Olympus E-PL5 Mirrorless Camera

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Tried & Tested

Key Features

  • 16MP Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • 8 frames per second continuous shooting
  • 35-area contrast detect AF with touch focus
  • ISO 100-25,600
  • 1080 HD video
  • Articulated 3.0 inch touchscreen LCD with 460,000 dots
  • Optional electronic viewfinder accessory
  • Raw and Raw + JPEG shooting
  • SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot

Product Description

The Olympus Pen E-PL5 "Pen Lite" is part of that manufacturer's family of Micro Four Thirds mirrorless cameras, and boasts a 16MP CMOS sensor capable of 8 frames per second continuous shooting. The 3.0 inch touchscreen flips up 180 degrees, taking the guess work out of self portrait framing. Unlike the entry-level Pen Mini counterpart, the E-PL5 offers a physical mode dial, making it easy to jump between PASM shooting modes. The camera's front hand grip is removable, and this, plus the more developed physical controls, are the main differentiators compared to the E-PM2 'Pen Mini'.


Body type
Body type Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Max resolution 4608 x 3456
Other resolutions 2560 x 1920, 1024 x 768
Image ratio w:h 4:3
Effective pixels 16 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors 17 megapixels
Sensor size Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto (200 - 1600), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 16000, 20000, 25600
White balance presets 8
Custom white balance Yes (1)
Image stabilization Sensor-shift
Uncompressed format RAW
Optics & Focus
  • Contrast Detect (sensor)
  • Multi-area
  • Selective single-point
  • Tracking
  • Single
  • Continuous
  • Touch
  • Face Detection
  • Live View
Digital zoom No
Manual focus Yes
Number of focus points 35
Lens mount Micro Four Thirds
Focal length multiplier 2×
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCD Tilting
Screen size 3
Screen dots 460,000
Touch screen Yes
Live view Yes
Viewfinder type Electronic (optional)
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed 60 sec
Maximum shutter speed 1/4000 sec
Aperture priority Yes
Shutter priority Yes
Manual exposure mode Yes
Subject / scene modes Yes
Built-in flash No (bundled external flash)
Flash range 7.00 m (bundled FL-LM1)
External flash Yes (Clip-on FL-LM1 included, Hot-shoe)
Flash modes Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
Continuous drive 8.0 fps
Self-timer Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Metering modes
  • Multi
  • Center-weighted
  • Spot
Exposure compensation ±3 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 1 EV steps)
AE Bracketing (2, 3 frames at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV, 2/3 EV, 1 EV steps)
WB Bracketing Yes (3 frames in 2, 4, 6 steps selectable in either blue/amber or magenta/green axis)
Videography features
Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (30 fps), 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Format MPEG-4, H.264, Motion JPEG
Microphone Stereo
Speaker Mono
Storage types SD/SDHC/SDXC
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMI Yes (Mini HDMI type-C)
Wireless Eye-Fi Connected
Remote control Yes (Optional RM-UC1)
Environmentally sealed No
Battery Battery Pack
Battery description Lithium-Ion BLS-5 rechargeable battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA) 360
Weight (inc. batteries) 325 g (0.72 lb / 11.46 oz)
Dimensions 111 x 64 x 38 mm (4.37 x 2.52 x 1.5)
Other features
Orientation sensor Yes
Timelapse recording No
GPS None


User Reviews

4.01923 out of 5 stars
  • Blackdog68, Jan 25, 2013 GMT:
    Impressive little camera

    I finally took the plunge into mirrorless and I'm really enjoying this camera. I have a Nikon FF system, so I was looking for very small size for a second system. The EVF bump eliminated the OMD from contention, but when this camera with the same sensor, AF system, and metering was announced, I went for it. IQ is very good. Not quite D600, but good enough for most purposes. The AF is fast and accurate in single point mode. Continuous mode is not very good, but continuous with tracking isn't ...

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  • Ron Joiner, Jan 24, 2013 GMT:
    I'll give a 1/2 point more

    I agree with all the points the OP made. I recently got the SCP to work and why Olympus, is that so hard to do that? I still hit the video button accidentally as I did on my EPL-2 but the camera does everything else so well I can overlook these minor issues. Touch screen - don't need it and didn't want it, but why have I started using it, because it works and it works well. I am a long time Olympus user and started out with the E500 and I have to say that this is simply the best Olympus ...

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  • Guy Parsons, Jan 23, 2013 GMT:
    A nice upgrade

    The new 16MP sensor is a nice upgrade from the old 12 MP sensor, not just for the resolution but for the extra dynamic range and better high ISO performance. The new features of being able to assign MySets to the Mode dial make life nice for me at last. Other additions such as ability to use the OIS in Panasonic lenses that have no switch, one press HDR bracketing for 3 up to 7 shots to combine later in post process and that swivel up/down rear screen make life nice. Compared to my E-PL1 it ...

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  • kahlrichs, Mar 15, 2013 GMT:
    Heads up - a surprise on the touch screen tilt vs. the flash

    Love the camera. Have started learning it, and am several shoots into learning the ins and outs. As good as I hoped in quality, and am learning the menus and idiosynchrasies. Fine so far. Started to use the supplied little flip up accessory flash to drive a wireless flash. I hate on-camera flash, so I'm happy that this camera has wireless flash built in, just like my Nikon D7000. Did 2 event receptions with it and the 17mm f1.8 and loved it. It handled the color balance well and the ...

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