Friday, May 3, 2013

Is this the Olympus E-P5?

The rumor sites are all abuzz with news of the Olympus E-P5, which is supposed to launch around May 9, give or take a few days. Can no one keep a secret anymore? I've been watching the news with keen interest because I'm exactly the person who would be interested in the E-P5: I'm an E-P3 owner and I skipped the OM-D E-M5.

Here's what we know so far. I take no credit for the rumors. I got them from Also, remember that these are rumors, so who knows if they're real?

Pretty camera!

1. It has the E-M5's Sony sensor.
Hooray! About time the "flagship" PEN got that.

2. It has improved IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)
I was worried that the 5-point IBIS would be stuck in the OM-D line, so I'm happy to see it here. Plus they've made some improvements.

3. AF is faster.
Not a big deal for me. The E-P3 is already pretty fast. I don't think I'll be able to feel faster AF speeds. We're talking a fraction of a second here. Maybe on slower focusing lenses like the Panasonic 20mm.

4. No built-in viewfinder.
I don't know why they couldn't put this in the (quite large for m43) body. It's an issue because most of the camera's competitors have the electronic viewfinder built-in, including Olympus' very own E-M5.

They'll probably be pushing the new external viewfinder, the VF-4, which is said to be the bee's knees. I don't mind the extra bulk of an EVF, but I'm concerned about the price. It stops making sense at some point when you can just buy the E-M5, which has the same Sony sensor, excellent IBIS, and a built-in viewfinder already.

5. Focus peaking will be included.
Here's something the E-M5 won't be getting. Focus peaking is a great aid to focus manual lenses. I'm interested in this because I have quite a few manual lenses in my collection.

6. It will sell with the Olympus 17mm f1.8 as the kit lens. Or body only.
That lens had mixed reviews. It's a bargain if they're including it as the kit lens though and will help remove the sting of spending extra for the EVF. I would rather buy the body only and save up for more great lenses. Mediocre lenses quickly gather dust in my dry box.

7. It will have Wi-Fi.
Neato. All cameras should have Wi-Fi.

New button layout.

Honking big external viewfinder.

All in all, the E-P5 looks like an awesome camera. Maybe there's not enough to differentiate it from the E-M5. Realistically, it will perform similarly in the image quality department. So we've got a choice now:

E-M5 - no built-in flash, built-in viewfinder and weather sealing
E-P5 - pop-up flash, no built-in viewfinder, no weather sealing

With the EVF, I bet the E-P5 and VF-4 combo will be pushing $1,200+ while an E-M5 is selling for $800-$900 nowadays.

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