Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review
Viewfinder and screen
The E-M5 features one of the better electronic viewfinders on the market - it's an 800 x 600 pixel (1.44M dot) LCD that gives a good level of detail. It can't quite compete with the 2.4M dot OLED displays in Sony's recent NEX-7 and high-end SLTs, but it's still a good resolution with a fast refresh rate and none of the rainbow 'tearing' that can be visible in the field-sequential viewfinders used in Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds cameras.
The EM-5's electronic viewfinder features 1.44 million dot resolution. It is crisp and contrasty in normal use but the shallow padding of the removable eyecup isn't quite adequate to shade it completely in very bright light, where the viewfinder image can become hard to see.
The wheel on the left of this image is diopter adjustment, from -4 to +2.
As with all electronic viewfinders, even at its brightest setting, it can't match the ambient light levels on a bright day (a problem that optical viewfinders don't suffer from), which makes stray light from around the edges of your eye much more distracting. The shallow eye-cup of the E-M5 makes this worse (Olympus has developed a deeper on, called the EP-11, but we've not seen it yet) but glasses wearers are likely to find they have to cup one hand around the finder on bright days.
There's a high-speed viewfinder mode (Custom Menu section J, option 5), that doubles the rate of the viewfinder refresh to 120Hz. The result is lower resolution and faster battery drain than the Normal mode, but with a smoother and more frequent update, for if you're trying to shoot very fast-moving subjects. We rarely found the need for this 'Frame Rate: High' mode but it's useful to have the option if your shooting requires it.
One figure hidden away in the spec is the size of the viewfinder (often in a format that makes direct comparison between competing models impossible). This a key factor in usability - the bigger the viewfinder, the easier it is to frame and focus your shots, and the more enjoyable and involving process it is.
Because of the way viewfinders are measured (using a fixed lens, rather than a lens of equivalent magnification), you also need to take the sensor size into account, so the numbers in the diagram below are the manufacturer's specified magnifications divided by the respective 'crop factors' and divided by their coverage.
The move to an electronic viewfinder means the E-M5 can offer a display as large as Olympus' top-level E-5 DSLR, without the financial and light-loss costs of providing such a large magnification viewfinder.
|The E-M5's viewfinder isn't as large as the Panasonic G3's but its slightly bigger than the optical finder in the comparably-priced Canon EOS 60D.|
Rear display screen
The E-M5 follows the lead of Olympus' E-P3 and XZ-1 by offering a rather good VGA-equivalent OLED display screen, rather than an LCD. The E-M5 then makes the screen more useful by making it tiltable and touch-senstive. The touch-sensitivity uses the iPhone-like capacitive technology, rather than the pressure sensitivity embraced by Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds cameras. The result is a screen that's rather more sensitive but that won't work if you're wearing normal gloves (smartphone-friendly gloves with conductive fingertips should work).
|The touch-sensitive rear screen tilts 80° upwards and 50° downwards, giving more flexibility for waist-level or overhead shooting. Like all tilt-only screens, though, it adds nothing when shooting stills in portrait format.|
Dec 4, 2014
Nov 15, 2014
Apr 27, 2015
Apr 22, 2015
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more
Sony's newest G Master telephoto zoom, announced alongside the a9, is the first of the company's FE lenses to reach 400mm natively. We had one in California and photographed horses, portraits, and landscapes - check out how it did. Read more
Garmin has entered the 360-camera market with the VIRB, which captures 5.7K video at 30p as well as 15MP stills. Read more