Impressive image quality, even at high ISO settings, Dust-proof, splash-proof design
With gorgeous images - even in low light, incredible speed, and a wealth of high-end features, the Olympus OM-D E-M1 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera that money can buy. It's an easy Editors' Choice award winner.
Excellent overall image quality, Great Low-Light performance
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 surpasses everything that we have seen so far from an ILC. Providing amazing performance and image quality that rivals a lower level pro mode dSLR, this much smaller camera is ready to go anywhere and perform in all situations.
Very good sensor, fast auto focus
Overall, our main criticism of the Olympus OM-D E-M1 lies not with its performance or feature-set, but with its price. £1299 / $1399 body-only is a lot to pay for a compact system camera these days. The combination of great image quality, an abundance of features, excellent auto focus, insane customisability and a robust dust-, drip- and freeze-proof body with a well-thought-out user interface do go a long way in justifying the cost, but with Sony soon releasing its similarly sized,...
Sturdy, weather-resistant body with lovely retro styling, Excellent image quality
In most respects the E-M1 does a good job bridging the gap between a traditional DSLR and a Micro Four Thirds camera. Its controls and customizability may overwhelm less hands-on users, but those who don't mind tinkering will love its flexibility. The improved autofocus tracking and performance with original Four Thirds lenses adds to the appeal of a camera with blazingly fast AF acquisition speeds with its native lenses.
Superb electronic viewfinder, Responsive AF system
The Olympus E-M1 delivers the goods across the board, with an impressive specification, fantastic build quality and a level of performance to match or better almost any CSC on the market. All of which combines to make to E-M1 not only one of the best CSCs currently available, but one of the best cameras of any type on the market today.
Best ever image quality from Micro Four Thirds
The Olympus OM-D E-M1 has improved image quality, and with improved handling, as well as an excellent and large electronic viewfinder this should be much more appealing to the professional user. With the addition of built in Wi-Fi, improved handling and controls, as well as support for Four Thirds, and new PRO Micro Four Thirds lenses coming we think the Olympus OM-D E-M1 could be all the camera you'll ever need, as well as being a significantly smaller complete package than traditional...
In-camera processing options like HDR and colour control are very effective
Even though it is a serious camera for enthusiast photographers, the OM-D E-M1 nevertheless brings a lot of fun to the imaging experience. Whether you enjoy using art filters or crave the fast burst speeds, the E-M1 is up to the challenge. The icing on the cake is that it produces great-looking photos.
However, the size and weight advantages of an interchangeable lens camera compared to an SLR are not really the case with the OM-D E-M1, especially when combined with the 12-40mm lens.
Images also looked extremely sharp
Owners of Olympus OM-D EM-5 bodies will rightly see the E-M1 as a worthwhile upgrade option and/or extension to their existing kit - provided they are happy about its higher price tag. The new camera has just enough improvements entice many stills photographers, although not photographers who are more video orientated.
The added support for Four Thirds lenses in the AF system will make the E-M1 attractive to owners of Olympus's older DSLR cameras.
Image quality is unsurprisingly excellent
Ultimately the E-P5 joins the E-M5 as a fantastic compact system camera, albeit again a rather pricey one. It's different enough to its older sibling to warrant careful consideration - smaller, lighter, in some ways more flexible, and with some genuinely useful extra features - so much so that we can recommend the new Olympus E-P5 just as highly as our favourite compact system camera of 2012.
Beautifully-styled and built, with lots of external controls
The E-P5 is the most substantial re-working of the original PEN model, and it's the most impressive yet. It produces the same excellent image quality as the E-M5 and has a proper two-dial control system. This, combined with a better touch screen and arguably the prettiest PEN body, make it a more attractive and more complete camera than the series has seen before.
Excellent image quality, Excellent colour reproduction
The Olympus PEN E-P5 sits at the top of the Olympus PEN range and is the desirable premium mirrorless camera, while lacking weather sealing of the OM-D, the additional features and high IQ from the OM-D should make the E-P5 top of the list for a mirrorless camera. The VF-4 EVF (electronic viewfinder) with a high resolution, large view, and rapid refresh is an excellent bit of kit and well worth adding to the E-P5, making it a real pleasure to shoot with.
Super-fast autofocus, responsive touchscreen
Substance and style meld into one excellent camera. If you're after a compact system camera without a built-in viewfinder then the E-P5 is as good as they come. If a viewfinder is essential then the VF-4 accessory is great, but it might make better financial sense to buy an OM-D E-M5 instead.
Attractive retro design, Efficient and intuitive controls
All the staffers who had a chance to try out the E-P5 loved it, and we were sad to see it leave our hands. It's nicely designed, has a ton of features, and produces really nice images. The noise filter is a bit aggressive that results in less-than-sharp images, but this is easily fixable by adjusting the settings to your liking. The E-P5 is a camera that will do really well in any number of shooting situations, as long as you can handle the price tag.
High quality electronic viewfinder, Classic camera styling
The Olympus Stylus 1, by using the styling of the Olympus OM-D series, which itself was styled on the old and classic Olympus OM SLR series, has not only brought about a stylish compact camera, but it's also brought about a genuinely useful and somewhat unique digital camera.
Very sturdy body is one of the most rugged on the market
The Olympus TG-2 offers a very rugged body combined with good image quality, a fast lens, superb performance, a full-featured GPS system and plenty of fun extras. Downsides are few, which include issues with panning in movies, highlight clipping and chromatic aberrations in photos, and difficulty seeing the display outdoors.
Delivers decent image quality
So despite a few reservations about the image quality in low or high contrast light, the Olympus XZ-10 is a competitive addition to the ever-growing numbers of "premium" compact cameras aimed at the more discerning photographer. You could certainly do a lot worse than carry an Olympus XZ-10 in your pocket.
Touchscreen, Art filters
The premium compact camera market is one that is packed with some serious competition, but the Olympus XZ-10 more than holds its own against most of the competition.
Images are great, and for the most part handling is also a good experience, while bonuses such as the touchscreen and art filters make it more appealing than some of its rivals - such as the Nikon P330.
That said, Canon has managed to include Wi-Fi in the S110, while Sony has opted for a larger sensor in its RX100.
Decent image quality
The Olympus XZ-10 is a slighter cheaper version of the XZ-2, but offers slightly more optical zoom. It is a smaller and lighter camera, but this does mean you sacrifice the tilting screen. The XZ-10 also lacks other features such as Wi-Fi and GPS which you might expect to find on the latest serious compact cameras. Put this aside, you'll still find an ample set of features, including 5 fps continuous shooting, full 1080p HD video recording and a close focusing distance of 1cm.
Impressively low shutter lag times and fast AF
We're not quite sure what user group the XZ-10 is targeted towards. For starters, it has a bright f/1.8 lens, but it has been paired here with a reasonably small 1/2.3-inch sensor. Then there's the photo montage feature, which seems to be targeted towards entry-level users, but then the camera has RAW capture and full manual exposure controls.
Excellent feel in the hands thanks in part to the large tilting LCD screen
The Olympus E-PL5 has a lot going for it: great image quality, quick controls, a lightweight body, a large screen, fast focusing, and does it all at a pretty great price tag. The camera will be one that both beginners and enthusiasts will be able to pick up and shoot with little issues from the very start. Olympus has made the ergonomics extremely versatile by making it a point-and-shoot camera style body with a large LCD screen that mimics the feel of a TLR experience.
Delivers the best image quality
In summary the Olympus E-PL5 is a much more intriguing camera than its mid-level price and positioning in the Olympus compact system camera range would first suggest. Not many manufacturers offer the same image quality as their flagship camera throughout their entire line-up, but that's exactly what Olympus have done with the release of the E-PL5 and the even smaller E-PM2.
Excellent 16 Megapixel image quality
The mirrorless compact system camera market now offers more choice than ever before and, with the addition of Canon's EOS M it promises to become even more crowded. By giving the E-PL5, and presumably any upcoming PEN models, the same sensor as the Flagship OM-D E-M5, adding features that improve usability, like the touch screen, and expanding the choice of lenses and accessories Olympus is doing exactly what it needs to, to maintain its position as a leader in the CSC market.
Full HD video recording with stereophonic sound
The E-PL5 is a nice little camera and would be an excellent choice for photographers who want a small and light interchangeable-lens camera with superior overall performance. Olympus has a wide choice of excellent lenses to match it and, if you can't find precisely the lens you want, there's a good chance it will be available from Panasonic or one of the increasing number of third-party manufacturers that have begun to develop lenses for the system.
Tilting screen, OM-D sensor, Large lens range
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.
Excellent image quality, Screen tilts forwards
The Olympus PEN Lite E-PL5 features an updated tilting 3inch touch screen, with better handling than the previous Lite E-PL3. The camera doesn't feature a panoramic mode, but does include a built in HDR bracketing mode, although unfortunately this doesn't auto-stitch the photos. The Live Time feature inherited from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an excellent feature.
Decent build quality, useful Art Filters, touchscreen
Olympus has hit the nail on the head with this one. The E-PL5 delivers exceptional image quality at a reasonable price point, but also delivers in its build, features and performance stakes too. Our moans are very few and far between. The E-PL5 is a compact system camera as it should be.
Ability to fire the shutter with a satisfying clunk by tapping where your subject appears on screen
We enjoyed the ability to fire the shutter with a satisfying clunk by tapping where your subject appears on screen. Plus with Art Filter effects that are fun and effective, and warm, bold colours delivered almost on default, apart from a few niggles this is a great step up option for anyone wanting DSLR-style shots without the bulk.
Sophisticated design, Tilting touch-screen
Almost the same size as the equally new Canon EOS M, which will have the advantage in some purists' eyes thanks to a physically larger APS-C image sensor, the 16.3 effective megapixel Olympus E-PL5 has the edge for its charmingly retro styling, plus the fact that its backplate LCD can be angled for a more creative variety of shooting angles.
Impressive hardware with a bright lens and innovative control ring
There's no denying that the XZ-2 is an improvement on the XZ-1, or that it's one of the best advanced compact cameras available today. But it isn't the best, and in the end it's not really all that close. In terms of overall image quality, at least, it's outclassed by the Canon G15 and Sony RX100, as well as the upcoming Nikon P7700 (keep an eye out for that review). It also costs $100 more than both the Canon and the Nikon, which is bound to stick in the craws of many potential buyers.
Very good overall lens performance
In the point and shoots market, the XZ-2 soars to the top. Yet one of its biggest rivals may actually be Olympus' own E-PL5. At only $100 more, the E-PL5 comes complete with a higher megapixel count, a higher ISO range and an interchangeable lens system. But if interchangeable lenses scare you and a high performing point and shoot is what you are after, the Olympus Stylus XZ-2 will undoubtedly give you what you need.
Excellent sharpness and good overall tonality
The XZ-2 ticks most of the boxes that any experienced photographer is looking for - "sensible" 12 megapixel count, a very fast lens, raw file support, a reliable 35 multi-point AF system and a well implemented manual exposure mode complete with an optional live histogram.
Fast, accurate AF, Versatile three-mode lens ring
The Stylus XZ-2 provides a great balance between advanced control, capable handling, and ease of use that few of its competitors have achieved with equal success. In part, this is due to the way that they've cleverly limited the influence of the touch-screen, confining it to a couple of key roles in advanced modes - focus and shooting - and using it to help novices get make the most of the camera's capabilities in Intelligent Auto mode.
Great image quality, Updated grip and handling
The Olympus XZ-2 is an impressive upgrade over the original Olympus XZ-1, with addition grip, controls, and features as well as improved menus and image processing borrowed from the latest Olympus PEN cameras. The camera has grown in size, but makes up for this with additional controls and a tilting touch screen, a rarity on serious compact cameras.
Dual-function lens ring, f/1.8-2.5 maximum aperture is great for dramatic shots
Well, well, if it isn't one of the best high-end compact cameras we've seen. The XZ-2 white looks gorgeous, takes equally lovely pictures and its dual function lens ring is a joy to use. But boy is it pricey. The £479 RRP is touching upon Olympus Pen Mini territory and is well above the asking price of the Panasonic LX7 and similar competitors. We love it, it's top marks from hearts, but our wallet-tight heads disagree.
Bright, fast lens, close focus, Generally good image quality
Olympus Stylus XZ-2 compact is about as advanced as a small-sensor compact camera can get. It's great for enthusiast photographers who want to muck around with settings. Novice users might be daunted, but the XZ-2 is at the top of its class.
Fast, bright, versatile lens
All cameras that share a genre with the Stylus XZ-2 are a tough sell. They bridge the gap between stupid-simple point and shoots and MFT or DSLR devices - although they usually come with a hefty price tag.
The XZ-2 is most assuredly a niche device, though camera buyers are becoming smarter and more able use them. Eschewing entry-level point-and-shoots for something you know you can't do with your smartphone isn't a bad choice.
Produce images better than any small sensor camera
Overall the Olympus XZ-2 would make an good pocketable travel, street or backup camera, especially for someone who already has in investment in the Olympus system since it can share flash system and electronic viewfinders used with other Olympus digital cameras like those in the PEN series.
Great image quality up to ISO 1600, Fast focusing
The Olympus E-PM2 is surely not a camera for everyone. Advanced users will find the lack of buttons and the need to dig through menus to be extremely frustrating. For the best experience, it would be wise to leave the camera in aperture priority--therefore balancing the need to manipulate exposure settings and the need to concentrate most on shooting what's in front of you.
Smallest, lightest and crucially cheapest PEN body
In summary the Olympus E-PM2 is a much more intriguing camera than its entry-level price and bottom-of-the-range positioning in the Olympus compact system camera lineup would first suggest. Not many manufacturers offer the same image quality as their flagship camera throughout their entire range, but that's exactly what Olympus have done with the release of the E-PL5 and now the even smaller E-PM2.
OM-D image quality in smaller, lighter, cheaper body
The Olympus PEN-EPM2 is a point-and-shoot mirrorless camera which does exactly what a novice will need it to. For more adventurous users, there's a lot of functionality hidden beneath the skin (including the image quality of the OM-D) making the E-PM2 a potentially very attractive second camera.
Excellent image quality, ISO noise performance
The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM2 features an improved design, with better handling and controls than the previous Mini E-PM1, as well as a great 3 inch touch screen. The camera doesn't feature a panoramic mode, but does include a built in HDR bracketing mode, although unfortunately this doesn't auto-stitch the photos. The Live Time feature inherited from the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is an excellent feature.
Affordable, good image quality, fast single autofocus
A solid compact system camera, the E-PM2 succeeds in improving on its E-PM1 predecessor across the board. Image quality is good, though a more premium lens will get the most out of the camera. We're definitely fans of the E-PM2, but its the all-round better, easier-to-control but otherwise rather similar E-PL5 which wins in our book.
Very low image noise, Reliable metering
The Olympus PEN E-PM2 is a very compact and light mirrorless camera. It was launched in late 2012 with the E-PL5 which shares the same internals and adds a traditional mode-dial and tilting LCD. Olympus based both these models on the sensor of their highly-acclaimed OM-D E-M5 flagship camera.
This new sensor delivers quality images combined with a speedy performance. Image noise is very low, delivering clean images until ISO 1600 and usable ones until 12800.
Smart-looking interchangeable-lens camera for point-and-press shooting
The E-PM2 is a nice little camera for snapshooters making their first foray into interchangeable-lens photography. However, it won't encourage them to develop their photographic skills and understanding because it is simply too difficult to access and adjust most of the key camera settings (particularly lens aperture and shutter speed settings). For this reason, it's also ill-suited to photo enthusiasts.
Compact, lightweight and inviting
While some might gravitate towards the Sony NEX-3N for its larger APS-C-sized sensor, there's no doubt that the E-PM2 is a solid performer. Micro Four Thirds makes an excellent system for beginners, with plenty of room to grow. Also, there's the distinct benefit of being able to use the same lenses on Panasonic bodies, so you have a greater range of kit to choose from should you buy into the system whole-hog.
Camera has a well-built, sturdy feel
The sturdy Olympus TG-830 iHS camera provides good protection against harsh photographic environmental conditions, but it's also a surprisingly good camera in terms of performance; especially compared to its similarly priced peers, both those with and without tough features. It includes advanced features like a built-in GPS and an LED. The biggest drawback for this camera is its very small 5x optical zoom lens.
Good image quality, Built-in GPS
If you're in the market for a waterproof camera, the TG-830 offers good value for money, it is one of the cheaper "tough" cameras going. It has an impressive set of features such as 11.5 fps continuous shooting, full 1080p HD video recording and GPS. Image quality is good and as well as being waterproof, it is shockproof, freezeproof and crushproof - great if you often go out shooting in extreme weather conditions.
Best Camera I've Ever Owned
Beautiful form meets ultimate function in this camera and that's no exageration. I have had five digital cameras before this one, including an interchangeable lens micro 4/3rds Olympus that I liked very well. None has had the full features in a convenient size as this one does. The menus are intuative and easy to use, the buttons are comfortably and traditionally located and the anti-shake features are as good as Olympus claims.
Excellent image stabilisation, Full manual controls
The Olympus Stylus SH-50 packs a large number of extremely useful features such as manual controls, 11 fps continuous shooting and superb optical image stabilisation. With many other travel cameras that have a similar amount of zoom having Wi-Fi and GPS it may be overlooked, particularly as there are also cheaper travel cameras available. If Wi-Fi and GPS is not what you desire in a camera, then the feature set, decent image quality and excellent body will appeal.
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