Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Olympus E-5 Review: Concluding Remarks and More Images

Side Note:
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 !!


  1. why no shots from 35-100 ????

  2. LKM,
    Because I only used it for a bit? I shot the models with my own 50mm though, remember?

  3. good shots bro, when are you returning this piece of ahem....=)

  4. Wong,
    Obviously you skipped my writings !! Grrrr, second sentence in first paragraph.

  5. Hey Robin, I do hope that you get another go with E-5. You have done so much and showcase what E-5 can do from a user's perspective! ;)

  6. Hey Dennis,
    thanks so much !! I am sure Olympus Malaysia is reading your comment here.

  7. Thanks for your concluding comments and yet more great pictures, Robin. I now want to buy theE-5 for the Dramatic Tone art filter alone! It seems plain to me that although the camera may not seem special or out of the ordinary on paper, Olympus have succeeded in producing a machine that is far greater than the sum of it's parts. I've resolved that somehow I will get one, although it might take me a while to save. In the meantime my E-3 will continue to provide me with excellent images and much enjoyment.

    As for you, Robin, I think Olympus were very shrewd in selecting you to review the camera and your words and pictures serve as a terrific adver for the E-5. In fact, if I may be so bold, I think Olympus should GIVE you an E-5 so that you can continue to promote it through your marvellous photography,



  8. Hi John,
    Thanks so so so much for such kind words !!! You really make my day.
    I believe you E-3 is already such a great camera by itself, is shooting in low light conditions with no flash is not the thing you do a lot. In general conditions, E-3 alone shines.
    I do hope Olympus Malaysia, or better, Olympus HQ in Japan hears this !! I want one E-5 !!

  9. Hey Robin,

    Its great to share user's experience.

    This picture that I'd posted here was shot with E-5 and 14-35mm SWD (firmware updated). The AF speed is fast and accurate. This superbly crafted lens also works wonderfully with E-3 now. Before that... erm... ahem... ;)

  10. Hey Dennis,
    Thanks !!
    I want that lens too !!!

  11. hahahaa...i read it...i was carried away talking to someone else that i have forgotten about it...Lol

  12. hi Wong,
    LOL !! Red is getting one copy soon. Go find him la.

  13. Ops! Forget to post the link!

  14. hahahaha....they handed it to the wrong person man...
    He is venomous....@.@

  15. Hey Dennis,
    Thanks !!

    Hey Wong,
    I thought that makes him the perfect person? LOL

  16. u should get the 35-100 from me on monday and go shoot

  17. Hey LKM,
    As much as I love the lens, the immense weight is not really something I want to deal with walking a long distance.

  18. I have been waiting eagerly for your E-5 review for the past 2 days.

    Thank you for sharing. Your statement "The Camera Has a Soul" nails it and your photos show it.

    If I were Olympus, I would loan you the E-5 permanently, lest the other manufacturers with deeper pocket bribe you with the latest models.

  19. Hi Shi Heng Cheong,
    Thank you so much for your support.
    Nonetheless, bribary will not work for me. I write this entry straight from my heart. Olympus did not even pay me for this, and I do it because I love Olympus.
    I wish you are Olympus !!

  20. I have to say Robin that you have done a top job, a very good and useful read, very enthusing.

    From a fellow Olympus user.



  21. Hi Greytop,
    thank you so much for such generous comment !! It is people like you that make this blog writing very worthwhile. Cheers

  22. Excellent work! Your made my decision alot easier to preorder this camera. I have an E510 since 2008 and have wanting to upgrade since last year. I almost switched to a Nikon but I'm glad I didn't. Suffice to say your link thru the 43 rumors website help me decide to get this camera. I know I'll be enjoying taking photos with it along with my other lenses. My personal favorite everyday lens is the 12-60mm SWD and my other 2 are the 70-300mm and the 50mm macro. Again thank you very much for your review! Keep shooting!

  23. Hey Eric,
    Thanks so much for your encouraging remarks !!!
    Whoah, 12-60, 50mm and 70-300mm, those are mighty awesome lenses !! Imagine what you could do with those lenses when you couple them with E-5. That only means lots and lots of great photographs. I am sure you will love E-5.

  24. Great review Robin. You've certainly done justice to the camera, and I'm sure you'll definitely own one in the near future.

    Thank God I still have my lenses.. at least they've found some use after such a long time. The 7-14 is feeling a little lonely on my shelf :P


  25. Hey Brandon,
    Have they contacted you yet? I am sure your faith in Olympus will be appropriately rewarded.

  26. Hi again Robin.

    I have been following your review with great interest from the moment I found the first entry and was delighted to wake up this morning to find the final part posted.

    I have enjoyed taking photos all of my life. Four years ago I finally jumped into SLR photography with a used E-500 and a kit lens. I think you'll be able to relate to my amazement and joy at what more I could do and how much better my photos were. : )

    I've known I would upgrade soon but the question was E-3... E-30... another system altogether? I've been following all the pre-launch buzz and chatter over the E-5 for some time and feeling a bit alone as an Olympus user. (A couple of weeks ago I plastered myself to the side of an architectural photographer while she was doing a shoot at my workplace...trying to learn what I could from a pro. Then the question: "Are you a Nikon or a Canon man?" sigh)

    Your review has not only helped me make my decision with confidence (can you guess what it is? ), but the enthusiasm and passion and positive attitude that you put into your work has given me some much-needed encouragement and inspiration...

    Thanks so very much for your hard work. I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your work as I follow your blog.

    Cheers, congratulations and all the best. Happy shooting!

    - Paul

    Ontario, Canada

  27. Hello Paul !!!

    Oh my goodness, your comments made me blush, seriously ! Thank you so so so so much for writing down such encouraging and inspiring comments.

    I am glad I can contribute my part in sharing my photography work, through the reviews of E-5. I have always been passionate in photography, and I see photography as a lifestyle. hence I call my photography shooting as shutter therapy sessions.

    I am glad that you have decided to stay on with Olympus. It has never let me down, it has not let many of Olympus users I know down, and I am sure it wont disappoint you. This new E-5 will maximize whatever potential that was already oozing with confidence from all Zuiko Digital lenses.

    Thank you so much for your support Paul. It is always great to find someone who can relate to what I say and do.

    Enjoy your E-5 !!

  28. Hey Robin,

    E-3 like E-5: Please set in menue (E-3) the options:

    - 1H: Quick Erase = ON (manual p.105)
    - 1H: PRIORITY SET to "Yes" (p. 106)
    ( = "You can customize the initial position of the cursor ([YES] or [NO]) on the [ALL ERASE] or
    [FORMAT] screen)

    - 2: REC View (manual p.108) = auto

    Then you can erase pictures immediately after the shot (manual "Displays the image being recorded, and then switches to playback mode. This is useful for erasing a picture after checking it.)

    Michael Lindner (Germany, miclindner)

  29. Hi Robin,
    I am deeply impressed by your talent as photographer and I am deply impressed about the E-5!

    Thank you for sharing your
    wonderful photos and thougts with us!

    Kind regards,

    Vienna, Austria

  30. Thank you for your user review series on the E-5. I have been waiting for this camera for sometime now and will be happy to upgrade from the E-3.

  31. Hi Michael,
    Thanks so much for sharing the tip !! That would certainly make my job easier then next time I pick up the E-5.

    Hey Herbert,
    thanks for your compliments !! I appreciate them.

    Hey Ian,
    You are most welcome. I am glad I can help.

  32. I was sitting on the fence for a E-3 to E-5 upgrade. The past week and your blog has convinced me that this will be my new baby. Thanks for taking the time to show us what it can do.

  33. Live View lag?

    Thanks for doing all this, Robin.

    I mainly want to know about the Live View lag. Is there a mirror dance, or is it pretty well instant when you press the shutter?

    (I don't have a Google identity and don't want one. I'm Barry Stewart from the DPR Oly forum.)

  34. Live View lag?

    Thanks for doing all this, Robin.

    I mainly want to know about the Live View lag. Is there a mirror dance, or is it pretty well instant when you press the shutter?

    (I don't have a Google identity and don't want one. I'm Barry Stewart from the DPR Oly forum.)

  35. Hi Robin, thank you for sharing your great photos from E5. Like you are, I am a 'silly' Loyal Olympus User. I started using Olympus back in 1975 when I was 14. Never considered any other cameras other than Minolta and Pentax. You can view photos of my E3 and 50-200 getting a good bath in Putrajaya Lake. I dunked it for umpteen times witnessed by Canikon shooters, they thought I was insane. When my E3 was barely 2 weeks old, I brought it to Mount Titlis in Switzerlan and buried it under the thick snow with temperature way below zero (-35 deg Centigrade) it worked flawlessly as soon as I pressed the shutter button. It fell into the monsoon drain during a heavy downpour, dropped from the dining table across the concrete problem. My other E series DSLRs and all my Olympus Point and Shoot cams are still working perfectly.
    My question, do you think the AFC is better than the E3? I am one of the official photographers for the Malaysian Waterski and Wakeboarding Federation. I think I missed a lot of important shots due to unpredictable AFC of the E3.
    Thanking you in advance for your time.

  36. Michael Lindner (Germany, miclindner) - - - thank you so much for that information related to instantly erasing images on my E-3. After almost 3 years of professional use I can now have the same functionality as my Nikon gear prior to Olympus.

    Oh - and Robin - excellent posts. I have never had any doubt in the E-5 abilities - - - but your posts will go a long way to silencing the naysayers and convincing many of the disgruntled to not jump ship based on forum opinion.

    I have enjoyed and wish you the best.


  37. Robin,

    fantastic job, thank you. If E-5 has a soul, in you it certainly met someone who can appreciate it.

    I know there is E-5 in my future.

  38. Robin,

    Now I just need to find a way to save up for the E5 and 14 - 35 and 35 - 100 and 50mm f2 and 50 - 200m..


    p.s. fabulous use of the new art filter!!

  39. I love the first photo. Very well taken!

  40. Hey David,
    I am glad you have decided for the E-5 !! I am sure it wont disappoint you.

    Hi Barry,
    I did not have the newer lenses with better AF contrast detect feature to try out. Based on 12-60mm, 11-22mm and 50mm, the live view does lag a little when autofocusing, but once it is locked, it just snapped instantly after you release the shutter button. No mirror dance whatsoever.

    Hi Ar Songkono,
    Thanks so much for your kind words !! I really appreciate them.
    Whoah, you sure have a LONG list of testimonies describing how robust and tough the E-3 was, with the awesome Zuiko lenses. I never knew it could go to that extreme !! Thanks so much for sharing.
    Please forgive me for not testing the Continuous AF (I assume it is the AFC you were mentioning). I only had three days, and that itself was not enough for me to go and do much testings. I did wish Olympus give me more time.
    Perhaps you can refer to other reviews out there, or wait for official DPreview reviews.

  41. Hi Rob,
    thanks so much for posting the statement up !! I am glad I had a chance to do the Olympus community a favor.

    Hi Pris,
    wow, what a beautiful way to put it. Thanks so much.

    Hi Marq,
    Oh my goodness, thats a LOT of expensive, but awesome lenses !! I am sure if there is a will there is a way.

    Hi Chong,
    Thanks so much dude !! I love the decisive moment.

  42. Hi ar songkono,

    E-5 C-AF capability is definitely better as compared to E-3, especially when use with the SWD lenses. It's fast, snappy and accurate. I'm not saying E-3 C-AF capability is no good. It just that you need to spent sometime to understand how the AF system behave and work on E-3. E-5 works similarly.

    Also, the recent firmware update for all SWD lenses works great on E-3. Notable performance improvement is the 50-200mm SWD. As for the 14-35mm SWD - BIG IMPROVEMENT!


  43. Hi Robin, thankyou for the great review that isn't just another technical hair splitting review that will be eventually found elsewhere as you mentioned at Dpreview and the like.

    I almost felt emotionally drawn in following your review, simply because I've been to Malaysia about 7 times now and remember walking through the same places and with
    my e3 and leica 14-150 + 50-200swd/ex25 combo to the butterfly park.
    I found myself reminiscing about my last Malaysia trip and I think when I get my e5 I'll be back for another round.

    Lately I've had mixed feelings about where to go with fourthirds after some of the official announcements from Mr Terada which is why I've held back from buying my dream lens the 150f2. I have all of the high grade lenses except the 11-22, a few bodies and accessories so you could say that it is important to me what the e5 represents as an improvement over my e3 and you've shown with real world examples what it can do in capable hands and I'd like to sinserely thankyou for that.

    I leave you with one question Robin, if you can answer I'd really appreciate it. You mentioned your friend has an e1 and the e1 is known for it's quite shutter sound, does the e5 have a shutter sound similar to this? I love wildlife and nature photography and this I feel is important.

  44. Robin Wong damn popular... 8k visits in 2 days

  45. this review is more of an emotional type of review rather than a technical review..thus a lot of existing olympus user will still sit on the fence ...with the same amount of money spend on e-5 you could get a better camera and lens from other for thought.

  46. Hi Robin.

    I like your word "soul".

    Your enthusiast review has more "soul" than any (future) technical review. That what I think.

    It reminds me that E-1 has a "great soul" to me so far. I don't know if the E-5 will get that void.

    Keep it up bro.

  47. Hey Dennis,
    thanks for the sharing and clarification. You certainly has reassured some people here on the improvements that E-5 brings !!

    hey Lone Samurai,
    Thank you so so so much for your kind words. I am actually surprised that my reviews have een well received, despite the fact that I left out the technical aspects.
    You have been to Malaysia for so many times !! I wish I have the chance to travel the world too. Need to start saving up some cash.
    I would say the shutter sound is more similar to what we hear from the E-3. Too bad the quiet shutter sound from E-1 is not incorporated in this new E-5.

    Hi LKM,
    Accidental fame ahahha

  48. Hi Anonymous,
    You are swimming in wrong ocean. The water is dangerous here.

    Hey Shamrie,
    Thank you for your kind comment !!

  49. Thanks for your answer Robin, I was hoping they changed the shutter sound or dampened it a little but it's not a deal breaker for me.

    I have yet to visit the aquarium you took shots at but I loved the negara zoo and even more the KL bird park where I spent about 7 hours of which approximately 4 hours it was raining heavily and my e3 with the 50-200swd although soaked under rain never skipped a beat.

    To my delight I was like a kid in a candy store taking shots of all these exotic birds I've never seen before that where roaming around me freely in what is supposedly the worlds largest bird aviary and needles to say one can lose themselves behind that viewfinder.

    I only hope Olympus gives us future bodies when micro takes over that will allow us to get the exact performance from micro bodies with our high grade zuiko's as we get from our e30's, e3's and e5's.

  50. Hi Robin , Innerzen here, lazy to open a Google account. I just wish to comment that you have done a great job in doing this 'simple' review. This is the kind of review that I like to read and see. A true photographer's perspective. Olympus has made the right decision in adding you and RED (Amir) to do the E5 review. The two photographers that are highly respect in our forums (beside Fahrur)

    I really look forward to RED's testing especially on this comming macro outing. As I had posted earlier I have ordered mine before your review, now you have only add confidence to my decision. Thanks.

    Dr Raymond Wong

  51. Hi Robin,
    Very nice review/impressions of a great camera.

    If only more people in the world tried to use more cameras than based their entire opinion on some numbers and dry tests on the internet ,or buffed spec sheets.

    At least Olympus tries to improve their cameras where it matters instead of cramming in all the fashionable specifications and increasing megapixels for the sake of it.

    I have one question though (I'm not sure you covered it):

    How does that little lilac sensor underneath the VF work? Does it just control LCD brightness or does it shut of the LCD when you put your eye on the viewfinder?

    I ask this because I use 2 or 3s preview on my E-3 and when shooting at night/low light it can be distracting to have photo pop every time you take a shot.

  52. Hi Lone Samurai,
    I strongly agree with you that we need the dampened shutter sound !! Sometimes it is so noisy that it can be intrusive in many crucial working situations where absolute silence is required.
    I love both zoo negara and bird park too !! The only reason why I didnt go to those places with E-5 is because I did not loaned the longer lens such as the 50-200mm from Olympus Malaysia. Otherwise I will be attacking those places. If you have not already known, the Butterfly Park that I went to was 10 minutes walking distance away from the same Bird Park you mentioned.
    Thanks so much for your support. Lets make Olympus shine together.

  53. Thanks Dr raymond !!
    I really appreciate you commenting here.
    You will be the first member from screw screw to own the E-5 !! Congratulations. I cannot to see what wonders you can create with the E-5 on your portraiture work, which at the moment is nothing short of breathtaking already.
    I think the reason why Olympus Malaysia loaned me the unit is because I could be the ONLY person in Malaysia who blogs regularly about Olympus.

    hi Marin,
    Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. My review is out of the norm, but surely it has been positively received !! What a joy to find that.
    That sensor you referred to below the VF is the exact same thing as you have described, to auto-dim the LCD monitor once the eye is placed near the VF. Yes, it can be very annoying when it just dims and undims randomly at times nothing went near the sensor. Therefore, I switched that option off entirely during my course of 3 days shooting with E-5. It is a power saving feature to offset the power hungry 920k 3 inch LCD screen.

  54. Hi Robin, i'm Fabrice, from Bordeaux, France, thanks a lot, i will buy the E5 as soon as possible!

  55. Hello Fabrice,
    Wow !! You will surely enjoy it.

  56. Hi Robin,

    You are welcome. I hope that my 2 sens worth of feedback did not crash into your blog. ;)

  57. Hey Dennis,
    This is what blogging is all about, sharing information, and opinion. Glad you could contribute.

  58. Great review..! as a street shooter like you..what more can I say.. GREAT!

  59. Hi Brighteyes,
    Thanks mate !! Street photography rocks.

  60. Great sharing, Robin!

    I cant wait to replace my good ol E-3 with E-5 and shoot.

  61. Hey Rocky Joseph,
    Wow !! Great decision. I wish I have enough money to buy E-5 when it is available on the market !!

  62. Thank you Robin. I am sure Olympus will loan you the E5 again. If they do, please give the CAF a good work out machine gun

  63. Dennis,
    Thank you for your suggestions. I got a lot of keepers shooting Racing Karts or Racing Bikes, infact I had no problem nailing the focus. But shooting Waterskiers and Wakeboarders doing high speed slalom and flips with water splashing around, the CAF got a bit confused. I call it Confused Auto Focus

  64. Robin,

    Thank you so much for this review! It has made my decision a lot easier. When I saw the specs on Sept. 14th I was kind of sad. I am happy that the E5 offers HD video but felt let down to see that it wasn't 1080P.

    I had my mind set on the Canon 7D but felt like I was cheating on Olympus. I have a 520 and I love it! It's been all over the world with me. I actually dropped it on concrete on accident and hit lens first! One one minor scratch and that's all!

    After seeing your video test and some test from the PEN on YouTube I think I'm going to stick with Olympus and get the E5.

    I have a documentary shoot in the Philippines so I'm excited to see how the E5 will hold up! I will be following your blogs because it's nice to know someone out there has a passion for Olympus like myself! Keep up the good work!

  65. Hi ar songkono,

    Don't be disheartened.

    I used to be a frustrated user of E-3. Through my insistence (not without failure) I've learnt and understand the behaviour of AF system.

    I'd taken pictures at Singapore Wakeboarding Finals held on October 12, 2008. Some of the pictures can be viewed at the following link.

    E-3 and 50-200mm SWD was used. A lot of pictures were taken in 5fps and C-AF. My success rate was about 90%.

    Now, E-5 takes the AF performance up another level. Its fast and accurate. So fast (to me) that I need to re-accustom myself to the AF speed.

  66. Hi Ar Songkono,
    I might be getting the E-5 from Olympus again. If I do so, I will test the C-AF. I hope I can find the right subject to test on, since I am not a sports shooter.

    Hey Dennis,
    "Now, E-5 takes the AF performance up another level. Its fast and accurate. So fast (to me) that I need to re-accustom myself to the AF speed."
    Wow !! I am truly glad to hear that ! I have not done explicitly challenging AF stuations before, but it is great to hear such high performance.

  67. HI Chris,
    So nice to find another photographer so passionate about Olympus, and of course, photography itself. I am glad you stayed loyal to Olympus.
    Since this is a personal blog I shall voice my personal opinion. I strongly believe Canon 7D is overrated. In comparison to E-520, the photo quality is not even as good in almost every single ISO settings, in terms of noise performance and sharpness. You can do the comparison yourself head on. Therefore, E-5 will surely, surely outperform 7D in almost every aspect in regards of image quality, despite the fact that the resolution is only 12MP.
    Wow, you dropped the E-520 and it still worked? Amazing !!
    Thanks again for visiting my blog. Do stay in touch.

  68. Hi Robin,

    I'm an E-300 user and your post really inspired me to carry the heavy body again! It was kept in the darkness for far too long.
    And yes, it has a soul :)

  69. Hey Olympus, if you are reading this, give this man an E5! He deserves it with a couple of SHG lenses. :)

    Nice one Robin.

  70. Hey ajeff,
    i do think e300 has a good design/appearance with the flat top. All DSLR now all look so stereotypical. Do bring your e300 out and shoot more!

    Hey dennis,

  71. Hmmm....that is interesting! I love my 520. I think the E5 is going to be amazing I can't wait to get one at the end of the month.

    Yeah all the damage I got was a small chip on the body of lens which wasn't that bad! I was surprised.

    I'm looking forward to the "dramatic tone" filter while I roam the streets and villages in the Philippines!

    Hopefully the HD footage will look nice. Maybe I'll be the first person to film a documentary on the E5 :)

  72. Hey Chris,
    I am excited that you already planned ahead what you intend to do with your E-5 !!
    I cannot wait for your documentary. Please let us know when you finished it !!

  73. Yeah I'm excited about it! I will def. let you know.

  74. I'm really impressed by this camera! I have a Pen and thought this E-5 would be way too large for me. It doesn't look so large here.

  75. I think your images are superb. As a professional photographer currently using another system I am very seriously considering changing to the E5. My current £3500+ camera bodies are showing ominous signs of wear after only three years work. How do you rate the 12-60mm lens?
    Once again many many thanks.

  76. Hi Monique,
    Thank you very much for your kind words.
    I do not have very large hands, and surely the camera fits well on my fingers. However, the best thing is to try it out yourself, i cannot speak for you in this matter. The ergonomics are very good, it is very well designed, thats all I can say.

    Hi Seonnaidh,
    Wow !! Thank you so much, and that means a lot coming from a professional. I appreciate that.
    For a replacement camera doing your professional assignments, I really suggest you to wait for official reviews from trusted websites such as DPreview. E-5 is a great camera, but of course having solid data to back up your expectations can help you sleep better with your decision. Also, it heavily depends on what kind of photography work you are doing as well.
    Nonetheless, on my personal opinion, 12-60 coupled with E-5 is very fast and reliable. Bear in mind I did not do any comparisons to any other cameras and lenses.

  77. I said it twice because google told me to. Apparently I have two google accounts. See my page at:

  78. Ability is what you're capable of doing, motivation determines what you do, attitude determines how well you do it, for everything else there is E-5

  79. Hi Anonymous,
    Wow, that was beautiful ! Thanks.

  80. hallo Robin
    I really enjoyed your great pictures.
    J am Olympus user for 35 years now and I think, this new camera is a dream.
    Thank you very much for your review.
    I know Olympus did not pay you for, but I think, thy should do so.
    tanks and good luck
    Robert, Belgium

  81. Hi robert,
    Thank you very much for your kind words. I am sure Olympus Nalaysia is reading this.
    I do not expect anything in return from them, because it is my passion and desire to spread the love for Olympus for the world. And the E-5 is such a joy to use, and a great camera that I want to tell the world.
    I also think Olympus should give discount to loyal users like yourself !! 35 years, that is a LONG time.

  82. Hi Robin,
    Dave, the OM-1 user since 1976, here again.
    By the way I've never owned a SLR AF film Camera. Too slow! For serious shooting, OM-1, Hasselblad, or 4x5 view cameras is what I shoot.
    After seeing all your posts of the E-5, I'm impressed. Nice shots! I like what you said in your conclusion, and about what you like and what could have been with the E-5. I really relate to what you said. Maybe in 3 years there will be that Olympus DSLR that does all that and even more. When you are one with your camera, who cares about what the specs are, as long you are making great photographs. As long as the camera is producing sharp images, fast Autofocus with very minimal shutter release lag (No Lag is best), the camera is reliable and can stand up to the elements (I'm hard on cameras), simple camera navigation of controls and it feels good in your hands, that is what is important to me. The E-5 seems to deliver those qualities and then some. Noise reduction from higher ISO settings is important also but how high do you really need for everyday shooting? Some examples for my needs for a higher ISO, would be for available low light in a rock concert stage shooting or in dark forest scene like in a redwood forest. I think 1600-3200 ISO should be sufficient. What did we do before when we shot with film? I know make use of the technology today. I would have like to seen more shots of yours with low lighting (With minimal light sources) at a High ISO for an example. Not shooting through glass at the aquarium. Maybe when you were at the Jonker walk, like a back alley scene. That would have demonstrated a lot for me. That walk area is pretty well lit. Your images were great there. No worries. I really appreciate what you have done with this review. All your images have demonstrated the E-5 magnificently!
    The E-5 is Awesome! I'm pretty sure I'm sticking with Olympus for my first DSLR system and buying the E-5 with a 12-60mm SWD lens to start. Eventually buy the FL-36r flash, 50mm, 8mm, and 50-200 lenses.
    Thanks Robin for helping me make my decision on what DSLR system to buy with your demo.

  83. Hi Dave,
    thank you so so much for such kind and generous comments !! You just made me smile all wide for the rest of the day.
    I am very sure the E-5 will do wonders in your hands. I have always admired people who have been into photography since the old film days, where everything has got to be more hands on, less automation, and definitely NO instant gratification/chimping allowed !! I also agree with you, E-5 may not be the perfect camera when it comes to high ISO, but I only need "usable" ISO, I do not need to shoot at ridiculously high ISO settings.
    The main reason why I did not go to the back alleys was obvious, Malaysia is not exactly a very safe place to just walk around at the backlanes in the dark with such an expensive gear with you. Crime rates are high here, and worse, lately snatch thefts lately are targeted at DSLR users !! Just playing safe there, staying at streets with people.
    E-5 with 12-60 is a very good start. May I suggest you to get the FL-50R instead of FL-36R. The reason I got the 36R was mainly due to budget issues (also the same reason why I am still using E-520 all this time). I am sure you can afford it, hence go straight to FL-50R for better recycling speed and more flash output power. Trust me, you wont regret this, especially if you shoot a lot with flash.
    Thanks so much for your time to comment here. When you get your E-5, please contact me again. Would love to see what you will be doing with the E-5 !! The world will want to see as well. Do share.

    Thanks mate !!

  84. Lovely blog! Thanks for a "real" review. I'm new to photography, so a lot of the technical aspects are still over my head.

    I have the E620 and the shutter lag is infuriating. When I bump up the ISO's, the lag declines indirect opposition to the noise inclination. How is the E5's shutter lag in lower (<500) ISO?

    Thank you again for such a wonderful blog!

  85. Hello Yerttle,
    Thanks for your compliments, I really appreciate it.
    I do not find any shutter lag at all with Olympus E-5, it is very fast and accurate.
    I do not think there is any correlation between ISO setttings and AF sensitivity, because the focusing mechanism works through the lens, not the sensor.
    But I have used E-620 before and I find that focusing with it was superb. May I know which lens you are using on your 620, and perhaps you could find another friend who uses 620 and compare if the focusing has some issues?

  86. Robin,
    Thank you for your reply!

    I have the two kit lenses and the 50mm macro. I asked her about shutter lag and she said hers doesn't do it, either....perhaps I'm trying too hard in light that is just inadequate. I have an external flash that I love (rotates, adjusts, etc), but it seems so intrusive and gangly.

    I have a friend who uses the E30, but she lives far away...everyone around here uses Canon or Nikon. :P

    I'm saving my pennies for the E5. :)

    Thanks again! (I'm going to post your blog in my blog's blogroll. ...that's a lot of blogging). Cheers!!

  87. Very similar.

  88. You have made the E-5 seem very attractive. I bought another Olympus only recently having moved from the OM-1 to digital with the Canon 20D, hated the kit lens it was rubbish, then a Canon 1Ds Mk1, beautiful but BIG and needs L series lenses to do it justice, Canon 5D, much lighter but a total collector of sensor dust, bought an E-1 and love it, feeling like I've returned to the Zuiko home.

  89. Hi Robin, Im a very beginner not even have a good camera yet what catch my eye by this camera is the vintage look of it hahaha...

    Well any way, love ur review of this camera.

  90. Hi Robin, Im a very beginner not even have a good camera yet what catch my eye by this camera is the vintage look of it hahaha...

    Well any way, love ur review of this camera.

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