How to Format Memory Cards on the OM System OM-5

Whether you need to free up space on your SD cards or prepare a new card, here’s how to format SD cards on the OM System OM-5 mirrorless camera.

OM System OM-5 Mirrorless Camera. Photo by David Coleman "
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Last Revised & Updated:

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Quick Summary

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.

  • Format SD cards on the OM System OM-5 via: Setup Menu > Card Setup > Format.
  • OM-5 offers “All Erase” (keeps locked files) and “Format” (wipes all data).
  • OM-5’s format is high-level, allowing potential data recovery.
  • For full data erasure, consider low-level formatting on a computer.

It’s always best practice to format memory cards in the camera that you’ll be using them in. That sets the card up with the filesystem, folder hierarchy, and, in some cameras, a database file, so that the card is just how the camera expects. And it greatly reduces the risk of unexpected errors and unpleasant surprises.

The OM-5 has two options for deleting data from the SD card.

  • All Erase. This deletes the images and videos but will preserve any files you have locked (this is something you can do when viewing images on the camera’s back screen).
  • Format. This wipes all data on the card and freshly prepares it for use. This is the option I’m focusing on here.

On the OM System OM-5, you can find the memory card format function under:

Setup Menu (wrench/spanner icon) > Card Setup > Format
OM System OM-5 How to Format SD Card Menu System Screenshot
OM System OM-5 How to Format SD Card Menu System Screenshot
OM System OM-5 How to Format SD Card Menu System Screenshot

You’ll get asked to confirm that you want to erase all the data. If there’s still data on the card that you want to keep, this would be a good time to select No and download that data.

OM System OM-5 How to Format SD Card Menu System Screenshot

And, finally, once you select that, you’ll get the progress bar as the format process performs.

OM System OM-5 How to Format SD Card Menu System Screenshot

Things Worth Knowing

The format function on the OM-5 is only a high-level format, which means it’s only wiping the file allocation table and referencing data, not the actual data itself. That makes it easier to recover photos and videos from the SD card if you need to, but it also means that the data is still there.

Much of the time, that’s all you need. But if you’re shooting sensitive material, you might want to take the SD card/s out of the camera and submit them to low-level formatting on your computer to fully wipe the data.

SD Cards for the OM System OM-5

I’ve put together a much more detailed post on recommendations for SD cards for the OM System OM-5 separately. But here’s the short version.

The OM-5 has one SD card slot.

You can use SDHC or SDXC cards. As a practical matter, SDXC cards are probably the more logical choice simply because that designation applies to SD cards with storage capacities of 64GB and up.

The SD card in the OM-5 is a UHS-II slot. So to take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities, it makes sense to use a UHS-II SD card in this camera.

  1. ProGrade Digital V60 UHS-II
  2. Lexar Professional 1667x Silver V60 UHS-II
  3. SanDisk Extreme Pro
ProGrade Digital V60 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC / SDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V90
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB
Lexar Professional 1667x V60 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC
  • Video Speed Class: V60
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
SanDisk Extreme Pro V90 UHS-II SD Card
  • Type: SDXC / SDHC
  • Video Speed Class: V90
  • UHS Bus Interface Type: UHS-II
  • Storage Capacities: 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, 256GB

How to Format SD Cards with a Computer

While it’s best practice to format the SD cards in the camera, it is still possible to format memory cards using a card reader and computer. You get a lot more flexibility that way, but also some extra risk if things aren’t set up just how the camera wants them. It’s also sometimes a good troubleshooting step if you’re having issues with a memory card.

There are some things to watch out for, particularly when it comes to choosing which filesystem to use. So I’ve put together guides on how to format SD cards on Mac and how to use the free SD Card Formatter app for Windows or Mac.

OM System OM-5 Price & Availability

The OM-5 body has an MSRP of $1200. It’s also sold with a 12-45mm ƒ/4 PRO kit lens for $1600.

Check the current price and available at:

OM System OM-5 with 12-45 ƒ/4 PRO
  • New 20M 4/3 Live MOS sensor
  • Computational photography functions, including Handheld High Res Shot, Live ND, Focus Stacking & HDR…

OM System OM-5 Camera Accessories

These are the model numbers for the official accessories for the OM System OM-5.

  • Battery: BLS-50 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • External Charger: BCS-5
  • USB-AC Adapter: F-5AC AC wall adapter
  • Grip: ECG-5
  • Remote: RM-WR1 wireless remote control
  • Eyecup: EP-16 / EP-15
  • Flash:
    • FL-LM3 electronic flash (the smallest of the flash units)
    • FL-900R electronic flash unit
    • FL-700WR electronic flash unit
    • STF-8 macro flash
    • FC-WR wireless commander
    • FR-WR wireless receiver


Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2024-02-20 at 20:28. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington, DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and many places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications, from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.

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