TOP reviews the Olympus E-P5

Fellow Philadelphian Gordon Lewis reviews the new Olympus E-P5 for The Online Photographer. Positive remarks overall:

I would have no second thoughts about tossing the Olympus E-P5 into my shoulder bag and taking it on a trip or out for a few hours of street shooting. It’s small enough to be inconspicuous, light enough to be comfortably carried all day, and capable of producing amazingly high-quality photos.

I’m currently using a four-year-old E-P2 that does not have:

  • a built-in flash
  • a touchscreen
  • an articulating screen
  • WiFi

My E-P2 is also comparatively bog-slow focus-wise, and has a sensor that realistically tops out at around ISO 1600. And yet despite the presence of all those improvements in the E-P5, I found it interesting how the E-P5 might be late to the party itself. Lewis writes:

If I were in the market to buy one though, I’d have to look at similarly spec’d alternatives, which are hard to dismiss. The Fuji E-X1, for example, is of similar size and weight, cost $200 less for the body, and has an electronic viewfinder built-in. The E-P5’s sibling, the OM-D E-M5, also has a built-in viewfinder and costs $100 less for the body. The Sony NEX-6 body costs $350 less and also has a built-in viewfinder. A built-in viewfinder frees up the hot shoe for other uses, so the difference isn’t price alone.

Lewis doesn’t even mention the just-announced Panasonic GX7, which has a built-in articulating viewfinder at roughly the same price.

The lack of a built-in viewfinder for the E-P5 (along with its high introductory price) makes it look a bit behind the times compared to those other cameras. The external VF-4 viewfinder is by all accounts the best EVF out there, but I wonder if Olympus would have been better suited putting in a lower-spec built-in viewfinder.