Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 Review – WhatDigitalCamera

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WhatDigitalCamera takes an in depth look at the latest addition to Olympus’ popular mid-range micro 4/3 compact system camera lineup, the PEN Lite E-PL5.

Though the E-PL5 is technically a mid level camera, it inherits the same superb sensor and image processor at Olympus’ Flagship micro 4/3 camera, the OM-D E-M5.

Here’s WhatDigitalCamera’s Conclusion

The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5

The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5

At first glance, the E-PL5 seems nothing more than a tweak to the E-PL3, but while it may look similar, the E-PL5 feels like a completely different camera underneath.

This is in no small part due to the rather impressive 16.1MP sensor borrowed from the OM-D. While it probably doesn’t beat APS-C rivals, it’s much closer, making the difference negligible and less of a deal-breaker.

Add to that a host of subtle improvements over the E-PL3 and the E-PL5 is now one of the most competent CSCs at this price-point. There’s still room for improvement however – the grip needs to be refined, while the touchscreen interface needs to deliver more functionality.

Sharing many of the characteristics and features of the flagship model, think of the E-PL5 as an OM-D Lite, rather than PEN Lite, ideal for photographers looking for a quality, compact-sized CSC that’ll deliver the goods. (Read full review on WhatDigitalCamera)

Pros: Impressive results from the Micro Four Thirds sensor, fast single AF acquisition, decent metal finish
Cons: Plastic front grip doesn’t match the feel of the rest of the camera, continuous AF and specifically AF Tracking still needs improving, limited Touchscreen functionality

My 2 Cents

We have witnesses sensor and processing technology advance more quickly in mirrorless cameras over the last few years than any other type of camera.  This is great new for photo and video lovers from novice to pro, because we are seeing that advanced technology trickle down from flagship camera models to lower level cameras in the line, making top level technology accessible for those who may not be able to afford the $3,000 plus price tag of many top line camera models.  The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5, along with it’s smaller sibling, the PEN Mini E-PM2, are two of the most recent beneficiaries of this trend, and when WhatDigitalCamera calls the E-PL5 an “OMD Lite,” that is indeed high praise.

The E-PL5 is not a pro level camera, but it’s not far off either.  And since it’s a micro 4/3 camera, you have access to the largest selection of high quality lenses of any mirrorless camera category.  It’s small size makes it a street photographer’s dream.  Indeed, the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 is a great camera for the enthusiast photographer / videographer who wants BIG QUALITY on a not so big budget.

Buy the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 on Amazon Here

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