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Olympus E-5 Review

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PROS / This device has solid image quality, fast autofocus and excellent image stabilization.

CONS / The battery life is mediocre, only allowing around 870 photos per charge.

 VERDICT / Despite the memory life, the overall quality is good.

Editor's Note: This Product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because it has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product's information.

Olympus E-5

The Olympus E-5 is a powerful professional DSLR camera. It provides users with a 12.3MP (megapixel) MOS sensor, a Zuiko lens and 720p HD video recording. An image stabilizer is offered in the body, and the autofocus is fairly fast. This device provides several advanced features that make it one of the top in the DSLR market; it’s just not at the very top.

The 3-inch LCD display is one of our favorite features available on the Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera. Along with the crisp playback and bright screen, the monitor features a 270-degree swivel, which makes it possible for you to capture your image from above or below. However, aside from the swivel monitor, an optical viewfinder is provided to ensure you capture the most accurate image possible.

The body of the camera is built from a “thixomold” magnesium alloy. This body protection shields the device from any conditions that may cause damage to it. As added protective measures, special covers have been added to the controls and buttons to prevent excess grime from creeping into the camera. A dust reduction system is integrated into the device to eliminate any dirt that may enter. This self-cleaning technology uses vibrations at 30,000 times per second to shake out any particles, ensuring your images are clean.

The Live-MOS sensor size is set at 17.3 x 13 mm, which is smaller than similar professional DSLRs. This makes it a little more difficult to shoot in darker conditions, though you can increase the ISO to 6400 for dark shooting. The autofocus is fast too, thanks to its 11-point High Precision Fully Twin Cross AF system. It features a four-thirds lens mount, one of the more recent types of lenses available strictly for digital cameras from Olympus and others.

High-definition video can be captured using this device. At 720p, you can shoot movies with manual control over settings such as aperture and shutter speed. We were disappointed we weren’t able to record in full 1080p HD, but movies that were recorded at 720p appeared fairly crisp.

The image stabilizer was one of the standout features available on the body of the Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera. The stabilizer eliminates blur created by camera shake. The addition of this technology makes your images more professional-looking, and it means your focus can be on other settings when composing the photo, not the camera shake. Not many DSLR devices provide the image stabilization technology that we were pleased to find in the Olympus E-5. Image stabilization technology is found in the lenses rather than the camera body with some models.

This device features 10 built-in art filters. These filters allow you to add effects to your photos or video. A few of these filters include pop art, soft focus pale & color, light tone, pin hole and dramatic tone. Each of these filters can be used in all shooting settings of the camera such as aperture, shutter and manual modes.

The Olympus E-5 professional DSLR camera features a digital leveler, which helps eliminate any crooked pictures. We found this feature particularly useful for taking portraits and landscape shots. It was helpful to know how level the shot was and if the subject is correctly lined up with the photo’s frame.

This DSLR camera provides up to 870 shots on a single battery charge using the optical viewfinder. We were a little disappointed with this amount of battery life and hoped to see more. The battery provided is a lithium-ion battery.

This professional DSLR is compatible with SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards. We were pleased to see this many compatible removable memory options. We found the Olympus E-5 to be a PC-friendly device and we had no hassle transferring files from the camera onto a computer.

Olympus offers several help and support options, including a user guide, a FAQs page, a one-year warranty and even a quick repair service if you happen to live near New York City; you can also ship the camera to their repair facility. You can get tech support by telephone or email.


The Olympus E-5 is a professional camera with user-friendly features such as an image stabilizer and digital leveler. However, the poor battery life and the ability to record in only 720p were drawbacks on this device.

Olympus E-5