Olympus Announces E-P5, Successor to E-P3

by Reads (312)

A new flagship camera is being added to the Olympus lineup, the Pen E-P5. The E-P5 has a retro design inspired by the Pen F, a film camera that was produced by Olympus of Japan between 1963-1966. The E-P5 is a classically designed Micro Four Thirds camera with advanced digital features. Created for the avid photographer looking for great image quality and speeds that are hard to match, the E-P5 has the same 16-megapixel sensor found in the OM-D E-M5. It also features the same TruPic VI Live MOS sensor, super fast AF speeds, and 5-axis image stabilization system (slightly evolved from the OM-D and located just behind the OLYMPUS PEN name printed on the front of the camera).

This camera is full of new features. The E-P5 boasts top shutter speeds of 1/8000th of a second making this a great camera for fast moving subjects like athletes and quick kiddos that move around every time you take their picture. The camera features a built-in flash with a sync speed of 1/320th of a second. And to further prove that this camera was built for speed, the E-P5 also has a faster start up time, less time between shots, short release lag time, and 9 fps continuous shooting.

The E-P5 has been outfitted with an all new in-camera AF algorithm that will help improve performance with main FTS lenses. For example, the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 will see a 30% improvement, while the 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 will see a 40% increase in performance. The camera will also feature Super Spot AF which allows for extremely accurate autofocus. Finally, the E-P5 will offer focus peaking in either black or white edging for precise manual focusing. 

The E-P5 has a 2×2 dial control with a 1, 2 switch that can be customized to fit each photographer’s needs. Not only can the dials be customized, but many of the other buttons like the Fn button, the up/down buttons and the zoom button can be set to fit an individual’s needs.


Admittedly Olympus was late to the Wi-Fi game, but they have spent this time wisely and have come up with a pretty ingenious system for connecting the E-P5 to your tablet or phone. Once the user has depressed the Wi-Fi button, a QR code pops up on the LCD screen. The user would then scan the QR code with their tablet or phone via Olympus‘ free app. The app will then link the two devices together allowing your tablet or phone to become a remote, self timer or sharing device. The app will allow you to sync up to 6 users at one time. In addition, you can even use your device for geo tagging as long as the location services is turned on. 

The camera offers a huge array of creative options including some familiar ones like the same art filters we see in the OM-D E-M5 and some new ones like Photo Story, Time Lapse movie mode and Live Bulb advancements. These new options make creating unique images much easier than ever before. 

Want to keep the E-P5 in Auto mode? No problem. Olympus has developed a better iAuto mode with this camera which promises to create images that are cleaner, crisper and reduce subject blur especially in low-light situations.

The E-P5 has a 3-inch tiltable TFT LCD touchscreen. The screen is jam packed with 1.04 million dots poised for excellent image composition and viewing even in brightly lit environments. But if you were like us — hoping the E-P5 would have a built-in viewfinder — you are out of luck. Instead, Olympus has chosen to offer the VF-4, an EVF accessory that has some pretty impressive features. The VF-4 has 1.48x magnification, 2.36 million dot LCD, eye detect, 100% field of view, and a miniscule lag time of 0.032 seconds for near real-time viewing of the subject.

The camera has a streamlined design with only 1 visible screw on the bottom of the camera. Sounds great, but in order to take the camera apart it is a 35 step process. Looks like the service department might have their hands full with this camera when the warranty repairs start rolling in.

Olympus has also chosen to release three lenses, the 17mm f1.8, the 45mm f1.8, and the 75mm f1.8 in a black finish that should compliment many of Olympus‘ cameras nicely.

The E-P5 will be available in May 2013 and will come in three finishes: 2 tone silver/black, black and white. The body only price for the camera will be $999.99. Want the 17mm f1.8 lens and the VF-4 with the body? No problem. That kit will be available for $1499.99. 

Unless the E-P5 is that much better than the OM-D E-M5, I think the camera is priced a bit too high. I would love to see it available for about $200 less, especially since it does not have a built-in viewfinder. At $1500 for the kit, the camera is much closer to the prosumer level than the amateur (or even advanced amateur) price point. As a prosumer camera, the E-P5 will need to be able to keep up with a more demanding market and have the features that make photographers dig into their pocketbooks. 

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