Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review
With the launch of the E-M5, Olympus harks back to one of its most fondly-remembered camera systems - the Olympus OM range of 35mm SLRs. The E-M5 is the first camera in an OM-Digital lineup that will run alongside the PEN series and, according to the company, its Four Thirds models. For reasons of clarity, it should be stated that this isn't a continuation of the old OM line - the OM-D models won't be SLRs and are based around Micro Four Thirds, not OM lens mounts. However, they do embody the spirit of the much-loved camera line - a small, well-built camera designed for enthusiasts. And, particularly in silver and black form, the E-M5 is one of best looking cameras we've encountered in some time.
It would be easy to dismiss the E-M5 as simply an upgraded E-P3 with a built-in viewfinder, but that would rather miss the point. Looked at another way, the E-M5 appears to be a synthesis of the best bits of recent Olympus cameras. It offers greater capability than the company's range-topping E-5 DSLR in a compact body with the classic styling of the OM range. It also echoes of the E-620 - the small, photographer-focused camera that, to us, made most sense of the Four Thirds concept. Its magnesium alloy body also manages to incorporate the same extensive weather sealing that the E-5 offered - complementing the similarly-sealed M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 EZ lens the company announced in December 2011.
And it is small - actually slightly smaller than the diminutive OM-4Ti whose looks it apes. But, like that camera, it has plenty of external controls. Twin dials protrude from the front and rear of the narrow top-plate, giving direct access to the major shooting functions in a way that we always hoped the top-of-the-line PENs would. The early push by manufacturers to create beginner-friendly mirrorless cameras means it's still rare to find cameras that offer two good control dials when your hand is in a shooting grip.
The camera is built around a 16MP Four Thirds sensor, which all our testing suggests may well be the same one seen in Panasonic's DMC-G3. This can only be seen as a welcome step forward, as it's a much newer and more capable sensor. The sensor is combined with the company's latest, TruePic VI processor, which appears to bring the usual Olympus magic to the JPEGs. The company claims improved dynamic range and, with an newer sensor and better processing, it's reasonable to expect better performance in terms of noise. And, since dynamic range is the range between highlights and a specified noise level, this would be considered a boost in dynamic range.
The company has also totally reworked its built-in image stabilization system. The new design is described as 5-axis (translational movement vertically and horizontally, and rotational movement around 3 axes - shown below), in contrast to the previous system that only corrected for up/down and left/right rotation. If it works, the ability to correct for rotation around the lens axis caused by pressing the shutter button offers a clear advantage over in-lens stabilization systems. Meanwhile, correction for translational movements promises more effective stabilization for macro photography at high magnifications (like Canon's 'Hybrid IS'). The system continues to work in video. Although none of these systems is inherently original, this is the first camera we've seen to incorporate them all at once, we look at its effect on the performance page of this review.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 specification highlights:
- 16MP MOS Four Thirds format sensor
- Weather-sealed body
- Twin control dials
- New, '5-axis' image stabilization
- Shoot at up to ISO 25,600
- Up to 9fps shooting (4.2 fps with continuous AF)
- 800x600 pixel (1.44M dot) LCD electronic viewfinder
- VGA-equivalent 3" OLED touchscreen display - tilts 80° upwards and 50° downwards
- Latest TruePic VI processor
- Improved C-AF autofocus with 3D tracking
- Flash sync speed up to 1/250th sec
Hands-on Preview video*
*Note that this video was prepared as part of our original preview content of the E-M5
Dec 4, 2014
Nov 15, 2014
Apr 27, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
|It's good to be at home by Nightcrawler12|
from Best photo of the week...
|Tiny tree by Kaappo|
The Olympus 17mm F1.2 promises to open up new possibilities for Micro Four Thirds shooters seeking razor-thin depth-of-field and smooth, 'feathered' bokeh. Take a peek at our extensive sample gallery.
Are you a speed freak? Hungry to photograph anything that goes 'zoom'? Or perhaps you just want to get Sports Illustrated-level shots of your child's soccer game. Keep reading to find out which cameras we think are best for sports and action shooting.
Still yearning for an Aperture replacement? Here's a quick overview of RAW Power, a Raw image editor for iOS that pairs with the Mac application introduced in 2016. Take a look at some of its capabilities.
Video features have become an important factor to many photographers when choosing a new camera. Read on to find out which cameras we think are best for the videophile.
Tech lover Albert Lee was one of the first to pre-order the intriguing 16-camera module Light L16. Two months in, here's what he has to say about using this not-so-little computational camera.
The public art installation featured blurred portraits, ostensibly captured by the artist under that same underpass... except they weren't. They were actually portraits of comedians, pulled from the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival program.
Edelkrone has upgraded its SliderOne with a SliderOne Pro and introduced a new generation of Wing and Wing Pro models, all while simultaneously improving the app that controls its entirely lineup.
People have waiting a long time for the Canon 85mm F1.4L IS lens, but how does it compare to Canon's 85mm F1.2L and Sigma's 85mm F1.4 Art? Phillip Pettit of Lensrentals took all three lenses for a spin to find out.
Affinity Photo for iPad, one of the first full-featured Raw editors designed specifically for tablet use, has been named Apple's Best iPad App of 2017. And what's more, it's currently 50% off!
VSCO Messages allows VSCO X subscribers and free users alike to share text, images, photo editing 'recipes', VSCO journal entries and more.
Flickr has revealed their top 25 photos of 2017, and there are some truly stunning shots in the mix.
Testing of the Canon G1 X Mark III is well underway, inside of the studio and out. We've just added it to our test scene comparison tool, where you can take a look at its performance side-by-side against peers like the Sony Cyber-shot RX100 V.
Whether it's a trip to the beach for some snorkeling or scrambling up a 10,000 ft volcano, the Olympus Tough TG-5 proved to be a great travel companion for Jeff. That's why it's his 2017 Gear of the Year.
Last year, the DJI Mavic Pro and the Phantom 4 Professional took top honors in our end of year buying guide. Read on to find out who it this year for beginners, consumers, prosumers, and professionals at a price tag less than $2,000.
Meyer Optik Goerlitz is resurrecting yet another classic lens. This time, the company has set its crowdfunding sights on the Primoplan 75mm F1.9, a lens originally manufactured in a run of just 2,000 back in the 1930s.
The folks at Kolari Vision—an infrared camera conversion company based in New Jersey—recently tore down a brand new Sony a7RIII, giving everybody a peek at the camera's much-improved weather sealing.
Resource Travel's Brandon Cunningham recently joined The Giving Lens for a 10-day adventure in India. A trip he won't soon forget, to a country that left him in "sensory and soul overload."
Meet the new Freefly Movi, a handheld gimbal stabilizer designed by cinema stabilization pros for use with the iPhone. Freefly is calling this little beast "the world's most portable, adaptable, and intuitive cinema robot."
Photography portfolio site PhotoShelter is adding their voice to the growing group of online companies that are speaking out in favor of net neutrality, and against the FCC's upcoming vote to kill it.
The Direct app would replace the current Inbox on the Instagram app, doing for Instagram what the Facebook Messenger app did for Facebook on mobile.
Qualcomm's latest high-end mobile chipset offers higher frame rates and a wider color gamut, among other important camera improvements you can expect to see in next year's flagship smartphones.
Photographer Josselin Cornou recently got trapped in a blizzard in the Snowy Mountains of Australia with his Fujifilm GFX 50S and new Tamron 15-30mm F2.8 lens. Find out how they held up to 110km/h winds and -15°C temperatures.
While film nostalgia reaches an all-time high, Seattle-based pro photographer Sofi Lee is turning back to 'digicams' made between 2008 and 2011.
The fixed prime lens camera market may be a bit niche, but it's here that you'll find some of the best cameras you can buy. Sensors ranging from APS-C to full-frame are designed to match their lenses, which cover ranges from 28-75mm equivalent, so image quality is top-notch.
With a capacity of 512GB, Samsung's new UFS chips take built-in storage on smartphones to desktop-PC levels. Will this eliminate the need for microSD slots?
Photographer Josh Rossi decided to go big for this year's Christmas card, so he recreated the Star Wars: The Last Jedi poster using himself, his wife, and their two kids.
In response to a NY Times article about how some traffickers were using Instagram as part of the illicit animal trade, Instagram has added a content advisory screen that pops up to warn users any time they search for hashtags "associated with harmful behavior to animals."
Kodak is expanding its instant photography lineup today with the release of the Kodak Mini Shot Instant 10MP camera. A tiny little digital camera that spits out either 2.1 x 3.4-inch or 2.1 x 2.1-inch prints.
Huawei'e next high-end smartphone could be the first to take computational imaging to the next level with a triple-camera that spits out 40MP files.
Landscape photographer Spencer Cox recalls the single most rewarding—and frightening—landscape photography experience of his life: photographing a sandstorm.