I’m currently in the middle of reviewing both the E-PL5 and its little brother, the XZ-2. Whereas the XZ-2 is a fixed lens compact, the E-PL5 chooses to go down a route similar to that of the Sony NEX-7. It is a small, interchangeable lens camera that promises to give you excellent image quality that you can fit in your pocket. Lets take a brief look at what the E-PL5 has to offer.
(from B&H and personal experience)
- 16 Megapixel Micro Four Thirds Sensor (same as in the popular Olympus OM-D E-M5)
- Interchangeable lens (ships with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6)
- 3″ Tilting LCD touchscreen
- Built-in image stabilization
- RAW capture
- ISO 200-25600
- 1080i @ 30fps video
- Bundled external flash
Okay, I have to be honest here. When I first took the camera out of the box I was a bit worried how cheap the kit lens felt. It had no weight to it and seemed a little flimsy. This is not something I would expect from a $700 camera. The body itself though feels solid, albeit a little chunky due to the large flippable LCD screen.
Being a control freak, I immediately went into manual mode and hunted down the exposure settings.
Of course there are also Scene and Auto modes for those who don’t want to have to deal with exposure settings.
I was actually pretty surprised that the autofocus was spot on pretty much every time I used it. I primarily used the touch-to-focus function which works great as long as you don’t touch anywhere near the edges of the screen. If you’re impatient, there’s also a touch-to-focus-to-shoot method which will take a picture the second you touch where you want the focus to be.
This is where I was really surprised. The jury is still out on RAW images (I’m waiting for Lightroom support) but take a look at these JPEGs:
Here an example of high ISO performance:
Though I initially had some concerns, the E-PL5 is turning out to be one heck of a compact performer. If I took it with me as a backup camera on a job and my 5D suddenly died on me…I doubt most people would notice a difference in image quality. Though the chunky lens makes it a little hard to slip this one in your jacket pocket, quality is fantastic for such a small camera. Stay tuned for a more in-depth review of the E-PL5 .
The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is available from Amazon, and they’re selling like hotcakes.
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