Top positive review
29 people found this helpful
5 star review (though it has cons)
on 22 December 2013
I bought this camera as a twin kit (14-42mm lens and 40-150mm lens)to replace my 5d and 24-105L lens after a malfunction on holiday. Basically when the canon malfunctioned I re-thought the sense of carrying 2kg of camera when away from home. I looked into various compact interchangeable systems and due size/price and availablity of lenses, coupled with in-built body stabilisation I went with this Olympus m4/3 system.
I was very surprised at how good the image quality is from this camera and the 2 kit lenses. Images are very sharp and the colour and contrast also very pleasing. I believe olympus have always been strong with their digital cameras here. The camera performs very well at the higher ISO levels. I have taken shots in dim conditions at ISO 3200 and with a little work in lightroom they have been very accepatable and for me could easily print to A4 size. If you really pixel peep, yes there is noise but for me at least it is on par with my previously owned Canon 7d, so its at aps-c levels.As a note the jpeg engine in this camera works very well. You can at times improve your images in raw, but it is not as often required on this camera as other brands I have used.
The autofocus in good light is exceptional (single shot autofocus). It focusses almost instantly. Continuous autofocus is quite good but this will never be hailed as a sports or birding camera. It can do well but it wont track very well. In lower light it is slightly less confident, but no more so than any dslr i have used (again single shot autofocus).
It can shoot up to 8fps (though metering and focus will only work at approx 3 fps).
The kit lenses are very good considering their price point, but they are not fast lenses. The 14-42 is f3.5-5.6 and the 40-150mm is f4-5.6. They both give image quality above what i expected but due there small aperture will not be great in low light situations. Also they feel flimsy though very light. I would not be throwing them around without care.
One thing to watch out for is the smaller sensor and apparent depth of field. Due the smaller than dslr sensor it is a little harder to seperate an image from its background unless you have a very fast lens. Even the 45mm f1.8 will act like a 45mm f3.5 on a fullframe camera. The upside is that it is easier to get a larger dof to keep larger areas in focus. There are fast lenses available to get a small dof but portrait photographers especially should keep this in mind.
I would prefer to have an in-built evf, but I knew this before buying the camera, and it is not a fault of the camera, just an accessory that really can't be on a camera this good, at this price point. A seperate one can be added and I will eventually get one, both for compostion and keeping the camera stadier than one would at arms length.
One great thing and also a major fault is how much controls can be accessed from the touch screen. A super control panel is available, but by default is switched off(bad idea). I have seen magazine reviews of this camera that say it has a very poor touchscreen interface. This is just untrue, but it takes a bit of figuring out to actually activate it. If you buy this google it and activate it, making this camera. it is also said that you cannot change normal settings like aperture (in aperture control mode) without going into the menu. Also untrue, the rotating wheel can be avtivated and you can even activate exposure compensation by pressing the top or bottom of this wheel.I have seen a youtube video where the reviewer said he suspects many will buy this camera and never know how good it is and i believe that as the instructions and default settings are poor. It even has an extra warm whilte balance set as default so if you are wondering why your first few images are "orangey" in colour, this could be the reason.
To wrap up, this is an amazing camera for the price (as of late 2013). The default settings need adjusting, the instructions are poor, but if you can give this a bit of time to get over you wont go far wrong