Olympus Announces New Flagship PEN E-P5

Image by Olympus

Olympus has just announced their latest PEN, the E-P5.  It carries forward the traditional look of the PEN line while adding most of the capabilities of the highly acclaimed OM-D E-M5.

The E-P5 will have the OM-D’s 16 MP sensor and 5-axis IBIS for stabilization, plus a host of new features:

  • Shutter speed up to 1/8000th of a second. 
  • Built-in Wi-Fi. 
  • Two control dials … with a twist … a switch on the back of the camera allows you to change what the dials control. 
  • High resolution (approx. 1.04 million dots) tilt/touch LCD screen. 
  • A new optional VF-4 EVF with 2.36 million dot resolution, 1.48x magnification, and automatic switching between the monitor and the EVF. 
You can read the Olympus press release here:  Olympus Announces E-P5 and the DPReview.com hands-on preview here:  Olympus PEN E-P5 Hands-on Preview
This looks like a very capable and exciting new camera for Olympus and is supposed to start shipping in just a few weeks.  Interestingly, one of the kit options includes the new “black” 17mm f/1.8 lens and the VF-4 electronic viewfinder.  This kit is priced at USD $1,449.
Image by Olympus
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Light Painting with an Olympus PEN

Light Painting – Beretta Px4 Storm Pistol

This was another “light painting” session, this time with the Olympus E-PL1.

This is really very easy to do. I set up in a darkened room with the camera on a tripod, set manually at f/8 and 10 seconds, with the drive mode in 2 second timer. Focus was achieved with the flashlight full on and then switched to manual focus. After shutter release and the 2 second timer expired, I illuminated the subject with the flashlight, moving it around and also pointing from different directions to reduce harsh shadows.

I’m thoroughly enjoying the Olympus PEN E-PL1. With care, the image quality is very good, and sharpness is excellent even with the 14-42mm kit lens.

This image was taken in RAW, then processed and tweaked in Lightroom 4 and Nik Viveza

Latest Addition to My Bag – Olympus E-PL1

Olympus PEN E-PL1 w/M.Zuiko 14-42mm lens

While waiting for the Olympus OM-D E-M5 to ship (mid-April, hopefully), I decided to get an early start at learning the Olympus system. After doing some reading, I decided on the Olympus PEN E-PL1.

While I haven’t studied every camera available, the E-PL1 has to be one of the best values available, today. On Amazon, it’s only $289 (w/14-42mm lens), and I’ve seen refurbished models at less than $200 … amazing for a camera of this quality and with these features!

The camera is about the same size as the E-M5 and as far as I can tell the menu system is very similar. It has a 12.3 Megapixel sensor, plus it uses the same lenses as the E-M5. Other features include:

  • IBIS (In Body Image Stabilization), so every lens can be stabilized
  • HD Movie mode
  • Built-in (popup) flash with Wireless Control capability
  • Dust Reduction System that vibrates the sensor every time the camera is turned on
  • Many built-in effects and scene modes
  • And much, much more
The extensive menu system allows you to customize the camera so it works the way you do, and the Super Control Panel makes it so easy to change most of the common settings, like ISO, White Balance, Picture Effects, Auto-Focus Mode, Metering, Image Quality, and others.
After just two days, I don’t feel qualified to do a complete review of this wonderful little camera, but I’m sure you can tell I really like what I’m seeing, so far. I think the E-PL1 is going to be a perfect complement to the E-M5 once it arrives.

Now, after getting my hands on this little beauty, I’m even more excited about the E-M5!