Review Of The OM System OM-5 In Depth
At first glance, the new OM-5 camera might surprise you. You may have noticed, though, that OM Digital Solutions (OMDS) is an expert in its field. As their first anniversary approaches, they once more produce a top-notch camera for a particular class of photographers.
I visited a camera shop a few years ago to purchase a full-frame DSLR. I found it to be heavy and the ergonomics were terrible when I first picked it up. Even though I have large hands and long fingers, every button seemed to be placed incorrectly. There was a tiny Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II on the shelf next to it. Oddly, it was a perfect fit for me. I took some test pictures with it, and the image quality was excellent. The 45mm f/1.8 lens’s colors and creamy-smooth bokeh appealed to me.
- Four Thirds sensor with 20MP
- hybrid autofocus system with 121 points
- 50MP high-resolution handheld shot mode
- AF-C burst shooting at 10 frames per second, electronic shutter cinematography at 30 frames per second (DCI), and unrestricted UHD 4K video
- With supported lenses, image stabilization up to 7.5 EV (CIPA-rating) is possible.
- OLED viewfinder with 2.36M dots and a 60 fps refresh rate
- a touchscreen that can be articulated and has many direct controls
- Weather-sealed body rated IP53
- USB in-camera charging (micro-USB)
- Mechanical shutter speed: 1/8000 second
- UVC/UAC standard USB video for webcam use
The ECG-5 grip, which costs $169.99 and makes handling larger lenses easier, is compatible with the E-M5
Mark IV because the exterior is almost identical to that of the E-M5 Mark III. The OM-5 costs $1,199.99 for the body-only model and $1,599.99 for the kit version with the 12-45mm F4 PRO lens.
The camera division of Olympus, formerly known as OM Digital Solutions, is in the process of changing the name of its cameras to the “OM System.” Even though it debuted a flagship model earlier in 2022, the camera’s fake pentaprism still bears the word “Olympus” on it. Thus, the OM-5 is the first mirrorless camera to fully adopt the new name and elevate it to a prominent position.
Although this significant change offers hope for OM System cameras to come, this model is hardly a completely original creation. In fact, it resembles the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, the model the OM-5 replaces, remarkably closely. When we reviewed the E-M5 Mark III in 2019, we were very pleased with it, so it’s not a bad thing that this camera can be used as a direct replacement.
New silicon opens up new possibilities
The Olympus E-M1 Mark III, the pro-level model from the previous company, comes to mind when looking at the OM-5’s spec sheet. The faster TruePic IX processor, which adds such niceties as the LiveND filter simulation mode, face detection AF improvements, and for the first time ever in a mid-tier OM digital model, Starry Sky AF, are among the computational photography features of that camera that can be found here.
Starry Sky AF supports OM System’s claims that this camera is made for people who want to photograph nature. When you press the AEL/AFL button, this special feature very reliably locks onto the stars in a matter of seconds without the need for manual focus or eyeballing.
Unfortunately, the Olympus OM-5 still lacks the subject recognition modes found on the Olympus OM-D E-M1X despite having more processing power. This would have made it much simpler for beginners to shoot wildlife (whether it be a housecat or a bird in flight). These more sophisticated AF options are currently limited to the OM-1. It’s important to remember that LiveND is still only capable of using 4 EV.
Mobile high-resolution mode
Only a small number of older Olympus models could compensate for hand shake when taking a high-resolution shot without a tripod, despite having tripod-based high-resolution shooting. The more affordable OM-5, which provides 50MP images when held in the hand and 80MP ones when using a tripod, has inherited this capability. This is a great tool for taking epic landscape photos, though it still takes about 16 seconds to combine the multiple images into one (assuming the wind isn’t blowing the trees around too much; while the camera can handle shaky hands, there’s little correction of moving objects).
Identical Olympus menus
With the OM-1, OM System advanced its menu system significantly. The new software has some incredibly helpful features, including the ability to explain to users why certain options were disabled and greyed out. Unfortunately, OM System kept the OM-5’s menu system from the previous generation.
It’s not like the software’s appearance is a feature that necessitates more expensive Stacked CMOS sensors or faster processors. The OM-5 could have been made to feel like a more modern camera in this area by having the most cutting-edge user interface.
Instead, we’re forced to use the dated, confusing system that has existed for a very long time. Yes, the OM-5 has the useful My Menu feature that enables users to select frequently used options for a quick menu. Experienced Olympus users will be familiar with the controls but will be without the convenience features that the OM-1 offered.
Without USB-C and UHS-II SD
One side-mounted UHS-II SD card slot is available on the OM-5, and it is ideally situated for quick card changes. Users won’t need to dismount grips, rigging, tripods, or other accessories in order to swap cards thanks to the placement of this on the side of the camera.
The way this camera charges was one area where we had hoped to see a change. Since so many other devices now support this high-speed charging standard, it is great that recent high-end Olympus and OM System cameras have USB-C PD charging. Unluckily, OM System gave the OM-5 a dated, unidirectional micro USB port that only supports trickle charging from a power bank or USB power supply.
Modest video enhancements
The OM-5’s video capabilities may be appealing to vloggers who enjoy being outside. While there is no headphone jack, OM System has eliminated the previous cameras’ 29-minute time limit, allowing for longer takes.
By simply flipping the orientation of the camera, the OM System OM-5 can also natively record vertical video at the resolution of your choice. We can confirm that these files read as vertical when transferred to a computer, but you won’t get a rearranged onscreen interface while in vertical video mode (which may be annoying to some). This could save users a step, especially if sharing directly to social media from the camera.
Finally, the OM-5 supports the OM-Log400 color profile. For those who prefer to color-grade their own videos, the flat profile is now joined by the Log profile, which was previously only available on higher-end cameras. This camera has been given access to LUTs.
Support for native USB webcams
The OM-5 now supports native USB webcam compatibility, which is a cool new feature. A microUSB cable must be plugged in, Webcam must be chosen from the USB prompt, and the mode dial must be set to video before you have a UVC/UAC webcam. To do this, no strange drivers or additional apps are needed. Just like that!