Olympus OMD EM5 vs EM1 Size Comparison + Panasonic 12-35 vs Olympus 12-40
I remember when I first touched the OM-D EM5 a couple of years back. I was searching for a suitable DSLR for a friend and we decided to check out the Olympus Booth during a electronics convention.
I’ve always been a Sony guy, partly because I used to work for them, and partly because Sony Alpha and NEX cameras were honestly good value. Also helps that Sony was truly innovative in their camera line-ups and I was trying to stay away from the canikon crowd.
That was, of course, until I laid my hands on the EM5. Not my eyes mind you, but my hands. It looked really handsome, but holding it was love at first touch for me. It felt lean, solid and rugged, like holding a solid block of metal and yet it was not too heavy at all. That, it’s weather sealing, the m43’s lens line-up, the launch of a large aperture zoom in the form of a weather sealed Panasonic 12-35mm f2.8, the image quality and all these in a package that’s half the size and weight of most APS-C systems closed the deal for me.
A few reasons why I’m looking at an upgrade to the Olympus OMD EM1 + Olympus 12-40 f2.8:
– No AA Filter on sensor, promising sharper photos
– On-Chip Phase Detection, for even more responsive focusing
– Proper Grip, as you can tell, how a camera feels is important to me
– Improved Viewfinder, which is larger and sharper
– Focus Peaking, for quick manual focus feedback
– More video controls + mic input
– (Lens) Shorter minimum focus distance, great for my table top reviews
– (Lens) Quick manual focus controls, push pull back for manual, push back for auto, no need to search for buttons or change settings in menu
– (Lens) Gauged + limited focus control, no more blindly hunting for infinity for star trails when there’s nothing in the frame for focusing. Basically, the Oly 12-40’s focus mechanism has limits at both ends, like a car’s steering wheel, unlike the Pana 12-35’s, which keeps going round with no limits.
Take note though – while the EM1 replaces the EM5 as Olympus’ flagship, the EM5 is still a current model to be sold side by side with the EM1. I think lots of people make the mistake of thinking that the EM1 replaces the EM5. No it doesn’t. The EM1 is geared towards Pro/Enthusiast customers while the EM5 will still be around for the ‘Prosumer’ crowd.
So, I managed to get my hands on a physical set of the OMD EM1. I brought my EM5 + Panasonic 12-35 lens along for a comparison. There are 2 sets of comparison photos, 1 with and 1 without the awesome JB Designs OMD EM5 Grip, just for the sake of comparison. The last set is a basically the OMD EM1 with its vertical grip, which is included as part of a pre-order package for existing e-system owners in Singapore.
I apologise in advance for the poor quality photos. I kinda rushed it =\
These are with the JB Designs OMD EM5 Grip:
These are without the grips (2nd shot, em1 on the right):
Quick look at the OMD EM1 + HLD-7 Vertical Grip / Battery Holder
The lens sizes are very similar. It’s obvious that the 12-40 is larger side by side, but on its own, one can be hard pressed to tell the difference. Build quality of both is fantastic, but the Pana does feel a little…er…’tighter’. Not sure how to describe it.
Body wise, their sizes are also similar. The additional grip is a feel for sore hands (hur hur), and it’s a little taller partly due to the larger EVF, which is quite a lot bigger than the em5’s. If you’re an em5 grip user, then there wouldn’t really be much difference between the 2 because the grip does add some size. Must say, the buttons on the body feels a lot better than the mushy…things.. on the em5s lol.
Note that the Oly 12-40 lens requires 62mm filters while the Pana 12-35 lens uses 58mm filters.
The Olympus OMD EM1 and its new 12-40 f2.8 lens is available for pre-order in most countries now. If you found this useful and would like to support this site, feel free to use the links provided to make your orders:
Singapore: Shopatolympus.com.sg (Non-affiliate, pre-order until 30th Sept’13)
Amazon US : Click here
Amazon UK : Click here
Amazon DE : Click here
Amazon JP : Click Here
JB Designs OMD-EM5 Grip: Click Here
If you wish to use the images here, kindly drop me a message here first. Shouldn’t be a problem as long as there’s proper credit/link back here.
Anyway, whatcha guys think about the EM1 and the 12-40 lens? Are you guys excited by them? Put your thoughts down in the comments section below!