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The OM-D E-M5 is a full-featured, semi-pro Micro 4/3rds camera from Olympus. This time around, Olympus took what they already knew from the classic OM film camera line and combined that with their Micro 4/3rds line, making a camera with several features that clearly stand out from other mirrorless options.
With the E-M5, Olympus finally joined the other manufactures with a new 16.1MP sensor, leaving their multiple generations old 12MP sensor behind. Despite the increase in resolution, the E-M5 has an improved ISO range of 200-25,600. Combine the improved sensor with the Olympus TruePic VI Image Processor, and the E-M5 becomes a true option for shooting in low-light.
Its high quality, magnesium alloy build with dust and splash-proof sealing is a first for any mirrorless camera, allowing users to shoot in even the most extreme conditions. Arguably the biggest addition to the E-M5 is the built-in 1.44MP electronic viewfinder with a fast, 120fps refresh rate. Those who frequently compose via rear LCD will be happy with the new 3.0” tilting, touch-screen, which is a first on Olympus Micro 4/3rds cameras. However, the camera-defining features don’t stop there.
With the E-M5, Olympus has created a 5-axis in-camera IS system and its already fast AF of the last generation’s E-P3 has been improved, giving the E-M5 an even faster autofocus. Another notably new feature is the Live Bulb/Time Mode, which allows users to check the status of a long exposure during the exposure. This could make long exposure night photography less of a “guesstimation.”
While many of the above features also apply to video shooting, there are couple video-dedicated improvements that are quite welcomed. First and foremost is the move to the much more user-friendly .MOV file, rather than the previous AVCHD format. The camera can record 1080/30P at up to 20Mbps, with a reduced rolling shutter effect that has plagued previous Olympus cameras. Full-manual exposure control is possible, as well as three adjustable levels of in-camera sound recording. While there are other mirrorless/HDSLRs out that offer more advanced video features, the E-M5 can still record high-quality video that will satisfy many users’ needs. It records JPEG / RAW stills and video to SDHC / XC memory cards.
Please Note: The E-M5 does not have a pop-up flash built into the camera body. Instead, a small, removable flash unit is included. It’s basically equivalent to a standard pop-up flash, so it has a very limited range. If shooting in very low-light, you’ll probably want to consider one of the more powerful Olympus flashes.
We have both black and silver copies of this camera.
Very rarely do we come across a product, especially a camera, that we don’t have a few things that we’d like to change about it. Usually, it’s just nit-picky stuff, but we often times have at least a short wish list. Well, we’ve managed to break our streak.
The Olympus E-M5 is a fantastic camera that we’re okay saying “leave it just the way it is”. Yes, there’s silly, unrealistic requests like changing the menu from cute to useful, and making the sensor full-frame sized, but those aren’t going to happen. Operation-wise, the E-M5 is stellar. Autofocus is great, controls are great, the build quality is great. They really delivered with the E-M5. As for that little in-camera IS feature, it is, how would you say… AMAZING!!!
If you’re looking for a small-system camera, I have no problem saying the Olympus E-M5 should be at the top of your list. With its fantastic image quality, even at higher ISOs, and the Micro 4/3rds lens selection, the other manufacturers have a good bit of catching up to do. Now, if I could just buy one for myself before Lensrentals buys them all…
- E-M5 camera body w/strap
- FL-LM2 compact flash unit
- BLN-1 battery
- BCN-1 charger
- Camera bag
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