Product Support


Select the topic that best matches your question: 

Is the E-M5 weatherproof?

The E-M5 camera body has weatherproof construction. Weatherproof integrity is preserved when using Micro Four Thirds weatherproof lenses or Four Thirds weatherproof lenses (Super High Grade and High Grade lenses) when mounted using the MMF-3 Micro Four Thirds to Four Thirds Adapter.

To ensure weatherproofing the following is essential. Ensure that the Accessory Port cover below the hot shoe is in place when not being used to mount accessories. Additionally, the PBH cover on the base of the camera must be properly secured when the Power Battery Holder HLD-6 is not mounted. When the HLD-6 is mounted, ensure it is correctly aligned when mounted on the camera to preserve weatherproof integrity.

When going from extremes in temperature (for example, moving from an air conditioned environment to a hot environment or vice versa), condensation may form inside the camera. Even though the E-M5 is weatherproof, it still may contain humid air because the camera needs to "breathe" to compensate for changes in internal pressure when lenses are zoomed, particularly long focal length zoom lenses. The condensation will disappear in a few minutes when the temperature of the camera has stabilized in relation to the shooting environment.

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When recording movies I can hear the sound of the lens focusing, how can I reduce this sound?

When recording sound in a movie, the sound made by the lens and camera operating may be recorded. This is due to the proximity of the microphone to the lens. If desired, you can reduce these sounds by shooting with [AF Mode] set to [S-AF], or by limiting the amount of times you press the buttons. If your camera has the ability to use an external microphone this would allow you to extend the microphone away from the lens. If you are using a non-MSC lens, you may want to consider a lens with this type of mechanism which is near silent during AF operation.

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Can I adjust the sound level the shutter release makes?

This model has a true Focal Plane Shutter so the sound you are hearing is the actual sound of the shutter physically opening and closing.  It is not possible to alter the volume of the shutter sound.


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What are the main features of the E-M5?

The OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5 is the first camera in the O-MD Series. It's design harkens back to the classic OM SLR design -- one of the most popular camera designs of all time. It blends the high-quality imaging of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera with High Definition (HD) video capture, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and creative in-camera multimedia tools into an ultra-compact, yet stylish magnesium alloy body. No longer must you choose between powerful and portable; the E-M5 will make you re-think what a digital camera can do.

The E-M5 showcases the best technologies of the acclaimed PEN Digital series -- a 16.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor; 35-point autofocus (AF) system; intuitive, Live Control operation; in-camera image stabilization; the proven Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF®) dust-reduction system; creativity-boosting Art Filters that can be applied to still images and movies alike; and a tiltable 3-inch, color, 610,000 dot OLED touch screen, and built-in 1.4 million dot electronic viewfinder -- and efficiently packages them all into a compact frame resembling a 35mm film camera.

The E-M5's accessory port accommodates the FL-LM2 external flash (included) as well as the following optional accessories: VF-1 optical viewfinder, VF-2 and VF-3 electronic viewfinders, SEMA-1 external microphone adapter, MAL-1 Macro Arm Light, PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth adapter and theFL-600, FL-300R, FL-50R, FL-36R and FL-14 external flashes.

In addition, the Imager AF Live View autofocus system now features continuous autofocus (C-AF) tracking and AF target registration. Now you can lock your subject into focus, and the camera will constantly adjust focus and exposure on your subject to compensate for your or your subject's motion. This mode helps you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus – from left to right and from back to front – automatically.

The E-M5 also boasts the world's fastest autofocus when used with the new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R MSC, M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f2.0, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8, and M.Zuiko Digital 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 lenses.

A striking new feature in the E-M5 is an OLED touch screen monitor. Rather than using the shutter button, you can tap the subject that you want in focus and the camera will autofocus on and shoot that subject. The touch screen feature can also be used with the Live Guide in the iAUTO mode and to scroll through photos during playback.

The E-M5 also includes a new picture mode called iEnhance that automatically selects the correct exposure settings for subjects such as close-ups, sports and action scenes, landscapes, portraits and night scenes, and then applies additional adjustments to color or contrast, as needed, to make good images exceptional.

The E-M5 also offers 12 Art Filters -- which automatically process images using special effects -- and a Scene Mode that automatically applies the ideal camera settings for specific shooting scenarios. Just choose one of the 23 available scenes, and the camera instantly becomes optimized for the shot.

The E-M5’s manual movie mode allows for independent control of aperture and shutter for expanded creative control. This fine control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos.

Once you’ve captured your works of art, seamlessly mix your still images and videos in-camera to create a multimedia slideshow. Dub in one of the available background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation, and play it back in the camera or on any television (A/V cable included; Mini HDMI Type C cable sold separately). When connected to an HDTV, you can use the television’s remote to navigate camera menus and perform playback operations by activating HDMI CONTROL.

Finally, like all of Olympus’ PEN digital cameras, the E-M5 supports all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses natively. With the addition of optional lens mount adapters it can also support Olympus’ Four Thirds-compliant E-System lenses and OM-series film lenses – as well as legacy lenses from a variety of manufacturers. No matter which lens you choose, the E-M5’s in-body image stabilization ensures you’ll have Olympus’ best anti-blur protection.

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What is the sound being produced by the camera when it is powered on?

The sound is being produced by our new 5-Axis IS System. The mechanism remains active even with the IS function turned off, to insure the sensor remains in the center of the image circle.

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Can I preview changes to settings on the LCD screen, built-in electronic viewfinder, or optional electronic viewfinders?

While setting up a shot, changes made to the (exposure compensation) and WB (white balance) settings are displayed on the Live View monitor so their effects can be checked before shooting. The effects are previewed in all shooting modes, including those in which the camera automatically adjusts exposure and/or white balance. LIVE VIEW BOOST must be set to OFF.

You can also preview the effects of the ART Filters before a shot is taken.

When LIVE VIEW BOOST is set to ON, the camera automatically adjusts the brightness level and displays the subject on the monitor for easier confirmation. The effects of exposure compensation adjustments are not shown on the monitor when LIVE VIEW BOOST is enabled.

The Live View monitor or built-in electronic viewfinder cannot be used simultaneously with the VF-2 or VF-3.

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What is the origin and meaning of the Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF)? Where does the dust go?

The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor using supersonic wave vibrations. The displaced dust is affixed to dust-collection components around the filter.

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What are the purposes of the different record modes?

Record modes allow photographers to quickly and conveniently vary the quality settings used to capture and save images in-camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and process the images down to lower file sizes later using a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality settings. For example, it may be preferable to shoot using lower-quality settings when the shots are intended for use on the Internet, where small size is more important than rich detail.

The E-M5 offers several record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.

  • RAW: This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-M5, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that pose complicated exposure problems.

    Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. The OLYMPUS ib and OLYMPUS Viewer 2 applications contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or updates to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.

  • JPEG: Four record modes create compressed JPEG image files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file size smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file's size by discarding some of its data is called compression. The greater the compression ratio, the more data will be discarded and the smaller will be the file size. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data.

    The camera permits customization of the JPEG record modes by mixing and matching their quality settings. The factors that define a JPEG record mode are image size (determined by the number of pixels in the image) and compression ratio.

  • RAW+JPEG: Four record modes in the E-M5 save both a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. This can be advantageous when shots are intended for use in multiple media or when the medium in which the images will ultimately be published has not been determined.

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What is the purpose of the SCN (Scene) mode?

The E-M5 has a SCN (Scene) mode that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 23 available Scenes can also be applied via controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ.

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What are ART Filters?

Art Filters enable the application of creative effects in-camera while shooting. The Art Filters available on the E-M5 are:

  • Pop Art - Increases the saturation of bright colors
  • Soft Focus - Diffuses the image
  • Pale & Light Color - Lightens the color and reduces the saturation and contrast
  • Light Tone - Opens the shadows slightly
  • Grainy Film - Simulates the look and contrast of high-speed black and white 35 mm film
  • Pin Hole - Simulates the look of a pinhole camera with soft edges and vignetting
  • Diorama - Simulates the look of photographing a miniature model by narrowing the depth of focus
  • Cross Process - Emulates the effect of color transparency film processed in color negative chemistry
  • Gentle Sepia - Shoots in a warm-toned sepia monochrome
  • Dramatic Tone - Simulates the look of High Dynamic Range (HDR) digital photography
  • Key Line - Shoots images that look posterized.
  • ART BKT - Art Bracketing enables creating a suite of ART Filters to process and save the first image several times by applying different sets of Art Filters.

Art Filters can be applied to still images as well as movies. When Art Filters are in use, the Super Control Panel is not available.

If you want to shoot an unaltered image as well as a copy processed with an Art Filter, shoot using one of the RAW+JPEG record modes. The RAW file will be unaffected, and the Art Filter will be applied to the JPEG.

Some Art Filters have options to modify the processing for variations on the appearance of the image at capture. When selecting an Art Filter, press the right arrow button to see the options available.

The E-M5 includes all of the variations and effects that have been released on other cameras in the Olympus PEN system. In addition, the following variations and effects are newly incorporated:


  • Pale & Light Color I (Bluish tone, same as previous models' "Pale & Light Color" Art Filter)
  • Pale & Light Color II (Reddish tone)


  • Starlight (Produces traces of light in a night scene)
  • White Edge (Defocuses the four corners of the image)
  • Add Frame
  • Add Soft Focus
  • Add Pin-Hole

The effects available vary with the selected ART Filter.

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Is it possible to "undo" and ART Filter image after it is shot?

No. However, if the camera’s Record Mode is set to a RAW+JPEG mode, only the JPEG image will be processed by the camera using the selected Art Filter. The RAW image will not be processed by the camera other than to perform lossless compression. If you decide after taking the shot that you would prefer a different effect, you can configure the camera with different settings and then post-process the RAW image using the RAW Data Edit function in the Playback menu icon > Edit menu.

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Is movie editing possible using the bundled software?

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 HD Edition for Windows supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the .MOV JPEG format.

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 for Macintosh supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the .MOV JPEG format.

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What differentiates the E-M5 from the E-5 and the E-P3?

Please refer to the table below:

E-M5 E-P3 E-5
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds mount Four Thirds mount
Image processor TruePic VI TruePic V+
Effective pixels 16.05 million pixels 12.3 million pixels
Sensor type 4/3 High-speed Live MOS sensor
ISO Sensitivity ISO 200-25600
(Default: 200-1600)
ISO 200-12800
(Default: 200-1600)
ISO 200-6400
(Default: 200-1600)
Body color Black
Body composition Magnesium alloy Aluminum, stainless steel Magnesium alloy
Memory SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
(UHS-I compatible)
Eye-Fi™ card
SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card
Compact Flash card
Flash FL-LM2 external, clip-on flash
(included with camera)
Built-in flash
Sequential shooting Approx. 9.0 fps
(Sequential shooting H mode)
Approx. 3.0 fps Approx. 5.0 fps
(Sequential shooting H mode)
Viewfinder Built-in, eye-level EVF
1.44 million dots
Field of view: 100%
Magnification: 1.15x maximum)
External viewfinder
(Optional accessory)
Built-in, eye-level SLR viewfinder
Field of view: 100%
Magnification: 1.15x magnification
Hot shoe Available
Accessory Port
Available Not available
Monitor 3.0 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
Approx. 610,000 dots
Movable (tilt), touch-screen OLED monitor
3.0 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
Approx. 610,000 dots
Touch-screen OLED monitor
3.0 inches, 3:2 aspect ratio
Approx. 920,000 dots
Movable (270° swivel) TFT color LCD
Grip Available MCG-1 (removable), included Available
Movie MOV (MPEG-4AVC / H.264)
AVI (Motion JPEG)
30 fps
AVI (Motion JPEG HD)
30 fps
AVI (Motion JPEG HD)
30 fps
AF Area 35 points 11 points
F.A.S.T. AF system Available Not available
Shutter speed 60 - 1/4000 sec. 60-1/8000 sec.
Focus modes Single A (S-AF)
Continuous AF (C-AF)
Manual (MF)
AF Tracking (C-AF + TR)
Single AF (S-AF)
Continuous AF (C-AF)
Manual (MF)
Art filters 11 art filters
Variations and art effects available
10 art filters
Variations and art effects available
10 art filters
Variations and art effects are not available
Face priority AF
Eye priority AF
Eye detect AF
Available Not available
Multi Exposure 2 frames maximum 4 frames maximum
Underwater housing
(Sold separately)
Available Not available Available
HDMI Output HDMI Micro Connector
Type D
HDMI Mini Connector
(Type C)
Battery BLN-1 BLS-1 or BLS-5 BLM-5
Power battery holder
(sold separately)
HLD-6 Not available HLD-4
Release date March 2012 July 2011 October 2010
Detailed specs E-M5 E-P3 E-5

You may compare this camera against other Olympus interchangeable-lens cameras by clicking on this page.

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Which lenses can be attached to OLYMPUS OM-D series cameras?

All of the same Micro Four Thirds lenses (M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses) that are supported by the OLYMPUS PEN Series cameras can be attached to OM-D Series cameras, such as the E-M5.

In addition, you can also attach Four Thirds lenses (as used in the Olympus E-System) or OM Series film lenses by using an appropriate adapter.* Use the MMF-3, MMF-2** or MMF-1** for Four Thirds lenses or the MF-2** for OM Series film lenses.

When using Four Thirds lenses and the MMF-3, MMF-2** or MMF-1** adapter with an OM-D Series camera, please consider the following:

  • Focal length and f-stop (aperture value) does not change.
  • When you take a picture in C-AF or C-AF+TR (AF tracking) mode using a Four Thirds lens, the camera operates as in S-AF mode.
  • When using a lens that is not compatible with high-speed imager AF technology, shooting with "S-AF + MF" mode is recommended.
  • It is recommended to update the firmware of the lens to the latest version. Visit this site for more information:
  • Attaching two or more adapters between the camera body and the lens is not recommended; therefore, please do not use the EC-14 or EC-20 teleconverter or the EX-25 extension tube with OM-D Series cameras.

For more information on Olympus lenses that can be used with the OM-D Series, please visit this page:

* Lens adapters are sold separately.

** The MMF-1, MMF-2 and MF-2 are not splashproof or dustproof.

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Which conversion lenses can be attached to each M.ZUIKO Digital lens?

The following table shows the conversion lenses that can be attached to each M.ZUIKO Digital lens:

Lens Supported conversion lens(es)
M.ZUIKO Digital 14-42 mm F3.5-5.6 II¹ Macro Converter (MCON-P01)
Fisheye Converter (FCON-P01)
Wide Angle Converter (WCON-P01)
M.ZUIKO Digital 14-42 mm F3.5-5.6 II R¹, ² Macro Converter (MCON-P01)
Fisheye Converter (FCON-P01)
Wide Angle Converter (WCON-P01)
M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150 mm F4.0-5.6 Macro Converter (MCON-P01)³
M.ZUIKO Digital ED 40-150 mm F4.0-5.6 R Macro Converter (MCON-P01)³
M.ZUIKO Digital ED 14-150 mm F4.0-5.6 Macro Converter (MCON-P01)³
M.ZUIKO Digital 45 mm F1.8 Macro Converter (MCON-P01)³

All conversion lenses are sold separately.

¹ The converter cannot be attached to the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42 mm F3.5-5.6 lens that is included with the E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 lens kits.
² Remove the decoration ring from the lens before attaching to the converter.
³ Remove the macro adapter MA-P01 from the MCON-P01 before attaching to the lens.

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How long is the shutter release lag time on the E-M5?

After the shutter button is pressed halfway, it takes about 50 milliseconds to release the shutter.

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How do I enable the Custom Menu options?

The Custom Menu can be used to personalize camera settings and operations. This menu is not visible by default to prevent unintentional adjustments. To view the Custom menu, locate MENU DISPLAY in the Setup Menu, and set Custom Menu icon MENU DISPLAY to [ON].

  1. Press the [MENU] button to display the menu.
  2. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons on the wheel controller to select (Setup Menu), and then press the Right Arrow button.
  3. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons to select MENU DISPLAY, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  4. Use the Up and Down arrow buttons to select Custom Menu icon MENU DISPLAY, and then press the Right Arrow button.
  5. Use the Up or Down arrow to select ON, and then press the [OK] button. The Custom Menu tab will appear in the menu.
  6. Press [MENU] to exit the camera menu.

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What is the histogram and how is it used?

The histogram gives photographers real-time feedback on the distribution of the light and dark tones in their images. It presents this information as a graph. The horizontal axis gives the tonal range -- that is, the degrees of brightness -- and the vertical axis shows the number of pixels of each tone in the image. The bars on the right side of the graph represent highlights; the bars on the left represent shadows.

If the bars on the extreme right of the graph are very tall relative to those in the rest of the graph, the image is overexposed and there may be a loss of detail in the brightest areas of the image. If the bars on the extreme left are very tall, the image is underexposed and there may be a loss of detail in the darkest areas of the image. A balanced image will have a relatively even distribution of light and dark pixels, although photographers may choose to intentionally over- or underexpose a shot for creative or dramatic effect.

Photographers may adjust settings such as Exposure Compensation and Shadow Adjustment prior to shooting or reshooting to ensure that the tonal range of the histogram reflects the mood they wish to capture.

The histogram is one of several shooting information options that can be displayed on the OLED screen. Press the [INFO] button to shuffle through the options. (The number of screens depends on how many information display options have been enabled from the customization menu.)

The camera can also show the histogram of a captured image in the Playback Mode if this option has been enabled from the custom menu.

To enable the histogram in Playback Mode, first enable the custom menu. Then press the [MENU] button, and scroll to the Custom D menu. Use the arrow keys to select Index/Info Settings, and then press [OK]. Select Playback Info, and then press [OK]. Select the histogram icon, and then press [OK]. Finally, select ON and press [OK]. The histogram is now enabled for Playback mode.

To use the histogram in Playback mode, place the camera in Playback mode and then press [INFO] until the histogram appears. Press [INFO] again to exit the histogram view.

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How do I enable the optional navigation interfaces, including the Live Control and Super Control Panel options?

The CONTROL SETTING function determines which camera navigation options are available in each shooting mode. While the hierarchical menu is always available by pressing the [MENU] button, CONTROL SETTING presents convenient short-cut options to help you quickly access frequently used controls. The control view options are LIVE GUIDE¹, LIVE CONTROL and SCP (Super Control Panel).

The LIVE GUIDE view, designed for novice photographers, lets you fine adjust photographic effects such as brightness, color saturation, color balance and background blur using convenient and intuitive slide bars. As you move a slider up or down with the arrow keys, you can preview the effect of the change on the OLED screen before you snap the picture. A technical understanding of photography concepts and jargon is not necessary.

The LIVE CONTROL view presents narrow banners along the right side of, and at the bottom of, the OLED screen. The banner on the right is filled with icons that represent camera settings such as White Balance and ISO; use the Up and Down arrows to select a setting you wish to edit. The bottom banner contains icons that represent the options available for the selected setting; use the Left and Right arrows to scroll through the options and select a setting. Press the [OK] button to activate the new setting.

The SCP view presents the Super Control Panel, a grid that overlays the image on the OLED screen. Use the arrow buttons to select a setting on the grid and press the [OK] button to activate it.

Before you can access a control view from a particular shooting mode, it must be activated for that mode by changing its CONTROL SETTING value to ON. The CONTROL SETTING function is located in the Custom Menu D icon submenu.

Once a control view is activated, you can access it by pressing the [OK] button. If multiple views are activated for a particular shooting mode, pressing the [INFO] button repeatedly will cycle through the enabled views. To exit any control view, press the shutter button halfway down.

¹ LIVE GUIDE is available only when the Mode Dial is set to iAUTO. Because iAUTO is a fully automated shooting mode, some settings cannot be adjusted when using LIVE GUIDE.

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Does the E-M5 have a programmable function button?

Actually, there are seven buttons on the E-M5 that can be programmed with custom functions. The number and assortment of functions that can be allocated varies depending on the button and the current shooting mode.

The Fn1, Fn1 and Movie Direct Record buttons can be programmed with the most options. The Right arrow and Down arrow on the four-way arrow pad can also be assigned custom functions, although the options are more limited.

To assign a function to a custom button, do the following:

  1. Press the [MENU] button.
  2. Press the down arrow button on the arrow pad three times, and then press the right arrow button.
  3. Using the arrow pad, select Custom Menu B BUTTON/DIAL, and then press the right arrow button.
  4. Using the arrow pad, select Button Function, and then press the right arrow button.
  5. Using the arrow pad, select the button that you wish to program and then press the right arrow button again to display the options.
  6. Scroll through the options using the up and down arrow buttons.
  7. When you arrive at the desired selection, press the [OK] button to register the function option.

The following is a list and brief description of the functions that are available to be assigned:

  • Off - This option disables function allocation.
  • Exposure Compensation (Exposure compensation) - Rotate the main dial or subdial while pressing and holding down the assigned button to rapidly adjust the exposure value.
  • AEL/AFL - Press the assigned button to lock focus and exposure.
  • Movie Direct Record REC (Movie recording) - Press to record a movie, and press again to stop. If movie recording is not currently assigned to a button, movies can be recorded by turning the mode dial to and pressing the shutter button.
  • Preview (electronic) - This setting is used to preview the depth-of-field (the distance behind and in front of the focus point that appears to be in focus) on the Live View screen. If Preview is assigned to a custom function button, press and hold down that button to stop down the aperture to the selected f-stop.
  • (One-Touch White Balance) – When this function is registered to a  custom function button, the optimum white balance for shooting conditions can be saved by photographing a white piece of paper under a light source that will be used in your shot. While holding down the custom function button, press the shutter button once. Press the [OK] button to register the white balance value. The setting is retained until a new custom white balance is registered by repeating the procedure.
  •  - Pressing the assigned button selects the registered AF home position previously saved using the AF Set Home icon Set Home function. Pressing the button again selects the original AF target mode. (If the camera is turned off when a custom home position is selected, the home position will be reset to the default.)
  • MF - Press the assigned button to select the MF (Manual Focus) mode. Press the button again to restore the previously selected AF mode.
  • RAW Record Mode - Press the assigned button to switch the record mode from a JPEG mode to its corresponding JPEG+RAW mode. Press it again to switch back. To select a different record mode, turn the Main Dial while holding down the assigned button.
  • Test Picture - This option enables a photographer to shoot a picture and see it on the monitor without saving it to the memory card. This can be useful in a studio situation where it would be desirable to shoot setup tests and not use up space on a memory card. Simply hold down the assigned button while shooting.
  • Myset 1-4 - If a photographer has registered special settings using the MySet options, this selection will allow the photographer to apply the settings without having to go back into the menu. Simply hold down the assigned button and shoot.
  • Backlit LCD - Press the assigned button to turn the OLED screen off. This function is useful when using an optional viewfinder. Press the button again to turn the monitor back on.
  • I.S. Mode - Press the assigned button to adjust image stabilization settings.
  • Live Guide - Press the assigned button to display the Live Guide interface.
  • Digital Tele-converter - Press the button to digitally zoom into the image by a factor of 2x.

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What are the differences among the three Image Stabilizer functions?

The Image Stabilizer has the following three options:

  • I.S. 1 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
  • I.S. 2 - The Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.
  • I.S. 3 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for horizontal camera shake. Use when panning the camera horizontally with the camera held in portrait orientation.

When attaching the camera to a lens other than a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds lens, the Image Stabilizer corrects the camera shake based on the focal length of the lens. You must manually set this value. The focal length can be set from 8 mm to 1000 mm. Set the focal length to the value (or the nearest value) that is displayed on the lens.


  • The image stabilizer cannot correct excessive camera shake or camera shake that occurs when using an extremely slow shutter speed. Use a tripod so your camera remains steady when shooting. When using a tripod, set IMAGE STABILIZER to OFF.
  • When attaching the camera to a lens with its own image stabilizer function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either the lens or the camera.
  • The image stabilizer will not operate when you shoot with a shutter speed of greater than 2 seconds.

The E-M5 employs new five-axis image stabilization technology. It now corrects for yaw, pitch, vertical shift, horizontal shift and roll, whereas earlier image stabilization technology could only correct for vertical shift and horizontal shift.

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How do I update the firmware in the E-M5 and Micro Four Thirds lenses?

For complete instructions, please download this file.

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Can I use the E-M5 to update the firmware of any Micro Four Thirds system-compliant lens?

The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Micro Four Thirds System-compliant and Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Micro Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.

Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted on this camera can be updated using the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater software. For details on how to acquire the software and how to update the firmware of a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds System lens or camera, please click here.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, please click here.

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I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I turn on the image stabilization in this camera?

In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and may not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.

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What are the P, A, S and M modes and how are they used?

The P, A, S and M modes are exposure modes. These exposure modes allow the photographer creative flexibility by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings while shooting. The exposure modes enable total access to the menu options, unlike the AUTO and Scene exposure modes found in Olympus consumer DSLRs. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.

Briefly, the exposure modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program/Program Shift shooting) – This is an automatic exposure mode that accepts input from the photographer. It is useful when you require more creative control. When powered on with this mode selected, the camera displays P in the lower left corner of the screen.

    In P mode, the exposure is set by the camera. However, rotating the Main Dial allows the photographer to adjust the exposure selected by the camera.
    This is the Program Shift mode. Program Shift permits the selection of alternate aperture and shutter speed combinations while maintaining the exposure selected by the camera. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture will be set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture will be set. To cancel Program Shift, rotate the Main Dial in the opposite direction until Ps is no longer displayed. Program Shift is not available when using the flash.

  • A (Aperture Priority shooting) – This mode allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field, that is, the area in front of or behind the subject that appears to be in focus. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens by rotating the Main Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • S (Shutter Priority shooting) – This mode allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body by using the Main Dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speed is changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • M (Manual shooting) – This mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Manual mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware. In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the Main Dial and the aperture is set using the Sub Dial.

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In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What are the differences between these options?

ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected. FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory. In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images. Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.

If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card. The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.

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How do I use the different metering modes?

The E-M5 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure.  The metering modes can be set via the Live Control screen, the Super Control Panel or the camera menu.

Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use.  The E-M5 measures and calculates the light differences in 324 separate areas of the image.
Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode to prevent the light level of the background from affecting the exposure value of the main subject.
Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.
HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.
SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray.

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What is the purpose of exposure compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

The Exposure Compensation scale is displayed on the monitor.

It is important to set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed. When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed on the monitor.

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How does this camera combat noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time. All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. This camera uses a sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise via two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.

The NOISE FILTER function is found in the menu. It has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.

If NOISE FILTER is set to OFF, it is recommended to set the SHARPNESS setting to –2. If  SHARPNESS is set to 0 it may exaggerate the noise when no noise filtering is being applied.

The NOISE REDUCTION function can also be enabled from the menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black) and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure will also be 12 minutes 30 seconds for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.

The high ISO performance of the E-M5 has been dramatically improved over previous Olympus Four Thirds and Micro Four Thirds cameras.

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Can this camera be used for time lapse photography?

This camera's Anti-shock function can be used in conjunction with the sequential shooting drive mode to shoot time lapse photography sequences. The series of captured images can later be converted into movies using third-party software.

Anti-shock is used to delay firing the shutter after the shutter button has been pressed. This allows any vibration to dissipate before the exposure is made. Anti-shock allows intervals of up to 30 seconds to be preset.

When combined with sequential shooting, Anti-shock can be used to command the camera to shoot at preset intervals much like the way an intervalometer can control a camera. In this configuration, the camera will take the first picture when the shutter button is pressed and then it will continue to capture images at the preset interval – for example, every 5 seconds – until one of the following occurs:

  • The shutter button is released.
  • The memory card capacity is reached.
  • The camera records the maximum number of images. The limit varies depending on the selected record mode and the speed of the memory card. For example, when shooting with a Toshiba SDHC UHS-I memory card (R95-W80, Premiugate series, speed class 10, 8GB), the camera can capture 17 sequential frames in the RAW record mode or up to the card capacity in the LN (Large size, Normal compression) JPEG record mode.

Using the optional Remote Cable Release (RM-UC1) will be more convenient because the remote can be locked once the button on the remote control is pressed and the camera will continue to shoot unattended. To purchase the RM-UC1, click here.

Notes: Olympus recommends mounting the camera on a tripod or securing it with a camera clamp when shooting time-lapse sequences. It is also recommended to use Manual Focus to prevent focus from shifting during the sequence. A lower quality record mode may have to be used to reduce the size of the frames when creating a movie.

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Which types of memory cards can be used with this camera?

SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, UHS-1 cards and Eye-Fi® cards, can be used. xD-Picture Card™ and CompactFlash® media cannot be used.

To view a list of memory cards that have been tested by Olympus and found to be compatible with this camera, please click here.

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I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it on the E-M5?

Flash units that are not specifically listed by Olympus as compatible with this camera may pose problems if used on this camera.

Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-M5’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 24 VDC (volts of direct current). Higher voltages may potentially damage the camera.

Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability but possibly may be used with Manual exposure control. Olympus can only guarantee the operation of Olympus flash units.

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Can this camera be used with studio flash equipment?

The E-M5 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 6.5 VDC maximum sync voltage. Also, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the E-M5 sync circuitry.

Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-M5 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity.

This item (#200329) may be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order from The Olympus Store, click here.

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I had an Olympus digital camera that accepted wide angle and telephoto accessory lenses. Are there similar accessory lenses for the E-M5?

Olympus manufactures three optional lens attachments that attach to the bayonet mount on specific M.ZUIKO Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses.

  • Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01) -- Enables 120° fisheye photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens. To purchase the Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01), please click here.
  • Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01) -- Shoots wide angle images equivalent to the field of view of a 22 mm lens in 35 mm format when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens zoomed to 14 mm. To purchase the Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01), please click here.
  • Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01) -- Supports macro photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II, M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R, M.ZUIKO 40-150 mm or M.ZUIKO 14-150 mm lens. To purchase the Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01), please click here.

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Do I need a voltage converter to use the battery charger outsude the United States?

The BCN-1 Battery Charger for the E-M5 is rated at 100-240 VAC (volts of alternating current) and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.

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Does Olympus offer a remote control for this camera?

The RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release is compatible with this camera.

The RM-UC1 connects to the same USB port on the camera that is used to connect the camera to a computer. The RM-UC1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures.

The RM-UC1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-UC1 (Item #260237), click here.

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After I mount a lens to the camera, the camera cannot secure autofocus. The problem is intermittent and can occur with any of my lenses. What is going on?

If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically – and chiefly only after attaching a lens – then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.

Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Eleven gold-colored pins are arranged in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.

To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (also a red circle) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position.

Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount. The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin. If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released. This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place. It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera. This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.

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When I enable tracking AF and touched the target image, the tracking did not start. What must I do?

You must press the shutter button halfway down to secure focus on the subject when AF tracking is enabled. The camera will then continue to track and focus on the subject for as long as the shutter button is held in this position. Press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

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When I put a formatted card in the E-M5, the display showing the number of potential RAW images doesn't appear to be accurate. Why not?

When the E-M5 writes a RAW image file, it performs complex mathematical calculations to convert it to binary data to be saved and later retrieved. Since images are unique, each calculation is unique.

A RAW file recorded by the E-M5 will be approximately 14 megabytes, but individual file sizes will vary. For example, a winter landscape consisting predominantly of white snow and blue sky will produce a smaller data file than a scene such as Times Square at night. The richness of the latter scene will result in a larger file.

When the camera polls a formatted SD card, it is looking at a blank slate. It has yet to do the math for any images and is programmed to start out with a conservative capacity estimate. As the camera shoots more images, it recalculates the capacity as it “learns” about the image files it is creating. As the card fills up, the estimated capacity of RAW files on the display will become more accurate.

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When my images are displayed in the E-M5's histogram screen during playback, why are there red and blue blinking areas in the thumbnail images?

What you are seeing are the highlight and shadow display option in the histogram screen. The blinking red regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to overexposure and the blinking blue regions identify areas in the image that have no detail due to underexposure

The blinking display doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with the camera. Like film cameras, digicams have a limited brightness range within which they can capture images. If the camera metering is weighted toward the highlights, there will be a lack of shadow detail. If the camera metering is weighted toward the shadows, there will be a lack of highlight detail. In bright sunshine, a picture may have areas lacking both highlight and shadow detail. On a grey, cloudy day, there may be detail throughout the image. The purpose of the blinking areas is to give the photographer feedback about the exposures. If necessary, the photographer can apply options such as AE Bracketing or Exposure Compensation to reshoot the image.

The histogram view is one of six Playback display options. Pressing [INFO] repeatedly cycles through the views, each of which displays different information about the selected image. Not all of the display options are enabled by default. To enable additional options, use the playback Info function in the Custom menu under Index / Playback/Info Settings.

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The LCD screen displays "Internal camera temperature is too high. Please wait for cooling before camera use." Then the camera shuts off. What causes this message to appear?

As a safety measure, the E-M5 issues this message and shuts itself off whenever its internal temperature climbs too high. This may happen after frequent or continuous use of Live View or a shooting mode that captures many images in a short time, such as the Sequential Shooting drive mode. In these situations, the image sensor may not get a chance to cool off in between shots. The heat of the sensor raises the camera’s internal temperature. If it gets high enough, the camera must turn itself off. Once the camera has cooled for a few minutes, you will be able to resume shooting.

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