The Olympus Pen E-P5 is a stylish modern-day take on an Olympus film camera from the 1960s, packed with new and improved features as well as a clever body design that enhances its handling, writes Tim Coleman. Read the Olympus Pen E-P5 review...

Product Overview

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Olympus Pen E-P5

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Olympus Pen E-P5 review


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Olympus Pen E-P5 review – Our verdict

Image: I could get wide for this scene by using the 12mm f/2 lens. Its effective focal length is 24mm because of the four thirds system’s 2x crop factor. Detail is lovely and crisp

Compared to its competition, the Olympus Pen E-P5 is certainly stylish, if on the expensive side, being one of the best-looking CSCs available. Thankfully, though, it handles just as well. Those who like to take manual control of their camera are spoilt for choice, with twin dials and a touchscreen providing a comprehensive level of user control. The camera is speedy, too, with quick start-up, fast AF and shutter speeds, and excellent flash support. As for the images, I experienced few surprises having already reviewed the Olympus OM-D E-M5.

Panasonic and Olympus now use a 16-million-pixel, four thirds sensor as standard. The four thirds system also has some fine glass now, and I am pleased with the images taken using the 45mm f/1.8 and 12mm f/2 lenses. Certainly in good light, detail is crisp, and even up to ISO 800 I am really pleased with my images. Like the OM-D, the E-P5 is one of the best CSC options available.

Olympus Pen E-P5 – Key features


The built-in pop-up flash is released manually using this catch. It has a class-leading flash sync speed of 1/320sec, while external flash units attached via the hotshoe enjoy a flash sync speed up to 1/250sec, which is again very impressive. The built-in flash has a guide number of 10m @ ISO 200 (GN 7m @ ISO 100).

As mentioned in the Build and handling section, this lever can change the function of the dials. As a default, the ‘1′ position is set for aperture/shutter speed, while the ‘2′ position changes the white balance/ISO.

The rear dial is placed close to the front dial, which makes the pair quick to operate together for changes to exposure, among other things.

Live-view magnification from 5x and up to 14x is possible using this button, which improves accuracy when using manual focus.

Battery/memory-card compartment
Located on the right of the underside of the camera, it is possible to open the battery/memory-card compartment without needing to remove the camera from most tripods.


External mic:Yes (accessory port 2 only)
Video:1080 HD at 30p, 720P at 30p, AVCHD, AVI Motion JPEG
Memory Card:SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I
Shutter Type:Focal-plane shutter
White Balance:Auto, 7 presets, manual, 2 custom modes
Dioptre Adjustment:N/A
Built-in Flash:Yes – GN 10m @ ISO 100 output
Viewfinder Type:Optional EVF
Output Size:4608 x 3456 pixels
LCD:3in, 1,037,000-dot, tiltable touchscreen OLED
Field of View:N/A
AF Points:800 points in manual mode, 35-point auto system, touch focus, face and eye detection
Sensor:16.1-million-effective-pixel Live MOS (17.3x13mm)
White Balance Bracket:Yes
Max Flash Sync:External flash X-sync 1/250sec and 1/4000sec (Super FP mode)
Exposure Modes:PASM, bulb, iAuto, 24 scene modes, 11 art filters
Weight:420g (including battery and card)
Power:BLN-1 rechargeable Li-Ion (330 shots)
File Format:JPEG, raw (ORF), JPEG + raw, AVI (motion JPEG)
Shutter Speeds:60-1/8000sec + bulb up to 30mins
Drive Mode:Up to 9fps or 4.2fps with continuous AF
Focusing Modes:Single, continuous, manual, tracking
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
DoF Preview:No (via test picture)
Metering System:324-zone multi-pattern TTL digital ESP, spot, centreweighted, highlight, shadow
Dimensions:122.3 x 68.9 x 37.2mm
Connectivity / Interface:USB, HDMI
Compression:2-stage JPEG
Exposure Comp:±3EV
RRP:£899.99 (body only)
Lens Mount:Micro four thirds
Tested as:Compact system camera
  1. 1. Olympus Pen E-P5 at a glance:
  2. 2. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - VF-4 EVF
  3. 3. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Build and handling
  4. 4. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Metering
  5. 5. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Autofocus
  6. 6. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Dynamic range
  7. 7. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - White balance and colour
  8. 8. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Noise, resolution and sensitivity
  9. 9. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - LCD, viewfinder and video
  10. 10. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - The competition
  11. 11. Olympus Pen E-P5 review - Our verdict
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