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Olympus OM-D E-M5 made official: film SLR-inspired Micro Four Thirds camera for $999.99

Olympus OM-D E-M5 made official: film SLR-inspired Micro Four Thirds camera for $999.99


Olympus has finally unveiled its OM-D E-M5 Micro Four Thirds camera. It features a 1.44-megapixel electronic viewfinder, a 16.1-megapixel sensor, and a film SLR-inspired design.

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Olympus has finally pulled the curtain back on what has been possibly the most leaked camera in recent memory: the OM-D E-M5. Just as the PEN cameras were inspired by the company's half-frame shooters of the '50s and '60s, the first camera in the OM-D line harkens back to OM-series film SLRs first sold in the '70s. So, the pentaprism bump now houses a 1.44-megapixel electronic viewfinder, two programmable dials provide manual control, and the camera comes in black or the classic chrome finish you see above. The body is actually quite a bit smaller than you might think, however, measuring 4.8 inches wide and 1.8 inches deep. There's no room for a built-in flash, but the E-M5 comes bundled with a small accessory unit that slots into the hot shoe.

Inside, there's a new Micro Four Thirds 16.1-megapixel sensor with 5-axis image stabilisation, an ISO range of 200-25,600, and support for 1080p video. Olympus is touting its new autofocus system in particular on the E-M5, said to beat the already-speedy EP-3. The E-M5 is the first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus to have support for a battery grip, which relocates both control dials and the shutter release for shooting in portrait orientation. This, together with its dust and splash proof magnesium alloy design, should make it a more enticing "professional" option than any PEN to date. The E-M5 will be out in April for a body-only price of $999.99, with kit lens options including a $1,099.99 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R set, and a $1,299.99 bundle with the higher-end, weather-sealed 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ lens that launched in December.

In conjunction with the new camera, Olympus is also announcing several new accessories: the aforementioned HLD-6 Power Battery Grip, the FL-600R electronic flash, and the MMF-3 mount adapter, which will allow you to use Four Thirds lenses with the E-M5. Two new Micro Four Thirds lenses are also in the queue for release later this year: the M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm f1.8 lens and the 60mm f2.8 macro.

To see how the E-M5 stacks up against other cameras in the space from Sony, Fujifilm, Pentax, and more, check out our comparison page here.

For hands-on impressions with video, head to our preview here.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 pictures