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Just Posted: Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2 preview, with E-PL5 samples

By dpreview staff on Sep 17, 2012 at 09:07 GMT

Just Posted: Our hands-on preview of the Olympus PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2. The two baby PENs, the Lite and Mini have done a good job of offering some of the least exensive mirrorless cameras on the market but have, until now, relied on an ageing 12MP sensor. Now the OM-D's 16MP sensor makes its way into both the latest PEN Lite (the E-PL5) and the PEN Mini (the E-PM2). They also gain touch screens and a series of other updates. Read our preview to find out more, which includes a small gallery of real-world samples from the E-PL5.

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Comments

Total comments: 30
Strikeroot
By Strikeroot (10 months ago)

For stills, I have and like this camera. For video, I don't know why they hamstring the solid hardware of the whole PEN line with such a mediocre codec (no 24p, wimpy max 20Mbps bit-rate). Sadly, I wrote Oly about it and they wrote back saying they have no plans to improve this via firmware for the E-PL5 or OM-D. More bizarrely, they seem intent on continuing the wimpy codec tradition into the E-P5 (unless we consumers apparently drag them kicking and screaming into taking video seriously).

0 upvotes
Nko Gonzalvis
By Nko Gonzalvis (Oct 3, 2012)

This is a really good camera, with amazing cuality and small size...!!!

0 upvotes
Joes Raw Talk
By Joes Raw Talk (Sep 23, 2012)

Really decent image quality. At $699 for EPL5 it will need to drop to move sales. Everyone who has followed trends of this line for the past few years will know that it's price drops precipitously just down the road.

0 upvotes
SammyToronto
By SammyToronto (Sep 18, 2012)

The new Pens seem to have lost the 60fps video, which is not a huge loss but why the step backwards? I have the e-pm1 and will see if the reviews of the e-pm2 will be glowing enough to warrant an upgrade. The new sensor is obviously the main attraction, but with the fast primes I'm using, I hardly go over ISO800, even indoors, so I don't get into the ISO range where the new sensor's advantage is most obvious. One thing is for sure; I prefer the e-pm1 looks. Those shrunken e-pl1 looks do the new e-pm2 no favors!

0 upvotes
toomanycanons
By toomanycanons (Sep 17, 2012)

I don't want a touchscreen but I do want some sort of built-in viewfinder. I guess I'm not Oly's target PEN market segment.

0 upvotes
T3
By T3 (Sep 19, 2012)

I think Pens are always going to be the cameras you need to get the external VF for. Which isn't such a bad thing. External VF's have their advantages, such as being removable, transferrable, tiltable, and they extend farther back from the camera which makes them more comfortable to use compared to built-in VF's.

Just get an Oly external VF, and take it from one Pen to the next as you upgrade. It's like a lens for a DSLR: you just transfer the lens as you upgrade bodies.

1 upvote
khy boogie
By khy boogie (Dec 19, 2012)

does that actually work? i know with panasonic they made the purchase of a new viewfinder necessary

0 upvotes
Raist3d
By Raist3d (Sep 17, 2012)

I don't understand the dpreview samples I am seeing. I am not seeing any great image quality at all. I am going to chalk that up to the lens they are using for them.

Lots of noise reduction, purple fringing. Would love to see a RAW from the Panny/Leica or one of the F1.8's primes.

2 upvotes
M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 17, 2012)

Same story as the E-M5. Simply turn off or lower the sharpening and noise reduction before use. The sensor itself is actually superb. Look up some E-M5 raws because it's the same thing.

http://fourthirds-user.com/2012/04/olympus_omd_em5_real_world_raw_and_jpeg_samples_to_download.php

0 upvotes
misha
By misha (Sep 17, 2012)

I had the same impression, looked pretty soft.

0 upvotes
Timbukto
By Timbukto (Sep 17, 2012)

Dpreview commented that the shutter is loud. Sound = vibration of air molecules = potentially heavier/clumsier shutter mechanism. We already know what a heavyweight shutter mechanism can do with IBIS or even Panasonic OIS at lower shutter speeds. The OM-D may be worth the premium for superior shutter alone. Granted I *want* to have a great OM-D quality E-PM2, but I'll sit back and watch first based on the terrible IBIS of the previous model based more on the shutter IBIS interaction than just IBIS alone.

Comment edited 49 seconds after posting
1 upvote
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 17, 2012)

FF = MASSIVE LENSES and that goes totally against the M4/3 philosophy.

The only thing that concerns me with the mirrorless design is the contrast AF system which is a serious compromise - in my experience - owning an E-PM1. Its the only thing putting me off upgrading to the E-PM2. I don't even care about an EVF, lack of built in flash, not-so-god IBIS and think that a touch-screen is something that you should only get on a smartphone.

Cheers

Comment edited 8 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Jens_G
By Jens_G (Sep 17, 2012)

Looks cheap.

3 upvotes
Edmond Leung
By Edmond Leung (Sep 17, 2012)

I think this is the right time for Olympus and Panasonic to think about FF cameras.
In the long run, there is no way for 4/3 to compete with FF cameras.

2 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Sep 17, 2012)

I think your wrong here. I think Nikon and Canon are starting to see the advances in the smaller sensors as a threat and that is why we are seeing lower cost introductory line FF camera's. With the D600 hitting the market lower than the D700 was, I'm thinking we are going to see this more and more and prices get lower and lower. But if Olympus was to buy into the FF market with a new line of Zuiko lenses....... I think they could make a huge splash. The Zuiko kit lenses are pretty damn good, the 4/3 and prime micros even better. The idea of a FF line..... ohhhhh buddy :)

2 upvotes
rpm40
By rpm40 (Sep 17, 2012)

It's never gonna happen, and it shouldn't. Oly and Panny don't want to go toe to toe with the big boys, Canon and Nikon have been doing it for ages and they aren't going away any time soon. 4/3 allows them to blaze their own trail and offer a legitimate alternative with smaller and lighter gear that can still give great results.

Recent models like the om-d show that sensor tech keeps improving, and now allows great IQ using 4/3 sensors. If you need full frame dof control or high iso performance, then you have plenty of choices already, but be prepared to shell out three grand and give your shoulders and neck a workout.

Oly or Panny messing with 4/3 would be a huge business mistake. Luckily, I don't think either is crazy enough to try it.

9 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (Sep 17, 2012)

Nah. My E-M5 has been making great images. Many examples in my OM-D gallery: http://www.openbloom.com/GEAR-Etc-1/Olympus-OM-D-E-M5/22627033_PhcrtS#!i=2033280899&k=hL4XrWr

One of the only things you just can't get yet in m4/3 is the very same super high ISO quality you'd get in a full frame sensor...but the high ISO on the E-M5 is great...no doubt. These days you just pick the features/functions you want and buy a camera. There are so many good options now.

6 upvotes
Nate21
By Nate21 (Sep 17, 2012)

Olympus/Panasonic will stick with its bread and butter. Nikon,Canon, and Sony can run the tables with full format.

1 upvote
marike6
By marike6 (Sep 17, 2012)

Currently the cameras that offer the closest to FF IQ goodness are the Fuji X-Tran cameras. Panasonic and Olympus may provide a legitimate alternative to APS-C, but challenging FF with m43 sensor cameras just won't happen because of high ISO performance, and the physics of sensor size, where DOF with m43 is too deep.

3 upvotes
rocklobster
By rocklobster (Sep 17, 2012)

FF = MASSIVE LENSES and that goes totally against the M4/3 philosophy.

The only thing that concerns me with the mirrorless design is the contrast AF system which is a serious compromise - in my experience - owning an E-PM1. Its the only thing putting me off upgrading to the E-PM2. I don't even care about an EVF, lack of built in flash, not-so-god IBIS and think that a touch-screen is something that you should only get on a smartphone.

Cheers

0 upvotes
Michael_13
By Michael_13 (Sep 18, 2012)

No. I do not want to lug around FF lenses.
And so do millions of buyers around the world.
FF is for special purposes. The mass market does not care about it.

1 upvote
draschan
By draschan (Sep 19, 2012)

@D200_me: openbloom. these are great and wonderful images. this is actual advertising for m43 ds :-) great work. keep it up !!! thanks for posting these. anyone longing for more sophisticated gear should learn how to take pictures :-)

0 upvotes
J2Gphoto
By J2Gphoto (Sep 19, 2012)

@ Mirike6 They have said this for years that the 4/3 sensor will never do this it will never do that. Never get a clean image above 800ISO, then is was 1600. You can't rule out anything when it comes to technology. Will it ever be on the same level as a FF? No but it is already on the level as the FF from the past and for 90% + of shooters that is more than is needed or ever will be needed. I've seen side by side E-M5 shots with a D700 shot and they are so close most would never be able to tell. Makes me wonder about the next generation of m 4/3 sensors.

1 upvote
safeashouses
By safeashouses (Oct 24, 2012)

Too deep for...?

0 upvotes
ageha
By ageha (Sep 17, 2012)

Why is dpreview deleting posts here? I don't lie that!

2 upvotes
Louis_Dobson
By Louis_Dobson (Sep 17, 2012)

I want an E-PM2. I suspect I will use it more than the OM-D...

2 upvotes
Andy Spawn
By Andy Spawn (Sep 17, 2012)

The deleted post was about... I think there is something from Olympus.

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Sep 17, 2012)

Louis,
Do you no longer care about an eye-level EVF, or do you plan on using a clip-on EVF?

FWIW, with my EM5 I still find the EVF best for the majority of situations, but there are also situations where the LCD is the best tool. Certainly the EVF not nearly as bad as many posters say ---probably based only on watching snap-shooters using P&S compacts rather than seeing how a careful photographer can make use of the rear screen or making a serious effort to use one themselves.

0 upvotes
Anfy
By Anfy (Sep 17, 2012)

Love DPR logic when putting Olympus news (including the E-PL5/E-PM2 preview) not in chronological order, but in 2nd, 7th, 8th and even 12th position in the news section.
Not a rant, but was almost missing them.

Ciao!

4 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Sep 17, 2012)

In all fairness. There are way too many announcements today for dpreview to keep up with them.

6 upvotes
Total comments: 30