En­thu­si­ast mirrorless

Olym­pus OM-D E-M5 with 12-50mm kit zoom lens

Amateur Photographer - - Testbench -

RE­LEASED in 2012, the E- M5 was the first cam­era to grace Olym­pus’ all-new OM- D range. Whereas ex­ist­ing PEN mod­els at the time bor­rowed heav­ily from 1960’s Olym­pus PEN half-frame rangefinder cam­eras, the OM- D E- M5 took its in­spi­ra­tion from the com­pany’s ‘OM’ range of 35mm SLRs from the same era. Back in 2012, a brand-new OM- D E- M5 and M. Zuiko ED 12-50mm f/3.5-5.6 EZ kit zoom would have set you back in the re­gion of £1,150. These days, how­ever, MPB.com has sec­ond-hand ex­am­ples in ‘like new’ con­di­tion for just £219. Add an M. Zuiko 12-50mm kit zoom lens for £124, and the whole pack­age could be yours for less than £350.

For the money, you get a great cam­era. The E- M5 is built around a 16.1MP Live MOS sen­sor – a mod­i­fied ver­sion of which is still in use to­day – and the Olym­pus TruePic VI im­age pro­ces­sor. Na­tive sen­si­tiv­ity ranges from ISO 200-25,600 while shut­ter speeds range from 1min to 1/4000sec. The max­i­mum con­tin­u­ous shoot­ing speed is a healthy 9fps. Be­ing an older model there is no sup­port for 4K cap­ture, but video ca­pa­bil­i­ties do ex­tend to 1080p Full HD cap­ture at 30fps. The back of the cam­era is equipped with a 3in, 610k- dot tiltable LCD dis­play with lim­ited touch­screen func­tion­al­ity, above which sits a 1.44m- dot EVF. Ad­mit­tedly, both the dis­play and EVF are a bit dated com­pared to the 1.04-mil­lion- dot dis­plays and 2.36-mil­lion- dot EVFs found on more re­cent Olym­pus cam­eras, but they both re­main per­fectly us­able.

5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion

One of the big­gest in­no­va­tions the E- M5 brought to the ta­ble on its launch was built-in 5-axis im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion. In our re­view we found it to work ex­cep­tion­ally well shoot­ing hand­held at slower shut­ter speeds. An­other ben­e­fit of hav­ing the im­age sta­bil­i­sa­tion tech­nol­ogy built-in to the cam­era is that there’s no need to pay a pre­mium for op­ti­cally sta­bilised lenses. In ad­di­tion to Olym­pus MFT lenses, the E- M5 is also fully com­pat­i­ble with Pana­sonic and other third-party MFT lenses – you won’t be lack­ing for glass op­tions.

Aut­o­fo­cus is taken care of by a 35-point con­trast- de­tect sys­tem that at the time of the E- M5’s launch was billed by Olym­pus as the ‘world’s fastest’ con­trast- de­tect sys­tem. Of course, things have moved on a bit since then, but for the vast ma­jor­ity of sit­u­a­tions the E- M5’s over­all AF per­for­mance re­mains im­pres­sive and is highly un­likely to dis­ap­point.

Build qual­ity is an­other area where the OM- D E- M5 shines, with its mag­ne­sium al­loy body giv­ing it an un­doubt­edly pre­mium feel in the hand. Bet­ter still, the cam­era is also fully weather-sealed, mean­ing it can be used in the kind of con­di­tions that would re­quire many other cam­eras to be tucked safely away in a dry cam­era bag. In ad­di­tion to be­ing solidly built the E- M5 is im­pres­sively small and light.

Un­der £400

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.