Olympus OM-D E-M5 review

Is this retro-styled Micro Four Thirds camera worth its high price?

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We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

Our results from the lab have been compared against the Fujifilm X Pro 1, Sony NEX-7, Panasonic GX1 and Olympus E-P3

Our analysis shows that the Olympus OM-D's raw files (after conversion to TIFF) produce impressive results that beat all the comparison cameras and compare well against models with larger APS-C and full frame sensors. When it comes to dynamic range, the raw file (after conversion to TIFF) results show it produces the highest result so far gained by any compact system camera.

JPEG signal to noise ratio

Olympus OM D E M5 review JPEG signal to noise ratio

JPEG images from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 have a lower signal to noise ratio than the Fujifilm X Pro 1, Panasonic GX1, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus E-P3 up to a sensitivity of ISO ISO 1600. However above this sensitivity value the OM-D produces better results than all but the Fujifilm X Pro 1.

TIFF signal to noise ratio

Olympus OM D E M5 review TIFF signal to noise ratio

TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the OMD have a better signal to noise ratio than those from the Fujifilm X Pro 1, Panasonic GX1, Sony NEX-7 and Olympus E-P3, showing that the camera copes well with noise.

JPEG dynamic range

Olympus OM D E M5 review JPEG dynamic range

Raw dynamic range

This chart indicates that the Olympus OM-D's JPEGs have a consistently high dynamic range across the sensitivity range, showing that tonal gradations are captured well in the highlights and shadows even at the top end of the sensitivity range.

Olympus OM D E M5 review TIFF dynamic range

TIFF images (after conversion from raw) have a high dynamic range across the sensitivity range, with the OM-D achieving the highest result we've seen for any compact system camera. The chart shows that compared against the E-P3 the E-M5 is achieving at least 3EV greater dynamic range across all sensitivities.

Tech Specs

Product TypeMirrorless Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Product FamilyOM-D
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Eye-Fi Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, Face Detection, Live View, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsAVCHD, MPEG-4, Motion JPEG (AVI), MOV
Viewfinder TypeElectronic
Weight (Approximate)425 g
Image Sensor Size4/3" (18 mm x 13.50 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeOLED
Height88.9 mm
Width121.9 mm
Depth43.2 mm
Image FormatsRAW, MPO, JPEG
External FlashIncluded
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-M5
Product NameOM-D E-M5 Mirrorless Camera
Product LineOM-D
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV204040SU000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

A new era in Micro Four Thirds technology is about to begin. The new, revolutionary mirrorless camera, the OM-D E-M5, has an exceptionally light and compact body. Its Electronic View Finder enables photographers to check exposure levels, white balance and preview Art Filter effects in real-time. When shooting, the photographer can instantly "create" a truly unique world and preserve it in exceptional quality. The "world" will be transformed from something you see to something you "take part" in.

The OM-D is a groundbreaking, new digital interchangeable lens camera perfect for people who want to "take part", "create", and "share".