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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Micro Four Thirds Camera Built To Date
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...
Published 22 months ago by Pro recordist

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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great camera- Not so good menus system!
I have had my little OMD for five months and have taken about 2,000 photos and a little video.

There is no doubt that it is a very clever mirror-less system.

I like the fact that you can automatically change from LCD to viewfinder.
I love the fact that you can change and see the results of exposure compensation through the viewfinder or the...
Published 7 months ago by Snaps


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Finest Micro Four Thirds Camera Built To Date, 5 Nov 2012
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.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Who needs DSLRs when you have this?, 22 May 2013
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)
In the past 10 years I used quite a few cameras, and image quality was always paramount to me. I had Olympus C8080 before I switched to Canon 450D, from which I moved to Olympus E-M5. I'm not a brand fanboy (never understood Nikon vs Canon holywar) and would always chose camera according to my needs/finance, not by brand. I also used some medium-class cameras such as Canon 40D and Canon 7D, with a bunch of zoom and prime lenses (most of them rented out).

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
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light and Versatile - Fantastic Pictures. It's a 'Keeper', 30 April 2012
By 
S. Carter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1/2 a year with the E-M5, 12 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Game Changer!, 27 July 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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)
As a serious amateur photography I had been looking to use a lighter smaller professional camera for travel assignments for sometime. I also wanted to change the way I took photographs by using more Prime Lens the OM-D seemed to offer this avenue for change After reading endless reviews and even attending an 'Olympus Experience' day (recommended) where I got to use the camera I was convinced I really need this baby! Furthermore as a long time Olympus user with 6 years experience of their digital cameras, first the E510 then the E5 I wanted something a bit more portable, a camera that did'nt add so much weight when travelling but still had all the settings and ability to do what my serious DSLR the Olympus E5 was capable of achieving. Although the OM-D is not perfect, what camera is, it is without doubt an amazing camera. It has fully if not exceeded my expectations. Ok it is not the fastest at capturing movement, the focus hunts around a bit but as a travel camera indeed anything apart from action it is brilliant.

First its size and looks - ok a bit shallow but the camera is an absolute beaut to look at, its design harks back to the early 1980's when Olympus produced the amazing OM2. Even today the OM2 looks way ahead of its time and the OM-D beautifully recaptures this style. But what is it like to hold? Well very good, even for someone with long fingers it is easy to use and you are helped my a clever finger grip on the back of the body. There is a good LCD which is easy to view, you can also put the camera into stealth mode, using Live view you can get good candid shots using the screen to frame your subject. The screen is not fully articulated like my E5 but is sound enough for ground level or over your head. It does appear to have a much stronger mounting than the E5, this could be due to the camera's small size?

I have to say that I am am very used to the Olympus menu system but even for me the OM-D was more than a little frustrating to set up, but just stick with it! Previously I have owned a Lumix D2 wich drove me insane with its manual so I was expecting a bit of trouble. Olympus for some reason don't send the camera out from the factory using the best settings! Best place to start is the 'DP review ' article on how to set up the OM-D or David Busch's tome on the camera. The camera despite its size has a load of professional settings which can look as if you are trapped in an ever deceasing maze of roads. The DP article is great at sorting out how to get the most out of the settings. There are some great tips, such as setting the ISO limits, the camera if on Auto will change the ISO to some very odd levels to avoid possible camera shake, it is perfectly capable of noiseless shots at a very high ISO but you don't want it to needlessly use 400 or 800. Furthermore the camera can produce yellow/warm pictures but you can alter this if you know where to look! Finding how can be a puzzle but worth it and not all that difficul!

The camera itself in use is for me amazing - I usually shoot RAW as my stuff is often published and I need more control over my images. But even the Jpegs produced by the camera are outstanding, using the OM-D I often shot both. The camera also has a number of art filters you can use it you want to be a little more creative with your phography. The kit lens is not all that bad, it has had a hammering in a number of reviews but its a good place to start and retails at 300 + if you buy it seperatly. Its good but not very fast, if I play around with the ISO settings it works well enough for me! Its also weather sealed like the body. The lens also gives you a guide as to what prime lens you might want to purchase, I intend to but the 12mm and 45mm in the future.

The effect the camera has on people is amazing, they just want to know what it is, its a DSLR in the body of a point and shoot! But best of all it produces amazing photographs every time. Its easy to focus with 35 targets or using the arrow pointers you can select a single target. You can also select a group series of targets!There are simply loads of ways to use the camera, its ease of use is so fast! It has simply loads of features normally only found on professional cameras.

If you are still not convinced there are are growing number of professionals photographers out there who have adopted the camera, one even has traded in all his Canon kit to use the OM-D! Furtermore if you buy one before the end of September 2013 Olympus are offering a free battery power grip! My only complaint is that I maybe wish I had bought the silver version? It looks a bit more classly than the black! I will still keep my heavy DSLR for work in locations where I won't be lugging it miles and furthermore I have a big financial investment in glass, But a converter is available for the old Olympus kit so who knows? The OM-D is that good and worth considering use as a number one camera.
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51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Product, 27 Jun 2012
By 
G. Edwards - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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......
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's a lot of money but it's worth it, 29 May 2012
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 wanted to replace my four year old entry DSLR with something easier to handle. I'm a petite girl so needed something I could easily wrap my tiny fingers around and something that I was likely to slip into my handbag and take out, rather than leave at home. The Micro Four Thirds system seemed to offer a solution, but I couldn't decide between the EP-3 which was well within my initial budget of 1000 and the OM-D, which was just a bit more expensive. I'm no expert, but I did read a good few reviews online and decided that the extra money spent on the OM-D would be definitely be worth it. I was especially taken by the direct control dials, weather-proofing, swiveling touch screen, built in viewfinder, bigger sensor, improved in-body stabilisation, and kit lens with powered zoom and macro functions.

The first thing I noticed when I picked it up is how amazing the build quality is. It really puts my old plasticky DSLR to shame. The thing is solid and has a great weight to it. It was up and running immediately but getting to know the menus was a little tricky. However, once you do get to grips with the menus you will find that the OM-D is endlessly customisable, and those direct control wheels really come into their own. The image quality through the kit lens is pretty good and more than adequate to satisfy me for a while before I wander off to investigate other lenses.

The issues that have been picked up on other reviews, such as spongy buttons and the location of the off/on switch don't really bother me at all. If anything I am most disappointed by the rubbishy strap provided by Olympus, and the ridiculous price of upgrading to a leather one.

The camera itself is definitely worth the price tag and I would happily recommend it to anyone, whether beginner or experienced, as it offers scope to work your way up from the iAuto mode to fully manual. My Dad, who has owned one 1970s Canon SLR from new, can't leave the OM-D alone and I'm pleased to have lots of digital tricks up my sleeve. So now we share.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The EM5 Its a winnwr, 26 May 2012
By 
K. Barclay (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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.

Ken
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but perfectly formed, 3 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. S. P. Cox (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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 run my own photography business and up until recently used Nikon professional cameras like the D3s and D700 along with the heavy glass that comes with them. 2 large camera bags full of gear plus a selection of tripods, lighting stands and so on to lug around on some jobs. I read up a lot about this and the Fuji xpro 1 before I took the plunge, so I sold the Nikon gear, and invested in the OM-D. First few days were nervous but it's been a few weeks now, I'm getting great results with this camera, quality is fantastic, video capability is right up there. You'll need fast prime lenses for low light or fast moving subjects but I'm not missing the big heavy bags of gear one bit and my customers still get the high quality results they need.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olympus OM D EM5 : it follows your imagination, 22 Jun 2012
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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 have just taken my first shots using the OM D EM5 in the garden and inside the house. The quality of the detail in the images taken at ISO 200 during late afternoon amazed me. I still haven't mastered all the functions but the touch screen menus, including one's ability to tap on the selected area for focusing is exactly what I always needed. The detail on the rose petal's textured surface (using M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8) is phenomenal. I know this camera is going to be the one I have been waiting since the OM4 Ti as it is packed with so many options for customisation / tools ( a pallette of options) for capturing a scene the way you want to and not how your camera wants you to see it. For a creative photographer who is thinking beyond the camera it's great to have the OM D loaded with functions that are easily accessible and ready to obey to /follow your imagination. Like many critics have mentioned, the colour rendition of Olympus is always sharp and portability second to none. This is the perfect tool to carry whilst trecking or travelling as the OMD EM5 is so much lighter than everyone else's SLRs. Unless you enjoy carrying bricks. As for the Zuiko lenses, the legacy continues. Breathtaking results, a little miracle this OMD EM5.
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