The Olympus E-PL5 uses the popular Micro Four Thirds mounting system, allowing you to use any Micro Four Thirds lens made (whether made by Olympus, Panasonic, etc.), or you can even use Four Thirds lenses with the optional mount adapter. This gives you a much larger range of lenses than any other manufacturer that uses their own mounting system. An internal image stabilization system (sensor shift) means that no matter what lens you use, you will always have crisp images thanks to the built-in stabilization system.
Capturing the images is a 16-Megapixel Live MOS imaging sensor, which is specially designed for Olympus' Micro Four Thirds cameras. The sensor is protected and cleaned regularly by the Supersonic Wave Filter. Combining this image sensor with the specially designed TruePic VI processor allows the camera to reach amazing burst rates and record Full HD video, all the while increasing the image quality in low-light situations.
If purchased as a kit, the E-PL5 is accompanied by the Olympus M. Zuiko 14-42mm, f/3.5-5.6 lens. Featuring a 35mm equivalent of 28-84mm, you are getting a typical 3x range. The wide end is is decent, allowing for good landscapes and letting you stay close to groups. The telephoto end is good for singling out subjects that aren't too far away, but don't expect this lens to do too much. The lens locks for storage, and will not allow the camera to operate until you unlock it. Remember that the camera itself features the image stabilization, which works with all lenses, keeping the price down of any additional lenses you want to purchase.
- Will focus as close as 9.8 inches to infinity.
Included with the camera is a this attachable flash unit. Since it is attachable, you are free to use the camera without it if you are in a situation that it will not be needed. This will reduce the size of the camera, making it easier to store and carry. The bundled flash has a guide number of 7 (ISO 100-m). All normal flash modes are available, including first and second curtain and red-eye slow sync. Other flash units can also be used, including several Olympus units that also allow wireless flash operation (FL-600R, FL-300R, FL-50R).
Framing, composing and viewing your images is accomplished with the wide 3.0-inch, 460,000 dot Touch LCD screen. It pulls away from the camera and is able tilt up and down, allowing you to see and operate it at difficult angles (upward - 170 degrees, downward - 65 degrees). Its 7 levels of brightness allow you to adjust the screen to be seen in all lighting conditions with ease. Touch operations include shutter release, live guide, AF controls and more.
On top of the camera you will find the power button, shutter release, mode dial and the hot shoe for the included flash and other optional accessories, like an external microphone, the Penpal unit, or an electronic viewfinder.
Looking along the top of the back, you will see the playback and delete buttons to the top left. Next to that is the port specially designed for flash control or an electronic viewfinder to plug into. On the right side is the function (Fn)/intex button, zoom button and the dedicated video recording button.
Thanks to the touchscreen, the rest of the back is very simple. Under the thumb grip is the INFO button, 4-way controller and the MENU button. The info button changes the amount of information that you see on the LCD screen and the menu button takes you directly to the main camera settings menu. The 4-way controller acts as shortcuts to the exposure compensation, flash, burst and AF area selection settings. Pressing OK will take you to the quick menu for the other common shooting settings. Around the 4-way controller is the camera's only command dial, letting you quickly navigate menus as well as changing the camera's settings while shooting.
Giving the camera a more comfortable feeling and more control, the above grip can be be screwed on to the right side of the camera. It has an excellent shape that allows the fingers to lay across and grip it with no trouble. Its rubber texture gives it a great feel and prevents slipping.
The I/O ports are located on the left hand side of the E-PL5. The top port is a multi-connector port that handles both A/V OUT (user- selectable NTSC or PAL) for output to a TV monitor as well as USB 2.0 (high-speed) connectivity for transferring files to the host computer. The bottom is the Mini HDMI Type C accessory port for full HD output.
All of your captured images and videos will be stored on a SD/SDHC/SDXC style memory card. With the E-PL5's burst rates and Full 1080p HD video capabilities, you will want to have the fastest card possible, and at least a class 4 card. The camera is shown here with the SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-1 (95MB/s), 8GB SDHC memory card. This camera is also compatible with FlashAir and Eye-Fi brand Wi-Fi memory cards, allowing you to share your images with smartphones and tablets.
Powering the E-PL5 is a 7.2V, 1150mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery. This battery is capable of capturing 360 shots according to Olympus's CIPA standard tests. Also included with the camera is the quick charger shown above. This makes it easy to keep your battery, and a spare charged and ready at all times.