Updated, prices corrected for 12-50mm lens
The much-awaited and rumoured Olympus OM-D EM-5 was launched today, providing the company's popular PEN series of cameras with a high-end model. The cost was always going to be high, but with leaked prices suggesting a $999 body-only price, we were surprised to find the UK kit costing a whopping £1149.99.
The equivalent US kit, which you can find on www.amazon.com , costs $1,299 - which at current exchange rates would be around £817. The Amazon price doesn't include sales tax, but even adding on 20% for VAT it would still work out at £980. That's £170 less than the announced UK price.
Now we'd expect that price to drop when UK retailers start competing, but that's still a massive gap to bridge. Hopefully that means the list price gives retailers a lot of room to manoeuvre, and we will see kits sub-£1000 over here.
The camera itself looks to be a winner though. The new weather-proofed body has fantastic retro styling, and the first example shots form the new 16-megapixel sensor appear to have far better high ISO performance than the current, ageing, PEN sensor used in other models. A high-resolution electronic viewfinder and 3in OLED touchscreen plus a myriad of physical controls should keep enthusiasts happy.
We look forward to doing a full review as soon as we can extract a sample from Olympus. Official launch in the UK isn't likely to be until April however.