Head to Head: E-P5 versus PEN-F.


The Olympus E-P5 will be the first camera with the full “Olympus Pen” definition marked on the front. It’s a clear sign from Olympus that they consider the new E-P5 the real digital PEN-F. Too bad they forgot to made the built-in viewfinder that the PEN-F has :) As you know the PEN-F has “porro prism viewfinder” that allowed them to create a very compact camera with viewfinder.

Some of you said that the built-in exclusivity of the OMD range. Just for the record: Last year  Mr. Tarada told at Onfoto (Click here) that “A built-in viewfinder is not exclusive for the OM-D line”.

P.S.: There are still plenty of PEN-F auctions on eBay (Click here).




  • dau

    it seems to be one or the other with olympus. evf or flash. has there been a oly ilc with both built in? imo, this is the whole advantage of micro 4/3. portability without losing quality..

    • Really don’t care about VF – as a matter of fact I will buy EP-5 because it comes WITHOUT VF.

      • @Uri Ben
        An EVF is handy if your LCD stops working!

      • Joey

        I agree, evf is not something I think about, I’d rather they kept the size down – I think this will be the best pen yet

        • Vlad

          You can have the same size with an EVF, it is certainly technically possible.

          • Boooe


          • Joey

            I wouldn’t know or care if they could or couldn’t, I’m saying I don’t need or want an evf, I invested in m43 because of the compact size of the system (body and lenses) , an ep5 with my 20mm and 12-35 kit is going to be awesome

            • Vlad

              Yes, it will be.

    • Angry Juiceman

      Swop the flash for a viewfinder and make the PEN complete, superb! Rather have a small ext flash in me pocket than the HUGE ext viewfinder. Lets face the fact that in many! situations an internal viewfinder comes in rather handy. Build in flashes belong in the point and shoot section, not on a system camera.

  • I love my PEN FT. It’s one of my all-time favourite cameras.

    But as people keep clamouring for Olympus to make a “rangefinder” styled camera, it’s interesting to note that the PEN FT and family were, in fact, due to their prism viewfinders and mirror boxes, SLRs.

    • OM-4T Black

      Why is rangefinder “style” so hard for people to understand? People just want a corner EVF without the SLR hump. No one is asking for a Leica old-school rangefinder, just the shape. And it’s not only about style. It does affect image quality and shooting satisfaction. If you don’t understand how, just think about it.
      Olympus is making a huge mistake by continuing to waste R&D money on huge add-on EVFs. That’s not what people are clamoring for. I can’t believe they still don’t get it, after all these years. Most of the folks here would prefer a smaller built-in EVF, even if it’s slightly inferior quality to the bulky add-on.

      • David

        Fuji X-E1. Done

        • Anonymous

          Slow AF. Done.

          • Anonytrackball

            Slow AF, undone.

            • MarcoSartoriPhoto

              SlowER than OMD and last PENs.

      • Sqweezy

        Sorry, I don’t buy your claims and, ostensibly, neither does Olympus. Although I might agree with you that most of the people “here” would prefer an integrated viewfinder, I am not even sure if that has a firm grip of the majority. Throw in the rest of the public, the vast majority of which are uninformed-consumer types, and the “clamoring”, starts getting softer and softer. Trust me, I know some people that have bought into mirror less cameras who don’t have a clue about photography in general, much less are able to carry a conversation about the tech inside. Now this is the true majority, and an integrated viewfinder, to them, is far, far less of a concern than how “pretty” the camera looks. As much as I would like to see a PEN with a corner EVF, I have come to accept it isn’t happening anytime soon given Olympus’s current product strategy. I mean, why put all that investment into external EVFs if there isn’t a plan on how to get them sold? Face it, if you really “need” an integrated viewfinder, just opt for the OM-D. All of its specs are basically the same, except youyou get an EVF and weather sealing at the expense of a built-in flash. Of course, the OM-D has an analtogether different look to it entirely, but if that is your main concern, then it puts you in the same time mindset as those who buy a camera based on a aesthetics?

        • OM-4T Black

          I agree with you that many buyers buy based on how pretty a camera looks. A PEN with a huge add-on EVF is a lot prettier than a Fuji X-E1, don’t you agree? :)

          • Sqweezy

            In my opinion, no. The integrated solution of the X-E1 bests the E-P5 with the add-on VF-4. Still, looks are of lesser concern to me than the convenience of the always-there quality of the integrated solution. I can understand some users’ preference for the versatility of using an external EVF when desired, but I find integrated EVFs to be much more practical and they would certainly be used more often by me in real-world use.

          • Pen be prettier than a X-E1, if you take of EVF on Pen. :-P

        • Rpm40

          I agree that most people these days don’t use a viewfinder, and I’m just as sick of the rangefinder drone, but I just don’t buy the argument that it wouldn’t make financial sense to make at least one such model. Sony has them, Fuji has them, they both must have felt they could make money selling a model with a built in corner evf or they wouldn’t exist.

          People say “then go buy a Fuji”- but it’s a system, I have a whole collection of lenses and accessories and I don’t want to change. Why should someone need to change just to have a rangefinder style model? Why can’t m4/3 just release one model to fill a glaring gap instead of losing users to other systems?

          • Anonymous

            hey, there is no “human rights” to get the TOY you want.

            Olympus, don’t have any obligations towards you. They do what they think is best for themselves, full stop. You may not agree with their strategy, but sentence like “one should not have to change its lenses to get the look he wants” are over the top.

            you don’t like it, too bad, but there is other issues in the world than getting a hump or not on your camera!

          • Rpm40_DORK

            I just love standing in a crowd with my arms out in front of me trying to keep the camera steady while I squint at the screen with the sun on it. Every one knows I am taking a photograph. I can’t see what of but I hope they have heads this time.

            • Makes you wonder how they took many of the photographs on the moon during the early 70s. Those were made with a Hasselblad attached to the front of the life support system, with no viewfinder whatsoever.

              There is a very useful bit of photography technique that those guys had to learn, looking at a scene, and knowing which part of it will be seen by the camera.

              No its not an excuse for not having a finder, but it is a very useful technique to learn still because it dramatically reduces the amount of time needed for composing and making a photograph.

              Oh, and for those who like candid eh ‘street photography’.. its very useful for you as well, as you can take pictures without even looking at your camera.

        • AMVR

          BS, simple, unadulterated, BS.

          I’m getting really tired of naysayers, thinking everyone has to accommodate to their philosophy. We don’t go around yelling that Olympus should kill the OMD line so why do you insist in negating a reasonable alternative to the other half of Oly’s consumers ? We’re only asking for an OPTION, an ALTERNATIVE, something which wouldn’t affect anyone negatively, instead, what you (the slr-police) offer us in return is this annoying mantra about the impracticality of an EVF inside a PEN, please, keep it to yourself.

          Your argue that the vast majority doesn’t care about an EVF but you forget some important facts:

          1.- This camera isn’t even remotely aimed at the common consumer, it’s clearly aimed at enthusiasts, the majority of which know their stuff. The people you describe will probably go for an E-PM2 at first, and for them the add-on EVF makes perfect sense(partitioned spending). But even if you were right, if such ignorant people aspire to go into something better than a P&S and are also willing to mess around with swapping lenses, shouldn’t an EVF also be one of their aspirational features ? afterall, all those Rebels and nikons have VFs too, hell, even superzooms have them.

          2.- You forget that there’s a whole growing market for enthusiast cameras which the E-P5 aims to allure. If this wasn’t true then Sony and Fuji wouldn’t even have wasted a minute to consider investing huge amounts or R&D into this market segemnt, with not 1 nor 2, but FOUR model lines with (CORNER!) EVF; And I’m not even counting the X100 which started this whole craze. The sole existence of those models render this BS argument against RF-shaped cameras null. The E-P5 will have to compete against both Sony NEXs (which have flash and EVF, for cheaper) and Fuji’s X line (which goes head to head against oly in the retro arena, but actually does it right), against which it doesn’t offer much advantages (IBIS being pretty much the only one).

          If those cameras weren’t enough proof that Oly is full of it for not offering a decent amount of features in a reasonably priced body (the NEXs have BOTH flash AND EVF for fck sake !), then the E-P5 just puts the final nail in the coffin. The inclusion of 5 axis IBIS without a hump just killed that dumb argument, so opting for an OMD with an unnecessary and obtrusive hump doesn’t make sense at all. It’s not about looks, it’s about ergonomics, and for a vast number of people (as in ¨a market that warrants the existence of 5 separate camera lines¨), centered VFs & cameras with protrusions doesn’t cut it.

          • mahler

            Perhaps, you could get real and accept the “hump” of the OMD, and poof your problems is solved, you have a nice looking camera with an integrated EVF.

            The hump is neither unnecessary nor obtrusive. A PEN with a good view finder would likely have a bigger size than then OMD (see Fuji X-E1). The hump means lower shoulders and as such more compactness.

            Sure, I would have preferred the E-P5 with a build-in finder, but it is not such a big deal, because thre is the E-M5.

            • Vlad

              >>A PEN with a good view finder would likely have a bigger size than then OMD (see Fuji X-E1)
              No, it won’t. See NEX-7.

              • tex

                Many of you like to reference nex7 and insists that it is possible to have a integrated EVF on pen without increasing the size.

                But yet many failed to see that:

                1. nex use a 16:9 lcd, thus the height of the screen is lower (also, though it is a 3″ screen, during actual shooting of non- 16:9 ratio, large portion of the screen is “crop” off, resulting a smaller view.)

                2. sony is smart enough to have the grip that protrude forward, allowing “extra” space for battery and sd cards. BUT, many failed to see that if olympus is to follow such design, the camera will look completely different. What makes EP5 looks great is because of the retro(boxy) styling.

                3. IBIS will always take up some space. While sony has a bigger sensor, you must understand that nex is design differently. m43 sensor distance is 20mm, sony is 18mm. unless olympus redesign the entire line, m43 will always be 2mm thicker (even with all the tech being equal).

                While i agree that nex7 is very well design, the aesthetic look is and will always be different.

                Leave with it, or switch system. Not everyone “needs” a integrated evf. If you really “need” a integrated evf, why are you into olympus m43 at the very first place?


                • Vlad

                  I believe you failed to see several things.

                  1. switching to a 16:9 screen. It might result in a smaller view, as you say, but it also allows for interface elements to not be on top of the picture. I am also confident that many will accept a slight reduction in size, if they have an EVF. Even without changing the screen, by merely making the slanted edge on the top left straight, it would be possible to fit an EVF.

                  2. what you fail to see is that the Sony is roughly 8mm thicker at the grip (which in itself is 1/4 of the camera length), but the rest of the camera (3/4) is 25mm (versus 36mm for the E-P3)(all rough measurements). So, you lose that point completely, because volume-wise the E-P3 is bigger.

                  3. You lose that point too, because of 2). the E-P3, measured at the mount is already significantly thicker (way more than 2 mm).

                  4. Everybody needs an EVF, some not enough to be worried if it is missing.

                  5. I am not into m43, I am merely interested in cameras and I was arguing the technical feasibility of including an EVF.

                  • While your details about size and volume are no-doubt correct, you ignore a simple matter of practicality. The volume needed to store a camera is determined by its protrusions, and not by how slim it is at the slimmest point. Hence, the size of the grip is a much more relevant factor then how thin the body is at the mount.

                    • Vlad

                      I agree with your statement, but I do not see your point. I am not arguing pocketability or storage.

                    • @vlad, you are arguing size, and that really is quite pointless when not looking at why size matters.

                      That the volume of a nex 7 is smaller then an e-p5 matters for.. water displacement? or?

                    • Vlad

                      bart, here is what I am arguing about: “A PEN with a good viewfinder would likely have a bigger size than the OMD”
                      That is simply incorrect and to make my point I simply tried to show that there is a camera (NEX-7) which is smaller in volume than the OMD and E-P5, yet has a good viewfinder. So, not water displacement, but what you can fit inside.

                    • @vlad

                      I understand that was your argument.

                      My point is that what you are using to determine ‘size’ might be technically correct but has no practical value, because it is not the kind of ‘size’ that matters.

                      Additionally, internal space is only one of the factors that determines if they can fit in an internal EVF. Amount of usable surface area for controls and EVF placement is at least as important, and there is where things like 16:9 display, protruding grip etc matter a lot.

                      That all isn’t saying that you are right or wrong, but that the kind of ‘size’ you use to say that the NEX 7 is smaller has no practical value, and for all practical purposes, it is actually bigger despite its lower volume.

                    • Vlad

                      “Additionally, internal space is only one of the factors…” Agreed.
                      But there were people above me who were raising the question, like because of the flange distance “m43 will always be 2mm thicker”. Sure, but based on what we see with the NEX-7, it certainly doesn’t need to be 35mm. Having a larger grip also comes down to how you shape the battery and where you put the SD card. Many of the internal components can be shaped and placed pretty freely, which is why I went with the volume. Because if you can stick all that tech into a NEX-7, you can certainly do it in the even bigger E-P5. As to the LCD, see my comment above, pls.
                      So, except the LCD argument, I believe the size I am talking matters. Btw, for all practical purposes E-P5 and NEX-7 are pretty much the same :)

            • Boooe

              Sounds much like “If you accept Christ/Krisha/etc in your mind”…

            • viewfinder memories

              All pen cameras had viewfinders. Why stop now?

              • none of them had AF, or rear displays, and when looking at the F line, none had auto exposure.. why add all that?

                Yes.. why indeed. my PEN FT is still capable of excellent pictures when operated by a decent photographer, who ever needs anything else!

          • Sqweezy

            Firstly, it is impossible to separate facts from opinions since we don’t necessarily have access to the raw data. That said, I can only give my best assessment of the current landscape, as can you.

            Personally, I would like nothing more if Olympus added an integrated EVF to the E-P5. I would cherish it even more if they also added weather sealing for the all-encompassing durability factor as a street-shooting camera. I would even go as far to agree with you that a corner EVF has some ergonomic benefits to the user, albeit marginal. Judging from the reactions I’ve heard, the rangefinder style is desired more for its pure aesthetic quality and less for its practical advantages. Still, there must be some reason these features are lacking in Olympus’s top-of-the-line PEN when, as you so pointed out, their likeliest competitors have added the EVF option to their lines.

            I can only surmise that Olympus’s past and forecasted sales from the E-P series is sufficient enough to continue their current strategy. On your listing of “facts”:

            1. – You argue that the E-P line is not aimed at the common consumer, which I agree with. Yet, after numerous conversations with real users, I believe the majority of people who ACTUALLY buy E-P cameras are rather indifferent about the integrated EVF. These people who ACTUALLY bought the camera care more about the design than the feature set. You may disagree with this assessment but, as unfortunate as it may sound, is something my personal experience forces me to woefully acknowledge.

            2. – You argue that the E-P line is not being competitive in this “growing market for enthusiast cameras” versus its nearest rivals. To this, I can say “perhaps”. Olympus is clearly going with a different strategy from Fuji and Sony. However, why would they keep sticking with it if it has proven to fail? Olympus likely is trying to differentiate itself by offering the market the best “optional” EVF for people to use only when they want to. Is it the wrong strategy? Does it anger the user base? Perhaps. But like excluded lens hoods and airline baggage fees, the frustration of customers do little to quiet the sound of additional revenue coming in. I can only assume the E-P line, as is, sells at a sufficient level and Olympus expects such to continue in the future even without an integrated EVF.

            At the end of the day, it is what it is. Olympus clearly doesn’t think a change is warranted given the options available from other cameras they make, namely the OM-D, or from their competitors. Practically speaking, I have come to accept this, as unfortunate as it sounds. In the grand scheme of things, the E-M5 is only slightly different from the E-P5 in both price and form-factor. Yes, it has an ugly hump protruding from the center of the camera. Yes, the center EVF is slightly less ergonomic and a questionably inferior design. Yet, millions of people across the world and through time have taken wonderful photos with a similar form factor. If one really “needs” an integrated EVF, can we not just deal with this fact, suck it up and buy the OM-D instead? You may disagree, but Olympus seems to think so.

            • Vlad

              As you say, it is difficult to separate facts from opinions and I disagree with you. I don’t see the market not wanting an integrated EVF, especially at the price points these cameras are selling. What I see is Olympus trying to take EVF obsolescence out of the camera. That is the only thing that would make sense, at least in my opinion.
              As to sucking it up, that is what we are doing, but if we also don’t voice our opinions nothing will change.

              • Sqweezy

                Fair enough, but the best way to vote is with our dollars (or whichever currency you use). The most influential way to force a change is with a significant hit to Olympus’s sales. On the other hand, if the viewfinder-less E-P line continues to prosper year after year, then they must be satisfied with it to some degree.

                • Vlad

                  Agreed, though given that we are investing in a system (lenses and accessories), it becomes difficult to vote with our dollars :)

                  • Really?

                    Buy an E-M5, G6, GH3 or whatever, its not like there aren’t m4/3 cameras with integrated EVF.

                    But its not on the left side!!

                    Nope it isn’t.

                    And there never has been a m4/3 camera with a left corner VF. If that is oh so important for you, why did you ever invest in a system that never had such thing and had no promise of ever getting such a thing? Is it a belief in that if YOU want something, obviously everyone must want it and it will definitely be made if you are just being loud enough?

                    • Vlad


                    • Vlad, investing in a system is voting with your money. If for someone the left-corner EVF is a deal breaker, that someone should never have invested in m4/3 because that system never had such a thing, and neither does it have a promise to ever deliver such a thing. The only one to blame for such an investment is the person who didn’t look at what they were putting their money into.

                    • Vlad

                      Ok, I see your point. My bad. I actually meant that in general, when you are already invested in a system, it becomes difficult to vote with your dollars, which makes it easier for companies to sit and do nothing. Sorry for the confusion, should have made that clear. I actually have no issue at all with Olympus not integrating the viewfinder.

                    • @vlad

                      totally agree there!

        • Anonytrackball

          $1000 + is not a cheap camera. People spending that sort of money have an idea of what it is. It is not aimed at beginners or a family replacement for the instamatic.
          I think if you go back for several years you will find a deafening clamour for an integrated EVF on the PEN. The em5 is fine (I have one) but like many others here I want an integrated EVF in a pen body. Do you work for Oly ? In integrated EVF denial

          • Considering the market in which Leica had to get its money for the last few decades, no, being able to drop a grant on a camera nowhere means the buyer has a clue as to what they are buying. Some will, but many won’t.

      • “It does affect image quality”…..thats my fav quote of the day.

        • ssgreenley

          Right?! I can’t believe no one challenged that.

  • OM-4T Black

    Olympus would be foolish not to make a PEN with EVF. It would be a shame for m43 to squander their mirrorless lead and let Sony and Fuji own the rangefinder-style with EVF market. what’s taking so long. They don’t have to worry about losing OM-D sales. They need to worry about defectors to Sony/Fuji. The sooner the better.
    I personally don’t care for EVF and would prefer a full-flip screen, but that’s no reason to ignore the market.

    • OM-4T Black

      I just told you, it’s not just about style. There are advantages to the non-DSLR shape for certain types of shooting. I guess some people understand that, and some don’t. The latter category evidently includes Oly product planners. Maybe that’s why Fuji’s mirrorless cams are doing so much better, profit-wise.

      • AMVR

        Precisely! An E-P5 with EVF wouldn’t hurt the OMD, it would hurt Sony and Fuji foremost. Even if such a camera could hurt the EM5 there are some factors that play in favor of it:

        A) The OMD is an older model that is to be replaced sooner than later, as such, it takes the backseat in terms of priority. Why ? because an E-P5 simply sells for more more and if such camera was a homerun it would bring higher profits than any depreciating EM5 could.

        B) A higher spec’ed Pro EM6 would further distance the PEN and OMD lines, rendering any protection towards the EM5 unnecessary.

        C) Even in the worst case scenario where EM5 sales plummet and the E-P5 takes the lead, all those lost OMD sales would go to the E-P5 and thus profits go to Olympus either way.

        So protecting the OMD is not a reasonable excuse to cripple the E-P5, this was all just about selling add-ons. At least they could’ve brought out their long over due ¨revolutionary VF technology¨…if that even was real, because I see nothing revolutionary in stabilized live-view or a higher refresh rate,and the VF-4 looks nothing close to revolutionary either.

      • mahler

        Where is the evidence that Fuji X cameras are more profitable than the Olympus m4/3 product lines?
        I don’t see Fuji X cameras being sold in masses, whereas most dealers were very happy with the performance of the E-m5.

        • AMVR

          I wouldn’t say they’re MORE profitable, but they’re certainly competitive and the fact stands that they’ve taken the enthusiast market to themselves(together with Sony) while Oly and Pany slept on their laurels (except with the GF-1 and OMD). The evidence lies right in front of you (or rather above, in my previous comment).

          Japanese companies are no risk-takers, they’re very conservative in average so when you see Fuji producing a whole new line of ILCs from scratch with their own mount and sensor, based solely on the success of their fixed lens X100 camera and then daring to expand with a 2nd and less expensive model (and now an upcoming consumer camera), well, that certainly does not speak of low profits. There’s enormous amounts of money poured into R&D so you can bet your head that Sony and Fuji didn’t just venture wildly into the enthusiast market, there was and there STILL is a huge demand for RF-shaped ILCs, otherwise they wouldn’t have spent that kind of money nor would they continue to do so.

          Sony took some time to realize that the market wanted an alternative to the SLR ergonomics but when they did they had a huge impact (remember the days before the NEX7 announcement ? crazy hype i tell you), the Fuji went straight ahead and made an even bigger impact with ther X100, people went crazy for that camera (and still do), not only for the looks but for the interface. Those are facts, period. Meanwhile people over at m4/3 could only look from a distance waiting for Oly and Pany to respond…and the years have passed and Oly and Pany still fail to respond directly. Don’t get me wrong, the OMD is a spectacular attempt at the enthusiast market but such attempt was aimed at a whole other demographic, people who yearn to go back to slr ergonomics, the total opposite of what the market is doing i.e to make mirrorless as different from DSLRs as possible. The fact that Oly had been in the ILC game for years before Sony or Fuji ventured into it and then they failed to provide adequate alternatives for enthusiast who were attempting to complement or get away entirely from their DSLR is just a sick joke.

          • Vlad

            Well, I think you are really putting down the OMD too much. It is actually the camera that put Olympus back in the spotlight I’d say. In the end, the only thing SLRish about it is the hump, nothing else. It certainly doesn’t have the grip of one, lol. Now, the GH3 on the other hand…

            • JimD

              “It certainly doesn’t have the grip of one”
              You have not handled to many SLRs then, and certainly don’t remember when all lenses were silver.

              • Vlad

                Well, I was obviously comparing the OM-D to current cameras.

                • JimD

                  Ahh. Style vs moulded plastic lumps.

          • Anonymous

            I may be a bit of an old fogey – I am certainly no longer young – but SLR ergonomics did make sense: they allowed for simultaneous manipulation of all shooting parameters, at least all shooting parameters that you could manipulate at the time, ie focus, speed, and aperture (ISO, or rather ASA, could not be manipulated, unless you changed film, and – of course – white balance and colour scheme could not be manipulated at all and filters had to be added in front of the lens). Nowadays, you have to set parameters sequentially, through combinations of buttons and dials. What is more, in the SLR days you did not need to learn a whole new set of controls, when you changed camera. So, all in all, the only “retro” in design I really care about, is the old SLR controls.

    • Vlad

      They are not ignoring the market. You can have an EVF. I believe they do this for a reason – EVFs are evolving quickly and they don’t want this to affect their camera. So they keep it separate and when a new EVF is out, you just need to buy that, not change your whole camera. It is actually a good approach when you think about it. And on top of that, they also have the “pro” model with an integrated viewfinder.
      I am pretty confident that one day, when EVFs really become what they can be, we will have an integrated EVF in a Pen.

  • drYes

    It would have been such a winner with EVF, i ve ordered a e-pl5 with all the good glasses yesterday as I cannot stand the slr-like look of the OMD, too weird, so not classy.
    as soon as they release a PEN with evf I change the body ;-)

  • !

    I had a Pen F and couple of lenses. It was a thing of beauty but IMO the image quality of the small format never lived up to the concept. So I traded it in (perhaps foolishly in retrospect) on a full-frame SLR.

    I also still have (somewhere at my parents’ home) a Pen D. If anything this took better pictures than the F, with a pin-sharp f1.9 lens. My favourite film camera is my Minox 35GT. Smaller than the Pens but full 35mm. A digital equivalent would be fantastic. In the meantime I will most likely buy the E-P5/f1.8 kit if price is reasonable.

  • facetime

    Here’s hoping Panasonic understands what enthusiast want as evident with the upcoming LF1.

    • JBL

      yeah i sure Panny was discontinued External EVF.

    • safaridon

      Yes the back view of the new LF1 does show what can be done using a small 0.2″ EVF in the corner yet having full sized 3″ 3:2 screen in a camera size no larger than 4.1″ wide by 2.44″ tall! Pany can use the 1.3mp 0.2″ EVF from the FZ200. Such a camera may be coming in the GX2 this fall? All Pany has to do is call it an Oly Pen and it would sell in spades.

  • mino

    I am agree with they thinks that it’s foolish to make a body without a built-in evf. I have a lot of mft optics but i’ll not buy it. I am seriusly thinking to pass to sony nex 6 or 7. The e- p5 is beutifull but old, past not future. the next year it will cost less than middle than the first price. How the e-p2 and e-p3. Not a clever idea.
    I live in Italy and you can find an used but same as new e-p2 for 100$ or a e-p3 for 250$……..
    Excuse my poor english.

  • Pharque Moi

    But they missed the hyphen between “Olympus” and “Pen”.
    No hyphen = no sale.

    • OM-4T Black

      The guy who decided to drop the hyphen was the same guy who came up with the name OM-D E-M5, instead of OM-5.

    • metalaryeh

      I liked the camera until you pointed out that disgusting oversight. Maybe I’ll just use a marker.

    • Hot new rumour!
      The hyphen will be available as an accessory AND, in quite a reversal for Olympus, will be available in silver and black. Not red, though.
      So still no sale.

  • Rinaldo

    Thanks admin! Nice interview…. :) For all the whiners… [Q: It turns out that it is a built-in viewfinder is a fundamental difference of the new OM-D line? – Terada: No, no! After all, in the future, and PEN’y can get the viewfinder. But the camera with the name of PEN should keep the old form factor. The brand is very important.”]
    Keep up your hopes guys!

    • AMVR

      Pfff, if this wasn’t the 1000th time I’ve heard some lie from an Oly representative I would be joyous, alas, past experience has told me to take their promises with a salt lake. We’ve been waiting years for this mesly feature but then there’s the 4/3-MFT hybrid, the revolutionary EVF technology, the modular camera, the supposedly new sensors that were just tweaked 12MP ones, the death – rebirth cycle of 4/3, etc…I love olympus cameras, they’re the best photographic tools sub-FF IMHO, but Olympus itself is just full of sht. Maybe it’s true and the eventually release a PEN with EVF but right now there was no conceivable reason to skip the EVF on the E-P5 (other than add-on sales). Are we suppossed to wait even more years when the competition is on their 3rd generation of corner-EVF bodies ? BS

      • Vlad

        There is a conceivable reason. They give you to opportunity to keep the camera and update only the EVF, when technology improves. Given how fast EVFs evolve it is a very sensible strategy and explains why they say that you will have an EVF in the future.

  • Pen F was a half frame, and so is Digital Pen. But now you can’t fit an EVF in the same form factor. So you do an OM-D. But it is still a half frame, so you do a hump.

    One can see the absurdity of respecting retro concepts. OTH if you move the EVF to the left, you would raise the shoulders – and have room for a flash, like in the Fuji. But you’d have a bigger camera: that’s Oly conondrum.

    Compared to Fuji and Sony Oly has the additional problem of fitting the IBIS, so it’s not going to happen unless they make a bigger camera.

    So far one swallows unwillingly the retro concept because one gets integral IBIS in the EVF, a game changer with teles, any, including legacy. Stabilised vision is really impressive.

    • AMVR

      I see no reason why Oly would be unable to keep the size down when Sony and Fuji were capable of doing so with larger sensors, by this I mean that the sensor size difference partly makes up for the IBIS surrounding Oly cameras. Besides, it wouldn’t be that much taller either, about the size of the PL1, and that’s considered a small camera:



      Besides, the EVF barely sticks up from the OMD frame, it’s in line with the edge of the hump right where the base stops, so barely 3~4mm taller than PL1, and that’s just by using the VF-2 guts, I could settle for the VF-3 internals if it means having Pen with EVF.

    • Do

      M43 is smaller than half frame was, which is the same as 35mm for movies, where you are running 35mm film vertically through the camera, not horizontally as with classical still cameras – and covers basically the same area as APS-C (18x24mm).

      • Do

        Ok, I see you already led the same discussion two times here…

        • slips ahead

          some discussions here need constant repeating as some facts do not seem to stick in some posters heads

          • viewfinder memories

            2 Bl00dy right. we want a viewfinder inside on the left. That seems not to stick.

    • Vlad

      I don’t think you will have a bigger camera. As AMVR said, the bigger sensor makes up for the IBIS and the NEX-7 is actually smaller (volume wise) than the E-Ps.
      As to the placement of EVFs, the NEX-7 is great for not sticking your nose in the LCD, but at the same time it doesn’t allow for much stability.

    • slips ahead

      the digital pen is quarter frame the pen film size used half a 35mm frame (hence the half frame lol) the old 110 film size is roughly the same as mFT

      • JimD

        110 is bigger than m43 its closer to an inch square.

        • JimD

          Sorry, thinking 126 size not the 16mm base

  • Another Thought

    With this new PEN and the optional EVF I believe we get a preview of the rumored pro OMD to come. Expect it to be bigger, with this new EVF integrated, some performance tweaks, and as rumored, have a mount able to accept both m43 and 4/3 lenses.

  • adaptor-or-die

    As customers, we harp and whinge over what can be. After all that’s what we do, consume. We want it now, and it has to satisfy everyone’s endless checklist. That is hubris of a buyer. Camera makers are looking at a bleaker horizon. Their old reliable units for cash, the P&S (PoS) market has dissolved in the eyes of i-Androids and similar. Markets and sales suck for the better part of what is the innovation and modern historic cycle of mirrorless compacts.

    These cameras don’t just get knocked together in months, it’s a longer cycle. Seeing “new models” from every brand that are dressed up upgrades should not be a surprise. I suspect that a EVF PEN is in the future. But it won’t come out until they are ready. Most of the mirrorless LEICA RF style bodies are overtly large in form. Compact EVF variations have specific compromise. Olympus has never been a copycat designer. So expect the first EVF RF style mFT as a Panasonic, model. That will push Olympus more than anything else to releasing, “a PEN with a View”.

    The new VF-4 is EPSON technology, 2+ years in the making. It’s a lot larger than I would have expected, seeing the flexible film tech was supposed to compact things? So then, maybe that step is still down the road. And Sony showed up in the interim with money and design, so again, the positive are new solutions, the downside, add more gestation time to the calendar of new product lines …

    • Vlad

      “Olympus has never been a copycat designer.” The E-PM1 certainly did seem like a NEX copy.
      I am not sure I agree with your take on the industry. It seems to me that camera makers put themselves into this position. We are being sold expensive old technology. Compare it to the evolution of the computer market.

  • Sorry Amalric, a half-frame camera’s “frame size” is actually larger than all APS-C cameras. The digital PEN and other u4/3 cameras are more accurately termed “quarter frame.”

    Otherwise, I actually agree with the rest of what you’re saying!

    • I am not sure how you arrive at that.

      I used the industar 28/2.8 for the Russian half Frame Chaika, an equivalent of the Pen F, and it covers exactly the m4/3 sensor. So the latter is exactly half FF.

      • BdV

        Half frame has a different aspect ratio and should easily cover m43, but indeed m43 could be called a kind of half frame concept – that’s why the crop factor = 2.

        • Yes. The point is not the absolute size of Digital Half Frame, but that it works as one. The film OM line instead was FF 135. So to call the OM-D a reincarnation of that is a travesty. What is kept is the size of the camera, not of the sensor, which is exactly the same of the new Pen.

          So where does it leave us?
          1. Oly has no need of the dSLR form factor, other than for sentimental reasons – the worst.
          2. Contrary to Fuji or Sony Oly might have decided that it will never go Digital FF, so the OM shape is free for grabbing.

          Does it need to offer one? I think it’s only a matter of propaganda. What is true is that the OM-D offers *more* IQ than the old OM, in about the same size. But it could do the same in a RF-like camera, if it wasn’t stuck in old film models.


      • The PEN F frame size is 18mm x 24mm: it’s only half of a 36×24 “full-frame” 135 format frame in one dimension. A micro four thirds frame size is 13mm x 17.3mm, very roughly half in both directions. The crop factor for a PEN F is 1.44, so bigger than any APS-C sensor, but a touch smaller than the APS-H sensors found in the Leica M8 and the older Canon APS-H DSLRs. Since the 4/3 sensor is smaller than a half-frame, the image circle of your half-frame lens would cover the sensor very well.

        I think the point of confusion comes from the 4/3 crop factor of 2x, which makes some think that it means 1/2 frame.

        • Yes, but what is your point? Because of the 2x crop factor m4/3 behaves exactly as the old half frame.

          Digital however is not film: so what matters is the technical advancement of a sensor compared to another.

          Clearly in the case of the OM-D sensor it was such that it offset some of the advantages of the big sensors, like DR ands sensitivity/lack of noise. There was also a substantial increase of resolution by disposing of the Low Pass filter. Up to a point the absolute dimension of a sensor matters very little.

          Where it really matters is in the lenses. They must have twice the resolution of FF ones to provide the same performance. That was the gauntlet Oly (and Panny) picked up, and they succeeded v. well. Hence the success of a small, lighter, much more portable system.

          • slips ahead

            no a Pen F crop factor compared to FF is not the same as a the mFT 2xcrop faxtor but keep on posting if you keep on changing what you meant to say law or averages will make you right, eventually lol

  • AG

    The modern interpretation of this classic design is done quite well; however, Olympus should heed that the target buyer is not the point and shoot crowd. Thus providing the EVF in the kit is a must.

  • “Just for the record: Last year Mr. Tarada told at Onfoto (Click here) that “A built-in viewfinder is not exclusive for the OM-D line”.”

    Terada-san has a history of speaking with the proverbial forked tongue. There’s “the one beautiful system” and the push that E-XXX users should accpet the Pen range of cameras as suitable replacement for their DSLRs. Four years later the prophesy has not been fulfilled. The hold-outs are looking desperately to the fourth quarter of 2013.

    With all due respect, I take anything Terada-san says with a heaping spoon of salt.

    The external EVF is actually growing on me, and it’s not a deal breaker. The only disadvantage to me is its fragility. I don’t care about weather sealing, but other may, so that’s another minus point. The remaining main problems with the Pen replacing the E-XXX series are the short battery life and the lack of support for 4/3 lenses. After all, 4/3 users were told to move to m4/3, which means full usefulness is expected. Without being able to use my 4/lenses fully, why would I stick with Olympus?

    • @TheEye
      Quite a few E-xxx users have moved over to the PEN and O-MD line before and after the Terada interview.
      The battery life of the E-xxx line is worse than Olympus Mft ( I own a E630).
      All contrast focus Four Thirds lenses work pretty well on PEN, O-MD and Panasonic Mft cameras with their performance getting better with each recent Mft camera release….

      • That people got suckered in by Terada’s unfulfilled promise is supposed to make me feel what exactly? I bought a Pen, but not as replacement for my E-620, which it simply can’t replace for half of what I shoot.

        I have the battery grip on my E-620. There is no battery grip for my Pen. The Pen’s EVF consumes battery juice like there’s no tomorrow. The Pen lasts me two hour with a fully charged battery during a shooting session. The E-620 lasts me more than double that (with two batteries). Fact is, the E-620 has the bigger “tank.”

        What do the contrast detection enabled 4/3 lenses matter to me, since I have the 12-60, which is slow as a snail on m4/3? AF performance of the 12-60 has not improved on the newer Pens.

        • Admin, what bad word did I use this time? Your auto-censor is one sensitive kitty.

      • slips ahead

        I have a wide selection of FT lenses and none of them work as they should on mFT ( o-md in my case) unless you mean work incredibly poorly for static or near dead subjects. I really wish that they did work as you claim ask many ways the O-MD is a great travel camera .

        • If what you say were actually true, no pictures of race cars would exist that predate the mid 1980s. However there are many such pictures, and hence, it is totally possible to make photographs of moving subjects, even fast moving subjects, despite the lack of workable AF, and AF is the ONLY area in which fourthirds lenses perform ‘poorly’ on a micro fourthirds camera.

          That you find AF highly convenient, and would like a camera that can do proper AF with those fourthirds lenses, sure, and I totally agree. Suggesting however that lack of this makes those lenses function ‘poorly’ in a general sense is just nonsense, just like suggesting you can’t take pictures of moving subjects without AF being total nonsense.

  • Ranger 9

    If you’re tempted to buy one of those “gothic F” Pens on eBay, be sure you can try the shutter; it’s not nearly as reliable as those on the later FV and FT models. The metering and focusing also are pretty miserable by modern standard. All of which is to say, don’t get too carried away by style; we’ve come a long way since then…

    • JimD

      Mine works well, its an FT but batteries are a consideration. The ‘air’ substitutes work but not for long and the silver with an adapter are best. Same for old meters. Also if you are looking for a big bright viewfinder, it might not be for you. But I have no problems with mine.

      • Just keep in mind that the FT finder is dimmer then the ‘gothic F’ finder because of the metering that was included in the FT (I own and every so often still use an FT).

        Both finders are small, like E-xxx style small, and don’t compare at all to viewfinders on any current ‘above consumer level’ DSLR, let alone any 135 format film SLR.

  • metalaryeh

    I would like too see something like this-

    A more controllable shifting of the sensor can open up some nice possibilities. I wonder if slightly tilting the sensor can make some cool tilt-like focusing effects…

    • I think, yes if Olympus will. ;-)

    • Ya, been wondering if there is enough latitude in sensor movement to use it to mimic the rear ‘movements’ of a view camera. Add a shift/tilt lens, and you actually get full movements in an amazingly small package.

  • Anonymous

    Turn those cameras around for the full story

    • Anonymouse

      Correct answer. shows where the fail mark is, on the left top.

  • I’m sure users of the PEN F would have been delighted to swap the mirror mechanism and built-in viewfinder for an external EVF of high quality. Just saying.

    • JimD

      Internal would have been nice (if such a thing existed then) but external NO. Just saying.
      Just like all pens today should have an internal EVF. Just saying.

  • Well, I’m just one data point, but after two years of using the EPL1 with the EVF, it didn’t take me two seconds to switch to the Fujifilm EX1 when it came out. Sold the Oly glass and switched over. Built in corner EVF for the win!

  • I’d just like to point out that the E-P5 (and predecessors) indeed have built-in EVF’s … and due to constant whining about viewfinders being too small, Olympus has obliged, “That VF big enough now?”

  • Mathias

    I don’t understand the current fixation on “retro” designs. It seems to me since the FujiFilm X100 was released, “retro” designs are suddenly “in”. And I’ll have to admit, it seems quite a few people like that. But I’m not one of them.

    I loved the modern look of the E-PL3/PM1 and I’m sad to see Olympus going for “retro” for all m43 models now. Ok, so the E-PL3/PM1 didn’t have a grip. But I’m sure it would be possible to make a good looking modern design with a decent grip. I thought “OM-D = retro design” and “E-Pxx = modern design” was a good way to have something for every taste, but now everyhing is retro.

    I’m sorry to say, but I find the E-P5 butt ugly. And yes, I know it’s a matter of taste…

    • The “retro” serves two functions … (a) it is based on designs that actually worked and (b) it appeals to us (older) folks who for many years actually used the cameras these designs are based on. With that said, why young people would buy these is totally beyond me.

      • Mathias

        But what should young people buy instead, if they want an m43 digicam with the 5-axis Olympus IBIS? My point is that Olympus has now moved *all* their m43 digicams to retro design. They no longer offer any up-to-date models for fans of modern design…

        IMHO it would make much more sense for Olympus to have one modern model series and one retro model series, instead of putting all their eggs in one basket.

        • OMega

          It strikes me that very few people today are interested in the prime purpose of owning a camera, taking photographs and even less taking very good photographs. It is all well and good having all the little trinkets included, someone might like a little crystal hanging from it, perhaps that will make better images. I don’t know, all I want is a good tool (yes tool), which will take the best possible images for my purposes, so yes; as it is the OM-D fills that purpose right now. As for any future purchases, that will be some glass or a strobe or two, a new body can wait until a better u43 sensor comes along or when my existing one fails me.

          • Mathias

            Don’t we all look for beauty in all things? Do you buy a car solely based on functionality? Do you choose your girl friend without caring about her looks at all? Of course the most important thing for a digicam is to work well. But I won’t deny that I would like it to look nice, too. Well, at least it shouldn’t be butt ugly.

          • Vlad

            It is actually very simple. You buy furniture to suit your home and feel comfortable in it. Same with clothes. Why not have the same with your camera? It certainly isn’t a primary concern, but it is a concern.

          • I’m all for the “tool” attitude, which is one of the reasons I’ll be dumping Canon DSLR cameras. The big thing to remember is that these cameras are not so much “retro” in the same way as fashion, but rather based on proven workable designs. How many different configurations are there for a camera? Lens points forward; enough “body” to hold the camera; something with which to view what the lens is “seeing,” preferably on the opposite of the lens; tripod mount at the bottom; etc. Then there’s the constraint of the material used … aluminium alloy and plastic needs be thicker than steel or brass for the same strength. In the end you have a very basic design for a camera (although not for a camera-enable device) with some leeway for variation. Of course they can bring it out in different colours – lime, purple or, ooh my, polished brass – but in the end the basic underlying design remains constant.

            • Mathias

              I’m not talking about technical design. I’m quite ok with where the E-P5 has its buttons, it’s flash, it’s tripod mount etc etc. What I’m talking about is purely the looks of the camera. The E-P5 simply looks very “old”, if you know what I mean. It would have been easy to make it look more “modern” without changing the physical design much. Olympus intentionally went for the “retro” look, that is quite obvious. And some people like it, but not everyone. I expect especially younger people would likely tend to prefer a more modern design.

              The “retro” look has a different way the camera edges are formed. It looks like it was made of several different body parts, sued togehter. There are small fins standing out of the body case. And the exact choice of the material and colors and even the font type all shout “retro” very loudly.

              Use a more modern material (with the same qualities), make it clear that the case consists of just one piece, get rid of the protruding fins, use nice modern curves, a modern font and you get a modern styled camera with effectively the same usability – just different looks…

        • JimD

          Mathias. What is modern? in the styling arena.

          • Vlad

            Maybe something more aerodynamic with a real grip.

            • JimD

              We need camera companies to make small plug in sensors with lens mount modules, electronics modules and dial/button arrays, EVF options and screens and flashes. We could then go to a photo fashion shop and have a camera body made to order with all the bits where we want them by a 3d printer. People could then have what ever they want and leave out whatever they don’t want.

              I suppose we would have complaints then about lack of advice on item locations when people realise that its not easy and their great ideas may not work in practice, Ahh well there goes another body.

      • slips ahead

        the retro designs did not work hence why they are not used now , the RF style bodies and even the O-MD are comparatively poor ergonomically , while the aesthetics fans love them I find the functionality compared to a simple DSLR design very limiting

  • Anonymoose

    Yawn… Glossy, retro, blergh, blah – when is a real camera (E-7, E-M7) going to come out? Huh, Olympus? Not everyone is Japanese, not everyone has tiny hands, not everyone wants to be forced to switch to Canikon because you keep producing what are essentially toys.

    • I’m planning on switching from Canon (DSLR) to Olympus due to the E-P5 … small hands and my dog’s name is Gaijin.

    • slips ahead

      we’ll said my man , You think when they look at their sales numbers and profits or rather lack of profits Olympus would see that they need to appeal to a much wider user base. The oh real cameras are so heavy crowd have been well catered for time for those of us with the big heavy (spectacularly good SHG ) glass to be given abode worthy of them

  • Camaman

    So what will be the kits available in Europe and at what prices?

  • Joey

    All this crying over an evf – if it had an evf there’d be something else to cry about…what? Only one dial??!!? No way I’m buying this…what? It’s more than $200?!!? No way….:))

    • Vlad

      You are twisting the issue. If older E-Ps are anything to go by, this new camera will cost at least as much as a NEX-6 and won’t have an EVF.

      • Joey

        I’m sure they’ll sell plenty, as long as its less than an omd I’m definately taking one :)

        • Vlad

          Oh, they will. But then they could sell even more :)

  • Dukratus

    Well have to say that after reading through many of the comments in this site it should actually be called Olympus hangout club because the way some people defend everything Olympus “throws at them” is just inspiring! No matter what people say, even the die hard fans, olympus is launching expensive products and in the end you get the idea that although they’re already expensive you still have to pay an extra (eveything but cheap) for lens hoods,external evf’s and so on if you want to get the whole experience thing. That being said the camera is in fact beautiful but it won’t be cheap, pay thousands of euros to shoot smartphone style? No thanks!

    • Joey

      Isn’ t this an m43 forum??? I must be in the wrong place

    • As someone who has been living in the C/N DSLR world for some years now, all I can say is that Olympus (seems to) at least gives you something for the prices they charge. No free hoods, huh? But they will be updating firmware across the range, even for the discontinued models, so they can use the new VF-4. With C/N the firmware updates end the second the replacement is announced.

      • slips ahead

        please , Olympus abandoned their camera mount and they have just about abandoned the FT mount unless you belive that they will bring out a new DSLR lol. they told the FT users not using the E-5 that the mFT would do them just fine pity about the hellish slow AF speeds, before the denialists chip in we know you can take a photo of a gravestone in good light , unfortunately many things in life move. Those of us with some superb HG/SHG lens which other than maybe the 75mm no mFT lenses come close to who enjoy shooting moving targets be it sport,nature,birds ,planes , trains and automobiles lol are left with a sensor that is coming up on its fifth birthday , which considering it was not exactly king of the castle the day it came out sucks big time compared to the best APS sensor in the NIkon D7100 we are laughably behind the times.

        The D7100 has a full three stop advantage in DR ,hugely better shadow noise and 1.5stops noise advantage which puts my E-5 in the shade .FT was pushed as they digital optimised system from the get go great set of lenses great bodies , great feature set held back by the sensors almost from day 1 though the E-1 was reasonably competitive it has been straight downhill since ,I am not looking for miracles even the new 16mp sensor in an E-5 body would be all I need

        • Honestly, I can understand why 4/3 has been “abandoned” – the whole mirror-box thing is so outdated, and with current EVF’s just not necessary anymore. And as one who has “lived” through a few mount-changes that paper-weighted numerous excellent lenses, all I can say is that it’s phenomenal your 4/3 lenses can be used on micro-4/3.

        • Please go look at all those pre-1985 pictures of moving subjects and wonder how in the universe they could have done that without AF!

          You would have some points, but your use of exaggerations into absurdity undo any of those points.

  • E-1

    @Admin: Could you install a plugin so I can blacklist people? I’m here for some years now and so fed up with this rangefinder blah blah rah rah rah. 95% of the people here in EVERY thread who whine about an integrated viewfinder wouldn’t buy the cam. If this is THE thing to have, the most important thing about a camera, if it can be in the middle as in an OMD but MUST be to the LEFT side – god beware the right side – THEN WHY DON’T THE JUST GO AWAY AND BUY A FUJI. And if they did, why come here and whine in every thread.

    • Joey

      Here here :)

    • Vlad

      At 95%, you might as well not read the whole thing, rather than blacklist people. And at 95%, there might actually be an actual issue here.

    • oopsadaisy

      hey,don’t abandon the right side lol , we left eye dominant folk don’t want our noses squished up against theLCD

    • Dukratus

      Well if I’m included don’t worry because I won’t be making more posts on this subject, no need to go about blacklisting people just because they say things that “annoy” you, if you’re happy with what you have then just be happy for it, other people’s views and opinions shouldn’t upset you that much, it’s not healthy.
      And to be honest if so many people keep “nagging” about it in these forums maybe it’s because it annoys them, not because they want to annoy you…. Can I buy a fuji instead? Yes I can, can I buy the EM-5? Yes I can, but if I find this pen appealing in some ways why can’t I be annoyed because it doesn’t have something that for me is essential (integrated EVF)? And in the end if you don’t like it be happy for what you have and just ignore the world of naggers who according to you seem to “plague” these forums…

  • stickytape

    There’s something about the lines of the Pen F that makes the E-P5 look like a toy. Straight edges that meet cleanly instead of requiring a band of chrome or some such material. Continuous lines that meet at corners as opposed segments that drop off towards the corners.

    Comparing the P1 and the P5, the P1 seems to have preserved more of the sleek and minimal aesthetic heritage of the Pen F. Still, the E-P5 looks quite nice on its own, so long as it’s not placed next to the Pen F lol

  • JimD

    Admin. Please make the page left and right sided. Those that want internal EVF can post on the left and those that don’t post on the right.

    • Vlad

      I believe you are a bit annoyed by the issue, so honest question: what is the purpose of the comments for you?

  • peevee

    “Some of you said that the built-in exclusivity of the OMD range. Just for the record: Last year Mr. Tarada told at Onfoto (Click here) that “A built-in viewfinder is not exclusive for the OM-D line”.”

    Sure, there is also E-5. :)

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