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.”

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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.

Specs

Body type
Body type SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor
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
Image
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
Autofocus
  • 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
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini HDMI type-D)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Optional (RM-UC1))
Physical
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

Reviews

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
Features
Metering & focus accuracy
Image quality (raw)
Image quality (jpeg)
Low light / high ISO performance
Viewfinder / screen rating
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
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

4.51562 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

QUESTION

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

ANSWERS

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 Nex 7 is signifigantly easier to handle. 2. The Nex 7 is much more ergonomic. 3. you can easily handle & shoot the Nex 7 in M ONE-HANDED. 4. Focus Peaking is superior and more reliable than EM-5 low light AF. 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 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 simply because I got tired of fighting the mess of UI. 7. The EM-5 controls require 2 handed operation at all times ... 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

Agree, unless you add the grip to the E-M5. The Panny G5 is easier than both. True if you don't buy the optional grip. I'm not sure about this - it isn't just weight but size and weight distribution that is a problem. Disagree, MF is only more accurate if you magnify, but you can do that on the E-M5 But the weight in that combination (NEX/Zeiss) is in the glass in the lens so it is a bit unbalanced. LOL. HAHAHAHAHA. Are you serious? The E-M5 UI is streets ahead of the NEX. I swear Sony deployed the Lotus Notes programming team on its UI. What? Why? I don't do this all the time. The power switch isn't great but it isn't this bad. If you wear the camera on a neck strap it's fine. Never had this, did used to hit the video button on NEX all the time. Conversely, this is big problem with the Panny G5. I don't find it a problem with the E-M5 Are your fingers matchsticks or something? The NEX-7 is a thunk the E-M5 is more of a click. If this bothers you get a G5 and use the electronic shutter. Continue Reading

sgoldswo answered
1 year ago

QUESTION

Hello. Is this goodbye?

I've used Nikon for many years. I fell in love with an F3 with a single prime lens over 25 years ago beat it for over a decade (best camera I ever owned) and since gong digital have owned a range of Nikon DSLR's over the last 10 years. Since 2008 I've been using a D300 paired with a couple of great zoom lenses (17-55mm f/2.8G ED & 70-200mm f/2.8G ED). I use the gear to record family outings, social events, holidays, hiking, camping. But in the last year or two I've taken it out less and less and instead relied on a Canon S90 to record anything that deserved better than an snap using an iPhone. I just spent a month in Europe on holiday with the family and though I took the gear used the Canon at least 70% of the time. I should note that I hardly ever touch the larger zoom and when I do use the Nikon, take 99% of all images using the 17-55mm f/2.8. The main reason for the neglect.. bulk. That said, yesterday I went down to my local camera dealer with the intention of trading in the ...

scullers asked
2 months ago

ANSWERS

have you done the maths? you should be able to get (on ebay) ~1100 for the 70-200 (at least) ~700 for the 17-55 ~500 for the D300 ~150 for the SB600 all up around ~2300-2400. How much is all the Olympus kit? Not to mention that the eM5 is like 2 years old at least and recently replaced by newer tech. Dunno...I'd look into it again with more detail. Continue Reading

Ronan_M answered
2 months ago

You asked if there was anyone else who had followed a similar path.  You'll find many on the M43 forum.  I still have my D300, D700, SB-600, SB-800, a Nikon-compatible Nissin, 28-75/2.8 Tamron, 70-200/2.8 Sigma, 12-24, 60 mm macro, etc., etc. I played with a Panasonic GH-1 with the 14-140 kit lens for a while, then bought the EM-5 with 12-50 kit lens, adding a 14/2.5 pancake for real ease of use.  This last year I've bought the EM-1, Panasonic 12-35/2.8, the Samyang 7.5 mm fisheye and the Panasonic 45-200 used from KEH.  I also have a lot of legacy glass dating to the 1970s, both Nikon and Minolta, that is a lot of fun to use with very inexpensive adaptors on the EM-1. I kept the Nikons because I have shot a few tennis tournaments each year for some time now; however, I played with the EM-1 and the 45-200 in good light and found I could do quite well with it.  It does require a modification to my shooting style, but I have shot about the same number of frames with about the same ... Continue Reading

Bob Topp answered
2 months ago

Doug, not sure if you have seen this or not but The Camera Store recently did a test of the CAF of the latest mirrorless compared to the D4s. The results were rather surprising, at least to me... CAF Testing Continue Reading

String answered
2 months ago

QUESTION

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

ANSWERS

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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