Olympus OM-D EM-5 epic review by Nasim Mansurov: Without a doubt, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best mirrorless camera on the market today. I just wish I checked it out earlier.

Olympus OM-D EM-5 epic review by Nasim Mansurov: Without a doubt, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best mirrorless camera on the market today. I just wish I checked it out earlier.

And I wish i had discovered this post by Nasim earlier. As far as reviews of the EM-5 go, this is one of the top 3 there is, the other two being Thom Hogan's recent essay and of course Richard Butler's technical at DPReview. Nasims reviews strike the perfect balance between lyrical and tehnical, and just for this, we forgive him for making fool predictions :)

"Until I came across the Olympus OM-D E-M5. From the day I started using the OM-D E-M5, I just fell in love with it. Everything just felt right about it – excellent image quality, incredibly fast autofocus, wide lens selection, superior ergonomics with a boatload of customization options. Suddenly, it just felt like the camera I had been wanting to own and use all these years. My only doubt was the smaller sensor size – for a while I thought that I would go with a

larger APS-C sensor system. But after seeing the lens size implications of a large sensor system in several different cameras, I knew there was no point in getting a bulky mirrorless system. My goal was to get a very capable camera that is compact enough to take it with me everywhere – not another DSLR that will prefer to stay in a bag. And the OM-D E-M5 just felt right from the start in that regard, once I mounted the tiny 12mm and 45mm Olympus prime lenses on it.

Is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 perfect? No, there are plenty of things I do not like about it, as I pointed out in the review. But I can live with those annoyances, because I love everything else about it.

Can it replace a DSLR? Yes and No. Yes, for those of us that enjoy everyday photography, where things like enormous resolution, crazy low-light performance or blazing fast autofocus are not needed. (which probably hits 80%+ of DSLR users out there). No, for the smaller population of photographers like me that want the best image quality and autofocus capabilities of a full-frame DSLR. For those particular needs, my Nikon DSLRs are here to stay. But even if the OM-D E-M5 (damn, I am tired of this stupidly long model name by now – sorry for the last minute rant) won’t replace my DSLR gear, I am still very happy to use it as a primary camera for everyday needs."

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Company Olympus Sony Fujifilm
Model OM-D / E-M5 α NEX-6 X-E1
Olympus OM-D / E-M5 front view Fujifilm X-E1 silver Front View
Release Date 02/2012 09/2012 09/2012
Initial Price $1000 $850 $1000
DXO Color Depth 22.8bits 23.7bits
DXO Dynamic Range 12.3Ev 13.1Ev
DXO Low Light Performance 826 ISO 1018 ISO
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds Mount Sony E mount Fujifilm XF bayonet
Type Micro Four Thirds APS-C APS-C
Effective Pixels 16.1 Megapixels 16.1 Megapixels 16.3 Megapixels
Sensor Dust Removal Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor) Charge protection coating on Optical Filter and ultrasonic vibration mechanism Ultra Sonic Vibration
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 No No
ISO Sensitivity AUTO: ISO 200 - 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600)
Manual ISO 200 - 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable
Still images: Auto (ISO 100-3200), Selectable (ISO 100-25600)
Movies: Auto (ISO 100-3200), Selectable (ISO 100-6400)
Equivalent to ISO 200 - 6400 (Standard Output Sensitivity)
AUTO mode: AUTO (400) / AUTO (800) / AUTO (1600) / AUTO (3200) / AUTO(6400)
Extended output sensitivity equivalent ISO 100, 12800 and 25600
Image Processor Type TruePic VI BIONZ™ image processor EXR Processor Pro
Memory Card Type SDHC Pro-HG Duo SDXC
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
"Exmor" APS HD CMOS sensor
1200-zone evaluative metering
TTL 256-zones metering
Metering range 0.0 - 20.0 EV 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
Superior Auto,
Programmed AE (P),
Aperture priority (A),
Shutter-speed priority (S),
Manual (M),
Sweep Panorama,
Scene Selection (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports Action, Sunset, Night Portrait, Night View, Handheld Twilight, Anti Motion Blur)
Programmed AE
Shutter priority AE
Aperture priority AE
Manual exposure
Motion panorama
Multiple exposure
Exposure Compensation Braketing 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps With 1/3, 2/3, 1, 2, 3EV increments, 3 frames AE Bracketing (±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV, ±1 EV) Film Simulation Bracketing (Any 3 type of film simulation selectable) Dynamic Range Bracketing (100%, 200%, 400%) ISO sensitivity Bracketing (±1/3 EV, ±2/3 EV, ±1 EV)
Shutter Type Computerized focal-plane shutter Electronically-controlled, vertical-traverse, focal-plane type 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.) Still images: 1/4000 to 30s (Bulb). Movies: 1/4000 to 1/4 (1/3 steps) up to 1/60 in AUTO mode (up to 1/30 in Auto slow shutter) (P mode) 1/4 sec. to 1/4000 sec., (All other modes) 30 sec. to 1/4000 sec. Bulb (max. 60 min.)
Drive Modes Single, Continuous Single-shot,
Continuous shooting,
Speed Priority continuous shooting,
Self-timer (10/2s delay selectable),
Self-timer (10/2s delay 3/5 exposures selectable),
Remote Cdr
Single, Continuous
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)
Continuous mode: max. 3 fps; Speed Priority Continuous shooting: max. 10 fps

Fine: 15 frames, Standard: 16 frames, RAW:11 frames, RAW&JPG: 10 frames

Max 6 / 3 fps selectable
Self Timer 12 sec., 2 sec. 2s or 10s delay (single, continuous 3 or 5 frames) Time 1/2 to 30 sec.
Focusing Type Contrast detect Hybrid 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
AF-S: Single-shot AF,
AF-C: Continuous AF
Single AF / Continuous AF / MF Distance Indicator / Face Detection
AF Working Range 0.0 - 20.0 EV
AF System Points 35 points 99 points 49 points
AF Assist Beam Yes Built-in, LED type (with a range of approx. 0.3-3.0m (with E PZ16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS attached)) Yes
AE Lock AE lock Locked at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn1/Rec button) AE is locked when the shutter button is half pressed (ON/OFF is available in MENU) Yes
AF Fine Adjustment No
Closest Focusing Distance
Depth of Field Preview Yes
Flash Hotshoe Yes Yes Yes
Built in Flash No Yes Yes
Guide Number 6 (in meters at ISO 100 equivalent) Recycling Time : Approx. 4 sec Guide number: approx 7 (ISO200 · m)
Flash Modes Auto, Redeye
Flash Off
Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain)
Slow sync.(1st curtain)
Slow sync.(2nd curtain)
Rear sync.,
Slow sync.,
Rear Sync.,
Flash Off,
Wireless (with external flash sold seperately)
Red-eye removal OFF:
Auto, Forced Flash,
Suppressed Flash,
Slow Synchro.
Rear-curtain Synchro,

Red-eye removal ON:
Red-eye Reduction Auto,
Red-eye Reduction & Forced Flash,
Suppressed Flash,
Red-eye Reduction & Slow Synchro.
Red-eye Reduction & Rear-curtain Synchro,

Flash Xsync 1/250sec. or less* (using the bundled flash) 1/160 s 1/180 sec or slower
External Flash Wireless Sync Yes
Viewfinder Type Electronic Electronic Electronic
Viewfinder Coverage ~100.0% ~100.0% ~100.0%
Viewfinder Eyepoint 18.0mm 23.0mm 23.0mm
Viewfinder Magnification ~0.9% ~0.6%
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 7.5cm (3.0-type) wide type TFT 2.8-in, approx. TFT color LCD monitor
Resolution 610000 dots 921600 dots 460000 dots
Live View Autofocus Yes
Live View Frame Rate
Live View Metering
Liveview Details Yes Yes Yes
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

Still Image Size 16:9 :
L: 4912 x 2760 (14M),
M: 3568 x 2000 (7.1M),
S: 2448 x 1376 (3.4M)

Still Image Size 3:2 :
L: 4912 x 3264 (16M),
M: 3568 x 2368 (8.4M),
S: 2448 x 1624 (4M)

Panorama Still Image Size :
Horizontal Wide: 12,416 x 1,856 (23M),
Vertical : 5,536 x 2,160 (12M),
Horizontal Std: 8,192 x 1,856 (15M),
Vertical Std: 3,872 x 2,160 (8.4M)

L : (3:2) 4896 x 3264 / (16:9) 4896 x 2760 / (1:1) 3264 x 3264
M : (3:2) 3456 x 2304 / (16:9) 3456 x 1944 / (1:1) 2304 x 2304
S : (3:2) 2496 x 1664 / (16:9) 2496 x 1408 / (1:1) 1664 x 1664

L Vertical: 7680 x 2160 Horizontal: 7680 x 1440
M Vertical: 5120 x 2160 Horizontal: 5120 x 1440

Still Image Format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still) JPEG (Standard, Fine),

JPEG (DCF Ver. 2.0, Exif Ver.2.3,
MPF Baseline compliant),
RAW (Sony ARW 2.3 format)

JPEG (Exif Ver 2.3)*2, RAW (RAF format), RAW+JPEG
(Design rule for Camera File system compliant / DPOF-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

Video Mode : AVCHD:
PS - 1920 x 1080/60p@28Mbps
FX - 1920 x 1080/60i@24Mbps
FH - 1920 x 1080/60i@17Mbps
FX - 1920 x 1080/24p@24Mbps
FH - 1920 x 1080/24p@17Mbps

HD - 1440 x 1080/ 30fps@12Mbps

VGA - 640 x 480/ 30fps@3Mbps

1920 x 1080 pixels,
1280 x 720 pixels (24 frames/sec.) with stereo sound
Movie Length Full HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 22min(Normal)
HD : Approx. 29min(Fine) / Approx. 29min(Normal)
Individual movies cannot exceed 29 minutes in length.
Movie Format MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264), AVI(Motion JPEG) with audio AVCHD Ver. 2.0 (Progressive),
H.264 (MOV) with Stereo sound
Power Source BLN-1 Lithium-ion rechargeable NP-FW50 NP-W126 Li-ion battery (included)
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 (battery life in CIPA condition) approx 350 frames (When XF35mmF1.4 R is set)
Width 122mm 120mm 129mm
Height 89mm 67mm 75mm
Depth 43mm 42mm 38mm
Weight 425 g Approx. 350g / 12.3 oz. (including battery and memory card) Approx. 300 g / 10.6 oz. (excluding accessories, battery and memory card)
Weather Sealing Details Dust-Proof & Splash- Proof Construction No No
Body Materials Magnesium alloy Metal Magnesium alloy
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