Previous page Next page

Olympus PEN E-PL5 and PEN E-PM2 Hands-on Preview

September 2012 | By Richard Butler
Buy on Amazon.com From $362.90


Preview based on a pre-production PEN E-PL5 f/w 1.0 and
pre-production PEN E-PM2 with f/w 0.9

Olympus was one of the instigators of the mirrorless uprising, having formulated the Micro Four Thirds standard with Panasonic. At first it looked like Olympus might be overshadowed by Panasonic's technical prowess but a combination of its class-leading JPEG processing and pretty heritage-inspired designs meant they were able to offer something interesting. With the first PEN Mini it was also able to offer the least-expensive mirrorless model on the market, but the camera that really made us sit up was the Olympus OM-D.

When we gave the OM-D EM-5 our Gold Award we said it was arguably the most capable and likeable mirrorless camera we'd then seen, and there's not been a real challenge for that crown (though the Fujifilm X-E1 might change that). Now, with the arrival of the fourth PEN Lite (the PL5) and the second PEN Mini (PM2), Olympus looks set to bring E-M5 image quality down to mass-market prices. And that's a big step forward - if these offer the E-M5's genuinely DSLR-standard image quality in a smaller, more compact-camera-like body.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 and E-PM2 common features

  • 16MP Four Thirds sensor
  • Touch-sensitive screen
  • 460k dot 3" LCD screen (16:9 aspect ratio)
  • In-body image stabilization
  • ISO 200-25,600
  • TruePic VI processor
  • Up to 8fps continuous shooting
  • 11 Art Filters
  • Revised in-camera Raw file processing with presets
  • AP2 accessory port for accessories such as an electronic viewfinder
  • Movie effects as seen on OM-D E-M5, plus Picture Style shift effect

As with the previous generation of PENs, both cameras are very similar, with the PEN Lite offering a flip-up screen, exposure mode dial and two more buttons on the back of the camera than the Mini. On top of this, the PL5 gains a removable front hand grip. The articulation of the rear screen has been improved, meaning it now flips all the way up for self-portraits or into a flat position for waist-level shooting, using its touch screen to focus or fire the shutter.

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 key features

  • Touch-screen flips up by 170 degrees, with reversed image for self-portraits
  • Removable front grip (with other designs available)
  • Drive mode dial

There have been additions to the PEN Mini too. Whereas the PM1 always felt it had one button too few for anything more than point-and-shoot use, the PM2 adds another two, one of which is a user-customizable function button. It also gains a fixed hand grip on the front of the camera and a touch sensitive screen.

Finer focus point option

Both camera still feature the 35 autofocus points seen on their predecessors but, as well as being able to over-ride these by pressing on the screen, it's also possible to refine them down to finer points. Pressing the INFO button while you're in AF point selection mode allows you to cycle between the camera's different AF area sizes (all 35 points, a 9-point square, single point or single small point). This makes it easy to select where you wish to focus with great precision.

Lens IS priority

Another addition to both cameras, to help them work more happily with Panasonic's range of stabilized lenses for the Micro Four Thirds system is new 'Lens IS Priority' option in the menus (which is set to 'on' by default). It means the cameras will make use of the lens' stabilization system, rather than using their in-body systems when available.

In-camera Raw processing

Olympus was one of the first manufacturers to provide the option to re-process a Raw file, if you decided you wanted to apply different processing parameters or if you needed a JPEG of a Raw shot you'd just taken. This feature gave the ability to adjust the noise reduction, fine-tune the white balance or change the gradation settings to optimize your image using the rather good Olympus JPEG engine, without having to boot up your computer. It extended to providing the chance to apply different art filters, after you'd taken the shot or apply a different one if you didn't like the one you first chose.

The E-PL5 and E-PM2 become the first Olympus models to allow you to create and edit two presets, making it faster to make quick JPEG copies of your images. Now, when you hit 'OK' to confirm that you want to process the selected Raw file, you are presented with a dialogue that gives you the choice of applying the current settings, Custom 1, Custom 2 or to not bother. The two custom options can be edited just before you apply them, by pressing right on the four-way controller. This gives a range of options including the new options to push or pull exposure and boost or suppress the highlights or shadows. It's pretty powerful stuff for a camera at this (or any) level.


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.

DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2011 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

Previous page Next page
288
I own it
42
I want it
65
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments

Total comments: 152
12
Sad Joe

Just jumping sidewards (sorry) someone else posted that they were dropping their Nikon DX system as they now have an Olympus Pen (lovely cameras and Zukio glass) my brother in law has done much the same - I love this Pen 5 Lite BUT to my eyes the colours it produced are ALL WRONG - far too pink and not a nice pink. Is it just me that has seen this ? And no its NOTHING to do with colour balance etc as I've checked this carefully when he wasn't looking (my god Olympus LOVE their menus they go on forever) - still far too pink....Canon too warm / red (but I prefer it that way) Nikon too green / cold looking on their newest cameras. But Olympus too PINK.....sorry Pen users.

0 upvotes
raygun75

Just bought my E-PL5 a few days ago. I must tell you that it's a big improvement over my old EN-PL2. First of all it takes amazing, bright night time shots. The PL-2 just couldn't handle very dark shooting events. The higher resolution was a welcomed benefit as the picture quality is stunning! Not crazy about the external flash since I use the VL-2 viewfinder.
I can hardly wait to capture some incredible shots when I take it to Paris next week.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

DPR, the time may be ripe for acknowledging the existence of the EPL6 ?

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/olympus-epl6/olympus-epl6A.HTM

1 upvote
glenn capers

I wonder if Timmbits has used the camera in any real shooting situation. I have and it was during Holy Week in Antigua Guatemala. I do have a few images in my gallery.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

gee glen, is that the most arrogant you can be?

0 upvotes
Timmbits

and yes, I've used Oly cameras... except I don't go around trying to duplicate the style of others.

0 upvotes
Timmbits

Isn't it ironic, that a senior Olympus exec, was quoted as saying that the Pen system was named as such, because it is as easy to use as a pen... yet the sport the world's worst user interface.

1 upvote
Sad Joe

Oh god yes - my brother in law has switched from Nikon DX into a Pen 5 Lite system - PLEASE don't misunderstand me I really like the camera and have used Zukio glass on and off for over 30 years but the MENUS are a KILLER...and I just don't like the colours his camera produces - not natural too my eyes - too pink (no camera is perfect) Canon too red, Nikon too green but I could live with either happier than what his Pen turns out.. I haven't the heart to say anything too him - he seems very happy....

0 upvotes
wlsinwi

The specifications has a pretty glaring omission. The PM2 has no mode dial. Actually I prefer that. The PL5 does have as mode dial

0 upvotes
M Jesper

True. That's why 'specs' were never meant to be the sole tool to judge a camera by. You'd think people would understand, but it ain't always so obvious to everybody, evidently. But you know ...

0 upvotes
Timmbits

there is a link at the bottom of the specs to message them, so they can correct it.
@mjesper: that is just absurd. a spec sheet is supposed to be concise, correct, accurate. period. no two ways about it. if there's an error, it must be corrected. it's the ONE thing that is supposed to be accurate.

0 upvotes
Higuel

Where is the review???

2 upvotes
M Jesper

On the websites not understaffed.

0 upvotes
Neodp

The EVF is extra, and yet the price is not less, in balance.

The fill flash is not on board, and yet the price is not less, in balance.

The stabilization is not state of the art effective, and yet the price is not less, in balance.

The shutter needs help, and yet the price is not less, in balance.

The fast AF is great; but why have they ignored state of the art C-AF tracking accuracy, and speed. Yet, the price is not less; in balance.

The video lacks quality, and control, and yet the price is not less, in balance.

The lens are great, and yet they cost less to make, without the aperture rings, material weights, nor as much attention to distortion (auto corrected; which is fine), and better CA limiting designs, sharpness in the corners (smaller path glass), and yet the price is not less, in balance.

Hmmmm. Is this less, for more?

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
draleks

It is a great camera nevertheless.

1 upvote
draleks

Also, the stabilization seems to allow acceptable shots at 1/8 second for 28 mm equiv. This seems to be on par with other manufacturers, but not as amazing as the OM-D.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
systemBuilder

If you check the test photos at high ISO on imaging-resource, the stills are far superior to ANY camera in sharpness at high iso. And yet the price is not more, in balance, but this does balance all your criticisms above.

I've been drooling over these cameras for years and this one was too compelling not to buy, it was a great father's day present, and yet the price is not more, in balance.

2 upvotes
Neodp

Besides price (that can fall) it lost me (as a buyer) at, "relatively loud shutter"; where this clack, clack, shutter slap, destroys slower shutter speeds, and wakes the dead. Plus, its not the same good stabilization, needed for all lenses, and videos.

Why do all the samples look like they were taken through a cheap pair of Grey-lens sunglasses? It that adjustable to superior affect? Even, when Raw is better, the JPEG's need to be right; when Raw is not needed, or desired.

How is it possible, to come this far, and so close, and yet leave out the basics? Good commendation is well deserved for the goodness; but what of balance? I reject the inference, that this camera is for non-photographers. I abhor the tactic of crippling a camera; so that it might not destroy other, sister projects. That 's the quick road to bankruptcy. The choice is yours, collectively.

I beg my photography loving friends to wait; until these games stop. Please explain this to your camera buying friends.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
ulfie

Olympus's US website says there is no ISO 100 either in auto or manual mode: "AUTO ISO 200 - 25600 (customizable, Default 200-1600) Manual ISO 200 - 25600."

0 upvotes
draleks

It is true. Normally it's not a problem since you can reduce the aperture and the exposure time to match even the brightest conditions. There are some special applications where you don't want to do that, such as pictures of falling water where you want to create a dreamlike effect by long exposure, for example this one: http://500px.com/photo/22769087 .

Then you will need a neutral density filter.

0 upvotes
nutraman

oh and can you include a shot in the 'JPEG Test' section with the NR OFF and WARM OFF? Thanks!

0 upvotes
nutraman

Mr Butler and dpreview crew, on the JPG image testing could you add 1 or 2 test shots with "warm color" off? I leave warm color OFF always on my epm1 and I think many people do too or many would be interested to see a test shot with warm off on the epm2 and epl5. Thanks much.

0 upvotes
toomanycanons

"Rangefinder-style mirrorless"

That is, "Rangefinder-style viewfinderless". Too bad.

0 upvotes
draschan

owning a pana G3 I am quite happy with m43. compared to the sony R100 the m43 sensors could increase their pixel count to 20 or 22 MP (I am printing as big as possible) and would be very happy with higher resolution. nevertheless I might get one of those tiny beasts, pocketable, fast AF, smae sensor as OMD EM5.

0 upvotes
sadwitch

Increasing the pixels doesn't always help and most of the time it's detrimental to quality. It's the quality of the pixels that count. A 12MP D700 with easily trump a 20MP RX100 in large size printing.

2 upvotes
Nerval

Fact, still higher resolution might help :

If the gap between the pixels does not increase with the higher count (i-e the surface exposed to light remain the same, so you cannot really compare to different formats... FF has a largely more important surface exposed to light...) then there is no penalty on noise performance...

So if performance is relatively constant, then comes the details resolution, which is an important factor with bayer sensors. Take a 12MP sensor which let's say resolves 2400 l/mm and you mount a lens able to resolve 2700 l/mm : well between the AA filter and the nyquist frequency, you will not be able to capture an optimal amount of details.

So really it comes down to manufacturing tech...

A D800E does resolve more details than a D700 for instance, given good enough glass, of course.

I mean more res does not always hurt. The 16MP sensor does seem to bring better results in the E-PL5 case.

Comment edited 5 times, last edit 9 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Neodp

Point well taken; that higher Mpx's are not always a bad thing. Yet they need to have the stuff; because stats show; about 48% of all typical camera's, and their given megapixel "resolution", are destroyed by lens, and/or sensor errors.

Real quality is not the megapixel count, alone. We need to match the sensor, to the lens(es), and C-AF needs work too.

0 upvotes
draschan

I did get the EPM5 an it is much better than the G3. the missing aliasing filter (?) helps getting incredibly sharp and clear images. the higher iso is much much better. a VERY capable camera, tiny poecketable and amazing when used with good lenses (pana 20, pana 14mm, panaleica 25, oly 45, oly 60macro, oly 12mm, they all work very well with this camera, I am very cursious how much more one can get out of m43 sensors in terms of resolution and dynamic range and iso in the next generations...)

0 upvotes
draleks

I am trying to find out if the image stabilization in E-PL5 would contribute significantly to stabilization of a long lens, such as a 300 mm. Does anyone have tests/opinions about this? After what I understand the older models couldn't do much, but OM-D is able to make significant improvements even with a very long lens. See http://admiringlight.com/blog/om-d-e-m5-is-effectiveness-with-long-lenses/ for a test. As I undestand it, the question is about either how much space the sensor has to move around to compensate for camera shake, and how fast/precise it is.

Is the IS in E-PL5 the same as in E-PL3, or has there been substantial upgrades?

0 upvotes
herebefore

draleks:
I've read no claims of improvement in the IBIS in any of the "pens" since day one..

Having said that, I've not seen really effective IBIS in any of the Olympus cameras since the E-510/520 (except of course in the OMD). (I dont mention E-5 or E-3 as I dont own them).

To me, the most crucial point in using IBIS is to NOT have it on all the time, and to NOT expect miracles.

With a 300mm (600 effective) lens, the IBIS can help you get a "Usable" shot when the light isnt good and your shutter speed is below "optimum". It usually wont get a "crystal clear" shot (the aforementioned "miracle").

If you already have the EPL-3, take it out with your 300mm lens and shoot WITHOUT the IBIS unless your shutter speed falls below 1x focal length, and you might be surprised.

Comment edited 52 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
joharis

The specs say: rangefinder-style and some of the comments also talk about the rangefinder look. A rangefinder camera has an optical system that helps to focus manually. The Pen has nothing of a rangefinder and even the original analogue Pen was not a rangefinder but a SLR camera.
Why all these confusion with rangefinders???

2 upvotes
draleks

You can focus manually with focus peeking, it's no problem at all to do this. I think it kinda does look like a rangefinder, but this is of course entirely in the eye of the beholder.

0 upvotes
joharis

It doesn't look like a rangefinder at all. Typical for the appearance of a rangefinder is the optical viewfinder and the second window to create the double image in the viewfinder that is used to obtain focus. The Olympus Pen has not even one viewfinder window. Let me be clear, I think the Pen is a very interesting camera but I think we must stop calling every non_DSLR a rangefinder-style camera.

1 upvote
draleks

OK I do see your point :)

0 upvotes
Pixelquaeler

PL-5 will be a dream for HDR photographers ...

According to some infos from the web the PL-5 has an additional HDR AE Bracketing modus with 5 frames up to 3 EV steps and 7 frames up to 2 EV. So total 12 EV range. Olmpus considers to add this feature to OM-D too with firmware updates. Search the web for PL-5 and HDR Bracketing and you will find some photos of the menu setting ....

0 upvotes
mcshan

I wish that one of the cameras had a light duty built in flash.

2 upvotes
bradnash

I agree with this. Why do they not add a small built in flash. If these are truly targeted to the point and shoot market who are looking to upgrade, this market of consumers value having a built in flash. The purpose of getting these cameras is having the camera as small as possible and having an external flash defeats the purpose. I have been waiting for this since the first PEN cameras and they are already on the PL5 without adding a built in flash.

0 upvotes
47872Mike

The E-PL1 and E-PL2 both have a small built-in flash. It works quite well and can be angled backwards to bounce from a ceiling.

0 upvotes
marike6

Why does this preview both cameras, but with most of the product images and info about the less interesting camera, the EPM2? It's nice, but I think most will pay $100 more for the EPL5 with the mode dial and tilt LCD that hopefully isn't the weird 16:9 ratio like the EPM2. Also I get why the EPM2 has the fairly standard 460 K LCD, but shouldn't the EPL5 have a slightly better LCD panel since it's in the same price range as the NEX-5R or N, which offers a bit better screen?

2 upvotes
JakJenner

Any word on video IS? On the E-PL3 it's not very good because it's digital, on the E-M5 it's supposed to use the in-body IS. If the -PL5 uses the IBIS, then I'm sold and will buy one as soon as it hits shelves.

0 upvotes
Pavel Sokolov

I have E-PL2 and have no idea why I should upgrade to E-pl5. No killer features at all.

1 upvote
marike6

Higher resolution, better sensor and a tilt-able LCD. I've never owned a PEN camera but I have to admit this upgrade is interesting. But then so is the GH3, X-E1, and D600. At this rate I'll have a camera for each day of the week.

4 upvotes
Pavel Sokolov

@marike6:
1. price difference
2. no built-in flash (bundled box)
3. 25% resolution difference

2 upvotes
flipmac

I have the E-PL2 too and it's tempting to upgrade because of the ...
- better IQ (iso, dr, resolution)
- tilting screen
- touch screen
- faster burst rate and AF
- better video (1080p30)

Sure, I'm trading away the built-in flash but it's still much better.

That said, I'm in no rush to replace my E-PL2 and I've already started saving up for the E-M5. Who knows, maybe Oly may release a PEN w/ built-in EVF later on.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
xMichaelx

I also have an E-PL2 and would upgrade for the speed increase. I could click the E-PL2's shutter and go take a nap before the picture actually gets taken. It hurts to think about all the pics I've missed just because the camera isn't responsive enough.

Unfortunately, no EVFs on any of the new PENs either (and I'm not interested in yet another accessory like the VF-2). So I guess I'm stuck waiting until the non-weather sealed OM-D comes out. $1200 is too steep, but I'd happily shell out $800.

Comment edited 39 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
LJ - Eljot

most important to me: tilting LCD. If you don't miss it stay with your E-PL2!

0 upvotes
alfredo_tomato

The faster AF, the better LCD display, better sensor, and touch screen LCD are the upside for me.

Down side is the puny hand grip and no internal flash. I like using an external VF so the lack of an internal is neither here or there.

0 upvotes
draschan

I have seen a lot of images from the epl2 a friend of mine is using a lot. she has also upgraded to epl5, the difference in noise, high iso, and crispness, speed in focus is amazing !

0 upvotes
Camp Freddy

Who makes the sensor BTW ?

Oly' have been astute with the launch cycle.

0 upvotes
alfredo_tomato

Many people claim it is made by Sony. If it works well, it doesn't matter who makes it.

0 upvotes
Nko Gonzalvis

This is an AMAZING small camera, like the OMD E-M5 but other range !!!

1 upvote
Jery99

PLEASE! Tell my what is amazing about this cameras!!!
Please please!!

2 upvotes
The Jacal

TROLL ALERT, TROLL ALERT!!! (Jery99)

11 upvotes
Saxon Liw

Nothing is amazing about this camera.. But I shall upgrade my E-P3 to the E-PL5 just to get the Sony sensor which is a vast improvement to the old Panasonic one. Just look at the image quality at ISO10000!! It looks much better than the E-P3 at ISO1000!!

2 upvotes
systemBuilder

Look at the test shots on www.imaging-resource.com. I have found no camera that produces as much detail at high ISO (1600 ISO) as this camera. None. No DSLR. Only Olympus Pen. I think it's the 3-way combo of focus accuracy, lens, and sensor. Unbelievably amazing. I've been pixel-peerping at PENs for years. I bought this camera last week, I could not stand to live without it.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
RedDog Steve

Do we know for a fact that these cameras use the E-M5 sensor ?
The specs listed on the DPreview page seem to indicate a closer resemblance to the GH3 sensor.

http://www.dpreview.com/products/compare/side-by-side?products=panasonic_dmcgh3&products=oly_epl5&products=oly_epm2&products=oly_em5&sortDir=ascending

hint: look at the "sensor photo detectors" line.

rd

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Richt2000

Hi any chance of a E-pl5 body and design page? This is just for the em2...
Thanks

3 upvotes
Nathebeach

And for what it's worth, it likes like an awfully nice camera. I saw some comments about softness, but make sure you are comparing apples to apples when you criticize sharpness. Some were shot with the kit zoom. Others at pretty extreme conditions. That wide angle bus shot was with the kit zoom, and I don't see a lot I could criticize. I will leave the criticism to the rest of you.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Nathebeach

All these whiners, if you are complaining that the camera lacks SLR features like a view finder, controls, etc., I have a solution: Go out and buy the OMD or one of the fine Panys. Quit whining and go out and shoot some pictures.

I can hear your replies..."well the Pany's have it, why not Olympus?" OK. Go get your pany and then start complaining about something else. Quit whining, go out and stimulate the economy and pony up for an OMD.

End of rant.

10 upvotes
LarryLatchkey

WHY still no click wheels for easy one-handed control?!?!
I know, I know, so people who really want proper control over settings spend €150 more for a future E P5 (or 4) or double the price to get an OM-D...

Isn't there really one model too much in this line-up? I think there should be an affordable, slightly smaller E P5 with flip screen and proper external controls and then they can skip the PL line.

Or put this sensor/processor/software in a Ricoh-GR/GXR-type of body with proper wheels, up-to-date screen and comfortable grip and I wont think twice before buying.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
LarryLatchkey

I forgot to say: I really want to like them! They are so pretty and small. Much nicer than my GF2 (which I got as bargain). But that one at least has a click wheel...

0 upvotes
LJ - Eljot

"Isn't there really one model too much in this line-up? I think there should be an affordable, slightly smaller E P5 with flip screen and proper external controls and then they can skip the PL line."

That is exactly what I'm saying. All i ever wanted to have on my E-P1 was tilting display and maybe e build in flash. I had a E-PL3 for a week. I did not like the smaller display (16:9, why?) I did not like the fewer controls and the absence of an orientation Sensor. The level gauge in the E-P1 is very useful. And it had no build in Flash. Only the one for the accessory port. The E-P3 has one, but no tilting Display. The E-Pl2 also had one. Weird.

0 upvotes
Gothmoth

such a camera without a viewfinder needs a decent LCD display... i HATED the display on my E-PL1 and now i read the last models still have such a crap display...

i can only shake my head.

olympus it is 2012 not 2005!!

7 upvotes
Thorgrem

Why do you lie about the specifications of the display?

3 upvotes
fahad usman

why can't every manufacture make those articulated screens that flip out from the side like canon and panasonic? is there any stupid patent for this as well?

1 upvote
abortabort

I hate those screens. To use them at an angle they MUST be to the side of the camera, making the camera 70% wider then it needs to be. Yeah they 'can' be useful, but I prefer a tilt only screen 99% of the time.

4 upvotes
sadwitch

I really like how c7070 flip screen works or the old Sony R1. Up and twist.

0 upvotes
Jarkko Lehtinen

I think Oly had this flip-out screen two years before Canon or Panasonic in the E-series. I have one in my Oly E-3 and like it. But most of the times you need a tilt-able one only. Price reduction?

1 upvote
web35

What's so special about "new" sensor from an old om-d camera? Doesn't bigger resolution also means more noise?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Gothmoth

old?
what are you talking about?

get a clue....

3 upvotes
web35

you're saying that the sensor was just designed for the new camera? if not, than it's old, even with all "superiority".

I was asking about sensor noise. Please somebody explain how bigger resolution will be an improvement in terms of noise.

0 upvotes
abortabort

Because the 'new' 16MP sensor is considerably newer technology than the 'old' 12MP, by about 4 years. Maybe using the same new tech in a 12MP MIGHT be better then the 16MP, but they are at least 1 if not 2 generations of tech apart. Pixel size isn't everything.

5 upvotes
brownmarsh

On the one hand, I think the E-PL5 will be fantastic with the 17/1.8, but on the other ... This has been a feature that's been absent from the PEN Lite and PEN Mini

0 upvotes
giaccophoto

I might sound a bit narciso or whatever here but I really like the option of taking self portraits, it's really hard to have nice picture when you are in vacation by yourself!!
is a ep-5 due to be released?I wonder what this ep-5 would have(built in flash?)

2 upvotes
Andrew Butterfield

Very confusing model names Olympus are coming up with these days. They haven't got why Apple are so succesful. It's all down to model-name simplicity.

0 upvotes
Francis Sawyer

Apple isn't exactly showing good sense either. They've abandoned models entirely. The iPad 3, for example, isn't called the iPad 3. It's just "iPad." Stupid.

It's about as dumb as their expectation that users will know when their computers were manufactured, years after the fact. "This is compatible with late-2008 MacBook Pros and later." WTF?

6 upvotes
Teru Kage

Apple only has a single line of phonesand tablets, so they can simply increment the model number. Camera companies usually have beginner, enthusiast and pro lines. Olympus' naming convention isn't too hard to understand. The PEN lines M for mini, L for light and nothing for the flagship. With the new OM-D line created, I think the L series will probably be dropped soon, as the PEN E-P line will take up the enthusiast market.

BTW, the reason why the number 4 is avoided is because the Japanese pronunciation of 4 sounds like "die". Aside from the Nikon D4, I haven't seen many other camera models with 4 as the model number.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
1 upvote
HakonD

Here are some cameras with 4 as the model number:

Nikon D4
Nikon F4
Nikon Coolpix S4
Nikon S4 (the analog rangefinder, not the Coolpix)
Olympus OM4
Olympus OM4ti
Olympus XA4
Casio Exilim EX Z4
Casio QV R4
Minolta Maxxum 4
Minolta Dynax 4
Ricoh Caplio G4
Ricoh Caplio R4
Ricoh RX4
Ricoh GR Digital IV
Konica Autoreflex T4
Yashica J4
Yashica Samurai X4.0
Yashica EZ-Matic 4
Yashica 44
Yashica 44A
Yashica 44LM
Yashica Auto 44
Canon EOS 1D Mark IV (this one is a bit of a stretch)

-h

1 upvote
alfredo_tomato

"Very confusing model names Olympus are coming up with these days. "

It keeps stupid people from buying their products. ;)

0 upvotes
Wildbegonia

@Teru Kage: I believe the impass with the number 4 it is because of the Chinese language; if so, Japanese and Chinese are a huge different worlds, and that includes their respective languages. Some of the cameras listed by HakonD are of japanese manufacture and they do flash a number 4.

0 upvotes
rocklobster

What are you guys whinging about? - this is about as small as you are going to get in a camera with a sensor of this quality.

NO there isnt a built in flash and NO there is no EVF but I have owned an E-MP1 for a while and these are a non-issue to me as the accessory port is the best solution for these items as I use them infrequently.

But, if I am allowed one complaint it may be directed at almost all mirrorless cameras is that contrast focus AF does not work well in poor light especially at medium to long distaces where the focus assist lamp is ineffective.

Cheers

4 upvotes
micahmedia

I find, with the GX1, that if there's enough light to get a decent exposure, there's enough light to manual focus by. How easy is it to get at a zoomed in manual focus mode with these E-PM cams?

Comment edited 28 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
rocklobster

Manual focus is easy enough as I have reassigned the video button to this function and the magnification is adjustable on the fly but, the point is, you shouldn't have to. In the main forum, others have posted that other lenses are much better in low light i.e. they don't 'hunt' so much but to me most of the smarts would surely be in the camera - not in the lens so I don't really believe it. I am certainly not going to shell-out for a Leica lens just to fix this problem as somebody suggested.

Cheers

0 upvotes
Trevor_S

What about phase detection focus modes on NEX 5R and NEX6 Canon EOS M etc ?

0 upvotes
SammyToronto

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!

1 upvote
Richard Butler

The existing PENs did 60i or, more precisely, 30psf (30 frames captured and then displayed as segmented frames - half the frame shown, then the other half), giving 60i.

These present the same data in an arguably more useful way.

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Four by Six

Agreed on the indoor ISO with fast primes, that is until I discovered shutterslap and started setting the shutter to 1/120 or higher. Now I find on my EPM1 I must choose between high ISO noise and shutter induced blur. The EPM2 would be better at high ISO, but no word if they improved shutterslap. Since they don't admit it exists, then probably not. But the extra dynamic range would be nice in summer.

0 upvotes
VisualFX

My E-PL1 may need to stay around for awhile and I may have to get a Pana GH2 or EM5 for decent video for my upcoming vacation. I would have expected it to have an orientation sensor and better body. But it looks like they want people to move to the EM5.

0 upvotes
Teru Kage

An E-PL body with an E-M5 sensor is on the top of my wishlist (well...an FF sensor in a compact ILC is the real dream but FF and compact lenses are opposing realities) but the lack of built-in flash and E-M5 focusing speed have me on hold. I'm hoping that Oly will include these 2 features in the next PEN E-P model. I'd get the E-M5 but I don't like the bulk of the built-in EVF (I prefer the option of using a plug-in EVF when I need it). I'll stick with my 2 year 'old' E-PL1 for now (works perfectly for what I use it for) but am optimistically looking forward to Oly's next announcement.

2 upvotes
Sergey Borachev

The lack of an orientation sensor is so annoying!!! Seriously,such a small feature and yet not corrected even in the third generation model! I don't care about other missing bits as they are trivial in a small camera, but this problem means thousands of extra but unnecessary clicks, presses and work.

The E-M5's sensor is however going to make it irrestibile though.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
Michael_13

Yes, really strange. Even my XZ-1 has one.

I would not be surprised, if the sensor even was already on the circuit board, but is simply not read out. :-)

Some of Oly's design decisions are merely weird.

1 upvote
Francis Sawyer

Almost as annoying as cameras that have orientation sensors but don't encode the images in the proper orientation. They merely take all the pictures in landscape and set a flag that every piece of software is supposed to check. Asinine.

2 upvotes
McDark

There IS an orientation sensor.

2 upvotes
Richt2000

Dam. With no e-p5, they should have included a thumb wheel so to have 2 dials. (needed for M, A or S modes)
This seems a 1/2 attempt camera.

7 upvotes
Thorgrem

Wait for it. The E-P5 will come and it will have a EVF.

0 upvotes
mh2000

I dont care about orientation sensor, find it kind of annoying in camera viewing anyway... but man, this little thing is ugly! The E-PM1 was pretty cute IMO.

2 upvotes
T3

Orientation sensor is a big time saver when downloading images to your computer, where all your images will be automatically oriented properly.

2 upvotes
PeterTom

Orientation sensor: No

Isn't that weird nowadays?
Well, I come from DSLRs and I seek for something smaller, I would prefer in-body IS, but this single thing discourages me from Olympus.

If I understand well, it means that I cannot show the JPEGs right from the cameras SD card on my TV, or computer... Do I need to edit 50% (sometimes even more) of the pictures only to show them properly? Or I miss something and this is not needed?

2 upvotes
doNE

You can rotate pictures in-camera. All you have to do is push up/down while in playback-->rotate-mode.

The E-M5, which will still be smaller than a DSLR, has an orientation sensor btw.

0 upvotes
arammc

I have an EPL1
Fun camera, but also without an orientation censor the vertical images need to be rotated in post. I learned how to do it very quickly in lightroom.

Its was kind of annoying at first but I got used to it. Surprised these don't have the sensor.

doNE has a better answer. That might not have worked on my older camera.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
McDark

There was a mistake on the site. It has one.

2 upvotes
Peiasdf

Very few comments. I guess it is not very exciting as it is just rehash of E-PL3 and E-PM1 with new sensor.

Should be cheaper as most parts are carried over from $400/$300 cameras.

2 upvotes
marike6

Totally disagree that these cameras are rehashed products as they features the very best sensor Olympus has. So people who for whatever reason don't buy an EM-5, have a chance to get EM-5 quality in a smaller body. If the EPL-5 had been around before the Fuji X-E1 came to market, I might have bought one.

But this announcement has been up since 6 AM New York time, maybe earlier. I think the first set of comments got deleted, as I think all the Photokina news created problems for DPR's server.

3 upvotes
Michael_13

If a better sensor does not make for a big difference to you, you cannot be helped.

4 upvotes
Camp Freddy

Olympus did a great job at flogging the PEN series on an out dated sensor which was still bigger than all P&S at the time with better DR , tonal depth and mid level ISO to 800 and even.

Coupled to IBIS and the evolution to touch screen and multi core processors for super fast focusing, all they were waiting for was a better sensor.

0 upvotes
oluv

seems to have exactly the same IBIS problems like E-PL3 and other olympus cameas. image P9140080 was taken at 1/160 but not a single point is really sharp.

i had the same with shutter speeds between 1/100 and 1/200, the IBIS was producing blur then. what a pity, that olympus hasn't fixed this, i mean this is already their 3rd or 4th camera generation!

4 upvotes
Kiefmo

I noted this tendency on my E-PL1 right off. One wishes "Auto IS" would know to turn itself off when the shutter speed is sufficient to make its use unnecessary!

My solution is to simply leave the IBIS turned off unless I'm shooting low-light with no tripod. Since the majority of my photos are handheld with plenty of light, it hasn't been much of an hassle.

1 upvote
Camp Freddy

fixed! These are enthusiast cameras, not POS!!!

0 upvotes
Four by Six

Aaargh! I wish Oly would put their engineering might behind fixing the shutter blur. As the champions of IBIS, they should be the ones to lead the effort to fix shutterslap.

0 upvotes
bcalkins

Any word on whether the IBIS is the 5 'axis' type from the E-M5?

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

No - it's the same IS design as the existing PEN Lite and Mini models.

0 upvotes
AuSecour

Will it work in video mode like the E-M5 though?

0 upvotes
larrytusaz

Some have said "it's ugly." WHO CARES. It's not a woman in a bikini. I think how the IMAGES will look is what counts, and with that OM-D/EM-5 sensor and JPEG engine, it's apt to look fantastic, and in a classic 35mm rangefinger-like body that's not so large, just like what the E-P1 and E-PL1 gave us with the prior generation.

I will say, though, especially with the E-PL5, the lack of a built-in flash is too bad. You need it sometimes, especially portraits/fill-flash or "social snaps" situations. I think I'd liked it, too, if they had managed a 3" LCD that took full advantage of the 4:3 aspect ratio vs 16:9.

I do like the "touch to focus" feature, I've been using a Panasonic GF3 the last 4-odd days & really like that feature, but prefer the Olympus JPEG engine & IBIS (using the Olympus 14-42mm II MSC).

Heck, I just bought the E-PM1 refurbished from Cameta--despite advice to wait for the new models coming. Oh well--I can give them time to work out any fatal flaws if there are any.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
5 upvotes
eaa

Page 3:
"If they live up to the promise and manage to offer an approachable shooting experience for beginners, with the E-M5's excellent image quality, in some of the smallest and least expensive models on the market, then it's far too early to write-off the PENs."

Yes, I should think so!
What do they even mean?
That we should write them off at the very day of launch?!
Geez DPR, c'mon :(

6 upvotes
samhain

I know, right. Why would they even say that? That's pretty disrespectful to Olympus imo

2 upvotes
ptox

Yeah, weird choice of words for sure. Who was considering "writing off" the PENs in the first place? That's news to me...

Comment edited 12 seconds after posting
1 upvote
Peiasdf

The 12mp sensor in the old PENs was the worst sensor on the market. Worse than many P&S's SONY sensor.

The only Olympus camera that's not DOA is E-M5.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

The point I'm trying to make is that the PENs are not comfortable as PASM cameras but that isn't to say they don't offer a lot.

The entire context is that the E-PL5, despite extra controls, isn't much of a PASM camera, but that both camera's strengths should stop them being written-off, just because of that.

1 upvote
bryanbrun

Replaceable grip!

EM-5 Sensor!

It will not be easy breaking the news to my E-PL1. I am about to crush the little guy's heart.

Do the series of E-P3 grips fit on the the E-PL5? This seems like a great way to transition your gear to new camera bodies, which don't seem to have much shelf life.

Buy the Grip, the EVF and the lenses and let the body and sensor underneath improve every 2 years.

0 upvotes
Raist3d

Hmmm I can't tell what exactly is missing from the EM-5 here. Not saying there isn't but I couldn't quite tell from the cursory read I did.

0 upvotes
ptox

Well, there's the ol' built-in viewfinder, and, er, ah, the 5-axis stabilization... and the metal body, and that weather sealing stuff, but yeah, OTHER THAN THAT...

1 upvote
spidermoon

High Res screen, panorama mode, hdr mode, handled twilight, built-in wifi.

0 upvotes
Richard Butler

Twin control dials for simple, fast PASM control.

0 upvotes
ThePhilips

Where is E-PL5 "Body and Design" page?

4 upvotes
Total comments: 152
12