If you were more in love with the E-M5’s mind than its body, now you can have much the same set of capabilities repackaged in a compact-style camera.

So much has happened since Olympus kicked off the whole mirrorless thing with the E-P1, it’s easy to forget just how well-conceived the original Digital Pen cameras really were. Of course, Olympus itself has distracted us a bit with the OM-D system and the fabulous E-M5, but the new E-PL5 is a reminder of just what the original concept was all about... namely truly compact cameras backed by an interchangeable lens system.

The Digital Pens have since split into three model series; namely the originals (currently represented by the E-P3), the ‘Lite’ brigade and the entry-level ‘Mini’. Both the latter models were significantly updated at last year’s Photokina in the form of the E-PL5 and E-PM2 respectively, both inheriting the same Sony-made sensor as is used in the E-M5 and quite a number of the same features. Consequently, as it stands now, the boundaries between the E-P3 and the E-PL5 are quite blurred in terms of either camera’s appeal to the enthusiast-level user… the latter because, on quite a few levels, it’s essentially an E-M5 minus the built-in EVF and a few other frills. And you can still fit an optional EVF if you so wish which also puts the E-PL5 ahead of a number of other comparable compact system cameras.

Like many cameras in this class, the E-PL5 lacks a built-in flash, but it’s packaged with a neat little add-on unit which syncs via an ISO-standard hotshoe, although you obviously can’t have both this and an EVF on the camera at the same time… not likely to be a massive hardship in the general scheme of things.

Thank-you for looking up our  Olympus Digital pen Lite E-PL5 Review. This equipment review is currently available only as a low-resolution pdf version of the original magazine pages originally printed in the March / April 2013 issue.

You can download it here:  Olympus Digital pen Lite E-PL5 review.pdf