Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review: Bukit Bintang Night Shooting

Update (9 March 2012): Olympus Malaysia has unveiled their official pricing for the OM-D E-M5 and they are starting to take local pre-order  (9 to 31 March 2012). There are promotions with FREE gifts too, choice of MMF-3 adapter or 32Gb Sandisk EXTREME card. Do check out their official promotional page here (Click).

Important Notes:
1. This is a user experience based review.
2. All images were shot in RAW and converted directly to JPEG Large SF (super fine) via Olympus Viewer 2 version 1.3 (provided by Olympus Malaysia).
3. General camera settings, Noise Filter = OFF, Contrast/Saturation/sharpness = 0, White Balance = Auto (with an option maintain warm color = OFF), Gradation = Normal
4. No post-processing applied to the images. All images were as good as straight out of camera, with minimal cropping for better presentation.

This entry is Part 2 of my blog review for Olympus OM-D E-M5. If you have not done so, kindly read Part 1 here (click).

In this review entry, I shall jump straight into the question that everyone has been asking and asking all along, how is the high ISO performance of the new 16MP sensor? How does the E-M5 fare in low light shooting conditions? Previous Olympus cameras have been known to be lagging behind other camera manufacturers in terms of high ISO noise handling and shooting in dimly lit situations. To many modern photographers, one of the most important judging criteria to select a camera would be the high ISO performance (though I do not agree with this trend).

Before we dive in further, please have a look at the following updated video (same video as Part 1, but re-uploaded from fresh) and we solved the "jumping" issue encountered earlier. It was not due to the camera at all, but the post-production technical difficulties. We apologize for causing false impression on the jumping/shaking view in the video in the previous entry, as you can see in the video below the issue has been fixed. The later half part of the video also shows me shooting in action for this Part 2 review.

Music from a fast rising and upcoming local star: SILENT SCENERY 
(do check out their music page, they are simply awesome!!)

As an apology to the earlier "jumping" video issues, we have decided to publish some snippets that show the capabilities of the new 5-Axis Image Stabilization when it comes to hand-held video shooting.
Please go to my dear friend, Sanjit's awesome blog for the extra video clips HERE (click).

I would not push up the ISO settings just because I want to, and for the reason to test the camera. If the scene presented to the camera was bright enough and I can do away with lower ISO, I would. Therefore, there was no point to just point the camera at something ordinary that does not require high ISO shooting, and intentionally bumping up the ISO setting just to see how the results would be. Instead, I prefer to find the “need” to use the high ISO, a good reason for a shooting condition to do so. Therefore, a few challenges that popped up in mind would be: 1) shooting on the streets at night and 2) shooting in a very dimly lit lounge/bar, with live band music performance. Both conditions will have constantly moving subjects that require certain minimum shutter speed to freeze the motion, and when the available light was not bright enough, the only solution to counter motion blur would be engaging the higher ISO setting. We are talking about shooting handheld all the way, with no flash and fully available light only. We should not shoot high ISO just because we want to, we shoot high ISO only when we need to.

12mm F2 lens: 0.6sec, F/8, ISO640

12mm F2 lens: 1/2sec, F/8, ISO400

12mm F2 lens: 1/40sec, F/5.6, ISO1600

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/60sec, F/1.8, ISO3200


The first shooting location selected to utilize the high ISO settings of the E-M5 was Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. This is right at the heart of this big city, where it is always bustling with people from all walks of life. It is a melting pot of diverse races and cultures, and is usually very alive at night, busy with all sorts of activities. Bukit Bintang area also houses many popular shopping malls, such as Sungai Wang Plaza, Times Square, Lot 10 and KL Pavilion.

As we were about to start shooting the streets of Bukit Bintang after dinner, the weather decided to be cruel and it rained cats and dogs. We waited for a while until the rain was no longer too heavy, and good enough to walk comfortably. While waiting, we went into Starhill Gallery (just opposite the KL Pavilion) and walked around, hoping to chance into anything interesting to shoot. Photography God was smiling on us, because we stumbled upon a Turkish stage dance performance. The lighting condition was very dim, and there were no additional light used on the stage but the ambient tungsten, “hotel-like” lighting. I thought to myself, PERFECT, this was just the right opportunity to push the high ISO setting. I shot mostly with the 45mm F1.8 at ISO3200. Autofocus was snappy and there was no hiccup at all, as I managed to grab very high hit rate.

After the Turkish dance performance, we decided to see if the rain has stopped, but unfortunately it had not. The earlier heavy downpour has slowed down to light rain, and we braved ourselves to hit the streets, and yes we shot the night scene in rain. Although the rain was not that heavy, I drenched my cloths, and that means the camera too. No worries, because Olympus E-M5 is weather-sealed (used with 12-50mm kit lens), and no rain can prevent me from taking pictures out there for my review here to show to you beautiful people !!

Important Note: There was fogging issue inside the electronic viewfinder during this shoot in the rain. I shall be discussing that in a separate entry.

12mm F2 lens: 1/160sec, F/2, ISO3200

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/200sec, F/1.8, ISO3200

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO4000

100% Crop from Image Sample 1 - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 1 - Noise Filter LOW

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/160sec, F/1.8, ISO3200

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO4000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/60sec, F1.8, ISO2000

100% Crop from Image Sample 2 - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 2 - Noise Filter LOW

We walked from KL Pavilion towards Sungai Wang, and ended our shooting at Jalan Alor. Most of the interesting subjects were at Jalan Alor. I did not really care too much about the noise issue while I was shooting, and I selected the ISO settings manually, mainly to make sure that I can achieve enough shutter speed to prevent motion blur, when it was not intended. Since it was raining, everyone walked extra fast on the streets, hence shutter speed of 1/100sec or faster is required. I started off with shooting mostly from ISO1600 to 3200, and seldom found the need to push beyond that on the streets. I only needed to push the ISO to 4000 and beyond when I was using the 12-50mm due to the narrower aperture opening. When I was using 45mm F1.8 mostly on the street (the rain slowed down to drizzle when we arrived at Jalan Alor, so don’t worry I did not drench the 45mm in rain water), shooting wide open at F1.8, with ISO3200 I can almost cover everything I needed.


Being blown away by what I saw in the images, was an understatement. Never had anyone dared to dream of Olympus smaller sized sensor (4/3 sized) would be able to accomplish what I have just shown all of you in this entry, at this time of writing. Looking at the 100% crop images, the noise were very minimal, with minimal trace of Chroma Noise, which was unbelievable. At ISO3200, the image actually looked very clean, and even up to ISO6400, the output is still acceptably good, on par, or possibly better than E-P3 at ISO1600. Hence, Olympus’ initial claims as they announced the E-M5 that it has at least two stops of EV advantage over E-P3 were not a joke at all. It is true, and I am sure, after seeing all the image in this entry, it is very hard to argue with that.

I have shown the 100% crop images in both Noise Filter OFF and LOW. Looking at the differences between the NF LOW and OFF images, I dare say that the noise, even at just Noise Filter LOW, was very well suppressed, while decently good amount of detail is still preserved. Furthermore, at Noise Filter LOW, you can find very minimal amount of compression artifacts, which has been a problem plaguing the older E-P3 and E-5. It was very interesting to find out that somehow, the already amazing Olympus JPEG engine just gets even better, and it does give even more confidence for many people who would choose to shoot JPEG, and especially for those who prefer SOOC (straight out of camera) JPEG images. I would personally recommend the default noise filter to be LOW, rather than OFF, as you can evidently see for yourself in the comparisons that turning the Noise Filter off will not gain you much advantage at all (at least, not visible to my own eyes, hence the tiny difference is negligible). Having the Noise Filter LOW, you get the best of both worlds, optimizing detail captured while minimizing the high ISO noise.

12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens: 27mm, 1/10sec, F/5.2, ISO2500

12-50mm F3.5-6.3 lens: 27mm, 1/25sec, F/5.2, ISO5000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/125sec, F/1.8, ISO1250

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/125sec, F1.8, ISO1000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/80sec, F/1.8, ISO1000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/60sec, F1.8, ISO1000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/250sec, F1.8, ISO5000

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/100sec, F1.8, ISO1000

12mm F2 lens: 1/60sec, F1.8, ISO1250

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/50sec, F1.8, ISO1600
That was Sanjit doing his video thing in the background, shooting me.


Since most of the shooting at Bukit Bintang did not require me to push beyond ISO3200 (lets be sensible here, with F1.8, F2 we can almost get away with ISO1600 on typical street lighting in KL streets). Therefore, to cap the night off, we jumped right into a bar where there was a live band performance, and the artist of the night was Amir Yussof and his band. The live performance was held at La Bodega, Bangsar. We were very lucky to be seated very close to the stage, where I managed to get good shooting positions.

The La Bodega Lounge, like any other typical bar or lounge has very dim lighting. There were no additional supporting light shining on location where Amir Yussof and his band were playing. As I used Aperture Priority, with the 45mm F1.8 lens, I set the aperture to the widest, F1.8, at ISO6400, I could only get 1/60 sec to 1/80 sec, which was just nice to freeze some slight motion. Thankfully, Amir and his members did not move their bodies violently, and I shot mostly with ISO6400, and a few shots at 12,800. As crazy as these sounds, it was a necessity and not just pushing up the ISO because I can. Again, even in such dimly lit location, the E-M5 has completely NO issue locking focus quickly, and accurately, at all times. I switched the AF assist beam OFF, because I did not want to annoy Amir and his band members while they were playing (imagine strong bright red light beaming into your eye in such a dark ambient atmosphere). Even without the AF assist light, the camera’s AF worked like a charm and did not fail even once. I would even have doubts and worries if I were to shoot with my Olympus DSLR E-5 in such dangerously dark conditions!! The reliability and speed of Autofocus on Olympus Micro 4/3 system is surpassing what most DSLR can do in such challenging shooting.

I am sure by now you have noticed how amazing the white balance of the E-M5 in handling very difficult tungsten light in La Bodega Lounge. The white balance does superb job in maintaining very beautiful skin tone and overall color presentation. Though some of the colors may not be 100% accurate (no camera up to date can accomplish that), but the overall rendering of the colors are very pleasing and comfortable to look at. They still retain the signature Olympus colors. Many has complained on how E-P3 tends to over-saturate some of the images. I find that the colors from the E-M5 appear to be more neutral, and not that aggressive, which is important to maintain the “true-to-life” feel.

12mm F2 lens: 1/13sec, F2, ISO12,800

100% Crop from Image Sample 3 - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 3 - Noise Filter LOW

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/13sec, F1.8, ISO6400

100% Crop from Image Sample 4 - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 4 - Noise Filter LOW

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/80sec, F1.8, ISO6400

100% Crop from Image Sample 5 (ISO6400) - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 5 (ISO6400) - Noise Filter LOW

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/100sec, F1.8, ISO6400

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/50sec, F1.8, ISO6400

100% Crop from Image Sample 6 (ISO6400) - Noise Filter OFF

100% Crop from Image Sample 6 (ISO6400) - Noise Filter LOW

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/125sec, F1.8, ISO6400

45mm F1.8 lens: 1/100sec, F1.8, ISO6400

Olympus has been very loud in promoting their new 5-Axis Image Stabilization system, and everyone has been pretty much impressed by what it can do. I did not do a specific test in this entry on the IS, but I did come across some situations where I needed to drag the shutter speed to capture some motion blur (blurry people on the street). I was very surprised to find my images that were shot handheld at HALF a second to come out completely blur free. I do not exactly have some super steady hands that others photographers have, and I have never been able to pull off half second shutter speed with blur free images before with any camera I have used, not even with Olympus E-5. I thought I was lucky, so I did a few more shots, and all of them came out sharp and free of hand shake blur. The in body IS system is really that effective. I shall explore deeper into the IS system in my coming entry, where I really put it to test in more extreme shooting situations.

Coming back to the main topic of this blog review, I do feel that Olympus camera system is no slouch, and no longer lagging behind competition in terms of high ISO performance. The new 16MP sensor does a great job hand in hand with the JPEG processing engine to deliver very clean images, with very little chroma noise up to ISO6400. I do not have conclusive evidence, but I have strong reasons to believe that the image quality of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 may surpass some of the current best APS-C DSLRs. The image quality may not exactly be better than full frame cameras, but the gap difference is closing in. It is indeed a significant breakthrough for Olympus. Soon, the saying that “micro 4/3 camera’s weakness is high ISO shooting” will be history.

12mm F2 lens: 1/15sec, F2, ISO1000

100% Crop from Image Sample 7 - Noise Filter OFF

For your pixel-peeping pleasures (I know many of you get some kind of weird orgasm when you pixel-peep), you may download FULL SIZE JPEG samples of selected images in the link below.

Coming up in the next Olympus OM-D E-M5 review entry: Part 3: Macro Shooting in Butterfly Park, KL. In that entry, I shall be focusing on the 5-Axis Image Stabilization, how practical the Electronic Viewfinder is for manual focusing, and of course, even more samples to indicate the sharpness/resolution of the new sensor.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to say something in the comment section on this blog entry, or email me directly at hamish7ian@gmail.com


  1. Hi Robin,

    The camera does perform at High ISO. At ISO 6400, the images looks clean with minimal banding and noise. That said, the 5 axis IS does seem to work very well along with it. Wonderful camera indeed! Can't wait for the next chapter of your review.

    Good job mate!

    Eric V
    from Edmonton Alberta

  2. Hello Eric,
    I was very surprised to see clean ISO6400 too, something we all Olympus users would never have dreamed off previously. This is something really huge for Olympus community !!

  3. I have to agree with what Eric wrote. The last ISO100 shot is amazing. No way doing that with my E-600, well, you could do it of course but no way it would be that clean.

    I am looking forward to your macro shooting session in the butterfly park, since this is one of the things I intend to do also.

    It's a pity I have a (physical) problem with hot & humid conditions, otherwise I would love to go shooting in your place. Sadly the Om-d will not be available in CH in time for my trip to Sardinia. Well, the "old" E-600 will have to do again ;-)

    Cheers and thanks a lot for your efforts

    Claudius from CH

  4. Hello Claudius,
    Thanks for the kind compliments, it was my pleasure to share my findings here.
    Indeed, it is hard to argue that the high ISO performance has improved dramatically, as seen in many samples I have shown. I too, find it hard to believe that the images come from the "smaller sensor" of micro 4/3 system.
    Do not worry, we shoot macro mostly at base ISO100 or 200, with that, wonderful amount of details still can be captured !!

  5. Hello Robin,

    what I meant to say was "the last ISO 1000 shot" (not ISO100).

    Concerning your upcoming butterfly shots, I would not mind some higher ISO ones too! Too bad that the 60mm macro is not available yet.

    By chance, do you know when the MMF-3 adapter will be available?

    Cheers and thanks


  6. Robin,
    What a great show of the camera. It's no wonder you take such good shots, you look at the capabilities of the equipment, they seem to match your expectation and you go for it. Great post, as I have come to expect. Just never go to DoX you will become dissatisfied with all your equipment.

  7. Excellent job, Robin! Thank you so much! ISO up to 3200 looks very good and 6400 (and in some cases even 12800) looks usable. I am glad I preordered the camera. It is exactly what I need. Also good to read that the IBIS works nicely. This is very good news especially for people using legacy lenses...

    Greetings from Germany,

  8. Hello Claudius,
    Yes, the 60mm would be fantastic !!
    I have no idea about the MMF-3, but I have suspiciouns it should be available at the same time with the E-M5. Just my thoughts.

    Thanks for the compliments. Indeed, we must have certain expectations beforehand, and then we try the camera to see if it fulfill our needs. I just thought these days people have really ridiculous expectations !!

    Hello Gabi,
    Thanks for the kind words, You wont regret your pre-order I assure you.
    Yes, having a great IS coupled with good high ISO performance is a deadly combo indeed. Imagine the possibilities !!

  9. Hi Robin,
    I've been really really impressed not only by iso noise performance but also for fantastic color in high iso shot...!!!
    Great review, great pictures, great blog!!!
    ...and you are really a great person ,too! ;)
    ...I've been in your country some years ago...I visited Kota Kinabalu and K.L. really beautiful places and very friendly people.
    Hope to come back, one day.
    Greeting from Italy,

  10. Hello Gianlu,
    Thank you so much for your kind words, really appreciate them.

    You were right, the colors look great even at high ISO shooting, and the white balance engine does its job very well. As usual, nothing less expecting from Olympus colors.

    You have been to Malaysia? Wow, you should come back and visit again, and maybe shoot it with your new E-M5 !!

  11. =0L........ the more i look at your tests the more i want it

  12. Hello Rcferraris,
    You should get it !! ahha

  13. No! I will not buy it! I will notbuy it! I WILL NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT BUY IT!!!

    (where is my credit card?)

    Very good work, Robin! Impressive Camera and pics!



  14. Hello Sven,
    Long time no hear from you !!
    YES you WILL BUY it !! haha

  15. I thought my E-PM1 High iso performance was great comparing to my old E-3 (terrible with banding at 1600). Now this is awesome.

  16. I thought my E-PM1 High iso performance was great comparing to my old E-3 (terrible with banding at 1600). Now this is awesome.

  17. Hello James,
    It is always good to see improvements and progress. Great to see that Olympus is making a huge jump.

  18. No Spending until i have enough to buy it. That's how much I want it. hahaha. Just going to spend my money on food only and nothing else. everything goes to my savings. that's how much i want it. o_O

    Might as well beg people to give me a few bucks as well.

  19. Hello rcferraris,
    I strongly believe that, if we truly desire something, we put our hearts and determination into it, one day, surely it will be ours. You will own one mate, no worries.

  20. How does it compare to you E-5? Also, any Idea if Olympus has plans to make an OM adapter that will still allow fast Auto focus??

  21. Hello Rcferraris,
    I will write about my thoughts of E-M5 against E-5 in my coming entries.
    I do not think Olympus will be doing anything to allow AF for their OM lenses though. At least I have not heard of it.

  22. Just curious because because I haven't heard of any E-7 rumors.

    looking forward to your review then!

  23. rcferraris,
    We have actually heard about something on E-7 not too long ago. Olympus Japan Mr. Terada did mention that they are studying it and planning ahead for the E-7, in one of his interviews during the world launch of the E-M5.

  24. Hello Robin,

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with the camera with all of us. I'm very impressed by the results you got from the E-M5 i low light conditions downtown, and also in the cave. Definitely looking forward to the rest of your review. I'm also feeling good about pre-ordering one (black with kit) this tuesday.

    Regarding the view finder fogging up, I have experienced something similar with my E-30. In light rain or humid conditions, it tends to fog up when I breathe out through the nose.

    regards, Eirik S
    from Norway

  25. Hello Eirik,
    Thanks so much for the kind compliments.
    Having the viewfinder fogging up on the E-30 is perfectly fine, because it is not rated weather sealed. On E-M5 I am expecting the viewfinder to be sealed against ingress of moisture.

  26. The E-7 is going to have to be one hell of a camera to get E-M5 owners to buy it. specially because the E-M5 offers a WEATHER SEALING, and great ISO performance and a good price in my opinion.

    Correct me if I am wrong, but i Don't see anyone else selling an interchangeable lens with weather sealing at that price.

    anyway, i Hope to see your E-7 reviews when it comes out. won't buy it. but still interested to see where Oly goes from here.

  27. Hello Rcferraris,
    Lets take one step at a time. The fact that there are so many improvements in E-M5 promises even greater things to come for Olympus future bodies.
    Yes, the E-M5 is probably the worlds cheapest weather sealed camera body now.

  28. Enjoy this review a lot, thanks for your efforts!

  29. Thanks Bensch ! Glad you enjoyed it.

  30. Hello Robin,

    thanks for your amazing and very helpful reviews.

    I am a macro photographer and some time ago I updated my E-510 to a E-620 mainly because of the flipping display. But I was really disappointed by it because of the rather thick AA-filter (compared to the E-510) much of the fine detail got lost (which I didn't know when I bought it). I am really looking forward to the M5, which is supposed to have a slim AA-filter a flipping display and all the other advantages. Could be the time for me to do the step from FT to mFT.

    So, thanks again for your great work, its much appreciated!

    Best wishes from Germany

  31. hello Markus,
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Do come back for my Part 3 review in few days time, I will be shooting exclusively just MACRO on that entry !!

  32. hai pa' Cik...great review to start the weekend

    some question...I see some smudges around the mouth in sample 2 (100% crop, noise filter LOW), is that normal ?

    great pic on the guy with red umbrella..*like*

  33. hello Konikonaku,
    It is noise filter, meaning it does some reduction in the noise, at the expense of details. I wont say it is normal, but, shooting at such crazy high ISO settings, to me it is forgiveable, and still looking very good.

  34. Hi Robin ,.

    thx for the review ,.it's really great ,.you make a lot of people consider to buy this camera,.is very convincing

  35. oow...oke...sorry, i'm just newbie..but sample 2 original pic is very useable

    do you consider E-M5 to be the weapon of choice for JPEG shooter ??
    don't like to do heavy PP with RAW file so I prefer JPEG + Photoscape to do some adjusment

    45/1.8 awesome...!!

  36. Hello Konikonaku,

    I think the JPEG engine in E-M5 is possibly the best for now. Olympus has always produced amazing JPEG quality, so you wont go wrong with Olympus.

  37. Hi again Robin ,..I'm sorry I have to come back and ask you about something;,..I assuming you have the 50 mm F/2 macro 43 version,.my question is have you try on E-M5 ,.and how is the AF is it better than on E-P3?,..thx I really appreciate

  38. Hello Jevfp,
    There is no improvement at all using 4/3 lenses on E-M5 in comparison to E-P3. The only difference in the MMF-3 is the weather sealing. The AF is still very poor.

  39. Do you have any thoughts about how the new 5 axis image stabilization compares to the SteadyShot Inside that is found on the A77/A65? With the SteadyShot Inside there is an additional crop factor of 1.2. I don't think you have this problem with the Olympus stabilization. So that's a big point in favor of Olympus. But I wonder when it comes to taking videos which one is better or if they're both similar?

  40. Dear anonymous,
    kindly leave at least a name when you comment next time, so I can trace back your questions and requests should you respond to my answer in the future.

    I have not tried Sony A77/66 and their steadyshot. I am not aware of the 1.2x crop factor. Nonetheless, rest assured this problem does not exist for any Olympus cameras.

    I shall not comment on how E-M5 compares with the sony cameras, because obviously I have nothing to base that on.

    However, for more examples of video, please check my friend Sanjit's site (who shot me in the video)


  41. Hi Robin,

    great - the High ISO shots are far better than what is possible for EP3 currently.

    Will YOU be upgrading?

    I would like to see ISO 200 - 800 shows with Noise turned off / on.


  42. hello Mark,
    The focus on this entry is mostly high ISO. I will be focusing on the lower ISO testing in my macro shooting in Part 3.
    I am considering of upgrading... but the promise of all the good things in the coming E-7..... well, hopefully there is a coming E-7 !!

  43. Pics at iso 3200 looks promising, some of the 6400 seems amazing, more importantly it performs better at 6400 than i expected. I'll download full size pics when i get home to really look at those pixels. Looking at the top dial, there like a silver chrome underneath it, i hope its not plastic coated with chrome paint. I hate those. The look of it seems very magnesium,metal, and aluminium, i hope it feels like true om when i get a hold of it. If it doesnt feel like an om, im sure to have second thought.

  44. Hello Anonymous,
    Kindly leave a name so that I can trace your future comments.
    The ISO6400 images look better than expected, my thoughts exactly. You should download the full size images and see it for yourself !!
    And of course, to cope a feel of how the camera handles on your hands, you will have to have the real camera to make your own conclusions. This is a subjective matter.

  45. Hi Robin,

    thank you very much for your interesting hands-on.
    You really got me excited and I think this could become my first Olympus camera.

    It would be nice if you could answer me one question:
    Is it possible to set the menu and everything to english?

    I am going to Japan in April and consider buying one there (I know you are not based in Japan).

    Thanks in advance for reply.
    Greetings from Germany,


  46. hello Dennis,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Here the camera is all default by English. So it should not be a problem.

  47. wonderful shots again !
    Thanks for sharing

  48. Interesting test.
    I would like you to comment on this
    and this
    In my opinion, looking at the tests of focus numerique, I see the photos by E-M5 a little too washed up (comparing them to G£ i.e.).
    What do you think ?

  49. Hello Dasar,
    If you look at the settings closely, it was clearly stated in those tests you were referring to that the Noise Filter applied is "Standard", which is quite aggressive and smears off details.
    In my own set of tests, I purposely turned OFF Noise Filter, and did some comparisons to Noise Filter LOW.
    Having noise Filter OFF against Standard will create a world of difference, when you want to preserve original fine details.

    I hope that clears your confusion.

  50. Hello again Dasar,
    Another notable difference is that I use Olympus's updated version of Olympus Viewer 2 software provided by them (not available to the public yet) for RAW to JPEG conversion. This would have been optimized in retaining the original details as well, as opposed to any other RAW development software out there which are obviously not having been optimized for the E-M5's new RAW file.

  51. Hello robin :)
    I deeply appreciate your review and even more, i appreciate your positive and open minded spirit, you really do feel like a great, honest and pasionate human being, which is awesome : you're awesome ! ^^
    So thank you very much for that very instructive blog

    I fell upon your web site searching for replacement for my dinosaure canon 300D. Il love the compactness of the olympus, but i was always very frustrated with the slowness of my entry level dslr, and would very much want to make sure i can grasp every bits of action i want to take as fast as my finger move (things such as bunch of energetic kids or happy crowds).
    I was a bit surprised to see your pictures seems to be focusing only on one character at time, and i would be gratefull to know how much it is something you choose for the purpose of art, or if it can be due to the limitations of either the camera or lense.
    I was very amazed at Rob Galbraith pic on his review of the Nikon1, as it was very good for action, but, your review definitly make me think the olympus would be better for everything else. Hence my question about the autofocus abilities ^^.
    Thank you for your time, and again, really, my deepest congratulation on that blog, i really enjoyed every bits of it, from comments to images

  52. Hello PinkB,
    Thanks so much for your kind comments. I really appreciate it.

    The Autofocus on the E-M5 is extremely fast !! It definitely is faster than Nikon 1 system, no question on that.

    However, I do not understand your question. Why am I focusing on one subject at a time? If I can focus on one subject and immediately capture it and freeze it in action, while it is still moving, does this not prove that the autofocus is reliable, fast and snap on click of the shutter button?

    I have no issues with the AF. Unless you have something else you want to shoot in mind, which I am not aware of.

  53. Great! You got the om-d and I finally got my om zuiko 50mm f/1.8 :)

  54. Hello Richard,
    lets put them together !!

  55. Robin,
    nice review as usual. I am really impressed by the performance of the E-M5. Considering also the lens lineup, the NEX system starts to slowly lose its appeal for me.
    Btw, the cheapest weather sealed camera today would be the Pentax K-5, although it isn't a mirrorless one :)

    I was in Japan 2009-2010 and, if memory serves well, it was Panasonic and Sony cameras that had only the Japanese menus. You still could find them in English, but you would need to search more and pay more. So, I doubt you'll have a problem with Olympus.

  56. Hello Vladimir,
    Thanks for pointing out some useful facts. Pentax K-5 is a wonderful DSLR !! It is a shame it is not getting the attention and spotlight it deserves, overshadowed by "bog boys".

  57. Thanks a lot for the clarification about "standard" and "low" NR settings.
    I couldn't even imagine they call standard such an aggressive performance ...

  58. Dasar,
    The terms can be confusing, not your fault, only Olympus users would be familiar with it.
    Noise Filter options:

    We usually shoot with OFF or LOW, and using STANDARD of HIGH will just destroy too much useful details. Hope that helps.

  59. Hi Robin,

    thank you for these wonderful, fun and enthusiastic experience reports - I love to see real world useage and you live in a beautiful part of the world.

    Would it be possible for you to make any of your images available as raw files for download? I would like to be able to develop them with sharpening, contrast and saturation set to -2 in 'muted' colour space to AdobeRGB TIFF in Olympus Viewer - then to finish in LR4... this is my normal workflow for the E-P3.

    Thanks again


  60. Hello Brian,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    Unfortunately I was not allowed to give out RAW files. I am sorry for not being able to help out here.

  61. Hello Brian,
    if you read this, please email me directly at hamish7ian@gmail.com

  62. Hi Robin,

    Very nice camera. The pictures are great. I would buy this camera once I learned how to take good pictures like yours. Will work hard to master the skill. In the mean time, I will use the existing Olympus gears E-PM1 and E-510.

    Chi Lee (itauditor)

  63. Hello Chi Lee,
    E-510 and E-PM1 are both great cameras !! I am sure you are making wonderful images with them.
    Thanks for your kind comments.

  64. Robin, terrific review, thanks for your thoughtful effort. Have you tried the 20mm f1.7 on the E-M5? Keep up your great work!


  65. Hello Kirk,
    Thanks for the kind compliments.
    Unfortunately I was unable to get my hands on a 20mm F1.7 during my 2 days only testing period. I am sure others (many reviewers out there) would have given this combo a try. Sorry I could not be of any help here as I have returned the review units to Olympus Malaysia

  66. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  67. Hi Robin, thanks a lot for your reviews and all the other work in this blog. I love your pictures and always get a smile on my face when I see how you deal with the camera and the subjects.

    Only one question, did you had the fogging issue on both cameras? Or could it be a bug?

    Greetings Ulli

  68. Barry from Edmonton3/09/2012 11:43:00 PM

    "I know many of you get some kind of weird orgasm when you pixel-peep"

    Hands-down, best part of the review.

    Thanks for your time and effort Robin. I went from Oly to Nikon and now will be going back to Oly since I think they've brought more innovation to the table.

  69. Hello Ulli,
    Thanks for your kind comments.
    Yes, we had problems with BOTH cameras. Hope Olympus fixed this before the mass production rolled out.

  70. Hello Barry,
    LOL !!!
    Welcome back to Olympus bandwagon !!

  71. Hello Robin, Thanks for the excellent review of the E-M5. I ordered the kit the first day it was available. I really want a fast 25mm lens besides the kit lens and have heard so many complaining that the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 has a noisy aperture on the Olympus bodies. Is it possible you have that lens and could see how it performs on the E-M5? Thanks Bill

    1. Hi Robin, thanks to your excellent positive reviews (and added to that the positive review by Steve Huff, he also does excellent "real life" reviews, no weird graphics) I recently bought me the EM-5, with the kit lens 12/50 that came with it and added the Olympus 45 mm 1.8 and the Panasonic 25mm 1.4. I only have it for a week now, so I am still in my learning stage, but the first shots really look amazing. It's like you said in the your review: image quality and High Iso is on par with my Nikon D90. The three lenses are really fabulous.
      I was just wandering if you could give me any suggestions on longer zoom lenses. I know Panasonic has a 100/300 and Olympus a 75/300 I think. Any experience with that type of lenses?
      Thank you very much, and again, congratulations with your tremendous work!

      as for Bill: I just bought the Panasonic 25 and it is absolutely silent. No noisy aperture. The camera itself though makes a little noise, a very light buzz that I only hear holding the camera to my eye and in a silent environment.Nothing to worry about, after the first couple of hours shooting with it, I didn't even noticed it.

      Best regards,


    2. Oh, and I forgot to say: the three lenses are really great, but if I would have to make a ranking: the Panasonic 25m 1.4 (in my opinion) is the best of the three.



  72. Helo Bill,
    I would really love to help out but I have returned the E-M5 to Olympus Malaysia. I only had it for 2 full days last weekend for review purposes.

  73. Very nice ISO performance! And there is nothing wrong with pixel peeping as it's the only way to know how a picture will print in large size.

  74. Hello Bartosz,
    Thanks !!
    Of course, I was just kidding (I have some weird orgasm too when I pixel-peep)

  75. The image with the Indian couple having their makan...

    Is that Satish at the back? haha

  76. Hello sispecho,
    what is Satish?

  77. Im sorry... what I meant was Sanjit..

    didnt know where i got that from..

  78. Yes that was Sanjit, as I have described beneath the photo.

  79. Thank you again Robin.

    Your real world reviews are much better than a pure technical review, IMHO it better shows what the camera can do for you, and we can still see your beautiful pictures.

    What lens did you use on the macro photos?

    Do you think the new OM-D will have a better handling/balance when using a legacy Macro lens (like my Vivitar 55mm) than a E-PL2? Will the battery grip make things better? I'll stick to this lens until you post the review of the new 60mm later this year (let's hope NOT so late).

  80. [quote]"They still retain the signature Olympus colors. "[/quote]

    Robin, may I suggest you to do a simple test for yourself ? - no need to respond though ...

    Take the JPG pix you provided and (batch) process 'em in IrfanView.

    - Press SHIFT/G to bring up color correction
    - set BLUE to -8 (or so)
    - set CONTRAST to +10 (or so)
    - set GAMMA to 0.95 (or so)

    and then judge for yourself comparing to E-PL1 and E-5 JPG appearance in basic terms (of colors)

  81. Hi again Robin, and thanks you very much for the answer :)
    I'm not to great at expressing myself, i'm sorry ^^
    Maybe what i mean is when you have several dancers, only one of them can be clearly seen, maybe because some are more in front, and some others behind. It might be also due to the light at night, as well as to your choice to focuse on one very pretty woman dancing, and not that much on the boys around :)
    As for my question, if you have several people playing or dancing and moving together, can you manage to freeze them all ? or at least a bunch of them ?

    Maybe my question is around that : is there some "multiple target autofocus" possibilities ?

    For exemple, if i was to follow a ball game, i'd like the 2 or 3 people around the ball to be focused, not just one of them. I wouldn't mind the entire team, but, a bit more than one player would be needed. Is that possible ? ^^ (i know this is no sport camera too :))

    (I seriouly hope you'll get gloriouly thanked by Olympus, as not only does your images are selling a lot of their camera, but your precious comments are such a help too :))

    Have a wonderfull day :)

  82. PS : I forgot to mention i'dying to see your macro pictures, as i so much loved the bugs on your previous lense review, that i saved the page for inspiration !!
    (who knew spiders can be so cute !! *^_^*)

  83. Nice job so far but, unfortunately, info on JPEG capture doesn't help me or interest me much. I want to see a thorough analysis of RAW capture and the files it produces. I hope you plan on covering this.

  84. Edwin Santioso3/10/2012 02:02:00 AM

    Impressive review as always Robin. Can't hardly wait to read the 3rd part.

  85. Robin,
    I just reread the article and comments and there's one thing I am not sure I understand. How does the weather sealing is supposed to reduce the fogging of the EVF glass? I would think that it will worsen it, actually.

  86. Peter aus Berlin3/10/2012 02:30:00 AM

    Hi Robin,
    with my Olympus E-PL2 You can adjust the menu for the (OIS) image stabilization, the focal length. Is it in the e-M5 as well? Do they have it set for each objective? Or geeht automatically when e-M5?
    If it is not automatic, as it then zoom in? But it is at all useful? I've never read that someone set the focal length for image stabilization in the menu ...
    Greetings from Berlin Peter

  87. Robin,
    I have been reading your blogs with interest on the OM-D. Your images are amazing. So refreshing to see sample shots of creative scenes rather than brick walls.

    Your pics makes me glad I got the m.45. What a fantastic lens. Will soon become a classic im sure.

    Since you shot jpegs OOC what pricture mode were you using?


  88. Hi Robin, Thanks for this great reports. You captured some wonderful photos. It seems like the camera is a lot of fun to use.

  89. Hello Dothraki,
    Thanks for the kind words. All your questions will be answered in that coming macro shooting entry !!!

    Hello Mige0,
    Thanks for the suggestions, but I trust my eyes better.

    Hello PinkB,
    I think you must have been confused between focusing and depth of field.
    Bokeh (background blur) is something desired, where you only have one subject clear, and you blur the rest away. This is a technique to isolate your subjects. This can be achieved by a few means, and one of them is by using large aperture lenses (such as the F1.8 lens I used).
    It is a much sought after photography effect.
    If you want everything clear then you do not need expensive lenses, even the normal kit lens with F3.5-5.6 which is very cheap, can give you more zone in focus. We pay MORE to get the "bokeh" effect in expensive glass.

    Hello Anonymous,
    Please include your name in your future comments.
    Funny, I thought analysis on RAW files mean nothing to me. I would rather just inspect on the original JPEG output, which is less "skewed" and more "standardized".

  90. Hello Edwin,

    Hello Vladimir,
    I thought if it was weather sealed there should not be any moisture ingress, hence no fogging.

    Hello Peter,
    For micro 4/3 and 4/3 lenses mounted on your E-PL2, you do not have to set the focal length, it is automatically calibrated for you.
    However, the focal length must be set if you are using manual focus lenses. Similarly this applies to the E-M5 as well.

    Hello Gary,
    Thanks for the kind compliments. Yes, the 45mm is a gem !!
    I was using the default picture mode "Natural" at all times.

    Hello Wataru,
    Thanks for the kind compliments !! I think you are the first few Japanese to comment on the E-M5 review entries, though I know I have got many visits from Japan !!

  91. Hey Robin, good review.

    However it is telling that although you talked about using the kit lens on the night shoot, you chose not to include even one image shot with it.

    Is this because the kit lens is too slow really for low light photography.

    This concerns me as at least initially (until I save some more) I can only afford the kit lens.

  92. Hello Ser Sobe,
    The kit lens is a good all rounder. I just felt that if I were to bring the best out of the camera, i should be using the best lenses. The 12mm and the 45mm are some of the finest micro 4/3 lenses to date. So there is no question when people view the images and wonder if it could be better if better lenses are used.

  93. Can I take that to mean the kit lens is capable of good hand-held night shots - just too slow to freeze action?

  94. Dear Robin,
    What is the best street photography lens under $500 US dollars.
    Do you like the panasonic 20mm 1.7?

  95. Hi Robin,

    Zillion thanks to your great review. Really wish to have a hands-on experience on it. Keep up the good work!

  96. Hi Robin, EXCELLENT photos! You have such a clean style and I really like how people react to you. Your blog is beautiful too.
    1. How about battery life on the EM-5? Realistically.
    2. How is it working with the EVF (any eye strain) when one is used to mostly a standard prism viewfinder? Any downside?
    To Olympus;
    PLEASE OLYMPUS, MAKE BLACK VERSIONS OF THE 12MM, 45MM, FUTURE 75MM ;) LOVE the silver, but they not stealthy enough for photojournalism.

  97. Robin,


    Now you mention the E-7...grrr

    Well oly please provide an mmf 4 with pdaf support.

  98. Robin,


    Now you mention the E-7...grrr

    Well oly please provide an mmf 4 with pdaf support.

  99. This comment has been removed by the author.

  100. This comment has been removed by the author.

  101. Great. i'm waiting for that camera. Non only for street photography but also for wedding photography :

  102. Hello Ser,
    Tge kit lens might struggle to achieve high shutter speed to freeze motions, but you can bump up the ISO or use flash.

    Hello Jacob,
    There really is no "best street photography lens". it all comes down to your own preference and shooting style. You may email me and we can have further discussion on this matter.

    Hello Sammerize,
    You are welcome !

    Hello Craig,
    Thanks for the kind compliments.
    The battery life is very good, I shot about 400 shots with it in a single charge and came home without the sign of battery low. I of course did not drain it off but immediately charge it till full before the next trip. I was only given 2 full days with the camera, so I did not have any opportunity to dry out the camera !!

    Hello Mark,
    Yes, PDAF support would be AWESOME !!

    Hey photographystreet,
    I am sure the wait will not be long, should be available in April !!

  103. Hi Robin :)
    Thx for the superb review.
    I've been in a struggle if I would get me a fullframe, but E-M5... this time Olympus obviously did a better job.

    Now I wanna see RAW files.

    Lots in Japan are complaining when you go for a serious one, higher grade 4/3 lens is kind of a MUST... that spoils the size, AF and more.

    As the best in Oly's m4/3 line-up, we should probably have to wait for 75mm f1.8, since Oly guys say that will be the best m4/3 lens ever.


  104. hello Dai,
    Thanks for the kind comments.
    Yes, can't wait for the 75mm lens also !!

  105. Hi Robin, impressive review and finally an Oly that one need not apologise for, especially where noise is concerned!

    My E 510, I know its old, can barely keep noise out above ISO 400. E-M5 might be the one to replace it.

    Looking forward to even higher ISO pictures in your next segment.

    Cheers mate.

  106. Thanks KenP.
    Olympus' not being able to catch up on noise performance will be yesterday's news from now onwards.

  107. Robin,
    I think weather sealing would only stop more moisture from getting inside. Condensation would still happen on the outside and the humidity of the air trapped inside could also condensate. Unless I am wrong in my assumptions, of course. You never had this problem happen with your E-5?
    I am generally used to cold weather, this year I was taking photos in -30C and it's interesting to hear how it all works in your climate.

  108. Hello Vladimir,
    That never happened to my E-5, not even my E-520, both which I have brought along into the Malaysian rainforest which is very wet/humid at all times.
    And the fact that the camera was only exposed to light rain and it was not even cold, and the fogging only means moisture somehow went in from the outside.

  109. Well, Robin, now I am puzzled :)

  110. Hello Vladimir,
    I have given my feedback to Olympus Malaysia. I am sure they are doing something before the mass production. So no worries.

  111. Thank you Robin for your test shots and insights. I remember when you shot the E-5 you wrote of its special "soul" and your photos seemed especially sensitive to what the camera could do in your hands. Do you feel similarly about the E-M5? Or is it simply a very good camera perhaps without that special "something"?

  112. hi Robin (weird calling another person by the same name, LOL)
    I shall be writing about that in my conclusions. haha !!

  113. hihihi !

    Hi robin,
    thank you for that fascinating lesson : us, mom, are really simple minded being : we would surely pay a lot more for a lense that makes every one of our kids looking perfectly neat, without knowing what is costy or not ^^ :)

    It's kind of awesome to learn , for once, i will be saving to be more happy :) (that leaves a lot of cleaning the kids to have them really "neat", in the picture that is ^^;; ;)

    All my apologises for the wierd question, then. I suppose i just met the point where my artistic view met some wierd place of my brain, where other priorities easily overlap.
    Though i must say, i still don't feel too easy with that much blur, when a group of related people are involved and working together... That's not mom talking there, it would be more like saying, isn't it like telling a different story that the story they are telling ? Ah... that might be professional perspective catching me : you indeed are much more of an artist that i am in there, and i much appreciate your freedom and unique point of view :)

    thanks again, and i hope my ramble wont offend you, as i really enjoy very much watching your photos :D

  114. pm.parkes@tiscali.co.uk3/11/2012 08:47:00 AM

    Hi Robin;

    Some very good shots taken in less than ideal circumstances indeed! I have pre-ordered am E-M5 in the UK and judging by friends at Focus 2012 it will be superb. If the ISO 200-400 noise levels are also lower than E-P3 this will be great too. IS0 1600-3200 look marvellous. Want to know more about the EVF fogging though - could it be spectacle wearers "force" water in somehow?

    Kind regards

  115. Hello PinkB,
    No worries, glad to be able to share. Also, always something new to learn, even professionals and experienced photographers continue to improve and better themselves, always something new to learn.

    Hey pm_parkes,
    Glad to hear that you have pre-ordered !
    I am not too sure what caused the fogging. Lets hope whatever it is, Olympus has solved the issue.

  116. Ha ha! Yes, I grew up meeting no other Robins but the internet has changed that. Quite a few times I have written as one Robin to another. Birds of a feather...

  117. I know right, there are so many bloggers known as "Robin" out there. Scary sometimes.
    Indeed, birds of same feather !

  118. Hi Robin,
    great reviews you've done here, calm and collected, not hysterical and fan-boyish
    The results look pretty impressive, though I won't be getting an EM-5, it looks good for the EP3 replacement (whenever that is, and I'm happy to wait)
    Also really like you're photos as they're a real impression of the street and a nice variety of shots - real life use
    Mkaes me want to revisit KL too
    best wishes

  119. forgot to say, love the flip flop shot :)

  120. Hello Andy,
    Thanks for the compliments !! No need to rush into buying anything new, I am sure that the E-P3 is still serving you very well.
    Do come visit Malaysia !! It is a nice place for a holiday, great place to shop too !!

  121. Hi Robin, another useful real world user review, nicely done.

    OOT: is that Dean Felber of Hootie and the Blowfish, playing bass alongside Amir Yussoff?

    Cheers :)

  122. Once again an awesome work Robin..
    Looks like the OM-D E-M5 is an amazing camera..


  123. Hey Robin,
    Excellent review! I know the AF is superb with the Oly lenses but how is the AF with Panasonic lenses attach?

    Best Regard,

  124. Thanks Barry, and yes that was Dean Felber indeed !!

    Hello Ram,
    Thanks !! It is a very good camera.

    Hey Allan,
    Thanks, I did not try the camera with any Panasonic lenses in such limited time given to me. Sorry I could not help, but I am sure there are many other review sites might have done so. Keep an eye out.

  125. Robin,

    You did very well review with the images you posted up.

    I admire this camera because it is:
    - weather sealed
    - compactness is important
    - complete features and its functionality

    Yes, this camera will be in my add cart together with new m4/3 lenses.

    Keep up spirit, Olympus!


  126. Hello MP,
    Thanks !! Yes, let's keep up the spirit !

  127. This comment has been removed by the author.

  128. Like I Previously said, AWESOME!!

  129. Hi Robin,

    Thanks for the excellent review and sharing. I once have a terrible experience with Panasonic G1. The settings of ISO, white balance and others were frequently changed accidentally by my hand (the lower part of my right hand thumb). I sold it after 6 months. I notice that the position of control pad of EM5 is the same as G1. According to your using experience, does the EM5 have the same flaw? Thanks.

    Simon from Hong Kong

  130. Hello Simon,
    Thanks for the kind words.
    No I did not have any issues of accidentally pressing any buttons when using the E-M5. Nonetheless, this would differ from person to person (how you hold the camera, size of hand, etc)

  131. Hi Robin.Can I depend on this camera for fulltime videography for events. Is it able to produce video quality as 5DM2 & AF during video shoting is as fast as GH2 or Sony. Pls advice me. Kalai

    1. HI!
      I'll save Robin the trouble by answering this for you:

      Depends on the requirements of your videography events. There is no way the E-M5 can match the video performance of 5DM2 since it is in an entire league altogether to begin with. But the E-M5 does have AF in video mode, but i am not how good this is. I guess it is satifactory at best since most professionals opt to use manual focus even on high end camcoders.

  132. "Never had anyone dared to dream of Olympus smaller sized sensor (4/3 sized) would be able to accomplish what I have just shown all of you in this entry, at this time of writing." You should realy have tried the Panasonic G3 months ago. Probably the same sensor and the high ISO pefromance is virtually identical. So, nothing new from Olympus in the image quality departement. I find this a little disappointing. Maybe the next generation will be more interesting. I hope Olympus doesn't go along in the megapixel race, but focusses on less noise.

    1. Good point mate. However, currently, 16 MP is the minimum requirement for high end cameras nowadays. I guess Olympus is trying to get the sensor right one step at a time: Push to the 16MP limit and work on the image quality as the next step. I am eyeing on the second gen E-M5 already solely for this reason. Also, since this camera is olympus's new super high end consumer camera, hence the amount of investment needed to buy it, its just wise to wait a bit longer for the more refined version of it.

  133. HI Robin.
    Thanks and well done on this review.

    I just want to add one thing: Can you please show some pictures taken using the kit lens? If i am not mistaken, it is a new zoom m4/3 lens built especially for the E-M5 with F3.5 widest aperture.

    This seems more fair since most of us will be opting for the zoom kitlens when buying, as opposed to the 45mm prime, especially new Olympus users. Plus there is no review on the new kitlens anyway.....


    1. Thanks for the kind compliments.
      Also, kindly read the rest of the review write ups, especially the latest review. I tested the E-M5 exclusively with the 12-50mm there. Check the sidebar for the links.

  134. HI Robin.
    Thanks and well done on this review.

    I just want to add one thing: Can you please show some pictures taken using the kit lens? If i am not mistaken, it is a new zoom m4/3 lens built especially for the E-M5 with F3.5 widest aperture.

    This seems more fair since most of us will be opting for the zoom kitlens when buying, as opposed to the 45mm prime, especially new Olympus users. Plus there is no review on the new kitlens anyway.....


  135. Hello Robin, thanks a lot for the review. OMD seems awesome. I am a hobbyist from Bangladesh. I am using a Nikon D7000. I like it's focus speed and low light capability. I never use the live-view, always OVF. But the problem is its weight and bulk. Bridge type bodies are very loud for street photography. So I was looking for a small light weight rangefinder type camera which has an eye level viewfinder and no compromise with the image quality. From your review, OMD EM5 shows it can satisfy my need. What do you think? Should I go for it? Please suggest me as I am not able to purchase these costly machines every now and then, i am not a rich man, I need to sell my D7000 and all lenses to buy OMD. LOL. I want to hear it from an expert like you, who has used it. Another thing is, if I buy this, I will also need two primes (one normal and one longer focal length) along with the new 12-50mm. I wont need weather sealing for these. Which lens do you prefer?

    I am a novice, but photography is giving me peace, so I want to stick to it, I am not after fame. Please help me decide above as a big brother. I'll be grateful. Thanks - Asif Rahman.

  136. TQ Robin, for sharing such an informative E-M5. I hv been using Olympus E-3 and planning to get another easy carry dslr but now it seems E-M5 is a good choice to me

  137. Thank you for your review Robin... the big question: Does this Olympus take better pictures than a DSLR? For example a Canon 60D? Or you really think that the Olympus is still below the mentioned DSLR?? Thank you for your answer..

  138. hi robin..i from LYN..
    wanna ask..is it possible for e-pm1 mounted with a 75-300 lens??
    coz i love to take long shots..ha3..
    n im newbie here..so wanna used the lowest specs of camera as i can get..
    e-pm1 in malaysia can get around rm1600 for new with 14-42 lens

  139. thanks for the review. really great about the low light shooting. can you tell me how you turn the AF assist beam off?

  140. i am the person who asked about the AF assist beam previously as anonymous. i just bought this camera today and wanted to say that your review was very helpful to me in making my decision. i'm using a panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens which i'm hoping will make it even better in low light. i know the damned thing must have a way to shut off the AF assist and i'd really appreciate some direction.

  141. Hi Robin,
    Nice blog and photos..
    Just curious can we use the current 4/3 lens (12-60mm SWD) in OM-D? How was the focus function?

    Cheok Kuan (penang)

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  149. Hi, I am getting lot of noisy faces when I click at ISO 2000 using the 12-50 lens at 3.5 aperture jpeg only. Infact the photos are not good to show to others. Is this because Noise filter is set to standard? I see general landscape pics comes out good at ISO 2000 but not people photo in low light.
    Another question, Out of 17mm, 20mm and 25mm, which lens should I buy? Already have the 75mm killer lens.

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