May 24, 2012
Olympus OMD EM-5.
OLYMPUS OMD E-M5
Price: $1479 ''Movie kit'' with 12mm-50mm lens
The low-down: This is a 16-megapixel micro four thirds camera in a body reminiscent of Olympus OM 35mm SLRs, but a little smaller. The high-resolution electronic viewfinder is built into the classic SLR hump. The LCD swivels vertically but not horizontally, so it is useful for waist- and low-level photography. The LCD is a touchscreen and focus and firing can be done by lightly touching the critical point on the display. There is automatic eye-proximity detection that switches between EVF and LCD. A feature of the camera is its five-axis in-body image stabilisation. The 12mm-50mm lens has a smooth motorised zoom for video and the zoom is switchable to macro mode. Autofocus is fast, silent and accurate. The camera is ''splash proof'' but not all lenses are waterproofed.
Like: Image quality is superb. Even at high ISO settings there is little noise and no noise-reduction smudging. In RAW, the pictures are even better. Ergonomics are a delight and aesthetically it is gorgeous.
Dislike: There is a constant low-level whirring noise - like a tiny fan - from the image stabiliser. We could do without that.
Verdict: This is the digital camera Olympus should have made on day one - a true successor to the range of OM 35mm cameras. Like its film predecessors, the OMD is compact and elegant with brilliant optics. With an adaptor, the OM legacy lenses can be fitted but they are manual focus and must be used in aperture priority mode. The OMD E-M5 is a landmark camera: like the Nikon D70 or the Canon 5D MkII, it changes the game. Such pictures from such a small camera. Bliss!