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Showing 1-10 of 220 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 307 reviews
Heavy and small it's a serious camera but for long term shooting I prefer Canon dslrs. It's just too small and heavy for me to hand hold all day. This camera is better for food shooting with a tripod or ANYTHING on a tripod. I bought it for the ability to use legacy lenses (manual only) with the in camera image stabilization. I threw on a Rikenon 55 mm f1.4 which worked well on my Canon with no stabilization and got slightly blurry images. As fast as that lens is I couldn't understand the blur. Then I tried an f4 80-200 zoom. Way bad no matter how I propped myself. I checked the image stabilization setting and found the lens focal length setting hidden "behind" it. It was set to a 50mm focal length. oops. I then ran my zoom out to 200mm set the camera for 200mm and got good solid images. Which means you really can't use legacy zoom lens only primes. Fine with me I have a 200, 85 105 and 135 prime so all those bases are covered. I then set the camera to the 55mm focal length and the Rikenon delivered the images I expected. I have a Hexanon 57mm f1.4 but there is no option for that focal length so on the Canon it stays. Very good image quality and the image stabilization delivers.
EDIT: Added a photo of a news chopper shot handheld with a 400mm Spiratone Sharpshooter... Just pointed straight up and pulled the trigger... The image stabilization worked beautifully...
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I wanted to give the OMD-EM5 a five star rating because of its quality construction, high image quality and the significant number of custom adjustments that pros will love. I have deducted 1 stars because I like the camera but don't love it for many reasons. Why did I buy this camera? I am not a PRO but I do appreciate the feature set found on better cameras. This model has so many features and settings that it is a huge mountain to climb for the nonprofessional photographer. The more I use it the more I appreciate the great functionality. The camera has come down in price with the introduction of the M1 and M10 and it now is a great value for what it offers. I bought the Panasonic 14-140 M4/3 Lens which works perfectly and a great match with the M5.

What's great about this camera?

1. Very good image quality with the 12-50 mm kit lens. Perfect range 24-100 eq 35mm eq also weather proofed.
2. Quality construction that is weather resistant and dust resistant
3. Almost unlimited set of adjustments and custom settings
4. Good quality EVF with display of lots of information. Works great indoors and outdoors.
5. Custom image 5 axis stabilization with 3 settings work with any lens
6. Two custom adjustment wheels on top. Terrific feature and works very well.
7. Function buttons capable of many different settings
8. Easy to hold and light weight compared to similar dSLR, some feel it needs added grip. It works for me as is.
9. Very good image quality at higher ISO settings and lower noise that you might expect
10. Easy to access reset control to reset to factory settings. Most used feature in the beginning
11. Touch screen quick setting panel on OLED. This work superbly.
12. Very Easy setting the focus point with the arrow keypad
13. Ia setting works well and unlike other cameras has wide range of adjustments. More than some cameras with the P setting.
14. Remote flash control possible with separate flash unit.
15 Many other great features that you need to see to believe.

What's not so great with the OMD EM5

1. Extremely complex camera to learn to use with a long and steep learning curve at least for me..
2. ISO starts at 200 and will not calibrate with actual ISO, will not match real ISO. New V2 update starts at 100
3. Higher start ISO at 200 makes some bright outdoor images require a ND filter
4. Video missing avchd and limited video choices. It's just OK but does work well.
5. Button feeling and placement not great. Small buttons have squishy feel. They work OK
6. Battery life is limited and a typical day shoot requires a second battery. 300 plus images.
7. No internal flash built-in, need to use small accessory flash supplied with camera. Inconvenient....M10 includes flash
8. OLED is only slightly adjustable and difficult to see in daylight. Need to use the EVF outside.
9. Limited OLED use when trying to view images taken through the EVF. Image appears in EVF Awkward setting.
10. OLED cannot be turned around and covered.
11. The complexity and wide range of information showed can interfere with viewing the image captured
12. Some settings and adjustments seem counter intuitive
13. Some settings which should come standard are buried deep in the menus.

So who would most enjoy owning and using this camera?

1 Former owners of Olympus film cameras or digital cameras.
2 Professionals who love the ability to make custom settings and ultimately lots of setting adjustments.
3 Photographers who mostly want images and a few videos. Pros who are tired of carrying their very heavy pro dSLR gear for light shoots or travel.
4 Anyone who has a large collection of older prime lens and wants to use them again. The image stabilization works will all lenses but require manual focus and manual aperture setting. They do work with proper adaptors.

Who should avoid buying this camera.

1. Non-experts and anyone who mostly uses P or ia settings on their current camera. The sheer complexity of this camera may interfere with your joy of Photography.
2. Anyone who doesn't need weatherproofing.....new M10 is a better choice for you.

I've owned many cameras and have taken thousands of images for many years and it wasn't until I bought this camera that I discovered just how little I knew about the complex issues involving the capture of truly great images. This camera allows a huge range of adjustments that are not available in the typical consumer rebel like camera. That is why this camera would appeal to the pro and advanced amateur. This camera is a world class camera for a pro and advanced amateur but a mistake for most of us who want an easy to use but customizable camera. I do like the camera and I am warming up to it each time I use it but it will take a long time before I love it.
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on June 10, 2012
First, my self-deprecating axiom: "I'm not a real photographer, but I play one in my mind".


I've had the OM-D E-M5 for a week now, and I definitely dig it. I've been running through a few non-scientific but real world tests (for my kind of shooting) to compare against my two PEN Olympus cameras (E-P1 and E-PM1) and the Nikon D7000:

- Image Quality: I can't really see a discernible difference between the E-M5 and the D7000, which is to say excellent IQ on both cameras...at most I can see a difference in white balance, but as that's easily managed in Lightroom for me, it's not an issue either way.

- High ISO/Low Noise: The high ISO noise between the E-M5 and the D7000 is very comparable...more of a slight difference in grain pattern/illumination of noise which again is manageable through Lightroom (huge improvement over the PEN cameras). I tend to shoot in ISO1600 with the E-M5 for most indoors/low-light situations, which is something I would never do with the PENs due to the amount of noise they would produce at that setting, and I still get very clean sharp images (again, very comparable to my D7000 to my eyes).

- Dynamic Range: There's a lot of information stored in the RAW files of the E-M5, and using Lightroom 4.1 I'm able to pull out all kinds of detail in shadows and highlights (plus the E-M5 has a built in shadow/highlight manual adjustment that displays on the screen if you want to tweak it in camera in real time)

- Image Stabilization: This is kicker right here; I'm able to take very clear and sharp images handheld at down to 2/10ths of a second (virtually impossible on the D7000 even with image stabilized lenses like my Tamron 70-300mm). The 5-axis IBIS system allows sharp shooting in lower light/lower ISO than would normally be feasible with my PEN or Nikon cameras (the camera has definitely lived up to the "hype" of the new IBIS in my opinion).

- Low Light: Again, this is a huge improvement over the PEN cameras. I've tested very low light shots comparably between both the D7000 (with 35 f1.8 lens) and E-M5 (with 20 f1.7 lens) and I haven't found any situation yet where the E-M5 does not function at least as well of the D7000 in terms of noise produced when bumping up the ISO (both tested using ISO1600) and detail retention in the shadowed areas (the E-M5 was actually sharper due to the 5-Axis IBIS keeping the camera steadier than the D7000 as I conducted the tests hand-held). The PEN cameras at ISO1600, while not terrible per se, produce more noise than I like which is why I would always use the D7000 in low-light situations previously.

- Weather Sealed: Something that the D7000 or PENs do not have the capability of doing is shooting in a full rain storm without worrying about damage to the camera. I took the E-M5 out in a rain storm as a test, and using the 12-50mm kit lens (which is also weather sealed), I was able to take very nice shots (again, pretty much a typical kit f/3.5 lens) with the camera completely soaked and had no worries or issues.

- Touch Screen focus/shooting: The tiltable touch-screen will focus (virtually instantly almost every time) and take a shot using the focus point of where you've touched (this can be turned off right from the screen as well if you don't want or need the function). The tiltable screen works great for taking waist-level shots to get awesome candids (I took several of my niece the other day this way since she usually goes all shy if she discerns you're taking a picture of her).

I haven't found anything I dislike about the camera at this point, and as far as I can tell, the E-M5 is just as functional as the D7000 but much smaller and lighter. Manually focusing with my adapted Nikon lenses (this was how I performed several tests between the PEN, the E-M5, and the D7000) works very nicely due to the built-in EVF and selectable magnification to get precise focus. The 9-frames per second burst rate is damn impressive (would work very well for creating animated GIFs with all the frames). The "Live Bulb" is pretty amazing where you can take a long exposure shot and view it "developing" in real time so you can stop the exposure when you see it reach the point you want.

I've yet to test the AF-C mode, and from what I've read it's still not quite as good as a DSLR can produce, but it's still supposed to be the best M43 camera (and one of the best mirror-less cameras) for this functionality...but I rarely, if ever, use this functionality on my Nikon (always use AF-S mode/center focus point), so personally this isn't an issue.

I've only minimally tested the 1080p/30 video capabilities of the E-M5 as video is something I don't use very often, but comparing video I have shot with the E-M5 and my Nikon D7000, they both appear to be very comparable. The IBIS of the E-M5 seems to do a very nice job of stabilizing the video, and there is a considerable improvement over the PENs on the "jell-o" effect of video when moving the camera rapidly side-to-side.

Bottom line: camera rocks, works as advertised, and definitely vies to be my all-time/always with/all situations camera (my Nikon D7000/Tamron 70-30mm still currently edges out the E-M5 for auto-focused long range telephoto since I only have the 14-42mm and 12-50mm lenses as native M43 telephoto options).
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on August 5, 2016
This is my workhorse camera. I use for professional and personal work. It is small enough to fit in a backpack or messenger bag with a lens. The images I've been able to get is truly incredible. Low light is good to alright. Image stabilization is like magic. I've been able to pull some really good hand held shots that I would have never tried before. The build quality has held up over the last couple of years. I've dropped this camera more time than I would like to admit. My only issue with camera is sometimes it has a hard time focusing. I've had it happen with plenty of light, low light or in movie mode. If you are planning of taking a ton of video I would pass on this camera. The video mode is almost like an afterthought. There really aren't any manual controls you can do and you have to buy an add on to record with a 3.5mm line in mic.

Overall I really like this camera. If you are looking to get into you first micro four thirds camera this could be a good starter.
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on August 15, 2015
My EM-5 was defective out of the box. Four intermittent problems showed up on the first day: Automatic switching between the eye-level finder and the back-panel display sometimes didn't work, leaving both displays blank. One of the function buttons sometimes required multiple firm pushes before it would respond. A list of options on the back panel wouldn't stop scrolling once, even after I stopped pushing the relevant button. And the date and time were lost once when the battery was removed for charging.
My brief use of the E-M5 suggests that it offers good image quality and excellent image stabilization. However, the controls are rather small and crowded. The many menus could be more logically arranged and more clearly labeled.
As a long-time, serious photographer, I've learned to adjust to the strengths and weaknesses of many cameras. But I just can't trust a camera that has so many glitches, so soon. It's going back.
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on May 7, 2013
I have tried most of the smaller interchangeable lens cameras and am sticking with this one. This camera is so customizable, The "Super Control Panel" is the best option for quick changes that I have ever dealt with. Make sure you turn it on!!!!
I have to admit I bought into the APS-C vs mft sensor size concerns initially. Because of that, I bought a NEX 6 to compare side by side with the EM5. The NEX 6 is a great camera, but I did not see enough difference in the sensors to leave me with any concerns. It really came down to writing down the positives and negatives of each camera based on my needs. The EM5 won out so the NEX is going back.

I know I rattled on, but take two things away. First, learn the Oly and all of its settings. Even after spending several days customizing it, I still found things I had missed. Google can be your friend for some nice EM5 guides on setup. Second, decide what it is you want. No one camera is perfect for every person. The NEX cameras are very nice indeed, but the lens selection just did not match my needs. Plus, I really love the Super Control Panel on the EM5
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on April 14, 2013
-- I have posted a more detailed review of the OM-D E-M5 along with sample images and comparisons to the Canon 5D at [link posted in comments].

I've now had the OM-D E-M5 on hand for six months, taking more than 17k photos with it on trips across Southeast Asia and Argentina. Before that, I shot journalistic assignments with the Canon 5D and decided on picking up my current Micro Four-Thirds outfit to shed most of the weight. The biggest plus of M43 is the size and weight. I can't emphasize how awesome it was to travel around without collapsing under the weight of my equipment. The smaller profile also makes it easier to shoot candid street portraits. In my experience, people tend to ignore a small camera like the OM-D and stare straight into, or dodge away from, a bulky DSLR.

That said, I still occasionally miss the depth of field control I get with the 5D so if you like creamy bokeh in every shot you take you might want to think twice about replacing your full-frame or APS-C gear or add the Olympus M.Zuiko 75mm f/2 to your wish list (it weighs only 305 grams!).

Despite how small the OM-D is (I feel the product shots of the camera online make the camera appear larger than it actually is), it's quite comfortable to grip. The two dials on the right-hand side of the camera fit just right against the thumb and index fingers and make it easy to toggle through aperture settings and exposure compensation. Just don't count on using the Fn1 / Fn2 keys which let you bind shooting settings like ISO, AEL, etc. too often if you have big hands. Those buttons are a bit harder to reach and I find myself rarely hitting Fn2, which I've bound to ISO. Fortunately the Auto ISO function works very well to compensate for poor button positioning.

-Menu / In-Camera Software-
You could tweak just about any setting on the OM-D, which makes it really easy for photographers to adjust the camera's behavior to their liking. For all the customization Olympus allows on this camera, the menu is fairly intuitive for a lot of common settings (flash, burst modes, timers, metering, autofocus, image stabilization, etc.). You could also access these common settings by hitting [OK] while shooting, which brings up a nice semi-transparent menu that overlays what you see in the viewfinder. Just keep in mind that some less frequently accessed settings such as the sleep mode toggle are buried away (sleep is hidden in "Disp/Beep/PC"--no rhyme or reason here).

Micro Four-Thirds in my mind had always seemed like a portable backup to DSLR's, trading in some speed and image quality for lesser weight and size. This is not the case at all with the OM-D. In daylight, I found autofocus to be very fast with the two lenses I own (12mm f/2.0 and 45mm f/1.8). I'd put the 12mm f/2.0 autofocus performance near that of the 24-105mm f/4 (ie. lightning fast) with the 45mm f/1.8 coming in just a tad slower. Both are very accurate and resolve an excellent amount of detail through the OM-D. In low-light conditions, focus is a bit slower but manages to lock on as long as there's some tonal contrast in your subject.

The only issue I have with the OM-D's performance is its boot-up time. It takes about a couple of seconds to turn on the camera and snap the first shot, whereas on the 5D it was near-instantaneous.

Image stabilization is a winner, which should be huge for anyone who does a lot of low-light / macro work sans tripod. I've managed to get shake-free shots for exposures as long as 1/3" - 1/6" _without_ leaning or supporting myself against anything.

-Image Quality (Note: these reflect my experiences shooting in RAW)-
With a sensor its size packing in 16 megapixels, the OM-D produces excellent output. Images are very clean up through ISO 1600. From ISO 3200 and up, there's a bit more luminance noise, but this noise resembles film grain and is rather pleasant to look at. Colors and saturation are spot on and look natural, there are no colors that seem over- or under-saturated and no shifted hues. Dynamic range is very wide as well and it's quite easy to avoid clipping (blowing out highlights) with the live histogram display.

-Who should buy the OM-D?-
The OM-D is an excellent compact body with a plenty of great lenses available for it. Casual, still-life, street and travel photographers will especially enjoy the camera, which packs a lot of performance in a tiny footprint. However, the camera's not for everyone. The OM-D will set you back about one grand and a few hundred more for a nice prime or kit zoom. Those who are getting into photography will get more out of an entry-level DSLR with an affordable 30mm prime. Portraitures who need subject isolation and sports photographers who need as much speed as they can get will probably not replace their gear with an OM-D anytime soon (although they might make good backups / second camera for weekend shoots). There are also a couple of close competitors around similar price points including Sony's NEX-7 and Fuji X100S, to look at. In any case, I highly recommend the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
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on May 8, 2013
Years ago I bought Canon the FD system three bodies and a lot of prime lenses. Then Canon came out with the EF system which had no way of using any of the FD prime lenses even in manual. I and many other photographers were totally pissed and swore never to buy Canon again. Wanting to move into digital photography I looked around for a suitable system but until micro four thirds came along nothing was any different to the old days. My first micro 4/3 camera was a Lumix it was good so I bought lumix and olympus lenses and an adapter for my old Canon primes. It wasn't until I bought the OM-D E-M5 that I rediscovered the joy of using my old Canon lenses. The fact that the OMD has an image stabilizer built into the body is great, I can now use my 500mm cat lens hand held and get blur free pictures. because of the multiplication ratio that's like holding a thousand mm on a 35mm camera.

It's really wonderful I'm using lenses from six different quality makers. This camera has many nice features, it's fast has a good iso range. Using it in manual mode is easy also using manual lenses is easier than the lumix range. It's done everything I asked of it so far though I am still learning I like this camera.
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on May 20, 2013
I'll break this camera down by some of the more flashy features it lists, and what I got out of them.

IBIS:Absolutely phenomenal. With my previous camera body (GF1), I'd often have to trash pictures taken in dim lighting due to camera shake. Every now and then, I'd have a keeper. With the OM-D, it's reversed. I rarely have to worry about camera shake being what prevents a shot from being a keeper. Often times, I can pass the camera to someone who doesn't know how to properly stabilize a camera for low-light conditions with their hands, and the shot will come out camera-shake free. It's a terrific tool for stills, but where it also shines just a brilliantly is for videography. I'm a very, very passionate videographer, and the IBIS allows for steadicam-like image stabilization and goes miles towards making your footage look professional.

Built-in EVF: This one is great. I don't use it terribly often as I like the flexibility that screen composing offers, but for bright, sunny days it's an absolute shot-saver. It's wonderfully sharp, and every now and then I'll use it instead of the touch-screen for composing just because it's a fun way to compose your shots. I've definitely got a gripe about it though: the EVF auto-detect switch is far too sensitive to make it practical. I'll be tapping on the screen, and the overly-sensitive EVF detector will make it switch to the EVF when it's not when I intended. Therefore, I heavily recommend you manually switch between EVF and touchscreen composing.

ISO performance: This in combination with the IBIS has made many a keeper out of an otherwise trash-worthy shot. I can push it up to ISO 6400 and really not worry too much, especially if I'm just posting photos to facebook. You CAN go further than that, but at that point, the shots really do become too noisy for my taste. However, if I convert the files to black and white, they look like a classy, grainy black and white shot. Overall, terrific job on Olympus' end. Gives you 80-90% of the image quality of a full-frame sensor, but with a camera body infinitely smaller, lighter, more discrete and more portable.

Body / handling: The camera feels absolutely terrific in one's hand. It feels solid and sturdy. I've dropped it more times than I'd care to admit, and it works just as fine as the day I got it. The buttons ARE awkwardly small and cheap-feeling, though. When you press any of the buttons on the back of the camera, it feels soft and has no satisfying click. I know it's a necessary part fo the weather-sealing of the body, but it's still something that doesn't quite mesh with the high-quality feel of the other aspects of this great camera.

Weather sealing: This was a huge reason for my purchase of the camera. I often go out fishing and to the beach, and I wanted a camera that could keep up with the action and the elements. Well, suffice to say, it can, with one large caveat: You MUST have the 12-50 kit lens attached. Otherwise, the camera may as well not be sealed at all. That being said, if you do have the camera outfitted with a weather-sealed lens, it can take some serious abuse. When boating, we were caught in a thunderstorm so bad, the sky was literally black with storm clouds. Water was EVERYWHERE. I took about a hundred shots during the storm no problem. This camera can take most anything up to being actually dropped in water. I would still be careful with it around sand dunes, as no amount of weather sealing can really defend a device against sand. Sand is on a league of its own in terms of messing with equipment.

Video: As I mentioned in the IBIS section, video looks fantastic on this camera. Here's an example of the kind of quality it can pump out https://vimeo.com/50654415. The camera has for all intents and purposes replaced my Canon Vixia HF10, and that's saying something.

Autofocus: It depends on which lens you have equipped. If you're like me and you hung on to your terrific panasonic 20mm f/1.7 from the early days of M43, you're going to want to step up to a lens with faster AF. Otherwise, the AF rarely is a problem provided you're in S-AF mode. In terms of tracking moving targets, the OM-D isn't all that terrific. I have found that using C-AF to track flowers on a windy day works quite well, although using it to track a person's movements rarely works. The camera gets distracted way to easily and is a step down from just using a single AF point.

Burst mode: Really quite impressive. I used this feature quite often when I first got the camera, but the editing consequences of taking so many similar photos has lead me to use the feature much more sparingly. It's still very, very impressive however. Good for catching animals in motion.

Lens selection: This really is the biggest, most important part of the review IMHO. A good camera body is nothing without some nice glass to accompany it. And in this respect, the M43 system shines like no other. Apart from the kit zoom lens, I prefer primes, and between my 12, 17, and 45 M.Zuiko lenses, there is narry a situation I'm not able to take a great picture at. A major gripe about this is that so few of the lenses are truly weather-sealed. It basically means that if I want a weather-sealed camera, I need to compromise image quality and use the kit lens (although to the kit lense's credit, it does a great job of being a kit lens. The macro mode on it is a terrific touch and I've used it for many shots). Otherwise, feel safe if this is your first foray in to the wold of M43. The lens selection makes for a camera system that you won't soon replace.

Finishing thoughts: I love this camera. If it weren't for the annoying EVF detection issues and the lack of good weather-sealed prime lenses, this would be a 5-star review. But to be fair, there's no such thin as a perfect camera, so 4-stars is not bad. I attack it to my black rapid camera sling and take it with me to almost every place I go, because as the old addage goes: the best camera is the one you have available. The OM-D is light yet sturdy, it's Image quality is professional-grade without being too intimidating to your subjects. And to me, that's the entire draw of the M43 system. It makes good photography more accessible to more people, and although some snobby professional photographers might take issue with that out of fear of becoming obsolete, I believe that it helps to empower the public by allowing non-professionals and professionals alike to tell their stories more strongly.
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on July 22, 2012
I'm using the OMD when I don't want to lug around my Canon 5DII. The OMD with 12-50 lens is about 1/3 the weight of the 5DII with the 24-105 so it's much easier on my neck if I'm shooting all day. I also have the 40-150 Olympus lens; the whole kit with some accessories fits in a lunchbox. I've only had it a couple of weeks, but enjoy taking it out. There are already a tone of great reviews so I'll just highlight a few things.

*The image quality is great, I've made somle stunning prints.
*It really does focus fast.
*The tilting screen is handy for shooting flowers and other low angles shots.
*The 12-50 kit lens is a joy to shoot with, I especially love the 2 zoom choices.
*The tonal range while shooting in RAW is much better than I had expected for the sensor size.
*Noise at 800 and 1600 ISO are controlled pretty well.
*LOTS of custom settings for nearly everything! Olympus really covered the bases from auto everything to all manual and EVERYTHING in between.
*The electronic viewfinder is quite useful especially in bright daylight.
*The camera just plain looks good! Of course I'm a bit prejudiced; my first SLR was an OM-1.

*It pretty consistently shoots .3 to .5 underexposed, luckily easy to compensate for.
*The included flash is anemic at best.
*Some common controls are buried in menus. You really have to read the manual to get the most out of this camera.
*The control wheels are rather small. Luckily for me I have small fingers.
*The grip is a little too slim (I'm sure aesthetics played a role in that choice!)

Overall, the pros far outweigh the cons. As long as you don't have big hands, I would highly recommend the Olympus OMD E-M5 to serious photographer who is looking for a lightweight interchangeable lens camera.
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