Features & Controls

The first of Olympus' OM-D models, the E-M5 uses the same Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four Thirds (mFT) lens mount system we've seen with all of their Digital PEN models. This mirrorless system has allowed them to reduce the distance between the mount and the image sensor from 40 mm (standard Four Thirds System) to approximately 20 mm; thus allowing Olympus to create such compact cameras that still offer the versatility of an interchangeable lens system.

Olympus has incorporated a newly designed 16.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor into the E-M5, along with their newer TruePic VI image processor that was first launched with the E-P3. This combination of a high-resolution m4/3 sensor and their powerful processing engine allow the E-M5 to deliver increased detail, and better low-light performance. The sensor offers sensitivity options from ISO 200 - 25,600; along with an ISO Auto setting. You can choose to adjust ISO by 1/3 or 1EV increments.

The E-M5 also offers their proven Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System, as seen on all of their Digital PEN models. This system was designed to help prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by using ultra-sonic vibrations. This helps the filter to repel dust and other particles, that are then trapped on an adhesive absorber at the bottom of the filter so it doesn't return to the sensor later on.

Olympus has also incorporated their newer FAST (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF technology in the E-M5, which is claimed to offer the World's fastest AF speed out of any compact interchangeable-lens digital cameras with a shutter response claims of just 60 milliseconds. This system is touted to even be faster then some professional level dSLRs; in AF speed, not burst capabilities of course. The system utilizes 35 AF points, with the AF points spread across the entire image sensor. This enables increased focus accuracy on smaller subjects.

Lastly, the E-M5 boasts their brand new 5-axis image stabilization technology. This system compensates for both vertical and horizontal movement, while at the same time adjusting for rotational movements, along with pitch and yaw. More advanced than any system on the market, this 5-axis stabilization will come in handy with both still and video shooting; especially when handheld.

On top right hand side of the camera you will find two control dials, along with the fn2 (Function2) and Movie record buttons. The shutter release is nested in the middle of the front control dial.

The mode dial has been moved to the left hand side of the camera, and offers options for: iAuto, Program AE, Aperture Priority, Shutter Speeds Priority, Manual, Movie, SCN and Art.


The E-M5 will come in several kit configurations, including on that offers the newer M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 II R optical zoom lens.; which is the third generation of this lens since the debut of the E-P1.

While offering almost identical specifications to the previous version, this model is still "Movie and Still Compatible" (MSC), however they have also added a decorative "cover up" ring to the bayonet mount on the end of the lens. This covers the bayonet mount when not is use, however you still have all of the benefits of the bayonet ring system for conversion lenses and other accessories. Currently, three conversion lenses are available: Wide-angle converter, Macro converter, and Fish-eye converter.

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R (35mm equivalent focal length: 28-84mm) Micro 4/3 lens provides 3x zoom performance. To maximize the mobility this lens features a retractable parking mechanism and the result is a total length of just approx. 55mm. Compared to the standard 4/3 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 this lens is only 65% of the volume and 80% of its weight.

One other unique feature about the 14-42mm II R kit lens is its ability to collapse down when you are carrying or transporting the camera.

Late this past fall, Olympus announced a unique new zoom lens, the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 EZ. This spalshproof lens compliments the E-M5's weatherproof body with similar specifications, and offers 4.2x magnification; equivalent range is 24 - 100mm. This is the first mFT lens offers to offer an electronic motorized zoom mechanism, meaning you can zoom in and out just like you would with a point-n-shoot. On the left hand side of the lens there are two controls; L-Fn and Macro. Forward of those you have the zoom control ring, and finally the manual focus ring.

On the right hand side of the lens you have a small window that tells you whether you're in Manual Zoom or Power Zoom mode.


Here we can see the all new M. Zuiko Digital ED 45mm f1.8 lens. With a 90mm equivalent field of view, this prime lens was designed with portraits in mind. With a fast F/1.8 aperture, you can obtain beautiful shallow depth of field, giving images pleasing bokeh effects. Like all of Olympus' new m43 lenses, this unit also features their MSC mechanism, which provides silent focus when tracking subjects in movie mode.

Olympus E-P1 SLR

The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake (35mm equivalent focal length: 34mm) lens is even smaller than the already compact pancake lens for standard 4/3 bodies. This Micro 4/3 lens boasts a mere 22mm in length and 71g in weight. The circular aperture diaphragm with 5 blades enables natural and smooth defocusing. This wide-angle pancake lens with its ultra compact design is ideal for daily snapshots and as travel companion.

Lens Adapters

Olympus MMF-1

To use some of your existing 4/3 system lenses, Olympus does offer the MMF-1 4/3 mount adapter. This lens adapter makes it possible to mount any existing Four Thirds lens on a Micro Four Thirds digital camera. AF shooting using Live View is possible with lenses featuring contrast AF compatibility. When a contrast AF incompatible lens is used, the AF assist function engages.

Olympus MMF-1

Olympus also offers the MMF-2 UM lens adapter, which permits the use of Olympus OM lenses to be used on a Micro Four Thirds digital camera.

  • Autofocus(AF) is not available.
  • Stop-down metering is used.
  • Although it is possible to use A (aperture priority AE) mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
  • In P (Program AE) or S (Shutter speed - priority AE) mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure does not work.
  • The distance scale on the OM system lens may not indicate the actual distance. Always use the viewfinder for focusing.

Flash Unit

The E-M5 kit includes a handy pop-up flash unit (FL-LM2), which boasts a GN of 10/m at ISO 200. This unit was designed specifically for use with the E-M5, and folds down to keep in line with the camera's sleek dimensions.

Here you can see the flash from behind, which mounts to the camera's hot shoe and plugs into the AP2 port.

Hot Shoe for External Units


The E-M5 uses the same hot shoe and AP2 accessory port found on the E-P3; and past models. This allows you to use various external accessories, including the new FL-LM2 pop-up flash unit.

The following accessories are compatible with the AP2 port: Olympus FL-LM2, FL-14, FL-20, FL-36, FL-50, FL-36R or FL-50R external flash units (full TTL flash control(, VF-2 EVF, EMA-1 microphone input jack, MAL-1 macro spotlight, and the PP-1 Pen Pal Bluetooth unit.

Here is a view of the PP-1 PENPAL described in the paragraph above, mounted on the E-PL2. The PP-1 was built for a faster way to transfer images to any bluetooth compatible smart phone. When a photo is taken the PP-1 will send the image directly to a selected phone where it will be available to upload to any social network, such as Facebook or Twitter.


Here you can see the EMA-1 external microphone adapter. For those who want to capture enhanced audio, the EMA-1 external microphone connector is a great accessory. The connector will accept the optional Olympus ME-51S stereo microphone or any microphone of their choice.

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.