Olympus E-PL5 review

Olympus unveils PEN E-PL5 and PEN Mini E-PM2 with OM-D sensor

The Olympus PEN E-PL5 shares the same 16.1-megapixel sensor as the Olympus OM-D. Amy Davies of our testing team investigates whether the similarities end there, or if this new PEN camera is in fact the best PEN camera on the market. Watch her Olympus E-PL5 review video to see how it fared.

Below you can also find a transcript of our Olympus E-PL5 review video.

Olympus E-PL5 Review Video Transcript


Olympus has launched two new cameras into its PEN range, to replace the E-PL and E-PM range in the middle and bottom of the line-up.

This is the E-PL5. It replaces the E-PL3 and contains the same 16.1 million pixel sensor and image processor as the highly regarded Olympus OM-D, which was announced at the beginning of the year.

This should mean that the Olympus E-PL5 is capable of producing the same fantastic image quality, but with the advantage of a smaller, and more compact body.

One of the biggest differences between the E-PL5 and the OM-D is the lack of a built-in viewfinder. An optional one can be purchased separately, but it’s something to think about if you prefer not to use the screen to compose.

The screen itself marries together two of the best features of previous PEN series cameras, being both tillable and a touchscreen. It can be tilted upwards for self-portraits, or downwards for shooting from low down. Unfortunately it’s not fully articulating, so using it in portrait mode isn’t quite so easy.

Unlike a couple of the other cameras currently available on the market, the E-PL5 doesn’t have inbuilt WiFi. However, it is compatible with Toshiba FlashAir Wireless LAN SDHC cards.

This means you can transfer your images across to a smartphone or tablet, without needing to connect to an internet connection. You can’t control the camera with the Olympus app which is available as a free download, but perhaps that’s something that could happen in the future.

One of the biggest benefits of Olympus PEN cameras is their incredibly quick focusing speeds. Olympus and Panasonic both claim to have the fastest speeds in the world and this E-PL5 certainly does deliver very quick focusing speeds.

You can use the touchscreen to set the autofocus point, or have it focus and take the picture when touched. As you can see, the speeds here are really very quick, especially in good lighting conditions.

As we were expecting, images straight from the E-PL5 are very good. That great OM-D sensor works well to deliver images which are punchy, with fantastic colours and lots of detail.

Overall, the E-PL5 is a great camera, combining some of the best technology from its critically acclaimed OM-D, with the stylish and compact bodies the PEN series have become known for.

We can see this being a very popular model for both enthusiasts and novices, especially with its fun features, such as digital art filters.


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