Although not everyone is interested in Olympus DSLR I thought I would share my recent hands on experiences with
the new E-5 which is a camera that makes some big claims:
- Worlds fastest AF
- 5 ev Image Stabiliser
- resolving power exceeding APS-C sensor competitors
Like all Professional cameras on the market today, the E-5 is extremely well built and incredibly sealed against the elements. So well built that the representative from Olympus placed the E-5 on the ground and stood on it, then proceeded to raise the flash and pour a bottle of beer over the camera, washing it off with a litre of water and passing it around the group to let us check for any damage. This is one tough camera! But not only is this camera well built but it is also very well thought out, like the E-3 before it, the controls are in logical places and it took mere seconds for my native Nikon user hands to feel comfortable and be able to run this camera confidently.
So the E-5 is well build, but what about image quality? Olympus’ Zuiko lenses have long been recognised to being as good as the best from Nikon and Canon, perhaps better and the more I examine the current line up the more I am liking the lenses available. Being a 4/3rds camera many would assume an inferiority in image quality and low light performance, but not only did this camera surprise many with its ability to keep up with the best of the competition, but also the E-5’s interesting and innovative approach to the problem.
Whilst Canon is keen on removing both most chroma and most luminance noise and smudging away detail, and Nikon removes most chroma noise leaving some luminance noise, Olympus has decided to reduce both luminance and chroma noise whilst retaining as much detail as possible. The result is a fine grain image with some chroma noise but a lot of detail, which I found both pleasing and very usable. The end result is nicer than that of both the Nikon D300 and the Canon EOS 7D, and in print the 12MP of the E-5 really keeps up with both these cameras for resolution.
I was very impressed by the E-5, offering great value as well as performance, and it seems a shame that the smaller Olympus DSLR line has been displaced by the PEN range. The Zuiko lenses are simply stunning and if you were to handle them for too long would quickly give you a strong sense of lens lust. I will vouch for the AF and the resolving power claims, and the image stabiliser definitely is as good as the Nikon and Canon equivalents.
For those of you lucky enough to own an Evolt, remember that Phottix provides a range of compatible remote and flash accessories for you as well.
Is the 12.3MP sensor/TruPic combo the same as the Pen? If so, then I have to agree with what you said about the low-light/high ISO performance. It surprised me, too. It plateaus at EI1600, though. EI3200 shows too much noise for my taste…but EI1600 with internal IS = amazing ambient light night shots.