Olympus E-M5 III; got it on sale, here's my impression

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john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 5,798
Olympus E-M5 III; got it on sale, here's my impression

I ordered the E-M5 III and 14-150 for $1049. Practically a free lens. This will upgrade/replace my E-M5 II. I've got it set up, and these are my first impressions:


1. I like the updated grip; it's more defined and supports the camera much better than the mk II.

2. It didn't get bigger, and it's just a bit lighter (20g). Makes me wonder where all the weight savings went from going plastic instead of magnesium?

3. It's quieter. The new shutter has no high frequency components, it's just a muffled thump. The E-M1 II and III have high frequency components like the E-M5 II. So, WOW.

4. The EVF is brighter. Significantly.

5. The Accessory Ports are so much easier to use. Three separate flaps, instead of one big that opens DOWN and got in the way so you couldn't use an L-bracket or cage.

6. USB charging. Okay, but you can't use the camera while it's plugged in. Halfway there, but considering how fat the battery charger is, it's a nice feature.

7. Flash. It comes with the same flash as the E-M5.2. Normally I wouldn't mention this (it's a great little flash, but still, it's the same). It didn't come with the velvet case, but you don't even get one with the E-M1.3, so this falls under "good" as in "good, at least you still get the flash".

8. Function lever. Okay, this is a subtle thing (so I'm surprised they did it?), but the function lever direction changed (flip it up to go to 2, down to go to 1). Which makes it consistent with the E-M1.2 and E-M1.3.


1. They really screwed up with custom modes. Went from 4 mysets to 3 custom modes, but only one slot on the mode dial for the first custom mode. And you can't assign them to a function button. Even worse than the change from E-M1.1 to E-M1.2; and you might have thought they would hear all the complaints with that change. They made improvements with the E-M1.3, but still; they are just plain deaf.

2. The ISO button is too hard to reach due to the more pronounced lip. They could have sloped it down more like the buttons on the E-M1.2 and E-M1.3; but they didn't. They didn't get any feedback on this? I can't imagine.

3. And speaking of buttons, the original E-M5 was horrible because of the buttons. The E-M5.2 had pronounced and easily accessed function buttons. They should have left the buttons alone, because instead they made them flush to the body and you can barely feel them. Wearing gloves? You have no hope whatsoever. And the front button; it's so smooth you can hardly tell it's there, which means that it's hard to use when you want it but also easy to accidentaly press. Good grief. What a mess. I'm sorry, but I have to call "idiots" on this one.


They changed the battery. Normally, I would be all over this. I still have a mess of batteries from my E-M1.1's that I use with the E-M5.2. So changing the battery is a big pain, especially if I'm going to keep the E-M5.2. But I'm going to take the selfish route on this because I'm not keeping the E-M5.2, but also because I have extra batteries already for my E-PL6 IR conversion. I can take the E-M5.3 and E-PL6 together. Great!

And finally; I put custom brackets on ALL of my cameras for attaching camera straps or mounting on tripods/clamps/poles.  Usually, I can find a good Chinese bracket for cheap, but the only ones available come with enhanced grips, which I find make it more difficult to access the function buttons.  So bummer there; the only option is RRS, which I usually like but are very expensive.  Well, I do like the RRS bracket; it doesn't have an enhanced grip (doesn't even have the option, like their E-M5.2 bracket did), it does come with a cute little stubby hex key, but it has a forward position for the vertical bracket so you can open (but not rotate) the LCD.  Well, the vertical part is still pretty useless, and it'll go in the "box" never to be seen again.  But the bottom part is very nice.


I like it.  I don't love it, because of the buttons.  But man, that shutter is sweet.  And it's 20MP, and it has PDAF.  So I'll use it.

And now, I have some M43 cameras to sell.  And batteries.

 john isaacs's gear list:john isaacs's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 Nikon D750 Olympus E-M5 II Nikon D500 Olympus E-M1 II +16 more
Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M5 II Olympus PEN E-PL6
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