October 22nd, 2012, 02:37 AM
EPL5 - A Quick Review
I bought the EPL5 for my GF a couple of weeks ago. She had taken to stealing my OMD claiming her EP2 wasnt up to it. She loves the swivel LCD and never uses an EVF so it's ideal.
And really the last person to write a review of the EPL5 should be an OMD owner. Its greatest asset is the OMD sensor and image quality and it is the last thing I was interested in. I did think Olympus could hit a home run with these Pens - the popular Pen line combined with the OMD sensor. I feel slightly underwhelmed but maybe that is the OMD owner talking.
First what is there to like....
1. Focus. Super fast. Same as the OMD I would say. Cant tell the difference.
2. Focus point can be changed permanently to a small box. Big improvement.
3. AEB bracketing can be programmed to one of two buttons as a toggle on or toggle off.
4. Toshiba FlashAir SD card wifi works very well with Oly App. Quite a lot more about that here.
5. IBIS can be set to 'lens stability priority' meaning use of Panny OIS on the EPL5.
So what dont I like so much.....
Well I dont think think the in camera IBIS was upto much before and I doubt it has improved. Here is a video (which I also posted earlier in a different post) comparing it with OMD IBIS.
Watch - Olympus OMD V EPL5 IBIS - ProShow Web
But it is the LCD that for me is really disappointing. It is pictured below...
Now if you own the EPL3 you might wonder what I am going on about because it appears exactly the same.
If you have the OMD you can notice two things. The first is that the image within the LCD is very small, 30% smaller than the one on the EM5, while the LCD itself is exactly the same width as the EM-5. The EM-5's LCD is 0.25" taller so 10% bigger with a 30% bigger image.
But the LCD on the EPL3/EPL5 is shorter because it has to fit those 4 playback buttons? Yes that is true for the EPL3. But the EPL5 has a touchscreen, so the playback buttons are mostly redundant (playback itself could be moved to the wheel or to the left of the hotshoe.)
Really the whole 4:3 image in a 16:9 LCD is pretty irritating and bringing in a touch screen gave Oly the opportunity to get rid of some buttons and free up space for a decent size screen. To me it looks more like laziness - easier to stick with what they had - or maybe funding rather than design that they have stuck to the old layout.
The following 8 members thank robbie36 for this post:
October 22nd, 2012, 02:48 AM
Thanks for the review. I LOVE the idea of being able to permanently select the small focus box on an Olympus Micro 4/3 camera, and it only took them about three and a half years! Re: the height of the rear screen. I think that the real limitation is the AP2 port for the EVF, flash, etc. I can see that the screen even has a small cutout to allow it to tilt without fouling anything attached to the port.
October 22nd, 2012, 02:49 AM
thanks. just what i was looking for. i think your list of pros, outweigh the screen issue.
October 22nd, 2012, 03:07 AM
Fair point, although on the EP3 they had a larger screen and raised the hot shoe/AP2 slightly so it stuck up slightly above the profile of the dial.
Originally Posted by Luckypenguin
I am actually most impressed by the 'lens priority stabilisation' feature. My gf uses the cam with 14-42x from pana. Oly tends to keep this sort of feature out of a camera so that you dont buy a panny lens (or so I tend to think).
October 22nd, 2012, 09:27 AM
Sloppy workaround for the PM1/PL3 small screen ...
I own one PL3 and two PM1s. I also find using the 4:3 screen ratio irritating when using the small LCD in these PENS rather than the VF-2 EVF. I shoot raw, so a workaround is to set the LCD to the 16:9 ratio when shooting inside and using flash. Yes, you can't see top and bottom but I find that most of what I want to photograph is centered and I invariably crop in post processing anyway. The full scene 4:3 raw data is retained using the 16:9 screen ratio and the visual on the LCD is significantly larger although I couldn't say by how much. If the photographic situation warrants, I quickly use the SCP to switch back to the 4:3 screen ratio to shoot these scenes. All of this said, I really value the compact size and weight of the PL3 and especially the PM1. The weight and size allow me to take two cameras with lenses mounted to the field with me when the occasion warrants. Over a year ago, I moved to MFT from a Nikon system that was breaking my back and I will never go back.
October 22nd, 2012, 09:37 AM
Thanks for posting! I was trying to find an early reviewer of the EPL5 in English. Hadn't found one yet.
On the IS -- only the OMD has the 5 axis physical IBIS in video. I am sure the EPL5 has the old EPL3 IBIS, which is not "on" for video (in video, the old model used a software IS which made jelly video, so I just kept it off on my EPM1).
Question -- how's the shutter and shutter sound? Does it sound like the OMD (which is very pleasing and quiet). This is an important piece for me.
Also, on the mode dial -- is it easy to accidentally turn, or does it stay in place pretty well?
Last edited by WT21; October 22nd, 2012 at 09:47 AM.
October 22nd, 2012, 09:38 AM
Thanks for the review, Robbie!
Quick on the small focus box... when the E-PL5 is in this mode, can you see histogram blinkies at the same time, or do you need to revert to the larger box like on the OM-D?
October 22nd, 2012, 09:52 AM
October 22nd, 2012, 09:59 AM
brilliant! thanks for the advice...I'll do the same with my EPM1.
Originally Posted by Biggstr
E-3 | ZD 35/3.5 macro | ZD 14-54/2.8-3.5 | ZD 40-150/3.5-4.5 | EC-14 | FL-36R
NEX: (FOR SALE!!!)
NEX-3N | 16-50 PZ | Sigma 30/2.8 | Vellox AF extension tubes
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- take a look!
October 22nd, 2012, 10:21 AM
My 3 main issues with the E-PL3:
Small image vs size of screen (as mentioned above)
Control wheel, too small and fiddly with not enough space around it.
Unfortunately, only one of these (grip) has been addressed in the E-PL5 and only partially. I like a grip that you can wrap a few fingers around, as on the Nex, because it means you can easily and comfortably carry the camera (with a wrist strap for safety) in one hand between photos - just by dangling it from a couple of fingers. You can also operate it with one hand rather than having to use both hands even when you only have a small lens like the Panasonic 20mm.
If you compare the top view and rear views of a Nex and E-Pl5 here you can see the difference in grip and control wheel: Compare camera dimensions side by side
Looks like I will have to wait for an E-P5 (built in evf would be a bonus too)
Last edited by applemint; October 22nd, 2012 at 10:56 AM.
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