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February 26, 2014



I've not had a chance to use the camera a lot, but my initial impression is that it's extremely well made. It's on the small side for my old fingers, but I wanted something compact. The included flash is sufficiently small to usually stay attached to the camera, so lack of pop-up flash isn't an issue.

This unit is reconditioned, but I can see no marks on it. I did dig around, and found that it has about 2200 shutter clicks, but I'm sure some of that came from QC, and the reconditioning process; not something to fret.

I did have to update the firmware, and that was a bit of a challenge, but I did complete the process. Not without trepidation, though, as the site has no real progress meter, so one never knows, and one dare not disconnect, as it may mess with the current program.

The down-side comes with the manual, or lack thereof. First, Olympus should supply a comprehensive manual. Second, even the on-line manual is extremely confusing. It really should be given more attention. I had a devil of a time to find and display the Super Control Screen. I will need time to learn what can be done with the various buttons. I think, however, that after I have things better studied, the camera will not be extremely difficult to manage.

I have already ordered a 40-150 lens. I had planned, and still plan, to use my legacy lenses, but the micros seem so compact that I opted to get the next longer for general carry.

One caution potential buyers might consider, when I registered the camera on line, I was immediately given a certificate for 10% off accessories good for 20 days. With the camera, I ordered a spare battery and the larger VF cup. Had I waited, I could have saved a few bucks. For that, shame on Olympus.

Because of the very poor manual, the unit gets only 4 stars.

February 17, 2014


Better than I expected

There are lots of great compact system cameras available, but the E-M5's motion compensation system sets it apart from almost anything else. I come from the film days when "1/60 of a second or shorter with a 50mm lens" was the rule. But I regularly get great sharp images hand holding the 45mm f1.8 indoors with no flash--at a 1/10 of a second. Because the compensation is in the body, it works with any Olympus lens. That's like a 90mm lens in full frame view. When you combine the broad range of lenses available and the compact size, it just makes getting good images a LOT more reliable in all kinds of light. I use the 9-18 mm zoom and the 45mm f1.8 a lot. But even the cheap 40-150mm zoom does a good job when you need the reach. You really can shoot the equivalent of 300mm f5.6 lens (full frame) hand held and not get motion blur. I know the EM-1 is getting all the press now, but it's larger. It's the motion compensation that really makes both these cameras stand out and you get that in the E-M5. I also have a E-PM2. It's nice, but less-elaborate motion compensation is clearly a it is on any other camera body that isn't an EM-5 or EM-1. I'll probably spring for the 12-40 f2.8 zoom one of these days. Don't think you NEED the EM-1 to use this new zoom. The EM-5 may be the better choice if you value convenience.

January 25, 2014


not real happy

I have owned this camera about 1 month and now it is totally dead. when I turn it on ,nothing happens, so today at a cost of almost $70.00 (including the UPS discount) i shipped it back to Olympus. As i said this camera is less than 1 month old and already it is need of repair, at the least I should have received free return shipping, so at this point I'm not real happy!!

January 06, 2014


Brand new camera has some problems

Some times I am getting the black frame instead the photo.
Every time I choose scenic setting with Beach and snow I have high bracketing.

December 17, 2013


Amazing Camera

I tested this camera for 1.5 hours at the dealer before purchase. The image stabilizing system is beyond belief. Hand held photos at 2x zoom are sharp even at 1/4 second and 1/2 second. All metal chassis with chrome finished metal covers just like the classics of the past. An afternoon at Downtown Disney yielded a fantastic series of photos of children at play with images razor sharp on 24"x36" print enlargements. Lenses the surpass the sensor in many cases. The only shortcoming is the manual. Most of the negative reviews are owners who never read and understood the full CD manual. Most complaints are easily solved if you tune the camera adjustments. Even the current manual is too short to demonstrate the critical features and capabilities. As a tech writer with 30 years experience as a Pro photographer, this camera needs a manual of at least 250 pages to tap it's fantastic capabilities. A full size book. Yes most customers are not going to read it, but those who do will fall in love with this system. 2 of our local news photographers with 4 Pulitzers have switched entirely to this camera system.

December 15, 2013



I am sure this camera has some great features. However, the MANUAL is comprehensible, the display is too quick, navigation is difficult...I am learning by random selection...have lost some functions while doing so.
The 'illustrations' (minute, tiny little illustrations) in the manual are not at all 'illustrative'. Big expense...STEEP learning curve to do anything other than iAUTO.

November 27, 2013


Great image quality; tough to set up

I recently sold a Lumix GH2 and a nice legacy lens collection to finance the purchase a full-frame Sony A99 and a few good modern lenses. But the full-frame kit cost twice as much as my MFT kit, and I only have a third as many lenses

I've missed the fun of shooting legacy lenses and recently received a OM-D E5 and started re-building my legacy glass collection. I've only spent a few days with the OM-D, but have a few initial impressions:

- The OM-D's image quality is the near equal of the Sony A99's in most lighting and dynamic range situations.

- The exposure is always spot on.

- JPEG's have acceptable noise up to ISO 6400.

- The camera is feature-rich, but the user interface is very hard to set up because the manuals are poorly written. It took me about 5 hours of fiddling around and web research to get the camera set up the way I wanted it.

- The indicators for under and over exposing highlights and shadows are a terrific feature, as is the ability to get a stabilized view when using the magnify option for accurate focusing.

- Build quality is excellent ... like a little tank!

- The in-body stabilization makes the OM-D a much better camera for using legacy lenses than those without it.

Aside from the poor manuals, the only real complaint I have is its small grip size, something that has been re-worked in the M1.

November 21, 2013


Like the camera. alot to learn. very challenging!

I think the OM-D E-M5 is superior in many ways. To me after searching for the ultimate perfect camera...I feel I have found that. However, a perfect camera? I think there never will be one. But, believe me, this run's in first place.
I have not used the camera very much as yet, due to the learning curve with it. I do think though that the learning curve is most of that. So I will increase that. What use I have gave it has provided me with the awe factor. It is a fun camera, and smaller in size than the cannon xsi I had. If you are searching for the ultimate camera...this would be one to add high on your list. Olympus did superior work here...reaping in superior fund's as well, I'm sure.

October 13, 2013


Evaluation of Olympus E-M5

To start, I am an "enthusiast" photographer and not a pro. However, I have been in photography for over thirty years. I know that this will upset many DSLR users but this camera is great! I originally purchased this camera as a travel and back up camera to my Sony A700. The Sony is older technology but still a good camera especially when paired with the 75-200mm F/2.8 G lens. The pictures from the Olympus E-M5 are rich in color and tack sharp...I mean tack sharp! My brother is a professional photographer and we recently did a "shoot" together for family portraits. The quality of the Olympus E-M5 was on par with his Nikon D4! I know it has a smaller sensor but the noise levels are superb! Best camera choice I have ever made! If you have the dough, pair it up with the Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 lens. All I can say is WOW!
Now the not so good news. Olympus...wait for it...fix the battery life issue. You claim that one can get 350 shots or so. I have only been able to get approximately 145 raw shots before the battery died. I ended up buying four more Chinese made batteries to make it through a shoot. Your engineering staff really needs to work on this or, great camera or not, you will loose out to the Sony NEX system! Oh, Olympus upper management (board, service, marketing, and etc.), you have a very good product here. Instead of focusing on profit and bottom line only, fix your lousy customer service!! You might also update your accessory store with camera products someone might actually buy like a quality remote shutter, a decent wifi dongle that will transmit RAW files to a tablet and etc. Quality, where is your Six Sigma? Eye cup and dials coming off? Really, for a 1000+ camera?

October 11, 2013


Love the E-M5

I have a P-3 and a PL-3 and XZ 2 and 1. I was going to get a APC camera, but after reading the reviews on M5, I decided to get it and so far very satisfied even though had it less than week. I heard about the new M 1, but could not afford to get it. Looking forward to the new lens 12-40 2.8. Also want the 60 macro. But been very happy with Olympus cameras.

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