View Full Version : 6 Months (Almost) With the E5

12th May 2011, 01:07 PM
Well, where do I begin. Mmmmm.
Despite having taken the plunge and invested in the Olympus E5 and lenses I still desperately tried to dislike this camera. I purposely and intentionally wanted to find fault with this system and ditch it.

Why? Because then despite the expense I could crow about how much better my previous system was and that I had made a huge and expensive mistake in migrating to Olympus. What a stupid and facile attitude to take. Especially as my experiences have proved me totally wrong, on all counts. There is nothing and I emphasise (I refuse to use capital letters to inflect emphasis as I was always under the impression that using capitals was the equivalent of shouting and is considered extremely rude) nothing seriously wrong with the E5 or the glass that goes with it. I do however have several niggles about the E5, but then again I had several niggles about my previous system.
Because I earn my living from taking pictures however doesn't necessarily mean that my opinions are valid and they are certainly not "cast in stone".
They are the result of using the equipment every day, in all weather conditions and on a variety of assignments.
So here goes.
Firstly the whole shooting match fits comfortably into one bag with a little room to spare. Even with the 12-60mm lens attached. The bag in question being a Domke F2, when the 70 -300mm is attached then it doesn't.
Using my Lowepro Mini Trekker rucksack allows me to carry the E5 with either lens attached. The weight is also considerably less than I carried beforehand. I like the fact that a weatherproofed camera like the E5 can be detached from the battery pack to reduce weight and size.
Everything on the E5 ergonomically speaking is in exactly the right place
although I have struggled adapting to the arrows to shift point of focus without taking the camera from my eye. This is not a huge problem.Just a minor irritant. The menus have also been a little different with some items being located in unexpected places. again this is not a problem, it just needs getting used to. As do some of the other controls.

Image quality is superb. No doubt about it. Fellow pro's on Skye and in the Highlands have been bowled over with images taken on the E5, especially comparing ones enlarged to 20 x 16 with similar enlargements from the 24mp + cameras. The 12-60mm lens is a stunning performer and virtually fulfils all my needs. Very rarely does it come off the camera.
OK image quality at stupidly high ISO's is not as good as those from Nikon & Canon pro spec machines. But I am getting good quality useable, saleable images from ISO 1600. Out of camera JPEGS are the best I've ever seen .At the end of the day what I need in a camera is reliability, ruggedness,and superb image quality. On none of these counts do I find the E5 or the lenses so far used to be disappointing.
The downside.
Well I do find the twin card facility to be a pain the rear end. It is very convenient for me to be able to similtaneously download RAWS to one card and JPEGS to another, as I have mentioned in another thread. Why Olympus didn't do this I don't know. Wake up out there Olympus.
Although the camera fits my hands beautifully it has created a hard calloused area at the base of my right index finger. I have never experienced this before with any other make or type of camera.
The Olympus FL50R flashgun seems to be a wee bit underpowered. I have checked, double checked and triple checked how I'm using it and all the settings and it still seems underpowered. Suffice to say that I am getting better exposed pictures using a 30 year old Vivitar 283. 'Nuff said.
Lastly I do feel let down by Olympus' marketing attitude. I am screaming the virtues of the E5(also the E30 and the EPL1) to anyone who stands till, but to no avail. Short supply, ineffective advertising and lack of interaction with pro users is letting this system down dreadfully. Wake up out there Olympus.

I hope you all don't mind this mini review. My last word. If you want one get one. You will never regret it.

12th May 2011, 01:36 PM
I want one, I really do Seonnaidh. It's simply a question of waiting until I can sell some of my synth kit to fund the purchase of one.

I can't wait... the IQ in all of the images I have seen from the E-5 is outstanding.

12th May 2011, 01:48 PM
S. - get back that paperwork! :rolleyes::D*yo*laugh


12th May 2011, 02:10 PM
Nice E-5 appraisal Seonnaidh *chr

Have you managed to convert any of your Pro colleagues over to Oly yet?

Ulfric M Douglas
12th May 2011, 06:36 PM
Loved your mini-review.
That 'Olympus Callous' does sound cool.

12th May 2011, 06:47 PM
That 'Olympus Callous' does sound cool.

I think I'm developing one of those with my new MF lenses....

Great review, but I've now got camera envy so I'm going for a lie-down in a darkened room...


12th May 2011, 08:05 PM
There are two pro photographers on Skye who are seriously considering it and one who has rushed over to Ffordes and bought one on the strength of playing around with mine for an afternoon.
Another guy who used to shoot for Nat Geo many years ago is now thinking of upgrading from his OM2SP and OM4 to an E5 and finally going digital.

12th May 2011, 08:43 PM
I always appreciate the considered opinion of someone who has used a camera regularly for a period of months, rather than just an afternoon out of the office at the local park. It does seem illogical that files cannot be split onto different cards, surely this could be fixed with a firmware update. The main thing is that the image quality fully meets your requirements and if it is competing successfully with full frame that says a lot.

I've got past the stage of camera lust and envy - for now. I cannot afford an E-5 full stop. Rather than spend my time fretting over a camera I can't have I prefer to count my blessings in having an E-3, which is not a bad consulation!

Can't understand why Olympus aren't shouting from the rooftops about this one. Maybe they don't have to, maybe they are selling more than they ever imagined possible! :)

Ross the fiddler
13th May 2011, 01:07 AM
I think I'm developing one of those with my new MF lenses....

Great review, but I've now got camera envy so I'm going for a lie-down in a darkened room...


And I read somewhere you were a little concerned for me.... *erm :rolleyes: *whack