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(FT5) The E-M5 from the new 12-40mm bundle is an “elite” version with new texture.


E-M1 vs E-M5 vs E-M10 image comparison done by DicaHub.

Yesterday we learned that Olympus will offer an E-M5 and 12-40mm lens bundle. But that E-M5 has at least one small difference over the current E-M5. This is an “elite” version that has a new texture on the body (might be the same E-M10 texture you see on the image on top). But the camera specs are exactly the same. It’s just an esthetic change!

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Rumors classification explained (FT= FourThirds):
FT1=1-20% chance the rumor is correct
FT2=21-40% chance the rumor is correct
FT3=41-60% chance the rumor is correct
FT4=61-80% chance the rumor is correct
FT5=81-99% chance the rumor is correct

  • n_plt

    Pity about the specs being the same… Is there any word on firmware updates? PAL support & focus peaking would be amazing, but I’m not feeling too hopeful.

    • Hubertus Bigend

      That will indeed be interesting to find out. Not to retrofit the existing E-M5 with those software features is already a bad thing as it is and will stay a bad thing regardless of what a new edition will look like, but to introduce a new E-M5 with the same old firmware would be outright ridiculous.

      • Froggy

        As I understand it, it’s not a new E-M5, but a special edition with restyling (maybe they also fixed some material parts like buttons, EVF eyecap…).

        The new E-M5 (or its sucessor) is rumored to be annouced in september…

      • yaa

        Ok, so where is your written promise from Olympus about adding those things?

        Bad? Well, it would certainly be very good if they could add those things, but that is also where the first issue comes, does the E-M5 hardware properly support this, and what is the actual cost of implementing and testing those things if the hardware does support it. Since you simply cannot know those things unless you happen to work at Olympus R&D, calling it ‘bad’ is mostly a sign of you not having the slightest clue what you are talking about.

        As owner of 2 E-M5s and an E-M1, I’d most certainly appreciate an update with PAL video to both, but I KNEW THIS WAS NOT THERE WHEN BUYING IT, AND COULD MAKE MY BUYING DECISION BASED ON THAT, and that applies in exactly the same way to each and every person buying/having bought the E-M5.

    • KI

      I guess the E-M10 will have focuspeaking as it has the same True Pic VII processor as the E-M1.

      PAL ….. would also be nice yeah…

  • Froggy

    No info on the price? It would be interesting to see where this new kit sits between E-M10+14-42, E-M5+12-50 and E-M1+12-40…

  • Out of ideas, like Canon. While Nikon and Sony continue technological development.

    • Rchard

      So where is the technological development from Nikon? Df, D610?

      • Gabriel

        I think he means that it need more misleading dials on top, like the DF :D

    • jeff

      Hey douche your fanboi is showing

  • Steven

    Does this mean the price of the 12-40 by itself is going to come down in any significant way? I have been eyeing this lens for a while now but in New Zealand it is still the price it was when it first came out.

    • @Stephen: the lens was about $US200 cheaper as part of the E-M1 kit, so I would expect that to be the case with the E-M5 kit as well. I doubt the lens will be discounted anytime as a standalone item. Give it another year or so!

  • Olympus is obviously worried the E-M5 will have trouble pulling the cart forward through the last stretch of its life cycle. The E-M10 must be a bit underwhelming in some ways (it won’t be targeted at the same demographic, but still) so its older brother is getting a refreshed skin and a really nice kit option in order to make it more of a modern classic. I fully expect a new firmware version that will equip it with one or two of Oly’s newer features, but being familiar with Olympus only the modified E-M5 will receive it.

    • duartix

      I don’t care shot for weather sealing…
      If the OM-10 was about 200$/€ cheaper than the E-M5 and had decent video to boot I would consider getting one instead of a GX7.
      But electronic shutter is too good to pass on. I like to shoot discrete, I have extreme teles and like to do timelapses, otherwise I’d get an OM-10.

  • AustrianGeek

    My hopes:

    1.) PAL (25P) mode
    2.) Focus peaking AND
    3.) An “usable” electronic shutter.
    (Or at least a VERY silent shutter.)

    That would be GREAT!

    • Agreed, 24fps for video and a mic jack would be very handy too.

  • MMF user

    If it’s just texture, then it looks like it is the same grip material as the silver e-m5 just now on the black body. I wouldn’t hold my breath for a firmware update. What’s wrong with the workaround e-m5 focus peaking btw (toggable assigned to myset and FN1, not the one where you have to throw away the JPG and keep the RAW)? Works a like a charm even with super shallow dof lenses.

    • Ross

      Ha, ha!. I didn’t see you had the same idea. :D

    • imran

      Umm because some of us shoot in manual making the workaround impossible

      • MMF user

        How does shooting in manual make the workaround impossible? I just checked mine, mode dial in M workaround still works when myset is assigned to be toggled on the FN1 button.

        In either A or M, and hitting FN1 set to the myset with the keyline filter in mode II brings up the cartoonish look with the dark black lines, focus, release FN1, shoot.

        I’m using manual lenses too so A or M makes no difference for those(an OM 50 1.4 and the voigt 25 0.95), and the rest of my lenses are all 4/3 so I manually focus all of them. If this workaround didn’t work I’d be royally PO’d. Re-check how to set the workaround I can assure you it works in M for both electronically coupled and completely manual lenses.

  • Ross

    “This is an “elite” version that has a new texture on the body (might be the same E-M10 texture you see on the image on top).”

    I would hardly call something ‘elite’ if it had the same body texture as the entry level (or consumer level) OM-D. Maybe if it had the silver version E-M5’s leather look on a black body, then it wouldn’t cost them anything to change in production, just swapping covers. ;)

    • Bob B.

      I like the original black texture on the EM5 just the way it is…quite unique!

  • At least it doesn’t sound like they’ll charge $200 or $300 extra for the “elite” E-M5, the way they did when they briefly offered black 12mm lenses for sale.

  • Do

    No, you just have to buy a thousand dollar lens together with it

  • ArtP

    OK, so they are just reskinning it? Wonder how much extra this ‘elite’ (limited edition?) will cost? Maybe they’ll just drop the bundle discount?
    On the other hand, If not priced over the regular camera, and w a discount on the lens, we might see a few 12-40s on the block at reduced price?

  • Berneck

    I was never a big fan of “special” versions of the same thing; it just adds to the confusion. I guess I sort of get the logic behind it, but I’d be surprised if it stimulated much if anything in the way of sales. This camera is a little on the “old” side as far as technology is concerned.

    It bugs me a little to think that this is where Olympus is focusing their resources. These things take time and money to implement. That is resources that could go to improving the next generations, or at a minimum used to improve firmware, etc. The idea is to focus on keeping the customer as happy as possible. Putting a new skin on the E-M5 isn’t going to make anybody happy. And, if you want to offer a deal on the 12-40 with the purchase of the E-M5, then do it. Why go through the trouble of building kits?

    I don’t know, just seems like a lot of work for nothing…..

    • Ross

      “These things take time and money to implement.”

      If they are using the (black leather looking) skin pieces from the silver E-M5 & are fitting them to a black body, how is that taking money & resources? That would be just utilising existing product components on their production line to give a different looking version of the black E-M5 (or a different skin wouldn’t be that much in time & money to add), put that together in a kit with the 12-40 lens at a combined kit price & there’s your ‘Elite’ version. That will tie them over till a replacement E-M5 can come out (in September). The attraction will be for that lens & the ‘elite’ (slightly different) E-M5 body will be a body to use that lens on at a cheaper price than with the E-M1.

      • I agree, this is probably a minor time/cost issue. They have well paid people whose job it is to maintain good profit margins and think up good strategies, so I’m sure these products are thought through. It’s a minor refresh of a very popular camera.

  • mike

    I agree, no one cares about a new leatherette texture.

    The E-M5 is still a great camera but 2 years on it needs a few minor updates, namely wifi, focus peaking and the higher resolution EFV. That’s it. Olympus could add those features and the camera could keep going at it’s $999 price point for 2 more years. They could even follow the naming of the original OM series by calling it E-M5n.

    It would up to date and fit perfectly between the new entry level model and the E-M1.

    • Justin

      I agree except only I am hoping that the we get those updates along with a killer video codec and proper video features. I’ll wait for the fall for that.

    • jim

      Focus peaking and good vide options are all the EM 5 needs to be a boss!

      • Yes, that’s why I asked Admin if a FW updated was due, but he deleted. Why?

        OTH I am not even sure that Wi Fi helps with transferring heavy files, so it is probably overrated, working mostly as tethering.

        E-M5 could still be attractive, if updated.

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