Photography / News

New from Olympus: The OM-D E-M5


When Olympus introduced its first Digital Pen a few years back, its designers opened the floodgates of a whole new species of camera: the mirrorless camera. Since then, we’ve seen a slew of similar cameras designed around Four Thirds or APS-C format imaging sensors. From the get-go, many photographers began wondering aloud if Olympus—or anybody for that matter—would ever take the cooler attributes of PEN series cameras and integrate them into a serious, professional quality DSLR system. In response to that wondering, enter the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Olympus’s new OM-D E-M5 camera represents Olympus’s bid to recapture the buzz it created when film was king and Olympus OM series cameras were the cat’s meow in the world of lightweight, compact SLRs. Based on the photos and spec sheets that accompanied the announcement of the new camera, Olympus just might be onto something.

The new OM-D has the look and features one would expect of a pro DSLR, complete with an optional battery grip with a secondary shutter-release button for comfortable camera handling when the camera is held vertically. The optional battery grip also adds power for extended shooting times. To validate its rugged looks the new camera features equally rugged construction, including multiple seals around all body panels and button openings, making it impervious to dust and moisture. The same dust and moisture barriers can similarly be found on the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ zoom lens, the E-M5’s optional battery grip and FL-600R accessory flash.

Olympus’s first digital OM to come to market is designed around an all-new Micro Four Thirds format 16MP Live MOS imaging sensor, which is driven by an Olympus TruePic VI image processor. Sporting a top ISO sensitivity of 25600 and what Olympus claims to be the fastest 35-area 3D tracking AF system of any interchangeable lens camera system, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is capable of snapping up to 9.2 frames per second, which for a camera seeking a place in the niche market of pro DSLRs, is right on the money.

As one would also expect from a pro-oriented camera, the OM-D E-M5 can capture stills in JPEG or RAW formats, or a combination of the two, as well as MPO for 3D still capture. The E-M5 can also capture full HD 1920 x 1080, 59.94i video with stereo sound (linear PCM/16-bit, sampling frequency 48 kHz). The camera’s audio recorder also features a Wind Noise Reduction function along with up to 30 seconds of audio dubbing for still shots. When you shoot video with the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the audio portion of the track is recorded in stereo, though playback through the camera is mono only.

The viewing options for the new camera are particularly interesting and include an eye-level electronic viewfinder (EVF) and a tiltable 3.0-inch 610,000-dot touch screen OLED, both of which offer 100% of the total image viewing area. The EVF contains approximately 1.44 million pixels, making it quite usable under any lighting conditions.

Being electronic, the OM-D’s EVF is able to display the scene with all exposure and white balance adjustments viewable on both the EVF and LCD in real time. The electronic aspect of the E-M5’s viewing system also makes it possible to switch back and forth between 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratios, depending on your needs at the time, with the selected ratio automatically displayed on both the EVF and OLED.

To facilitate easier composing and image review, both the EVF and OLED can display grid lines, a histogram and a dual-axis electronic level when needed. An additional plus of electronic viewing systems is that they make it possible to zoom in and scroll around the picture at up to 14x magnification, for critical focus checking, in both the EVF as well as on the OLED screen.

Along with a top ISO sensitivity of 25600, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 has an image sensor 5-axis image stabilization system (yaw, pitch, vertical, horizontal and rotational) designed to enable sharp handheld imagery with a five-stop advantage over similarly equipped, non-image-stabilized camera systems. Additionally, the OM-D E-M5 offers exposure bracketing (2, 3 or 5 frames in 1/3, 2/3 and full-stop increments), white balance bracketing (3 frames in 2, 4 or 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis) and flash bracketing (3 frames in 1/3, 2/3 and full-stop increments).

In addition to the Olympus FL-LM2 electronic flash (GN 7 at ISO 100) that comes bundled with the new camera, the OM-D E-M5 is also compatible with all other Olympus TTL flashes, with top sync speeds of 1/250, 1/200 or 1/180, depending on which Olympus flash you are using. In Super FP mode, flash sync speeds of 1/125 to 1/4000-second are also possible.

As one would expect, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 contains a selection of Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone and Key Line) as well as Art Effect filters (Soft Focus Effect, Pin-Hole Effect, Frame Effect and Star Light Effect). Color Modes include i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait and Monotone, along with Gradation filters including Auto, Normal, High-Key and Low-Key.

Olympus’s new OM-D E-M5 is available as a body only in a choice of black or silver. It’s also available with a 14 to 42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom (28 to 84mm equivalent) in black only, as well as with an M.Zuiko Digital ED 12 to 50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ zoom lens (24 to 100mm equivalent) in a choice of black or silver. Recommended accessories include the Olympus MMF-3 Four Thirds lens adapter and the HLD-6 Battery Grip.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is compatible with the full line of M.Zuiko Micro Four Thirds optics as well as lenses from other manufacturers using third-party lens adapters.

Memory SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible, Eye-Fi Card compatible (Class 6 is recommended for Movie shooting.)
Screen size 17.3 mm (H) x 13.0 mm (V)
Sensor type 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Number of pixels / Aspect ratio Number of effective pixels: 16.1 million pixels
Total number of pixels: Approx. 16.9 million pixels
Aspect ratio: 1.33 (4:3)
Dust reduction Supersonic Wave Filter (dust reduction system for image sensor)
Filter array Primary color filter (RGB)
Recording format DCF, DPOF compatible / Exif, PRINT Image Matching III, MPO compatible
File format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still)
Recording image size [RAW] 4608 x 3456 pixels
[JPEG] 4608 x 3456 pixels - 640 x 480 pixels
File sizes RAW: 4608 (H) x 3456 (V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 17MB
Set1 (LF): 4608 (H) x 3456 (V)  (1/4 compressed) Approx. 7.5MB
Set2 (LN): 4608 (H) x 3456 (V)  (1/8 compressed) Approx. 3.5MB
Set3 (MN): 2560 (H) x 1920 (V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Set4 (SN): 1024 (H) x 768 (V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 0.3MB
Type Built-in (Image sensor shift type for movie & still, 5-axis* image stabilization)
* yaw/pitch/vertical shift/horizontal shift/rolling
Modes 3 modes (IS1, IS2, IS3), OFF
Manual Focal Length Setting Input focal length 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, 24, 28, 30, 35, 40, 48, 50, 55, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 100, 105, 120, 135, 150, 180, 200, 210, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000 
Effective compensation range maximum 5 EV steps 
Shutter speed range 60 - 1/4000 sec. (Not available when Bulb is selected)
Eye level finder type Eye-level electronic viewfinder,  approx. 1.44M 
Eye point / Finder styles Approx. 100% / Approx. 0.92x*1 - 1.15x*2 (-1m-1, 50mm lens, Infinity) - *1: at Finder Style 1, 2 (aspect 4:3)     *2: at Finder Style 3 (aspect 4:3)
Diopter adjustment range Approx. 18mm (-1m-1, Distance from rear lens surface) / -4 ~ +2m-1
Preview Available with Live Preview function button [custom function]
Level gauge 2-axis level gauge; horizontal /vertical
Finder style Selectable from 3 types
Brightness / Color temperature control ±7 levels 
Eye cup Removable, Optional eye cup EP-11 is available
Live view 100% field of view, Exposure compensation preview, WB adjustment preview,
Gradation auto preview, Face detection preview (up to 8 faces),
Grid line, Histogram, Magnification display (x5/x7/x10/x14)
Grid/ Monitor display types Normal Mode, Grid Line Mode(4 types), Histogram Mode, Magnified View Mode, OFF
Magnification ratio x5, x7, x10 (Default), x14
Monitor information Aperture value, Shutter speed, Auto Bracket, AE Lock, AF mode, IS, Shooting Mode, Battery Check, Myset, Internal Temperature Warning, Face / Eye Detection, Histogram, Number of storable still pictures, Record mode, ISO, Sequential shooting, Self-timer, White Balance, Metering Mode, AF confirmation mark, Exposure Compensation Value, Spot metering Area, Flash Mode, Flash Status, Flash intensity Control, Super FP, Focusing length, Tone control, Eye-Fi condition, Eye-Fi (PBH
Display of Face Detection Max 8 frames of face detection can be displayed
Monitor specs 3.0-inch tilting OLED monitor - Approx. 610k dots
Touch control Touch shutter release, Touch enlargement, Touch Live Guide, AF area selection, AF area enlargement, Frame advance/backward, Enlargement playback, Touch Super Control Panel
Tilting angle Upward tilting angle: up to 80 degrees / Downward tilting angle: up to 50 degrees
Brightness / Color temperature control ±2 levels / ±3 levels
Color tone select Vivid / Natural
AF Type High-speed imager AF
Focus modes Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF)* / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR) *
Full-time AF Available
Magnified frame AF Selectable from over 800 AF points - Magnification x5, x7, x10(Default), x14 selectable
Face detection AF / Eye detection AF Eye Detection AF mode: OFF, Nearer-eye priority, Right-eye priority, Left-eye priority
Focusing point / Focusing point selection 35-area multiple AF / All target, Group target area (9-area), Single target
AF illuminator Yes
Manual focus assist  Live view image is magnified when the focus ring is rotated (at S-AF+MF or MF mode)
AF tracking Yes 
TTL Image sensor metering Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering), Center weighted average metering, Spot metering, Spot metering with highlight control, Spot metering with shadow control
Metering range EV 0 - 20 (at normal temperature, 17mm f/2.8, ISO 100)
Exposure modes i Auto, P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed), A: Aperture priority AE,
S: Shutter priority AE, M: Manual, Bulb, Time, Scene select  AE, Art Filter,
Underwater wide / macro*  * Selectable from menu as a function on Fn-1/Rec button
Scene Select AE Modes Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye Conv., Wide Conv., Macro Conv., 3D *  * Still image only
ISO sensitivity AUTO: ISO 200 - 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600) / Manual ISO 200 - 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable
Exposure compensation ±3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
AE lock Locked at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn1/REC button)
Metering standard value adjustment 1/6 EV step, +/- 1EV range 
Type Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed 1/4000 - 60 sec. (1/3, 1/2 or 1EV steps selectable.)
Bulb: default setting 8min.  (1/2/4/8/15/20/25/30 min. selectable.)
Flash intensity control method TTL Auto, Auto*, Manual, FP-TTL AUTO*, FP-MANUAL*
* Available on the external flash
Built-in flash No
Bundled flash (FL-LM2) TTL flash, GN=10 (ISO200・m) / GN=7 (ISO100・m)
Flash mode Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync. (1st curtain), Slow sync. (1st curtain), Slow sync. (2nd curtain), Manual(1/1)(FULL~1/64)
Synchronization speed 1/250sec. or less* (using the bundled flash)
 * Depending on flash models or flash mode
 FL-50R: 1/180 sec., Except FL-50R: 1/200 sec., Super FP: 1/125-1/4000 sec.
Flash intensity control Up to ±3 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 1 EV steps selectable
Compatible external flash FL-50/FL-50R, FL-36/FL-36R, FL-30, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R
Color Temperature  5500 ± 400 K
Control method Triggered and controlled by bundled flash (FL-LM2)     ** Available on FL-LM1/ FL-600R (Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible)
Number of channels 4 channels 
Number of groups  4 groups (External flash 3 groups + a bundled flash)
Drive mode Single-frame shooting, Sequential shooting, Self-timer
Sequential shooting maximum speed [Sequential shooting H mode]   9.0 fps
[Sequential shooting L mode]   3.5 fps / 4.2fps  in case of "I.S. OFF"
Max. recordable pictures
on sequential shooting
[RAW]   Max. 17 frames (in seq. shooting L), Max. 11 frames (in seq. shooting H)
[JPEG]  Up to full extent of data strage capacity (in seq. shooting L), Max. 17 frames ( in seq. shooting H);
(with TOSHIBA SDHC UHS-I card R95-W80 8GB model, under Olympus test standard)
Self-timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec. 
Wireless remote control Not available
Exposure bracketing 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps selectable, 7 frames in 0.3/0.7EV steps selectable
White balance bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis
Flash bracketing 3 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV step selectable
Art filter bracketing i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, Art Filters selectable
Mode (Variation / Effect) Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Proscess, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line 
Art Effect Soft Focus Effect, Pin-Hole Effect, White Edge Effect, Frame Effect, Star Light Effect
Movie Recording  MOV (MPEG-4AVC/H.264) - Full HD: 1920 (H) x 1080 (V), 20Mb/s Fine, Approx. 29 min.17Mb/s Normal Approx. 22 min. -   HD: 1280 (H) x 720 (V), 13Mb/s Fine, 10Mb/s Normal, Aspect 16:9, Max 4GB. - AVI (Motion JPEG) HD: 1280 (H) x 720 (V), 30 fps, Approx 29 min. Aspect 16:9. SD: 640 (H) x 480 (V), 30 fps, Approx 29 min. Aspect 4:3, Max 2GB. Motion-JPEG Format: 1/12(HD), 1/8(SD)
Effects Movie Effect: One shot echo / Multi echo
Art Filter Movie, Aperture priority Movie, Shutter Priority Movie, Manual Shooting Movie
IS for Movie Built in (Image sensor shift type image stabilization)
IS1. mode only
AE Lock Available
Exposure control (Movie) P: Program AE,   A: Aperture priority AE,   S: Shutter speed priority AE,   M: Manual,   Art Filter
* S mode and M mode: Shutter speed is limited in less than 1/30 sec.
Recording format Wave Format (Stereo linear PCM/16-bit, Sampling frequency 48 kHz)
Micophone/Speaker Stereo/Mono
Microphone function Wind Noise Reduction,  Recording Volume, Audio dubbing possible for still pictures (up to 30 sec.)
Maximum Recording Time Picture with Sound: 30 sec.
Movie: depend on Movie Recording Time
White balance mode Auto WB, 7 Preset WBs, 2 Capture WBs, Custom WB (Kelvin setting)
White balance compensation ±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis   * Except for Custom WB
Auto WB system Live MOS sensor 
Preset white balance Sunny (5300K), Shadow (7500K), Cloudy (6000K), Incandescent (3000K), Fluorescent (4000K), Underwater, WB Flash (5500K)
CWB (Kelvin setting) 1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature, 2000K to 14000K
Capture white balance 2 custom settings can be registered
Color matrix sRGB, Adobe RGB
Mode i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, Art Filters
Gradation Auto, Normal, High key, Low key [except fot Art Flters]
Adjustment parameter 4 levels (Auto, Normal, High key, Low key)
Filter effect (B&W filter) Neutral, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green for Monotone
Picture tone Neutral, Sepia, Blue, Purple, Green for Monotone
At high ISO setting Off, Low, Standard, High
At slow shutter speed Off, On, Auto
On: effective when shutter speed is slower than 1 sec.
Auto: effective when shutter speed is slower than 4 sec. (at ISO 200 or higher) or 8 sec. (at lower than ISO200)
Number of pictures / Function 2 frames / Auto gain, Exposing on Recorded picture (RAW)
Aspect Ratio 4:3 (Default) / 3:2 / 16:9 / 1:1 / 3:4
Post Processing RAW: Aspect ratio is recorded as Exif data, JPEG: JPEG image is produced based on the aspect ratio
Detection 2-axis
Magnification x2
Playback mode Single-frame, Information display, Index display (4/9/25/100 frames), Calendar, Enlargement (2x - 14x), Movie (with sound, FF/REW/Pause), Picture rotation (auto), Slideshow* (with BGM/BGM+Sound/Sound)
*Slideshow: Still/Movie/Still+Movie; When a camera is connected to HDTV with HDMI cable, 3 new slideshow effects can be selectable. (Still)
Information display Histogram (independent luminance / RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Photographic information, OFF
Languages 34 languages selectable: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croat, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovakian, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Malay, Thai
Reset and custom settings (My mode) 4 settings recordable
Editing function RAW development, Gradation auto, Monochrome, Sepia, Red-eye fix, Saturation, Resize (1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 320 x 240), Trimming, Aspect, e-Portrait, Image Overlay, Post-recording
RAW picture editing RAW development based on settings of the camera (including Art Filter)
JPEG editing Shadow adjustment, Red-eye fix, Cropping, Aspect, Black & White, Sepia, Saturation, Resize, e-portrait
Image Overlay Up to 3 RAW images
Erasing function Single frame, All, Selected frames 
Protect function Single frame, Selected frames, Release protect
Print function Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
USB/AV/Remote controller connector Dedicated multi-connector [USB: USB2.0 High Speed, Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1 can be used]
HDMI connector Micro HDMI (Type-D)
Flash attachment Hot shoe
Accessory Port 2 Dedicated multi-connector [Available for VF-2/VF-3, SEMA-1, MAL-1 and PP-1]
PC interface USB 2.0 High Speed
TV interface HDMI (HD/Stereo Sound), VIDEO-OUT (SD/Mono Sound)
DC-in [Optional Power Battery Holder HLD-6 has DC-IN jack for AC-3.]
Battery BLN-1 Li-ion battery (included)
Power battery holder (Option)  Power Battery Holder HLD-6
AC adapter (Option)  AC adapter AC-3 *Optional HLD-6 has DC-IN jack for AC-3.
Sleep mode Available (1/3/5 min. off selectable)
Dimensions  4.8 inch (W) x 3.5 inch (H) x 1.7 inch (D)
[CIPA guideline compliant, excluding protrusions]
Weight Approx. 15 ounces [CIPA guideline compliant, with BLN-1 battery and Memory card]
Approx. 13 ounces    [body only]
Temperature 32 ~ +104 (operation) / -4 ~ +140 (storage) Fahrenheit
Humidity 30 - 90% (operation) / 10 - 90% (storage)