Test Drive: Olympus E-M5

Since I work part-time at Mike Crivello’s Cameras, I sometimes get to try cameras out, so that I can talk better about them with the store’s customers. Recently, our Olympus rep loaned a OM-D E-M5 kit to the store, so the salesfolks could try it out. I jumped at the chance to try the camera out because I’ve always heard good things about it and it has received much industry acclaim too. Plus, Olympus isn’t one of the “Big Two”, so I always like trying out gear from the under-dog. What I got to use for a few days was the body with a 14-42 mm (28-84mm equiv) lens – pictured is the body with 14-50mm power-zoom lens. If a person is seeking a compact, high-quality, interchangeable-lens camera, they could do worse than to get this camera.

It has the look and feel of a classic OM camera – compact, tough, and innovative in its control layout. The markings are kept to a minimum and while it IS a small kit, my hands quickly got used to its shape!

I really enjoyed the time I had with this camera and can see why it has such a good reputation. The only limitation I saw was in the lens. It is certainly a sharp enough lens, but since it is just a “standard” lens, its aperture was nothing to brag about. In low-light situations, I found myself using higher ISOs than I normally would want to.

You can find a few full-resolution jpg files for downloading HERE.

While I had the camera, I took it along with me on an editorial assignment and shot a few files, so I could compare it to my Nikon D200. The editor ended up using one of the Olympus files for the magazine cover, which you can see below!

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