Olympus has revitalized its PEN series of small system cameras by adding two new models to the roster. These new models will be placed in the center of the lineup and at the bottom. The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 employs the same image sensor with 16.1 million pixels as the highly-rated Olympus OM-D, which was made available to the public in January 2012.
Therefore, this camera combines the most excellent features and technology of the Olympus OM-D with the sleek and small body of the PEN series. However, it is essential to note that the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is still a little bit more compact than the Olympus PEN E-P3, which has not been improved (as yet). Additionally, it is bigger than the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2, which is the model that occupies the position below it in the series.
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Build Quality
Olympus has succeeded in developing a camera that maintains the same high level of responsiveness and user-friendliness as its prior PEN series models. Naturally, if you are currently an owner of a PEN, upgrading to the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 will seem quite natural to you because of the similarities between the two cameras. For those who already own an Olympus OM-D camera, buying it as a second or backup camera is another option.
This is a comfortable camera to use thanks to the grip on the front and the thumb resting on the back of the camera. So even using only one hand to take pictures, you won’t feel like losing control of the camera.
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Performance
We had incredibly high hopes for the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 because it utilizes the same sensor as the Olympus OM-D E-M5, and we are glad to announce that the camera does not disappoint.
The quality of photographs taken without any post-processing is high. They are packed with a great deal of detail, and the colours that result from them are rich and powerful while avoiding being excessively brilliant.
You can get the most out of the image sensor thanks to the wide variety of shooting settings available. If you find yourself photographing fall trees, for instance, you can plug in the “Vibrant” mode to highlight the colours, while you can shoot in the “Neutral” mode for other subjects, such as portraiture.
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Image Quality
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 was capable of producing photographs of exceptionally high quality. The Natural image option makes vivid colours without being gaudy or too saturated, and the dynamic range is excellent in this setting.
Noise is nearly unnoticeable from ISO 200 to ISO 1600. It doesn’t become a concern until ISO 3200, a fantastic performance for a camera with a Micro Four Thirds sensor. Only the two fastest settings, ISO 12800 and 25600, suffer from noise. However, ISO 3200 and 6400 may still be used.
Long exposures are simple to accomplish, even though the flash unit included is much than strong enough for fill-in use. Even when the camera is being held by hand at lower shutter rates, the newly developed image stabilization technology performs exceptionally well. If you wanted to get the same special effects without using the Art Filters, you would have to spend a significant amount of time in the digital darkroom.
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Specs
|Body type||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||4608 x 3456|
|Other resolutions||2560 x 1920, 1024 x 768|
|Image ratio w:h||4:3|
|Effective pixels||16 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||17 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)|
|ISO||Auto (200 – 1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000, 20000, 25600|
|White balance presets||8|
|Custom white balance||Yes (1)|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View|
|Number of focus points||35|
|Lens mount||Micro Four Thirds|
|Focal length multiplier||2×|
|Viewfinder type||Electronic (optional)|
|Minimum shutter speed||60 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|Built-in flash||No (bundled external flash)|
|Flash range||7.00 m (bundled FL-LM1)|
|External flash||Yes (Clip-on FL-LM1 included, Hot-shoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)|
|Continuous drive||8.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 12 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|AE Bracketing||(2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)|
|WB Bracketing||Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Format||MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (Mini HDMI type-C)|
|Remote control||Yes (Optional RM-UC1)|
|Battery description||Lithium-Ion BLS-5 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||360|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||325 g (0.72 lb / 11.46 oz)|
|Dimensions||111 x 64 x 38 mm (4.37 x 2.52 x 1.5″)|
Olympus PEN E-PL5 Verdict
When the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 was introduced, our team was thrilled about getting our hands on one and putting it through its paces. The Olympus OM-D was a perfect camera; thus, it is pretty thrilling to see the same technology housed in a smaller, lighter chassis.
It has a classic design, just like the other Olympus cameras, which might not be to everyone’s taste; nonetheless, due to its compact size and attractive finish, it should be able to capture the imagination of many users.
Despite the absence of an electronic viewfinder (EVF), this camera has several appealing features, and its compact design is made possible by the fact that it does not have one.