Built around the same 16.1-million-pixel sensor as the Olympus OM-D E-M5, the diminutive Pen E-PL5 should offer excellent image quality. Richard Sibley tests this latest system camera. Read the Olympus Pen E-PL5 review...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Olympus Pen E-PL5

Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:
Build/Handling:
Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Metering:

Product:

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£599.00

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Olympus Pen E-PL5 at a glance:

  • 16.1-million-pixel four thirds Live MOS sensor
  • ISO 200-25,600
  • 3in, 460,000-dot tilting touchscreen
  • 1920x1080p
  • 30fps HD video
  • New faster AF system
  • 8fps shooting rate
  • Street price around £599 with 14-42mm kit lens

Olympus Pen E-PL5 review – Introduction

There have been 24 Panasonic and Olympus micro four thirds system cameras since Panasonic launched the first of its type, the Lumix DMC-G1, in 2008. The compact size of both the cameras and their lenses has made the system extremely popular, particularly among documentary and travel photographers requiring discreet and lightweight kit.

One of the latest micro four thirds models is the Olympus Pen E-PL5. It has a compact camera-style body, rather than a miniature DSLR build, and a comprehensive range of direct controls that should offer enthusiast photographers all the features they need.

However, micro four thirds cameras initially came in for criticism for their comparatively lower resolutions and noisier images than equivalent DSLRs. But technology has progressed over the past few years, as demonstrated by the excellent 16.1-million-pixel sensor of the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which was then used in the Pen E-PM2 and now in the Pen E-PL5.

In our recent review (AP 3 November), we rated the Olympus Pen E-PM2 highly, particularly for its size, features and image quality. With the E-PL5 sharing many of the same specifications, another excellent camera may well have been added to the micro four thirds system.

  1. 1. Olympus Pen E-PL5 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Graduation function
  4. 4. Build and handling
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Dynamic range
  8. 8. Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. White balance and colour
  10. 10. Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  11. 11. The competition
  12. 12. Our verdict
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