Olympus crafts a classic with the Pen EP-5

Using a QR code on the back of the camera – those square barcodes – tablets and smartphones will be to link up quickly with their E-P5 camera, with all the necessary connection information being transferred over from that one scan.

Currently, the feature only works on iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch), but we’re told an Android compatible app is being developed for this.

The apps that use this feature, however, do more than just let you grab your files from the camera: they also let you take photos through the camera.

Once the link has been made over WiFi, you’ll be able to see what the camera sees, touching the screen to focus on fire. A quick demo of this saw autofocus was just as fast as it was in the camera, and images are not only stored on the camera, but transferred wirelessly to the tablet or smartphone the moment they’re shot.

The app also features software versions of the E-P5’s creative art filters, so you can make your images look just as arty out of the camera (before they’re eventually sent to Instagram).

The Olympus Pen E-P5 will also come in black.

We’ve touched on the tech, but there’s also the look and style, and that’s an area where it feels like Olympus has really made a leap forward in the E-P5.

While previous digital Pen cameras were a blend of the old design with the new logo, the E-P5 looks like how the classic Pen would have evolved if Olympus had continued designing cameras in that style.

The logo is branded now as “Olympus Pen,” and the build is pure metal, with a heft that is both comfortable and durable, making it feel as if you’re carrying a camera and not just a toy.

Even with a touchscreen on the back, the overall feel the E-P5 is one of a classic camera, and even though our play with it was brief, we wondered why so many other cameras didn’t feel like this.

It’s one of those times where we’ve held a camera and realised that if we were overseas on holiday, we would think of ourselves more as a photographer than a tourist, just a tourist with a camera.

Image quality aside – and we can’t attest to that from this yet, but hope it will be as good as what we saw last year’s E-M5 – this camera gives off the feeling that you might actually be using a classic camera, and not just another digital camera.

Olympus says the camera will be ready for purchase sometime in in July, and while representatives wouldn’t say what the price would be, we’ve heard that it could come in around the $1499 mark with the VF-4 electronic viewfinder and the 17mm F/1.8 lens bundled in (above).

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