Travel Gadget Review: Olympus OM-D EM5

I am not really the authority to review gadgets as I am not the tech savvy kind of traveler. But I know most of you are just like me who may just want an overview of a camera’s performance before hitting the cashier. For all I know, you would not really get a full grasp if someone starts blabbering about its dots in M, 5-axis stabilization, 16MP MOS FT format sensor and sync speed of 1/250th second. Yes? Because owning a DSLR does not make one a “photographer”! LOL (I don’t consider myself as a photographer too).

Bitching aside, I can just give you a quick, short and sweet impressions of this camera from a commoner’s point of view minus all the jargons.



  • It is compact and super light weight, at 652 g its a perfect camera for traveling.
  • The body and the kit lens (12-50mm) are weather-sealed. Good for outdoor shooting as it is perfectly OK to get wet under the rain.
  • The video capture is already at Full HD / 1080i
  • It has a touch screen trigger. For quick street shots that require fast action to capture the image, my major problem is the low light setting and the slightest movement upon pressing the shutter button slightly blurs the image. The touch screen minimizes the movement and assures you of usable frames.
  • Auto focus is quick for a micro four thirds camera and a zoom preview on manual focus make it easier for me to assure that the details are sharp.
  • Flip screen gives an ability to do creative angles without looking silly in public.


  • The grip. It will be an immense adjustment coming from a massive DSLR to micro four thirds. It really feels like shifting from macho beer mugs to tea cups. But I think it is just a matter of getting used to.
  • It is f***** expensive. Body and kit lens is now at US$1,400 which leads me to my next point—
  • The kit lens is not a good stand alone lens. 12-50mm is on the “meh” bracket, not capable of lower mm focus, definitely non wide angle and zoom capacity is short by a significant difference. So buying another lens is the best option, which chopped me a good chunk of another thousand dollars for a 9-18mm (Which is a good stand alone sans power zoom, you can buy a tele later on in life).

In the end, it was love at first sight for me and I am happy switching from bulky DSLR to micro four thirds. However, I will not recommend this camera for beginners as it is more complex than the mainstream entry level DSLRs. The manual settings is something that a previous DSLR user can easily maneuver, but it will definitely give a newbie some pain in the arse. So if you will just be using Oly OM-D on auto mode all the time, please do yourself a favor: Spare yourself from the wallet damage and buy a point and shoot instead.

“A camera is just the medium, a canvass and a brush. Artistry comes from the eye behind the lens”