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Which battery does the Olympus E-PL5 take?

The Olympus PEN E-PL5 is a digital mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that features a 15.9MP sensor. It is powered by the Olympus BLS-5, which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery pack. Lithium-Ion batteries offer a high energy density and low self-discharge, and are nowadays found in many portable electronic devices.

Battery Pack

The BLS-5 operates at a voltage of 7.2V and has a capacity of 1150mAh. It can be charged from a standard electrical outlet via the Olympus BCS-5 charger (that can be purchased separately, for example, at amazon). The battery pack measures 56 mm in width, 13 mm in height, and 36 mm in depth. It weighs 48 g. The Olympus BLS-5 has been on the market since January 2011 and sells at good camera retailers, such as amazon, for about $60. Olympus provides the BLS-5 in a gray outer finish. Generic alternatives (see below) that are compatible with the Olympus PEN E-PL5 can be obtained at substantially lower cost.

Find a generic replacement for the Olympus BLS-5 at:


What is the difference between the Olympus BLS-5 and the BLS-50?

The BLS-5 was replaced as a battery pack for digital cameras by the BLS-50. Both types operate at a similar voltage and are fully interchangeable, so that the BLS-50 can also be used with the Olympus E-PL5. The main difference between the two packs is their capacity. The Olympus BLS-5 has a 2.2 percent lower mAh value (1150 vs 1175 mAh) and, hence, somewhat weaker performance (2.2 percent fewer shots per battery charge) than the BLS-50.

How many shots can I take with a fully charged ?

The number of shots that one can get out of a battery pack depends heavily on the style and imaging practice of the photographer. For example, the extended use of the LCD screen for framing or reviewing will result in reduced battery performance.

Olympus BLS-5

The Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA) has established guidelines that manufacturers are supposed to respect when reporting the battery life of their cameras. According to this CIPA-rating, the Olympus E-PL5 can take 360 images on a single charge. Given the relatively demanding energy usage of the CIPA procedures, this rated number should be achievable or be surpassed in most practical situations. However, if the environment is cold, the LCD screen is used heavily, or the camera is turned on and off frequently, battery mileage might drop towards or even below the rating. Also, as the battery pack ages, its performance will tend to deteriorate.


What about generic battery packs?

Olympus sells the original BLS-5 battery pack at quite a steep price. This premium pricing strategy has left room in the market for third party suppliers to offer fully compatible battery packs at much lower prices. Savings from buying generic replacement batteries can amount up to 70 percent of the price of the genuine battery pack.

Olympus BLS-5 Specifications

  • Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack
  • Compatibility: Olympus E-PL5 & other selected Olympus cameras
  • Voltage: 7.2V DC
  • Capacity: 1150mAh
  • Number of shots (CIPA) with the Olympus E-PL5: 360

Indeed, one can often find a variety of competitively-priced BLS-5 replacements from different vendors at major online platforms (see, for example, here on ebay). All these generic alternatives should work fine with your Olympus E-PL5. So why would anybody then buy the more expensive original battery? Well, below are some arguments in favor of the genuine Olympus BLS-5, which can perhaps be summarized as "peace of mind":

  • Assurance that the warranty of the camera will not be rendered void if a battery-related failure occurs;
  • Assurance that the battery pack will indeed have the stated capacity;
  • Assurance that the battery will have low self-discharge rates and, thus, will hold its charge even when not in use;
  • Assurance that the power unit will not trigger any warning messages on the camera and can be effectively charged with the standard charger;
  • Assurance that the manufacturing process has respected the safety guidelines for Lithium-Ion batteries;

If you can live without these assurances, then you are in for some nice savings from buying generic replacements for the Olympus BLS-5. Unfortunately, the market for generic battery packs is rather fluid, with new trade names popping up regularly while others disappear. Hence it is difficult to keep track of all the suppliers and the quality of their products. That said, in North America, battery packs from Wasabi have gained a good reputation, while in Europe, replacement power packs from Patona have received many favorable reviews. In any case, the existing comparisons tend to find that the cheapest of the generic replacement packs score worse in terms of achieving their rated capacity, holding their charge over time, or allowing for a large number of charge-discharge cycles than somewhat pricier battery packs (or the genuine Olympus offer). Thus, the old adage, "If the price sounds too low to be true, it probably is" has some merit with respect to camera batteries also. You can check the current offers and prices for the original Olympus BLS-5 and its clones by using the buttons below.

Find a generic replacement for the Olympus BLS-5 at:


Which other cameras use the Olympus BLS-5 or the BLS-50?

The E-PL5 is not alone in using the Olympus BLS-5 or the BLS-50. Several other cameras from Olympus are powered by the same type of lithium-ion pack. The adjacent table lists some of them along with a selection of their headline specifications.

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Cameras using the Olympus BLS-5 or the BLS-50
Battery life
Sensor Size
Launch Price
Street Price
1Olympus E-M5 IIIOlympus BLS-50310Four Thirds20.2414Oct 20191,199ebay.com
2Olympus E-M10Olympus BLS-5320Four Thirds15.9396Jan 2014699ebay.com
3Olympus E-M10 IIOlympus BLS-50320Four Thirds15.9390Aug 2015649ebay.com
4Olympus E-M10 IIIOlympus BLS-50330Four Thirds15.9410Aug 2017649ebay.com
5Olympus E-M10 IVOlympus BLS-50360Four Thirds20.2383Aug 2020699amazon.com
6Olympus E-P3Olympus BLS-5330Four Thirds12.2369Jun 2011799ebay.com
7Olympus E-P7Olympus BLS-50360Four Thirds20.2337Jun 2021799amazon.com
8Olympus E-PL2Olympus BLS-5280Four Thirds12.2362Jan 2011599ebay.com
9Olympus E-PL3Olympus BLS-5300Four Thirds12.2313Jun 2011599ebay.com
10Olympus E-PL5Olympus BLS-5360Four Thirds15.9325Sep 2012599ebay.com
11Olympus E-PL6Olympus BLS-5360Four Thirds15.9325May 2013599ebay.com
12Olympus E-PL7Olympus BLS-50350Four Thirds15.9357Aug 2014599ebay.com
13Olympus E-PL8Olympus BLS-50350Four Thirds15.9357Sep 2016549ebay.com
14Olympus E-PL9Olympus BLS-50350Four Thirds15.9380Feb 2018599ebay.com
15Olympus E-PL10Olympus BLS-50350Four Thirds15.9380Oct 2019599ebay.com
16Olympus E-PM1Olympus BLS-5330Four Thirds12.2265Jun 2011499ebay.com
17Olympus E-PM2Olympus BLS-5360Four Thirds15.9269Sep 2012499ebay.com
18Olympus Stylus 1Olympus BLS-54101/1.711.8402Oct 2013699ebay.com
19Olympus Stylus 1sOlympus BLS-504501/1.711.8402Apr 2015699ebay.com

Olympus BLS-5 FAQ

The Olympus BLS-5 is the standard power source for the E-PL5. As such it is an indispensable camera accessory. Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular aspects of the battery pack and Lithium-Ion power units more generally.

Is there a car charger available for the BLS-5?

Olympus does not offer a travel charger, but third party suppliers might do (see here on ebay).

Can I use the BLS-5 in any of my other electronic devices?

No, the battery is specifically designed for use in the Olympus E-PL5 and other selected cameras from Olympus.

How should the BLS-5 be stored?

Lithium-ion batteries can hold a charge for a long time. However, these battery packs have a safety mechanism built-in that disables any re-charge if the voltage drops below a certain minimum level. To avoid this safety-trigger to be activated, the battery pack should be charged at least once every few months.

How should I discard my old Olympus BLS-5 battery pack?

The contents of Lithium-Ion batteries is under pressure and the packs can explode if exposed to extreme heat. Lithium-Ion battery units should therefore never be incinerated and should not be thrown into the household trash, but put into the recycling stream. Most places that sell camera batteries will also accept them back for recycling.

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