What It Is: The 16.1-megapixel E-M5 is Olympus' first "mini-DSLR"-style Micro Four Thirds mirrorless camera.
Who Is It For?
Outdoor shooters who want the handling of a DSLR in a more compact mirrorless body will appreciate this E-M5.
The E-M5's rugged body is splash- and dustproof (as are the kit zoom, provided flash unit and optional battery grip). A 3.0-inch, 610K-dot tilting touch-screen LCD monitor complements the eye-level EVF (which is centered over the lens axis and has a 120 fps refresh rate). The Olympus 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization compensates for pitch, roll and yaw, as well as up-down and left-right shake, and works with all lenses. FAST contrast-based AF handles data at 240 fps and can do 3D Tracking AF at 4.2 fps (the E-M5 can do 9 fps with focus locked). Like all Micro Four Thirds cameras, the E-M5 can use all MFT lenses regardless of manufacturer (as well as any lens for which an adapter is available). Olympus currently offers 16 MFT lenses, from a 9-18mm superwide zoom (equivalent to 18-36mm on a 35mm camera) to a 75-300mm supertele (equivalent to 150-600mm on a 35mm camera), plus a weather-sealed adapter to permit use of standard Four Thirds System lenses.
Olympus OM-D E-M1. The new 16.3-megapixel flagship OM-D E-M1 falls beyond our $1,000 limit, but offers even more than the E-M5, including a better EVF, a more rugged body with better weather sealing, Wi-Fi, a more comfortable body shape and better AF performance.
What It Is: The K-50 is the lowest-priced weatherproof DSLR, yet incorporates an excellent 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, a pentaprism viewfinder (rather than the dimmer pentamirror type usually found in this price range) and 6 fps shooting.
Who Is It For?
The K-50 is the lowest-priced weatherproof DSLR, yet incorporates an excellent 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, a pentaprism viewfinder (rather than the dimmer pentamirror type usually found in this price range) and 6 fps shooting.
Besides being fully weather-sealed, the K-50 is dust- and coldproof (down to 14° F), handy when shooting in harsh conditions. Sensor-shift shake reduction works with all lenses. There's in-camera HDR, a built-in intervalometer and multiple-exposure capability. Top shutter speed is 1⁄6000 sec., faster than the usual top speed of 1⁄4000 sec. in this price range. A dual-axis electronic level helps keep the horizon level, even when it doesn't appear in the frame. The K-50 is available in 120 color combinations.Pentax offers nearly 40 lenses for the K-50 (only the 10 DA*, WR and AW lenses are weather-sealed), from a 10-17mm fisheye zoom and 12-24mm superwide zoom to a 560mm ƒ/5.6 supertelephoto. Like all Pentax DSLRs, the K-50 can also use any K-mount lens and, with adapters, old screw-mount and even Pentax medium-format lenses.
Pentax K-5 IIs. The top Pentax DSLR (as of this writing), the K-5 IIs is similar in size to the K-50 and features the same 16.3-megapixel APS-C sensor, but with 14-bit A/D conversion, PEF (Pentax proprietary) and DNG RAW formats, an even more rugged body, 7 fps shooting, a top shutter speed of 1⁄8000 sec., a better AF system (not that the K-50's is bad), and a sensor with no low-pass filter for optimal sharpness (the K-5 II is identical, but has a low-pass filter and costs $100 less).