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Olympus PEN E-P5 – Image Quality and Verdict

By Paul Nuttall


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Olympus PEN E-P5 – Image Quality

The E-P5’s image quality throws up few complaints.

The model's advanced 324-zone metering system performs with sterling reliability, very rarely incorrectly exposing any scene. If you do need to dial in any exposure compensation at any stage, the dual-dial system makes this a simple process.

Olympus PEN E-P5

The E-P5's auto white balance system is also reliable, delivering good results across a range of lighting conditions, while a wide range of white balance presets are on hand should you need them.

The E-P5’s sensor also does a good job of controlling image noise. There's very little noise at the lower settings; it’s possible to shoot at up to ISO 1,600 with very few concerns.

Olympus PEN E-P5

At ISO 6,400 images do tend to lose a little bit of sharpness, in some part due to in camera noise reduction, although this isn't hugely to the detriment of image quality. Even at the higher setting of 12,800 images retain detail, although ISO 25,600 is best avoided if possible.

It resolves plenty of detail in shots, too, down to just 24 lines per mm (lpmm) on our test chart, though not quite as much as the Fujifilm X-E1 which resolved detail all the way down to 31lpmm.

Should I buy the Olympus PEN E-P5?

The Olympus E-P5 features several noticeable improvements on its predecessor under the bonnet, as well as a few cosmetic changes that make the camera a more appealing prospect. Image quality is good on the whole, although it is a touch off its rivals in this regard.

The biggest problem, however, is the price. Its body-only price at time of review is some £100 more than the Olympus OM-D E-M5, which includes a built-in EVF, as well as the Fujifilm X-E1 and Sony NEX-7.

If you're not too fussed about the EVF then the E-P5 could be the camera for you, but we prefer the OM-D.

For more options, read our best cameras of 2013 round-up.


There's little to disappoint with the PEN E-P5, both with design and performance of the camera on the whole. It’s a little too pricey for us to recommend right now, but it’s a good camera all the same.

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Vladislav B

May 12, 2013, 3:59 am

The OM-D E-M5 and the PEN E-P5 screens are actually very different: they use different technologies (OLED vs. LCD) and different resolutions. Contrary to what you said, they are not similar at all; even color reproduction is visibly different. What is "very similar"? Actually, almost nothing (OK, they both show pictures, I guess).


May 22, 2013, 5:11 pm

How would you compare this to the Fuji x100s if thats possible. Curious which one produces better image quality, performs better in lowlight and has a faster AF

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