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

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Olympus Pen E-PL5

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Olympus Pen E-PL5 review


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During the course of my test, I found that the E-PL5’s 324-zone ESP evaluative metering had a tendency to underexpose slightly, by about 0.6EV. This is not generally an issue, however, and, if anything, it helps to maintain detail in the highlight areas.

By now, I’d imagine most readers are familiar with the extra metering modes on Olympus cameras. Evaluative, spot and centreweighted metering are available, as well as highlight and shadow spot modes. The latter two allow a point in the image to be specified as the highlight or shadow, and the exposure is then calculated so that these points remain as highlights or shadows, regardless of the rest of the image.

What I like about the Olympus metering system is the way it seems to be designed with dedicated photographers in mind. Of course, the camera can produce good images for those who just want to point and shoot, but with a variety of metering options it is flexible enough for enthusiast photographers, who can really choose how they wish to meter and expose their images.

  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
Page 5 of 12 - Show Full List
  • simon Parry Jones

    Pleasantly surprised by the quality and resolution of this camera. I had been very disappointed by my previous camera a Canon EOS450D, I found it hard to get any punch or vibrancy into the images. But the NX does it bucket loads and with ease.
    The features and controls take a little getting used to after the Canon, but I am finding my way around nicely and its fairy intuitive anyway.
    The wifi functionality can be a bit hit or miss, especially with the Samsung Galaxy S4, they don’t like each other for some reason, which when you consider these are from the same manufacturer that does seem a bit daft!
    I find the handling is generally pretty good for such a small object, I do however keep starting the video recorder via the dedicated (red) button adjacent to the thumb rest, the position of this button has been moved on the NX300 which is an improvement.
    The display I find works well in bright light and is as comprehensive as you could desire, really impressed with it.
    Reviewing images is slightly different with the NX compared to the 450D, but once you are tuned in it seems fine and I like the daisy wheel on the multi selector, I found it works well for reviewing images.
    The flash generally sits on my NX all the time and I have found that coverage is not too bad, but there is fall off at the 20mm setting and wider, which is to be expected really. With a guide number of 8, you’re not going to fry any eggs but it is more than the competitors pop up varieties.
    Being a bit of a traditionalist, I found the iFn button on the lens a little superfluous, I didn’t instinctively use it, but I guess that will change as I get used to the camera.
    At long last a kit lens you don’t feel like binning the moment the camera arrives. After the Canon 18-55mm offering I was pleasantly surprised by Samsungs 20-50mm. Whilst this lens doesn’t have OIS I found that I can live without it, the slightly smaller range was nothing to worry about either. The performance of this lens is pretty impressive too, pictures I have taken thus far are way better than I was able to get from the Canon. Lumping a big DSLR around is surely something consigned to the past.
    All the buttons have a quality feel, as does the body, even though its largely plastic in construction, it never feels that way and so what is wrong with polymers anyway?
    To summarise, this is a great camera for someone who is new to interchangeable lens photography or someone looking to switch from DSLRs or someone who would like a portable, small, easy to use point and shoot camera which produces stunning images. It has its weaknesses ie action or sports photography would highlight these due to the AF system, but I would wholeheartedly recommend this camera for travel or everyday photography, you will not be disappointed.

  • Leona Simpson

    This would be a great site for information for us amature photographers if ur adverts did not cover great pieces of text.