I just caught wind of the announcement of the new Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark III, and I got really excited about the prospect of a higher resolution (20MP!) sensor.
I currently own an E-M1 Mark I that I bought just before the Mark II was released (at a steep discount). I originally planned to buy an E-M10, but the cost delta from that to the discounted E-M1 was small in late 2015, and the feature set was a huge step up. Now, coming from that E-M1 Mark I, the performance improvements of the E-M5 Mark III aren’t as pronounced as coming from an earlier generation E-M5.
I pulled together some specifications comparing the OM-D E-M1 Mark I, OM-D E-M5 Mark III, and the OM-D E-M1 Mark II (which I’ve managed to avoid splurging on over the last few years):
|Camera||OM-D E-M1 Mark I||OM-D E-M5 Mark III||OM-D E-M1 Mark II|
|Price||$1400 (in 2013)||$1200||$2000 ($1700 now)|
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless||SLR-style mirrorless||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Processor||TruePIC VII||TruePic VIII||TruePic VIII|
|Max resolution||4608 x 3456||5184 x 3888||5184 x 3888|
|Effective pixels||16 MP||20.4 MP||20.4 MP|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds||Four Thirds||Four Thirds|
|Autofocus||81 Points||121 Points||121 Points|
|Stabilization||5-axis, 4EV||5-axis, 6.5EV||5-axis, 5.5EV|
|Video||1080p @ 30fps||4k @ 30fps||4k @ 30fps|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds||Micro Four Thirds||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length X||2×||2×||2×|
|Articulated LCD||Tilting||Fully articulated||Fully articulated|
|Screen dots||1,037,000 LED||1,040,000 TFT LCD||1,037,000 TFT LCD|
|Viewfinder||2.36M||2.36M OLED||2.36M OLED|
|Max shutter speed||1/8000 sec||1/8000 sec||1/8000 sec|
|Format||H.264, Motion JPEG||MPEG-4, H.264||MPEG-4, H.264|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC||SD/SDHC/SDXC(UHS-II)||2 SD/SDHC/SDXC(UHS-II)|
|USB||2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)||2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)||3.0 (5 GBit/sec)|
|Weight||497g (1.10 lb)||414 g (0.91 lb)||574 g (1.27 lb)|
|Dimensions||130 x 94 x 63 mm||125 x 85 x 50 mm||134 x 91 x 67 mm|
These specifications really highlight DPReview’s claim that the new Olympus E-M5 Mark III is a mini E-M1 II. But, for me, I think it would be the better camera. Smaller, lighter, less expensive, and nearly as capable. The main advantages of the OM-D E-M1 Mark II are “a significantly faster burst rate with AF and a deeper, more comfortable grip”, but I don’t think that’s worth $500 to me.
The more important question is whether the benefits of the OM-D E-M5 Mark III over my current OM-D E-M1 Mark I justify the upgrade. The main benefit for me would be the higher resolution sensor; I’ve never really found myself limited by the sensor throughput, and I’ve never used the camera for video. I think I’ll wait for now to see how the camera is received when it’s released later this year.