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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced

Olympus has announced its latest Micro Four Thirds camera, the OM-D E-M5.

| Olympus OM-D E-M5 in Mirrorless Cameras
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced: Olympus OM-D E-M5 HLD-6G+6P front
Olympus has announced the new Olympus OM-D E-M5, the latest Micro Four Thirds camera, it features a classic design based on the Olympus OM SLR film cameras, but with a 16 megapixel Live MOS sensor, Micro Four Thirds mount and weather sealed body. It's the highest specification Micro Four Thirds camera to date with 9fps shooting and Full HD video. Have a look at the press release below, or have a look at our hands-on preview below:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Hands-On Preview
New 75mm f/1.8 Portrait Lens Announced
New 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Announced
New OM-D Accessories Announced

Speed and sophistication, sublimely packaged - welcome to the next generation:

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced: Olympus OM-D E-M5
Olympus OM-D E-M5

Faster, sharper, smarter: the dust and splash-proof Olympus OM-D, with game-changing IS, electronic viewfinder and stunning new lenses.

London, February 8 2012
Olympus is taking the forty-year pedigree of the OM series into the next generation with the launch of the OM-D, featuring the world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilisation (IS) system to eliminate blur in stills and movies.

See the blur reduction effect live via the fast electronic viewfinder, while simultaneously benefitting from the fastest*2 auto-focus of any interchangeable lens camera (including all D-SLRs) with a further
refinement of the world-beating FAST AF (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) also found on the popular PEN series models.

The camera’s innovative new 16.1 megapixel high-resolution Live MOS Sensor works in tandem with the powerful TruePic VI image processing engine to achieve outstandingly refined image quality and high sensitivity.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced: Olympus OM-D E-M5 back
Olympus OM-D E-M5 back

The integrated 1.44 million dot high-definition electronic viewfinder lets the photographer to check manual adjustments to brightness and colour tones on-screen and with a new interface for exceptionally easy viewing.

This faster, sharper, smarter camera comes attractively packaged in a durable dust-/splashproof magnesium-alloy body that ensures lets the OM-D go-anywhere.

New accessories such as the optional HDL-6 power battery holder grip, MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter and FL-600R electronic flash add to its adaptability, while two new lens options – the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 macro – are under development and will extend creative applications for the user.

The OM-D (E-M5) comes in a silver or black body.

The OM-D is available from April 2012 as a kit with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 for £1149.99. Body only price to be confirmed.

Quote: Mark Thackara, National Marketing Manager, Olympus UK.

““Why can’t a camera be more like a camera?” paraphrasing some much loved film dialogue. Well for all those who asked, it can. We have listened and delivered with the OM-D. Let’s not talk retro, let’s say classic: the logical consequence of evolution in design. A familiar, well loved shape with
controls where they should be and the choice of Olympus genius in packing all this into body of a size and weight you won’t mind carrying or an ingenious two part grip for those who prefer a fuller figure.

Come and see us at Focus On Imaging to get the full effect. OM is back.”

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced: Olympus OM-D E-M5 best lens
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Lens

Superior speed

Experienced camera users will appreciate the advances in camera speed on the OM-D, with the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, a world-beater also featured on the PEN E-P3, driving the Live MOS Sensor at 120 fps. The speed of communications for controlling the lens action has been improved, while the MSC (Movie & Still Compatible) system has also been adopted for AF speed increase and noise reduction in the lens. In sequential shooting, the camera is capable of operating at an impressive 9 fps, and even with focus employed it can perform at a maximum speed of 4.2 fps *3. Users are also sure to appreciate the noticeable reduction in Live View return time after release. This has been achieved by using independent image-processing cores for the recorded images and Live View images, as found in the new TruePic VI engine, since the output to the rear-panel monitor or electronic viewfinder is no longer dependent on completing recording of the captured image.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds Camera Announced: Olympus OM-D E-M5 top
Olympus OM-D E-M5 top

Superior image quality and colour reproduction, plus Art Filter enhancements

The new High-Speed Live MOS Sensor on the OM-D comes with 16.1 megapixels, and allied to the TruePic VI image processing engine it offers excellent noise reduction capability and still image shooting sensitivity as high as ISO25600. There’s more faithful reproduction of a wide brightness range, thanks to the expanded dynamic range. Fine Detail Processing technology, first seen on the E-5, eliminates moiré and pseudo-colours, while Real-Colour Technology is used to reproduce previously hard-to render colours such as emerald green.

The OM-D offers a new “Key Line” filter to enhance edge lines, allowing the picture to look more like an illustration; there are two variations, providing different-strength effects. Art Filter Bracketing enables the user to generate multiple pictures with different Art Filters from a single shot – all features designed to inspire the user to experiment and become more creative in
their camera use.

Superior viewfinder quality

The 1.44 million dot high-definition integrated electronic viewfinder is a first on an Olympus interchangeable lens camera, and is sure to prove a strong selling point. It features a 100% field of view and max. 1.15x magnification, with an 18mm eye point. The optimised display time lag is a major benefit, particularly when shooting fast sports action, while the unique optical design means the image can be viewed clearly from the centre to the periphery with little or no vignetting. The camera’s eye sensor can switch between the rear-panel monitor and electronic viewfinder automatically – a small but significant enhancement to ease-of-use. Information, including shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder – allowing the user to concentrate on the framing operation. The electronic viewfinder, unlike an optical viewfinder, also assists in image composition, by allowing the user to check the effects of various manual adjustments and Art Filters. Extended through-the-viewfinder operation is further facilitated via a new interface, EVF Creative Control, which enables separate adjustment of highlight and shadow brightness, monitored using the viewfinder image with a tone curve overlay. White balance, magnification and aspect ratio can similarly be adjusted without the eye moving away from the viewfinder.

Superior, world-first*1 5-axis image stabilisation (IS)

The previous mechanism compensated for camera shake by dealing with two kinds of rotary movement, yaw and pitch. However, camera shake is actually caused by five different kinds of motion, and the new IS mechanism now also corrects effectively for horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling). Particularly when shooting at larger magnifications (macro shooting), the user will appreciate the value of being able to correct blur. The OM-D also comes equipped for shooting on the move, as multi-motion IS with wide frequency-band compatibility compensates for shake.

Superior movie functions

The camera’s built-in IS has evolved into the MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) IS system, offering improved stabilisation of movie images. Users who like to perform their movie post-editing on a PC will particularly appreciate the Full-HD movie recording function which adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264). It allows a recording time of about 29 minutes. Traditional AVI (Motion JPEG) format is also available. Linear PCM audio is used for both recording modes. One-shot echo and multiecho effects can now be added to movies, adding to the user’s creative options.

Superior ease-of-use and reliability

Alongside the enhancements to facilitate operation while working through the viewfinder, the OM-D also features a 3.0-inch OLED rear-panel monitor that can be tilted by max. 80° upwards or max. 50° downwards, to assist when shooting from high and low angles. It uses a special layout of 610,000 dots and can display video data equivalent to VGA, while its capacitive-type touchscreen has a high response speed that enables intuitive operation with finger-tip focussing and shutter release. In a further development facilitating ease-of-use, the Live Bulb feature updates the Live View image on the rear-panel monitor at preset intervals during bulb shooting. It also allows the user to assess the final image during the exposure and to adjust the exposure time accordingly.

The OM-D is a camera to rely on, even in demanding conditions. It makes extensive use of shields and has a tough dust-/splashproof construction. To facilitate use of interchangeable lenses, Olympus has developed the SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter). Installed in front of the image sensor, it is activated as the camera is switched on to remove any dust attached to the image sensor by generating supersonic vibrations.

Also see:
New 75mm f/1.8 Portrait Lens Announced
New 60mm f/2.8 Macro Lens Announced

OM-D main features:

  • Speed - the world’s fastest*2 FAST AF auto-focusing system plus 3D tracking for improved moving object tracking performance
  • 16.1-megapixel new Live MOS sensor, for high resolution and excellent low-light performance
  • 1.44 million dot high-definition electronic viewfinder, with unique optical design to reduce vignetting, 100% field of view and very short display time lag
  • Powerful TruePic VI image engine, for faster recovery time and excellent image quality (still image shooting sensitivity as high as ISO25600)
  • Ultra-effective in-body image stabilisation using the world’s first*1 5-axis IS, for blur-free movies and stills with any lens
  • Compact, lightweight body in the tradition of the famous OM series, in magnesium alloy and enhanced with proven dust-/splashproof capability
  • Fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard

Additional features:

  • Tilt LCD (3.0-inch swivel-type OLED monitor, capacitive touchscreen panel with fast response)
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080), now in MPEG4
  • New Echo effect for movies (one-shot echo and multi-echo)
  • Live Bulb feature, updating the Live View image on the rear-panel monitor at pre-set intervals during bulb shooting
  • New “Key Line” Art Filter, making the picture look more like an illustration by enhancing the edge lines; and new variations “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II”
Also see:
New OM-D Accessories Announced
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Hands-On Preview

For a full list of OM-D features, go to

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeLive MOS Sensor
Sensor SizeMicro / Four Thirds
Sensor Size (width)17.3mm
Sensor Size (height)13mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution610k dots
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Touch AF
  • Spot
  • Multi
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Bulb modeYes
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity200 - 25600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Shade
  • Flash
  • Underwater
Exposure Comp+/-3
Viewfinder Resolution1.44million dots
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting9fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS30
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Wi-FiNo Data
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • RAW
  • JPG
  • RAW + JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)330shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsBody, Flash FL-LM2, Li-ion battery BLN-1, Li-ion battery charger BCN-1, USB/Video Multi cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 2/ib CD-ROM, Instruction manual, Warranty card

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Photographs taken using the Olympus OM-D E-M5

She’s Behind YouThe Charge of the Sun with IcarusLooking to GlasgowMorecambe Bay with mist and sunlightautumnal Alexandra Palace...End of the Seasonthe horse's mouth...No TwoCLOUD MODELING A FAMILY OF TREES~ "Turkshead Building Perspective"Damask Rose and friends from the garden.......~ "Victoria,...Fancy Dancer"not quite a sheep in a poke...Alien Artifact.....

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oneill 14 155 Ireland
8 Feb 2012 10:42AM
what can one say, but wow, and no iam not a olympus fan boy,,lol, i do think this could be a fantastic camera, if it does all that olympus says it can do, on another point it could be the camera that people with disabiles could handle better, but thats only my 2 cents worth,,:
StuartAt 18 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2012 10:56AM
Am I missing something? A micro 4/3 in a standard body size? Why not put an APS sensor in there? Presumably lenses could be smaller, but they don't seem to be shouting about that.
joshwa Plus
12 927 1 United Kingdom
8 Feb 2012 2:27PM

Quote:Am I missing something? A micro 4/3 in a standard body size? Why not put an APS sensor in there? Presumably lenses could be smaller, but they don't seem to be shouting about that.

It's smaller or similar in size to the Panasonic Lumix G3 - another Micro Four Thirds camera with an EVF. It's slightly smaller than the Olympus PEN E-P3. If they had an APS-C sensor, they would need to re-design / re-make all of their Micro Four Thirds lenses, of which there are nearly 30 lenses if you count Olympus and Panasonics.
mrcamm 15 United Kingdom
9 Feb 2012 7:51PM
That is an ugly camera
dwilkin 16 24.3k United Kingdom
29 May 2012 10:08AM
I used one on Friday at a demo day, and I loved it! A great little camera, and the images are astounding! I'm saving for one right now...

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