E-M5 vs E-P5 In the Hand

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by demiro, Dec 19, 2013.

  1. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Wondering if anyone who has used both the E-P5 and the E-M5 can compare handling for me? I'm talking E-M5 with just basic grip. They look pretty similar, so I'd imagine not a huge difference, but would like to hear from some folks with hands on experience.

    Thanks for any comments!
  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    While folks can give you some feedback, I would strongly suggest holding them for yourself before making a final decision. I had strong interest in buying an E-P5, but after spending some time with it in the store, I found it to be more uncomfortable than I would have wanted to tolerate. The GX7, on the other hand, fit my hand like a glove (as well as the E-M1). It was a bit disappointing, because I thought that the E-P5 was not unusual in its design, but everybody's hands are different. And, the E-M5 was not a whole lot better without its additional grip(s). Could I live with either one, sure. But, as I was hoping for a limited compromise upgrade, it just did not make sense with all factors considered.

    Good luck,

    • Like Like x 1
  3. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    You may have to travel a few thousand miles to find a store with all three models in stock. I've seen a few of the PL series...
    • Like Like x 1
  4. photo_owl

    photo_owl Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 8, 2013
    as replytoken rightly points out, only you can decide how they feel to you

    this is, of course, the corollary to why they actually make models with such (apparently small) differences!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    If I had access to an E-P5 I would check it out. Should have said that in the first post. I may rent one over the holidays. It may be fun to see how many pictures I can take of the kid before she hides from me...
  6. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    I have had e-m5 wasn't too keen on feel and handling....But I now have e p5 while its still fairly horrible and un-natural in the hand , I am very happy as I prefer overall look and size and useability of e p5...compaired to gx1 and my nex6 its a cow to hold!...But on my vintage contax stap I can slip it in a coat pocket with spare lenses...or hang inside my jacket until I pop it out to compose.
    loved the output from sony nex 6 and sigma 30mm but that's it as far as lenses go for me...had to come back here for top quality optics!! hence the upgrade in my opinion.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Andre

    Andre Mu-43 Rookie

    Oct 29, 2013
    Southern California
    I rented the M5 and the P5, and now own an M1. For my hands, the M5 was too small, and the thumb part of my palm kept mashing the arrow keys accidentally. The P5 is a perfect fit for me, and I'd gone with it (and the VF-4) had the M1 not been announced. The M1's buttons are mushier feeling, and the AE-L/AF-L button and lever are a bit too far away compared to the P5, such that I've assigned AF activation to the print button next to the shutter button on the M1. The 2x2 lever is a great feature to have, and for that alone, I'd take the P5 over the M5.

    If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably still go with the M1 mainly for its weatherproofing and built-in EVF, but I would not be unhappy with the P5/VF-4. FWIW, the P5 has a much prettier and refined finish compared to the M1's industrial (but still high quality) no-nonsense finish.

    Definitely rent or find some way to try them before buying one.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. scott2hot

    scott2hot Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 27, 2012
    west yorkshire
    hi demiro
    Forgot to add ...you will definitely have to have it on neck strap...far too un-natural and feel like you have to pinch it fairly hard to keep good grip..so never put it on wrist strap...I found this out really quick!
    It really does feel more a premium product over e m5...don't hate me!
    • Like Like x 1
  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    That's an interesting point Scott. I don't do neck straps at all. Definitely more to consider than I expected with the E-P5...
  10. While their proportions are quite similar, I think that I would give the handling edge to the E-M5 by dint of the more prominent thumb rest on the back, although the small grip on the front of The E-P5 does give your fingers a little more purchase. The biggest issue I have had so far with the E-P5 is muscle memory from using the E-M5 for over a year and a half. Have a look at the top view of the E-M5 below.


    Now when you are accustomed to the position of the rear thumbwheel on the E-M5, guess which dial your thumb is going to gravitate towards on the E-P5.


    Not the greatest piece of continuity I have seen between concurrent models within one brand.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. JeanLucX

    JeanLucX Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 3, 2013
    I had both EP5 and EM5 but I like EP5's layout better. I like how it has all the wheels and buttons on one side of the camera. I usually hold the lens with one hand and control the camera with another hand. That is a little bit more comfortable for me but I couldn't do that with my EM5.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    I only owned an em5 for 2 months before I sold it. I loved the features, but it never felt right in my hands. I replaced it with an ep3 with the large grip, and loved the handling... but I missed the features and performance of the em5. The ep5 is the camera I dreamed about... the features of an em5 packed into the body of an ep3. The only disappointment has been the small grip, but after 2 months, I'm completely comfortable with the camera. Caution... these impressions are so personal that they might not apply to you. You really need to find a way to check its fit in your own hands.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    As interested as I am in the E-P5 at the moment, you guys are giving me good reasons to pause. I really like the handling of the E-M5 with JB Designs grip. I was OK with the camera before the grip, but find that I really don't want to take the grip off. Given that, I'm thinking that the E-P5 will not make me so happy.

    Looks like I can rent an E-P5 for a week over the holidays for about $80. Probably worth it, though I'm thinking it may not even be worth trying it out at this point.

    Thanks for all the comments so far.
  14. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I have used an E-M5 for over 1 year before moving onto the E-M1. While I've never owned an E-P5, I've borrowed and played with it on several occasions. While I liked the E-M5 for its performance, I actually feel that the E-P5 is a better built camera. My E-M5 had the main dial popping off before, and there was the recall for the cracked tilt-screen frame issue...

    The E-P5 has improved on both. The two dials are now tugged inside the body, so there's no chance for them to pop off. Although the tilt-screen is thinner than that on the E-M5, it feels much more solid than the "plasticky" one on the E-M5. As a result, I feel that the E-P5 is built to last longer than the E-M5...

    The main issue I have with the E-P5 is the small grip. I still have an E-P3 and love it with the large grip, and I have the horizontal portion of the HLD-6 pretty much glued to my E-M5. One potential solution to compensate for the small grip on the E-P5 is to use a half-leather case with a neck strap...
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Swandy

    Swandy Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 15, 2009
    I had the EM5 (which replaced an EP3) and ended up selling it and getting the EP5 and the VF4. My reason for "upgrading" to the EM5 was not really the EVF - which really only use for manual focusing - but the better control layout than the EP3. They improved the controls in the EP5 and I was very happy. Never used a grip on any of my m4/3 bodies - even when using a larger lens, just never felt the need to, so the front/thumb grip of the EP5 is fine by my standards (usually don't shoot one handed anyway, so my left hand is always either under the body or around the lens).
    Also, I do find that I can comfortably carry the EP5 with a wrist strap - just make sure it is a sturdy one as even the body with a small lens is still heavier than most P&S cameras. When I am using a larger/heavier lens, then either I will use a neck/shoulder strap or make sure I have a camera bag with me.

    Also, like Penguin previously pointed out - I do constantly still hit the MODE dial on the EP5 because that was the second dial on the EM5. Never realized till now why my thumb gravitates towards that dial!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    grip? take EP5. My friend has it and i borrow from him for a while. The grip is nice and it feels right in my hand. But the funny is, my friend told me, "your EM5 looks so nice. Damn i am kinda regret buying this" :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
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