Powered to please [New Straits Time (Malaysia)]
(New Straits Time (Malaysia) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) THE Olympus OM-D E-M1 is a feature-packed camera that delivers high-quality photos and videos, writes Siti Syameen Md Khalili.
AS one of Olympus' flagship Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system cameras, the OM-D E-M1 is one of the company's most sophisticated model. For those who have yet to move up from compact and are wary of the technicalities of a full-fledged digital SLR, the E-M1 may seem a tad serious, not to mention bulky compared to other system cameras available in the market. However, it is also easy and fun to use.
The retro-styled magnesium alloy body is equipped with a 5-Axis Image Stabilisation system that corrects shakes for sharper output, combined with TruePic VII image processor. Its 16 megapixel sensor stays fresh with the built in Supersonic Wave Filter to eradicate dust off your scenes. E-M1 also packs in a high-definition electronic viewfinder to please even the pros.
The right-hand friendly grip is ergonomic especially for right- handed users, while placement of dials and controls are well- thought of. There is also the convenient white balance button to correct your white balance setting with just one press of a button. The programmable two switches built next to the display allows easy customisation for those who already know the favourite settings.
Quick to launch into action, the E-M1's factory setting is a good way to start appreciating its main features. Paired with lens as versatile as the 12-40mm f2.8 M.Zuiko PRO, the imaging machine is surprisingly quite lightweight than it looks.
The camera comes with a super fast auto-focus capability that you are unlikely to miss a shot. The tiltable display allows touch focus and shutter press speedily, enabling you to compose your shots with lots of creative freedom. If you are a user who has had the privilege to explore previous Olympus models such as the E-PL5, you will immediately appreciate how fast the camera captures moving subjects, such as children running on the beach. Even if you are a beginner, the E-M1's Auto mode will not let you down.
With the many Scene presets, a user can quickly discover the intelligent side of the camera. On this mode, simply choose a preset you feel best to capture your subject, and the camera delivers. Some of the available Scene options include e-Portrait, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night + Portrait, Children, DIS mode, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, and Fisheye. You can even compose a collage of pictures using the E-M1's Photo Story mode.
Those with artistic inclinations can use the Art Filters such as Pop Art, Gentle Sepia, Cross Process and Pale&Light Color to make each shot more interesting. If older Olympus models tend to lag a little when the Art Filter is used for capturing videos, that's a thing of the past with the E-M1. Video is smooth, even when you are recording in high resolution, and the audio captured is just as rich. You can also add a mic onboard the camera as there is an available port. My favourite Art Filter for video is Key Line, as your recording will turn out like an animation project. The Dramatic Tone is just as captivating, especially for recording outdoor scenes.
Once you get the hang of it, try E-M1's Time Lapse function. You get to use up to 999 frames to compose time-lapse movie in-camera, which is a real time saver and convenient for those who don't like editing. This function is accessible through the Menu's advanced settings, and you can set the interval between each frame, depending on how long you are willing to spend. Just make sure your memory card has lots of space.
Another cool feature is the WiFi functionality. With the Olympus OIShare app loaded onto your Android or iOS device, you can set the camera and smartphone/tablet to take pictures via remote control. The app is quite extensive as it allows user to switch between shooting modes and drive as well as control shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO and white balance. You can also use the Live Time and Live Bulb feature. Going as far as possible from the camera, the WiFi signal stays good within a range of 5 metres.
In terms of battery performance, the pack provided enough juice for everyday street and indoor photography. However, if video capturing is something you like to do a lot, perhaps an investment in a secondary battery pack is wise.
Though the E-M1 did not come with a built-in flash, the package offered for the local market bundles in the FL-LM2 external flash. Easy to mount and quick to work, this flash module supports red- eye, fill-in, red-eye slow sync and more flash modes that the camera offers. Other compatible flash for the E-M1 includes the FL-50R, FL- 36R, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R where only the FL-20 is the only model that does not support wireless flash control.
The only part where photographers might tear up is the price tag. At RM4,250 for body only, RM5,100 when paired with 12-50mm lens, and RM6,540 with the 12-40mm lens,you have to admit that the price is hardly competitive. However, considering all the fun and powerful features that Olympus has packed into this compact model, plus all the engineering that goes behind this, the E-M1 is worth buying.
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Price: Body only RM4,250
Enquiries: Olympus Malaysia Customer Service Centre (Tel: 03- 6411 0000)
Camera type: Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system camera
Weight/Dimensions: 497g / 130.4 (W) x 93.5 (H) x 63.1 (D)
Sensor/effective pixels: 16MP MOS Four Thirds format / Approx. 16.3 million pixels
Display: 3-inch tilting wide monitor
Shutter speed: 1/8000-60 sec. (1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable)
Memory: SD Memory Card (SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible, Eye-Fi Card compatible)
WiFi features: GPS info function, wireless shooting, image share, easy connection via QR code
Our verdict: * * * * 1/2
Physical design: * * * * 1/2
Documentation: * * * 1/2
User-friendliness: * * * * 1/2
Features: * * * * 1/2
Performance: * * * * 1/2
Value for money: * * * * 1/2
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