Olympus E-5

Released September, 2010
  • 12.2 MP
  • Four Thirds 18 x 13.5 mm NMOS
  • 3" LCD
Olympus Viewer 2 is an update of the older Olympus Viewer RAW conversion software that came bundled with the very first E-series camera, the E-1, and ib is a more beginner-friendly platform for photo organizing as well as some basic JPEG and RAW editing.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
8.8 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Olympus E-5

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Olympus E-5
Nikon D700
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Olympus E-5
cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Olympus E-5
Nikon D700
continuous shooting


What do the experts think?

Olympus E-5
Reviews from 43rumors.com, techradar.com, trustedreviews.com, photographyblog.com and 3 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Olympus E-5

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus E-5

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Olympus E-5
519 ISO
Nikon D800
2,979 ISO
Nikon D810
2,979 ISO

Resolution Results from photos of standard resolution charts

Olympus E-5
2,600 LPH
Nikon D800
3,100 LPH
Nikon D810
3,100 LPH

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Olympus E-5
5 fps
10 fps
7 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

Olympus E-5
870 photos
350 photos
500 photos

Color depth The number of variations of color the camera can capture

Olympus E-5
21.6 bits
Nikon D810
25.7 bits
Nikon D800
25.6 bits

Dynamic range Maximum range a camera can capture in one image from light to dark

Olympus E-5
10.5 ev
Nikon D810
14.8 ev
Nikon D800
14.4 ev

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Olympus E-5

As expected more detail can be brought out of raw files from the Olympus compared to its JPEG output, but at low ISO settings the difference isn't enormous in practical terms.

The Olympus E-5 is a new, rugged digital SLR camera that is the new flagship of the Four Thirds system.

Olympus supplied our test sample with a weighty, stunningly sharp and inevitably expensive piece of glass in the wide angle 12-60mm zoom lens, providing an all-encompassing 24-120mm equivalent reach, enabling us to shoot a (literally) wide variety of subject matter.

The results are very good up to ISO 3200 when the level of detail visible drops.


7.9 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


High sensitivity raw images processed using Adobe's Camera Raw have a much coarser texture than those processed using the supplied Olympus Viewer 2 software.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
Our graph clearly shows this - see how much sooner the ISO 100 (blue) line clips to white than ISO 200.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
The shutter release is well placed, falling readily under your right index finger, and the ISO, WB and exposure compensation buttons are all within easy reach.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)


Under daylight conditions the camera and its lens fared rather better with generally sharp results all round.
by TrustedReviews (Jun, 2014)
With an Supersonic Wave Drive (SWD) lens such as the Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm f/2.8-4.0 SWD mounted the E-5's 11-biaxial point AF system performs well.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)
Good news first: the camera allows the user to set exposure (shutter speed and aperture) and gain (ISO) manually in M mode (aperture only in A mode).
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)


The E-3 was limited to ISO 3200, but the E-5's 12MP sensor can manage ISO 6400 (equivalent) - an entire extra stop which should, in theory, make the camera more useful for handheld photography in poor light.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
Olympus calls settings below ISO 200 'low noise priority' settings, and although they are not labelled as such, ISO 160, 125 and 100 are in fact extension ISO settings, which offer less dynamic range than the 'recommended' base of ISO 200.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
The following 100% crops demonstrate the effect of each Noise Filter setting at ISO 3200.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)

Image quality

The E-5 gets the full complement of Art Filters, including the new 'Dramatic Tone', the effect of which varies widely depending on subject matter (see below) but in essence, combines fairly extreme local contrast adjustments with a grain effect.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
It offers a better feature set, better baseline image quality, better ergonomics and better build quality than any previous E-series camera.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
Why this isn't located with the other image quality options in the first page of the shooting menu is a mystery.
by TechRadar (Mar, 2011)


Occasionally, with whatever lens, even in what should be favorable conditions, the E-5's CD-AF gives up completely and refuses to find its target.
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
The E-5's built-in flash can be used as an AF assist light, which helps with AF speed and accuracy in poor light, but this isn't an option for certain situations (such as any time you want to be discrete, inside a church or performance venue, for example).
by DPReview (Feb, 2011)
Autofocus is blazing fast with the 12-60mm lens - certainly among the fastest in the world, at least in moderate to good light.
by Photography Blog (Dec, 2010)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 12.2 MP
Resolution 4032 x 3024
Size Four Thirds
Area 18 x 13.5 mm
Crop factor 2.0x
Pixel size 19.9 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 6,400 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes
Tested vertical resolution 2,600 LPH
Tested horizontal resolution 2,600 LPH

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 11
Supports continuous No


Min 60 s
Max 1/8000 s

form factor

Size 143 x 117 x 75 mm
Thickness 75 mm
Weight 892 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift


Video 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No
External mic jack 3.5mm
Autofocus while shooting video Contrast detection
Autofocus type Contrast detection


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 920 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen Yes
Supports live view Yes


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 100%
Magnification 1.15x
Viewfinder size 0.57x


Max continuous shooting 5 fps
Battery life 870 photos
Continuous shooting 5 fps, JPEG
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