"It goes something like this: m43 is a fine stop gap measure until you can afford a so called full-frame sensor and thus are able to become a real photographer."
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Shutter

Shutter:
"The most annoying is the shutter release."
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"I have shot portraits with it...doggie portraits...and recently went to a first night celebration parade and this camera performed excellently...I need to get out more often at night and shoot...really this outperforms professional cameras of the past...the tracking is amazing...not d4 quality but very respectable...wish it had a silent shutter...I think that is all it is missing...been using the video a little more and it is very nice...once I figured out what I was doing"
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"IQ not quite as good as the EM1, build quality not as good as GX7, and has slower flash sync and shutter speed."
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"Worked well for 8 months, then the shutter started sticking intermittently."
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"Great controls, many added features, a pretty quiet shutter, superb EV and touch screen."
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"The E-M5 has a nice two stage shutter release."
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"The tactile feel of the buttons on the E-M1 is superior to the E-M5 except the shutter release."
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"Sold of my Nikon Gear to get the EM5 in 2012 and pulled the trigger on the EM1 for it's faster Auto focus, 1 8000 shutter speed, Time Lapse and all around more comfortable build."
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Size

Size:
"The OM-D E-M1 has all the combined advantages of both the G1X Mark II and RX100 Mark II, with the larger physical size and higher price being the only drawbacks."
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"I switched from Nikon to Olympus when the E-M5 came out and haven't looked back, but there were always a few things about the E-M5 that still irritated me (mushy small buttons, EVF good but not great, just a biiiit too small to be completely comfortable)."
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"If you are worried about what people think about your camera size than you shouldn't be shooting."
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"Unfortunately because it is so small it is not as spectacular as 1080p on a TV but even so if you like the EM1 photos and can't easilly tell the difference between sensors in the challenge, you might just be amazed and overjoyed with the EM1.The short version of what you need to know about sensor IQ is it is very much like horsepower in a car."
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"With that, however, the DOF was so small I often missed the focus especially on wiggly subjects such as kids."
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"I have small hands for a male, and this camera suits perfectly."
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"I don't doubt that there will be times when I miss shots that I could have taken with my 5DIII, or I want to get a gallery-worthy shot that I can't quite pull off with MFT, but for the convenience and size of the camera, I'm happy to make that tradeoff."
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"I particularly like that it is light and small enough to easily travel with, especially with light, quality primes (the 25mm and 45mm Olympus lenses in my case), and it's still comparatively compact even with the excellent 12-40 2.8 Pro."
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"I thought about getting an excellent DSLR like a 70D or D7100, which certainly have some advantages, but the combination of image quality with lens body size was a winner."
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"Combine this with the new 12-40mm f2.8 and you have an amazing kit that is still a fraction of the size of a DSLR."
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Speed

Speed:
"I was tired of the size and weight of my 5D Mark III when going out on casual trips, and while my wife's Lumix LX5 and my Galaxy Note 3 are quite capable when shooting well-lit scenes, they are quite disappointing in low-light or when I need blazing autofocus speed and reliable accuracy."
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"I think the shortcoming..this is not as good for sports..or very fast action as a DSLRit's not bad, but not quite as fast in Continuous focus as a DSLR."
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"I am currently an owner of an EM-5 and the one problem i have had is the slow performance autofocus on lens like the 12-60mm and the 8mm Fisheye."
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"But I needed a set of features and capabilities including VF (some NEX and Oly cameras don't have one) and good burst speed and depth; this camera has them."
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"The problem with the Olympus software is that it is EXTREMELY slow and additional processing is limited."
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"IQ not quite as good as the EM1, build quality not as good as GX7, and has slower flash sync and shutter speed."
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"The pictures are incredible and the high ISOs are amazing, and it is amazingly fast."
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"It has enough physical controls to allow pro shooters to quickly adjust settings, its interface is convenient and highly-customizable, its focus speed and accuracy is superb, and the image quality is really excellent."
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"It is said that the E series lenses use phase detect focusing but being older lenses, they are still pretty slow to focus."
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"The image quality is very good, and I found autofocus fast and reliable for most subjects (very fast-moving objects in the distance can be a challenge but everything short of that is great)."
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"some m43 lenses are slow, but if you pair this with the 12-40 it is wonderful experience."
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Stabilization

Stabilization:
"It's even better than EM5 (EM5 looks better).Pros -1) Image Stabilization on the sensor - If you have never tried Olympus with 5 axis image stabilization, you have no idea how good and important this is."
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"The image stabilization is absolutely amazing - shooting the 45mm at 1 10 and it turns out sharp - wow."
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"There is no lens stabilization by any other company which even comes near and here is the best part, it works on video too."
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"The in-body image stabilization works quite well with these lenses."
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"Evidently, there's a good processor, they've taken off anti aliasing filter, there's a 5 axis in-body image stabilization, and I guess, good lenses."
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"IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization) is stunningly effective - I can hand hold 1 3 sec or even longer and get sharp results."
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Video

Video:
"So I have been using the EM1 for almost three months and about 12k shots....I have to say, a really versatile camera for many uses...the fringe events being high speed action (implying indoor soccer basketball) and any video (terrible codec, purchased a dedicated camcorder).In all candor, likely to purchase a used D7000 and long telephoto for upcoming sports (a lot of value in the secondary older model markets).Nonetheless, I have been using a Lumix 25 f1.4 as the only lens....it fits for all activities..These comments are coming from an enthusiast who takes mainly family photos....see attached..."
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"The movie mode is not the best compared to Lumix but it is not as bad as some reviews portray it to be."
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"I was looking at this camera but after reading this informative review will avoid like plague , even LG cautioned about poor video and painful learning curve but LG seems to hold back on harshly reviewing such a well intentioned and relatively well done camera, she even gave it 4 stars which says tons about how well it does the good things , if olympus had a 3 week camera camp to train to use this camera a tech dinosaur like myself could use this to shoot photos just photos"
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"Probably not an issue for consumer video but a drawback for more serious users."
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"The only other potential drawback of the E-M1 is video."
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"As stated, I would not recommend this camera if video is a significant part of your shooting."
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"While it gets a bad rap for video, its great for hand held video due to the IS."
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"*The addition of video capability in this camera is a nice novelty for me, although it should not be confusedto mean that it is of professional grade, it's not."
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"There is no lens stabilization by any other company which even comes near and here is the best part, it works on video too."
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"Imagine taking reasonably nice movies with no tripod, with the ability to punch in at 2x at a flick of a button - stabilized."
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Viewfinder

Viewfinder:
"The, live view is terrible, most of the viewfinders are smaller then the newest EVFs, and are lacking some of the features of the mirrorless."
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"What I particularly appreciated with the E-M1 was the larger viewfinder and the camera's ability to autofocus my older four-thirds Zuiko lenses."
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"The viewfinder is excellent."
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"The electronic viewfinder is 2.36M dots and it's the first one I've used that I've liked."
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"The huge viewfinder is bright, crisp and clear..."
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"If you like to use a viewfinder some of the time, you are absolutely going to love it - it is amazing!"
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Weight

Weight:
"After playing the full frame game, I am willing to trade a bit of resolution for light weight and ease of use."
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"I bought this camera and two lenses because of the size and weight, although I have been very happy with my Cannon 7d."
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"This little baby and the lighter terrific 43 lens replaces a Canon 5D and a 24-105 L lens... weight dropped very significantly but image quality did not."
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"Bottom line: I enjoyed my Nikon setup but NOT the size, weight and PRICE of good lenses."
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"The camera and grip from Olympus feel so nice in the hands... love the light weight and small size."
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