Olympus announces OM-D E-M5 camera

An interchangeable lens camera that hides advanced features inside a retro body design

Olympus today announced its latest interchangeable lens camera, the OM-D (OM Digital Compact System Cameras) E-M5. The OM-D E-M5 is a Micro Four Thirds based camera, which, like the Olympus PEN interchangeable cameras, has its roots in the OM film cameras of old — in this case from the 1970s.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera

While the PEN cameras are designed for mainstream users and enthusiasts, the OM-D E-M5 is targeting enthusiasts and professional users. There are many differences between the OM-D and the PEN. Most evident are the striking design of the alloy, weather-resistant body, which makes use of lots of angled surfaces, and the integrated electronic viewfinder, which has over 1.4 million dots, a 100 per cent field of view and is located directly over the optical plane (that is, over the lens).

Other improvements over previous Olympus interchangeable cameras include a faster auto-focusing system, which Olympus claims is even faster than the system on the PEN E-P3 camera (at the time said to be the world's fastest auto-focusing camera), and a five-axis image stabilising system. This image stabilisation is built in to the camera body and it can detect movement on the X axis (vertical shift/pitch), Y axis (horizontal shift/yaw) and Z axis (rolling).

Images are captured by a 16-megapixel LiveMOS sensor and processed by the Olympus TruPic VI processor and a maximum sensitivity of 25600 can be use on images in low-light situations. Like other Olympus cameras we have seen, such as the PEN Lite, what you see on the camera's screen or viewfinder as you are taking the picture is what the camera will capture, which makes for are more fun picture-taking experience.

A sensor allows the OM-D E-M5 to switch automatically between the viewfinder and the screen. The screen is three inches in size, uses OLED technology and it supports touch. It's a hinged screen that can be used to take angled shots from up high or down low.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera

The E-M5's control layout is intuitive for the most part, although the position of the on/off slider button at the right rear of the body is unusual. The menu interface shows all exposure, focus and colour details on the screen at a time and you can simply use your finger to tap and change any of the settings.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera

Olympus OM-D E-M5 digital camera

The new camera retains the creative control of the PEN cameras, so you'll still find scene modes and art modes, and it also includes full high definition video recording and stereo audio recording. Burst mode can capture up to 9 frames per second and the camera has a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000th of a second.

Professional users can equip the OM-D E-M5 with a handgrip (the HLD-6 battery grip kit), and a new flash strobe, the FL-600R. Adventurous users will be able to take the E-M5 diving or snorkelling thanks to a new underwater case, the PT-E08. Olympus will also be developing two new fast lenses to its Micro Four Thirds range: a 75mm, f/1.8 and a 60mm f/2.8 macro lens. These won't see the light of day until the end of the year.

The new camera will be available in April. We'll bring you a complete review once we get out hands on a full production model. You can get more info from the Olympus OM-D Web site.

Join the newsletter!


Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Elias Plastiras
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill


I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?