Olympus E-5 tested at Digitalcamerareview (+ more E-5 news)


Digitalcamerareview posted a 6 page long E-5 FULL! review. You can read their conclusion at page 5 (Click here): “E-3 owners and Olympus fans will be glad to know that the E-5 is a highly capable and rugged imaging tool. Others may be put off by some of the limits of the comparitively smaller and lower-resolution sensor.“.

First lucky user got the E-5 and posted some image samples inside the dpreview forum here here and here.

Olympus E-5 preorder links:
Amazon US, BHphoto, Adorama, Amazon Deutschland, Amazon Japan

  • “The Four Thirds format gets its name from the horizontal and vertical ratio of the image sensor.”http://www.digitalcamerareview.com/default.asp?newsID=4536&p=2

    C’mon– 7 years after the introduction of the Olympus E-1, could we possibly stop repeating this myth?

    The 4/3 format was named for the (nominal) 4/3” sensor size. The 4/3 standard only mandates a 21.63mm image diagonal, not a particular aspect ratio. http://www.four-thirds.org/en/fourthirds/whitepaper.html The Panasonic GH1/GH2 are cameras where 3:2 and 16:9 capture use this full image circle.

  • Zonkie

    “Default sharpness is a little on the soft side, but you can increase the sharpening via the in-camera menu or you can sharpen after the fact in Photoshop.”

    I wonder what’s his opinion on, say, a Sony Alpha OOC JPG.

  • Jason

    The Digital Camera Review was pretty lazy. The images were dark and needed some camera adjustments and/or a bounce flash. True photographers like Robin Wong give a much better perspective of how powerful the new E-5 actually is.

    DCR said resolution is better on Canon or a Nikon, yet crops from other sites show that in many ways the E-5 can match up against APS-C and even some FF cameras.

    Robin Wong’s review makes me want to buy the E-5 and Digital Camera Review doesn’t do much of anything. Seems like the reviewer is biased. Either way, when DPreview reviews it I think we’ll see how great the image quality is, regardless of the downfalls of the camera – 720p, smaller sensor, etc…. The IQ is what matters…

  • Rockies OLY User

    I agree with Jason.. The Olympus E-5 review was totally biased. They are probably CaNikon fans.

  • fe in oly

    In Europe, When we are going to get a decent price for E-5? 1700$ is 1200€, why amazon in germany sell it at 2000€? I have seen deals for 1700€ but still expensive compared with competitors (1350€).

    I agree when they say “the E-5 might not be so compelling to non-Olympus shooters when compared…” THIS price is going to be the biggest barrier for a decision, at least in Europe…

    • I totally agree. I certainly won’t pay 1700€ for the E-5. I WILL get it, I am pretty sure about that. But NOT at this price. So, I’ll wait.

      The difference between the US and Europe is ridiculous. The warranty is world wide, so that can’t be the reason. Is it the import tax in Europe?! That would suck.

      I’ll be in the States in January, maybe it will drop to a reasonable price until then.

  • Brandon

    I keep hearing this “even compares to some FF”… which is laughable unless by “FF” you also mean “far from current production”.

    Oly may have strengths, though at this point I’d say they’ve not managed to keep pace and match the competition’s IQ, but to equal the IQ of FFs in a 43rds package would be trouncing the competition by years. If you believe they’re not equal but actually ahead–way ahead–you’ve lost plain sight evaluation of these images. Take off the blinders.

    • Mike

      Really? At least for Resolution dpreview shows the values of the E-P1:
      and here are some big FF brothers:
      I see no big difference in the resolution here…

      • Chris

        Resolution is similar, but the FF will edge out the smaller sensor at large print sizes.

        It’s similar to how a 35mm negative compares to a 6×4.5. The medium format lenses do not resolve as much detail as the 35mm lenses, but the larger negative size more than makes up for it.

        • Mike

          Hi Chris,
          I’m not very used to analog photography, but this higher resolution could result from the grain size, so medium format would have more grains per image size. Similar to the Megapixel.
          This would explain why the D3S has such a low resolution compared to a 25MP Sensor like from Sony:
          But as the original text was “even compares to SOME(!) FF” I picked the lower resolution Nikon :-)

      • Dude!

        It’s not resolution (the MP race)–it’s everything else–dynamic range, low light ability, noise, fast wide primes, etc.

        If you simply want resolution, a simple point and shoot will do–there are 14MP P&S cameras. In fact, Luminous Landscape did a test a while ago with a P&S and MF digital, and it was almost impossible to tell the difference.

  • Brandon

    Let us all hope the modular camera is truly radical and ambitious, not just a connector-set of current parts.

    I want Oly to win. I want Oly in 1st place; I just don’t want to delude myself into believing 6th place is 1st.

    Nikon just overhauled their lens collection. Canon will do likewise this year. Oly meanwhile just abandoned their efforts in 43rds (with merely the possibility of picking them up again down the line…riiiight) and is only promising to *match* their previous efforts in m43rds. Giving them total faith, that neveyrtheless only keeps their IQ static. Great.

    • Jason

      Canon is revamping their lens lineup….WOW

  • sderdiarian

    Doesn’t seem prejudiced, particularly given the reviewers opening statement he’s an E-3 user (so, if anything, possibly biased towards Olympus), but very light on tests performed and technical details. More like a snapshot overview then a comprehensive test report.

    As for the findings, no real surprise and I’d say be prepared to see simlar conclusions on more detailed test reports:

    “these feel like relatively modest improvements to a camera that is almost three years old. The 12.3 megapixel Live MOS sensor used in the E-5 appears to be the same one used in the Olympus E-30 that came out in early 2009. Sure, 12 megapixels is more than enough to produce massive, high quality prints and web images, but the latest generation of pro-body DSLRs with APS-C image sensors delivers 16 or 18 megapixels of resolution. Not only that, but cameras like the Canon EOS 7D deliver high ISO up to 12800 and the new Nikon D7000 takes things one step further by going all the way to ISO 25600. By contrast, a 12 megapixel camera shooting at ISO 6400 looks like it’s a few steps behind the competition.”


    “Despite the fact that the E-5 feels like a modest update to the E-3, if you’re a current E-3 owner craving higher resolution, higher ISO shooting, and HD video capture then the E-5 is a logical purchase. Unfortunately for Olympus, the E-5 might not be so compelling to non-Olympus shooters when compared to pro-grade DSLRs from Canon and Nikon. In a world with so much competition it’s a shame that the E-5 lacks a “WOW” feature to motivate people to buy it.”

    • Jason

      Well if he is an Oly shooter he should know that the ISO is not that important especially when 3200 is useable and Oly glass is many steps above the competition, but he is one of the reviewers that did not note that, did he?

      If he was going to make those statements he should have clarified that lens like the 12-60 and 50mm, 14-35mm are unique to the FT system and that they are optically superior to much of the competitor’s glass….

  • Inge – M.

    We wild not see lower price on E-5 before E-3 stops sale.

  • Brandon

    Jason what are you drunk on? One stop brighter. That’s the (SHG only BTW) advantage. Many steps (I assume you means stops) …nope. But the ISO disadvantage, now that is many stops. But if you want to lug around heavier glass just to brag about one easily trumped and negated stop, all the while promoting a system that since inception was supposed to be largely about portability…

    Regarding the resolution: (a) that is not synonymous with IQ (b) to the degree it does matter there is literally a single model on the market to which it comes close. That model is older, if mildly updated, soon to be replaced (like, in much less than Oly’s three year product cycle), and designed, optimized, valued and celebrated for goals exactly the opposite of resolution: High ISO, Color Dynamics, Speed, etc.
    As I said,
    laughable comparison.

    • Jason

      Actually the 50mm f2.0 is considered a HG – DUH dummy.

  • Brandon

    PS, every system has its unique lenses. Oly is far from leading the field in unique offerings. Super-macro? Tilt/Shift? Non-third-party super-telephoto? Top-tier fisheye? Top-tier filter-capable ultrawide? Full assortment of pancake primes? Super-fast primes? Anything new or remarkable in a long, long time? Anything down the pipe not, by their own words, just a m43rds copycat of their current production? Seriously.

  • Brandon

    Soft lens? Defocus Control lens? House-made super-wide to telephoto? Radical designs (see “With” a movie made with Canon’s Fisheye Zoom)? …

    • Neville

      Hmm 5 posts out of 18 Brandon, too much coffee perhaps, or maybe a trolling fanboy.

    • Jason

      You make zero sense Brandon.

  • juavel

    Yes Brandon, sometimes people thinks that only olympus is having good glass, what olympus is having is the best bang for the buck glass with the 14-54 and staff like that, other brands are also having very good glass, but at other price tag.

    One doesn´t need to go that far to specialized lenses to find olympus weaknesses, just to name which are the portrait lens choices, 35-100 f2 or 50 f2 macro only, but what if you want shallower DOF at 40mm?

  • Neville

    To quote John Mason who has a 5DMkII and a E5
    “Ultimately it’s just physics. 5dmk2 first because it’s FF, e5 2nd because of the weaker AA filter and E30 3rd. (though no e30 shot is in this particullar post).
    So, basically, there were no surprises. The interesting comparison will be to the aps-c cameras that still have a strong AA filter. The e5 should compete very well with them.
    That being said, I prefer the E5 for general shooting to the Canon for reasons I’m enumerated lots of times. And for certain shooting situations I prefer the Canon. The E5 moves that line more to the Olympus side as now I’m very comfortable with the performance at higher ISO’s with the E5 in combination with LR”
    “I must say by putting these 2 cameras on a more equal footing in regards to vibration control and in PP, I’m very impressed that the e5 with a zoom lens is getting this close to the 5dmkii with an excellent prime on it.”

    Cough cough

  • Brandon

    Trolling, by very nature, either occurs only sans reasoned argument, or is made moot by reasoned argument. That is, most trolls don’t add to the conversation, and when they do–are they really trolling? Hell would we even care? Who cares what a person’s motivation is, that forms solid points to discuss?

    Not 5 posts: 2 posts broken down because I am posting from my phone.

    But hey, great red herring, almost as good as Jason’s double ad hominem. I make quite a bit of sense. But what sense does Jason make? If you argue for fast glass from Oly, even a single stop brighter, you’re arguing for their 2.0 zooms, which are SHG (whilst Canikon, Sony, et al make-due with 2.8
    Yet he calls me a dummie for not considering their HG 2.0 50mm… Which I didn’t, since it’s not “many steps”–err–even a single stOp faster than the competition. For primes, especially standard primes like 50mm, aperture 2.0 is bested by even some of the competition’s cheap glass. This is the realm of 1.4 and lower.

    • Jason

      The 50mm macro is the brightest and smallest macro lens on the market, obviously it is above the competition. You make zero sense.

  • Scott

    Got my E5 today. I dont care what anybody says. The cameras image quality is awesome. It easily compares iwth my 5Dll up to 3200 iso

    • GR

      Congrats on the new camera. Can’t wait for mine to arrive. Been waiting for what seems like years, well actualy, it has been years. Have there been any actual E-5 sightings on the East Coast?

      • Scott

        I am in Charlotte and the local camera store had 2. I bought 1 and he said he had 2 more due in this week

    • Jason

      @Scott – what lenses do you use with the E-5? Any samples in the next couple days?

      • Scott

        I have 14-35 2.0 35-100 2.0 12-60 7-14 4.0 pan 24 1.4 sigma 105 2.8 sigma 30 1.4 50-200 non swd. Lets see I think thats it.

        What are you wanting to see?

        I have a 5Dll and 7d at the studio if anybody wants comparisons

  • Brandon

    Wow. Not only is the this not the fastest macro, fast macros are a contradiction–you must drop-down for macro, these fast macros exist to make double use of a lens. So if you’re bragging about cost-savings, promote this double-use lens as one example, but if you’re bragging about macro-selection Oly comes short, if you’re bragging about fast primes, portrait primes and night-owls, Oly fairs even worse. That lens is a great compromise, but it is a compromise: nothing competition-challenging.
    And look at the competition’s lineup next time. Fastest macro? Asleep at the controls…

  • Brandon

    PS. Even the macro glass that isn’t a fast, say the Canon 2.5, is usually a half or full stop slower, not “many steps”, sic.

    And that’s on FF with greater low-light and thinner DOF, so if double-use is your thing, the Oly just got beat again, even at its own game (including selection: 100mm 2.8 HIS Macro? Adaptors for Nikon, et al including even exotic choices?).

    You can go Tamron or Zeiss, but really: with FF, you have no need.

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