Olympus E-M5

Olympus OM-D E-M5 front
  • 16MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Tilting Display
  • ISO 200 - 25600
  • Sensor based 5-axis Image Stabilization
  • 1920 x 1080 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 425g - 122 x 89 x 43mm
  • Released April 2012
  • Refreshed by Olympus E-M5 II
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus E-M5 summary

Olympus E-M5 is Olympus's Advanced Mirrorless camera initially revealed on April of 2012. The camera includes a 16MP, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a max resolution of 4608 x 3456.

Olympus released the more recent Olympus E-M5 II (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to update this camera.

The E-M5 places at #51 out of 62 in Advanced Mirrorless cameras and overall #328 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. You should test our Smart camera search to see camera rankings based on your customized factors.

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The following is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-M5 family

The Olympus E-M5 comes with a history of related digital cameras. Here, you can take a look at all previous and more recent models alongside main specifications.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
OM-System-OM-5 front thumbnailOM System OM-5
E-M5 vs OM System OM-5
20MPFour Thirds10.0 fps2022
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-M5 vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
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Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M1 III
E-M5 vs E-M1 III
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2020
Olympus-OM-D-E-M5-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M5 III
E-M5 vs E-M5 III
20MPFour Thirds30.0 fps2019
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1X front thumbnailOlympus E-M1X
E-M5 vs E-M1X
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2019
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-M5 vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
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Olympus-OM-D-E-M1-Mark-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M1 II
E-M5 vs E-M1 II
20MPFour Thirds60.0 fps2016
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-M5 vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
Olympus-OM-D-E-M5-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M5 II
E-M5 vs E-M5 II
16MPFour Thirds10.0 fps2015
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-M5 vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M1 front thumbnailOlympus E-M1
E-M5 vs E-M1
16MPFour Thirds10.0 fps2013
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Olympus-OM-D-E-M5 front thumbnailOlympus E-M516MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2012

Olympus E-M5 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of good and bad points of the Olympus E-M5 based on criterias that are typically considered important in a camera.

focusing manually
good megapixels (16 megapixels)
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
great high ISO (25,600)
has OLED
high res video (1920 x 1080 pxls)
image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
includes HDMI out
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
nice screen size (3")
offers focus via touch
screen tilts
supports face detect focusing
supports RAW formats
supports tracking focus
touchscreen enabled
weather proofing
doesn't have headphone support
doesn't have mic support
doesn't have Time Lapse function
does not have phase detect AF
does not offer selfie friendly display
low resolution screen (610 thousand dots)
Photography Glossary

Olympus E-M5 Sensor specifications

The Olympus E-M5 features the TruePic VI chip. The sensor size in the Olympus E-M5 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor can capture 4608 x 3456 pixels at aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has got Image Stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis). In body stabilization is more desirable than digital stabilization as the latter may produce cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 16 megapixels and features a native ISO range of 200 - 25600. This ISO can also be widened electronically to a low of 100. RAW files are saved so you have wider room to maneuver in post.

The graphic below illustrates the E-M5's sensor dimensions compared to other common sizes. The E-M5 sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is shown in green.

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To get a sense of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-M5 dimensions

Olympus E-M5 is 0.94 pounds (425 gr / 14.99 oz) and the sizing of the camera is 122mm x 89mm x 43mm (4.8" x 3.5" x 1.7"). The weight of typical Advanced Mirrorless camera is 454 gr so the Olympus E-M5 is very much the same as compared to other rivals.

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The following is a pic of the Olympus E-M5 with a softdrink to help you to have a feel for its scale.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 dimensions scale

The top view here will highlight the button arrangement on the E-M5.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-M5 Lens specifications

The E-M5 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses that you can purchase. Below is some of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-M5.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Lensbaby-Velvet-56-Micro-Four-Thirds lensLensbaby Velvet 5656mmf/1.6 400g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-12-60mm-F3.5-5.6-ASPH-Power-OIS-Micro-Four-Thirds lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 12-60mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH Power OIS12-60mmf/3.5-5.6 210g
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Panasonic-Lumix-G-25mm-F1.7-ASPH lensPanasonic Lumix G 25mm F1.7 ASPH25mmf/1.7 125g
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-70-300mm-f4.0-5.6 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 70-300mm f4.0-5.670-300mmf/4.0-5.6 620g
Rokinon-35mm-f1.4-Four-Thirds lensRokinon 35mm f1.435mmf/1.4 660g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-60mm-f2.8-Macro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm f2.8 Macro60mmf/2.8 186g
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Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-14-42mm-f3.5-5.6 lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.614-42mmf/3.5-5.6 190g
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Olympus E-M5 Connectivity

The E-M5 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • Wireless Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras that have NFC or Bluetooth support can easily be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You can copy pictures and in some cases alter settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

Several applications even enable a Liveview and hit the shutter in case you are not close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI out, it could be connected to an external monitor. Almost all cameras will allow you to charge the battery pack through the USB socket.

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Olympus E-M5 Video specifications

The max video quality in the Olympus E-M5 is 1920 x 1080 and it can capture in H.264 and Motion JPEG format. 1080p quality can provide a good balance for quality versus file sizes but 1080p will not leave you with much room to crop. The camera does not have a mic or headphone jack so you have no control over your sound. It is probably best to shop for another camera in case you need decent sound in your video clips.

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Olympus E-M5 Weather Sealing

Olympus E-M5 comes with weather proofing making it a great pick to use for tough climates. This is especially useful any time you are not sure about the conditions you may face for outdoor photography.

Olympus E-M5 Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-M5 includes a 3 inch tilting display boasting a resolution of 610 thousand dots.

Additionally the display is touch friendly so you will be able to set focus point as well as adjust settings using your fingers.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 screen and viewfinder President Biden pushes bill mandating TikTok sale or ban

The ViewFinder specifications regarding Olympus E-M5 are below:

  • ViewFinder Electronic
  • ViewFinder Resolution 1,440 thousand dots
  • ViewFinder Coverage 100%
  • ViewFinder Magnification 0.58x

In those bright outdoor conditions which make the camera displays washed out and difficult to view, viewfinders can be particularly useful.

Olympus E-M5 Shutter specifications

Olympus E-M5 can shoot continuously at 9.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/4000 sec.

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Olympus E-M5 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus E-M5 has got external flash support but is without in-built flash. The highest flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Olympus E-M5 Autofocus specifications

Olympus E-M5 has got just Contrast Based AF and doesn't have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot more faster & precise when compared with Contrast Based autofocusing. The camera includes Face detect which makes it handy for portraits.

The AF system includes 35 focus points to pick from. Olympus E-M5 has touch to focus. You can easily use your fingers in order to adjust focus. It also features Tracking AF for things on the move. Olympus E-M5 can use manual focusing when required for low light occasions or you require more precise control on focusing.

Photography Glossary

Olympus E-M5 Battery life

The battery pack (BLN-1) in the Olympus E-M5 is designed to last for 360 clicks with respect to the CIPA requirements which is about average when compared to its competitors. The usual Advanced Mirrorless camera battery life is 390. Sony A6600 offers the maximum (810) battery life for this class of cameras.

Underneath is a number of Advanced Mirrorless cameras which have the highest battery life:

Olympus E-M5 for different styles of photography

The following chart indicates a summary of the Olympus E-M5 for different styles of photography. To check out more, check out the specific section below.

Olympus E-M5 Portrait photography highlights

The Olympus E-M5 receives a rating of 71 which is above average, and means the camera is a very decent pick for portrait photography. Shooting portrait images favors greatly towards sensor size, RAW support in addition to the flexibility to utilize off-camera flash.

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focusing manually
decent MP (16 megapixels)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
comes with face detection focus
supports RAW formats

Olympus E-M5 Street photography features

Coming in at a terrific score of 82, the Olympus E-M5 is a great choice to buy for street photography. A decent street photography camera offers a perfect balance of image quality plus portability.

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screen tilts up and down
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
sensor size is good (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
provides touch to focus
weather sealing
good ISO range (25,600)

Olympus E-M5 Sports photography information

A nice sports photography score of 67 indicates the Olympus E-M5 is a fine fit for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs very good focusing plus fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
good MP (16MP)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
has tracking focus
environment proof
lack of phase detect autofocus

Olympus E-M5 Travel photography information

Size is pretty critical when selecting a camera for travel. All things considered, the Olympus E-M5 gets a nice 66 as a travelling camera which is a very decent choice to take with you on your journeys.

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weather proof
comes with touch to focus
decent MP (16 megapixels)
does not have Timelapse recording
doesn't offer selfie friendly screen

Landscape photography with Olympus E-M5

When you're planning to buy a camera for landscape photos, the most vital aspect will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus E-M5 and it's above average grade of 73 for a landscape camera is a fine fit amongst its competitors.

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manual focus
switch lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
screen size is good (3")
has image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
resolution is good (16MP)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
good ISO range (25,600)
exports RAW formats
environment sealing
does not have Time Lapse mode

Olympus E-M5 Vlogging details

A vlogging camera ought to posses a articulating screen, microphone input and preferably image stabilization. Considering everything, the Olympus E-M5 is not appropriate as a vlog camera as it delivers a really bad score of 34.

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built-in touchscreen
built in image stabilization (Sensor based 5-axis)
supports face detect focus
video res high (1920 x 1080 pixels)
display isn't selfie friendly
lack of mic support

Olympus E-M5 Alternatives

If you are looking for replacements to the E-M5, below is a selection of the highest scored cameras which fall within the category of Advanced Mirrorless.

The diagram underneath shows you an overview of the E-M5 compared to it's top scoring competitors listed previously.

Following are additional cameras you might take a look at as alternate options. To read through a complete comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Model type
Olympus OM-D E-M5
Advanced Mirrorless
Physical type
SLR-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
TruePic VI
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
16 megapixel
Anti alias filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4608 x 3456
RAW support
Highest native ISO
Min native ISO
Min enhanced ISO
Focus manually
Touch focus
Autofocus continuous
Single autofocus
Tracking autofocus
Selective autofocus
Center weighted autofocus
Multi area autofocus
Autofocus live view
Face detect autofocus
Contract detect autofocus
Phase detect autofocus
Total focus points
Lens mount type
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Crop factor
Display type
Display sizing
Display resolution
610 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch friendly
Display technology
Touch control in electrostatic capacitance type OLED monitor
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder resolution
1,440 thousand dots
Viewfinder coverage
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall rating
DXO Color Depth rating
DXO Dynamic range rating
DXO Low light rating
Min shutter speed
60 secs
Max shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
9.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Custom white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash distance
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync (2), Manual (3 levels)
Hot shoe
White balance bracketing
Max flash synchronize
1/250 secs
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1920 x 1080 (60 fps), 1280 x 720 (60, 30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
H.264, Motion JPEG
Mic support
Headphone support
Eye-Fi Connected
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proofing
Dust proofing
Shock proofing
Crush proofing
Freeze proofing
425 grams (0.94 pounds)
122 x 89 x 43mm (4.8" x 3.5" x 1.7")
Battery life
360 images
Battery style
Battery Pack
Battery ID
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
Card slots
Price at release