If you've been looking for a travel camera to go with you on some post-pandemic adventures, the new OM-5 OM System is one of the best options available, and it's also a great upgrade for your smartphone.

The Micro Four Thirds camera is an upgraded version of the 5 Olympus OM-D E-M2019 Mark III. We consider this camera to be one of the best travel cameras thanks to its combination of compact and impressive in-body stabilization. and a wide range of lightweight lenses.

Going by a different name following Olympus's decision to sell its imaging division in 5, the OM System OM-2020 doesn't meddle with this formula, instead offering a number of enhancements that echo the new OM System OM-1. of the company. flagship.

These include IP53 waterproofing, which is an official standard that few mirrorless cameras match. This rating means that while it is still possible for dust to get into the camera, it will not damage it. The "3" in IP53 also means that the OM-5 is splash proof, although it cannot be considered completely waterproof.

Another enhancement to the E-M5 Mark III is the OM-5's built-in image stabilization. Our review deemed its predecessor "class-leading" in this regard, but the OM-5 offers an extra stop of stabilization that brings it to 6,5 stops (or 7,5 stops with compatible lenses). In other words, you can achieve slower shutter speeds when shooting freehand to lower your ISO sensitivity, which reduces the need for tripods.

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(Image credit: OM System)The OM System OM-5 camera on a green background(Image credit: OM System)

The main reason the OM-5 costs almost half the price of the OM-1 is due to its older sensor and Truepic IX processor. Unlike the new 'stacked' sensor in the OM-1, the OM-5 has the same 20,4-megapixel Four Thirds chip found in the E-M5 Mark III. This means the OM-5's burst shooting speeds (10fps with AF tracking) and autofocus are lower than the OM-1's, but still an improvement over its predecessor.

The OM-5 also features significantly improved computational photography modes compared to the E-M5 Mark III. Useful modes like LiveND, which slows down your shutter speed so you can create filter-free long exposures, and Starry Sky AF for astrophotography, were previously reserved for its flagship E-M1 range. Both feature on the OM-5, along with a portable Hi-Res Shooting mode to boost resolution to 50MP when shooting still scenes.

These modes are great for photographers, but filmmakers may find the OM-5's video a bit more limited. The only changes from the E-M5 are the inclusion of a vertical video option, an OM-Log400 flat profile for color calibrators, and unlimited recording time. It's still limited to 4K/30p and it's still unclear how well the OM-5's autofocus works in video mode, despite improvements to its face/eye detection.

Still, overall, the OM System OM-5 is shaping up to be a fun camera to take anywhere and one of the best cameras for beginners. You'll be able to buy it from the end of November for £1199 / £1199 / AU$1899 body-only, or £1599 / £1499 / AU$2499 with the 12-45mm f/4.0 Pro kit lens. In the UK and Australia there will also be a kit lens with the 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 II lens for €1,499 / AU$2,399.

Analysis: Better than your smartphone?

The OM System OM-5 camera on a green background

(Image credit: OM System)

Today, the OM System OM-5's competitors are both smartphones and traditional rivals like the Canon EOS R10, Fujifilm X-S10, and Nikon Z fc. Is it really worth spending the price of a flagship smartphone on a separate camera again, when the Google Pixel 7 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra are already so good?

If you value image quality, versatility and creative control, the answer is still yes. The OM-5 still has a much larger Four Thirds sensor than any smartphone, but it also offers crucial lenses to help you get shots that simply aren't possible on phones.

For example, combine the OM-5 with a 40-150mm f/4 Pro lens and you get an 80-300mm equivalent setup that would be ideal for travel and wildlife, as well as being lightweight with shock protection and scratch resistant. weather according to IP53 standard. Because OM System inherited Olympus's compute modes, you can also have fun with long exposures or astrophotography without the need for other accessories.

In that sense, the OM-5 could fit right in between the fun of smartphone shooting and its bigger, "serious" cameras, like its rivals from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Fujifilm. On the other hand, if you don't always travel and want a camera that's more versatile for stills and video, then the Canon EOS R10's impressive autofocus might give you the edge.

Be sure to check out our full verdict on the OM System OM-5, and how it compares to its more pro-focused OM System OM-1 sibling, very soon.

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