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New E-M5 review at Digitalrev!


Kai from Digitalrev made that E-M5 review. As usual take it easy, he has his own (in my opinion nice) way to make reviews. Enjoy!

P.S.: meantime more and more US/Europe readers are sending me info saying their E-M5 will ship next week. Let me know when your test pictures are online! Thanks!

Black E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), J&R (Click here), Henrys (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), J&R (Click here), Henrys (Click here).
Black E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), J&R (Click here), Henrys (Click here).
Silver E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), J&R (Click here), Henrys (Click here).
Black E-M5 with 14-45mm lens at Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), Bhphoto (Click here), J&R (Click here), Henrys (Click here).

Black E-M5 body at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here), Jessops (Click here) and Warehouseexpress (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here), Jessops (Click here) and Warehouseexpress (Click here).
Black E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here), Jessops (Click here), eBay (Click here) and Warehouseexpress (Click here).
Silver E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Amazon DE (Click here), Amazon UK (Click here), Jessops (Click here), eBay (Click here) and Warehouseexpress (Click here).

Black E-M5 body at Digitalrev (Click here).
Silver E-M5 body at Amazon JP (Click here).
Black E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Digitalrev (Click here) and Amazon JP (Click here).
Silver E-M5 with 12-50mm lens at Amazon JP (Click here).
Black E-M5 with 14-45mm lens at Digitalrev (Click here) and Amazon JP (Click here).

OM film cameras
Here is the chronological ordered list of all OM film cameras ever made by Olympus. 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.

  • Not a very informative ‘review’

    • Berneck

      Yeah, not much to go with in that review…

      • Charlie

        Waste of time.

        • tmrgrs

          Kai is an idiot. After watching his E-PL3 ‘review’, I decided to never waste my time watching his foolishness again.

          • mahler

            So if somebody puts some grain of salt into an overhyped camera, he is an idiot? a reviewer, who cannot follow the point of retroish style, has no brain?

            His video review is up to the point of what a video review can be. Much better than this unfamous “unpacking something” reviews on home desks. And opposed to most other reviewers, he puts some humor to it.

            The OMD is as perfect as a m4/3 camera can be, technically. Ergonomically it is a camera full of concerns.

          • MichaelKJ

            He’s making a living doing something he enjoys. Sounds to me like an “idiot” laughing all the way to the bank.

          • Raist

            You mean unlike Robin which writes all glowing praise for anything Olympus and even gets an E-5 freebie from Olympus. Again, nothing personal against him, he sure seems like a great guy, but far from objective source.

            For the record, I don’ think Kai is perfect. I look at points and see if they are justified well in the review and take some from there.

            • Jed

              Unlike you who obsessively stalks Olympus forums desperately trying to dampen any enthusiasm shown towards camera or brand. To quote from American Beauty “You’re one twisted f***”.

              • Raist3d

                I am sure your attempt at a personal attack makes for very valid logical support of your proposition.


                  He’s ok really.

                • Jed

                  I am sure your insanity precludes you from realising you’re views are constantly ridiculed but your broken logic based analysis fails to observe or interact with reality. Or it could just be mummy and daddy never hugged you enough.

            • On the contrary, Robin is the real and ultimate test.
              He take pictures and shows them. People use their eyes and view them.

              There is no better test.
              Lets be quite clear here.
              There is no better test.

              • Raist3d

                I think Robin’s reviews are useful and he shows the images which is nice. But I am referring specifically to his assessments. Read the review of the E-5 and then the EM5 review- one after the other. Something sounds hollow.

                Truth is as objective as some may want to portray his assessments are they aren’t. If you do what I mentioned, it should become rather obvious.

                • So you don’t believe your own eyes and need to be told what you are looking at.
                  I feel sorry for you not having a mind of your own.
                  There is so much to enjoy by looking around without being told what to look at. When I look at something I know what I see. I may not see it in the same way as others, but I can see it and then put my own evaluation on it and decide if I want to see more.

          • Nic

            Idiot? Foolishness?

            What a rude person you are.

          • 43shot

            Idiot, not at all. Seems unfounded. There are plenty of those on the web however.

        • Bob B.

          Digital Rev reviews are strictly for entertainment, purposes….LOL! After Kai’s comment about the Canon 5DIII “yes, the camera snaps to focus like flies on a freshly laid one….”
          All I can do is laugh. There are some useful bits of info thrown in…but it is more like theatre, no doubt!

        • Jim H

          Wrong! It’s a legitimate, allbeit non-technical review, the contrary of some pixel-peeping takes.

    • burnardo

      DigitalRev.ievs are never informative.. the guy just loves to be on cam, that’s it.

    • mahler

      No, it is very informative. It shows in practice the pros and odds the camera has. It shows especially the handling issues of too cramped controls (due to oversized LCD), bad position of on/off switch, issues with AF in real world, and the useless sticking to retro designs. Who really cares if a contemporary Olympus camera looks like one of their ancestors of the 70s and 80s while in reality the camera inherits nothing of them.

      Without retro design and the odd-sized LCD, the camera would clearly have better ergonomics and more dedicated controls, plus a better build-in grip. Apparently, with the cramped layout Olympus had difficulties to find a place for the on/off switch, so they positioned it at the worst place a camera designer could do it. It should have been in reach of the fore finger or thumb.

      Thus, Kai is one of the few persons, who gives finally a realistic review of the OMD. He praised the technical aspects of the camera (good IQ, good performance), but did not like several aspects of the design (retro, controls).

      I think there is nothing wrong with that. His review is more helpfull than most others I have read so far. Well balanced and fair.

      • I Agree with Mahler. A Good, informative review that demonstrated how the camera is to use, and how it lives up to the legacy that olympus have associated it with.

      • noR


      • bli

        Eh? Your “summary” of Kai’s review is mixed with your own gripes about the camera. You seem to interpret and overemphasize some of the things he mentions. Personally, I enjoy Kai’s style and find it informative. Regarding the on-off button: I can think of better places to have put it, but as a hint from Kai is the only mentioning of this in any of the many reviews I’ve read, I think it is a minor problem — if a problem at all.

        • mahler

          The OMD fans have invented a new artistry: downplaying.

          A wrong positioned on/off switch is one of the most seriously ergonomic flaws a camera can have. I can sys that from experience, because my Canon EOS cameras had the same position: bad, very bad.

          Placing the on/off switch where is belongs: near the shutter button or at least on top of the camera, makes you can operate it without changing the holding position of your camera.

          With a GH2 I can switch it on while taking the camera to the face and switching it off while taking it away. Hard to believe it is possible the same way with the OMD. We are talking here about the differences between excellent and normal. I prefer the excellent.

          • Atle

            Why? I am not saying you are wrong, but I just don’t understand why the on/off is so important? The cam goes into “sleep-mode” pretty quick, is it really important to turn it off and on all the time? I never felt it that way.

            • mahler

              Switching it off still saves more of precious battery life. I am not sure, if a camera on stand-by shuts the sensor down completely, in order to get it cool again.

              Also I found that I have cleaner sensors with my GH2 than with my former Canon 40D. One reason could be that I switch my GH2 off and on. more regularly (because of a better placed switch), so that sensor cleaning is invoked more often.

              Possible evidence: with my 40D sensor dust was more pertinent. I had dust spots staying for a long range of images. With my GH2 shootings dust spots disappeared much quicker, they were there at all. Of course a more effective sensor cleaning can be at play as well. I think it is both.

              Again, there is nothing against better layouted controls and nothing against saying so.

              • Hey wait a second…. when my GH2 goes into sleep mode I have to *turn it off and on again* to wake it from sleep so there goes your argument.

                • uberzone

                  Can’t you just half press the shutter button?

                • Agrivar

                  No. When my gh2 goes to sleep, you just need to press the shutter button gently, it will wake it from sleep! No need to switch on and off the camera. Obviously not RTFM

                  • As I only use it for video I hardly ever touch the shutter button. Thanks for this info.

              • Rutrem

                ..i own a GH2 and on/off switch of GH2 is the worst button on the camera, it feels like u can brake it anytime, i like much more a more durable and low profile switch of the O-MD

          • The Master

            Yeah, I have to agree on the on/off switch. I didn’t realize they put it down there, like the Canons. I hated that about Canon too. I think the retro body design, without a built in grip is great, so if you want a grip, add it later and for those that don’t want one, they are not stuck with one. I could use a smaller high res LCD too, if that meant buttons were not always getting pushed when I didn’t want them too. Panasonic could listen to that suggestion as well, as I find I’m constantly hitting the LCD mode button with my thumb on the GH2

            • Achiinto

              Isn’t the design of the OM-D button came from the Olympus E-3 weather sealed camera?? It closely resemble my E-3. Maybe this hasa design reason related to weather sealing. And was there anyone complain about the on/off button on tr E-3 and E-5?

            • Achiinto

              Isn’t the design of the OM-D button came from the Olympus E-3 weather sealed camera?? It closely resemble my E-3. Maybe this hasa design reason related to weather sealing. And was there anyone complain about the on/off button on tr E-3 and E-5?.

          • The Real Stig

            Have you ever considered the problem might lie with ‘you’.?


            • RAS

              Yes. Curse those average human hands. Why couldn’t they have been better designed to match the E-M5’s ergonomics?

            • The Master

              You know, that thought never occurred to me. Maybe I should just lop the end of my thumb off and problem solved, huh? People that just buy cameras, so they can admire them, sitting there on the shelf, with the rest of the crap they buy but never use, always seem to be experts on the theory of use, and they never have problems with things, because they never hold the damn things for more than a moment. Try using a camera everyday for hours on end, sometime and you might suddenly discover some things you didn’t notice before. Sporting a camera around your neck on weekends, to impress your friends, really doesn’t qualify you as having a valid opinion on it. Wink Wink. ;)

              • The Real Stig

                Assuming much?


              • The things I use all the time I have no problem with, even if quirky or ‘different’ the use of them gives familiarity. However the truly ergonomic things that are ‘made to be perfect’ or ‘intuitive’ that I don’t use very often I frequently find to be difficult, irritating, irrational in layout/design and the product of the Devil himself/herself.

                • I’m sorry, I’m not buying that. I have a GH2, and I keep on pressing the damned buttons while holding it – it is my only camera that has that problem (I have an x100, an EOS 7D, a GF1 and a s95 as well). So, I can clearly see how having cramped buttons on the OM-D could be a headache…

          • 43shot

            I agree and now after thinking about this and a few other points I may cancel my pre-order. I also realized that I always leave my GF-1 on and as soon as I pick it up and press the shutter it comes on, I can leave it like that for months and months. I suspect that if you leave the EM-5 on is will hum and burn up the battery or eventually shut off. I hope there is a user defined stand-by feature or that would really be stupid. In addition the button placements do seem poor and over done. I don’t want a grip as I bought into this system for size, not to add pieces because of poor ergonomics.

            • Don’t forget they made the lens from a Sapporo bottle bottom and you might get the one that still has beer left in it. Best avoid it all.

          • Panda9

            > A wrong positioned on/off switch is one of the most seriously ergonomic flaws a camera can have. I can sys that from experience, because my Canon EOS cameras had the same position: bad, very bad.

            > Placing the on/off switch where is belongs: near the shutter button or at least on top of the camera, makes you can operate it without changing the holding position of your camera.

            I’ve had several Olympus 4/3 cameras with similar on/off switches and I have no trouble getting to them with my thumb reaching down. I’m not disputing that you think it is “bad, very, bad” for you, but it isn’t for me, so I’m not sure it can be considered a generically bad flaw for everyone.

            Probably not coincidentally, the Olympus 4/3 cameras with this kind of switch are all weather-sealed (E-3, E-5), while their non-weather-sealed bodies have different switches.

            This may be like the spongy-buttons — a compromise needed to offer a low-priced weather-sealed body. It may simply be a matter of it either costing too much or being too complicated (and unreliable) to offer a weather-sealed ring-based on/off switch.

            • E-30 has same switch, not sealed, but switch is no problem.

      • Will

        Mahler you’re as bad as those overly praising it, you’re twisting the review to fit your negative view of the camera.

        I watch every DigitalRev review, I’m hoping they do more reviews featuring the OM-D, I don’t think this was as informative as their usual reviews, it came across as Kai being just plain tired, he mentioned a few things and I myself agree that the screen could have been a bit smaller and the buttons shifted out of accidentally hitting range (problem on the EP series also) but overall I got a very neutral, not overly opinionated feeling Kai had of the camera, he only scraped the surface of the camera really, though you can never expect anything from a DigitalRev review. Issues with the AF in real world? you’re really pushing it there, he praises the AF if you actually listen, no one can fault the AF come on, it’s the best AFing mirrorless camera out there.

        I’m hoping against odds the OMD features again and this time with the landscape grip, I think this looks to improve handling a lot. I also think while Olympus may have thought using the “retro” OM style might sell a few more cameras through nostalgia, they also were sticking with what they knew worked, I think it’s a nice design, it doesn’t appear retro to me but then I never used an OM before, and as Kai mentions, as long as you don’t expect it to act like the old OMs, it’s a good camera.

        • MJr


        • mahler

          I had the impression that he said that the AF quite often did not hit the intended target. And I also think that he does not lake the retor design much and sees no point in it (even things that the original OM design was better). He compares the OMD design with example of retro Hongkong architecture, which has no point either. A very good comparison.

          I don’t know if retro brings additional customers vs. not optimally placed controls.

          • BLI

            In this respect, we do have the same impression of Kai’s video: the thing about attempting to copy something and not quite getting it occupied a significant part of his review — e.g in the street of a film of old, where he thought a new building was out of style. On the importance of retro feeling and whether the OM-D has “soul” or not.

            To me, this retro fixation is mainly sentimentalism — and perhaps it can sell cameras to a few. But to sell many cameras, the OM-D needs its own merits.

            Personally, I would have preferred the OM-D more like the PEN — not because the PEN is retro, but because I find the brick shape efficient, with less chance of getting entangled, etc. But I accept the argument og the IBIS needing space, etc. Fancy architects have attempted to come up with new building styles with corners that are not angled at 90 degrees, etc. I say: stick to the well-proven; that is not necessarily retro.

            My point? This part of Kai’s review is not a review in the classical sense, but voicing his opinion. There is nothing wrong with that, but it has very little to do with the quality of the camera. In fact, many new buildings, weather copies/retro or not are far superior to the original. It remains to be seen what the OMD will be like.

          • pingflood

            Actually, what he did was set it to auto focus point selection and then pointed out that when in that mode it would sometimes pick the wrong area to focus on. That goes for most any camera, so not sure why people are concerned about that.

        • WT21

          spot on.

          The most I got from Kai’s review is he prefers OVFs

        • pomo vs decon

          I liked the deft use of french deconstructivist theory to disarm the pixel peepers when he then snidely warns them that they will ejaculate in their trousers when the old 28mm OM lens turns into a 56mm on the new pretend-to-be-old OMD. Plus the jab at the Hong Kong government for ripping down an equivalent penn station and building an equivalent madison square garden in their harbor for all those extra shops demonstrates the inherent freedoms to criticize the government still seemingly present that will similarly dangle around your necks like museum pieces any day now. Ohhhhh Mao in the butcher shop!

          Oh never mind, go hit up your amazon link already.

          • WT21


        • Panda9

          Assuming the E-M5’s sleep mode acts like my E-5 and all other 4/3 bodies, it will have two levels of sleep. At the first level you can activate it with a touch of a shutter button. If you leave it in sleep mode long enough, it essentially shuts down and you have to shut it off and back on again.

          I have often completely forgotten to shut off my Olympus cameras and weeks later found no battery drain from when I left it.

          • 43shot

            On my GF-1 I leave it on always. The shutter turns it on and I let it sleep after with no battery issues. I don’t want to have to turn my camera on and off again after sleep. The thumb issue has been pointed out by reviewers before and it seems insane to have such average ergonomics. I have a sad feeling that I may use this camera for a few months and appreciate some of it’s great features but really dislike it for others. I still don’t get how the video is such a dark secret on this camera and I think Panasonic will take steps to make sure it does not get a hack to make it better. If Cannon can offer 1080P 24 on a tiny point and shoot why can’t it be on this camera? Perhaps there is some agreement not to do this in exchange for access to a certain sensor or something. It just seems illogical.

            This review is good as all reviews are mean to be different or we only would need one:)

        • Ernest.orf

          +10000000000 and more 100000000000000

      • Mr. Reeee

        It’s certainly an even-handed review.

        • Brod1er

          I agree. The review was more useful than I expected. I don’t think Kai aims to be fully objective (nothing is, deal with it). He did raise several useful facts not mentioned in the hype (on/off, AF, mushy ISO6400, soggy buttons) and expressed his view of the value of retro. I found that helpful.

      • +1
        …I still hope mine arrives this week though!

      • @mahler
        I don’t find the controls over cramped (and I use a lot more controls than most photographers and I gave it a through workout), the position of the on/off switch is fine, it is in reach of my thumb and doesn’t get in the way of shooting.

        Kai didn’t/doesn’t take control of AutoFocus on any review and you can’t expect a camera to read your mind.

        Olympus didn’t say it would inherit anything functional from the original O-MD.

        I do have a couple of minor gripes about the E-M5 but no one else has pointed them out and probably doesn’t affect most photographers, so I’ll keep them to myself.

        You are not in the demographic that Olympus is targeting with the O-MD E-M5 anyway

      • this review for the om d wasnt that bad.

        but… you people need to stop looking at Kai as some Camera God! he is simply a camera enthusiast and an above average photographer at best! THATS IT!

        keeping that in mind… his reviews are fine. Do not let digitalrev be the final voice on any of your buying decisions. please. Their reviews are purposefully nonsensical. think of their videos as more of a joke, rather than an actual review. that being said, i enjoy watching them.

    • Franky S

      One of the very few reviews done by someone out in the field actually using the camera like one would in real life.

      Which makes it exceedingly relevant.

  • Lewis Black

    Kai has his own completely useless way of making reviews in my opinion lol

    • No Kai is great, he show us who camera is in use.

      • m

        I agree, I like his reviews. If you want to read specs, go elsewhere. If you want to see a person use and talk about a camera watch DigitalRev.

        • MJr

          Yes, yes, we’ve heard that plenty of times. But we’re talking about THIS ‘review’. It was quite disappointing for such a highly anticipated camera. There’s just so much more to the OMD than he made it out to be. It’s not just a PEN with EVF in retro packaging, it’s basically a different system now, however flawed it may be.

          Also it is definitely not the Panasonic sensor, maybe at its core, but how does that matter when obviously the performance is completely different. They’re as much the same as all 4-wheeled cars are the same.

  • Wiek

    I like his reviewing style. His review is what made me buy the GH2 over a 60D (coming from 40D) at the time. Damn pleased that I did as well.

  • GH1 Owner

    I do agree that he does need a bit more work to make his review more informative. However, I love Kai’s video. It is entertaining.

  • Yusuf

    I think Digitalrev reviews are really good in that they talk about the camera in practical use, and not in tests in rooms!!!!! Camerastore are also doing great reviews!

    I seen all these people on forums complain about cameras, noise and talk about ‘pros’ yet I doubt any are on the Camera manufacturers lists on pro togs to speak to about camera specs!

    And also they do not view any professional images! Go to any billboards, airports and such and look at the images published there!!!! All are pro work and tell me how many of those images are 100% tack sharp edge to edge, or have 0 noise!

    As a matter of fact a lot of the pro work from the film days had lots of noise, just look at the Ali photos from back in the day!

    I used to be a spec hunter, and I still have GAS (Gadget Acquisition Syndrome)but travelling so much I cannot bring my full DSLR kit so need something lighter with good IQ! So have chosen m43 and nex systems for that reason! And on some trips I have taken some gem shots! And that’s when I realised its not about the specs on paper, not about the specs in a room! But the images you take and are happy of! Nobody will ever want to remember a photo of a bottle, pencils and some colors in their life!

    The same applies for videos, people are wanting GH3 and disappointed with 5D Mark III but forget about what you can achieve with the GH2 and 5D Mark II! All tools require post, the tools help you get there sooner!

  • Paul

    It’s informative and fair because it fits your own preconceived ideas about a camera that you haven’t yet handled or tested for any worthwhile time in your own hands. Enough said really. By the way the on/off switch is in the same place as the E5!

  • Vg

    Not surprising to see Kai bothered by Olympus copying the form of the om, without a reason. For Kai, tradition and product vision is very important … Values he always brings up when explaining his respect for Leica. He is very much a form follows function kind of guy, so the OMD, like the new buildings copying the old in the video, commits the sin of form for mass-appeal only. He plays the fool, but there is a point.

    Btw, Kai’s videos are a great way to see how a camera will work out on the street. He’s showing you what it’s like to walk around with the gear, how quickly, spontaneously you can whip it out for a shot, how well it finds the focus, and the reaction page subjects have to the camera. I find in conjunction with traditional pixel peeping reviews his shooters report to be valuable. But I completely understand why some may find his approach rambling… To each his own.


  • Bobby

    Fortunately there are a lot of competent sources with information on the E-M5 that take spreading information serious without taking every opportunity to promote their image.

  • Reggie Gunn

    Too emotional review, he’s not really reviewing the spec, just lamenting how much it isn’t a film OM, Maybe he should have let Lok C do part of the review since he’s a Pen user… Or maybe Kai just need to use the camera as it is, instead of complaining what the camera isn’t. Do another review Kai, i know you will be reading this, put the 12mm or the 45mm on it and shoot street with it. Do a comparison with the X-Pro 1, i know that would be a wonderful video review.

  • Yun

    Kai is very special reviewer , he always deliver something not direct to his words , need to analysis then you will get what he is trying to say . Mahler is a smart guy , he get all the means by Kai .
    Hmm , what is next ? Pana’s turn to come out something , GH3 or G? with that new registered sensor .

  • les

    Kai’s review are always basic but quite entertaining.

  • E-1

    “Well I love shooting with this camera [..] not a landslide victory.”

  • WT21

    KAi’s OMD review summarized in one sentence

    “I liked shooting with the OMD and it’s a fine camera, but it’s no homage to OM because it doesn’t have an OVF.” the end.

  • Ehhhhh

    I usually like Kai’s reviews, but this one seemed kind of half-assed. No comments from Kai on video mode, image quality, IS or live bulb.

    I wish TheCameraStore still sold Olympus stuff so they could do a review on the E-M5.

    • Brod1er

      -i think Oly have put an embargo on video spec reviews.
      -He does comment that ISO6400 is mushy and higher ISO is a waste of time.
      – he does mention 5axis
      – its a 12 minute video review- give him a break!. He can’t cover every feature and live bulb is pretty niche.

    • Raist

      Actually he did comment on image quality.

  • Borbarad

    Great Review as usual. Kai is more about actual use, design flaws, perception etc. and not about technical stuff.

    If someone wants Numbers and Charts and other scientific cr@p he/she/it should move somewhere else.

    By the Way I have to agree with Kai again. Still keeping my E5 and HG/SHG Lenses (not interested in m4/3) but my new Leica M9P made me go in a another direction.. some may call it old school, retro, whatever…


  • adriaantie

    Kai rules: The whole review he shows good old beautiful buildings etc and comparing them with the new ones who look like them but aren’t just as good. just like the OMD. The OMD just looks like a good old beautiful camera but lacks the quality, depth etc….

    Still a good camera but not that good.

    • BLI

      This is the basic flaw of the review: the sentimentalism of all old and retro. It’s like complaining that a water closet is not an out-house. In general, most newer things are superior if made to quality specifications; few Toyotas have “soul”, but are they really worse as cars than a 1950s Cadillac? Those who dream of freezing their ass off in an out-house; good luck.

      Of course, there are times when the old is better. But Kai’s review didn’t convince me that that is the case here. OVF better than EVF? I am very happy with the EVF-2 on the PEN, and do not miss the OVF on my old OM-2. It is not the lack of OVF who stops me from making great pictures with “soul”.

  • my biggest problem with this review was the absence of Kai’s charming assistant.

    • +10!

      • Maybe that’s why he seemed less inspired than unsually.

    • Al

      I think he reminds us that photography should be fun.

      Alamby appeals to the sapiosexual.

  • Ross

    Some first photos from new ownwers here (mostly snapshots though).

  • Kai is hilarious. I’ve loved his reviews since the very first time I watched one. He doesn’t try to be anyone but himself. That said, he does sometimes get lost in tangential nonsense that really has nothing to do with the product he’s reviewing. It’s one of the reasons he’s great. But I do agree with others that this wasn’t the most informative review I’ve seen from him. He could have been tired, sure, but it seemed like he just didn’t like they way Olympus updated a beloved camera, which I can certainly understand, but that also colored the entirety of the review. I mean, he barely mentioned the 5-axis IS, which is one of the huge selling points of the camera, and didn’t even mention how well it worked in practice.
    I actually thought some of the pics looked breathtakingly detailed, and for an HD video on the web, that’s saying something.
    However, the ergonomics are a concern, though I wonder really why it wasn’t said that pretty much ALL these mft cameras place a ton of buttons in the same spot, which means that, as he’s saying on the E-M5, it’s easy to hit buttons on the GX1, E-P3, or many other iterations before them.
    It’s down to how one feels using the camera, as many people hate the flushed buttons of the GX1 (which was obviously done to prevent you performing the same errors Kai described), but I don’t mind them at all. Certainly Kai is welcome to his opinion on this, and it’s good to hear some tempered, non-fanboy discussion about the possibly questionable ergonomics.

    I think complaining about the on/off switch is kind of funny. I certainly don’t EVER find myself in need of flipping the switch constantly, and one-handed no less. To me that’s just silly, but if others find it horrifying, then so be it.

    Ultimately yes, I think the old OM is an absolutely beautiful camera, whose depth of design is poorly imitated by the new E-M5. But here’s the rub: Olympus wasn’t trying to make a new OM (I can’t find where you insert the film). They were trying to make a more useful, more semi-pro oriented mft camera that takes design cues from the OM line. Sure, perhaps it has quirks, but almost every camera does, and I think (at least from initial reviews and comments from people who’ve used the camera) they’ve succeeded in that mission. The fact that they chose to design it after the nicest looking camera in Olympus history shouldn’t preclude the camera being a worthy addition to the mft lineup, or mean that it doesn’t still look and handle great (despite it not looking AS good as the old camera).

    And if you want to talk about imitation, then you might as well mention the fact that all digital cameras are poor imitations of film cameras. And then that well, film cameras really just take poor imitations (in the form of pictures) of reality. And if what Baudrillard is saying is true, then they’re just taking poor imitations of poor imitations. It’s philosophical nonsense (not trying to start a philoshopy argument, just my opinion). Your reality is your reality. For the people that lived out their lives in the Matrix, was their reality any less real than the reality? Your reality is your experience, and yes, Morpheus, reality is simply electrical impulses interpreted by your brain. It can’t be anything else. World of Warcraft is the reality for 10 million people every day of their lives.

    So how does the E-M5 make you feel? How does it work for you? The answers to these questions are hard upon us and will be answered for everyone who gives it a shot, just like with every other device and experience in human history.

    • Thank you very much for your wise approach.

      • MJr

        Don’t know why one would write this whole story in a post that’s dead in days, but hey, spot on, +1 from me too. :P

    • OlyFan

      Well said mate! Couldn’t have expressed it better.

    • Raist

      I think his point on the buttons is like for example, perhaps with the GX1 you don’t hit the buttons by accident. I haven’t handled the GX1 but the GF1 didn’t strike me as easily doing that nor does the Panasonic LX5.

      The Q is another example- has buttons right there but the buttons are designed in such a way you don’t hit them by accident. I got the impression his point here was, on the EM5 it’s easy to do so.

  • You’d think he would have mentioned the video mode… I mean, every other camera review he does he at least mentions video… Nothing in this one.

  • ch

    Dwelling way too much on styling, not enough on other aspect of the camera. I have used OM cameras, and many other great cameras from that era, to me, they are just tools, I cannot understand the “not the OM” nostalgic feeling, if today’s tool must behave like the ones came decades earlier, then we’d better not have technology advance at all.

    Oh BTW, I think OM-D is a good example of form follows function, the form is well tried and received one that millions of people use for years to capture great moments. Buttons are a bit small and cramed no doubt, but given the small form factor of the camera, I feel it’s certainly forgivable. People looking for a swamp of direct control buttons that are not crowded should probably look at those bigger SLR beasts.

  • Oh, come on, he talked about the name, the copy of old things etc.. This is not important. Camera is important.

  • Suprised

    He gives the BEST EVER explained of 5-axis IS and what it means you can do:

  • Sam

    Very disappointing review. I really don’t care about a comparison to a film camera from 20 years ago. The fact is that it has comparable IQ to Canon and Nikon cameras, but is tiny and waterproof. Its the perfect camera for just about anyone other than a sports photographer. Its better than a DSLR for journalism since its not intrusive. He did not mention the benefits for street shooting. He was gushing over the D800 but didn’t like the OMD. Very strange.

  • Greg Hall

    quicker than a Ninja’s fart? LMAO!!!

  • “It’s still a great camera…”

    “I love shooting with this camera…”

    “It offers a wonderful shooting experience…”

    “The autofocus is very slick…”

    “The dials are in exactly the right place, right under your thumb and forefinger…”

    To be honest, if this is a bad review I can’t wait to see a good one.

    About the only seriously negative point is that if you let the camera choose its own focus point, it sometimes focuses on the wrong thing. And since there isn’t such a thing as a telepathic camera, that happens to all of them.

    I think he might have been hungover. Not his usual jolly self certainly.

    Delivery this week. Yes!

  • Bob B.

    I have to laugh at many of the posts on this page. The review includes comments like:
    “Fast focus is discrete, quiet, and quick….Like a ninja’s fart!”.
    “9 frames-a-second… Silent and deadly, kind of like chlamydia.”
    How can anyone take this review, seriously????? Really. It’s just entertainment.

    • Duke

      Entertaining and informative aren’t mutually exclusive.

      He throws in a few laughs but it doesn’t mean the rest is nonsense.

      If you want a detailed review there will be hundreds in the coming weeks. Digital rev offers something different.

      I usually take more from these real life reviews than the boring laboratory ones.

      • Bob B.

        oh….I think his reviews are fun! I love them….but I can’t take them seriously. I balance what Kai says with info I have culled elsewhere…and basically look to his reviews for some laughs.
        I may buy a tee shirt!!!! LOL!

  • El Duderino

    I usually like his reviews, but I found this one lame. “Oh, I wish it was the old film camera, with a mirror!”.

  • One point I hadn’t previously noticed and which the review pointed out was the proximity of the controls to the right hand edge of the back plate – right where the fleshy part of my thumb rests. I don’t like that at all.

  • Ehhhhh

    Impressions from IPA:

    “We spent the day out playing tourist with the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 and was thoroughly impressed. The OM-D was super responsive – the autofocus was blazing fast and accurate. The out-of-camera JPGs were amazing – super colour! These sample pictures are all JPGS from the OM-D with in-camera curve adjustment (a fantastic feature), and shot with the Panasonic 14mm F/2.5 pancake lens (effective 28mm focal length).

    If first impressions last, the OM-D is very likely a contender for the best M4/3 mirrorless compact camera today.”

    • Nawaf


      • mahler

        Hmm, I can’t see anything special with the cited images. They certainly don’t show, that the EM-5 is the best m4/3 camera to date. The IQ and JPEG colors are about the same what you can get from any contemporary large sensor camera.

  • SLO

    Can’t believe how many take kai’s review at face value. He’s funny and makes fun at how overly serious people are in photography. Yet still shows some of the main features of cameras in hands-on, real-world use. The response in this thread is filled with deep irony.

  • Alyson

    Lots of site to find the technical details. What I like about Kai’s reviews is that it give me some real world input as to how a camera handles. It’s just his opinion, so like all the other review, you take it with a grain of salt. If I had just read the technical specs, I probably would have never bought a m4/3 camera in the first place.

    • “If I had just read the technical specs, I probably would have never bought a m4/3 camera in the first place.”

      Great point.

  • dau

    I agree. I like his reviews. theyre more about the everyday use and feel of the camera rather than the technical side of things. its all the more impressive when you consider he represents a store trying to sell these things yet he still gives his objective opinion. and hes got a personality too!

  • napalm

    to me it’s not about the E-M5. this is just a bad episode of DigitalRev. I’m a fan of their videos but this just sent me lacking. it was off at a lot of points: didnt see it much in action, no model/alamby, not much funny pranks. I feel it talked too much about the retro thing that the rest of the camera was just brushed upon lightly. the other videos like the D800 review was great. maybe they’ll do another E-M5 vs ____ and we’re see more of it in action.

  • einsnull

    i like digitalrev very much. this time they missed to show the battery grip. maybe some issues would have been solved by attaching it to the cam. i think lok is such a oly fan- so they will probably do a 2nd video about om-d soon. then i would like to hear their opinions about external flash too.

  • When does it get painted pink? Kai is a terrible (horrible) and worse painter.

  • Well, I do like Digitalrev. Their purpose, basically is to entertain.They do it in a very cosy and funny way. Digitalrev is a large online store, that invested a lot of money in this viral marketing strategy.
    VERY WELL DONE and diffusing worldwide.
    Said that it IS a review, like all reviews it has a point of view and a precise cut, and its tendency, we all have to admit, is to be polite, honest and straight, whithin the bounduaries they, of course, have. And they also promote a conscious buying. Like good real-shop sellers. Said that, no single review says “all the truth”. They display a point of view. Up to us knowing that MTF curves and DXO craps alone do not say anything, as a glamourous, high-quality-high budget commercial spot of an online shop.
    I spoke to Nikon Italy responsable when I tested the D800.
    I officially asked for a PINK D800, with hellokitty strap.
    Luca Vascon

  • L

    FINALLY!! Auzzies gets free MMF-3 by redemption before May 31st!!
    It turns out a decent deal that I will actually buy inland!

    • They have taken the cheapest way out and the least likely to be taken up. Most people who have both m43 and 43 such as myself already have an adapter. OK its water resistant, so? Most of us have non water resistant lenses. Its like offering a plaster on a broken leg several years after the leg has healed.

  • cosinaphile

    you either get kai or dont ……his reviews are filled with information , but they emerge like details in a short story rather than bullet point
    on a chart

    kai likes to read meaningful philosophy and relate it to real world events
    like the release of this look a like olympus om….. digital.
    i have this Baudrillard treatise on my bookshelf …
    it happens to be one of the most profound and appropriate bit of musing on our collective deconstruction of reality that is imposed on modern man .
    .kai has read it too ….please folks hes no idiot …..[but hes no camera painting specialist either]

    ‘…. rather pure simulation, in which the simulacrum has no relationship to any reality whatsoever. Here, signs merely reflect other signs and any claim to reality on the part of images or signs is only of the order of other such claims.”

    describes what olympus is doing with the omd
    perfectly imho
    hes also right about the on \off switch .

  • cosinaphile

    oh im still buying one

  • awatahurm

    I wonder how objective you can be about ergonomics.
    I played around with the OM-D at Yodobashi’s and felt that it was made for my hands.

    Anyway, there wasn’t much to the review if you subtracted all the BS about Simulacra.
    Like the old saying goes: “It’s not what you DON’T know that makes you look stupid. It’s what you THINK YOU KNOW.”

    I imagine Kai knows quite a bit about cameras, but when he spends 20% of the review spouting misconceptions and cliches about Baudrillard’s semiotics, it makes the whole review look foolish.

  • ced

    Digital rev is an horrible company that does not care about the customer i tried and pay the price AVOID AVOID AVOID them like they aren’t cheap at the end.

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