The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is positioned in the centre of the company’s OM-D line, including the user-friendly E-M1X for professionals, the soon-to-be-replaced E-M1 Mark II, and the entry-level E-M10 Mark III. The E-M1 Mark II will be replaced by the E-M10 Mark III shortly.
It is designed for novice photographers searching for a camera that they can eventually develop into, as well as for more seasoned photographers who want sophisticated shooting capabilities from a more compact camera than its APS-C competitors.
E-M5 iterations have been launched at a relative snail’s pace, once every four years (2011, 2015, and 2019), when compared to the standards of the highly competitive camera market; however, slow and steady is not a bad thing, and this third version, unsurprisingly, represents a comprehensive upgrade over the E-M5 Mark II.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Features
After four years, the 16-megapixel sensor of the E-M5 Mark II appears to be a little behind the times. It was anticipated that the most recent version would include a higher resolution; sure enough, this sensor has a resolution of 20.4 megapixels. It is the same sensor that can be found in the Olympus E-M1 Mark II, and it represents a significant improvement.
With the addition of this additional sensor, the E-M5 Mark III is now on par with the Panasonic G90, its primary competitor. However, one may argue that the image quality of both cameras is inferior to that of their competitors.
Alternative cameras are available at this price point that uses APS-C sensors, such as the Fujifilm X-T30. These cameras perform better in low-contrast environments, providing a higher resolution and a more comprehensive dynamic range.
Olympus does provide options for overcoming the constraints placed on the sensor size by the E-M5 Mark III. For instance, its High Res Shot mode utilizes sensor-shift technology to combine numerous photos into a single picture with a far greater resolution than the original. You may only use High Res Shot on things that are not moving, and you will need a tripod; nevertheless, the resulting photograph will be 50 megapixels in resolution.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Build Quality
There is no getting around the fact that the E-M5 Mark III is an appealing camera. This is the kind of camera that you want to have in your hand as soon as you take it out of the box, and once you do, you’ll find that it handles well indeed.
This is the lightest E-M5 camera, weighing only 414 grams, with the battery and memory card included. It is 50 grams lighter than the E-M5 Mark II, and when combined with a relatively tiny lens, you won’t feel like you’re carrying the camera. Compared to larger-format competitors, the OM-D system’s camera bodies and lenses weigh only a fraction of what they do. This DNA is where the OM-D system shines.
Because it is now made of polycarbonate rather than aluminum, that weight has been reduced by 50 grams. This could be considered a step backwards compared to the E-M5 Mark II, which features a metal body. Because of this, we wouldn’t want to put the E-M5 Mark III through too much strain in harsh environments, even though it is still weather-sealed and has a sufficient amount of heft.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Performance
How does the Olympus E-M5 Mark III perform regarding the speed with which it may be operated? To put it simply, it is speedy in practically every respect. The time it takes to start up is relatively quick, and each control is responsive.
The mechanical shutter allows for high-speed burst shooting of up to ten frames per second, making it highly competitive in the market. However, the buffer’s capacity to store many photographs is the most striking aspect of this setup.
There are several factors that contribute to the performance of burst shooting; however, we were able to shoot an unlimited number of JPEGs at ten frames per second and even more raw images than the number that was quoted, which was 150. These results were achieved by using favourable camera settings, such as a low ISO and recording to a UHS-II SD card.
Following the completion of a sequence, the camera can resume regular operation with minimal lag time. This responsive performance is enormously outstanding, and it is far superior to that of a great many other cameras aimed at enthusiasts.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Image & Video Quality
The 20.4-megapixel sensor of the Olympus E-M5 Mark III, also included in the professional-grade E-M1 Mark II, allows for maximum file sizes of 5184 by 3888 pixels. Without interpolation, this corresponds to a print size of around 14.8 by 11.1 inches (roughly the size of an A3).
When it comes to the sensor format, there is very little that can be said that it is novel. At this price point, several cameras are available to produce images of more excellent quality. These cameras feature a higher resolution, a more extensive dynamic range, and better performance in low-contrast lighting. A sensor with a Four-Thirds format can only reasonably contain a certain number of individual pixels.
The High Res Shot mode enables you to create a final image that is 50MP; the class-leading image stabilization allows handheld shooters to use slower shutter speeds and maximize the light intake for improved image quality; and HDR is available for those who want to stretch the dynamic range of their photos. While none of them are perfect answers, we should nevertheless be grateful to have them.
Another difficulty is that the shallow depth of field control becomes increasingly difficult to manipulate as the format gets smaller. However, Olympus does have a great assortment of lenses, some of which are professional lenses with an aperture of f/1.2. This means that if you desire a really shallow focus, it is feasible to achieve.
The more significant depth of field offered by the Four Thirds format is a feature that is not spoken about as often as it should be since it may be helpful when taking photographs of landscapes and macro subjects.
We utilized the E-M5 Mark III as a third camera for some behind-the-scenes footage during video production, and it more than lived up to the expectations we had for it in that capacity. The E-M5 Mark III is a compelling video camera. It can record videos in Cinema 4K (4096 x 2160) resolution at 24 frames per second and a bit-rate of 237Mbps; this is amazing at this level. The regular 4K video resolution of 3840 by 2160 may be obtained at 24, 25, or 30 frames per second and 102 megabits per second.
The ALL-I format allows for recording full HD films at up to 60 frames per second and also boosts the bit rate to 202Mbps. You may also record videos in Full HD at up to 120 frames per second. In general, this represents a significant improvement over the E-M5 Mark II.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Specs
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Body material||Magnesium alloy|
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||22 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.4 x 13 mm)|
|Color space||sRGB, AdobeRGB|
|Color filter array||Primary color filter|
|ISO||Auto, 200-25600, expands to 64-25600|
|Boosted ISO (minimum)||64|
|White balance presets||7|
|Custom white balance||Yes (4 slots)|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||6.5 stop(s)|
|JPEG quality levels||Superfine, fine, normal, basic|
|File format||JPEG (Exif v2.31)Raw (Olympus ORF, 14-bit)|
|Optics & Focus|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Phase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Autofocus assist lamp||Yes|
|Number of focus points||121|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Screen / viewfinder|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Screen type||TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder magnification||1.37× (0.68× 35mm equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/8000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/32000 sec|
|Exposure modes||iAutoProgramAperture priorityShutter priorityManualBulbTime|
|Scene modes||Portraite-PortraitLandscape + PortraitNight + PortraitChildrenNight scapeSportHand-held StarlightFireworksLight trailsSportsPanningLandscapeSunsetBeach & SnowBacklight HDRCandlelightSilentMacroNature MacroDocumentsMulti Focus Shot|
|Built-in flash||No (Compact external flash included)|
|External flash||Yes (via hotshoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, redeye, fill, off, redeye slow sync, slow sync, 2nd-curtain slow sync, manual|
|Flash X sync speed||1/250 sec|
|Drive modes||SingleSequential (hi/lo)Self-timer|
|Continuous drive||30.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||±5 (2, 3, 5 frames at 1/3 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|Modes||4096 x 2160 @ 24p / 237 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p / 102 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p / 52 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p / 202 Mbps, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II supported)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth|
|Remote control||Yes (wired and via smartphone)|
|Battery description||BLS-50 lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||310|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||414 g (0.91 lb / 14.60 oz)|
|Dimensions||125 x 85 x 50 mm (4.92 x 3.35 x 1.97″)|
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Verdict
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is an update that makes sense since it is fashionable, more lightweight than ever, packed with shooting settings for users of all skill levels, and power beneath the hood and upgrades across the board. The E-M5 Mark III may not quite equal its competitors’ overall picture quality potential with bigger sensors, but it does strike the sweet spot regarding size, weight, handling, and functionality.