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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Compact System Cameras
The Olympus E-M5 is the first camera in their new OM-D Micro Four Thirds line, which offers a step up in features and performance from the Pen Micro Four Thirds cameras. The E-M5 is a 16-megapizel camera with full HD video, a built-in electronic viewfinder, a tilting 3-inch OLED display, a weather-sealed magnesium body, a new 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization system and 9 FPS high-speed burst.
Submitted by fotomatix a Casual
Date Reviewed: March 31, 2013
Strengths: Fast autofocus. Rich dynamic colours. Sharp, clean, bright images (up to 3200 ISO no problem). Beautifully designed body. Complete weatherproof system with selected lenses. Highly customizable. Excellent EVF performance and resolution.
Weaknesses: No integrated flash. Somewhat pricey. Small buttons could be a challenge to access, especially for those with larger hands and fingers.
It's all about finding the right camera in your particular and preferred shooting scenarios. In 'regular' ambient lighting simply bumping up the ISO when needed, helps with avoiding flash, and producing bright sharp images. The blazing fast autofocus is really something to experience. So responsive, chances are you won't miss 'that shot' especially if you are using burst mode. Many customizable options and features (buttons) make this a leader among your camera choices. The 12-50mm kit lens, in my opinion, is better than most standard kit lenses that are included with DSLRs. The EVF is sharp, bright and very responsive giving you a very close rendition of what your photo will look like.
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: Lozeau Photo (Montre
Similar Products Used: Sony NEX 6. Fuji X-E1. Olympus E-PL5.
Type of photography: People
Submitted by squashyo a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 29, 2012
Strengths: Great looking pics! Good size, durable, terrific shooting options, stabilization...so much good!
Weaknesses: Lens cap fell off and was lost day two. Learning curve a bit challenging. Lens did not come with instructions so had to use net to figure out.
Totally dig my camera. The pics I have taken are already favorites. Really easy to use though learning all the options is TOUGH (for me)...the manual can be confusing in spots and nothing about lens which has it's own options.. Get the Zuiko 12-50...all around good lens that came with camera...awesome (no zoom).
Price Paid: $1500.00
Purchased At: Adorama
Similar Products Used: Lots of pocket camera (mostly Canon)
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by kingkong a Professional
Date Reviewed: June 9, 2012
Strengths: A style of classic outlook of the camera body with built-in EVF (electronic viewfinder) with dust and water-splash proof does catch much attention to both 4/3 and m4/3 users. Fast AF speed, better IS and HDR in low noise performance seems to be the top-notch of m4/3 body from Olympus.
Weaknesses: No built-in flash is inconvenience to make fill-in at back lighting condition. No external X-sync socket for other studio flash.
The best m4/3 body in mirrorless market at the mean time especially for those users still using old manual-focus lenses. A good choice for upgrading from small dc and entry-level dslr users, indeed.
Similar Products Used: E-PL2
Type of photography: Other
Submitted by Greg McCary a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: June 3, 2012
Strengths: Easy to use, Beautiful Olympus colors, Low noise (for Olympus), Lightweight
Weaknesses: Viewfinder in the center of the camera,
I have only had the E-M5 for a week but I think I have really put it to the test. The first thing I noticed like everyone else is how small the E-M5 is. It is about as small as I want a camera to be. Any smaller and I don't think I could work with it well. So hopefully this is as small as Olympus will get.
First I will give you the good and there is plenty of it. I really like the focus speed. This is easily the fastest Olympus camera I have owned and this includes the E5 and 12-60mm lens. Next is the view finder. I was worried that being half the resolution of the NEX 7 it might suffer here but it don't. Just like the NEX 7 if you didn't know it you wouldn't know you were looking into an electronic finder. The LCD is also nice and bright. Not to bad in daylight but viewable. If you are familiar with how Olympus sets up their LCD layout you will breeze through the menus. The two programmable buttons are nice as well. I have one set to change ISO and the other to switch to manual focus. I manual focus on most of my landscapes. I also like the fact that there is buttons on the back and not that dial. I to this day don't know what Olympus or Sony was thinking with that dial. It is way to easy to knock setting off. But with the buttons I don't have that problem.
Also the two top dials index much better than the NEX 7 which is also to easy to knock out of whack. The E-M5 work very well in manual. Just like I like it.
The image quality is a huge improvement and I mean huge. Very low noise up to 3200iso. I have always loved the Olympus colors.
Now the bad and it's only trivial stuff. First I know Olympus was copying the OM line of cameras but I really don't like the view finder in the middle of the camera. Maybe because I shoot rangefinders with the finder off set but my nose rest on the LCD when I use the finder on the E-M5. I find it uncomfortable. Next this camera really needs focus peaking. When I am shooting landscapes I have to rely on image magnification for focusing which requires to many steps.
I own the NEX 7 and I really think Olympus has knocked the NEX 7 off of the pedestal it was on. I believe the OMD E-M5 is the best compact camera on the market. It's funny to me that Olympus always comes up with the coolest ideas and the other companies take the technology and run with it. Leaving Olympus behind. The other companies have bigger money to throw around for advertising and cash in on Olympus ideas. I think Olympus made the first compact camera, right?
I can only imagine what the E-M7 will bring. The image quality is good enough that upgrading past this one will only be a luxury and not a necessity.
Price Paid: $1200.00
Purchased At: Amazon
Similar Products Used: EP-1, EPL-1, EPL-2, NEX 3, NEX 5n, NEX 7
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by Mike Hendren a Expert
Date Reviewed: May 15, 2012
Strengths: Excellent image quality; Very customizable to your shooting needs; Fast: autofocus is very quick and 9 fps is nice; The EVF (electronic viewfinder) works very well even in low light and shows you what the final image will look like; Weather sealed against moisture and dust; Small size and low weight make it a dream to handle.
Weaknesses: Battery life could certainly be better; The small closely set buttons may cause problems for someone with large hands;
I'd like to address a couple of the complaints I've read here and there on the internet.
* Noise: There have been lots of comments about the noise from the IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization). It's mostly what I would call whisper quiet, a bit like a laptop fan on its lowest setting. Sure, you can hear it, but the only time I "notice" it, is when it stops - i.e. when I turn the camera off or it goes to sleep.
* I've read a couple of complaints about how the right strap post is in the way and very uncomfortable. Maybe I just have the right sized hands, but I've never even noticed it.
* Too Slow to Wake Up: One blogger complained that he missed shots because his E-M5 took too long to wake up. Frankly, I can't even imagine that happening. From Sleep, it took about a second, maybe 1.5 seconds, for the camera to wake up, focus, and get the shot.
A couple of my favorite things:
* IBIS - So far I've taken sharp photos with the Leica 25mm lens (50mm equiv.) at shutter speeds as low as 1/5 second. I think it is as good a stabilization as I've ever experienced and I've owned some pretty high end equipment.
* Autofocus Speed - Olympus claims it is the world's fastest autofocus (contrast detect I think) and I have no reason to doubt that claim. It is very fast and very accurate even in dim light on dark subjects. I've only seen it hunt one time and that was shooting a dark object in low light. Of course, a good Phase Detection AF system like you find on DSLR's can out do it, but not by much. It's a huge improvement over what I saw with the NEX-7 and Fuji X100.
So, as you can tell, I LOVE this camera. It's small and fast, looks fantastic, takes excellent images, and is fun!
Here is how I've customized the Olympus OM-D.
The menus of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 present a deep, but well organized hierarchy of all the functions and settings that can be changed on this camera, and there are many. Some have written that it is too complicated, but my feeling is that this complexity is what allows us the ability and freedom to customize this camera to our own personal taste. So while it may take a bit of study to figure out exactly how to set it up to your liking, the end result is well worth it.
I'm not going to delve into all of the available settings, just the ones that affect the various, customizable buttons and make our lives as photographers easier.
So, let's start on top:
I've set the Fn2 button as the "Home" button and it moves the AF point back to center which is where I use it about 90% of the time. This way, on those rare occasions when I move the AF point around the screen, it only takes one quick push of Fn2 to get it back to center.
I almost never take movies, so I've rededicated the "Record" button as my AEL button, and further customized it to use Spot Metering when AEL is invoked this way. Plus, I've set it so that it takes one push to set AEL and another push to deactivate it.
On the back of the camera, I've set the "Arrow Function" keys to Direct Function. The default setting for these arrow keys is to move the AF point around, but they are "hot" all the time and I kept inadvertently moving them with my thumb. The Direct Function setting allows me to use the Right Arrow to bring up the ISO menu for quick changes, and the Down Arrow to change the Drive Settings, which I frequently use. Also in Direct Function, the Left Arrow will activate the AF point selector so you can move the point around to any of the 35 points or select All Points which allows the camera to automatically select a point based on what it perceives in the photo. Lastly, the Up Arrow activates the ability to set Exposure Compensation using the arrow keys … but this is a waste for me since I always use the Front Dial for this.
The other change I've made back here is to the Fn1 Key which I set to activate "Myset1". The E-M5 allows us to memorize 4 different sets of camera settings for different situations. So far, I've only set Myset1 to be used for AEB (Auto Exposure Bracketing). Here are the other major settings that are called up when I press Fn1, activating Myset1:
Sequential High Speed (9 fps)
AEB set to bracket 5 images with 1 EV spacing between each one
This way, any time I get the opportunity to shoot an HDR (high dynamic range) image, I can push (and hold) Fn1, and fire off 5 quick bracketed shots. Then, as soon as I release Fn1, I'm back to my original settings.
Of course, all of these settings are easy to change so don't feel like you have to get it set exactly right the first time. Go ahead, make some changes and experiment a little. Soon, you'll figure out what works best for you.
Note to Olympus: I sure wish you would make the Fn1 Button cycle through the 4 Myset settings so we could easily jump from one to another instead of having to use the menus to choose the one we want. I think it would be much more useful this way.
Price Paid: $999.00
Purchased At: Amazon.com
Similar Products Used: Fujifilm X100, Sony NEX-7, Sony NEX-5N
Type of photography: Outdoor
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