Photography News issue 72

Big test

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III

PRICE: £1099


Olympus’s latest marketing slogan is ‘break free’ and with a lightweight, compact body and a rich feature set that will appeal to still and video shooters, the OM-D E-M5Mark III could help you do exactly that


ABOVE The OM-D E-M5 Mark III sees Olympus shaving off the weight when compared to the camera’s predecessor – thanks to clever use of robust plastic, this unit is 50g lighter than the Mark II

MOBILITY HAS BEEN Olympus’s mantra for decades, whether with its half-frame PEN cameras in the 1960s, the classic OM1 and OM2 in the 1970s, and now the Micro Four Thirds generation for the digital era. The latest arrival is the OM-D E-M5 Mark III – which seems to have been a long time in arriving, but maybe that’s because its predecessor is coming up to five years old. Anyway, the OM-D E-M5 Mark III is here with a body price of £1099, and a £100 trade-in bonus running until 6 January 2020 on any camera. (If you’re an OM-D E-M5 Mark II owner you may well look at the new model’s specification and wonder if the differences make the Mark III worth upgrading to...) The Mark III’s sensor and processor are the same as the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, so while this is a known quantity it is also three-year-old technology, and still only 20.4 megapixels resolution with a noise performance that is merely decent rather than outstanding. There are significant strides elsewhere, however. The OM-D EM-5 Mark III is the first in the series to have phase detect autofocusing, with its 121 point systemwith face detect, and that has great potential for stills and video shooting. Speaking of moving images, there is 4k video mode, too. For smooth, shake-free shooting there’s an improved,


five axis in-body image stabiliser, which offers up to 6.5EV benefit with supported lenses. Look through the EVF and you will see one massive improvement in the new camera, compared to the OM-D E-M5 Mark II. I had both cameras to hand, and I was amazed just now good the new OVF is. The image is so bright and contrasty, and fine detail is really crisply resolved. In practical situations this makes such a difference, for example when manually focusing in grim light. Aside from the OM-D EM-5 Mark III updated feature set, compared with its predecessor, the new camera has some control and body layout changes, too. To keep weight down there is greater use of plastics around the body, including the top plate, with the net gain that the new camera – at 414g body weight – is around 50g lighter than its predecessor. It is still weather-sealed, however, and the touch monitor is still articulated to aid selfie shooting. On layout, I like the options of setting ISO and exposure compensation via buttons adjacent to the shutter release. Of course, if you prefer using the front

input dial, the quick menu or the menu to adjust these features, then these are still available. The rear ISO button sits atop the extended thumb grip and is accessible while the eye is up to the finder (with a minor hand readjustment) and the exposure compensation button can be depressed with a quick shift of the forefinger, although you still need to shift your thumb to adjust the setting. Just to be contrary, I preferred using the front/rear input dials to directly adjust SERIES TO HAVE PHASE DETECT AUTOFOCUSING, WITH ITS 121 POINT SYSTEM WITH FACE DETECT”

48 Photography News | Issue 72

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