Conclusion: Two top experts call the Olympus E-5 the best Four Thirds camera ever, and a good bet if you've already invested in Four Thirds lenses. However, reviews say it can't compete with traditional DSLR cameras in low light, which is a fault of the smaller Four Thirds image sensor, and it's pricey for what you get.
Pros: Crisp, colorful images in normal light, Rugged, weatherproof body, Swiveling LCD screen
Cons: Subpar low-light images, Limited movie mode, Confusing menus and buttons
Summary: The Olympus E-5 is a professional camera and extremely modern technology that is one of its strengths in the magnesium alloy body splash resistant and dust. The new technology and the unique mix of features confirms the E-5 as the natural evolution of the D-SLR cameras E-system Olympus, for the filming of movies such as photos.
Conclusion: It is still very new, but at around £1500, the Olympus E-5 price seems steep in comparison with the Canon 7D price, which is around £1,150 and the Nikon D300S price, which stands at about £1,035. The current Olympus E-5 price is also unlikely to persuade too many users of other Olympus cameras, like the E-3, E-30 or E-620, to upgrade.
Excerpt: Launched with little fanfare and then, according to Olympus, quickly gaining favour with the market, the Olympus E-5 DSLR should attract much attention down the track. Using the Four Thirds system, the E-5 is a little startling in its size and weight. When compared to the recently tested budget Nikon D3100 camera, the E-5 is roughly 1.4x the size and 1.8x the weight. This is no Tiny Tim!
Summary: The E-5 isn't meant to appeal to the mass market, and we suspect that it won't. However, as a flagship for the established Four Thirds system, it succeeds brilliantly. The E-5 is capable of excellent results, and its tank-like body should take years of abuse. Unfortunately, comparably poor image quality at high ISO settings, and restricted dynamic range make it less competitive than it could be.
Pros: Very good resolution at low ISO sensitivity settings (rivaling higher pixel-count cameras), Reliable metering and white balance systems, Excellent JPEG color, Tank-like body that feels like it can take years of abuse., Large, bright viewfinder showing 100% coverage, Useful pitch/roll electronic spirit level, Exceptional amount of customization, Versatile and fun Art Filters, In-camera RAW editing, Twin card slots (CF/SD), Good video image quality (but see 'cons' below...
Cons: Uncompetitive high ISO performance (when compared to APS-C peers, Between 0.5-1EV less highlight dynamic range than APS-C competitors (but better than E-3), Unpredictable AF in multi-point mode, Maximum framerate of 5fps unimpressive compared to competition, Slow AF in poor light, Contrast-detection AF slow and unreliable in some situations (and with some lenses), Some key control points hard to manipulate precisely with gloved hands, In-built microphone very prone to...
Excerpt: Today's camera announcement bonanza wouldn't be complete without a full-fledged DSLR, and the Olympus E-5 fills that spot nicely. They claim that their new body has the "highest image quality of any Olympus camera" thanks to its 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS sensor and TruePic V+ image processing engine.
Summary: I couldn't help but feel impressed and a little bit depressed by the Olympus E-5. It's a surprisingly rugged camera with great image quality, terrific speed, excellent controls and the added flexibility of still image and video capture. My only technical complaints with regard to image quality are that the E-5 shows noticeably more noise at high ISOs and more highlight clipping in high contrast scenes.
Pros: Extremely solid construction, Fast auto focus, Articulated LCD and large viewfinder
Cons: Some highlight clipping, Lower resolution than competition, Weaker high ISO performance than competition
Conclusion: The splashproof, dustproof Olympus E-5 is a good option if you shoot photos and video in unfriendly environments, but with middling low-light performance and limited video-capture options it's not the best D-SLR you can buy for the money.
Pros: Takes sharp photos in good light. Splashproof and dustproof. Crisp, articulating LCD. In-camera color effects and HDR. Excellent connectivity options.
Cons: Bulky and heavy. Underwhelming low-light performance. Video capture is limited to 720p30. Slow autofocus during Live View shooting. Audible lens noise during video recording.
Summary: An 11-point double-cross focusing system provides the most impressive performance of the E-5. While Olympus' claim of the fastest autofocus system cannot be verified it is believable. The AF system is quick, very sensitive and quite accurate, even down to relatively low light-levels. The same cannot be said of the contrast-detection system used in live-view which can take over 4 seconds to lock focus and makes quite a racket will doing so.
Pros: Great image sharpness, Good control over image noise, Excellent metering accuracy, Superb automatic white-balance, Sensitive focusing system, Ultra-quick autofocus, Generally quite responsive, Very effective stabilization for all lenses, Adjustable LCD color temperature, Plenty of external controls, Highly customizable, Generally excellent build quality, Protruding viewfinder, Built-in viewfinder shutter
Cons: Image review delay, Continuous drive speed drop at high ISO, Pitch not visible in viewfinder, Status screen does not turn off automatically, Live-view not always exposure-priority, EC button too recessed, Difficult to use while wearing gloves, Noisy and very slow contrast-detect autofocus, Overly complicated menu system, Impossible to set up video framing, Unusable capture during video recording, LCD hinge feels weak
Excerpt: This is a preview of the Olympus E-5 digital SLR camera. The camera described here is pre-production, and features and camera performance are subject to change. Olympus has requested that photos and performance data from this camera not be posted. When a production model is available, this article may be turned into a full review, complete with the usual tests and sample photos.