Olympus Pen E-PL5 review

December 1, 2012

Overall Rating:


Olympus Pen E-PL5

  • Features:
  • AWB Colour:
  • LCD viewfinder:
  • Dynamic Range:
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  • Autofocus:
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  • Metering:



Price as Reviewed:


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...


Graduation function

One interesting feature found on Olympus cameras is the gradation function. This has four options, namely, Normal, High Key, Low Key and Automatic. Normal is self-explanatory, while High Key brightens the images, exposing the histogram towards the right. Low-key darkens the image by underexposing and darkening highlights, while Auto chooses between High Key and Low Key.

The different gradation tones are applied to JPEG images, and can help create striking pictures. However, be warned that they do affect the exposure, so if you are shooting raw and JPEG images simultaneously, you may find that raw files are under or overexposed. Remember to switch back to the Normal setting when not in use.

Image: The graduation feature can be used to create Low Key or High Key images

  • Video: 1080p 30fps MPEG-4 H.264
  • External mic: Yes (accessory port only)
  • White Balance: Auto, 7 presets, manual, 2 custom modes
  • Dioptre Adjustment: N/A
  • Built-in Flash: No, but FL-LM1 is included
  • Shutter Type: Focal-plane shutter
  • Memory Card: SD, SDHC, SDXC
  • Viewfinder Type: Optional EVF
  • Output Size: 4608 x 3456 pixels
  • LCD: 3in, 460,000-dot articulated screen
  • White Balance Bracket: Yes
  • AF Points: 35-point system, touch focus, face and eye detection
  • Field of View: 100% (live view)
  • Sensor: 16.1-million-effective-pixel, Live MOS sensor
  • Max Flash Sync: 1/250sec / 1/4000sec (Super FP mode)
  • Exposure Modes: PASM, iAuto, 25 scene modes, 12 art filters
  • Power: Rechargeable BLS-5 Li-Ion
  • Weight: 325g (with battery and card)
  • File Format: JPEG, ORF (raw), and raw + JPEG
  • Shutter Speeds: 60-1/4000sec, plus bulb
  • Drive Mode: 8fps for 27 raw or 19 JPEG images
  • Exposure Comp: ±3EV
  • Colour Space: Adobe RGB, sRGB
  • ISO: 200-25,600
  • Lens Mount: Micro four thirds
  • RRP: £599.99 (with 14-42mm kit lens)
  • Focusing Modes: Single, continuous, manual, tracking
  • Dimensions: 110.5 x 63.7 x 38.2mm
  • DoF Preview: No
  • Compression: 3-stage JPEG
  • Connectivity / Interface: USB, Micro HDMI
  • Metering System: 324-zone multi-pattern TTL digital ESP, spot, centreweighted, highlight, shadow
  • Tested as: Entry-level CSC

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