E-M5 news roundup (grips, deals, issues and tests)


Mirrorless reviews posted that EM-5 Third Party Grip vs. Olympus HLD-6 Grip Review video

Time to catch up with a list of news I got from 43rumors readers!

First off Stefano found that amazing deal on eBay Italy (Click here). It’s the first E-M5 with 15mm lens kit and sold for 829 Euro (sadly it ships to Italy only). Weird to see that in Italy and France the price for the E-m5 is much lower! Just check them on Slidoo eBay (it’s our little new website so feel free to login and use it).
If you want to try to get the E-m5 for cheaper than the normal price you may check the refurbished auctions on Olympusmarket (Click here). They ahve eight of them on auction!

A Weekend of Extended Use With the Fujifilm X Pro 1 and Olympus OMD EM5 (ThePhoBlographer).
Shooting the SF Auto Show with the Olympus OM-D (TheDigitalStory).
Zelko:I thought you might want to know, that the OM-D has become “an important EVIL camera for underwater use.” as said in this (http://wetpixel.com/i.php/full/using-the-olympus-om-d-e-m5-underwater/) article. Wetpixel is a serious website dedicated to u/w photography by professional photographers. Actually the writer Alex Mustard is a very well known one.

Anonymous:this is not a rumor but a kind request to evaulate the opportunity to highlight a recent discovered E-M5 manufacturing/design weakness:
there are a lot of confirmations that the LCD bezel develops crack near the bottom fixing screws. This should not to be considered a trivial cosmetic-only issue, the crack, growing up, could easily compromise the weather sealing and will lower the price of an used body when sold. Please, for further details see here: http://www.mu-43.com/f42/omd-em5-crack-bottom-bezel-screen-normal-36685/index2.html  and here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/50330633. Your support could greatly help to put some pressure to Olympus in order to officially acknowlegde the issue.

Some more readers mails:
Robert:I just wanted to let you know that one of the biggest Swiss electronics dealers (www.digitec.ch) currently offers a 10% discount on all Olympus products. The offer is valid until 3rd December 2012. Unfortunately, they only ship to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, but still the discount is nice. Have just ordered an OM-D Kit with the 12-50mm zoom.
Pierre:Like other sites, you missel the BEST deal available for Olympus OMD: 1049.99$ WITH 12-50 mm. A 249.99$ rebate! Link: http://www.henrys.com/68950-OLYMPUS-OM-D-E-M5-BLACK-W-12-50-LENS.aspx


E-M5 order links:
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, Jessops, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Amazon France, Amazon Japan and Digitalrev.

E-M5 Case:
There is the official CS-36FBC Olympus case. A leather half case from Hong Kong. A full leather case with strap from Cina. Than we have half cases from two well known producers, Zelenpol, Kaza and Gariz.

E-M5 Batteries, and other things:
The Olympus GS-4 strap and the DSTE E-M5 batteries you have to use with an extra charger. There is an E-M5 car charger a new E-M5 LCD screen and a Front Cover+ Top Panel.

  • I’m would like to hear more people’s experiences with the third party grips, I’m looking to buy the really right stuff grip:


    What’s the consensus?

    • ckmaui

      no direct experience with that grip but I have lots of RRS products for my FF gear and they are top notch stuff !!!

      for me I chose the regular one cause of the extra battery and the better handling of the shutter button

      but if I was to buy a 3rd party style it would be the RRS for sure !!

    • Thanks!

    • Steve Rounds

      I’ve been using the ReallyRightStuff grip in China on my E-M5, and it’s fantastic. There’s a guy in New York who came out with the first one, but I got the RRS grip for one VERY important reason. Take a look at the top-down view of all of the grips…the RRS grip is the only one with an UNDERCUT on the grip. This gives the RRS grip a much more secure feel than the others. I move pretty fast, with my neck strap often removed. That undercut gives a much more secure grip. The Olympus grip makes the whole package much too bulky.

      Note: DON’T order the side plate unless you have an RRS tripod. The 10/24 screw-hole in the base plate edge, which is used to mount the side plate, works just fine for side-mounting the camera on sticks for a vertical shot with my Manfrotto, Libec and O’Conner heads.

  • Burnhard

    Love the leather case.. ;) gonna order!

  • Phil

    yes I have the same problems, tere are two crack near the bottom!!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Amalric has 1 crack at the bottom. He can show all of you later in pictures.

  • Daf46

    Yep mine has the crack to.
    I had a C-7070 that has the same kind of cracks for years, they never got problematic, so I’m not that worried

  • Said news this crack in the bezel I am going to buy an OMD today :/

  • tomas

    whats so different in Italy than in other EU that they give such good deals ?
    is it VAT or ?

    • Very low demand may be driving down prices.

    • Anonymous

      Crapy salaries?

      • tomas

        then in my country is should cost around 500eur :-)

    • Anonymous

      Wholesale price for OM-D + 12-50 lens kit is around 1000 euros. These Italian sites are just giving a better deal due to low demand, most likely.

  • My E-M5 is 2nd time in repair, since 4 weeks (!) now, because of a defect image stabilization…

    • wow, but that with the cracked frame of the screen sounds very bad, especially if so many people have this problem… would never accept something like that even if the cam would cost much less… first thing that I will check when my cam comes back.

    • Sorry to hear that….it seems quite alot of OM-D bodies suffer from malfunctioning IBIS…I hope its just from one batch….well good luck with the repairs.

      • wikileaks

        Matthias, sorry to hear that.
        I had an OMD showing horrible streaks all over the Picture which were changing depending on camera orientation (hinting at the connections to the sensor) and I found several people reporting the exact same thing. What was it with yours?

        • Thank you two… The is of my cam works very bad at 100mm and above, most pics are unsharp and blurred, also at times where no is would be needed. With anti shock at 1/8 results are much more better, but then it’s to slow for moving objects. So probably the problem has something to do with the shutter.

          And at other zoom ranges the is of my E-M5 works not better then the is of my E-PL2, also very strange, after all tests I’ve read it should be better.

          I will see how it is when my cam is back, I hope better. Otherwise it was the last thing I’ve buyed from Olympus.

  • wikileaks

    While I am happy to report that my black OMD does not have the mentioned crack (it is a replacement for a silver one that failed after 6 weeks of use!!) I am reminded of a very similar issue I had with my E-3 that was also reported as a common built quality flaw. Pretty much the same thing. The plastic housing of the flippy LCD broke open (!) at the position of one metal screw. BIG boo to Olympus for having the issue twice!!

    • bart

      Yes, that E-3 issue is quite common. It is a design fault, not just a simple QA issue. It is so common in fact that I took preventive action when I obtained the E-3 I have now. Remove the 2 screws that cause the problem, very carefully open the frame slightly, apply a very tiny bit of high-grade glue at strategic points, close the frame again, and put the screws back in place. The trick here is to reduce the load on those 2 screws, while not increasing the load on other parts of the frame too much.

  • Bobafett

    Hoi Robert! Merci füre Tipp bi digitec.ch. I’m gonna get a silver kit for CHF 1090.- on this weekend! Hope i’m not too late :)

  • Pedro del Río

    Thanks for the information Robert. Je viens d’ordinare l’obiettivo Olympus 12mm und die Gegenlichtblende pour l’Oly 45mm.

  • Terry

    The link to ThePhoBlographer has a warning that it is NSFW, but only after you have clicked on it! It would have been nice to know before hand!!

    • I always click on links that come with a warning!

  • Scott

    I actually had the lines going thru my pictures and didnt think anything about it until I bought a second em5 and it didnt have the lines. I just got it back from Olympus good as new and the new 1.5 vs is much better on the battery life :-)

    The grip review was so biased, he said he didnt need the batter holder so it was a waste of money but I do need the extra battery

  • mring1

    I thought the review interesting. I was watching to see how his hands fit on the $40 grip, and it honestly doens’t look all that great. The RRS grip has an indentation and appears a lot more ergonomic. I was considering the JB grip simply because it’s $40, but I don’t think it improves the grip all that much. The “naked” E-M5 actually works pretty well for me with the 12-50, so I’ll just keep on saving for the RRS grip and baseplate.

  • Anonymous

    WHUT? The mighty OMD has a design flaw? Oh NOES!!

    • bart

      The display issue seems more like a quality issue to me, but I didn’t take apart an E-M5 display yet, so it might also be a design flaw (as it is with the E-3).

      There are actually a number of common QA issues, one of which is somewhat interesting.
      – paint pealing off (seems fixed or at least less of an issue with more recently produced cameras)
      – IBIS misbehaving. I currently have an E-M5 where IBIS goes totally nuts whenever focal length is exactly 300mm (either set in the IS panel, or due to zooming to 300mm).
      – sensor connections seemingly failing or being subject to heavy interference.
      – de-lamination of layers of the sensor causing excessive chroma noise and stuck pixels, sometimes limited to a small area, but at times covering the most or the entire sensor. This especially shows at ISO 800 and up as a sort of yellowish patina that seems to cover parts the image as if someone had been covering it with a bit of ‘ear wax’, and lower intensity (then the yellow patina) greenish and red discoloring of darker areas of the picture.

      The de-lamination issue is interesting because the exact same issue with the exact same way of manifesting itself also occurred with some early production models of the Nikon D800. This seems to be a QA issue at the sensor plant and does suggest both the E-M5 and D800 use sensors that are very closely related with regards to production process. This issue seems solved now, but was not uncommon with early production models.

      Are those issues very common? From what I can tell no, but they most definitely are there.

      For what its worth, every consumer product has some QA issues, especially shortly after introduction. The question is usually not if issues exist, but how often they occur and how they are being dealt with when they occur.

      The local shops I have a lot of contact with report that Olympus fixes the issues without making any fuzz, often just replacing the camera. They do complain about the turnaround times for those repairs however. Also, they report that it is a relatively small fraction of the cameras that seems affected, not much different from cameras from other brands.

      • bart

        Hmm, on close inspection of the display bezel, I’m now convinced this is a design issue. The way the holes for the screws are constructed causes a weak spot.

        My E-M5 does not suffer from any fracturing there, but that is probably because 1. I don’t use the tilt feature much, and 2. when I do, I use the profiled bits of the display for changing its position. Those places are made a bit stronger then the rest of the bezel to support a bit more strain.

        Regardless, the construction seems at fault here.

        • @bart — I’m not so sure it’s a design (vs. workmanship) issue. At least, I use the tilt mechanism a *lot* with my black E-M5, and it’s got no cracks in its LCD bezel.

          • bart

            Hmm, the placement of the screw holes does cause weak spots at the bottom of the bezel. If you use the display a lot, but only use the top and left side for opening/closing it as you are supposed to, then this probably won’t be a problem.

            • Good point — I give the screen a workout, but always grab it by the left corners.

  • Luke

    the link to the deal at Henry’s is only $100 off……not $249 off as suggested.

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