We just started testing cameras, and our test bench v0.7 is rather simplistic, so we decided to launch without text in the test boxes. If you have any suggestions on what to improve, let us know here. As we gather your suggestions, we plan on making more frequent changes to our methodology and we'll be able to add text to the reviews in the near future.

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.7
Reviewed Jul 26, 2021 at 10:19 am
Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III Picture
7.6
Travel Photography
8.0
Landscape Photography
7.9
Sport & Wildlife Photography
8.7
Vlogging
7.7
Studio Video
6.5
Action Video
Body Type
DSLR
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
4/3
Tested Lens
Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4.0 PRO

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is a Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera with retro styling that calls to mind Olympus's classic line of 'OM' SLR cameras. It's a small, lightweight interchangeable lens camera that delivers excellent image quality, rivaling cameras with larger sensors. It's a great option for vlogging thanks to its good video quality, low light capability, and excellent in-body image stabilization. It also has a fully articulated screen to monitor yourself as you record or help you take photos from unconventional angles. Its autofocus system is excellent at tracking moving subjects when shooting video, but it's just okay for photography using its out-of-the-box settings. Unfortunately, its battery life is also disappointing, though this can vary with real-world conditions, and the camera doesn't support USB charging.

Our Verdict

7.6 Travel Photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is good for travel photography. It's small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you wherever you go. It also has excellent image quality, with photos that look sharp and relatively noise-free even at higher ISO levels. Unfortunately, its battery life is disappointing, although this can vary depending on your usage habits and choice of settings. That said, it feels well-built, and the screen gets bright enough to overcome glare in sunny conditions.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Bright, fully articulated screen.
  • Wide shutter speed range.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • May be too small for extra large hands to hold comfortably.
  • Photo autofocus is just okay.
8.0 Landscape Photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is great for landscape photography. Its image quality is excellent, with superb dynamic range to bring out lots of detail in landscape shots. It also feels well-built with a fully articulated screen that gets bright enough to overcome glare from the sun, and it's weather-sealed, although we don't currently test for this. It's lightweight and portable, making it easy to take to remote shooting locations, but its small size can make it uncomfortable to hold for those with larger hands.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Bright, fully articulated screen.
  • Wide shutter speed range.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • May be too small for extra large hands to hold comfortably.
  • Photo autofocus is just okay.
7.9 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is very good for sport and wildlife photography. Its image quality is excellent, as photos stay sharp and relatively noise-free at higher ISO levels. It also has a very good shooting speed with a virtually instant buffer empty time, so you can capture fast action in quick bursts without slowing down. It has an amazing in-body image stabilization feature, which can help reduce camera shake when shooting at long focal lengths without a tripod. However, its autofocus system is just okay for photography, as it does a poor job of tracking moving faces.

Pros
  • Excellent image quality.
  • Very good shooting speed.
  • Amazing in-body image stabilization.
  • Wide shutter speed range.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • May be too small for extra large hands to hold comfortably.
  • Photo autofocus is just okay.
8.7 Vlogging

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is amazing for vlogging. It's relatively compact and lightweight, making it easy to take on the go, and it has a fully articulated screen to help you monitor yourself while recording. Its five-axis in-body stabilization feature does an excellent job of smoothing out camera shake. The autofocus system also does a great job of tracking faces, ensuring you stay in focus while vlogging. It also delivers fantastic video quality when shooting in low light in either 4k or FHD, but it introduces more noise in brighter conditions, especially in FHD.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Bright, fully articulated screen.
  • Amazing in-body image stabilization.
  • Great autofocus performance for video.
Cons
  • Disappointing battery life.
  • May be too small for extra large hands to hold comfortably.
  • Video has a 2x crop.
7.7 Studio Video

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is good for studio video. Its video quality is great overall, and it looks especially good in low light, with minimal noise and grain. The menu system is passable but can be somewhat hard to navigate. On the upside, it has a good array of inputs and outputs, including a microphone jack and a micro HDMI port that supports clean HDMI output, so you can connect an external recorder without any overlays. However, it doesn't have a headphone jack. For those who prefer to work with higher quality video files, it also supports All-I compression in FHD.

Pros
  • Great autofocus performance for video.
  • Supports clean HDMI output.
  • Impressive video quality in low light.
  • Supports All-I compression in FHD.
Cons
  • May be too small for extra large hands to hold comfortably.
  • No headphone jack.
  • Video has a 2x crop.
6.5 Action Video

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III is okay for action video but isn't meant for this use. It's portable and lightweight but isn't designed to mount on a helmet or action camera rig. Also, while it's weather-sealed to protect it from some dust and rain, it's not fully waterproof, although this isn't something we currently test. While it can't record at frame rates above 30 fps in 4k, it does have a slow-motion feature in FHD that can record at 120 fps for slow-motion playback.

Pros
  • Well-built, portable design.
  • Amazing in-body image stabilization.
  • Great autofocus performance for video.
  • Impressive video quality in low light.
Cons
  • Not designed for helmet rigs and action cam mounts.
  • Not waterproof.
  • Video has a 2x crop.
  • Frame rates are somewhat limited for action video.
  • 7.6 Travel Photography
  • 8.0 Landscape Photography
  • 7.9 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 8.7 Vlogging
  • 7.7 Studio Video
  • 6.5 Action Video

Check Price

Black (Body Only)
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Black W/ 12-45mm Lens
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Silver (Body Only)
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
Silver W/ 12-45mm Lens
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
7.9
Design
Portability
Height 3.3" (8.4 cm)
Width 5.2" (13.1 cm)
Depth 1.9" (4.8 cm)
Volume
32.2 in³ (528.0 cm³)
Weight
0.83 lbs (0.38 kg)
Weight With Lens
1.40 lbs (0.63 kg)
7.5
Design
Build Quality

  • Body is made of premium-feeling plastic
  • Comes with an external flash that can be attached to the hot shoe and feels sturdy
  • SD card and battery compartment are covered by locking hinged doors
  • Inputs are covered by flimsy, loose-fitting rubber flaps
  • Battery grip connection door is just an unconnected plastic cover that may be easily lost
  • Buttons feel okay

Design
Body
Water Resistance
Weather-Sealed
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
Yes
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
2
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
Micro Four Thirds
Built-In Flash
No (accessory included)
Design
In The Box

  • Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III camera body
  • Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4.0 PRO lens
  • Microfiber sleeve
  • Lens pouch
  • Front and rear lens caps
  • Sensor cap
  • Lens hood
  • Olympus FL-LM3 external flash
  • Olympus BLS-50 battery
  • Olympus BCS-5 battery charger
  • AC adapter
  • USB-A to micro-USB cable
  • Shoulder strap
  • Lens pamphlet
  • User manual

7.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
No

  • Suitable for most hand sizes and grips but may be too small for extra large hands
  • Handgrip is shallow and not as grippy as some other cameras
  • Thumb rest feels very comfortable
  • Easy to change ISO, aperture, and shutter speed when looking through the viewfinder with your right eye
  • Rubber on viewfinder is okay but can get uncomfortable after longer periods
  • D-pad on back to navigate menu, but placement may be a bit awkward for larger hands
  • Easy access to battery and SD card compartments, even when mounted on a tripod

6.0
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Olympus Image Share

  • Menu system is passable but many settings are buried within submenus
  • Navigating using the D-pad feels intuitive
  • Some customizable buttons can help make it easier to adjust commonly used settings
  • Quick menu is haphazardly organized but includes many commonly used settings, which is nice
  • Guide mode to explain features and settings

Design
Viewfinder
Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
100%
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
0.68
8.9
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
870 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
1.04 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.6 cm)
Touchscreen
Limited
Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
20.4 MP
Processor
TruePic VIII
Extended ISO Minimum
64
ISO Minimum
200
ISO Maximum
6,400
Tested Firmware
1.5

Note: The camera's maximum native ISO is 6400, but it has an extended max ISO of 25600. Also, to update the camera's firmware, you need to download the complementary 'Olympus Workspace' software, which also lets you edit photos.

5.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Olympus BLS-50
USB Charging
No
Use When Charging
No
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
310 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
92 min
7.0
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Interchangeable
Maximum Aperture
4.0
Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)
f/8.0
Minimum Focal Length
12 mm
Maximum Focal Length
45 mm
Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)
90 mm
Luminance
80.2%
Light Falloff
67.7%

Note: The camera's native minimum ISO is 200, so we conducted this test using ISO 200 as opposed to our usual test methodology of ISO 100. The results may not be fully comparable with other cameras we've tested.

Photo
Photo
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
RAW File Format
ORF
Shutter
Electronic and Mechanical
Minimum Shutter Speed
60 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
1/8,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
Yes
Focus Peaking
Yes
Zebra Pattern
No
Histogram
Yes
Time Lapse
Yes
7.9
Photo
Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
6 fps
High Speed Continuous
10 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
10 fps
Raw Buffer Size
50 RAW Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
10,000 JPG Photos
Buffer Empty Time
0 s

Note: This camera has several additional features that may be useful to some users:

  • Pro Capture 'H' mode: Uses the electronic shutter to capture split second moments. With the shutter button half-pressed it begins to take photos at up to 60 fps, retaining the last 14 frames after fully pressing the button.
  • Pro Capture 'Sequential L' mode: Same function as above but limits the aperture to f/8.0.
  • Focus Bracketing: Allows you to take up to 999 shots with different focal points for each shot.
  • Focus Stacking: Uses focus bracketing to take up to 8 photos with different focus points and then combines them into a composite image with a greater depth of field than is possible in any single shot.
  • Tripod High Res Shot: Shifts the image sensor by miniscule increments as the camera takes 8 shots that are then combined into a single image with an equivalent 50MP resolution. This feature requires a tripod to use effectively.
However, we don't currently test any of these features.

6.8
Photo
Autofocus
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
121
Manual Focus Assistance
Yes
Face Detection Distance
87" (220 cm)
Eye Detection
Yes
Face Tracking Success Rate
32.2%
Object Tracking Success Rate
78%

Note: We tested the camera's autofocus using its out-of-the-box settings as well as with C-AF Sensitivity set to max, which nearly doubled its face-tracking success rate. However, for the sake of comparability between reviews, the posted results are from the original test using its out-of-the-box settings.

8.8
Photo
Image Stabilization
In Body Image Stabilization
Yes
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/6 s
8.6
Photo
Image Quality
Dynamic Range At ISO 100
9.54 f-stops
Color Accuracy (dE2000)
6.11
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 800
38.37 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
1.74 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 1600
36.01 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 1600
1.886 pixels
JPEG SNR 18% At ISO 3200
35.43 dB
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
2.171 pixels

ISO Setting Sample Photo
ISO 64 Photo
ISO 200 Photo
ISO 400 Photo
ISO 800 Photo
ISO 1600 Photo
ISO 3200 Photo
ISO 6400 Photo
ISO 12800 Photo
ISO 25600 Photo

Note: Because this camera has a native minimum ISO of 200, we acquired our data for the Dynamic Range and Color Accuracy tests using ISO 200 rather than ISO 100. As such, the results may not be fully comparable to other cameras we've tested. Note also that ISO 64 is an extended minimum. The sample photo is included for reference but isn't necessarily comparable to other cameras that can shoot at ISO 100.

7.3
Photo
Luminance Noise
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 100 N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200 38.55 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400 36.55 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800 34.01 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600 31.45 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200 28.73 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400 25.68 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800 22.52 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600 19.12 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200 N/A

Note: While this camera doesn't shoot at ISO 100, it has a RAW SNR 18% value of 40.49dB in its extended low ISO 64.

Sample Gallery
Sample Gallery
The Skate Park

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Polish Church

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Studio

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

Sample Gallery
The Stairway

Format Link
JPEG Photo
RAW Photo

General Video
General Video
Video Feature
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No

Note: There's a 1s delay after you press the record button before the camera actually starts recording, so you should keep this in mind when shooting video.

General Video
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
Yes
General Video
Video Exposure Assistant
Zebra Line
No
Histogram
Yes
Waveform
No
General Video
Recording Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
Yes

Note: All-I compression is only available in HD and FHD recording formats.

4k Video
8.5
4k Video
4k Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes
24 fps In 4k
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1 x

Note: When recording video in any format, the camera incurs a 2x crop due to its sensor size.

8.6
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Face Tracking In 4k
8.3
Object Tracking In 4k
8.3
8.5
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
Yes
Walking Test In 4k
7.06 pixels/frames
Running Test In 4k
12.83 pixels/frames
Crop
1.24 x
7.3
4k Video
4k Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
90 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
90 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 bits
Record Time Limit 29 min
Overheat Recording Interruption
No

Note: The camera can record continuously for up to 29 minutes but separates the recording into seamless clips of 5 minutes and 20 seconds each.

8.2
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
9.0
Test Scene Extract In 4k
8.3
4k Rolling Shutter
4.02°

Note: Due to the camera's 2x crop when shooting video, the edges of our test scene are cropped out of frame when using our standard test methodology.

Full HD Video
9.2
Full HD Video
FHD Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
Yes, with a Crop
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
Yes
Crop At Max Available fps
1.4 x

Note: When recording video in any format, the camera incurs a 2x crop due to its sensor size. Also, while the camera can record at 120 fps, it can only playback this footage in slow motion. You have the option to slow 120 fps footage down to 60 fps, 50 fps, 30 fps, 25 fps, or 24 fps. Using this feature incurs an additional crop.

9.0
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Eye Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Face Tracking In FHD
8.3
Object Tracking In FHD
9.3
8.8
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
In Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
Yes
Walking Test In FHD
3.80 pixels/frames
Running Test In FHD
5.08 pixels/frames
Crop
1.24
7.5
Full HD Video
FHD Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
50 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
16 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8
Record Time Limit 29 min

Note: The camera can record continuously for up to 29 minutes, but it separates the recording into seamless clips of 10 minutes and 40 seconds each.

Using All-I compression in FHD gave us the following results:

  • Bitrate Maximum in FHD: 114 Mbps
  • Bitrate Minimum in FHD: 72 Mbps
  • Chroma Subsampling in FHD: 4:2:0
  • Bit Depth in FHD: 8

7.3
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
9.0
Test Scene Extract In FHD
7.1
FHD Rolling Shutter
4.62°

Note: Due to the camera's 2x crop when shooting video, the edges of our test scene are cropped out of frame when using our standard test methodology.

Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-II
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Input / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III comes in two color variants: 'Black' and 'Silver'. We tested the 'Silver' variant with an Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-45mm f/4.0 PRO lens, but we expect the 'Black' version to perform the same. You can also purchase this camera in either color without a lens.

If you come across another variant or your Olympus OM-D E-M5 doesn't correspond to our review, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update the review.

You can see our unit's label here.

Discussions