Olympus E-M1

Olympus OM-D E-M1 front
  • 16MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Screen
  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 1/8000s Maximum Shutter
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 497g - 130 x 94 x 63mm
  • Announced October 2013
  • Newer Model is Olympus E-M1 II
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus E-M1 summary

Olympus E-M1 is Olympus's Pro Mirrorless digital camera originally launched on October of 2013. The camera comes with a 16MP, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Olympus released the fresher Olympus E-M1 II (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to replace this model.

The E-M1 is ranked #60 out of 70 in Pro Mirrorless cameras & over all #236 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please look at our Smart camera search to get camera rankings based on your custom factors.

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The following is a graph of multiple factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-M1 history

The Olympus E-M1 has a history of related digital cameras. Underneath, you can see all older and the latest models along with main features.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-M1 vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M1 III
E-M1 vs E-M1 III
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2020
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Olympus-OM-D-E-M5-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M5 III
E-M1 vs E-M5 III
20MPFour Thirds30.0 fps2019
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1X front thumbnailOlympus E-M1X
E-M1 vs E-M1X
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2019
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-M1 vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M1 II
E-M1 vs E-M1 II
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2016
Cutting-edge AI developed by Apple deciphers subtle nuances in pixels
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-M1 vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
Olympus-OM-D-E-M5-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M5 II
E-M1 vs E-M5 II
16MPFour Thirds10.0 fps2015
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-M1 vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1 front thumbnailOlympus E-M116MPFour Thirds10.0 fps2013
Olympus-OM-D-E-M5 front thumbnailOlympus E-M5
E-M1 vs E-M5
16MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2012
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Olympus E-M1 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of pluses and minuses of the Olympus E-M1 based on factors that are typically regarded as necessary in a digital camera.

above average flash sync (1/320 seconds)
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
delivers RAW formats
environment sealing
great ISO range (25,600)
great max shutter speed (1/8,000 seconds)
great minimum ISO (100)
has HDMI out
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
has manual focus
has mic support
has phase detect AF
high res video (1920 x 1080 pixels)
includes face detect focusing
includes touch to focus
includes tracking focus
lighter than others in class (497g)
MP count decent (16MP)
screen size is decent (3 inch)
screen tilts up and down
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
very good screen resolution (1,037 thousand dots)
does not have a selfie friendly screen
lack of headphone support
terrible battery life (350 shots)
Photography Glossary

Olympus E-M1 Sensor info

The Olympus E-M1 is run by the TruePIC VII chip. The sensor dimension in the Olympus E-M1 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the capability to capture 4608 x 3456 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera features Image Stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis). Sensor stabilization is more effective than digital stabilization as the latter can produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor has 16MP and gives a standard ISO range of 100 - 25600. RAW format is saved so you have wider margin for error.

The image below displays the E-M1's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The E-M1 sensor has a crop factor of 2.1 and is presented in green.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 sensor size Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-M1 dimensions

Olympus E-M1 has a weight of 1.10 pounds (497 gr / 17.53 ounces) & the sizing of the camera is 130mm x 94mm x 63mm (5.1" x 3.7" x 2.5"). The weight of average Pro Mirrorless camera is 722 gr so the Olympus E-M1 is less heavy when compared with other competitors.

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The following is a photo of the Olympus E-M1 with a soda so you're able to get a feel for its scale.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 dimensions scale

The top view here will show you the button design on the E-M1.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-M1 Lens info

The E-M1 uses the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses available for sale. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-M1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
OM-System-40-150mm-F4.0-PRO lensOM System 40-150mm F4.0 PRO40-150mmf/4 382g
Panasonic-Leica-DG-Vario-Elmarit-12-60mm-F2.8-4.0-ASPH-Power-OIS lensPanasonic Leica DG Vario-Elmarit 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Power OIS12-60mmf/2.8-4 320g
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Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-14-54mm-f2.8-3.5-II lensOlympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 II14-54mmf/2.8-3.5 440g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-HD-14-140mm-F4-5.8-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario HD 14-140mm F4-5.8 OIS14-140mmf/4.0-5.8 460g
Samyang-35mm-F1.2-ED-AS-UMC-CS-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 35mm F1.2 ED AS UMC CS35mmf/1.2420g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-12-50mm-f3.5-6.3-EZ lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ12-50mmf/3.5-6.3 211g
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Samyang-MF-85mm-F1.4-Mk2--Rokinon-MF-85mm-F1.4-II-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSamyang MF 85mm F1.4 Mk285mmf/1.4548g
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Olympus E-M1 Connectivity

The E-M1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras with NFC and Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You can easily transfer images and oftentimes alter camera settings without connecting directly to the camera.

A few applications even enable a Liveview and release the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera comes with a HDMI port, it could be connected to an external monitor. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack using the USB port.

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Olympus E-M1 Video info

The highest possible video quality in the Olympus E-M1 is 1920 x 1080 and you can capture in H.264 and Motion JPEG file format. 1080p quality provides a good balance for video quality vs file sizes but 1080p will not give you any room to crop. While the camera offers a mic port, it is missing a headphone port so you will not have the capability to monitor your sound levels.

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Olympus E-M1 Weather Sealing

Olympus E-M1 features environment proofing which makes it a very good candidate for use for challenging conditions. This is especially beneficial whenever you are not sure about the conditions you may face for outdoor photography.

Olympus E-M1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-M1 comes with a 3 inch tilting display boasting a resolution of 1,037 thousand dots.

Additionally the display is touch friendly so you can shift focus point plus change settings by using your finger.

Olympus OM-D E-M1 screen and viewfinder Cutting-edge AI developed by Apple deciphers subtle nuances in pixels

The ViewFinder details for Olympus E-M1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • Resolution 2,360 thousand dots
  • Coverage 100%
  • Magnification 0.74x

For bright outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and tough to see, viewfinders will be quite useful.

Olympus E-M1 Shutter info

Olympus E-M1 continuous shooting speed is 10.0 fps. The maximum shutter speed is 1/8000s.

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Olympus E-M1 Flash and Hot shoe info

Olympus E-M1 features external flash support but with no integrated flash. The maximum flash sync speed is 1/320s.

Olympus E-M1 Autofocus info

Olympus E-M1 features both Phase Detect Auto Focus as well as Contrast Based Auto Focus. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster & precise when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detection which makes it valuable for people photography.

The Sensor comes with 81 focus points to select from. Olympus E-M1 has tap to focus. You are able to use your fingers in order to change focus. It also boasts Tracking Auto Focus for things that move. Olympus E-M1 boasts manual focusing in case it is needed for low light or you need to have more exact focusing control.

Photography Glossary

Olympus E-M1 Battery life

The battery life (BLN-1) on the Olympus E-M1 is designed to last for 350 photos according to the CIPA measurements which is lower compared to it's rivals. The average Pro Mirrorless camera battery life is 460. Olympus E-M1X comes with the best (870) battery life for this class of cameras.

Here is a number of Pro Mirrorless cameras that come with the strongest battery life:

Olympus E-M1 for specific types of photography

The following graph provides a summary of the Olympus E-M1 for specific types of photography. To check out more, browse to the specific section below.

Portrait photography with Olympus E-M1

The Olympus E-M1 has a points tally of 71 which is above average, meaning that it is a good option for portrait photography. Photographing portraits leans heavily to sensor specs, RAW support plus the option to use off-camera lighting.

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has manual focus
high flash sync speed (1/320 seconds)
resolution is good (16 megapixels)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports face detect focusing
exports RAW formats

Street photography with Olympus E-M1

With a exceptional rating of 78, the Olympus E-M1 is a wonderful fit to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera gives a perfect balance of picture quality plus portability.

Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing
has a tilting screen
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
exports RAW formats
has touch focus
weather proof
lighter than average in class (497 grams)
very good ISO range (25,600)

Olympus E-M1 as a Sports photography camera

A very good sports photography rating of 70 suggests the Olympus E-M1 is a fine fit for taking photos of sports. A camera must have excellent tracking and continuous shooting for sports photography.

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max shutter speed is good (1/8,000s)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good resolution (16MP)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
has tracking focus
environment proof
supports phase detect auto focus
terrible battery life (350 shots)

Travel photography with Olympus E-M1

Portability is pretty crucial when choosing a travel camera. In general, the Olympus E-M1 gets a nice 65 as a travel camera which is a respectable pick to take on your vacations.

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lighter than competitors (497 grams)
environment sealing
has touch focus
decent sensor resolution (16MP)
not so great battery life (350 CIPA)
screen is not selfie friendly

Olympus E-M1 Landscape photography information

If you are looking to purchase a digital camera for landscape photographs, the most essential factor will be image quality. The Olympus E-M1 at it's very good rating of 73 as a landscape camera is a very decent choice in the current marketplace.

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focusing manually
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is decent (3")
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
decent MP (16 megapixels)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
above average ISO range (25,600)
delivers RAW formats
weather sealing
bad battery life (350 per charge)

Olympus E-M1 Vlogging information

A camera for vlogging ought to come with a moving display screen, mic port and preferably IBIS. Considering every thing, the Olympus E-M1 is just not suitable as a vlog camera as it comes to a subpar rating of 36.

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touchscreen functionality
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
comes with face detection focus
high quality video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
comes with external microphone jack
lighter than others (497g)
does not feature selfie friendly screen

Olympus E-M1 Alternatives

If you are shopping for replacements to the E-M1, here is a range of the top scored cameras which fall under the class of Pro Mirrorless.

The chart listed below will give you an overview of the E-M1 versus it's highest rated competitors shown previously.

Here are a few more cameras you might look at as alternative options. To see a extensive comparison, simply click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Olympus OM-D E-M1
Pro Mirrorless
Physical type
SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Processor Chip
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW format
Highest native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focusing
Touch to focus
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Total focus points
Lens support
Micro Four Thirds
Total lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Screen size
3 inch
Resolution of screen
1,037 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch operation
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Viewfinder resolution
2,360 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Minimum shutter speed
60 seconds
Fastest shutter speed
1/8000 seconds
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Expose Manually
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain), Slow sync (2nd curtain), Manual
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/320 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Supported video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
H.264, Motion JPEG
Mic support
Headphone support
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
497 grams (1.10 lb)
Physical dimensions
130 x 94 x 63mm (5.1" x 3.7" x 2.5")
Battery life
350 photos
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 secs, custom)
Time lapse feature
Storage type
Card slots
Launch pricing