March 17, 2014

Thomas

Total Sleeper: Stealth Mode for the Win

This camera may appeal to soccer mom's but it packs the punch of a V8. I'm simply stunned by how well it performs. It's got the looks of a classic BMW with the sophistication of a high end appliance.
Enough with the superlatives, it comes down to straight line performance. This camera beats them all and leaves a smile on your face after your done. Super fast AF, 1/8000 shutter speed, deadly silent when you click the shutter and enough customization options to leave your head spinning. You can do PROFESSIONAL grade photography with this. Studio work? Check. Weddings? Check. The quality and performance is DSLR spec- period.
What I really love about it is it doesn't draw attention. At least not the type big DSLR's bring. Stealthy! Yet, the pictures leave onlookers shocked when you show them what you've captured. ISO performance is better than many full frame DSLR's I've owned. 1600 ISO- no problem.
Only minor gripe is the grip. It should be interchangeable and offer beefy options in a similar vein to the EM1. No big deal though, it's still an incredible value even at full retail. 5 axis isn't hype either. I've gotten shots I normally miss with the big guns. This is what every small compact camera dreams of becoming. The EP-5 is the culmination of advanced imaging technology in a style that never gets old. Absolutely no regrets here at all!

February 24, 2014

Jeff

A Great Camera....

I have used an EPL1 for two years as a travel camera, and took advantage of the presidents day sale on the refurbished EP5.This camera while overshadowed by the EM1 and the OM-10 in the press and online forums, is a camera I could use as my only camera for a long time and never want or need another camera.

The IBIS 5-axis is too good to believe. I'm Boomer and even using the 40-150, I can take videos up to 80mm as well as image stills as low as 1/60. Amazing tool.

The video is much better than I expected. I can use it with my other camera that does 1080P 30 and when mixed you can't tell what footage came from each camera.

The Focus peaking is good for the older MF lens, especially for my FF 90mm macro lens. Makes manual focusing a breeze.

Perhaps the only thing I don't love it the battery life, make sure you get a second battery if you plan on a full day of imaging. I was pleased that the VF-2 (I got the EP5 body only) works well on the EP5. I also have the macro LED lights and the same goes for them.

Finally, what a beautiful camera. You could call it Retro, but for me it is so functional. Took me about an hour to set it up like I wanted (having had the EPL1 lots of the learning curve had already been done).

If you want a m43 format camera that is well built, performs extremely well, and has that special feel to it, well the EP5 would be a great camera for you.

February 11, 2014

Cheryl

Simply Amazing!

EP5 Review

In a nutshell: I went looking for a small camera to keep in my purse and ended up making this my primary system.

What I like:
Image Quality – Impressive. My most important consideration. Colors and sharpness are excellent. Does a great job of picking up details in the dark and mid tone areas without blowing out the highlights. The 5-axis IBIS means I get to leave my tripod at home more often. Beats my 60D and most of the lenses I own/have tried (and I love that camera). Which is why that stuff’s sitting in my extra bag in the closet.
Shooting Speed – 9fps is fast enough for me. I was concerned about the speed because of reviews but am having no problem getting the shots I want. I shoot dogs, cats, horses, even rabbits almost on a daily basis and am having no trouble. AF is spot-on almost all the time.
Low-light shooting – I’m still testing this out but so far I can get the shots I want without difficulties, often without external lighting. Captures images as well as my dslr in similar conditions.
Video – I have the 60D for video and didn’t read great reviews about the EP5’s video capabilities so I wasn’t expecting much. But once I started playing with it, I find myself looking for reasons to use it. I’m now shooting cinemagraphs and events using more and more video.
Ergonomics – Excellent. I can shoot for hours without getting tired of carrying and shooting, one-handed if necessary. Buttons and dials in all the right places, with solid feel to all of them.
Features – Expansive. The customization options are nothing short of amazing.
LCD – Also Excellent. Swivels enough to get that awkward shot and chimp my pics in bright light, but sits tight to the body otherwise. Touch screen very fast and responsive. Great resolution.
VF-4 Viewfinder – An absolute must for me. Very bright and easy to switch between LCD and viewfinder. Removing it makes the camera very portable.
Menu – Great. That’s right. I love it. I prefer to read books on my gear but there aren’t any so I downloaded the full manual onto my iPad and went through it several times. After a few days I started enjoying the challenge, then began to really see the logic behind it. This is a computer with an eye, not a film-based concept, so yes, it’s more complex. But that’s half the fun, right?
Lens Options – Lots of great choices, which is my second most important consideration. The 17 and 45mm primes are sufficiently sharp. But what surprised me is the kit 40-150mm ii lens. I’m getting great results, though at 130-150mm it’s less sharp. It took me a while to get used to the 12-50mm but now that I understand it better I’m impressed with it as well and have gotten some very nice street portraits with it.

What else that matters:
Battery Life – I use the viewfinder all the time and do a lot of chimping so I wear mine down quickly. I have two and will soon invest in a third, especially for event shooting.
The flash – This is another must-have for me and I like that there is one in this camera. It does a great job for close-up fill flash, but I’ll get a 600R this month too for those indoor night shots for more reach and bounce.

My husband was so impressed with the results I was getting we finally bought one for him as well. His 70D is collecting dust while he enjoys his 12-50mm and 60mm macro lenses. We're now doing a whole lot more street shooting and experimenting with all sorts of projects because of our EP5s!

February 10, 2014

Cheryl

Simply Amazing!

In a nutshell: a few months ago I started looking for a more portable camera solution but found an a fabulous system instead!

I have a Canon 60D and have been very happy with it but was looking for something small to carry around on a daily basis. However, image quality is very important to me and I found point and shoots woefully insufficient. I started exploring the mirrorless options and was very quickly drawn to the EPL5 at our local camera store due to its superior build quality, features, image quality, lens options and price. It's a wonderful camera but I only had it a week before trading up to the Pen 5 because I soon realized this was going to be my primary camera system.

The Pen 5 is very well built and holds up to all the lugging around I do with it, has great ergonomics and button placements, making it comfortable to carry and shoot with for long periods. It also produces excellent images and has turned out to be a real inspiration for me to shoot a lot more. I love the fact that I can remove the viewfinder and put the body and 17mm lens into a small case and carry it in my purse, knowing I'll have the ability to capture great images instead of making due with a smartphone.

As I said, the image quality is great. Beats my 60D and most of the canon lenses I own or have tried. The images are sharper and the colors are punchier, translating into black and white very well. I've taken photos outdoors in bright light that I didn't think would come out well but when I put them on the computer was pleasantly surprised at how well the camera picked up the darks and highlights so the images came out well after all.

The menu system took a little study time but now I'm using it comfortably, even making a lot of adjustments while shooting, which I didn't tend to do with my dslr. I prefer to read books about my gear but there isn't one so I downloaded the full manual onto my iPad and carry it with me for reference. There are also a lot of lens reviews and blog sites that offer good explanations of how to use the camera and lenses, and I'm still learning from others' experiences with this system.

The Pen 5 also shoots fast enough, faster than my dslr. This was a concern I had before going into a mirrorless line because I shoot dogs, cats, horses and rabbits almost on a daily basis. It also performs very well in low light, so long as I have one of the faster lenses, like the 17mm f1.8 on it. I will buy the 600R flash soon but for now I'm having no problem shooting in all sorts of conditions.

The VF-4 viewfinder is bright and clear. This is an important accessory for me because I shoot almost exclusively with a viewfinder. It's also adjustable and changing the angle has come in handy a few times for more awkward shots. The LCD screen is excellent and adjusts enough to catch some angles that make shooting animals easier when I don't want to put my camera up to my face. The touch screen is very responsive and easy to use.

One of the big reasons I went with Olympus is because of the lens options. And while there are some very nice Panasonic lenses and tons of adapters to fit all sorts of lenses, so far I've preferred the quality, size and weight of the Olympus lenses, except for the Panasonic 25mm f1.4. (Maybe the new Olympus 25mm f1.8 will change that?) The 40-150mm mark ii R is one of my most used lenses outdoors because of the IQ results, which is even more amazing when its size and price are considered. Both the 45mm f1.8 and 12-50mm do well for stills as well as videos. Oh yeah, because of this camera I've gotten more into shooting videos at events as well as creating cinemagraphs.

Downsides? Battery life isn't bad but could be better, especially when using the viewfinder and shooting videos. I have two and will invest in a third soon since I tend to shoot a lot of stills and some videos during events. There is also some lag in the refresh rate when using the viewfinder and I've missed a few shots because of it. The built in flash is a must have for me, and this one does very well for fill flash. But for true low light use an external flash is a necessity.

Overall, the Pen 5 has turned out to be a really amazing tool. My husband was so impressed with my results that we finally bought one for him as well, and now he reaches for his Pen 5 and 12-50mm and 60mm macro lenses way more often than his 70D.

January 10, 2014

Michael

So far it's pretty good

I've only had the camera a week but so far I'm liking it a lot. The camera has just about all the features of a dslr without the extra weight in the body and the lenses. I'm kind of new to advanced features cameras so it may take me awhile to fully learn and appreciate just how good this camera is. I would have given it five stars but who knows there may be something I don't like after I figure everything out. I just wish it came with a hard copy manual. It's easier to look things.

January 02, 2014

Bruce

Great camera

This is my first four-thirds camera. I wanted compact size, powerful sensor, a broad choice of lenses and the latest electronics. The EP-5 delivers on all fronts. The picture quality is excellent as is the video resolution. There is a lot more power than I will ever utilize, but the optionality is there. The only drawback to the camera is the menu, which is not as friendly as some other cameras. However, once the Super Control Panel is activated, making changes to white balance, focal point, etc. become much simpler.
The EP-5 is an excellent camera, and I am happy with my choice.

December 13, 2013

Zol

Best Camera I ever had

Where do I start? The size to me matters without comprising quality and control and the P5 delivers ..Stabilization is amazing, easy touch screen navigation and best of all feature rich. I stopped using my bulky Canon SLR and will never go back.

October 08, 2013

Anne

Very Pleased!

I'm just a novice photographer trying to improve my skills so I'm not going to comment on all the technical aspects of the camera - I'll let the more knowledgable & experienced photographers do that. But I will speak to a few of the things I really like about this camera...
WIFI? Why would you want that on a camera? I LOVE this! I can view all of the photos I just took on my iPhone and iPad, which means I can edit photos on the go with my iPad photo editing apps and immediately upload them to social media sites. Important to me as I have a lot of family that live in other states and great for traveling! Small size (smaller than an SLR) makes it easy to carry with extra lenses but has a heft to it that indicates quality, Menus are intuitive and easy to learn; camera operates from a fully auto mode to a fully manual mode so I can rely less and less on the auto functions as I improve my skills. Glad I made the extra investment to get this camera! PS, get the viewfinder for shooting outdoors on bright days...

July 26, 2013

CB

Impressed

The camera feels very solid and the controls are well laid out. It is much more solid feeling with larger lenses than my E-PM2 was. The ability to remove the viewfinder and have a relatively small looking point and shoot is a major plus for me. I am partial to the classic rangefinder style. Focus peaking works very well for me with old manual focus glass. My eyesight is not perfect and this approach makes focusing straightforward.

July 09, 2013

Graeme

Getting to Know the E-P5

I have only had my new E-P5 for a few days and am still getting to know what it can do. So far, I am very pleased. I bought the kit with 17mm f1.7 lens and the VF4 viewfinder. I have been shooting with M43 cameras since they came out and feel this is the way of the future.
First a word about the viewfinder. The VF4 is much improved over the previous ones. It locks securely to the camera and it has a big bright view without much smearing of the image. It pops off easily with the push of a button and can be stored in the supplied pouch. It also activates when you look through it without any button pressing.
The 17mm kit lens is super sharp from my initial tests, with very little distortion. With it mounted and without the viewfinder, the package makes for a great street-shooter. Me, I'm a vf guy, so will mostly keep it attached. I also have the 12-50mm lens and a couple of Panasonic lenses, so can have lots of choice. The 12-50mm is a clever lens, with two ways of zooming and macro as well. It's super light.
Talking about weight, the E-P5 is surprisingly heavy, which, to me is a good thing. It says "quality" just holding it in your hand. I bought the silver model, so it has that classic look to it.
One thing that worried me at first was a whirring noise coming from the camera after I half-pressed the shutter. I finally deduced it is the 5-axis stabilisation at work. I have got used to that now. By the way, the stabilisation works amazingly - best of any camera I've owned, including the Nikon DSLRs that I sold just this year.
The menu system is quite logical and the camera has a whole bunch of function buttons to call up particular features at a touch. I kind of wish there was a "Custom" choice on the main dial, but I'm still getting used to the E-P5.
The camera seems very quick and responsive and I will be testing it thoroughly in the next week. So far, I'm happy and would strongly recommend it.

July 06, 2013

Steven

Initial impressions of EP5

I am coming from a long line of Olympus digital cameras (starting with the E10). The EP5 was purchased to replace my EM5 (which replaced my EP3). I don't use the EVF a lot - basically for manual focusing - and always liked the body style of the Pens better.
So far I am very impressed. The AF and IQ (though I am judging more from JPEGS than RAW as I really don't like Olympus Viewer) is as good as the EM5 - which I loved. The control system is an improvement IMHO over the EM5 and WAY better than the EP3. The feel of the construction is great.
Still getting used to some of the various setting options, but having come from a lot of Olympus cameras, the menus don't bother me. I like how much you can customize for your shooting style.