I couldn’t help but feel impressed and a little bit depressed by the Olympus E-5. It’s a surprisingly rugged camera with great image quality, terrific speed, excellent controls and the added flexibility of still image and video capture. My only technical complaints with regard to image quality are that the E-5 shows noticeably more noise at high ISOs and more highlight clipping in high contrast scenes. That said, you can usually rescue the highlights when shooting in RAW.
Despite the fact that the E-5 feels like a modest update to the E-3, if you’re a current E-3 owner craving higher resolution, higher ISO shooting, and HD video capture then the E-5 is a logical purchase. Unfortunately for Olympus, the E-5 might not be so compelling to non-Olympus shooters when compared to pro-grade DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. In a world with so much competition it’s a shame that the E-5 lacks a “WOW” feature to motivate people to buy it. I’m quite certain that any photographer who uses an E-5 will fall in love with it regardless of whether the spec sheet says it’s the best. This is simply a fantastic photographic tool.
- Extremely solid construction
- Fast auto focus
- Articulated LCD and large viewfinder
- Some highlight clipping
- Lower resolution than competition
- Weaker high ISO performance than competition