Olympus PEN E-PL5 Review

The Olympus E-PL5, commonly known as the Olympus PEN Lite, is a new small system camera that falls in the middle of the range. The

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The Olympus E-PL5, commonly known as the Olympus PEN Lite, is a new small system camera that falls in the middle of the range.

The EPL5 offers the world’s fastest auto-focus system, a stylish metal body, a high resolution and tiltable 3-inch LCD screen with touchscreen functionality, 8fps burst shooting, 1080p HD video recording in MOV format, a maximum sensitivity of ISO25600, double-axis sensor-shift image stabilization, a hot shoe, and an accessory port, 12 creative Art Filters, and a microphone input jack. These features are shared with the flagship Olympus OM.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Price

Last updated on January 19, 2024 9:18 am

See: Best Lenses for Olympus PEN E-PL5 | Best Memory Cards for Olympus PEN E-PL5

The Olympus PEN E-PL5 can be purchased in silver, black, or white for a suggested retail price of $649.99 for the body-only model, £599.99 / $699.99 for the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 IIR standard zoom lens kit, or £699.99 for a double-zoom kit that includes the 14-42mm standard zoom, 40-150mm tele zoom, PEN case, and SD card in addition to every package comes with a Flash Air memory card. In addition, the E-PL5 comes with a grip that can be changed and detachable.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Build Quality

The M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R lens, which is included with the E-PL5 and has a distinct plastic-y feeling, is retractable and is one of over 20 dedicated Micro Four Thirds lenses. 

The E-PL5 has an interchangeable “decoration ring” and the same streamlined, retro-chic design we’ve expected from the Pen series of cameras. When held in the palm, it has a reassuringly strong feeling.

The camera’s body only weighs 279 grams and has dimensions of 110.5 millimeters by 63.7 millimeters by 38.2 millimeters. In addition to our more classic black and chrome design, this most recent Olympus may also be purchased in white and silver.

At the back of the E-PL5 is a revolutionary LCD panel that tilts, has an adjustable angle, and has a widescreen ratio. It has a size of 3 inches, a widescreen aspect ratio, and a reasonable 460k dot resolution, which means that visibility is clear enough, even though it is not quite a match for the OLED screen on the E-P3 model.

It is similar to Sony’s NEX series in that it has an LCD that can be adjusted, and it is also identical to its competitor in that the screen can be detached from the body and tilted up or down. It can also be rotated upward by 170 degrees to face the front for taking self-portraits.

On the other hand, it cannot be swung out to the side by an angle of 180 degrees so that it is parallel to the chassis, as is possible on a camcorder. When transported (without the lens) in a jacket pocket, it also cannot be rotated so that the screen faces the body to provide an additional layer of protection from scratches.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Performance

We had incredibly high hopes for the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 because it utilizes the same sensor as the Olympus OM-D E-M5, and we are happy to announce that the camera does not disappoint.

The quality of photographs taken without any post-processing is high. They are packed with a great deal of detail, and the colors that result from them are rich and powerful while avoiding being excessively brilliant.

You can get the most out of the image sensor thanks to the wide variety of shooting settings available. For example, if you photograph fall trees, you can plug in the “Vibrant” mode to highlight the colors, while you can shoot in the “Neutral” mode for other subjects, such as portraiture.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Image Quality

The Olympus OM-D E-M5 was capable of producing photographs of exceptionally high quality. The Natural image option makes vivid colors without being gaudy or too saturated, and the dynamic range is excellent in this setting.

Noise is nearly unnoticeable from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. It doesn’t become a concern until ISO 3200, a fantastic performance for a camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Only the two fastest settings, ISO 12800 and 25600, are suffering from noise. However, ISO 3200 and 6400 may still be used.

Long exposures are simple, even though the included flash unit is much stronger for fill-in use. Even when the camera is being held by hand at lower shutter rates, the newly developed image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well. If you wanted to get the same special effects without using the Art Filters, you would have to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions2560 x 1920, 1024 x 768
Image ratio w h4:3
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto (200 – 1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000, 20000, 25600
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multiarea selective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive V.iew.
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points35
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashNo (bundled external flash)
FlaRangenge7.00 m (bundled FL-LM1)
External flashYes (Clip-on FL-LM1 included, Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in 2, 4, and 6 steps selectable in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini HDMI type-C)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional RM-UC1)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion BLS-5 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)360
Weight (inc. batteries)325 g (0.72 lb / 11.46 oz)
Dimensions111 x 64 x 38 mm (4.37 x 2.52 x 1.5″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Conclusion

The E-PL5 provides the same functionality as the flagship OM-D model within a far more compact, lighter, and significantly more affordable bodFor example, suppose you can do without the OM-built-in D’s electronic viewfinder, dust- and splash-proof housing. In that case, 5-axis gyro image stabilization system, and a more hands-on interface, the E-PL5 provides the highest image quality from an Olympus mirrorless camera at a price that won’t put a dent in your bank account.

Additionally, this new model solves some of the difficulties we had with the model that came before. For example, the E-PL3 gave off the impression of being a bit of a curiosity because it was awkwardly positioned between the even smaller E-PM1 and the more premium E-P3. In contrast, the new E-PL5 is a more well-rounded offering.

It comes with a screw-in handgrip, a Flash Air memory card, a touchscreen interface, an expanded ISO range; faster 8fps burst shooting, and more Art Filters. However, it does not have a flash incorporated into the device, and the clip-on flash included with the appliance cannot fully compensate for this shortcoming.

The image quality of Micro Four Thirds cameras has generally been inferior to that of its competitors with APS-C sensors. However, the E-PL5 continues where the OM-D E-M5 left off by producing comparable results from other top cameras.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Price

Last updated on January 19, 2024 9:18 am

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