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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:06 am 
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 official thread!

See my Olympus E-M5 review for full details!

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Olympus has announced the first of its new OM Digital, or OM-D bodies, the E-M5. The E-M5's compact size and exterior styling is inspired by the hugely popular OM series of 35mm SLRs in the Seventies, but inside it's a thoroughly modern mirrorless compact system camera based on the Micro Four Thirds standard.

It's the first CSC from Olympus with a 16 Megapixel sensor and built-in electronic viewfinder, and the first CSC from any manufacturer that claims to be truly weatherproof. Given the toughness of earlier Olympus DSLRs, I'm also inclined to believe their claims that the sealed magnesium alloy body of E-M5 is both dust and splash-proof.

The E-M5 also sports a vertically tilting 3in OLED touch-screen, twin control dials and built-in image stabilisation that works with any lens you attach. Olympus has also revamped the IS from a basic two-axis system to a new 5-axis system which additionally counteracts rotational shake in any direction.

It sounds fast too with Olympus claiming the world's fastest AF system (again), along with up to 9fps continuous shooting (albeit with the focus locked). 1080i video is also supported for clips up to 29:59. There's no microphone input as standard, but the tall viewfinder head includes the Olympus accessory port which supports an optional microphone input accessory. There's no popup flash though.

It's a very exciting addition to the Micro Four Thirds system and one which could see many people jump from DSLRs to CSCs.

The Olympus E-M5 will be available in April and ships in the following configurations:

$999.99 (Body only, available in Black and Silver)
$1,299.99 (Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens)
$1,099.99 (Black body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens)


Press release from Olympus USA.
CLASSIC OM DESIGN REVIVED INTO A NEW STATE OF THE ART DIGITAL CAMERA - THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW: OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5

The Olympus E-M5 Unites an Intuitive Built-In Electronic Viewfinder with the World’s First*15-Axis Image Stabilization and World’s Fastest*2 Autofocusing System inside a Powerfully Portable and Rugged Dustproof and Splashproof Body

CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 7, 2012, 9:00pm - Today Olympus builds upon the 40-year legacy of the OM SLR film camera series and marks the beginning of the new digital imaging era with the launch of the Olympus E-M5, the first of the new Olympus OM-D (OM Digital) Series of Micro Four Thirds products. Designed to meet the needs of advanced photographers, the Olympus E-M5 is packed with a built-in electronic viewfinder, superior image technology, blazing fast speed and total creative control in a classic, rugged body ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.

Evoking the classic design of the original OM Series introduced 40 years ago, and transforming it for the modern age, the Olympus OM-D Series is a new and entirely unique Micro Four Thirds camera system. It combines outstanding features found in the Olympus E-System DSLR line with those of the compact Olympus PEN Series to meet the requirements of discerning photographers who demand more performance and portability from their interchangeable-lens cameras. The compact and ready-for-action Olympus E-M5 boasts breakthrough innovations inside, including:


A built-in 120-fps (frames-per-second) refresh rate, high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF) with outstanding image quality, eye detect and intuitive functionality that enables real-time viewing of shooting conditions

A 16.1-megapixel Live MOS Sensor and TruePic VI image-processing engine for superior image quality and high sensitivity

The world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilizer to compensate for multi-directional camera shake during both still photography and HD moviemaking

The world’s fastest*2 autofocusing system (FAST AF) plus new 3D AF tracking for improved performance following moving subjects at up to 9 frames-per-second

A lightweight magnesium alloy body that is enhanced with the same dustproof and splashproof durability of the Olympus E-5 DSLR

A tilting 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and new Movie Effects: One Shot Echo, for a semi-transparent frame at your whim and Multi Echo, for a multi-motion trail effect.



Intuitively Designed Electronic Viewfinder

The OLYMPUS E-M5 is the first Olympus interchangeable-lens camera to incorporate a 120-fps refresh rate, High-Definition electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor to seamlessly switch the display between the tilting, 3.0-inch touch screen OLED and the electronic viewfinder for ease-of-use, features a 100-percent field of view, maximum 1.15x magnification and an eye point of 18mm for fatigue-free viewing. Camera setting information, such as shutter speed, is displayed at the bottom of the viewfinder so photographers can concentrate on framing shots and take full advantage of an EVF’s ability to display the effects of various exposure adjustments and Art Filter effects - all without having to take the eye away from the viewfinder.


Superior Image Quality

The Olympus E-M5 uses a new 16.1 megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor offering improved performance and exceptional clarity and speed in all aspects of image capture. Olympus’ TruePic VI image-processing engine dramatically improves image quality in low-light environments. The camera’s sensor allows for a maximum ISO of 25,600, and the dynamic range has been expanded for more faithful color reproduction.

Unprecedented 5-axis image stabilization

The Olympus E-M5 is distinguished by the world’s first 5-axis image-stabilization mechanism capable of reducing the effects of camera motion and image blur from five directions on stills and video, even including motion blur caused by the photographer walking or running. Previous IS mechanisms compensated for camera shake by addressing only two kinds of movement along the vertical and horizontal axis. However, camera shake can actually be caused by five different kinds of movement: horizontal shift, vertical shift, rotary motion, as well as the yaw and pitch. While some technology has attempted to correct for camera blur by building the Image Stabilization mechanism into the lens, the Olympus E-M5 IS mechanism is incorporated into the camera body itself so that all lenses mounted on the body can take advantage of this sophisticated technology, whether shooting stills or HD video.


Blazing Speed

Focus and shoot faster with record-breaking autofocus speed and imaging processing. The Olympus E-M5 employs the FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF system, introduced in the PEN E-P3, but with even greater speed. The 16MP Live MOS chip drives image data off the sensor at a blazing 240 frames-per-second, a 2X speed increase in Continuous Autofocus, with reduced image blackout enabling photographers to track fast action, Maximum frame rates have also increased more than 2X with a max frame rate of 9-fps in Single AF. A new 3D tracking AF system can follow the subject through the X-, Y- and Z-axes to dramatically improve focus on moving subjects. Paired with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50-mm f3.5-6.3 electronic zoom lens for optimum focusing speed, fast camera start-up times and operational speeds enable the photographer to keep up with the most challenging shooting situations, while dual control dials and dedicated function buttons help them adjust settings on-the-fly.

Creative Freedom

The Olympus E-M5 features a 3.0-inch tilting OLED touch-screen to enable photographers to get up high or down low for any shot. The touch screen interface offers intuitive focus and release of the shutter and review and enlargement of images in playback with the touch of a finger. The new Live Bulb feature updates the Live View image on the OLED screen at pre-set intervals during long exposures and enables the user to preview continually unfolding action such as fireworks or waterfalls and adjust the exposure time accordingly while capturing the image at the desired moment. An innovative new interface, EVF Creative Control, produces a tone curve overlay on the viewfinder screen to enable separate adjustment of highlight and shadow brightness, white balance, magnification and aspect ratio can also be manipulated via the EVF

A new “Key Line” Art Filter joins ten other available filters on the Olympus E-M5 and enhances the edge lines of the image to make it look more like an illustration. New “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II” Art Filters provide variations on the popular existing filters, and the two new Echo effect for movies leaves a momentary residual image of a subject’s movements when activated during movie recording. Users who like to perform their movie post-editing on a PC will particularly appreciate the Full HD 1080i movie recording function, which adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264).


Powerful Portability and Rugged Durability

The striking, iconic design of the Olympus E-M5 is more than just looks; its magnesium alloy body is rugged enough to stand up to severe environmental conditions like heavy rain and blowing sand. The Olympus E-M5 employs internal seals extensively and, when the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens is attached, this combination delivers an integrated dustproof and splashproof camera system. The electronic viewfinder section of the body is also made of magnesium alloy to ensure durability, and the FL-LM2 Electronic Flash that ships with the camera features the same dustproof and splashproof construction.


New Lenses and Accessories for Every Shooting Challenge

The HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, in the same dust- and splashproof construction as the Olympus E-M5 body, is an adaptable, two-part grip that can be used either as a landscape grip for easier handling or as a portrait grip with an additional shutter release. The portrait grip accommodates an extra lithium-ion battery to supplement the one in the E-M5, thus extending battery life. The FL-600R electronic flash (GN 50 at ISO 200 or GN 36 at ISO 100) offers improved recharge time and enhanced flexibility and operability for movie recording, and with a wireless control option. Equipped with a built-in LED, the FL-600R can be used to light movies and as a brighter AF auxiliary light. The MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter is designed for mounting a Four Thirds Standard-compliant lens on a Micro Four Thirds Standard-compliant camera body. The MMF-3, which also features dust- and splashproof construction, is ideally suited for use with Olympus’ similarly constructed High Grade and Super High Grade lenses.

The Olympus E-M5 is compatible with all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses, including two new lenses that Olympus will introduce later this year: the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm f1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm f2.8 macro. The 75mm lens is a high-quality metal design with fast aperture settings for portraits and indoor sports shooting, while the dustproof and splashproof 60mm lens features 1:1 macro and a closest shooting distance of just 7.5 inches.

*1 As of February 2012. Among interchangeable-lens cameras.
*2 As of November 2011. Among interchangeable-lens digital cameras on the market, and using Olympus’ in-house test conditions. In C-AF Tracking mode, maximum frame rate is 4.2fps.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Olympus E-M5 will be available in April and ships in the following configurations:
Estimated Street Price:
$999.99 (Body only, available in Black and Silver)
$1,299.99 (Black or Silver body with black M.ZUIKO Digital ED 12-50 mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens)
$1,099.99 (Black body with black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42 mm f3.5-5.6 II R lens)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:46 am 
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Very nice.
Lot's of nice stuff to choose from in this segment all of a sudden; x-pro 1, nex-7 and now this.
Good time to be a consumer.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 6:29 am 
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Thats it, I think I might sell my 7D or my 70-200 f/4 IS to get it .... hmmmmmmmmm

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:59 am 
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Very pretty. And seeing it side by side with a DSLR it looks even prettier. 8)

Update: I thought it'd be fun to compare the styling:
    Image
    Image
Size-wise there's not a lot in it with the OM-4 coming in at 87 mm height, 139 mm width, 50 mm depth and 540 g and the E-M5 coming in at 89.6 mm height, 121.0 mm width, 41.9 mm depth and 425 g, though if you add the size and weight of a motor drive for the OM-4 then it doesn't even come close.

I'm scratching my head and wondering why the OM-4 looks so good to my eyes. The best I can do is offer that it isn't the E-M5 body styling that's at fault at all but the lens. OK, those old lenses had an aperture ring but that's a fairly small part of the overall package. Stylistically those OM-system designers knew a thing or two, things that the Olympus designers today seem to have forgotten... :idea:

Functionally, of course, the E-M5 totally trashes the OM-4 (why did they move the hyphen?) unless one really likes old school shooting and film so there's not too much point in looking back. Olympus seems to be coming out of its financial worries and the cameras have always been strong. The OM line is back...

Bob.

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OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


Last edited by Bob Andersson on Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:53 am 
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Interesting, though I'm left with several questions which I hope Gordon can answer if and when he gets his hands on one.

Firstly, just how good is the electronic viewfinder? My wife has an SP570UZ, which has the option of using the back screen or an evf for composition. In bright light when the back screen becomes too reflective we've tried using the evf but the quality is so bad it's almost useless. I assume that it will be better than that, but does it approach the resolution that is often termed in phones and tablets as a "retina" display?

Secondly, the press release mentions the MMF-3 adapter for 4/3 lenses. Just how compatible are the lenses, and is there any scaling factor?

Finally, does the camera have a DOF preview and if so how good is the quality in the evf and screen using native or adapted lenses?

Beyond finally, I can't help but wonder why the camera says OM-D on the front rather than E-M5???


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:09 pm 
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It says E-M5 on the top.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:56 pm 
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@Habanero: The viewfinder is similar tot the existing pop-up one, which is good from what I heard.
The lenses are fully functional and there is no scaling factor compared to 4/3. The only question is how will the AF perform. From other users I heard that of the E-PL3 AF works good with 4/3 lenses as long as you don't shoot sports. The E-M5 should be at least the same and maybe better.

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:10 pm 
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I think OM-D is the product line (OM-digital) and E-M5 is perhaps a nod to the E-5 (ie E-Micro-5).

Finally! all the best bits of the m43 & 43 line of bodies has been brought into a single body - and it's only $999!

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:49 am 
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Im a little upset that I sold my Olympus to my Aunt for Christmas. But It means I can start fresh and I just have to figure out if my Oly FILM lenses will work on this new mount :P

If not, I have never had a crappy Oly lens ever - In fact I still believe that if Olympus made Canon and nikon Mount lenses, Im sure Canon and Nikon would go under :P I believe their glass is that good

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:25 pm 
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Bob, same with me here: The Oly OM 1..4N had a style and finish that the latest incarnation sorely lacks. Honestly I find the new design ugly!
And when I think about the analog OMs being FF/FX and the new model supporting a sensor that is only 1/4 of the size: Shame to them for not putting a larger sensor in the new body!
Just to give you food for thought: With a low ISO b&w film you could easily resolve 150 line-pairs per mm that was a resolution of 10800x7200 which equals 78MP! Even the latest and greatest Nikon D800 with its monstrous 36MP does not even come close to that performance.
---
P.S.: I still didn't sell my old OM 2N body just out of respect for what Olympus did then!

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Last edited by Thomas on Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 1:51 am 
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Looking forward to the review! Especially if it compares the E-M5 to the Pany GX1 and Canon G1X.

Mark


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:16 am 
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I'd love to make that comparison Mark. I think I'll certainly compare with a 16MP Panny.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:13 am 
If you can find your way to running some 60 fps video at 1080 that would be great. I don't need a half hour of footage or a production, but I am interested in your opinions here. I had a Pana GH2 on the list for purchase, but this item changes the game for me. Thanx, Libby


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2012 10:06 am 
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Hi folks,

Of course it's not OM-D specific but what better marriage of a black E-M5 to the newly announced Voigtländer Nokton F0,95/17,5mm for micro four-thirds could there be? OK, I've no idea really but with the same equivalent field of view and DoF as a 35mm f/1.9 lens on a full-framer it might be a useful, if very pricy, addition to the toolbox.
    Image
Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:55 am 
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My bias may be showing here, but because this lens has a stepless aperture, I think it's very well suited to shooting video on a GH2. And personally, I think this lens may also be a bit big and heavy relative to an E-M5 body.

My 2¢ (or $1,200)- Mark


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