Skip to main content

the olympus e-p5

Olympus E-P5 with M.Zuiko 1.8/17mm lens, all in black
It's now official. Olympus has released the next true Pen, the E-P5. I say the next "true Pen" because the E-M5, which I own, is a different model line altogether, and doesn't have the word "Pen" anywhere on it, not the body nor the box it was shipped in.

This Pen is a far better camera than the two-year-old E-P3, which I was not at all happy with when it was introduced. Olympus took all that is good about the E-M5, especially the sensor, mixed in the best bits from the Pen line (both the old film Pens as well as the newer digital lines), fixed what needed fixing and produced this current iteration. And from what I can tell so far it's a pretty decent iteration of the Pen side of the Olympus camera lines.

The only problem is the cost. The body alone is $1,000. You can pick up the still-excellent E-M5 for about $100 less. If you buy the "super kit", which includes the new black 1.8/17mm and the VF-4 EVF, the price jumps to $1,500. If you stop and think about the individual cost of the body and the 17mm, you're essentially getting the VF-4 for free. Regardless, the $1,500 price puts it squarely in very competitive camera territory. When I think of what I can get for $1,500 these days I immediately think of the Fuji X100s and the Nikon Coolpix A. Both of them are fixed lens cameras (28mm equivalent focal length) and both of them are roughly $300 cheaper ($1,200) than the super kit price. While they're fixed lens cameras, they have larger sensors (APS-C) and their lenses are considered excellent, probably better than the 1.8/17mm M.Zuiko. And the Fuji has something that both the Nikon and the E-P5 lack, and that's a built-in viewfinder.

Since we're talking about Fuji and competitive mirrorless cameras, we might a well consider the Fuji XE-1, which is an interchangeable mirrorless camera with an APS-C sensor, a built-in EVF, and built-in flash, all for the price of $1,000, body only. Fuji lenses are a bit more expensive (the 2/18mm is $600), but they're no more pricey than the M.Zuiko 12mm or 75mm or 9-18mm zoom, just to name three.

I could also bring up the Nikon D7100 DSLR for $1,200, body only, which can be matched with some rather inexpensive but reasonably fast Nikkor primes around the $200-$300 price range. But I've not been too enamored of Nikon's DX lens line, and it's glass that decides what type of body I buy.

Am I going to buy this camera? Do I even need this camera? The answer to the second question is a resounding "No." I have an E-P2, an E-PL1, an E-PL2, and the E-M5. And when I get really bored I reach across the table and grab hold of my Sony NEX-5N with its kit lens and the two Sigma lenses (19mm and 30mm) I picked up for a song not so long ago. That Sony reminds me that I can pick up a top-of-the-line NEX 7 with its 24MP APS-C sensor and the 18-55mm kit lens for $1,100, or the body only for a mere $950. And the Sony has, again, a built-in EVF.

But that still doesn't answer the question, will I buy this camera? I don't know. I don't use what I've got, and haven't for some time now due to an interesting turn of events. I am taken with the design of the camera and consider it quite beautiful. I'd love to add it to my collection, and retire all my other, older Pens. But every time I think of pulling the trigger on an E-P5 preorder, I think of the Fuji and the Sony cameras, especially the Sony NEX 7, and the new lenses coming online from various lens makers such as Sigma, Tamron, and Zeiss. Especially Zeiss.

And so, as usual, I'll sit on the sidelines for a while and ruminate. In the mean time I'll use my more than ample Pen and E-M5 collection and get back into photography. I suddenly have an itch to go out and use my gear...


  1. I have an E-PL1 and E-PL5 with EVF-2. Lens Panasonic H-H020, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45 mm 1:1.8. I'm pleased. It is not clear to whom rasschityvaet Olympus, releasing a single sensor, E-PM2, E-PL5, OM-D EP-M5, E-P5. It is not clear what will be the result? Just a good camera?


Post a Comment

All comments are checked. Comment SPAM will be blocked and deleted.

Popular posts from this blog

A Decade Long Religious Con Job

I rarely write inflammatory (what some might call trolling) titles to a post, but this building you see before you deserves it. I've been seeing this building next to I-4 just east of Altamonte/436 and Crane's Roost for nearly 12 years, and never knew who owned it. Today on a trip up to Lake Mary with my wife I saw it yet again. That's when I told her I wanted to stop by on the way back and poke around the property, and photograph any parts of it if I could.

What I discovered was this still unfinished eighteen story (I counted) white elephant, overgrown with weeds and yet still under slow-motion construction. It looks impressive with its exterior glass curtain walls, but that impression is quickly lost when you see the unfinished lower stories and look inside to the unfinished interior spaces.

A quick check via Google leads to an article written in 2010 by the Orlando Sentinel about the Majesty Tower. Based on what I read in the article it's owned by SuperChannel 55 WA…

Be Careful of Capital One Mailings

Capitol One ("What's in your wallet?") sent me a bit of deceptive snail mail today. I felt sure it was a credit card offer, and sure enough, it was. I open all credit card offers and shred them before putting them in the trash. Normally I just scan the front to make sure I don't miss anything; the Capital One offer made me stop for a moment and strike a bit of fear into my heart.

The letter's opening sentence read:
Our records as of December 30, 2009 indicate your Capital One Platinum MasterCard offer is currently valid and active.Not paying close attention during the first reading, I quickly developed this irrational worry that I was actually on the hook for something important, but I wasn't quite sure what. The letter listed "three ways to reply" at the bottom; via phone, the internet, and regular snail mail. I elected to call.

Once I reached the automated phone response system, the first entry offered was '1', to "activate my Capital …

cat-in-a-box channels greta garbo

So I'm sitting at my computer, when I start to notice a racket in back. I ignore it for a while until I hear a load "thump!", as if something had been dropped on the floor, followed by a lot of loud rattling. I turn around and see Lucy in the box just having a grand old time, rolling around and rattling that box a good one. I grab the GX1 and snap a few shots before she notices me and the camera, then leaps out and back into her chair (which used to be my chair before she decided it was her chair).

Just like caring for Katie my black Lab taught me about dogs, caring for Lucy is teaching me about cats. She finds me fascinating, as I do her. And she expresses great affection and love toward me without coaxing. I try to return the affection and love, but she is a cat, and she takes a bat at me on occasion, although I think that's just her being playful. She always has her claws in when she does that.

She sits next to me during the evening in her chair while I sit in mi…