Conclusion: Mirrorless cameras strive for big-camera quality in a little package, and reviews say the Olympus OM-D E-M5 does this better than any other camera. Like big digital SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras, the Olympus dishes up terrific image quality, a pro-grade metal body and plenty of interchangeable lenses. But since it's a Micro Four Thirds camera, those lenses -- and the Olympus' slim, retro-styled body -- are substantially smaller and easier to carry than a bulky DSLR.
Pros: Compact and easy to carry, Speedy performance with DSLR-like image quality and controls, Tough magnesium body is dust- and splash-proof, Biggest lens selection in its class
Cons: Continuous autofocus balks at tracking moving subjects, No ISO 100
Summary: Since its debut last year, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has won many accolades and numerous awards – and it’s easy to see why: this is a camera with a wealth of features, catering to ambitious photographers who are looking to reduce the size and weight of their gear without sacrificing quality. For the most part, the E-M5 delivers.
Summary: The high-resolution sensor of the E-M5 delivers quality that rivals DSLRs. It shows very low image noise until ISO 1600 and remains usable up to ISO 12800 for mid-size prints and 25600 for small ones. The exposure system is really good and automatic white-balance is great. Color accuracy is not perfect but not entire off either. Although there are some quirks to the E-M5, it is the most advanced mirrorless camera available with only much larger competitors.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Very good metering, Reliable Automatic White-Balance, Superb built-in stabilization, Virtually no shutter-lag, Fast contrast-detect AF, Good shot-to-shot speed, Very responsive, Excellent automatic, Unique, Highly customizable interface, Instant video recording, Excellent build quality
Cons: Poor color accuracy, Low-contrast EVF, Not always, Modal Exposure-Compensation, Some tiny, Uncomfortable eyelets, Poorly placed tripod mount, Low battery life, Rear control-dial uncomfortably high
Summary: If you're looking for something a lot better, faster, and more sophisticated than a point-and-shoot that can stand up to your adventures, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a great choice.
Pros: A dust-and-weather-sealed design distinguishes the Olympus OM-D E-M5 from the rest of the interchangeable-lens crowd, and its class-leading performance doesn't hurt, either. Plus, it's got an interesting, relatively streamlined shooting design.
Cons: The photo quality is solid, but not outstanding, especially if you shoot only JPEG.
Conclusion: The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested. It's got a top-notch stabilization system, is fully weather sealed, can shoot in all types of light, and ships with a sharp and versatile kit lens. Add it all up, and you have our new Editors' Choice for high-end compact interchangeable lens cameras.
Pros: Compact body. Fully weather sealed. Crisp LCD EVF. Articulating rear display. Sharp kit lens. Impressive high ISO performance. Fast autofocus. Shoots at 9 frames per second. In-body stabilization. Large native lens library. Optional grip available.
Excerpt: With an honest, throwback design the Olympus OM-D E-M5 ($999, body) builds off of the 40 year-long lineage of OM SLR film cameras. Modernized in Micro Four Thirds format, the 16.1 megapixel shooter comes paired with a built-in electric viewfinder (before you groan, take note of its 1.44 million dot resolution and 120 fps refresh rate), 5-axis Image Stabilization, and the world’s fastest auto-focusing system.
Conclusion: With such knock-out features like 5-axis stabilization in such a tiny body as this, you've got one heck of a mobile-minded shooter on your hands. This device is great for those of you out there looking to amp up your game with your old OM, and with Olympus dedicated to the future of this line, as they always are, you can rest easy knowing you'll be able to pick up accessories galore along the way.
Conclusion: Simply put, the Olympus O-MD E-M5 is a winner, and has now become my preferred camera for travel and urban walk-around shooting. TheNikon D800/eis still my main squeeze – an awesome camera in almost every respect – but, for its price and size it’s hard to top the new O-MD.