Olympus Pen E-P5 : could be an OM-D


Olympus unveils the Pen E-P5. After announcing its little brothers in the digital mirrorless cameras range, Olympus today unveils a serious, very serous, mirrorless camera that gets a lot of DSLRs. With the Pen E-P5, Olympus advances the high-end of the PEN family to tickle the OM-D supposedly higher. The Pen E-P5 brings many progresses here and there, adds new creative features such as Time Lapse for example, introduces a new high-definition EVF and adds WiFi connectivity.

The Olympus Pen E-P5 has the live MOS sensor of 16-megapixel that I enjoyed in the Olympus OM-D and that is used this year on its mirrorless compact Pen as the Pen E-PL5. It is simply the best micro 4:3 sensor ever made and its tests showed that the sensor was catching up with APS-C sensors like the ones found in Sony NEX or Samsung NX and in many digital SLRs. The overall quality gap is now only around one single EV. The sensor’s signal is processed by the TruePic VI processor.

The Olympus E-P5 will be the first mirrorless system camera to offer a focal plane shutter for a maximum shutter speed of 1/8000s. This shutter speed figure is symbolic to the eyes of many photographers and often means how pro or serious a camera may be. On a purely practical side, it will be useful under bright light when you want to use a fast lens like the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 at its widest aperture without having to use ND filters.


olympus pen e-p5
Olympus follows its retro trend in terms of aesthetic codes with the Pen E-P5 which is a tribute to the Pen F launched 50 years ago. The Pen E-P5 is made of metal and has a soft-touch finish as explained by Olympus communication.


The Olympus Pen E-P5 uses the Fast AF system that equips other mirrorless cameras like the OM-D, not bad as a reference. Olympus has made a new gain of reactivity with an even shorter shutter lag. Also, the AF points are smaller which increases the precision of focus, especially in macro photography.

Image stabilization is built-in on Olympus cameras. (At Panasonic’s, the competitor micro four thirds, image stabilization is still to be found on the lenses) The Pen E-P5 is stabilized and its VR system (sensor shift) is active on 5 axis. This new generation of mirrorless cmaeras introduces a system that automatically detects when you want to make a horizontal pan on a fast-moving subject, as is generally done to get a fast race car sharp while fluidizing the background directional blur in order to give an increased impression of speed.

Born in 2013, this upscale camera needed WiFi and it’s done. WiFi connectivity on the Pen E-P5 allows it to communicate with your smartphone to share your photos and videos instantly on social networks, but that is not it. The Olympus Image Share 2.0 app for smartphones or tablets also allows you to control your camera remotely and make your composition through the screen of your smartphone or tablet (Apple iOS as Android), or trigger by tapping the screen of your idevice. The Pen E-P5 is not equipped with a GPS sensor, but it has the ability to get location data from your smartphone if you use it in conjunction with it via WiFi.


olympus pen e-p5
The Olympus Pen E-P5 main asset ? Its image quality or its refined UI ?


The Pen E-P5 is anything but a camera for beginners! It offers a highly customizable UI with programable Fn buttons. It inaugurates the new system which consists of two dials and a double lever as appeared on the expert compact camera Olympus XZ-2. This command allows a quadruple setting of the parameters for shooting without having to go through the menus. To illustrate this UI breakthrough, Olympus cites the case where the first dial is used to change the aperture setting while the other will be used to control the exposure compensation. Then simply flip the lever located on the front of the camera to then assign the ISO sensitivity setting to the first wheel and the white balance setting to the second one. Each dial is fully configurable on each lever position thereby further customize the device according to the settings that you change frequently.

The UI of the Olympus Pen E-P5 also benefits from the touchscreen (with a resolution of 1.04 million dots), a tiltable screen. It enriches the viewing manual focus assistance with “focus peaking” display as I enjoyed it on the Fuji X100S for its review.

The Pen E-P5 is equipped with a built-in flash with a sync speed that is very high, and I do appreciate it : 1/320 s. But also, the Pen E-P5 can control external wireless flashes. A real DSLR!

The Pen E-P5 is compatible with the new electronic viewfinder Olympus VF-4 gifted with a 2.36 million dots panel. If the subtle display of the viewfinder with 2.36 million dots can be as fine as the viewfinder of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 and the Sony NEX-6, it is probably its magnification of x1.48 which will be appreciated (equivalent to x0.74 on a Full Frame camera). The viewfinder is equipped with an eye detector that can automatically switches between the screen and the EVF when you approach your face. Always nice and handy.


olympus pen e-p5
The Olympus Pen E-P5 can wirelessly control external flahses.


I like the creative filters on Olympus mirrorless since they appeared on the Pen E-PL1. The brand has been a pioneer in this area and it is now 12 artistic Filters and 7 creative effects, which are available on the E-P5 for both your photos and your videos (Full HD). A new function called “Art Fade” can create fondu between different artistic filters when recording movies. As on the Olympus OM-D, the Pen E-P5 provides useful Bulb Live and Live Time modes handy for controlling long exposures in real time with a histogram display and control of high and low lights. The “Photo Book” function is offered by the Pen E-P5 to create real comics-like photo book  directly on the camera with a variety of layout templates and graphical themes.

The Pen E-P5 is equipped with an interval timer. That is new too. We can program the shutter between 1 and 99 stills from the second to 24 hours. The camera can also automatically create a short Time lapse film.

olympus pen e-p5
Stylish, with a genuine vintage look.


Olympus Pen E-P5 prices and availability

The Olympus Pen E-P5 is undoubtedly a very advanced camera that sharpens the many arguments of its predecessor, the Pen E-P3. The sensor is well-known and praised for its high quality, UI is customizable and very advanced, the camera has WiFi, built-in image stabilization and multiflash capabilities with a bodypump shutter. The Pen E-P5, which reminds me of a little OM-D, has also the price of it  : it will be available, body only, at a price of $999 / €1099. It will also be sold in various kits with various lenses, but also with the new VF-4 viewfinder.


Olympus Pen E-P5 complete technical specifications

Product type Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens system camera
Memory SD Memory Card*1  (SDHC, SDXC, UHS-I compatible, Eye-Fi Card compatible*2 )
*1: Class 6 or higher is recommended for Movie shooting.
*2: Not compatible with Endless Memory.
Screen size 17.3 mm (H) x 13.0 mm (V)
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds Mount
Product type 4/3 Live MOS Sensor
Number of pixels / Aspect ratio Number of effective pixels : Approx. 16.1 million pixels
Total number of pixels : Approx. 17.2 million pixels
Aspect ratio : 1.33 (4:3)
Dust reduction Supersonic Wave Filter (image sensor dust reduction system)
Recording format DCF, DPOF compatible / Exif, PRINT Image Matching III, MPO compatible
File format RAW (12-bit lossless compression), JPEG, RAW+JPEG, MPO(3D still)
Recording image size [RAW] 4608 x 3456 pixels
[JPEG] 4608 x 3456 pixels – 640 x 480 pixels
File size RAW: 4608(H)x3456(V) (approx. 1/1.5 lossless compressed) Approx. 17MB
Set1(LF): 4608(H)x3456(V)  (1/4 compressed) Approx. 7.5MB
Set2(LN): 4608(H)x3456(V)  (1/8 compressed) Approx. 3.5MB
Set3(MN): 2560(H)x1920(V) (1/8 compressed) Approx. 1.1MB
Type Built-in (Image sensor shift type for movie & still, 5-axis* image stabilization)   *yaw/pitch/vertical shift/horizontal shift/roll
Mode 4 modes (S-I.S.AUTO, S-I.S.1, S-I.S.2, S-I.S.3), OFF
IS for Live View image Available (by half-pressing the shutter button or enlarging operation)
Focal length setting Available
Available manual focal length setting Input focal length : 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 18, 24, 28, 30, 35, 40, 48, 50, 55, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90, 100, 105, 120, 135, 150, 180, 200, 210, 250, 300, 350, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000
Stabilization performance maximum 5 EV*
*Based on Olympus in-house measurement conditions
Lens IS priority Available
Shutter speed range 60 – 1/8000 sec. (Not available when Bulb or Time is selected.)
Live View Approx. 100% field of view,
Exposure compensation preview, WB adjustment preview,
Gradation auto preview, Face detection preview (up to 8 faces),
Grid line, Histogram, Magnification display (x5/x7/x10/x14),
Display Mode Normal, Histogram, Highlight and shadow, Level guide, Off
Monitor type 3.0-inch tilting monitor*
*Approx.1037k dots (3:2), electrostatic capacitance type touch panel
Touch control Shutter release, Enlargement, Live Guide, AF area selection, AF area enlargement, Frame forward/backward, Enlargement playback, Super Control Panel, Art Filter selection, Scene mode selection, Wi-Fi connection
Tilting angle Upward tilting angle : up to 80 degrees
Downward tilting angle : up to 50 degrees
Brightness / Color temperature control ±7 levels / ±7 levels
Color tone select Vivid / Natural
AF system High-speed imager AF
Focus mode Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF)* / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR) *
*C-AF and AF tracking are not available with non-mFTS lenses. It works as S-AF in C-AF mode.
Full-time AF Available
Magnified frame AF Selectable from over 800 AF points
Magnification x5, x7, x10(Default), x14 selectable
Super Spot AF: Selectable from center of enlarge view(0.02% – 0.16% in view image)
Enlarged view focus point check by magnify button*
*: Available with old lenses without data communication
Face detection AF / Eye detection AF Available / Available
Eye Detection AF mode : Off / Nearer-eye priority / Right-eye priority / Left-eye priority
Focusing point / Focusing point selection mode 35-area multiple AF
/ All target, Group target area (9-area), Single target,(normal) Single target(small)
Peaking function Avaliable on Fn button or Manual Focus
Type : White edge, Black edge
AF illuminator Available
Manual focus assist    * Customize function Live View image is magnified when the focus ring is rotated. (at S-AF+MF or MF mode)
Metering system
(TTL Image sensor metering)
Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering), Center weighted average metering, Spot metering, Spot metering with highlight control, Spot metering with shadow control
Metering range EV 0 – 20 (at normal temperature, 17mm f2.8, ISO 100)
Exposure mode i Auto, P: Program AE (Program shift can be performed), A: Aperture priority AE,
S: Shutter priority AE, M: Manual, Bulb, Time, Scene select  AE, Art Filter,
Underwater wide / macro* , My Set
*Selectable from menu as a function on Fn/Rec button
*My set can be set to mode dial function
Scene select AE Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Landscape + Portrait, Sport, Night, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Sunset, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow, Fisheye Conv., Wide Conv., Macro Conv., 3D *   3D lens(H-FT012 by Panasonic) only, still only
ISO sensitivity AUTO ISO : LOW(approx. 100) ‐25600 (customizable, Defalut:LOW-1600)
Manual ISO : LOW(approx.100), 200 – 25600, 1/3 or 1 EV steps selectable
Exposure compensation ±3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps selectable
AE lock Locks at 1st release of shutter button (can be set to Fn/Rec button)
Shutter type Computerized focal-plane shutter
Shutter speed 1/8000 – 60 sec. (1/3, 1/2, or 1EV steps selectable)
Bulb/Time: default setting 8min.  (1/2/4/8/15/20/25/30 min. selectable)
Flash intensity control method TTL Auto, Auto*13, Manual, Super FP*13(FP-TTL AUTO, FP-MANUAL)
*13: Available on the external flash
Built-in flash TTL Flash, GN=7 (ISO100・m) / GN=10(ISO200・m)
Bundled flash
Flash mode Flash Auto, Redeye, Fill-in, Flash Off, Red-eye Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(1st curtain), Slow sync.(2nd curtain), Manual(1/1(FULL)~1/64)
Synchronization speed 1/320 sec. Built-in Flash*
1/250 sec. External Flash*
*Super FP: 1/125-1/4000 sec.
Flash intensity control Up to ±3 EV in 0.3, 0.5, 1 EV steps selectable
Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R
Compatible external flash FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-300R, FL600R
Control method Triggered and controlled by built-in flash
(Olympus Wireless RC Flash system compatible)
External Flash intensity type TTL Auto, Auto, Manual, FP-TTL-AUTO, FP-MANUAL
Channel 4 channels
Group No. 4 groups (External flash 3 groups + a built-in flash*)
Sequential shooting maximum speed [Sequential shooting H mode]*   9.0 fps * in case of “I.S. Off”
*Focus and exposure are fixed at the values for the first shot.
[Sequential shooting L mode]*
4.5 fps  in case of “I.S. Off” (in 5.0 seq. shooting L)
5.0 fps* in case of “I.S. Off” (in 5.0 seq. shooting L)
*When using the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm EZ f3.5-6.3.
Max. recordable pictures
on sequential shooting *
[RAW]  Max. 18 frames (in 5 seq. shooting L),   Max.17 frames (in 9 seq. shooting H)
[JPEG]  Unlimited consecutive shooting (in 5 seq. shooting L),   Max. 28 frames ( in 9 seq. shooting H)
* When using the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-50mm EZ f3.5-6.3.
Self-timer Operation time: 12 sec., 2 sec.,custom (Waiting time 1-30sec.,Shooting interval 0.5/1/2/3sec.,Number of shots 1-10)
Exposure bracketing 2, 3 or 5 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps selectable, 7 frames in 0.3/0.7EV steps selectable
*AE-BKT can be programmed to the Fn-button.
ISO bracketing 3 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV steps selectable
White balance bracketing 3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in each A-B/G-M axis.
Flash bracketing 3 frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV step selectable
Art Filter bracketing i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, Art Filters selectable
*AE-BKT can be programmed to the Fn-button.
bracketing for HDR postprocess 3 or 5 frames in 2.0/3.0EV steps selectable, 7 frames in 2.0EV steps selectable.
*This function does not execute HDR processing.
*HDR function can be programmed to the Fn-button.
Mode (Variation / Effect) Pop Art (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.)
Soft Focus ( – / c.e.)
Pale & Light Color (I, II / a.b.c.d.)
Light Tone ( – / d.)
Grainy Film (I, II / b.c.d.f.g)
Pin Hole (I, II, III / d.)
Diorama ( – / d.)
Cross Process (I, II / b.c.d.)
Gentle Sepia ( – / a.b.c.d.)
Dramatic Tone (I / b.c.d.e)  (II / b.c.d.e.f.g)
Key Line (I, II / a.b.c.d.e.)
WaterColor (I, II / a.c.d.)
Art Effect a. Soft Focus Effect
b. Pin-Hole Effect
c. White Edge Effect
d. Frame Effect
e. Star Light Effect
f. B&W Effect (Yellow, Orange, Red, Green)
g. Pict. Tone (Sepia, Blue, Purple, Green)
Type  (Frame effect / Aspect & Window Standard (Ⅰ,Ⅱ,Ⅲ,Ⅳ /  a,b,c,d,e / A,B,C,D )
Pattern) Fun Frame (Ⅰ,Ⅱ,Ⅲ /-/-)
Frame Effect a.  White Frame
b.  White Frame & White Edge Effect
c.  Black Frame
d.  White Frame & Pin Hole Effect
Aspect &Window Pattern A.   4:3, 2 frames
B.    4:3, 3 frames
C.   1:1. 2 frames
D.    1:1, 3 frames
Recording format MOV(MPEG-4AVC/H.264) , AVI(Motion JPEG)
Movie Mode [MOV]
  Full HD: 1920(H)x1080(V),   30p(29.97fps)Recording
20Mbps(Fine) / 17Mbps(Normal):  Aspect 16:9
  HD: 1280(H)x720(V),   30p(29.97fps)Recording
13Mbps(Fine)/ 10Mbps(Normal):  Aspect 16:9
[AVI Motion JPEG]
  HD: 1280(H)x720(V), 30fps *  Aspect 16:9
  SD: 640(H)x480(V), 30fps *,  Aspect 4:3
          *Excluding some Art Filters
Maximum Recording Time [MOV]
  Full HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 22min(Fine)
  HD : Approx. 29min(Normal) / Approx. 29min(Fine)
  HD : Approx. 7min*  /  SD : Approx. 14min*
        *Excluding some Art Filters
Movie Function Movie Effect : One-shot echo / Multi-echo / Art fade
Art Filter Movie, Aperture-prioritized Movie, Shutter Speed-Prioritized Movie, Manually Shot Movie
One-push Movie Digital Conveter ×4*  Avairable on Movie effect mode
TimeLapse Movie Available (AVI Motion JPEG  1280×720 ,10fps)
Image Stabilization for Movie M-IS (Image sensor shift), Off
AE Lock Available
Exposure control (Movie) P: Program AE,   A: Aperture priority AE,   S: Shutter speed priority AE,   M: Manual,   Art Filter
* S mode and M mode : Shutter speed is limited in less than 1/30 sec.
Compression ratio Motion-JPEG Format : 1/12(HD), 1/8(SD)
File size MOV Format : Max 4GB
Motion-JPEG Format : Max 2GB
Recording format Wave Format (Stereo linear PCM/16-bit, Sampling frequency 48kHz)
Microphone/Speaker Stereo/Mono
Microphone function Wind Noise Reduction,  Recording Volume
Audio dubbing possible for still pictures (up to 30 sec.)
Maximum Recording Time Picture with Sound: 30sec.
Movie: depend on Movie Recording Time
White balance mode Auto WB, 7 Preset WBs, 2 Capture WBs, Custom WB(Kelvin setting)
White balance compensation ±7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis   * Except for Custom WB
Preset white balance 7 preset WBs (3000K – 7500K)
– Sunny(5300K), Shadow(7500K), Cloudy(6000K), Incandescent(3000K), Fluorescent(4000K), Underwater, WB Flash(5500K)
Colour matrix sRGB, Adobe RGB
Mode i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, Art Filters
Gradation Auto, Normal, High Key, Low Key     [except Art Filters]
Intereval Mode Interval Time 1sec. – 24 Hours,  Max 99 frames. Available on making Time-lapse movie automatically
Number of picture / Function 2 frames / Auto gain, Exposing on Recorded picture(RAW)
Aspect Ratio 4:3(Default) / 3:2 / 16:9 / 1:1 / 3:4
Detection 2-axis
Magnification x2
GPS info. Function Available (by using Smartphone GPS data)
Wireless Shooting Live View, Rec view, Wireless touch AF shutter*, Power off
*Self-Timer setting.
*Camera function is fixed on i-Auto.
Image Share File Type: JPEG, MOV
Connect to up to 4 devices simultaneously.  Marking function for image share.
Easy Connection QR code setting
Playback mode Single-frame, Information display, Index display (4/9/25/100 frames), Calendar, Enlargement (2x – 14x), Movie (with sound, FF/REW/Pause), Picture rotation (auto), Slideshow (with sound including BGM, 2 selectable slide show effects, replaceable BGM), Light Box display
Information display Histogram (independent luminance / RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Photographic information, OFF
Languages 34 languages selectable :
– English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croat, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovakian, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Malay, Thai
My set 4 settings recordable / Available to set to mode dial.
Editing function RAW development, Gradation auto, Monochrome, Sepia, Red-eye fix, Saturation, Resize (1280×960, 640×480, 320×240), Trimming, Aspect, e-Portrait, Image Overlay, Postrecording
RAW picture editing RAW development based on settings of the camera (including Art Filter, ART-BKT).
2 programmable settings, preview capability.
Print function Print reservation (DPOF), Direct print (PictBridge compatible)
USB/AV/Remote controller connector Dedicated multi-connector     [USB: USB2.0 Hi-Speed,  Video: NTSC/PAL selectable, Optional Remote cable RM-UC1 compatible.]
HDMI connector Micro HDMI (Type-D)
Flash attachment Hot shoe
Accessory Port 2 Dedicated multi-connector   [for VF-2/VF-3/VF-4, SEMA-1, MAL-1 and PP-1.]
Wireless LAN Built-in (IEEE 802.11b/g/n)
PC interface USB2.0 Hi-Speed
TV interface HDMI (HD/Stereo Sound), conventional video-out (SD/Mono Sound)
Battery BLN-1 Li-ion battery (included)
Sleep mode Available (1/3/5 min. off)
Number of recordable pictures Approx. 400 shots    [IS ON, CIPA test standard]
(with BLN-1 and TOSHIBA super high-speed Class 6 SDHC 4GB card)
Dimensions 122.3mm(W)×68.9mm(H)×37.2mm(D)
[CIPA guideline compliant, excluding protrusions]
Weight Approx. 420g  [CIPA guideline compliant, with BLN-1 battery and Memory card]
Approx. 366g  [body only]
Temperature 0 ~ +40℃ (operation) / -20 ~ +60℃ (storage)
Humidity 30 – 90% (operation) / 10 – 90% (storage)
Box contents Body, Li-ion battery BLN-1, Li-ion battery charger BCN-1, USB cable, Shoulder strap, OLYMPUS Viewer 3 (CD-ROM), Instruction manual, Warranty card

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