Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 review

We try out the new Olympus PEN E-PL5

Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 review
The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 uses the sensor from the Olympus OM-D

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

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.

Amy Davies

Amy has been writing about cameras, photography and associated tech since 2009. Amy was once part of the photography testing team for Future Publishing working across TechRadar, Digital Camera, PhotoPlus, N Photo and Photography Week. For her photography, she has won awards and has been exhibited. She often partakes in unusual projects - including one intense year where she used a different camera every single day. Amy is currently the Features Editor at Amateur Photographer magazine, and in her increasingly little spare time works across a number of high-profile publications including Wired, Stuff, Digital Camera World, Expert Reviews, and just a little off-tangent, PetsRadar.