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...
Olympus Pen E-P5 review – Autofocus
Images: For this subject, I could benefit from the full 9fps high-speed burst because continuous AF was not needed
All Olympus CSCs use a contrast-detection AF system, which in the E-P5 consists of 35 points that cover most of the frame. Each point can be selected individually via the rear four-way pad or more quickly using the touchscreen. A more precise spot can be selected by touching the desired area of the screen and then using the live view manual-focus assist (up to 14x). This new function, which Olympus calls ‘super-spot AF’, provides extremely precise spot selection. Touch focus can work independently from the shutter or in tandem with it.
A comprehensive range of AF modes covers most situations. In good light and with continuous AF activated, autofocus is near instant. Selecting continuous AF does drain the battery a little, but it is worthwhile for keeping subjects close to focus. There is also continuous tracking AF, which can keep up with a moving subject of moderate pace and has a 5fps high-speed burst. Being a highly customisable camera, the E-P5 allows the rotation for manually focusing the lens to be switched between clockwise and anti-clockwise.
In low-contrast light the speed of focusing is compromised a little, but I was still impressed by how well the camera performs. There is an AF assist lamp for such conditions, but generally I found the AF just as quick without employing the lamp, and when being discreet one does not want a bright light emitting from the camera.
Face-detection focusing has its own menu, with options that include face priority, face and eye priority, face and right eye priority, and finally face and left eye priority. These latter modes are very useful when taking portraits: usually one wants the person’s eye closest to the camera to be the one in focus, and this can be ensured by selecting the appropriate eye priority mode.