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Body & Design

The first thing that will draw attention about the E-M5 is its retro styling but it shouldn't be written-off as a pastiche - it's a pleasantly functional design as well as a reverent one. The hand grip is well-shaped and nicely textured, making it easy to hold comfortably. Just as important are the two control dials on its top plate, which makes it easy to control the camera quickly. Having been buffeted by several waves of mirrorless cameras with fiddly dials around their four-way controllers, its lovely to have a pair of proper dials back.

The other thing to notice is that the E-M5 is small. It's not tiny but it strikes a good balance between being conveniently portable and looking like a 'proper camera' - a not insignificant consideration in a camera of this price.

Body Elements

The most obvious feature of the E-M5 is its pronounced viewfinder hump. This may seem odd, given its use of an electronic viewfinder rather than glass prism. It turns out it's not simply that Olympus wanted the camera to look like its OM series, it's partly because there's an accessory port above the vidfinder and below the flash hotshoe. This allows a host of accessories to be added to the camera, including stereo microphones, macro light LEDs or the PENPal bluetooth transmitter.

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.

The camera's connectors are under a flexible rubber cover. At the top is a USB 2.0 connector that's also compatible with the RM-UC1 cable release. Beneath it is a Micro HDMI Type-D cable for video playback on your TV.
The camera's SD card slot is also sealed and sits on the right-hand-side. No more scrabbling about in the battery compartment.
The main power switch is underneath the 4-way controller - note the lack of a surrounding dial (as it's not longer needed).
Despite the prominent hump, the E-M5 doesn't include a built-in flash. Instead it comes with a clip-on flash that fits into the hot-shoe and accessory port.

This can be used to control offboard flashes using Olympus' wireless control system - like the E-M5 it's weather sealed.
The E-M5 uses a new BLN-1 battery that in not compatible with any previous models.

It's a 9.3Wh unit which is rated at 360 shots-per-charge when tested to CIPA standards.
The tripod mount is slightly offset from the lens axis. On the left is the latch for the sealed battery compartment.
There's also an optional two-part grip/battery pack which, again, is extensively sealed.

Adding just the grip section results in pushing the tripod mount ever further off center.
This gives the option of either just adding a more substantial grip to the front of the camera (with its own front dial and shutter button), or also adding an extra battery and portrait orientation grip and separately configurable controls.
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Comments

Total comments: 8
larryr
By larryr (4 months ago)

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).

0 upvotes
saradindubose
By saradindubose (8 months ago)

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
2 upvotes
Vaqas
By Vaqas (7 months ago)

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.
https://www.facebook.com/VaqasPhoto
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vaqasmalik/

4 upvotes
Liberator
By Liberator (7 months ago)

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
photohounds
By photohounds (7 months ago)

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

http://http://photohounds.smugmug.com/Performing-arts

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
By Chad Hogan (11 months ago)

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...

http://versus.com/en/olympus-om-d-e-m5-vs-canon-eos-7d

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

Thanks, Chad

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
1 upvote
TheRabbit
By TheRabbit (10 months ago)

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!

3 upvotes
coroander
By coroander (8 months ago)

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.)

1 upvote
Total comments: 8