To say the Olympus OM-D E-M1 feels different in the hand compared to the OM-D E-M5 is an understatement. The larger handgrip contributes to it feeling more like an important camera for serious photographers, and is more comfortable to hold over long durations than the OM-D E-M5.
Some buttons at the rear of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 are on the small side. The playback button is also slightly awkward to operate at the top right of the screen.
Buttons are larger making them easier to access and use than the E-M5's. Button placement is also completely re-worked and rather than the mode dial being positioned to the left of the viewfinder, it's now on the right where it can be controlled more conveniently by use of the thumb. A locking mechanism has been added to the mode dial to prevent it being inadvertently knocked or changed as the camera is transported.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 features a more intuative layout and buttons are larger too.
Much like the E-M5, Olympus has produced an additional handgrip for the E-M1 to enhance stability. Whereas the E-M5 is compatible with the Olympus HLD-6 battery grip (£219), a new detachable HLD-7 grip has been made for the E-M1, which is dust, splash and freeze-proof to match the rugged build of the body. In addition to providing 2 control dials and two function buttons, the new HLD-7 extends shooting time by being able to store an additional battery inside, while offering an additional shutter button. The HLD-7 costs £189.