Olympus e 5

There's plenty about the Olympus E-5 to keep the enthusiast photographer happy; however, it's one of those cameras that has lots of 'buts' about it.

For a start many photographers, apart from those already committed to the Four Thirds standard, are still like to be put off by the fact that it has a smaller than average sensor with no obvious weight, cost or size advantage. Although there's no denying the high quality of the results the camera can produce at low sensitivity settings, a pixel count of 12 million is also decidedly last season and this may discourage some photographers more than it should.

While the Olympus E-5 automatic focusing system is fast and accurate (provide the right lenses are used) in most situations, it lacks a little of the functionality (and complication) of the systems in the Canon EOS 7D and Nikon D300S. The handling is also a little less slick, although there are plenty of opportunities to customise the controls.

It is still very new, but at around £1500, the Olympus E-5 price seems steep in comparison with the Canon 7D price, which is around £1,150 and the Nikon D300S price, which stands at about £1,035. The current Olympus E-5 price is also unlikely to persuade too many users of other Olympus cameras, like the E-3, E-30 or E-620, to upgrade.

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Head of Testing, Cameras

Angela (Twitter, Google+, website) is head of testing for Future's photography portfolio, writing and overseeing reviews of photographic equipment for Digital Camera, Photography Week, PhotoPlus, NPhoto and Practical Photoshop as well as TechRadar's cameras channel. Angela has a degree in photography and multimedia and prior to joining Future in October 2010 was Amateur Photographer magazine's technical editor.