Olympus PEN E-PL5 Mirrorless Camera Review

In addition to the E-PL5 Mirrorless Micro, Four Thirds Digital Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R Lens (Black), the Olympus PEN E-PL line of mirrorless interchangeable lens digital cameras also includes the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R Lens, which is the latest addition to the series. The M. Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II lens is included with the purchase of this camera.

The camera’s 16MP Live MOS sensor produces images with DSLR-like quality, while the TruePic VI image processor ensures that images are processed quickly and accurately in terms of colors and contrast.

Its mirrorless architecture allows for a small, lightweight body, and a broad selection of interchangeable lenses that are compatible with it gives you the ability to capture any sort of photo you can imagine.

With an ISO range of up to 25600 and In-Body Image Stabilization, low-light photography may be captured with vivid colors and little noise in low light conditions. High-speed performance is achieved with the use of sequential shooting at 8 frames per second and the Olympus F.A.S.T.

Auto Focus technology. With the help of Face and Eye Detection, portraits and group photos are focused and exposed automatically to generate great shots.

Touching the LCD panel may be used to operate the autofocus and shutter release functions. By pressing a specific area on the LCD, you may lock the camera’s focus on your subject, and the camera will maintain that focus until you press the shutter release button again.

The LCD screen itself is a 3.0-inch display “In addition, the Flip Portrait display can be tilted up or down to allow for more creative composition or to control glare and reflection while shooting in bright sunshine.

The E-PL5 is capable of recording Full 1080i HD video, which can then be played back on an HDTV by connecting it to the camera’s HDMI output. It also contains a multi-purpose accessory connection, which may be used to attach accessories, such as the FL-LM1 flash unit that comes with the camera.

Twelve in-camera art filters may be used to enhance the artistic quality of your photographs. Filter modifications, art effects, and bracketing, for example, can improve the appearance of Soft Focus, Grainy Film, and Pin Hole effects.

You may use this palette in any of the shooting modes, including HD video recording. iAuto is also included as part of the bundle, and it is useful when you want the camera to know what it is viewing and capture the best shot it can automatically.

Furthermore, Olympus’ Dust Reduction System is included inside the camera and works by vibrating a Supersonic Wave Filter every time the camera is turned on, preventing dust from accumulating on the sensor.

Additionally, interchangeable lenses are a significant advantage of mirrorless photography, and Olympus offers a large range of Micro Four Thirds lenses that are compatible with the E-PL5, one of which is the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II R, which is included with this camera.

The entire length of this 3X zoom lens, which is built exclusively for Micro Four Thirds mounts, is just 1.9 inches ” (48mm). The lens, which is made up of 8 elements in 7 groups, features 7 aperture blades that help to create a realistic background blur.

There are 14-42mm of focal length variations with this lens, which ranges from wide-angle to intermediate telephoto (35mm equivalent: 28-84mm).

MOS sensor with a resolution of 16MP in real-time

Designed to optimize the performance of the M.Zuiko digital lenses in every shooting situation, the 16MP Live MOS sensor has been tuned for use with the M.Zuiko digital lenses.

A boost in sensitivity and readout speed of the current sensor allows for ISO 25600 photography for crisp, detailed low-light photographs and Full HD movie recording. The camera can also capture Full HD video at 30 frames per second.

Color reproduction has been improved.

Featuring Real Color Technology, the TruePic VI Image Processor, which was built exclusively for the Olympus PEN series, provides increased color fidelity and color gradation in still images and video. The dynamic range has been expanded, allowing for the greater depiction of gradations between dark and bright regions while maintaining a wider variety of intensity levels in the process. In addition, the quicker CPU allows for a shorter recuperation period between each shot.

Auto Focus is quick and accurate

In addition to being capable of focusing at rapid speeds, the F.A.S.T. (Frequency Acceleration Sensor Technology) AF System has 35 different focus points that are evenly distributed over the sensor, which allows for precise focusing on small things no matter where they appear in the frame.

When photographing moving subjects, selectable 3×3 groupings inside the 35-point region are extremely useful for capturing the action. Within the 35-point multi-area AF, the following options are available: All target, Group target area (9-area), Single target, (normal), Single target (small).

While the AF Tracking function locks your subject into focus, it also constantly adjusts focus and brightness, even if the subject vanishes from view for a little period of time. Magnified frame AF: There are over 800 AF sites to choose from. Magnification options include x5, x7, x10 (the default), and x14 (the highest).

3.0 out of 5 based on 3 ratings “LCD Touchscreen with a Flip Portrait Mode

To record photos from a range of angles, this bright, high-resolution screen with a 16:9 aspect ratio can be tilted up (to 170°) and down (to 65°). To take a self-portrait, raise the monitor to eye level. Smudges are reduced thanks to the Anti-Finger Print coating.

A number of functions are available to you via the touch screen. These include the shutter release, the Touch Live Guide, AF area selection, the AF area enlargement, the frame forward/backward function, the enlargement playback function, the Touch Super Control Panel, touch art filter selection, and touch scene mode selection.

Control over brightness and color temperature is available on seven different levels. Vivid and Natural are two of the color tone possibilities. Histogram (independent luminance/RGB available), Highlight/Shadow point warning, AF frame, Photographic information, and OFF are all displayed during playback of the image.

Touch Autofocus and Shutter with Instantaneous Response

With a single touch of the LCD screen, you may control the focus and shutter release. Improved sensitivity responds instantly to touch, allowing for fast release of the shutter.

View in Real-Time

The Live Vision function gives a field of view that is about 100 percent effective. Presets for exposure compensation preview, white balance adjustment preview, gradient auto preview, Face detection preview (up to 8 faces), grid line, histogram, magnification display (5/7/10/14), and off are all available.

In-Body Image Stabilization is a technique for stabilizing images within the body.

As a result of Olympus’ in-body image stabilization, any Micro Four Thirds lens (or Four Thirds lens through an adapter) from wide-angle to telephoto may be used, resulting in clean, crisp photographs no matter what the shooting scenario is, including in low light.

Manual focal length settings are available, allowing you to enter the following focal lengths:

Video in full 1080i high definition

Using the AVCHD or AVI formats, you may capture Full 1920x1080i HD video at 60 and 30 frames per second with stereo sound for up to 29 minutes (MOV) or 14 minutes (AVI), at 20Mbps (Fine) or 17Mbps (Medium) (Normal). 16:9 is the aspect ratio.

Record 1280×720 at 13Mbps (Fine) or 10Mbps (Superior) as well (Normal). A Direct HD Movie Button allows you to go from still to movie mode with a single press of the button. The Movie Teleconverter function allows you to magnify images up to four times while experiencing little visual deterioration.

Sequential shooting at a frame rate of 8 frames per second

If you use the E-PL5, you can shoot up to eight images per second, which allows you to effortlessly grab that one ideal shot in the middle of an intense flurry of activity. Other continuous shooting rates (in L mode) are available: 3.6 and 3 frames per second.

For RAW, the maximum number of frames is 27 in L mode at 3fps and 15 in H mode at 8fps; for JPEG, the maximum number of frames is infinite in L mode at 3fps and up to 19 in H mode at 8fps.

ISO Sensitivity has been increased.

Increase the sensitivity of your camera to 25600 to capture more photographs in low light.

Response Time is Critical

The E-PL5 has a rapid shutter response time that ranges from 60 to 1/40000 second, depending on the setting. Due to the TruePic VI Image processor’s ability to minimize the black-out period between images, it is possible to reduce the time between shots.

Face Detection in Combination with Eye Detection

The face detection autofocus system makes use of an Eye Detect AF system, which automatically adjusts focus on the subject’s eyes during portrait shooting and may be modified to focus on the right, left, or near-side eye if necessary. When using the Face Detection feature, you may record up to eight faces at the same time, which reduces the likelihood of blurred subjects when photographing many individuals at the same time.

Advanced Arts Filters Integrated Into the Camera

Filter variants, art effects, and bracketing are used to enhance the effects of twelve in-camera Art Filters, which include Diorama, Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pin Hole, Cross Process, Gentle Sepia, Key Line, and Dramatic Tone, among others.

Photojournalists and filmmakers can utilize Art Filters in all shooting modes, as well as while producing high-definition videos.

Besides the Water Color effect, there is also the Monochrome effect and Variations effect accessible. If you use the fade effect in 1080i Full HD Movie mode, you may seamlessly move from one art filter to another without having to pause the film.

Art Filter bracketing is available in the following modes: i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, and Art Filters.

3D Still Photography is an art form.

Make your images more interesting by including Olympus’ 3D technology in them, whether you’re shooting in manual mode or in a different mode.

A second photograph from a slightly different perspective will be taken automatically by the camera once you have selected the 3D Photo Mode, released the shutter, and gently panned the camera back and forth. The 3D data is processed in-camera, resulting in an image that is rendered.

MPO file for simple viewing on 3D televisions or computers that are 3D compatible.

iAuto and 23 Scene Select are two of the most popular options.

iAuto automatically recognizes the situation you’re shooting – whether it’s a portrait, a landscape, a night portrait, a macro shot, or a sporting event – and changes the settings to get the best possible results.

The E-PL5 is also equipped with 23 Scene-Select modes for hassle-free picture capture, including Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro, Panorama, and Documents. Other features include a built-in flash and an external microphone. Fisheye Conv., Wide Conv., and Macro Conv.

are three scene modes that are specifically designed for shooting with Olympus’ conversion lenses in order to enhance the performance of such lenses.

Picture Mode is a mode that allows you to take pictures of things.

i-Enhance, Vivid, Natural, Muted, Portrait, Monotone, Custom, and Art Filters are some of the filters available. Gradation options include Auto, Normal, High Key, and Low Key [with the exception of Art Filters].

Sound-enhanced slideshow captured in-camera

It is simple to construct slide shows that are shown in front of the camera. Its expanded playback capabilities let you use efficient fade-in/fade-out methods, regulate the movie/still mix and pace, and add musical soundtracks to your videos, among other things.

There are four background music tracks included with the camera, but you may also download more music from the OLYMPUS website if you so choose.

Screen Design and Live Guide have been updated.

The Live Guide system allows you to see how your adjustments will look as you make them – before the image is even recorded. Activate Live Guide and use the wheel on the back of the camera to cycle between a variety of photographic effects, such as brightness, color saturation, and tone, without touching the camera.

AF Illuminator (Automatic Flash Illuminator)

The inclusion of this powerful LED beam helps the camera to focus more quickly in low light, up to over ten feet away in some cases (3.05 m).

Included is an attachable flash.

This camera gives you the option of attaching a flash to your camera via the accessory connection or leaving it at home for increased mobility and flexibility in use. There’s also an FL-LM1 TTL flash, which has a guide number (GN) of 7′ (2.1 m) at ISO100 and 10′ (3.05 m) at ISO200 and a guide number (GN) of 7′ (2.1 m) at ISO200.

Auto, manual, fill-in, off, red-eye reduction, second-curtain sync, slow sync, and slow sync / red-eye reduction are some of the flash settings available. Speed of flash synchronization: 1/250 sec at maximum; varies depending on flash type and mode: FL-LM1/2: 1/250 sec, FL-50R: 1/180 sec, Other: 1/200 sec, Super FP: 1/125-1/4000 sec Flash exposure adjustment is adjustable in stages of 0.3, 0.5, and 1 EV, with a maximum of 3 EV.

Bulb Shooting is a term used to describe the act of shooting a target in the dark.

Previewing the impact on the LCD panel will help you decide on the exposure time you wish to use. If you’re shooting with a bulb, the image is refreshed at regular intervals, such as every 0.5 seconds.

The shutter is opened by fully pushing the release button once, and it is closed by fully pressing the button again. The shutter may remain open for up to 30 minutes, which is ideal for exceptionally long exposures.

System That Can Be Expanded

The E-PL5 is compatible with a wide selection of interchangeable lenses, accessories, and strobes, allowing it to meet the demands of photographers of all skill levels.

The Accessory Port is located on the back of the computer.

The design of this camera include a connector for attaching accessories like as flashes, the PENPAL, the MAL-1 Macro Light, the SEMA-1 Microphone adapter, and the VF-2 and VF-3 viewfinders, among others. External flashes that are compatible: FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R, FL-50R, FL-36R, FL-20, FL-14, FL-300R, FL-600R

Recording Audio in a Professional Environment

Use uncompressed CD-quality 16bit/44.1kHz Linear PCM stereo recording or AC3 Dolby Digital audio for your movies. Wind Noise Reduction is included into the microphone, and audio dubbing is allowed for still images (up to 30 sec.)

Playback of photos and videos is simple on your HDTV.

Connecting the E-PL5 to your HDTV with an HDMI connection (not included) is all it takes to access the camera’s menus on your HDTV when using the HDMI output. This is ideal for displaying your photographs and videos to a large group of people.

Shooting Using Multiple Exposures

You may express yourself artistically directly in the camera thanks to the Multiple Exposure option. It is possible to take two photos and merge them to generate a single unique image. Take use of Auto gain and Exposing on a recorded image (RAW). Exposure bracketing is available in two, three, or five frames in 0.3/0.7/1.0EV stages, as well as seven frames in 0.3/0.7EV steps. 3 or 5 frames in 2.0/3.0EV stages are selectable for HDR post-processing; 7 frames in 2.0EV steps are selectable for HDR post-processing —Using this function, it is not possible to make an HDR image.

Compensation for Exposure

Selectable stages of 1/3, 1/2, and 1 EV for a total of 3 EV. With the exception of Custom WB, white balance correction consists of about 7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis.

Aspect Ratios That Are Not Listed

In order to frame your photographs to whatever proportions you like, the E-PL5 allows you to choose from five different aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9, 1:1, and 3:4). These aspect ratios are suitable for anything from standard enlargements to viewing on widescreen displays.

System for Dust Reduction That Has Been Proven

The Dust Reduction System from Olympus ensures that photographs are clear of spots, even after changing lenses. Every time you switch on the camera, the Supersonic Wave Filter quietly vibrates, clearing dust from the image sensor so that it does not interfere with the image capture at any point in time.

ePortrait Mode (also known as ePortrait Mode)

Beautiful portraits may be captured quickly and easily with the ePortrait Mode, which allows you to smooth your subject’s skin tone and soften shadows either before or after the image has been captured.

Advanced Shadow Adjustment Technology is used in this video.

In your photographs, you no longer have to be concerned about the high contrast between dark and light parts anymore. The E-Shadow PL5’s Adjustment Technology compensates for severe light differences with high-tech efficiency, either before you shoot or during post-capture touch-ups after you’ve captured the image.

Magnification in the Live View

MF Assist can be engaged during S-AF + MF operation in order to achieve more precise manual focusing. By rotating the focus ring, you can zoom in on the core section of the image up to 14 times, which is rather impressive.

Dial the mode of operation

Features Program modes such as Aperture Priority, Manual, and Scene Select Modes may be customized using My Sets to meet your specific shooting requirements. You have the ability to record up to four different settings.

Rotation of the image during playback

The image is automatically rotated in playback when you take a portrait with a camera.

The grip is detachable and included.

The camera’s feel may be customized in order to meet your specific requirements or tastes.

Editing RAW Data Right in the Camera

Selects numerous parameters for RAW data editing—which provides you with greater creative power than JPEG editing—and allows you to preview photographs before making any changes to the image. Resize (1280×960), Trimming (640×480), Aspect, ePortrait, Image Overlay, and Post recording are some of the editing options. RAW development is also available. Gradation auto is also available.

Monochrome and Sepia are also available. You may even modify the hue of your photograph to make it black and white. The development of RAW files is dependent on the camera’s settings (including Art Filter). It is okay to make minor changes to the text (Preview, Memory of 2 settings, re-development).


The self-timer may be programmed to trigger the shutter release at certain intervals, which can be customized. Choose from defaults of 12 or 2 seconds, or create your own unique settings ranging from 1-30 seconds in increments of 0.5, 1, 2, or 3 seconds. You may also select a number of shots ranging from one to ten.

Printing Capabilities

Direct print (DPOF) and print reservation (DPOF) (PictBridge compatible)

Image Share, as well as FlashAir, allow for simple wireless uploads.

There is no requirement for wires or even a computer in this case. With an optional PP-1 PENPAL or Eye-Fi card, you may upload or email photographs immediately from your digital camera.

The E-PL5 is also capable of recording stills and video to SD, SDHC, SDXC, and UHS-I media cards, as well as to a variety of other formats. Uploading photographs to your favorite social networking sites is simple and quick with the OLYMPUS Image Share program, which is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices, as well as the Toshiba FlashAir SDHC memory card.

You may link your camera and smartphone using FlashAir’s built-in smartphone connection capabilities, which allows you to establish a Wi-Fi connection between both. Image Share makes the process of downloading photographs to a smartphone simpler: Simply choose them from the thumbnails, add Art Filters to them on the smartphone, and then share them.

You may also share photographs with friends and family by creating a one-time password that allows several devices to connect to the camera at the same time. Try the Olympus PENPic smartphone application or the iPhone application.

The 14-42mm F/3.5-5.6 II Lens that comes with the package

This camera comes with the M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II lens, which is packaged with it. This 3X zoom lens is small and lightweight, measuring only 1.9 inches in length ” (48mm).

The lens features seven aperture blades that generate realistic background blur and is composed of eight elements in seven groups, including three aspherical glass elements. This flexible lens, which has a focal length range of 14-42mm (35mm equivalent: 28-84mm), is appropriate for daily photography due to its wide-angle to intermediate telephoto capabilities.

Its MSC (Movie & Still-Compatible) mechanism features quick, nearly quiet autofocusing, which will not be picked up by your microphone when you are recording audio in the field.


There are 34 languages available to choose from English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Czech, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Portuguese, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Croat, Slovenian, Hungarian, Greek, Slovakian, Turkish, Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Rumanian, Indonesian, Malay, Thai. English is the default language.

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Specs

Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution4608 x 3456
Other resolutions2560 x 1920, 1024 x 768
Image ratio w:h4:3
Effective pixels16 megapixels
Sensor photodetectors17 megapixels
Sensor sizeFour Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor typeCMOS
ISOAuto (200 – 1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000, 20000, 25600
White balance presets8
Custom white balanceYes (1)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Uncompressed formatRAW
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomNo
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points35
Lens mountMicro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3″
Screen dots460,000
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic (optional)
Minimum shutter speed60 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/4000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashNo (bundled external flash)
Flash range7.00 m (bundled FL-LM1)
External flashYes (Clip-on FL-LM1 included, Hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
Continuous drive8.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing(2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB BracketingYes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Resolutions1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
FormatMPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (Mini HDMI type-C)
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlYes (Optional RM-UC1)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion BLS-5 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)360
Weight (inc. batteries)325 g (0.72 lb / 11.46 oz)
Dimensions111 x 64 x 38 mm (4.37 x 2.52 x 1.5″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Price