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Final E-P5 review by Robin Wong and Techradar. New Panasonic lens reviews by ThePhoBlographer.


Note: Black Super E-P5 kit in Stock via third party reseller at Amazon (Click here).

New Olympus E-P5 test roundup:
Techradar (Click here) posted the full E-P5 review. As you can see form the Raw signal to noise ratio graph posted on top there is little difference between the E-P5 and E-M5. The great news for the E-p5 is the ISO 100 advantage.
Robin Wong (Click here) posted the final E-P5 review. He writes:
Some will also point out the higher than usual price point of the Olympus PEN E-P5. Look at it this way, Olympus E-P5 delivers beautiful, crisp images, performs well in difficult shooting conditions, and can be relied on for serious, demanding circumstances. It is an overall well-made, well-built camera, and not many cameras out there in the same category can come close to its generous offerings of wide array of functions and features. Of course Olympus will not make the camera cheap! Whether the price is justified or not, that is up to you to decide.
Focus Numerique (google translation here) posted the full E-P5 ISO test. Obviously it’s hard to see any visible difference when comparing it with the E-M5 images.

ThePhoBlographer double Panasonic lens review:
They tested the Panasonic 7-14mm lens (Click here to read the article) and write: “We’re smitten with this lens. It’s sharp, contrasty, has wonderful color rendition, focuses quickly, feels well built and is highly portable. The only thing that it is missing is weather-sealing, but that doesn’t really break our hearts too much.
And they also tested the Panasonic 12-35mm (Click here to read the article) and write: “The 12-35mm f2.8 OIS also doesn’t have such an excellent feel in the hand–and I spent a lot of time with it. The focal length range is quite good, and while that made it a personal favorite, we’re not exactly sure that we’d want to run with a lens like this when you also slap on the high price tag. In fact, I recommend just sticking with smaller primes instead that have faster apertures and can give you better image quality.

  • Bite Me

    Only worth grabbing by getting the bundle.

    Otherwise, the body-only price is $300 overhyped.

  • Boris

    Interesting that the non-native “ISO100” has lower dynamic range than “ISO200″…
    Can someone explain how that works? I thought it’s just “ISO200” with a different gamma curve…

    • EEmu

      Image sensors have a non-linear respose as they start to saturate. Thus, while it may record twice the light, the raw value might only increase by 10-25%. This would only apply to the bright areas, of course, but depending on the way DR is being measured could make the test look bad.

    • ever hopeful

      if ISO 200 is the ‘native’ ISO then ISO 100 is achieved by manipulation of the signals from the sensor (sort of like going to ISO 400). When the Canon 5DII was released some people reported ISO50 not having as good image quality as ISO 100 for this reason.

    • Adam

      In E-Pl1 “ISO 100” was actually “ISO 200” overexposed by one stop. If you took two pictures with the same shutter speed and aperture, “ISO 100” and “ISO 200” RAWs would look identical, but jpegs would differ in brightness.
      Judging from the graphs they made the same thing in E-P5.

  • jf

    “The 12-35mm f2.8 OIS also doesn’t have such an excellent feel in the hand”
    ??? What’s the problem ? it’s light, it’s compact, it feels solid. I could understand they are disappointed by IQ but feeling ? don’t see the problem, maybe I must read the article to understand…

    • Paul Latouche

      He likes his lenses metallic and heavy, I guess.

    • bousozoku

      As with the 35-100mm f/2.8, it’s too small, too light, too plastic, and the Canon-like finish looks craptacular.

      I’m sure it’s fine if you’re using it on a GF3 or PM1, where something tiny is required for decent balance.

      • true homer

        Yet another comment by someone who hasnt even dreamt of seeing the lens (or apparently cant read either). Both of the panny f2.8 zooms are metal, and the surface looks nothing like a canon. but they dont say oly on the side right?
        This place gets better by the day!

  • metalaryeh

    That ISO 100 advantage looks substantial. I am having trouble believing this graph though. Why would the

    • curiousopeter

      I routinely overexpose the E-M5 by 1-2EV. There is a big difference.

      The ISO 100 on the E-P5 is arguably better because the live histogram will be more useful.

      • MarcoSartoriPhoto

        Sometimes I do it too.

  • Narretz

    GH3 looks so much different from EP-5 and EM-5. So it wasn’t the same sensor after all?

    • Paul Latouche

      SNR on GH3 at ISO 800 is about the same as EM-5/EP-5 at ISO 3200 on this graph.
      The DR graph is about the same, and this is for RAW!
      To me, it doesn’t make any sense. Every other review I saw put GH3 and OMD-EM5 RAW IQ at the same level in terms of DR and noise level.

    • bousozoku

      It’s a matter of firmware and processing engines. If Olympus did the firmware for Panasonic, things might look radically different.

      However, I’ve seen plenty of results and nothing was quite so different as what’s shown there. As far as I’m concerned, any photos I take with the GH3 that are over ISO 3200 are painful to use, they’re so noisy. Under the right conditions, they might be acceptable, I suppose, but I haven’t found anything above ISO 3200 that I’d want to use.


    First, they compare it to a Four Thirds Olympus lens that’s larger and TWICE the price of the 12-35mm! -Not to mention, IF you want to use it on any MFT camera, you have to have an adapter, that adds to the cost and makes it even LONGER!

    What a lousy review. What’s better for the price and size? It was like a review just to hate on the lens.

    To compare it to an outdated lens is just dumb. What a joke of a review.

    • I really dont’ get it either. The price for it for a constant f/2.8 is just about right as a “premium” professional weather-sealed lens. Only the Sigma constant f/1.8 zoom lens is cheaper (which is amazing).

      The comparison to the Olympus f/2.0 zoom lens is also absurd, especially if he’s already complaining on the price of the Panasonic f/2.8 zoom lens. Last I checked, the Oly f/2.0 lens are far, far pricier and of course, far heavier.

      As for build quality, coming from using the Olympus 4/3 Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 mkII on an adapter on GH3, I do feel the Panny 12-35mm that I have now is less rugged feeling, but that may be more because of its size and weight, as well as not using the thick rubber/plastic material that the Oly zoom lens has.

  • They’re Joking, Right?


    Canon 24-70 f/2.8 is over $2000.00. And is huge. The Nikon version is almost as much and I larger as well. ??? What were they thinking???

    Then they mention “only 2.8”.

    Um, BOTH the Canon and Nikon versions are 2.8!!! AND the Panasonic 12-35mm has built in image stabilization!

    I’ve learned one thing from reading the Phonlographer’s review.. You can’t trust them or take their reviews serious.

    • ‘Scuse me,


    • Paul Latouche

      You’re mostly right about this review, but this lens is still really expensive.
      lt my local camera store ( in Canada), I can get a Fuji XE-1 with 18-55mm f2.8-4 for 1100$. At the same store, the 12-35mm f2.8 alone is 1200$!
      Both lenses will give about the same results (the Fuji one being slower but is APS-C), so if you are comparing systems, of course the Pany is expensive.
      OTOH, in m43, we don’t have any other choice for standard high quality zoom. And the one from Oly, if ever released, won’t be cheaper.

      • Which makes their reveiw even more suspect

        Can’t trust them. Fail.

      • true homer

        The 12-35 is not only faster, its wider and sharper

      • Anonymous

        2.8-4 isn’t constant aperture over the entire range now is it?

        For photography that matters, but for video that matters even more. Of cource, if video is anywhere on your list, even if its at the botyom, you’ll have to skip on fuji anyway.

        Next time try to not be a moron and actually compare apples with apples instead of oranges, or qualify why exactly your comparison between apples and oranges makes sense

    • Pb

      I do agree with you that the PhoBlographer’s blogs aren’t very good and have stopped reading his reviews/watching his youtube channel altogether because i didn’t like his style of reviewing

      but i would be on his side about how it is only f2.8! because its only f2.8 on a m4/3! canon and nikon are 2k+ for a full frame const f2.8 which gives much shallower depth of field compared to this lens. its a 24-70 f5.6 in terms of DoF equivalence, not f4 as he stated, it is better to compare it to the 24-70 f4L IS which is still full frame and so MUCH glass compared to other features like weather sealing which is a design thing

      the majority of the cost in high quality lenses is the glass, to get best image quality they have to be produced at really tight tolerances and bigger image circle needs a lot more glass, and m4/3 lenses cover only 1/4 of the area so have less cost in terms of volume of glass used for each lens (but i would assume they need even higher tolerances too to compensate for the smaller size to get that good image quality which would bring up the cost quite a bit). but as it seems you’re just going to discount this argument too as you go and warship your m4/3 and just ignore everything bad anyone says about it

      I was under the impression when m4/3 was first introduced that it was going to be a smaller, lighter and cheaper alternative to DSLRs, but the cost of the higher end m4/3 lenses shock me and the higher distortion as a comprise from the smaller image circle is a bit disappointing too

      • I have MFT, FF and Film

        It’s nice to have options, isn’t it? Not to sound Biased, but I notice a crap review when I read it… If anyone was being biased, it was the reviewer. I mean he used a overpriced FT lens as an example! FT, really?
        He couldn’t use a Canon or Nikon or anything for that matter, because price, weight and Quality, nothing is beating that 12-35mm lens from Panasonic!

        • bskbo

          It’s perfectly comparable to the Canon 24-70mm f4 which has IS, a little bit more play with DOF and a little bit less light gathering. It’s list price is way too high at 1299 EUR, but I bought mine for 799 EUR since it came out of kit.

          The Panasonic 12-35mm has less glass and it has far more distortion, but it’s a lot smaller. At 999 EUR I think it’s overpriced, it should cost 599 at most, since It must be a lot cheaper to manufacture.

          • f/0.00020

            Overpriced consumer 24-70 f/5.6. For Daewoo lamepixboys only.

            • true homer

              youre not gonna believe this, but I took a photo today at f2.8 and the camera metered for f2.8!!!! a miracle right!??

              • f/0.00020

                Daewoo FZ200 25-600 constant f/2.8 cannot be beaten. For that awesome IQ and DOF control.

                • true homer

                  Youre not gonna believe this either, I set the fz200 to f2.8 and the camera gave me f2.8 shutter speeds! Its amazing!!!

                  Btw, google Roger cicala’s canon 24-70 f2.8 vs panny 12-24 f2.8. Ill wait and see what you have to say about daewoo then.
                  Its about the saddest thing in the world seeing someone outside of 43s desperately trying to validate their “better” gear…

                  • They’re Joking, is wrong right ?

                    Youre not gonna believe this either, I set the fz200 to f2.8 and the camera gave me f2.8 shutter speeds! Its amazing!!!

                    You are not going to believe it but you are not going to get the same image are you in any way { DR,DOF ,total light noise}. If they were the same you could have saved a lot of money on your Panasonic junk

      • Anonymous

        Come back when your light and flash meters and manual flashes have a setting for sensor size, or when you actually learned what relative aperture is and why it exists. Hint, DOF does not play any role in either.

    • They’re Joking, is wrong right ?

      The Panasonic 12-35mm is an F2.8 lens designed for a sensor a quarter the size of FF to get close to the same results as a pro 24-70 it would need to be an F1.4 ever seen the size of the Olympus FT 14-35 F2. Comparing lenses across different formats based on F-STOP [ you do understand what F-STOP means ]is idiotic unless you think that the Panasonic FZ200 would do the same job and deliver the same results as a FF 25-600mm F2.8 zoom though maybe you do !

      • I’m afraid it is you who is failing to understand what f-stop means.

        F-stop or relative aperture is aperture/focal length, and gives an indication of BRIGHTNESS.
        Everything else is merely a side effect of that. DOF? yes, it is an effect, it is NOT the meaning of f-stop. Total light? has nothing whatsoever to do this unless you are trying to argue that a 30/2.8 is not a ‘true’ f/2.8′ when compared to a 60/2.8 for the same format.

        Since that 6-60mm on that FZwhatever is f/2.8 constant, it indeed gives the exact same brightness as a 500/2.8 lens consting a couple milion. All the differences you are talking about have to do with the medium behind the lens, and not with the lens.

        So.. come back when you realize that optical properties of a lens don’t change depending on what you put behind the lens, and hence that f/2.8 is f/2.8 is f/2.8, and its the medium that changes how f/2.8 will behave (and how the resulting picture will look)

        Also you may want to take a look at something called a light meter, please point us at one where we can configure the medium size so I can tell it to use the ‘proper f/2.8’ for a 4/3″ sensor.

  • Mr Perry

    OH WOW! All those Squiggly lines! This will surely impact on all our lives

  • Sony Monster

    I’m no Thom Hogan, but I’m sure he could weigh in on this quite well.

  • E-P5 is much to expensive, has no integrated VF and it seems that there will no good Oly zooms available in near future. So it’s not a product that many people will buy. I really don’t understand the Olympus product policy. If people don’t want a small cam then there are much better deals…

  • AdamT

    Hmm, unlike everyone else, including DXO, Robin Wong determines that the GH3 isn’t even up to par with Panasonic’s three-year-old, 12 mp sensor. :rolleyes: Isn’t that the same “reviewer” who gave the GH3 a negative review after stating that he just didn’t like the feel of it and so didn’t shoot with it much?

    • Rchard

      Where did you read that. I have read Robins article and he doesn’t even mention the GH-3. If you mean the graph about snr, it’s from Techradar.

      • NO, HE’S RIGHT

        Robin Wrong just didn’t like the GH3, even though it shoots stills just as well as the EM5, shoots better Video and handles better without an extra grip.

        He’s a Olympus Lackey, plain and simple.

        • Anonymous

          In ideal situations the gh3 can deliver the same quality as an e-m5, but that is only in ideal situations.
          For a photojournalist who has to consider turnaround times for delivery to news agencies, the gh3 does significantly worse because of its jpeg engine (note, this is about PRO work REQUIRING jpegs) and in low light conditions it also does significantly worse.

          Not to mention, you are an idiot for not understanding how your handling comment is first of all a matter of personal prefetence, second not everyone shares your preference (so don’t act as if you are talking for everyone) and third how the grip solution is actually way more flexible.

          You are entitled to like the gh3, there is however no reason for being dishonest or absurdly narrow minded.

  • David Morison

    I am surprised that even after well over a year, the top Olympus sensor hasn’t progressed except for the offering of 100 ISO. This doesn’t bode well for the intro of a new OMD Pro model rumoured. However I still reckon that the IQ on my E-M5 is better than my 7D. I live in hope that further development will give us some more progress.

  • true homer

    Im sorry but that chart is BS. I know im generally thought out to be a troll here, but this is BS. Despite what some here want or dont want to believe, I do have both the EM5 and the GH3, and they have the exact same high ISO performance. That chart suggests the OMD is more than two stops cleaner than the GH3 at ISO 3200. In RAW. And if you dont think thats BS, then you cant complain if I call you a fanboy

  • JBL

    new review or new lens review ,i am fain !!!
    i think wrong may review of new 20mm f1.7 II ha ha ha

    where is new 20MM II review ?
    why it had only specs and image ? :(

  • Can someone explain how such a high SNR can be achieved at ISO 100, without a change of sensor?

    And how can it be achieved by mere processing? Poor highlights were the price in the past, but here we are talking higher SNR than at any other sensitivity…

    • Adam

      It takes picture with double the shutter speed or one stop bigger aperture than ISO200. So lets in more light. More light->less noise.

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