Olympus OM-D brings retro style to your Micro Four Thirds life

The Olympus OM-D, the digital remastering of a classic SLR camera, has now been announced by Olympus following weeks of leaks and rumours. So now the Olympus OM-D, or E-M5 as it is marked, is official, let's run down what you get.

Adopting the Micro Four Thirds system, the OM element of this new camera appears to be mostly about positioning and external styling. To use OM lenses from the original 35mm SLR cameras, you'd need an MF-2 OM Adapter ring (£160).

However, it is compatible with Olympus's existing MFT selection, and will come with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-50mm lens (24-100mm in 35mm terms) as a kit. You'll also get a weather-proofed body, so it's less prone to damage from brief dust or damp exposure.

However, there are a number of modern headline features of the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera, including five-axis stabilisation and lightning-fast autofocus, to help you get sharp 16-megapixel images out of the Live MOS sensor. 

Of more interest, however, might be the integrated electronic viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder, or having to use an external accessory, has been a criticism of compact system cameras since their inception. Some Panasonic Lumix models, Sony's NEX-7 and more recently the Fujifilm X-Pro1 have all addressed the viewfinder issue in various ways.

The OM-D features a 1440k-dot electronic viewfinder. It's beautifully integrated in retro fashion into the top of the camera. We've used Olympus's accessory viewfinders in the past and the quality is very good on those, so we have high expectations of it here too.

Interesting accessories include a battery grip, which sort of defies the original raison d'être of a compact system camera. But, with some just wanting a retro-style camera, with familiar and sophisticated digital performance, the Olympus OM-D might be just the ticket.

As such you'll get ISO up to 25600, a wide selection of creative Art Filters, Full HD video capture, and a 3-inch vari-angle touchscreen OLED display, making this retro wonder quite the modern superstar. 

But as retro as it looks and sophisticated as it sounds, at £1149.99 it costs as much as a mid-range DSLR, which might be a stumbling block for some.

The Olympus OM-D will be available in April 2012, as we've already seen it, so be sure to check-out our photos of it in the flesh.



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