E-M5 mk III released at US$1199

Pluttis

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I'd advise waiting on a decision until you had a chance to hold it and see for yourself if the new material bothers you. Many have said that they couldn't tell the difference, and I imagine it is all a matter of personal perspective. Maybe even wait a while and see how real-life users feel about it after having it for a while.
Yeah i will wait and make decision wich one to buy after i have handle a E-M5 MarkIII.

But i have owned polycarbonate bodys from other manufacturers before so i doubt Olympus E-M5 MarkIII feels much better than the competitors and their own current polycarbonate bodies.
Many have allready said it feels a bit plasticy and current Olympus silver polycarbonate body are not close to same finish and feel of the E-M5 MarkII magnesium alloy body.
 
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That doesn't mean the mk3 version isn’t a good camera. I’m sure it is. But it does nothing to excite. Given the maturity of the tech involved here that probably shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is a bit of an ongoing disappointment.
Exactly that, lack of something exiting to go along with the asking price.
Or a lower price point, that making total value exciting in itself.

Now I know that my next months of savings will not go towards Olympus besides a single 9-18 acquisition and next year I ’ll be testing other waters...
 

mawz

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A couple notes.

1. Polycarbonate bodies are actually more durable than metal. Polycarb has higher impact resistance. They don't feel as good though. The best designs from a durability standpoint have a polycarbonate shell over a metal frame (metal's higher rigidity is superior for frame design).

2. Oly needs to get on a lens roll. A persistent issue since the E-M5 re-introduced weather sealing to the Oly line is that the mid-range lenses by and large are not sealed. Really only the 14-150II, 60mm & 12-50 are sealed, while the rest of the smaller lenses needed to take advantage of the small size & sealing of the E-M5 series are unsealed. Panasonic is doing the right thing in refreshing their mid-range lenses with weather sealing when they update the AF systems. This leaves the E-M5III in a difficult spot when comparing against the X-T30, as while the X-T30 is unsealed (and the Fujinon's are sealed) the E-M5 system that compares most directly isn't sealed either because of the lenses lacking sealing.
 
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The real issue with this camera, and really most all m4/3s releases for quite a while now, for me is the expectations set by the original E-M5. That camera was a game-changer. I've been waiting for a camera that is somewhat close to being as significant, and I have not seen it.

That doesn't mean the mk3 version isn’t a good camera. I’m sure it is. But it does nothing to excite. Given the maturity of the tech involved here that probably shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is a bit of an ongoing disappointment.
Yes, and I think there is a lot of telling and deeper stuff going on for the wider group in what you said. Most of the angst for the E-M5 MkIII is what we E-M1 users went through with the E-M1X earlier this year, so we've been there...

One can hope, but expecting a home run is a recipe for disappointment. More to the point, the writing on the wall showed that in the case of the E-M5 MkIII it was also unrealistic.

On one level, this is simply what Olympus is technically and financially willing to and/or capable of giving us right now -- however one may feel about it. If there was going to be any new game-changing technology this year, it would have been in the far more expensive and larger halo project E-M1X. But the X wasn’t what we'd hoped. Performance-wise it is only marginally better than the E-M1 MkII, and in terms of IQ it is exactly the same, though there are other areas where it excels on account of its larger body. Expecting the much smaller, mid-tier E-M5 MkIII (which despite people's wishful thinking, is only aiming to replace the E-M5 MkII) to surpass the E-M1 MkII in some game-changing way was putting it in or even past that far higher-priced E-M1X territory. That would not be a sound business decision from Olympus, even if they had such phantom technology available. The E-M5 MkIII's primary design goals were compact and lightweight, and power savings to compensate, and in both the Olympus engineers succeeded.

Yes, the lack of milestone progress is disappointing, and I'm not trying to tell anyone that what we have been getting ought to be sufficient for them. However, on another level, some people are making their disappointment much worse from overly-high expectations. There seems to be more willingness to give credence to unsubstantiated and unattributable rumors that fuel their desires than to Olympus' stated attempts at expectations management (e.g., no HHHR). I bit the same apple with the E-M1X, and it was entirely my problem. Objectively, the E-M5 MkIII compares (features and price) better against the competition than a lot of people are giving it credit for, mainly because no one else has knocked it out of the park either. The E-M1 MkII is actually an extremely good camera, much more capable than the E-M5 MkII. Having all that in a smaller, lighter body is a rather special combination people who have been holding out for it (i.e., not most E-M1 users) will notice and appreciate every time they use it. It isn't a game-changer, but it isn't insignificant, either.

A few things I have noted as an Olympus user is that:
  1. Price is a subjective and divisive issue, but it generally comes out okay in the end. Many people almost never seem to think the price is worth the product at first. Usually they come around after being swayed by all the positive reviews (which I expect will be the case here), or in a few cases (like the X) the price gets adjusted to where it should be.
  2. Olympus is selling these cameras for the long term. They told us they are slowing down their release cycle, but periodic firmware updates breathe new life into their cameras. While one can choose to look at it as they released an inferior product and fixed it later, I prefer to think Olympus had just moved the bar and given us a freebie, increasing the value of the initial purchase. I suppose that this support has mostly been for the 1-series in the past, but I don't think the E-M5 MkIII will be left out, now that it has much the same hardware.
  3. The grass isn't always greener on the other side; just another shade of green. We are an insecure bunch from all the Internet hype, and it adversely affects our perspective of our system. But all systems are a compromise one way or the other. Olympus may or may not be the best fit for you; and if not, perhaps another system will meet your personal needs better. But it's hard to make these judgments objectively after having invested in a system.
 

Lupin 3rd

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Yes, and that's why it's so fantastic. I've carried my EM1.2 to 40 countries on six continents and trust me, I'd have loved to have the same camera in a smaller lighter form.

Yes, it's not a sexy metal case, and that may impact durability, and it has a smaller battery (but not necessarily lower battery life), and the strap lugs are in a daft place but.. it's smaller and lighter and cheaper, and that kind of counts.

It's also basically the same camera in a different form factor, so I'm not paying that much to replace a camera I've been happily using for two years.
Lack of the extra grip and battery is what puts me off the most. I really like the compact body with small lens and the grip with larger ones.


Personally i think Canon have the best strap lugs
Personally I think Canon have some of the best ergos. Of all the current mirrorless cameras (FF/APSC/M43) the new EOS R with the 24-105 felt the best in hand.


Many have said that they couldn't tell the difference, and I imagine it is all a matter of personal perspective.
Could I tell the difference? Yes. Does it matter? Not in the least. Plenty of "plastic" lens out there still working perfectly fine.
 

Dinobe

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Just my 2 cents: I think the MkIII is a very nice upgrade altogether. Especially the phase detect autofocus makes it worth going for. While I have no real complaints about the autofocus of my EM5 MkI, for general use, it does struggle with fast moving objects, like my kids running around the house.

But, I always use my EM5 MkI with the grip. This does add some weight, height and is an extra expense but it makes the camera far more ergonomical.
If I add the height, weight for a grip for the EM5 MkIII, I would probably be reaching EM1 MkII territory in terms of size and weight. And for the budget I could probably find an ex-demo or slightly used EM1 MkIII .... There is one available here for €1.169,10 second hand, 12 months waranty....

But for now, my trusty EM5 MK I will need to do and if it breaks, I could probably pick up an EM5 Mk II for less then €500...
 
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But, I always use my EM5 MkI with the grip. This does add some weight, height and is an extra expense but it makes the camera far more ergonomical.
If I add the height, weight for a grip for the EM5 MkIII, I would probably be reaching EM1 MkII territory in terms of size and weight. And for the budget I could probably find an ex-demo or slightly used EM1 MkIII....
This is something I do not understand:
The EM5mkII had HiRes, an improved IBIS, 60fps video+articulated screen over the EM1mki so it was selling you something extra while missing the PDAF, better (albeit bulkier) handling & more buttons of the EM1mki.

Now this EM5mkiii has only the smaller size to sell you over the EM1mkii, even less so if you logically opt for the generally bulkier weather sealed lenses.

And Oly want that serious bucks for this single “feature”while missing many more of the EM1mkii?

I am still waiting for the local price announcement to judge vs the 400 euros I paid for my EM10ii three months ago. The EM5ii was 750 euros back then so no go for me but now it is 600 euros, always official stock through the official channels. If it was now I would shoot for the EM5ii...
 
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ijm5012

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I didn’t like a few things:
1. the mounting point for the right strap is too low. I think Olympus changed the mount point because the top is plastic instead of magnesium.

Personally instead of the new E-M5iii, I’d much rather get an E-M1ii: it has better ergos, a larger battery, and the option of a battery grip.

View attachment 781130


View attachment 781131
Hmm... that strap lug location could be a deal-killer for some.

Back when I got in to m43, I bought a GX7. I loved the size and shape of the camera, but ultimately returned it and got a G6 because of the location of the right strap lug on the GX7. With how I held the camera, it dug in to my hand, making it uncomfortable to hold after a short while. No sense in using a camera that isn't comfortable to hold, so back it went to the retailer.

I hope the E-M5 III doesn't run in to a similar fate with potential buyers.
 

PakkyT

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Just curious. What were the advantages of the EM1 II over the EM1? Is it similar to the advantages of the EM5 III over the II?
The main one off the top of my head, since I use old 4/3rds lenses so this one is one I want whenever I finally update out of my E-M1.1, is that the PDAF targets on the sensor are now cross type for more reliable auto focusing. With my E-M1.1 and my old 4/3rds lenses, depending on the scene, it can struggle with locking focus if there are not enough vertical features thus requiring me to twist the camera (like a steering wheel) about 30-degrees either way to get the camera to achieve focus. Not a big deal if you are used to it, but certainly cross types are a major improvement for 4/3rds lens users.

Second major update is moving to the 20MP sensor from 16MP.

One major change (not necessarily an update depending on your personal preference) was the change from the tilting LCD screen to the articulated one. Personally I prefer the tilt one, so when I upgrade to the E-M1.2 someday, this will be one "minus" for me.

And then a number of other updates like 4k video instead of 1080, faster frame rate in continuous shooting, two card slots, hi-res mode, and a bunch of other things I forget now.
 

Aristophanes

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Chris from DP Review is nothing short of scathing about the build and the plastics used. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more derogatory review from that team. The words chosen are the worst one could use in a review...”cheap”....”ready to fall off.”

Sadly, the EM5.3 comes off as a poorly thought out compromise. Parts bin tech from other cameras in a substantially cheapened body. And the more consumer friendly tech is missing, like the Olympus video log, the AF planes, trains, and autos presets, HHHR, etc.

And, while they only hint at it, this camera price point wrinkles the nose compared to the competition, the predecessor EM5.2, and especially the EM1.2.

At the end Chris creates a very (very) narrow justification for the purchase (PDAF, already invested in the format) and not much else. Zero enthusiasm in this review, including the Fall weather. Those comments about the bland shooting environment was chosen deliberately for this review.
 

ac12

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Just curious. What were the advantages of the EM1 II over the EM1? Is it similar to the advantages of the EM5 III over the II?
For ME:

If you shoot sports/fast action, the mk2 EVF is the BIG improvement, for me.
The killer on the mk1 is that the EVF image would freeze, for a fraction of a second, at the end of a burst.​
That isn't long, but long enough to break my ability to follow a fast moving subject. So I could not use the mk1 for fast sports like basketball and soccer.​
Olympus tech has not responded with any usable solution, for the mk1. This could be fixed in FW, IF they choose to do so.​
The mk2 EVF shows the focus point as a bright green box in continuous/burst mode.
On the mk1, in e-shutter mode, both the green and light black focus point indicators "disappears" when shooting. So HOW are you going to aim the camera with any accuracy. You CAN'T.​
In mechanical shutter, the mk1 shows a thin light black box, which is VERY hard to see against a busy background. The heavier black box on my Nikon D7200 is MUCH easier to see.​
Olympus tech has not responded with any usable solution, for the mk1. This could be fixed in FW, IF they choose to do so.​

C-AF is better on the mk2.
If you shoot action/sports, this would be important.​
Faster continuous shutter
The e-shutter will go up to 18fps in low mode (with focusing for each frame), and 60fps in high mode (focusing only for the 1st frame).​
This has let me get shots that were hard at 9fps. But the negative is a LOT of frames to cull out.​

The mk2 fixes an auto ISO bug.
In e-shutter mode, the auto ISO will drop down to 1/13 sec, before the auto ISO kicks in and starts to raise the ISO. That is so low as to be useless. While the IBIS will compensate for MY movement, at 1/13 sec, ANY subject movement will be blurred.​
The mk2 uses "1 / (FL x 2)" default for BOTH mechanical and e-shutter.​
BTW, that auto ISO bug also exists on the EM10-mk2. And it could exist on other cameras.
Olympus tech has not responded at all. This could be fixed in FW, IF they choose to do so.​
The mk2 has a user configurable min shutter speed. So if you are shooting action with a 45mm lens, you can set it for 1/1000 sec, rather than the 1/90 that is the default (1/(45x2)).​
This could be added in FW, IF they choose to do so.​

40% LARGER capacity battery
If you shoot the power sucking 12-100/4, this makes a BIG difference. On the mk1, my continuous run time dropped from 4 hours with a Panasonic 12-60, down to 2-1/2 with the 12/100.​
If you don't shoot the 12-100, or LONG shoots, the extra battery capacity will likely make little difference to you.​
Others
  • o Sensor goes up from 16MP on the mk1 to 20MP on the mk2. Nice, but 16MP was just fine for me.
  • - Rear screen is swing-out articulating. For me this was a negative, as I prefer the tilting screen.
  • + Pro Capture. I have only used it once. It has benefits, but also limitations. I have to integrate it into my shooting process.
Despite my SOP of NOT upgrading sequential models, this was the one time where there was enough real benefit, for me to upgrade from the mk1 to the mk2.
 

Svein

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Get a used EM1 MK2 its a far more rugged camera has all the same features and comes with a larger battery, there’s no way I’m going to supposedly upgrade to what some YouTube reviews has called a consumer camera for the masses, look at plastic lenses over metal body lens I’ve broken an OLY 25mm f1.8 lens siting down in a chair because it was in my jacket pocket, the other reason, over half the review say that the grip makes it more usable, why buy a smaller camera and then put a larger grip on it? Just by a camera with a grip in the first place, at least battery changing (which will be far more often with that tiny battery) will be far easier. By the way I only use OLY gear so I’m not a FF user knocking MFT gear. If you have an em10 mk 2 changing to the new em5 mk3 will be an improvement but at a significantly higher price. And for all of use that have been waiting for the release of this camera for a couple of year all this tech comes from the em1 mk2 so why the hell did we have to wait so long a 20MP sensor and a firmware update, as you can tell I’m very disappointed with Olympus downgrading my favourite camera.
 

Svein

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Yeah, I was really looking forward to this camera, with nontripod highrez, new sensor and so on.
...and was dissapointed. Instead I bought a slightly used Sony A7 with kitlens for less than half the money; 450 USD,.. almost as new. I have my Pen F, the GM’s and alot(!) beautiful mft-lenses, and I travel with this light equipment alot. And I am very happy with mft.
Though it is to say that I am very surprised of the difference in IQ, especially in low light, between an old ff-sensor compared to the sensor in the Pen-F. And according to lightweight, there are lots of lenses to be used on the Sony system. The Samyangs 18, 35 (2,8) and the 45 (1,8)...
I am sory to say that unless there will be a new game-changing mft-sensor coming, I might leave the system. ( Though I will definitely keep my GM-5 with the small 45-175, which is a great tele-combo for travelling..and some of my beautiful small primes..)
I am a bit confused, U know...
 

mumu

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After indulging in the Internet outrage mob for 24 hours, I reflected a bit more and compared it with the other M43 bodies bracketing it in size and capability.

This is a much more desirable camera than the G95 (which I mildly dislike for not having the modern Panasonic AF system and bad 4K crop) or GX9 (which I really, really dislike because of that EVF). Slots above the GX9/G95 and below the G9 in functionality. Arguably, most people buying a G9 don't need its higher burst rate nor 4K60; plus the G9 body is pushing the limit of making sense with the average size of M43 lenses. EM5mkII has no real objectionable aspects, unlike the GX9/G95, except for the fact that it was released in 2019 instead of 2018.
I think the USD1200 initial price is an objectionable aspect, especially since it's the same as the G9 which is a better camera in many ways. Next year, the EM5.3 will certainly be lower in price and will make it more appealing but for the next several months, it'll be a tough sell for many people, I think. It's a similar argument that people made about the G95; you can only buy it as a USD1200 kit with the 12-60 (at least in North America, I think) which puts it at the same price as the G9. Selling off the kit lens to recoup a couple of hundred dollars still makes it so close in price to the G9 that it seems silly not to step up to it. Of course, the G9's size can be an obstacle for some people (me included).

All I know is this: my GX9 and G85 work so well for me that neither the G95 (waaay too much crop in 4K) nor the EM5.3 are tempting enough to loosen my wallet. I love that the EM5.3 has PDAF but if I really wanted PDAF, I'd be more inclined to get a used EM1.2 instead and enjoy its longer battery life and other features.
 

mumu

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I torn...will probably cancel my pre-order and get a E-M1 MarkII insted, even if that means a slightly bigger and heavier body...i relly want the E-M5 MarkIII, great the spec, formfactor and design of the but i dont want a polycarbonate body...it just dont have the same finish and premium feel as a magnesium alloy body.

Personally i think Canon have the best strap lugs
I sold my EM5.2 and bought a G85. The bigger grip makes the G85 a much more comfortable and enjoyable camera to use. I think you'll be really happy with the EM1.2. If I were to get another Olympus body right now, it'd be the EM1.2.
 

saladin

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Yep, some fairly lacklustre reviews.

Although, Steve Huff is more effusive in his written review than his video review. I actually quite like the colour output in his posted jpegs.
 

FrayAdjacent

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I'm one of the ones that was kinda hoping for something more "wow". I love my E-M5 MkII, and for stills shooting I really don't need anything more. BUT, I bought the MkII in 2018 as an upgrade to my original E-M5, since it lacked usable video modes. While I really do like the 1080p video quality out of the MkII, the AF-C is craptastic. Sometimes it's just fine. Sometimes it goes off into la-la land and refuses to come back until I stop recording. I could live without 4k at least for a while. It would be useful from time to time if I knew I'd want to shoot some video and crop in later.

So in all honesty, the MkIII should resolve the few issues I had with the MkII, and I'm sure when I get one, I'll love it.

Since I'll have both the MkII and MkIII simultaneously, I may try to do some video comparisons. I definitely want to test how low light video performance has changed. While I'm not "wowed" by the upgrade, and the price is a bit on the higher-than-I-hoped end, I'm betting I'll end up really liking the MkIII.
 
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