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Body & Design

In common with Olympus' range-topping Four Thirds DSLRs, the E-M5 is weather sealed, as is the accompanying flash unit. The 12-50mm F3.5-6.3 kit zoom is similarly sealed. Additionally, owners of high-end, weather-resistant Four Thirds lenses will have the choice of buying the MMF-3 adapter - a sealed version of the Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter.

The E-M5, its add-on flash, optional grip and primary kit zoom lens are all rigourously gasketted to help keep water and dust out of the entire package.
There's even a version of the Four Thirds to Micro Four Thirds adapter with seals to prevent unwanted ingress.

Compared to its rivals

The E-M5 may have borrowed the style of a DSLR but it's a lot smaller than one. Here we compared it to the Canon EOS 1100D (Rebel T3), itself not a particularly large example of the breed. As you can see the E-M5 is smaller in every respect, despite offering a much greater degree of direct control. The Rebel has a built-in flash, which the Olympus lacks, but the clip-on unit is so easily fitted in a pocket that it makes almost no difference when carrying the cameras.

Canon Rebel T3
(EOS 1100D)
Panasonic DMC-G3 Sony Alpha
Olympus OM4

The Olympus is a touch larger than most mirrorless cameras (including the NEX-7 which also has a built-in viewfinder), but it's small compared to an DSLR.

Compared to the Panasonic DMC-G3

In simplistic terms, the Olympus E-M5 and Panasonic DMC-G3 are pretty similar cameras, offering similar 16MP sensors and built-in viewfinders. But, for the extra money, the E-M5 offers twin control dials, a magnesium alloy body, weather sealing, in-body image stabilization and a 1.44M dot viewfinder (rather than a 1.44M dot equivalent, field-sequential design).

And, of course, once you've considered those specification differences there's also the aesthetic difference between the two, with the OM-D having a more distinctive look.
The E-M5 features more control points than the G3, with Panasonic relying more on the touchscreen including a configurable on-screen function menu to help close the gap. The E-M5's screen, meanwhile, is higher resolution and based on an OLED panel, for a brighter, wider gamut image. It only flips up and down, rather than swinging out from the body.

The E-M5 has an eye-sensor to switch automatically between EVF and rear-screen use - something the G3 sorely lacks.
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I own it
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Total comments: 12

Hello, is there anyone who would like to share video-film experiences about Olympus Om-T E M5? how is the possibilities to make short fiction and dokumantaires film and especially with different cinematic lenses in work..?


I have been using the OM-D EM5 for two years now, as a hobbyist, and it has brought the joy back for me in photography. A beautiful, light, strong camera, easy to use and produces great pictures. However, I have had a few niggles - the rubber eye-cup has come off both bodies I own, as well as the dial cap on the right hand side. In one body, the mode dial keeps switching between Auto and SCN. Olympus needs to look into these and some other flaws mentioned by users.


Great camera for travel and I have owned the OM-D E-M5 for already 3 weeks. I love the retro stye of it as it remind me of the OM4 which I still own.

Do note that the Lumix 20mm f:1.7 lens is not 100% comparable with the OM-D E-M5 when you leave the switch ON and the camera goes into sleep mode. It hang, Sometime It cannot wake up when you press the shutter button, you need to reset the camera by removing the battery for it to reset. Even when you OFF and ON back the switch is of no good.

1 upvote
Henry Richardson

That was an early problem with the E-M5 and 20mm, but was fixed in a 2012 firmware update. I had the problem back then until the firmware was fixed and then no more problems.


It is the only one listed in the camera feature search with a viewfinder as waterproof,but it appears to be only weather resistant, ie don't dunk it in water(or clipped to your life jacket while whitewater kayaking).


OLUMPUS OMDE5 appears to be an interesting camera - I am specially attracted to its weathersealed body and lens ( which I think is very essential in a country like I NDIA) - that was the reason why I had purchased PENTAX K10D years ago. One thing which is bothering me is its made in China tag. I am an architect and basically interested in landscape and nature photography - I travel a lot . Can I am have some inputs from those who are using OLYMPUS OMD E5?

Comment edited 34 seconds after posting

As a hobbyist, I have been using OMD EM5 for more than an year now and I love it. Here are some of my clicks. There are mostly landscapes and outdoors sports shots.


I recently got E-M5 and very happy with it. By no means I'm pro photographer but with my new 12-40mm F2.8 Pro lens is great combat and have been talking great picture. I use Toshiba Flash Air to use with my iPhone/ipad too. I mostly to landscape photos and it has not let me down.

1 upvote

It is an excellent little shooter.
THe EVF is quite good and KILLS OVFs in low light. THese were taken with one ..


The CaNIKSon shooters told me that they got VERY few 'keeper' pics with their FF sensors. I get a few 'looks' while shooting, but they soon shut up when RESULTS are compared.

Anywhere it's really dark, you'll appreciate being able to SEE.

I also own the EM-1 and have yet to put it through its DIM light paces.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Chad Hogan

I'm on the hunt for a new camera and weighing up my options just now.. I'm fairly new to the game though and a bit naive in all honesty! Is the EM5 much better than the Canon EOS 7D as this comparison...

suggests? What features make this camera great and what one would you go for?

Thanks, Chad

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote

Hi, I didn't see any answer yet, so I asume nobody saw your post yet. I'll try to help you (maybe you didn't choose yet). This comparison isn't very good in my opinion (for example, it compares 9 fps vs 8, but you have to take in account that is with fixed focus. With continuous focus is much slower and less accurate...). I had a 60 D (same sensor, and image quality as the 7D with different features) and I have now the EM-5. I can tell you it has some advantages (if you think smaller and cheaper very good lenses are important advantages; for me, it is essential), but you will have to sacrifice some speed and easyness of handling. The best way is to read the full review of both cameras and to determine what are YOUR priorities. Don't forget to look at the sample images, as the two cameras have different outputs and it's important if you don't like to spend time in post processing. You will find very nice and helpfull reviews on this site (in my opinion, one of the best). Good luck!


I sold my 7D and lots of expensive L glass after buying the E-M5. The E-M5 is much smaller, it's images are sharper (no anti-aliasing filter), while the 7D has a very strong anti-aliasing filter (much stronger than any of the other Canon cameras with 18MP sensors) and the E-M5 has more dynamic range. It's also not nearly as prone to banding as the 7D is when pulling details from shadows. The 7D is a bit more ergonomic, but it's much larger, and it's lenses are significantly larger. And the reason i sold it is because it's so heavy. The E-M5 is very fast focusing, but for indoor sports (subjects moving towards or away from the camera) the 7D wins. Both cameras are metal bodied and weather sealed. Both have 4 channel, 3 group remote flash triggering. The E-M5 also has tilt screen and touch screen (touch point to focus and take image.)

Total comments: 12