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 mediocre, though this can vary with real-world conditions, and you can't use it while it charges.
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 mediocre, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark III is more well-rounded than the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III. It has a faster max continuous shooting speed, offers better battery life, and feels more comfortable to shoot with thanks to its larger handgrip and slightly larger EVF. It also has an extra SD card slot, a headphone jack, and records video at higher bit rates. On top of that, the E-M1 III has some extra features that the E-M5 III lacks, like a digital ND filter. That said, if portability is your priority for something like travel or vlogging, the E-M5 Mark III is more compact and offers roughly equivalent image quality, since both cameras use the same sensor with similar processors.
The OM SYSTEM OM-1 is a step up from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, with a newer stacked sensor that gives it better overall image quality and low-light performance, along with significantly better video specs. It also has a higher-resolution EVF and feels better constructed. That said, the E-M5 Mark III is a much more portable camera and offers a lot of the same computational photography features, like a high-res composite photo mode.
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.
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.
Note: This camera has several additional features that may be useful to some users:
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.
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.
Note: All-I compression is only available in HD and FHD recording formats.
Note: When recording video in any format, the camera incurs a 2x crop due to its sensor size.
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.
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.
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: