Olympus OM-D E-M1 new features explained




Features and innovations that set the E-M1 apart

Thanks to face-to-face briefings with senior Olympus engineers, designers and product planners at an unprecedented and preview of the OM-D-E-M1 exclusive to Four Thirds User at Olympus' headquarters in Hachiochi, just outside Tokyo, we have detailed knowledge of the new camera. That was over a month ago and we have also been using and testing a sample camera with version 1.0 firmware for the last two weeks. Keeping a lid on all this in advance of the official launch today has been an extremely challenging task! Watch out for a series of articles generated by our trip to see Olympus in Japan over the next few days, including an interview with Mr.Haruo Ogawa, president of the Olympus camera division.

Only a production version of the extremely rare m.Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro zoom, which will be the E-M1's primary kit zoom has eluded us but we have been promised one to try later this week. I'm sure we will also get our hands on one later today at the European launch event at Castle Leslie in Ireland.

This article focuses on the new and improved features of the E-M1 in bite-sized categories, starting with - the sensor:

New 16 megapixel LiveMOS sensor

The E-M1 has a new 16 megapixel LiveMOS sensor, the first sensor upgrade from Olympus since the OM-D E-M5 was launched at the beginning of 2012. It's also the first sensor from Olympus that does without an anti-aliasing filter and so maximises resolution. Olympus says that high ISO noise performance (in RAW data) has been improved compared to the previous 16 megapixel sensor used in the E-M5, E-P5, E-PM2, and E-PL5. There is also on-chip phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) for the first time - more about that in the section about autofocus features.

Incidentally, if you thought that Olympus simply gets a chopped down version of someone else's off-the shelf sensor, think again. According to Ogawa san Olympus works very closely with their sensor partner and the sensor itself incorporates unique technologies developed by Olympus in-house for sensors originally developed for its medical imaging products.


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