Legendary stuff

Nandagopal Rajan        Print Edition: September 2012

OLYMPUS OM-D EM-5
Specs: 16MP 4/3 Live MOS sensor; 1/4000 shutter speed; ISO 25600; Full HD; 5-axis IS; SDHC cards; Touchscreen OLED; External flash.
Price: Rs 77,990 (With 12-50mm M.Zuiko lens)

A few hours with the Olympus OM-D EM-5 and you realise that this is a camera that has a pedigree to boast of. And coming as a successor to the very popular Pen range of cameras, the EM-5 certainly lives up to expectations. So much so that we are willing to go out on a limb and say this Micro Four Thirds compact, interchangeable -lens camera is as good as any mid-level DSLR, though it does not look or feel like one. Here is why:

SUPER FAST AF


...AND THIS ONE TOO

NIKON 1 V1
Rs 42,650
WHY: The most compact mirrorless camera, it is very easy to use and performs equally 28 IT Gadgets & Gizmos well with still and video. Priced right too.
We doubt if any other camera is this fast. Stills, low-light, Full HD video … test this camera anywhere and you will find it a gallop ahead of the rest. With a maximum ISO of 25600 and a 16MP Live MOS sensor with TruePic VI image processor, this one is a quick answer for any low-light situation. The 35-point AF also does its bit to ensure you have a sharp image. The burst mode is so fast that only Class 10 cards will be up to the task-we tested the camera on a Transcend Ultimate 16GB SDHC card.

LENS
The M.Zuiko lenses are thinner than conventional lenses and hence seem to have a comfortable fit in the hand. The 12-50mm lens that we used for the review is a motorised lens, but is still very quiet. It has M-Zoom, E-Zoom and Macro options with the switch over in the lens ring.

VIEWFINDER, OLED SCREEN
The electronic viewfinder as well as the 3-inch adjustable OLED have live view so that you know the final result of how your picture will look. The touch OLED can be used to change settings as well as to click pictures and is hence very sensitive. This technology has been coming to new cameras, but none of them respond this fast to click through screen. You can also use the touchscreen to flip through playback.

SCENE, ART MODES
The scene mode gives you access to most presets, even some which are very rare like the low-key mode for portraits, 3D picture and one for documents. The Art mode is fun, but also brings out the amazing versatility of the camera. We particularly liked the grainy film mode which is among the best renditions of black & white in a digital camera, giving you a feel of photos from the late 1970s. Anyway, this camera comes out with amazing monochrome shots that retain their subtlety, which are a far cry from the washed out B&W in other digital cameras.

EASE OF USE
This is a very complex camera, but the features and navigation coupled with the touchscreen make it very easy to use. There is nothing the camera can't do when you compare it with a DSLR equivalent. And it is much less intimidating, once you've got the hang of it.

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