The new Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the Micro Four Thirds System

Does this camera justify the upgrade and price?

My first question would be how much better this is compared to the original OM-D, the E-M5 and also the GH3 to justify the extra $$$ - which is not a little.

Some hands-on say that the high ISO performance is improved but if this is really a tweaked version of the "old" Sony 16MP - but with no AA filter and with PDAF - I wonder if in RAW you are going to see a lot of difference.

There are some other improvements like the better EVF with a bigger magnifier, Wi-Fi, 1/8000 shutter speed, a bigger buffer, etc. But at the same time there are some other things that you could had expected but it's not there. It has only one SD card slot, there is a Mic input but there is no on screen meter for that - and no headphone imput as well.

I still don't get why Olympus has no insterest in offering more video options, is it some kind of deal with Panasonic? A better video with more options with that magical 5-axis IBIS would make this a no brainer for a lot of Micro 4/3 users - or people that want a quick and practical video set.

One of the selling points may be appealing mostly for 4/3 users due to the claimed better AF with 4/3 lenses, but for Micro 4/3 users, does it offer enough to justify the price or upgrade? But of course, in the end, we'll only have a better idea when more in-depth reviews start to pop out on the Internet.

Is the sensor size what really makes a PRO camera?

I feel that there are still a lot of people dismissing this camera and the whole Micro 4/3 system just because it has a smaller sensor - which, BTW, works just fine for most situation, besides being a lot smaller and lighter. The old "Micro 4/3 camera can't possibly be used by a serious PRO" myth.

If the Micro 4/3 had the same lens ecosystem issues the NEX system has, I'd kind of understand but the Micro 4/3 has plenty of great lenses, which oddly enough people that talk about what a PRO should be like - or what kind of equipment they should use - seem to not pay attention. The high ISO issue can be very manageable if the camera is paired with a fast lens, and the Micro 4/3 system has some fast lenses with great optical performance.

Well, the BIGGER and BETTER talk usually comes from people that don't really seem to know much about photography or with little to no knowledge about mirrorless cameras or, in this case, Micro 4/3 system. I can totally understand that there are disadvantages to a smaller sensor but I also get that there are as many advantages as well.

Which one is best depends totally on you and your needs, just like asking which OS is better, iOS or Android? It depends, there is no right answer, Android can be better for some, iOS for others and some other people may even prefer Windows or Blackberry, just buy the one that works best for you, there is no need to dismiss the others based on a single POV - that apparently should rule the whole Universe!

And I'm not defending the Micro 4/3 system because I'm a user because I'm not even a Micro 4/3 user, and I wouldn't even say that I'm defending it, it's more like I recognize that just like any system there are pros and cons. In several occasions I considered and I still consider getting a Micro 4/3 camera and that's why I follow it, instead of narrowing my mind and saying that there is just pros or just cons - or that only Full Frame cameras are PRO.

Previews:

Dpreview

Robin Wong

Ming Thein

Hands-on videos: