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Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Third-generation E-M5

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E-M5 Mark III hands-on

London Camera Exchange have an E-M5 Mk III that they are taking on a tour of their branches. Ours must be one of the first as they have it today so I popped in for an anticipatory fondle.

I know pretty much what the image quality etc. will be like, as it has the same sensor as the E-M1 Mk II which I have been using for a while. So I was concentrating on the ergonomics and handling.

First up - it's gorgeous. No surprise there.

My overall conclusions were that it is light and small and handles well. There is one small disappointment that I wasn't really expecting to be fixed, and a small feature which is a big enough disappointment to make it a no-go for me.

First - size, weight and handling. I took the old original E-M5 (it wasn't called a Mark I because it was the only one and wasn't called Mark ) for comparison. Size is roughly the same, the new one feels slightly lighter. This was noticeable with the body alone, whether it would be significant with a lens like the 12-100 on I don't really know. The grip part of the body has been slightly reshaped, I think the change is quite subtle but it felt much better in my hands. It would be a lovely package with one of the small primes.

It has a flippy-out screen that some people will like and others won't.

Second - a slight but expected disappointment. I like to be able to work with nothing on the rear display screen, because I am sometimes in dark performance venues and don't want to distract the audience. The simple solution is to turn the screen to face the body, and this works fine - it is how I use the E-M1 Mark II most of the time. It has the disadvantage that you can't use the touch screen to select the focus point. The problem is that if you turn the screen to face out, and turn EVF eye select off so that the viewfinder display is always through the EVF, image review and the main menu always come up on the rear screen. This is a pain. I have raised it with Olympus and am slightly disappointed that it hasn't been fixed in a new body.

Third - a small thing that is a big disappointment. One of the most useful small improvements that the E-M1 Mark II brought us was a decent battery charge level gauge. The E-M5 Mark III goes back to the mickey-mouse 3-bar display. I have had problems with this all the way back to the E-1 - sometimes it will soldier on for ages while blinking orange to warn of low charge. Other times it will claim to be full and show 3 bars, then you blink and the battery dies. I presume that the better charge display is a conspiracy between battery and body, and the 5 Mark III uses an older battery that won't co-operate.

All in all it's not a camera for me. It would be lovely with something like the 17mm f/1.8 as a holiday/walkabout camera, but the unreliable battery display makes it a non-starter - I would want to put the battery grip on it which would mean it was no longer a compact package, thus destroying its main selling point.

It was good to have the chance to try it, thanks to LCE and Olympus.

John
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

Thanks John

Did you notice the USB connector type? Watching the video it looks different so you would need a new cable release as well, did you happen to check this level of detail?
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
Thanks John

Did you notice the USB connector type? Watching the video it looks different so you would need a new cable release as well, did you happen to check this level of detail?
It's micro usb 2.0 rather than usb-c, quite surprised about that.
Also no my "menu setting" find that so handy rather than scrolling through pages of the main menu.

Didn't expect dual card slots so that's not a negative.
Also different battery which reckons to give 300 shots, about what I would expect.
Can charge the battery via USB in the camera, but cannot operate plugged in
Would be handy if it ran from a powerbank, can't see why that would be a problem

Not getting one, just no need for a new camera at the moment.
If I did want one it would definitely be on my shortlist
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by Tram View Post
It's micro usb 2.0 rather than usb-c, quite surprised about that....Can charge the battery via USB in the camera, but cannot operate plugged in. Would be handy if it ran from a powerbank, can't see why that would be a problem...

Are these 2 statements not at odds with each other? Anyway, the whole thing about USB-C (uses USB 3.0 or 3.1 protocol) is that the two ends can negotiate voltage and max current using the Power Delivery (PD) protocol or the the Qualcomm Quickcharge protocol. USB-C Power Delivery power supplies are rated by their wattage which rather than being a straightforward amps times volts (the definitions of watts) actually states which from a fixed set of volts/amps combinations is supported. USB 3.1 can negotiate 5V/2.4A, 5V/3A, 9V/3A, 15V/2A, or 20V/1.5A depending on what the supply can provide and what the receiver can receive. The Qualcomm Quickcharge rates (a different protocol) do not go as high. In additon to fixed steps it is also possible to incrementally adjust the voltage by 0.2V at a time!

Olympus handily states which combinations the PD supported E-M1x requires and this requires a USB-C power supply rated at 45 or 60 watts. It is unlikely that the USB 2.0 in the E-M5iii has been enhanced to support the higher power requirements that USB-C can negotiate and so there will not be enough power to run the camera. The battery can probably charge (slowly) from a USB2.0 supply of 5V/2.4A but to run the camera will require 9V/3A at a minimum.

There are some niggles I find with the E-M5iii that are really frustating. USB-C running/charging is one (I don't want to buy an expensive battery grip and an expensive charger to plug into it) and the other is the downgrading of the battery from the E-M5i/E-M5ii. With the slightly increased size of the built in grip (over the ii) you would have thought that they could have fitted in the same battery as the older models that people will be upgrading from.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
Thanks John

Did you notice the USB connector type? Watching the video it looks different so you would need a new cable release as well, did you happen to check this level of detail?
I didn't look, sorry. But I see others have more than covered the shortfall!

John
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

Yes, thanks John.

Looks like you need a new cable release to go with the E-M5 Mark III, so what with new batteries as well I think that makes it an expensive upgrade.

Given the new smaller battery size spare batteries will be more important to carry as well. Such a shame Olympus did not stay with the same battery as the Mark II.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by Invicta View Post
Looks like you need a new cable release to go with the E-M5 Mark III, so what with new batteries as well I think that makes it an expensive upgrade.

Given the new smaller battery size spare batteries will be more important to carry as well. Such a shame Olympus did not stay with the same battery as the Mark II.


I've been trying to compare MkIII costs to the MkII I bought earlier this year complete with 12-40mm f2.8, with power grip and additional battery for 976.65 https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showpos...29&postcount=4

New MkIII with 12-40 (incl spare batt)= 1,699
(Lens bundles are more expensive than with other cameras)
MkIII Grip ECG-5 = 180
Battery part of grip, can't find advertised yet, say 100
Cable release, priced as Oly as 3rd party may not be immediately available = 60

Sub total = 2,039

Less possible 15% off code -306

Estimated total cost = 1,733, some 756 more than the MkII, which I only use it as a second camera for butterflies, dragonflies, macro, etc. when my EM1 MkII has a 300mm f4 on for birds/distant wildlife.

There's also the hassle of a third battery charger to take away.

I haven't allowed anything for the 100 extra trade in bonus as I've found that can interfere with the use of codes.

Maybe there'll be some better deals to come, like cashback + free grip + extended warranty + free Manfrotto mini tripod + free Manfrotto camera bag, like when I bought my EM1 MkII.



But, getting back on topic, what I can't find is a hands on review by a wildlife photographer.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bikie John View Post
.......

It has a flippy-out screen that some people will like and others won't.

Second - a slight but expected disappointment. I like to be able to work with nothing on the rear display screen, because I am sometimes in dark performance venues and don't want to distract the audience. The simple solution is to turn the screen to face the body, and this works fine - it is how I use the E-M1 Mark II most of the time. It has the disadvantage that you can't use the touch screen to select the focus point. The problem is that if you turn the screen to face out, and turn EVF eye select off so that the viewfinder display is always through the EVF, image review and the main menu always come up on the rear screen. This is a pain. I have raised it with Olympus and am slightly disappointed that it hasn't been fixed in a new body.
...............
John
Sorry , this is really off the discussion.

Uncle John, if you have set the SCP to on at default, you can have the LCD to off or flipped in, then pressing the OK would display the SCP in the EV then using the directional buttons select the SCREEN AF points selector and OK to enter that and again the direction buttons to move select where you want the rectangle and if you toggle it with your dials to do the different selections. you don't need to activate the touch screen to select where you want the focussing rectangle.

As for the EM5iii, I have already decided not to go for it as it would mean going backwards from the EM1ii. I enjoy that 2 slots, the heavier battery as I only need to carry 2, It already balances well with the 12-40. There is really nothing other than weight/size that the em5iii have to offer which does not make the WANT factor.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by blu-by-u View Post
Sorry , this is really off the discussion.

Uncle John, if you have set the SCP to on at default, you can have the LCD to off or flipped in, then pressing the OK would display the SCP in the EV then using the directional buttons select the SCREEN AF points selector and OK to enter that and again the direction buttons to move select where you want the rectangle and if you toggle it with your dials to do the different selections. you don't need to activate the touch screen to select where you want the focussing rectangle.

As for the EM5iii, I have already decided not to go for it as it would mean going backwards from the EM1ii. I enjoy that 2 slots, the heavier battery as I only need to carry 2, It already balances well with the 12-40. There is really nothing other than weight/size that the em5iii have to offer which does not make the WANT factor.
Thanks Henry. The point is that I WANT to use the back screen for quick selection of focus point - if I am shooting a singer in a dark bar I want to be able to quickly move the focus point up to the eye and shoot, and it strikes me that the touch screen would be good for exactly that. I hasten to add that I have never actually tried it in practice, and it may turn out to be total pants and an irrelevance in real-life use!

And for your second para - the appeal of the 5iii for me is the small light body with a top-notch spec inside. But I really hate the random lottery of the old battery charge gauge, and have really hated it ever since the E-1 15 years or so ago. After getting used to the good indicator on the E-M1 II I don't want to step backwards. The solution is to add the battery grip, so then you are unlikely to run out just when you need it, but of course when you do that you no longer have a small lightweight unit.

John
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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I haven't allowed anything for the 100 extra trade in bonus as I've found that can interfere with the use of codes
Yup, using code TRADEIN100 to get 100 trade in bonus plus free battery prevents stacking with a 15% off code.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

I wouldn’t say any of the shortcomings noted in the OP would stop me from buying one, if I wanted/needed one. However, I do think the battery system and USB-C data transfer are part and parcel of what make the E-M1 mk ii a little special. If you want smaller, and you’re already used to the best on offer, then you have a personal choice to make.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

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Originally Posted by Bikie John View Post
Thanks Henry. The point is that I WANT to use the back screen for quick selection of focus point - if I am shooting a singer in a dark bar I want to be able to quickly move the focus point up to the eye and shoot, and it strikes me that the touch screen would be good for exactly that. I hasten to add that I have never actually tried it in practice, and it may turn out to be total pants and an irrelevance in real-life use!

And for your second para - the appeal of the 5iii for me is the small light body with a top-notch spec inside. But I really hate the random lottery of the old battery charge gauge, and have really hated it ever since the E-1 15 years or so ago. After getting used to the good indicator on the E-M1 II I don't want to step backwards. The solution is to add the battery grip, so then you are unlikely to run out just when you need it, but of course when you do that you no longer have a small lightweight unit.

John
Another to quickly adjust the rectangle, I think it's that left most directional button. It brings up that AF selector you can use the 2 dials to move the AF point and also select the different options.

Yes, I hate that old battery indicator. It's never accurate but I always thought it was those 3rd party batteries.

And I do agree, adding a grip would add weight.

I still do not understand why back to the old battery type? How many grams
would it really add if it's the bigger battery?

USB-C would have been most welcome..but they have to go micro USB...Why is oly doing such things.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

I missed the visit to our LCE but I am on the verge of preordering. The battery is no problem for me as I have the "baby" and I think the batteries are the same for both cameras. I am also trading in a very old point and shoot for a further discount.
As I found I have used my Oly more than my Nikon FF camera in the past 2 years, I am also trading in all but one of my lenses for that camera.

So I have a 12-100 lens, is the 12-40 "kit" much of a step up quality wise? Or do I go for the 12-200 "kit" or a body only.
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

I think that the 12-100 and 12-40 are both excellent lenses and they have different strong points. The 12-100 gives more reach. The 12-40 is smaller (but still quite a chunky monkey as someone here memorably described it - sorry, I've forgotten who) and it is f/2.8 rather than f/4 which helps in the dark.

I already had the 12-40 when I got the 12-100 and still use them both depending on the requirements.

John
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Re: E-M5 Mark III hands-on

Sorry for the tangent but I have heard "stories" that the 12-100 is a big battery drain, will this be a problem on a bigger camera than my current one. I do like the idea of a f2.8 lens... as that is what lives on my D800
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