67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Versatile - Fantastic Pictures. It's a 'Keeper'
I bought this camera after seeing it first hand at FOCUS in the NEC earlier in the year. I do a lot of travel photography and I can honestly say it is a brilliant camera for this purpose. I've previously had a DSLR and I often found it too bulky and too obtrusive... you can almost hide this camera in your hand! The image stabilisation is much better than previous...
Published 19 months ago by S. Carter
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great camera when it works...
Sadly, my OM-D freezes so frequently as to be unusable.
Which is a shame, because I'm really happy with the camera otherwise.
Hopefully it's just a "dud" model that I've got - I look forward to getting a new one from Olympus and trying again...
Published 2 months ago by Mr. C. J. Holden
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67 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Versatile - Fantastic Pictures. It's a 'Keeper',
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (16.1MP, Live MOS, M.Zuiko 12-50mm Lens) 3.0 inch OLED (Electronics)I bought this camera after seeing it first hand at FOCUS in the NEC earlier in the year. I do a lot of travel photography and I can honestly say it is a brilliant camera for this purpose. I've previously had a DSLR and I often found it too bulky and too obtrusive... you can almost hide this camera in your hand! The image stabilisation is much better than previous incarnations and makes those impromtu shots much easier to get right. You can take 90% of shots hand-held without any support or tripod.
The build quality is excellent. I've got a (free) grip on order, but even without one the camera feels very comfortable in my hands....and no wrist strain from my previous heavy DSLR.
The waterproofing is very useful when you get caught in the rain. Battery life is very reasonable (600+ shots).
The buttons are a little 'soft', but not really an issue. The included flash is not really needed in most situations as the image stabilisation lets you take photos without flash in much darker situations than normally would be possible.
The video quality is great and does not suffer the 'jelly on a plate' like effect when panning as most (if not all) other DSLRs do.
The 12-50 lens is a good all-rounder, with macro capability and both standard and video type (power) zooming.
I went for the black and I'm glad I did. There were some negative comments on the net about the case being slippy, but I have not found this at all.
The menus/features are highly customisable...even more so than my previous 'flagship' DSLR.
Overall a great buy.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Micro Four Thirds Camera Built To Date,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (16.1MP, Live MOS, M.Zuiko 12-50mm Lens) 3.0 inch OLED (Electronics)The Olympus OM-D EM-5 is without a doubt the finest micro four thirds camera built to date. Complemented by a wide range of prime and zoom lenses, it is superbly built, focuses swiftly even in low light, and is backed up by excellent customer service from Olympus. For portraits and low light work ( landscapes at dawn/dusk for example) it is especially superb with the pana/leica summilux F1.4 25mm asph lens, giving excellent bokeh even in low light. The relatively inexpensive panasonic 100-300mm zoom lens, not much larger than a standard 18-55mm zoom lens on an amateur/semi-pro dslr ( like the APSC half-frame Nikon D3200 or D7000 ), will zoom to a 600mm equivalent thus enabling the user to shoot high quality distance shots; perfect for wildlife and birds in particular, without having to carry a house brick's worth of weight. The icing on the cake is that the 12-50mm zoom it comes with is optically superior to just about every other standard zoom lens available for less than four figures.
Read Steve Huff, an independent photographer/reviewer, and see his results fullscreen;
Go to the dpreview camera review site for more than 20 pages of detailed review with many more samples;
Or just take my word, and that of all but one of the other reviewers here, that this really is a Great Camera.
48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (Body Only) (Electronics)Have to say I am tremendously impressed by this camera. I am a long time Nikon DSLR user and have been somewhat sceptical of the m4/3s format but the release of this camera gave me 2nd thoughts. The camera is a joy to use and the EVF is excellent, but ultimately the most important thing with any camera is the quality of the pictures. I think I have pretty high standards when it comes to image quality and so far the Om-d and the selection of lenses that I use have met that standard. Without really quite detailed examination the images are indistinguishable in quality from shots taken on my Nikon D90 with Nikon lenses. The OM-D images are fantastic up to ISO 800 while 1600 and 3200 are fine for almost all uses although maybe not to A3+ size. Although if you dial back the in camera noise reduction and spend time in lightroom/aperture etc even this would be fine unless you were incredibly picky. The camera in body image stabilisation system is great and can be set to work in live view as well as when shooting (a first for the Olympus m4/3rd cameras I think) and this makes hand holding lenses like the 75-300mm at its long end much easier. The degree of customisation that is available with the camera is also extremely impressive. One interesting result of using this camera is that due to the hugely impressive Olympus JPEG engine I have actually, for the first time, switched from shooting raw to JPEG. I found I was having to spend a lot of time in post processing working on raw images just to get them to look as good as 95% of the camera JPEGs. Obviously there are times when JPEG will let you down but a lot of those are predictable (tricky white balance etc) and then you can switch to raw but IMHO shooting raw all the time with this camera will result in the user wasting a lot of time on unnecessary pp work.
There is also a huge "less is more" factor with this camera. I can carry the camera and lenses to cover 24mm-600mm (35mm equiv.) in a small rucksack all day without a thought, something I wouldn't even contemplate doing with my Nikons, the end result of which is that you take it with you more often and take more pictures and have more fun.
Overall I heartily recommend this camera. To me the OM-D marks the "coming of age" of the m4/3s format and I can see the APS-C DSLR's being increasingly squeezed between the m4/3s on the one side and the full frame DSLR's on the other......
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1/2 a year with the E-M5,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (16.1MP, Live MOS, M.Zuiko 12-50mm Lens) 3.0 inch OLED (Electronics)I bought my E-M5 with 12-50mm kit lens in July 2012 through Amazon UK for £1000, imported from Hong Kong. I upgrade from my Panasonic GF1, because I wanted a view finder for composing pictures on bright sunny days and when using a zoom. I bought into Micro Four Thirds (MFT) a few years ago because of the trade-off between image quality and camera size.
I'm a sucker for a beautiful camera, so I bought the silver version. The black version is less eye-catching, but some of my favourite lenses are silver, and they stood out like a sore thumb on my black GF1.
Here are the things I like about the camera:
i) When fitted with certain prime lenses and a wrist-strap, this camera is almost the perfect size. It's small enough to go almost everywhere with me, stuffed in a jacket pocket, messenger bag or rucksack. (I don't think I would wand the body to be much smaller).
ii) It's very discrete (even in silver) and people don't tend to mind or notice when I take photographs. The touch to shoot LCD screen is really good fun for taking sneaky shots without anyone noticing.
iii) The image quality is a big improvement on the GF1. The difference between indoor shots with an identical is just incredible.
iv) I really like the fast prime lenses in the MFT system. I already owned the Olympus 12mm f2, the Olympus 45mm F1.8 and Panasonic 20mm F1.7 before I bought the camera.
v) It is fast at focusing for a compact system camera, unless you use a slow focusing lens like the Panasonic 20mm F1.7.
vi) The top control dials (PASM, Exposure and Aperture/Shutter) are a joy to use. I mention this because a lot of mirror-less cameras only have 2 of the 3 control dials.
vii) The in-body image stabilization is amazing. Nearly all the MFT prime lenses are un-stabilized, so it is really handy.
viii) The Electronic View Finder (EVF) is heaven after owning a GF1, and much better than the EVFs on early mirror-less cameras. You can check if the sensor is clipping, spirit level, etc. I don't mind that it is not optical, because camera size is far more important to me.
ix) It looks and feels good (for the most part).
x) It makes fairly good videos, especially with the image stabilization.
xi) The software is nice and simple. Firmware update software is hassle free, and picture viewer software is quick and simple to retouch photos (white balance, exposure, noise reduction, etc.)
No camera is perfect, and there are some things about the E-M5 that spoil the experience :
i) The position of the ON/OFF switch is not well located and I find myself fumbling for it when I want to quickly take a shot.
ii) The EVF eye sensor often detects my hand when I use the rear LCD screen's touch to shoot function, turning off the LCD screen and causing me to miss the shot.
iii) There are some fiddly clip on bits, and I have already replaced a lost the eyecup (£20) and the hot-shoe cover. The eyecup is particularly prone to coming unclipped.
iv) The ISO only goes down to 200 not 100 (max shutter speed of 4000), so it can be difficult to shoot at low aperture settings outside.
v) I find there are not enough buttons on the back of the camera (the LCD screen takes up all the space), so it is a bit fiddly to change certain setting.
vi) I really don't like the way Olympus implemented the custom settings (myset). They are not quickly accessible via the PASM mode dial and you cannot program a button to toggle through myset 1 to 5.
vii) Some controls and functions are quirky; you can only program certain functions to certain buttons. Bracketing is buried in the menus rather than grouped with the single/burst/timer, the format memory card is the first option in the menu (which seems like a dangerous place to put it), and I could go on........ I am waiting for David Busch's book "Olympus Om-D E-M5 Guide to Digital Photography" to better understand the logic behind these peculiarities.
viii)Lots of Olympus lenses are only available in silver, never supplied with a lens hood, never supplied with a lens case, never fit in a 3rd party lens case. Keep up the good work Panasonic, perhaps Olympus may one day learn !
I cannot comment on the 12-50mm kit lens, as I have hardly used it (perhaps that sums it up). It is too big and slow (aperture) for my taste, and I keep accidentally switching to E-zoom. I would have preferred to pay only £800 for the body, than £1000 for the body + kit lens.
Here are some things you might read in magazines and on the internet :
i) Sound of the image stabilization....Gone with firmware update 1.5.
ii) ~330 shot battery life and £60 pounds for a genuine spare.....I bought a third party battery + charger for £20 on amazon.
iii) No built in flash...Never needed it with a fast prime lenses, ISO=<1600 using RAW.
iv) Excellent customizable...I actually prefer the buttons on the GF1.
v) Olympus lenses work best on Olympus bodies and Panasonic lenses work best on Panasonic bodies....Don't agree. The Panasonic 14 - 45mm and 45 - 200mm work like a charm on the E-M5, as do the Olympus 12mm F2 and 45mm F1.8 on the GF1. The Panasonic 20mm F1.7 is slow to focus on all bodies. The only differences are, Panasonic bodies don't have image stabilization and automatically correct for CA.
vi) No manual focus peaking....If you are desperate for this function, you can use art filter 11ii (see youtube clip from Amin Sabet).
I would definitely recommend this camera to anyone who has already bought into the MFT format. Despite some quirks, for me it is the best MFT camera with built in view finder. If you are not already a MFT user, then you should ask yourself whether size really matters. You are paying a premium for picture quality in such a small package, and you lose some ergonomics compared to a DSLR.
I also recommend checking out the different lenses before you buy, as the best are not offered in a kit. I probably wouldn't rate this camera, if I didn't already own the 12mm and 45mm prime lenses. I was going to give this a camera four stars (-1 star for price and ergonomics), but I have just been looking at my Christmas photos and they are soooo nice. In fact, they make me want to spend even more money on a new lens (50mmF1.4) !
Finally, what sort of photos do I take; 5% street, 10% travel photo, 30% social gatherings (parties, etc.), 50% family, 5% other. Nearly all my photos have people in them, which is one of the reasons why a value a small(ish) camera. This camera is almost perfect for me (the way some of the controls & functions are implemented is not exactly to my taste).
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs DSLRs when you have this?,
One thing I noted that it was more and more often I would leave my Canon at home. Either because of the bulk or fear that I would look too intrusive having a big black camera with a massive lens with me. The best camera is the one that is with you, so I started looking around for smaller alternatives.
I was watching Micro Four Thirds system development closely for about a year, and it would tick all the boxes - compact size without compromise on features, wide choice of high quality glass, beautiful Olympus colour, out-of-camera JPEG and in-body stabilizer - except the image sensor that was a couple of years behind the competition, so that low-light images would suffer from excessive noise.
The game changed when Olympus presented E-M5 with brand new Sony sensor (later also adopted by Panasonic GH3), and I bought it via pre-order.
Having had the E-M5 for about a year now, I don't understand why people still buy entry-level DLSRs! Image quality with good lenses is absolutely smashing!
Seriously, every time I compare my images shot by Canon 450D and this tiny little beast, I have a feeling that I was using a beer bottle as a lens before, so crystal clear and razor sharp images from Olympus are!
The good things (not complete but the most important for me):
* Image sensor has high sensitivity and dynamic range, on par (or better!) than most of entry/mid level DSLRs
* In-body stabilizer is a miracle - in 99% of cases I don't use tripod, and having sharp handheld images with 1/2 sec speed (!!!) is a norm
* Metering and auto white balance is very good, I only correct them in maybe 10% of my pictures
* Autofocus speed is lighting fast (except some older lenses)
* Features and customization is on par with top DSLRs
* Out-of-camera JPEG are very good
The bad things:
* second battery is a must - stabilizer and bright screen eat a lot of energy
* kit lens (12-50) is mediocre for stills, I only use it for video
* bundled RAW processing software is rather slow
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The EM5 Its a winnwr,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (Body Only) (Electronics)First of all dont believe the 1 star review, the EM5 gets excellent reviews in the photo mags and a Gold star from DPreview.
I have had mine for almost three weeks now and it is sturdy, portable, easy to use and the two rotary dials on top are just the best.
The two part grip came a few days ago, it has rubber seals around the contacts so I take it that it is weather sealed as well.
The hump for the viewfinder is I think quite small, not large at all. Really enjoying using it and I think the image quality is excellent easy equals APS-C.
Just hook it up with some of the primes and away you go.
Olympus has come up with a real winner here, you wont regret buying the OMD EM-5.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Close to replacing my Nikon D300,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Silver (Body Only) (Electronics)I was starting to tire of the bulk and weight of a Nikon D300 which was about due for replacement anyway. After reading many, many reviews, looking at samples (some of which were awful due to the photographer rather than the camera) and downloading raw samples, I decided the Olympus OMD looked pretty certain to be good as an alternative to a bulky dSLR much of the time and possibly a contender to completely replace the Nikon kit. I'm still learning with this camera, but overall I'm pretty pleased with it. The weight and bulk reduction compared with my Nikon kit is amazing even if I stick three lenses, spare battery, assorted Lee filters and holder, etc in the bag.
I have NOT bought the two part grip. That would at least partially defeat the object of smaller and lighter. So far, whether wearing gloves or bare-handed, I do not find the camera too small to hold steady and I would say my hands are at least average male size, possibly even slightly large/long. I read online that the silver camera's black surface gave better grip than that on the black version. Having tried both (but not at the same time) I think I agree. The only fiddly bit about using the camera is the four-way controller and OK button and - to a lesser extent - the other small buttons on the camera rear. Even then, that's only a problem when wearing gloves (which you almost may as well stitch to your hands in the north-east of Scotland). I find the EVF a bit too contrasty in harsh light, but otherwise fine, but the flip-up LCD is quite good for visibility even in fairly strong light and is less contrasty if you find the EVF view a bit too blocky now and again.
Image quality, at least when used with decent lenses, so far seems to be better than with my Nikon. Both use Sony sensors, so there is some similarity in appearance to my eyes, although the metering is different. The Olympus seems to expose a bit darker than the Nikon and seems to hold highlight detail, such as that in the sky, better to the extent that I'm starting to wonder whether I can also abandon my ND grad filters for a further weight saving compared to the Nikon. Focus is fast and mainly reliable, although you'll get even better results if you use the magnification option to reduce the size of the focus box, which is rather large at default setting.
So far, I've kept my Nikon kit because I'm not sure the Olympus is up to wildlife shots of things like birds in flight. You can find settings online that should improve its performance for this type of photography, but I'm still in the process of trying those and waiting for suitable AF lenses to come along before I feel confident of abandoning the dSLR. For everything else, I think I would leave the Nikon at home and use the Olympus. I'm also trying out a Nikon to MFT adapter to put my Nikon 300mm f4 lens and 1.4tc on the Olympus. First attempts suggest good results, although it's manual focus only, so I've had plenty of misses. The Olympus' IBIS does a very good job of stabilising the Nikon telephoto set-up, including the view in the EVF, if you set the focal length in the IS settings. In fact, it is effective enough that I've had steady shots at 840mm effective focal length, hand held, down to about 1/125 second which is much slower than any shutter speed that will be suitable for most wildlife. One oddity that I think I've noticed sometimes is that the IBIS will sometimes deliver sharper results at shutter speeds that you would think would be far too slow, while there's still some camera shake evident at some higher speeds. How much that is due to operator error, a quirk in the IBIS or 'shutter shock', I can't say at the moment. It's not a big deal and not happening a lot, so it may well just be operator error/variability. All the gizmos on offer still don't beat a steady stance or support and holding the camera viewfinder firmly to your eye at a sensible shutter speed, but the OMD does seem to be pretty good at getting shots you would expect to be a bit blurry with a dSLR.
One star deducted for price, a bit of noisiness in some images (usually less than the Nikon and fixed quite easily in Lightroom) and the slightly too fiddly buttons. Note that the mode dial, main control dials and shutter button are fine though, even with gloves on. Overall, worth trying if you can afford it and some decent (probably prime) lenses and want good image quality without dSLR bulk and weight.
26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Silver (16.1MP, Live MOS, M.Zuiko 12-50mm Lens) 3.0 inch OLED (Electronics)Olympus have based this camera on the old OM line from the 70s and so it has a very attractive retro look. It is much smaller than I had imagined when I ordered it and it is extremely pleasant to hold, it exudes quality like a little Leica. This is partly due to its metal body unlike the plasticky/rubbery bodies found on the average SLR type camera. I find the one star review on here a little hard to believe (to say the least). This camera gets the dpreview.com Gold Award which they do not hand out lightly. Image quality is first class, I also have a Panasonic G1 and Olympus Pen EPL2 and it is light years better. Even at high ISOs the noise and sharpness is very good whereas it used to fall off rapidly with the other two cameras (and they are both good cameras). Access to settings is fast once you realise that they are all displayed on the rear screen when the 'info' button is pressed and being touch sensitive you just touch the relevant item and turn the wheel with your shutter pressing finger to scroll through the options. I have several Pansonic lenses which work fine with this camera. Using the Panny 20mm the whole setup is very small indeed. The kit lens is a little long for the small body but 'walk around' lenses do tend to be a little larger, the w/a end is wider than the usual 28mm at 24mm which is a good feature. This kit lens seems to be high quality and has a useful macro function so I would say it was good value at the price. One criticism is that for the price (over £1400) they should have included a decent manual. It is ridiculous that you only get a booklet with a dozen or so pages in English. There is a manual on the CD but even that is not very good. It's a little odd that I have had to study the dpreview.com review and its forum to learn about some of the features. This camera has many features and many alternative methods of accessing them so a good manual is more necessary than with a simpler camera. Overall I am delighted with this purchase.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olympus OM D EM5 : it follows your imagination,
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice camera, still not perfect,
This review is from: Olympus OM-D EM-5 Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Camera - Black (Body Only) (Electronics)I've had this camera for a few months.
Some context: I wanted a compact digital camera with interchangeable lenses and a proper viewfinder. It has always puzzled me that DSLRs are so bulky, mostly bigger than the 35mm film SLRs I used in previous decades. This seems really strange given the small image area that most have. Although the OM-D isn't a DSLR, it meets my main requirements and is pleasingly compact and light. It's not cheap but there are a range of reasonably priced lenses that mean the overall system cost isn't unreasonable.
My experiences so far: It's an engaging camera to use. The controls are customisable and work well, the images sharp and with good colour balance, battery life is excellent (I managed a two week holiday and several hundred shots without recharging), and the low light performance - even with the slowish kit lens - is really remarkable. The viewfinder is great too, even for wearers of glasses like me.
Downsides: autofocus is generally quick but not 100% reliable. Focusing on fast moving subjects is does not seem to work well for me. At other times, I get the occasional shot that is just bizarrely out of focus. I suspect a "real" DSLR would be better than this but I've not used one regularly for years and fast moving subjects aren't my thing anyway.
Overall - recommended.
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