Olympus E-PL5 First Impressions

I got my Olympus E-PL5 this morning and here’s my first impressions.olympus-PEN-E-PL5-16

First the E-PL5 is way smaller than I expected. it’s smaller than my E-PL2 and is even thinner than my older E-PL1.

The focus is as fast as anything I’ve ever owned including my Nikon D-300. It’s terrific.

The touch screen controls are incredibly sensitive and I shot a whole bunch of photos until I found how to turn it off. Even shot one frame with my nose🙂

The controls on the back of the camera seem to be in a better position than on the other two cameras. For example, Olympus has put the instant movie on button higher up in the top right corner of the body no doubt so you don’t accidentally start taking a movie by mistake which happens a lot on the E-PL2.

It appears that the multi-function control has been moved lower on the body and is much smaller than previous models and again I suspect that the idea is to avoid accidentally moving the control.

The E-PL5’s multi-controller also needs to be clicked before it will change exposure composition, flash, exposure points or timer/single/multi shot controls. The E-PL2’s multi-controller is always on and I continue making unexpected changes which is not a good thing. Most causal shooters will never encounter these issues but when I’m shooting special events (especially after dark at an outdoor jazz festival) I am shooting so fast with two camera bodies that the controls on the E-PL2 were always getting knocked around.

I am not certain that the E-PL5 has solved this problem and only taking it out on a job will tell me for sure but this so looks hopeful.olympus-omd-om5

The clip-on external flash doesn’t bother me as I rarely use flash with the Olympus cameras and the promise of higher useable ISO levels is something I am looking forward to playing with when I’m shooting available light.

So why didn’t I cough up another $500 for the Olympus Om-D OM-5? First it’s a little bigger (although tiny compared to my Nikon D-300) but it was the price that did it for me. I got the E-PL5 body for half the price of the OM-5 and yet I got the same sensor which means the same image quality which at 16-megs is amazing.

Second my wife would have killed me!

I am really hoping all the hype around the image quality is true. If it is, I might be inclined to sell all my DX equipment and shoot all my non-paying and vacation shots using the Olympus cameras. For my paying commercial work, I’d go buy either a D-600 or a D-800 with a 35mm f/1.4 lens and the 70-210mm f/2.8 lens. With those two lenses I could easily shoot any of my commercial jobs. Sure I’d like a 14-24mm f/2.8 or a 20mm f/2.8 and maybe a 24-70mm f/2.8 but the body with two lenses will do it. A second body would be a must for some of my commercial work. I’ve got a 105mm f/2.8 macro that’s full-frame and delightful.

I’ve got a couple of none-critical jobs coming up and I’ll use the Olympus cameras and we’ll see how it goes. So far, I’m delighted and I haven’t even played with adding Wi-Fi cards yet🙂

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