Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are two enthusiast cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2012 and February 2015. Both the E-M5 and the E-M5 II are mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras that are equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. Both cameras offer a resolution of 15.9 megapixels. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Olympus E-M5||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor||15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO 200-25600||ISO 200-25600|
|Electronic viewfinder (1440k dots)||Electronic viewfinder (2360k dots)|
|3.0" LCD, 610k dots||3.0" LCD, 1037k dots|
|Tilting touchscreen||Swivel touchscreen|
|9 shutter flaps per second||10 shutter flaps per second|
|In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|360 shots per battery charge||310 shots per battery charge|
|122 x 89 x 43 mm, 425 g||124 x 85 x 45 mm, 469 g|
Body comparison: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
The physical size and weight of the Olympus E-M5 and the Olympus E-M5 II are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the E-M5 – represents 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Olympus E-M5 II is somewhat smaller (3 percent) than the Olympus E-M5. However, the E-M5 II is markedly heavier (10 percent) than the E-M5. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Micro Four Thirds Lens Catalog. Mirrorless cameras, such as the two under consideration, have the additional advantage of having a short flange to focal plane distance, which makes it possible to mount many lenses from other systems onto the camera via adapters.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Olympus E-M5»||4.8 in||3.5 in||1.7 in||15.0 oz||360||Y||Feb 2012||1,299||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Olympus E-M5 II«||4.9 in||3.3 in||1.8 in||16.5 oz||310||Y||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||4.9 in||2.8 in||1.5 in||15.1 oz||330||n||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||4.7 in||3.3 in||1.9 in||13.8 oz||320||n||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||4.7 in||3.2 in||1.8 in||14.0 oz||320||n||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||4.5 in||2.6 in||1.5 in||12.6 oz||350||n||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-M1« »||5.1 in||3.7 in||2.5 in||17.5 oz||350||Y||Sep 2013||1,399||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Olympus E-P5« »||4.8 in||2.7 in||1.5 in||14.8 oz||330||n||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||4.4 in||2.5 in||1.5 in||11.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||4.3 in||2.5 in||1.3 in||9.5 oz||360||n||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GX8« »||5.2 in||3.1 in||2.5 in||17.2 oz||330||Y||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GX7« »||4.8 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||14.2 oz||350||n||Aug 2013||999||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic GH3« »||5.2 in||3.7 in||3.2 in||19.4 oz||540||Y||Sep 2012||1,299||-||Panasonic GH3|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The E-M5 II was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the E-M5, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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.
Sensor comparison: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a Four Thirds sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, the E-M5 II uses a more advanced image processing engine (TruePic VII) than the E-M5 (TruePic VI), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
The two cameras under review do not only share the same sensor size, but also offer an identical resolution of 15.9 megapixels. This similarity in sensor specs implies that both the E-M5 and the E-M5 II have the same pixel density, as well as the same pixel size. It should, however, be noted that the E-M5 II is much more recent (by 2 years and 11 months) than the E-M5, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time.
Unlike the E-M5, the E-M5 II has the capacity to capture high quality composite images (40MP) by combining multiple shots after shifting its sensor by miniscule distances. This multi-shot, pixel-shift mode is most suitable for photography of stationary objects (landscapes, studio scenes).
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600 The corresponding ISO settings for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II are ISO 200 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The Overall DXO ratings for the two cameras under consideration are close, suggesting that they provide similar imaging performance. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-M5»||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60i||22.8||12.3||826||71||Olympus E-M5|
|Olympus E-M5 II«||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.0||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||1080/60p||23.1||12.4||894||74||Olympus PEN-F|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||23.1||12.5||842||73||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||884||72||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.4||873||72||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-M1« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||23.0||12.7||757||73||Olympus E-M1|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.4||895||72||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.8||12.3||889||72||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/30p||22.7||12.2||932||72||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Four Thirds||20.2||5184||3888||4K/30p||23.5||12.6||806||75||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Four Thirds||15.8||4592||3448||1080/60p||22.6||12.2||718||70||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic GH3« »||Four Thirds||15.9||4608||3456||1080/60p||22.7||12.4||812||71||Panasonic GH3|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the E-M5 II provides a faster frame rate than the E-M5. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60p, while the E-M5 is limited to 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The two cameras under review are similar with respect to both having an electronic viewfinder. However, the one in the E-M5 II offers a substantially higher resolution than the one in the E-M5 (2360k vs 1440k dots). The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Olympus E-M5 and Olympus E-M5 II along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Olympus E-M5»||1440||n||3.0||610||tilting||Y||4000||9.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5|
|Olympus E-M5 II«||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus PEN-F|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||1440||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-M1« »||2360||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Olympus E-M1|
|Olympus E-P5« »||-||n||3.0||1037||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||Y||Y||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||-||n||3.0||460||tilting||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||n||3.0||460||fixed||Y||4000||8.0||n||Y||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GX8« »||2360||n||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||10.0||n||Y||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GX7« »||2760||n||3.0||1040||tilting||Y||8000||5.0||Y||Y||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic GH3« »||1746||n||3.0||614||swivel||Y||4000||6.0||Y||n||Panasonic GH3|
The reported shutter speed and shutter burst refer to the use of the mechanical shutter. In addition, the E-M5 II features an electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the E-M5 and the E-M5 II write their files to SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
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 and Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Olympus E-M5»||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Olympus E-M5 II«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus PEN-F|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-M1« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Olympus E-P5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||-||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic GH3« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Panasonic GH3|
It is notable that the E-M5 II offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the E-M5 does not offer wifi capability.
The E-M5 II is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Olympus. In contrast, the E-M5 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the E-M5 was succeeded by the Olympus E-M5 II.
Review summary: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is the Olympus E-M5 better than the Olympus E-M5 II or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Olympus OM-D E-M5:
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (360 versus 310) on a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2012).
Arguments in favor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II:
- High quality composites: Can combine several shots after pixel-shifting its sensor.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (TruePic VII vs TruePic VI).
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- More detailed viewfinder: Has higher resolution electronic viewfinder (2360k vs 1440k dots).
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 610k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 2 years and 11 months of technical progress since the E-M5 launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the E-M5 II is the clear winner of the contest (13 : 2 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the E-M5 or the E-M5 II handle or perform in practice. 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.
Expert reviews: Olympus E-M5 vs E-M5 II
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Olympus E-M5»||HiRec||80/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Feb 2012||1,299||-||Olympus E-M5|
|Olympus E-M5 II«||HiRec||81/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Feb 2015||1,099||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Olympus PEN-F« »||-||82/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,199||Olympus PEN-F|
|Olympus E-M10 II« »||HiRec||80/100||5/5||5/5||5/5||Aug 2015||799||-||Olympus E-M10 II|
|Olympus E-M10« »||-||80/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2014||699||-||Olympus E-M10|
|Olympus E-PL7« »||Rec||-||5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2014||599||-||Olympus E-PL7|
|Olympus E-M1« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2013||1,399||-||Olympus E-M1|
|Olympus E-P5« »||HiRec||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||May 2013||999||-||Olympus E-P5|
|Olympus E-PL5« »||HiRec||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||599||-||Olympus E-PL5|
|Olympus E-PM2« »||-||77/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||499||-||Olympus E-PM2|
|Panasonic GX8« »||Rec||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2015||1,199||-||Panasonic GX8|
|Panasonic GX7« »||Rec||79/100||5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Aug 2013||999||-||Panasonic GX7|
|Panasonic GH3« »||HiRec||79/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||1,299||-||Panasonic GH3|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
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Specifications: Olympus E-M5 vs Olympus E-M5 II
|Camera Model||Olympus E-M5||Olympus E-M5 II|
|Camera Type||Mirrorless system camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||Micro Four Thirds lenses||Micro Four Thirds lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2012||February 2015|
|Launch Price||USD 1299||USD 1099|
|Sensor Format||Four Thirds Sensor||Four Thirds Sensor|
|Sensor Size||17.3 x 13.0 mm||17.3 x 13.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||224.9 mm2||224.9 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||21.6 mm||21.6 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||15.9 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||4608 x 3456 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.76 μm||3.76 μm|
|Pixel Density||7.08 MP/cm2||7.08 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||200-25600 ISO||200-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||TruePic VI||TruePic VII|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1440k dots||2360k dots|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||610k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Swivel screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||9 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter||Electronic Shutter|
|Image Stabilization||In-body stabilization||In-body stabilization|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BLN-1 power pack||BLN-1 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360 shots per charge||310 shots per charge|
122 x 89 x 43 mm
(4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7 in)
124 x 85 x 45 mm
(4.9 x 3.3 x 1.8 in)
|Camera Weight||425 g (15.0 oz)||469 g (16.5 oz)|
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