Leaked Specs and Photos of the Olympus OM-D E-M1

Camera Aug 24, 2013

Chinese website eprice.com.tw has posted images and specifications of the upcoming Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm F2.8 PRO lens!

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Here are the specs they posted:

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Olympus E-M1 key characteristics (rumor)

  • Micro 4/3 mount 
  • E-M5 similar monocular and exterior design, but the greater grip and top with control wheel grip 
  • No low-pass filter 16 million pixel image sensor 
  • 81-point AF 
  • 3 inch flip screen 
  • 2.36 million pixel electronic viewfinder 
  • The shutter speed 60s ~ 1/8000s
  • Burst speed 10FPS 
  • flash synchronization up to 1/320 seconds 
  • Dimension 122 x 68 x 37mm, weight about 430 grams 
  • rumors priced at about $ 1,500 (about NT $ 45,000) 
  • Built-in WiFi
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M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm F2.8 PRO key characteristics (rumor)

  • Filter diameter 62mm 
  • lens with functional and efficient L-Fn keys 
  • black lens barrel (not sure if there silver models) 
  • Lens Hood LH-66 will be launched

Based on the specs, it looks like the OM-D E-M1 is the rumored “pro level mirror less camera” that would tie Four-Thirds and Micro Four-Thirds together.  The leaked video from Engadget also showed that the WiFi capabilities included wireless tethering to an iPad (it is unknown at this time if an Android version will be available at launch).

Like the E-M5, the E-M1 will feature 5-axis stabilization, a weatherproof design, and classic Olympus SLR design cues and handling. Improvements include a much larger handgrip, on-sensor PDAF (the Engadget video said that this would only work with Four-Thirds lenses as m4/3 lenses are designed for CDAF, that remains to be seen).

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO lens takes aim squarely at the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8. Olympus had been deficient in providing pro level glass for the platform which (I believe) hampered its adoption by pro photographers.

Will I get one?

The jury is still out on this one. I would like to move up to medium format digital for my portrait and studio work. However, my dance photography has some rather strenuous needs. Then there’s my travel photos which has to consider space restrictions.

I will seriously test the E-M1 + M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO combo. I am reasonably certain that it will meet my travel needs (assuming the image quality is on par with my Fuji X-E1). Where I am concerned is with dance photography. As I have posted previously, the requirements of shooting live dance is akin to shooting highly acrobatic soccer in the dark. Panasonic already has a pro level 35-100mm f/2.8 lens (70-200mm equivalent), if Olympus comes up with a matching lens (or the Four-Thirds version performs as promised) then I might have two of my major photography needs rolled into a smaller camera system, freeing me up to acquire an MFD system for portraiture/studio work. Yes, the 4/3-m4/3 aspect ratio will force more cropping for prints, but the same thing will happen to me in MFD.

We will know soon enough.