Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III should feel like a new camera to old fans
After four years, Olympus' midrange enthusiast mirrorless finally gets some love.
Lori GruninSenior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
ExpertisePhotography, PCs and laptops, gaming and gaming accessories
Four years on,
is finally showing its middle child some love. The
Mark III, an enthusiast mirrorless camera sandwiched between the performance-focused OM-D E-M1 Mark II and E-M1X above and the entry-level OM-D E-M10 Mark II below, has been languishing as a Mark II since February 2015. And now, like many a middle child, it's ready to receive its hand-me-downs from bigger siblings.
In this case, that means the revamped control layout on top, 20MP sensor, 121-point phase-detection autofocus system, Pro Capture prerecording mode, better weather sealing, 4K video-recording capabilities and more from the E-M1 models.
In fact, there's enough new and better here that it should feel like a big upgrade if you're stepping up from the previous model and to distinguish it from the E-M10 Mark II. It's a little lighter, though the same size, and manages to preserve its (admittedly meh) 310-shot battery life while switching to the slightly smaller battery from the E-M10 models.
It's slated to ship in November at a body-only price of $1,200 and as a kit with the 14-150mm f4-5.6 II lens for $1,800.
Despite all the updates, though, it's still in a pretty tough position. Sony's A6500, which came out three years ago (and whose successor, the A6600, is due in November) fits a larger APS-C sensor into a body about the same size, with many of the same core capabilities (though without some, like a high-res mode), for a similar price. The Micro Four Thirds lenses used by the Olympus do tend to be smaller than Sony E-mount versions, which can keep the overall carry size of Olympus gear smaller, though.