If there’s one camera we fell in love with this year, it was the Olympus OM-D E-M5, a modern camera with a vintage look. Today, the company is making an announcement at Photokina in Germany, where it’s transplanting much of the technology found inside the OM-D and throwing it inside a couple of smaller bodies.
Two cameras have been announced from Olympus, pairing the 16 megapixel Olympus LiveMOS sensor found in the EM-5 with a smaller camera footprint, occupying far less space in the Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5 and Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2 cameras.
Both bodies feature that lovely sensor we saw when we checked out the OM-D this year, and also include the same TruePic VI image processor for colour quality, as well as the insanely quick “Fast-AF” speedy focus technology, making these cameras smaller versions of the OM-D.
Touch functionality is becoming something of a constant for Olympus, as each camera features a 3 inch capacitive touchscreen LCD, allowing you to touch precisely where you want the camera to focus and fire, and have it performed instantly.
The standard way of shooting is still on offer in each of the cameras here, with a proper physical button-based shutter on the top of each camera, just in case the whole “touch shutter” thing isn’t for you.
Full HD video is supported in both bodies too, as well as in-body lens stabilisations, 8 frames per second shooting, low-light sensitivity with ISO up to 25600, and 12 creative art filters that can be layered for even more control. Film buffs will be interested to know that the grain in these artistic film modes have actually been scanned in from real film, making the detail more floral and real, so to speak.
If it sounds like the cameras are very similar, you may be wondering why there are two specific models outside of the vintage looking EM-5.
While they’re similar, they still suit different groups of people, with a few obvious differences.
The Olympus Pen Lite E-PL5 is the top end model (above), and as a result features a removable grip, a control wheel, and an LCD that can tilt so far that it can be seen above the camera when viewed from the front, essentially making it easier to take self portraits.
In fact, self-portraits are even suggested on the E-PL5, with a mode on the E-PL5 acting like a photo booth and taking photos on a timer.
Slightly below this is the Olympus Pen Mini E-PM2 (below), which ditches the tilting screen and control wheel and simplifies things considerably, keeping everything else fast and strong in colour.