Compact and Customizable: The New Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Mirrorless Camera

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Olympus has announced its latest OM-D mirrorless camera, an impressive update to its compact and versatile OM-D E-M5 Mark II and, not surprisingly, it is named the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Digital Camera. It’s available in silver and black finishes.

Virtually the same size and weight as its predecessor, the Mark III, however, offers improvements that bring its major specs in line with those of its higher-end companion cameras in the Olympus OM-D series. In terms of its internal photographic features, the E-M5 Mark III now resembles the OM-D E-M1 Mark II but maintains the easy handling and form factor for which the E-M5 cameras are known.

The new E-M5 Mark III employs the TruePic VIII Quad Core image processor and a 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor, compared to the 16MP sensor in the Mark II. It also upgrades its focusing system from 81-points to a Dual F.A.S.T. AF 121-point on-chip system. This Contrast and Phase detection system features all cross-type focus points for faster and more accurate autofocus. There are six AF Target Options: Single, Group 5-point, Group 9-point, Group 25-point, 121-point, and small.

The 5-axis in-body image stabilization that Olympus is revered for is maintained in this camera, but with Sync-IS now providing up to 6.5 shutter speed steps of compensation to realize sharp images even in difficult lighting situations. At its highest image quality, the camera enables 10 fps sequential shooting with its mechanical shutter, including AF/AE tracking, and 30 fps with its silent electronic shutter. The OLED viewfinder offers 2.36M dot resolution and a 3" Vari-Angle touchscreen LCD allows for clear viewing in bright light and flexibility when shooting at odd angles. Rounding out its impressive specs, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III has 4K video capability, which supports C4K and 4K 30 fps video capture.

It is also weather sealed to be dust, splash, and freezeproof and has a dust-reduction system with a supersonic wave filter to keep the sensor clean.

A few additional features of this new camera also make it quite an interesting device, including 50MP Tripod Hi-Res function for incredibly detailed imaging, Pro Capture function, focus bracketing, and focus stacking. Simplified multiple exposure mode is available and custom modes allow the user to set functions quickly to exact settings. Finally, the camera is Wi-Fi compatible with Bluetooth Version 4.2 BLE.   

Having had an opportunity to test shoot a pre-production model of this camera, the image quality created by its 20.4 MP Live MOS sensor and TruePic VIII Quad Core image processor is impeccable. Whether in dim light or bright daylight, colors were as desired, noise was minimal even at high ISOs, and its autofocus system was as quick as any camera I have used lately. I’m normally not a fan of electronic viewfinders, but this hi-res EVF, with its very responsive auto eye control, which switches between the EVF and LCD when it senses your eye at the finder, was a joy to use. Just be careful of draining the battery by using the LCD for composition. My favorite aspects of this camera are its weight and size and the placement of its control dials, enabling easy adjustments of aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation. I found it ideal for fast-moving action, whether in the street or photographing birds while camping.

In addition to the new camera body, Olympus provides models that include a kit lens. The model I used came with the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II lens, which was an ideal companion for the all-around type of photography I enjoyed, from portraiture to street photography to capturing fall foliage on a camping trip. 

This camera with kit lens is also available in black or silver. Also, just announced by Olympus is the dedicated ECG-5 External Grip for the E-M5 Mark III, with a shutter-release button and control dial. What are your thoughts on this upgraded compact gem? Share them in our Comments section.

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Will this camera allow real time monitoring of video via hdmi port to external monitor?

Yes it will.  This has an HDMI output that you can use to monitor the footage while recording.

What is the time limit on videos? Has Olympus finally let us video a symphony?

29 min

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