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Olympus E-P5 Comparison Review

The Olympus PEN E-P5 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera that was officially introduced in May 2013 and is equipped with a Four Thirds sensor. It offers a resolution of 15.9 megapixel.

camera

Is the Olympus E-P5 a good camera? The E-P5 has a Camera Elo of 1901. This rating puts the E-P5 below average of all mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (Four Thirds cameras), the E-P5 also ranks below average. Based on its within category standings, the camera earns a 2.5-star performance rating. – Well, the Olympus E-P5 is more than 9 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2013.

Headline Specifications
Olympus E-P5
Mirrorless system camera
Micro Four Thirds lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor
1080/30p Video
ISO 200 - 25 600
Viewfinder optional
3.0 LCD, 1037k dots
Tilting touchscreen
9 shutter flaps per second
In-body stabilization
330 shots per battery charge
122 x 69 x 37 mm, 420 g

Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.

Body comparison with a credit card

An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Olympus E-P5 vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Olympus E-P5 vs credit card front
E-P5 versus credit card top view
E-P5 and credit card rear side

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Olympus E-P5 alongside a set of similar cameras. If you want to review a particular camera pair side-by-side, just move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible comparisons there.

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Body Specifications
    Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
Weather
Sealing
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-P5 122 mm 69 mm 37 mm 420 g 330 n May 2013 999ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus PEN-F 125 mm 72 mm 37 mm 427 g 330 n Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II 120 mm 83 mm 47 mm 390 g 320 n Aug 2015 649ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 119 mm 82 mm 46 mm 396 g 320 n Jan 2014 699ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-PL7 115 mm 67 mm 38 mm 357 g 350 n Aug 2014 599ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-M1 130 mm 94 mm 63 mm 497 g 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-M5 122 mm 89 mm 43 mm 425 g 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-PL5 111 mm 64 mm 38 mm 325 g 360 n Sep 2012 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-PM2 110 mm 64 mm 34 mm 269 g 360 n Sep 2012 499ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-P3 122 mm 69 mm 34 mm 369 g 330 n Jun 2011 799ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GX7 123 mm 71 mm 55 mm 402 g 350 n Aug 2013 999ebay.com
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Olympus E-P5 was launched in the US market at a price of $999. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.

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Sensor comparison with a 35mm slide

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

The Olympus E-P5 features a Four Thirds sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 2.0. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Olympus E-P5 among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability.

Olympus E-P5 sensor measures

For most cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of alternative cameras.

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Sensor Characteristics
    Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
1.
 
Olympus E-P5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.489572
2.
 
Olympus PEN-F Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38881080/60p23.112.489474
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.112.584273
4.
 
Olympus E-M10 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388472
5.
 
Olympus E-PL7 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.487372
6.
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773
7.
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671
8.
 
Olympus E-PL5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.812.388972
9.
 
Olympus E-PM2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p22.712.293272
10.
 
Olympus E-P3 Four Thirds 12.2 4032 30241080/60i20.810.153651
11.
 
Panasonic GX7 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60p22.612.271870

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The E-P5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities. The highest resolution format that the E-P5 can use is 1080/30p.

Feature comparison

Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The adjacent tables list some of the other core features of the Olympus E-P5 along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

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Core Features
    Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Specifications
(inch/000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Max
Shutter
Speed *
Max
Shutter
Flaps *
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
1.
 
Olympus E-P5optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 9.0/s Y Y
2.
 
Olympus PEN-F2360 n3.0 / 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II2360 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
4.
 
Olympus E-M101440 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s Y Y
5.
 
Olympus E-PL7optional n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
6.
 
Olympus E-M12360 n3.0 / 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0/s n Y
7.
 
Olympus E-M51440 n3.0 / 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0/s n Y
8.
 
Olympus E-PL5optional n3.0 / 460 tilting Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
9.
 
Olympus E-PM2optional n3.0 / 460 fixed Y 1/4000s 8.0/s n Y
10.
 
Olympus E-P3optional n3.0 / 614 fixed Y 1/4000s 3.0/s Y Y
11.
 
Panasonic GX72760 n3.0 / 1040 tilting Y 1/8000s 5.0/s Y Y
Notes: *) Information refers to the mechanical shutter, unless the camera only has an electronic one.

The LCD screen on the Olympus PEN E-P5 is flexibly attached to the body. In particular, the LCD can be tilted vertically to facilitate odd-angle shots in landscape orientation. This tilting design is often preferred, for example, by street photographers to a fully articulated, swivel type of LCD attachment, as it is more unobtrusive during shooting than a screen that flips out to the side.

articulated screen
Flexible screen on the E-P5

One convenient feature of the E-P5 is the presence of an on-board flash. While this built-in flash is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light to brighten deep shadow areas.

Connection comparison

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Olympus PEN E-P5 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

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Input-Output Connections
    Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Mic / Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
1.
 
Olympus E-P5Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
2.
 
Olympus PEN-FYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 IIYstereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
4.
 
Olympus E-M10Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
5.
 
Olympus E-PL7Ystereo / mono--micro2.0Y--
6.
 
Olympus E-M1Ystereo / monoY-micro2.0Y--
7.
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
8.
 
Olympus E-PL5Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
9.
 
Olympus E-PM2Ystereo / mono--mini2.0---
10.
 
Olympus E-P3Ystereo / ---mini2.0---
11.
 
Panasonic GX7Ystereo / mono--mini2.0YY-

It is notable that the E-P5 offers wifi support. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.

Expert reviews

While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the handling experience and imaging performance when actually working with the E-P5. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased. This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]).

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Review Scores
     Camera 
 Model 
 AP 
 score 
 CL 
 score 
 DCW 
 score 
 DPR 
 score 
 EPZ 
 score 
 PB 
 score 
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Olympus E-P55/5+ +..78/1004.5/55/5 May 2013 999ebay.com
2.
 
Olympus PEN-F....4/582/1004.5/55/5 Jan 2016 1,199ebay.com
3.
 
Olympus E-M10 II4.5/5+ +..80/1005/55/5 Aug 2015 649ebay.com
4.
 
Olympus E-M104/5....80/1005/55/5 Jan 2014 699ebay.com
5.
 
Olympus E-PL74/5+....5/54/5 Aug 2014 599ebay.com
6.
 
Olympus E-M15/5+ +..84/1004.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399ebay.com
7.
 
Olympus E-M54/5+ +..80/1004.5/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299ebay.com
8.
 
Olympus E-PL53/5+ +....4.5/54.5/5 Sep 2012 599ebay.com
9.
 
Olympus E-PM23/5....77/1005/54.5/5 Sep 2012 499ebay.com
10.
 
Olympus E-P3..83/100..74/1004.5/54.5/5 Jun 2011 799ebay.com
11.
 
Panasonic GX74/5+..79/1005/55/5 Aug 2013 999ebay.com
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.

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Olympus E-P5 FAQ

Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the E-P5.

What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the E-P5?

The camera features a CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensor.

Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?

Olympus equipped the E-P5 with the TruePic VI image processor.

What is the ISO sensitivity range of the E-P5?

The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 25600, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600.

Can the camera be equipped with an optional viewfinder?

Yes, Olympus provides the VF-4 as an accessory (here on amazon) that can be mounted on the hotshoe.

What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Olympus PEN E-P5?

Olympus does not publish a shutter rating for the E-P5. Yet, shutters in comparable cameras from other manufacturers are said to be good for at least 100 000 actuations. It should be noted, though, that this number represents a Mean Time before Failure. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust an expected shutter life of 100 000 shots over, say, three years, one would have to take about 100 pictures each and every day.

How do I find the shutter count on my E-P5?

Olympus embeds the number of shutter actuations in hidden menus. You can check the number of shots that your E-P5 has taken up to now by carefully following the steps described on the Olympus E-P5 shutter count page.

Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?

No, the Olympus PEN E-P5 has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.

Is it difficult to use manual focus lenses with the Olympus E-P5?

The E-P5 offers focus peaking as a manual focus aid. This feature works by placing a colored highlight on in-focus zones within the image.

Does the Olympus E-P5 feature an autofocus assist light?

Yes, the camera has a lamp built-in that can illuminate the subject and improve autofocus in low-light settings.

What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?

The E-P5's flash sync speed is 1/320 sec.

Does the Olympus E-P5 support the Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus interface for SD cards?

Yes, the camera can indeed use UHS-I cards (data transfer speed of up to 104 MB/s).

Which battery does the E-P5 use?

The camera gets its power from the BLN-1 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.

Camera to camera comparisons

In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities with other camera models, just use the search menu below. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.

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    Specifications Summary
    Camera Model Olympus E-P5
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses
    Launch Date May 2013
    Launch Price USD 999
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm
    Sensor Area 225 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4 608 x 3 456 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter
    Movie Capability 1080/30p Video
    ISO Setting 200 - 25 600 ISO
    ISO Boost 100 - 25 600 ISO
    Image Processor TruePic VI
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 72
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.8
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 895
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Viewfinder optional
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display
    LCD Framing Live View
    LCD Size 3.0 inch
    LCD Resolution 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Tilting screen
    V-logging Friendliness No front-flip
    Touch Input Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidFocus Peaking
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s
    Continuous Shooting 9 shutter flaps/s
    Shutter Life Expectancy100 000 actuations
    Silent Shootingno E-Shutter
    Time Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer Built-in
    Image StabilizationIn-body stabilization
    Fill Flash Built-in Flash
    Storage Medium SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Single card slot
    UHS card support UHS-I
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe
    USB Connector USB 2.0
    HDMI Port micro HDMI
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in
    Body Specs
    Battery Type BLN-1 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)330 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 122 x 69 x 37 mm
    (4.8 x 2.7 x 1.5 in)
    Camera Weight 420 g (14.8 oz)

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