A quick follow up…the Olympus Pen E-P5. What a beauty!

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A quick follow up…the Olympus Pen E-P5. What a beauty!

With all of the chatter on the A7 and A7r as well as the Olympus E-M1 some of us have forgotten about the other Mighty Mirrorless that IMO, beats the Panasonic GX7 in most areas (besides the handy built-in EVF). I recently reviewed the Olympus E-M1, the 1st Micro 4/3 Pro camera ever, and as you could read and see, I loved it. I also reviewed the Panasonic GX7 and declared it the 2nd best Micro 4/3 camera next to the E-M1. Well, I take that back after I have done more shooting with the Olympus E-P5!

Not only is the AF faster than the GX7, the build is better and the design even sexier and I much prefer the color coming from the Olympus E-P5 (which is also different from what comes from the E-M1). The images I am getting are also sharper than the GX7 and due to the VF4, it is a BREEZE to manually focus Leica M mount lenses (not so on the small GX7 finder). I have never officially reviewed the E-P5, though I did do a 1st look video for it a few months ago. You can see it HERE.

I ended up not doing a full review as I found it was close to the OM-D E-M5, but even better in the tech department with some enhancements and improvements. Even so, it is not as easy to hold as the E-M1 or E-M5 but after using it more and more I can state that the 17 1.8 performs like a champ with the P5 as well, just like the E-M1. This camera is about good looks, fast performance and versatility. If Olympus made this exact camera with the EVF-4 built on the back left side it would be nearly perfect. The external is fantastically good but does add a bug hump as well as take away from the sleek design. In Silver, this camera is a thing of beauty with a solid heft to it as well.

Below are a few images I shot today with the E-P5. I have the E-M1 here as well and was curious if there was a difference in IQ between them. From what I see, there is not.

The first two images were shot with the Voigtlander 35 1.2 M mount lens using a cheap adapter.

My dog at ISO 1600. Yes, ISO 1600. From RAW, Zero noise reduction. Low light indoors. Click it for larger. Shot at f/1.2

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35 1.2 at 1.2 – My oh so patient Fiancee doing yet another test shot for me šŸ™‚ Again, with the EVF-4 this camera is a breeze to manually focus.Ā 

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This one was shot with the 45 1.8 and is my cat looking out of the back door at my dog, who was outside with me šŸ™‚

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Me, getting ready for Halloween in my evil clown mask. This one has had some PP using Alien Skin and a Radial Blur filter. 17 1.8

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Ok..maybe she was getting fed up šŸ™‚ This one with the 25 0.95 Nokton at 0.95 – This lens is NOT soft at 0.95 anymore. Try it on the P5 or M1.

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Super sharp at f 1.2 using the Voigtlander – and the Olympus color..THIS is from an OOC JPEG in Vivid mode!

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A NY city scene from my Hotel window

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I will be shooting with the E-P5 for a while along with some various lenses including some M mount lenses to see how it goes. Should be fun.

You can order the E-P5 at Amazon or B&H Photo. It gets my vote for best PEN camera ever, and 2nd best Micro 4/3 ever. The Voigtlander lenses can be seen HERE.

Steve

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95 thoughts on “A quick follow up…the Olympus Pen E-P5. What a beauty!

  1. W O W ~ Steve.
    Your shot of Deb ( Color ), is absolutely exceptional ! Wonderful Color depth and accuracy; and just the right amount of detail. Personally – I like it Much better than any of your Sony Images of her, by far . . . What a versatile camera.
    The first one of your dog is excellent too… Again I prefer this imaging over literally any other camera you have tested on your site.
    P.S. Your B&W of Deb is YOUR Visual Cue – re. how you should take her to dinner…
    And what to STOP Doing. Ha !

    Mike

  2. I have recently bought the EP-5-wow-awesome quality! Problem is that I cannot figure out how to use legacy lenses on this camera. I’ve googled it-gone thru the menu several times and cannot get it. I cant find the “release without lens” in the menu. I also cant find how to implement focus peaking with legacy lenses either. The menu does not show how to adapt legacy lenses as far as I can see.
    ANY help would be terrific
    Thanks in advance

    G Hall

  3. Now, the E-P5 + VF4 + 17 1.8 = 599 Euro New with 2.5 years of Olympus Warranty !
    I already bought such great deal for the Nikon V1, next expecting something similar with Sony A7 šŸ™‚

  4. I have a Pany GF1 and thinking of upgrading either to a GX1 or EP5. I have mostly pany lenses but i have heard in other forums that there is banding with the pany lens/Oly body combo. Is this a significant problem and therefore stick to a Panasonic body

  5. Hi Steve, I really love your blogs
    I have an important question for you: I can get an e-p5 instead of my e-m5 with no money difference
    Do you think that I have to do so?

    I rarely use the viewfinder
    I shot jpeg
    I do not use it for movie
    I like crispy image (what about sharpness)
    Sometimes I use legacy lenses

    Thanks for all and happy new year to you and all the bloggers

    Antonio

    1. Hi Antonio
      You indicate that you use legacy lenses on your EP-5. I cannot figure out how to use them on the EP-5
      there is no “release without lens” in the menu nor can I find how to use focus peaking with legacy lenses

      IBIS as well? I’m really confused

      hope you could help me

      thanks in advance

      Greg Hall

  6. Thanks for the review! I’m planning to get my first camera and I’m looking among the mirrorless. I’ve narrowed down to Olympus EP5, EM5 and EPL6 and also Sony Alpha 7. Could you tell me what’s the main difference EP5 and EPL6 and what causes the big drop in prices? And is it worth it to get Sony A7 at a much higher price for the full frame sensor? Personally which one would you suggest? Thanks! =)

    1. Personally, I would forget about the Sony A7. The lenses are bigger and there aren’t many good lenses to choose from anyway. Low light performance will be better, but you have to ask yourself if that’s what you really need. Also, depth of field will be very narrow. You’ll need to stop down to get the same depth of field you can get with a micro four thirds camera. This can be a blessing, but also a curse. You’ll often find yourself cranking up the ISO or lowering the shutter speed.

      I think the E-M5 is the most versatile camera on your list, but I wonder why the E-M1 didn’t make it on that list. It’s an E-M5 on steroids, a near perfect mirror less camera. Great grip, great viewfinder, lots of buttons, very fast and accurate, weather sealing and the amazing five-axis stabilization with every lens you attach to it. It has all the features you can think of. Well, except for a full frame sensor of course. It’s a really well thought out and versatile little camera. Highly recommended.

  7. Hi Steve,

    first of all I have to say that I appreciate your site and reviews much.
    It’s each time a joy to come across some nice reports of other photographers who also think and work outside of the box.
    I were in the situation that I wanted to replace my E-PL1 with the OM-D E-M5 but ended up with the E-P5 when I had them both in hand and site by site. Crucial for me to chose the E-P5 over the OM-D E-M5 was the feel and the ergonomics. And one reason more which made my decision easier was that Olympus has at the moment as a special offer that you get the EVF for free when you buy the Body.

    The only thing I’m now a bit concerned about is if it was was the right decision to choose the black version instead of the black/silver one.

    It would be interesing how you or other visitors of your page would look on this decision.
    What would be decisive to choose the silver/black over the all black version.

    Thanks and kind regards

  8. Being limited in budget, I am looking at the EM5. Since it is currently the same price as the EP5 with the VF4 would you recommend the EP5 over the EP5. Do to my age and eyesight, I do need the use a evf.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.
    Wayne

    1. Wayne, save some more money and get an E-M1. The E-M1 is not much bigger and probably all the camera you’ll ever need. It has the VF-4 with diopter build in, many customizable buttons, weather sealing and a much better grip then the E-P5. The grip on the E-P5 is really poor compared to the E-M1. You’ll probably are going to tinker with anyway.

  9. Hi,

    I have read that one of the “Cons” of this camera is that it has “complicated controls”. Would anyone care to comment on this say versus the GX7. These are the two cameras I’m thinking of buying and I cannot make a decision yet.

    Thanks

    1. There is nothing complicated at all about any of the micro 4/3 cameras when it comes to control. They are some of the easiest as everything is done with a dial or button on the camera. That you set up. šŸ™‚

  10. I would give you 100% score for the evil clown mask. It is beautiful and sort of reveal what kind of person you are! šŸ™‚
    What effect have you used for the scratched film mask/frame? Is it part of the Alien Skin package?

  11. To each his own, i guess. I much prefer the ergonomics and feel of the GX7. I had both the GX7 and EP5..as well as the Fuji X100s…all together here a week ago and sent the EP5 & Fuji x100s back (thanks B&H!). Files are excellent from all cameras with the Fuji being superior at high iso…but some flaring. The EP5 & GX7 are identical, sharpness wise. Any claim of superiority for either is dependent on lens choice & post processing, as well as subject. Out-of-camera color is a matter of preference as well, and both can be set up to be identical.

    The VF4 does have a “larger” view, but I couldn’t see any clarity advantage over the built-in finder of the GX7…perhaps a tad less smearing. But the VF4 is indeed very nice.

    I was looking for a “complete” package in the these mirror-less systems and the GX7 has it all…the built-in finder, the tilting screen, the flash (small but incredibly handy), and an excellent video codec. Plus, it is very compact and solid in my hands. IBIS or OIS is not a concern for me and find that these features can ruin a shot just as much as they can help it…I’m always baffled by those who keep it activated all the time? That’s not what it was designed for.

    Anyway, I sold my OMD for the GX7 mainly because of the flash & video options. I briefly considered the EM1 but it’s just a tad too large and starts to defeat the size advantage of the m4/3s system.

  12. Should we care about shutter shock, according to manufacturing dates?

    Steve, what is (not yours, but) your wife’s favourite camera(s)???

    1. Well my fiancee does not really ever shoot. So she has no fave camera. As for the shutter shock, could be lenses. I just received a defective 45 1.8 that was giving me soft images and not focusing to infinity. Tried another one at B&H side by side and PERFECTION. Sharp, and no issues. Could be the lenses having issues and not “shutter shock” which in reality is just a theory.

      1. would be an explanation for the many tested bodies in the DPR article about the E-P5. But they tested different lenses like 17mm or 60mm as well. so, still not sure about that…

      2. I get it, your fiancee made you carry the photo gear until you said: “That’s enough, no more DSLRs!” I currently own an E-5, an E-P3 + VF2, and a TZ5, and although the PEN is an extremely pleasant middleground I sometimes wish I could fit both of my beloved Oly IQ power into that nimble, truly pocketable P&S (the only camera format that my wife dares touching…) (Once in a long while.) Would a tiny Ricoh GR with its magical ‘Snap Focus’ do the trick, or would a second-hand E-P3 (’cause I’d get the new E-P5 or E-M1 instead) help save our family photo album!? I was thinking: what would normal persons (like our fiancees – recognizable by their stern looks) want to shoot with, that could perhaps still give out higher-quality keepers more often than not?

        Regarding the “Double Chin” (commonly dubbed “Shutter Shock”) effect, you know that Olympus holds patents for it? Serioulsy, this problem isn’t new nor only pertaining to Oly products if I admit its possibility? So why does DPRw focus so much on it now, via its E-P5 review, all of a sudden? In any case, I think that your “Lens” theory makes as much sense as anything read so far on the matter!

        So back to square one: a glorious E-P5 in familiar zone, or something more daring like a Ricoh GR, Fuji X100s, GX7, D-Lux6 Deluxe, RX100, etc.?

  13. Ya know, I just think the EP-5 is so similar in appearance and spec to what went before it’s a .10 upgrade really, and that great big black lump on the top of it just looks plain silly! No EVF no buy for me. Why don’t Oly dump the damn flash, then they could put the EVF in there, I haven’t used one for years and years – these digicams are plenty good enough in low light not to need fill-in flash anymore. I am a fan of Oly colour and build, and the size, and I would love to get a camera that can fit a few of their really nice m4/3rds primes on it – but they haven’t produced one yet I would buy.

  14. I liked the EP-5 so much I traded in my EM-5. I have big hands and even with the half grip the EM didn’t feel right. The EP does and with a nice Tap and Dye strap it feels great. There are a couple of useful extra features above the EM, then menu structure is better and the ergonomics are way better.
    And while the viewfinder is a bit bulky it is WAY better than the EM, so for me a lovely camera, and in black and silver it is beautiful. Shame about the weather sealing in comparison with the EM, but it is a price worth paying!

  15. Hi Steve … tell me if I’m missing something here. Once you figure in the cost of the optional EV (which juts out rather awkwardly from the camera), is there really any reason to consider an E-P5 instead of just getting an E-M1? Thanks for your input on this!

    1. The E-P5 with EVF-4 and 17 1.8 Lens (A $500 lens) sells for $1399. The same cost as the E-M5 body. So basically you are getting the lens for free when buying an E-P5 over the E-M1. The E-M1 is different in feel 100%. Feels like a mini pro DSLR, but I stress, MINI. It is small. NOt DSLR like at all. EVF is built in. AF is slightly faster and the body is PRO. So all depends on what you want. The PEN is all about style, EVF is removable for those that want compact and the performance seems just as good as the E-M1 in IQ. All up to whatever one wants. I love the E-M1. I really like the E-P5 šŸ™‚ But I have always been a sucker for the PEN series from day one.

      1. I can see there is a lot to like in the E-P5! Just a quick follow-up question. If I already own the Lumix LEICA 25mm f/1.4 (which I bought 2 months ago in anticipation of either the E-M1, GX7, or …) and can get just the E-P5 body with the EVF-4 for $800 new, do you think I can get by with just the 25mm f/1.4, or do you think the 17mm 1.8 is a must have? I know the 25mm certainly isn’t wide, but then again neither is the 17mm. What say you? Thanks!

        1. Are you really asking Steve, what lens you should like and use in your photography?
          Did you asked anyone today, if cereals for breakfast is a must have?

          1. There’s always got to be somebody who is cynical and sarcastic, otherwise it wouldn’t be an Internet forum, right? In case you haven’t read previous posts, Steve has reviewed and given suggestions on various M 4/3 lenses. I have to date never used M 4/3, so I was asking him an opinion on the 17mm, and whether or not it was worthwhile to spring for the cost of the lens even though its focal length isn’t that far off from the 25mm. It was a question about the various lens and their quality, not what focal length I should photograph with. Since you apparently aren’t very fluent in English (it should either be “have you asked anyone today,” or “did you ask anyone today” – also if you used the plural “cereals” then the verb must agree – “are a must,” not “is a must”) perhaps you didn’t really understand my question. Do you understand now?

          2. Beware that the 17mm focal lenght is VERY far off the 25mm, you can have someone let you try a zoom that covers both the FLs and see for yourself…

          3. thank you for the coaching. here is what i will do for you:
            http://lmgtfy.com/?q=%2217%22+1+8+site%3Astevehuffphoto.com

            i understood your questions quite well.
            since i took the time and read many articles of micro43 (but did not buy into the system yet), according to steve the 17mm is very good. even more so on the E-P5 or E-M1.
            IQ wise? i don’t know if it’s better or worse than the 25mm.

            BUT there is a big difference between 35mm and 50mm FOV, which produce TOTALLY different images! so you ask whether you should buy 35mm FOV in addition to your 50mm? a little bit of cynicism is allowed here, right?!

            so: it is a nice lens. BUT IT SOLEMNLY DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU WANT or need.
            do you understand now? šŸ˜‰

        2. i don’t have the 17mm, but I have the Lumix Leica 25mm 1.4.

          I find myself mostly using the 20mm 1.7 Lumix pancake (which is smaller than the Leica) or an old 50mm NIKKOR lens (with an adapter).

          That said, the Leica is a great, great lens (it looks good, and has a lovely bokeh and image quality).

          1. Thanks for your input Mark. I can see if one is looking to take full advantage of the compact nature of M 4/3 the 20mm is a good choice, but I’m a sucker for a good quality prime, which is why I bought the 25mm even before owning a camera to go with it. Since I kind of tend towards portrait work, I figured I would use that as a walk-around (I don’t mind backing up a bit to get a photo if necesary) and then later opt for either the Panasonic 14mm or the Olympus 12mm (ouch) if I needed real wide angle. That combo (25mm and either 12mm or 14mm) kind of makes 17mm a bit redundant (move back a little with the 25mm or in a bit with the 12mm or 14mm). However, so many people rave about the 17mm I was just curious what Steve or others who have used the 17mm might have to say. Thanks again.

          2. Jay..I would not let d*ckshaft bother you… he has no class or grasp on grammar as you appropriately pointed out. There are no bad questions and it’s OK to be new.
            Classic photo lengths in 35mm (Full Frame) are 50mm(normal) 35mm (modest wide angle) 90mm (portrait)…so in MFT…the crop factor is 1/2 those focal lengths …you will see the same thing that a 35mm camera does with 17.5mm (modest wide angle), 25mm (normal), 45mm Portrait.
            Having the 25mm is a great (good quality and fast f/stop) starting point. The 17mm is great for groups of people, environmental portraiture, street shooting. It is a CLASSIC focal length. It is the lens that is alway on my camera and I branch off from there when other needs arise…but everyone is different. (some people love the 20mm because it is small and sharp…I personally find it waaaaay too slow to focus and like my 25mm to 17mm combo…gives me more range and they are both classic focal lengths.. nobody is wrong though!!! LOL_.
            The EP5 comes with VF and 17mm for a GREAT price compared to buying it any other way…so it is kind of silly to by the body an the VF ..you are “almost gettng the 17mm for free.
            Just my 2 cents…hope that is helpful.

          3. Bob … thanks for your input. I am pretty clear on how the different focal lengths work out in practice. In fact, as I already own the 25mm I can get the E-P5 and VF for only $800 (without the 17mm) as opposed to $1200 with it, so I was wondering if I should skip the 17mm and instead consider either the Panasonic 14mm or the Olympus 12mm, both of which are true wide angle lenses, as opposed to 17mm which is as you noted just a modest wide-angle? The 12mm is a $700 lens, but from what I’ve read pretty darn awesome. I guess if you didn’t mind buying a bunch of lenses, 12mm, 17mm, 25mm and perhaps 45mm would be a great combo of primes. But does the 17mm add that much, or could you well do without it? Thanks again!

          4. LOL!!! I have them all….(fisheye, 7-14mm Panny zoom, Oly 12mm, Panny 14mm, Oly 17mm, Panny 25mm, Panny 45mm macro, Oly 45mm, Oly 75mm….and to me each has it place…but I used to be a commercial photographer and am a little intense about my photography..I just do fine art stuff now.. ( I have an gallery exhibit opening tonight with my work in Philly and another opening in a museum in NYC on Monday night that I have a print in….so I am pretty specific about which lens I want for a certain image…I am also a little nutZ!!! LOL!
            There may be an angle of view that you really like to compose with…and it is such a personal thing…it is different for everyone…you have to DO go know..so stay open and listen to your instincts…Steve Huff loves 35mm and 50mm on FF cameras…he shoots almost exclusively with them..but he will go a little wider sometimes, too ..depending…me… lately, I prefer an tripod, my Canon 5DIII and a 17mm tilt/shift lens for the last year or so…your feelings (viewpoint) can change too….
            I would say…get your hands on a cheap zoom or the like and see if you gravitate toward a particular type of framing when you shoot…and then buy a prime in that focal length…the cool thing is …most of these lenses hold their value..so you can sell them and recover a lot of your cost if you want to make some changes…It is all a journey and great fun, though!

          5. Again thanks for your input. If photography is your bread and butter I can certainly see the justification for experimenting with and owning many lenses … certainly wouldn’t call it nuts. For the rest of us, unless you are an avid photography hobbyist, you do try to reign in the desire to own as many lenses as possible. Back in the film days (Nikon FE) I went 28mm, 50mm, 85mm and 105mm as my main lenses. Recently sold my Fuji x100s (I know they said the AF was faster than the x100, which I can confirm, but I still had issues with it) but when I had it I managed to work OK with the fixed 23mm. So I think the 25mm with the E-P5 will probably suit me OK as a general lenses. Will probably add the 45mm for real portrait work. For wider stuff, could go either 12mm (which ain’t cheap) or 14mm. Still on the fence about whether to go out next week and get the E-P5 with the EVF for $800, or throw in another $400 for the 17mm. If I did, might eventually consider the 7-14mm, although I don’t really shoot a lot of landscapes or wide open stuff. We’ll see.

          6. you do realize, while the impression of depth of field may be comparable, the fixed 2/23mm on the X100s will give a very different field of view than the 1,4/25mm on any micro four thirds camera?
            plus, the 1.4/25mm is one full stop faster than the fuji, which is very nice in low light.

            i would start with that said 25mm lens, too, btw. 50mm FOV is a very comfortable length with a creamy look… and like Bob B said, see from there what focal lengths you prefer.
            but i would keep that 17mm lens, too.
            again, read the reviews from Steve Huff about the 1.8/17mm! there is much information and tons of sample pictures…

        3. Jay, I own the 14mm, 17mm and 25mm lenses. I guess it all comes down to what you like to shoot, but of the three I use the 17mm the most and the 14mm the least. I shoot family / people more than anything else. I find the 25mm can be a little tight when shooting indoors and often prefer the wider perspective and increased depth of field I get with the 17mm. I don’t think you’d regret getting the 17mm, it strikes a great balance of size, speed and image quality that makes it a wonderful MFT lens.

          1. Colin … I can see where the 25mm might be a bit tight indoors, although if you want to get a bit closer for a face shot the perspective of 17mm sometimes can be too wide, resulting in a bit of a weird look to the face. However, your point about it being a great overall lenses is well taken. Also, I can get the E-P5 with the EVF for just $800 here, the 17mm would only add about another $400, which is a pretty good deal!

  16. Steve, this comment confuses me: “I have the E-M1 here as well and was curious if there was a difference in IQ between them. From what I see, there is not.” I seem to recall that you said the E-M1 IQ was better than the OMD, due to different sensor with no anti-alias filter. Aren’t the sensors the same in the EP5 and OMD? Have I missed something?

    1. I had the same question, no answer so far. Same sensor, same processor, same AA filter, there is no reason or explanation other than maybe sample variation (unlikely) for any difference in IQ between the EM5 and EP5.

      1. well, Steve does not pixel peep or tech analysis. maybe, there is a E-P5 “mojo”, that simply produces pictures as good as the E-M1 to Steve?
        but who knows…

  17. My EP5 has the shutter shock problem. Almost every picture I have taken with the Pana 12-35 or the 17 1.8 are blurred. With the 17mm lens at 1/30 it is massively blurred, with the Pana at 35mm and 1/80 eight out of ten pictures are blurred. The camera is back at Olympus and I hope it is just defect.

    1. Hi Michael….I will tell you to hang in there…I think Olympus MUST be well aware of this issue. I can tell you that I have the 17mm f/1.8..and just tested again in a close-up @ about 8″ from subject… at 1/2, 1/6, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/80…
      Everything is sharp except down around the 1/2 second mode….so I am thinking that there must be a problem with your specific camera…as Steve reported, not problem with his…I know that DPR tested multiple bodies and said they found it in all of them…so this is almost like a riddle????
      Good luck…would love to know the outcome.

      1. I think so too. I called Olympus and they were very helpful and interested in this case. They asked for some pictures and currently they ckecking the camera, I’ll keep you updated.

    2. After almost 4 weeks I got the camera back today without any comment from Olympus. I asked several times for information, the only information I got was I have to be patient. Obviously they did nothing with it as the EP-5 still produces blurred pictures. I am really really annoyed and disappointed about the camera and way I am treated by Olympus. Here is a picture taken with the Pana 12-35 f2.8 at f4.5 35mm and 1/80 shutter speed and S-IS Auto:

      http://www.moenstermann.de/uploads/EP5-Test-2.jpg

      1. Sorry, just found out they replaced parts of the CCD-unit, so no blame on the Olympus service but still it has not resolve this problem.

  18. And why again should the EP5 have a better or different IQ than the EM5 with the same sensor, same processor, same AA filter? Any rational, fact based explanation? The AF of the GX7 beats the one of the EM5 (I have both cameras and will sell the Oly). The GX7 is slightly faster, much more accurate and superior in low light (after EP1, EP2, EP3 and currently EM5 I guess I can not be called a Panasonic fan). So based on your review I would have to conclude that the EP5`s AF is faster than the one of the EM5. Not something I remember having read elsewhere or being claimed by Olympus.

  19. “I much prefer the color coming from the Olympus E-P5” — ooh, thank you, i was wondering about that. My GX1’s ergonomics are great, but I am jealous of my wife’s E-P3 out-of-camera JPEGs. It sounds like I would have the same problem with GX7.

    I am now considering X-E2 (viewfinder + un-intimidating non-SLR look = I like!). So If you have any thoughts of how X-E2 JPEGs compare to E-P*, that would be super-useful for me.

    In any case, thank you for all your awesome reviews.

    1. I own 5 Fujifilm X cameras (X-Pro1 (2), X-E1 (2), X-M1) and the OOC jpegs are so good that I have sold all of my other cameras (including E-P3, T3i, 7D, DMC-G5, DMC-GF5, K-01, etc.)

      1. Well, thats too bad to hear. The lens options for me are equally good in both systems.
        I like 35, 50 and a 80 or 90mm plus one for ultrawides. The X-system as well as m43 can deliver exactly that, so it’s hard to choose.
        Right now, i am really lost between the E-P5 and the X-E2…

        1. The lenses make the difference. And the options for mft are much much better and wider. Look at all those wonderful primes and fast zooms (12-35 and 35-100 both at f2.8). The wonderful 17mm f1.8: manual focus at your fingertips with a real mechanical stop at both focus ends (with a little practice you can zone focus blindly), the outstanding image quality you get from the 45 and 75mm primes, and so on and so on…

          1. true, there are many great lenses like the Oly 17mm or 75mm and the Pana 25mm… and many more, absolutely.

            but listen to this fuji road map:
            18mm FOV: 12 f/2.8
            35mm FOV: 23 f/1.4
            53mm FOV: 35 f/1.4
            85mm FOV: 56 f/1.2!
            Macro: 60 f/2.4

            plus there is a nice zoom and a pancake.
            so for me: everything is there, fast primes, portrait lenses, macro and an ultra-wide. i wouldn’t need more, to be honest…

  20. Thanks for your great E-P5 summary and shots Steve. This great Pen got kind of lost in the shuffle of recent big camera releases, but it’s a compelling option for anyone wanting to keep things as compact as possible but with full professional controls & dials.

    It’s not perfect, but it’s as perfect a camera as I’ve ever owned!

  21. Thanks Steve and all for the comments on the stabilization issue with the EP-5. I was all set to get one when the DP Review articla came out. Now that I’ve waited, OLY EM-1, Sony A7r, and Fuji EP-2 are announced…..what a dilemma. I have some Leica M glass that I could use with any of these systems. Although, there’s not a lot of clarity about how the wide angles will work on some of these.

    1. Just wondering… Could all those detailed analysis of the E-P5 have been planned in order to gain time, enough at least to let other brands display their new products? All tactics are possible, in the business world!

  22. Mmmm, I must disagree this time! The other day I tested an E-P5 and a GX-7 and I was disappointed with the Pen (and I am a big fan of Oly cameras!). To me it had a plastic feeling and my thumb was very uncomfortable. Yes, the GX7 feels even more plasticky but in my big hands it felt much better than the Pen. My opinion is that for those prices both cameras should have a much better finishing. So, for the moment I will keep my trusty E-P2 and I will spend my savings in good glass, for me this makes much more sense.

    1. You can disagree but the facts are that the E-P5 is not only the best built PEN to date, it is indeed better made than the GX7. Much less plastic. The E-P5 has better IQ as well. As for the E-P2, great camera but the ISO performance is leagues better on these new Micro 4/3cameras. I mean, a huge improvement in that areas as well as a huge increase in speed. The E-P2 was a slow little bugger but the E-P5 and E-M1 are crazy fast to AF and operate. The 5-Axis is also quite incredible. šŸ™‚ Usually I would say YES, buy glass over a new camera but the E-P2 is lacking in many areas compared to these new cameras and you would probably get much more out of a body upgrade than a lens upgrade in this case. I still have an E-P1 here and compared to the E-P5 it is night and day in all areas. The E-P3 got closer but even then, no 5-Axis, high ISO lacking and speed was still slow.

      The Gx7 is nice as well, I liked it. But i like the E-P5 quite a bit better. Olympus is ahead of the curve with their styling, their construction, their in body IS and their overall speed and responsiveness. Features as well.

      In any case, what matters is what YOU like and what YOU enjoy. The E-P2 and me made some very good memories, and that is what it is all about.

      1. Thanks for your reply! Yes, no doubt the E-P5 would be a BIG improvement over an old camera like an E-P2, I am aware that sensor technology has evolved in 4 years. In fact it was thanks to your review of the old E-P2 that I switched from a boring Canon DSLR to micro4/3, and I enjoy much more photography since then. The only thing is that I do not get so excicited about these features. I think that to reach a WOW factor a lens like the PL 25 1,4 or the Oly 75 is much more important. In the last years I have never needed ISO above 400 or stabilization. Just my opinion…

  23. I believe an issue that may have reduced enthusiasm in the EP-5 was the issue of poor image stabilization at frequently used shutter speeds from the DP Review review. It probably kept it from earning a gold rating.

    1. I have tested and tested for this so called issue and could NOT recreate it with the 17 1.8 or the 45 1.8. I have tried, and tried. Shot at shutter speed from 1/60th to 180th to 1000th. No “shutter shock” or problems. It could be only some cameras exhibit the problem as the E-P5 I use now has no issues at all.

      1. I agree Steve. I tested mine especially with short tele lenses at 160/sec extensively, which is where DPR reports the problem. I used the P/L 25mm, Oly 45mm, Oly 75mm and P/L 45mm Macro with the lens IS off. Can not find a repeatable problem. I am sure that DPR is definitely observing a phenomenon as they appear to be extremely detail oriented in there tests…but my EP5 seems just fine???

  24. I agree that Olympus E-P5 with VF4 is better than Panasonic GX7 but that combination with EVF is almost 30% more expensive than GX7, and is bulkier so I would say that they are neck to neck for second best micro4/3 if we consider value for money

    1. Not so, for $1399 you get the E-P5 body, a VF4 EVF (which is leagues better than the GX7’s EVF) and a $500 17 1.8. For $1100 you get a GX7 and average kit zoom. So for $300 more you get the premium 17 1.8 and the much nicer EVF-4. Well worth the extra $300 just for the lens alone, let alone the EVF.

      1. same here in europe.
        E-P5 kit with 17mm and VF4: ā‚¬1500
        GX7 kit with the sharp 20mm: ā‚¬1200
        (GX7 kit with the zoom lens: ā‚¬1100)

        the 1.8/17mm comes at around ā‚¬530, while the 1.7/20mm is ā‚¬330. ā‚¬200 difference here.
        so the E-P5 IS more expensive, true. but only around ā‚¬100 effectively.
        i really hope for a price drop, nothing is moving right now, not even the E-M5 prices?!
        but we will see…

        another player in that field is the E-X2, which comes at ā‚¬900 plus ā‚¬550 for the XF 35mm for a total of around ā‚¬1450. hard to decide these days…

  25. Unless a person already has lenses to use with the Sony, why not shell out a little less and get the E-P5? It seems to me that the price point of the E-P5 will kill expensive FF, but Iā€™m no marketing expert, and Iā€™m sure Sony et al still plan to sell a mountain of cameras.

  26. I am using the EM-5 with the 25 0.95 Nokton and my results with 0.95 are sharp. You get sharp pictures at 0.95 by having a distance of more than 1 meter to the object.

    1. \with a look like that Steve must have fallen to his knees hands clasped seeking forgiveness, firing off a shot in so doing. Flowers and undivided attention for 48 hours – and doing the yard work help

  27. Hi Steve,

    Does it mean it is soft on all other cameras like the OMD EM5?

    “This one with the 25 0.95 Nokton at 0.95 ā€“ This lens is NOT soft at 0.95 anymore. Try it on the P5 or M1”

    I want to buy the 17.5mm (or the 25mm) for my EM-5 but I’m not sure if it’s good wide open on the E-M5.

    Thanks!.

  28. Unless a person already has lenses to use with the Olympus, why not shell out a little more and get the A7? It seems to me that the price point of the A7 will kill high-end m4/3, but I’m no marketing expert, and I’m sure Oly et al still plan to sell a mountain of cameras.

    1. Unless a person already has lenses to use with the Sony, why not shell out a little less and get the E-P5? It seems to me that the price point of the E-P5 will kill expensive FF, but Iā€™m no marketing expert, and Iā€™m sure Sony et al still plan to sell a mountain of cameras.

  29. Hi Steve

    Recalled you reviewed Panasonic 20mm f1.7 II on EP5. Whats your take comparing to using the Olympus 17mm f1.8? Which lens give better result other than the AF speed which the17mm excel?

    Thanks

    1. The 20mm has some pretty nasty banding on the Sony sensor with higher ISOs. The 20mm has a very nice rendering, which beats the 17mm, but not by that much, I think it mostly comes down to price and your preference in focal length

  30. So glad you posted this!…(initially you kind of dismissed the EP5 because of the external VF….)..
    I LOVE this camera with the a Gariz half case..(makes it easier to hold securely wit larger hands. The VF is FANTASTIC….it basically made me stop using my EM5 which I listed here this morning to sell on the buy/sell pages. (Still a great camera!) I will use the proceeds to purchase an M1!…and yes I think the EP5 give sharper results…probably close to the M1.
    The EP5 just feels so RIGHT in my hands…the control set-up, the sound of the shutter …everything about it is so natural and fluid. Great camera and I am not find any shutter shake…but I do not use a kit zoom.

  31. So glad you posted this!…(initially you kind of dismissed the EP5 because of the external VF….)..
    I LOVE this camera with the a Gariz half case..(makes it easier to hold securely wit larger hands. The VF is FANTASTIC….it basically made me stop using my EM5 which I listed here this morning to sell on the buy/sell pages. (Still a great camera!) I will use the proceeds to purchase an M1!…and yes I think the EP5 give sharper results…probably close to the M1.
    The EP5 just feels so RIGHT in my hands…the control set-up, the sound of the shutter …everything about it is so natural and fluid. Great camera and I am not find any shutter shake…but I do not use a kit zoom.

  32. Steve,
    Thanks for you info regarding the E P5, i just bought one and awaiting the E M1. Previously you indicated that the 17 mm 1.8 performed better on the E M1 because of the removal of the AA filter. I assume that this is not the case for the E P5

  33. Agreed on all points. I recently took the EP5 on a trip and ended up liking ot better than the EM5 I shot for ayear. Very responsive, compact and well built.

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