Olympus E-5 Review

Overall 42
Imaging 15
Features 64
Size 70
Price 0

Main Features

  • 12.0 MP Four Thirds CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Fully Articulated Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 5.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 143 x 117 x 75 mm
  • Weight: 800 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Olympus E-3. Compare

Olympus E-5 Summary

This review is devoted to E-5 that Olympus has first introduced to the public in Feb 03, 2011. This model is a Semi-Pro DSLR camera with a resolution of 12.0 MP and a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

This is an upgraded model that Olympus released to replace their older product E-3. To learn more about the specs and difference between these two models, check our complete comparison by following this link:
Olympus E-5 vs. E-3

In Semi-Pro DSLR cameras (Top 10 DSLR Cameras) this model has taken rank #106 out of 200. Its Overall Score has reached 42/100 and it takes a rank of #793 out of 1174 in all Cameras.

Olympus E-5 Compared to other DSLR Cameras

Now let's delve into more details of our Olympus E-5 review by assessing its features and specs, as well as checking what pros and cons it has compared to other average products in this category.

PROs

  • Viewfinder Coverage: 100
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • Built-In Flash: Yes
  • AutoFocus Face Detection: Yes
  • Microphone Port: Yes
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Storage Slots: 2

CONs

  • Dxo Dynamic Range: 10.5
  • Dxo Low Light Iso: 519
  • Number Of Focus Points: 11
  • Number Of Cross Focus Points: 11
  • Headphone Port: No
  • Wireless Connectivity: No
  • Battery Life: 870 shots
  • Timelapse Recording: No

Popular comparisons of Olympus E-5

Complete Comparison of Olympus E-5 With Other Cameras in Semi-Pro DSLR Category

In this part of our review, we are going to take a closer look at the technical specs and features presented in Olympus E-5. In addition, we are going to define the main pros and cons of this model and, based on this info, compare it to other average Semi-Pro DSLR cameras.

Physical Characteristics Of Olympus E-5

Olympus E-5 has the following external dimensions 143 x 143 x 75 mm (56.3 x 46.06 x 29.53″) with the weight of 800 g.

The typical weight for average Semi-Pro DSLR type cameras is 783g. If we compare the average indicator to the weight of Olympus E-5, we can conclude that this model is heavier than many other similar products.

Talking about the camera’s thickness, it is worth saying that Olympus E-5 has about an average thickness compared to other average cameras from this class. Its thickness is 75mm.

Look at the pictures below to see the front and top view of Olympus E-5 with the indication of this model’s dimensions:

HTML
BB

If you want to have a better idea of how big the Olympus E-5 is, look at the pictures below to see how big it is compared to a credit card and a AA type battery.

HTML
BB

Finally, let's check how different are the weight and thickness of the Olympus E-5 compared to other models from this class of cameras presented by the brand’s competitors:

Battery

Olympus E-5 — 870 shots
Min: 390 shots
Average: 871 shots
Max: 1840 shots

Thickness

Olympus E-5 — 75 mm
Min: 64 mm
Average: 75 mm
Max: 86 mm

Weight

Olympus E-5 — 800 g
Min: 479 g
Average: 783 g
Max: 1074 g

Unfortunately, Olympus E-5 comes without a waterproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and avoid water.

Unfortunately, Olympus E-5 comes without a dustproof feature, so if you want it to serve well and last longer, you will have to use it very carefully and protect your camera from external threats such as dust.

Olympus E-5 Photo and Sensor Features

Olympus E-5 boasts of a resolution of 12.0 MP and is equipped with a Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sized CMOS sensor.

The base of Olympus E-5 has the following ISO range 100 - 6400 .

Also, this model comes with the support of the RAW file. This gives you more opportunities in terms of further processing of your files as you can pick to save them in a RAW format.

Olympus E-5 features a 12.0 MP Four Thirds sensor, which is not a good pick for high-quality and detailed pictures. However, we have an alternative option for you if you were looking for higher resolution.

DxOMark Sensor Scores

DxOMark gives us a possibility to make a clear and scientific assessment of the quality of camera sensors’ image. Olympus E-5, in its turn, features a sensor that was already studied and assessed by DxO Mark. After a complete evaluation, this type of sensor has received a score of 56 for the image quality. If you are looking to see how DxO Mark has tested and evaluated the Olympus E-5’s sensor.

Anti-Aliasing Filter

Olympus E-5 is known for the lack of anti-alias (Low-pass) filter. It is one of its essential features of the sensor built in this model. The absence of this filter contributes to a higher level of details and sharpness in the pictures you take. Yet, the lack of an anti-alias filter also enhances the possibility of more occurring in certain conditions.

Now let’s check how we can compare the size of Four Thirds sensor featured in Olympus E-5 with other standard sensor sizes.

HTML
BB

Other Characteristics And Features of Olympus E-5

LCD and ViewFinder

Olympus E-5 is equipped with a Fully Articulated 3" LCD screen. The resolution of this model’s screen reaches 920k dots.

In addition, this model comes with a built-in Optical (pentaprism) ViewFinder.

The ViewFinder in E-5 has quite nice characteristic. Its magnification ratio is 0.58x and it also provides a coverage of 100%.

Some of the main reasons why the OVF presented in this model is a handy tool are that it allows you to see a scene without any time lag or resolution limits. Besides, it also ensures the highest level of clarity that can be elaborated by the lens and the human eye. Who can benefit from this feature? The OVF is especially handy when shooting sports events. This smart system will allow photographers to see action instantly and figure out what is the right timing for capturing a specific moment.

Max Shutter speed

Some of the other highlights of Olympus E-5 are its 5.0 fps max speed and 1/8000 sec max shutter speed, which allow you to shoot continuously.

Flash

E-5 features both an embedded flash and a flash shoe, which means that you can use both built-in and external flashes depending on your needs.

Focusing

One more highlight that makes Olympus E-5 stand out is the fact that it features two smart AutoFocusing systems. One of these systems is called Phase Detection and the other one is Contrast Detection. Both features stand for higher accuracy and focus speed in different situations. With the smart AutoFocus system presented in this model, photographers can choose from 11 points.

In addition, E-5 has a Face detection AF feature that quickly finds the faces that appear within the frame range and locks the focus on them automatically.

Video Features

As for the video quality characteristics of Olympus E-5, it gives you a possibility to shoot videos at the highest resolution of 1280 x 720 You also have enough flexibility in terms of how you can save your files. Namely, Olympus E-5 allows you to save files in Motion JPEG formats.

Comparing the technical characteristics of this model with the modern standards, we have to admit that 1280 x 720 is a rather poor indicator of video resolution. However, if you are looking for a camera that has 4K video support, we recommend you to consider our Cheapest Camera with 4K video.

In addition, Olympus E-5 is equipped with a special port that you can use to connect an external microphone for recording high-quality sound with its help.

Connectivity and Storage

You can connect E-5 to compatible devices via its USB 2.0 or HDMI ports.

Battery Life

In concordance with generally accepted CIPA standards, the battery featured in Olympus E-5 provides a shooting life of 870, while the average battery life of cameras in this class is 871 shots.

With the commonly accepted standards in mind, we can conclude that Olympus E-5 is above the average indicator of battery life. However, we believe it is still a great idea to grab a few extra batteries if you are planning long photo trips.

How Good is Olympus E-5 for Different Types of Photography?

In this part of our review, we are going to focus on Olympus E-5’s performance in various fields of photography. Each sub-section stands for a specific photography area. In every part, we will review Olympus E-5’s name performance and give it an overall score. This first spider web graph indicates how we can compare the E-5 to the average DSLR camera.

Hover your mouse over the points to see the score details for each photography type.

Olympus E-5 for Portrait Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-5 performs Portrait Photography, we gave it a score of 81. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-5 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Portrait Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Portrait Photography.

Advantages:

  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor

Olympus E-5 for Street Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-5 performs Street Photography, we gave it a score of 98. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-5 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Fully Articulated Screen
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large Four Thirds(17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big battery life (870 shots)

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (143 x 117 x 75 mm)
  • Small Number of autofocus Points (11)

Olympus E-5 for Sports Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-5 performs Sports Photography, we gave it a score of 86. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-5 can be called a 86 model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Fast Max Shutter Speed (1/8000s)
  • Big size (143 x 117 x 75 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (5.0 fps)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (11)
  • Small Number of CrossFocus Points (11)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (519)
  • Small battery life (870 shots)

Olympus E-5 for Daily Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-5 performs Daily Photography, we gave it a score of 84. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-5 can be called a Great model for this type of photography.

Advantages:

  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Big weight (800 g)
  • Big size (143 x 117 x 75 mm)

Olympus E-5 for Landscape Photography

After carefully reviewing how well Olympus E-5 performs Landscape Photography, we gave it a score of 69. Compared to scores of other cameras from the same class, Olympus E-5 can be called a 69 model for this type of photography.

If the score of this model doesn’t impress you and you are still looking for a model that is better suited for Landscape Photography, we recommend you to check out our Top 10 Cameras for Landscape Photography.

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

  • Small Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) sensor
  • Low resolution sensor (12 MP)
  • Bad Dynamic Range (10.5)
  • Bad Low Light ISO (519)

Olympus E-5 Detailed Specs

General
Brand Olympus
Model E-5
Announced Feb 03, 2011
Body Type Mid-size SLR
Lens
Manual Focus Yes
Lens Mount Four Thirds
Number of Lenses 45
Focal Length Multiplier 2x
Macro Focus Range
Screen
Screen Type Fully Articulated
Screen Size 3″
Screen Resolution 920k dots
Live View Yes
Touch Screen No
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.58
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 60 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/8000 s
Continuous Shooting 5.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes
Aperture Priority Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes
Custom White Balance Yes
Image Stabilization Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
Flash Range 18
Flash Modes Auto, Red-Eye, Slow Sync, Fill-in
External Flash Yes
AE Bracketing Yes
WB Bracketing Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes
Average No
Spot Yes
Partial No
AF-Area No
Center Weighted Yes
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Scores 56
DxO Color Depth 21.6
DxO Dynamic Range 10.5
DxO Low Light ISO 519
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS
Sensor Size Four Thirds
Sensor Dimensions 17.3 x 13 mm
Sensor Area 224.90 mm2
Sensor Resolution 12.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 4032 x 3024
Max Native ISO 6,400
Max Boosted ISO n/a
Min Native ISO 100
RAW Support Yes
AutoFocus
AF Touch No
AF Continuous Yes
AF Single Yes
AF Tracking No
AF Selective No
AF Center No
AF Multi Area No
AF Live View Yes
AF Face Detection Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes
Number of Focus Points 11
Number of Cross Focus Points 11
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Max Video Resolution 1280 x 720
Video Formats Motion JPEG
Microphone Port Yes
Headphone Port No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No
HDMI Yes
USB USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes
Water Proof No
Dust Proof No
Shock Proof No
Crush Proof No
Freeze Proof No
Weight 800 g
Physical Dimensions 143 x 117 x 75 mm
Battery Life 870 shots
Battery Type 870 shots
Battery Model BLM-5
Other Features
Self Timer Yes
Timelapse Recording No
GPS
Storage Type Compact Flash (Type I or II)/SD/SDHC/SDXC
Storage Slots 2

Most popular Semi-Pro DSLR cameras

Nikon D800 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV 30.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Canon EOS 6D Mark II 26.0 MP CMOS
Full frame
Sony SLT-A77 II 24.0 MP CMOS
APS-C
Pentax K-1 Mark II 36.0 MP CMOS
Full frame