Review Price £1,150.00
Olympus OM-D E-M5 - Introduction
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the latest Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens compact system digital camera to capitalise on the company’s 35mm film heritage. Borrowing heavily from the Olympus OM range of traditional 35mm film cameras, the OM-D becomes the flagship camera in a new compact system range that’ll sit alongside and complement the popular PEN models. The OM-D will be available from April at a cost of £1150 with an M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens.
Available in either a classic titanium silver/black combination (as pictured above) or as in all-black, the OM-D employs a new 17.3 x 13.0mm MFT Live MOS sensor that produces an effective output of 16.1MP. This is backed up by a TruePic VI image processor and a sensitivity range that stretches from ISO 100 up to 25,600. Other notable specs include a 9fps maximum burst rate, 1080p Full HD movie recording at 30fps, a 324TTL metering module with an overall dynamic range of 20EV and, last but not least, what Olympus are billing as the “world’s fastest” 35-point contrast-detect AF system.
Size-wise the OM-D sits snugly in the hand and feels around the same size and weight as a Panasonic Lumix G3. Olympus has long championed the cause of small, portable DSLRs (think back to the E-420) and the OM-D is very much an extension of that philosophy. Of course, this drive towards miniaturisation has been aided in no small part by the fact that the MFT sensor is smaller than APS-C. Where Olympus has traditionally excelled has been in making small cameras that are able to punch above their dimensions – again, the OM-D looks set to continue this trend. Overall build quality is very high, with the OM-D being fully sealed against dirt and moisture, and Olympus’ proprietary Supersonic Wave Filter on hand to repel dust from the sensor.
The classically-styled pyramid on top of the OM-D isn’t just for show either. Naturally, this being a mirrorless camera there’s no optical pentaprism inside, rather it houses a new 1.44m-dot electronic viewfinder (EVF) that offers a 100% field of view and a magnification of 1.15x. In use this EVF provides a relatively large, bright and pleasingly sharp display that’s practical to use. Quickly moving the camera from side to side causes a small amount of screen-flicker and judder to occur, but hold the camera steadily and it’s a reliable tool for composing shots with.
The OM-D offers the full range of PASM shooting modes, alongside an i-Auto for hassle-free point-and-shoot snaps, 24 individually selectable Scene modes and a generous range of 11 Art Filter digital filter effects. These include: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Dramatic Tone, Gentle Sepia, and Key Line. A new addition for the OM-D is the Art Filter bracketing option, which, when selected, automatically processes each recorded image via all of the available Art Filters.
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