Home » Cameras » Olympus OM-D E-M5 Camera complete review, specs, features & performance

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Camera complete review, specs, features & performance

The company introduced the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera in February 2012, the basis for the design of the body was taken the hit film era – the range of compact mirror devices Olympus OM. However, the “mirror” the Corps of Engineers put mirrorless stuffing, largely identical to those used in the top models of the E-P3 Series Pen.

Olympus OM-D E-M5
As explained by the company in the past in Amsterdam press conference, the conclusion of the new line was needed for more accurate separation audience of potential buyers.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 design honed for over 40 years. And it is immediately noticeable: the digital embodiment of a legend got the same nice look and easy to use.


The build quality and finishing materials of the body – above all praise. Its Rubber grips with fine mesh texture are pleasant to the touch and allow you to securely hold the camera, even with wet hands.

Available also Olympus OM-D E-M5 version with silver metallic elements, lining it mimics the texture of the skin. Controls the camera focused on two panels – the top and rear.


The main subject is the mode switch on the left. The wheel is quite big, with raised, but no lock. Its move to the measure taut, well there is a change of position, even blindly. In addition to traditional software, manual and “priority” mode, the ring allows you to quickly turn on the art filters, scene selection to better match creative plan automatic exposure adjustment, video and full auto mode.
To the right are the two wheels of change settings button “Descent” and a couple of hardware buttons.
If you hold the camera with one hand, it is more convenient to use the front, around the “Descent” wheel. Reach the second can be as big and index fingers, but it is inconvenient. Each step is supported by two wheels clear “click”, but the course is pretty easy.
Like so much in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 machine, the values set in the menu wheel, and quite thin. For example, different functions can be assigned to the four modes job exposure, view footage and travel on the menu. Changing direction and up / down / turning.
One of the hard buttons on the top panel labeled as the second function – as the other video, but the appointment of the last programmed by the user.


On the rear panel buttons are grouped to the right of the touch OLED-screen. Near the five-way joystick are the menu buttons and delete files, immediately switch the power button and sorting the information displayed.

Olympus OM-D E-M5
The screen in Olympus OM-D E-M5 has one degree of freedom – the slope, and its angle is too small by today’s standards (for shooting from the “camera over your head” enough to work).
Feels like a completely Japanese camera – small and fancy. When informed programming function keys key parameters can be changed without going to the menu. But the size of the buttons seem small, especially if you – the owner of the thick fingers. Fortunately, their location carefully thought out and erroneous pressing virtually eliminated. Buttons has excellent tactile feel, so the owners of Olympus OM-D E-M5 can easily manage their devices blindly focusing on the creative aspects of photography.
A photo is difficult to estimate how much body turned miniature. It’s really small, but you get used to, even ordinary SLR camera (without battery pack) seems cumbersome.
Olympus offers as an accessory battery pack with an additional tab on the front panel. It seems more familiar with the retention of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, but the main advantage – an increase in stocks of electricity.
Design HLD-6 – the official name of this accessory – unusual because it is not one “spare” but two. First – Ergonomic front projection for a strip on the bottom edge, which is slightly increased and the height of the housing. In this version only enhances convenience survey. Button “Descent” and the control wheel around it duplicated.
The second “spare” can work as a compartment for spare battery (it will have to buy separately) and how simple gizmo for better grip, and when shooting in the vertical orientation, it is really useful, because repeating the hardware controls the camera – the “Descent”, two wheels control, a couple of the function keys (the values of which can be configured separately) and power switch.
Structural assembly

In a couple and individually, of HLD-6 have the same degree of ingress protection, of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.

To where the unit is pentaprism mirror and other parts optical viewfinder, Olympus engineers have placed an electronic viewfinder.

This module has 1.44 million pixels. As marketers have begun to consider not the pixels that are in turn composed of these same elements, there was some confusion. If translated into pixels, the image size will be 800 x 600. Image frequency – 60 Hz, also provides for “forced” mode – 120 Hz.
Although the market there is models with high-resolution viewfinder, 1.44 million subpixels (with diagonal 0.47″ and a system of lenses) seemed to me to be enough, at least, never feeling a lack of resolution of the MF has not arisen.
For some shooting situations (moving objects in the frame) the update rate may not be enough, transfer to forced mode partially solves this problem, but not completely. But when shooting in low-light electronic viewfinder makes it comfortable Focusing manually (sometimes in the process the focus is to increase the sensitivity matrix or exposure, the image becomes brighter.)
Flash on the move and working position

Olympus OM-D E-M5 doesn’t have Built-in flash. But there is a small board camera is mounted in a hot shoe and a universal port. In its position lamp is high enough above the optical axis of the lens, but only enough power to illuminate the shadows or activate external flash units.
Olympus has long been known devices of filters for whom obtaining expressive effects with just one touch of a button – a definite plus.

Art Filters are applied to the Olympus JPEG-version, this means that when shooting in JPEG only original picture is not recorded on the memory card. Is this good or bad? If you set the mode RAW + JPEG – is one word – nothing. In RAW mode keeps the original frame, JPEG – the result of an art filter. Incidentally, in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has a function of bracketing art filters, i.e. the same image using multiple (choice photographer) treatment options.

Formal art filters 11, but within each there are additional options – to add a frame, vignetting and even combinations of other effects. For many filters available options, such as drama, you can add both color and black-and-white image. All art filters work in video mode, but the frame rate drops.
In the OM-D E-M5 there are new ways to create expressive photographs and videos.

Fans of night scenes and especially the genre of “Freezelight” and “light brush” will appreciate the visual inspection in the electronic viewfinder. As you know, it can operate at speeds of 60 and 120 updates per second. In the “forced” mode, the picture quality is reduced. Fee for “Fast and the Furious” – increased demand on battery power, it’s a pity that the switching speed is hidden in the menu is quite deep.

Scenes Live Bulb Live Time and reduce the number of marriage at times, as displayed in the viewfinder next frame in real time. After the start of exposure photographer literally sees the process of image formation and can adjust the end of shooting, when the desired effect is achieved. Naturally, the need to install the Olympus OM-D E-M5 device on a tripod and use the remote control is highly recommended.

Videographers may be interested in the effect of “video”, and there are two options – single and plural in Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.

Many companies add the possibility of artificial dynamic range JPEG-versions. These functions are called in different ways, and they have to Olympus OM-D E-M5. But developers of Olympus went ahead and created a tool Curves. It really is a master curve, but with fixed end and the center point. Control is a pair of wheels on top of the camera, move the point cannot be selected, so that the curves rather parametric. They apply to JPEG, the result can be a preliminary assessment on the screen in real time.



The camera Olympus OM-D E-M5 gives a true pleasure. Compact and lightweight body will appreciate those who for a long time does not leave the machine. The reaction rate is striking: from power only need a couple of seconds before the first frame. AF Olympus OM-D E-M5 by analyzing the image contrast is deservedly considered one of the fastest in the segment of mirrorless cameras and confidently compete with the combined phase-contrast systems. It shot over a thousand frames in different conditions – outdoors and indoors, in artificial light and sunlight. I can say that the fault of AF was not a single defective plot.

Olympus OM-D E-M5
Module five-axis optical stabilization

Be commended intrachamber optical stabilization system. For shooting immobile subjects, used shutter speed of 1/20 and receive normal pictures even at a focal distance of 50 mm, which is equivalent to the angle of view of 100 mm full-frame device.
The refusal of the optical viewfinder in favor of electronic mirrorless cameras turned to increased power consumption. Olympus OM-D E-M5 forced to recall the time of film: on one battery charge (without battery pack).

The menu system is traditional for Olympus OM-D E-M5. The main options are available immediately, but some settings will have to travel … In such a situation would be useful slots with custom settings for different occasions, but they are not.

Screen at the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is touch. If you’re a fan of controlling with the fingers, the machine does not disappoint. Capacitive technology the speed of response and accuracy is excellent.

The company also released the Olympus underwater case for the Olympus OM-D E-M5. It is small and it is perhaps the most important argument for those who want to capture the beauty of the sea depths.



Lens Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 12-50 mm f / 3.5-6.3

Camera Olympus OM-D E-M5 can be supplied without a lens and with a lens. In addition to the familiar to owners of devices complete series Pen M.Zuiko Digital 14-42 mm f / 3,5-5,6 Olympus optics in the line a very interesting lens M.Zuiko Digital 12-50 mm f / 3,5-6,3 . Yes, it is several times more expensive than “normal complete”, but really worth the money spent.
To begin with, the focal length does not start with 28 and 24 mm, and this is a significant benefit in a variety of shooting situations.
Original version

While the camera does not correct chromatic aberrations (such a function could theoretically add to future versions of the firmware).
The lens works in macro mode. The switch is located on the body, but it’s not that simple – except clicking on the button you want to move the zoom ring in the forward position. This sets the constant focal length of 43 mm (86 mm, 35 mm equivalent).
The lens focuses when the recordable area is around 26 x 36 mm. In this case, the minimum distance from the front of the lens to the subject is approximately equal to 65 mm, which makes it possible not to take additional measures for its coverage. Increase is x0.72 in a 35-mm camera (value less than one indicates that the system does not actually increase the object because its projection on the light-sensitive area of less than actual size), but taking into account the price and the universality of the lens – the result is excellent.
Videographers will appreciate the motorized zoom, the focal length is changing at a constant speed with a simple rejection of the ring. In combination with excellent optical stabilization system allows you to take this many scenes without a tripod. Motor runs so quietly that even a built-in microphone it almost does not “hear.” Switching between manual and motorized zoom ring is made by simply moving the focal length of choice: In the near (to the camera) position management hand, on average – motorized. Later (on the camera) position is used, as has been said, to translate into macro mode. Stroke switch is easy enough, so after carrying several times, came across the fact that instead of manually turned out included motorized mode. It seems to me that the additional retainer would not hurt.
Manual focusing is done fairly narrow ring. It is located near the ring zoom, the benefit of corrugations have different and well distinguished by touch. Focus is given direction through the menu.
A bunch of camera-lens showed good results when shooting with the AF tracking, but in some frames of the series were failures. The excuse may be noted that the 4.2 f / s – the speed considerable. With a fixed lens this figure rises to near-record 9.


The diameter of the lens is almost constant, at its thickest point – 58 mm, length – 83 mm, the focal length does not change size, front lens is fixed. Weight – 212 g all-metal mount. Filter thread 52 mm. The lens is of the same class of ingress protection, as well as the camera, which means that you can take a sprinkling or dust, but take it out of the machine in such conditions, of course, is not necessary.


Photo quality

To be brief for Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera is all great.

ISO 3200 – fully operational value, 6400 is accepted with reservations, everything else is suitable for Web or screen viewing with a mandatory reduction. Traditionally of RAW can get decent quality images at ISO for one or two steps above. Should not discount the possibility of reducing (16 megapixels allow) to deal with the artifacts.

Automatic detection of white balance in JPEG lame in challenging lighting conditions, so you must either use the presets or customized to a gray card. Talk about color in RAW virtually meaningless. First, during the post-processing the neutral color is assigned to the program. Secondly, you can simply profiled camera (for example, using SpyderCheckr company Datacolor).

Wide dynamic range of images, especially given format Micro 4/3. As the sensitivity is observed its restriction in the shadows, but to observe ISO 3200 is difficult.


Subjective evaluation

If we evaluate the apparatus on a scale, then it can be safely put four plus. Serious claim, only one – the ratio of battery capacity and power forces to buy an extra battery. Much more positive things – that excellent quality pictures and dimensions and weight and ease of use. Add a wide range of lenses (like Olympus, and other manufacturers) and gives a very interesting system camera.

This was all about one the beast Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera.