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2012.02.07

The long-rumored Olympus OM-D E-M5  is finally official and this new SLD brings in some amazing new capabilities to digital cameras. As speculated, this is a new Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless camera which can take advantage of the entire line of Micro Four-Thirds and Four-Thirds lenses by Olympus and other manufacturers. The E-M5 is built around a newly developed 16 megapixels CMOS sensor with ISO range expandable up to 25,600 and capable of 9 FPS continuous shooting at full-resolution.

The OM-D E-M5 is greatly inspired by the original film Olympus OM and adapted with ground-breaking modern ideas. It includes a high-resolution 1.44 MP  EVF with automatic Eye-Start sensor and a tilting 3″ touchscreen OLED display for framing. The EVF uses a high 120 FPS refresh rate to reduce the electronic delay and provide a smooth experience while following moving subjects.

This SLD is the very first weather-sealed mirrorless interchangeable lens camera with sealing which is comparable to the Olympus E-5 DSLR. This lets it resist rain, slow and sand when equipped with a weather-sealed lens. In consideration for the rarity of such lenses for Micro Four-Thirds mount, Olympus is introducing a weather-sealed Four-Thirds adapter to use compatible weather-sealed lenses.

There are two truly amazing technologies which we tried on a pre-production OM-D E-M5 which no other digital camera has:

  •  A five-axis image stabilization system built right into the camera. To the benefit of all lenses, the Olympus uses a magnetically suspended sensor with 5 degrees of freedom, besting the only 3-axis one from Pentax. Like the Pentax SR system, the sensor shifts to compensate for camera motion along the vertical and horizontal axis, in addition to rotating around the lens axis. The OM-D E-M5 adds rotation around both vertical and horizontal axis to stabilize a greater variety of camera movements, making it the most sophisticated image stabilization system ever produced.
  • A new Live-Bulb feature which is revolutionize extreme low-light photography. This function shows a live image while shooting in bulb mode thanks to a direct pixel readout off the sensor. This lets the photographer see the image develop as it is being recording, allowing him to cut-off the exposure at the right time. Without this bulb photography is considerably error-prone, particularly with subjects in motion such as fireworks.

Olympus OM-D E-M5

Olympus has at the same time improved core features compared to the E-PEN lineup with a new extremely fast contrast-detect autofocus system which includes 3D tracking.

This amazing mirrorless camera will be available in Aprel for a suggested retail price of $999 USD only or for $1299 with the M.Zuiko 12-50mm F/3.5-6.3 EZ power-zoom lens. There will also be a standard kit for $1099.

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