Our thoughts on the high-end Olympus E-5 DSLR which looks set to be the final Four Thirds DSLR

The new Olympus E-5 doesn’t only replace the current E-3 model – it also looks set to be the final Four-Thirds DSLR from the company. We were speaking to Olympus’s Toshiyuki Terada, the Manager of SLR Product Planning, and it became clear that, at least for the time being, Olympus’s focus is no longer on mirror-based models, though Terada stresses that there will always be a current product to cater for existing Olympus and Four Thirds users.

 Olympus E-5 DSLRThis may partly explain the mixture of pro-spec and enthusiast features that are all squeezed into the Olympus E-5. The E-5 has upped the ante with the new TruePic V+ Imaging Engine seeing an advance in processing, with up to ISO 6400 alongside a five frames per second (5fps) burst mode. With HD video becoming prevalent in DSLR cameras, the E-5 also introduces movie capture in an Olympus DSLR for the first time, with 720p HD video at 30fps in the Motion-JPEG format. The Olympus E-5 also offers a 12.3 megapixel resolution, a swivel LCD display, the ability to apply Art Filters while shooting…and it’s splash- and dust-resistant.

While production of the company’s other current DSLR cameras such as the Olympus E-620 haven’t ceased as yet, the wheels are certainly set in motion for the new E-5 to be the only Four-Thirds model on the factory line.

Although, when you take into account its fairly hefty £1,500 body-only price tag, it’s unclear just how much interest the Olympus E-5 will raise among current users. The E-5 will be available at the end of this month.

The Olympus E-5 Specs

ISO: 200-6400
MOVIE: 720p HD at 30fps
CONTINUOUS SHOOTING: 5fps burst rate
AF POINTS: 11-point cross-type system
BODY: Dust and splashproof magnesium alloy
VIEWFINDER: 100% field of view
LCD: 3in, 920k-dot
MEDIA: Dual slot: 1xCF; 1xSD
DIMENSIONS: 142.5 x 116.5 x 74.5mm
WEIGHT: 800g (body only)