The OM-5 is the latest release in OM System’s range of compact, ruggedized interchangeable lens cameras. (OM System is new name for what used to be known as Olympus cameras.) It uses the Micro Four Thirds sensor system to help keep the size and weight down, making it a great option for taking along for travel photography.
Olympus is now OM System
In 2020-21, the photography business of iconic camera brand Olympus was spun off and sold. The core remaining Olympus brand is focusing on medical and scientific products. The camera and photography side was then rebranded as OM System, with the first cameras and lenses under that brand coming out at the end of 2021.
I’d previously been out shooting with the Olympus OM-1. While the OM-5 was launched While the OM-5 was launched after the OM-1, it actually uses older technology. It has an older sensor, older processor, older menu system, and generally older performance specs than the OM-1. Basically, it replaces the Olympus E-M5 III and sits in the middle of OM System’s lineup (with the OM-1 as the new flagship model).
Key Features & Specs of the OM System OM-5
The OM-5 is the latest in OM System’s mirrorless range. It fits in the middle of their lineup, under the OM-1, and sports the retro styling of vintage Olympus SLRs. It’s also available in black or silver versions.
It has a Micro Four Thirds sensor which outputs 4:3 aspect ratio photos natively at 20.4 megapixels (or 5184 by 3888 pixels). It has an ISO range of 200 to 25600, and I’ve previously posted some high-ISO photos taken with the OM-5.
The OM-5 has:
20.4MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Sensor
TruePic IX Image Processor
2.36m-Dot Eye-Level OLED EVF
3.0″ 1.04m-Dot Vari-Angle Touchscreen
DCI 4K/24p & UHD 4K/30p Video Recording
5-Axis Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization
30 fps Shooting, ISO 200-25600
121-Point All Cross-Type Phase-Detect AF
High-Res Shot, Live ND & Composite Modes
Photos Taken with an OM System OM-5
Here are some photos I’ve taken with the OM-5. These were all originally shot in RAW format, but in order to give a sense of how it performs under real-world shooting conditions, I’ve only very lightly processed them in Lightroom (usually mainly bumping up the contrast a bit, which is pretty standard treatment for RAW files). You can click on each image to open a full-size version.
Fixing Image Quality Problems in Editing
The general rule of thumb in photography is that it’s better to get the shot right at the time of capture rather than trying to fix it later. That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not always possible to do if you’re shooting in especially challenging conditions or bumping up against limitations or flaws in gear, conditions, or technique.
But it’s worth mentioning that there are some excellent tools available to help address common image quality issues with digital images. And they’re getting better and better all the time as the power of AI ramps up. They can deal remarkably well with anything from sensor issues like high-ISO image noise to lens issues like distortion, softness, vignetting, and chromatic aberration. (Note: I’m focusing here on corrections related to image quality, not image enhancement tools—that’s a different kettle of fish.)
All-round image processing apps like Lightroom Classic and Capture One have solid tools built in that are very good places to start. But it’s also possible to take it much further with more specialized tools. If you shoot in challenging conditions regularly and find room for improvement in the image quality coming out of the camera, these might well be worth a look (and they have free trials). Some are stand-alone apps; some integrate into image editing suites such as Lightroom Classic.
UPDATE: In April 2023, Adobe released an update to Lightroom Classic that added new AI-powered noise reduction for RAW files. It’s a powerful tool that rivals some of the dedicated apps below. If you’re already using Lightroom Classic for your image editing and organization, it’s well worth trying out—look for the Denoise tool under the Detail panel.
Fixing Image Noise & High ISO Artifacts
DxO PureRAW 3. Like Lightroom Classic’s Denoise tool, it only works on RAW files. But since was updated to version 3, it has become my go-to app for this kind of thing. I’m consistently amazed at how it can rescue photos with otherwise dodgy image quality from noise. It can also help with lens distortion, lens vignetting, and lens softness.
DxO DeepPrime. This is the noise-only offering using the same denoising technology as PureRAW.
Topaz Labs’ DeNoise AI. This is another excellent option for specialized denoising. It works alongside Lightroom or as a standalone app.
Fixing Lens-Related Optical Issues
DxO PureRAW. Again offers an impressive suite of automatic fixes that are applied before you start editing the images.
DxO ViewPoint. Correcting for lens distortion and geometry skews. Lightroom Classic and Capture One also have excellent built-in tools for this.
Topaz Labs Sharpen AI. In addition to standard unsharp tools, it includes focus correction and shake reduction.
Price & Availability of the OM System OM-5
The OM-5 body has an MSRP of $1200. It’s also sold with a 12-45mm ƒ/4 PRO kit lens for $1600.
I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »
I take photos and travel. I do it for a living. Seven continents. Dozens of countries. Up mountains. Under water. And a bunch of places in between. Based in Washington DC.
All posts and reviews on this site are written by me. And I only review gear with which I have personal hands-on experience. More.