Is the latest PEN more than just an incremental upgrade? We find out in the What Digital Camera Olympus PEN E-PL5 review

Product Overview

Overall rating:


Olympus PEN E-PL5

Overall score:89%
Image Quality:90%


  • Impressive results from the Micro Four Thirds sensor, fast single AF acquisition, decent metal finish


  • Plastic front grip doesn’t match the feel of the rest of the camera, continuous AF and specifically AF Tracking still needs improving, limited Touchscreen functionality


Olympus PEN E-PL5 Review


Price as reviewed:


Value & Verdict

Olympus PEN E-PL5 review – Value and Verdict

At first glance, the E-PL5 seems nothing more than a tweak to the E-PL3, but while it may look similar, the E-PL5 feels like a completely different camera underneath.

This is in no small part due to the rather impressive 16.1MP sensor borrowed from the OM-D. While it probably doesn’t beat APS-C rivals, it’s much closer, making the difference negligible and less of a deal-breaker.

Add to that a host of subtle improvements over the E-PL3 and the E-PL5 is now one of the most competent CSCs at this price-point. There’s still room for improvement however – the grip needs to be refined, while the touchscreen interface needs to deliver more functionality.

Sharing many of the characteristics and features of the flagship model, think of the E-PL5 as an OM-D Lite, rather than PEN Lite, ideal for photographers looking for a quality, compact-sized CSC that’ll deliver the goods.


Video:1080 (30p) HD video
Lens Mount:Micro Four Thirds
White Balance:Auto White Balance, Fluorescent 1, Sunlight, Flash, Overcast, Shade, Underwater Fluorescent light, Flash, Custom
Built-in Flash:No (separate)
Memory Card:SD/SDHC/SDXC
Exposure Comp:-/+3 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Cable Release:No
Compression:Fine & Normal
PC Socket:No
Viewfinder Type:N/A
Output Size:4608 x 3456px
Field of View:100%
LCD:3in (16:9), 460k-dot tiltable LCD II touchscreen display
Colour Temp Control:2000-14,000K
AF Points:35 selectable points
White Balance Bracket:3 exposures in 2, 4 or 6 steps
Sensor:16.1MP Micro Four Thirds Live MOS sensor
Max Flash Sync:1/250th / 1/4000th (Super FP Mode)
Focal Length Mag:2x
DoF Prview:Yes
Dust Reduction:Yes
Metering System:324 zones Multi-pattern sensing system
Movie Mode:Yes
Built-in Image Stabilisation:2-axis sensor shift
Live Mode:Yes
Exposure Modes:P, S, A, M, Art Filter, Scene modes, i-Auto
Connectivity:Accessory Port 2, HDMI, Hi-Speed USB/AV Out
Power:BLS-5 Rechargeable Li-ion battery
File Format:Raw (ORF), JPEG, Raw + JPEG
Dimensions:110.5 x 63.7 x 38.2mm
Shutter Speeds:60-1/4000th second, plus Bulb
Drive Mode:Single, Continuous (8fps), self-timer
Focusing Modes:Single, Continuous, AF Tracking, Touch Target, MF
Colour Space:sRGB, Adobe RGB
  1. 1. Olympus PEN E-PL5 review - Features
  2. 2. Design
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Image Quality
  5. 5. Value & Verdict
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