Olympus OM-D E-M5 Launch in Malaysia

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 (don’t ask why the naming is so complicated ok, let’s just call it OM-D shall we?) was launched last week and I sat through a very interesting presentation by the Olympus team in Malaysia.

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For one that swears by Micro Four Thirds cameras, I’m naturally interested to find out more on any new models launched in the market.
This one particularly caught my interest, especially when it boasts of so many firsts.

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Asthetically wise, Olympus stood out from its competitors too, thanks to it’s retro styling and rugged body, which incidentally, is ready for sand, sun, sleet or snow.

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The design of the OLYMPUS OM-D takes its inspiration from models in the original “OM one-digit” Series – the OM-1 through the OM-4.  The cabinet & the pentaprism is made of a magnesium alloy, which gives the camera body a high degree of rigidity while the bottom is made of aluminum.

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The fingerprint marred the picture. I wonder why it wasn’t wiped clean prior to putting it on display!

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Functionality-wise, Olympus didn’t just syiok- sendiri and designed the camera based on their internal team’s whims. Feedback from their consumers based on the Olympus PEN series were given serious consideration.

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Olympus PEN and the OM-D are targeted at a slightly different demographic as well. Trust me, news are going around that the starting price for the OM-D is RM4K+ versus the PEN series at RM2K – RM3K, so it make sense that the OM-D functionality are much much superior.

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Well, you get what you pay for I guess? Below are some of the exciting new features. I don’t know about you, but I was seriously tempted to get one, RM4K or not.  XD

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Instead of boring you with words, thankfully I got shots of the presentation. These slides should convey all you need to know about the OM-D in a concise manner.

The 3 key features why the Olympus OM-D is droolworthy are the lens (Olympus’s M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED lens), the Image Processing via True Pic technology and the superb built of the camera.

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New TruePic VI image processing engine:
The new camera incorporates TruePic VI, a new image processing engine first introduced on the E-P3. It improves image-processing quality and reduces processing time.

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Next, the Electronic viewfinder with high image quality and high functionality that enables real-time checking of various shooting conditions.

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The OLYMPUS OM-D is the first Olympus interchangeable lens type camera to incorporate a 1.44-M dot high-definition electronic viewfinder, which features a 100% field of view and max. 1.15X magnification as well as an eye point of 18 mm.
This viewfinder allows the image to be viewed clearly from the center to the periphery with little or no vignetting produced by fine movement of the eye positioning.

The camera has an eye sensor and can switch the activation of the rear-panel monitor and electronic viewfinder automatically. Information including shutter speed is displayed at the bottom of the field to avoid interfering with the framing operation.*

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More of the EVF Creative Control are explained below.

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The ability to check the effects of various corrections and Art Filters is one of the advantages of an electronic viewfinder not available with an optical viewfinder. The EVF Creative Control is a new interface that exploits this capability to the max. It allows the user to concentrate on composing the image without taking their eye away from the viewfinder.

This function divides the image brightness into the highlight brightness and shadow brightness, and adjusts them separately using two dials. The adjusted results can naturally be checked against the actual brightness in the viewfinder image, but can also be checked using a tone curve displayed on the viewfinder screen.

After completing brightness adjustment, the user can also control white balance, magnification and aspect ratio using the Fn buttons and dials, and do it all without having to take their eye off the viewfinder.

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The key superiority of this 16M Live MOS sensor are image quality improvement with significantly less noise than the previous sensor and also the dynamic range that provides superb gradation reproduction across a wider range of brightness.
In addition to that, the sensor also features a high data read speed, which supports full-HD (1920 x 1080) movie recording and the high autofocusing speed of the FAST AF system.

What really got my attention was this 5-axis image stabilization that are able to compensate for camera shake of any kind during both still photo and movie shooting. While I haven’t got the chance to actually evaluate this in detail, the demo shown during the launch made it looked pretty promising.
I learnt that camera shake is actually caused by five different kinds of motion: horizontal shift, vertical shift and rotary motion (rolling), as well as the yaw and pitch. The OLYMPUS OM-D incorporates the world’s first IS mechanism that is able to correct for all five types of motion that cause image blurs.

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The OLYMPUS PEN E-P3 was famed for its AF speed. The OM-D takes it up another level with “fastest FAST AF autofocusing system plus 3D tracking for improved moving object tracking performance“.

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And yes, not forgetting another “1st” – the OM-D is the World’s 1st Dust and Splash-proof design.
When used in combination with the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens, body and lens become an integrated dust- and splash-proof camera system that offers excellent reliability.

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Other features:

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Frankly, there are so many features and functionalities worth reviewing in the OM-D E-M5. While I’m impressed with the features, I’m not as assured of its user- friendliness. The Sony NEX -7 (I’m comparing it with another camera that’s within the same price range and the NEX-7 is also targeted at pros) was a breeze to use with its 3 navigational buttons. I hope to have a review OM-D unit in my hands soon. Let’s see if this baby is as great as advertised.  😉

It was a long and educational presentation but one of the more interesting part was this funky function – Make Up Mode.

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You got to watch this video to believe it! This is Photoshop 101 in your camera. Literally.

Interesting? I’m loving it! 🙂

Yes, I admit I’m impressed with it so far, just by the presentation at the launch alone. Below are more shots that I would like to share.
Since I prefer not to be overly technical in my blog post,  do leave a comment if you would like me to share with you the full list of features and explanations of the Olympus OM-D E-M5. Perhaps I’ll publish that in a separate blog post as it is 21 pages long!

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Thanks to Olympus Malaysia for my little “OM-D”. Now, when am I getting an actual one?? 🙂

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Apart from the OM-D, Olympus also introduced ten new cameras from their compact series.
This includes cameras from three categories the Tough, Travelers and Smart – namely TG-820, TG-620, TG-320, SZ-31MR, SZ-14, VR-350, VH-510, VH-210, VG-170 and VG-150.

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Availability for these compacts varies according to models, with some already in the market and some mid Feb to end April.
Prices are: TG-820 RM1299, TG-620 RM999, SZ-14 RM899, VR-350 RM699, VH-210 RM449, VG-170 RM499, and the VH-510TG-320, SZ-31MR and VG-150 – TBA ( April 2012).

Below: The launch showcased some of the iconic older Olympus models as well.

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The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is only available end March 2012 and no, they don’t have it in PINK 🙁

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So who’s a fan of Olympus here? At the rumoured price of RM4K + anyone here going to grab one?

All pictures taken with:

Samsung NX11

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Nikel

    wah.. Is time hunting for a new camera.. so advance d..

  2. Sean

    that’s quite a long list of features! i just realized though, that with a sophisticated & pricey & relatively bulkier camera like this, my biggest fear would be dropping it! heheh 😀

  3. Daniel

    Oly…Mr Tan must be very happy. Didn’t they swap your camera with an Oly for this launch? 🙂

  4. Simple Person

    I own a Olympus u…
    Kinda good…
    I take a lot of undersea pics……nice nice nice

    1. rebeccasaw

      Yup, Olympus has been consistently ‘sturdy”in reputation – as in I don;t hear much complains but was never really known for picture quality or hhmm.. maybe it’s just the marketing?

  5. mr stress


    those product make me headache to choose which one is better…

    Samsung or Olympus…. stresssss

    1. rebeccasaw

      Oh budget? Cos Samsung RM2k+ , this one RM4K plus, unless u go for PEN series 🙂

  6. paranoidandroid

    Damn… Just as I was debating to invest in a Fuji x1 vs Fuji x100, this one comes along and confuses me. Plus point will be the wider range of 4/3 lenses. Hmmmm… No test shots available? Read all the preview sites and none of them mentioned the quality of shots.

    1. rebeccasaw

      Ahh.. will let you know if I can get my hands on one..

      1. rebeccasaw

        Oh thanks! Will check these out!

  7. frelwa

    Hi Rebecca,

    I just found your review. I already saw your Beauty Fix video and wrote to you about it. This press preview report answers most of the questions I asked you.

    I ordered a black E-M5 last week, but I will ask my dealer if I can change to silver without losing my place in their pre-order line.

    I like your toy OM-D set. I have 3 of the PEN sets, but I don’t know where to get the OM-D one yet.


    Fred in Toronto

    1. rebeccasaw

      Oh hi Fred! 🙂
      Awesome! Yes, I think I prefer the silver one too! Hehe

      Hey maybe I email you the full 21 pages of concise features of the OM-D if you want, it’s an educational read 😀

  8. ali

    read Robin Wong’s review about this camera.. wow… i’m going to trade-in my e-pm1now…

    1. rebeccasaw

      Hahah it seems really good!
      I think it’s worth the trade in

  9. Kevin Tan

    Managed to play with it some time ago. Have to say that I’m attracted to it because of the sexy silver/black colored design of the OM-D, plus fast shutter and great picture quality. Good for street shooting. Dunno about the RAW support and video recording yet. Sure hope there’s a price drop of it. 😀

    1. rebeccasaw

      Fast shutter eh? Picture quality is no doubt a plus point for this one. I love the 5-axis stabilisation really.
      Price drop is expected I guess, but not much as there are very little competition in this target segment. Only Nex 7 so far I think?

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