Olympus OMD EM5 Review

September 5, 2012By

Olympus OMD EM5 ReviewOlympus Omd Em5 Review | Retro Love

Revivalism is back in town and the newest camera from Olympus is the perfect example of that.

Nostalgia is coming back strong in terms of design, and the latest camera to hop on this train is the Olympus Omd Em5. This robust camera has a rugged and almost stringent look, that send us back a few decades in time more precisely to the 70′s. However, on the inside it’s a totally different ball game! You’ll only find the latest 21st century technology like the 16MP sensor, ISO up to 25600 and a large array of auto settings and creativity modes.

The body is made of a magnesium alloy making it very robust. This means that you’ll feel the camera’s weight when using (unexpectedly comfortable) and it also gives you the idea that it’ll be able to take a beating and still keep on working (it’s dust proof and resistant to spills).

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The Olympus Omd Em5 comes with several buttons for quick camera configuration, including a main photo dial with which we can quickly change between full-auto mode and all the other photo shooting modes – where we can control each type of picture definitions. In addition to the traditional scene modes, there are lots of other more artistic filters, including the exclusive Bulb Mode Live View feature that lets you ‘paint’ the picture and see the result in real-time. This way you can determine exactly when you should close the shutter and is an excellent option for low light exposures like in firework pictures.

All the buttons on this camera are configurable, so you won’t be stuck with the factory defaults if you don’t want to. However, some are so small that you’ll have some difficulty using them. Two examples are the Fn1 and the Play buttons above the LCD screen.

Although the Omd Em5 does not include a flash as standard, the top part of the camera’s body is a bit bulky. This is because there’s a socket, right below the flash cradle, meant for connecting other Olympus accessories.

Olympus OMD EM5 ReviewEven though the camera is really robust, it’s a good idea to still have some extra attention with this camera, mainly due to its generous 3″ touchscreen LCD. This screen can be used to help frame a picture, to access a huge array of features and configurations or to immediately focus-shoot on any part of the visible onscreen image. All of this is completely configurable, and you can even disable the touchscreen capability on the camera, avoiding unintended picture taking.

The 3″ screen can be tilted with quite a wide angle, which is very helpful in situations where we need to take the shots way above our head or at floor level. You can also use the electronic view finder, with its 1.44 million pixels, to frame the shot.


Olympus Omd Em5 Review | Supersonic Photography

One of the best features on this camera is the outrageous focusing speed. It’s almost instantaneous and for a wide range of situations. The only slight focusing difficulty was when we started shooting in macro, but even then this only happened when we got too close to the object.

The Olympus Omd Em5 model we tried out included a 12-50mm lens with a zoom that can be operated manually or mechanically. To change between the two, you just need to slide the lens ring to one of the existing positions.

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Olympus included a 5 point image stabilizer to avoid being able to take blurred pictures in low light conditions. However, this image stabilizer has another great function – it details the camera’s inclination which is very useful when we want to take perfectly leveled shots.

The image quality on this machine is excellent. During this review, we weren’t able to take pictures in sunny conditions, but even with the overcast conditions we had, the Olympus Omd Em5 always came out with richly colored and extremely detailed photos. The Em5 also copes very well with high value ISO’s. For example – with the shots we took at ISO 5000, and although you could see the picture grain, the quality was very good. If you wish, you can increase the ISO value to a whopping 25600! However, at this level the picture quality decreases significantly.


Olympus Omd Em5 Review | Main Features

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  • 16.1MP Sensor
  • TruePic VI Processor
  • 1.44 Million Pixels Electronic View FinderOlympus OMD EM5 Review
  • 3″ OLED Touchscreen Display
  • 35 Point Focusing With Contrast Detection
  • 24 Scene Modes
  • 5 Axel Image Stabilizing System
  • ISO 200-25600
  • Shutter Speed 1/4000-60 secs
  • 9fps Sequential Shots
  • 4608×3456 Pixels Pictures
  • Full HD Video at 30fps
  • Usb 2.0 Port
  • Micro HDMI Port
  • 121×89.6×41.9mm
  • 425grs (including battery and card)



Olympus Omd Em5 Review | Conclusion

The regular price tag on the Omd Em5 might be considered a little steep by some, especially considering that an SLR camera is not that far away in terms of price. However, these days you can find excellent online deals that offer you the exact same package at a much more affordable rate. You must also consider that the Olympus Omd Em5, with all its configurability, is more user friendly than a SLR camera, which can appeal to newbies and also more advanced users.

The image quality, the 5 point image stabilizer, the lightning speed focusing, the various creative modes and the enormous range of configuration options are all features in favor of the Olympus Omd Em5 camera. Plus… there’s no SLR that’s as much fun to use.

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