1) The loaned Olympus E-5 was an initial production unit.
2) Some of the images have been post-processed and converted to black and white. This entry displays the type of photographs that I personally would love to take.
“I knew I loved you before I met you” – Savage Garden
I must express my deepest gratitude to all readers from around the world. Thank you so much for your generous encouragements, positive feedback and genuinely inspiring comments. I have come to the end of my review with the Olympus E-5, and on Monday 6th October 2010 I have returned the initial production unit to Olympus Malaysia, with much sadness. However, before that, I managed to squeeze some more photographs out of the camera. This time, it was not so much about reviewing the camera, I was focusing more on enjoying myself using the Olympus E-5. In this last entry of my Olympus E-5 review sagas, I am posting up: 1) images from the street walk at Dang Wangi, KL and 2) my concluding remarks based on very limited time with the Olympus E-5.
If you have not read the first three parts of my reviews, the following are the direct links to the review pages:
The Camera Has a Soul
Although I have only used the Olympus E-5 for three full days, the camera did not feel alien to me. The fact that I have been a loyal Olympus user made it easier for me to familiarize myself with the camera. When I did the first three parts of my reviews, I brought the camera out with one clear purpose in mind: to just take photographs. I did not have the mindset of wanting to try out different settings, or compare the camera with its predecessors or rivals. I went out merely to truly enjoy myself using the camera, and did what I loved to do.
I have got to tell you it was such a great joy using the Olympus E-5. It may not be the perfect camera, or the best DSLR (on the technical specification sheet) out there in the market, but this camera sure has a beautiful soul in it. It is the kind of camera that understands me and responds to my vision, capturing what I visualize in my mind. Psychologically, I want a camera that feels right in hand, something I am comfortable shooting with. Olympus E-5 no doubt is the camera that I have been dreaming about all these years.
DRAMATIC TONE - Art Filter were applied to above images
One of the most important points why I stay faithful with Olympus, despite their “lagging-behind” in terms of specification war is REALIABILITY. I have not known any camera system as reliable as Olympus. I have been using the E-520 for more than two years now, and it has never given me even the tiniest hiccup. As a mere, lowly entry level camera, even the E-520 never fails to deliver the quality images that I needed. Yes I know we all have differing expectations, but what matters the most is how the camera responds to your call. I have heard countless horror stories from all other camera systems, failing them in the midst of important assignments.
Have we all not known the solidly built quality of any Olympus cameras, all the way back to the years of first Olympus DSLRS such as E-1 and E-300? I currently have friends using E-1 and E-300 and they can still produce awesome image qualities, even up to today’s standard. Their camera bodies are still functioning perfectly fine, and the cameras feel confidently robust in hand, after all the years. This is the quality that a lot of photographers have overlooked and ignored, in trade just for that chase of high ISO performance and that extra bokeh other systems can offer.
DRAMATIC TONE - Art Filter was applied to above images
E-5 defines what Olympus is
The whole world is expecting so much in Olympus that the day E-5 was announced, I think if everyone was to be gathered in an open space, the unison sigh at the specification sheet would be loud enough to drown the supersonic boom of an airplane taking off. I admit, I did sigh too.
Lets take a step back a few years, looking into the development of digital imaging industry. Olympus was the first to introduce the sensor self cleaning mechanism. It was then copied by all other manufacturers, and today, ALL new DSLRs have self sensor cleaning mechanisms built within. Olympus was the first to introduce live-view, and it was scoffed at as a gimmick. Now, all new DSLRs even on the entry level have live view. Olympus and Panasonic took the bold step to initiate the trend of mirrorless camera system, and soon enough Sony and Samsung, possibly a few other manufacturers followed the trend. Olympus started both Art Filters and the dual axis swivel LCD screen, which were shamelessly being duplicated into Canon 60D. I know all of you have already known these facts. My point is, Olympus pioneered all the great technologies (if they were not great, why they were being copied?), and all those pioneering technologies are within the E-5.
Yes, E-5 does not have anything significantly new, probably not so much of a “wow” factor. However, there are so many great things out there that originated from Olympus, and having ALL those features in Olympus E-5, don’t you feel that it is a proud camera to own?
DRAMATIC TONE - Art Filter was applied to the above images.
What I like about Olympus E-5 (from a photography-enthusiast’s point of view):
1) Superb straight out of camera JPEG processing.
2) Improved sharpness and resolution by “Fine Detail Process”.
3) Improved speed and reliability of the Autofocus system.
4) Preserved natural-looking and very true to life signature Olympus Colours.
5) Better high ISO noise handling, especially the control of chroma noise.
6) Dramatic Tone Art-Filter !! I am deeply in love with it.
7) Dual-axis swivel LCD screen with live-view was convenient to have for odd and extreme angle compositions.
8) It has a soul !!
What I wish the E-5 could have been:
1) Higher resolution, at least 15-16MP. I know, I know, but a little more Megapixels won’t hurt, right?
2) Higher ISO sensitivity limit. I want at least ISO12800, and usable ISO with good noise control up to 6400. I am NOT expecting smooth, clean images at high ISO settings, just good noise control and usable output. I do not really care if the rivals are doing much better in comparison; I just want to be able to produce images that at least look reasonable under extreme lighting conditions.
3) The ability to delete the image on the spot during quick review (after each shot). It is frustrating to delete the image only after pressing the review playback button. Every one button pressed is a waste of time.
By the way, do you guys remember this photograph I have taken in my first review entry (click)?
Thanks to Zachary Yap, a friend and partner in crime for my usual street photography sessions, he shot me with his Olympus E-620 while I was in action. I really love that 3 inch dual-axis swivel screen !! Yes, sometimes I do compose from extremely odd angles.
A Call to All Olympus Users
I have noticed that a great volume of readers coming for my reviews are mainly current Olympus E-System users. I feel so proud to be part of this large and awesome photography community, sharing the same passion in photography as well as the love for Olympus E-System. Let me remind all of us (including myself) that the heart of Olympus is all about photography. Once the Olympus E-5 is out, if you decide to purchase the camera, do go out more often and make great photographs happen with this great camera.
Olympus E-5 needs us, faithful Olympus users to propel Olympus DSLR E-System back into the spotlight. The future of Four Thirds Olympus E-System solely relies on the response of this flagship model E-5. Only through our photography work that we can tell the world why we love and stay loyal to Olympus. I am calling all of you, professionals or photography-enthusiasts (like myself) to go out and discover your wonder through Olympus E-5, and then share it with the world. If you are waiting for the time to make a statement, the time is now with the Olympus E-5. Let the world see who we are, and what we can do with Olympus.
Special thanks to Olympus Malaysia for loaning me this initial production unit of E-5.
Do keep those generous comments pouring in. Maybe, just maybe Olympus Malaysia might decide that I should be doing some more reviews with the camera !!