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New Olympus E-M5 easily beats the E-P3 at high ISO!


Websites are now daily publishing new E-M5 tests and FourThirdsUser (Click here) published a very interesting ISO comparison between the E-M5 and E-P3. Just look at the the 12800 ISO comparison (here the E-M5 and here the E-P3). The difference between the two cameras is impressive! At least one stop, probably even a tiny bit more! What do you think? After seeing the RAW files, and now these JPEG comparison I assume that the E-M5 is on his way to (may) become the m43 camera with the best JPEG quality. I like that E-M5 and you?

More news:
And the french website Focus Numerique (Click here) posted a new interview with Mr. Terada (Bit no big news to find here). More E-M5 images samples at Onfoto (russia) and Letsgodigital (Click here). Updated preview at DSLRmagazine (spanish) and new preview at Pocket-Lint (Click here). And a very nice report ahs been publsihed by Gakuranman (Click here).

Full Preorder list:
1) 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).
2) 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).
3) Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
4) Black E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here), Redcoon Deutschland (Click here), Amazon Deutschland (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
5) Silver E-M5 body with 12-50mm lens at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here), BHphoto (Click here), Jessops (Click here), Amazon Deutschland (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).
6) FL-600R wireless flash at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and BHphoto (Click here).
7) MMF-3 Four Thirds adapter at
Amazon (Click here) and Adorama (Click here).
8.) HLD-6 power battery holder at
Amazon (Click here), Adorama (Click here) and Amazon Japan (Click here).

  • Starred

    Must be better than my EPL1…. ;-)

    • Lily

      Definitely better than my E-520, that’s for sure. ;)

      • Pocket Lint listed under “bad” in their review of the E-M5:
        number of features might be too overwhelming …lol I can’t think of one of the too many features that I won’t be using they all look useful and fun :D

        • zf

          Oh, so you’re reading “that” pocket lint?

          • Charlie

            ^Now THAT is ludicrous.

            Whatever credibility PocketLint may have had is totally gone now.

            Interesting to see how hard Nikon is pushing for reviews now that better cameras are coming available. Marketing machine, full steam ahead.

      • Ross

        Yeah & better than my E30. I would love to see an E30 replacement with all these technical updates & (sensor) in it. I would prefer to have the touch screen in the fully articulating display though.

      • aaa

        Yeah, looks really good. :)

    • E-1

      Better than my E-1 ;-)

      • DonTom

        Nice to know that I can shoot with the new kit lens on the E-M5 in similar light to the 20/1.7 on my E-PL1. But how will
        I justify new fast lenses to my wife?
        Seriously enjoying the growth in this format, and my choice as an early adopter. I passed on the G1 (no video), GH1 (too rich for me at the time), E-P1 (no EVF or flash). The E-PL1 was my ” just right” camera, and this is the next body to offer real advantage to me. Really buzzing to use it in a few months time

    • mpgxsvcd

      You can only say it is the best m4/3 when you compare it to the best m4/3. Compare it to the GH2 and then I will believe you.

      • CDMc


      • spanky

        Assuming the image quality on the E-M5 is on par or slightly worse than the GH2, E-M5 still wins on weather sealing, faster flash sync, built-in 5-axis IS, and coolness factor IMO. If Panasonic were to release the GH3 to match those specs, I’d be surprised (won’t happen).

        IQ alone does not a better camera make.

        • Steve

          Why would you assume that? It looks really good, could beat the GH2 handily.

          Regardless, I like the E-M5 form factor and feature set a lot, so I got by preorder in queue!

          • spanky

            I’m just saying worst case scenario if the IQ is worse than the GH2, it’s still a better camera.

      • Redkite

        It would have a chance of being the best if it had a fully articulating screen . . .

        • The killer “missing” feature for me would be full-speed autofocus support for (PDAF) 43 glass. Which I guess is really the “one beautiful system” wish. Which is really the desire to use current and upcoming (60mm macro, 75mm !-) MFT primes as well as FT zooms (12-60 et al.) at full performance (e.g., autofocus speed) all on one modular OM-D body.

          But at least Oly is working on it, and it’s good for them (not just customers) to sell their great FT and great MFT glass. So it seems inevitable the two systems will fully unite.


          I would like the full articulation for self-portrait shots/filming/podcasts, but I’m hoping that the fold-out screen will suffice. Panny GH2 (and presumably GH3) seem to have the articulating screen and filming nailed, so there’s always the Panny option.

          • OlyFan

            Since I own some HG Zuiko glass, I’m all for one nice unity system. However, we have to understand that winning new customers is more important for Oly than getting existing 4/3 users onboard m4/3 ship.

            Personally though (for Oly’s sake), I would rather have Oly develop a very good professional 4/3 system that justifies the price, competes well with the other professional cameras in its price range and takes full advantage of the resolving power of Zuiko SHG and HG glass. I’m quite happy with Oly’s direction they are taking with m4/3 especially with regards to their lenses.

            I think the 3rd or 4th generation of OMD would (hopefully) see enough advances in EVF and sensor tech which would be the right time for uniting the 2 systems. That is also the time I see when Oly would have a solution to get 4/3 glass to focus on m4/3.

            • TheEye

              “we have to understand that winning new customers is more important for Oly than getting existing 4/3 users onboard m4/3 ship.”

              I hope you will bravely maintain that view once Oly abandons m4/3 for a new system.

      • >Compare it to the GH2 and then I will believe you.

        That would mean I would have to actually care about the GH2. Since I don’t its a moot point.

        If the GH2 build quality is on par with GH1 then I’ll take the “shitty” image quality compared to feeling like I’m shooting with an unbalanced plastic pop bottle.

        • alan

          No, it really is just qualifying the “best of m43” and has nothing to do with what YOUR personal interests might be. The remark makes complete sense, as the GH2 had the best IQ of bodies until the EM5. (and may still??)

          So this may be a moot point for you, and we get it—you didn’t like the GH1 build quality.

          • >So this may be a moot point for you, and we get it—you didn’t like the GH1 build quality.

            Yah we get it you have YOUR own personal preferences.

            • alan

              None of which I’ve bothered to state. I don’t have a GH1, or a GH2 if that’s what you’re implying.

              Frankly, my personal preferences have more to do with posts that add nothing to the current conversation, which your comment about build quality of the GH1 is a good example of. In that same light, I will not bother posting more replies to you about this.

              • ProShooter

                Yeah, its probably best if you don’t, because you don’t get it.

      • anony

        tooo bad for EP3 owner

    • MJr

      Damn this is such an improvement. Glad i waited out the e-p3 because its performance never really sufficed imo. These samples promise good things, but what i want to see is how normal iso values like 200 or 400 actually perform when Adobe finally gets the e-m5 RAWs supported.

  • Agrivar

    It may beat the e-p3, but does the em5 beat the GH2 in RAW? I think they are similar

    • Ad

      Sort of the same question here, especially: does it beat the GH2 at the lowest ISO setting? That’s where MFT cameras still need to improve IMHO. I’m going to wait for the GH3 anyway because I need an articulating display.

      • MJr

        Exactly, i need clean ISO100. With clean shadows, and detailed highlights. Damn obsession with high iso has killed the base iso performance. I’ve played around with the Nikon1 RAWs a bit… First if all it actually does have iso100, and it breaks my heart to say it but it is much much better than the e-p3’s base iso of 200.

        • Brian

          Clean shadows at low ISO are the same as midtones at higher ISO and highlights at very high ISO…

          You have to actually think about how the sensor works. Basically these CMOS sensors have a photodiode that charges a capacitor and then a charge pump on that capacitor in a DRAM like arrangement. (It also can be done in voltage domain but I believe charge pumps are the norm)

          The dynamic range of the sensor is given by how many different levels can actually be distinguished in the cap.

          ISO is largely just looking at filling the same cap to lower and lower levels. Black has the worst noise because it has the fewest number of electrons.

          If double the ISO you basically use half of the capacity of the cap. Thus what was “dark” is exactly the midtone for the next ISO up. (Q=CV).

          To get lower ISO you need a bigger capacitor basically. Since that capacitance is dictated largely by the planar area near the photodiode smaller pixels mean higher ISO and less dynamic range.

          In summary there is a base ISO for a given sensor in terms of its ADC, capacitance and quantum efficiency of the photodetector. To lower it you generally will need a larger photosite. Or a means of creating a larger capacitor at the site.

          • Esa Tuunanen

            > The dynamic range of the sensor is given by how many different levels can actually be distinguished in the cap.
            That would be bit depth of ADC.
            Dynamic range is ratio between light level which saturates pixel and lowest light level whose signal can be distunguished from noise.

      • I had the impression from the E-M5 RAW files(posted and removed at/from Focus Numerique) that ISO200 was cleaner then before, even when pushing the EV up

        • MJr

          And it better be, because the e-p3’s base iso isn’t nearly as good as it should ‘a been ! :(

          • Olympus is not alone in this, i hear very few people about the 12 mp aps sensor from Sony which has similar behaviour at iso 200

      • Redkite

        Agreed, the lack of a fully articulated screen is a deal-breaker for me. I will also wait for the GH3. BTW, I’m not a Panny fanboy . . . some of my Oly kit here:

        • @Redkite
          I can’t see anything in your style of shooting on flickr to suggest a fully articulated screen being a deal breaker…

          • ..

          • Anonymous

            @ YouDidntDidYou. That’s good, obviously any physical problems that I might have to contend clearly don’t show in my pics. Trust me, I wouldn’t be able to take the pics I do without a fully articulating screen. If you have looked at my stream you will have noticed that the biggest proportion of my pics are shot in the portrait format and the flip screen on the OM-5 is next to useless for that. I was using a screen like the OM-5 back in 2003 on my 5050Z and 7070WZ so I really can’t understand why Oly have chosen not to include it on their latest offering. I suppose they are saving it for a later model but tha seems like a mistake when Panny have had it for ages and no doubt the GH3 will have it when that comes out.

          • Redkite

            @ YouDidntDidYou. That’s good, obviously any physical problems that I might have to contend clearly don’t show in my pics. Trust me, I wouldn’t be able to take the pics I do without a fully articulating screen. If you have looked at my stream you will have noticed that the biggest proportion of my pics are shot in the portrait format and the flip screen on the OM-5 is next to useless for that. I was using a screen like the OM-5 back in 2003 on my 5050Z and 7070WZ so I really can’t understand why Oly have chosen not to include it on their latest offering. I suppose they are saving it for a later model but that seems like a mistake when Panny have had it for ages and no doubt the GH3 will have it when that comes out.

            • ProShooter

              I actually prefer the flip screen as the others usually are too finicky, gimmicky and small to me.

              The flip screens are just the right kind of tool for me, so I’m glad oly went with that.

        • >Agreed, the lack of a fully articulated screen is a deal-breaker for me.

          Although I would prefer a title and swivel lcd nothing in your photos suggests you would be crippled from taking any more photos with out the tilt and swivel screen.

          I’d rather have weather sealing ala Olympus E-1 than anything else. I could have used title and swivel here but I managed with out it like I managed for the last 10 years.

          • Wow, you make Golden Ears Bridge look very cool! Very neat use of wide angle. I wish the photos had a little more information on them (e.g., lens focal length), but very nice gallery. Thanks for sharing.

            • Sorry I usually process with PS7 for web export which strips out the exif tags. I used the E-1 and 8mm FE/12-60/70-300 for those.

    • Narretz

      Also, what if you see a similar difference between the GF3 and the GX1 at ISO 6400? Then it might not be that impressive.

    • Jekins

      I think JPG of GH2 not very good, in comparatives high ISO G3 and GX1 have better results.

  • GMS

    Sorry for being obvious, but it’s not only high iso performance what matters.

    But yes, I do think that EM-5 is a beautiful (in all respects) camera.

  • Dummy00002

    Well it better be a damn lot better than E-P3. Panasonic 16mp sensor is like 2 stops better already!

  • Vivek

    From Olympus marketing point of view, this would justify the price. ;)

    We sold an overpriced EP-3, this is far better than that, so pay up! LOL!

    Any news on the GH-3? That should be better than the GH-2 which is on par or better than the EM-5. ;)

  • bilgy_no1

    ISO12800 on the E-M5 looks better than ISO3200 on the E-P3. No blotches, more detail, cleaner shadows. Especially the shadows are promising.

    • I agree. Brighter areas look virtually identical but the shadows are slightly better on the E-M5. And that’s at two stops higher ISO!

  • So what?! This is the minim minimorum expected from a m43 camera released in 2012. I’m rather courious whether it can beats so easily the currently best image quality MFT camera, the GX1 as well or not.

    • io


      The question isn’t how it performs against the E-P3. It is how it performs against GH2, NEX-7, Fuji XPro, and so.

      • Steve

        Nope, it’s competition is the other m4/3 cameras. The Sony and Fuji don’t have remotely the lens lineup, so any theoretical advantage in sensor is negated completely.

        I handled a X-Pro1 today. I was prepared to like it but it’s got the same problem as the GF670 – bulk, but no heft. Feels flimsy to me. Nothing like my old GS645. Sad. I hope it shoots well!

        • Mr. Reeee

          I get a similar impression when handling the X100… sort of flimsy and cheap feeling.

  • GreyOwl

    The E-M5 impressed me so much that I’ve now got it pre-ordered, and am 10th one on the list at the store. Roll on April! :-)

    • @ GreyOwl
      the O-MD user group at Flickr has more members than nearly all the Nikon1 system groups (they been going 5 months!)

      • I wonder how many members of the OM-D usergroup already have the camera :-)

        • GreyOwl

          Good question, I was wondering the same thing.

  • Kevin

    E-M5 is nice but wow this picture really shows how ridiculously long that kit zoom is…

    • It surely is, but keep in mind that it doesn’t extend when you’re zooming.

    • Andy Taylor

      Proportionally speaking, it looks big, but it’s only about twice the depth of the camera itself. Given that the camera is fairly small, that doesn’t seem so bad to me.

      That said, I would have preferred either wider apertures for a comparable length (yes, that does mean more weight/width) or a collapsible unit. I guess weatherproofing a collapsible unit would get complicated, though.

      • ProShooter

        It looks big but its tiny like the e-m5 too. It’s just thinner which makes it long longer. I handled the e-m5 with the lens at cp+ and at first thought its a black e-p3, if not for the small hump.

    • Boooo!

      It’s not long, it’s a very small zoom. The camera itself is tiny, roughly the dimensions of an average mobile phone.

    • Miroslav

      It looks long only because its diameter is smaller than other lenses of similar length – 14-140 and 14-150mm. I’ve been carrying 14-150mm on E-PL1 for almost a year and I don’t think it’s too long…

    • Stimmer

      About 3 inches long and two wide. Penis length.

      • The Real Stig

        Speak for yourself! ;)

        • lol!

          • Charlie

            Ewww, that’s an embarrassing public admission. :|

      • anonymous

        ‘About 3 inches long and two wide. Penis length.’

        meaning… it’s comfortably pocketable?

  • Yun

    As told , EM5 might edged GX but unlikely to outclass it . I more interested in the one so called very high end camera from panasonic & heard that is not GH3 . Any rumour about this mysterious camera ?

    • admin


  • scottt

    Doesn’t the E-P3 use a three-year old sensor? How does the E-M5 compare to something more current like Nex 5n at high ISO?

    • krugorg

      I will be interested to see a comparison, but I don’t think there is a big question to who would win if you are only looking at sensors.

      I have a preorder for the OMD, but I am not *just* buying it for the sensor. =)

  • Peter

    I’m looking forward to seeing some comparisons of EM5 and GH2.

    • reverse stream swimmer

      I’m more curious to see how well the new EM-5 will match G1 X and GX1, especially in the high ISO region. And of course to see if the OM-D can better the DR of the GH2.

    • Gianluca


  • Those are 1600×1200 JPEGs. Surely noone can be expected to draw a real conclusion on that basis?

    Yes, there’s a significant difference between the two cameras when shooting 1600×1200 JPEGs. That’s really all we can see, though. As the E-M5 might theoretically have a completely different way to generate smaller-sized JPEGs than the E-P3, it may just as well be that the difference was much smaller in full-sized images.

    Good thing is that the already leaked RAWs, too, really do show something similar to what we can only guess when looking at the 1600×1200 JPEGs.

  • Bob B.

    I think that the E-M5 is going to be a very good …if not great camera. It has a lot of incredible features…but it is not a camera I would buy (I own G3 & GX1)…especially with two new Panasonics on the horizon. If you are an Oly fan and you are holding a 12 MP camera…I can see the new OM selling and quite well at that !!!!!

  • DagBO

    Since I’m reading here with the announcement of the E-M5 nearly daily, I Can’t help myself – I’m still drooling since the 1st image leaks – preordered. Unfortunately, in Germany not with the battery grip like UK.

    Seeing those images released with a FW which is not final yet and coming from such a small package, I’m simply amazed. With those anouncements I have finally reached a state not sometimes regretting anymore selling all my gear. Especially not regarding weight/carrying. The 14mm 2,8II is about the same weight as GH2 + 7-14 :D

    Though I will – for the time being – still hold onto my GH2 for video.

    Thank you, I have to say you are doing an amazing job here – “hat-tip!”

    Dag from Cologne

  • Andy Taylor

    To my eyes, 12,800 on the EM-5 seems comparable to 3200 on the EP-3. That’s not a bad performance at all!

    • Jason

      @ Andy +1, I agree.

  • DR

    Its a brand new camera. It claims to have the best performing sensor, so it _should_ outperform GX1 and GH2.

    I quite like the camera, although I still think it should have been full frame to honor the OM ancestry. Whether I buy one depends on what comes from Panasonic in the next 6-12 months. No hurry :)

    • Bob B.

      “Full Frame”???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

      • MJr

        He didn’t say he expected it to be, so i guess it’s fine. ;)

      • DR

        Yes, Full Frame.

        OM was always Full Frame until Olympus decided to milk their history like they did with the Pen. At least the original Pens were half frame.

        Still, if it goes well, and it looks like it should, the Camera division should be able to make up a bit of the losses made by corporate stupidity.

        • another case of full frameritis

        • Steve

          OMs weren’t “full frame”, they were 35mm format. Same as pretty most every other consumer film camera. Full frame doesn’t mean anything in film context. I shot a lot of 6×4.5 and 6×6 in the film days, so that’s “full frame” to me.

    • Geoff

      Don’t you all feel this FF reference is ridiculous, if you are refering to 35mm, it’s 36x24mm, 120 is 60x60mm, FF is a theoretical size as u4/3rds is FF in its own format, there is realy no such thing as FF apart from the minds of the marketing people, to try make you buy another brand.

      • DR

        Calling 24x36mm “Full Frame” is a convention based on the fact that early digital cameras were somewhat less than the frame size for the then popular 135 system.

        Semantically, every camera is “Full Frame”; legends in their own lunchtimes :) but only 24×36 sensors classify as Full Frame.

        Its common usage, that’s how English evolves.

        Usually, those without Full Frame are the loudest to complain about anyone using the phrase. The rest of us understand what the person is talking about and move on.

        Its gotten a lot better since several Full Frame denier camps including Nikon ‘got’ FF, but there is still significant inferiority complex remaining among our m43 community. Hopefully we’ll get over it and enjoy our small sensor cameras and actually use them instead of arguing about their merits and deficiencies on the internet. :P

  • reverse stream swimmer

    I thought I was reading that both the FL-LM2 Electronic Flash and the Electronic Flash FL-600R, had a connector for external microphones and monitoring headphones, but unfortunately not in this initial version…

    • flash

      That would be nice.

  • Honestly, As a m43 owner, I want this camera to be the best in its class, but why compare to e-p3? Wake me up when it beats GH1 or NEX-7.. It kills me that a camera that is like 3 years old still has the best image quality of all m43 cameras.. Would be nice if canon joined M43 to kick things up a notch (one can dream).. Not sure why image quality is not a priority..

    • ala

      GH1? Are you sure? GH1 is very noisy cam, and EM5 will easily beat GH1 at iso settings higher 200.

      • Stu5

        An EPL-1 beats a GH-1 at high iso. GH-1 has banding in poor light from 800iso upwards.

  • Asked one of the Olympus staff at the event in Japan today. The guy said the E-M5 is about 1 stop better than the E-P3 and 2 stops better than the E-5.

    • Anonymous

      It won’t beat an NEX camera, but than again look at the size of NEX lenses, they look out of place on the tiny NEX body (ugly comes to mind). As a former NEX user I will state that the dynamic range and noise is much better, but than again Olympus JPEGs are worlds better and the Pens have better color, tones, white balance and metering. Technically the Pen is inferior to the NEX on paper, but in the field I actually give an edge to the Pen. People dwell way to much on dynamic range and noise these days.

      • PS


      • Gianluca

        …yes ,right! I bought a nex 5n 3 months ago and now i’m selling it for the reason you wrote…

    • Here’s my report my from today if anyone is curious about the events in Japan:

      • admin


      • @Michael, great write-up. Really felt like I got to go (and still wish I could have!-). What fun. And it’s nice to hear that Olympus put on a great show, with great people.

        Good luck with your silver E-M5. I’m sure many people will be pleased to hear (and see your photo) that the silver 45mm is a close match to the silver body. (But I’m still going black body myself. ;-))

        The underwater housing group sounds cool. I hope they take their time and get the housing right! Will the housing support the upcoming 60mm macro? (I think I saw that it would support the 50mm macro somewhere, but wonder whether that was a typo for the new 60mm?)

        Cool event. Great write-up.
        Thank you for sharing.

        • Good question. I actually forgot to add that bit. The chap said they were trying to build it so it could support 43 lenses too, but that the new 12-50 lens was too complex (like the macro function with the sliding switch) to support. As for the 60mm, it’s still too early to know, I guess. I must stress though not to take anything I wrote as decided – he was most worried about giving out the wrong information. So for the time being, assume anything could happen :).

          • Yikes, 43 lens support in the underwater housing sounds sweet. The E-M5 is such a tease! :-)

            • Hi Michael,
              thanks for your report. Other than you, I pre-ordered the black version as I think it suits the grip far better and looks more modern.

      • Miroslav

        Nice report, thanks. The “Olympus does not disclose our partners until an agreement to do so is made by both parties” line about sensor is interesting. Could there be an upcoming announcement about partnership with another sensor manufacturer? I still think it’s Panasonic sensor, but…

    • Stimmer

      I own both of those and no way does the ep3 beat the e5. This camera is two stops better than e5, and maybe more than ep3.

      • SLO

        Agreed. E5 slightly better than EP3.

    • Esa Tuunanen

      > E-M5 is about 1 stop better than the E-P3 and 2 stops better than the E-5.
      Which doesn’t really tell that much because both E-P3 and E-5 use same sensor with same DR and SNR with difference only in JPEG processing.

  • Essagne’s nice performance but not that great. XPRO1’s 12800 is much better, if you see Fuji’s sample pics.

    • krugorg

      Who expected it to beat the Fuji? I expect it to be close enough that I won’t mind, given the other advantages of m4/3.

      • Charlie

        Yep. I’m told the D4 beats it, too.

        • Yep – but as I see it, Fuji sacrificed resolution for the better gigh-ISO performance.

    • zwagner

      Um… the Fuji is going to run you about $2300 with a lens. The E-M5 is $1100. Do you really think their IQ should be equal? Add in the fact that the sensor in the Fuji is bigger, thus the camera is bigger and the lenses will be bigger (not to mention the fact the Fuji is ugly as sin)… I’m not sure you can even really compare the two.
      E-M5 wins that competition hands down for me (at least if IQ stands up to what has been shown so far). Oh, and the E-M5 is weather sealed. ftw.

  • shuffnet

    People can get over the m43 ever being full frame. Its cant happen it will never happen dont even wish for it

  • Jedd

    ISO test vs G3 would be more interesting to see.

  • ljmac

    I would rate it as two stops better: ISO 6400 on the E-M5 is still very good at this res, equivalent to ISO 1600 on the E-P3!

  • MGuarini

    Finally a decent chip for Olympus. I like it, and more than enough for my purposes.

    • Me too. I ordered one.

    • Miroslav


      But I’m waiting for a more affordable body with flash and without weather sealing, magnesium and empty hump…

      • MJr

        lol, so the e-p4 then. Just wait till Spring/Summer.

        (ps. Empty my ass.)

        • Miroslav

          I suppose we’ll see new E-PL(5?) in June. Judging by E-P2, E-P3 will be replaced in 2013.

      • Stu5

        No hump = No 5 axis I.S.

  • The key for me will also be how the camera performs at low ISO.

    High ISO is actually far less important on m4/3 than full frame because I’m generally also using an aperture that’s 2 stops faster.

    If the quality is decent at low ISO I’ll get one to supplement my 5Dmk2, especially for telephoto. My impression of the camera at CP+ was that it was in completely different class to the other m4/3 cameras – now the only variable for me is the image quality from the sensor.

  • I just got robed… :(

    All my 43 lens(9-18mm,14-42mm,40-150mm and 70-300mm) and e-1 plus e-420 IR converted is gone…Very Sad.

    So Please @admin or anybody give me any idea should i buy this E-M5 now, wait for E-M5 mkII or jump ship to APS-C/FF…I can wait for 4-6 months

    Right now I just have my beloved E-p1+17mm f2.8 and various OM mount Zuiko/Sigma from 24 to 200 mm range.

    • DonTom

      How many images did you take on your E-1 that you would have missed waiting for the E-3?
      That said, if you are happy with the IQ and AF of the E-P1, buy the 45/1.7 and play with that while making your mind up.
      I like the IQ on my E-PL1, and it’s the weatherproofing on this E-M5 that is calling me. Better IQ, WP, better high ISO and faster AF is just icing on the cake.

    • Fan

      Somebody took your bag or broke into your house or car?

    • MGuarini

      I’m very sorry. I had a sad event like yours many years ago while I was living in Tucson. I lost an OM1, an OM2n and 7 Zuiko lenses.

    • TheEye

      “I just got robed… ”

      Posting dressed is better than posting naked.

  • fh

    Hi admin. Just trying again to let you know that Japan will not be releasing the 14-42 lens kit. Your “Black E-M5 body with 14-42mm lens” pre-order link for Amazon Japan simply points to the 12-50 lens kit pre-order. You can confirm by just checking the pre-order prices.

    While many other regions will offer the 14-42 lens kit, Japan will not. There will only be the 12-50 kit and body-only, each in black or silver. None of the Japanese OM-D/E-M5 press releases mention a 14-42 kit for Japan.

    • Narretz

      I admire your preseverance!

    • Someone broke into my house and took my bag, which prepared for my next journey to middle-east…is that really mater?

      Please your advice for my next purchase…

      I love my E-1 for its “olympus colour”, I love my E-p1 but sometimes its shutter lag bugging me.

      My heart is on E-M5, for its modular will ease me on a lot in travelling. It can be used without the grip/extra battery for its “non-aggressive” mode or with complete VG if I need extra live batt. But…i’m also thinking on buying 50-200 SWD Zuiko, which CDAF sensor wot give full support…

      Then E-5 will be my 1st choice (or not??) as long as Olympus wont introduce E-5 mkII or E-7 just 2-4 months after my purchase.

      My colleague, 7D user, keep telling me to jump ship. But the trouble to adapt the new system/camera settings to achieve same Color tonal in Olympus might not possible/easy(?)


      • I agree with your focus on color. Personally, I think Nikon has color closer to Olympus than Canon, but your friend probably has lots of great Canon glass to share/experiment with.

        IMO, the general question is whether you want to go big(get) sensor (more bokeh control, bigger system, more encumbrance) or small(er) sensor (more depth of field, smaller system, more portability).

        But I believe your focus on color rendition is key. Color is the original and still a key reason I am getting excited about the Oly E-M5 over my Panny GH2.

        • You’d rather purchase the 50-200 non-SWD as it focuses faster on the PENs and should do likewise on the E-M5.

          When it comes to what Oly will be offering when…
          Who knows? The E-M5 took us by surprise, so it would be just guessing.

          Consequently, If you can wait for some months and live with your E-P1 for the time being, just wait to the Photokina, then we will know more.

          On the other hand, the E-M5 will be half a year on the market, then, and so, the chances of a new OM-D camera being launched soon will be much bigger, then.

          • @ occam ,@ DonParrot, @ GreyOwl, @ MGuarini Thanks for your respond and advice.

            I think I’ll get the E-M5 (Silver one) with VG and 12-50mm…maybe underwater housing too…

            It will be on my next journey to south-east asia, Singapore or malaysia have their better offer (Cheaper) than here in France

            • @Harman, you’re welcome. Best of luck with your new camera system, and safe travels.

      • GreyOwl

        Follow your heart.

    • Steve

      It’s definitely not available. It’s not in the marketing brochures, and the only kit available when I preordered yesterday at Map Camera was the 12-50.

  • Jekins

    definitely, if these tests are real
    E-P3 ISO3200 = E-M5 ISO12800
    look this:

    And ISO12800 is more more more better in E-M5

    Waiting to confirm this in final firmware, and with 100% crops

  • No surprice for an G3 owner that the EM5 outperforms EP3. So does the G3; GX1 and GH2.
    It is still an open question if the EM5 has better IQ than the Panas.
    The we have this with high ISO: I use as low ISO as possible. The performance ISO100 – 800 )95% of my photos) being when IQ is most important
    High ISO is easy to evaluate by pixel peeping. In real photography results are often very different.

    • Stimmer

      Probably the same sensor, but the iq will be very different. Olympus colors are much different than panasonic, and the handling and usage of the camera will be different.

      personally I like the Olympus handling of images and their Boise much more than Panasonic. They get so much more out of the sensor,ala Nikon vs sony.

      That being said, if I wanted good videos I would go gh2 all the way.

      • I like the accurate colors Pana has. A much better starting point. Oly “pleasing” colors are typical Oly. I am the who makes the photo – not Oly.

        • Nikku

          Except that Panasonic’s colors are not very accurate. In my experience, they tend to have a greenish cast to them. Granted, the last Panasonic camera I used was a GH1, but the jpegs were so bad I swore off Panasonic cameras for good (lenses are a different story).

          If you truly want full control over color, then shoot raw. But Olympus jpegs have the best colors, no contest. Most accurate skin tones, nicest blue skies.

          • Always shot RAW, never jpg. Pana jpg no way near Oly jpg – but some say the GX1 has better jpog

      • That’s mainly for jpegs though

  • E-1

    Funny and sad, that the most negative comments come from Panasonic users.

    For years I have been trying to understand why people need to bash other products to defend their purchases.

    And I wonder how Capa, Cartier-Bresson, Lange, Frank and many more could have made photos at all when reading this threads.

    • +100 :-)

      • PS


        You are hitting a raw nerve of human behavior

        • +10000, for what its worth

          • unkabin

            Why do so many people on this forum +100 and +1000? I’ve seen +1,000,000. This is silly. How many of you are gathered around that computer?

            • Charlie

              +4,000,000 (Houston)

              These Panny boys seem very insecure.

    • flash


      IMHO The reason people bash other products is they need reinforcement that their purchase was the best. They have been exposed to much advertisements (for all products) in which the theme is the product makes them smarter, more attractive, more popular, etc. Anything thing that does not reinforce this idea with their purchases in their mind must be bad.

      To top it off a camera is very personal item, it is used as a tool, it gives you a view of the outside with you behind it. They are well made in optics, mechanical, and electronics; it becomes like a good watch, jewelry. So it becomes like an extension of them. This makes them more emotionally attached to it.

      For me, I like all tools even ones I do not own or even have a use for. I am fascinated on how they are made and the engineering that went into them. I like to see them in use by others.

      I must admit, when it comes to some of my old cameras I have really strong feelings for; one of them my OM-2n another being a screw-mount Canon rangefinder (even though it does not work to well now or have many lens left). A retro camera will get a good look from people like me and may generate a sale if the underlining machine is good;so it helps in sales.

      • unkabin

        I was waiting for that.

        I haven’t bothered to see who’s worse with the inflation, though, Oly users or Panny.

        (Oops. Meant as a reply to Charlie’s post. -1000 for me, I suppose)

        • PS

          Re the Oops….You are excused!

          The concentration can go off if you have to concentrate on those big numbers

    • Stimmer

      It’s jealousy of attention, plain and simple. Most everybody thinks this camera is a good thing. Panny owners can see the writing on the wall with this, and they don’t like it. They’ve been able to hang their hat onto the old sensor thing, but since thats gone here it makes them nervous.

      Olympus did a very good job designing a camera for photographers.

      This reminds me of the Xbox vs ps3 crap.

      • CAT

        “It’s jealousy of attention, plain and simple. Most everybody thinks this camera is a good thing. Panny owners can see the writing on the wall with this, and they don’t like it.”
        As a photographer that is committed to the m4/3 system and happens to use a Panasonic GH2, at the moment, i find that comment a little simplistic.

        I want great quality, and I think most people here do, I don’t care what manufacturer’s camera I use, do most people? I have my fingers crossed that the E-M5 will beat the quality of my GH2, which I am happy with, but image quality is the only thing that will make me invest £1000 in new gear. I am a gearhead as well a as photgrapher, but the technical specs have to match up as well as the ergonomics. If i needed a new camera i would not hesitate to buy it.

        People moaning about Oly using Panna sensors is about them wanting to see Oly shine with some technical advancements that puts Panna on their heels, not living in the shaddow of Panna’s current technology. Thats what technology driven competition is all about, and is better for us customers in the long run.

        A lot of the shots i take involve tricky lighting, and as much as i can recover shaddow detail, I need to know that the dynamic range is there to cover what i do.

        More than anything i want this camera to be great, I have never owned an Oly, but would love a reason to own this one.

      • This toe has gone totally both ways
        It’s not “just the Panasonic users”

    • thats the problem if you have more brands within one system.

    • E-1: I have said many times that the EM5 is a very good camera. You silly Olympistas are just crazy about Oly and nothing else counts. Of course the nwe 16 mpix sensor delivers better than the old 12mpix! 33% better resolution to start with and firmware and processors also develops over time.
      For me to chose the EM5 – it has to be better IQ-wise than my current camera! I am realistic opposed to Olympistas.
      I owned Olympus cameras before most of you were even born! :-)

    • Those were perfectionists and woould never use Olympus. Be sure they cared about every detail in their photography, including gear. I often wonder if Cartier-Bresson would have thought AF was accurate enough! Had he used a M9 or a D4?

    • safaridon

      Really most negative comments come from Pany users? Looking thru the comments I can find very few negative comments here at least on this thread other than some 4/3 owners disappointed in not be able to get fast AF with 4/3 lenses and a few others that think the kit lens is a bit long for a format featuring small size? Maybe you are referring to the many which are simply stating the observation that the G3 and GX1 sensor is already about 2 stops better than EP3 at high ISOs as evident if you compare on DPR comparometer so the performance likely is very similar to that of the OM-D? Even Oly officially has said the OM-D is only 1 stop better than the EP3? Why not focus more attention on the new features the OM-D brings to the table like the inbody EVF, better IBIS system for live view and ability to fast track focus rather than 3 weeks of arguing over the merits of which sensor is better when in all likelyhood they are essentially the same? All these three m4/3 products are very good cameras indeed as far as IQ goes and have special features of their own.

    • Best part is no one ever posts links to their photos or galleries showing where they failed because of a few missing pixels or the noise in the sensor stopped them from hitting the shutter button.

      Maybe Olympus needs a +/- Skill button on their cameras?

      • Geoff

        I like what you say “Maybe Olympus needs a +/- Skill button on their cameras?”, I’ve already noted one entry where the writer has stated this camera will make him a better photographer, perhaps he should try a “Pin Hole” camera, or maybe for real use a Rollieflex!!! Perhaps that WILL, improve his photography.

        • Archer

          Using a Rolleiflex will certainly improve anyone’s photography. With a TLR you really have to learn how to see.

          • TheEye

            You should try a 4×5 camera then. Looking at an upside down image with a magnifier loupe on the ground glass, with a cloth over your head and camera, really makes you pay attention to every detail. Not that I’d call that shooting style flexible.

  • Charles

    “After seeing the RAW files, and now these JPEG comparison we can fairly say that this is the m43 with the best image quality”

    I believe this statement is rather premature when the only IQ comparison available is with the E-P3 which has the same sensor technology as the E-P1 with some minor tweaks. Granted, the E-P3 is a good camera but it’s IQ lags behind that of the newer crop of Panasonic models with updated sensor technologies. With all the hype, I would only expect – and certainly demand – that this camera sensor have better IQ that the E-P3’s, nothing exiting there.

    When we get side-by-side RAW comparisons between the E-M5 and the top competitors such as the GH2, G3 and GX1, then we get to see if this is indeed the “best” m43 IQ yet. As much of us suspect, I feel such a test will only reveal this sensor to be rather similar in IQ to the Panasonic 16MP found on the G3/GX1.

    While I eagerly await for such comparisons to surface, I already have an E-M5 body on pre-order; if it only has the same IQ quality as the GX1, I feel this to be a better choice for still photographers given the combination of external controls, menu customization and other features such as higher LCD resolution, EVF and IBIS.

    • WT21

      I would agree:

      Easy statement (at least, it seems so): Best Oly m43 to date
      Likely on safe ground: beats GF1, G1 (likely G2, G10, and likely GF2 and GF3)
      Wouldn’t want to venture just yet: beats the G3 and GH2 (or upcoming GH3!)

      Side note — how many G10s do you think were sold? There’s a camera you NEVER hear anything about!

      • GreyOwl

        G10 = low sales, is my guess.

  • Eric

    It’s at least 3 stops better than my E-p1. It was worth the wait to upgrade!

  • Maley

    Looks like at least 1.5 Stops better High Iso. Very nice.

  • WT21

    The EM5 spanks(!) the EP3. Some are calling for comparisons to 5n, GH2, etc. I understand that, but for those of us who have been shooting Oly, we’ve been doing OK with the EP3 (and related shooters) and so this improvement is good enough for us!

  • simon

    Brilliant, 1 stop improvement over my EPL2,my photography will now improve beyond belief ! LOL
    Rather spend money on glass,glass can really change your photography,not 1 stop advantage in noise.

    • PS


      good point on the glass!!

    • Jason

      @Simon – The sensor isn’t earth shattering, however, among Olympus cameras it kind of is. Panasonics can shoot pretty good indoors with bad lighting, Olympus cameras can too – with a flash. To me, this will make a world of difference. I will be able to shoot good photos without a flash – in many situations that previously required it.

      Plus, the new 5-axis stability could potentially make longer lenses easier to use, and more importantly it may help produce much better video results. So far, I’ve gotten terrible video from the EPL-2, and I think the OM-D will desecrate it in this area.

      • And… if you like macro, the new IBIS may be the first to help with macro shots. The new IBIS could make macro shooting far less technical to get a sharp shot.

        • Jason

          @Occam, and macro is mostly what I shoot, so the OM-D is exactly what I’m looking for!

          • Cool! I too hope the new IBIS works magic on the macro. :-)

        • Fan

          It might help with macros, but nothing beats the efficiency of a macro flash such as METZ 15 MS-1. This one really works great with Olympus cameras.

  • Gabi

    Looks like a really good camera, and I am ready to preorder one (as soon as Amazon Germany will lower the price to a reasonable level). I would have preferred a menu structure similar to that of the Pana cameras, but you can’t have all…

    • Narretz

      Amazon Germany will always be more expensive than most other online shops. Not to mention that their stock is very limited and in high demand all the time.

  • ala

    Could somebody tell me, is there any remote controlls options in EM5? I need it for timelapse shooting.

    • There is a USB remote. No wireless at this time.

      There is a new Live Bulb mode you should check out if you’re doing long exposure shooting.

  • The Real Stig

    Why do some people think Olympus would get a new sensor from Toshiba – or wherever – and that the sensor would be no better than Panasonic’s best sensor?

    I feel sorry for those who are clearly hoping the E-M5 will just match the GH2 or GX1. I suspect they are in for a big disappointment when finished firmware is released.

  • meCk

    is there any new info on the 60mm macro yet? (price?)

  • SLO

    EM5 ISO 6400 is a little better than EP3 ISO 3200. I find EP3 ISO 3200 not always useable in dim conditions and one has to process raws carefully. I suspect about 1 to 1.5 stops better performance in jpeg, but these are just 1600×1000 pixel resizes. I’m looking forward to raw comparisons in the future.

    While my heart hopes for a fantastic new sensor, the evidence suggests a tweaked G3 sensor.

    • Gianluca

      yes, I think the same and for me is more than enough…

    • Stu5

      It’s not just the 6400 that looks better, even the 12800 iso looks better. Little bit more detail. Less smearing and better DR. There is more detail in the shadows as well.

  • Nikku

    I honestly wouldn’t even know what to do with clean ISO 3200…I’m so used to my max speed being limited to ISO 1250 (Tri-X pushed and dev’d in Diafine). Fast prime lenses and ISO 1600 are enough for almost any situation. This camera will definitely be more than enough for me.

    • Jason


  • Nathan

    As I don’t think I will EVER need above ISO 3200, this is fantastic. If 12800 is this much better, how much improvement is there at 3200?

    I am using an E-30 at the moment. Haven’t upgraded because Oly hadn’t built what I wanted yet. This looks like it might be the thing.

  • David

    What should I do? I have some m43 glass as well as some nikon. should i go for the 1.3k em5 or get a d7000 body for 1.2k? Gotta see some Raw comparisons please

    • Jason

      The D7000 is a great camera, but do you want to lug around something that takes up a massive amount of space and weighs a lot, or something that doesn’t?

      The D7000 will go perfectly with the huge Kata DC-443 bag I’m selling. I don’t need the Kata anymore because everything I use now fits my new Domke J-5XB bag. The Domke bag is half the size of the Kata bag, yet I still have everything I need.

      Smaller equipment equals smaller bag, which in my opinion equals happier photographer.

      • David

        Well the EM5 or D7000 would be an awesome upgrade to my now old EPL1. But I’m also looking for a long term investment for a possible photo career. (Photography student using a d90). So image quality is quite important to me. But I have like 4 lenses already as well as some OM glass… *shrug

  • I have two GH2’s and needed to buy a 3rd camera for my business. After much debate and research it was between the Oly, a Canon 60D or a Canon 5D MKII. I use my cameras for video so the winner was the GH2. I really wanted to get the Oly, but for my needs, the GH2 beats it for video and is as good or better than the 5DMKII so I ordered another GH2 and a couple battery grips yesterday.

    • Jason

      GH2 is better for video, but if you shoot stills, Olympus is generally the better choice. And with the OM-D improving on stills, it will be a better choice than the GH2 by quite a bit – for stills. For video, the OM-D is a big improvement as well, although I don’t think it will beat the GH2 at video.

      • 43shot

        It does not look like it will even match the video quality of the GH2 (stock).

        • This was discussed in a previous post and someone called video in m43 a “gimmick”. When will Oly realize this is a deal breaker for those who do videography in addition to their stills?

          The GH2 hack has proven the functionality can be brought to these otherwise throttled camera’s, I’m hoping Oly will take notice and roll out a firmware update quickly for video. If you can stand to wait I’d suggest seeing what firmware or maybe even the hacking community can do with the OM-D.

    • Geoff

      If your business is dependent of video, wouldn’t you be better served with a purpose built video camera instead of accepting the compromised ability of a camera which is neither stills or video perfect. I just wonder how much better it could be without the video ability.

  • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2

    Hey, E-M5, “the best m43 camera”!

    I’m coming :)

  • Liam

    12800 ISO comparison? It’s more like night and day!

  • .

    Noticed a new IBIS demo for still images:

  • nikrapmada

    The more sample images I see from the E-M5 and the actual size of the camera body I see in real people’s hands, the more relieved I become that I cancelled my pre-order.

    Whew! A lucky escape indeed.

  • Farrukh

    Who really shoots at such a high ISO anyway. How about something useful, like a built in flash!

    • Liam

      Once upon a time, the same question was asked about ISO 800 film. Everyone will shoot at the high ISO’s once they feel the quality is good enough.

      • Anonymous

        On my EPL2, IBS + the 20 1.7 ensure that I rarely go over ISO 800 even in a dimly lit room – can’t do that with my Canon SLR. High ISO doesn’t appeal to me as much is image stabilized fast glass !!!!

      • Me, as a member of the SDOF gang,would only need that at night.

    • OlyFan

      Farrukh, EM5 comes with an attachable flash out of the box. From the pics, it doesnt look too big to carry with you. Isnt that sufficient?

    • Steve

      I don’t think a built-in flash is very useful at all. Different people, different wants and needs.

  • Redkite


  • theartofrain

    It looks like a really nice camera… but I really like the compactness of m4/3 format, and the SLR-like “hump” on this camera (or other m4/3s, for that matter) doesn’t make much sense to me.

    So I am going to stick to my amazingly delightful and capable Panasonic GX1 for now.

  • i remember the vote of like Em5 hit >4000, wonder the preorder hit 4000?

    • PS

      That is true for every openion vote. All voters wouldnt buy.

      But on the other hand, that so many voted and voted positively says somehting about the product.

      We should use it as a indicator not a referendum figure!

  • Scott

    Just because you have available low light doesnt mean its good light. You still have to be a professional and light your subject correctly. Hi ISOs are only good if the quality of light is good. I rarely ever need to go over ISO 1250

    • Steve

      Most of us aren’t professionals and don’t light our subjects. If you shoot street night photography, you need high ISO. If you are taking candid indoor or indoor sports, you need high ISO.

  • jiamflash

    on the other hand, which camera does NOT beat the EP3 in high? =)

  • james70094

    I have the GH2 and an E-P1. I just spent some time with my GH2 getting the light right, so it would be the shutter speed and aperture for iso12800 (as close I can anyway). The results are amazing. The sample pics of the E-M5 look a stop better. The images I took look closer to the iso25600 of the E-M5. Not a full stop perhaps. Hard to tell since there are variables. I am impressed and seriously considering the upgrade. I won’t preorder, but as soon as it comes to a shop here, I will be in line. Gives me some time to save up since it cost a bit more than expected. I can hardly wait for images with the final firmware, that’s the real test.

  • Many people say the improved results at very high iso are the reason for upgrade to the E-M5, may i conclude that they shoot regularly at isos above 1600/3200?
    My reason for the wish to upgrade doesn’t involve the sensor, as i was satisfied with the IQ of any (m)4/3 already at lower isos. it’s the whole OM-D concept in design and features that attracts me.

  • “The technical specifications of the OM-D’s sensor are very close to those for Panasonic’s GX1, GH2, and GF3 cameras. While the Olympus marketing team has not formally confirmed that the OM-D uses the very same sensor, our upcoming DxOMark measurements will certainly make this clear one way or the other. In any case, although we expect to see pretty much the same sensor results for the OM-D as for the Panasonic models, it’s always possible that there may be some surprises in store.”

    • They may actually be surprised. After seeing samples and reading here and there, my bet is that:

      – The sensor is different from the one in the GX1 (95%)
      – The sensor is not made by Panasonic (75%)
      – The sensor is made by Toshiba (50%)
      – The sensor will deliver the quality we were expecting. No miracles, but just a very solid performance as measured by DxO (or other test sites). I’d say about 1/2 stop worse than the best APS-C sensors at the same ISO speed. Pity about no ISO 100.
      – In any case, the performance will not be too different from the one on the GX1. Similar to very slightly better at high ISO. And I hope a bit better at base ISO.

      • TheEye

        Hmm, I’d love to know how you have derived those percentage figures. What types of data analyses did you perform? Exploratory and predictive analyses, maybe? You surely weren’t just throwing out random figures, eh? :-P

        PS: My crystal ball says “Panasonic” while my Magic 8-Ball says “Ask again later.” ;-)

        • If Olympus can’t reveal who made the sensor, why would I reveal the secret algorithms I applied to come up with those percentages?

          But my feeling is that this is a good sensor, and that’s the important thing in the end, no matter who made it.

          • TheEye

            You got a good point there! I just revealed all my data analysis secrets for nothing in return. :-P

            Anyway, so far I’m pretty happy with (not all) samples that I’ve seen. Funny how many jump the gun and declare either “the most bestest camera ever” or lament a “monumental failure that will make them give up photography.” Time will tell the truth.

  • compositor20

    iso 6400 in om-d is like 1600 in e-p3 in those samples but with better blacks wich means better DR so this sensor will have +- the same high iso score as nex 5n at least (I believe it would have better high iso)… it would be 2/3 stops worse than Fuji x-pro 1 because I believe they use the same sensor… this would make it almost like a Canon 1D Mark IV till iso 6400.

  • olynuts

    e-m5 beats the e-p3? are you sure?

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