Happy 1st Birthday Anniversary, Olympus OM-D/E-M5!

Happy 1st Birthday Anniversary, Olympus OM-D/E-M5!
Athens, flowers in the center of the city. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f8 @ ISO 400
Street dog in Athens, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f7.1 @ ISO 500
Old melectricity meter at abandoned house in nirthern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens f5.1 @ ISO 320
Looking out the window, Rhodope mountains, northern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f5.6 @ ISO 320
The Chowder-Mobile, in Macedonia, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f5.8 @ ISO 640
Tree in the sunset, Macedonia, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 9-18mm lens f5 @ ISO 320
Chowdarella JR in Moudania, Macedonia, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f5.1 @ ISO 320
Troubled bride in Tripoli, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f4 at ISO 2000
Happy times in the bridesmobil, Tripoli Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 9-18mm lens f5.6 @ ISO 2000
Abandoned seaside resort, southern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f7.1 @ ISO 400
Lonely tree, Attica Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f7.1 @ ISO 400
Chowdarella JR in Parnitha, Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 9-18mm lens @ ISO 400
Tree detail, Frakto basin, northern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f5 at ISO 2000
Abandoned house, deliboska, northern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f6.3 @ ISO 200
Happy face wall, abandoned royal residence, tatoi Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f6.1 @ ISO 2000
Servants Car freet, abandoned royal residence in Tatoi, greece. Olympus E-M5 with 9-18mm lens f7.1 @ ISO 5000. Light provided by the tiny Olympus MAL-1 Macro arm light
Old Nafpio city, southern Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 12-50mm lens f7.1 @ ISO 400
Royal toilet, Tatoi Greece. Olympus E-M5 with 9-18mm lens f5.6 @ ISO 2000
Happy 1st Birthday Anniversary, Olympus OM-D/E-M5!

Oh how time flies. A full year-and a day, has passed since the official revelation of the E-M5, a camera that came at a very crucial moment in Olympus history, the company still shaking by the aftermath of the financial misbehaving of its board. This little cam took the limelight away from all that, and has carried it far and away: The E-M5 must be the most awarded and decorated digital camera so far, having received a 'camera of the year' award by most major photography sites worth their affiliate links, and of course, by me.

Here is my 'best camera' definition: It is the one you can carry with you to as many places as possible, under as many environmental conditions as possible, and can deliver reliable output, day or night. And by that definition the Olympus E-M5 is the best camera that I've ever had, and I've been using digital cameras since 2001. I've been through almost all of Canon's EOS range, up to and including the 7D and the 5D Mark III, an untold number of prosumer cameras, both pocket sized and superzooms, and a couple of earlier micro 4/3 models from Olympus and Panasonic, even some NExes.

None (with the possible exception of the-brilliant for its time, Minolta A1) has ever come close to the versatility provided by the E-M5. As an old dog, I'm way past the point of being super excited by new cameras, but the E-M5 has given me many 'Tom-on-Oprah's-couch' moments. Is it perfect? No, no no no, far from it, but what camera is?

As a starter, its menu system makes the Hampton Court maze look like a straight white line on black background. Furthermore, most of its buttons are small and mushy, and the cameras implementation of custom user settings is...ok, let's not spoil the Birthday mood here. But, for the money required, i would expect-if not Wi-Fi and GPS, at least a goddamn built-in interval timer. But that's pretty much everything seriously negative I could come up with, everything else would be nitpicking.

Oh, and more thing, lenses. Olympus has graced us with a number of exquisite primes, but seems to have forgotten the fast zoom lineage of the 4/3 system. Oly, you're losing money on this, i bet more users of the E-M5  buy into Lumix f2.8 zooms than Panasonic camera owners. We need the holy quad (you very well know what I'm talking about) of fast zoomers ASAP, and while you're at it, how' bout a 150mm f2.8? (with a matching tele-converter, of course)

Most of the pics to the right were taken with the 12-50mm kit lens. I DO have primes, and sharper zooms too. But as an all dancing-all singing-all purpose lens, the 12-50mm is unbeatable. Rain, snow, sea(shore) and sandy beaches, no problem. It also comes with a useable macro mode, and is optically in the same league as the $1000 Canon 24-105mm f4L IS USM lens: Not very sharp, but sharp enough. If i need to change to another lens I just slide it in my pocket, as a matter of fact a whole m4/3 lens system can be carried within the nooks and crannies of my vest, complete with filters, batteries, and my new best friend, the MAL-1 Macro Arm Light.

 Now, i could rant go on forever about about the OM-D's other merits, but the birthday baby needs a thorough washing in the sink, and that cake ain't gonna eat itself.

 

 

Comparison: 
Specifications
Click and drag to change order
Click and drag to change order
Click and drag to change order
Company Olympus Olympus Olympus
Model OM-D / E-M5 PEN E-PL5 PEN E-PM2
Olympus OM-D / E-M5 front view
Release Date 02/2012 09/2012 09/2012
Initial Price $1000 $700 $600
DXO Color Depth 22.8bits 22.8bits 22.7bits
DXO Dynamic Range 12.3Ev 12.3Ev 12.2Ev
DXO Low Light Performance 826 ISO 889 ISO 932 ISO
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Mount Micro Four Thirds Mount Micro Four Thirds Mount
Type Micro Four Thirds
Effective Pixels 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels
Sensor Dust Removal Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor) Supersonic Wave Filter Supersonic Wave Filter
Stabilization details Built-in (Image sensor shift type for movie & still, 5-axis image stabilization) -> yaw/pitch/vertical shift/horizontal shift/rolling. Effective compensation range maximum 5 EV steps Yes, Sensor shift Sensor shift
ISO Sensitivity AUTO: ISO 200 - 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600)
Manual ISO 200 - 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable
ISO 200 - 25600 (customisable, default ISO 200 - 1600)
in 1/3 or 1 EV ISO steps
AUTO ISO 200 - 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600) Manual ISO 200 - 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable
Image Processor Type TruePic VI TruePic VI image processor TruePic VI
Memory Card Type SDHC
Metering Mode Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering),
Center weighted average metering,
Spot metering,
Spot metering with highlight control,
Spot metering with shadow control
TTL open aperture light metering 324 zones Multi-pattern Sensing System
ESP light metering
Spot metering
Centre weighted metering
Highlight
Shadow
TTL open aperture light metering, 324 zones Multi-pattern Sensing System
ESP light metering
Spot metering
Centre weighted metering
Highlight
Shadow
Metering range 0.0 - 20.0 EV
Shooting Modes i Auto,
P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed),
A: Aperture priority AE,
S: Shutter priority AE,
M: Manual, Bulb,
Time, Scene select AE,
Art Filter, Underwater wide / macro*
* Selectable from menu as a function on Fn-1/Rec button
Programme automatic
Aperture priority
Shutter priority
Manual
Bulb
Time
i-Auto
Scene Modes (Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Macro, Sports, Night Scene, Night Scene with portrait, Children, High key, Low key, Digital Image Stabilisation, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach and Snow, Fisheye converter, Macro converter, 3D*, Wide converter Underwater Macro, Underwater Wide, * Only for stills and with usage of 3D lens (H-FT012) )
Art Filter (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Dramatic Tone, Gentle Sepia, Key Line, Water colour)
My Mode (4 settings storable)
Multi-Exposure ( Max. number of frames, 2 frames (shooting), 3 frames (editing), Auto gain control, Live View Frame assistance )
Programme automatic
Aperture priority
Shutter priority
Manual
Bulb
Time
i-Auto
Multi-Exposure (Max. 2 frames (shooting), 3 frames (editing) with Auto gain control and Live View Frame assistance)
Scene Modes (Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape with Portrait, Macro, Sports, Night Scene, Night Scene with portrait, Children, High key, Low key, Digital Image Stabilisation, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach and Snow, Fisheye converter, Macro converter, 3D*, Wide converter, Underwater Macro, Underwater Wide, * Only for stills and with usage of 3D lens (H-FT012) )
Art Filter (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross , Process, Dramatic Tone, Gentle Sepia, Key Line, Water colour)
My Mode ( 4 settings storable)
Exposure Compensation Braketing 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps 2 / 3 / 5 frames ( +/- 1/3, 2/3 EV steps ) 7 frames ( +/- 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 EV steps ), ISO bracketing 3 frames ( 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps ) 2 / 3 / 5 frames ( +/- 1/3, 2/3 EV steps ) 7 frames ( +/- 1/3, 1/2, 2/3 EV steps )
Shutter Type Computerized focal-plane shutter Computerised focal-plane shutter Computerised focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed Shutter speed 1/4000 - 60 sec. (1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable.) Bulb: default setting 8min. (1/2/4/8/15/20/25/30 min. selectable.) 1/4000 - 60s (in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps) Up to 30 minutes (selectable longest time in the menu, default: 8 minutes) 1/4000 - 60s (in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps) Bulb mode Up to 30 minutes (selectable longest time in the menu, default: 8 minutes)
Drive Modes Single, Continuous Single-frame shooting,
Sequential shooting, Speed (H) Approx. 8fps
Speed (L) (IS off) , 3.5fps
Self-timer
Single-frame shooting,
Sequential shooting,
Self-timer
Continuous Shooting Details maximum speed [Sequential shooting H mode] 9.0 fps
[Sequential shooting L mode] 3.5 fps / 4.2fps  
in case of "I.S. OFF". Max. recordable pictures on sequential shooting [RAW] Max. 17 frames (in seq. shooting L),
Max. 11 frames (in seq. shooting H) [JPEG] Up to full extent of data strage capacity (in seq. shooting L),
Max. 17 frames ( in seq. shooting H)
27 frames (RAW)
19 frames (JPG / Large Normal mode)
[Sequential shooting H mode]*
18 8.0 fps * in case of "I.S. Off" *18: Focus and exposure are fixed at the values for the first shot.
[Sequential shooting L mode] *
3.6 fps* in case of "I.S. Off" (in 3.5 seq. shooting L)
3.0 fps* in case of "I.S. On" (in 3 seq. shooting L)
*When using the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mmⅡR f3.5-5.6

Max. recordable pictures on sequential shooting *
[RAW]
Max. 27frames (in 3 seq. shooting L), Max.15 frames (in 8 seq. shooting H)

[JPEG]
Unlimited consecutive shooting (in 3 seq. shooting L), Max. 19 frames ( in 8 seq. shooting H)
When using the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mmⅡR f3.5-5.6.
With TOSHIBA SDHC UHS-I card R95-W80 8GB model, based on Olympus in-house measurement conditions.

Self Timer 12 sec., 2 sec. 2s / 12s 2s / 12s
Focusing Type Contrast detect
AF Modes Full-time AF Available Maginified frame AF Selectable from over 800 AF points Enlarged view check by magnify button Magnification x5, x7, x10(Default), x14 selectable Face detection AF
Eye detection AF Available
Available Eye Detection AF mode : OFF
Nearer-eye priority
Right-eye priority
Left-eye priority
Manual focus
Single AF
Continuous AF
Single AF + MF
AF Tracking
Touch target
Face Detection extension (Eye Detect AF: Off, Left side priority, Near side priority, Right side priority)
Manual focus
Single AF
Continuous AF
Single AF + MF
AF Tracking
Touch target
AF Working Range
AF System Points 35 points 35 points 35 points
AF Assist Beam Yes Yes Yes
AE Lock AE lock Locked at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn1/Rec button) Yes Yes
AF Fine Adjustment
Closest Focusing Distance
Depth of Field Preview
Flash Hotshoe Yes Yes Yes
Built in Flash No Yes Yes
Guide Number 10 (ISO 200) 10m (ISO 200)
Flash Modes Auto, Redeye
Fill-in
Flash Off
Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain)
Slow sync.(1st curtain)
Slow sync.(2nd curtain)
Manual(1/1(FULL)~1/64)
AUTO
Manual (Full, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64)
Red-eye reduction
Slow synchronisation with red-eye reduction
Slow synchronisation
Slow synchronisation 2nd curtain
Fill-in
Off
AUTO
Manual (Full, 1/4, 1/16, 1/64)
Red-eye reduction
Slow synchronisation with red-eye reduction
Slow synchronisation
Slow synchronisation 2nd curtain
Fill-in
Off
Flash Xsync 1/250sec. or less* (using the bundled flash) 1/250s / 1/4000s (Super FP Mode) 1/250s / 1/4000s (Super FP Mode)
External Flash Wireless Sync Yes, 4 channels, 4 groups
Control method: Triggered and controlled by bundled flash
Yes, Available when used together with cameras compatible with the Olympus wireless RC flash system.
4 channels, 4 groups
Triggered and controlled by bundled flash
Viewfinder Type Electronic
Viewfinder Coverage ~100.0%
Viewfinder Eyepoint 18.0mm
Viewfinder Magnification ~0.9%
Rear Screen Details 3.0-inch tilting OLED monitor Touch control in electrostatic capacitance Type Touch control Touch shutter release, Touch enlargement<br> Touch Live Guide, AF area selection, AF area enlargement, Frame advance/backward, Enlargement playback, Touch Super Control Panel Tilting angle Upward tilting angle : up to 80 degrees / Downward tilting angle : up to 50 degrees 7.6cm / 3.0'' (16:9) Tiltable LCD - Touch Panel 3.0-inch wide monitor, Touch control in electrostatic capacitance Type
Resolution 610000 dots 460000 dots
Live View Autofocus Contrast detection system Contrast detection system
Live View Frame Rate
Live View Metering
Liveview Details Yes Yes Yes with WB adjustment preview,
Gradation auto preview,
Face detection preview (up to 8 faces),
Grid line,
Histogram,
Highlight and shadow,
Off
Image Sizes [RAW] 4608 x 3456 pixels
[JPEG] 4608 x 3456 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels

File sizes
RAW: 4608(H)x3456(V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 17MB
Set1(LF): 4608(H)x3456(V) (1/4 compressed) Approx. 7.5MB
Set2(LN): 4608(H)x3456(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 3.5MB
Set3(MN): 2560(H)x1920(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Set4(SN): 1024(H)x768(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB

RAW
4608 x 3456 compressed / 17MB / frame

JPG
4608 x 3456 Fine (compression: 1/4) / 7.5MB / frame
4608 x 3456 Normal (compression: 1/8) / 3.5MB / frame
2560 x 1920 Normal (compression: 1/8) 1.1MB / frame
1024 x 768 Normal (compression: 1/8) / 0.3MB / frame

RAW:
4608(H)x3456(V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 17MB
Set1(LF): 4608(H)x3456(V) (1/4 compressed) Approx. 7.5MB
Set2(LN): 4608(H)x3456(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 3.5MB
Set3(MN): 2560(H)x1920(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Set4(SN): 1024(H)x768(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
Still Image Format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still) RAW 12bit
RAW & JPEG
JPEG
MPO (3D)

EXIF 2.2
PIM III
DCF

RAW (12-bit lossless compression),
JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still)
DCF, DPOF compatible / Exif, PRINT Image Matching III, MPO compatible
Movie Full HD:
1920(H)x1080(V), 59.94i Recording *3
20Mbps(Fine) *4 / 17Mbps(Normal) *4 : Aspect 16:9

HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 59.94i Recording *3,
13Mbps(Fine) *4 / 10Mbps(Normal) *4 : Aspect 16:9

*3 : Sensor output 30fps
*4 : bitrate

[AVI Motion JPEG]
HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 30fps *4, Aspect 16:9
SD: 640(H)x480(V), 30fps *4, Aspect 4:3
*4 : Except for some of the Art Filters

Full HD 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 30p, 20Mbps (MOV)
Full HD 1920 x 1080 (16:9) 30p, 17Mbps (MOV)
HD 1280 x 720 (16:9) 30p, 13Mbps (MOV)
HD 1280 x 720 (16:9) 30p, 10Mbps (MOV)
HD 1280 x 720 (16:9) / 30fps (AVI Motion JPEG®)

Movie quality 640 x 480 / 30fps (AVI Motion JPEG®) 29min (17Mbps) 14min (SD) / 7min (HD) (AVI Motion JPEG®)*

[MOV]
Full HD:
1920(H)x1080(V), 30p (29.97fps) Recording 20Mbps (Fine) / 17Mbps (Normal) : Aspect 16:9
HD:
1280(H)x720(V), 30p (29.97fps) Recording 13Mbps (Fine) / 10Mbps (Normal) : Aspect 16:9

[AVI Motion JPEG]
HD:
1280(H)x720(V), 30fps *20, Aspect 16:9
SD:
640(H)x480(V), 30fps *20, Aspect 4:3
*Except for some of the Art Filters

Movie Length Full HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 22min(Normal)
HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 29min(Normal)
Full HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 22min(Fine)
HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 29min(Fine)
[AVI]
HD : Approx. 7min*21 / SD : Approx. 14min*21
*21 : Except for some of the Art Filters

4GB (AVCHD)
2GB (Motion-JPEG)

[MOV]
Full HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 22min(Fine)
HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 29min(Fine)

[AVI]
HD : Approx. 7min*21 / SD : Approx. 14min*21
*21 : Except for some of the Art Filters

Movie Format MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264), AVI(Motion JPEG) with audio MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264)
AVI(Motion JPEG)
MOV (MPEG-4AVC/H.264) ,
AVI (Motion JPEG)
Power Source BLN-1 Lithium-ion rechargeable BLS-5 Li-ion battery (included) BLS-5 Li-Ion battery (included) Lithium-Ion Battery (CR-V3 not compliant)
Battery Life Approx. 360 shots [IS ON, CIPA test standard] (with BLN-1 and TOSHIBA super high-speed Class 6 SDHC 4GB card) Approx. 360 shots [IS ON, CIPA test standard] 360 shots [IS ON, CIPA test standard]
Width 122mm 110mm 110mm
Height 89mm 64mm 64mm
Depth 43mm 38mm 33mm
Weight 425 g 325g [CIPA guideline compliant, with BLS-5 battery and Memory card] Approx. 279g [body only] 269g [CIPA guideline compliant, with BLS-5 battery and Memory card], Approx. 223g [body only]
Weather Sealing Details Dust-Proof & Splash- Proof Construction No No
Body Materials Magnesium alloy Metal Metal
Selected Items
Click to close the selection preview
Compare List
Teleconverters: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Flashes: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Lenses: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items
Cameras: Click to see the selected items
Click to Compare the selected items