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New beginnings from an honored legacy
Sometimes the intersection of innovation, convenience, and cool is so compelling that it demands to be noticed. Such is the case with the eye-turning Olympus OM-D E-M5 interchangeable-lens hybrid camera. Springing from the distinguished tradition (and informed by the design) of Olympus's original OM-D line of SLRs, the E-M5 honors that spirit while moving the innovation threshold forward.
What your senses tell you
What do you notice when first looking at the E-M5? It's a tie between its compact overall size and its attractive legacy-aware design. Pick it up and feel it in your hands and some other attributes rise to the top. Two easy-to-manipulate control dials present themselves readily to your hand. A bright, detailed electronic viewfinder (EVF) complements a 3-inch, high-res touchscreen OLED (organic LED) monitor that tilts in order to give you a better view from unusual angles. What's more, the camera's Micro Four Thirds mount means that a bevy of well-regarded lenses can be at your disposal please note that they too are a pleasure to control with this camera, as the E-M5's compact size puts lens rings at your fingertips.
The need for speed
The E-M5 is optimized to give you the best possible image with all due speed. To that end, they've gone back to the drawing board with this camera's approach to image stabilization, making it in-camera and movement-aware in 5 axes, so that even quick rotational movements will cause minimal motion blur, regardless of the lens that's on the front of the camera. The FAST AF autofocus system acquires subjects almost instantaneously, and tracks them in three dimensions, so that even fast movements toward or away from you are quickly refocused. At its top speed, the E-M5 is capable of an impressive 9 frames-per-second still image capture rate. If you typically shoot pictures of wildlife, children or pets, this camera is sure to get you a lot of keepers.
It plays bigger than its size
Despite its small size, this camera plays big in other ways. It's well-sealed against the elements, and is touted by the manufacturer as not only dust-proof but splash-proof. An external flash unit is bundled with the camera, attaching to the accessory shoe and giving even more sophisticated light support options when your available illumination is low. And in-camera art filters and multiple aspect ratios multiply your creative options with the images you harvest.
- 16-megapixel effective recording
- Four Thirds-type Live MOS image sensor (17.3 x 13.0 mm)
- five-axis in-body image stabilization provides shake and movement compensation for all attached lenses, even with rotational movements
- bundled external flash unit (FL-LM2) is included
- 3" (610,000 dot) tilting OLED (Organic LED) touchscreen with brightness and color temperature control
- high-resolution (1,440,000-dot) electronic viewfinder with two-axis level gauge
- full-time live view mode for OLED screen and viewfinder lets you instantly see the effects of exposure, creative effect and white balance settings
- built-in dust reduction system to keep image sensor clean
- 35-area predictive 3D-tracking autofocus for accurate, high-speed focusing, even when subject is moving away or toward you
- face/eye detection autofocus with face recognition locks in focus for sharp candids and portraits
- 11 in-camera art filters can be applied to both stills and HD movies, both during and after capture
- 5 different aspect ratios available for specific framing options without cropping
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- compatible with the large and growing family of Micro Four Thirds Mount lenses
Exposure Modes and Controls:
- continuous shooting mode: up to 9 frames per second in H mode (max. 11 frames in RAW/17 frames in JPEG), up to 4.2 fps in L mode (max 17 frames RAW, card storage capacity in JPEG)
- shutter speed range: 60-1/4,000 seconds, bulb
- sensitivity or ISO (film speed equivalent) range: 200-25,600
- program auto, shutter-priority, aperture-priority, manual, and fully automatic exposure modes
- auto exposure bracketing: 2, 3, or 5 frames
- white balance bracketing: up to 3 frames, in both blue/amber axis and magenta/green axis
- 23 preset scene modes
- 11 in-camera art filters including pop art and pin hole camera
- flash sync at less than 1/160 second
File Formats and Storage:
- still image storage modes: JPEG, RAW, and RAW+JPEG (Fine), RAW+JPEG (Standard), MPO (for 3D lens recording)
- top JPEG resolution (pixels): 4,608 x 3,456
- high-definition stereo AVCHD movies use quicktime .mov file wrapper
- 1,920 x 1,080 resolution at 60 interlaced fields per second (sensor output is 30p)
- 1,280 x 720 resolution at 60 interlaced fields per second (sensor output is 30p)
- Motion JPEG files with stereo sound: up to 1,280 x 720 at 30 frames per second using the .avi file wrapper, VGA (640 x480 at 30 fps) also available
- records photos and video onto optional SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards
Connections and Dimensions:
- high-speed USB 2.0 interface
- micro HDMI output (cable not included)
- audio (monaural)/video out (NTSC/PAL)
- input for optional RM-UC1 wired remote control
- 5-3/16"W x 3-9/16"H x 2-3/16"D (without lens)
- weight (with memory card and battery): 16 oz.
- FL-LM2 flash unit
- rechargeable BLN-1 lithium ion battery
- battery charger
- shoulder strap
- body cap
- USB and audio/video cable
- software CD-ROM
Want a camera you can grow into? Try a mirrorless camera.
These digital cameras combine the creative options of a DSLR with portability that's more like that of a point-and-shoot. Their automatic modes will help you take striking pictures from day one without having to be an expert. However, like DSLRs, mirrorless cameras have interchangeable lenses, and advanced control and processing. You can explore these features for even better results as you take time to learn more about the hobby. Cameras in this class have large image sensors for beautifully detailed pictures, but their mirrorless design means the camera bodies and matching lenses can be smaller, lighter, and more portable great for snapping memorable pics when you're on the move.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 (no lens included) Reviews
Average Customer Review:
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
So far, a fantastic choice and excellent replacement for my previous APS-C DSLR camera. Much smaller and lighter than expected, great image quality, very fast and generally accurate auto focus, and amazing in-body stabilization. Weather-sealing is a major plus as well.
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
This camera is compact and easy to hike with. The pictures are excellent, have developed several 16 x 20 with great results. The camera works great for HDR photos, just set bracketing and fast sequential shooting.
Pros: Image Stabilization in camera so lenses are affordable.
Cons: You will need to study and practice with the camera to get all features figured out
Good featured camera body
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I bought this camera with a portrait 45mm f1.8 lens before the arrival of my baby. This combo is perfect for portrait photography. This camera comes with a lot of setting options that can be very helpful after you get use to it. I personally like the vintage look of this camera.
Pros: Lot of setting options, compact, lite and looks great
Cons: Little expensive compared to other entry level SLRs from Canon and Nikon
What's in the box?
- Silver/black E-M5 digital camera body (with BC-2 body cap installed)
- FL-LM2 electronic flash
- Soft storage pouch for flash
- BLN-1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.6V / 1220 mAh)
- BCN-1 battery charger (8.7V / 0.6 A)
- 72" AC cord
- 62" A/V cable (with proprietary connector on one end and composite video and mono audio RCA plugs on the other end)
- 54" USB cable (with Type A USB on one end and proprietary connector on the other end)
- Adjustable neck strap
- Olympus Setup CD-ROM
- Basic Manual (En/Fr/Sp)
- Warranty card
Features and Specs
|LCD Screen Size||3" OLED|
|Lens 35mm Equivalent||N/A|
|Built-in Flash||Unit included|
|Effective Megapixel Count||16.05|
|Image Stabilization||Sensor Shift|
|Highest Resolution||4608 x 3456|
|HD Video Recording||1920 x 1080/60i|
|Weight With Battery (ounces)||14.4|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The OM-D is a new mirrorless, digital interchangeable lens camera series from Olympus. It features a Micro Four Thirds mount and a lineup of quality lenses to choose from. The OM-D's compact size and weight makes is easier to use. Advanced features include a 5-axis Image Stabilization System, fast auto focusing, a 16MP Live MOS image sensor, and an Electronic Viewfinder. This OM-D package includes the E-M5 camera body only. No lenses are included.
Micro Four Thirds: The E-M5 has a standard Micro Four Thirds lens mount. The following Olympus lenses are compatible with the camera:
Note: The EM-5 is sold in two separate kits: the Zoom Lens Kit (with a 14-42mm lens), and the Movie Kit (with a 12-50mm lens).
Rugged Construction: The E-M5's Magnesium-alloy and Aluminum construction makes the camera lightweight and tough. It is also built with a degree of splash and dust protection, especially around the monitor and card slot, so you can depend on the camera in harsh environments.
Image Pickup Device: The E-M5 uses a 4/3" Live MOS sensor with approximately 17,200,000 total pixels and 16,050,000 effective pixels. This is the same sensor used in Olympus DSLRs, and is 8 times larger than the typical sensor found in the average point-and-shoot camera. The Live MOS sensor is complimented by Olympus' new TruePic VI Image Processor for increased ISO sensitivity and fast auto focusing.
Dust Reduction System: The E-M5's Dust Reduction System includes a Supersonic Wave Filter to eliminate dust particles on the image sensor. The self-cleaning sensor unit silently vibrates 30,000 times per second, ensuring clear, spot-free images.
3" OLED Monitor: The camera has a 3" OLED touchscreen display for framing your shots and viewing your digital pictures and videos. The 610,000-dot display can be tilted up or down to a 45° angle for low- or high-angle shots. Touch navigation lets you control the camera in both the shooting and playback modes with the touch of a finger.
Electronic Viewfinder: In addition to the 3" monitor, the E-M5 has a built-in, high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) with a 120 fps refresh rate. The 1,440,000 dot EVF provides a bright clear view of your subject with a choice of three different informational display modes. An eye sensor next to the viewfinder automatically switches between the EVF and the 3" monitor. There is also a diopter to let you adjust the viewfinder to your eyesight.
Image Recording Formats: The E-M5 records digital still images in JPEG format, as well as RAW uncompressed images. RAW images can be processed into JPEG files in the camera or using the supplied software. You can record up to 30 seconds of audio with still images in WAV format. Movies are recorded in MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 and AVI Motion JPEG with 16-bit PCM stereo audio at a 48 kHz sampling rate.
Still Image File Sizes: The E-M5 allows you to shoot still images in 8 sizes with your choice of 4 compression modes. The available picture sizes in the 4:3 aspect ratio include 4608 x 3456, 3200 x 2400, 2560 x 1920, 1920 x 1440, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480. You can change the aspect ratio when taking pictures in Live View to 16:9, 3:2, 1:1 or 3:4. Compression modes available for each picture resolution are Super Fine (1/2.7 compression), Fine (1/4), Normal (1/8), and Basic (1/12). RAW images can be recorded only in 4608 x 3456 resolution with lossless compression (approximately 1/1.5 compression).
Movie Modes: There are six movie modes from which to choose:
|Record Mode||Pixel Count||Frame Rate||File Format|
|Full HD Fine||1920 x 1080||59.94i||MPEG-4 AVC/H.264|
|Full HD Normal||1920 x 1080|
|HD Fine||1280 x 720||59.94p|
|HD Normal||1280 x 720|
|HD||1280 x 720||30 fps||Motion JPEG|
|SD||640 x 480|
Recording Media: Still images and movies with sound are recorded on SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards. (Class 6 cards or higher are recommended for movie shooting.) The E-M5 is also compatible with Eye-Fi cards.
5-Axis Image Stabilization: The E-M5 features a new 5-axis in-body Image Stabilization System to automatically compensate for camera shake in low-light situations or when using a telephoto lens. In addition to vertical and horizontal camera shake, the E-M5's IS System also compensates for rotational movement--pitch, yaw, and roll. You can choose from the following IS modes:
- Auto: Image stabilizer on
- Vertical IS: Image stabilization applies only to vertical camera shake. Use when panning horizontally.
- Horizontal: Image stabilization applies only to horizontal camera shake. Use when panning the camera horizontally with the camera held in portrait orientation.
- Off: Image stabilizer is off.
Shooting Modes: Using the top-mounted Mode Dial, you can choose from 3 Easy Shooting Modes, 4 Advanced Shooting Modes, and Movie Mode:
- Easy Shooting Modes:
- iAuto: A full auto mode in which the camera automatically optimizes settings for the current scene. The Live Guide lets you make creative adjustments, and view them on the monitor before you take the shot.
- Art Filter: You can select from the following Art Filters: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale Light & Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, Art Bracketing
- Scene Modes: You can select from the following Scene Modes: Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night Scene, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye Effect, Wide Angle, Macro, 3D Photo
- Advanced Shooting Modes:
- Program Shooting: Aperture and shutter speed are automatically adjusted for optimal results.
- Aperture Priority: You set the aperture manually, and the camera sets the shutter speed automatically.
- Shutter Priority: You set the shutter speed manually between 1/4000 to 60 seconds or Bulb, and the camera sets the aperture automatically.
- Manual: You set the shutter speed and aperture manually.
- Movie Shooting Modes: You can shoot movies using the Program Shooting, Aperture Priority Shooting, Manual Shooting, and the eleven Art Filter Modes. In addition, you can add Multi Echo and One Shot Echo after-image effects.
Picture Modes (Processing Options): The camera lets you select image tones to create unique image effects. For each picture mode, you can fine-adjust the image parameters, such as contrast and sharpness. The Picture Modes include:
- iEnhance: produces more impressive-looking pictures matched to the scene mode
- Vivid: produces vivid colors
- Natural: produces natural colors
- Muted: produces flat tones
- Portrait: produces beautiful skin tones
- Monotone: produces black and white tones
- Custom: lets you select one of the above modes, set the parameters, and register the setting.
Focus Modes: The E-M5 features a fast, contrast type auto focus system. You can select Single-AF (focuses when shutter button is pressed halfway), Continuous-AF (always focusing), or Manual (turning the focus ring). You can also fine-adjust the focus manually by turning the focus ring after AF is performed in the S-AF mode. If you have a moving subject, you can use the AF Tracking feature. In this mode, the camera will track and maintain focus on the subject while the shutter button is held halfway.
Auto-Focus Target: The camera has 35 Auto-Focus targets for focusing on the subject. In the All-Target AF mode, the camera automatically chooses from the full set of the 35 AF targets. In the Single-Target AF mode, you can manually select one AF target for accurately focusing on the subject after composing the shot. The Group Target mode lets you select a group of nine AF targets, and the camera chooses the specific target for focusing.
ISO Settings: The sensitivity can be set automatically or manually. You can set the default and upper limits for Auto ISO. The manual ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 200 to 25600, with selectable ISO steps of 1 EV or 1/3 EV.
White Balance: Color reproduction depends upon light conditions. You can choose from 4 options for setting the white balance:
- Auto: For General Use, used for most light conditions
- Preset: You can choose from the following presets:
- 5300K: for shooting outdoors on a clear day, for sunset/sunrise, or fireworks
- 7500K: for shooting outdoors in the shadows on a clear day
- 6000K: for shooting outdoors on a cloudy day
- 3000K: for shooting under a tungsten light
- 4000K: for shooting under fluorescent lighting
- 5500K: for flash shooting
- Underwater: for underwater photography
- Custom: Color temperature set in the custom white balance menu (between 2000K and 14000K)
- One-Touch: Color temperature set by the one-touch WB method
Sequential Shooting: In addition to shooting single frames, the E-M5 can also shoot images continuously. When Sequential H is selected, photos are taken at approximately 9 frames per second for as long as the shutter button is pressed. Focus, exposure, and white balance are fixed at the first shot. Sequential L takes photos at about 4 fps while the shutter button is held down. Focus and exposure are fixed according to the options selected for AF mode and AEL/AFL.
Self-Timer: The Self-Timer lets you take pictures after a preset amount of time. You can choose from 2 seconds or 12 seconds.
Bulb Shooting: The E-M5 can take extra long exposures with bulb shooting. When the camera is set to Bulb, the shutter remains open as long as the shutter button stays pressed. Use of a tripod is highly recommended for bulb shooting.
Flash Modes: The E-M5 comes with the external FL-LM2 flash, which attaches to the camera's hot shoe. The camera does not have a built-in flash. You can select from several flash modes: Auto, Fill in flash, Red-eye reduction flash, Slow synchronization (1st curtain), Slow sync (1st curtain) with Red-eye reduction, Slow synchronization (2nd curtain), and Flash off. You can also manually set the intensity of the flash to full, 1/4, 1/16, or 1/64 power.
Bracketing: To increase your chances of getting the perfect exposure in difficult shooting conditions, you can set the camera to take a number of photos at different exposure values for each frame. Frames are shot at optimum exposure, plus pictures adjusted in the opposite directions of exposure. You can perform bracketing in the following ways:
- AE Bracket: Three frames are shot using automatic exposure. You can set the compensation value to 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV, or 1.0 EV.
- WB Bracket: Three frames are shot using different white balances; one at specified WB, one adjusted toward amber-blue color, and the other toward green-magenta. You can set the bracketing adjustments in 2, 4, or 6 steps.
- FL Bracket: Three frames are shot with different flash intensity. Compensation values can be set at 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV, or 1.0 EV.
- ISO Bracket: Three images are taken, each with different ISO sensitivity, with shutter speed and aperture fixed. Compensation values can be set at 0.3 EV, 0.7 EV, or 1.0 EV.
- Art Bracketing: Multiple images are taken, each with a different art filter setting. You can select which art filters to include in the bracketing shot.
Metering Modes: There are 5 ways to measure the subject brightness:
- Digital ESP: Camera measures light levels and calculates the differences in 324 separate areas of the image.
- Center-Weighted Average: Camera provides the average metering between the subject and background lighting, placing more weight on the subject in the center.
- Spot: Camera meters a very small area around the center of the subject.
- Spot with Highlight Control: If overall background is bright, the camera shifts toward over-exposure so white areas don't turn gray.
- Spot with Shadow Control: If overall background is dark, the camera shifts toward under-exposure so black areas don't turn gray.
Face Detection: The camera will detect people's faces in the frame and adjust the focus and metering automatically.
Multiple Exposure: The E-M5 lets you create multiple exposures in a single frame. Methods include: two frames combined as one, portions of one frame merged with portions of another, or RAW frames overlaid in the playback mode.
Digital Level: To ensure that your pictures are level perfect, the camera has a digital level gauge that can be viewed in the monitor and the electronic viewfinder.
Photo Playback: You can play back images one at a time, or in an index display of 4, 9, 25, or 100. You can also display images recorded on the memory card by date (calendar display). While in single image playback, the image can be magnified to 2x, 3x, 5x, 7x, 10x, or 14x for a closer look.
Playback On TV: The E-M5 allows you to play back your still images or movies on a TV. The camera has a Micro HDMI (Type D) output for connecting to an HDTV. Output resolution can be set to 1080i, 720p, and 480p. No Micro HDMI-to-HDMI cable is included. In addition, you can connect the camera to a TV with a composite video, using the supplied AV cable connected to the camera's multi-connector.
HDMI Control: When HDMI Control is set to "On", the camera can be operated by a TV remote control when it is connected to the TV via HDMI. The TV must support HDMI control. During single-frame playback, you can display or hide the information display and the index display.
PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compliant printer, regardless of brand.
Power Options: The E-M5 is powered by the supplied BLN-1 Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (7.6 volts/1220mAh). The battery charges in approximately 4 hours in the supplied BCN-1 battery charger. The BLN-1 battery is good for approximately 360 shots on a single charge.
Optional Power Battery Holder: The optional HLD-6 is a combination battery holder and grip designed for use with the E-M5. The HLD-6 can hold an additional BLN-1 battery to double the shooting capacity of the camera. The device can be separated into two parts, one tailored to shooting in landscape orientation, and one that is designed for portrait shooting.
Olympus Viewer 2 Software: The E-M5 includes Olympus Viewer 2 software on CD-ROM. The software is compatible with the following operating systems:
- Windows XP (Service Pack 2 or later)
- Windows Vista
- Windows 7
- Mac OS X v10.4.11 - 10.7
USB Mass Storage Class: The camera supports USB Mass Storage Class, allowing you to transfer images to a computer with the provided USB cable. The following operating systems are compatible with the USB connection:
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP Professional
- Windows XP Home Edition
- Mac OS X version 10.3 or later
Our Product Research Team
Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Zak Billmeier
Springing from the distinguished tradition (and informed by the design) of Olympus's original OM line of SLRs, the OM-D E-M5 honors that spirit while moving the innovation threshold forward.