Home | Reviews | Cameras | Digital Cameras | Compact System Cameras | Olympus

Olympus E-PL5 Pen Compact System Cameras

5 star rating
                      5 / 5 (2 Reviews)
MSRP : $649.00

Product Description

Combining stylish form with high-functionality, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is designed for the camera user who wants to enjoy the picture quality, lens flexibility and high-performance of an SLR, in a small, lightweight and highly portable camera. Its key features include the same 16-megapixel Live MOS image sensor as the OM-D E-M5, variable-angle capacitive touch-screen with Touch AF Shutter technology, super quick focusing, and optionable wireless connectivity that is tailored for social media use.

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Heather S a Casual

Date Reviewed: February 6, 2013

Strengths:    • Price is about half of the OM-D EM-5, but with many of the same same features and amazing sensor found in this model (Photography Review's Photo John top camera of 2012 - http://reviews.photographyreview.com/2012-camera-of-the-year-olympus-om-d-e-m5)
• Compact design, flip up screen
• Intelligent auto photo settings and useful art/scene modes (with bracketing) offers great point and shoot capabilities in a high-quality compact camera
• Easy to use and accurate touch screen with focus/shutter capabilities
• Fast and good performance in low-light; reliable image stabilization
• Interchangeable lens system

As a knowledgeable but novice photographer this is the first interchangeable digital lens camera system I have owned; I haven't shot manual in more than 10 years. The Olympus E-PL5 gives me the freedom to use a wide range of iAuto settings along with art, scene and other capabilities while I gain more experience and confidence before attempting to shoot photos in manual mode. I was looking for a higher-quality camera than a typical point and shoot, but that would have the options and capabilities of a DSLR that I could grow into.

Weaknesses:    • Hot shoe flash doesn't have a big/powerful range (would have also preferred a pop-up)
• Charger unit should be smaller and wall mounted
• Lacks a viewfinder

Bottom Line:   
A big thank you to Photo John for his posts, other mirrorless camera comparisons and giving me the confidence to make the purchase. I am a happy Olympus E-PL5 user!

I also agree with Megan's closing review comments here: http://reviews.photographyreview.com/olympus-e-pl5-review-cuba/4

She states, "Whether you want to control all aspects of exposure or leave it up to the camera so you can enjoy what’s going on around you, the E-PL5 is awesome. Saturated color, versatile controls, interchangeable premium lenses, option to shoot video, large display, lightning fast focusing, and image stabilization all in one small, easy-to-use camera – perfect for camera geek and point-and-shooter alike."

I'm the point-and-shooter aspiring to be camera geek and the E-PL5 is a great fit for me.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $599.00

Purchased At:   The Shutterbug

Type of photography:   People

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Rich M a Expert

Date Reviewed: December 7, 2012

Strengths:    Top notch photo quality and dynamic range. Super high ISO with low noise. Fast shutter response. Long Battery life, Compact camera. Flip up display allows use from many angles. Comes with removable flash. Micro four thirds standard supported by Olympus, Panasonic and others give a large choice of lens selections. Beautiful design (I got the silver). Raw format.

Weaknesses:    Video or On button can be pressed in a pack or bag by accident. Menu system takes some getting used to when coming from a DSLR. Flip up display is something that can break easily. Flash makes the camera larger. Many of the zoom lenses are "slow" but this is improving in the mirror-less camera arena. Charger has this huge cord when they could have had a wall mount or USB charger.

Bottom Line:   
I have been shooting my high end photos using a Nikon d200. It's a great camera with great optics available. I love this camera but carrying it around with a set of fast lenses that cover 12 mm to 200 mm gets tiring. Especially since I like to carry my camera on my mountain bike or on big hikes on vacation. For a lot of biking I started carrying a Panasonic LX-3, which takes great photos with it's great fast optics. The problem is that it is slow to shoot and has limited zoom ( yeah they fixed that problem somewhat with the LX-7).

The PL5 is a great in between camera of a high end point-and-shoot and a DSLR, but in fact, probably just as good as a DSLR in all aspects except for the view finder and not having all the controls as knobs or buttons on the camera. The low noise at high ISO shots is astonishing.

Also, I am shooting a lot of video as well these days. I have been using a GoPro camera mounted on me along with my LX-3 hand held. That there is image stabilization and I can zoom while filming on this camera makes it a big winner for hand held video shooting. I got the camera for stills but the video is a big bonus.

I was turned on by the OMD-5 and was going to buy one but just didn't want to pay the price for a camera that was not my main shooter. I highly recommend this camera if you want a mirror-less high quality compact camera.

The bracketing is great too. There are lots of options for bracketing including shooting for HDR. The high frame rate of this camera allows great opportunities for hand held HDR shots.

Note: I got a LowePro AW110 bag and found it perfect for the camera, lens and an extra lens with battery.

Expand full review >>

Price Paid:    $599.00

Purchased At:   BHphoto.com

Similar Products Used:   Olympus OMD-5 for a few minutes.

Type of photography:   Sports

Reviews 1 - 2 (2 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating

Holiday Gift Guide 2013

Check out our holiday gift suggestions for these categories!

See All Holiday Gift Guide coverage - Click Here »


PhotographyReview Videos