The Good A dust-and-weather-sealed design distinguishes the Olympus OM-D E-M5 from the rest of the interchangeable-lens crowd, and its class-leading performance doesn't hurt, either. Plus, it's got an interesting, relatively streamlined shooting design.
The Bad The photo quality is solid, but not outstanding, especially if you shoot only JPEG.
The Bottom Line If you're looking for something a lot better, faster, and more sophisticated than a point-and-shoot that can stand up to your adventures, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is a great choice.
Much as it did when launching the PEN series of Micro Four Thirds cameras, Olympus trots out another beloved film brand and updates it for the digital age. This time out, though, Olympus frames enthusiasts squarely in the scene. Olympus' reincarnation of its OM film line squarely targets those enthusiasts who've proven to be either Olympus loyalists or fans of the Micro Four Thirds (MFT)standard. And while I'm not fond of the nomenclature -- the first model is the overhyphenated OM-D E-M5 -- Olympus certainly deserves points for style. In fact, the camera has some really outstanding qualities, including a great feature set and class-leading performance. Unfortunately, I was less impressed with the photo quality than I would have liked.
(Note: If some of this sounds familiar, it's because it's the result of a combination of my previous coverage plus my final test results.)
I have mixed feelings about the photo and video quality from the E-M5. It's very good, and definitely better than most point-and-shoots, but despite an upgraded sensor and imaging engine, it lacks that extra je ne sais quoi that I expect from a camera in its more advanced class. On one hand, it delivers very well-rendered color and accurate, consistent exposures. At ISO 200, the JPEGs look excellent, although the camera frequently oversharpens -- in some places where it shouldn't be sharpening at all. It retains highlight detail extremely well, too, and bright, saturated reds and magentas look as they should.
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