Compact and feature-packed: Our Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III review

12 Dec

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Silver Award

Overall score

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a 20MP Micro Four Thirds camera aimed at enthusiast photographers, but could be a good option for beginners that want a system to grow into. It features the same sensor, AF system and 4K video capture as the flagship E-M1 II and E-M1 X, in a considerably smaller, lighter package.

It’s the first in the E-M5 line to offer on-sensor phase detect autofocus, which includes both face and eye detection modes. The updated AF system is complemented by a 10 fps max burst rate in AF-C. The camera also gets a new image stabilization system, an updated EVF and some small ergonomic improvements.

Key takeaways

  • 20MP Four Thirds sensor
  • 121-point hybrid autofocus system
  • 50MP high-res shot mode
  • 10 fps burst shooting with AF-C
  • Cinema (DCI) and UHD 4K video
  • Up 6.5EV of image stabilization (CIPA-rating) with supported lenses
  • 2.36M-dot OLED viewfinder with 60 fps refresh rate
  • Extensive direct controls and articulating touchscreen
  • Weather-sealed body
  • In-camera USB charging
  • 1/8000 sec mechanical shutter speed

The E-M5 III will be available at the end of November for a body-only price of $ 1,199.99, CAN $ 1,499.99 in either black or silver. It will also be available kitted with the weather-sealed Olympus 14-150mm F4-5.6 II for $ 1,799.99, CAN $ 2,249.99.

What’s new and how it compares

The E-M5 III is Olympus’s smallest, lightest 20MP camera. Here’s what else is new and how it stacks up against its peers.

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Body and controls

The rear of the E-M5 III is largely unchanged, but some significant changes have been made to both the camera’s top plate and the EVF.

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Shooting experience

Photo editor Dan Bracaglia spent 48 hours shooting in the deserts of Southern, Utah, E-M5 III in hand.

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Image quality

The E-M5 III is capable of some excellent image quality, up there with the best that Micro Four Thirds can produce today.

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Autofocus and performance

While the E-M5 III comes with an autofocus system that shares its spec with higher-end models, we were a bit disappointed with its performance.

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With incredible stabilization, a mic input, an articulating touchscreen and good quality files, the E-M5 III is a good candidate for video shooting.

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We find the E-M5 III to be a fantastic companion for travel and general photography, producing excellent images under a wide range of scenarios.

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Sample gallery

Curious what kind of files the E-M5 III produces? Have a look at our vast sample gallery.

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