Test Review: Olympus E-P5

0
September 6, 2013 at 10:30 am  •  Posted in New Products, News & Events, Review by  •  0 Comments

Olympus E-P5

Olympus E-P5

The design of the Olympus E-P5 is geared like the classic Olympus PEN F, but the camera is a modern digital system with a lot of interesting features. It offers a very fast AF system, an integrated image stabilizer (5-axis system) and a touch screen.

Comments on Image Quality

The standard test box shot is a little underexposed (P-mode, ISO 200). The colours are great; the automatic white-balance system did a very good job.

The standard test box shot is a little underexposed (P-mode, ISO 200). The colours are great; the automatic white-balance system did a very good job.

Colour: The Olympus E-P5 performed very well in our colour tests. The colour errors are on a extremely low level. Skin tones are reproduced nearly perfectly, and only some red colours are boosted by a higher yellow rate. The saturation is a little higher than in images taken with previous Olympus cameras but still on a very good level.

Sharpness: The sharpness and resolution results are excellent. The Olympus E-P5 reproduced the ISO12233 chart with 3125 of 3456 lines per picture height and, therefore, the nominal resolution of the image sensor. Nevertheless, the camera uses a very intense sharpness filtering that even causes a clipping of 2.19 percent and, as a result, a kind of double contours in the black and white contrast lines. The differentiation of colours is very good. You will notice that in the coloured spools in the standard test box shot, for example.

Noise: The camera performed well in the noise tests. Luminance noise is on a good level up to ISO 1600. Using higher ISO speed settings will cause clearly noticeable noise artifacts but still acceptable up to ISO 12800, thanks to its anti-noise filtering system. At ISO 25600, however, it gets really annoying.

Comments on Handling

The 3-inch LCD on the back has a high resolution (1,040,000 RGB dots) and can be flipped up- and downward, but isn’t as movable as the Panasonic GF6 screen, for example (E-P5: 90 degrees upward, 45 degrees downward).

The 3-inch LCD on the back has a high resolution (1,040,000 RGB dots) and can be flipped up- and downward, but isn’t as movable as the Panasonic GF6 screen, for example (E-P5: 90 degrees upward, 45 degrees downward).

The Olympus E-P5 has a classic viewfinder design but doesn’t offer an optical or electronic viewfinder. It has a swivel monitor that can be folded up- and downward and offers a very high resolution (1.037.000 RGB dots). Its 3:2 aspect ratio allows the showing of additional information on both sides of the viewfinder image, which has an aspect ration of 4:3 when taking images in highest image resolution. By pressing the “OK” button in the center of the control field, additional parameters are shown as overlays on the right-hand side of the live view image.

The LCD screen is touch-sensitive and allows the set-up of image parameters. Not all menu items react to finger-tip commands; the touch sensitivity is an additional feature for only a few functions (focus area selection, for example).

The camera does not have an integrated viewfinder. Olympus offers an electronic viewfinder as an option in addition to the LCD screen on the back. This electronic viewfinder has an extremely high resolution (2.36 million RGB dots) and is very expensive.

The camera does not have an integrated viewfinder. Olympus offers an electronic viewfinder as an option in addition to the LCD screen on the back. This electronic viewfinder has an extremely high resolution (2.36 million RGB dots) and is very expensive.

Olympus offers an additional EVF. The VF-4 offers an extreme image resolution of 2.36 million RGB dots and creates a very crisp-looking electronic viewfinder image. It can be flipped upward (90 degrees), which helps with macro shots taken near the ground, for example. It is recommended, but also very expensive (ca. 300 Euro in Germany), and attaches to the hot shoe of the E-P5. On its back, the camera has an additional digital interface right below of this accessory shoe that provides the EVF with energy and the digital viewfinder image. The accessory shoe and this interface can also be used for an external microphone for better sound quality when recording video. And, of course, it can be used for additional and external flash systems. Nevertheless, the camera is equipped with an internal flash system that uses a mechanical pop-up mechanism. The built-in flash system is located a little left of and high above the optical axis, which reduces the red-eye effect.

The camera offers all standard exposure modes (P, S, A and M) and 25 scene modes. It also has additional effect modes, which create “miniature” effects, “cross processing” effects or “dramatic tone” effects. You can even use some effects simultaneously like “dramatic tone” combined with an effect that adds a frame to the image (or “dramatic tone” + “pinhole” effect). Many effects can also be used in video recording mode, but will cause a stuttering movie recording. In standard mode, the camera is able to record Full HD video with 30 frames per second. It offers manual exposure control when recording videos in M mode.

The camera offers a large mode dial on the top. The on/off switch is very handy, and the two set-up dials (one dial in front directly beneath the shutter-release button, one dial on the back) allow a comfortable set-up of all parameters.

The camera offers a large mode dial on the top. The on/off switch is very handy, and the two set-up dials (one dial in front directly beneath the shutter-release button, one dial on the back) allow a comfortable set-up of all parameters.

The new Olympus has two set-up dials—just like a professional SLR system. One dial is located near the shutter-release button; the second is located on the back and can be easily reached by the right-hand thumb. With both dials, it is very easy to change all parameters very quickly. The photographer can set up aperture size and shutter speed simultaneously in M mode, or change white balance with the back dial and the ISO speed setting with the front dial in P mode, for example. The user-defined FN button on the top also helps to set up important image parameters fast and efficiently.

The E-P5 has a lot of individual settings in its basic set-up menu and allows the defining of dial functions, picture-mode settings, histogram settings, strength of the anti-noise filter, additional parameters for the automatic white balance (“keep warm lighting colours,” for example), and many more. Even the definition of copyright information (name of the photographer, etc.) is possible.

Pros
+ very nice colour reproduction (a little over saturated)
+ high results in our resolution tests
+ a lot of individual image settings and parameters
+ very fast AF system
+ comfortable handling (two set-up dials, a touch screen, etc.)
+ massive body with a very robust-looking finish
+ Wi-Fi function

Cons

– no optical viewfinder
– high quality EVF offered as optional, very expensive accessory
– expensive for a compact-system camera (list price is 999 Euro for the body and 1099 Euro with 14-42 mm kit lens in Germany)

This review is based on precise lab tests conducted by BetterNet GmbH and provided by the Technical Imaging Press Association (TIPA). TIPA is the largest family of independent photo and imaging magazines worldwide. Photo Life is an active member of TIPA.

SPEC SHEET: Olympus E-P5
BASIC TECHNICAL DATA:
Resolution 4608 x 3456
Resolution sensor 17.2
Color depth (in bits) 36
Size of sensor (in Inches) 0/0.00
Size of sensor (in mm) 17.3 x 13.0
LENSES:
Focal length (wide angle; 35 mm equivalent; in mm) 28
Focal length (tele; 35 mm equivalent; KB in mm) 84
Focal length (wide angle; real; in mm) 14.0
Focal length (tele; real; KB in mm) 42.0
Speed 3.5 – 5.6
Macro 25 – 100
Manual focus, controlled by function elements no
Manual focus, controlled with lens ring yes
TAKING PICTURES:
Startup time (in sec) 0.50
Shutter delay (in sec) without pre-focusing 0.20
Shutter delay (in sec) with pre-focusing 0.01
Continuous shooting speed (frames per second) 9.0
Max. burst during continuous shooting speed 18.0
Fastest shutter speed in sec 1/8000
Long time exposure/shutter speed in sec 60
Self timer yes
Exposure Settings:
Aperture pre-setting, shutter speed pre-setting, manual exposure settings,
automatic bracketing, time-lapse photography
Exposure programs 25
White balance:
Auto yes
White balance settings 7
Individual white balance yes
ISO:
ISO min 200
ISO max 25600
ISO steps 22
Manual ISO control yes
FLASH:
Integrated flash yes
Flash mode:
On, off, automatic flash, slow sync, anti-red-eye, rear curtain sync
External Flash:
X-Sync no
Accessory shoe yes
FILE FORMATS:
Standard file formats JPEG, RAW, DCF
JPEG compression grades 2
LCD AND PREVIEW:
Size (in inches) 3.0
Resolution of LCD (in pixels) 1037
Zoom mode during preview yes
Index during preview yes
Slideshow during preview yes
VIDEO:
Video available yes
Max. width 1920
Max. height 1080
Picture frequency 30
POWER SOURCE:
Rechargeable battery yes
Battery type Li-Ion
Battery charger included yes
Power connector no
Power supply unit no
STORAGE SYSTEM:
Supported memory cards SD card, SDHC card, SDXC card
PC CONNECTION:
PC connection USB, HDMI
TV out PAL/NTSC + HDMI
DIMENSIONS:
Dimensions (width x height x depth; in mm) 122 x 68 x 37
Weight (body without battery and memory card; in g) 378
ACCESSORIES:
Docking station no
Printed manual yes
Manual on CD yes
Bag no
Remote control no
Tags:

Leave a Reply