Gear Test Olympus OM-D, the coolest looking new camera?
With a distinctive retro design, the Olympus OM-D is arguably the coolest looking new camera of 2012. But can it deliver the goods on location? Landscape photographer Mark Bauer travelled to England’s West Country to find out if the camera would meet his exacting standards
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an intriguing product and, in many ways, full of contradictions: it is a mirror less camera with a fake pentaprism, has a retro design with features which aim it squarely at the iPhone generation, and whose main strength is also its biggest drawback.
Its design recalls the OM series of 35mm SLR’s; a system which is remembered fondly by photographers of a certain generation. Although the OM-D is not a continuation of the OM series (it is not an SLR and uses the micro four-thirds mount, not the OM mount) it does encapsulate many of the characteristics of the OM cameras: small form factor, excellent build quality and with a lengthy feature list that will appeal to the enthusiast.
Certainly, it is a good-looking camera; everyone to whom I showed it greeted it with an enthusiastic “oh, wow”, or similar sentiment, and could not wait to get their hands on it. The big question is does it live up to its initial promise?
The Bottom Line:
If you are like me when you read a camera review, you go straight to the conclusion to find out how good it is, and then, if the camera is of any interest, go back to read the details. So, I am going to make this easy and cut straight to the chase.