Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the latest mirrorless offering from Olympus. It is not a E-M5 successor but a higher-end model aimed especially at classic 4/3 users with 4/3 lenses. It has a sophisticated AF system with on-sensor phase detection pixels which should provide fast AF with 4/3 lenses. With native micro 4/3 E-M1 will use contrast detection focus which already proved to be very fast and reliable. There is also a range of other improvements over E-M5; 1/8000 shutter speed, 2.3M EVF, 10fps burst mode, bigger grip and a wide range of customization options. I had the privilege to be the first to try the new E-M1 in Croatia (yeah, we get new gear with a delay compared to the USA and most of EU) what came at the price: camera was with me only three days but this was enough to get a general feel of the new E-M1. As soon as I get an opportunity, I will test it in detail.
Mirrorless cameras have gained a respectful base of followers in less than 4 years since first introduction. Panasonic and Olympus were first to break the ice and remove the mirror from interchangeable lens cameras. It proved to be a successful idea, quickly gaining market shares and other manufacturers soon followed with their own systems. One of the main early criticisms was toward the lack of native lenses, but those day are long past. Today, 38 lenses are available for use on Panasonic and Olympus micro 4/3 bodies. If you are tired of heavy DLSR cameras or lenses and ready to jump into mirrorless world, micro 4/3 system is your best gamble.
Therefore, I’ve assembled this guide of the best micro 4/3 lenses. Please note that this is not a music chart and the first on the list is not necessarily the best one (just like J.B.) . All of the lens here recommended are excellent performers and you should choose them regarding your shooting style.
Pen Lite E-PL5 is one of the latest mirrorless offerings from Olympus. It can be regarded as an intermediate level camera – full of various features yet very small and portable. It was announced alongside its more affordable brother – the Pen Mini E-PM2. These two cameras share so much that it’s very hard to distinguish them… in fact there are only three differences between the two models. Since I published detailed review of E-PM2 a few months ago, I’m not going to review E-PL5 from the ground up. If you are interested in the details, please read my E-PM2 review. Instead, this article will cover only the differences and provide some image samples.
Olympus 15mm F/8 body cap is pretty unique yet very simple product. The idea is simple: take a camera body cap, put a simple triplet lens inside, attach it to a mechanical focus lever and sell it. No one will have high IQ expectations so it can’t dissapoint, it will be a cool gadget to have and the smallest usable lens for mirrorless system. I guess development cost was next to nothing, and production cost must be a joke. So let’s see how it performs.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f/2 is the fast wide-angle prime lens for micro four-thirds system cameras. With 2x crop factor it has the equivalent field of view as 24mm lens. It works on any camera with micro four-thirds lens mount, such as Olympus PEN and OMD or any Panasonic G series cameras. M.Zuiko 12mm is suitable for low-light work and a wide range of shooting scenarios from landscape, interiors and street photography.
A long long time ago (in digital market terms) DSLR cameras were quite expensive. Well, at least more than most of the customers could or wanted to pay for. In those days only alternative for advanced amateurs on the budget or users in desire for higher image quality were so-called “prosumer” cameras. They still had small sensors, but paired to high quality optics in larger bodies with full manual controls. As soon as DSLR and (in the last few years) mirrorless cameras became affordable, prosumer cameras disappeared almost overnight. Why would anyone buy a product with worse image quality when you could get full size pro-looking DSLR to impress your friends instead?
PEN E-PM2 is the new compact entry-level mirrorless camera from Olympus. Being an early adopter of mirrorless camera systems, Olympus has (together with Panasonic) built an impressive digital imaging system based around its micro 4/3 lens mount. Today, you can choose between more than 30 lenses and 7 or 8 camera (not counting discontinued models), and E-PM2 is one of the company’s latest offerings. It is the smallest and most affordable model in Olympus lineup, but doesn’t lack much functionality of higher-priced models. In fact, it shares many important features of the praised OMD E-M5 model, including excellent 16 megapixel sensor or fast auto focus system.
PEN Mini E-PM2 was introduced alongside PEN Lite E-PL5, the more expensive model. In almost all aspects they are the same camera. For a bigger price, PEN Lite will give you a few extra buttons, external “Mode” dial, removable grip and tilt-able LCD screen (up to 170°for auto-portrait).
The new PEN Mini and PEN Lite will be shipped either with Toshiba Eye-Fi wirelless memory card or the new 15mm lenscap/lens free of charge, but not all combinations will be available in all markets. Please check what’s available in your country.
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f/1.8 is the fast portrait prime lens for micro four-thirds system cameras. With 2x crop factor it has the equivalent field of view of 90mm lens. If you have a micro 4/3 camera with any kit lens (14-42, 12-50 or 14-150) and are looking to buy first lens beyond the kit, this is probably the one you should get. It works without adapter on any camera with micro four-thirds lens mount, such as Olympus PEN and OMD or Panasonic G series cameras.