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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Shooting Impressions and Samples

on March 14th, 2012 1 Comment

Just few hours ago we posted the quick review of a pre-production unit of Olympus OM-D E-M5. I went to Rizal Park to grab the opportunity to shoot with the  E-M5 before its return to Japan. Quick and easy,  I tested the unit with my usual style, with bright sunlight I usually shoot in Aperture Priority mode and Shutter Priority mode for some motion capture results.

Having tested an E-P3 and now a proud owner of  E-PL3 I can fairly say that I’m now quite accustomed with Olympus PEN menu system and features, fortunately E-M5′s menu system and has the same deep customizations.Theres one major difference about the E-M5 among its Micro Four Thirds brothers, the E-M5  has an SLR-style ergonomics thats really hard not to like. Its not  thick, tall , wide nor heavy it just fits perfectly in my hands.

Auto ISO setting limit is perfect for my semi-auto mode although you can’t set a min shutter speed just like the PEN series. High ISO quality is what we always look for a camera and I’m happy to report that the E-M5 is an improvement over the E-P3.

This by far the best feature that I like most about the camera, the shadow and highlight adjustment. I set it on the FN2 button just beside the shutter button. Adjusting the dynamic range in real time is like having your own Photoshop curves inside the camera.

I went to Rizal Park (Luneta) armed with the 12-50mm lens only (quick review soon), this lens is the one to be included in the body and kit package. I mostly used the 1.4 megapixels Electronic View Finder (EVF) which is not as bright as I would like on a sunny day situation. The EVF has all the settings I need to know like shutter speed, aperture, ISO and EV compensation plus some more that I can skip and live without.

The following photos were taken around 11:00am to about 12:30pm noontime. This is not the best time to shoot I know, but I had no choice. I don’t want to exaggerate this but you’ll be the judge on the photos I took if it can handle good contrast ratio and dynamic range. These photos were shot using Natural scene mode, apologies but I shot from what the settings are when I received the camera. The only thing I adjusted was the shadow and highlight.

This taken with the aid of the tilting LCD this is my most must have feature now in choosing a camera. You need to crawl on that dirty hot pavement again.

Normally with this kind of shot, you will get an underexposed foreground because you are shooting the subject against the light. Surprisingly with the help of better dynamic range and real time adjustment of shadows and highlights, E-M5 mimicked what my eyes saw that time. This is something of a big improvement over the two PEN cameras I’ve tested.

Olympus claims that the E-M5 has better AF than any other Olympus camera and they even claim “The worlds fastest”. Well,  I find it just as snappy like the E-P3 which I’m very impressed in my review. I’ve tried its continuos AF (Ai Servo in Canon) and it was a great improvement over the PEN. The 9fps drive mode was very handy too snapping some speedy motorcycles in Roxas Boulevard. Again with limited time I wasn’t able to try AF tracking with forward and backward movement.


I guess this is it for the meantime until we wait for a production model in April. I’ve added other  low light photos too so you can see how High ISO performs. I’ve taken RAW files too, but its not yet supported by Adobe right now.

Click on the thumbnails below, after it opens click on it again to see the full 1200px version. You can download it too so you can check the EXIF.

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About Regie Fernando

"Photography is my work and passion. Technology, gadgets, architecture and design are some of the things I also geek about. Ohh I go biking too." Regie is the founding chairman of PiPho. Visit his little tech site his profolio or follow him on twitter

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  1. Olympus Updates Its PEN Mirrorless Micro Four Thirds Cameras – PEN E-PL5 And E-PM2 | Pinoy Photography - September 18th, 2012

    [...] cameras. These cameras now has the TruPic VI image processing engine found in their flagship m 4/3 OM-D EM-5. The new image processing engine and 16 megapixels sensor promises a better image quality than [...]

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