Thoughts about the Olympus E-5 ...

Started Sep 8, 2013 | Discussions thread
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veroman Veteran Member • Posts: 4,845
Thoughts about the Olympus E-5 ...

In all probability, the E-5 from Olympus is the last of its kind. It was formally discontinued this past August 2013 and is now near impossible to find new. My 2nd E-5 body, a pristine used one w/grip that I found on ebay, arrived last week. It replaced the E-5 I regrettably sold last year. I feel fortunate to own one again.

I know there are a great many enthusiasts on these forums and others who flatly state or at least suggest that the E-5 is a camera that's long been outclassed by the likes of the newer Olympus M4:3 cameras, Nikons and Pentax DSLRs, among others. Not only do I not agree, I think they're wrong.

And I think most of the reviewers got this camera wrong.

If anything, the E-5 outclasses not only the cameras that were released around the same time as the E-5, it outclasses even some of our newest cameras, regardless of make, model, sensor type or features. The E-5 is a true "photographer's camera," with a design towards the best picture quality possible from a 35mm-type body with a digital sensor. It requires if not demands utmost skill from the user and a thorough knowledge of the camera's design make-up, for it doesn't in any way emulate the very traditional approach that is the hallmark of both Nikon and Canon. It also demands that the owner/user possess real skill at post processing. As good as the JPEGs from the E-5 are, its RAW files are the only route to this amazing camera's best output.

The E-5, used properly with the best lenses, renders a level of detail that was once the province of medium format film, and it does so without displaying the typical "image falsity" that is also one of the hallmarks of the higher resolution Nikon and Canon digital camera designs.

The camera has been heavily downgraded and criticized for "high" noise levels and "low" dynamic range. My experience with the E-5 says that lack of time with the E-5 and lack of knowledge about how the camera really works is the main reason for citing these so-called "limitations." For the most part, reviewers tested it just like they would test any DSLR from any maker and, as a result, weren't in a position to give the camera its full due. The handful of reviewers who took the necessary time with the E-5 got it right. But they were outshouted by the larger number of reviewers who got it wrong.

No, the E-5 isn't the equal of the Canons and Nikons at this level. But for large prints, it's still a terrific camera up to ISO 2000 and a perfectly fine camera at ISO 3200 if the prints are going to be 8" X 12" or smaller ... IF, that is, if one learns how to use it AND if one has the necessary post-processing skill.

I've owned a lot of digital cameras these past 12 years, including some of the big-bodied Canon 1-Series and Nikon cams. The E-5 out-resolves and out-handles them all. And I haven't begun to talk about color.

ISO 3200

ISO 400

ISO 400

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'When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece.'
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