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Olympus announces OM-D (E-M5)


UPDATE, 11th Feb, 2012: the OMD E-M5 is available to pre-order, please see the links below.

Olympus has announced a new flagship model, the E-M5, the first in the OM-D series sitting at the top of its micro-four-thirds (MFT) system. The new camera features a 16-MP L-MOS sensor and adopts the same lens range as the PEN series, however the OM-D (E-M5) as it's being called, has a built-in 1.44 million dot electronic viewfinder (EVF), new five axis image stabilization system, 'world-beating' FAST AF system all wrapped in a weather sealed magnesium alloy body. Olympus say the new AF system is the fastest currently available of 'any interchangeable lens camera' (ILC) including pro-level DSLRs (and quite a claim though the company is clear that's as of November 2011).

As well as incorporating a 120fps L-MOS sensor, and FAST AF system that featured on the E-P3, lens control communication has improved, resulting in an AF speed increase with MSC compatible lenses. The OM-D is capable of of sequential shooting at up to 9fps (dropping to 4.2fps with AF invoked). Live View black-out times (return times) have been noticeably reduced due to separate processor cores found in the TruePic V1 processor, though timings have yet to be announced.

The EVF features a 100-percent field of view with a 1.15x max magnification and 18mm eye-point, while a new EVF Creative Control feature is said to permit monitoring of highlight and shadow brightness in the viewfinder using a tone control overlay. White balance, magnification and aspect ratio can similarly be adjusted without the eye moving away from the viewfinder.

The OM-D is the first to feature a five axis image stabilization system, correcting not only for yaw and pitch but also , horizontal and vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling). Olympus says the system is particularly effective at compensating for high magnification stills (such as macro shooting), but it's not clear if the same system is used in the MSC IS system, adopted for movie capture. The new camera adopts the MOV format (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), for movie clips up to 29-minutes as well as the less compact AVi (Motion JPEG) option with linear PCM audio used for both modes.

The OM-D also has a tilting 3.0 OLED touch sensitive panel with 610K dot resolution that's capable of displaying video at the equivalent of VGA resolution (though it's not clear at this time if that's accounting for the different screen ratio). A new Live Bulb feature updates the LiveView image on the rear-panel monitor at preset intervals and also allows the user to assess the final image during the exposure and to adjust the exposure time accordingly.

OM-D main features:

· Speed - the world’s fastest* FAST AF auto-focusing system plus 3D tracking for improved moving object tracking performance
· 16.1-megapixel new Live MOS sensor, for high resolution and excellent low-light performance
· 1.44 million dot high-definition electronic viewfinder, with unique optical design to reduce vignetting, 100% field of view and very short display time lag
· Powerful TruePic VI image engine, for faster recovery time and excellent image quality (still image shooting sensitivity as high as ISO25600)
· Ultra-effective in-body image stabilization using the world’s first*1 5-axis IS, for blur-free movies and stills with any lens
· Compact, lightweight body in the tradition of the famous OM series, in magnesium alloy and enhanced with proven dust-/splash-proof capability
· Fully compliant with the Micro Four Thirds System standard
· Additional lens options under development - the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 macro

Additional features:

· Tilt LCD (3.0-inch swivel-type OLED monitor, capacitive touchscreen panel with fast response)
· Full HD (1920 x 1080), now in MPEG4 (AVC/H.264)
· New Echo effect for movies (one-shot echo and multi-echo)
· Live Bulb feature, updating the Live View image on the rear-panel monitor at pre-set intervals during bulb shooting
· New “Key Line” Art Filter, making the picture look more like an illustration by enhancing the edge lines; and new variations “Cross Process II” and “Dramatic Tone II”

The OM-D is available from April 2012 as a kit with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 for $1299 / £1149.99. Body only price $999 / £999 inc VAT.


Pre-order the OM-D E-M5:

Please follow the link to pre-order the E-M5 at Adorama.

B&H Photo are also taking pre-orders, please follow the link here.

Amazon (all countries), please follow the link here.

UK readers can pre-order the E-M5 with the ED 12-50mm at Jessops for £1,149.95, please follow the link here.

Warehouse Express have various combinations available to pre-order here.

For more information, please visit

Thank you for buying through this site's links.

Press release:

Faster, sharper, smarter: the dust and splash-proof Olympus OM-D, with game-changing IS, electronic viewfinder and stunning new lenses

London, February 8 2012
Olympus is taking the forty-year pedigree of the OM series into the next generation with the launch of the OM-D, featuring the world’s first*1 5-axis image stabilization (IS) system to eliminate blur in stills and movies.

See the blur reduction effect live via the fast electronic viewfinder, while simultaneously benefitting from the fastest*2 auto-focus of any interchangeable lens camera (including all D-SLRs) with a further refinement of the world-beating FAST AF (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) also found on the popular PEN series models.

The camera’s innovative new 16.1 megapixel high-resolution Live MOS Sensor works in tandem with the powerful TruePic VI image processing engine to achieve outstandingly refined image quality and high sensitivity.

The integrated 1.44 million dot high-definition electronic viewfinder lets the photographer to check manual adjustments to brightness and colour tones on-screen and with a new interface for exceptionally easy viewing.

This faster, sharper, smarter camera comes attractively packaged in a durable dust-/splash-proof magnesium-alloy body that ensures lets the OM-D go-anywhere. New accessories such as the optional HDL-6 power battery holder grip, MMF-3 Four Thirds mount adapter and FL-600R electronic flash add to its adaptability, while two new lens options – the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8 and the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 60mm 1:2.8 macro – are under development and will extend creative applications for the user.

The OM-D (E-M5) comes in a silver or black body.

The OM-D is available from April 2012 as a kit with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 for £1149.99. Body only price to be confirmed.

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