New Olympus OM-D® E-M5 Mark III – Is Micro 4/3 Still Relevant?

A Compact, Lightweight Interchangeable Lens Camera Packed with
Advanced Functions Derived from Professional OM-D Models

E-M5_Mark_III
Olympus E-M5_Mark_III

Publishers Note:  Many folks on line may say the Micro 4/3 format is not relevant anymore.  I say bull to that.  I have owned Olympus since the first days and I loved how small these cameras were and how they defined the whole idea of mirrorless in regards to being small and lightweight.  Olympus cameras are some of the best-built cameras on the market.  Their specs say it all.  Their lens line up and design are first-rate.  These cameras are exceptionally well built and can perform under the most adverse conditions.  PhotoPXL will be looking at this camera in more depth in the near future as well as visiting the E-M1X camera.  Don’t let the small sensor size fool you.  I have made 20×30 images from these files with great success.  

Look for an upcoming article by Steve Gosling on his use of the Olympus camera system.  His images and work prove the exceptional image quality one can expect from these cameras.

This camera can be pre-ordered from Roberts Camera or B&H Photo

Today, Olympus announces the newest addition to its OM- D lineup, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. Featuring much of the cutting-edge technology found in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II professional model, this compact, lightweight, weathersealed camera includes a 20 megapixel Live MOS sensor, powerful 5-Axis in-body Image Stabilization with up to 5.5 EV steps of compensation (6.5 EV steps with Sync IS), 30 frames per second sequential shooting, high speed and high precision autofocus capabilities using 121-point all cross-type on-chip phase-detection AF, as well  as versatile shooting features such as Live Composite and Focus Stacking and advanced features such as Cinema 4K Video and Pro Capture, all packed into a powerfully, portable body. Paired with the superior resolution of Olympus M.Zuiko® lenses, this weather sealed system is the ultimate travel companion for the on-the-go photography enthusiasts.

Compact, Lightweight, Weather-Sealed System

Many components of the E-M5 Mark III, including the image stabilization unit, have been miniaturized in an effort to deliver the smallest body possible. Dramatic improvements in power-saving performance make it possible to use the more compact BLS-50 battery to enhance the lightweight, compact design. The compact system size means that users can shoot for long periods of time in locations where tripods cannot be used ensuring no missed photo opportunities. Experience complete system mobility when pairing the E-M5 Mark III with the diverse lineup of high-resolution, lightweight, interchangeable M.Zuiko lenses.

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is equipped with features found in high-end OM-D models, packed in a compact body that is approximately 55% the volume of competitive full-frame mirrorless systems. It features the highly acclaimed dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof weather-sealed design that Olympus is known for, to allow continuous shooting even in the most severe environmental conditions. The E-M5 Mark III delivers a modern take on the striking, iconic design of the traditional OM system with advanced styling, including a molded exterior, refined grip and a retooled mode dial. The body also features an updated Custom Mode setting, to recall frequent settings for easy access while shooting. The BLS-50 battery contributes to the compact, lightweight body while offering a power-saving design, allowing the same number of shots as its predecessor. The BLS-50 battery captures approximately 310 shots per charge.

Outstanding Image Quality

The OM-D E-M5 Mark III boasts the same 20 Megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor found in the OM-D E-M1 Mark II, offering superior performance, exceptional clarity and speed in all aspects of image capture. Maximizing that performance are the TruePic™ VIII image-processing engine and 5-Axis Image Stabilization unit. When paired with high-resolution M.Zuiko Digital lenses, it is capable of capturing images with minimal noise even at high-sensitivity settings, and delivers high image quality with minimal distortion up to the edges of the shot.

The E-M5 Mark III features Anti-flicker Shooting to help suppress the effect of flickering light sources while using both the mechanical and electronic shutter.

top view
Top View

High-Speed AF Performance

The OM-D E-M5 Mark III is equipped with 121-point all-cross type On-chip Phase Detection AF for precision focusing, even for fast-moving subjects where focus is difficult, or in low light situations, a staple feature in the E-M1 Mark II. Unlike DSLR cameras, there is no degradation in AF precision when using a fast lens. The E-M5 Mark III offers high precision, high-speed focusing from the maximum aperture setting with all M.Zuiko Digital lenses, regardless of subject patterns. The algorithm has been improved over previous models, preventing focus from unexpected jumping to the background, even in mixed perspective scenes with near and far subjects.

Select from six AF target options, including single, 5-point, 9-point, 25-point, 121-point and small. AF/AE tracking supports 10fps high-speed sequential shooting (silent sequential shooting L) and 30fps with focus and exposure locked after the first frame, for capturing subjects with intense movements. The moving subject tracking algorithm utilizes AF information from both Live View images and recorded images to enable quick tracking of unpredictable subject movement and changes in subject speed. Experience superb AF operability while using the touch pad to move the AF frame while tracking a moving subject. Use the Touch Shutter/Touch AF on the LCD screen to select your area of focus within the frame.

Pair the E-M5 Mark III with M.Zuiko Digital lenses for quiet, fast focusing, using an actuator that enables high-speed, high-precision, quiet lens driving. The high-speed, high-precision AF of the E-M5 Mark III brings out the full potential of the superior focusing available with M.Zuiko Digital lenses.

Compact Image Stabilization Unit

The 5-Axis Image Stabilization device, including the actuator, has been redesigned for the E-M5 Mark III in order to deliver a higher level of stabilization in a smaller package, resulting in a smaller and lighter body. Based on camera shake information obtained from the high-sensitivity gyro sensor and image analysis, the TruePic™ VIII image processor precisely controls the image stabilization unit to provide up to 5.5 shutter speed steps of compensation performance, reducing blur caused by camera shake. Increase that to 6.5 shutter speed steps with 5-Axis Sync IS when the OM-D E-M5 Mark III is paired with M.Zuiko Digital lenses equipped with in-lens image stabilization.

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OM-D Movie 4K Video Capture

Record high quality, Cinema 4K video with minimal camera shake, even while shooting handheld. The E-M5 Mark III supports C4K 24p, Full HD 30 fps, All-Intra and Full HD 60p. Information from the On-chip Phase Detection AF sensor is used for optimal focusing when recording video. With this, users can record 4K 30P high-definition video. Combining 5-Axis Image Stabilization with electronic stabilization make it possible to record stable video with minimal camera shake. No special stabilization equipment is required, even during active movement.

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Olympus Core Competencies

Olympus interchangeable lens camera systems’ biggest benefit is its amazing mobility, thanks to the compact, lightweight nature of the cameras and powerful image stabilization, combined with an entire lineup of high-resolution and high-performance M.Zuiko lenses–resulting in consistently sharp, high-quality photos and video.

Versatile Shooting Features

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Long Exposure Shooting

Long exposure shooting is made easier with several amazing features pioneered by Olympus: Live Composite, Live Bulb and Live View. Live Composite creates a single image from multiple shots by compositing (stacking) them together. This mode combines long-exposure with compositing and is incredibly useful and easy-to-use. Applications for Live Composite vary from star trails, Milky Way, auroras, light painting, light trails, fireworks and so much more. Live Bulb allows the photographer to hold the shutter release to begin the exposure and watch the image build on the LCD screen. Simply release the shutter when you feel the image has reached the exposure of your liking. Live View sends a live image feed from the camera’s sensor to the LCD, allowing the user to compose shots from a variety of angles, with the ability to adjust composition, change exposure and white balance using the LCD screen.

Pro Capture

Pro Capture mode makes it possible to record scenes that are difficult to time at a full pixel count of 20M, such as a bird taking flight. From the moment the shutter button is pressed fully, 14 frames are retroactively recorded and retained, making capturing the perfect shot simple. Up to 30 fps high-speed shooting is available in Pro Capture H. RAW recording is also supported.

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Focus Bracketing and Focus Stacking

Focus Bracketing can capture up to 999 shots with a single shutter activation while shifting the focal position slightly between each shot. The amount of focal shift can be selected from 10 levels, and recorded images can be combined into one single, evenly exposed image, using Olympus Workspace V1.1 image editing software. It is possible to create a single image with a depth of field that cannot be obtained simply by stopping down the aperture. Because the aperture is not stopped down too far during shooting, this feature also enables high image quality. The camera is also equipped with Focus Stacking, which automatically composites images on the camera. Eight photos with different focal positions are composited on the camera for a photo with a greater depth of field that is in focus from the foreground to the background.

50MP Tripod High Res Shot

Tripod High Res Shot shifts the image sensor in 0.5-pixel increments while capturing eight sequential shots. These shots are then merged into a single 50MP equivalent high-resolution photo. This feature is perfect for landscape shots, product photography in a studio, and other situations that require ultra-high-resolution images.

Other Features

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Large, High-Visibility Viewfinder

This model features an approximate 2.36 million-dot, high-contrast OLED panel for vivid colors and an EVF (electronic viewfinder) optical system for minimal distortion to the edges of the screen. Such a design makes framing more accurate so the user can concentrate on shooting. The long eye point makes it easy to check overall framing, even when wearing glasses.

1/8000 Second High-Speed Mechanical Shutter

The E-M5 Mark III features a high-speed mechanical shutter that operates up to 1/8000 second, making it possible to shoot at a wide aperture setting for defocusing effects even when using a large-diameter lens in bright outdoor conditions.

SCN (Scene) Mode

In SCN mode, simply choose one of six themes and select the photo most like the scene you want to capture to activate optimal settings.

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Art Filter

Equipped with 16 Art Filter options, you can capture creative photos using simple controls with the E-M5 Mark III. While checking the filter effect on the LCD monitor, you can create images that are uniquely your own.

Easy Wi-Fi® Connection to Smartphones via Bluetooth®

The E-M5 Mark III is equipped with Wi-Fi compatibility. Bluetooth can be used to automatically connect the camera to a smartphone simply by starting up the Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) smartphone app for transferring recorded images to a smartphone via Wi-Fi. By using the Share Order function, selected images on the camera can be quickly and automatically transferred to your smartphone.

Custom Mode

Register your frequently used camera settings to Custom (C on the mode dial) with the E-M5 Mark III. After being registered, simply set the mode dial to C to instantly activate and shoot using saved settings.

USB Charging

USB charging is available on the E-M5 Mark III for charging the battery on the move, when the camera is not in use.

Available Accessories

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ECG-5 Dedicated External Grip (New, Sold Separately)

Compatible ECG-5 dedicated external grip for an expanded, sure grip, equipped with a shutter release and control dial.

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Electronic Flash, FL-900R (Sold Separately)

This high-power flash with a maximum guide number of 58 synchronizes high-speed sequential shooting. It has an angle of illumination of 24-200mm and 14-20mm when used with the wide panel. It features dustproof, splashproof, and freezeproof performance and can be used with the separately sold FR-WR Wireless Receiver for wireless flash firing via radio signal. It can also be used to wirelessly fire the bundled flash FL-LM3.

Electronic Flash, FL-700WR (Sold Separately)

This compact, lightweight electronic flash has a maximum guide number of 42. It delivers stable wireless communication even in bright outdoor locations and when used around obstacles and functions as a commander/receiver. Because it features a dustproof, splashproof and freezeproof construction, it can be used in any type of shooting scene. It can also be used to wirelessly fire the bundled flash FL-LM3.

Macro Flash, STF-8 (Sold Separately)

This macro flash is perfect for using the two heads to produce images with a greater sense of three- dimensional space and has a guide number of 8.5 (2 heads) or 6 (1 head). It features a dustproof, splashproof, freezeproof construction for outdoor use and supports the unique Olympus Focus Stacking feature for photos with a greater level of creativity. Lenses compatible with the bundled ring adapter are M.Zuiko Digital ED 30mm F3.5 Macro, M.Zuiko Digital ED 60mm F2.8 Macro, and M.Zuiko Digital ED 12- 40mm F2.8 PRO.

Large Eyecup, EP-16 (Sold Separately)

This accessory blocks external light making the viewfinder easier to use. By using materials with elastic properties, the eyecup fits all eyes, regardless of whether the user is wearing glasses or not. Support from both the eye area and both arms improve stability for a posture that reduces camera shake.

Remote Cable, RM-CB2 (Sold Separately)

A pin jack-style shutter release cable equipped with a convenient bulb lock for long exposures. The cable is approximately 80 cm long.

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Compact Gun Microphone, ME31 (Sold Separately)

A directional gun microphone is useful when recording sounds outdoors such as birds singing. The adoption of a machined metal body makes it very sturdy. It can be attached to the hot shoe of the E-M5 Mark III with a commercially available hot shoe mount.

Pricing and Availability

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III will be available in both black and silver in late November. The camera body only will have a suggested retail price of $1,199.99 USD and $1,499.99 CAD and the camera body with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm F4.0-5.6 II lens will have a suggested retail price of $1,799.99 USD and $2,249.99 CAD.

This camera can be pre-ordered from Roberts Camera or B&H Photo

 


Kevin Raber
October 2019
Kevin Raber
Indianapolis, IN

Photography is my passion and has been for 47 plus years. My career in photography has allowed me to travel the world, meet some of the most interesting people on the planet and see things I could never have dreamed of. My goal is to share the passion of pictures taking through photographs and teaching with as many people as I can hoping it brings them as much joy and happiness as it has me. I do this through photoPXL.com, this site as well as Rockhopper Workshops and other projects as well as teaching at my Gallery in Indianapolis.

Article Type: News, MISC

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