- 20MP MFT sensor
- TruPic VIII image processor
- 127 phase detection AF points
- ISO range of 200-6,400
- C4K, 4K, and 1080p at 120fps video capabilities
- OLED EVF with 2.36m-dots
- 10fps burst mode with mechanical shutter, 15/30fps Pro Capture
- Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- .912 lbs
- 310-shot battery life
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III is definitely a mouth full; does the expectation for this camera live up to its name?
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III was Olympus’ much anticipated update to the line. It came out in 2019 and, I think, brought the Micro Four Thirds format to the forefront of the discussion about professional-grade cameras.
For what it is, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III is relatively small and lightweight, yet it packs a 20MP MFT sensor and one of the better in-body stabilization systems that I’ve seen on a camera at this price range (the camera is definitely aimed at enthusiasts, or beginners looking to grow into their equipment).
If you’re reading this article hoping that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III doesn’t live up to everyone’s expectations because you don’t have the money to splurge on a new camera right now, you’re going to be sorely disappointed.
But, if you’re reading this article hoping you can find a cheaper version of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III, then I’ve got some news for you. Keep reading to find out.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Specs
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III specs are really impressive. This little camera packs a 20MP MFT sensor, a 127-phase AF point system, 4K video, C4K video, and 1080p at 120fps video capabilities.
I’ve noticed that a lot of the cameras I’ve been doing reviews of lately have less than spectacular video capabilities, so I’m really happy to announce that this is not the case with this Olympus OM-D E-M5 III review. Of course, I’m going to touch more on this later.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III is actually the first camera in this lineup that comes with on-sensor phase detect autofocus (for both face and eyes).
It also comes with an external flash and a vari-angle LCD.
Other Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Specs:
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Body & Design
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III body is compact, weighing less than 1 lb. It measures 4.92 x 3.34 x 1.92 inches. The body is also weatherproofed.
Now, the body is actually one problem a lot of people have with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III design because it is partially made of plastic. Photographers argue that this makes the camera feel like its lower quality. I don’t necessarily disagree with them, but I do think that it is a very small price to pay for enthusiast photographers who are looking for an affordable, yet capable camera. It’s just something to keep in mind.
Every other part of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III build is excellent. It manages to fit a large amount of controls on a relatively small body without feeling cramped. Olympus did this by creating a large mode dial and two customisable control dials on the top plate that come with a lever to switch these customisable control dials between multiple functions. It’s clever and is definitely spoiling enthusiast photographers, if you ask me.
The camera also comes with a rear four way controller that’s rather small, but handy.
As I mentioned, this camera comes with a vari-angle LCD and an EVF with enough resolution for enthusiasts. This camera comes with a larger grip than past models,which is welcome.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Build & Handling
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III handling is really fun. It’s weatherproofed to IPX1 standards, which means that you could feasibly take this camera out into the rain to shoot and you wouldn’t have any problems with it. Professional photographers would, of course, warn you against such recklessness regardless.
Like I mentioned above, there are plenty of customisable options with this camera. Additionally, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III features a menu system that feels more like a menu for enthusiasts on the more experienced side of things. I would be a little worried to hand the menu system to a beginner, but someone who is more experienced will probably be thankful they have so many options.
One frustrating aspect of the handling on this camera is that the eye sensor doesn’t automatically turn off when you start to use the screen, like it does with different Olympus cameras. While this obviously isn’t going to kill your shooting experience, it will kill your battery.
Speaking of the battery, this camera can shoot a little over 300 shots on one charge. Since this isn’t quite enough for me, I carry an additional battery with me when I’m shooting with this camera.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Video Performance
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 III video performance is much better than other cameras in a similar price range and other cameras targeted at a similar audience. You can watch an in-depth field test by Gordon Laing above.
As Laing mentions, this camera’s video performance makes it the perfect option for professional vloggers. It can create Cinema 4K video at 24p and up to 237mbps. Conversely, you can shoot 4K footage at up to 30p.
The camera’s sensor-shift stabilizer does a fairly good job when shooting video, but I would still add a digital stabilizer if you’re serious about the footage you’re getting.
The camera’s tracking is smooth, so long as there are not a ton of distractions in the background. For instance, I wouldn’t recommend this camera to a videographer who mainly shoots travel videos in crowded tourist spots, but it would be an excellent choice for a food vlogger who eats out at different restaurants.
Now, a lot of videographers do point out that, for serious videographers, the jump to the Olympus E-M2 Mark II seems logical. But, for an additional $700, I personally don’t think it’s worth it.
The biggest problems you’re going to have using the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III instead of the Olympus E-M2 Mark II is that your footage will be a little soft at times. This gets worse when you shoot in 4K, as opposed to C4K, so I recommend staying in C4K if at all possible.
Olympus OM-D E-M5 III Price
I previously mentioned that the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III price is relatively good for the features it comes with. While I stand by this, since the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III is for sale for just under $1,000 brand new, I really stand by it if you purchase the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III second hand.
MPB, PhotographyTalk’s favorite used camera retailer, currently has a Olympus OM-D E-M5 III available for only $769. This model is also in excellent condition which, according to MPB’s website, means the camera has “only the lightest signs of use.”
So much so, that it actually comes in its original packaging.
For a camera that is relatively so new to the market, it’s rare to get a version for over $200 off, which is why we don’t expect it to be up for very long.
Of course, MPB does go through hundreds of used cameras every single day. So, if you check MPB looking for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III and you don’t find it, you can continue to check throughout the week. Chances are, a new one will be for sale soon.
Plus, if reading this Olympus OM-D E-M5 III article made you want to upgrade your current camera, MPB lets you do just this. You can actually trade in your old equipment and use the credit you receive for this old equipment on a new purchase.
For more information about all of the reasons why we shop with MPB, you can read the learn more links below.