Olympus PEN E-P5 Review
When Olympus introduced the original Micro Four Thirds PEN E-P1 almost 4 years ago in June 2009, it was the first mirrorless interchangeable lens camera to adopt a compact, 'rangefinder-style' body that made no pretence to look like an SLR. It also saw the company striking out in a direction it's followed ever since - designing attractive yet capable little cameras that consciously draw on its long-running film camera heritage. Indeed the SLR-style OM-D E-M5 was one of last year's biggest hits, and even pipped the 36MP full frame Nikon D800 to the title of 'Best Camera of 2012' in our reader poll.
The PEN E-P5 - the fourth model in the E-P range - continues this theme, while adding an array of updates that make it easily the most desirable PEN yet. It includes many of the features that made the E-M5 such a compelling package, such as the same 16MP MOS sensor, advanced '5-axis' in-body image stabilization (now with automatic panning detection), 9 fps continuous shooting, and tilting rear touch screen. It also inherits the refinements debuted on the PEN E-PL5, such as enhanced in-camera RAW conversion, a broad-range 'HDR bracketing' mode, and the ability to specify whether you wish to use in-lens or in-body image stabilization with Panasonic OIS lenses. On top of this it adds-in a top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, a 'peaking' display to assist manual focus, and this year's must-have feature: built in Wi-Fi for connection to your smartphone or tablet.
Olympus PEN E-P5 specification highlights:
- 16MP MOS Four Thirds format sensor
- Twin control dials (front and rear) with '2x2' dual-mode option
- 1/8000 sec top shutter speed, 1/320 sec flash sync
- '5-axis' image stabilization with automatic panning detection ('S-IS Auto')
- ISO 'LOW' (100 equiv) - ISO 25,600
- Up to 9fps shooting (5.0 fps with continuous AF)
- Focus 'peaking' display
- Intervalometer and Time Lapse movie creation
- 1.04m dot 3" LCD touchscreen display - tilts 80° upwards and 50° downwards
- Built-in Wi-Fi for remote shooting (iAuto only) and image transfer to smartphone or tablet
- Optional VF-4 electronic viewfinder: 2.36M dot LCD, 0.74x magnification (equiv), eye sensor
One key change compared to previous E-Px models is a rearrangement of the controls - gone are the thumb roller and tiny rear dial, replaced by 'proper' front and rear dials that protrude horizontally from the top plate. The E-P5 features what Olympus calls a '2x2' dial interface: a small lever on the back of the camera switches these dials from controlling exposure parameters to changing ISO and white balance. If you don't like this arrangement, the lever can be customized to a couple of other options (described later in this review).
The E-P5 places emphasis on speed: it has a top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec, which Olympus says should help make best use of the company's F1.8 prime lenses, allowing them to be shot wide open in sunlight. This is aided by the addition of an ISO 100-equivalent 'LOW' setting, although this will likely come at the expense of some highlight clipping. The E-P5 also offers a fast startup time of just 0.5 sec, 1/320 sec sync with the built-in flash (1/250 sec with external units), autofocus tracking at 5 fps, and a fast shutter release mode with a lag of just 44ms (via a custom setting).
In traditional Olympus fashion the E-P5 gets a few new features compared to previous models. There's a 'Super-spot AF' mode that allows extremely precise positioning of the AF point when using magnified live view, very much like the one seen on recent Panasonic models. It gains timed intervalometer shooting, along with the ability to assemble time-lapse movies in-camera. The Live Bulb mode, that allows you to monitor the progress of long exposures while the shutter is open, now features an on-screen histogram to help monitor exposure build-up. The image stabilization system is also now always active by default, to provide a stabilized live view feed (especially useful when using telephoto lenses).
The E-P5 also gets Olympus's 'Photo Story' feature that first appeared on the XZ-10 enthusiast compact. This is essentially an extension of Art Filters, allowing you to generate multi-image composites rather like the pages of a photo book, in a wide variety of themes. It may not be something enthusiast photographers will use all the time, and arguably better suited to lower-end PEN models, but it's good to see Olympus continuing to come up with new ideas.
The E-P5 comes in three colour schemes; black, silver and white. The all-black version that we've shown in this review has a textured matte finish which we expect will be appreciated by street photographers - it looks particularly fine when coupled with the black versions of the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 and M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8 lenses announced alongside. The camera also comes in a very handsome silver-and-black finish that harks back to Olympus's classic cameras from the 1960s and '70s, and a white version with a beige grip. Olympus will also be offering a limited edition model with a wooden grip, and a range of premium accessories such as leather cases.
|Silver E-P5 with black 14-42mm kit zoom and VF4 viewfinder||White E-P5 with silver 14-42mm lens|
The E-P5 will be available either body-only for approx. £900/€999/$999, with the M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6R II collapsible zoom for £1000/€1099, or with the M.Zuiko Digital 17mm F1.8 and VF-4 EVF for £1350/€1449/$1449.
Fujifilm has announced the XF10, a premium compact camera with a fast 28mm equivalent F2.8 lens and 24MP APS-C sensor. This replacement for the X70 will ship in August for $500.
It won't come as a surprise to anyone that there are some unpleasant, predatory men within the photography industry. However, a long-form, extensively researched special report in the Columbia Journalism Review about sexual harassment is still a depressing, eye-opening read.
Is this the end? Nikon's UK and Japanese websites now list some of its KeyMission action cameras as discontinued.
Leica Camera AG is now an investor in Light, the makers of the innovative L16 camera. According to the company, the funding will allow Light to 'expand the reach of its imaging platform beyond consumer photography'
YouTuber ZY Productions has a video wherein he provides a succinct summary of how phase detection autofocus systems work, their benefits and their shortcomings.
The X-U is Leica's first ruggedized compact camera and is still the only waterproof camera on the market with a large APS-C sensor. That sensor sits behind a 35mm-equivalent, F1.7 lens, and we've taken it to the mountains and back to see just what it's capable of.
Gitzo and Sony have teamed up to launch a new tripod and L-bracket designed specifically for Sony α-series cameras.
There have now been seven variants of the Sony RX100 series, and at least six of them are still current models. Confused? Here's an updated look at their differences, and our recommendations among them now that we've tested the Mark VI.
The Kodak-branded 'Kashminer' Bitcoin mining scheme announced at CES has apparently collapsed, with Eastman Kodak distancing itself from the company behind it.
The software uses computational imaging techniques to boost detail and dynamic range in your images, and reduce noise levels.
As part of a promotional giveaway, Fujifilm Korea has released kimchi-flavored instant noodles wrapped in branding inspired by Fujifilm Provia 100 color reversal film.
The Leica Noctilux-M 75mm F1.25 ASPH is a fast, high-quality and decidedly heavyweight short telephoto prime lens, designed for use with Leica's digital M-series rangefinders. We've been grappling with it for a little while - take a look at our sample images.
70-200mm F4 zoom lenses may not get as much attention as their faster F2.8 siblings, but for many photographers these lenses hit the perfect sweet spot of price, performance, and weight. This week, we shoot the new Tamron 70-210mm F4 alongside the equivalent Canon and Nikon models to see how they stack up.
Blackmagic recently worked with Apple to develop Blackmagic eGPU, an external GPU that brings "desktop-class graphics performance" to the new MacBook Pro laptops with Thunderbolt 3 ports.
Lightroom alternative Luminar has received numerous updates across both its Mac and Windows versions, primarily improvements to existing features, as well as support for additional cameras from Fujifilm, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, Canon, and Pentax.
Sony has quietly updated its RX100 V, bringing a couple of the goodies from the RX100 VI travel zoom. The updated RX100 VA gains a new processor and various firmware tweaks but misses out on the VI's other hardware improvements.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro series of notebooks with 15in and 13in models that are claimed to be better for intense image and video editing. The company says the new models are the most advanced ever, and that they feature 8th generation Intel Core processors for faster performance.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Adobe will announce a full-fledged Photoshop version for the iPad at its annual conference in October.
The last day to place an order for Apple photo prints and related products is September 30th.
Manfrotto has launched its new Noreg camera bag series with the Backpack-30 and Messenger-30 models. Both bags are designed for premium mirrorless camera systems, each featuring internal camera units that can be removed and used independently of the larger bags.
Industrial designer Thomas Müller has created a concept device that attempts to democratize film development using an all-in-one device that sits on your countertop.
Mastin Labs has released its latest set of presets titled 'Kodak Everyday.' The pack includes film emulation presets for iconic Kodak films, including Ektar, Gold and Tri-X.
Canon has released firmware update 1.0.4 for the EOS 6D Mark II, adding important bug fixes for "rare instances" of issues with the touch panel and operation buttons.
In an email to DPReview, Nikon Inc. has confirmed ''The Nikon 1 series cameras, lenses and accessories are no longer in production'.
Nikon's new Coolpix P1000 boasts an extraordinary zoom range and a suite of powerful stills and video features in a (relatively) compact body. We're taking a detailed look at this powerful compact's key features.
PhotoMirage, a new Windows application from software company Corel, transforms images into "mirages" by adding movement to elements like water or clouds. Unlike a cinemagraph, it does not require video footage – instead animating a single static image.
Tamron's version 2.0 firmware update for its 28-75mm F2.8 Di III RXD claims to have addressed reported issues with autofocus during video shooting.
Lens maker Moment is leaning into the software sector, launching a newly-revamped smartphone camera app targeted at enthusiast photographers.
A groups of researchers from NVIDIA, MIT, and Aalto University have developed an AI capable of removing noise and grain from images with incredible accuracy.