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on 28 November 2013
These are expensive cameras, there's no doubt about it.

I loved my e-p3, it's been through the wars and come back fighting, I'm just an amateur, but I've won a good award with the e-p3 and sold the prize to get this upgrade. I'm not disappointed.

Main points for me / basically differences:
The tilting screen is nice, personally I was happier before as I worry it might just be another thing to break, and bomb proof is more important to me than a tilting screen, it also doesn't feel quite as sensitive. But it's bright and fine and the hinge is well made, not flimsy at all. I have no complaints.
The body is pretty much the same size as the e-p3 so with a pancake you can squeeze it in your back jeans pocket. It's tight, but ok enough that I do it regularly.
Silver version is prettier, probably a bad thing as you don't want to 'care' too much about getting your camera bashed.
Live exposure is great, not a gimmick. For long exposures it's useful, I don't do light painting, but I'm sure it'd be great for that too.
Wireless connectivity is more useful that I thought.
There's definitely a difference with the new sensor.
Stabilisation on video basically works now. E-p3 was terrible.
I don't have a problem with the video, I've used it for a few things and have no complaints, that said I've never used anything else so don't have anything to compare it to and I know that people prefer lower fps which isn't in there. Read about this if it's important to you.
I've not had it long, so there are no doubt going to be draw backs and failings that I've not spotted, and plus points I've not come to appreciate yet.
In summary though, if you can afford it, this is the most amazing bit of kit. I've loved my e-p3 and the e-p5 is off to a flying start.
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NO VIEWFINDER
=============
You can add one if you so wish. But it is a costly addition, almost the price of a second hand car. Olympus VF-4 Electronic Viewfinder for MFT Cameras with Accessory Port

LOOKS
=====
It has the retro aesthetic that several camera companies have aimed at. It also has DSLR image quality, all in a lovely, small, compact body.

PERFECT?
========
Not quite. I couldn't get the wifi-thing to work with my iPhone despite trying for three days*
The Autofocus is fast and responsive and the look and feel, well it feels a luxury piece of kit.
Although it comes at a luxury price.

(*three days- well it was actually two hours but felt like three days)

TOUCHSCREEN
===========
A nice but unnecessary addition.

DO YOU DESERVE A TREAT
======================
The Olympus Pen will not disappoint.
Responsive.
Looks nice to look at.
Feels nice in the hand.

IS THERE A BUT
==============
No buts, the performance is superb and aesthetically rather pleasing to look at.
But I think the viewfinder accessory is expensive.
I can live without it.
If you can too, I can wholeheartedly recommend it.
22 Comments| 28 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 March 2014
I spent months looking at the specs of this, reading reviews and wondering if I could justify the price. I already have a couple of other cameras - one's too big to carry around, the other is an older Olympus Pen epl1 model. I wanted something that gave me updated features that I would use often. I already use the epl1 almost everyday, but was tempted by the up to date features of this model to want to upgrade. This is a lovely looking model in silver. It is light enough to carry in my bag everyday, which is what I wanted. I managed to get a free viewfinder with a deal from Olympus for people that had recently bought the camera. The viewfinder is a welcome addition, it does bulk the model up a little, but worth it if you prefer using that to the screen. I can't say I have used the tilting feature of the screen very much. Now and then it has been useful to gain a higher vantage point, but I could live without it. The wi fi connection to my phone is a great feature. I am used to the menu on this camera, with having an earlier model, though it's quite intuitive. This camera can be used by an enthusiastic beginner (auto modes) but there is much room to grow with the camera. I would say that the camera is ideal for the photographer who wants to take things more seriously but doesn't want to carry around a DSLR. The size makes it great for street photography. I have bought the great 45mm lens to go with this camera - superb! All in all, I am very glad I got this model and think I'll be using it for a few years to come.
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on 28 March 2015
Pros: Well made, with good controls, excellent photos with the in body stablisation or IBIS. Complex if full featured menu system. It is actually good in low light (with a fast lens) and has a fast 1/320 flash sync speed from built in or 1/250 from external.

Cons: Expensive, heavy, poor grip, no included viewfinder (expensive extra) and poor movie mode.

This is a great camera for shorter lenses (as poor grip) and if you don't like taking movies. Stiff competition though from Sony and Panasonic whos cameras do take great photos, movies as well, and are cheaper! hence only 3 stars. No plans to sell mine though!
11 Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I'm a big fan of the micro 4/3 system, loving the compact size coupled with near DSLR image quality. Despite the fact that a number of manufacturers produce mirrorless compacts, I think that Olympus pretty much own this format, with clever retro styling, uber fast response times and a range of relatively affordeable lenses. This is my third PEN - I had the E-PL1 and the E-PM2, keeping each for a couple of years before selling on to facilitate an upgrade to the next model.

The E-P5 shares the same 16mp sensor as my E-PM2, (and the flagship OMD), but has the added advantages of wireless, a tilting screen, faster shutter speed (1/8000) and heavier metal body which is great if you are at all prone to camera shake, mode dial that cuts down on the amount of menu scrolling, switch function lever controlling iso, white balance and exposure (though can be programmed for other modes) and built-in flash, rather than the clip on version. It has the same superb colour handling as all the other models in the range giving saturated images that somehow always manage to look vivid but never unnatural. The silver and black variant is straight out of the sixties and style-wise, to die for.

I currently have my E-P5 paired with the 17mm pancake lens and it will fit in a jacket pocket or handbag quite easily like this. The just-about-to-be-released E-PL7 comes with the new and very lustworthy 14-42mm pancake lens, which would really be my ideal partner for the E-P5. However, on the flipside, the E-PL7 design has reverted to the clip on flash and whilst this might give a wider field of illumination I found having to slide the removeable flash on and off the hot shoe on my E-PM2, replacing the various plastic covers each time, not terribly conducive to impromptu photography, so think the pop up on the E-P5 preferable despite it's diminutive size.

The camera is quick and responsive in most light conditions, including rain and overcast skies. It's very comfortable to hold, producing the expected crisp and beautifully hued images. Autofocus is pretty quiet and the metering systems easy to access. I use a number of the art filters from time to time, particularly dramatic tone and pop art, although this model could perhaps do with updating with some of the vintage filters popular on the likes of Instagram (in fairness to Olympus I think the E-PL7 does have new tools along these lines). In common with another reviewer I don't bother using the tilt screen function, partly for fear of breaking it. There's no optical viewfinder, though you can attach one via the hot shoe if your pockets run deep enough to buy one. I'm not that fussed (sacrilege!) because to me the compact dimensions and streamlined styling are a major selling point of the PEN range - if I was desperate for a viewfinder I'd probably go for an OMD. The positioning of the flash means you occasionally accidentally deploy it, though I found I adapted my hand position pretty quickly to mitigate against this - easy for a female with small hands, might be tricky for a bloke with big mitts.

Generally the reviews for this camera in the wider technology press have been very favourable indeed - there have been some reports of blurring/lack of effective image stabilisation at speeds of around 1/160, but I have never noticed this myself, and there is a firmware update available that is said to correct the problem anyway. Oh, and I loved the little touches like the Olympus branded lens cloth included in the box! You can see a few test shots I took on the right hand side of the page using a range of settings and filters.

In summary this camera has great styling, great performance and a build quality that beats all the earlier versions. I am smitten :-)
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on 14 February 2015
I bought this in the January sale deals at a significant discount. While I mainly use Nikon DLSRs I had been hankering after a smaller unobtrusive compact but full featured camera for some time. I have used Olympus in the past (OM-1, OM-2 and OM-4) but switched to Nikon when finally digital appeared to come of age. At one time I had an original Olympus Pen (the half-frame film camera) but sold it because the half frame quality was not quite sufficient compared with full frame.

See the reviews on-line for this camera (dpreview has an excellent full review). The only downside to me would be cost but at the discount I got it for I consider it good value, which is why I give it the full five stars. The quality of the 16 megapixel images exceeded my expectations and similarly the high ISO quality up to 1600 ISO is entirely acceptable. It is not a Nikon D7100 nor a D800 but for something dinky and high quality to carry around with full controls for the traditional photographer I highly recommend it. A VF-4 finder is a recommended but pricy accessory although not essential to enjoy using this camera (see my review for the VF-4). The best camera is the camera that you have with you and you are likely to have this camera with you because it is so compact: just like the Pens of old.

Downsides, for there are downsides, include 1) the Olympus menu system is messy and not brilliant and you need to go to the menus for some controls, and 2) the charger is not as good or efficient as, say, the Nikon chargers. But I have found the battery life OK for a days shooting without a spare.

Upsides, beside what I have already said... For a Nikon user, you can make it very like a Nikon DSLR to use. It has front and back control wheels and you can customise the buttons: e.g. I use the back movie button to control continuous focus just like I do with the AF-L button on the back of my Nikons and the function button to control ISO.
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on 11 March 2014
I was looking for a m 4/3rds camera to replace my ageing, yet much loved, Panasonic Lumix GF1.
After a period of research I decided upon the EP5; the IQ, ease of usage, specs, build quality and price point all made this the stand out winner for 'my' needs, i.e. an everyday camera that can handle the general range of conditions under which I tend to shot, i.e. street, social gatherings, low light situations and travel.
I was also attracted to the EVF & the 17mm lens included with the bundle, both items I am more then happy to have as additions to my kit.

The EVF V. 4 is a great addition, increasing the EP5's flexibility & usage- handy when you need it, yet comfortably stored away when not.
The 17mm 1.8 lens is a firm favourite, providing that much loved focal length for street shooters - it's fast, sharp and great for manual focusing... esp. now the focus peaking on the EP5 is so easy to access.

I am a firm fan of olympus cameras (owning the OMD EM5 & a TG2) finding their usage, IQ and build quality perfect for my needs.
So far, the EP5 has exceeded all my expectations and I would highly recommend it.
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on 30 January 2015
A beautiful quality built camera. A camera for the enthusiast. It dose lots of things and more. Even as a reasonably experienced photographer the quantitity of information supplied in the manual needs time to digest.
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on 23 August 2015
It is an excellent versatile camera, very transportable with excellent optics.A worthy example of Olympus tradition of innovation, and vey good value for money.
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on 19 August 2013
This camera is very well made and impressively robust, it just feels quality. The image quality is very good, same as OMD and EPL-5, no better. The screen is nice but I would recommend getting the VF4 which is the best viewfinder on the market. Image Stabilisation with the 5 axis is great and does make a difference, you can hear it but not as noisy as the OMD. Very pleased I purchased this haven't tried the wifi but its good to know its there.
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