Conclusion: Olympus' new Micro Four Thirds flagship has made quite an impression. Not just enthusiasts, but pro photographers are taking the OM-D E-M5 and the platform's latest optics quite a bit more seriously. Our time with the OM-D E-M5 was pure fun. There was quite a bit to discover in the new design, and it all just worked better than before. As a big fan of the Pen cameras, the main author of this story was quite bowled over by how much more the E-M5 appealed to him.
Pros: Appealing body design, Smaller camera is easy to hold and quite small, Battery grip makes the E-M5 feel like a tiny professional camera, EVF works well, Tilting OLED touchpanel display, Water resistant body, Advanced in-body image stabilization, Excellent overall image quality, Very good high ISO performance, rivals APS-C models, Very good dynamic range, the best Micro Four Thirds model we've tested, Accurate color that doesn't appear dull, 12-50mm kit lens goes wider...
Cons: Appealing body design, Smaller camera is easy to hold and quite small, Battery grip makes the E-M5 feel like a tiny professional camera, EVF works well, Tilting OLED touchpanel display, Water resistant body, Advanced in-body image stabilization, Excellent overall image quality, Very good high ISO performance, rivals APS-C models, Very good dynamic range, the best Micro Four Thirds model we've tested, Accurate color that doesn't appear dull, 12-50mm kit lens goes wider...
Conclusion: There's quite a lot to like about the OM-D EM-5. If I had to mention something negative, it would be the small buttons although they do allow for a larger screen so it's really more of a positive trade off than a minor gripe. The flash is is a little fiddly too, though as mentioned it can be upgraded to a more powerful sturdier built one for more serious situations.
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: Back in the mid-1970s, I became intrigued with photography and my roommate at the time had a 35mm Minolta SLR he was gracious enough to lend me to explore this newfound interest. Once I was hooked, I started examining the market for a camera of my own, and two other friends were kind enough to let me play with their cameras - a Nikon F and Olympus OM-1, respectively. The size difference could not have been more profound between the big Nikon and diminutive Olympus.
Pros: Good image and video quality, Good shutter lag and AF acquisition time, DSLR-like feature set, Sub DSLR-like size in basic configuration, 2x crop factor favors telephoto lenses
Cons: Cost, 2x crop factor does not favor wide angle users
Summary: The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a very impressive camera. The retro styling is very much a success, especially if you opt for the two-tone silver/black finish, while the materials and weather sealing deliver an excellent, high-end feel.
Excerpt: The OM-D E-M5 is a new, gorgeous, retro-tastic Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus. It is the first from Olympus to come with an electronic viewfinder, and is aimed at enthusiasts who want a serious MFT option. We've fallen deeply in love with this camera, here's why.
Pros: Low noise at very high ISO settings, Superb handling, Excellent image stabilization, Fast and accurate auto-focus, Gorgeous retro-inspired design
Cons: Cramped and small back buttons, Less noise difference at lower ISOs, Camera strap hinders handling, Banding in some very high ISO shots
Summary: The Olympus OM-D E-M5 marks the start of a new line for Olympus. Like the PEN range it's a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless CSC, but, with a built-in viewfinder and styling that's inspired by the 70's OM 35mm film cameras, it looks and feels more like a miniature DSLR.
The OM-D E-M5 shares the Magnesium alloy body and weather sealing of Olympus's flagship DSLR - the E5 - and is in fact a more capable camera all-round, from its new 16 Megapixel CMOS sensor to it's 5-axis...
Pros: Tough weather-sealed build quality., Outstanding High ISO noise performance., Great quality viewfinder and tilting OLED touch-screen., 5-axis image stabilisation which works with any lens., 2, 3, 5 and 7-frame auto bracketing.
Cons: Screen only tilts and there's no touch functions in movie modes., Distracting whirring noise from stabilisation motor., No built-in mic socket., Flash unit clips-on rather then being built-in., Continuous AF not as consistent as a phase-detect system.