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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
Strikeroot
By Strikeroot (10 months ago)

Write Oly and tell them to add 24p and a higher bit-rates to what could be an amazing stills AND movie camera.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (Jun 1, 2012)

From the review: "The AP2 port can even be used with the VF-2 and VF-3 external viewfinders, if you want to make use of their ability to hinge upwards by 90 degrees. We can't imagine many people will do this but it's nice to see Olympus hasn't prevented its use."

Why can't they imagine people doing this? It's was common in film days when shooting macro to use a Right Angle or Waste Level finder as crouching down low to use the eye level finder can be a back breaker. If a PEN user owns a VF-2, I could easily see them using it on the OM-D in this situation. Whether many or few would do this is not really relevant since such a port has several significant uses.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (May 27, 2012)

Works brilliantly ... Grip is fantastic - adds just the right weight, 'holdability' and tripod mech clearance, even for pano heads.

Tried a couple of OM lenses - 50 and 135 - IS works perfectly.

I also want to try the $25 focus confirm adapters ....

The EVF is just great. See what you are shooting in VERY dim light, IS is excellent - one you learn that the fan-sound is OK. 100% coverage too.

I got the 2 dinky lenses as walk-arounds. The wider one is better than it has any right to be for the price.

My 50/2 is still a cantankerous focusser (surprise).
However, grab the focus dial and it instantly magnifies for EXTREMELY quick and easy manual focus.

This is a picture-making tool par excellance.

If it doesn't pay for itself faster than any previous camera, I'll eat my hat.

Scared? http://blog.giuliosciorio.com/?p=550

1 upvote
rusticus
By rusticus (May 22, 2012)

Let's see if dxo-mark to let the cat out of the bag
and burst the bubble of the most over-rated camera in 2012

1 upvote
LiquidSilver
By LiquidSilver (May 25, 2012)

It seems that people who are using the OMD are enjoyng it.

What cat should go out of the bag? That OM-D is not a enjoyable camera to use, or that dxomark is read much more than is understood?

1 upvote
Peter K Burian
By Peter K Burian (May 14, 2012)

I am also testing the E-M5 and find that image quality (high ISO) RAW photo is MUCH better when converting the photo with the Olympus View software vs. Adobe Camera Raw. Setting Noise Reduction to Low provides the best results in my opinion; a bit grainy but with better definition of intricate detail.

1 upvote
Kodachrome200
By Kodachrome200 (May 10, 2012)

alright this is pretty slick

though....

Id prefer more a digital leica approach to a digital om (sans the stupid pricetag) would love an OM that took the old zuiko lenses manually focused and had an all mechanical body. that being said this is sexy

2 upvotes
Peter Nguyen
By Peter Nguyen (May 9, 2012)

Does anyone have any idea when this camera will be available in the US? All major online camera stores have it as pre-order. I placed my order at JR, but wondering if it arrives in time for my vacation mid June.

0 upvotes
ngc4565adam
By ngc4565adam (May 8, 2012)

If I hadn't bought the Nikon D5100, this would have been my choice. Outer design is very appealing, and the image stabilizer is awesome along with the image quality.

0 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (May 5, 2012)

I can understand it's looks are not for everyone. But personally I love the old style and look. Just because things change in their appearance does not make them better all the way around. Like old cars compared to new cars. Man old cars had style, they had curves and were beautiful. Today's cars? Eh. My favorites are the ones who took a little old style and mixed it with new. Like the new Mustang, the Dodge Challenger, a lot of the sport cars are adding a little retro to them. Camera's IMO all look the same. If you painted them all black you would not be able to tell them apart just glancing at them. The E-M5 on the other hand as well as the Fuji pro. Different and I like different.

5 upvotes
BBnose
By BBnose (May 5, 2012)

The body design of OM-D E-M5 is very outstanding and look smart. It is not a bad idea of this new retro shape. Personally, I like it.
I always think that almost every dslr in the market looks like black soaps, they are similar organic curvy round shape body design. This shape design probably invented by Canon since EOS series in the 80's. it was the golden decade of Canon, which nearly knocked down Nikon. Afterwards, every brands followed this kind of curvy round shape. Including the giant Nikon.
Furthermore, according to the performance and photo quality of OM-D E-M5, I guess it will win many awards of this year, EISA award and the others...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
John 3
By John 3 (May 6, 2012)

Actually this bubbly look started with the 1986 Ford Taurus which other car manufacturers imitated and was eventually followed by camera makers and is why all cars and cameras look the same today. Blah. Personally for a contemporary camera, modern but not retro, I like the Sony Nex 7.

0 upvotes
amicus70
By amicus70 (May 5, 2012)

I don't like the retro-design. It's a design of the 70s or 80s - and there it belongs. We are living in 2012. If you want to use a camera with a design like a box, use your old DSLRs... you will soon find out why the major producers no longer use this design for a camera. Modern cameras have a much better usability.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 5, 2012)

Have you ever used a one? It has much better usability than most entry level DSLRs.

It has retro only outside, inside there's very modern technology, and it has great functions. Articulating touch screen (much better than on entry level DSLRs), bright stabilized EVF, fast control dials, weather sealing, magnesium body, and very fast AF speed.

6 upvotes
amicus70
By amicus70 (May 5, 2012)

I can't remember me saying something negativ about the photographic qualities of this camera. No, I agree that this camera have a high quality. But holding this camera or looking at it... no. This camera-body has nothing to do in 2012.

0 upvotes
Goreyo
By Goreyo (May 6, 2012)

Out of pure curiosity, what sort of design for you fits for '2012' ? No trolling here genuinely curious.

3 upvotes
Steve_
By Steve_ (May 9, 2012)

You're right. They won't be able to sell them.

Oh wait, they can't make them fast enough. You be the judge.

0 upvotes
WillowemocWorks
By WillowemocWorks (May 4, 2012)

i cant believe for price and capabilities, NO time-lapse. guess thats for the m-6.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
GirinoFumetto
By GirinoFumetto (May 4, 2012)

Part of the label is reflective: so you can see in it the reflection of the lights and the shadows that are in front of it (like a very irregular mirror)! No camera is able to add such an artefact at 200 ISO. It should be too expensive! I think that I will never take a photo of a bottle like that!

Sorry, this had to be a replay to "Test setup flaw or camera flaw?" by derfla1949

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Andrezao
By Andrezao (May 3, 2012)

Excellent review ana excellent camera!!
Thanks Richard!

1 upvote
derfla1949
By derfla1949 (May 3, 2012)

Test setup flaw or camera flaw?

in the studio setup comparison, please to look at the Irish Cream bottle, at the letters IR.
There is a dark spot around them, which does not occur in the studio scenes of most other cameras (didnt check them all). With the OM-D, the obscure effect occurs at any iso, in jpg and raw.

So, is the bottle a different one or did the camera create an artefact or did all other cameras suppress some detail (which I cannot believe) ???

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 3, 2012)

doesnt look like anythin wrong, its the same bottle, see the other distinctive marks. Either the lable is aging, or OMD seems to have captured more detail and shows more contrast of the texture of the label than the other cameras.

0 upvotes
jjandj
By jjandj (May 3, 2012)

Add the Nikon D800. It shows the same effect. Right now, I consider the D800 the 'gold standard', so, the Oly EM5 sees the same effect as the "gold standard". Something has happened to the label.

1 upvote
wwcove
By wwcove (May 3, 2012)

Good eye! WOW! Interestingly, The New Canon 5D Mark iii does nor show this. Looks like the noise reduction in the Canon smoothed it over. Though the Canon makes the image look better it does not show the true view of the bottle... This little camera is very impressive as are the details in this review!

1 upvote
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (May 3, 2012)

I noticed that when they first posted the E-M5 samples. It is a ripple in the label that for whatever reason does not stick out on others photos for some reason. If you can honestly and truly judge from DPreviews samples, the E-M5 is up there with the best on IQ, no doubt about it.

1 upvote
jjandj
By jjandj (May 3, 2012)

I tend to believe that this is a function of the lighting? I don't believe that this indicates that the u43 Oly EM5 is 'out resolving' the Canon 5D Mk III. I think it randomly shows up for differently cameras depending on the light striking the bottle's label? For example, if you choose Nikon D800, Canon 5D Mk III, and Canon G1 X, you'll see that the G1 X also shows the 'discoloration'. Does anyone really believe that the G1X out resolves the 5D Mk III? It must be that DPReview, despite their best effrots, can't always get the illumination consistent on the scene? That's my take anyway?

But, it is certainly *not* an indication of a flaw in the Oly EM5 which looks like it is quite a gem. Oly may be the 'comeback player of the year' if they keep introducing such fine products?

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

Good eye! Interesting, NEX-7 shows the similar "rippling" on the letter L, and Samsung NX200 on the second I in the word IRISH. Seems like different bottles, or somebody smoothed the label, or the glue dries under studio lights and the label just ripples differently with time.
Or just some strange shadows on their lighting source.

0 upvotes
jjandj
By jjandj (May 4, 2012)

never mind!

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
peterpainter
By peterpainter (May 7, 2012)

It is very simple, Watson. There has been a man helping himself to the contents.
Excellent, Holmes, but how do you know it was a man?
Elementary, my dear Watson. The eye-make-up boxes remain untouched!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 3, 2012)

Ideas on what flash to pair with this bad boy? I know it's all the rage nowadays to shoot without flash, but it *does* have its uses!

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (May 3, 2012)

Metz AF-1 50; cheaper than the Olympus FL-600R but with similar features (TTL, RC, high speed sync, etc) and more power. The FL-600R has a video light though. Then again, you can get a decent LED panel for video use fairly cheaply.

A nice flash is useful indeed. I have the Metz and like using it particularly off-camera for some soft, even lighting. Actually, I've been thinking of getting a second one. Good thing Olympus bodies have built-in feature to wireless control multiple flash guns.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 13 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Macx
By Macx (May 3, 2012)

FL-600R has a unique ability to be able to act as a flash commander, too. But the bundled flash works for this purpose as well, though with less flexibility regarding line of sight for the remotely controlled flash guns.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 4, 2012)

I would also get the 600R, it also works for video.

0 upvotes
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 9, 2012)

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies — Very helpful!

0 upvotes
Ace Disgrace
By Ace Disgrace (May 3, 2012)

I want to invest and get the NEX-7 but this review have made me think again. In controlled lighting the Olympus wins. How does this MFT OMD EM5 compare with APSC NEX-7 in real world shooting?
Thanks in advance. Congratulations to OLY for a job well done.

0 upvotes
heypek
By heypek (May 3, 2012)

very good idea: steve huff photo will help you

0 upvotes
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 3, 2012)

I'm sold on the OM-D and will buy one next month. While I plan to invest in several of the primes, I will also get an Oly zoom lens for general purpose shooting. But I'm unsure which kit lens to go with. Any suggestions?

I understand that the 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 is weather-sealed, which is a great thing to have for travel. However, both the 14-150mm 1:4-5.6 and the 40-150mm 1:4-5.6 R are equally compact, with 3 times the zoom capability. Coming from SLR's, I'm new to m4/3, so I'm free to invest as needed. Though I've been taking pictures since a wee lad, I'm a relative newcomer to serious photography, and an out-and-out newcomer when it comes to m4/3. So, any help would be appreciated.

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 3, 2012)

I would get the 12-150mm for macro and all weather design.
For primes I would start off with:
14mm f2.5
20mm f1.7
45mm f1.8

1 upvote
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 3, 2012)

Mssimo,

Thanks for the reply. Did you mean the 12-50mm or the 14-150mm?

0 upvotes
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 3, 2012)

Sorry...12-50mm. I have the 14mm/20mm they are high quality lenses and happen to be very small and light. The 45mm is my favorite. This is coming from a person that has owned the Canon 50mm 1.2L, 85mm 1.2l and other great lenses....Olympus 45mm f1.8 is still my favorite.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (May 3, 2012)

I'm a Nikon DX user new to M4/3, but have found the lens selection pretty amazing, especially considering the size. I opted for the Pana-Leica 25mm f/1.4 as a 'normal prime' and have been simply blown away by the quality. It is larger than the pancakes, but for me at least not too big.

I have the lesser EPL-2, with the twin lens kit and whilst I'm pretty happy with those lens' quality and (relative) size, a longish zoom like the 12-50mm would probably be more usable than changing. I see it as a M4/3 equivalent to the 18-105mm DX I use so much when travelling.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
heypek
By heypek (May 3, 2012)

or just wait for pany f2,8er zooms

1 upvote
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 9, 2012)

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies — Very helpful!

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

My second question:

2) Bokeh and shallow depth of field: I am considering getting this camera instead of an enthusiast DSLR, given its small size. But the one thing that concerns me is the sensor size here. I've seen all of the details and examples above, and it is clear that the OM-D does just as well as or better than its mirrorless and APS-C rivals all the way up through high ISOs. But what about depth of field? Amongst many other things, I want to be able to shoot nice flower and insect macros with a very shallow DOF, and a smooth, creamy bokeh background. Same thing, but less extreme, with portraits. How possible is this with this camera? And do you have any lens suggestions?

0 upvotes
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (May 2, 2012)

If you need the best bokeh and the most shallow DOF, you need to get a FF camera with a fast lens.

If you want nice bokeh and shallow DOF, you can use the M5 with the 45/1.8 or the upcoming 75/1.8. For me bokeh is nice and DOF is shallow enough with the 45. YMMV.

(I use the 43 50/2 with an adaptor for macro, not sure how the Panasonic macro lens performs)

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (May 2, 2012)

For macro shots and milder nature close-ups like flowers, the issue in 4/3" format is still struggling with painfully thin DOF unless you stop way down, not getting "too much" DOF. I am never close to wide-open for such shots in 4/3 format.

2 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (May 2, 2012)

Enthusiast DSLR's (with APS-C sensors) struggle a bit in the lens department, so there's no obvious choice that's going to get you appreciably more bokeh than is available with the OM-D E-M5 (Panasonic 25mm f/1.4, Olympus 45mm f/1.8 and soon to be released Olympus 75mm f/1.7). You'll be able to slightly better the bokeh at some focal lengths with an APS-C camera, but not at others. And you'll end up carrying full-frame lenses (which are unnecessarily heavy and expensive) because of the lack of bright APS-C specific lenses...

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

Thanks very much for the replies. I figured the difference from FF was pretty big, but from APS-C not so much. I've seen some nice results at various focal lengths with the Canon T3i (both with the 50mm 1.8 for flowers/portraits and up at 250mm for pleasing bokeh behind more distant subjects like wildlife). I just didn't want to get the OM-D and then find out that this general range of shallowness and creaminess was out of the question with M43. I'm not looking for FF results in this regard. If it competes with the T3i or 5100 that'll be good enough for me. If not, it may be a big enough deal that I spring for either the NEX-7 or a bigger "DSLR" such as the Sony A65 or the T3i/T4i (sue soon). But I'd definitely prefer the portability, weather sealing, and IBIS of the OM-D.

0 upvotes
SkiHound
By SkiHound (May 2, 2012)

If you're interested in macro you might want to take a look at the regular 4/3 50mm f2.0 with an adapter. It won't autofocus fast if at all, it's often slow on regular 4/3 cameras. But it's really sharp. I've read the Panny 45 macro is very good and Olympus has announced a m4/3 60mm macro.

0 upvotes
Kevin Repsak
By Kevin Repsak (May 2, 2012)

Bokeh on the OM- D? You bet!
See for yourself in the article/photos at stevehuffphoto.com, click on the link to the article entitled, "1st Quick Look at the Voigtlander 17 and 25 f/0.95 on the OM-D".
You will certainly be surprised, maybe even stunned. I'm new to this site so I don't know if links are allowed, but here's the link to the article itself: http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2012/05/01/1st-quick-look-at-the-voigtlander-17-and-25-f0-95-on-the-om-d/

1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (May 2, 2012)

@spectacle99

Check out Robin Wongs Macro shots with an OMD = 4/3adapterd 50m F2.

http://robinwong.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/olympus-om-d-e-m5-review-butterfly-park.html

2 upvotes
mapgraphs
By mapgraphs (May 3, 2012)

Based on the Robin Wong piece, I’d score the OM-D at 92%. As far as I’m concerned, the IBIS puts the OM-D at the head of the pack. The detail of the level of customization and the range of the lens selection might bump it up to 94%. Wonderful.

2 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 3, 2012)

Wow! Well, that Robin Wong bit certainly answers my questions. Great shallow DOF with both the 4/3 50mm f2 and with the micro 4/3 45mm f1.8.

Now the only question will be, which free accessory to get, the four-thirds adapter, OM adaptor, or wireless flash.

0 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (May 3, 2012)

go for the 4/3 50mm F2 Macro. Can't go wrong with that lens, unless you want Fast AF. It's really really slow in m4/3. But its the sharpest lens in 4/3 land and it produces some nice blur.

and since you're shooting macro.. you dont have to worry about the bokeh: Although 4/3 has already even more DoF than FF or APS-C, you would even want to stop down for more DoF for your subjects.

the lesns is also weather-sealed.. so you can pair it with the new mmf-3 adapter and you have a nice beach portrait kit as well.

1 upvote
bcalkins
By bcalkins (May 3, 2012)

Here is an example with the 25mm f/1.4 - I'd usually think it was a bit wide to get good OOF backgrounds, but this worked out for me at f/1.4: http://www.flickr.com/photos/47706598@N08/6993489420/

0 upvotes
Zhivko Yakimov
By Zhivko Yakimov (May 4, 2012)

There is actually another option, though a little bit unorthodox. A German company, Novoflex, producers adapters for various film camera lenses, including for MFT. Thus, if you have a fast 50mm lens from a film camera, you can get the adapter and receive a 100mm lens with perfect bokeh. Of course, you won't have auto focus and you will have to use it only in manual mode, but light metering works just fine, as well as everything else.

I myself have attached a Yashica 50mm 1.7 lens to my PEN camera, and it works flawless, not to mention that nostalgic feel from having to set the aperture manually on the lens :)

0 upvotes
inorogNL
By inorogNL (May 4, 2012)

guys, one of the first m4/3 lenses is Leica Macro-Elmarit 45 mm f2.8 Macro -M4/3 , check out this set, bokeh is simply amazing http://www.flickr.com/photos/fardels2009/sets/72157623915333417/

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (May 23, 2012)

This lens DOES AF on the EM-5 (well mine does), but hunts a bit. For macro MF and move the cam is the common way of operating. Bokeh is creamy smooth ...

0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

Another great review, and all kinds of great responses here. I still have two questions, though. First one in this post, second to follow:

1) Buffer size/continuous performance: how precisely does the camera perform in continuous shooting mode? I understand the details about max 9 fps, and only up to 4 fps for continuous autofocus. But HOW MANY shots can you take in these modes before the camera slows down? And this is crucial: does it just SLOW DOWN, or does it STOP altogether and then you have to wait for all of the photos to save on the card before you can resume shooting?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 2, 2012)

Read the review, the information is there, but only for full resolution/maximum quality shots.

0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

I read the whole review. Very closely. As great as the review was, it was NOT clear about this. Particularly my final point. If I'm shooting at, say 4 fps (with a fast card) will it totally lock up after 16 shots until all shots are saved? Or will it just slow down, and at least still let me continue to shoot?

0 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (May 2, 2012)

Shooting raw it just slows down to about 1 fps and continues taking photos at this rate. If you take your finger off the shutter for a couple of seconds while the buffer is draining, then you'll get another few shots at 4 fps, before it goes back to about 1 fps.

1 upvote
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

@coroander: Thank you very much. That was exactly the sort of information I was looking for. I have a a nice Sony p&s that will shoot 10 fps. But only for one second, and then you have to wait 5 seconds (at least) for them all to load to the card and you're stuck without a camera for that time. The review makes it sound like that's essentially what the OM-D does. I'm glad that's not the case.

0 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 3, 2012)

correct me if I am wrong, but you can shoot JPG at 4 FPS and 9FPS indefinitely?

0 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (May 3, 2012)

No, check the table on page 11 of the review

0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 3, 2012)

"correct me if I am wrong, but you can shoot JPG at 4 FPS and 9FPS indefinitely?"

Good question. Can anyone confirm this?

0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 3, 2012)

Sorry, I didn't see your response Macx. I checked the table on page 11, and so, to translate what it says there into plain English:

When shooting JPEG Large/Fine at 9.2 fps (the max), you can get 16 shots off at this speed. Then the camera slows down to 2.7 fps until the first high speed images are all saved to the card, which takes 4.8 seconds. At this point, it returns to 9.2 fps and repeats the process.

Yes?

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

@Spectacle99, it does not seem you read the first table on this page:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/11
Buffer full rate for JPEG/Large Fine is 2.7 fps, RAW 2 fps, RAW+JPEG/Large 1 fps.
RAWs are 17MB in this camera, meaning the write speed with this card is 34MB/s (for smaller 32GB model it should be 40 MB/s according to some tests).
Meaning that with this (34MB/s) card you can shoot 4 fps indefinitely with files less than 34/4=8.5MB, for example, JPEG Large/Normal. But even with JPEG Large/Fine, it should be very long before you hit the limit of the buffer.
Let's see, the camera takes 16 RAWs and 9 fps while writing at 2 fps. So it takes 16/9=1.(7) seconds to fill the buffer at (9-2)=7 fps, i.e. the buffer is at least 12.(4) RAWs big. Or, at 17MB per RAW file, is at least 12.(4)*17=211.(5) MB. :)
Say, you shoot 11MB JPEG Large/Superfine (highest JPEG setting), 4 fps. It is 44 MB/s data. If you write out 34 MB/s of data, it means the buffer fills at 10 MB/s, or good for 21s

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

... continue, or 4*21=84 shots before slowdown. But only if there is no hard limit on the number of shots in the system (as seems to be the case, it could be 16), then you are limited to only 16*11MB=176MB of buffer space, which you should hit in 17.6 seconds, or after 70 shots.
All numbers are approximate of course.

0 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 4, 2012)

@peevee1: I was in fact citing that EXACT table you linked. But I was trying to turn it into plain English. The review just refers to "buffer full rate" and "write complete" without explaining what those terms mean. Since this is a hands-on review, I took it to mean that "buffer full rate" is the speed the camera slows down to when those first 16 shots at 9.2 fps are used up. And that "write complete" was the amount of time it would take to write those first 16 jpegs shot at 9.2 fps while continuing to shoot at the slowed-down 2.7 fps. Once that writing was done, I assumed it would go back up to 9.2 fps for 16 shots, and then back down to 2.7 fps etc. ad infinitum.

While I understand your detailed, but theoretical, mathematical response, that is exactly the sort of thing the review needs to explain in straightforward English, based on actual TESTS of real-world performance. The last thing anyone should have to do is look at that table and know to do that math, and then go and do it.

0 upvotes
photohounds
By photohounds (May 23, 2012)

Get a 95 MB/x card like a Sandisk extreme pro. Problem solved (for me) :-)

0 upvotes
ddjerfi
By ddjerfi (May 2, 2012)

@Olympus: now put this sensor in body like e-30 (not only e-7) and you have a winner.

Comment edited 15 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (May 4, 2012)

I'm not sure about the "winner" part, but I will buy it.

Comment edited 31 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 2, 2012)

Look at the quality comparisons, NEX-7 is worse, while given higher score in the final scoring on this matter. Look here:
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/16
At the bottom of the page, "Raw noise (ACR 6.7 Beta, noise reduction set to zero)", set ISO to 12800. The picture for NEX-7 is not even visible behind the noise anymore, while E-M5 is still pretty good. Yet Sony gets higher "Low light high ISO performance" rating - what is up with that?

Now look here
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/18
"Dynamic range comparison"

It is indicated that E-M5 has wider DR than NEX-7, by 2/3 of EV. Yet Sony gets higher "Image quality (jpeg)" rating - what is up with that?

NEX-7 gets so much higher "movie mode" score, why, because it cannot shoot anything higher than 1440 x 1080, 12 mbps in MP4 (the rest only in the inconvenient AVCHD) and overheats? Aperture/shutter control in the middle of shooting is barely compensates for the lack of proper file format for high-quality video.

4 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (May 2, 2012)

So it doesn't have aperture control while filming?

That suck.

I hate how they cripple cameras / don't give all the options.

Same go for the X-pro1.

I also hate all the phototards who complain about having a video button or how good video performance for whatever reason make the camera worse for them.

Personally I want a good camera. For both. That mean good AF, able to use AF even in low light, preferably shallow DOF and good video mode. The wider selection of lenses the better.

It also suck that everyone make their own mount for all these mirror-less cameras instead of one generic one.

I'd probably bought the Samsung or Sony ones if all the companies wasn't so retarded.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 2, 2012)

So buy a hybrid camera. The GH2 is excellent. Me, I want a dedicated stills camera. Video just puts a load on the electronics (to the detriment of ADC design) and fills the menu with junk. I'd pay extra for a camera with no video at all!

2 upvotes
guyfawkes
By guyfawkes (May 2, 2012)

Up until now the main advantage of 4/3rds and micro 4/3rds cameras has been their smaller physical size, let down by sensors that weren't performing along with the best. This dpreview has shown that Olympus has finally arrived at a product that one can safely consider along with the likes of APS-C, and on its own merits and not feel one has to make excuses for it.

Were I at the point of buying my next camera, I feel this would figure very highly on my short list at this price point. Is it perfect? No, but then that camera has yet to come about. Could I criticise aspects of it? Possibly, but what is the point of being an armchair critic as I am not on the cusp of purchase, and before being critical surely one has to use it for a while?

Personally, as an ex-Olympus user, WA8080 and E-500, I am pleased that they can now compete on equal terms as regards imaging qualities. The satisfaction I gained from this review was that it didn't wipe the floor with my 5N!

5 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (May 2, 2012)

But that advantage doesn't exist any more with APS-C cameras being as small.

0 upvotes
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 2, 2012)

@aliquis

They actually aren't, and lenses for APS-C are quite much bigger. There's not many APS-C optimised fast prime lenses available, and those that exist carry usually a very high price.

Sony NEX seem to often suffer from mediocre corner sharpness.

2 upvotes
emircruz
By emircruz (May 3, 2012)

@aliquis: Let me know if you can take out an APS-C Camera (mirrorless or otherwise) plus a couple of primes and NO Bags. With m4/3, you could even swap lenses on one go. The bodies might not be that far off but the lenses are.

Personally, I think (control over) DoF is the only practical advantage that APS-C has. And some would even argue that they'd want more DoF rather than less. And if DoF is really an issue then people should just go FF or bigger.

1 upvote
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 3, 2012)

@aliquis: have you even bothered to see the photo comparing the size of the E-M5 to the Canon Rebel T3 DSLR? What exactly is your concept of 'as small'?

1 upvote
Macx
By Macx (May 2, 2012)

Could I ask you to clarify one point for me, please?

"By our tests, the E-M5's measured sensitivities are about 1/3 stop lower than indicated across the ISO range (i.e. images are fractionally darker than expected for any given set of exposure values)."

Is this discrepancy countered by the camera's own meter? In other words, will the camera meter about 1/3 EV higher to counter this slightly shifted exposure index, or will it also turn out JPEGs that's fractionally darker than expected?

0 upvotes
dark goob
By dark goob (May 2, 2012)

You can globally tweak the exposure meter if you feel it's over- or under-exposing.

1 upvote
djst
By djst (May 2, 2012)

I've been waiting a long time for this review and it was, as is always the case with dpreview, well worth the wait. Thanks for your thorough work! I am convinced this is my next camera - just need to make sure I pick it up in the US.

7 upvotes
latifron
By latifron (May 2, 2012)

Dpreview, this is too generous rating this om-d for 80%. This camera does not perform well not even comparable to nex 5n and others Frankly, Om-d has good design, speed and built is nice but picutre quality is not GOOD!!.. There is no way for SMALL sensor can beat larger sensor( nex5n, K1, Fuji xpro1, nex7).

I tested this camera, and what i find is bad high iso( usable until iso 800), bad color rendition and iQ; even epl1 has better color rendition.

thanks

2 upvotes
djst
By djst (May 2, 2012)

Prove your points like dpreview did, or no one will take your comment seriously. The fact that you're criticizing a professional review with samples, data, and thoughtful justification, and the only way you're countering it is with your own opinion - that just makes me shake my head...

18 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (May 2, 2012)

Bubububut the small sensor!!!!

14 upvotes
marcsweetlakecity
By marcsweetlakecity (May 2, 2012)

Ooooh the small sensor is giving me nightmares

7 upvotes
Macx
By Macx (May 2, 2012)

latifron, you need to work on your testing, I think.

Besides, the question isn't as much whether the OM-D /beats/ the current generation APS-sized sensors, but whether the difference is negligible. Rule of thumb gives APS a theoretical two thirds of a stop better noise performance than the four thirds. If the OM-D is within this margin (and it seems to be) that's an excellent result.

Don't forget that the smaller sensor is an advantage as well as an disadvantage, making the system including lenses, smaller and more portable than its APS or 135 counterparts.

But don't worry, I'm fairly sure that the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 will score even higher than the OM-D, despite sluggish auto-focus, as the sensor, build and general ergonomics seems amazingly good on that camera. It's also a bit more expensive than the OM-D, of course, and of yet lack a lot of the options that the micro four thirds system gives the OM-D.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
thewhitehawk
By thewhitehawk (May 2, 2012)

I've been hearing the "small-sensor" excuse for years, and early on when the first Digital Photography cameras came along, a bigger sensor did make a significant difference in the quality of images, but the same can't be said for modern equipment.

Not all cellphones take horrible photos anymore, and that wasn't true a few years ago. Not all small-engine cars perform significantly worse than large ones, and the same can be said for large car's fuel economy.

As technology evolves, the gaps between portability, affordability and economy narrow down, until the next significant leap of quality. Cameras are no different in that, and neglecting anything that narrows a performance gap is, quite honestly silly and stupid.

This isn't a witch-hunt, it's a small technology breakthrough. If you're so convinced of the opposite, and you enjoy your full-frame camera, by all means, go out and shoot and enjoy yourself. But don't try to stop us from doing the same, just because we choose differently.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
8 upvotes
aliquis
By aliquis (May 2, 2012)

Technology improves so of course there's ways. Over time / at the same technology generation I would expect a bigger sensor to perform better than a smaller one though.

My biggest issue with four thirds is the DOF not the image quality though.

1 upvote
aliquis
By aliquis (May 2, 2012)

thewhitehawk:
> "I've been hearing the "small-sensor" excuse for years, and early on when the first Digital Photography cameras came along, a bigger sensor did make a significant difference in the quality of images, but the same can't be said for modern equipment.

Not all cellphones take horrible photos anymore, and that wasn't true a few years ago. Not all small-engine cars perform significantly worse than large ones, and the same can be said for large car's fuel economy."

wow, car analogy ;)

Anyway, the Nokia 808 got a 1/1.2" sensor size so close to the Nikon 1 so it's not that weird their image quality isn't much worse... Depending on what you compare to :)

0 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (May 2, 2012)

Interesting that quite a few here dismises the E-M5 base on...
1. sensor size - smaller than APS-C but IQ is actually on par
2. price - $1000 is not cheap but you get a lot of features, some can't be had from other brands

Also, it's funny seing comparison with cameras like the NEX-5N and D3200, which don't even have similar feature set, let alone target market. More logical competition are advanced cameras like the NEX-7, K-5, D7000, 7D, GH2 and X-Pro1, all of which had higher MSRPs.

When looking at cameras, consider lenses too - this is where the m4/3 system is better than other mirrorless. Not only are there more lenses, they are generally smaller and better optically. Actually, Olympus/Panasonic makes more F2.8 (or brighter) m4/3 lenses than Nikon or Canon makes specifically for their APS-C DSLRs - 4 Nikon DX and 2 Canon EF-F. To fill the gaps, you need to buy bigger and more expensive FX/EF lenses, e.g. 35/1.4 to get a fairly bright normal.

Anyway, hopefully I get an E-M5 soon.

11 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (May 2, 2012)

I highly doubt someone would cross shop a D7000/7D/K5 with this camera. Also, why would the NEX-5N not be cheaper competition for this camera? Bigger sensor and image quality on par with this so why dismiss it?

2 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 2, 2012)

@ ybizzle
IF IQ is your only criteria for selecting a camera then you would be correct. However many other people would take in any number of factors... such as build quality, native lenses, IBIS, controls, weather sealing, size, customisation ... If you measure it all up there may not be many others in this class.

7 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 2, 2012)

ybizzle, three cameras I've been considering this year are D800, XPro and OM-D. D800 res is excellent (I borrowed one) but a menace to lump around with lenses (been there with a D3), XPro has wonderful control layout but lousy AF and no lenses yet, OM-D is a generally good camera within a good system.

Nex 5n was never on my list, I'm sure it suits many people but not me.

People cross shop over all sorts of solutions. The big question for me now is whether I'll get the D800 as well to go with my remaining Nikkors, or a second hand D700, or sell the lot and stick entirely with MFT. We shall see.

In the meantime the OM-D is here, and shoots fast and confidently, just like my old D3, but without the crippling camera bag to hump around. Only big gripe so far, where the **** is the bracketing button? Idiots... I can live with that though.

3 upvotes
Fiatopichan
By Fiatopichan (May 2, 2012)

You've got to go to Menu --> Advanced shooting option (Camera pic2) --> Bracketing and voila! You can choose AE, WB, Flash, ISO, and art filter. After that you have to use continuous shooting. It's quite a bit complicated comparing with other camera.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 2, 2012)

Yes, obviously I can switch it on the menus (otherwise the camera would be unusable), but I need to get to it a lot faster than that!

My E3 has an external bracketing control, as do the D3 and the GH2. So why is it missing on the O-MD?

0 upvotes
Dennis Linden
By Dennis Linden (May 2, 2012)

Don't forget you have programmable buttons, and with the grip, 2 additional programmable buttons... I think that's were they are going with this small body, things probably need to be customized for the individual shooters...

1 upvote
Diopter
By Diopter (May 2, 2012)

It must be a wonderful tool for a demanding photographer as many previous advanced cameras from the Olympus.
But the styling is none! Ugly, chaotic box with unconvincing "retro" pretenses.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
ManuelVilardeMacedo
By ManuelVilardeMacedo (May 3, 2012)

While I wouldn't call it 'ugly', I tend to concur with you. This is something of a pastiche. It evokes the real OMs, but there's something that screams 'fake' about it. Besides, they should reserve the OM evocation to an upper class - say, a Four Thirds camera. Full frame 35mm was the top of the game back in the day; Micro 4/3 is not at the top of Olympus' offerings.

0 upvotes
safeashouses
By safeashouses (May 5, 2012)

35mm was never "top of the game" in the day. I worked and shot in car studios 'back in the day'. 35mm was there but really not a starter, never first team, never ever top of the game. what ever that is supposed to mean.

0 upvotes
ybizzle
By ybizzle (May 1, 2012)

Great effort but with less expensive models like the Sony NEX-5N, Samsung NX-20, and Pentax K-01, it will harder to justify this more expensive model from Oly. Not to mention that all these have a 50% larger sensor to boot and great image quality.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 52 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
The Silver Fox
By The Silver Fox (May 1, 2012)

As has been said numerous times, the main attraction of the OM-D is the good IQ in a smaller body. So, while you get an APS-C sensor in the Pentax K-01, for example, the design decision to employ a conventional K-mount in order to use Pentax's current DSLR lenses makes it a rather sizable brick compared to the Oly. (In fairness, it's still smaller than the K-5, which is already a rather compact DSLR).

The APS-C-based ILC's clearly have their strengths and their place, and the OM-D isn't meant to surpass them. Rather, it presents an alternative, offering nearly equal IQ, smaller size than most, a very good range of lenses (which is set to improve in the near future), and a host of features not found in many of the others (e.g., weather-sealed body).

8 upvotes
highwave
By highwave (May 2, 2012)

The OM-D is meant to compete against the NEX-7 which is ,body for body, 200$ more expensive than the OM-D. Both cameras are magnesium alloy with built in EVF. OM-D is weather sealed and has IBIS to boot. No built in flash though.

Soon, Olympus will likely release an update to its E-PL3 which will be a closer competitor to the NEX-5N again being cheaper.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
6 upvotes
flipmac
By flipmac (May 2, 2012)

Actually, the NEX-3C and NX-200 are cheaper still. If cheap APS-C mirrorless is what you need, then go for those.
If you want a mirrorless with EVF (NEX-5N and K-01 doesn't have it), standard hotshoe (not on NEX-5N), weather sealing (none from the 3 you mentioned), IBIS (only K-01 has it but not 5-axis), etc., the E-M5 is the only option. Smaller sensor, yes, but still great image quality, which is on par with the 5N and probably better than the NX-20 (if the NX-200 is any indication).
As for price, don't know how much the NX-20 is but it will certainly be closer $1000 (since it's £900). The K-01 is $900 with the lens and you want that lens because it is the only CDAF optimized K-mount lens; others will have slower AF. Also, add the optional EVF to the 5N, and it'll cost as much as an E-M5, if not more.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
9 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (May 2, 2012)

APS-C cameras don't offer the range of small, fast primes that work with the E-M5. The lenses for APS-C cameras are generally considerably larger (much larger in the case of NEX) for equally bright primes. But more often than not, APS-C systems provide only slower lenses. In fact, if you look at fast (faster than f/2.8) lenses for APS-C cameras from Canon, Nikon and Sony NEX and exclude the heavier and bulkier than needed full-frame lenses, you find:
Canon: 0
Nikon: 1 (35mm f/1.8)
Sony NEX: 2 (24mm f/1.8, 50mm f/1.8)
E-M5: 6+1 (12mm f/2.0, 17.5mm f0.95, 20mm f/1.7, 25mm f/1.4, 25mm f/0.95, 45mm f/1.8, 75mm f/1.7 announced)

But even more than the availability of fast lenses, is their size; the lenses for the OM-D are mostly very small and many of them of superb optical quality.

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
14 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (May 2, 2012)

It seems a good camera but at 1300 euros the price is simply too high. For around the same price, you could get a Pentax K5 body and some good glass. The size of the K5 is bigger, but then it offers better purchase when using longer zooms. Image quality is noticeably better (ooooh yes it is!), you can crop APS-C output to 66% and still have very useable results (at high ISO). AND manual focus using a pentaprism viewfinder is far easier than with an EVF. I also have to say that mirrorless systems sometimes freeze up (both my G1 and NEX5n do it), metering is inferior to my D90 (plugged shadows on both) and focus is far slower. Battery life is awful too.

The OMD5 may be the best mirrorless to date (and I believe it), but - call me a Luddite if you dare - I reckon a DSLR offers a better user experience all said and done.

1 upvote
pdelux
By pdelux (May 2, 2012)

@Chris - " I reckon a DSLR offers a better user experience all said and done"

Depends on the user I guess. You may enjoy carrying a large camera with heavy lenses, but plenty others don't.

Enjoy taking your heavy gear Hiking, camping or travelling/walking around cities.

And enjoy being the guy taking a massive camera and set of lenses to a Birthday party, or dinner party or friendly gathering. How silly would you look then?

1 upvote
Steve_
By Steve_ (May 9, 2012)

The Pentax route is inviting until the (under-designed) focus motor in your now-1500USD DA*16-50 croaks, Pentax does a shoddy job of reparing it, it fails again out of warranty, and you realize that even if you pay for a second 'fix' it will just fail again because all they do is throw another 50-cent focus motor at it instead of fixing the root problems. This syndrome broke me of my Pentax addiction even though I purchased my lens in the 'good old days' (3 years ago) for 558USD. Want to buy a clean K20D and DA*16-50 with no AF? I've already sold off the rest of my (extensive) collection of Pentax gear.

And I've tried the alternatives, both Sigma and Tamron. After you shoot the 16-50 you loose your taste for other K-mount short zooms. But at least Pentax prevents Tokina from selling you their 16-50 (the same optical design) while at the same time refusing to enable the body-driven AF of their version when used on bodies that support their half-baked (and backed) SDM technology...

Comment edited 3 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (May 1, 2012)

I own a NEX-5n and upon comparing the RAW and JPG files at all ISOs at dpreview, the E-M5 was not one bit worse in resolution and noise, even at high ISO. In fact, the E-M5 seems a tiny bit better even at ISO 3200. This is impressive from such a small sensor.

I wonder, what aperture was used when shooting the RAW pictures with the E-M5 and NEX-5n. I mean, was the gathered amount of light identical when shooting ? This would explain the identical output from the E-M5 and NEX-5n even at high ISO settings.

1 upvote
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (May 1, 2012)

EDIT: Just noticed that the E-M5 ISO3200 is shot at F6.3, while the 5n ISO3200 is shot at F8. Both have 1/800 exposure time and 50mm focal length. I wonder if this is a fair comparison ? Sorry, I am a noob.

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (May 1, 2012)

+1

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

Cameras are shot at the aperture required to offer similar depths of field.

3 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

....and at the shutter speed necessary to provide correct exposure. Thus they all had the "right" amount of light.

1 upvote
Jokica
By Jokica (May 2, 2012)

I have no doubt about DPR intention to make this fair. However, note from OP remains: "Just noticed that the E-M5 ISO3200 is shot at F6.3, while the 5n ISO3200 is shot at F8. Both have 1/800 exposure time and 50mm focal length." These two cameras (sensors) are different dimension and it is difficult to compare it with same settings. In this case, priority is given to DOF, witch is understandable. Still, question remains what would images like if priority was given to Aperture.

1 upvote
Mssimo
By Mssimo (May 1, 2012)

List of must have lenses:

Cheap:
Panasonic 14mm f2.5
Panasonic 20mm f1.7
Olympus 45mm f1.8

Dream Kit:
Olympus 12mm f2.0 or Panasonic 7-14mm f4
Pani-Leica 25mm f1.4 or Voigtlander Nokton 25mm f/0.95
Olympus 45mm f1.8
and the new Olympus 75mm f1.8

All image stabilized (via body IS) and quite portable.

Share your own dream kits!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
doctorbza
By doctorbza (May 1, 2012)

don't forget that little rokinon 7.5mm fish!

3 upvotes
pdelux
By pdelux (May 2, 2012)

Wow the Oly 45 1.8 is both Cheap and Dreamy.....
Amazing lens!

1 upvote
emircruz
By emircruz (May 2, 2012)

As mentioned in the forums. The old 4/3 14-54mm F2.8-3.5 mk 2 might be The dream lens right now. It's sharp and it's CDAF optimized so it will AF pretty quickly on m4/3. It also fills the fast zoom gap in the m4/3 line-up. And although it's relatively big, it will pair well with th e-m5 with the grips. And did i mention its weather-sealed? $600 though..

1 upvote
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 2, 2012)

I should have bought the GF1 back then for its 20mm. Now, it's an expensive to lens to buy.

1 upvote
Seerower
By Seerower (May 2, 2012)

I have the Panasonic 14mm, Pani-Leica 25mm, Olympus 45mm, Olympus 9-18mm and Olympus 12-50mm. All of them are excellent lenses but they still can't touch my M42 Zeiss 50mm F1.4 when it comes to both image and build quality. The E-M5 combined with a $20 lens adaptor makes using M42 lenses easy and fun for my style of photography, probably because of the way that the EVF helps with the stop-down metering and manual focus.

The one thing that M42 lenses have highlighted is how plasticky and flimsy feeling all of my MFT lenses are, worst of which is the (otherwise excellent) Olympus 9-18mm. The cheap prices of M42 lenses means that my dream kit has changed a lot since I got my E-M5.

1 upvote
DarkShift
By DarkShift (May 2, 2012)

You won't use you camera with sledgehammer or will you?

The "flimsy" plastic might just be strong enough, and is certainly lighter. Weight of 116 grams for Zuiko 45/1.8 means its very mobile. You can carry many of these little lenses and its still less than one L series lens for Canon.

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Artpt
By Artpt (May 1, 2012)

Wonderful to see Olympus add to the growing selection of MFT products. As a Panasonic GH1 user, I am glad for this universal standard between manufacturers. The consumers can move between bodies and lenses as technology improves.

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
johnparas11zenfoliodotcom
By johnparas11zenfoliodotcom (May 1, 2012)

I just hope that next year.. I will find one for less than $600 refurbished :-) in silver color :-) with the 12-50mm kit lens :-)

0 upvotes
Jokica
By Jokica (May 1, 2012)

Well, I`m not sure about the all the color :-)

0 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

Wait long enough and they will be in garage sales for $5.

1 upvote
pppp
By pppp (May 1, 2012)

My E-M5 vs my D700:

http://lepidi-photo.blogspot.fr/2012/05/jai-oseolympus-om-d-e-m5-versus-nikon.html

=)

3 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (May 1, 2012)

Those two cameras have very different approach to noise reduction (I suppose both are in-camera JPEG). The OM-D shots are more 'fuzzy' with less chroma noise. Still - it is an amazing performance for a m4/3.

0 upvotes
Pixel Judge
By Pixel Judge (May 1, 2012)

Thank you for the comparison. That D700 ($3000 near 4 years old) is a full-frame pro animal. (I used D300s and like it a lot!)
OM-D is however almost 1/3 of the size and weight. Still waiting for my OM-D so I can do the same comparison.

0 upvotes
MrPetkus
By MrPetkus (May 1, 2012)

Good comparison. I'm still amazed at the quality of the Oly. I just ordered one to back up my K5...

1 upvote
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

Great comparisons! Thanks very much. It looks like the OM-D is holding its own. But again, the one thing seems to be shallow depth of field -- and it's a noticeable difference. Makes sense for a comparison with full frame. I'd be curious to see a similar comparison for these sorts of shots with, say, a Canon T3i, Sony NEX7, or Sony A65. If the results in DOF are much closer there, I'm totally sold on the OM-D.

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

The camera looks great, I think the em-5 will make me switch from aps-c to m43 but I want to see some more pictures, for some reasons the images I see from Nikon and Canon look better to me (more pleasing colors) than those of other brands (out of camera jpg of course).
Back to iso test 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, aperture and camera ISO. This would give a real idea, of what a camera can do out in the field compared to another.

0 upvotes
Jimmy jang Boo
By Jimmy jang Boo (May 1, 2012)

Wow, that the IQ is almost as good as the NEX-5N is really quite something, too bad it costs $400 more.

0 upvotes
Thoughts
By Thoughts (May 1, 2012)

I would compare it with NEX 7, great camera too in a different way and similar price tag. I would personally lean toward OMD due to its great lenses choice.

Having sadi that, I hope Olympus would offer a mid-range one like Nex 5n in a similar body. Dream on...:)

3 upvotes
zigi_S
By zigi_S (May 1, 2012)

Has 5 axis IBIS, EVF, great jpeg engine, magnesium aloy body, oled 3 inch touch screen, AF that actualy makes you not fall asleep, lots of physical controls and lenses that are better and smaller than anything the nex format has. (Please no zeiss 1000€ lens comparisson with anything under 500€ from competition. It's not fair and it makes you pathetic.)

Maybe for you sensor afficiendos it would be the best just to buy the sensor and wrap it in a paper bag. That way you have the best iq and lowest expense.

14 upvotes
bluevellet
By bluevellet (May 1, 2012)

The AF and sensor will probably be used in some of the next-gen Pen cameras.

I doubt if the EVF, weather-proofing and the 5-axis IBIS (Pen cameras already have a simpler, smaller IBIS system) would make the migration to the Pens since they add bulk and cost.

Then again, the OM-D is a new line of cameras of which the E-M5 is a part of. Maybe there's a lower end model in the works with most of the same features. We'll see.

3 upvotes
Spectacle99
By Spectacle99 (May 2, 2012)

Why do people keep making this point? Add the EVF to the NEX-5N and they're the SAME PRICE. And you'd still be missing a bunch of other features that the OM-D has. And IQ "almost as good as the NEX-5N"? The OM-D looks BETTER to me. I'm currently choosing between an OM-D and an NEX-7, and it looks like the Olympus is going to win out.

1 upvote
Sabatia
By Sabatia (May 1, 2012)

Great congrats to Olympus for getting this right in an such a rapidly evolving market. Getting DPReview's Gold Award is currently about the highest honor in the industry. Though I currently have a Panny G3 and do not plan to upgrade for a while, seeing any m4/3s camera getting a Gold is great news for the format.

I would particularly note that the review says more than once that the difference between the image quality from this camera (and, I think, the similar G3, GH2, GX1) and any APS-C camera is marginal, almost unnoticeable except on the largest enlargements. Kudos to Oly and to Panny for going in a different direction that is so much lighter and more convenient to carry every day.

13 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 1, 2012)

As user highwave posted below, he believes the DR of the E-M5 is better or equal than APS-C out there. I tried checking on DPR's review of the 5N and K-5, and indeed, the E-M5 has equal DR of those two. Is there any better APS-C in terms of DR?

1 upvote
jf_tea
By jf_tea (May 1, 2012)

A very interesting review.
I'm glad that DPR did that review, without too much delay.
Let's see if Panasonic will deliver a WR body.
And let's hope there will be a good selection of WR lenses for MFT.
For now, I mostly rely on the Pentax K5 & lenses for WR.

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

I'm surprised not to find any reference to the Panasonic GX1.. any ideas why?

0 upvotes
zodiacfml
By zodiacfml (May 1, 2012)

It doesn't have a built-in EVF and the price of the Panny is way cheaper.

1 upvote
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

GX1 is in a different class. No viewfinder, no tilting screen, no 2 dials for full manual control, no weather sealing... GX1 is a closer competitor for Sony NEX-5N, Pentax K-01 and Oly PEN E-PL3 (maybe E-P3 too). Not NEX-7, Fuji X-Pro1, E-M5. Panasonic DH2 would be a better comparison.

0 upvotes
shaocaholica
By shaocaholica (May 1, 2012)

I don't get whats so 'incredible' about this camera. Is it the only one on the market with certain feature(s)?

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

It seems to gather the features that the photography public have woken up to such as EVF and actual controls that make sense. The fact that it comes in a sort of retro package is partly because of marketing but partly because it re-iterates the fact that the ergonomics of earlier cameras were not bad.
I am a little tired of people who demand change for changes sake. Sometimes the design is just right.
It also has brilliant image quality and handling that brings it back to the realm of cameras and not P&S.

1 upvote
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (May 1, 2012)

> Is it the only one on the market with certain feature(s)?

Yes. It is the smallest camera with such IQ which is weather-sealed. And which also doesn't compromise on traditional camera controls.

3 upvotes
spitfire31
By spitfire31 (May 1, 2012)

Why don't you post a summing-up 'Conclusions' page any more?

Very handy for getting quick impressions and decide if it's worth my while reading through the whole test to get the details.

0 upvotes
Ben3D
By Ben3D (May 1, 2012)

They do. Just goto the review, and pick Conclusion from the dropdown!

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusem5/22

4 upvotes
spitfire31
By spitfire31 (May 5, 2012)

Thanks for the pointer. I guess I didn't notice the scroll bar… ;-)

0 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (May 1, 2012)

That's the worst "con" list I've ever seen on DPReview.

Just say the camera is incredible and leave it at that.

3 upvotes
Simon Joinson
By Simon Joinson (May 1, 2012)

A 4 word review would certainly be a lot easier to produce. Maybe this is the answer to the constant complaints about our reviews taking too long!

14 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (May 1, 2012)

Nawknai, you hit it on the nail.

I, a long time ago, cancelled all of my photo mag subscriptions for the very reasons that I am recently seeing displayed on this site.

Rather than leave I hope my comments on this issue will help keep this site great in the right direction.

Simon, please note: no one on this reply complained about reviews being too long.
We are complaining about a 'Con' list created so as not to 'offend' other manufactureres or camera owners.

Placing Tracking AF as a Con is like saing 'The lake is nice and wet but you can't build a fire on it'.

To solve this problem, change the rating to 90% and keep your con list as is.

P.S. Thanks for a great site.

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
SnapHappy32
By SnapHappy32 (May 1, 2012)

Guys. Maybe your points are really made in a good manner.

But.

DPR reviewers can't do good enough it seems.
Even when they post thorough good reviews, we're at it again.

Poster-bashing is a different ballpark.

Think of them as chefs in a restaurant. Would you like saliva with that soup?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (May 1, 2012)

There's a feature called tracking AF and it doesn't work very well. That's a con, sorry - it just is. For some people that will be very important.

14 upvotes
CriticalI
By CriticalI (May 1, 2012)

@Barney: Exactly. Anyone thinking of buying this instead of a DSLR of similar price should be aware that AF-C on these cameras (all mirrorless except the N1) is only really there for show. Still a good camera, but it's definitely a con on a >$1k camera.

0 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (May 1, 2012)

The NEX-7 should have been hit with the same (C-AF) con but for some reason there was no comment in the DPREVIEW conclusion. But perhaps we expect more (too much?) from the E-M5 or any other new contrast focussing camera.

5 upvotes
nawknai
By nawknai (May 2, 2012)

@Simon and Barney: Yes, what you said is likely true, but (poor) AF tracking hasn't been highlighted as a "Con" this prominently in other reviews. Lots of cameras have poor AF tracking, including DSLRs, and yet when its observed on these other DSLR and other ILCs, it doesn't get so much mention.

It appears to me that if you find a camera with 5-6 minor flaws, the AF-tracking gets a minor mention, but in this case, you couldn't find much else, so you're picking on AF-tracking.

If the reviews were written more evenly across DPR, the AF-tracking performance would get just as much focus in this review as it does in every other review, regardless of how good or bad the camera is.

1 upvote
jeerzz
By jeerzz (May 2, 2012)

anti staff is anti

0 upvotes
Bastubacka
By Bastubacka (May 2, 2012)

Biggest con = video output is 30p only.

Makes this cam pretty much unusable for any serious videomaking in PAL & SECAM area.

Ever tried to film with 180 degree shutter at 30p (1/60th of a second) in a country which uses 50 hz mains electricity? ( AKA PAL & SECAM)

You end up with very nasty flickering due to the incompatible shutter speed.

I hope sincerely that Olympus realises how important 25p is for the majority of videographers in the world.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
emircruz
By emircruz (May 3, 2012)

@rocklobster: perhaps it has something to do with Oly marketing the camera as having 3D Tracking AF. I mean, its a known fact that CDAF is slow on C-AF. so I guess dpreview didnt bother with the NEX-7 as it didnt have claims on improved C-AF. But yes, its still a bit unfair IMHO.

0 upvotes
peevee1
By peevee1 (May 3, 2012)

Bastubacka, shutter speed has little to do with the output file frame rate (which is actually 60 interlaced half-frames in the highest setting of the camera). Put the mode dial to Video and chose S (shutter priority). You can set very short shutter speed for stroboscope-like video, or long for smooth video.

0 upvotes
kadardr
By kadardr (May 1, 2012)

The IQ OM-D E-M5 is en par with the best APS-C sensors, may be beyond. The investment decision is whether to buy Oly OM-D E-M5 or the Pentax K-5 or Nikon D3200, D5100, D7000 or Canon 600D. OK, if you say it is about size, then let us add Nex-7. What I am trying to say here is that OM-D E-M5 opens a new horizon.
I cannot think of it as another m43 camera, or another EVIL camera. It is another great camera.

3 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 1, 2012)

Yes. We are seeing that sensor size no longer matters as now you can get beyond DSLR quality and likely better than D800 IQ from this camera. Great choice, especially if you want deep DOF.

And as far as lenses, it likely that sometime in the future, you'll be able to purchase quality telephotos, or sub-$800 ultra wides. Still I'm quite sure this camera has all but obsoleted huge, bulky DSLRs like the K-5. ;-)

1 upvote
ChrisP7
By ChrisP7 (May 1, 2012)

I owned a K-5 alongside an E-PL2. It was the best DSLR, pound for pound, that I've used. They've both gone to make way for the EM5 arriving tomorrow. I will know soon whether it really can match the K-5 for DR.

0 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 1, 2012)

@ChrisP7

I was being completely sarcastic. Re: K-5 - OM-D, Don't expect miracles.

1 upvote
ChrisP7
By ChrisP7 (May 1, 2012)

I was replying to the original post, not you, but I get your point.:-)

1 upvote
Jolly Oly
By Jolly Oly (May 1, 2012)

This is getting pointless..
I'm tired to watch marike6's bashing the EM5 or how's the DPR guys reviewed this thing in every single new message here. Any admin here that actually can give him time to cool down (ban him for 2 weeks) ?

13 upvotes
StephanSchmidt
By StephanSchmidt (May 1, 2012)

@marike6: Noone expected anything else from you. But you're even funnier when you explain your comments to people who just don't care about them.

8 upvotes
quangzizi
By quangzizi (May 1, 2012)

@Jolly Oly: Sometimes it is good to have trolls on the forum to kick around. It makes everything more lively :D.

1 upvote
kadardr
By kadardr (May 1, 2012)

I agree with marike6. Rationally (photographically) thinking there is nothing special about this oly but size (and the high price). I like it (because it is cute) but there are better investments. Who is trolling here? Consider the man in the mirror.

2 upvotes
quangzizi
By quangzizi (May 1, 2012)

Well, IBIS alone is special, even larger camera doesn't have such kind of sophisticated system. The problem with Marike6, if you followed this long enough, is that he tried to bash EM-5 with unsupported or made up facts. Check the stuffs down below.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (May 1, 2012)

Ban me for expressing my opinion? I have a GH2 and a GX1, so I have just as much right to post here as anyone. When the D800 Studio Samples where posted, how many Canon users were posting much worse stuff than me. I'm just trying to find out how a camera with slightly better high ISO performance than the G3/GX1 is all of the sudden as good as the best APS-C. Why does that bother you so much?

2 upvotes
marike6
By marike6 (May 1, 2012)

Ban me for expressing my opinion? I have a GH2 and a GX1, so I have just as much right to post here as anyone. When the D800 Studio Samples where posted, how many Canon users were posting much worse stuff than me. I'm just trying to find out how a camera with slightly better high ISO performance than the G3/GX1 is all of the sudden as good as the best APS-C. Why does that bother you so much?

0 upvotes
kermitG9
By kermitG9 (May 1, 2012)

I have been reading all sorts of things about this "fan noise".. including people that said that they wouldn't dare to take their camera to a museum (?!). Having this camera at home, I can say that this "noise" is barely audible in a totally quiet room up to 1 or 2 meters away and additionally(!), I need to hold my breath and focus on that noise to notice it. My (what I consider as silent) 2.5" usb powered drive is far, far more audible than this camera..

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

Absolutelly rediculous on their part, if true. I've heard the nosie it makes. In a public place with ambient noise louder than people walking and whispering, you have to stick your ear to the camera to hear anything.

1 upvote
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 2, 2012)

It's bringing home to me the very different noise levels in my life. In this room the noise is quite annoying if I'm the camera is within a foot of me. I can't hear it anywhere else I go without putting my ear to the camera.

It's an oddity but not an issue.

0 upvotes
Nikonworks
By Nikonworks (May 1, 2012)

The review glosses over the fan noise issue.

The review complains about focus tracking ( in a Contrast AF camera).
Seems they can't say 'This camera is Great!'

If this is all they found wrong, it must be a Great M43 camera.

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

What 'fan noise issue'? We talk about the E-M5's IS system being audible all the time, but the noise is so quiet that the word 'issue' scarcely applies.

6 upvotes
bacteria
By bacteria (May 1, 2012)

They can't say this camera is great? What does "This is without question the best M43 camera we've yet seen" mean to you?

4 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (May 1, 2012)

There is no fan, it is the new IS from what I have read and from people I know who own it say it is not an issue and you do not hear it in the video.

1 upvote
bacteria
By bacteria (May 1, 2012)

The nosie is barely noticable when I tried it. In the ambient environment of the store (with people talking at normal volumes), I couldnt hear it even with my ear pressed up against it. You can hear it if you're alone (or nearly) in a small quiet room, though. Big deal.

1 upvote
mister_roboto
By mister_roboto (May 1, 2012)

I have only heard the noise of the IBIS 2 times- once in practical usage.

1) When I put my ear up to it to see if I could hear it.
2) In an empty cabin in the woods.

It's a non-issue over-exaggerated and doesn't pick up during video recording.

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

My Canon 70-200 2.8 IS makes a "noise" but I attribute it to the gadget doing its job. I am more concerned by the whacking noise of the mirror in 5Dmk2.
I am delighted that most reports say the EM-5 is virtually silent when firing the shutter.

3 upvotes
MartinaB
By MartinaB (May 1, 2012)

This appears to be a super little camera. The only con for me is it is a bit pricey. But hey, you get what you pay for...

1 upvote
Marcin Mo111347cicki
By Marcin Mo111347cicki (May 1, 2012)

Seems like every other review mentions not ergonomic placement of fn1 & play buttons. Play doesn't matter, but I would use fn1 for S-AF exclusively, so it might be a deal breaker for me. Any comments from current users?

0 upvotes
Andy Crowe
By Andy Crowe (May 1, 2012)

what about assigning it to the fn2 or rec button?

1 upvote
Macx
By Macx (May 1, 2012)

As an owner, I agree that those two buttons could be improved upon. They are small and less responsive, and the Fn1 is shielded by the thumb rest. However, they are still perfectly usable, and as Andy Crowe noted, if you prefer some of the other programmable buttons, you can usually move the function there (there are some exceptions).

Overall the ergonomics of the camera is good. Especially the two dials and the top plate controls work beautifully. The rear controls are functional, but less good, and personally I would have traded a smaller screen for a bit more real estate and better button placement.

The only place where I think Olympus has made a mistake in the ergonomics is the lack of custom modes on the mode dial. To select the custom modes you need to select them in the menu. They are right at the front of the menus, but even so...

1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

I think the general delight of owners will overshadow that "issue". For the others there is always the NEX-5n.

0 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (May 2, 2012)

Fn1 is fine. The weather-sealing makes the feel of it cheap and nasty, but no problems in use.

0 upvotes
munro harrap
By munro harrap (May 1, 2012)

I have a very nice full-frame Olympus camera, with excellent lenses.It has the original large Olympus bayonet mount and with a 50mm lens, a life-sized viewfinder and it meters off the shutter blinds or in a normal way. It has a winder too and is completely reliable, and I have never had to bother about weather-sealing as it is very well-made. There is no plastic at all.

It has the wonderful 36MP sensor from the D800 series Nikon, and does HD video in the usual way.

But it is in my mind.

It is not in the Olympic mind, so I cannot shoot sports at the Olympics in London with it.

Quel dommage!!!!

3 upvotes
octobercycleihugcomau
By octobercycleihugcomau (May 2, 2012)

That sounds a lot like my OM-4ti :)

0 upvotes
Gazeomon
By Gazeomon (May 1, 2012)

Probably a competent little camera for what it is designed for, but jeez, that thing is one ugly looking 'instrument'!

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

Beauty is the eye of the beholder ...

13 upvotes
IronUge
By IronUge (May 1, 2012)

actually it's probably the best design between all mirrorless cameras....lovely vintage!

7 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (May 1, 2012)

I guess your first camera was a Casio P&S.

1 upvote
jeff_006
By jeff_006 (May 2, 2012)

Before having it on my hands, I wasn't especially fond of the design (like it but not more) But now that I have it, I love the design, not being espacially a retro lover but yes I love it !

0 upvotes
Total comments: 577
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