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Just Posted: Olympus OM-D E-M5 review

By dpreview staff on Apr 30, 2012 at 09:07 GMT
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We've just posted our review of the Olympus OM-D E-M5. The E-M5 is the first in a line of OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras, featuring an electronic viewfinder and resembling the company's classic OM line of SLRs. It boasts a 16MP Four Thirds sensor and a '5-axis' image stabilization system, wrapped-up in a compact, weather-sealed magnesium alloy body with a tilting rear screen. It's also one of the most customizable cameras on the market. So does the range-topping camera live up to Olympus' promises? Click here to find out.

Click here for our Olympus OM-D E-M5 review

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Comments

Total comments: 577
123
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/bgo9fbbxv4xkbjf/Olympus%20OMD%20IBIS%20test.zip

Hopefully these pictures will show that IS *does* work at 9FPS. I need to protect the honor of this little beauty :)

4 upvotes
nflanders2
By nflanders2 (May 1, 2012)

Look, even with IS, it still looks like Japanese characters to me.

SCNR :-)

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

My bad, I set the camera to Japanese..

2 upvotes
putomax
By putomax (May 1, 2012)

hey Gazeomon first thanks for the test;
secondly, in your settings text file says

Settings for all pictures:
ISO800

it seems ibis off pics are at iso 500
and ibis on pics are iso 400.

just saying

gashô

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

Ooops. Forgot it was on auto ISO.

0 upvotes
kenw
By kenw (May 1, 2012)

Yes, I just tested IS 1 and IS off at 9 fps with the 45/1.8 and IBIS most definitely does function in Sequential High at 9 fps.

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 1, 2012)

I think I know how (and why) I might have got that wrong. I'm looking into it.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 1, 2012)

I've re-tested the camera (and worked out where I went wrong in the first place). The review has been updated and I've posted more of an explanation here:

forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=41390275

2 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 2, 2012)

You da man. Thanks for correctly it quickly.

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 2, 2012)

And thanks for not removing me from the forum for my spelling.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 2, 2012)

WOW, that is a big deal for me! justinintokyo, thanks a lot for noticing!
I was wondering, why IS can work in 30 fps video and cannot in more that 3.5 fps stills, did not seem logical at all!

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (May 3, 2012)

@justinintokyo: looks like you saved the day for oly!

@rbutler: thanks for the update!

0 upvotes
Danlo
By Danlo (May 1, 2012)

All I can say is, goodbye Nikon, HELLO OM-D! This looks exactly like what I have been waiting for! A small camera with good design that has fast AF and great image quality. Thankyou Olympus.

17 upvotes
Gadgety
By Gadgety (May 1, 2012)

So the OM-D is tempting but I find the size and the packaging less impressive when compared to the several years old E-450 DSLR. The OM-D weighs 1g less and in terms of size little divides them: OM-D 122x89x43 mm vs E-450s 130x91x53 mm. And the E-450 has a built in pop-up flash. Of course the OM-D has several other features such as IBIS built in that take up space, but still, in retrospect I find the E-450 more impressive in terms of packaging. Olympus should have included a pop up flash in the OM-Ds body.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 1, 2012)

I think the weight goes alot into Weather sealing.

Pop up flash - though some might find it useful, I rarely ever use a pop up flash, and prefer longer exposures and/or fast glass to capture natural lighting and environment. Just my preference. External flashes are another story

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (May 1, 2012)

Didn't know the E-450 had a magnesium body.

5 upvotes
ismailfaruqi
By ismailfaruqi (May 1, 2012)

or any weathersealing. or ibis. or tilting lcd...

4 upvotes
jeffoto
By jeffoto (May 1, 2012)

or the image quality of the OM-D

1 upvote
Vlad S
By Vlad S (May 1, 2012)

Olympus includes a small remote controlled flash, which I think is a lot more interesting for an advanced amateur or a professional photographer.

0 upvotes
redeye47
By redeye47 (May 1, 2012)

When looking at the whole package,the m43 lenses are much much smaller.

0 upvotes
latifron
By latifron (May 1, 2012)

Guys, please look at the pictures ( jpeg) from om-d, the color rendition and the IQ is not good.

2 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 1, 2012)

While I agree that the photos may not show case the colour capabilities of the OMD - I'm sure most people would find it hard to fault Olympus for the JPEG processing and colour output. I would say its highly regarded and one of Olympus strong points.

8 upvotes
Winston Loo
By Winston Loo (May 1, 2012)

@latifron. Dont troll. Olympus is one of the best for jpeg colors.

10 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (May 1, 2012)

Are you looking through crack user glasses? I think the Oly images look above and beyond better than anything it's compared too on that page.

2 upvotes
Nathebeach
By Nathebeach (May 1, 2012)

How about comparing apples to apples, er, I mean, jpegs to jpegs?
If you think the images are bad please produce some better jpeg images from any format, APS-C included. Also take note of which lenses were used. I noticed one of the snow scenes was shot at 17mm. If that is the 17mm pancake zoom, well, we all know that lens leaves something to be desired, and yet the images still were quite good.

2 upvotes
OPOPO
By OPOPO (May 3, 2012)

I've just looked at the pictures(jpeg) and the color rendition and the IQ is so goooooood....

0 upvotes
Ian Macduff
By Ian Macduff (May 1, 2012)

I've had the OM-D for about 3 weeks and am delighted. I *gave* away my collection of Minoltas (2 x film SLR, 1 x D-SLR and handful of lenses) to switch to Oly having earlier been an Oly owner. I have had some follow-focus issues with indoor video but will try as justinintokyo suggests at 9fps. It's true the controls as small but they're perfectly manageable. And while my first sighting of the menus look daunting, I've quickly found the controls on-screen to be really intuitive and quick to access. I recently did some evening shots and found the colour stunning, even just using their onboard Night Scenes setting. It's impressive: Olympus have a winner here. I can see that the issue is going to be getting my shooting eye back up to the standard of the camera (after too much P & S shooting).

5 upvotes
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (May 1, 2012)

Take up the bodies!
Such a sight as this,
becomes the field
and here it's not amiss.
Go, bid the canons shoot.

Congrats to the team for such informative review.
Looking forward to more of that kind.

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

The IBIS works at 9FPS. Trust me, I tried. Extensively.

After reading the review (shocked) I spent half an hour shooting a light switch at 400mm, handheld in a dark room just to double check - I have an event to shoot next week that I can't afford to mess up. It is DEFINITELY active during all shots while continuously shooting and not just the first frame. Out of 100s of shots >90% were tack sharp. Without IS it was <10%.

Focussing and exposure on the other hand DO stop working after the first frame at 9FPS.

I imagine this would be a deal breaker for some so thought I'd let you all know. DP either made a mistake/misread the settings (unlikely) or the new firmware update I installed last week (1.1?) has changed things.

DP needs to say something quickly before people discount this gem.

5 upvotes
Zoeff
By Zoeff (May 1, 2012)

I'd quite like to see someone verify this.

Justin, would it be possible to make a short video (with another camera) to show us directly?

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

Just the fact that I can take 9 sharp pictures in a second at 400mm 1/30 is convincing stuff. Not even a pro can handhold 400mm at anything approaching 1/30..

I thought about uploading a few of those pics with the EXIF data but I guess it doesn't prove they were handheld... if I have time after work I'll try and think of how I can record it but I find it hard to believe I'm the only one realising this???

I used a SWD 50-200mm lens (and therefore a MFT/FT adapter) at 200mm (read: 400mm), f3.5, 1/30, ISO800, manual focus. Out of maybe 150 shots? very few of the IS shots were blurred. Nearly all the non IS shots were blurred. Damning evidence. I'll try it with some native glass to see if it makes a difference.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
6 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

I took 9 pics with and 9 pics without IBIS enabled: https://www.dropbox.com/s/bgo9fbbxv4xkbjf/Olympus%20OMD%20IBIS%20test.zip
No changes were made to the (BIG) files and all were taken continuously at the 9FPS setting.

2 upvotes
Zoeff
By Zoeff (May 1, 2012)

Any comments from the DRP staff on this one...?

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (May 1, 2012)

From the E-M5 specifications:

[Sequential shooting H mode] 9.0 fps
[Sequential shooting L mode] 3.5 fps / 4.2fps in case of "I.S. OFF".

It seems that IBIS is available for 9 and 3.5 fps, but not for 4.2 fps. I wonder why?

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 1, 2012)

The plot thickens..

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (May 1, 2012)

Justintokyo.

No - you handheld a 200mm lens. Its physical focal length is still 200mm. If you could put the same lens on a pentax q - you're still not holding an 800mm lens (or whatever the crop factor is).

Still very, very impressive. Not possible with a FF 2.8 zoom - for me that is.

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (May 1, 2012)

Oh.
Want to prove it? Take shots in front of a mirror. Please wear clothes.

I trust you if you say so - too many users have commented positively on the IBIS. Looking forward to using it myself.

0 upvotes
justinintokyo
By justinintokyo (May 2, 2012)

True, it's physically 200mm but in every other way it's 400mm including the zoom factor and doubling the shutter speed to avoid shake.

1 upvote
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (May 1, 2012)

If I hadn't bought the epm1 just a few months ago, I would've certainly jumped on the em5 bandwagon (not that the two cameras are in the same league; just trying to be rational with my photography equipment spending :)). Still, I think I won't be able to resist past Christmas!

On another note, while the review is very good and my eyes tell me the high iso capabilities of this camera are among the best in mirrorless cameras, it was curious to read Practical Photography's rather lukewarm review of it. They didn't seem to like how em5 handled noise, but they did emphasize they tested a pre-production unit (which is also why they didn't give it a rating). Will see if they change their tune when they test a production unit.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Steven Rounds
By Steven Rounds (May 1, 2012)

No one seems to be commenting on the BEST advantage of the OM-D E-M5...good-looking chroma compression artifacts at hi-iso. Pixel-peep at the results of the hi-iso test images (3200 and above). Almost every other camera (the Sonys are the worst) have HORRENDOUS chroma-clumping artifacts. Note how the noise causes blobs of color to appear in smooth fields of color (especially reds).

The Olympus OM-D shows a smoother, random chroma-noise grain structure that is easy to overlook (it looks like hi-iso film grain). Almost everybody else has these God-awful blobs of color appearing anywhere there is a smooth field of color.

-from the Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment Senior Broadband Compressionist (Retired).

14 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (May 1, 2012)

Perhaps we should subtract points from the NEX-7 review because there is no mention of sub-DSLR continuous AF tracking performance in the conclusion for that camera.

Perhaps there was some unrealistic expectation that the C-AF would be magically better on the Olympus camera when it is simply not possible to do this successfully with a contrast based focussing system.

Cheers

8 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (May 1, 2012)

With the accessory grip, it reminds me of the great motor drives of the 70's! What a beautiful design! Bravo, Olympus!

8 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (May 1, 2012)

So we know it is not Panasonic then who does make that sensor because its a very good one?

1 upvote
wwcove
By wwcove (May 1, 2012)

Very nice review. I have been following this little camera since the announcement of its release. So far I have mostly seen only incredible reviews with very little, if any, negatives. But as we all know: No camera is perfect. Your exhaustive review uncovers some areas of concern. I really appreciate the honesty of such details. It seems this camera will make a nice add-on to my extensive Canon DSLR's and I will most likely carry it when I normally don't want to carry my heavy gear around. I waited and waited and waited for Canon to wake up and develop a mirror-less camera system but there is no need to wait on the 'big guys' any longer... Olympus has got it right so the time is right for micro 4/3's.... Now I just need $1300:)

2 upvotes
Donnie G
By Donnie G (May 1, 2012)

While this camera doesn't appeal to me (no E.V.I.L., SLT or ILC does), it does appear to be a very well designed picture taking device that should prove to be a strong competitor within its target niche. I don't see it winning many converts among DSLR owners, but I think that its rivals in the mirrorless marketplace should definitely be worried. Way to go Oly!

3 upvotes
wwcove
By wwcove (May 1, 2012)

I do agree that this looks to be a nice camera but I do think many DSLR owners will gladly carry it on days when they don't wish to lug around 20 lbs or more of gear. I don't mean replacing all my DSLRS but 'assisting' them or filling in for them at times when my big cameras just don't fit in or I simply don't wish to carry them... It will be less intimidating to the camera shy folks when doing photo-journal type work...

7 upvotes
T3
By T3 (May 1, 2012)

I see a lot of DSLRs picking up this camera as a lighter, more compact alternative to their larger, heavier, bulkier DSLR gear. Using an all-in-in compact camera is too much of a compromise for many of us DSLR users. That's why I bought an Oly E-PM1. Now I only use my DSLR gear for work. For personal and casual shooting I use the m4/3 gear.

1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (May 1, 2012)

@ T3
great point - and not just the OMD, but any m4/3 cameras are being used as "secondary" cameras. But a word of Warning to DSLR users, you may find the DSLR becoming the secondary camera, and may even end up selling it... be warned.

6 upvotes
jeffoto
By jeffoto (May 1, 2012)

Sold my Canon 5d and lenses for the OM-D. Looking at RAW performance at high ISO the OM-D surpasses the brilliant, but 7-year-old Canon. Can't wait for the 75mm.

2 upvotes
Just Ed
By Just Ed (May 1, 2012)

Stunningly beautiful camera design, very sexy. Too bad it seems to need work in the focus and stability arena. Still, those are problems that hopefully can be corrected by Oly. Still, I keep my D90 for now....

1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (May 1, 2012)

If you mean CA-F then yes I agree there needs work, however S-AF is the fastest and most accurate you can get on any system.

Not sure what you mean by Stability...? The IBIS is great

8 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (May 1, 2012)

I'm sure the Oly AF is great in single shot, but I'd like to see an actual test against a 5D III and D800 in all sorts of light to verify Oly's claims. Still they are light years ahead of the rubbish Sony and Samsung offer in their CSC's.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (May 1, 2012)

I'm not sure you have had a E-M5 in your hands...
And I'm very sure that the E-M5 beats the D90 in many ways.

5 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (May 1, 2012)

@jos g. From what I have seen so far it will beat the d90 in smaller size, weather sealing, design and the 5-axis stabilization. But that's about it.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (May 1, 2012)

The truth is up until the release of the E-P3 as recent as 2011, Olympus has always trailed behind their APS-C counterparts in both low ISO dynamic range and high ISO performance. There is no reasonable explanation for this since the m43/43 sensor is not that much smaller than the APS-C equivalent. It's comforting to find they have finally caught up with their competition and even surpassed Canon for low ISO dynamic range. If Canon continues to sit back and do nothing to their sensor design, they are majorly screwed. Shame on them.

I am not entirely convinced the whole sensor is from Panasonic. The likely scenario is Panasonic provides the sensor backbone while Olympus does some electronic tingling on their own, much akin to the Sony/Nikon partnership. In any case, this is a bravura performance!

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (May 1, 2012)

Electronic tinkling may well lead to tingling! : )

0 upvotes
thx1138
By thx1138 (May 1, 2012)

APS-C is actually 56% larger in area, so it's not an insignificant difference at all. It looks like the new E-M5 has better DR than Canon's latest APS-C offerings and is similar to Sony NEX 5N, which is a a big achievement (and a sad indictment of Canon's sensor tech)

5 upvotes
wwcove
By wwcove (May 1, 2012)

Canon has a lot to be sad about these days... They have simply fallen asleep in many areas they once ruled... too bad I own so many of their products

0 upvotes
MichaelKJ
By MichaelKJ (May 1, 2012)

Canon just reported a 30% increase in DSLR sales for the first quarter of this year. Unlike so many Japanese companies that are hemorrhaging money (e.g., Sony, Panasonic) Canon remains profitable.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Apr 30, 2012)

Thanks for the review.

I'm I biased or this review was really written by somebody who truly liked the cam? The overall mood of the review is extremely positive. Haven't read a review like that here for quite some time.

Though I see you still do not like the menus of Oly cameras. Personally, I'd love to hate them, but "you can pry the customization level from my cold dead hands." Please stop talking about it as a disadvantage: I'm afraid that Oly might listen and "fix" it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (May 1, 2012)

We always try to explain that the complex menu is the price you pay for the excellent level of customization. But in this case the problem isn't helped by confusing names and poor documentation.

I certainly hope Olympus doesn't interpret that as meaning the customization should be removed - that's not what we're saying.

And yes, I did like the camera. Most definitions of the word review acknowledge that a review is, at heart, an opinion, no matter how much evidence you pit forward for how you reached your conclusion. The awards in the review are a reflection of the reviewer's opinion (as distinct from the score, which is much more objective). Yes, I really enjoyed shooting with the camera and I was happy with the results.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
17 upvotes
jon404
By jon404 (May 1, 2012)

Good -- I'm glad to read a review with a thoughtful personal opinion, rather than just a compilation of statistics. Please write more reviews!

1 upvote
highwave
By highwave (Apr 30, 2012)

Hey DPR team or anyone.

what do you mean by the following statement in your review?

"The noise and dynamic range levels are a fraction behind the very latest APS-C sensors, if you analyze the images at a 1:1 level"

while the noise is behind the very latest APS-C (insert SONY sensors here), I don't understand how the OM-D lags in dynamic range. From what I understood in your dynamic range test, it had a wider dynamic range than any modern APS-C sensor. Am I missing something here?

Thanks all in advance.

5 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 1, 2012)

Maybe they were talking about "other" APS-C sensors, for example, the 5N.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 1, 2012)

@zodiacfml

How come the OM-D noise looks better than NEX 5N and 7 on DPR noise samples at 3200-12800 ISO?

Sony gets noisier on blue channel much faster, why is that?

1 upvote
Vlad4D
By Vlad4D (May 1, 2012)

Partially because OM-D samples were shoot with wider aperture :)
( f/6 instead of f/8 for ISO6400 )

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 1, 2012)

I'm pretty unsure of your question but I do know that 5N DR in the DPreview is very good.

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 1, 2012)

Ok, I just checked the 5N and K-5 reviews on DR, the M5 really minuscule DR advantage over them when it's set in Muted mode. I don't know of any other APS-C sensor that has better DR.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (Apr 30, 2012)

I have to say that dpreview should have given the OMD a better build quality score. IMO the magnesium and weather sealing should give it a higher build quality when compare to the NEX-7

3 upvotes
Joesiv
By Joesiv (Apr 30, 2012)

The build quality line seems to be broken IMO...

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

It does appear to be broken. The E-M5 slightly outscores the also magnesium alloy NEX-7, but not by much.

0 upvotes
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (May 1, 2012)

Oh my bad, forgot the NEX-7 has magnesium alloy too... Hopefully you guys will be able to fix the slider soon.

0 upvotes
Digitall
By Digitall (Apr 30, 2012)

Nice camera and review. I would like to see manufacturers invest in DNG format, hoped to see the DNG with better representation in the M43 format at least.

0 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (Apr 30, 2012)

From review it looks like E-M5 have seriously wider DR than NEX-7 and almost anything non-FF on the market whether ILC or DSLR, no?

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

The review compare JPEG DR, which is not all that useful since few users of this level of camera would elect to shoot in JPEG mode.

The best m43 camera for DR has been the GH2 which produces something like 11 EV DR. The best APS-C cameras like the K-5/D7000 and NEX-7 produce 14 EV DR. Sorry guys, I couldn't let that his comment slide.

1 upvote
bobbarber
By bobbarber (Apr 30, 2012)

@ marike6,

I'm sure you are right that the APS-C cameras have more dynamic range, but I'm also sure you are wrong that few purchasers of this camera would choose to shoot in jpeg mode. In fact, it would surprise me greatly if most purchases of this camera did not choose to shoot in jpeg mode, most of the time. Olympus is well known for their excellent jpegs, and as a former Olympus 4/3 shooter now with a Panasonic m43 body, I can tell you it is true, the Olympus jpegs really are better than what other manufacturers offer out of camera.

13 upvotes
TimSlin
By TimSlin (Apr 30, 2012)

I agree with bobbarber about the jpegs. I will definitely shot alot of jpegs, and I know for a fact my finance will too. It will save me 150 dollars for lightroom 4. Also will save me alot of time. To me, the jpegs look great up to 6400 iso with a good amount of sharpening, a bit of noise reduction, and great color.

Secondly, dxomark gave higher ratings in every category for the gh1 compared to the gh2. So the king of the m43 DR has been the GH1. It also doesn't mean the gh2 is an awful overpriced camera when it came out. Technical data doesn't always correspond to real world results.

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/Publications/DxOMark-Reviews/DxOMark-review-for-the-Panasonic-Lumix-DMC-GH2

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 1, 2012)

@marike6

Nice to be trolling, but where in earth did you get the 14EV figure for NEX-7?

The DxOMark gives screen DR of 12.59 EV at ISO 100, and 11.69 EV at ISO 200.

The latter is actually less than OM-D at ISO 200 which is around 12 EV. OM-D has very similar DR compared to 5D mkII I have.

4 upvotes
twald
By twald (May 1, 2012)

High DR is mostly useless in jpeg as it makes a very flat, low contrast image. The exception is when the jpeg engine use advanced algorithms to lift the shadows, such as the DRO found in the Sony NEX and Active-D lighting in the Nikon cameras. When those options are used on the NEX 7, the measurable DR in jpeg will be much higher than without them.

0 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (Apr 30, 2012)

Canon, wake up!

9 upvotes
FastFisher
By FastFisher (Apr 30, 2012)

They are too big to wake up. Sad reality.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

Why? All Canon has to do is put the sensor from the G1 X in a proper ILC and it will be game over for the others, OM-D included.

1 upvote
FastFisher
By FastFisher (Apr 30, 2012)

You mean that prehistoric sensor technology with no DR ? Even FF Canon sensor is noisier in dark areas than this tiny M43 sensor.

1 upvote
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 30, 2012)

I think he is talking about how Canon is the only one left with 2005 era DR - G1x included.

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

I'm not sure I'd bring up DR or any other metric, since the G1X outperforms the Panasonic LiveMOS in nearly every category on DxOMark.

I do agree Canon is sleeping relative to Nikon, but let's be fair. And only in this review are things like DR not important for the majority of users. Thousands will read this review and buy the OM-D and wonder why highlights are clipped so much faster than their DSLR.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Apr 30, 2012)

I think it's really naive to think that Canon, one of the most successful companies in the camera industry, if not *the* most successful company in the camera industry, is blind to what is going on with mirrorless cameras. The reality is that they are probably very closely watching the developments in this segment, learning from the strengths and weaknesses of the other brands in this segment, so that they can take these lessons and apply them to their own system. They hold the late-comer's advantage in that they can see what cards every other manufacturer holds before revealing their own. We have to remember that it's still very early days for the mirrorless market. No need for them to rush in, especially with DSLR sales still going so strong.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
FastFisher
By FastFisher (Apr 30, 2012)

Yes Canon is watching how other companies are producing the next generation sensors and their jaws are on the floor. Judging from their latest cameras they are still stuck in 2005.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 60 seconds after posting
1 upvote
agray88
By agray88 (Apr 30, 2012)

@marike6
Seems like DPR disagrees with you. They LIKE the E-M5. I mean, really like it. Enough to give it a Gold award. So you don't like it. We get it. We care about DPR's opinion. Yours? Not so much.

1 upvote
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (Apr 30, 2012)

@marike6: Again it seems you confuse this review with a GH2/GX1 review. To quote the title "Just Posted: Olympus OM-D E-M5 review". Please prefix your comments with "OT".

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

DPR makes wild claims that you'll need to step-up to FF to get better IQ or that DR doesn't matter for the majority of users. Did you expect nobody would call them on this when the evidence doesn't support their claim?

As far as liking the OM-D, I do too. I may even buy one, but as a GX1 and GH2 user, I'm a bit more realistic about the capabilities of m43.

1 upvote
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 30, 2012)

DPR does NOT claim that you have to step-up to FF to get better IQ, only that you have to choose FF to get a significant improvement in IQ. Hardly a wild claim, since the images produced by the E-M5 do support it.
And where in the review does it say that DR doesn't matter for the majority of users?
Also, using the capabilities (or lack thereof) of GX1/GH2 to support claims about the E-M5 is clearly flawed logic. Do these cameras give more insight into the workings of the E-M5 than actually using the E-M5?

6 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 1, 2012)

@marike

Do you have this camera at all as you make it sound so?

I have an OM-D and the DR is about the same as with my 5D mkII. Shadow noise is more pleasing with less visible banding.

Hows that possible? Please stop spreading generalized lies on this thread.

Comment edited 32 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
T3
By T3 (May 1, 2012)

@FastFisher- you can whine and moan all you want, but ten years from now Canon will still be doing fine. The coarse of history is full of peaks and valleys. You have to remember that Canon is the company that survived dumping their entire FD manual system in order to switch to EOS. Likewise, for a time, Nikon was struggling to keep up in the sensor department. For all these companies, there are peaks and valleys, ups and downs. But when you step back and look at the broader scheme of things, everything evens out over the long run.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (May 1, 2012)

Why?

0 upvotes
djec
By djec (Apr 30, 2012)

"'5-axis' image stabilization system"?!

ffs i hope the rest of the science behind the camera is slightly more intelligent.

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Apr 30, 2012)

or maybe you should read the article as to what 5-Axis actually is.

7 upvotes
agray88
By agray88 (Apr 30, 2012)

I was thinking the same thing. It's really stabilization in translation about X and Y direction with rotational stabilization about X,Y, and Z axis. I guess the "5-axis" thing is the best way to market it.

0 upvotes
djec
By djec (Apr 30, 2012)

i read it. i counted 3 axis. what is it?

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 30, 2012)

The other two are the focus motor.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (Apr 30, 2012)

> i read it. i counted 3 axis. what is it?

"Axis" when applied to motion (or more precisely in context: motion compensation) in engineering slang effectively means "motor", or whatever device is used to move the object.

"5-axis IS" means that sensor can be moved in 5 different ways. What is not bad. It's only 1 axis away - forward/backward motion - from full 3D 6-axis IS: 3 translations, 3 rotations.

6 upvotes
Mouser
By Mouser (May 1, 2012)

I hope the rest of your comments are slightly less snarky.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (May 1, 2012)

axis 1: left to right movements (vertical axis)
axis 2: up and down movements (horizontal axis)
axis 3: circular movements over the vertical axis
axis 4: circular movements over the horizontal axis
axis 5: circular movements (around the lens-axis)
... it also works when filming in HD... no need for a SteadyCam, no extra weight to carry.

0 upvotes
kenw
By kenw (May 1, 2012)

In control systems translational and rotational controls are counted separately. That's why there are more than three axes. This is the standard nomenclature used in science and industry.

1 upvote
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (May 1, 2012)

They could have said 3 rotational plus 2 translational axis
But why? 5axis says enough.
If you want to describe the funktion of the IBIS in exact terms, you must write a book.
But there is no need for a course in theoretical mechanics here.

1 upvote
Boris F
By Boris F (Apr 30, 2012)

Very impressing review DPR, thanks.
Great job Oly!

GH3?

3 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Apr 30, 2012)

The 12-50 looks too large and the images from it not so impressive. Would it therefore be better with a 14-42? Although the review shows samples from a few lenses I didn't read a comment on the 12-50 lens (did skim the review a bit though). Seems Olympus have done a great job.

1 upvote
bluevellet
By bluevellet (Apr 30, 2012)

Marginally.

You're probably better off IQ wise with at least one of the quality primes on the system (a fair amount to choose from). Although none of them are actually weather-proof but it doesn't seem to matter to you.

0 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 30, 2012)

"better" is always dependent on the individual. If you want some weather sealing and 24-100mm zoom range with 1:2 macro, you certainly aren't better off with a 14-42.

If you just want a cheap, compact standard zoom with good picture quality, then yeah a 14-42 is probably better.

3 upvotes
dav1dz
By dav1dz (Apr 30, 2012)

You understand the 12-50mm measures 83mm in length right?

http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/standard.html#i_012-050mm_f035-063_olympus

Take out a ruler and see how long that is in reality. It's 3.3 inches if you're American.

3 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (Apr 30, 2012)

I realise a prime is better. My X100 proves that. I would be interested in a zoom with the Oly but with a small body I would prefer a small ZOOM lens. The 12-50 is longer than the 14-42 and even the 14-150. Not quite as heavy as the latter though. Which of these zooms has the best IQ? (I would assume the shorter the zoom the better the IQ). And is there much variation in focusing speed? Weather sealing is not so important to me.

1 upvote
MrGubrz
By MrGubrz (Apr 30, 2012)

i thought the 12-50 looked huge in pics... i saw it in person at precison in austin... omg its so tiny n cute! ok not TINY, but its WAY smaller than pics of it and the camera together had me believe

3 upvotes
mfj197
By mfj197 (May 1, 2012)

@Dougbm_2: The best quality standard zoom for m43 is the older Panasonic 14-45 (not the current 14-42). Panasonic and Olympus m43 lenses are fully interchangeable of course. If you want really small the Panasonic 14-42 X zoom is minute, although some copies have reports of double image issues at certain shutter speeds with some cameras.

0 upvotes
Dougbm_2
By Dougbm_2 (May 2, 2012)

Yes I am aware of the 14-45 being good. Is it still available though?

0 upvotes
andywhoa
By andywhoa (Apr 30, 2012)

Because of this review I am convinced there is no X-Pro1 review coming from dpr. Your high-ISO comparisons involve cameras like the NEX-7, but omit the X-Pro1. Why? So you can give the OM-D E-M5 a good high-ISO score? Everyone on the planet knows the NEX-7 and OM-D E-M5 high-ISO capabilities are abysmal compared to the X-Pro1. What are you going to do for the X-Pro1 if you're giving the OM-D E-5 such a good high-ISO score? Nothing because you're not going to review the X-Pro1!

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

Or could it be because the X-Pro1 is a very complex camera and doesn't have Adobe Raw support yet?

19 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Apr 30, 2012)

DPR does very through reviews, it's not like they just slap job it together- take some photos and call it "good." I can imagine these take time.

I'd rather have a through review than a spec sheet run down with a few pics like other sites.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Apr 30, 2012)

The scores are relative.

0 upvotes
aliasretro
By aliasretro (Apr 30, 2012)

oh wow, sometimes you just can't belive the comments from some fanboys. Cool down! Be happy that there are good cameras coming out and I'm sure X-Pro1 is one of them too. And yes without Adobe Raw support how do you gonna do a fair comparision?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
deyqa
By deyqa (May 1, 2012)

Well maybe it has something to do with The white orbs issue and a peculiar X-mount. I am not dissing the superb overall quality of X-Pro1, but can it enter the digital struggle? 3 lens '"system"
compared to well established m43 lenses doesn't seem to give any high hopes.

0 upvotes
Mouser
By Mouser (May 1, 2012)

Untwist your knickers, @andywhoa !

0 upvotes
Nishi Drew
By Nishi Drew (May 1, 2012)

@ deyqa
The White Orbs were an issue with the X10, the X-pro uses a different sensor

1 upvote
jkokich
By jkokich (May 1, 2012)

DPR is a trusted source for camera info, as evidenced by the number of people who visit this site, and comment here. If you don't like the weather, move.

0 upvotes
CriticalI
By CriticalI (Apr 30, 2012)

Oly did a great job with this, it is a really viable alternative to an SLR (though you can get a D7000 for less so you really have to WANT a small camera).

Not for me though, sadly. Despite the very appealing feature set and one or two rather cute lenses, the camera controls are just too crowded for someone like me (slightly above average male hand size). It's partly a result of the amount of real estate required for the flip out screen I guess.

To be honest, if a camera is not pocketable (and it surely is not) then size matters a lot less than weight. I wonder if the urge to make everything smaller is a bit self-defeating in a way. They should worry about making them lighter.

4 upvotes
nomiss777
By nomiss777 (May 1, 2012)

To be honest, the OMD will weight much smaller than any current DSLR out there including the D7000. I have found that some of my jackets (Columbia and Northface) have inside pockets that can fit the EPL-1 in one pocket and a lens on the other pocket so for me its quite pocket able

0 upvotes
darkref
By darkref (Apr 30, 2012)

I wish I had enough money to buy both nex-7 and e-m5 :(

0 upvotes
elotorero
By elotorero (May 1, 2012)

i dont really see any reason why you want to have these two cameras at the same time.. you are probably better served with the em-5 and another 'full frame' body.

but i guess our opinions just differ.

Cheers

0 upvotes
darkref
By darkref (May 1, 2012)

because I found it almost impossible to choose between them :)

0 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (May 1, 2012)

If you look at what lenses are available for both systems that should help you decide which one is blatantly better.

I was undecided as well, and had my finger hovering over the "buy" button for the NEX-7 until a Redditor told me to check out the E-M5, and I'm really glad I did.

Given how well it focuses, how well it performs and how many affordable fast primes are available, to me the E-M5 and the M4/3 system is clearly a better choice for photography.

I wouldn't consider the NEX-7 unless I already owned NEX lenses or was more interested in video.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Gully Foyle
By Gully Foyle (Apr 30, 2012)

I just noticed that the silver version has a differently textured grip. Leather-like.

1 upvote
acassino
By acassino (Apr 30, 2012)

What version of ACR was used in this review, really? The RAW review page 13 says, "ACR - Adobe Camera Raw 6.7 Beta" was used - but I have that version installed (just double checked and I have the absolute latest) and it will not open the ORF files provided for download on the RAW pages of the review! Neither is it shown on the list of supported cameras. http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/cameraraw6-7/

Is Beta 6.7 not the same as Release Candidate 6.7?

1 upvote
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

I'm afraid not, no. There is a risk that E-M5 support will formally appear in ACR 7.

1 upvote
JEROME NOLAS
By JEROME NOLAS (Apr 30, 2012)

So once again, what is the reason I want to buy this camera? Over priced PEN with good IQ, so what. For fancy fools!!

2 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (Apr 30, 2012)

Your right, no amount of camera can make up for lack of talent. Stick with your iphone 4s and camera+.

20 upvotes
tkbslc
By tkbslc (Apr 30, 2012)

I can't stop laughing at how dumb this sounds. Fancy fools? Stop it you are killing me.

10 upvotes
klopus
By klopus (Apr 30, 2012)

You said it - good IQ.

8 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 30, 2012)

This makes the E-M5 a no go for me.

"In Movie mode, you gain P,A,S and M control, a choice over focus mode and retention of AEL if you've got it assigned to a button. Frustratingly, while nominally offering a very good level of control over video, the camera doesn't allow you to change any exposure settings when you're shooting. The P,A and S modes will adjust to match the camera's metered value, with whatever exposure compensation you've applied before recording. You can apply AEL during recording to over-ride these exposure shifts, but you can't manually decide to adjust aperture or exposure compensation, mid-take."

3 upvotes
boho
By boho (Apr 30, 2012)

why do you check out a photo camera when you are only interested in video???

4 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 30, 2012)

I do both photo and video. Not being able to manually control exposure during video is like not being able to control exposure at all for stills.

I fully understand that the E-M5 is a stills camera first. However, it is also a hybrid camera. For most people that want a hybrid camera manual controls for the video side are essential.

4 upvotes
toscha_seidel
By toscha_seidel (Apr 30, 2012)

The best hybrid camera, if not going full frame, is still the GH2(hacked).

3 upvotes
deyqa
By deyqa (May 1, 2012)

Have you ever seen a real Movie/Cinema/Video camera? Like an Arri, Red, Phantom, or just a simple VHS/DV/HD camcorder etc. You have to provide and master the use of the essential matter both in still and moving pics. His unforgiving highness - The Light.

0 upvotes
stimmer
By stimmer (May 1, 2012)

You can shoot in manual mode. That's what the m mode is. Set to whatever you like.

Comment edited 59 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Valentinian
By Valentinian (Apr 30, 2012)

So, is it correct to conclude that NEX 7 has slighthly better image quality, while E-M5 has slightly better AF (but still not as fast as phase AF) ?
and of course there are more lenses available for E-M5....

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jman13
By Jman13 (Apr 30, 2012)

In single shot, the E-M5 (and GX1 as well) are faster than any phase-detect AF I know of when paired with a fast lens. I know I tested my GH2 against my Canon 1Ds Mark II with a 70-200/2.8L IS II, and in good light they were exactly the same in speed, and in poor light, the GH2 mopped the floor with the 1Ds II. (not to mention with better accuracy). The GX1 and E-M5 are faster than the GH2 by a little bit as well.

Now in continuous AF, it's a different story. Phase detect AF is still far superior to CDAF in accuracy and speed for tracking motion.

6 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Apr 30, 2012)

"Slightly better" = "real world about the same"

2 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 30, 2012)

Being reading DP for six, seven years and this is the only time I think the review is unbalanced.

I have never heard to anyone say, "I am buying an EVIL/mirrorless camera. Let's compare E-M5 and 60D/1100D". Why wasn't E-M5 compared and contrasted with NEX-5/7 and X-Pro1? Maybe you should consider redo the top-down size comparison and EVF size with A37, NEX-5/7 and X-Pro1.

The IQ review is also questionable. I can clearly see the NEXs perform better and I have no doubt the X-Pro1 that DP has in office is doing just as well. (Why isn't X-Pro1 reviewed yet? It is available a month before E-M5)

I don't know about the DR chart. The SONY 24mp sensor has the highest DR of any APS-C sensor and if I am reading the chart right, E-M5 have greater range.

2 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

The DR page is based on JPEGs - there's a further investigation of the Raw DR on the Raw page (the bit that looks at the ability to pull information from the shadows).

The NEX performs slightly better at pixel level (the 5N is very, very similar to the E-M5), but you'd have to print vast images to ever see that slight difference in the final output. The review makes clear there is a difference between the E-M5 and the very best APS-C, but that most people will find it insignificant.

The X-Pro1 is indeed looking extremely good but it's hard to review the camera without Adobe Raw support.

15 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 30, 2012)

@R Butler

Thank you for such an excellent review. I admire someone who puts there neck out there and sticks to what they believe is right.

You could have easily just said the E-M5 is the leader of its class and left it at that. However, you chose to tell it like it is even though the vast majority of people won't believe it.

Thank you for not caving into the pressure to rate a camera by its sensor size alone instead of its actual results.

Great job and I do look forward to the X-Pro1 review. It looks like another outstanding camera. Aren't we so lucky to have such great quality cameras in such small packages now?

I couldn't care less who makes. If it works for me then it is the right tool for me.

Comment edited 33 seconds after posting
20 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Apr 30, 2012)

@Richard "The review makes clear there is a difference between the E-M5 and the very best APS-C, but that most people will find it insignificant."

I am not sure that is the case as the ISO's climb. I agree with you for a wide range it would be more hard to tell. But you make it sound like it's oh so close and judging by what I have seen once you hit ISO 6400 and up, I wouldn't say it's on par with best APS-C (K-5 and sensor variants).

And what about tonal range... Anyway, not disputing in a lot of situations it's virtually a non issue. But I don't agree you "have to go FF" to notice differences- it really depends on the photography you are doing.

And with all due respect, I am not seeing high ISO shots in real world situations in the gallery. The ISO 6400 are taken in quite considerable light, particularly the 1/4000th shutter speed ones :-)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

Nearly all m43 cameras including the best for DR, the GH2, do not offer as much DR as the better APS-C cameras like the D7000. Having worked with both types of files in Lightroom, this is obvious the minute you try to lift the shadows in a GH2 or GX1 file. That Mr. Butler claims this is insignificant for the majority of users is puzzling indeed.

1 upvote
agray88
By agray88 (Apr 30, 2012)

The (perceived) lack of DR is significant for perseverating trolls, like yourself. For the rest of us, not so much. Go away.

10 upvotes
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (Apr 30, 2012)

@marike: It didn't occur to me that this was a GX1/GH2 review! While reading the review I had the impression it was about the M5.

9 upvotes
MEDISN
By MEDISN (Apr 30, 2012)

Insignificant indeed. 99% of us do not wish to shoot black cats in coal mines at midnight. You can keep your chunky cameras with ISO 128,000. Go troll the Canon forums.

6 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (May 1, 2012)

Please stop using the Panasonic cameras as "proxies" for the E-M5. I have never before seen another camera being so thoroughly assessed based upon the performance of completely different cameras.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
jkokich
By jkokich (May 1, 2012)

agray88, you're my hero!

0 upvotes
Ed Gaillard
By Ed Gaillard (Apr 30, 2012)

Couple of questions:

Does AEL/AFL remain locked until you hit the button again, or does it unlock if you press the play button, or (worse yet) does it unlock when an exposure is made?

Does the single-shot autofocus have the usual CDAF failure mode of grabbing the background instead of a smallish subject like a bird? (And then "sticking" to the background when you try to refocus.)

I gather from the AEL/AFL mode table that you can't assign AFL to one button and AEL to a different one?

Thanks.

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (Apr 30, 2012)

AEL/AFL remains locked until you hit it again.

I don't know about small birds.

You can assign AEL and AFL to different buttons as long one of them is assigned to the (half-pressed) shutter button.

0 upvotes
Vlad S
By Vlad S (Apr 30, 2012)

"Does the single-shot autofocus have the usual CDAF failure mode of grabbing the background instead of a smallish subject like a bird? (And then "sticking" to the background when you try to refocus.)"

This has not been a problem for a long time now. You simply select a smaller AF area (you can go down to just a few pixels), and select a single point AF. Typically this is sufficient to limit the AF area just to the eye of a n animal.

Vlad

1 upvote
Ed Gaillard
By Ed Gaillard (Apr 30, 2012)

Macx, thanks for the reply about AEL remaining locked.

Vlad S., how long a time? I've had this behavior frequently with my GF-1 and EP-2, and could reproduce it on EPL-2, all with single point AF set to as small an area as they would allow. Maybe the newer sensors do better? I haven't tried out a G3.

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (May 1, 2012)

When using AF on insects, birds ect. you can override with manual while focused, use manual focus instead or 'refocus' on the bird using manual and then AF again. The camera recognises that the focus is closer (works with macro too) and does not anymore focus to infinity. Done that for years now... using a very small focuspoint indeed.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Apr 30, 2012)

Before the PEN series came out, i thought Oly was on her way to bankruptcy.
With the excellent PENs and this winner EM5, Oly is one camera company every other should learn from! LONG LIVE OLY!!!!

Pentax, i hope you are the next for a great come back.

17 upvotes
SheikYerbouti
By SheikYerbouti (Apr 30, 2012)

> Pentax, i hope you are the next for a great come back.

Yes! A successor for the excellent K5, that comes with the latest and greatest APS-C sensor available and has an updated and refined image processing engine but remains otherwise more or less unchanged (no need for that) would be a great thing, indeed! I also think, that producing less colorful, plasticky and toyish gimmicks could do wonders for the company's reputation as a serious camera manufacturer.

1 upvote
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Apr 30, 2012)

I was about to order an E-P3 just because I did not want to spend the $$$. But after reading this I thought screw it and placed my order with Amazon. Now we wait......and wait until they ship. :)

1 upvote
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 30, 2012)

You could wait for the E-P5 with the same sensor less the EVF you know. It should be a good $400 cheaper and comes with a flash.

0 upvotes
SheikYerbouti
By SheikYerbouti (Apr 30, 2012)

Excellent camera! Still, looks-wise I find the original OM and cameras like the 35 RC way more attractive than today's retro-styled designs. With the exception of Fuji's X100 there seems to be nothing that comes even close to 60s/70s/80s gems from Contax, Fuji, Nikon, Rollei etc. But, since I like to think of myself as a sane, sober, secular, rational and enlightened person, I accept that form should never come before function. Image quality, responsiveness, handling, reliability and longevity are far more important criteria than mere looks, and the OM-D seems to shine in all of these disciplines. So, a big thumbs-up for the OM-D!

Now, if I could only get rid of that still small voice telling me, how much better things were, when I first went out with my brand-new Nikon FM, when I had a b/w lab in the cellar and all that ... I'm getting old, it seems :-)

9 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 30, 2012)

But as a sane and rational person, you should also understand that E-M5 works better on a person as a fashion accessory than any DSLR or a $1000 watch. :)

0 upvotes
Jos G
By Jos G (May 1, 2012)

I remember holding my Yashica TL-Electro X for the first time. Yashinon 50mm F/1.7 on it... Still the pictures look great indeed, but that was 1976. What my E-420 does is better.

0 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (Apr 30, 2012)

@Marike6, Put on a good lens that D3200 body deserves may cost as much as OM-D, and weight twice as much!
With the kit lens of OM-D, I believe it can capture pictures with 1~2 stops less than D3200 w/ its kit lens. Don't think D3200's ISO12800 image will be any better than OM-D at ISO3200.

6 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (Apr 30, 2012)

13 f-stops dynamic range also in video mode ?

0 upvotes
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (Apr 30, 2012)

Do you guys know if it's possible to disable digital sharpening in video mode ?

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

There are no image parameter controls in movie mode. You can apply Art Filters, but not any Picture Modes or processing adjustments.

1 upvote
Roberto Mettifogo
By Roberto Mettifogo (May 9, 2012)

thanks

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Apr 30, 2012)

I've seen some pre-review test shots with em5 (which I liked) but the night scenes should have been included here, particularly with the average-fast standard kit lens.

Being a GF1/20mm F1.7 shooter-addict [addict is about 3 EV steps above fan], I was hoping for some shots with non-standard lenses that would leverage the fast speed of the lens (AF, indoors shutter speed). After all, there is the body-only version available, too.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

Still not as good as a Nikon D3200 for half the price. IQ of the D3200 is just better, and I guarantee it will focus faster and track in AF-C better. Contrast Detect AF simply cannot compete with PD-AF. That is why Nikon put PD-AF in the Nikon 1 (an innovative feature that seemed totally lost on the DPR reviewers, considering the Nikon 1's score).

Before accusing me of trolling, download the full-size version of this D3200 image and ask yourself if the same image from the OM-D would look as good.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikonfrance/6946746648/in/set-72157629851394125

3 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Apr 30, 2012)

Can we accuse of trolling /after/ that?

24 upvotes
BJN
By BJN (Apr 30, 2012)

Even if the OM-D can't quite match the image performance of the latest APS-C sensors and EVF with CDAF has its limitations (and benefits), you can't assemble an APS-C system of lenses that's nearly as light and compact as you can with MFT. The D3200 is light and compact, but not the lens system. I'm a Nikon DSLR shooter but I also have a MFT system because it delivers the compact alternative system I want, along with a better compromise of image quality and performance than the Nikon 1 system offers.

12 upvotes
VLampa
By VLampa (Apr 30, 2012)

Let me know how the D3200 fares in rainy conditions. Also not trolling, just trying to point out a feature you may or may not have intentionally overlooked. Some value that and a smaller overall kit than just IQ. The preorder rush bears that out.

5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

@BJN Totally agree.

0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Apr 30, 2012)

I compared the E-M5 output @ ISO 6400 to the D3100 and D3200 and find the output from the E-M5 and D3100 to be very similar and both easily trash the D3200 in image quality.

So, if Nikon decides to put that horrible sensor in the D5100, D7000 and D300s successors, then the E-M5 will trash all Nikon APS-C DSLRs in image quality.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Apr 30, 2012)

@marike6

Sorry but CDAF on the OM-D is very fast and accurate in S-AF mode. PD-AF wins in tracking but not in one shot AF speed. Lot of depends on the lens of course. Good thing is that CDAF accuracy depends not on lens specific AF calibration.

Also, D3200 lacks AE bracketing which OM-D can do at 9 FPS speed. No articulating screen, nor weather sealing.

5 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (Apr 30, 2012)

I was taking my time before making a comment on this review...but overall I was thinking the same as there are plenty of DSLRs of mid-dslrs that has the same, practical IQ but at a less price and so are the lens.
It's like, paying more for the size and weight advantages. Outside travel, or landscapes, can the EM-5 be a pro cam such as for wedding photographers?

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

Not only won't the OM-D trash the D3200, it's IQ is not even as good. To compare high ISO, you would need to downsize the 24 mp D3200 image to the 16mp size of the OM-D, at which point you'll see they are at best equal. But it's at base ISO that the D3200 will absolutely destroy the OM-D. I have a GX-1, and it's not even as good as my D3100 at base ISO. And another major weakness of the GX-1 is poor DR.

If you are interesting in the truth, download the D3200 image I posted above, and ask yourself if the OM-D could produce such an image as well.

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Apr 30, 2012)

Sample image posted by Nikon France? :D

I think OM-D could produce similar quality image with a right lens for the purpose. Of course its 24MP vs 16MP, but there's nothing special with the detail level in that picture. Also some noise visible.

Reports say the D3200 has stronger AA filter than NEX-7 which is not good given the high resolution.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
photo nuts
By photo nuts (Apr 30, 2012)

@marike6: With regards to your linked image, I am quite certain the E-M5 and many many other cameras are capable of producing similar image quality. It's really not a very challenging scene. One merely needs a good lens and 16 MP sensor. Mind you, as shown in the D3200 preview images, many Nikon lenses cannot even live up to the 24 MP APS-C sensor (equivalent to 58 MP FF). So, really, it's not hard to match that image.

Also, all the hot spots you see in the D3200 high ISO images cannot be removed without making compromises to image details. This is unlike removal of chroma noise. The D3200 sensor is so noisy that Nikon tries to mask the noise by reducing its color sensitivity. IOW, image colors become more faded as ISO increases. Are you really impressed by that?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (Apr 30, 2012)

Exactly, its the lenses that account for 50% of technical IQ.

To my eyes the detail level resolved in that image is nothing special.

Use a Panasonic 25/1.4 or Zuiko 45/1.8 and very high pixel level sharpness would be easy to achieve.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

I love arguing with m43 fanboys who have convinced themselves that the 24 mp Exmor sensor from the NEX-7 / D3200 is crappy. DxOMark didn't think so scoring it a full 20 points higher than any other m43 sensor.

@ DarkShift - Lenses? Nikon has over 140 lenses available, many of them the best in all of photography. But even the 18-55 VR kit lens is significantly better than that awful 12-50 3.5-6.3 zoom.

The point is for $699 the D3200 will absolutely trounce the $1299 OM-D. At least the GH2 has great video. The OM-D doesn't even have that.

2 upvotes
Then4
By Then4 (Apr 30, 2012)

Oly OM-D is a quality camera... and i think most of the camera freaks like me will get one. I would not compare it to D3200 who is a camera made cheap @ possible. That probably will fall appart after the warrenty period.

2 upvotes
AnHund
By AnHund (Apr 30, 2012)

No reason to compare with other cameras, but it won't trash the D3200 in any way as marike6 says. The D3200 is also definitely the best high ISO performer of the two.

The OMD is a very good camera - actually the best 4/3 camera to date - but it is a little too expensive in my opinion.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
flipmac
By flipmac (Apr 30, 2012)

I'm interested in the E-M5, particularly in combination w/ the PanaLeica 25/1.4 and Oly 45/1.8. What is the equivalent of that (bright normal normal and portrait) for the D3200?

A D3200 + 35/1.4 + 60/2.8 is considerable more expensive; the 35/1.4 alone is more expensive than the E-M5 + 25/1.4. Aside from cost, it is also much bigger and it doesn't have useful/nice features like, IBIS (or any IS as neither lens have no VR), weather sealing, tilt/touch screen and so on. Also, keep in mind that Nikon only makes 4 DX specific lenses that are f/2.8 or faster. You do have to go to FF (as suggested on the review) if you really want/need much better IQ.

Anyway, noone denies that IQ of APS-C sensor is still better than m4/3 one, but in practical use, the difference is marginal at best. I mean, do you buy a car solely based on engine displacement, let alone engine output and performance?

And yes, an output from E-M5 + 45/1.8 "would look as good" as the linked flickr image.

1 upvote
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (Apr 30, 2012)

@Marike: " DxOMark didn't think so scoring it a full 20 points higher than any other m43 sensor."

Didn't know DxOMark had a M5 sensor review! Please share the link, thanks.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 1, 2012)

@marike

Don't be silly, we all see how you've turned into Nikon troll patronising this thread.

How many of those 140 Nikkors are fast primes optimized for DX imaging area (f2 or faster)? How does their size compare to m4/3 lenses?

While some of them are best of their class, some are quite dog performers for thei price like the PC-Nikkor 24mm which is clearle outperformed by Canon TS-E 24mm II for architecture.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 30, 2012)

@dpreview: In 2 hours this review got more comments than "Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 (Lumix DMC-TZ30)" got in 3 days! And about the same as D3200 in 2 days! Hint, hint.

2 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 30, 2012)

And 2 times more comments than "Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ150 Review" got in 3 weeks.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Apr 30, 2012)

Yes, it also took considerably longer to produce, and was produced in-house. Hint hint...

8 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (Apr 30, 2012)

so, now maybe you can see why we outsource compact camera reviews so they have negligible impact on the production of reviews such as this one. It's almost like we think about these things...

17 upvotes
qwertyasdf
By qwertyasdf (Apr 30, 2012)

Outsource them to me LOL

2 upvotes
J. Qian
By J. Qian (Apr 30, 2012)

For a $1000 body only camera of this quality, what more can you ask for, for practical purposes?

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

K-5 image quality.

2 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (Apr 30, 2012)

Marike6.

Why is one of my fave forum posters so hell-bent on this discussion? Yes Im talking about you.

Look at the studio test. Objectively. Look at the hair.
I don't get it either. Seriously. The om-d resolves better than almost any cam I've thrown at it.

Please do so. Trust your eyes if nothing else.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

I'm not hell bent on anything. I'm a m43 shooter, and I love the lenses, the size, etc. The OM-D looks great. But the studio test does not equal real world performance as it cannot measure DR, and it doesn't take DOF into consideration, base ISO performance, color fidelity, etc.

I don't think it's particularly instructive of DPR to tell users that they'd have to go to FF to get IQ any better than the OM-D. I've used more cameras than I care to mention, and even with the caveat "for all practical purposes" that is just not the case.

Comment edited 53 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
VLampa
By VLampa (Apr 30, 2012)

Marike, you're aware that IQ is a subjective thing, right? Not everyone shares your assessment of things, and shouldn't be forced to conform to your tastes.

2 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Apr 30, 2012)

One can always ask for Full Frame ;) , but we would loose the small size and the (still reasonable) price. I thing Olympus got this one, shall I say, reasonably OK :)

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Apr 30, 2012)

IQ is not subjective. It can be measured. That's what DPR attempts to do in these reviews and it's what DxOMark does when they rate sensors, lenses, etc.

I'm not trying to influence anybody, just stating my opinion.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
3 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (Apr 30, 2012)

Maybe the point is..

The alternatives are all P&S's, fixed lens cam's or ... No camera at all. I'm keeping my Dslr's for dedicated shooting.

But for Malaysia in July?
This will do better than any Nikon or Canon. Or Pentax.
With humidity levels of 90-95% "shallower DOF" sounds a lot like sweat, strain and fatigue.

2 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Apr 30, 2012)

Better video is about the only thing I can think of. Not saying its video is bad. It is just something they could improve upon and not have to make the size any bigger.

Here is an example of what the GH2 can do with video in low light.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKaq4EvUa-Y

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Apr 30, 2012)

I do agree with Marike6 that a K-5 has better IQ from what I am seeing here than the EM5 and you don't have to go full frame to notice the difference. Tonal range is better, as it is high iso still.

That said, I think that at the price it is, and given its set of pros and cons it's at a right price. The K-5 has its pros and cons and so does the EM5, both at a very good price.

And for the record, I think for my needs I would be fine with an EM5 IQ, so please don't take this as trying to put one over the other or such nonsense. Just because I have and like the K-5 shouldn't be construed as me automatically dissing an EM5, which I think it's great too from what I have seen.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
byron007
By byron007 (Apr 30, 2012)

I am tired of waiting for the D400.Looks like this is just too good a camera to pass up.I love it and wanna get it NOW !!

1 upvote
PJInTheUSA
By PJInTheUSA (Apr 30, 2012)

Good luck with that. Join the long line....

2 upvotes
Nko Gonzalvis
By Nko Gonzalvis (Apr 30, 2012)

I really don't see where E-M5 is behind the APSC, at least according to the results on the dpreview's comparison tool. The output is generally NICER or very close to many other cameras, including mid-range DSLRs.

Great job, Olympus!

8 upvotes
Tavi
By Tavi (Apr 30, 2012)

Nko, it seems we share the same opinion. I mean, EXACTLY the same opinion...

4 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Apr 30, 2012)

It would be behind best APS-C. I agree it matches some APS-c but I will say- forget the comparison tool. Look at real world shots.

Before you look at the DPR ISO 6400 shots, keep in mind those are taken in rather good light (ISO 6400 and fast shutter speeds). That to me is not a real world high ISO situation.

0 upvotes
SkiHound
By SkiHound (Apr 30, 2012)

That's what my eyes see too when I look at the comparisons with different cameras. IMO, the current Canon APS-C cameras are not as good as the Nikons, Sonys or the E-M5. I think the D7000 raw files might be a touch better and I think they might give a bit more DR if processed carefully. So much of these comparisons depend on lenses. In the right hands, all of these cameras can produce great images. Differences in what we call IQ among these types of cameras are pretty minimal.

0 upvotes
Bluetrain048
By Bluetrain048 (Apr 30, 2012)

Big question for me is, how quiet is that shutter? Seems like the perfect candid/street/documentary camera. I miss the beautiful sound of the E-1!

0 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (Apr 30, 2012)

About as loud as 0db..
Touchscreen ;-)

0 upvotes
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (Apr 30, 2012)

It's fairly quiet- not silent, but well dampened. Compared to my older E-P2, it's quite a bit more more quiet.

1 upvote
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Apr 30, 2012)

It's a long way from silent. Compared to the E1, I'm not sure, too long ago...

0 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (Apr 30, 2012)

Well, the E-M5's sound has been described as: "discreet, quiet and quick, like a ninja's fart" on another review.

2 upvotes
MEDISN
By MEDISN (Apr 30, 2012)

The EM-5 shutter is very similar to the E-1. Soft and smooth. Not the metallic sounding slap-clack of the E-30.

0 upvotes
Don051348
By Don051348 (Apr 30, 2012)

IQ looks great in my opinion.

Now slap that sensor into a reintroduced E-620 and E30 along with the better electronics (in camera stabilization, etc), replace the too strong AA filter with a weaker one and there you go. You have an updated and totally refreshed E series of cameras.

8 upvotes
Bluetrain048
By Bluetrain048 (Apr 30, 2012)

Biggest problem with the E series in my experience (I owned 6 E series bodies and 8 lenses at one time) is not the sensor and IQ.. it's the autofocus. I don't think Oly ever did nail PDAF; myself and many others had serious problems with accuracy as well as speed. I am glad that the mirrorless approach has allowed them to at least solve the accuracy and the speed of S-AF.

2 upvotes
Stubb
By Stubb (Apr 30, 2012)

Yeah, PDAF on all three of the E-3 bodies I tried was a joke. A real shame since the glass was world class. I suspect it's due to Olympus never licensing the Honeywell PDAF patents and trying to roll their own system.

2 upvotes
Don051348
By Don051348 (Apr 30, 2012)

I'm coming from a C-8080 (just purchased a mint used E-620). Compared to the 8080, that 620 focusing is so much faster and better. But I'm still amazed at the IQ of many of my C-8080 pics provided you could get the camera focused.

0 upvotes
FreeRadical009
By FreeRadical009 (Apr 30, 2012)

I wonder how does the fact that Olympus' true ISO values differ greatly from the actual, standardized ISO values vis-a-vis High ISO results shown in this review, affect the final outcome.

The high ISO shots against the Sonys do look promising, but if it's not the true high ISO they claim it is, then I got to wonder if the sensor is really that good at all.

It's like comparing how much kilometers you get out of a liter of gasoline between two cars, except that with one, you take off everything that adds weight and you end up with a bare bones car, while on the other one, you keep the standard equipment.

Obviously the bare bones will give better performance because of the reduced weight, but that doesn't mean it will perform that good with the standard equipment on.

I'm not making this up, you can find this in DxO's site.

0 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (Apr 30, 2012)

The end result is great, regardless of how accurate the camera measurement we're told, so I honestly don't care much how they do it, I only care about what it looks like in the end.

6 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Apr 30, 2012)

DxOMark measures ISO using a non-standard method, which isn't relevent to the image quality comparisons used in our reviews (and, indeed, isn't what most photographers would recognise to mean ISO).

10 upvotes
FreeRadical009
By FreeRadical009 (Apr 30, 2012)

Fair enough.

I'm not trying to minimize Olympus' work and the things they got down right, just wondering if that difference didn't affect the real picture.

If it doesn't, then Olympus did a great job with the camera. Kudos.

0 upvotes
Andy Westlake
By Andy Westlake (Apr 30, 2012)

Just for a bit more clarity:

The confusion over ISO comes about because the relevent specification (ISO 12232:2006) offers 5 ways of measuring sensitivity that can (and often will) give different results for the same camera. DxOMark uses one of these, but it's not one camera manufacturers use, indeed it's not allowed by the CIPA specification that Japanese camera manufacturers have to use.

DxOMark's 'Measured ISO' makes perfect sense within the constraints of their specific method of comparing sensor RAW data, but it can't be used to reinterpret other tests, including our reviews.

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
11 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (Apr 30, 2012)

But DXOMark did not measure (or at least publish) their tests for E-M5 yet.

0 upvotes
oscarvdvelde
By oscarvdvelde (Apr 30, 2012)

is it possible to include exposure time besides aperture under the clickable wheel for the ISO series? That way it is easier to conclude if a camera needs more or less time than an other camera to give the same image at the same ISO.

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Apr 30, 2012)

@Andy- that may be true but what Dxo is really good at is measuring true sensor performance amongst all the cameras. I.e. yes- you can have someone call ISO 400 an ISO 400 that has better highlights and worse shadows, and Dxo normalizes this to compare all the sensors in an equalized way.

And it does make a difference- when you edit a RAW you get an idea how much pull/push you can do by looking at the DXo DR number for example and the color depth.

Of course, as DXo themselves say, they measure one particular aspect of the camera- the sensor.

0 upvotes
FreeRadical009
By FreeRadical009 (Apr 30, 2012)

@Andy: Thank you for that explanation, that makes a lot of sense and clears up the confusion I've been having.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler
By Richard Butler (Apr 30, 2012)

@oscarvdvelde - in theory we could, but it wouldn't be a useful piece of information. This scene is not an ISO test and is not nearly well controlled enough to be one - shutter speed it irrelevant to this test and doesn't tell you anything useful about ISO.

We do, separately, test ISO and include it in our reviews - that will tell you whether you need to use a slower shutter speed to get the same brightness. In this case, we measured the E-M5 as needing 1/3EV more light than you'd expect for any given ISO.

0 upvotes
Marcello Zini
By Marcello Zini (May 1, 2012)

I think, aside from the ISO 2006 standards, what would be of interest for the majority of us to compare high iso performance would simply be setting up a scene with identical light, similar lenses and shoot at the same shutter speed and aperture varying camera ISO to match the brightness of the image. This would give a real idea of what the camera can do compared to another.

0 upvotes
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