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Olympus E-M5 III Comparison Review

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was announced in October 2019 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 20.2 megapixel.

Is the Olympus E-M5 III a good camera? The E-M5 III has a Camera Elo of 2699. This rating puts the E-M5 III among the top 30 percent of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the E-M5 III ranks among the top 10 percent. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 4.5-star performance rating.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-M5 III
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
20.2 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
4k/24p Video
ISO 200 - 25 600
Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)
3.0 LCD, 1040k dots
Swivel touchscreen
10 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
Weathersealed body
310 shots per battery charge
125 x 85 x 50 mm, 414 g



Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

The physical dimensions of the Olympus E-M5 III relative to a credit card are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Olympus E-M5 III vs credit card front
E-M5 III versus credit card top view
E-M5 III and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus E-M5 III alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life 1
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch 2
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Olympus E-M5 III 4.9 in 3.3 in 2.0 in 14.6 oz 310 Y Oct 2019 1,199 i
 
Olympus E-M1 III 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.7 in 20.5 oz 420 Y Feb 2020 1,799 i
 
Olympus E-M10 IV 4.8 in 3.3 in 1.9 in 13.5 oz 360 n Aug 2020 699 i
 
Olympus E-M1X 5.7 in 5.8 in 3.0 in 35.2 oz 870 Y Jan 2019 2,999 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II 5.3 in 3.6 in 2.6 in 20.2 oz 440 Y Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Olympus PEN-F 4.9 in 2.8 in 1.5 in 15.1 oz 330 n Jan 2016 1,199i
 
Olympus E-M5 II 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099i
 
Olympus E-M1 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399i
 
Olympus E-M5 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299i
 
Panasonic G95 5.1 in 3.7 in 3.0 in 18.9 oz 290 Y Apr 2019 999 i
 
Panasonic GX8 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199i
Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus E-M5 III was launched in the US market at a price of $1,199. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

Olympus E-M5 III:
Check Amazon price

Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tent to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Olympus E-M5 III features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus E-M5 III among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Olympus E-M5 III sensor measures

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

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Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
 
Olympus E-M5 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884k/24p........
 
Olympus E-M1 III Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Olympus E-M10 IV Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Olympus E-M1X Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Olympus E-M1 II Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.712.8131280
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
 
Panasonic G95 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p........
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. The E-M5 III indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the E-M5 III can use is 4k/24p.

Feature comparison

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the E-M5 III has an electronic viewfinder with a resolution of 2360k dots. The viewfinder offers a field of view of 100% and a magnification of 0.68x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Olympus E-M5 III and comparable cameras.

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Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
(000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
 
Olympus E-M5 III2360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M1 III2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M10 IV2360 n 3.0 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 15.0 Y Y
 
Olympus E-M1X2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M1 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 18.0 n Y
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M12360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y
 
Olympus E-M51440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y
 
Panasonic G952360 n 3.0 1240 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y
 
Panasonic GX82360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y

One feature that differentiates the E-M5 III from many other cameras is in-body image stabilization (IBIS). The E-M5 III reduces the risk of handshake-induced blur with all attached lenses, while cameras without IBIS have to rely on optical image stabilization in OIS-equipped lenses to achieve the same effect.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
 
Olympus E-M5 IIIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M1 IIIYstereomonoYYmicro3.1Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M10 IVYstereomono--micro2.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M1XYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y-Y
 
Olympus E-M1 IIYstereomonoYYmicro3.0Y--
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereomono--micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M1YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereomono--mini2.0---
 
Panasonic G95YstereomonoYYmicro2.0Y-Y
 
Panasonic GX8YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-

It is notable that the E-M5 III has a microphone port. Such an external microphone input can help to substantially improve the quality of audio recordings when a good external microphone is used.

Expert reviews

While the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the E-M5 III in practical situations. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).

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Review Scores
  Camera
Model
camera
  labs  
dp
review  
ephoto
  zine  
imaging
resource
photography
  blog  
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
 
Olympus E-M5 III+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Oct 2019 1,199 i
 
Olympus E-M1 III..83/1004.5/5..4/5 Feb 2020 1,799 i
 
Olympus E-M10 IV....4.5/5.... Aug 2020 699 i
 
Olympus E-M1Xo..4.5/55/5.. Jan 2019 2,999 i
 
Olympus E-M1 II+ +85/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2016 1,999 i
 
Olympus PEN-F..82/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199i
 
Olympus E-M5 II+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099i
 
Olympus E-M1+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399i
 
Olympus E-M5+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299i
 
Panasonic G95+83/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Apr 2019 999 i
 
Panasonic GX8+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199i
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Olympus E-M5 III FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the E-M5 III.

What type of imaging sensor is used in the E-M5 III?

The camera is build around a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Olympus equipped the E-M5 III with the TruePic VIII image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the E-M5 III?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 64-25600.

Does the camera have a selfie-friendly screen?

Yes, the LCD-screen of the E-M5 III is flexible and can be turned to be front-facing for capturing selfies.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III?

Olympus does not publish a shutter rating for the E-M5 III. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

Is completely silent shooting possible with the Olympus E-M5 III?

The camera has an electronic shutter option, so that it is indeed feasible to capture images without any shutter noise.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Olympus E-M5 III?

The E-M5 III offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Olympus E-M5 III feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The E-M5 III's flash sync speed is 1/250 sec.

Does the Olympus E-M5 III support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-II cards (data transfer speed of up to 312 MB/s).

Which battery does the E-M5 III use?

The camera gets its power from the BLS-50 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Where can I find the best deals for the E-M5 III?

Grey imports from Asia, as found on eBay, are often very attractively priced. However, these cameras come without a warranty from Olympus.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you are interested in seeing how this camera compares to another one, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Olympus E-M5 III
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date October 2019
    Launch Price USD 1 199
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 225 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 20.2 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 5 184 x 3 888 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.34 μm
    Pixel Density 8.96 MP/cm2
    Moiré control no AA filter
    Movie Capability 4k/24p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 64 - 25 600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VIII
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.68x
    Viewfinder Resolution 2360k dots
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 1040k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System On-Sensor Phase-detect
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 10 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent ShootingElectronic Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-II
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Bluetooth Support Bluetooth built-in
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed body
    Battery Type BLS-50 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)310 shots per charge
    In-Camera Charging USB charging
    Body Dimensions 125 x 85 x 50 mm
    (4.9 x 3.3 x 2.0 in)
    Camera Weight 414 g (14.6 oz)

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