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.
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.
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.
Fully weather sealed
The Olympus OM-D E-M5 is the best Micro Four Thirds camera we've tested. It's got a top-notch stabilization system, is fully weather sealed, can shoot in all types of light, and ships with a sharp and versatile kit lens. Add it all up, and you have our new Editors' Choice for high-end compact interchangeable lens cameras.
Shot-to-shot speed that touches 10+ FPS
It hasn't taken Olympus long to speed into our hearts with their retro-inspired compact system camera lineup. The Micro Four Thirds PEN series was well-received not only for its style, but its image quality and usability. Seeing a gap at the top of their product line, Olympus now has the OM-D E-M5, answering the question: what would happen if you stuffed modern digital guts in a 1970s compact SLR body?
Well-built, weather-sealed metal body with a retro flair
Overall, the Olympus OM-D EM-5 is an excellent Micro Four Thirds camera, assuming that you can survive with the less-than-stellar ergonomics. It produces very good photos and HD movies, performs extremely well, has a large feature set, and has top-notch build quality. Besides the button clutter issue I described above, its other "big" downsides include poor outdoor OLED visibility and focus hunting in movie mode.
Extensive feature set
The OM-D E-M5 is the best Olympus compact system camera to date, and also a strong contender for best compact system camera full stop. It delivers a compelling mix of classic looks, excellent image quality, an extensive feature set and immediate responsiveness, with the camera so well designed that it rarely gets in the way of the creative process. The E-M5 may hark back to a bygone era, but it's definitely bang-up-to-date in all the places that count.
Very good image quality
The E-M5 is, without question, the most accomplished Micro Four Thirds camera we've yet seen and, given how well established the system has become, it vies for the title of most capable mirrorless option yet. It's not entirely without flaws and, predictably, most of those relate to continuous autofocus. But, for the most part, the E-M5 is simply an awful lot of camera in a compact and attractive body. It's a nice camera to use and the images it takes are just as enjoyable.
Image quality is very good
The Olympus E-M5 E-M5 is an enthusiast-level compact system camera that seriously impresses. Enthusiasts will doubtless appreciate its rich feature set and generous customisation options, but there's plenty more to like about the E-M5; not least its intuitive handling, excellent build quality and lightening-quick autofocus.
Excellent noise performance
The new Olympus OM-D E-M5 takes the mirrorless market into a new area, with a weather sealed body the camera brings another new feature to the market, making it more useful for outdoors photographers and those looking for a professional level camera that's (much) smaller than the typical weather sealed Digital SLR.
Fast autofocus and shot-to-shot speed
Ever since Olympus unveiled their 2011 PEN camera lineup, eyes have been on the so-called - PEN Mini, the E-PM1. It's the cheapest, most compact PEN yet, but still comes with an image sensor that is nearly identical to Olympus' top of the line E-P3. When you add in all that for a debut price (with lens) just south of $500, you've got a very enticing package.
Excellent image quality
Performance wise though it hardly differs from the E-PL3 and indeed the range-topping E-P3, and so, on a positive note, there will be those tempted to save themselves quite a bit of cash by plumping for the more 'affordable' E-PM1. Viewed as part of the new PEN range, for us the E-PM1 is the best choice if you don't require all of the E-P3's bells and whistles, but you do want the same excellent image quality and lightning fast auto-focusing wrapped up in a more beginner-friendly and...
Fast start-up and quick AF response
The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 fills a gap in the PEN range that until now really only catered for enthusiast photographers. Rather belatedly, Olympus has woken up to the fact that equipping it's Micro Four Thirds bodies with auto exposure modes isn't enough to attract point-and-shoot upgraders who want controls they feel comfortable with and understand. The PEN Mini E-PM1 is now that camera.
Greatly improved image quality.
The E-PM1 shares all its best traits with the E-PL3: lots of custom options, a capable sensor, fast AF and in-camera raw conversion wrapped inside a small, stylish body. In terms of image quality and core photographic functionality, the two cameras are near-twins. Despite the many similarities, however, they are designed to appeal to somewhat different markets.
Slim and compact design
Bearing in mind the target market for the Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1, which is primarily people looking for a higher-quality upgrade from a compact camera, Olympus has done a good job on the whole with this camera. The minimalistic control layout will suit those who simply enjoy pointing and shooting rather than photographers who like to fiddle with settings.
Excellent image quality
The Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 features extremely fast focusing, which was originally one of the downsides of choosing the Olympus PEN camera over the Panasonic Lumix G cameras, however, now you can have you cake and eat it, with fast focusing, and built in image stabilisation. They've also produced a compact, stylish camera with fast continuous shooting at 5.5 fps. The AF illuminator and ultra compact size is also a welcome addition.
The Olympus E-PL3 is a camera that I genuinely wanted to love, but at the end of the day I can't be very enthusiastic about this camera. For starters, not only does the lack of a grip make the E-PL3 uncomfortable to hold, but I can't escape the feeling that the Olympus design team did little more than copy the shape of last year's Sony NEX-3.
Very good photo quality
Overall, the Olympus E-PL3 is a well-appointed, relatively inexpensive interchangeable lens camera that offers a lot of bang for the buck. It produces high quality stills and videos, offers features for both beginners and enthusiasts, and has generally very snappy performance. While there's some room for improvement, Olympus' midrange Pen is definitely worth checking out.
Excellent all-round image quality
The Olympus Pen E-PL3 sits in the middle of the Olympus Pen range between the flagship E-P3 and the Pen Mini E-PM1. This makes it a good choice both for compact upgraders looking for more control than the entry-level Pen Mini can offer and enthusiasts for whom the E-P3 is out of reach or overkill.
Easy access to manual controls
The E-PL3 is a small, light, pleasingly-designed camera that handles well and makes everyday picture-taking a fast, intuitive process. Olympus has managed to reduce size and weight in their 'second tier' PEN lineup while maintaining direct control point access to shooting and exposure controls. Overall, the PEN Lite conveys the feel of a well-executed refinement of the E-PL2.
Fast AF performance and tilting LCD
It's beautifully engineered, stylish and puts in a blisteringly quick performance. As a compact system camera in its own right, we have to say it offers one of the best user experiences we've encountered to date, and as such we'd happily recommend it to a budding enthusiast in search of lightweight alternative to an entry-level DSLR.
Super-fast AF performance
There is a lot to like about the E-PL3: it's a very capable camera that delivers good image quality. Stylish and easy to use, it offers plenty of useful and fun features including a tiltable LCD, Art Filters and solid HD movie recording abilities. Of course, all of these plus points are tempered somewhat by the lack of a built-in flash and the lack of a proper hand-grip, but even taking these factors into consideration we still think the E-PL3 is a very good camera overall.
Excellent image quality
The Olympus PEN E-PL3 is an excellent upgrade to the E-PL2, with extremely fast focusing, which was one of the big problems with the PEN series, especially if you'd used another faster Micro Four Thirds camera, but now Olympus are back in the game. They've also produced a compact, stylish camera with fast continuous shooting at 5.5 fps. AF illuminator and the tilting screen is a welcome addition.
E-PL2 Is On Par With A DSLR Plus A Ton of Funs To Use.
If you own a DSLR, you will find E-PL2 a great complement for fun and professional uses. It takes awesome photos in shallow depth of field and in low light. The real loss over a DSLR is the loss of pixel density but E-PL2's 10MP is good enough for large prints.
Ideal size, easy to grip, great quality
All in all this is a great camera, especially for its size, features, and fine quality at this price. I'd say you can't go wrong, unless you want fewer features, a smaller sized body, and are willing to sacrifice some image quality (the small Sony NEX excluded since it has an APS sensor). But I found the camera perfect for the myriad everyday apps I need, and it will also make an ideal travel camera. Well, that's about it.
Decent color accuracy
The Olympus E-PL2 is an update to the E-PL1 which was released last year. The upgrades on this new model are relatively minor: a wider ISO range, improved video shooting and some minor design changes. However, we found the E-PL1 to be a very decent package in a compact camera, and our tests so far with the E-PL2 show that this does not seem to have changed with the newer model: it has the same pros (compact package, easy to use) and cons (no viewfinder, rather noisy images).
The E-PL2 offers a small, light camera and plenty of features at a competitive price.
The E-PL2 is the latest attempt from Olympus to create a "pocket-sized DSLR." The only places where the E-PL2 fails to hit the mark are the same issues that other cameras in this class face (slow AF, limited burst shooting performance, and lenses that aren't as "compact" as many people want). If you know about these issues in advance and can live with them, this camera can produce some fantastic photos.
Ergonomic design, a larger/sharper LCD
The Olympus E-PL2 is a consumer-friendly interchangeable lens camera that uses the Micro Four Thirds standard. It's the successor the to E-PL1, and has a fairly modest list of improvements. They include a more ergonomic design, a larger/sharper LCD, refinements to the user interface, and a new kit lens. The E-PL2 retains the same sensor, image processor, movie mode, and overall design of the E-PL1.
Nice, well-built feel in your hands
Olympus continues to produce some of the best EVIL cameras on the market. The E-PL2 is a great improvement over the E-PL1, which is still a great camera in itself. The new additions are very welcomed, and will surly add to the already high appeal of these models. While I don't expect too many E-PL1 owners to upgrade, for those who are currently in the market, we highly recommend this model.
Very good camera.. Best in class, with one exception...
Since owning and using this camera A LOT now..I feel confident in saying it's probably the best camera in this 10meg smallish pocketable category. I like this camera so much now I bumped it up to 5 stars from it's initial 4 star rating I gave it. If Olympus can include IN camera noise reduction adjustment, perhaps in a future firmware update this camera has no competition in this category in my opinion!
Gorgeous new Zuiko lens
The Olympus XZ-1 (MSRP $499.99) is a spectacular addition to the high-end compact camera family. We're happy to see Olympus re-entering this market, especially with this 11-megapixel sensor and gorgeous new Zuiko lens. The hardware lets the camera churn out great photos, despite having such a portable form factor.
Excellent images overall.
The Olympus XZ-1 would be a notable entry into the high end compact digital field if only for its fast lens, but throw in a dose of excellent still image quality and the camera commands serious consideration. It starts reasonably fast and acquires focus and shoots in similar fashion. Menus are intuitive and simple and the camera is a bit smaller and lighter than its chief competitors. The zoom range is decent, there are RAW shooting options and a handy one-touch video capture interface.
Shooting with the 12-60mm f/2.8-4 zoom lens is indeed a dream.
Even a short time spent with the Olympus E-5 is enough to remind me that Olympus pro cameras are serious photographic tools. It's the little things that matter a lot. Mirror blackout time with the E-5, for example, is brief, which I find an essential factor, especially when shooting portraits. When what you're capturing are mere moments, and when expressions change in each moment, keeping contact with your subject is very important, and the Olympus E-5's rapid return mirror allows that.
I couldn't help but feel impressed and a little bit depressed by the Olympus E-5. It's a surprisingly rugged camera with great image quality, terrific speed, excellent controls and the added flexibility of still image and video capture. My only technical complaints with regard to image quality are that the E-5 shows noticeably more noise at high ISOs and more highlight clipping in high contrast scenes. That said, you can usually rescue the highlights when shooting in RAW.
Overall, the Olympus E-5 is an excellent camera and clearly the best Four Thirds DSLR to date. Its weakest point is the eye-watering price tag of Â£1499/$1699 for the body only, which is higher than that of any of the main competitors (and not much lower than that of the 24-megapixel, full-frame Sony A850). Granted, the E-5â??
dependable image stabilization
The Olympus E-5 is best suited for photographers with existing Olympus lenses who want a rugged, dependable DSLR body with a broad, creative feature set. The Olympus E-5 is best suited for photographers with existing Olympus lenses who want a rugged, dependable DSLR body with a broad, creative feature set. The EOS 60D is an excellent upgrade for Rebel shooters looking for more control, an articulated LCD, wireless flash, a more substantial body, and high-quality video capture.
One of the initial promises of the Four Thirds system was that it would make camera bodies and lenses smaller. This has come true to an extent, but mainly for lenses. There is no denying, for example, that the super compact 9-18mm f/4-5.6 is much smaller and much lighter than an 18-36mm lens of the same nominal aperture range would be for a full-frame system, and the same goes for lenses such as the excellent 12-60mm f/2.8-4.
Good picture quality at low sensitivity.
There's plenty about the Olympus E-5 to keep the enthusiast photographer happy; however, it's one of those cameras that has lots of 'buts' about it.
For a start many photographers, apart from those already committed to the Four Thirds standard, are still like to be put off by the fact that it has a smaller than average sensor with no obvious weight, cost or size advantage.
Reassuringly robust construction
In truth and partly because of the set-up cost from scratch, we canÃ¢Â?Â?t envisage new adopters flocking to the Olympus E-5 in significant numbers and, particularly as it is not being offered bundled with any kit lens, it will best suit those upgrading from the E-1 or E-3.
The Olympus E-5 is best suited for photographers with an investment in Olympus glass who want a rugged, dependable DSLR body with a broad, and relatively creative feature set. And even though many of its core specifications seem conservative compared to other top-rated DSLRs, the E-5 does what a serious DSLR is supposed to: it takes good pictures.
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