Olympus E-5 review

Does this DSLR have enough to tempt Four Thirds photographers?

TODO alt text

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.

Follow TechRadar Reviews on Twitter: http://twitter.com/techradarreview

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera Body Only
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution12.3 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyE
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedCompactFlash (CF) Card, Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameOlympus
DurabilityDust Proof, Water Proof
FeaturesLive View, External Flash Shoe, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)800 g
Image Sensor Size4/3" (17.30 mm x 13 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4032 x 3024
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height116.5 mm
Width142.5 mm
Depth74.5 mm
Product SeriesE
Image FormatsRAW, JPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-5
Product NameE-5 Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberN4279292
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Built on our revolutionary E-System technology, the new Olympus E-5 adds powerful new features that let you do more than ever before. Designed to maximize the award-winning performance of Zuiko Digital lenses, the E-5 achieves the highest image quality of any Olympus camera-with astonishing detail, blazing speed, and true-to-life color. New options like user control in Art Filters and 720p HD Video give you more freedom to explore creative effects. And with its weatherproof design, the rugged E-5 can go anywhere.

Package Contents
  • E-5 Digital SLR Camera
  • Body Cap
  • CB-USB4 (USB Cable)
  • CB-VC2 (Video Cable)
  • BLM-5 Battery
  • BCM-5 Charger
  • Shoulder Strap
  • Instruction Manual
  • Warranty Card
  • BC-1 (Body Cap)
  • EP-7 Eyecup
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty2 Year