Olympus OM-D E-M5I’m happy to report that my aging comrade, the Olympus OM-D E-M5, is still rocking, rolling and clicking pretty… well over three long years in.

How about a quick recap?

Then [2012]:

It feels like only yesterday, when I found myself frantic after receiving news of the B&H backlog of Olympus E-M5 orders.

NO! I want my shiny Now!

… I’d grumble to myself. Well, not exactly, but the essence is there.

I called my local Chicago camera shops, surfed the good old interwebs, phoning up every relevant camera shop I could find… east coast to west.

At long last, I ran across the wonderful people at “Glazer’s Camera” in Seattle, WA. They promptly secured a black model for me and shipped it out like a beautiful bottle rocket. At least, that’s how I imagine it. Even though I had preferred the silver… at that point, I was desperate for either one of them to solve my little 1st-world-problem.

For those like me, who had a bit of a tech obsession, mixed with shipping withdrawal. Minutes had become weeks, days became months. But, on the afternoon that old brown truck rolled up, I was immediately taken.

Now [2015]:

Let’s fast forward three years and he we are; Olympus OM-D E-M5 still in hand, a silver Olympus 17mm 1.8 basically wielded to its face. My lone little road warrior, joining me each and every march through the street. To this day, every day, it still just works.

I’ll say this, I’ve damn sure given it a fair share of hard knocks. Case in point, before I made me up that handy dandy wrist strap, I soon shed the honeymoon phase and got a little light handed with my carry style. This little oversight resulted in a chest high drop straight down to the sidewalk below.

Crack-clank-Crack!

My heart stopped.

I swallowed my shock, snatched it up in a panic, examined it over and over. To my excitement, only but a scratch or two could be seen. Though I did get a second shock when I found the top shoe had went a little skewed. Thankfully, this was nothing a pair of pliers couldn’t level out.

Bent top shoe

Bent top shoe

It’s got a bit of shine to the gnarled corner… Though, this is but a battle scar, giving her a bit more character. Once corrected, you wouldn’t even know it. Flash and remotes still fit snug. Actually, a bit more snug than normal even. No complaints there.

Since then, it’s taken a few more headers; from the table, a chair, window seal, back of a pickup truck, ya know… high things, above hard surfaces. This lil’ Oly and it’s magnesium body just shrugged off each fall like a champ and sans this top shoe shiner, a couple scratches here and there and a missing eye cup, this thing has been the best camera I have ever owned.

OMD-back

Somewhere along the way, the eyecup frame snapped and it never fit quite right again. I tried glue, but it never held. This wasn’t too big a deal, as I rarely use the viewfinder these days and it wasn’t worth the time or funds to get a new one. Oh well.

At three years old, the photos still amaze me. Every photo shared since 2013 has been taken with this camera. Whats more, I genuinely enjoyed what seemed like a protective barrier from that ever nagging gear lust, that debilitating and expensive loathing. Yes, there were a couple of curious days here and there, but nothing serious, until only recently. If no other commendation is given, this alone creates admiration for the Olympus E-M5.

photocrati gallery

Realistically, three years is a long time in terms of gear and I’ve certainly began sniffing around equipment review sites and varying rumor blogs. Ya know, just to see what’s on the horizon, wink/wink.

I’m not the kind to pick up each new iteration of shiny. But I don’t let anything stale over for too long either. Make no mistake, the E-M5 has not given me a single tear or any indication of mechanically staling over. Maybe instead, I would call it “plateauing”, as that would be more appropriate. I adore tech, I obsess over it and when I start feeling the itch, I know whats to come.

I predict another six months to a year of use with old faithful here. Times however, they are a changing, and my process is ever evolving and technology is always advancing. There are a lot of new features that I salivate over. Neat little tricks my old beast just cannot provide… Wi-Fi connectivity being a big one. While not required, it would be handy as hell.

Above all, if you take nothing else from this, I want you to know the Olympus OM-D E-M5 was, is and will forever be known as the real deal. In my opinion, “the camera” that ushered in serious consideration for change; for pros, for serious hobbyists. This set sail the era of the switch-over. It wasn’t about brand loyalty, it was efficiency, quality, mobility. The justification to sell off the DSLR gear and move over to Mirrorless was and continues to grow in full force. Something I and many others have proudly done and will never look back.

I have no desire, need or requirement to carry a hulking 5D anywhere. Canon, Nikon, these (in my opinion) are stagnating brands. Set in their ways, too big to turn and losing site of the market. It’s Sony, Fuji, Leica (if one had the funds), Panasonic, my dear old Olympus and many small companies carrying that torch into the future.

Honestly, if Canikon weren’t as big as they were, we’d be hearing a death rattle by now. In the end, PR goes a long way and the “look” of the pro photographer are still synonymous with the oversized, disappearing DSLRs. That image goes a long way and yes, there are aspects where the DSLR will offer marginal advancements. But with such gems as Sony advancing the full frame, mirrorless front, I would not want stock in Canon or Nikon at this moment.

While I’m not really a stocks guy anyway, this golden egg Olympus released has proven the most reliable, remarkable, sturdiest damn camera I’ve taken to the street.

It’s been a fantastic three years and my score on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 can be summed up in the following 6 seconds. I give you Billy Bob, from that feel good 90s flick, Varsity Blues.

Original Review: http://www.recasper.com/olympus-om-d-e-m5-review/ 

Review #2: http://www.recasper.com/updated-thoughts-on-the-em5/