I’ve examined my images from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and my conclusion is that it merits some serious discussion (review). Which is quite unlike my current point and shoot whipping boy, the frustrating Leica X2. What an overpriced non-camera (the X2) by comparison to the intelligently designed OM-D E-M5.
One way to judge a camera is by how quickly you can use it efficiently (though inherent camera design goals should be respected, e.g. manual focus on a Leica M9). The Leica X2 rubbed chafed me ergonomically for multiple reasons, the OM-D E-M5 was exactly the opposite, as well as doing several little things right.
I’ve returned the OMD E-M5 that I was testing— it’s not for me, but that is not to say I don’t like the camera (I like it a lot), rather that it doesn’t solve new problems that I need solved, doesn’t fit into my pocket, and and for $1800 with the 12mm f/2, it’s money that I’d rather spend elsewhere on other gear that I will soon need.
I have a reasonable amount of material from it, and so I’ll be taking a 1-2 day diversion to write up the OM-D E-M5. Simply because it’s timely (new), and it represents what I think is an exceptionally well done camera of its type, perhaps the best of breed so far. No, it doesn’t make a terrible photographer into a good one, as I confirmed when I had my father shoot pictures of me during my bike race. Ugghhh....
Previous quick notes on the Olympus OM-D E-M5—
- Olympus has done a stellar job of avoiding the shortcomings found on cameras like the Leica X2; the OM-D E-M5 is just so much more usable as a camera. Smartly done.
- The 12mm f/2 lens (24mm equivalent) is a gem. Results at f/2 are already impressive and stopping down slightly makes razor-sharp images.
- Focus is super-fast, as claimed.
- Sensor noise is a challenge. ISO 200 makes nice images, but are not noise free. For my taste, ISO 800 is already on the margin. Presumably this is the result of cramming 16 megapixels in a tiny 4/3 sensor. Though the pixel density is only a tiny bit higher than the Sony NEX-7, the “sensor” is really the sensor + electronics— a lot can be done there.
- Black and white results look very promising.