Olympus PEN PL5: DSLR-like quality with price and lightness of compact cameras
12 February 2014
Excerpt: The video goes over the camera features, and provides beginners with some useful tips, showcasing the camera's arty filters that let you create masterpieces without reverting back to photoshop. Stick till the end, there's also a link for a competition that can make you win this camera. The video is in Arabic, but you can turn subtitles on (press CC on the YouTube window).
Summary: The Olympus E-Pl5 boasts of a large number of features in a very compact body. It has the same sensor and image processor as the more expensive OM-D E-M5 and dishes out some rather amazing images. It is easy to use for the most part, but feels a little cramped. Yet, if you're looking for a mirrorless camera, you should consider this as your companion. Wondering why? Read on.
Pros: Very fast AF, even in Touch mode, Very good image quality, Very fast burst mode of 8 frames per second
Cons: Frustrating menu system, The back of the camera feels extremely cramped.
Summary: This Micro Four-Thirds camera delivers one of the best compromises between image quality and size while keeping a great amount of versatility thanks to an extensive lineup of compatible lenses. The E-PL5 champions image quality among Four-Thirds digital cameras, reducing the gap with those using a larger APS-C sensors. It manages this while staying quite compact and still allowing for an optional EVF and a plenty of external controls.
Pros: Very low image noise, Reliable metering, Good white-balance, Quick shot-to-shot speed, Fast contrast-detect AF, Short shutter-lag, Generally responsive, Effective built-in stabilization, Excellent automatic, High level of customization
Cons: Poor color accuracy, Focus hunts in low light, Long black-out, Display not always, Low contrast LCD, Modal EC interface, ½s Video record delay, Uncomfortable strap eyelets, Flimsy battery and memory door
Conclusion: Both cameras performed well and gave us crisp, focused photos. We were finding it difficult to justify the $100 to spring for the E-PL5 over the E-PM2. But then we started tilting the screen out to review photos or framing the best angle for a shot, and it became a “must have” feature.
Pros: Fast autofocusing system, Takes very good photos, Tilting screen for angled shots or self-portraits, Special effects and filters allow you to take fun pictures
Cons: Requires playing around to learn features and settings, Lens is a bit big on what is otherwise a compact camera, Higher price tag when there's a comparable Olympus camera with similar features
Summary: Like the Olympus Pen E-PM2, I was impressed with the Pen E-PL5. The camera is well built, straightforward to use and full of features for enthusiast photographers, particularly those who want a pocketable system camera for documentary or travel photography.
The image quality is very good, although there is still some room for improvement.
Summary: Including this CSC, Olympus has had four generations to refine its act. It's latest, the Olympus E-PL5, looks and handles great if you ignore teeny, fiddly backplate buttons. Here's our Olympus E-PL5 review.