Could this be the camera I have been waiting for? A weathersealed Micro Four Thirds styled like the classic Olympus OM series? The OM-D E-M5?

Written by Gary on January 22nd, 2012

Olympus have announced a new style of Micro Four Thirds camera will be formerly announced on 8th February 2012 – you can get early email announcement by clicking on their Coming Soon section. seem to be fairly confident that the “Olympus OM-D” will have the following specs:

– classic OM design
– It has a magnesium body
– It is weathers sealed
– weight 373 g (body only).
– 16 megapixel sensor optimized for High Dynamic Range
– 200 up to 25.600 ISO
– Built-in electronic viewfinder 1.44 million dots – positioned in the center of the body like the old OM optical viewfinders and same resolution as the external VF-2 viewfinder.
– 610.000 pixel OLED tilting 3 inch screen.
– Five-axis image stabilizer in body.
– FAST AF and 3D tracking
– Comes in Black or Silver.

– comes with an external weatherproofed flash with GN 10 – the FL-LM2 which can also act as a remote TTL flash trigger
– eye-detect EVF which also allows viewing of the IS effect, very handy for manual focus of telephoto lenses
– 2 more art filters
– HD video in .MOV MPG4 AVC, H.264 as well as motion jpeg format (not AVCHD), sound is PCM
– the 3″ 3:2 aspect 614K dots OLED touch screen is presumably the same Samsung screen as on the E-P3 which is an excellent screen, easily viewable in bright sunlight, but the default settings of “vivid info” do not give accurate colors so same may wish to change this setting to “natural-info” via the wrench menu.
– new “battery” has the capacity of 1220 mA
– optional weathersealed MMF-3 Four Thirds – Micro Four Thirds adapter with removable tripod mount
– optional grips and vertical grip with 2nd battery.
– optional underwater diving box – PT-E08
– optional new FL-600R flash with GN50 and built-in LED light for movie mode, and has a faster recovery than the FL-36 or FL50
– Price: Around $1,200 in USA or 1,100 Euro in Europe.

Here is an photo of it from

I think it looks beautiful, just like my awesome OM-1 and OM-2 film SLRs, now we will have to wait and see how it functions and how good the images are.

I guess many may have hoped for a EVF moved to the far left so it could be used more like a Leica rangefinder, but Olympus I guess are wanting to maintain some posterity and the OM series design were big winners and very popular in the 1970’s – 1980’s. Personally I would have preferred the viewfinder hump to be less prominent to improve compact size.

Olympus have developed the fastest AF system currently available for stationary subjects (beating even the pro Nikon dSLRs) and has the enormous advantage that unlike dSLR phase contrast systems which require microcalibration for each lens, this contrast detect AF will be much more accurate than dSLR AF which is particularly important when using shallow DOF lenses. Furthermore you can set it to automatically detect and focus upon the nearest eye of your subject – now that is VERY handy indeed!

Hopefully the 3D tracking will allow a phase-contrast like experience for moving subjects, but I am not holding my breath on that.

I would have liked ISO 100 but I can understand Olympus has to compete with the larger sensor cameras for high ISO performance and do as they do – have a high native base ISO than ISO 100.

I love that they are keeping the in-body image stabiliser – I am not sure what 5-axis means – I guess it adds rotational movements as well as back and forwards, so could be very handy indeed for hand held macrophotography.

It looks as though it will have a new sensor which is about time for Olympus, I just hope it is an over-sized one as in the Panasonic GH series which allows 16:9 native images without cropping.

The tilt LCD is probably a reasonable option and offers another point of difference to the Panasonic bodies which have full flip out and swivel (which I do like as you can protect the screen better and do self-portraits, but tilt does allow for more discrete use).

I wonder if it is now time for Olympus to also introduce the OM adapter they filed a patent for 2 years ago which appears to have a 0.5x wide converter built-in with AF capability which then effectively converts old Olympus OM manual focus lenses back to their native field of view whilst adding AF but potentially giving even wider effective aperture?

It seems Olympus has finally decided to produce a lens just for me – a 75mm f/1.8 – perhaps I may be able to leave my much loved manual focus Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 at home now?

Olympus have also been rumoured to be announcing a weather proofed 60mm f/2.8 macro lens – another great addition to the Micro Four Thirds line up!


Very exciting indeed!

Please Mr Olympus, put an oversized GH-2 sized sensor in it so I can do native, uncropped 16:9 images!

I am also guessing it is time for Panasonic to produce a GH-3.



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