Olympus OM-D E-M5 Digital Camera Review
In testing the Olympus OM-D E-M5's color accuracy results were acceptable, though they failed to match the best DSLRs on the market. As we've seen with other Olympus mirrorless cameras, there is more of a tendency to favor saturated colors, with more vivid blue and purple hues pushed in most color modes. More on how we test color.
The most accurate color mode by our testing of the E-M5 was the portrait mode, which is fairly typical of cameras of this type. Portrait mode produced accurate skin tones, keeping trouble areas like yellow in line. It still pushed purples and blues though, which should help cheeks appear more rosy and eyes to pop a bit more. In that mode we saw a minimum color error of 2.9, with the other modes producing errors slightly over 3. One thing to note is all the color modes featured a slight bump in saturation above the ideal, with portrait showing a saturation level of 108%.
NOTE: Because of the way computer monitors reproduce colors, the images above do not exactly match the originals found on the chart or in the captured images. The chart should be used to judge the relative color shift, not the absolute captured colors.
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 offers a small selection of color modes, though the camera allows for a great deal of customization within these modes.
We found the Olympus OM-D E-M5 featured acceptable white balance results in both auto and custom. It struggled under tungsten lighting conditions, though not to the degree we typically see in most cameras. When you take the time to gather a custom white balance measurement, the improvement is dramatic. Still, in daylight conditions, leaving it on auto white balance produced a similar result.
Automatic White Balance ()
In our white balance test the Olympus E-M5 produced better than normal results under tungsten lighting, but produced slightly cooler results than is typical with fluorescent and daylight tests. In tungsten lighting we saw an error of approximately 1800-2000 kelvin, with that error hovering around 93 kelvin in fluorescent and 120 kelvin in daylight.
Custom White Balance ()
When taking the time to do a custom white balance, we saw the color temperature error stay between 100-300 kelvin, with the worst errors still under tungsten lighting. The camera struggled under white fluorescent as well, surprisingly, with an error of around 230 kelvin. Under daylight conditions the camera did much better, with custom white balance off by just 180 kelvin. Still, the difference between custom and auto is a little unsettling, and we'd recommend relying on auto white balance except under extremely warm or cool lighting.
White Balance Options
The E-M5 includes the typical group of white balance presets, with options for auto, custom (two user-savable levels), and direct kelvin entry. The presets cover a range of lighting conditions, including sunny, shadow, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent, underwater, and flash. You can also assign the function button to work as a one-touch white balance, taking color temperature readings from the center of the frame whenever needed.