New OM-1, first thoughts

While the camera comes with a 277 page printed manual, only 14 pages are in English with the very basics on getting started. You must download the full manual in PDF from the OM website.

OM-1 battery on EM1 II charger

Despite having the same contacts, due to the new shape of the BLX-1 battery it can’t be swapped with the BLH-1 or charged on the EM1 II’s charger as some folk suggested. (Check if same voltage/Amps)

Top OM-1, bottom EM1 Mark II

On the build plate, the model no. is IM027, made in Vietnam by Om Digital Solutions Corp. Outer body is all plastic (or “composite”) compared to EM1 II, but build quality seems good and tactile feel is nice, though the “leather grain” parts don’t feel as rubbery and grippy as the EM1 II, but that may be because it’s new. It isn’t noticeably heavier. Of all three Olympus camera’s I’ve owned, the EM5 II still wins for in the hands feel with the metal wheels.

OM-1 right hand back buttons

The Playback and delete buttons are still pretty flush with the body which was a problem at times finding them in the dark on the EM1 II and also with gloves. At least there is a horizontal bit of plastic that you can feel below the delete button.

OM-1 top button side

Top of SD card door is quite pointed which aids thumb grip, but immediately seems a high wear point. Location of recessed front and back wheels will take some getting used to, the contact area is smaller and the notches are firmer. After a day’s use, for me the front wheel should be in toward the lens a bit more where my finger naturally reaches.

Left EM1 Mark II, right OM1 and my amazing model

Location of the Menu button on the left seems a strange design choice and requires two hands when navigating back in the menus – something I expect I’ll get used to.

Left OM-1, right EM1 II

While this might sound like a bit of a moan-fest, I’m trying to be critical here, I actually do like the camera, it’s just … different 😀

Top OM-1, bottom EM1 Mark II

The Super Control Panel has had a make-over, something I like, cleaner and easier to read but will take some getting used to. I like the new colour coded horizontal menu layout, but man – there are sooo many settings! The jump from the EM5 to EM1 was an education, learning the OM-1 should earn you a degree! When on an item, you can tap the INFO button for a so-far mostly helpful description.

Left EM1 II, right OM-1

First thing to do while charging the battery in camera (it doesn’t come with a separate charger) is dive into the Menu and settings to customise some basics. As I went through them all, I added ones I expect to access regularly to the customisable “My Menu”. I will start off mostly using the standard camera setup/button layout.

Left OM-1, right EM1 II

Now we start getting technical changing settings – scroll down if you wish!
(Numbers 1. represent Tab the setting can be found under each section.)

I started with the spanner
6. set time and time zone,
1. format card,
2. add Copyright Info,
3. turn off focus beeb,
5. battery display Pattern = %, change sleep and power off modes.

1. Electronic Zoom Settings = high,
2. O lock = ON (depth of field preview), default selection = YES,
4. Info by half pressing = OFF, 5. Apply grid setting

1. Image Quality for Still = LSF+RAW, shading comp. = ON,
2. Flash+WB = WB Flash 5500K, Colour Space = Adobe RGB,
3. ISO -Auto = P/A/S, Low ISO Processing = Detail Priority,
5. AEL by half pressing = NO (BACK BUTTON FOCUS
8. Handheld Assist = ON, Lens I.S. Priority = ON

Disappointingly for me, in camera focus stacking is still limited to 15 shots.
AF – 6. MF Assist > Peaking On

I’ve since changed a few more settings and buttons on the go – which I didn’t write down.

I hope you found this post helpful if you’re considering the OM-1. I forgot to mention, it does take a smashing picture – as you will hopefully see in future posts but it is possible to still mess them up 😀

I intend to post a more thorough review in a few weeks time after more use of all the features. Thanks for visiting.

11 thoughts on “New OM-1, first thoughts

    1. Oh yes, thankfully it has four custom settings on the dial (C1 – C4). Ive set 1 up for fast action – birds, animals etc. 2 for macro / focus stacking, 3 for night /astro, and 4 for flash use. I’ll probably do a post one day with more detail on the settings I use.


    1. Too many to learn in a day or two, but I’m getting there. Mostly focusing on the things I will need for the wedding in a week! Hopefully cram in some muscle memory before then 😀


    1. Really! Surprised Aust got it first, I was very lucky to get one so fast. No local or online Aus stores had them, I emailed OM Solutions Aus and got it direct. They dragged their feet 4 days mailing it but after a polite email they sent it 20 mins later express post at no extra charge 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Morgaine, much of the features are similar to the EM1 II but moved, rearranged or updated. I’m getting my head around it pretty quickly as I play and try ideas, the results are amazing … when you nail it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for featuring me in your post, a welcome surprise! I have a wedding to shoot with the OM-1 tonight so will be busy editing photos for that next week, then I hope to post a full review in a week or two and many comparisons with the EM1-II, so stay tuned! Questions and experiment suggestions welcome. I like your blog and the idea of open-source photography, most of my gear is second-hand. Following your blog with interest 😀


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