Olympus announces a couple of very cool PEN Micro Four Third cameras – the E-PL5 and E-P5

Written by Gary on May 14th, 2013

The Micro Four Thirds juggernaut continues along with Olympus bringing the fantastic image quality and many of the features of the extremely popular Olympus E-M5 to the more compact PEN series.

With the improved image quality, image stabilisation, super fast AF for static subjects, the cool touch AF tiltable LCD screen and the option of adding on one of the best EVF’s available, the E-P5 and it’s lower end “Lite” version, the E-PL5 finally come of age as awesome, fun compact tools for the advanced photographer and beginner alike.

Both these cameras utilise the same excellent 16mp sensor as is in the E-M5 which is widely praised for its wide dynamic range and relatively low noise levels for such a small sensor – so image quality is not an issue for most users.

Both have the fun features of the E-M5 such as the unique Live BULB and Timed BULB modes, the very fast touch a subject on the screen and almost instantaneous AF and shutter release.

The features of the E-PL5 can be seen on my wiki page here.

The E-P5 deserves more attention and praise for what it brings to the PEN family, and I have gone into much more detail on my wiki page for it here.


E-P5 top
Olympus E-P5, Full Hardware Review + WiFi / iPhone Demo by Blunty

It adopts most of the features of the awesome Olympus OM-D E-M5 camera except for weatherproofing, built-in EVF and grip supports

Plus it adds in the newer features of the Olympus E-PL5 PEN Lite camera such as:

  • ISO LOW of 100
  • focus peaking
  • small target AF
  • new Lens IS priority option which allows you to automatically disable the sensor-based IS if a Panasonic lens with OIS is being used
  • intervalometer
  • fully compatible with the new Olympus VF-4 add-on viewfinder which is the BEST EVF currently available for any camera
  • new ART filter “Watercolour”

then a few new tricks of it’s own such as:

  • 1/8000th sec shutter
  • new tilting 1037k dots (3:2) LCD touch screen
  • WiFi Live View remote control and image tethering via smartphone apps
  • automatic panning detection for the IS
  • live histogram for the Live BULB mode
  • fast shutter release mode with a lag of just 44ms
  • MyMode setting on the exposure mode dial plus user can store specific setups for each of the PASM modes such as changing S mode to a sports mode with AF tracking and burst mode (a welcome addition indeed)
  • HDR bracketing mode
  • 2×2 settings mode switch – option of user configurable mode 1 or mode 2 dial assignments
  • Olympus’s Photo Story feature – allows you to generate multi-image composites like the pages of a photo book, in a wide variety of themes

This camera has such amazing versatility, build quality, styling and image quality in such a small camera that it will be a must have for many photographers.
Furthermore, it is now super easy to set up and control via WiFi from a smartphone such as an iPhone and see the live image and even trigger AF and the shutter by pressing on a subject on the phone’s touchscreen – awesome indeed!

See my wiki page for more thoughts on it including a few gotchas and issues.

Now for Olympus to bring out their much anticipated high end mirrorless camera with fast AF for the Four Thirds lenses and moving subjects – hopefully this will come before the end of 2013.


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