The OM-D E-M5 is Olympus’s most highly specified four thirds camera to date, and its most attractive, but is its performance good enough to provide a lasting legacy?

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:

Product:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,150.00

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Olympus OM-D E-M5 at a glance:

  • Four thirds (17.3x13mm) sensor
  • 16.1 million effective pixels with 4608×3456-pixel output
  • Weather-resistant magnesium-alloy build
  • 3in, 610,000-dot, tiltable LCD touchscreen
  • 1.44-million-dot EVF
  • Up to 9fps or 4.2fps with continuous AF
  • Street price around £1,150 with 12-50mm kit lens

Since the introduction of the Olympus Pen E-P1 in June 2009, the compact system camera (CSC) has taken the world by storm. The compact-sized Pen E-P1 was a clear homage to the original Olympus Pen series – a half-frame camera that spanned more than two decades – but with the added benefit of digital imaging technology. The CSC has rapidly become one of the fastest growing areas in the camera market, although many of the more recent models have a much more contemporary style than Olympus’s original offering.

Now, with the OM-D E-M5, Olympus has once again tapped into the style of one of its past camera systems. As its name suggests, the OM-D E-M5 is heavily influenced by the styling of the company’s hugely popular OM range of 35mm film SLRs. However, whereas the digital Pen series emulates the half-frame format of its film predecessors through its (half-frame) four thirds format, the new OM-D E-M5 does not feature the 35mm full-frame format of the original OM cameras, instead making use of a four thirds sensor.

Olympus states that the E-M5 is the first of the new OM-D series. As with the Olympus Pen range, and indeed cameras like the X-Pro1 in Fujifilm’s X series, the reaction of press and consumers to the E-M5’s launch show there is much enthusiasm for the style and charm of film cameras with digital technology. By these standards, the E-M5 looks as though it might be a resounding success, as it is a beautiful-looking model.

However, a camera must be judged by its performance and not solely by its looks. After all, you can’t just look at it – you have to take pictures with it. The camera’s high build quality and specification mean that it sits at the top of Olympus’s micro four thirds range, which is a good start, but I am keen to see whether the E-M5 is capable of producing images to match the high quality of its construction.

  1. 1. Introduction
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. HLD-6 grip and battery pack
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. White balance and colour
  6. 6. Metering
  7. 7. Autofocus
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Noise, sensitivity and resolution
  10. 10. LCD, viewfinder and video
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Verdict
Page 1 of 12 - Show Full List
  • Swathi

    (Electronics) This flash is an adequate iepnexnsive alternative to a dedicated Canon flash. The automatic focus function does not appear to work with a Canon SX10is, but I can live without it. The auto zoom function works fine. It gives accurate exposures in the eTTL mode. There appears to be no built in sensor when used in the slave mode, so a few trial shots are required. Eats alkaline AA batteries pretty fast, so you may want to invest in rechargeables. Overall I think it is worth the asking price.