More E-M5 tidbits, future Olympus primes and Four Thirds system support (and UK preorders)


After that long announcement night I want to focus a bit on the Olympus interview at Clubsnap, on some E-M5 tidbits from Pekka Potka and first image samples.

1) Mr. Terada from Olympus interviewed by Clubsnap (Click here).
Sensor: Mr Terada says: “The new 16mp Live MOS image sensor produces lower noise at High ISO and boasts Dynamic Range that is a 1/3 improvement over current sensors. Combined with an advanced TruePic VI image processor, the results ensure superb color fidelity , at high resolution, sensitivity and colour accuracy.
Future lenses: When asked about fast prime lenses he answers: “we can consider the possibility of faster and wider prime lenses.” And when asked about pancakes he says: “No comment ha ha. Its under consideration“.
Four Thirds system: “We continue to be firmly supporting the E-system

2) Pekka Potka (Click here) is giving us many small interesting info:
EVF: Compared to the current external VF-2 viewfinder the built-in E-M5 viewfinder has “new optics allows also a wider diopter adjustment range between -4 to +2 diopter. Eye point is 18mm at -1“. And he says “the EVF real difference is the 120fps giving you a lot smoother experience with moving subjects and while panning.” And “Another improvement with moving subjects is a markedly shorter refresh time of EVF. E-M5´s new TruePic VI image processor has separate processors for saving images and LiveView. Now EVF seems to be on almost all the time. According to Olympus, the lag is shortened to 29ms. Stabilized EVF is another real breakthrough. Viewfinder image is always stabilized when in body stabilization (IBIS) is on. Always means here also video and with every lens.
Sensor:It might be the same sensor as in Panasonic GX-1 or not. Olympus doesn´t tell. Olympus is now using a version of their ”Fine Detail Processing” technology which was introduced in E-5. That is an implication of E-M5 having a thin low pass (AA) filter which is good for sharpness. Olympus is using their ”Real Color” technology which is related to used RGB array. E-M5 is reading the sensor at up to double speed compared to previous cameras and that has benefits in fps rate, continuous autofocus and video quality.

3) There are only a few image samples:
At Olympus Japan you can find a couple of images of the same scene taken at ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600 (Click on the ISO number to open the image in a new tab/window). What do you think about those images?

P.S.: There is a X-PRo 1 versus E-M5 voting on MirrorlessRumors!


Check price, specs and Preorders (with first UK preorders)

Black E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here)
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and Jessops (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and Jessops (Click here).
FL-600R wireless flash at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
MMF-3 Four Thirds adapter at Amazon (Click here) and Adorama (Click here)
HLD-6 power battery holder at Amazon (Click here) and Adorama (Click here)

OM history

The E-M5  is the first digital OM camera that will be added to the long list of OM film cameras. Click on the names to see them on eBay (ordered by first announced camera): M-1, OM-1, OM-1 MD, OM-1N, OM-2, OM-2N, OM-2S/SP, OM-3, OM-3Ti, OM-4, OM-4T/Ti black and chrome, OM-10, OM-20 (OM-G), OM-30(OM-F), OM-40 (OM-PC), OM-77AF (OM-707), OM-88 (OM-101), OM-2000.

And here is a list of top OM primes: 21mm f/2.0 and 21mm f/3.5 lens, 24mm f/2.0 and 24mm f/2.8 and 24mm f/3.5 shift lens, 28mm f/2.0 and 28mm f/2.8 and 28mm f/3.5 lens, 35mm f/2.0 and 35mm f/2.8 and 35mm f/2.8 shift lens, 40mm f/2.0 lens, 50mm f/1.2 and 50mm f/1.4 and 50mm f/1.8 and 50mm f/2.0 macro and 50mm f/3.5 lens, 55mm f/3.5 macro lens, 85mm f/2.0 lens, 90mm f/2.0 macro lens, 100mm f/2.0 and 100mm f/2.8 lens, 135mm f/2.8 and 135mm f/3.5 lens, 180mm f/2.0 and 180mm f/2.8 lens, 200mm f/4.0 and 200mm f/5.0 lens, 250mm f/2.0 lens, 300mm f/4.5 lens, 350mm f/2.8 lens,, 400mm f/6.4 lens, 500mm f/8.0 lens, 600mm f/6.6 lens, 1000mm f/11 lens.

  • Balthier Bunansa

    regarding iso samples it looks like it’s good quality up to 6400 , but that has to be confirmed by independent testing

    • Pretty early to tell but I agree. The 6400 is easily usable and the 3200 looks nearly indistinguishable from the 200. I wish there was 100 though!

    • DonTom

      Well, camera companies have been known to skip over really good stuff before. Like Panasonic never crowing about the full res cropping in video on the GH2 for example.
      I really hope that the E-M5 has the multi aspect sensor from the GH2. Perhaps Olly threatened to walk unless they got better video on board?

      • if it had a multi-aspect sensor we would have heard about it by now, eg in the dpreview specs listing etc

      • Multi-aspect sensor or not, I think we’re going to need to wait for proper full-size samples before drawing any conclusions on the sensor. If I can get good ISO3200 out of it though, I’m sold.

    • DonTom

      That was my impression as well. They look better than my E-Pl1 at ISO1600, for sure.

    • Max ISO looks usable. Not great by any stretch of the imagination, but manageable on lightroom.

  • rrr_hhh

    I’m getting really curious about the sensor. Untill now, I have always believed that it would be a G1X/G3 tweaked sensor. But two elements are intriguing :

    1) DPreview specifications quote 16.1 millions effective pixels for it and quote a maximum size exactly like that of the GH2.

    2) Kirk Tuck at visual science lab had a talk with Olympus folk, when asked about the sensor they didn’t want to tell its source, but they indicated it was able to change format without loss of resolution (?) save for the 1×1 format.

    So after all there is a little hope that the OM-D will come with a GH2 sensor ? That would be great, however unexpected M

    • Agent00soul

      Don’t you think the multiaspect resolutions would have been in the official camera specifications if it was true? I think Kirk Tuck was misinformed, unfortunately.

    • Pixnat

      I don’t think it’s the GH2 sensor. To achieve multiaspect resolution the GH2 sensor has 18.3 Mpix, while the E-M5 has 16.9 Mpix.

      However, the E-M5 sensor has 0.3 Mpix more than the GX1/G3 sensor, which shows that it is clearly not the exact same sensor.

      A new sensor, surely, but based on the GH2 or the GX1/G3 sensor, that’s the question?

      • Anonymous

        Panasonic and Olympus do slightly different things with the pixels around the edge. With the 12MP sensor, Panasonic used 4000×3000 output resolution, while Olympus had 4032×3024 pixels.

        It will probably be the same with the G3/E-M5.

      • bilgy_no1

        However, the E-M5 sensor has 0.3 Mpix more than the GX1/G3 sensor, which shows that it is clearly not the exact same sensor.

        We also saw this with the old 12MP sensor. Panasonic had 4000×3000 pixel output, but Olympus had 4032×3024. Probably the same with this sensor and the G3/GX1. Maybe the companies do something different with the pixels around the edge.

        • TheEye

          The Oly 12.3 MP sensor is cropped from 4100×3084 pixels to 4032×3024 pixels in JPG.

          • It probably has something to do with distortion correction too.

        • Pixnat

          Well, I think we have to wait for the DXO stuff to be fixed…

    • The GH-2 sensor is 18 million pixels, 16 million effective. We would have definitely heard about it now. I was hoping for a multi aspect ratio sensor like the GH-2 (16:9 ends up being very similar to APS-C) but it’s time to let those hopes go… or stash them away for E-M6.

      • Rodchenko

        Well, here’s something interesting…

        The GH-2 sensor has a file size of 4608×3456 pixels in 4:3 ratio. According to the dpreview data and also checked at the official Olympus website the E-M5 has exactly the same pixel count. The Panasonic GX1 and G3 however have 4592×3448.

        I don’t think the GH-2 sensor is much better than the G3 one but I would LOVE the multi-aspect-without-view-angle-loss.

        I am sold on the EM-5 anyway, my first micro 4/3!

      • Also you can see through the mount that the sensor is not multi-aspect-ratio like the GH-2 and I don’t think they would begin manufacturing a second version without this feature. You would improve on the economy of scale by manufacturing more of the same.

        But that IS very interesting @Rodchenko

    • I don’t know who Kirk talked to, but he quoted the source as saying it allowed multi-aspect shooting. If the source was a non-native English speaker, this could just mean the camera allows shooting in different aspect ratios, like the current PEN cameras.

    • YukMa

      Simon Joinson of DPR in the dpreview preview comments section mentions that it uses the G3 sensor. It might be a tweaked version.

      “Erm. This is a physical (size and design) comparison in a preview. The OMD in fact uses the g3 sensor, not the gh2, and not only are the g3 and gh2 more or less the same size and shape, but the g3 is a lot more current. Wow, comments about our declining standards sure ain’t what they used to be.”

  • MacroFan

    and now I have to wait at least 2-3 months if I am lucky to have this and my D800 :(

  • Dear Admin,
    this might be interesting for you (regarding focus speed with 43 lenses):

    • Agent00soul

      She says the sensor is NOT a tuned Panasonic sensor.
      The hump contains four motion sensors, two of these new: gyro and accelerometer.
      She has tried AF with the 35-100 and the old 50-200. Both focus faster than the E-P3 but not as fast as the E-5.
      The camera is fully usable wearing gloves.
      The tracking AF calculates a Z component from image data, it uses three processors in parallel.

      • Fan

        The post is from Reinhard, who is a man, not a woman.

        • Agent00soul

          OK, I thought the blogger was a woman since there is a picture of a woman with a camera at the top of the page.

      • Maley

        Sorry, but he is the biggest fanboy there is. I would not take his words to serious. For him every new Olympus camera is a revelation. I doubt he has more insight than every other big review site which all think its the GX1 sensor.

        • No Soul

          He is one of the three specialists for FT and mFT in the german speaking part of europe. The other two are working for Olympus. Maybe because of that he’s a fan….

          • Reimondo Woodwulf

            Beware biggest fanboy alert. Isn t this guy running an olympus site? Isn t this blog sponsored by olympus? Isn t this guy writing books for olympus? Isn t this the guy who claimed the E5 had two stops more DR than any other olympus? Isn t this the guy who claimed the E P3 is the best thing ever? He s defending olympus in a unrationale way, beware worst fanboy alert!!!!!

        • Esa Tuunanen

          > Sorry, but he is the biggest fanboy there is.
          That’s obvious:
          Anyone who says that this size cameras can be used comfortably with gloves is either that or midget.

    • Anonymous

      Man!That is something really interesting: Focus times under a second with the 35-100. Also speed improvements on the 50-200. Now we’re talking!

      Seems like the 240fps AF read-out also helps with older lenses. Swinging back to the OM-D (instead of GH2). But I do like to see some more confirmation of this news.

      Thanks for the link!

    • bilgy_no1

      Wow! That is interesting:
      – 35-100mm lens focuses under 1 second
      – 50-200mm (old version) has usable AF as opposed to before (MF was more practical).

      This is promising, and makes me swing back again to the E-M5 (instead of GH2). Coupled with the stabilised viewfinder, this will be a great camera for long telelenses (such as my Nikonn 300mm f/4). But I would like to see more confirmation of the improved AF with older 4/3 lenses. If true, this will be the camera that gives my 14-54mkI new life (and might be joined by a 50-200…)

  • Kaloksi

    Hi Admin,

    As soon as you have link to pre-order in Europe please share it with community as want to pre-order mine and if possible give a commission to blog.

    • admin

      Of course! But Europe is so much slower…:(

      • Rchard

        You can preorder here in Swden, but only the silver version so far.

        • AndyS

          9999 SEK = 1 500 USD at current exchange rates – Body only. I feel I have to register my displease: Boo, Olympus, Booooooo!!!!

          (Now I’ve got that out of my system I’m off to pre-order as soon as they get the Black body version up ;-) )

  • Berneck

    Just pre-ordered through your site! I have never pre-ordered anything, but it really seems like they got this one right!

  • BLI

    Thanks to Pekka Potka for an excellent overview. I look forward to his thoughts on:
    * sensor/image quality
    * advice on setting up function buttons (for raw shooters)
    * general thoughts on handling, AF, tracking, MF, etc
    * thoughts on video
    * thoughts on the new 12-50 lens
    in a couple of weeks :-).

    • Agent00soul

      He has already published thoughts on the 12-50 lens.

      • BLI

        It’s also of interest how it works with the E-M5, w/wo grips, etc.

    • Thanks! Also I´m eagerly waiting for my own opinion, so much promise in that body…. Like others noted I already have tested 12-50mm lens quite thoroughly. It´s a usable lens for photography (although I would´t buy it just for my type of photography) but it really will be a very nice video zoom with this new body.

    • Agree with Potka’s preview…the best sofar!

      • Charlie

        Yes, Pekka Potka uncovered the mystery why they needed the HUMP! :)

        Most informative review.

        • Boooo!

          The Finnish Ninja

  • BLI

    And thanks to admin — don’t forget your vacation… :-)

  • Fan

    Anybody found a high-res version of the photo of the complete OM-D system with lenses, flashes and all? I want that as my desktop background.

  • > According to Olympus, the lag is shortened to 29ms.

    29ms is acceptable, but still relatively high.

    The lag should be around 15ms/shorter to become a non-issue.

    Human eye’s side vision has read-out frequency is about 60-80Hz (compared to the measly 25Hz of the center of the eye) giving the acceptable delay 1000ms/60Hz = 16.6ms.

    So there is a room for improvement.

    • Yes. While sensor technology is reaching it´s limits as a photon counter, there are so many other possibilities to improve user experience. Cameras like EOS 1D X and Nikon D800 are examples of raw computing power. With EVF lag you need computing power plus advanced sensor technology and innovations in reading the sensor faster and more often, doing more clever multitasking etc. Olympus is on the right path here. One example is this small but brilliant idea of Live Bulb and Live Time.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      Obviously smaller image lag is better (and still lower is needed for fully replacing prism viewfinder) but it’s not enough for eye to see something to take a picture but you have to react to it and in that this carbon based machine called human isn’t exactly stellar.

      Just test yourself:

      • That is *reaction speed*.

        Reaction speed is: eye sees a change, brains interpret what eye has seen and sends the signal to the motor apparatus to move a hand/finger, hand finger moves.

        Perception itself is much faster and works generally well below 100ms (eye sees, brains notices something new). If the brain work is primitive enough (e.g. simply wait for a change in the scene) then average person would easily see lag above IIRC 50ms. Not-so-average person – even shorter lag. Yes, s/he will not be able to react that fast, but the nagging feeling of seeing the lag would stick.

        The 12-16ms is the limit how often human eye scans the image at its fastest. Thus regardless of the person, with the lag that short brains will never be able to tell it – simply because eyes do not capture new information that often.

        P.S. They write that typical measured so far is 215ms what is bit too high. In application fields where people are trained specifically or simply have lots of practice (think: action video games or soldiers pulling trigger) the time is very close to 100ms. Excess of the time they quote one could probably write off on the computer mouse, required to pass the test, being a rather poor input device.

  • the OM-1 is a better design…………

    • MJr

      And full-frame :P. People will never agree on design anyway. I’ve just given up caring because there won’t ever be a perfect design. So long as it looks decent, has all the controls and handles the way i want, it’s ok with me.

  • Fan

    Anybody mention Live Bulb yet? Long exposures with simultaneous live view where you can see the image being exposed.

  • sounds like arguably the best m43 camera to date

    I am hoping that before too long there will be an E-P5 with all the good new bits (sensor, AF, IBIS in video etc) minus weather sealing and EVF for a more affordable price

    • tirk kuck

      to be realistic, the best sensor we can get in an E-p5 is exactly the one from om-d, olympus seems to let us suffer a few years more, at least the ones which are willing to wait any longer, ther rest is going to be relieved form toy camera burden and get for DR and hi-iso from elsewhere

      • that’s what I meant… if there was soon an an E-P5 with the OM-D sensor I’d seriously consider buying it

        I currently have GF1. the E-M5 looks good to me but I don’t need weather sealing and not sure if I care about EVF, would be happy to get the rest of it in a cheaper package

  • Milt

    I am one of the generation of consumers who moved from point and shoot; and who although still beginners are gradually becoming enthusiasts.

    For me, and perhaps this broader generation of new photographers, a camera is something that has to be portable. It is not an large object to be put on the mantle like a sculpture, or enshrined in a big equipment bag, or a technological icon to be hung uncomfortably over the shoulder. It has to go into a jacket pocket for either hikes – how else are landscape photographs taken? – or street use.

    On the other hand, the new camera we require is not a glorified point and shoot either. As we learn about photography, we learn about manual controls too. We don’t have an uncontrollable urge to focus through the back of the camera, but enjoy a built in EVF to frame photos and for greater stability.

    43rds can provide this kind of camera and this kind of photography. But it is easy to get sucked into the old pattern. I bought a G1 with a 14-45 lens. It is a nice camera that I rarely use because it accompanies me, but is not a part of me. I use my GF1 with its pancake 20mm lens instead.

    How does the OM-D stack up for my kind of photography? My question is, will it fit in my jacket pocket? Was it designed for that? The answer seems to be that the size of the body is the right one, but it seems to be designed to be another mantlepiece object, not one that goes with me easily without a bag or case. The hump is not about pocketability and the thumb rest protrudes, likely to catch on clothing.

    The 12-50mm kit lens is simply unsuitable for my needs, as are most 43rd zooms of whatever quality. My kind of 43rds needs either pancake lenses, or pancake sized lenses that will go with the camera into my pocket.

    So, the new Olympus is close, but from what I have seen and read, no cigar. The NEX7 and the Pro 1X are out of the question – they and/or their lenses are simply too bulky, whatever else they feature. I will keep using my GF1 until I find a comparably sized camera with a built in EVF that is designed for me to carry easily, and with more lenses like the 20mmm, or the 14-42x.

    • DonTom

      Milt, this is one of the strengths of this format: something for everyone. Don’t treat the E-m5 as a failure because it doesn’t suit you. Sounds like you have a perfect camera already! GX1 with the clip on EVF for when you need it is already there as your upgrade……

      • 43shot

        I have been shooting for about 30 years with every format except 8X10. I have owned at least 50 cameras and had two darkrooms over the years. I agree with you because I sold all my pro equipment to get a GF1 and I believe there are so many great photographers using P&S cameras that would only shoot with something the size of a GF1 or smaller. M43 won me for the size and if someone can make a camera similar to the OMD in a GF1 size it will be a huge success. Over the years I have found that many people that call themselves pros are only pros because they are compensated and not because of the quality of their work. Many of my friends are well known photographers and would love a GF1 size OMD not this one as it is still too large to be their “take along camera”. My GF uses a $200 P&S and can shoot better photos on every level than many pros out there and here only limitation is the quality of the camera but she will not use anything larger than a GF1. I agree with your comments as the best pictures come from those who take cameras with them often for pictures. Many photographers today are all about technology doing the work and don’t have a clue about subject matter. I want a small compact camera with good range and ergonomics. My most used lens in the Panny 20MM and my 50mm .95 Nokton. I could certainly do without a hump with a gyro and stabilization which I have never needed and the lack of a flash is fine with me since I forgot the GF1 even had one! Give me a high-performance, small street shooter I can take everywhere! And yes, I put my GF1 in my pocket every time I walk the streets of SF and I have never had a strap on the thing.

        • Milt

          Thanks for these thoughts, and the benefit of your experience. Perhaps there are many experienced and potential photographers who see handy portable cameras as extensions of themselves and their creativity and who don’t want to lug around cameras the size and weight of a D800E. Maybe there will be a more “pocket friendly” OM-D as part of the Olympus series. Perhaps Panasonic will produce a “GX2” with an internal viewfinder.

    • TheEye

      That’s a funny breed of enthusiast that sticks a camera in a jacket pocket. Maybe some clothier could specialize in making jackets with a “camera pocket.”

      I’d rather hang my camera from my neck all day. :-P

      • Mr. Reeee

        Hey, you can buy clothing with iPad pockets, so why not a camera pocket? ;-)

        • Umm, many of the Scottevest jackets _do_ have a camera pocket, complete with a lens cloth tethered to the inside of the jacket. These are great jackets (& clothing), especially for gadgets and traveling (all aboard!).

          And, yes, the magazine/book/iPad/MBAir pocket works!-)

      • 43shot

        No, that’s a person that is focused on taking pictures and not bling.

    • I am a point and shoot upgrader myself. Got the E-P1 on launch and have never looked back. I used to want a camera that would fit in my pocket, but the physics of lens design make that impossible for anything but basic prime lenses. In other words, if you want a system or a standard zoom lens, what we have now is as close to pocketable as possible (purely based on the minimum aperture size needed to let light into the camera).

      As I’ve grown as a photographer, I’ve acquired lots of lenses, a hefty tripod and more. Rather than size, I now look at the total space and weight savings the m43 system gives me. I can take the cameras and several lenses in a small bag without feeling weighed down. When I’m going out for exclusively photography, I take nearly all my lenses and tripod. If I were to do this with an equivalent DSLR, I would have a lot more to carry. On days out on the town, I strap the camera around my shoulder and pocket another prime or two. My current go-to kit is the 12 f/2, 25 f1.4 and 45 f1.8. They take up no space at all! :)

    • fred schumacher

      Back in 1976, I was a photographer on the Dakota Photo Documentary Project. I used an OM-1, loaded with HP 5 film, which I would put in my jacket pocket. I didn’t carry a camera bag. My favorite lens was the tiny 24mm f2.8, which was on the body 80% of the time. I would carry a 50 f1.8 and a 100 f2.8 in my other pocket. In my shirt pocket, I carried an Olympus 35 RC, loaded with FP-4.

      I could work fast and unobtrusively, talking to people while photographing them. The OM-1 was so quiet, compared to other SLRs, that frequently my subjects were unaware I had actually photographed them. The camera-in-the-jacket-pocket test is one I continue to use. I presently have an EPM-1. What I want for it is a 12 mm f2.8 the equivalent of my old 24. The camera-in-the-shirt-pocket test is what I use for point-and-shoots. The next one of those I want is a Panasonic SZ-7.

    • Boooo!

      Why don’t you buy the XZ-1 or wait for the XZ-2? You get a terrific little pocketable camera with an extremely bright zoom, the like of which you will never see on m4/3.

      No EVF, though.

      • Milt

        Appreciated all the responses to my post. TheEye tells me I am a strange kind of enthusiast and that real ones hang the camera around their necks. Michael kindly (I mean it) suggests that I accommodate to the laws of physics and think in relative terms. Boooo! suggests that I buy a different kind of camera. Am not planning to do any of these things. I think fred schumacher, although a much more experienced photographer than me, gets my point. DonTom, the EM-5 may not be a failure for everyone, it is just not likely to suit me.

        • TheEye

          Milt, I did not say real enthusiasts carry they cameras around their necks. I said I’d rather hang the camera all day around my neck than carrying it in a jacket pocket.

          I carry my gear in a bag, with the exception of my Ricoh Gr-1, which I carry on a wrist strap or in a small gear bag. Also, I wear a jacket only on maybe 50 days out the year, so I usually don’t have a jacket pocket around. Jackets are for sissies. ;-)

    • GP

      Can you consider using Panasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm Lens ?

      • Milt

        Thanks. Will do.

  • Bob B.

    Mr. Terada’s comment above, about the new OM: “boasts Dynamic Range that is a 1/3 improvement over current sensors.” So let’s see. If I am not mistaken the “current” sensors (EP3 via DxOmark) produce a DR range of about 10.1 EV’s of Dynamic Range. So does a 1/3 improvement mean that we will see an increase in Dynamic Range to 13.5 EV’s. That will be a 1/3 improvement. If we are throwing numbers around…let’s throw. :-)

    • Boooo!

      No, that’s 1/3 EV.

      You can’t fit more than 12 stops of DR in 12-bit raw files, by the way, so that’s the theoretical maximum.

      The practical result will be 10.5 EV, the same as in 2007.

      • Bob B.

        The statement is incorrect then. Mr. Terada should have stated that there is a 1/3 EV improvement or that there is a 1/3 stop improvement, no?

        • MJr

          English is not his fist language ;)

          • Bob B.

            Hey…even if the DR is the same as the GX1/G3 …I have to hand it to Olympus…this appears to be a lot of camera for $1000 compared to what is currently available in the MFT system. I will not be buying one…but it is impressive. Can’t wait for some street reviews…AND to get my hands on that bokehliscious 75mm, f/1.8 lens!!!!!

            • +1 A lot of camera for the price!
              I have now gone from asking “Is the camera worth it?” to “Do I really need that much camera?”, which makes answering the question a luxury problem. It certainly seems to be every bit the m4/3 equivalent of my current 7D.

              Thankfully I have two weeks in the Canadian Rockies coming up to allow everything to settle down before I make the choice. ;)

          • TheEye

            Don’t threaten us with your fist language, Chuck! :-P

    • nobody

      I would rather think that 1 extra stop means that DR is twice as much.

      So “a 1/3 improvement” would just mean that it’s improved from 10 to 10.3 EVs.

      But I may very well be wrong, and I don’t have any idea how Terada has his figure calculated.

    • Agent00soul

      The EV scale is logarithmic so 1/3 should be 1.5 stops or 11.6 EV total.

      • Bob B.

        LOL! Agent…you lost me…I have limited math skills! (of course we can tell nothing from the low-rez images released at launch).

        • Agent00soul

          Right. Unfortunately we don’t know if he meant 0.3 EV stops or 1 to 3 relationsship. So it’s either 0.3 or 1.5 stops. I suppose the former is most likely.

          • BLI

            Quite right: we don’t know what he meant. In fact, the interviewer has transcribed the conversation into English (possibly from Japanese), and we don’t know how precise the translation has been.

            • Bob B.

              I guess what he meant was…that the DR is EXACTLY the same as the G3/GX1 !!! :-)

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to judge the image quality from the small sample pics. I am waiting for some pics in original size. Resize ISO 6400 G3 pics and you will find them quite usable…

  • MJr

    The top featured video is now ‘private’. Am i missing anything ?

    • MJr

      Ok so now it’s a nice splashing demo, that’s cool too.

  • jacek

    video is gone

  • Why he dont want to put into the hole unit into that water reservoir for 3-5 sec :D much more easy to demo weathersealed :D

    • Bob B.

      HEY, he (in the video at the top of the page) just stole Kai’s thunder from Digital Rev…now what will Kai do to make his review laughably dynamic?

      • Mr. Reeee

        Pee on it? ;-)

        • Bob B.

          OK…you just redeemed yourself! ( for EVEN knowing that someone makes clothing for iPads. I thought looking at videos of Asian men dumping bottles of water on a new camera was my winter low…but you took the cake, there!!!!! LOL!).

      • I can’t wait for Kai’s review, just for entertainment value… and to make me feel better about having $1000 less!

      • Ant

        Take some water, and then spit on the camera while taking self portrait ?

  • Rodchenko

    Well, here’s something interesting…

    The GH-2 sensor has a file size of 4608×3456 pixels in 4:3 ratio. According to the dpreview data and also checked at the official Olympus website the E-M5 has exactly the same pixel count. The Panasonic GX1 and G3 however have 4592×3448.

    I don’t think the GH-2 sensor is much better than the G3 one but I would LOVE the multi-aspect-without-view-angle-loss.

    I am sold on the EM-5 anyway, my first micro 4/3!

  • G_C

    just having a look at the camera… would be amazing as a EM-5Ti version in the Ti colour like the Om-4Ti!!!

  • Shanti

    @admin they say full support for 4/3 system still? any more news on that..wonder if we can use any 4/3 lens on this with decent AF

  • Admin: Interesting events going on in Japan over the coming month that allow the public to get a hands-on look at the new E-M5 as well as listen to seminars form photographers. People who bring an Olympus camera to an event have the chance to get a free mobile phone strap :).

    • @Michael
      any chance you can translate more for us (gogle translate not working maybe because of flash) cheers…. :D

      • Yu

        it just say the date, time, and the location of where you can go and experience Em-5, talked to engineers, professional photographer who used Em-5, some pictures taken by Em-5. It also said if you bring Olympus camera to the event, they will give cellphone strap with miniaturized version of the camera.

      • What Yu said ;)

  • fgl42

    Does anyone know if there are any other cameras that offer the ability to see what very long exposures will look like? I think that is an absolutely brilliant feature of this camera. Also, will there be a lower priced version of this camera- or when can you expect prices to start to come down? I think the pricing for this camera is fair but I don’t want to spend more than $500-$600 on a body. It would be nice if they came out with a G3 level equivalent of this. I really hope this camera is a success. Oly deserves it- they’ve finally gone back to giving consumers great value for their money.

  • Leu

    that might of just sold me on this cam. I won’t buy it cause I have no money, but I’ll lust after it till something better comes along.

  • fgl42

    Does the lens hood seen in the video above come with the 12-50mm?

  • does it?

    does it do multi aspect like GH-1 /GH-2 or not?
    according to kirk tuck it does, can any body double check and confirm???

    ADMIN? anyone?


    • admin

      I think the answer is NO!

  • Fan

    Resolution is different from Panasonic G3 / GX1, so I don’t see how this could be the same sensor.

    E-M5: 4608 x 3456
    Panasonic: 4592 x 3448

    Effective pixels 16.1 megapixels
    Sensor photo detectors 16.9 megapixels

    Effective pixels 15.8 megapixels
    Sensor photo detectors 16.6 megapixels

    • Agent00soul

      Well, camera specs says “livemos” sensor, so I’m sure it is manufactured by Panasonic. Could they have made a cropped version of the GH2 sensor for Olympus, that only supports 4/3 aspect ratio? That would explain the same number of pixels as the GH2 and the ultra-fast readout for the EVF and tracking AF.
      Maybe Olympus didn’t want the multi-aspect version because it was too large (or heavy) for the new advanced IBIS?

  • Congrats to Olympus and Admin…

    The OM looks like a solid addition to the m43 lineup. On initial previews, it appears to be well received by the review websites. Pricewise, it appears to represent pretty good value. And to Admin, thank you for all the hard work. You have once again provided us with a mostly accurate sneak peak in advance of the actual press release.

  • tirk kuck

    damn another typical olympus release

    so damn good in a way, and so damn bad in another… i probably buy it anyway in order to re-sell it in 4-5 months.. happens to the oly crap often, doesn’t happen to more serious gear.

    when will we finally get nikon-like releases? (look at D4/D800 etc) now those are damn fine cameras

  • My predictions from four weeks ago for the new Oly camera:
    1. a m43 faux-DSLR style camera (like the GH series)
    *debatable, but styling an improvement over GH series
    2. bundled with 12-50 m43 kit lens (no new lenses)
    3. built-in EVF (low res, no new tech, no innovation)
    4. no predictive focus (forget using 4/3 lenses)
    5. no ‘extra’ manual controls (same as E-P3)
    6. no optimization for video (unlike the GH series)
    *current info not suggestive of strong video support
    7. no focus peaking, panorama, or HDR mode (not an NEX)
    8. new art filters (yeah! -sarcasm-)
    9. same ol’ 12 mpx sensor (of course!)
    *not a ‘new’ sensor, but an improvement over the 12mpx
    10.too little, too late (see E5)
    *overall, a pretty good competitive camera with price too high (see E5)
    *fair price IMO
    The sensor and the video stand out as the only real disappointments, but both represent an improvement over the last generation of Oly cameras. In some ways, the new camera still represents a missed opportunity… an advanced sensor with better video specs would have made the new OM camera a mirrorless class-leader (and likely a best-seller)

    • Mr. Reeee

      That’s why it’s almost always better to wait for version 2 so they can refine and correct shortcomings. There are always firmware updates to look forward to.

      • I’m afraid version 2 won’t address my two main concerns about the latest release (sensor DR and video)… and worst of all, based on Oly history I think we are ‘stuck’ with this sensor for the next few years.

        Personally, I’m waiting for the next PEN camera… E-P5?

      • I wonder though. The E-M5 is essentially the best of all the improvements made to the PEN cameras. How much more tweaking could be done in an E-M6..? For improved video, a new sensor would be required, and that would undoubtedly affect the other electronic arrangements. I personally can’t see what else they could easily address without a big re-design. Perhaps they can find a way to miniaturise the 5-axis stabilisation tech and reduce the hump a bit?

      • vdaffyduck

        definetively no HDR-Mode???

    • @NativeFloridian

      what’s missing from the video apart from moire and aliasing (which the D4 and D800 have)?

      • david

        *cough* 24p, 60p, high bit rates *cough*

        • @david
          not so important
          24p – converted to 72fps for broadcast anyway (triplicated frames)
          60p – easy work arounds in post for slow mo
          high bit rates – most colour grading and tone curves can be done in the E-M5 camera now while filming, so no need for high bit rates or a colourist…

          • It’s not that the video is BAD… on the contrary it is probably GOOD for home videos. Based on the released info, video does not appear to be a strong differentiator of this camera (which differs from recent rumors). In the end, I don’t think anyone will be buying this camera FOR its video features. As I stated earlier, it just seems like a missed opportunity.

          • david

            24p is a look, forget broadcast. 60p is for action footage, not slow-motion. High bit rates are for capturing lots of detail and clean motion instead of mud, not just color grading.

            We have no idea whether the camera has moire and aliasing issues, but even assuming it doesn’t, it’s still very lacking for video compared to the GH2. I wish that it were better, because I suspect I’d like it more than my GH2 in many respects. But because of the (lack of) video capabilities, it’s a non-starter for me. I’m sure for casual stuff, it’s fine, but for people who care a lot about video, “easy workarounds” are not what we want.

            If the video stuff is “not so important” for you, I understand. It’s not “not so important” to me.

        • I didn’t even see an option for 1080p at 30fps… I hope I overlooked something. I’d much rather edit video in 30p than 60i.

          • PS

            This is the video spec from DP review

            Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i from 30p output), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)

      • Granted, the jury is still out and I haven’t seen a review of the video features… But the specs and available recording formats leave a lot to be desired. No 1080p 30 fps as best I can tell and certainly no 24fps recording features. While the video is likely certainly acceptable… this camera does not appear to be competitive with the GH series.

        • I keep seeing this 24p stuff banded around, but haven’t the foggiest why it’s so important. Any good articles or links that explain why?

          • it

            It seems that using 24p will magically transform your video into a feature film caliber production.

            I don’t consider lack of 24p a showstopper, but with my GH2 it has been a nice option to have in the toolbox. It creates sort of a dreamy look that I’ve found nice in certain situations.

            • Stu5

              Did not stop an EPL-1 being used in a feature film by Disney though by a top director of photographer. His complaint was he had to downgrade the footage to match the stuff shot on 35mm film and add grain. Also did not stop the same camera being used in a Coke Cola add in Asia either.

              The positives of the video on the E-M5 is that it has been claimed to have solved the jello effect which can be seen on a Pansasonic mirrorless camera. It’s the most solid mirrorless 4/3 camera with video. It has the most weather sealing of any video enabled mirrorless or DSLR camera. Also having the IS available for video on all lenses is quite major. So this camera will be capable of doing some things the competition will not be able of do. In those situations a good DOP will not care that is has not got a 24 frame rate. A good DOP knows that can be sorted out in post and will just get on with the job instead of worrying about the spec sheet.

          • PS

            If you keep repeating the same false statements they dont turn to be true!!!!

        • io


          No 24p, no 60p, low bitrate, I’ll keep my hacked GH1…

          That IBIS was interesting though…

    • Seeing as we haven’t got sample images from the sensor, I think it’s too early to judge it as a disappointment. New lenses were announced with the E-M5 – they just aren’t available yet. EVF, from what I’ve read, is improved over the VF-2, such as the 120fps refresh rate. Predictive 3D focus for tracking subjects (but yes, likely not much improvement for 43 lenses).

      They may not have been perfect matches for your wish-list, but they are genuine improvements :).

    • Bob B.

      I am thinking this is going to be a best-seller no matter what.

    • PS


      Point 3. EVF proximity switch, Display of settings below photo, Stabilised viewfinder!!!!

      Point 4. 3D focusing better than predictive

      Point 6 All video is 5 axis stabilised!!!!!!!

      7. Who needs peaking when all oly lens are auto focus. Peaking is a poor mans solution to manual lenses!!!!!

      You might cross out the above and leave what is totaly irrelevent in your list

      • Mat

        You sadly misunderstand. Poor man solution? Do you know how much good manual lens cost?

        One of the strengthes of M4/3 is that M4/3 has short lens registration, thus allowing you to mount a wide range of mount type (i.e. Leica M mount, Nikon F-mount, C-mount). Many of these manual focus are superior to today auto-focus lens in terms of optical quality and attractive color-rendering. For example, those great lens are Leica M lens, Carl Zeiss (Leica M mount) lens, Carl Zeiss (Contax G-

        mount) lens, Voigtlander (Leica M-mount) lens, Nikkor f1.2 & f1.4 AIS (F-mount), Tamron f1.2 (C-mount).
        Using these great

        manual-focus lens on M4/3 is absolutely a joy

        Today, Sony, Nikon, Canon offer the efficient manual focus system in their camera bodies. For instance, Nikon’s manual focus system is able to precisely and accurately confirm once a subject is in focus at a selected focus point. If not, it even tells you how to turn the lens (i.e. clockwise, counterclockwise).

        Sony understands their weakness of creating smaller lens for NEX, therefore implementing a feature called “focus peaking” which greatly supports the use of manual lens on NEX bodies. It is true that Sony’s focus peaking is not 100% accurate but at least it’s much better than having nothing.

        I have pana GF2 and I know that how the manual focus system on both Oly and Pana work. Zooming at 100% and then checking the sharpness of the focus area is generally a good idea. However, the manual focus solution from Sony, Nikon, and Canon are much better.

        Oly & Pana should improve the manual focus system if they want to attract users from NEX. I really love the design of EM-5, but my concern about the manual focus sytem is an issue. Can you imagine how it looks like if a classic look of EM-5 is mounted with those superb manual lens.

  • @Michael
    saw some sample link’s on yesterday’s 43rumors post (not full size though but they looked good)

    • Yea, those miniature samples are all we have. So nothing much, really. Another week or two to wait!

  • Admin: We need a new poll – black or silver? I can’t make up my mind!

    • Charlie

      Silver looks muuuuuuch better to me.

      I like the leather look on the silver versus the fabric look on the black.

      • I’m been umm-ing and ahh-ing all day. It looks like the silver on the E-M5 doesn’t match the luster of the silver on lenses like the 12mm f/2 and upcoming 75mm f/1.8 though…

        • flash

          The silver seems a match for the earlier OMs. The mFT well which one? I would get the black lens with a silver cameras, if given a choose, as the color it more consistent between different lens. I think silver items are loosing popularity in genera.

    • I have a silver OM-1 AND a black OM-1 because I couldn’t make up my mind. But there were only black OM lenses.

      Now I have a bit of a fetish for silver lenses, especially on black bodies. SO I think I’ll be buying a black one. My 12mm will look beautiful on it. Oh baby!

  • it

    I’ve been looking for something more compact to either replace or be 2nd cam to my GH2. After disappointment in the video specs of the GX1, it looked like all hope was gone, assuming Panasonic would likely keep the GH2 size and form factor for GH3.

    While the EM5 doesn’t quite do it for me in video specs, other features look really nice. For now, it is at the top of my watch list. Still holding out to see what the GH3 brings though.

  • Charlie

    Okay, just watched the video…

    Do I have to pour my water on the EM5 to make it work?

    We’re in a drought here — plus I’m thirsty. :|

  • Jos

    supposedly E-M5 video smple:

  • Baha

    THe camera looks fantastic. i dont know why people are bein fussy about it. look at it! It’s a top quality camera! what else you need! I still hame my e-1. built like a tank. You can rob the bank with it!! And this looks good too.

    • Stu5

      It is not just the good looks either. The position of those two dials make the camera look very usable.

  • Olympus wrote to me today that the delivery of the E-M5 should begin end of February. I hope, they are right, before I read here on 4/3-rumors this will happen one month later.

    • end of this month would be great
      i suppose thats for some asian countries first

      • Japan gets it first usually. Scheduled for the end of March.

  • Scott

    Why is there so much talk about DR? get the exposure right to begin with and DR isnt an issue. Ok so with Hi DR you can take an image that is very bright and very dark.WTF? I was able to get awesome shots with the E-1. Its DR was around 6 LOL

    They make cameras with h dr its called D4 and 1dx oh you dont have that kind of money then shut it

    • Boooo!

      Believe it or not, the E-1 had roughly 10.5 stops of DR.

    • jacek

      “Why is there so much talk about DR?” because people who can’t do photos need some kind of excuse

    • “Get the exposure right to begin with and DR isn’t an issue”

      And what if you (or the camera’s auto option) doesn’t get the picture right? You’ve missed a chance to capture an image that may never present itself again.

      As you are aware, more DR allows for a greater margin of error and in select scenarios allows the ability to capture detail that otherwise would not be possible. Maybe I’d like to take more pictures in direct sunlight (with areas of shade) while preserving the detail in the shade and highlights!

      I’d prefer improvements in Dynamic Range over the current megapixel race and the newer high ISO race.

      • Scott

        I only shoot in manual so I dont rely on the camera to get my exposure right that is up to the photographer

    • Zumba middle fat oly fan

      E1 has better dr than e5 files have much more latitute in raw too, might be for the excellent pixel density. a pity dxo never measured that old kodak masterpiece

  • Narretz

    The best thing we all can do is to buy the Em-5, all new lenses, all new accessories, so Oly sees the m43 strategy works out. Then they will pout cash in R&D and in 5 years we will have the first Oly m43 camera with a non-Pana sensor. :)

    • Mainhard Bogner

      Too much success might encourage them to stay in the panasonic camp, or even worse, keep using that 16 mp thing for the next 5 years

  • Baha

    i like that mini grip option, sound fantastic, so u’ll have tree dials in total? ANd the quality is getting better n better when i watch youtube videos. doesnt look plasticy at all. 12mm, 25mm, 45mm, 60mm macro, 75mm primes in your bag and this, imagine how light it would be!

    • Narretz

      I hope you can assign different stuff to the wheels if you have the grip(s) attached. Grip however seems to be quite expensive (300) and you can only get both grips in one package.

      • PS

        The two function buttons on the grip are independently programmeable

  • nobody

    Admin, you expected the two fast Panasonic zooms to be announced for the CP+ show now. Do you have any further info regarding this announcement?

    • jekins

      i’m waiting same for cp+ 2012,
      i prefer spend 1000€ in 12-35mm 2.8 that in E-M5…….
      waiting Panasonic lens news…………………… please

      or this lens will be launched to September 2012 in Photokina with GH3?

      • Narretz

        I hope Pana and Oly get their shit together and the Pana lenses focus as fast on Oly bodies as Oly lenses and vice versa. EM-5 and 12-35mm sounds like a dream combo to me.

        • +1

        • JF

          “EM-5 and 12-35mm sounds like a dream combo to me”

          +1 ! Will there be a kit ? :D

    • Fan

      I really doubt it. Probably further to the end of the year.

  • BLI

    I don’t know why, but Olympus America sent me an e-mail (Europe) suggesting I should preorder the E-M5. They promise free shipping.

    I *assume* that they are mistakingly believing that I live in USA?? Is the free shipping (and even the possibility) valid for Europeans?

    • flash

      I do not think they would even ship to Europe.

  • STH

    An E-M5 review with ISO sample image(full)/Video in Taiwan.
    Check it.

    • Baha

      that girl is so f*cking hot that i forgot about OMD! OMG!

  • Narretz

    First austrian shops have it listed:

    (scroll down)

    With 12-50: 1299€, body only: 1099€

    That’s steep. :(

    • Baha

      how can that be steep? ep-3 with kit lens is around 950-1000 in ireland. i think m5 is priced cheap to be honest! The kit is just awsome for 1300, weather ealed, macro+landscape+zoom lens, flash unit etc. its a good lens and worth every penny in my opinion tbh.

  • napalm

    “It’s been up in the air about whether or not Olympus was going to continue making DSLRs. However, last night I got a message from someone at Olympus saying they were starting to work on a new Four Thirds DSLR and new Four Thirds lenses.

    – PhotographyREVIEW”

    saw this from his youtube account

  • uth

    Mr Terada from Olympus said it is livemos… so i think it’s the same as GX1 sensors ;)

  • neeming

    Concerning dynamic range, here is what I think:

    (1) Even with the promised improvement, E-M5 will be nowhere close to that of the Sony sensor. Panasonic sensors have a dynamic range of 10.1 -10.6 Evs. One third of an improvement is equivalent to about 0.3-0.4 Evs. So E-M5’s sensor dynamic range is likely to be in the range of 10.4 – 11.0. I hope it is 11.0, but that is still more than two full stops below the current generation of Sony sensors.

    (2) However, dynamic range is not something that affects every photo. In fact, for a properly exposed photo, anything that is beyond 10.0 evs is invisible. Remember that 10.0 evs is about 1024:1, which is already way beyond the dynamic range of the paper media which is around 100:1. Although human eyes have a dynamic range that is much beyond 1024:1, our eyes are not designed to see that kind of range at the same time. Roughly speaking, there’s a Gaussian distribution of dynamic range among all photos that have been taken, centered around 6.0 evs, substantially tailing off after 8.0 evs.

    So what is the extra dynamic range good for? Well, it is for pulling and pushing exposures in the raw files. Specifically, with the Sony sensor’s amazing 13.4 evs, it has an extra 2-3 full stops of recoverability in the raw files for incorrectly (unintentionally or intentionally) exposed photos. It can be extremely useful sometimes, but just rarely, depending on the user. So it is really a rather individual-dependent consideration. To me personally, it is important.

  • Camaman

    Duuuude those Geizhals prices are insane! They are listing the new flash at 549€

    1100€for the body only is also to much!! I was hoping for 1000€

    • Camaman

      Edit: that is like 200€ more than D7000! :-(
      I hope that is just initial price fixing!

  • awaler

    This is a rather loud camera.
    Interesting samples of the swiss watch. Also the left side background of the girl in red is quite telling.
    Dark monochrome beige areas are not silent even at ISO 200.
    ISO 1600 is the absolute limit of usefulness, ISO 12800 or even more are no more than nonsensical crap.

  • Nic

    Anyone understand this?

    At this interview:

    Oylmpus says that a pancake is “under consideration”.

    But there is already a pancake:

    What am I missing??


  • AG

    Oh no, my son saw this video with me and says he’s going to give my cameras a bath.
    Thanks Olympus – must be the new trick to get rid of the competition :)

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