on July 6, 2013
Just received my E-P5 + VF4 + 17mm lens kit yesterday! I've had a chance to try it out some, and draw some quick comparisons to the EM5.
I ALREADY HAVE AN EM5. SO WHY DID I PURCHASE THE EP5 KIT? I got into photography during the digital age, and like many photographers in their 30s, have become accustomed to composing with the screen. In contrast to many others, I upgraded from the EPL1 to the EM5 not for the built-in VF but for the IBIS and improved IQ. I went ahead and got the battery grip as well because I got a good package deal. I've done a lot of traveling over the past year. Although I use the landscape grip all the time, I hardly ever use the VF, except when in bright sunlight. Although I love my EM5, I've been frustrated with the certain aspects of the handling: the implementation of the bracketing function, the small size of the function buttons. I found that the placement of the control wheels made it uncomfortable to hold the camera without the landscape grip. Another consideration is that my needs have changed. Because of my new job, I won't be traveling that much over the next year or so, and plan on shooting primarily at family events, at restaurants and bars, and on the street. The ability to fit the EP5 with a compact lens in a small case--together with the fact that the EP5 has a built-in flash--also appealed to me. Finally, aside from the 12-35mm, which I use quite a bit, all the other lenses I use are quite small.
HANDLING: Because of the placement of the buttons and the shape of the front part of the grip (extends further toward the lens mount), I find the EP5 more comfortable to hold than the EM5 sans landscape grip. The EM5 with landscape grip is undeniably more comfortable when shooting with heavier lenses like the 12-35mm. I find the EP5 comfortable enough for short periods of time (which is all I need it for), especially since I tend to shoot with 2 hands. However, if I were shooting events in which I have to hold up the camera for extended periods of time (like weddings), the EM5 would be a better choice.
OPERATION: The 2x2 switch (which allows you to change the function of the control wheels) together with the ability to assign My Sets to the control dial makes a huge difference. If you set up the camera properly, I can see no reason why I'd ever need to dive into those Olympus menus. I use the 2x2 button to switch from exposure control to white balance / ISO. I've set up function 1 as HDR bracketing, which allows you to switch bracketing on and off with a push of the button (i.e., you don't have to hold on to the function button while shooting, as is the case with the EM5), and you can change bracketing settings just by holding down the button and toggling the rear control wheel. I.e., no need to dive into the menus. I've assigned focus peaking to the magnify button, flash to the right direction button, and bracketing / timer to the down direction button. Unfortunately, the button assignments carry across all four mysets. It's impossible to set a function button to do one thing in myset 1 and another thing in myset 2. But I guess that keeps it simpler, and it's not a problem for me.
One problem with the EM5 is that you have to dive into the menus to change my sets (no way of doing it on the control dial, as with the GH cameras), and it's easy to forget what functions you've assigned. With the EP5, I was able to assign mysets to the control menu in a logical manner that's easy to remember. For instance, when the camera is in A mode, myset 1 is enabled. The settings are S-AF+MF, max auto-ISO 800. Perfect for landscapes or non-moving subjects, when I can afford to have a lower shutter speed and want to keep the ISO down. In contrast, when in S priority, myset 2 is enabled. C-AF, max auto-ISO at 6400. Again, these settings make sense in shutter priority, so they're easy to remember.
I intend to make use of the other two my sets, but haven't yet. All in all, this is wonderful. I can now instantly get the optimal settings for all my common shooting needs just by switching from A to S priority, without diving into menus.
BUILD QUALITY: buttons feel better than the OMD, and the camera in general feels very solid. Although smaller than the OMD, it weighs about the same as the EM5 without the grip. In fact, I remember reading that the EP5 is slightly heavier, although the difference is not readily apparent.
The hot shoe is better implemented in the EP5. One problem with the EM5 is that in order to use the hot shoe, you had to take off two separate protective covers, and the bottom one (silver colored in the silver OMD) is fiddly and difficult to remove. As a result, I found it impractical to attach a flash quickly in the field. If I anticipated needing fill in flash, I would attach it in advance, which made the camera bulkier. With the EP5, the flash is built in. And if you want to use the hotshoe (e.g., to attach the VF4), there's only one piece to remove. It's made of rubber and comes off easily. I can remove the hotshoe cover and attach the VF4 cover in just seconds, without needing to put the camera down on a bench or table.
Although some people might not use the built-in flash at all, I find it useful both for fill-flash (especially outdoors) and to trigger another flash. And sometimes, there are occasions where there's simply not enough available light to shoot without flash. Although you obviously need an off camera flash for optimal IQ, there are occasions when flash is required to "get the picture," and for casual shooting purposes, the results are acceptable.
VF4: As I mentioned above, I rarely used the internal VF in the EM5. Partly because I had become accustomed to shooting without a VF, but also because I found it uncomfortable to look through grainy electronic VFs. In contrast, the VF4 is amazing and does not feel like an EVF. The image is huge, clearer, and not at all grainy. My eyes don't get tired using the VF4. And, as I mentioned earlier, it locks into place securely and can be taken on and off very quickly. One annoying thing is that Olympus did not see fit to include a pouch for either the VF4. In contrast, the external flash that came with the EM5 did include a little pouch. Not a huge deal, but should have been included.
I haven't shot enough to come to a definitive conclusion, but from everything I've read, the IQ should be similar to the EM5. The good news is that according to one article I read, you don't sacrifice much dynamic range at all by using ISO 100 on the EP5, although the EM5 as a whole has slightly more dynamic range than the EP5 across most ISO values. However, the difference seems pretty negligible. See [...] (google the tech radar review).
17mm LENS AND CONCLUSION: When I purchased the kit, my original intention was to sell off the 17mm lens to get the overall price down to $1,000 (a new 17mm lens goes for $499). However, I love the fast autofocus speed of the 17mm, and decided that the pictures were sharp enough for my purposes. Although I found the 20mm slightly shaper in the corners, that's not an issue for me, since I plan on using the lens mainly for human subjects rather than landscapes. I just sold the 20mm lens yesterday on Craigslist for $300. Although not quite as compact as the 20mm lens, it's compact enough to fit in my leather case (pictured above) while attached to the EP5. And even with the 20mm lens, the EP5 will not fit in jeans pocket, and would be uncomfortable even if it did, due to the weight. One further advantage of the 17mm is the snap to MF feature: if you pull the manual focus back (into the lens), the camera will automatically switch to MF mode. I.e., without having to change any settings on the camera itself. The snap to MF mode also works great in conjunction with FP! The only issue I had is that the infinity mark on the camera is slightly off. On my lens, if I want it to focus to infinity, I turn the MF ring so that it's slightly shy of the infinity mark. But in practice, this is not an issue once you're aware of it, especially if you use focus peaking.
on March 23, 2014
To qualify myself I have a successful photography business and I have shot every level of camera out there. I shoot weddings, commercial work, event photography, family portraits, and much more all with M43 cameras. Was a Nikon guy until 3 years ago but 3 Nikons with back focus issues pointed me towards the M43 revolution. I have never looked back and I have owned about every Olympus M43 camera they make. I currently shoot with the E-M1 and E-M5 and my results have been beyond stellar. There are currently no APS-C cameras nor Full Frame cameras that interest me in the least bit because my results with Olympus has been so spectacular. The sharpness in focus with these cameras are second to none. That brings me to the E-P5. I have to say after several days use, it is my favorite M43 camera ever and that says a lot being that I own the E-M1. This camera is amazingly solid, controls are very logical and everything works as a rangefinder style body should. This camera even more so than my other Olympus cameras truly puts the fun back in photography. This camera is just plain sexy and the image quality is amazing. I love hearing people say but when I zoom in 500% the 43 sensor just doesn't cut it. I say you are so beyond anal and need to focus on artistry not pixels. Why are photographers so afraid of grain? Remember when you used to pick a film for its graininess to add to the artistic value? That being said, the grain is so extremely well controlled and has an amazing film quality to it. This has been the case with about every Olympus camera I have owned. I am so glad I picked this camera over the GX7 and the VF-4 is a must. Buy this camera if you want the best bang for your buck with unreal IQ and portability. To show you what these cameras can do search Brock Best Photography on Google to see my work. If you buy this camera you won't be sorry.
This camera has truly become my favorite Olympus camera. I have put thousands of images through it (professionally) and it has been ultra reliable never letting me down. You would not believe the rave reviews it gets from people on looks and it strikes up conversations everywhere I go.
on September 29, 2013
I've had the e-p5 for several months now -- long enough for a medium-length trip to Europe and a short jaunt around Cape Cod. The e-p5 is a wonderful kit. The camera feels solid, the controls are intuitive and the LCD is a revelation. I previously owned an e-pl2 with a VF2 viewfinder and virtually never shot without the VF2. So I hesitated to buy the e-p5 since it does not have a built-in evf. But I'm delighted in my choice because the tiltable lcd on the e-p5 is fantastic. It's clear and bright enough for most daylight situations and using it is a bit like the old medium-format cameras where you frame your shot by looking down at a viewfinder rather than holding the camera to your face. It's quite nice! There are some situations where the VF-4 (yes I bought that too) is superior but not as many as I had assumed. What's nice is that the e-p5 without the VF-4 is a very unobtrusive piece of gear.
The camera feels an order of magnitude faster than the e-pl2 and actually as fast as any of the DSLR's that I've handled. It starts up in a flash, focuses quickly and with a fast SDXC card it can shoot JPEG+RAW with no delay. The Olympus menus are a challenge but the touch screen on the e-p5 helps out a bit here and once you figure out how to use them the flexibility is fantastic. For example you can bind saved settings ("mysets" in Olympus-speak) to positions on the mode dial. That means that I can set the camera up so that switching to 'P' gets my favorite settings, but switching to ART gives me P-mode + exposure bracketing (I never apply ART filters in-camera). I can leave iAuto unaltered for my wife or times when I don't want to fuss with a lot of photo-geekery. Nearly a perfect setup.
Some have found the battery life too short but I've spent a long day taking several hundred shots and not run out of juice. If you are a pro or you just like to shoot 350+ shots on a charge, you probably need to carry a spare battery. Not an issue for me. The 5-axis stabilization is amazing too. I have taken handheld shots at 1/15s and had them come out tack-sharp. The built-in WiFi lets me transfer pictures to my iPad for review without messing with cables (and my SDXC card doesn't seem to get along with the iPad camera adapter). It also allows for GPS tagging but this is my only real complaint about the e-p5. I wish it had built-in GPS and didn't require the OI.Share app to do the tagging. Tagging via OI.Share can fail in several ways. First the camera must be set to the correct time -- not trivial if you are switching time zones. The camera appears to update its time when it's WiFi connected but I've had cases where I've changed time zones, shot and THEN connected the camera to OI.Share. At that point the time tags on the photos don't match the data logs and the photos won't geotag. I've also had times where OI.Share just stops logging for no apparent reason.
I hope some of these issues can be fixed by software updates because the trend for most manufacturers is to omit GPS from the camera to save battery life and use your phone. So there isn't an alternative but I wish it would be more foolproof.
A last word isn't really about the e-p5 but about the micro four thirds system. The lens selection for this system blows away competing mirrorless formats. Especially the small, fast primes from Olympus and Panasonic. I've walked around cities at night with the e-p5, a Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and an Olympus 45mm f/1.8 in my pocket and gotten amazing shots using available light. These lenses are small, light, pocketable and amazingly sharp! Using these lenses and the e-p5 (usually without the VF-4) I have a lightweight system that doesn't look like I'm on a safari but I can capture a huge range of clear, beautiful images.
on October 15, 2013
The E-P5 is an awesome camera and by far the best Pen camera to date. It adds several features to the E-M5 and is ignored more than it should be with all the popularity for the GX7 and the EM1. It takes great pictures with ease and it one of the best looking cameras on the market (especially in silver!). I have held the E-P5 and the GX7 and the E-P5 feels better made. The build quality is top notch!
It has more features than the E-M5. These features include built-in Wi-Fi, 1/8000 shutter speed, dual control wheels, focus peaking (needs work but it is there), built-in flash, much better 1,037k dot tilting touch screen, better battery life and faster FPS. The E-M5 has the built-in viewfinder and weather sealed body that the E-P5 does not have.
Some prefer the viewfinder built-in but I prefer the add-on ones that I can use with other cameras. Plus the VF-4 viewfinder for the E-P5 is the best electronic viewfinder I have ever seen. I wear glasses and the viewfinder truly makes you feel like you are a part of the scene. Much better than the earlier add on Olympus viewfinders...It is larger however.
Like other Olympus cameras, the JPEG quality is great and it is loaded with advanced features. It will take awhile to outgrow this camera.
The menus of Olympus are similar to previous models and still not that logical. You just have to take the time and become familiar with them. Other cameras like the Samsung NX300 have a much more refined and more logical menu system.
The E-P5 is well worth the asking price and worthy of the flagship Pen camera that it is. Highly recommended...
on July 10, 2013
This camera is my first high end camera since I borrowed my brothers for a class in high school. In terms of aesthetics, I like the look of the camera. I don't have any problems with the size of the grip, but I am also moving from using a simple point and shoot or phone to this machine. The spin dials are very convenient. The modes of picture taking work well, and I am still experimenting with them. I like the touch screen on the back, and how I can touch on a point in the screen and it immediately takes a picture. You can disable this feature as well, if you don't like it. Currently, since i am still pretty much a novice, I am using the scene modes and the full automatic as I learn how to use the other functions of the camera.
In terms of picture quality, my wife loves it. It's fast, takes great pictures in low light. I purchased this camera for the wifi functionality and the fast shutter speed as we have many nieces and nephews and plan on having kids in the near future. It works really well when taking portrait or action shots with my nieces and nephews. I experimented this on the 4th of July. Lots of sharp candid shots of kids playing. The auto focus on the 17mm is amazingly fast, and only lower light indoor photos had blurring. (I took these during our daytime barbecue). I also took a lot of landscape pictures from our house that all look pretty amazing. Shots were taken both at night and during the day, and they are all very sharp. The in body stabilization worked well for these longer exposure shots. The in body stabilization is very audible in a quiet room. Not as noticeable when you have screaming kids everywhere. In terms of wifi, it is really easy to connect to your smart phone, but it would be nice to be able to connect to a hotspot and upload directly from the camera.
The 17mm lens is really fast. I like it a lot, and have purchased the 45mm lens as well for close more portrait shots. I also picked up the 40-150 lens that I really haven't used yet. That will be employed on our next vacation. Having only the 17mm lens made me realize I needed more. My poor wallet.
Overall, we are really pleased with the camera. We wish the lenses came with lens cap ties, so you don't loose the cap and possibly a lens hood or filter, but I suppose for those who already have them they are unnecessary. It is a high price to put down for being new to photography, but it is well worth the money if you can capture the right photo when you want it. I purchased the camera through a local retailer because amazon had given me an estimated ship date from end of July to August. We pretty much took their only one in stock.
on September 19, 2013
Recently I sold my trusty Nikon D300 and wanted to Upgrade to something a little more modern and compact, but retain the interchangeable lens systems. I first chose a Canon EOS-M and was very disappointed. It was slow and just douldn't ge thte pictures I wanted. I gave it to my girlfriend and started the hunt for another. Luckily a buddy of mine showed me this guy. I checked reviews and bought it as well as a 40-150 zoom lens for a 3 week trip around Argentina.
In short it was amazing. It was small enough to handle and bring everywhere. We went show-shoeing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, skiing and on a street art tour. It performed great in all conditions. I was able to swap lens on horseback in under 30 seconds and quickly take shots in the snow/rain without worry. The screen is fantastic and great for use in the field. The viewfinder was also a huge benefit over my EOS-M, even though it is not as nice a real one on a DSLR.
The only issue I had was the dial for the shot types gets jostled easily and you need to double check it is still on the same setting when you pull the camera out. Mostly just user error on my part and getting used to the new interface.
I am looking forward to buying some new lenses and taking it out around San Francisco and northern California.
I've only had this camera for a couple days so this review is based on some quick observations but so far I've been very satisfied with this camera. It's my first Olympus, having previously used a Panasonic Lumix and a Sony NEX, as well as various Canon SLRs. Both the Lumix and Sony were lacking in some areas such as indoor performance and sports (fast autofocus) so I decided to invest in this camera with hopes of having something that truly could replace my SLR in most situations.
So far, I've been hugely impressed! Out of the box, the camera was set to a default auto white balance that was a lot warmer than I prefer, so I had to dig through the menus to figure out how to correct this but once I found that, I got indoor shots that were really nice. The internal image stabilization did a very nice job and gave me pretty sharp photos considering the very low light I was testing in. Score one for the Olympus.
Next I went outdoors to play around with some action shots with my dogs. I was using the 14-150mm lens, and tried first the Sports mode, but didn't get particularly good results on that, so moved to Aperture priority, set the f-stop to the lowest possible and then set the focus to auto-tracking and as a result I got much nicer results! I still don't think it's ever going to beat my Canon SLR in this area, certainly not with my f/2.8 L lens, as particularly if your subject moves quickly around in the frame it will take some time to find them again, but compared to other mirrorless cameras which are all but useless for action shots, this one was a HUGE improvement. A tougher test will be taking it indoors with one of the prime lenses and seeing if I can shoot something like a basketball game, but based on my observations so far I think I'm going to get some decent results with a little practice.
The built-in flash is about what you would expect. I'm disappointed that Olympus does not incorporate a neat feature that Sony does, that allows you to manually pull the flash back to bounce it. The design looks like it could incorporate it, and makes it far more usable. But still good in a pinch and particularly useful to pair with an external flash.
The VF-4 viewfinder is amazing! It blows away anything else I've ever used on a non-SLR camera, so big and bright and I had no problems using it even with glasses. At one point though it stopped working when I put my eye up to it and I had to turn the camera off for it to start detecting it again. Hope this isn't going to be a common issue. I do wish it was built in though so I could use it along with an attached flash. Since it's not, it would have been nice if it included a carrying case.
The build quality of this camera is excellent, it has a very solid feel, but it is a bit heavier than other mirrorless cameras I have used and I can tell I would start to have some hand fatigue trying to grip it, particularly with any of the larger lenses that I would like to use, and even more so with an attached flash like the FL-600R. I expect I will be looking into adding a grip attachment as a result. The silver and black style that I got is really eye-catching with its retro appearance. Definitely one of the more attractive cameras in this range I've had the opportunity to hold.
One of the big improvements with this camera over the previous model is being able to customize the buttons and dials for your own preferences. I've only just started playing with this, but it's a fantastic feature that any serious photographer is going to get a lot of use out of. This alone makes this camera worth choosing over other similar models. I also appreciated that the screen is a touchscreen versus the Sony NEX which is not. However the Sony did tilt up 180 degrees making it excellent for taking self portraits, something as a single person I did really love. No such feature on this camera, but it does offer better tilt options for working behind the camera.
As far as the camera modes, there's a lot of stuff to play with. I've not yet worked with the WIFI but am looking forward to seeing how much easier it will be to take photos and post them to Facebook versus having to copy them to my computer first. It looks like it only works with Smartphones though, I would have liked the ability to create a connection to the camera from my desktop to transfer photos over the home network, as some iOS apps can do, but seems like it's fairly limited. You can use the Wifi to add Geotagging from the smartphone, but would be easier to just have that built into the camera in the first place. The Photostory mode is fun to play with but would like to be able to use photos I've already taken to put one together, I don't seem to be able to do that. Also disappointed with the Panorama mode, once you have used a Sony which stitches the photos together on the camera in seconds, it's hard to be happy with a really bare bones panorama mode like this one. It really doesn't seem to add anything over what you can do just manually taking photos and stitching them together later in software. Things like Art Filters really aren't features I'd tend to use a whole lot since I prefer to do that kind of thing in post-processing. There are some features this camera includes though that none of the other ones I've owned have that I look forward to trying, like the ability to do time-lapse photography.
I'll have more to add as I get more experience with this camera, but so far I'm pretty impressed with it, obviously there are always little things I would want to tweak or improve but this is still a camera worthy of 5-stars as a best of breed in its category. The fast auto-focus alone makes is far more usable for a wide range of applications that other mirrorless systems fail at handling. It's not cheap, but you definitely are getting what you pay for with this one.
UPDATE: SO I've had the camera now for a few months and have some additional comments. First, while the autofocus is definitely better than other mirrorless cameras I've had it's still not a match for a good SLR and fast lens when it comes to tracking fast moving subjects. I often shoot dog sports like agility and dog disc and this camera simply is not able to handle these well enough to substitute for my SLR and f/2.8 L lens. Not surprising of course, but given that a lot of attention is given to the autofocus improvements in this camera this is important to note. However, it still is a good enough improvement to handle less challenging sports like my nephews playing soccer.
The wifi is a bit of a disappointment. What I really want is a camera that can upload images directly to social media sites, but for this camera, you need to first connect your device to the camera which is kind of tedious to do since it involves enabling the connection on the camera and switching the wifi on the phone, then you copy the photos over, then switch the wifi back to your local network, and then uploading to the social media site(s). Unless I'm somewhere other than at home or where I have a laptop, it's so cumbersome as to not be worth using in most cases. Even when I'm not at home, I'd just as soon use my card reader for my iPad to just pop in the SD card and copy the photos that way. So if this is a deciding factor for you in buying this camera, I'd say don't bother. Of more use is the ability to remotely trigger the camera with your phone which is certainly useful but could certainly be accomplished in other ways.
The viewfinder continues to impress. I haven't had any further issues with it not working properly, so that issue seems to have been an anomaly. Whenever I give my camera to someone else to use, they always comment on the viewfinder and want to know about the camera because of how nice it is to have both a viewfinder and LCD option. I do a lot of shooting outside and in bright sun particularly it's just essential to have. The downside of course is that since it's not built in, you can't easily use both the viewfinder and a flash, unless you use the flash off-camera. I need to learn how to do this, because it does drive me nuts that I have to take the viewfinder off to use the flash, I really am not sure why they just didn't build it into the camera as with the OM-D.
One issue we did run into was when I handed my camera to someone else to take a photo and they touched a corner of the LCD which zoomed in the view to an extreme closeup, which took us awhile to figure out how to turn it back off. I'd rather it wasn't so easy to hit this accidentally but in the future I'll try to remember to lock the viewfinder on so that the LCD is just turned off.
on 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 17mm f1.8 and 45mm primes are sufficiently sharp. But what surprised me is the kit 40-150mm ii lens. I’m getting great results except at 130-150mm where 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. I really love the build quality of the 17mm f1.8 and 12-50mm macro lenses. Color rendition on most of the Oly lenses is also very nice. I’ve had no trouble getting the depth of field and bokeh I want from any of them so far.
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.
• 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.
• Sound Quality – Video sound quality could be better. An external mic is the best way to go here.
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.
on July 21, 2013
I also own an Olympus E-P3, the predecessor to the E-P5. With the E-P3 I use the 14-42mm zoom lens, the 14-150mm zoom lens, the 15mm body cap lens, and a Panasonic 14mm prime lens. Of those, the one that is on my camera 95% of the time is the 14-150mm. I love the size and weight of the E-P3 and the quality of the pictures it produces, so it was not a difficult decision for me to upgrade to the E-P5. When I received the E-P5, I was very happy with the new features. I also liked the 17mm prime lens that came with the kit, which in combination with the E-P5 produced the most outstanding pictures.
Unfortunately, there is one element of the E-P5 that turned out to be a show-stopper for me. I've since (sadly and reluctantly) returned the camera.
I use my E-P3 with the optional large grip. It makes the camera a delight to hold and use. With any of the lenses, it is a wonderfully comfortable and balanced product. Not so the E-P5. It comes with a small permanent grip that is not helpful in any way. There is no natural position for the fingers on the front face of the camera. With no place to adequately 'grip' the grip, one must exert a lot of pressure squeezing the front and back panels in order to hold the camera properly.
I did an A-B comparison between the E-P3 and the E-P5 using the same lenses on each camera. The result: I could hold the E-P3 in my hand all day; with the E-P5, I couldn't wait to take the shot and put the thing down. Maybe those who never held an E-P3 won't notice this problem. Many on-line and magazine reviewers, though, have noted their dislike for the E-P5 grip. Despite its other wonderful features and qualities, the E-P5 body is a no-go for me.
I contacted Olympus on the off-chance that they might be developing a larger grip as an add-on accessory. They responded that there is no new E-P5 grip in the works. So, the camera is now in the mail heading back to Amazon. If someone comes across an add-on grip for the camera, please let me know. If it works, I'll re-purchase the E-P5 in a NY minute.
on January 5, 2015
This thing has been driving me crazy for the weeks I've owned it.
I'm upgrading from a Panasonic GF1, which, I'm realizing in retrospect, is probably one of the best digital cameras ever made. It took great pictures, all the buttons and dials you needed to control your photography were laid out in front of your thumb. It worked, and it took 5 years of owning it before I realized how intuitively and well it worked--not until my E-P5 arrived in the mail.
Pretend we're talking about your car. You can make the brake pedal control the volume of the radio or stop the car or adjust the wipers. You can make the FM tuner dial switch radio stations or adjust the RPM or increase the intensity of the headlights. The glove compartment handle--you want that to open the glove compartment, or would you prefer it to pop the trunk? Oh, by the way, whatever you decide, you have to program a mainframe with punchcards to get anything to happen.
I've been trying to figure out how to make this camera usable since I turned it on. Aren't there designers and engineers at Olympus whose jobs are to make the controls not a jigsaw puzzle? And then, for all its stunning, needless complexity, some of the controls don't even work! You can save "myset" configurations of settings and controls and assign them to spots on the control dial on top of the camera. Thing is, only some of the settings are saved when you access them via the control dial--for the rest of the saved settings you have to navigate through layers of software menus to turn on your "myset" manually. Huh?
More annoying things:
1) There's a bug with the E-P5 and the Panasonic 20mm/1.7 pancake lens. This lens is one of the main reasons to own a Micro-4/3 camera. At ISOs of 3200 and above, weird horizontal pinstripes can appear, like radio interference. This happens with versions I and II of the pancake lens.
2) There has been much praise of the E-P5's autofocus, and it's definitely quick on my Olympus 45mm/1.8, but with Panasonic lenses it's slower than my GF1. With the 20mm pancake lens, the autofocus is positively bad, searching for three or more seconds in less-than-glaring light.
3) For some reason Olympus RAW files are about three times slower in Adobe Lightroom than Panasonic RAW files.
4) The GF1 compensates for chromatic aberration. The E-P5 doesn't, and I have to fix it manually in Lightroom.
That said, it's true what everyone else is writing. It takes stunning pictures. It can basically operate in the dark, hand-held. The image stabilization defies logic. ISO 3200 looks like ISO 400 did on my GF1, and even the higher ISOs, while grainy, have a kind of grain that looks like film in the (extremely slow) RAW files. ISO 25,600 is grainy enough that it barely looks like a digital photo, but behind washed-out colors and white flecks of noise are surprisingly sharp details. I've seen the future, and the future is a two-year-old digital camera.
But the E-P5 shares a sensor with a bunch of other Olympus cameras, many of which are much cheaper than this one. The reason they charge the money for the E-P5 versus the E-PL or the E-PM is because of putatively better handling. And, sure, the dials feel nice, and the buttons sound good when they go "click," but if it takes more work to configure your new camera than it does to configure a new desktop computer, it's hard to argue that your camera handles particularly well.
The E-P5 is a book that needs an editor.