Friday, February 24, 2012

Olympus OM-D E-M5: The Best M4/3 Camera Yet?

Ever since the rumor mill churned out the news of the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the Micro 4/3 crowd has gone gaga over its capabilities.  Even many people who currently don't own any M4/3 stuff got their interest on it.  Will it live up to the hype?

The specs certainly looks pretty good: world's faster AF, claimed Olympus.  That's a big claim especially for contrast detect AF.  From the promotional video, it really does look impressive.  For me, though, this will be less important than for others, simply because I would be using manual focus lenses on it most of the time! Among the many features of the E-M5, which I don't care much, the 5-axis image stabilization interests me the most.  I am happy with the NEX-5N, except the lack of a built-in viewfinder, and no body IS.  If it is as effective as Olympus claims, I would be VERY interested and may even get one, so far the image quality is also as good as claimed, or close the what the NEX-5N is.

But, the long waited 5D II replacement will be announced early next week, and the specs are also impressive, but the price is more than three times higher than the E-M5.  I have been patiently waiting for the full frame body (Canon) to come down in price, so that I can  buy one and  be done with body upgrade for the next few years with my 1D III and 5D II/III.  Choices are painful, especially when you can't go wrong with any of them.  I eagerly await Canon's new affordable full frame.  Exciting times when there are so many new cameras being announced, and also painful times when my upgrade fund is limited.

Tilted Lamp -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6.


  1. I am really curious how the new full frame cameras Nikon D800 and future Canon MK III will compare in relation to APS-C bolides. I assume that developing new optimized full frame cameras was never really intended, for sales forecasts had been low (due to much higher prices). So the battlefield for earnings in the last years had been the APS-C market and most of the develloping costs had been put into optimizing APS-C gears. I predict a decisive improvement in IQ with the new models (now manufacturers can earn with new series of full frame lenses). Lucky you. who has performant glass in abundance!

    1. 2012 will be one of the best year for new cameras! There are so many different cameras coming into the market. With the OM-D E-M5, I think the M43 system has finally become good enough to compete with APS-C sensors, but I look forward the the 22MP 5D III/X that will have amazing image quality, like the 1Dx.

  2. I have the oldest m4/3: PEN EP1. Great colors in Natural mode, I find them very accurate and don't need to be postprocessed. Great auto WB, works even in tungsten, which some dSLRs have issues with. And the built-in stabilization is great for longer lenses. Moreover, I have a hotshoe, so I can use it for strobist purposes with all kinds of radio triggers. Those were aspects that PEN won with NEX in my opinion. Also, weak AA filter give better sharpness. Additional one is good coverage of ultra-bright c-mount lenses like Canon 17-102/2.0 ;)))

    Now I'm pretty sure EM5 will be a lot better (viewfinder, better iso, better stabilization, faster AF), definitely worth upgrading :)

    1. Always find the Olympus colour very pleasing albeit not completely natural. Their jpeg engine is one of the best in the industry. I have E-M5 on my radar screen, but now there are so many choices!

      Don't have very good luck with c-mount zooms. I have few of them and none of them cover the M43 sensor in the wide end.