Here we go! One of the hottest mirrorless camera is in our hands right now. RedDot Philippines was kind enough to give us a test run of the new flagship Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M5 24 hours before it goes back to Japan. This is a quick preview only but we will try to tackle the important functions of this retro shooter. Please note that this is a pre-production camera and it doesn’t represent the final production quality to be released this April. I highly doubt if it will change physically though.
The SLR looking E-M5 is quite portable, size is very similar to the Fuji X-10 height, width and length but of course minus the protruding 12-50mm lens. It is surprisingly light that you won’t be able to distinguish it holding against the PEN E-PL3. Handling is very easy, comfortable and perfect for my mid-sized hands. Yes the OM-D E-M5 is another “retrofied” camera borrowing some design elegance from its famous OM series back in the film days. I’ve seen the sleek silver and black model but I feel that the black one is more stealthier for some serious street shooting.
Just like its E-PL3 cousin, the E-M5 has a tilting LCD which is the same built quality. The only difference is that the E-PL3′s LCD is much wider and I’m still not sure but I think E-M5′s LCD is not 16:9 ratio. In terms of dot specs, E-M5′s LCD is far more bright and sharp because it has 610,000 very similar to the PEN E-P3. The 3″ VGA resolution LCD is touch sensitive just like the E-P3
This camera now has a built-in viewfinder. Unfortunately its an electronic one but it displays all the settings you can see on the LCD at the back. From my brief testing, the EVF is not as bright when shooting during daylight. Beside the eyecup Olympus now employs a sensor so that when your face approaches the EVF the sensor will automatically switch to EVF mode.
All the buttons are located on the right side due to probably the size compromise. If you are used to a full-sized DSLR then you will feel that it lacks some quick access button for specific functions but thankfully Olympus put two FN button in the right reachable location. The thumb grip is ergonomically perfect for my mid-size hands as I mentioned above. I’m a little picky about the delete button though, Olympus should have made it recessed to avoid accidental deletion of files.
Due to the limited time given to me, I wasn’t able to fully utilize the camera, it has no manual very little time to go thru the deep menu system of the OM-D E-M5. Nevertheless I was able to shoot some test shots and a walkabout shoot this morning in Luneta. I’ll be writing there on my next post my impressions while using the E-M5 together on how the 12-50mm lens performs.