PEN E-P5 compared to other Olympus models

Olympus now has four Micro Four Thirds models that share the same sensor and image processor, but vary widely in features: E-PM2, E-PL5, E-P5 and OM-D E-M5. Here we take a look at how the E-P5 compares to the neighbouring models in the range, and to its predecessor the E-P3.

The Olympus PEN E-P5, between the PEN E-PL5 (left) and OM-D E-M5 (right).

The E-P5 sits between the PEN E-PL5 and the OM-D E-M5 in Olympus's range and, on paper, offers similar core imaging specs. Here's a quick summary of some of the key differences between these models:

 
PEN E-PL5
PEN E-P5
OM-D E-M5
 IS system  • 2-axis  • 5-axis  • 5-axis
 Built-in flash  • No  • Yes  • No
 Built-in EVF  • No  • No  • Yes
 Weathersealing  • No  • No  • Yes
 No. of control dials  • 1  • 2  • 2
 Shutter speed range  • 60 - 1/4000 sec  • 60-1/8000 sec  • 60-1/4000 sec
 ISO range  • 200-25600  • LOW, 200-25600  • 200-25600
 Continuous shooting  • 8 fps  • 9 fps  • 9 fps
 Screen type  • 460K dot LCD, 3", 16:9  • 1.04m dot LCD, 3", 3:2  • 610K dot OLED, 3", 3:2
 Screen articulation  • 60° down, 170° up  • 50° down, 80° up  • 80° down, 80° up
 Size  • 111 x 64 x 38 mm
   (4.4 x 2.5 x 1.5″)
 • 122 x 69 x 37 mm
   (4.8 x 2.7 x 1.5″)
 • 122 x 89 x 43 mm
   (4.8 x 3.5 x 1.7″)
 Weight  • 325g (11.5 oz)  • 420g (14.8 oz)  • 425g (15.0oz)

Size and design compared to Olympus OM-D E-M5

The E-P5 is almost exactly the same width as the E-M5, but the latter's SLR-style EVF 'hump' makes it rather taller.
The cameras both have similar numbers of external controls, although what they do is subtly different - the E-M5's 4-way controller moves the active AF point by default, rather than activating specific functions. Both cameras have a tilting rear screen but, while it has a built-in EVF, the E-M5 lacks a pop-up flash. A key difference, of course, is that the E-M5 is weathersealed (just as long as you pair it with lenses like its 12-50mm 1:3.5-6.3 kit zoom and the 60mm 1:2.8 Macro, which are sealed to match).
From the top you can see that the E-M5's viewfinder makes it thicker front-to-back. The E-P5's collapsible 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 kit zoom is also much more compact than than the 12-50mm powerzoom shown here on the E-M5.
If you add the VF-4 viewfinder to the E-P5, it adds extra bulk compared to the E-M5's integrated EVF. Then again, if you add-on the E-M5's external flash unit, it ends up slightly larger again. Your pay your money and take your choice...

Size and design compared to the Olympus PEN E-P3

From the front the E-P5 looks very similar indeed to is predecessor, the E-P3, and it's almost exactly the same size. The main addition is the front control dial, which is placed underneath the shutter button for operation by your index finger. The grip is slightly reshaped, and is no longer interchangeable, now playing host to the camera's Wi-Fi antenna.
The rear layout shows a few more differences. The vertical roller dial has been changed to a more conventional rear dial higher up on the body, and the one around the 4-way controller eliminated. The buttons have been rearranged, and there's a two-position lever around the movie record button that is used to switch the control dials' functions (by default it swaps them from exposure parameters to white balance and ISO). The biggest change, though, is that the rear screen now tilts like the E-M5's: 80° up and 50° down.
From the top the E-P5 again looks very similar to the E-P3. The On/Off control is now a lever rather than a button, and in this view you can more clearly see the slightly staggered layout of the twin control dials. Despite the addition of the tilt screen the bodies are almost exactly the same thickness - however the E-P5's lens mount protrudes fractionally further from the front of the body.