Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 review

We try out the new Olympus PEN E-PL5

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When the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 was announced, we were very excited about getting it in to test it properly. The Olympus OM-D was a very good camera, and to see the same technology in a smaller and lighter body is very exciting.

Like with most of the other Olympus cameras, its retro style might not appeal to everyone, but its small size and stylish finish should see it grab the imagination of many users.

Although it doesn't have an EVF, there's a lot to love about this camera, and this helps to keep the ultra-small size.

We liked

The excellent screen, which is both tiltable and touch-sensitive, makes this a fantastically flexible option for shooting in all number of situations, quickly and easily.

We disliked

It's a shame that you can't do more with the Wireless LAN FlashAir cards, such as control the camera remotely, but hopefully this is something that can be worked on in the future.

Final verdict

The incredibly wide range of compatible Micro Four Thirds lenses now available on the market - aside from Olympus' own optics, don't forget there's also Panasonic lenses and third party manufacturers such as Sigma producing lenses - make any camera released by Panasonic or Olympus an extremely attractive proposition.

At £599.99/AU$749/US$699.95, including the 14-42mm kit lens, this is a very, very good price. You're basically getting the best parts of the Olympus OM-D for roughly half the price. If you can live without an electronic viewfinder built into the body, and some of the extra dials, this is probably the better option.

Olympus has once again delivered a fantastic camera in the shape of the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5.

This is a company that continues to produce cameras that appeal to a wide variety of consumers. And by marrying the best technologies from the Olympus OM-D with the stylish bodies of the PEN series, Olympus has a potential big seller on its hands here.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
Product FamilyPEN
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom3.8x, 3.8x (Lens 1) - 3.8x (Lens 2)
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NameOlympus
FeaturesLive View, Face Detection, Self-timer, Noise Reduction, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMPEG-4 AVC, MOV, Motion JPEG (AVI), AVCHD
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)279 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE
Image Sensor Size4/3" (18 mm x 13.50 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height63.7 mm
Width110.5 mm
Depth38.2 mm
Focal Length40 mm to 150 mm (Lens 1) - 14 mm to 42 mm (Lens 2)
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW, MPO
External FlashOptional
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerOlympus Corporation
Product ModelE-PL5
Product NamePEN E-PL5 Digital SLR Camera
Product LinePEN
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture priority AE
  • Shutter priority AE
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberV205042BE000
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.olympus.co.uk
Marketing Information

Best-in-class image quality

  • FAST AF + Touch operation
  • Tiltable LCD display
  • Superb image quality
Package Contents
  • PEN E-PL5 Digital SLR Camera
  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 II R
  • M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 R
  • Flash FL-LM1
  • BLS-5 Battery
  • BCS-5 Battery Charger
  • Micro Four Thirds body cap (BC-2)
  • Shoulder Strap
  • CB-USB6 USB Cable
  • CB-AVC3 Audio/Video cable
  • Operating Instructions
  • Warranty Card
Limited Warranty1 Year