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Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 review

We try out the new Olympus PEN E-PL5

We shoot a specially designed chart in carefully controlled conditions and the resulting images are analysed using DXO Analyzer software to generate the data to produce the graphs below.

A high signal to noise ratio (SNR) indicates a cleaner and better quality image.

For more more details on how to interpret our test data, check out our full explanation of our noise and dynamic range tests.

Here we compare the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 with the Sony NEX-5R, Panasonic GF5 and Olympus PEN E-PL2.

JPEG signal to noise ratio

Olympus PEN Lite E PL5 review

This graph shows that the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5's JPEG files have a weaker signal to noise ratio than those from the Sony NEX-5R. They produce similar results to those from the Panasonic GF5 and Olympus PEN E-PL2 at lower sensitivities, but after ISO 800 the Olympus E-PL5 beats both cameras.

Raw signal to noise ratio

Olympus PEN Lite E PL5 review

TIFF images (after conversion from raw) from the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 have a very similar signal to noise ratio to those from the Sony NEX-5R, from sensitivities of ISO 200-3200, after which the Olympus surges ahead. The Olympus E-PL5 beats the Panasonic GF5 and Olympus PEN E-PL2's results at every setting.

JPEG dynamic range

Olympus PEN Lite E PL5 review

JPEG results for dynamic range are more spread out than those for signal to noise ratio, with the Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5's images showing a more impressive ratio than those from the Sony NEX-5R, Panasonic GF5 andOlympus PEN E-PL2.

Raw dynamic range

Olympus PEN Lite E PL5 review

The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5's TIFF images (after conversion from raw) again have a similar signal to noise ratio to those from the Sony NEX-5R, with the two cameras staying within a hair's width of each other at every sensitivity setting. The Panasonic GF5 is the next most impressive performer, but is a long way off the other two cameras, and the Olympus PEN E-PL2 is the weakest performer here.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Wireless LANYes
Effective Camera Resolution16.1 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
PictBridgeYes
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
ColourBlack
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