I am a previous Olympus PEN user. I once owned an E-PL1 and later an E-PL2. I missed having a built-in viewfinder and didn't really care for the Olympus EVF that plugged into the hot shoe. So, I sold off the Micro 4/3 equipment and went with one of the Big Two brands. That camera ("The world's smallest DSLR") was actually pretty nice, but heavy lenses on a small body kind of defeated the purpose of a small scale camera. After a year or so, I looked at Olympus again. When I saw the OMD-EM5 at a great price, I just had to have it. I added the 12-50mm EZ lens, and the 40-150mm zoom lens. I have been pleasantly surprised at the quality of pictures coming from the EM5. I set up some informal comparison tests between the EM5 and my other camera. The Olympus, with either lens, was sharper and produced truer colors than my other camera. This was the case with both tripod-mounted and handheld shots. The 12-50mm lens is handy, and can do some macro work too. When used on the EM5, I don't have to worry much about taking pictures in less than ideal weather. But what I like the most, especially compared to the other camera, is the green frame you see in the viewfinder that indicates the area of focus. It is really frustrating on other systems to find that little red dot for a focus point. With the EM5, not only can I determine where the camera will focus, but it is especially easy to change the focus point, or even set a focus zone. This is a much better setup for me, and in combination with the EM5's quick focus, I am experiencing fewer out-of-focus shots. I know that many people are somewhat bewildered by the Olympus user interface, but it is easily learned. Many features are simply on/off options. The super control panel allows easy change of settings, as do the main/sub dials. When you combine this with the touch screen, you can really get comfortable with a particular way to set and use the camera. Overall, I am very happy to be back with Olympus. The OMD-EM5 is a great camera, with a solid feel, classic good looks, and excellent picture quality. The only reason I gave four stars is that, at this price point, Wi-Fi should be included. That is not a deal breaker though, with all of the other features and product quality. I would feel comfortable recommending this camera.
Lighweight, perfect for travel photography, great quality of photos, fast AF. Buttons are a little small.
I just got this camera but I am in a group with several people who own it and who their work; I am very excited about learning to use it. The menu system is quite complicated so it will take awhile to master, esp. since it's too cold to go out and do much shooting.
I take this camera everywhere, which speaks for its compactness and ruggedness - its built to withstand abuse, and various weather. Its simply fun to use with a reasonable amount of controls accessible. It is great not having to worry about getting it wet(with a weatherproof lens) The 5axis stabilizer is a great innovation, and has allowed me to take handheld night shots at iso 200- I am now more encouraged to casually shoot at night instead of lugging around a tripod. The silent shutter is wonderful for unobtrusive street shooting. It performs well in high ISO, but I rarely need to crank up the ISO because of the 5axis The focus is incredibly fast with contemporary lenses, and the image out of the camera already looks great and requires minimum tweaking. If anything, the battery life is relatively short probably because of the 5axis- but nothing unreasonable. Because its such a fun camera that I want to take with me, my photo activities increased dramatically since acquiring this camera.
I like the bag a lot. I made my own Velcro to easy close it. it has lots of space for OM-D and several lens. Very easy to put in and take out camera.
If you are a techie like me, this is the camera you need to get. This one offers so many little things you can configure and play around, it's so fun. oh and it also takes photos but that's not the point of this review. It takes a good photos but it's not anywhere APS-C or Full Frame quality. But as a techie, I do appreciate that the camera do produce nice looking pictures, just keep in mind that these are nice digitally looking photos, not exactly gives off that genuine film photos look and feel. but hey, it is what it is and as long as it looks good, that's all it matters, right? But like I said, this camera really shines when it comes to "using" the camera. It's just like a gadget toy that you can play around with setups and lens so much. If you are into playing around with cameras and taking photos is secondary, this is the camera for you! I love it!
Solid, well thought out camera. I travel extensively and this will be at my side.
Highly recommended. The camera is smaller than you would imagine and evokes the classic design of many older film cameras. You can carry the camera and multiple m43 lenses for the weight of one DSLR. Construction is good and sturdy. The display and viewfinder are both excellent. The features and picture quality exceeds some of the lower and mid end APS-C DSLRs. JPEGs out of camera are wonderful as-is in most cases and sometimes better than what you could easily obtain by shooting RAW and post-processing. A lot more detail can be recovered from RAW due to the wonderful Sony sensor. ISO 1600 is excellent with very little noise. I have a mental block going to ISO 3200 due to earlier cameras, but that is also very usable. I have done 16x20" prints with this camera. The built-in image stabilization is truly remarkable. A few reviews have mentioned the humming noise it makes. It hasn't been an issue for me and its not a distraction in a quiet room. The latest 1.6 firmware also reduced it to some extent. I consider this a non-issue, especially since I have been able to consistently get sharp, hand held shots at 1/10 to 1/5 secs. This also makes working with manual legacy lenses very easy. You do need to set up the focus assist to help and have to dial in the focal length of the legacy lens for the stabilization to work. Its nice to be able to work with fast legacy primes. Video output is very capable, but this is primarily a stills camera. You won't get the manual video controls available in the panasonic GH2 or GH3. A word about the lenses. Get a good prime to go with it. The 14-42 and 12-50 kit lenses are good, but not exceptional and won't bring out the capabilities of this camera. Heck, you can get some wonderful results with a legacy $50 prime. Okay, so now the bad news. The olympus menu system gives you a large number of controls with which to customize the camera behavior. Some default choices are bewildering, so if you are unfamiliar with this menu system, you will need to spend some time upfront setting up things the way you like. Like for example, enabling the super control panel that gives you a one button access to commonly used controls. Its disabled by default in favor of a dumbed down menu and you need to go menu diving to enable it. And then you can have both options enabled at the same time, in different ways for the viewfinder and the LCD, which can make things truly confusing. If you are a noob, get someone to set it up for you, so you can get more out of the camera. If you are an enthusiast geek, you will drool over the options and still go crazy. The camera has a touch screen OLED display and you can control some things by touch. Touch to focus and click are fun and useful in some situations. But I also get the feeling that the user interface has not been optimized for touch. You still have to revert back to the physical dials for some things. Many more controls could be optimized for touch than currently available. I truly love this camera, so I also have no hesitation is also writing my gripes about it in the hope that someone at Olympus will read them and help improve it with a firmware upgrade. - The menu system needs to be rationalized without loss of features. - Enable HDR shooting like in the newer E-PL5. - Tethered shooting like its possible with Canon or Nikon. Please, this is a capable camera, don't castrate it in firmware. This is essential for studio shoots or advanced photography. - Focus peaking for use with manual lenses a la Sony. And one final word to Olympus - Please release some good mid range zooms to support this baby. There are some wonderful primes but the midrange zoom choices are currently very limited in comparison to Canikon or expensive. This is an ideal enthusiast / semi-pro / pro level camera, but the discerning masses buy zooms not primes. This camera gets a lot of things right and so I am going to rate this camera 5* even though I see areas for improvement. Every camera has compromises and its no different for comparable offerings from Canon/Nikon/Sony/etc.
If your looking for a great camera that's compact, lightweight and take beautiful shots this is a good one. My other camera's are now collecting dust.
Olympus quality overall is a higher than the panasonic gh3. Image quality is arguably better than the gh3 despite having the same sensor.