New E-M5 tidbits from DSLRmagazine and full size image samples! (preorders in Germany)


Our friend Valentin Sama from DSLRmagazine (Click here) wrote an interesting report about the E-M5 presentation. He has learned form Olympus that there is a 33% improved dynamic range. And as you see from the picture the motion sensors are placed on top of the viewfinder. This is an ideal position becuase it’s as close as it gets to the sensor. Valentin writes that he would have liked to see a higher resolution viewfinder but Olympus told him that this would have made it impossible to have sharp and no vignetting corners. The Olympus AF is 40% faster than the fastest AF from DSRL cameras.

If you need to see two E-M5 Full Size images Helixcameras posted them here and here.

Thom Hogan analyzed the Olympus sales report at Sansmirror (Click here).

An interesting story: Masato O. (A friend of mine) was at the CP+ show in Yokohama. He said that there were so many people visiting the Olympus booth that he waited 100 minutes to get his hands on the E-M5!!!

Here are the pictures from the new 75mm f/1.8 and 60mm f/2.8 macro lenses on the E-M5 (Click on it to enlarge):


Updated Preorder list (with Redcoon Deutschland):
Black E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Warehouse UK (Click here), Redcoon Germany (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Warehouse UK (Click here), Redcoon Germany (Click here), and Amazon Japan (Click here).
Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Redcoon Germany (Click here), and Amazon Japan (Click here).
Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here) and Amazon Japan (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), Adorama (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).

  • Jack

    Good times!

    • MJr

      You can see everything that’s in there in this half-cut: :)

      • Alan

        WOW! That is a lot of empty in that there hump!

        • sigh… what is in there are the diopter optics which needs some room to do their thing. You may as well say wow look at all that empty space in that zoom! (never mind that it is internal zoom and focus)… sigh

        • dumbo

          death to the hump!

        • its obvious all the space is used for several parts; the optics(which are moved inside to prevent the eyepiece sticking out too much ), the EVF electronics are on top of the EVF because the 5-axis unit is huge and takes all the space below the EVF plus the mentioned motion sensors.hopefully this will shutdown all those who still don’t understand the size of the hump.

      • Bob B.

        WOW! Look at the camera they wasted that MJr could have owned! :-)

        • MJr

          Probably a crappy and abused prototype or something ;). I also love it when they cut Leica lenses in half. Doesn’t really make me flinch. It’s like that human anatomy museum, most of them were already dead anyway, but somebody’s got to do it :P

      • Vincent

        The design doesn’t make any sense. There is a lot of empty space in the hump. They should have condensed it so that a camera might be more slender. Very disappointed.

  • “Thom “doesn’t know the meaning of objectivity” Hogan analyzed the Olympus sales report” …that’s pretty subjective too use the word analysed in that context.

    • Berneck

      i don’t know about that. Thom Hogan seems very objective. He definitely prefers Nikon, but I think he’s genuine in his thoughts and tries to be as objective as possible. Let’s face it, none of us are 100% objective, we only have our experiences to guide us…. That being said, most people who visit this site and comment are far from objective….

      • Vivek

        I am more objective than any tom, dick or harry. :)

        I am a potential buyer/user and not a review blogger.

      • +1

    • MichaelKJ

      Thom loves mirrorless camseras and his current favorite is the E-P3. He wrote yesterday that he has pre-ordered the E-M5. I think if you look at his criticisms of Nikon you will find that simply calls it like he sees it. It is also human nature to be subjective, as you should know :)

      • @MichaelKJ
        OK he loves Olympus cameras hates the company.

        • He’s exasperated by the company, and their repeated marketing failures. No company is worthy of love, unless you take the Citizens United ruling literally ;-).

    • slomo

      Thom is more objective than the majority of posters in the forum, perhaps even more so than me.

      Now that’s also is a judgement call. But his analysis is objective based on two facts:

      – Japan’s customer taste is unlike the rest of the world.

      – Sample quality (or in his word predictability to population). Sampling the answer from just EP-3 users, skewed the choices towards enthusiast who are spending more for quality, which is not necessarily the same as the majority of purchasers of Olympus product. Would someone buying an EPM-1 because of its price care much about dust and splash proof? I don’t think so. These are the people buying low end Canon and Nikon DSLRs which are not dust and splash proof.

      • slomo
        “- Japan’s customer taste is unlike the rest of the world.” it’s not too far different.

        “predictability to population” as in the world’s/Japan’s population, people do not wholly purchase on price it’s a component which carrys different weight in different consumer’s minds and not skewed because Olympus are going after an adjoining demographic to E-P3 users…

        The female (and even the male) market who bought PEN cameras will introduce their partner’s/boyfriend’s/husband’s etc to the E-M5 which goes back to the point I made a few months ago:
        “Micro Four Thirds will be the first camera system shared amongst family and work members” , people will share and swap lenses, accessories and bodies….

        Nikon 1 is Nikon’s 4th lens mount!!!!!

        • slomo

          “- Japan’s customer taste is unlike the rest of the world.” it’s not too far different.

          Well it is different enough that Japan’s cultural expression is not widespread globally. Manga and Anime are not widespread worldwide even though they have been part of Japanese cultures for years. An anecdotal personal experience: Living in North America, I still do not understand what the 2 fingers ‘V’ salute mean. I see them a lot in photos of teens from Asia for years and now seeing it performed by older generations as well, I still don’t know what it means. In North America it means ‘V for victory’ a sign of triumph over adversary in wars or fights, but I doubt these teens mean to send the same message.

          “Micro Four Thirds will be the first camera system shared amongst family and work members” people will share and swap lenses, accessories and bodies….

          Anecdotally, I see the majority buying one DSLR with one kit lens that husband/wife shares taking picture of them with their kids. This is the typical Canon/Nikon low end DSLR buyers. Many instances also only one member of a family has a photography hobby, and the others have no interest in it, so there is no sharing in between.

          “Nikon 1 is Nikon’s 4th lens mount!!!!!”

          I don’t understand what you meant. m43 is Olympus and Panasonic 2nd lens mount in 10 years. At least Nikon is announcing a body last week for their older lenses, something that Panasonic said they abandon. Not sure where is Olympus with this, but I do not see action matches words for Olympus.

          • Russ

            I’ve been out of consumer electronics retail for 9 years, but the differences were slight. When it came to consumer electronics, the differences between Japanese consumers and most others were that:
            1) There was a greater interest in new features
            2) They bought (and replaced) more frequently
            3) There was a greater interest in more compact electronics due to space constraints.

            Europeans were between the Americans and Japanese with regard to available products. Americans and Japanese seemed most different.

            My guess is that buying patterns have become more similar (for consumer electronics) between Americans and Japanese as what Americans are buying today fits more with how the Japanese were buying a decade ago.

          • i am still figuring out the one finger salute

          • TheEye

            I thought all photographers knew why Asians have been using the victory gesture in photos for almost 40 years. To find out google ” Junji Inoue Konica.” :D

        • st3v4nt

          Caution when using the word the rest of the world…there’s more country outside Japan in Asia in term of population and soon the economic power thus also buying power in photography gadget…do not asume that the only decision made for camera features and design being decide only by Japan market, Europe market and US market…Asia outside Japan is also playing the decisive role in the future of camera and photographs features and design. Besides the advantage of geographic location to Japan, the country that have bigger population in Asia i.e China, India or have healthy buying power like Singapore, Taiwan, and H.K tend to have the quickest first supply of new camera then Europe and US nowadays. Most camera also being produce in Asia so it’s quite a decisive and potential market…besides DSLR, mirrorless gaining momentum in Asian camera market.

          • Russ

            If a model appeals to both the American and Japanese markets, it will probably appeal to others as well.

          • razkal

            I agree. In my country Malaysia for example as asian country outside Japan, people are crazy about DSLR Canon and Nikon. Olympus is begining to get their market share as well with micro four third cameras and camera gears are cheap compared to other part of the world because we don’t need to pay tax such as VAT or sales tax.

          • We need not only talk of contry, but also by age if we talk by consumer. I know the is normal teenage take over family camera, but the is more usual sell out camera by all lens and flash after a be adult, and them choice the camera system so the like best self.

  • viewfinder finder styles look good, I’ll be opting for style 3.

    what’s missing from E-M5
    21:9 aspect ratio – but I will use guide lines when composing
    timelapse – but I have an external interval meter anyway
    panoramic function – grrrr…

  • BLI

    In my view, Thom Hogan’s writing was quite objective; I think it qualifies as analysis :-).

    Regarding the picture of the silver body with the 75/1.8 — is it possible to include a picture from another angle and with a different lighting? I seem to recall seeing another picture where the slightly different color of the 75/1.8 looked strange with a slightly yellowish color against the colder silver color of the body… (I can’t seem to find it…). I’m not quite sure whether that color combo looked good :-).

    • The shown 75/1.8 is only a mockup/prototype so the exact colour might be different on the shipping version.

    • Could be bright green AFAIC. I would still want this lens.

      • BLI

        My point is rather whether it goes best with the black or the silver body. I assume the color will be similar to that of the 12/2… Although in general, I think the silver body would be best for a combination of black and silver lenses (assuming the silver lenses have a uniform color), it is possible that a slight difference in color between a silver lens and the silver body becomes ugly.

        • I am thinking exactly the same.

          The 45mm looks pretty much tone on tone. The 12mm and the upcoming 75mm are both more yellowish, though. I saw some pictures as well… and didn’t like the color differences.
          I, however, don’t like that they are only bundling the black 12-50mm with their E-M5. Whether tthe body is black or silver… the lens is always black.

          Overall… I prefer the silver body…but with the different tones of silver… I don’t know…

          • zinanga

            Actually, the 12/2 is more like champagne …

            • Not mine. It’s a neutral aluminum colour.

              • Charlie

                So is mine — silver.

                As is my 45/1.8.

            • Hmmm…. Champagne…. Dom Perignon….

            • “The 12mm and the upcoming 75mm are both more yellowish, though.”

              That is what I tried to indicate. A yellowish kind of silver… aka champagne.

              Since most here are men… I thought I keep it simple. Most men cannot distinguish more than 10 colors anyway :D

              • avds

                Yeah, and that’s why we always need to consult DXO to tell us how many colors our cameras can really capture :)

    • Duchemin

      The 45 1.8 and 12 2 have this more golden tone also, that’s why I pre-ordered the black body.

      • avds

        Nope, my 45 is absolutely neutral, cold aluminium gray.

        And the base of my 9-18 is of similar color but looks slightly different because it has some random texture to it which relfects light unevenly, whereas the plastic-fantastic 45 is just bald and slippery :)

        The 12 and the 75 look yellowish indeed on all the photos.

        Olympus might want to learn some color matching…

    • I want more of a picture through the 75mm lens, i…. ;-)

  • chronocommando

    Are there any information about how the 12-60 SWD performs on this camera? I will not give up this piece of glass! Actually I use it on a E-520 and think about buying an E-5 DSLR.

    • Fun

      Probably just a little better than on the EP3:

      But you can use it… and perhaps wait until Panasonic release a fast zoom this year.

      • chronocommando

        Hmm maybe I wait for some tests regarding this.
        But I doubt it will be as good as it is today.
        I am very sorry about this.
        I will not buy a new camera and a new lenses. If I sometimes have to do replace my e-520 + lenses, I am not sure if this will be Olympus again. Lets how the price for the E-5 develops :-)

        • bilgy_no1

          There is one German hands-on report that talks about improved AF performance of 4/3 lenses on the E-M5. That got my attention…

          • Anonymous

            I have a E510 with the 12-60 and I thinking about buying a new camera. And the question is quite clear: I have to choose between a good sensor with no many lenses (sony, fuji) and big size….or an “ok” sensor with good lenses and nice size.
            And I think that it is better to upgrade the body, from time to time, than lenses….. specially if you have invest your money in several ones.

          • rrr_hhh

            Yes, I read it too. But I also read the DSLR Magazine in Spanish and it says that the focus speed of the 12-60mm is “slightly improved” due to the higher readout speed of the sensor. He tested with the new wheather sealed adapter.

            • chronocommando

              This is all nice and good. But to be honest its not enough. At least not for me. What does slightly improved means? Or what does improved means at all? for me it means nothing until Olympus says it is the same or better performance than before.

              This lens is available for less than 5 years now. This is a very short life cycle. Maybe there will be an E-7.

              4/3 will die … :-)

              • Anonimous

                Future is mirrorless, so 4/3 is died already, even if they develop an e-7…
                In the video you can see that focusing time it is about one second and a half…. so ….. perhaps it will improve half a second if are lucky¡¡

    • 12-60rules

      I’m exactly in the same boat

  • Pixnat

    WOW, the 60 macro seems to have a 4 position focus limiter!
    That’s absolutely fantastic! This lens looks very promising for Macro action photographers :-)

    • Vivek

      Nicely, done, isn’t it? :)

    • inorog

      it’s awesome, and both macro and 75mm look very good

    • The 60mm macro is shaping up nicely. Looks serious. Yum yum.

      Too bad the wait time is unknown (“end of year”). I asked during the Olympus Facebook Q&A yesterday, and they had no more specific timeframe for the two new lenses (60mm and 75mm), but it looks like they’ll both be worth the wait.

    • I might take up shooting insect action sports.

    • Jason

      Macro looking good, I will get the 60 mm and keep my 50 mm f2.0

  • Berneck

    I’m becoming more comfortable with my pre-order of the E-M5. For once we have a camera that sounds better and better AFTER the hype! I have never pre-ordered anything, until now. It really seems like I could be happy with this camera for several years. April can’t get here fast enough!

    • Vivek

      “For once we have a camera that sounds better and better AFTER the hype!”

      Well said! :)

      I am relieved there was no blendtech crap and the infamous curtain raising.

      I will buy one when it is available. I don’t like this pre-order business.

      • Berneck

        Yeah, that’s what I usually do, but I really need an upgrade from my GF2, and don’t want to wait til June or July! As I said, I’ve never risked pre-ordering before, but the positive vibe has me comfortable with the decision….

  • The 75mm looks big. Oly, please make it black too!!!

    As for 1/3 stop improvement in DR…I predicted that, lol. Will make no difference whatsoever in the real world i think.

    • Russ

      Not just in black, but how about weather sealing it? It seems like a great lens for baseball games where it will occasionally rain.

      • Agree, and if its anywhere near the 12mm in price (which i think it will), it should be weathersealed!

      • +1.8

    • Pop the ice scene linked above into photoshop and start playing with exposure. There’s plenty of DR there. This camera seems to be hitting its targets on the nose.

  • Me

    > He has learned form Olympus that there is a 33% improved dynamic range (1/3 stop)

    33% and 1/3 stop is not the same. The original statement was that there’s an “1/3 improvement” (no one ever said 1/3 STOP!). That would mean 33% more dynamic range, not just 1/3 stop.

    • Atle

      33% more in linear numbering is the same as 1/3 stop, isn’t it?

      • Stops are an exponential base 2 system.


        log(1.33)/log(2) = .41 stop

        Not that much no matter what units you use. But I will take all the DR I can get.

        • JF

          Yes. And curiously that exactly corresponds to G3/GX1 sensor DR (10.1 for EP3 + 0.4 =10.5 which is DR of GX1)…………..

          • It all depends on how it is interpreted. If the old sensor had a total DR of 10 f-stops and this has has 33% more, does it mean it has 13.3 f-stops or does it mean it has 10.3 f-stops?

            • I am pretty sure it means 10.3.

              From a marketing perspective why go with a smaller number when a larger one is available?

              From an engineer’s perspective a 33% increase implies a linear scale which would be .3 stops. F-stops are logarithmic like the scale used for earthquakes. Going from a magnitude 6 earthquake to magnitude 8 is a lot more than a 33% increase.

            • neeming

              No, there is no alternative interpretation. When dynamic range is increased by 33%, it means about 0.4 stop (usually, when dynamic range is increased by 100%, that is, doubled, it is considered a hole stop improvement, and the Evs is increased by 1).

              Dynamic range is an objective scientific concept, the number measured in Evs is only an index to express it. It is not a linear relationship, and no one talks about increasing that Evs number itself in percentages, that would not only be nonscientific, but in fact silly.

              Also, I can’t believe people are still hoping for a sensor surprise. Believe me, it will not be a Sony. It is a Panasonic sensor, but not the same as G3 or GX1. It’s a new Panasonic sensor which Panasonic will be using in their own upcoming camera. There will be no quantum leap. The dynamic range will be below or at best around 11.0, more than two stops worse than Sony. The ISO performance is likely a full stop better than G3 (in JPG, and less in raw), but is still at least one stop worse than the best 16M APS-C sensors. But I’m getting E-M5 as my travel camera, and I believe it will be good enough.

              • So you think Panasonic let Olympus use a new sensor first? I’m betting on the G3 sensor.

                • neeming

                  If it’s the G3 sensor, Olympus would have told outright lies. Well, it’s not that they could not have told such lies, it’s just that you need to give them benefit of doubt before the real fact is revealed.

                  So I am willing to believe that it is indeed a new sensor (more than tweaking and some workings on the the processing engine), but I believe it is not going to be significantly better than G3 (this is not a cynical assertion, but based on the information currently available).

                  • BLI

                    It all depends on how you define the word “sensor”. Suppose “sensor” is defined as (1) the wafer with light sensitive pixels, (2) the circuitry connecting the wafer to the rest of the camera, including A/D converter, (3) filters, (4) bracket to fix it to the body, including magnetic support in the IBIS system, etc. Suppose Panasonic only made the wafer part. Then it is correct to say it is not a Panasonic sensor.

      • nobody

        Yes, I would think so, too. 1 full stop more would mean 100% more, like going from 1/1000sec. to 1/500sec. exposure. So 33% more should mean 1/3 stop.

        • No, f stops are exponential.

          A lens that lets in 700% more light (8x) is 3 stops faster, not 7.

          But when you are talking about 33% the difference is so small it does not matter.

          • OnTheFence

            There is no mention of “Stop” anywhere I can find. Olympus mentions a 1/3 increase in DR. If we are to take that statement literally, then we should expect the total DR of the new sensor to be around 13.5 to 14EV.

            If they are being ambigious on purpose, and they really mean an increase of 0.3EV in DR, then the whole world is going to laugh at them, because a 0.3EV increase in DR is virtually imperceivable. It certainly wouldn’t be worth mentioning.

            Just say’n… :0)

            • Philip

              +0.4EV in DR i actually a lot. Esp if you at the same time increase resolution and smaller sensels. With the same black threshold you can increase the number of photons before highlight clipping with 33%

              At 200 ISO almost all (43 or larger) sensors have a very wide DR already (10-13 EV) and unless you’re trying to capture unrealistic scenes that is a lot. If you want to capture a scene with 20 or 30 EV no sensor will be enough unless you use multiple exposures. Since DR falls with higher ISO-settings this increase will be of most use at higher ISO. At ISO 1600 you’d have a useful DR of around 7-8 and here +0.4EV might give you a chance to get a decent image.

              • (Applause). Finally, someone who has an understanding of that isn’t based on ranting about numbers from DxO.

                • +1

                  DxO is really WAY overrated… by at least 5EV :D

                  It may take some time for them to release a review… but imho DPR is pretty much the best site to REALLY get to know whether a camera is good (for you) or not. DxO all by itself is pretty much useless.

                  It’s the same with computers in a way. Take a WAY powerful computer with a hard disk… and compare it to a slower notebook with an SSD… although the notebook lacks the raw power… it will seem significantly faster in most cases due to the SSD.
                  My point being: Numbers in and on themselves are pretty much useless.

                  • simon

                    The numbers have to taken in the correct context. If you want to know what the camera JPGs will give you without much adjustment, DPreview does a reasonable job.

                    DxO provides some quality measures of the underlying raw data. Those don’t tell you whether your particular raw converter and settings will make good use of that data.

                    If you know what you’re looking for, and use a flexible raw converter, I think DxO is way more informative. To use your computer example, DxO would give you benchmarks for the CPU and hard disk, and it’s up to you to decide which combination is best in your situation. [Just ignore the single DxOmark score]

    • I’m 65% sure that a 33% improvement means 1/3 stop, but 99% sure I’ll wait until I see sample images to decide if there is improvement.

      • 94.5% of all statistics are made up.

        So go figure…

        • Pei

          83.6% of people in this board resent your statement

          • Charlie

            99 44/100% of them don’t use the right soap.

        • zinanga


        • zinanga

          ±5% statistically speaking ;)

    • Bob B.

      “Me”: that is correct about the “1/3 improvement in DR”, comment in the conversation with teh company representative that was posted here. That is what was translated. I think that there HAD to be a language/translation problem there. It is not possible for there to be a 1/3 improvement. The physiques just do not allow it. (I took that claim literally at first, too…but I think there is an error imparting the info correctly. That’s all.)

  • Mat

    “The Olympus AF is 40% faster than the fastest AF from DSRL cameras.”

    How about accuracy? Does anyone have some hints? If accuracy is really great, pros who shoot sport will no longer need to carry heavy DSLR anymore.

    • Bromo

      I think you would find taht that is in S-AF mode not C-AF. Its hard to believe that any camera would beat the big name DSLR in C-AF….yet.

      • Ganec

        > Its hard to believe that any camera would beat the big name DSLR in C-AF

        It will be in the next generation.
        Currently it is not possible because it uses mechanical shutter, which slowdowns the process and produce “blackouts”. With full electronic shutter even tracking AF can be better.

        • BLI

          Doesn’t the Nikon V1 give 10 fps with tracking when using electronic shutter (and 5 fps with mechanical shutter)? And 20 fps without tracking?

    • I think you should expect the AF to be very precise as usual. Its CDAF after all :)

    • Melvin

      If accuracy is great, this is a great step.

      Wildlife and sports shooters need long glass in all kind of configurations: like 150/2 and 300/2.8 400/5.6 etc. M4/3 is building up a nice range of lenses, the telelenses are not announced yet.

      • leendert

        For me 300mm F4 or 400mm F5.6 is ok.
        300mm F2.8 is too big and too expensive…

      • bilgy_no1

        They are available in 4/3, and can be used with adapter.

        • Melvin

          4/3 pdaf long glass becomes slow with m4/3. The best tracking of E-M5 won’t improve that since the AF is CDAF.

          But I hope there is a surprise. I need to see test results or video showing me the focus speed of E-M5 with 4/3rds glass before I order anything.

          • does anyone here have a technical explanation of why PDAF lenses are slower to focus on CDAF bodies?

            seems like the lens shouldn’t have any particular bearing on the ability to detect contrast

            …is it to do with the type of drive motor? eg PDAF lenses aren’t very good at changing direction quickly, but the CDAF system will always have to overshoot focus slightly then pull back?

            if so it sounds to me like 4/3 lenses will always be slower on m43 bodies…

            • Olaf

              Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.

              As far as I know CDAF is requiring plenty of start and stops of the moving element inside the lens than a PDAF system. To do the CDAF fast the moving element (in fact what I would call a lens…)that do the focusing in the lens need to be of as low weight as possible to effectively do the start and stops.

              • st3v4nt

                The AF speed difference of lens optimized for PDAF and CDAF from what I know decided by several factor but I think it is more to the way the PDAF system and CDAF system communicating between lens and body. It explained in the magazine and some sites that PDAF use separate sensor to achieve AF while CDAF use the sensor it self, it all done in body not in lens it self. Many of Olympus 4/3 lens also optimized for CDAF yet they AF slower than m4/3 lens in m4/3 body. The only factor that contribute by lens for achieving faster AF is by using faster AF motor in both PDAF or CDAF. The hunting down focus in CDAF happen when the light condition not giving the camera enough contrast to achieve AF.

            • dzv

              > does anyone here have a technical explanation of why PDAF lenses are slower to focus on CDAF bodies?

              > …is it to do with the type of drive motor? eg PDAF lenses aren’t very good at changing direction quickly, but the CDAF system will always have to overshoot focus slightly then pull back?

              My understanding is that PDAF systems can basically analyze a single frame and tell instantly which direction they need to focus, whereas CDAF basically has to compare 2 frames (or 3?) at different focus points to work it out, and of course the quicker it can get those 2 points, the quicker it can eventually achieve focus. So rapid in/out lens movement is an integral part of how CDAF works, and the lenses are designed with that in mind (ie. optimized motors, lighter moving elements, etc).

              Having said that… If a CDAF camera can find some other way to determine focus direction without hunting, then that should great improve the focusing speed of PDAF lenses. I think somebody suggested this might be possible by rapidly moving the sensor in and out (using the IBIS mechanism) instead of focusing the lens in and out. It doesn’t sounds like Olympus have implemented this, but I suppose it could be a possible solution for the future.

    • CDAF is inherently more accurate than PDAF, because what’s being focused is exactly what’s on the sensor, instead of using a mirror (which isn’t aligned accurately), PDAF sensors (which also have mechanical alignment errors), and a lens (which has its own errors). That’s why most enthusiast or better DSLR’s have focus adjustment systems, ideally on a per lens basis.

      PDAF sensors embedded in the main sensors is a great idea, and solves most of the problems of PDAF with the exception of lens variations. I suspect for critical applications focus compensation information will still be needed.

      Pros use DSLR’s for a few reasons: toughness, professional support, and image: clients take big, black boxes more seriously than small boxes.

      • Voldenuit

        CDAF can have false positives, because the contrast thresholds for a lock criteria are arbitrary (unlike PDAF which uses wave phase synchronicity, which is a hard physical measurement).

        I’ve noticed multiple instances where a particularly sharp and or contrasty lens (my 7-14/4 is a prime suspect) will trip up my GF1 in high contrast scenes. For instance, if I’m shooting dark shadows in bright daylight, the camera sometimes tells me it’s in focus when it’s clearly not. In these situations, I usually override focus and fine tune manually, but sometimes I forget (or don’t notice).

        This is the same reason why focus peaking can also give false positives – they both rely on the same mechanisms (although CDAF should in theory be more accurate if the camera hunts to find a peak instead of a threshold).

        On-sensor PDAF on paper is the best system – it does not suffer from backfocus (unlike DSLRs and rangefinders), it focuses objectively instead of using an arbitrary measure (unlike CDAF or focus peaking), it can focus instantly without hunting (unlike CDAF) and it can track moving subjects. However, it’s got its own problems – you sacrifice photosites for PDAF sensors, the AF is orientation-specific (so you need separate horizontal and vertical sensors) and it requires lenses of a certain aperture range to work. It also can’t do face or object recognition.

        In the future, I believe that the industry will move towards a combination of on-sensor PDAF and CDAF, much like the Nikon 1, although there is still a lot of work in software and control algorithms to eke the most synergy out of the two systems. Right now, the Nikon 1 uses the two separately with automatic fallback depending on lighting conditions and shooting mode. In the future, we might see cameras that combine the object recognition and orientation agnostic abilities of CDAF with the speed and motion tracking of PDAF to get the best result.

  • Duarte Bruno

    Having 1/3 EV better DR is GX-1 territory, not GH2. If so it’s still a welcome move in IQ.
    A 33% increase in DR would be a giant step and something only Sony could provide ATM. It would also require a 14bit pipeline, so I guess it’s clearly out of the question.

    • aaa

      Once again: DR and bits are not related. You can have 14EV DR in 8-bit JPG.

      • Ahem

        Not only that, 14-bits are almost pure marketing speak. The extra bits are so noisy as to be useless – this is in MFDBs, and things are even worse in smaller formats.

        • JF

          I think 14 bits helps to have better gradation with no discontinuity more than dynamic range.

          • Which is the same thing. Often extra bits are better used for dithering.

          • Ahem

            In theory, yes. In practice, no. As I said, they’re too noisy to be useful. You can add noise to a 12-bit image to avoid banding, which is essentially the same as a noisy 14-bit image.

      • simon

        They are related if you are using a linear representation, as is the case in Olympus’ (and most others’) raw files. 12-bit linear data means a maximum of 12 stops of DR (depending on definition).

        You can squeeze 14EV into 8 bits by using a non-linear tone curve. JPGs do this, and so does the compressed Nikon raw format.

    • D3xmeister

      All my CDAF camera miss focus as often as my DSLR. I really don’t know why, because, as you say, it shouldn’t. I am talking about many comoacts I owned, including a Canon S90, an my DSLR,s in CDAF, the E-520, E-620, E-5, D5100

  • JR
    • admin

      He is a friend :)

      • I’m hoping to get to the Nagoya fair in Japan next week. Hopefully get a chance to fondle play with utilise the E-M5 :D.

      • Bob B.

        Admin. Do you know any info about how Panasonic lenses with IS will perform on this camera. I am guessing, that with the IS off..that the IBIS can be utilized…..but is there any provision in the Oly OM for say the Pany 45-175mm X lens, which does not have an “on-lens” switch to turn on the IS. Will these lenses only work correctly on a Panasonic camera if one wants to utilize the lens’ IS system?

        • Jekins

          i think, if you put lens panasonic without interrupter ot off lens IS you need deactivate IS of E-M5.

          • Correct. Dueling IS systems are ugly. AFAIK, you can choose between OIS and IBIS when using stabilized Panasonic lenses.

            • Bob B.

              Wait…wait…let me get this straight ( I am pany oly..(yet…hmmmmm).
              you are saying that when I use an Oly MFT camera: I can switch in the menu system to OIS?…Is that correct?
              (I have no idea what AFAIK stands for…????). Thanks for the help.,

              • AFAIK = As Far As I Know

                I recommend if you happen to stumble across an abbreviation you do not know. You’ll usually find it there!

              • Neonart

                Correct. I’ll use OIS on my 45-200, but in body IS on everything else. Just turn the switch or menu option on/off as needed.

  • Really liked DSLR Magazines report (as usual). They give a well balanced, objective, professional review of the camera. I guess they conclude what we already know: everything sounds wonderful, will the IQ deliver?

    My bet is that this camera will play to Oly strengths, like color and sharpness. I wouldn’t expect them to do miracles in DR or high iso (for those who are concerned about high iso).

    About the sample pics, is it me, or the “ice” pic is underexposed? The ice definitely doesn’t look white. More like grayish.

    • Bob B.

      Well…based on the full-size image of the watch (second link from Helix cameras above)…the images coming from this camera are sharper than anything I have seen from the Fuji X-Pro1(but all of the images from the Fuji seem to have too much NR in play…so the verdict is out on that camera just yet). The sharpness is comparable to anything I am getting off of my GX1 with a good prime. I am sure the DR in this OM is comparable to the G3. All the blah blah from Olympus is comparing it to the EP3….not the open market.

    • If exposed correctly, ice is blueish, because it picks up the color of the sky.

      I’ve played a bit with the exposure of the image, and there’s a lot of information in the low bits, which bodes well for the final camera.

    • Voldenuit

      The ice is not underexposed. If it were white, it would be blown out. So props to the camera (or photographer) for getting the exposure spot-on.

      I do however find the NR to be incredibly obtrusive. Even for an OOC JPEG, this level of NR is not acceptable, especially at Base ISO (200). The LiveMOS sensors in m43 cameras have in the past had lots of fine grain noise in flat sections of color, it looks like the CMOS (if the specs are accurate) in the EM-5 suffers from the same problem. This level of fine grain noise usually does not detriment IQ, I hope Oly fixes their default NR thresholds and/or JPEG engine before release, because the artefacts definitely do (hurt IQ).

      There is also a LOT of chromatic fringing from the lens. Just look at the clouds – one side of a cloud is green and the other is red. Multi-multi-pixel LaCA going on here.

      But both these failings are the fault of the processing engine and the lens respectively. As far as the sensor is concerned, the DR in this challenging shot (brightly lit ice in daylight) is impressive.

  • Mat

    Oh man

    Look at this…. Is that EM-5 + Voigt 17/0.95 ?? Very elegant and powerful.

    • Mr. Reeee

      Yummy! ;-)
      That lens may be impossible to resist!

      • G13RS

        That combination looks like pure camera/lens p0rn, priceless!

    • BLI

      But you would need the extra landscape grip :-)

    • gzo


    • Mat

      And then….how about this one? I would name it “The heartbeat of silver” ?

      • Bob B.

        My favorite is the one at the top of the page with the 75mm f/1.8.
        I honestly do not think I have seen a camera cause this much stir since the 5DMarkII. It is simply amazing.

      • Neonart

        Wow. That looks good! I wish they would make the darn knobs silver too. Whats up with that!? My EP3 has silver knobs.

        • Charlie

          That silver looks soooooo good,

          But notice the dent on the HUMP …. already??? :x

          • MJr

            There IS NO DENT !

        • MJr

          Indeed, that really killed it for me. Plus that (in decent lighting) the High Grade chrome lenses are a different shade than the body. Two kinds of chrome, and black knobs, what a mess. Black body with a chrome lens will be less disturbing, and highlights the best part! Tho I’ll probably save up for the 17.5mm instead of any chrome lens anyway :D

          • Bob B.

            jeeeezzzzz….tough crowd!!!!! LOL!

    • > EM-5 + Voigt 17/0.95 ?? Very elegant and powerful.

      Sweet combo!

      • MJr

        Hell yes ! But how in hell am i gonna afford both !? Can’t even really get Voigtlander here, at least not retail i think. :(

        • MJr

          Man, and probably going to need the grip as well! €€€
          This’ll be one hell of a investment. :|

    • gorgeous, i bet it looks very classic on a silver body

  • Yun

    I wondering why the glass so wide for 75mm compare with 90mm . Does it mean better portrait lens ?
    I have perception , big / wide glass usually better than small one . Correct me if I’m wrong on this one !

  • Baha

    im telling you guys this camera will be good, seriously, it will be that good :)

  • Redkite

    Looks like a great camera but I’m still going to wait for the GH3.

    • we are in 2, the worst is not knowing how to wait

  • JF

    1) 33% more dynamic range than EP3 curiously corresponds to G3/GX1 dynamic range (10.12 Ev + log(1.33)/log(2) = 10.53 Ev)
    2) the silver 75 mm on EM-5 looks very bad, it would be so much better in black…

    • Ihateidiots

      In all likelihood, the photosites are Panasonic, but the underlying electronics are Olympus

    • MGuarini

      I have a silver Leica M4 and a black Leica M6 with 2 silver lenses and 4 black lenses. To tell the true, I never even thought about which camera looks better with which lens, I just use them to take pictures.

      • Narretz

        You must be insane.

  • Miroslav

    So the hump is not empty after all :) .

    • MJr


      • Bob B.

        Some people like empty humps.

        • Mr. Reeee

          Empty hump or dry hump?
          You decide! ;-)

    • Not only air. ;-)
      And we will not see five axises IBIS in a Pen also.

      • Atle

        Why won’t we se 5-axis IBIS in pen? The sensors doesn’t have to be in a hump.

        • BLI

          Probably it will be difficult to fit both the new IBIS and the EVF in the PEN — without introducing a hump.

          • I doubt they’d put an EVF in a PEN now they have the OM-D line?

            In the DSLR Mag article it said the 5-axis IBIS sensors have to be ‘on axis’ with the image sensor, so it does seem to limit the prospects for finding this in a PEN too.

            • Russ

              If the competition starts to release similar cameras with built in EVFs, then Olympus will do so as well. The OM-D line will still have other features (like weather sealing) to distinguish it from the Pen series.

        • Miroslav

          Yeah, they’ll make a special curved LCD for E-P5 and put sensors in the hump behind imaging sensor ;). Or maybe they’ll dare to make a larger grip and put sensors in it. You never know :).

        • Five axises IBIS need more room and also good place for IS sensors, but the is third type Pen no, so we will maybe look a new E-Mxx so also have the new five axises IBIS in body .

  • The noise reduction really kills those sample photos. The same thing has been going on in all photos so far that I have seen.

    Hopefully future raw-samples will show something better than what we are seeing now.

    • Christian

      Agree, the samples look like crap, not comparable to what we are used to see from the pen cameras for example. I have no idea why somebody posts shitty photos like this. Are they maybe just upscaled versions of originally downscaled photos?

  • Humbug

    Has anyone heard any more “optimistic” release dates for the 75mm than the Olympus news release mentioning “by the end of the year” during the initial EM-5 announcement.
    Hoping that it’s sooner rather than later as I’m holding off buying the 45mm Oly unless “end of this year” means December.

  • Pei

    33% improved dynamic range = 0.4 stops?
    40% faster than 1DX and D4 but lens motor cannot keep up.

    I’ll wait for the full review by DP. How those number come about is very questionable.

  • leonedolci

    The full size sample seems to have no detail. Am I the only one?

    • Pete

      No detail? there must be something wrong with your computer, load it again. I can see very fine details, good so far…

    • No, you are not the only one. I just commented above about this. I don’t remember when I have seen so poor quality samples before.

      Or well actually the Fuji samples have also shown some very poor details and heavy noise reduction. But like I said before, I guess that the raw (hopefully) will show a bit better performance.

  • 43shot

    Nothing new here. Same samples and same claims.

  • Fish

    This looks like a great release for Olympus, well done!

    I am going to try to have some self control and not buy the E-M5 this year… but I WILL buy both of the new lenses. It’s a pitty that they werent ready for release with the camera.

  • st3v4nt

    Looks like none of the site, person and magazine have production version of OM-D in their hand yet, so no actual test can be perform. I bet they all sign the NDA not to write about OM-D performance based on pre-production version. That’s way most of it note that the pre-production OM-D still have fw version 0.9 hence not giving out the real performance let’s hope it’s not turn out to be disappointment.

  • Camaman

    Hahaha! Funny thing is that this is the truck everybody were guessing about at CES!
    Questioning what was going on inside it.
    I remember most said it is Nikon and D800! :-D Loool! :-)

  • I heard about Olympus UK offering a OM-d & HLD-6 bundle, but can’t find it on their site or even the Jessops site. Does anyone how to proceed to apply for such bundle? Otherwise i will mail one of the mentioned sites about this.

    • Yesterday I sent a mail to Olympus asking if there are plans to do such an offer for Switzerland. Still waiting for an answer…

      • I just wonder if Olympus Uk does offer such bundle, would it apply for foreign orders too?

      • ShatteredSky

        I’d rather go with the 43 to m43 adapter. It is finally online on


  • Olympus E-M5 – a beauty – professional concept video on

    • Pure pr0n. (Oddly enough, my Mac doesn’t claim that “pr0n” is misspelled ;-) ).

    • Michael Devitt

      The ending of the video is epic, a fast continuous shutter sound disappearing in the echo…

      • Neonart

        Looks/sounds like some doomsday action movie trailer.

        I can just hear it: [Deep scratchy voice] It’s the year 2012 and humanity is at the brink of peril. Only one camera can survive what’s called in Mayan prophecy “el final del calendario, guey”!!!

        OM-D…..The beginning of the new…. In theaters April 2012.

  • andy

    You know, now that I see the motion sensors are located in that “pentaprism” hump, I feel a lot better with it.

  • thereader

    How does viewfinder affect picture corner sharpness and vingnetting. Absolutely independant of each other.

    • I suspect that they don’t have a supplier for a screen of the same size that has higher resolution, the implication being that to get more pixels in the finder, it would have to be bigger, and the auxiliary optics would be unable to display it correctly unless they got bigger, making the hump even larger.

  • Matt

    It´s looking better and better. I´m looking to upgrade my camera to a more “serious” system for travel and landscapes and with this and the Fuji X-Pro 1 coming out it´s going to be a tough decision with their respective pros and cons. I love the idea of the hybrid viewfinder of the Fuji (I´ve used both RF and SLRs so the idea of being to combine framelines and TTL viewing for different applications sounds great if well implemented…) but with so many great new m43 lenses….I guess I´ll just have to wait for reviews.

    Personally I quite like the hump.

  • OM go PRO!

    Tripod mount is offset from the lens axis!

    No one out there shooting panos on a tripod?

    Is this cam for real pros?

    Don’t think so!

    • Nikku

      Get a better tripod head.

    • DR

      Anyone taking Panos seriously will be using an effective pano head that will correct for the nodal point (entrance pupil) of the lens. These setups have no problem dealing with an offset tripod mount, and in many cases use a custom, camera specific ‘L-Bracket’ (look at, on the camera to allow easy orientation changes.

      So, in short: An absolute non-issue. :)

    • OM go PRO!

      Consider that you have extra charges to attempt these ‘improvements’. Bulk and weight will increase, too!

      1) Tripod mount offset accessories = 100 USD (minimum)

      2) Better grip (HLD-6) = 300 USD (for moderate 650 shots with a second battery)

      Finally, you have to pay for your upgraded OM-D 1600 USD!

      For all that money you can get e.g. a Canon EOS 60D (900 USD) or a Canon EOS 7D (1400 USD). Bulk and weight will be comparable with the upgraded OM-D.

      A DSLR has (1) well-placed tripod mount, (2) molded grip and (3) offers at least 1000 shots with only one (!) battery. Finder magnification will be better, too!

      Think twice!

      • DR

        1. Yes, you do need an L-Bracket. Most people using Tripods regularly eventually go for these. $120USD in reality. For Panos with proper Pano brackets, an L bracket is almost a necessity, and the price of the assembled Pano brackets etc will run to significant $ compared to the cost of the camera. L-Bracket is just the start.

        2. Better grip. Not needed for Panos.

        OM go PRO, these are specious and strawman arguments you make.

        A Pro buys his tools on function and necessity, not price. Your argument describes clearly your bias. If a Pro decided OM-D was to be his Pano camera, price would not be the deciding factor.

  • pete

    Is it just me but the sky in the picture is noisy and with artifacts.

  • What’s wrong with Jpeg compression on image samples???? oO
    Particularly de-focused midtones on the clock sample and the sky or snow in a shadow. Or is it so noisy? I mean .. this is ISO 200 right?

    • Still preproduction camera and firmware… We have to wait 3, 4 weeks for serious tests :-(

  • Berbu

    A few Japanese sites confirmed that the sensor is NOT from Panasonic. Then who? No one knows yet. There is no official announcement, and will never be. Olympus has never officially disclosed the maker of their sensors before.

  • Chap

    what’s that? Prices in Euro are the same as in Dollar??? wtf

    • jedperkins

      I think the Euro prices include a very substantial VAT, while the US prices do not include tax. At current exchange rates I think that makes the prices in Europe maybe 5% higher if you take tax out of the equation. Of course in the US we can generally buy tax free on line so long as you order from outside your State.

  • Now you can preorder the kamera at Foto Koch, a great shop in Düsseldorf.

    But look at the UVP!!! Is it a joke?

    • thanks for the link, I will order it from them as i had good experience with them getting the GXR M module for my Ricoh

  • DR

    Here’s my bottom line.

    I like the camera. The stabilisation looks like a real advance. Happy with the focus already available, and this looks like it is improved regardless of hype. The waterproof body is neat, the side slot for the SD is about time. No problem with the hump, although I would have preferred an OM1/2 style over an OM4 style.

    If I were in the market for a u4/3 for still photography right now, I’d be hard put not to buy this one.


    A couple of things.

    I’m not convinced the sensor is going to give any significant better results over a G3/GX1. Olympus’ marketing code speak re it’s performance over the best Pen seems to indicate it’s at about G3/GX1 level. That’s as good as u4/3 gets, but that’s still not good enough for a premium camera in my book.

    Controls. Having two important controls to the right of the hump on a small body looks like a recipe for futz. Maybe it will be better in real life, remains to be seen. I’m still taken by the Fuji approach, which seems way more intuitive with aperture control on the lens, which, by the way was an OM feature, with both shutter and aperture controlled on the lens and lens mount. I’m thinking they might have capitalised on that to their advantage.

    • Berbu

      Your speculation is wrong. A Olympus tech says the sensor is significantly better than any of M4/3 cameras currently on the market, and it is confirmed by various sources. I’m pretty sure who makes the sensor, but I can’t tell you now.

      • DR


        It’s not speculation, it’s reading between the lines of Olympus Marketing speak. When Olympus talks of m4/3 cameras on the market, they are only talking about their own. This is exactly what they have done in the past when introducing new sensors.

        Samples to date don’t confirm your over-optimistic view either. Notice that I didn’t say it was the G3/GX1 sensor, I said it appeared to be no better than the G3/GX1 sensor based on claims to date. Also backed by the few images we have seen so far.

        Even if it is better than any current m4/3 camera, that is simply not the claim that I want to hear.

        I want to hear Olympus claim that the sensor is as good or better as any other sensor on the digital camera market in terms of high iso noise, Dynamic Range and resolution. They don’t make that claim, ergo: this is not a world class sensor.

        This camera should have a world class sensor. Anything else is a continuation of the ‘good enough’ philosophy we’ve had in m4/3 sensors for too long.

  • Thomas

    Well if its not Pana then:
    Sonys tech is significantly better than only 0.4 EV of DR… so no Sony sensor.
    Samsung seems not to deliver good noise performance, as its stated here.
    Fuji? Well, we all know its not.
    Canon? nope.
    so the only one left is: aptina.

    • the Kodak sensor division still exist under a new owner though

  • look at what are my questions to Olympus

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