Olympus PEN E-P5 Review

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Review posted 10/22/2013

Quick Take
Pros
  • iAuto shooting mode is accurate and easy in all situations
  • Overall outstanding image quality in all situations
  • Dedicated Video Capture Button is always ready to record
  • Full 1080p HD video is excellent quality
  • Great image quality 
  • 5-axis Image Stabilization is great for both still images and video
  • 3.0-inch tilting touch screen is easy to see and operate
  • Excellent selection of Micro Four-Thirds Lenses
  • Total control possible by on-body controls
  • Amazing shooting performance
  • Good Battery Life
  • HDMI output for viewing images and movies on any HDTV
Cons
  • Classic rangefinder styling is not the most comfortable
  • Pop-up flash is not near as powerful as external units
  • One of the higher priced ILCs
Bottom Line
The Olympus E-P5 is an outstanding ILC combining Rangefinder styling, top of the line components, outstanding image quality and amazing performance into a compact package. It also features the largest collection of available lenses for an ILC. Read more in our Full Conclusion.
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To mark the 50th Anniversary of the PEN F, Olympus launched the PEN E-P5. The new flagship in the company's growing series of Micro Four-Thirds cameras (as of 5/2013), the E-P5 boasts the world's first 1/8000th of a second shutter speed in the Compact System Camera class. It also features a 16-Megapixel TruePic VI Live MOS image sensor, a 3.0-inch Tilting Touch screen display (it tilts up 80-degrees and down 50-degrees), an in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization system, and Full HD Video Recording.

In this price range, photographers expect professional and full-manual controls. The E-P5 delivers with its 2x2 Dial Control System; when shooting manually, the camera's front and back dials can adjust aperture and exposure time, or ISO value and white balance.

The E-P5 is also the first Olympus camera to include built-in Wi-Fi, which expands the digicam's functionality when used with the free Olympus Image Share 2.0 smartphone app. Particularly interesting here is the E-P5's ability to create its own Wi-Fi Network. The app also syncs the camera's display with your smartphone for remote shooting and self-portraits. You can also use your phone's built-in GPS to geo-tag your photo's metadata.

Creative Features include 12 Art Filters, an improved Live Bulb mode (used for long exposures of stars, fireworks, or light painting), as well as "Signature", which allows you to overlay a handwritten, or image-based, signature on your photos. Photo Story "enables you to capture a scene from multiple viewpoints and then combine them into a single image to create unique collages in camera", while "Photo Story +" takes things one step further by adding "a rich variety of stamps" alongside the above-mentioned Signature.

Olympus PEN E-P5 Features:
  • 16-Megapixel Live MOS image sensor
  • TruePic VI processor
  • Full HD Video Recording
  • 3.0-inch Tilting Touch Display
  • 2x2 Dial Control System
  • FAST AF (Auto Focus)
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization (IS)
  • Mechanical Shutter capable of 1/8000th of a second
  • 12 Art Filters
  • Live Bulb Mode
  • Photo Story and Photo Story+ Modes
  • Signature
  • Interval Shooting
  • Time Lapse Movie
  • Built-in Flash with 1/320th of a second sync speed
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • HDMI Output
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC
  • Li-Ion Rechargeable Battery

The Olympus' PEN E-P5 is available in two forms: 1) a $999.99 black, white, or silver body-only. 2) a  $1449.99 black or silver body plus a black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm F1.8 and a VF-4 Electronic Viewfinder. Click on our buy button to see the most current online pricing.

What's in the box?:
  • E-P5 Body
  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f/1.8 lens (if purchased as a kit)
  • VF-4 EVF (if purchased as a kit)
  • Li-ion battery BLN-1
  • Li-ion battery charger BCN-1
  • USB cable
  • Shoulder strap
  • OLYMPUS Viewer 3 (CD-ROM)
  • Instruction manual
  • Warranty card

Additional Product Views:

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Compatible Lenses
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

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