Olympus OM-D E-M5

The latest OM series is a near-magic, pint-sized DSLR

Image: Hugh Threlfall

Olympus has always been an innovative camera brand. For 63 years it has stuck to one mission – that of miniaturising. My first camera, an 11th birthday present in 1969, was an Olympus Pen EE, which squeezed 72 pictures on to a 36-exposure roll of 35mm film. In the 1970s and 1980s, I had OMs, scaled-down 35mm SLRs. And lately, its Pen digitals, styled after the 1963 Pen F, have been something of a cult.

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This is Olympus’s latest mini-marvel, a miniature DSLR, in effect. Stylistically, it’s pretty much a clone of the OM series that died out in 2003. Technically, the OM-D, as it’s called, is not at all retro, but a near-professional, feature-laden, thoroughly modern machine. It has a 16.1-megapixel sensor and a host of new features. Among these, you can set it to take one photo in as many as 12 of its “Art Filters” simultaneously. There’s also a wonderfully adaptable tilting screen, the best electronic viewfinder yet seen and remarkable stabilisation, which can make even videos taken while walking smooth and watchable.

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