Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mirrorless Camera

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80% Gold Award
The E-M5 sets a new benchmark for Micro Four Thirds images, producing good results in all but the most challenging of situations.”

Read more of the review

Key Features

  • 16.1MP CMOS Micro Four Thirds sensor
  • 9 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 35-area contrast detect AF
  • ISO 200-25,600
  • 1080 HD video
  • Articulated 3.0 inch touchscreen LCD with 610,000 dots
  • Electronic viewfinder with 1,440,000 dots
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • Flash hot shoe and Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible
  • Weather-sealed body
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot

Product Description

Reviving the spirit of its beloved OM film series of SLRs, Olympus introduced the O-MD E-M5 in early 2012. This 16.1MP Micro Four Thirds system camera boasts 1080 60i Full HD video, an articulated 3.0 touch display and a built-in 1.44 million-dot electronic viewfinder. Fit and finish are excellent, in keeping with the camera's retro styling, and the robust camera body is weather sealed to protect from dust and water damage. The E-M5's JPEG output is impressive, and the camera's Raw shooting capability will satisfy shooters who want more control over image processing. With a wide range of affordable, fast lenses in the Micro Four Thirds lineup the O-MD E-M5 is capable of making great images in even the most challenging lighting conditions. Despite its compact size, a twin dial control and a handful of customizable buttons make it easy and comfortable to use.


Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Other resolutions 4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 2592 x 3456, 3200 x 2400, 3200 x 1800, 3216 x 2144, 2400 x 2400, 1824 x 2432, 2560 x1920, 2560 x 1440, 2544 x 1696, 1920 x 1920, 1440 x 1920, 1920 x 1440, 1920 x 1080, 1920 x 1280, 1440 x 1440, 1104 x 1472, 1600 x 1200, 1536 x 864, 1584 x 1056, 1216 x 1216, 864 x 1152, 1280 x 960, 1280 x 720, 1296 x 864, 960 x 960, 720 x 960, 1024 x 768, 1024 x 576, 1008 x 672, 768 x 768, 576 x 768, 640 x 480, 640 x 360, 624 x 416, 480 x 480, 384 x 512
Image ratio w:h 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
Processor TruePic VI
ISO Auto (200 - 25600), 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600
White balance presets 12
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes (Live view image is magnified when the focus ring is rotated. (at S-AF+MF or MF mode))
Number of focus points 35
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 610,000
Touch screen Yes
Screen type Touch control in electrostatic capacitance type OLED monitor
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic
Viewfinder coverage 100%
Viewfinder magnification 1.15×
Viewfinder resolution 1,440,000
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash No
External flash Yes (via Hot-shoe (FL-50/FL-50R, FL-36/FL-36R, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R))
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync (2), Manual (3 levels)
Continuous drive 9 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (2, 3, 5, 7 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini HDMI type-D)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Optional (RM-UC1))
Environmentally sealed Yes
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion BLN-1 rechargeable battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries) 425 g (0.94 lb / 14.99 oz)
Dimensions 122 x 89 x 43 mm (4.8 x 3.5 x 1.69)
Other features
Timelapse recording No
GPS None


DPReview Conclusion

Scoring is relative only to the other cameras in the same category at the time of review.

Score Breakdown
Poor Excellent
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Movie / video mode
Gold Award
Gold Award
80 %
Overall Score

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is certainly the most capable Micro Four Thirds camera we've reviewed and arguably the most likeable mirrorless model yet. It falls down a little bit on its continuous focusing but we have no absolutely no complaints about the image quality. It's small, attractive and a pleasure to use, and its pictures are equally enjoyable.

Good For

A wide variety of photography, particularly if you spend the time configuring it to your needs.

Not So Good For

Photography of moving subjects - the only area where it falls significantly behind a good DSLR.

User Reviews

4.47353 out of 5 stars
  • al_in_philly, Jan 26, 2013 GMT:
    I'm in love

    OK, all of this is quite subjective, so take it for what it is. That out of the way, I've never been happier with a camera. Quite a few years ago, I thought Olympus was on to something with their 4/3 camera system: small (properly proportioned) sensor means small body and lens, and when they came out with in-camera image stabilization in the e-510 I was interested enough to buy in. It was a pretty nice camera, easy to shoot with, but not the greatest high ISO IQ, nor the best autofocus in ...

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  • Lupti, Jan 24, 2013 GMT:
    Good IQ, but horrible ergonomics and unreliable AF, overpriced

    I used the OM-D E-M5 for a time now and decided to send it back. Why? There are several reasons that make the high price-tag questionable. Yes, the IQ is very good. I was impressed with the high-detailled and vivid coloured photos. And the high-ISO noise performance is impressive for a 4/3 sensor. However I found AWB horribly unreliable. Shooting under fluorescent light gave me yellowish pictures - I shot RAW but this bothers me with extra work in PP that shouldn´t be necessary. My old GH1 ...

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  • moscos, Jan 7, 2013 GMT:
    Best 4/3 without a doubt, very minor cons

    I own the Panasonic GF1, Olympus EP-3 and the Panasonic GX1, and several prime lenses. While the lenses have gotten really good, I felt the M4/3 format was not really progressing much after its early promise, both the EP-3 and the GX1 were disappointing to me. This camera finally delivers on this promise and in my opinion is the perfect M4/3 body in almost every way. PROS: The censor's overall and high iso performance, really great manual controls (love the two top dials), almost complete ...

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  • IrishhAndy, Jan 1, 2013 GMT:
    Best camera in the entire universe.

    If you had asked me to buy another olympus camera after the E3 fiasco I would have told you to bog off. This little wonder is so good I have sold my entire collection of Nikons and all other cameras. I just stopped using them as they were very heavy. Olympus have shown just a glimpse of what the future holds for people who photograph for pleasure. They held nothing back with this camera and even included art filters for those of us who hate photoshop. The image stabilisation is better than ...

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Questions & Answers


From NEX 7 to OMD EM5

Hello to all, I was just wondering if any of you on this forum have switched from the nex7 to the OMD EM5? I am currently thinking of going this direction and would like your taughts. My main reasons for making the switch are: Faster autofocus Better lens selection I also feel that the OMD options are just more complete then the NEX7, more customizable buttons, battery grip, wireless flash options. My lens options would be Panasonic 12-35 2.8, Leica 25 1.4 and probably the 14-150. I think these lenses would pretty much cover all the situations i may need. I currently own the SEL 18-200 and some legacy lens. Thank you in advance.

awmenard asked
1 year ago


awmenard wrote: Hello to all, I was just wondering if any of you on this forum have switched from the nex7 to the OMD EM5? I am currently thinking of going this direction and would like your taughts. My main reasons for making the switch are: Faster autofocus Better lens selection I also feel that the OMD options are just more complete then the NEX7, more customizable buttons, battery grip, wireless flash options. My lens options would be Panasonic 12-35 2.8, Leica 25 1.4 and probably the 14-150. I think these lenses would pretty much cover all the situations i may need. I currently own the SEL 18-200 and some legacy lens. Thank you in advance. I have both. My Nex7 has the Zeiss 24 on it. My EM-5 has the kit zoom and the 45 f1.8. What i can tell you is that: 1. The EM-5 is much, much faster focussing. 2. The EM-5 has a more accurate AF. 3. The EM-5 performs better in low light AF. 4. The EM-5 is more customisable. 5. Better range of glass. What noone else will tell you is: 1. The ... Continue Reading

wansai answered
1 year ago

Wansai, You made some valid points about the weakness in the E-M5's ergonomics. However I think you might have exaggerated that as a weakness due to the way you hold the camera, single handed and with your right hand supporting the camera and also pushing various buttons. I know many photographers nowadays use the same hold, but there is a better way, especially when using the E-M5. The OMD E-M5 is shaped exactly like an old OM SLR film camera. In those days, it's common to use this hold. The left hand suports all the weight of the camera, palm facing up, and fingers holding the lens barrel to focus or zoom. Many pros still use this hold especilaly with long lenses. The left elbow and arm are pressed against the chest for steadiness. You see, there was no IS in those days, and ASA (or ISO) 400 was the limit before unacceptable grain (noise) appeared. Handholding a camera steadily was a much more important technique then nowadays, given the slow shutter speeds that had to be used ... Continue Reading

Sergey Borachev answered
1 year ago

wansai wrote: What noone else will tell you is: 1. The Nex 7 is signifigantly easier to handle. Agree, unless you add the grip to the E-M5. The Panny G5 is easier than both. 2. The Nex 7 is much more ergonomic. True if you don't buy the optional grip. 3. you can easily handle & shoot the Nex 7 in M ONE-HANDED. I'm not sure about this - it isn't just weight but size and weight distribution that is a problem. 4. Focus Peaking is superior and more reliable than EM-5 low light AF. Disagree, MF is only more accurate if you magnify, but you can do that on the E-M5 5. The Nex 7 with Zeis is a bit bigger than the EM-5 with 45 f1.8 but is lighter than the EM-5 But the weight in that combination (NEX/Zeiss) is in the glass in the lens so it is a bit unbalanced. 6. Compared to the Nex7, the EM-5 UI and settings is a terrible, terrible disaster. Look at how many people owning EM-5 are still trying to figure out how to do basic settings. It took me days to set up my Em-5 and I took shortcuts ... Continue Reading

sgoldswo answered
1 year ago


I'm in Singapore and everything is SOOOO much cheaper, what to buy?

Currently in Singapore 11 weeks into 30 week travels and have been waiting to get here to buy some new gear.  What I've found, and really, really want the Olympus 12-40 f2.8 PRO & Olympus 25 f1.8, which will cost me around £800 (12-40 on its own in UK costs £900).  To (partly) fund the new lenses I plan to sell my Olympus 12-50 and Pamasonic 14 f2.5. However, after a few questions in the shop (and with a massive grin on my face) I found out that if I buy the 12-40 as a kit on a new E-M5 or E-M1 the lens would be cheaper, obviously, but I would also save so much money on another body, dilemma! So, the question is, do I buy the two lenses and save myself about £500, or do I buy the E-M5 kit and 25mm and save around £600, or the E-M1 and 25mm and save £800? I'm not sure if I NEED another body, and I don't really have the money to warrant spending so much, if I buy one of the bodies I'll sell my E-PL3 and I have some other things I could sell, when I get home in 5 months that is. So is ...

ajmoore7 asked
1 month ago


I'm pretty conservative when it comes to money.  So spending money I can't really afford, to buy products I don't really need, just because I spot a 'deal', seems illogical to me. Now if I expected to make a profit selling stuff later that might be different.  But I bet when you factor in the import costs to your home country, the savings aren't as great as they seem right now, so even the expected profit from a quick resale might prove illusory. My advise is buy what you need and use the extra money you might have spent on gear for some sight seeing/photo trips and you might not have spent money on otherwise. Modern photo gear lasts 5 years, if we're lucky.  But our memories (and the photos we make) will last as long as we do! Continue Reading

Glen Barrington answered
1 month ago

I think you shld just go ahead and buy both lenses rather than buy another body with it. Continue Reading

Undergrd answered
1 month ago

Lenses are always the best investment. You're not saving money by buying a camera body you don't need, surely! So I would buy the lenses only. But, if you were to buy another body, I would reccomend the E-M1. You gain features you don't have (better EVF, PDAF, focus peaking, better grip) in a body that will better balance the 12-40/2.8. Don't underestimate the value of PDAF if you ever want to photograph wildlife or sport. And the E-M1 uses the same batteries as the E-M5. Do you use video at all? The E-M1 has a video teleconverter, that turns a 25/1.8 into a 100/1.8. It's an amazing feature to have for low light video of a performance. But, personally, I don't travel with a back-up body. And you already have one. And you can't sell your extras until you get home. So any extra money you spend now, is money you can't spend while travelling. If you are in Singapore for a while, there is an excellent local photography forum called Clubsnap. They will happily help you find the best deal, ... Continue Reading

DonTom answered
1 month ago


Anybody else like to see 25 fps in video on OMD EM5?
Aussi Simon asked
1 year ago


and 50 and 24 and 60 too, why not its madness. Also, up the flaming bit rate Olympus, what's the deal? its not like your paying for the sd cards or storage, 50mbits 1080p 50 would make this cam beyond awesome. My thoughts? 720p50/60 @ 22 and 42mb 1080p/24 at 24 or 28, and 48mb 1080p/25 at 24 or 28, and 48mb 1080p/30p at 28 and 48mb 1080p 50/60 @28 and 50mb Just let us dial them in Oly, what's the flaming deal. Continue Reading

Adventsam answered
1 year ago

Yes, I think it's a shame that Olympus totally ignore PAL countries. 24p should be present too! All other brands (Panasonic, Sony, Canon, Nikon, Pentax,...) have 24p in their flagship cameras and sometimes lesser models too... Only Olympus seems to ignore it totally! I think it's a real shame, because the EM-5 would be an ideal camera for video with its superb IBIS. If the bitrate could be increase d to 23 Mbps or more, it would be even better... Well, at least, we have the GH-2 and GH-3 :-) Continue Reading

Pixnat2 answered
1 year ago

No. No need to supply this rate because there are several freeware programs that can convert the 30 fps in to 25 fps. Continue Reading

Chuck Dyer answered
1 year ago

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