February 01, 2016
You won't find much advanced compact cameras with swivel screens and no viewfinders. This camera will probably be the last, considering the Pen F seems to be it's successor. I think company's are missing a hole in the enthusiast photographer target audience and this camera came very close to filling it.
The one thing I would change would be to have a fully articulating screen. The swivel screen just doesn't quite cover the all the angles needed. Granted, this camera does have the VF4 option for more options, but I think a fully articulated non-VF camera with advanced controls would have been quite a sweet thing.
Other than my gripe with screen, this camera did great in everything I could ask of it. It doesn't deserve 5 stars by any means, though.
The flash button should have been a slider or a switch or just something that's not so easily pressed. Anytime this camera was in my backpack, it would always come out with the flash open. Whenever I'm fumbling with getting it out of my coat pocket, the flash would be open. It was quite an annoyance!
The build quality of this camera is phenomenal! But over time, you learn where they took short cuts. For one, the directional circle buttons feel like a step down from the rest of the camera. You're constantly gripping and touching the cold hard metal body, the tactile rubber grip, the hardened leather textures, and the recessed metal dials and then you thumb the cheap plastic feeling circular buttons around the "ok" button and it's like getting to drive an exotic super car only to find out it's got an automatic transmission! Mix this with the fact the chrome trim is actually plated plastic and you wonder why such an elegant camera has these shortcomings.
Don't get me wrong, I may have bashed this camera a bit, but at the end of the day, it has served me well! In fact, I'm only switching up due to constantly babying it because it's so damn pretty. I'm rough on my equipment and I should have gone for the OMD line to begin with, but I'm sucker for shiny things...
January 25, 2016
As a pro, I was looking to try a mirrorless camera. My history with Pen's go back over 45 years. Loved my film pen and even used one shooting couples in the Poconos one summer.
Like this camera, fast focusing and a multitude of controls. Would have received five stars if the ISO went higher and the screen was a bit bigger and more flexible.
Otherwise I highly recommend this camera.
December 22, 2015
I bought PEN E-P5 with VF4 viewfinder and Olympus 17mm/F1.8 lens. I din't want to by larger camera and this set gives me flexibility to use it as a pocketable camera (without viewfinder) with the same excellent picture quality as its bigger brothers.
I also have a lot of old manual focus lenses and to use them with PEN E-P5 is a breeze. The built-in image stabilization is very powerful. As an added bonus 200mm/f3.5 lens becomes 400mm due to 2x crop of micro4/3.
December 05, 2015
I am a long time Olympus camera user. I have an EPL1, an EPL-2, 3 Ep-3's and now 2 EP-5's. I was also a Sony SLT shooter for a short time.
In terms of build, the camera exudes quality. Solidly built, it feels good in the hand and I have medium sized hands. It has heft compared to Panasonic cameras.
Size wise- compared to DSLR's, it is smaller but not too small. Very easy to carry around without having to feel like you have a brick around your neck- I hike regularly and the thought of lugging my DSLR around is a very painful proposition.
Handling - as mentioned I have worked with PENs since the EPL-1, there is no comparison. AF is very quick AND Very accurate, no mirrors means no back/front focus issues. There is a solidity to the shutter action.
Menu system- I LOVE this about Olympus, yes it is complex but you can customize you camera to your hearts content! I am technically savvy so this comes naturally to me.
Image Quality - For my purpose of posting online and the rare print, 16 MP is more than adequate, I don't print beyond 8X10 so this more than adequate. Colors are accurate, auto WB not easily fooled. Sharpness is phenomenal - I have the 25mm, 45mm, Sigma 60mm, 12-40mm and the venerable 75mm. People are just blown away by the image quality when they see this camera can capture!
IBIS- industry leading, I can get away with shots in low light I never could with my other cameras. Great for manual lenses when attached.
Looks- This camera is very unassuming, it is very easy for me to capture photos of people since it does not look anything close to a DSLR! I get compliments and questions about the camera that I shoot because of it's retro modern look.
The grip is not replaceable compared to the EP3, I have however, found an aftermarket EM5 grip that works very well especially when I have to use my 75mm, 12-40mm and 45-200mm lenses.
Battery life is around 350 shots but I have 6 batteries ready to go if need be, I have learned to live with this with MFT and it is not a big deal for me.
This is a gentleman's camera with looks and performance to boot.
November 23, 2015
This camera is my re-entry of into the Olympus family of camera coming from a Nikon D200 SLR camera I got back a few years back. I wasn't hesitant as I wanted a smaller carry around camera that has DSLR like features. What I got was a replacement for that camera. It actually focuses faster than my D200 no matter what lens I have on it. And being a newer camera, it has a better sensor (more pixels and better dynamic range), and more feature, one of my favorites being focus peeking.
I also found the batterylife to be similar to any other camera semi-pro camera that I have used and has a nice build quality. Its a great small camera.
October 14, 2015
After many happy years with an earlier PEN model, it was time to upgrade to a newer, more capable, travel-friendly family member. Based on research, it appeared the E-P5 still provided equal and in some cases better functionality than the newer E-P7.
Well, sort of. Ads say "great in low light conditions" and the like. What they don't say is that's true in SOME low light conditions. BULB and TIME settings, for those who want to shoot night skies or moonlit beaches, don't work at these low light levels. This is not explained in any product literature; only calls to tech support will reveal this. Great camera and lenses for day use, but watch your light limits!
December 05, 2014
I purchased a refurbished white E-P5 on Cyber Monday. It came within two days. I am quite pleased with the camera so far. Having an E-M5, I was interested in the E-P5 as a backup body that I can use with the EZ 14-42 mm kit lens. The combo works great and is quite pocketable (coat pocket). The build quality of the E-P5 is quite good and my refurbished camera had less than 500 shutter activations on it. I separately obtained the VF-4 viewfinder which works great with the E-P5, giving an extraordinary view, significantly larger than that of the E-M5. So far image quality is as good as that of the E-M5. The camera will become my go-to camera for informal shooting, while I will use the E-M5 with larger lenses (using the two piece grip). It is truly a quality product.
September 21, 2014
I upgraded from my E-P3 to the E-P5. Having been a Olympus Pen F half frame film camera user, I find myself right at home with the E-P5's size, features and handling. The combination of the E-P5's small size, light weight and wonderful availability of M43rds lens makes for a great professional camera system. The camera lends itself to all types of photography from macro, wildlife, family and street photography. A real treat is that this camera makes a great companion on family vacations, it's easy to carry and creates lovely photographs of those precious family moments.
June 19, 2014
I'm a serious amateur with intermediate photography skills. The reason I bought an E-P5 was to move away from my Canon 7D and it's bulk. While the Pen isn't a DSLR, it is certainly comparable to the 7D in its ability to capture great photos. Really recommended for someone who wants to travel light while they shoot away but doesn't want to compromise image quality.
March 17, 2014
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
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
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!
January 10, 2014
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.