Olympus E-M1 Journal::Entry #2: The Little Beast Arrives!

Splendid!  The E-M1 arrived within just three days of ordering it, and I have fallen in love.  This is in spite of already being an owner of the superb E-M5.

In my first post (#1 here) about this camera I listed a dozen or so things about it that caused me to press the "order now" button.  I do think that many of the new features have a bit of hype to them; but nevertheless the improvements are so many that this E-M1 is definitely a keeper.

Though I am excited about many of the features, I do need to point out for any new Olympus users that these Olympuses are really complicated machines.  This is my fourth interchangeable lens model from Oly.  Before purchasing the E-M5 when it came out in 2012 I owned an E-620 and before that an E-520.  Even so, when I received the E-M5 nearly two years ago I remember writing on some one's blog that it took me two days to get it set up whereas the equally good image-maker, the Panasonic GH2, took two hours.

What helped this time was that I turned on both the E-M5 and E-M1 and merely duplicated by inputs from the M5 to the M1.  Of course there were a few additional menu items on the M1, but by pushing the "info" button I usually got enough information to figure out what I was doing.  Of course, there is always the manual... which I tend to avoid except as a last resort!

Eye-Candy: Using a Minolta MD mount-to-M4/3 mount adapter ring I have
attached an old Minolta 35-70 F3.5 zoom with hood

Looking at my original list of twelve items, in this post I will comment on the 10th item:  

The Size.

Though in the title of today's post I called this a "little" beast, there are many who question the word "little".  The body alone is 17.5 ounces and it is solid thanks to its magnesium alloy construction.  (By the way, that's heavier than the E-M5 but lighter than the Panasonic GH3.) Plus I have added another 3.5 ounces with the RRS (Really Right Stuff) base and L-plate.  

The RRS base and L-plate arrived the same day as the camera and the first thing I did was to screw it into the camera's off-center tripod mount.  The base plate itself also has a tripod mount, which is centered directly under the lens mount. As a result of the plate, the camera is now 10mm higher in dimension.  I like, like, like this, as it allows my pinkie finger to hold onto the grip rather than being awkwardly curled up under the camera body.  The grip is awesome already, but with the added height from the RRS base plate, I am really smiling.  The haptics and ergonomics of this camera are a step up from the E-M5.

Some would argue that a camera body this large defeats the purpose of the m43 format.  I understand that argument, but when you add in the lenses I think you get a much smaller kit than with the APS-C and FF kits.  (Time will tell about the new Sony A7 FF camera.)

Overall the camera is enough bigger than the E-M5 that it can offer bigger and more buttons, plus more real estate to the right of the LCD.  The result is that I don't feel cramped.  The below size comparison is from www.camerasize.com.  If you haven't checked out their Web site, you should.  It allows you to compare any number of camera bodies, two at a time, side by side, from different angles.

For me, the most important things that come from the larger size are: (1) bigger grip, (2) better ergonomics of the shutter button, slightly forward of the camera and angled slightly downward, (3) more accessible dual dials, (4) more real estate on the back of the camera and to the right of the LCD, and (5) bigger buttons. With regard to the buttons, the four-way controller on the E-M5 had to be pressed with my thumb tip (or fingernail) pointed into the buttons whereas now on the E-M1 I can press with the pad of my thumb... lovely. 

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