Olympus PEN E-P5
Like its predecessor, the PEN E-P5 will suit photographers who want a compact and versatile interchangeable-lens camera for general photography. It has the advantage of being able to use the many lenses and accessories designed for the Micro Four Thirds system and features the highest-resolution sensor and fastest and most powerful AF system and continuous shooting performance of any PEN camera.
Re-designed controls make this camera easier to use than its predecessor and the integration of Wi-Fi enable it to be significantly more ‘connectable’ to portable devices like smart-phones and tablet PCs. Five-axis stabilisation (which is built into the camera body and works with any lens) is a major plus and it’s always active by default.
The new camera is also comparatively responsive. It powers-up almost instantly and includes a Short Release Lag-Time mode with a 44 millisecond lag time, which is available via a Custom function. The maximum continuous shooting speed is nine frames/second but AF tracking is supported at five frames/second.
But it’s a bit pricey for a snapshot-orientated camera and, like other PEN cameras, the lack of an integrated viewfinder is a significant shortcoming. Although the monitor screen has high (1,037,000-) resolution and is as adjustable as the monitor on the OM-D E-M5, you’re stuck with ‘point-and-guess’ shooting in bright outdoor lighting, screen brightness adjustments notwithstanding.
This may not be as much of an issue in the Northern Hemisphere, where the light is usually gentler and less contrasty. But the strong, contrasty lighting of South Africa and Australia makes the screen almost impossible to use for shot composition.
The new VF-4 electronic viewfinder overcomes this deficiency but it’s relatively large and bulky and compromises the slim lines and small size of the camera body. As an EVF it’s a superior performer and very nice to use. However, it can make the camera more difficult to extract from a cramped camera bag when you want a quick grab shot.
As a second body for an OM-D system, the PEN E-P5 has some advantages. The menus in both cameras are almost identical and there’s not much difference in their body weights. It can match the E-M5’s burst speeds, has a higher monitor resolution and faster shutter speeds plus the advantage of built-in Wi-Fi ““ if you want to use it.
But when you can buy an OM-D E-M5 body for less than $900 (US or Australian) by shopping around, the E-P5 isn’t so attractive for serious enthusiasts as it’s street price is generally higher. As a traveller’s camera, the E-M5 has the advantage of a weatherproof body and its built-in EVF is a decided plus for both convenience and control over shot composition.
|Ease of use||8.5|
|Still image quality JPEG||8.3|
|Still image quality RAW||8.8|
RRP: AU$999 US$949 (body only)
- Image sensor: 17.3 x 13.0 mm LiveMOS sensor with 17.2 million photosites (16.1 megapixels effective)
- Image processor: TruePic VI
- A/D processing: 12-bit lossless compression
- Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
- Focal length crop factor: 2x
- Image formats: Stills ““ ORF.RAW, JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO (3D still); Movies ““ MOV (MPEG-4 AVC/H.264), AVI (Motion JPEG)
- Image Sizes: Stills ““ 4:3 aspect: 4608 x 3456, 2560 x1920, 1280 x 960; 3:2 aspect: 4608 x 3072, 2544 x 1696, 1296 x 864;16:9 aspect: 4608 x 2592, 2560 x 1440, 1280 x 720; 1:1 aspect: 3456 x 3456, 1920 x 1920, 960 x 960; 3:4 aspect: 2592 x 3456, 1440 x 1920, 3216 x 2144, 2400 x 2400, 1824 x 2432, 2560 x 1440, 2544 x 1696, 1920 x 1920, 1440 x 1920, 720 x 960; Movies: 1920 x 1080, 60i at 20Mbps; HD: 1280 x 720 at 60p, 30fps, 640 x 480 at 30 fps
- Image Stabilisation: 5-axis sensor-shift type (yaw/pitch/vertical shift/horizontal shift/lens-axis roll); up to 5EV shake compensation
- Dust removal: Supersonic Wave Filter
- Shutter speed range: 1/8000 to 60 seconds plus Bulb/Time (default 8 min.), X-sync at 1/320 sec. for built-in flash
- Exposure Compensation: +/- EV in 1/3- or 1/2-EV increments
- Bracketing: Exposure, ISO, White Balance, Flash, Art Filter, HDR
- Self-timer: 2 or 12 seconds delay plus Custom (1-30 sec.)
- Focus system: Imager Contrast Detection AF system with 35 AF zones
- Focus modes: Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR) modes; magnify and focus peaking assists for manual focusing
- Exposure metering: TTL Image Sensor metering system with Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering), Centre weighted average metering and Spot metering (approx. 1% of the viewfinder screen. Highlight / shadow bias spot metering are available)
- Shooting modes: iAuto, Program AE (Program shift available), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, Scene select AE (Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye Effect, Wide-Angle, Macro, 3D), Art Filter
- Art Filters: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Diorama, Gentle Sepia, Cross Process, Dramatic Tone, Key Line, Watercolour
- Art effects: Soft Focus, Pin Hole, White Edge, Frame, Star Light, B&W Effect, Picture Tone
- Photo Story: 4 standard frames, 4 fun frames, 4 window patterns
- Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
- ISO range: Auto, Manual: ISO 100 – 25600
- White balance: Sensor based Auto plus 6 pre-sets: Sunny, Shadow, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Flash. Two Custom measurement settings provided. Kelvin (3000K – 7500K); WB bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis
- Flash: Built-in TTL flash (GN=10/ ISO 200)
- Flash exposure adjustment: +/-3 EV in 1/3- or 1/2-EV increments
- Sequence shooting: Max. 9 approx. shots/sec. for up to 28 full-resolution JPEGs or 17 ORF.RAW files with a UHS-I certified SDHC or SDXC card
- Other features: Wi-Fi features include GPS geotagging by using Smartphone GPS data, wireless shooting with Smart Device using Olympus OI Share 2.0 (Live View, Rec view, Wireless touch AF shutter, Power off, Self-Timer), Image share (JPEG, MOV files) via connection to up to 4 devices simultaneously
- Storage Media: Single slot for SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards; UHS-1 compatible
- Viewfinder: External VF-4 (optional)
- LCD monitor: 3-inch Tiltable Electrostatic Capacitance Type Touch Panel with approx. 1,037,000 dots
- Playback functions: Single-frame, Close-up, Index /Calendar display, Index (4, 9 or 25 frames), Enlarge (2x to 14x), Slideshow with background music and 3 transition effects, Picture rotation (auto mode available), Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available), Shooting information, In-camera editing (Raw to JPEG; JPEG-only: shadow adjust, red-eye fix, crop, aspect, B&W, sepia, saturation, resize, e-Portrait); voice annotation, image overlay (2 or 3 images merging)
- Interface terminals: A/V out/digital terminal USO 2.0, HDMI (Type C Mini), external microphone IN (3.5 mm stereo jack), Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11b/g/n), terminal for N3-type remote controller, wireless remote controller RC-6 and Eye-Fi card compatible
- Power supply: BLN-1 rechargeable lithium-ion battery; CIPA rating not available
- Dimensions (wxhxd): Approx.122.3 x 68.9 x 37.2 mm
- Weight: 366 grams (body only)