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New Olympus E-5 reviews…


The new Olympus E-5 has been a heavily criticized camera since it was announced. Now Olympus Marketing wants to prove that the E-5 camera has indeed a top image quality. So almost every known website published image samples and first Hands-on.
Steve Digicam’s published a long list of image and video samples on his website. Robin Wong published his E-5 conclusions and published a lovely request to the Olympus community: “Let the world see who we are, and what we can do with Olympus.“. Noisycamera also found a user review inside the dpreview forum. Zone-10 published the first and second part of the camera comparison. And Brandoneu published his first part of the personal E-5 review.

To find more E-5 news and reviews just click here:

You can support this website by preordering the camera click here: Amazon US, BHphoto, Adorama and in Europe at Amazon Deutschland.

  • If the price drops to a reasonable level, I’ll be sure to pick it up – maybe in January or February. I’ll be watching the reviews until then…

  • kesztió

    Honestly, I cannot see any advantages over APS-C systems. Neither in compactness/usability nor in image quality. I think E-5 worth just for legacy 4/3 optics owners.

    The real power of 4/3 format resides in MFT concept.

    • George


    • SkyZ


    • Dummy00001

      > I think E-5 worth just for legacy 4/3 optics owners.

      Considering that the business plan of both Canon and Nikon in its entirety revolved around “legacy optics,” I consider the strategy to be quite acceptable.

      And m43 still needs time to catch up with 43 in lens selection. There are still no fast standard zooms. I’m quite interested to see how 12-60 or 14-54 analog for m43 would turn out. What actually makes me think: how can you make any of the lenses smaller/more suitable for m43? Every time I think about, I come to conclusion that for ideal portable camera even the 43 sensor is too large…

    • Honestly I cannot see any advantages on APS-C system over 4/3 when used with legendary Zuiko lenses. In terms of DoF, the brightest zoom lens for APS-C system is F/2.8 while the brightest zoom lens for 4/3 is F/2.0, in terms of physics the DoF of 2.8 x 1.6 is higher than 2.0 x 2.0.

      Of course, camera systems are just tools, the most important factor is still on the image creator him/herself, which is the photographer who operates the tool

      • Jason

        AGREED…The APS-C systems, for the most part, are good, but to me, I’m either buying a Full Frame Nikon, Canon or even a Pentax or higher medium format — or a FT/MFT based system. Nikon and Canon are just irrelevant in my mind, in the APS-C level DSLR category. And I do know that they have much, much more market share, but that is not how I determine which equipment I’ll use. Yes, yes, I know everyone uses Canon or Nikon, but that does not make their cheap entry level and semi-pro cameras any lighter, any stronger, and it especially does not stop their lenses from sucking sh*t…

        The 12-60 Zuiko, 14-35 Zuiko, 25 Leica, 50 Zuiko, 200mm Zuiko, 300mm Zuiko, 7-14 Zuiko, 14-150 Leica, in my opinion are some of the best built, best value in lenses – and you can only get them in the intriguing world of FT and MFT – that’s it and that is why Canikon marks come here all the time, because they are intrigued. Unfortunately most of them are mesmerized by the marketing and brand names on Nikon and Canon, and can therefore never grow the balls to pull the trigger on any Olympus or Panasonic FT equipment – because they would not be able to handle questions that we field everyday. “I thought everyone use Canon?” “Don’t pros use Canon and Nikon?” etc….. Fourthirds users have already learned how to deal with these people, we basically just assume they are ignorant, inexperienced or both.

        When it comes down to it, the image results are what counts, and the E-5 is proof the FourThirds can outperform APS-C – how else do crops from a FULL FRAME 5D MK II look nearly identical to those from the E-5?

        • Excellent Comment!

          I’m a research student in a university in Hong Kong, who I’m also the de facto photographer for both my department and my student residence. Every time I have a photography job I will almost certain that there are someone asking why I’m using an Olympus. In return, I will ask them back why not Olympus and why Canikon, which their responses will make me laugh.

          IMO APS-C format is really a strange animal, in the sense that Canikon don’t want to put their major R&D effort to these systems, i.e. the lenses. APS-C format cameras are just cash cows for Canikon and being marketed to be professional-looking, but in fact there are “NO” professional lenses built to fit its design. Imagine the focal length of the so-called L-lenses by Canon and ED lenses by Nikon with so-called Nano coating, 70-200 F/2.8. What can you get on a APS-C strange animal? Olympus took the smart by designing lenses just for FourThirds with telecentric design, which means a lenses design just for the FourThirds-sized-digital-sensor, with focal length of 35-100 to replicate the beautiful zoom range of 135-film cameras.

          In terms of image quality, I laugh as well. How much you need to invest on Canikon, in terms of money and in terms of time, to build a system and post-process your photos in order to make it on par with Olympus E-5? There is only one APS-C format which comes immediately into my mind which is reasonable on this aspect, the Sigma SD1. And sadly, other cameras come into my mind are not FF camera, I can only think of Pentax 645D and Leica S2 instead of investing on FF system.

  • Jonathan


    Another biased review that claims there is nothing wrong with using a 2+ year old sensor, and that criticizing Olympus’ move is inappropriate, immature and so totally uncool.

    It’s a shame that those reviews fail to address the obvious weakness of the sensor – dynamic range – which unfortunately cannot be rectified with clever processing. Sensitivity and noise seem to have been addressed, to some extent, but are definitely not on par with competing products.

    That may have been acceptable with the G1, that sold for about half the price with a decent kit lens, but will not do a couple of years later with a ‘flagship’ camera priced similarly to the Canon 7D, Nikon D300s or the Sony Alpha 850.

    • Dummy00001

      You post is more suitable for DPReview forums, where technicalities trump the actual photography.

      Or you can prove me wrong – by displaying your own shot which can’t be made with the camera.

      • Jonathan

        I don’t feel the need to prove anything to anyone.

        Challenging my personal photographic skills and sensitivities (or lack of) instead of my arguments is a regrettable choice… and on what grounds, if I may ask?

        All the best.

        • Dummy00001

          > … and on what grounds, if I may ask?

          You haven’t made any argument to challenge. That was my point. That’s why instead I have advised to post some photos which could constitute an argument against E-5. (For I’m too interesting what one can do better with different cameras systems.)

          • Jason

            Jonathon has no response to this, just his statement that FourThirds images do not hold up against a Canon 7D, Nikon D300s or the Sony Alpha 850.

            I too have an opinion based statement: “The E-5 nearly matches the 5d MKII in resolution”. Except, unlike good old Jonathon, I have at least one piece of evidence to back up my statement.


      • Antonio Rojilla

        And you say this in a rumor site? LOL!

    • four thirds photo

      “It’s a shame that those reviews fail to address the obvious weakness of the sensor – dynamic range – which unfortunately cannot be rectified with clever processing.”

      Dynamic range is clearly not 4/3rds strongest point but DR is good enough in the latest generation cams. In case you need more DR, it CAN be corrected with proper exposion technique, introducing flash and filters. These aspects improve your photography much more than the latest fancy sensor or image processing techniques.

      From what we have seen now the E5 looks really a capable cam. Not everyone needs to like it. If you prefer GH2, than buy GH2.

  • Maurice D.

    Why am i still not impressed? Was waiting for this cam for a while and have seen some reviews till now. But i am not convinced….

  • CR102

    To be quite honest, the E-5 seems to be less than I would like but more than I need. In practice, I’m now convinced it’s the best 4/3 or m4/3 camera ever produced (including GH2). The colour, detail and noise management in JPEG are stunning.

    • George

      lol e5 is $1700, gh2 is for $900 :) good job on comparing it with almost half of the price cams :) And calling color and detail stunning ????

      • four thirds photo

        Photography is about color and details in pictures (in case you forgot). GH2 is a piece of throw away plastic (I am talking on buit quality now) and the E5 is built like a tank.

        I think the price difference between GH2 and E5 reflect the quality difference and it seems justified to me. They are both nice cams targetted at a different user group.

        We didn’t see proper GH2 and E5 reviews yet, I would not be surprised if IQ of E5 is much better than GH2. It may not be an issue for many people since GH2 offers other surplusses like better video.

        • kesztió

          One of the mostly proper reviews – the DxO Mark – will certainly show a noticeable advantage in favour of GH2.

          And don’t forget: even if the best lenses struggle resolving the 16 MP of GH2 sensor, the bigger resolution still helps implement an exceptionally weak (or even inexistent) AA filter. This is a great bonus too.

          • four thirds photo

            I do not agree that DxO is the most proper review. I think DxO reviews suck completely because they measure sensor only. A camera is much, much more to me than a sensor.
            If you want the best sensor just buy the D3X or D3s. If you think other aspects of a camera are import too, you have to look beyond the sensor.

          • kesztió


            The GH2 is almost the ideal camera (Ultra high IQ, award-winning ergonomy, ultra big viewfinder regardless of compactness), and the sensor is (or at least supposed to be) a high quality one too.

        • Greg

          I’m afraid you’re right about the GH2. When will we get a proper pro m43 camera? weatherproof, light metal body, solid yet compact and portable…

      • CR102

        The price difference is large, I agree. Perhaps too much so. However, bear in mind that the E-5 follows a long tradition of excellent mechanical engineering and proven useability in harsh conditions. The few who need this kind of reliability are willing to pay for it.
        The GH2 is more about electronics. It is tailored for the mass market and thus more versatile (video, auto modes) and less durable.

    • Jason


  • food for thought

    I won’t judge the camera yet until olympus will send me a er to review. when I did a review using the E-PL1 w/ kits lens that I can achieve a shallow depth of field. A DPreview forum kept arguing about that theory

    check it here:

  • Brod1er

    All the gh2 v e5 talk is boring. There are no full reviews out and even if there were it wouldnt matter. If you have lots of 4/3 zuiko lens and dont mind weight, then buy an E5 and have fun. If you don’t have 4/3 lenses or want lightweight go m43 and have fun. Both cameras are actually pretty durable so take a chill pill and relax. Group hug!?

  • napalm

    I find it amusing that up to know, we still have these regular folks shooting down the E-5 at every related post (sometimes even unrelated)

    okay we get it, you dont like the E-5, GH2 is technically superior, you’re changing system, blah, blah…

    honestly, it’s getting old. either you like the E-5 or not. please move on.

    • KJS


  • Mr_Pyro

    The problem as I see it is not the E-5 in it self, but the lack of an afordable 43 boddy in similar size as the E-520 or E-620.
    The current m43 offerings doesn’t offer fast enough autofocus with legacy 43 lenses. I currently own an E-520 and would like to upgrade to something with with better ISO sensitivity and movie capabilty but less bulky and costly than the E-5.
    I feel tricked by Olympus, buying into a system thats having it’s body developement halted. I invested heavily into more 43 lenses about a year ago, after olympus said repetedly that they would continue to develope bodies four 43 system.
    I travel with my camera I wan’t it to be as light and small as possible without sacraficing imagequality and speed. Sure m43 could offer all this but it’s years before they can outclass the focus speed of the 43 system.

    As I take photos under water I does also have quite an investment in ports for my 43 lenses that can’t be used with the m43 lenses, or actualy thereis a few esential UW-photo lenses missing in the current Olympus m43 lineup.

    • KJS

      what do you take pictures of while you travel?

  • Person


    Let’s hope the recent ep-3 rumor is true and the next Olympus release will be a modular 4/3 and m4/3 body!

    • Mr_Pyro

      I travel to dive and take pictures under water. Marine life, reef scenes, macro( colourfull seasluggs caled nudibranches).
      I mainly switch between the 9-18 and 50mm macro.

      • Mr_Pyro
        • KJS

          hey, that’s pretty sweet

          • Mr_Pyro

            conditions wasn’t ideal when I made those photos and I’m still finetuning the equipment.

        • Miroslav

          I like the images too, very nice!

  • Bill

    Look at Robin Wong’s picture under the heading “The Camera Has a Soul”, look at the clouds. They are all blotchy, just like they came from a cheap “point & shoot”. The dynamic range of this camera is abominable, not worthy of a $300 camera much less a $1500 body. Maybe Robin destroyed the quality by editing a JPEG instead of a RAW image, I sure hope so.

    I would really like to switch to a 4/3rds camera but not a single one produces decent IQ. It is all about cute “look how it fits in my pocket” rather than about photography.

    I’ll withhold final judgement until I see the best the E-5 and GH2 can produce from their RAW images but it is not looking good from the samples I’ve seen so far. Right now the best of Olympus and Panasonic is put to shame by the bottom of the line DSLRs from everyone else.

    • KJS

      If you’re talking about the brick building with the branches in front of it, it’s because of the filter that has been applied to it. You need to use your eyes, and read before you cast a judgement on how good a camera is based on a photograph. Go troll somewhere else Bill.

      • Koji

        “I would really like to switch to a 4/3rds camera but not a single one produces decent IQ. It is all about cute “look how it fits in my pocket” rather than about photography.”

        What a load of crap. The E-3 / E-5 are decent sized cameras and build like tanks… They wouldn’t fit into your pocket unless you are MC Hammer wearing those ridiculous Parachute pants.

        I still take killer travel images with my E-3 and my Zuiko 12-60mm and 50-200mm SWDs. In the rain too… I can’t wait to get my hands on an E-5.

        My friends on Canon and Nikon systems always comment on how sharp the images look and how “film like” the colours look and how the images have great pop and all this from a super fine JPEG with no post processing.

    • Jason

      You must be referring to the HDR Dramatic Tone feature that was used on many of his pictures that included clouds (which actually look pretty good), and you surely must not have seen this comparison: because if you had, you wouldn’t be eating your words right now would you?

    • Maurice D.


  • Bill said: “I would really like to switch to a 4/3rds camera but not a single one produces decent IQ. It is all about cute “look how it fits in my pocket” rather than about photography.”

    Well Bill, take a look at these Olympus E-3, E-620 and PEN E-P3 four thirds images, and tell me you still believe what you say.

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