Olympus OM-D review
Olympus OM-D review - Design
Thanks in part to the Micro Four Thirds system that the OM-D E-M5 is based on, its a very compact piece of kit. Measuring just 121(W) x 89.6 (H) x 41.9mm (D), its small without being fiddly - in the hand, there's a comfy grip and the thumb rest is well positioned.
The styling is a success - the retro look is bound to get many admiring glances, and as well as being available in black, is also available in two-tone silver and black finish which would have to be our choice. Especially if you're going to pair it with Olympus' growing range of high-quality prime lens also finished in silver. We were fortunate to have both examples to test, and not only does the silver/black model look better, but the grip, with its more textured retro finish is more comfortable than the black model's more modern offering.
To back-up this styling is a very impressive build-quality. The body is constructed from magnesium alloy to provide a quality, high-end feel when you pick the camera up, while the OM-D E-M5 features a host of internal seals so make it plash and dust proof. This level of sealing also extends to the 12-50mm lens, so you've got a pretty tough package when it's exposed to the elements.
Body mounted controls are kept to a minimum on the OM-D E-M5. On the top-plate, there's a mode dial position to one side of the viewfinder, where you'll be able to access the camera's shooting modes, including video. On the other side are the main command dial and sub-command dial with the shutter button placed in the middle. The main command dial is used for a range of applications, including setting aperture or shutter speed, as well and zooming in and out when reviewing your images, and is easily reached with the thumb. When shooting, the sub-command dial is used for dialling in exposure compensation if needed. If you prefer, these two controls can be swapped over in the menu if you naturally use your index finger to set aperture/shutter speed. There's also a programmable function button and record button.
Moving round to the back and the 3in screen is hinged at the base of the camera and pulls outwards, making it suitable for waist-level shooting and raised shots, though it doesn't quite have the same freedom of movement as some screens that are hinged on the side of the camera body.
There's also the optional HLD-6 if you want a larger handgrip. This screws into the tripod socket on the camera and features an additional shutter button and sub-command dial that's linked to the OM-D E-M5 via contacts at the base. This does provide a more substantial grip in you've got large hands, while the second part of the HLD-6 is an attachable battery grip which attaches to the handgrip via the tripod thread. This provides secondary controls that when shooting in portrait format, mirror the controls when shooting landscape format images.