Olympus OM-D E-M5 Specs and Preview article posted

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by joshroot, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. Specs and preview article of the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds body posted here:
    I was able to spend some time with a pre-production OM-D E-M5 last month at CES and have put some of my thoughts into the preview. In short though, I'm excited and think it was a really good move for Olympus.
    Agree disagree or insults, please post as comments on the article itself. Thanks.
  2. Any word on the EVF, say, compared to the Nex 7 EVF?
  3. Given that the unit I used was a pre-production model, and that I didn't have a NEX 7 there to compare, I think it would be unfair for me to give an opinion on comparing the two.
    I thought the EVF in the pre-production model was pretty good though. But I'm also not the most familiar with the NEX 7's having only played with it a little bit.
  4. As a long-time Pentax user, it makes me sad to look at this and the Nikon D800 announcements (and the imminent Canon 5dX), Sony's NEX line and Panasonic's excellent offerings, while those ludicrous toys, the Q and K01, are, apparently, Pentax's take on the market and where it's going.
  5. I've got to wait it out anyway. It's this or the sony...for me, the chrome version looks so much more ugly than the black...
    Jim, lighten up. The pentax toy cam takes your pentax lenses natively and has IBIS. The K-5 was the best of the recent aps-c dslr bunch.
  6. The online complaints about the .92x magnification is obviously a case of people crying before they know all the facts. You can set the finder up like a DSLR with limited information underneath the image, meaning the image is smaller. If you use the finder like the Pen VF-2 finder, at 4:3 with the image across the entire finder and the data overlaid, the magnification is the exact same 1.15x as the VF2.
    Using the lower magnification finder setup is a user option.
  7. As a long-time Pentax user, it makes me sad to look at this and the Nikon D800 announcements (and the imminent Canon 5dX), Sony's NEX line and Panasonic's excellent offerings, while those ludicrous toys, the Q and K01, are, apparently, Pentax's take on the market and where it's going.​
    It's not really fair to lump the Q and the K-01 in with the N800 and the new 5D. That would be like grumping on Canon for only announcing the G1x when Nikon announced the D4 at CES.
    That having been said, there are legitimate arguments to be made for or against Pentax's path in the mirrorless segment as compared to this camera or the NEX line.
  8. Leslie, I'm as lightened-up as I need to be. Pentax is a small company with limited resources that they're flinging away at present. Yes, the K5's a beauty: why didn't they follow it up swiftly with a KR replacement that would cash in on the sensor's excellence and - sorry, but I have to be profane here - generate some market-share? Instead, they burn time and effort on a toy (the Q), and then come drastically late to the mirror-less party with a joke product: plug-ugly, big and costly as a dslr, and - without evf or articulated screen - only one means to frame a shot: the very worst one (so good luck with those long legacy lenses).
    And Josh, I'm comparing business-, not camera models. You make niche products when you have a cult following, like Leica. Whimsy isn't going to get Pentax back into volume sales.
  9. Pentax is a small company with limited resources that they're flinging away at present.​
    From 2007-2011, Pentax was a part of Hoya, a company with 34,000 employees. Since mid-2011 they are a part of Ricoh, a company with 108,000 employees. I thought Hoya really wanted Pentax for the medical imaging products. I'm still confused as to what Ricoh wants to do as the combined 2 companies have tons of niche products. Maybe that's good enough, I don't really know.
  10. Does Ricoh intend to keep the Pentax line going?
  11. Simply put, this is the m 4/3 camera for me. Its viewfinder is built in. It seems solidly built.
  12. The fact that the Pentax name is first may mean something. Or it may mean nothing.
  13. It probably just means that they feel the Pentax name is stronger than the Ricoh name. Same thing happened when Kmart bought Sears & Roebuck then became Sears Holding. Of course, upper management has screwed over Sears Holding.....
  14. Sigh, yeah I think Oly finally won me back. A decade of using a hand-me-down OM-1 from my father and then collecting my own OM lenses and bodies with plans to get a Canon full frame body at some point to reuse all of the glass.
    Then my wife got an EP-L1 for her birthday this past spring and now there is a critical mass of micro 4/3rds glass and now THIS. That design really brought a tear to my eye. Everything I could possibly want (okay, it doesn't have a penta prism and reflex mirror, but I am convinced I will never find THE perfect camera). It won't be anytime too soon, as I just don't have the spare money right now. However, my 30th birthday is next May, and I am thinking an OM-D, kit 14-42 and a pany 20/1.7 or 14/2.5 sounds like a good way to start things out.
    Those lenses, an Oly 8-16 or Panny 7-14 and an Oly 45/1.8 should pretty much cover all of my photography needs with reusing a bit of my old glass.
    Man, what a beautiful camera.
  15. I feel exactly the same way as Matthew. It is as if they designed this camera just for me!
  16. Nice that this Oly post is turning into a
    Pentax thread.

    K-01 seems to be a pretty low-risk
    move for Pentax since it's not really a
    new system, and it's priced more like a
    consumer DSLR than an enthusiast
    body like EM-5 or NEX-7. It's my
    understanding there will be a K-r
    replacement within a few months.

    The new Oly looks promising with a
    good specsheet and it appears to be
    priced pretty aggressively vs. NEX-7,
    and it's good that they offer a number
    of accessories. It seems both this and
    the K-01 are pretty polarizing in terms
    of aesthetics. Count me as someone
    who kinda likes the Pentax's modern
    look and isn't quite convinced by the
    baby-classic-SLR look of the Oly.
  17. I like it, as well. And now my Panny primes will have IS. Not insignificant.
  18. With a common M4/3 standard I suppose it is not neccessary but I'm waiting for the GH3 before I jump :) The idea of IBIS is attractive.
  19. The GH3 is gonna have built-in stabilization?
  20. The GH3 is gonna have built-in stabilization?

    No way. The only place Panasonic puts stabilization is in their lenses. If you want in-body stabilization in this system, Olympus is the only choice.
  21. I'm kinda liking a GH2/OMD combo. I have some Panny glass and they are coming out with their new fast zooms this
    summer. All I really want is the Oly 12mm.
  22. Does anyone know if there will be adapters for using Leica M lenses like the NEX-7?
  23. John, it uses the m43 mount, so any m43 to m-mount adapters already out there will work.
  24. No way. The only place Panasonic puts stabilization is in their lenses. If you want in-body stabilization in this system, Olympus is the only choice.​
    Greg, that's what my response to JC meant.
  25. Greg, that's what my response to JC meant.
    I see that....now ;)
    Thanks. Sorry 'bout that.
  26. Well Jim, Pentax must be doing something right because they've got us talking about Pentax on the Olympus forum instead of talking about Olympus.
    That said, even though there are a number of things I like about the K-01, the OM-D is gorgeous and (aside from the smaller-than-APS-C sensor) it's everything I've ever wanted in a digital camera. The size, the weight, the shape, the build quality, the features... it's a great package. I'm just feeling a little iffy about the sensor -- not because I'm worried about image quality or noise levels (I'm sure they'll be fine), but because it's more difficult to create shallow depth-of-field with a smaller sensor.
  27. Josh, can you comment on the fit and finish of the body? It just looks a little "rough around the edges" in photos.
  28. I'm curious in the outcome of the resultant resolution and noise issue. Olympus has been infamous in producing sensors of less than acceptable noise and resolution for professionals.
    Perhaps, that's why I have yet to see any professional photographer in the metro-Atlanta area use Olympus on assignment. I run a meetup group of nearly 130 photographers and Nikon and Canon are running neck-to-neck in popularity among serious amateurs. There might be one or two using Olympus and that's among serious amateurs.
    I used to shoot with Olympus prior to turning professional, and I was never quite satisfied. especillay in the large prints. I extensively had to use Photoshop and NIK software to make changes and corrections.
    The E-M5, because of its small size and weight, may be advantageous to a traveler or one starting out. I would not consider it a serious camera for the professional.
  29. They're not marketing it as a pro camera, as far as I can tell. I think they're hoping to compete with the D7000 and the K-5, at least in terms of specs. The D7000 and K-5 are great cameras, but they're not marketed at pros.
    Right now, if you want a compact high-grade weather-resistant interchangeable lens camera, the K-5 is your best choice. (The D7000 is pretty big by comparison.) It appears, to me, that Olympus is aiming squarely at that market.
    "Olympus has been infamous in producing sensors of less than acceptable noise and resolution for professionals. Perhaps, that's why I have yet to see any professional photographer in the metro-Atlanta area use Olympus on assignment."
    Maybe, maybe not. Nikon and Pentax often use the same sensors in their APS-C cameras, and Pentax is usually able to squeeze a bit more resolution out of those sensors, while handling noise as well or slightly better than Nikon. Yet pros prefer Nikon by a huge margin. It has to do with lens availability/selection (real or perceived), support after the sale, and to be blunt, popularity. If all the pros have Nikons or Canons hanging from their necks, no one but the most brave is going to take the risk of trying something different.
  30. R.T., have you seen the previews of the Nikon D7000? There's absolutely no way that any Olympus dSLR can compare. I was quite impressed with its upgraded features and capabilities.
    And, you're right about the angle of popularity among professionals; the Canon and Nikon name have the largest piece of the pie chart and Olympus used to have less than 3%, and they probably have less than that after the past year or so.
  31. Ken, I have a D7000, and I can tell you, yes they can compete. Maybe not on outright image quality, but on other areas. Frames per second, size/weight, weather sealing and construction could easily be superior on the new Oly. Personally, I travel a lot, so this camera looks really appetizing to me. Enough so to consider selling my Nikon gear...
  32. I've seen the reviews. (As I've mentioned elsewhere on the site, I'd LOVE to own a D7000.) The EM-5 hasn't been reviewed yet, so I don't think it's fair to say that it can't compete, even if history would support that conclusion. If a particular customer wants the features of the D7000 in a much smaller / much lighter package, and is willing to sacrifice a small amount of resolution and high ISO performance, the EM-5 could, in theory, be exactly what the doctor ordered.
  33. I have a Pen2 and what I dislike most is the low dynamic range. Does anybody know whether the E-M5 is going to be an significant improvement in this area.
  34. Some tests show +2EV dynamic range over the previous model, which is pretty incredible:
  35. In response to the comments about this turning into a Pentax thread: I think that's because this is the camera Pentax should have made. It has all the distinctive traits of Pentax: weather-sealed, small size, IBIS, good ergonomics. Instead Pentax fans get the Q and K-01 and spend endless ink trying to justify them as appropriate photographic tools. I guess we'll see what Rioch does, but I am not fond of their own efforts in this arena so hold out no special hope.
    In the meantime my second MFT body is on its way across the waters today. A shame I can't afford the E-M5 or it would certainly be on order (with free grip offer).
  36. "I think that's because this is the camera Pentax should have made. It has all the distinctive traits of Pentax: weather-sealed, small size, IBIS, good ergonomics."
    I agree. If the K-01 had an EVF (or at least the ability to use an optional EVF) and was weathersealed, I would probably be a lot less smitten with the EM-5.
    I guess we can hope/pray/beg that the "K-02" will fix those deficiencies.
  37. It makes a pleasant change to see an Olympus camera being the one that Pentax should have made (it's usually the other way round).
  38. Anyone else notice that at least US pre-orders the only way you can get the 14-42 kit + body together is the all black body?
    Since I saw this thing I have been coveting it (in silver), but not able to figure out a way to be able to afford it anytime soon. I was considering selling an organ or two, but then I realized I might have some assets I can liquidate.
    Turns out my nearly 18 year old Magic The Gathering collection is worth a heck of a lot more than I ever conceived of (ahhh the beauty of Ebay). I think finally time to sell it off so I can buy the OM-D and maybe an extra lens or two depending on how much I can get in the end for the card collection.
    The 14-42 + body kit and maybe a Pany 14/2.5 might be a good starting point for me moving over from my OM-1 cameras. To bad there isn't an inexpensive and decent 25-30mm lens in the f/2 range (though I hear Sigma is coming out with a 30/2.8 at around $200...though that is a little long and a little slow for my tastes, but might still work out okay).
  39. Matthew Newton wrote:
    Turns out my nearly 18 year old Magic The Gathering collection is worth a heck of a lot more than I ever conceived of (ahhh the beauty of Ebay).​
    Certainly if you have the Lotus, Timewalk etc. you'd be raking in a fortune. Almost enough to support a camera habit! :)
  40. I got rid of mine a long time ago. Of course, all I had was a first edition (I think) Copy Artifact and Singere Vampire (sp?). It's amazing what some people will pay for these cards....
  41. Sadly no, but quite a few dual lands and one or two other gems. Still haven't had a chance to sit down and go through the whole collection and check Ebay, but I am pretty sure even after auction fees and shipping, I should be able to clear at least 75% of the cost of the OM-D and 14-42 which should be more than enough.
    A couple of legacy lenses that I don't really use should cover most of the rest.
    If I am lucky I should be able to cover 100% of the cost and maybe leave enough left over for a 20/1.7 or 14/2.5 (that sigma 30/2.8 also looks interesting).
  42. DPreview just posted studio shots of the OM-D E-M4. It is head and shoulders above all previous m4/3 cameras, superior to last-gen full-frame (D3s and 5Dii) except at very high ISO, and even competitive with the NEX-7! Amazing. It is getting to the point where you have to compare studio shots with the Pentax 645D just to see how the scene is supposed to appear. Possibly the reason for this amazing leap forward is that Panasonic no longer fabricates the sensor.

  43. I too was very impressed with the results, Bill. I compared it to the D7000 and K-5 (my two favorite DSLRs), and the EM-5 is as good or better than both of them.
    When you look at the RAW samples and take noise reduction out of the equation, the EM-5 does show slightly more noise... but not enough to make a major difference, and the detail retention is extremely good.
    I REALLY want an EM-5!
  44. I've sorta decided the OM-D will be my major DSLR purchase of the year. The built-in EVF is what sold me. Image quality of the m4/3 has always amazed me. I got my PEN E-PL1 because the IQ was better than the Sony NEX cameras AND I could use a real flash on it. Bravo to Olympus!
    Silver of course... I have enough black cameras that I could build a room out of them that would impress both the coal miner AND the black cat.
  45. How much of an improvement in anti-shake does the E-M5 offer over prior models? And how many total stops of anti-shake does the M5 now offer? Of course, one will look to subsequent tests.
  46. fast primes: good question. I'm not sure how many stops they're claiming, but they say that the new system is 5 axis rather than the traditional 3 axis, so in theory it should be able to correct more "types" of vibration than other systems, and should be effective in a greater number of shooting situations/scenarios.
  47. But but Patrick you can't have the OM-D/E-M5 DSLR as it has yet to be made, highly likely impossibility.

  48. I wonder what the deal is with articulated LCD screens... only Canon has the fully useful one that twists and swings out and reverses, like on the G12. AFAIK nobody else has it, including this DSL(no R) camera. I wish the OM-D's screen at least reversed to protect it.
    Is Canon's design heavily copyrighted and nobody can use it?
  49. The Panasonic G and GH models also have rotating/tilting LCD, as do the FZ150 and Nikon P7100.
  50. I'm going to buy this camera as well. It's a clear upgrade to my GF1.
    When m4/3 hit the scene, I felt pretty sure that it was a matter of a short period of time before the advantages on APS-C and APS-H sensors would diminish relative to the m4/3 offerings. I bought my GF1 knowing that it was clearly my FIRST m4/3 body and would not be the last. Don't get me wrong, I know there are still advantages to cameras with larger sensors, just none that matter much to me at this point. The Oly E-M5, to me, is proof that I was correct in my assumption about the narrowing gap, but more importantly, is just an awesome addition to the m4/3 system.
    It's also why I hoped Fuji would make the interchangable lens version of the X100 with a smaller sensor and the lenses compatible with the m4/3 standard... you can get outstanding results with a m4/3 sized sensor if you engineer it properly AND have good image processing. I think there is plenty of room for players like Fuji to push the envelope of what you can get from a smaller sensor, and in the case of Fuji, would also be a welcomed addition to the assortment of lenses available.
    Personally I find Fuji and Oly pretty exciting right now, and more or less feel bored and unimpressed with Canon and Nikon's recent offerings. I am happy I divested my dSLR stuff. Tomorrow I will ship my EOS flash to my father as a gift, I no longer see any reason to waste time on those bulky things.
  51. I had decided to sell my Nikon D7k with assortment of lenses; it was all simply too heavy to carry around with me all the time - I didn't go out to shoot anymore, only for specific things going on like the Occupy protests. While it was awesome to have it for things like that, I just wasn't using it enough.

    At first I wanted to go for the Fuji x-pro1: it looked like everything I really wanted.. fast primes, viewfinder and relatively small. But all the reviews complaining about both the manual and autofocus made me doubt. My biggest problem with the m4/3 system was that I wasn't aware of any fast primes, but then I discovered the 12mm f/2.0 and leica 24mm f/1.4 and the decision was rather easy to make. So I've ordered the OM-D with these 2 lenses. Maybe I'll even get the Nokton f/0.95 eventually.
  52. The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 spectacular. Aside from build quality it's perhaps a tier above the Leica 24mm.

    I think the ever improving lens choices is making m4/3 very attractive.
  53. "How much of an improvement in anti-shake does the E-M5 offer over prior models? And how many total stops of anti-shake does the M5 now offer? Of course, one will look to subsequent tests."

    Compared to all previous Pen models, it sounds substantial. Not only in terms of the multi-direction corrections, but, like using a Mega OIS-equipped lens on a Panasonic body, you will see the IS at work in the E-M5's eyelevel finder. Something you do not have with any Pen body. This new IS actually puts Olympus' in-camera IS on a level plane with the in-lens OIS system of Panasonic as far as being able to see the results in the finder as you view and compose, but you will have it with the E-M5 using ANY lens.
    What Olympus claims in their marketing materials (5 stops) vs. what real-world use produces in terms of stops of advantage will have to wait until we see, not just reviews, but good reviews. Not just this "stuff" some sites put out just to say they are the first out with anything on a new model to try and draw hits to their site.
  54. FWIW, I will have the E-M5 in my hands in 2 weeks or so.
  55. Josh, when you do review it, please comment on the fit and finish.
  56. The fit and finish on the pre-production versions I saw at CES were very nice. So I would expect even better with the production cameras. I did think the black looked slightly better than the silver. But that might just be personal opinion.
  57. Finally preordered it. Getting a sigma 30mm f2.8 and pany 14mm f2.5 to go with it initially. Goal is pany 7-14, pany 14/2.5, pany 20/1.7,
    sigma 30/2.8, oly 45/1.8 and a few legacy lenses. It'll probably take me a few years to get there sadly. I'd love the oly 12/2, but just too
    expensive to get any year soon. Likely the same with the oly 75/1.8.

    In my experience with my wife's E-PL1 the IBIS is good for at least 3 stops, so if this improves on that by more than a stop, I'll be very
    impressed. With the 14-42 on the wide end if I am being careful I can easily manage sharp 1/4-1/8s shots.
  58. If you go for the 14/2.5 and 45/1.8 first, you might not need the 20mm and 30mm at all. There's absolutely no need to have every focal length covered! Use the 14mm for panos to get a wider vista those times you need it.
  59. If I was in Matthew's shoes, I think I'd skip the Sigma 30 and get the Panasonic 20 first. With the 20 and eventually the Oly 45, I'm not sure how much use you'd have for the 30. That just seems like an awkward focal length on Micro Four Thirds. (This is why I'll probably never buy the Pentax 40/2.8 [if I end up staying with Pentax], despite it being a great lens -- the focal length on APS-C just doesn't work for me).
  60. For me some of it is budget, right now I just can't swing another 150+ on a second lens on top of what the sigma 30 runs. Also some of it
    is a carry over from film for me. I like having primes about 50% frame coverage apart, which with the current lens line up, would be more
    or less the 14, 20, 30 and 45 primes that are out there now. I might manage with 14 and 45 now, but I'd need to do a lot of cropping for
    some photos with nothing in between. If there was a decent and inexpensive and fast 25, I'd consider skipping both the 20 and 30 lenses,
    even though it would make then"steps" larger, but 20 to 45 or especially 14 to 45 for awhile is just too big.

    I also have a lot of legacy glass. Even if it isn't autofocus, my MIJ Zuiko 50/1.8 is very sharp and should cover the role of the 45/1.8 for a
    year or two at least.

    I also have 3 young kids, 4, 2 and almost 2 weeks and 45 is just too long most of the times for a portrait lens. I find my 50/1.4 right now is
    a little short sometimes, but my 85/2 is almost always too long to shoot portraits of them. The 85/2 is wonderful for adult portraits, but i
    need shortest working distance to keep my kids an anyway interested in smiling.

    Worse comes to worse the sigma 30 is super cheap, so if I find in a couple of years that all I am really using is the 15, 20 and 45 it isn't a
    big loss to sell it on eBay and take the loss. Frankly I'd go with the sigma 19 as well, but the extra stop and a half of the pany 20 and the
    smaller size are worth almost twice the price (in the price range the lenses are) to mr.

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