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on April 25, 2013
A bit of my usage background: I have been a photography hobbyist and enthusiast for over 20 years. I have owned all sorts of cameras, analog film and digital. SLRs, DSLRs, 110 film, digital Point-and-shoot and so forth. My most recent camera was the venerable Canon 5D MkII which I will use as a comparison basis.

The not-so-technical review:

The most amazing aspect of this camera, as a photo enthusiast, is that in theory, from what we know about digital photography, it shouldn't be this great. A camera this small should not give a full-frame DSLR a good run for its money. It shouldn't even be a contest between and APS-C and a m3/4 sensor, but it is! Olympus must have found a secret alchemical potion with powerful arcane power because this camera is what I call a true market shaker. A trend-setter. A disruptive technology.

Couple years back you could've suggested me to give up my beloved 5D for a m4/3 and I would have laughed at your face for having such ludicrous ideas. Today, with Olympus leading the way, not only would I say you were 100% correct, but in fact, I would go further and say that DSLRs have their days counted in the-high end hobbyist arena. Looking back, the 5D was mighty expensive, it was heavy and bulky, and for most situations not all that much better than the OM-D E-M5 -- in fact, the difference is marginal at best.

I also considered the NEX6/7, the Fujifilm EX1 and others. They all sounded equally good, with the exception of available variety of lenses, which tilted the balance for me for this camera.

Add to that the fact that there are tons of available premium vintage lenses compatible via converter with the m4/3 format and you get a camera with virtually limitless options for your creativity.

The slightly-more-technical review:

* ISO performance (noise): in my informal tests with some control shots I took with the 5D at different ISOs, then compared with this little camera, up to ISO 800 it's really a wash both perform very, very similarly. Over 800, however, the 5D has slight edge, but not all that pronounced, to be honest. At ISOs 2000+ the 5D wins out, but neither produce acceptable noise levels without heavy post-processing noise reduction.

* Video: I don't record video all that often, but the 5D video settings were archaic even if it produced beautiful 1080p videos. The OMD video is just as gorgeous and the settings are very intuitive.

* Auto-Focus: The OMD is far superior to the 5D MK II in this respect. I cannot fathom why a camera with a sensor 1/2 the size of the 5D's can focus so wickedly fast. No question, at least in my usage.

* Shutter Lag: none to speak of.

* User-friendliness: here is where I took 1/2 star off. In as amazing as this camera is, if you are not well versed in photography or have good tech sense, you would have a hard time figuring out how to customize you camera to make the best of it. It's like a having a Lamborghini stuck in second gear. They packed too many buttons and nobs and wheels together and the menus can be overwhelming if you do not know what you are doing. The 5D was much easier to use and readily intuitive.

* manuals: another 1/2 star loss for this camera. The 5D had two decent manuals, a quick reference and even a pocket reference card. This camera has a "manual" which is just reference and nothing else. Other than that you are on your own. No reason why a $1000 camera shouldn't have a comprehensive manual hard copy.

* EVF vs OVF: In spite of the fact that the EVF is (and likely) will never be as they real thing (OVF), I'm beginning to like it -- a lot. The ability to see exactly what the picture will look like, the ability to see live depth-of-field is so important to me that I'm willing to forgo the beauty and crispiness of a real OVF.

* Battery life: The OMD EM5 has decent battery life, but it just doesn't come even close to the 5D. I could shoot for days, hundreds and hundreds of pictures with the 5D and not have to charge. But this is a completely unfair comparison given that the 5D had lots of electro-mechanical parts, where as the EM5 are purely electronic (thus more battery hungry), in addition of course to the OLED touch screen and the EVF that probably suck quite a bit of juice.


This camera shouldn't exist. If it did it shouldn't be this good. But ... it does exist and, yes, it is that good. Unless you are a professional photographer making a living off your camera(s), there really is no good reason to own a bulky, clunky DSLR anymore. If you are looking or planning to take the jump to the mirrorless camera world, you simply cannot go wrong with this camera.

2013-05-08 update:
After more thorough and real world testing, I have couple of caveats to add to this review.

Noise: while at first it seemed as if this camera delivered noise levels on par with the 5DMkII up to ISO 800 (see above), on real usage noise is definitely an issue above ISO 400, specially on low light. I have to run NR software on every other picture I've shot above ISO 400. That used not to be the case for the 5D until ISOs above 1600. So now I can really see the difference.

Navigation/Menu UX: in short a horrible mess. An intricate labyrinthine set of menus with a cornucopia of options and settings for even the most obscure of use cases that will make your head spin and you will not find the setting you are actually looking for. Oh, and heavens forbid you reset your custom settings, you aren't getting those back any time soon. A big, big swing-and-miss on Olympus part.

I considered lowering the rating to 3 from the original 4, but decided against it because all in all the camera is worth its salt and doesn't deserve a low 3-star rating.
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My background.... I am a part time professional photographer and I own a range of canon cameras and lenses. I still use the canon for my work photography most of the time, but I am starting to use this olympus more and more.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love this little camera. I clicked the "buy it now" button the moment it first appeared on amazon. I waited several months for the backorders to clear and I've now owned it close to a year. I have absolutely no regrets. As odd as this may sound, this camera makes me happy. Whenever I use it I imagine I have a dopey grin on my face.

Initially I fought with this olympus to get sharp shots. If, like me, you are coming from a DSLR camera, you might have some difficulty adjusting to the balance of the camera. It is very light (which is one of the great things about it) but that means that it is a bit more prone to camera shake if you don't have it on a tripod and if, like me, you don't have rock steady hands. I stuck with the camera through my initial frustration and I'm so glad I did. I learned my own best way of holding it in order to keep it steady.

If you are thinking of buying this camera I think its important to hear some thoughts on what it can and cannot do. There are already so many good solid reviews here on amazon that I am only going to hit the high and low points as I see them. These might not be the same highs and lows that everyone else has so just keep in mind that these points are my OPINIONS.


- WEIGHT/SIZE Light as a feather and beautifully constructed. I can carry this camera in a small bag with 2 or 3 or 4 lenses all day and not feel any strain. I used to carry a camera with one lens with me EVERYWHERE, but after several years the dslr around my neck or on my shoulder started to take a heavy physical toll. Now I can go back to having a camera with me at all times.

- IMAGE QUALITY can be outstanding. I have taken some stunning photos with this thing. Punchy colors, Creamy bokehs. Good photos taken with this thing rival good photos taken with any DSLR. The olympus 45mm f1.8 lens is a relatively inexpensive thing of beauty.

- MENU SYSTEM. The super control panel is, hands down, one of the best and most intuitive menu systems I've ever used on a camera. Changing settings is effortless and takes only seconds to accomplish. You might not think this is all that important, but when you need to get your shot, you will be endlessly grateful for this brilliant super control panel. I've gotten shots with this camera that I wouldn't have gotten with my higher end DSLRs because I would have been fidgiting with the settings and the moment would have passed.

- FOCUSING Super quick focusing and enough focus points to keep anyone happy. With the grid system they use in this camera it is absolutely effortless to switch focus points. The touch screen is amazing. Touch any place on the LCD and the camera can instantly focus on that spot and take the shot before you can blink. I know the iphone can do this but it is my first experience with that touch focus. Focusing is accurate. Gone are the days of shutter lag. Reviewers more scientific than I am can tell you relative to other cameras whether the focusing is faster or slower, but for my purposes it is fast enough and tremendously accurate.

- UNOBTRUSIVE This might not be an issue for some people but for me it is. When I pull out a DSLR to take a shot it can draw a lot of unwanted attention particularly if I have a large lens attached. If I am photographing an outdoor event with a long white canon L lens, inevitably several people will come up to me to discuss just how big my lens is. So, this camera really doesn't attract attention to itself. I can get the photos I need to get without making folks self conscious and without ending up in long discussions about the length of my equipment. Seriously, unobtrusive is a good thing.

- this is a matter of personal taste, but I find this camera to be a thing of beauty

- this little camera just puts the fun back into photography. I can't say that enough. Fun Fun Fun. I love taking pictures.


- HIGHER ISOs - I have several friends who are very good or excellent photographers who also own this camera and we debate this point heavily. I have not found this camera to be reliably noise free at ISO 800 or higher. My feeling is that you need to shoot wide open in darker settings and if your lens doesn't open up wider than f4, I think you will struggle with noisy shadow detail. That said, I have gotten some beautifully low noise images at ISO 800 or even 1600 when I use f2 and even with f8. I should say for the record that I do like some noise in my images at times particularly if I am going to convert them to black and white. But not all noise is created equal and I just don't like some of the noise visible in the backgrounds or shadow detail with this camera at higher ISO. Many of my friends disagree with me completely so this is up for grabs

TRACKING OF MOVING OBJECTS - I photograph active dogs a great deal and so far I have not been successful in using the focus tracking of this camera to get good shots. In fact, I am terrible with it. But I have seen shots from other photographers which are very good at this. I don't know what their secret is. I am guessing the majority of people will have problems with this the way I do and there are probably a handful of folks who can nail the focus tracking. So many reviews site it as a weak point of the camera so if sports is your thing and tracking moving subjects is your thing, this is not the camera for you. But lets put it in perspective... if you want to capture your baby's first steps or your childrens' antics, this camera would be quite capable.


Did I mention this camera put the fun back in photography for me? I can't stress that enough. If you are an experienced photographer coming from a dslr you may be frustrated at first and you may not relinquish all of your photo chores to this puppy. I still do not trust it quite enough to bring it as my only camera for very important photo shoots. Or maybe the camera is trustworthy but I don't trust myself quite enough to coax the best out of it every time. If you are coming from a point and shoot you will be in camera heaven. Make sure you get yourself a couple of really good lenses to cover a range of situations. I can't stress enough how gorgeous that 45 mm f1.8 is. The 12-50 kit lens isn't half bad either. I also own the panasonic 45-200 lens. For the money, you can't beat it and I use it often, but there are better longer range lenses out there.

So why not 5 stars? I was tempted to give it 5 stars but I try to save those 5 star reviews for near perfect items. The grainier high ISO shots and the so so focus tracking keep me from pushing in that fifth star.

I get asked about this camera all the time and I lend it out often to prospective buyers. I am thinking of putting up an OMD-EM5 gallery on my website so people can see shots at different ISOs taken with different lenses. If it turns out that there is enough interest, I'll probably put the gallery up and I will edit this review if I do.

If you do get this camera, ENJOY and HAVE FUN!
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on April 23, 2017
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...
review image
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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 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 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 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 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 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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse