Olympus OM-D E-M5

Well, most of you must be thinking… Not one more micro 4/3 camera in the already congested space. Well, I also thought so when the read the burb about the product launch. I must admit, I belong to a genre of photogs who feel they have been there and seen it all. To top it, I use a cam with a APSC aensor. Would I want to move down the value chain to a further smaller sensor ? Nyet !!!!

Then I was talking to a friend. A man who is an expert on cameras, if there was one. He had laid his hands on a pre-production model of the camera. Combining the camera with a prime lens of his choice, he produced results (SOOC JPEGS) which were just mindblowing. The crisp colours and the sharpness of the pictures blew him away. Mind it, this was a gentleman, who owns both a Canon EOS 60 D and a Nikon D 7000.  He now plans to jettison his APSC sensor cameras and plans to but the OM-D and a couple of primes. He also mentioned that the 5 axis image stabilisation is nothing like he has seen till date. He was happily shooting at 1/16 and 1/8 of a second without any perceptable shake.

Just imagine what such a camera with a fast lens can do for you.

Since I needed to validate what I heard from one source, I decided to keep a watch on what the major websites had to say. And soon enough, DPreview  posted a few pictures from the camera. I looked at the comparative pictures against some of the sharpest cameras known to man – Full Frame and APSC sensor. Well, this sensor was as good or better than most of the big names.

I know there will be some knitted brows after reading this. Hence, I am attaching below the link to the comparatives. See for yourself.


I know it is counter-intuitive to believe a micro 4/3 will challenge sensors double its size

Watch this space. We will be back with more information.

5 thoughts on “Olympus OM-D E-M5

  1. I’m skeptical… I once was an Olympus-ite, my first, second and third DSLRs were Olympus (500, E3, 620), and my husband still loves the D3. When the E620 came out, everything was raves, everywhere, amazing reviews in my regular magazines and websites, image comparisons – yadda, yadda… I wanted to upgrade from the 500, and it made sense to stick with Olympus as we had invested in their high-quality lenses, so I bought it. Parallel import from the US, so I couldn’t test or return it…

    Worst camera I ever owned, bar none – and that includes the Kodak instamatic I used as a kid. The sensor could not handle anything other than bright sunlight or full flash. ISO over 320 and it was nothing but noise. And even in bright light, it could not handle blacks well… More than two weeks salary down the drain… used it nearly a year, on the verge of tears every time I went to develop my raw files. Finally, I held my breath and pulled out my credit card and bought the Canon 5D Mark II with its full frame sensor and never looked back.

    Hmmm… More than querying the image quality, I also wonder why anyone serious about photography want one of these? There are so many great point and shoots out there for the strictly amateur (and Olympus makes several of them) and DSLRs keep getting more and more amazing for those who want to get adventurous. I just don’t get it.

    I wonder how your friend will feel about it six months down the road – will he still be using it, or will he go back to the resolution and image quality he gets from his 60D? Or upgrade to one of the new Canon or Nikon full frame beauties? My money is on the latter…

      • Oh yes – wait and see… I think the lesson I learned from my experience is exactly that… don’t trust the first impression, or the second or the tenth… wait and see… and then proceed.
        Of course the manufacturers have the game fixed by constantly changing the technology…

  2. I think taking a picture is a little bit more than pixel level image quality; one needs to take into account other factors that influence image quality. From all reports, and from actually using the OM-D on the field, I was blown away by the five axis image stabilisation. Effectively I was getting three to four stops advantage. Let us start with that as a given, because I have seen it work on the field. In the four years that I have used 400D so far, I have never had to really use an ISO speed above 1600; the 400D was good enough for me until ISO 400. At ISO 1600 the OMD was cleaner than 400D at ISO 400 (though I shot only in JPEG). Now add in three stops Image Stabilisation with any and all lenses one could use on the OM-D. That would cover every possible low light situation that I have encountered so far. Frankly, I am not very impressed by EOS 60D’s low light performance; to top it off its AA filter seems to be very strong, resulting in lowered resolution. Further, OM-D allows me to adapt almost any manual lens ever made, and that takes care of my tinkerers needs/itches. I can also use EF lenses (manual focus, and manual aperture setting) with these special adapters available for $30 or so. Further, there are some incredible af lenses available for M4/3 mount. The Leica Summilux 25 F1.4 is a cracker of a lens. Easily the best lens I have used so far, and at a fov that I shoot most of my photographs at. Whether I’d get rid of the 60D or not is a separate matter altogether. Now that 5D III is out, sooner or later 5D II prices have to fall, especially in the used market. If I get the 5D II, OM-D, with the Leica 25mm 1.4, and Oly 45 1.8, will become light weight portable camera. The 60D is certainly not an easy to carry all over the place camera to function as an effective second camera. Too heavy to be lugging around all the time. I can use the 5D II in planned settings, and use the OM-D as my carry all the time option. Different people have different experiences, and my experience with Olympus has always been positive (right from the days of the original OM film cameras). The OM-D just blew me away – in terms of ergonomics (my hands are smallish), image stabilisation, high ISO performance (up unti ISO 1600), color fidelity, and above all ease of use, and the performance of Leica 25 1.4 on that sensor (I believe the AA filter is not very string in the OM-D).

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