New product: Olympus PEN EP-5 mirrorless camera

Olympus has announced the release of a new flagship model in their PEN mirrorless range. The EP-5 features “Advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization”, “high-speed response FAST AF” and 1/8000s maximum shutter speed. Controls can be accessed via a new “2x2 Dial Control” with a control lever which may help accessing functions in a housing and the VF-4 viewfinder is now detachable. The PEN EP-5 will be available from May at a retail price of $999.99 in the U.S.A.

Press release.

Flagship model of the PEN series delivers a “portable premium quality” experience.

OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 Mirrorless Interchangeable-Lens Camera.

Olympus Imaging Corporation (President: Haruo Ogawa) is pleased to announce the introduction of the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera, the flagship of the PEN Series conforming to the Micro Four Thirds System standard. It is scheduled to go on sale in the end of June 2013.

The OLYMPUS PEN series that debuted in October 1959 took the world by storm as a pioneer in its day for bringing cameras to a mass audience thanks to the original concepts it packed into one place such as cutting the size in half to reduce weight and offering a beautiful design. Known as the camera that could be carried easily anywhere like a pen, the series was a big hit with 17 million units sold.

Revived a half-century later in July 2009 as a digital single lens reflex camera that retained the concept behind its film version predecessors, the series has won great praise since the introduction of the first digital version-the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1-for its exacting design, excellent portability, and the rich powers of expression and superb image quality it offers. The cameras have been warmly received by those who are particular about their lifestyles.

We have been working to satisfy the desires arising from the increasingly diverse attitudes to how photography fits into people’s lives. In 2010, we added the OLYMPUS PEN Lite series to our lineup for those customers who enjoy being more active in their photography. We followed that in 2011 with the OLYMPUS PEN mini series, which as the smallest PEN of them all brought new levels of casualness to photography. At the same time, we have also been making steady advances with our original digital camera lineup. As a pioneer in the area of clearly setting apart cameras for expressing yourself from the conventional “big, heavy, and difficult” type of single lens reflex cameras, its digital version of the OLYMPUS PEN series has always offered the pleasures of finding new approaches to photography and photographic expression.

In this, the series’ fifth year, we are introducing the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5, a flagship model with maximum quality.

For its appearance, we have used a design that at every turn maintains the PEN DNA of always providing new value while taking it forward to a new generation. Exacting down to the smallest detail of the materials and textures used, the design is one that delivers a “portable premium quality” experience.

Furthermore, the performance is such that no photo opportunity will get away from with the advanced 5-Axis Image Stabilization that is a step up from OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5, the high-speed response FAST AF, and the 1/8000 sec. of high-speed shutter -a world’s first for a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. The camera’s built-in Wi-Fi function have vastly improved the series’ capacity to work together with smartphones when it comes to sending images, setting up sharing, and wireless shooting. It brings mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera even farther into your life and makes them easier and more convenient to use.

In terms of operability, the new 2x2 Dial Control helps when it comes to both ease of use and customization. The functions of the two dials can be easily changed using the Fn (function) lever, allowing your photographic intentions can be instantly reflected in the snaps you take thus broadening your scope of expression.

The lens kit includes our newest Electronic Viewfinder, the VF-4. The VF-4 makes it easier to take even more elaborate shots; the user can engage in high-resolution finder photography at high-power magnifications that are on par with those of a full-size single-lens reflex camera.

The OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 is the flagship of the OLYMPUS PEN series. It has a functional beauty that makes you happy to hold it, to take photos with it, and to get the most out of it.

Olympus will continue to enhance our line of mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras and system equipment in our quest to create and grow new markets.

Main Feature Details.

  1. Sophisticated PEN design that enshrines a “portable premium quality” experience.

1) Advanced design for a new generation:

The OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 carries on the essence of the design found in all OLYMPUS PEN cameras and advances its appearance to a new level, as is appropriate for a flagship product that brings the series itself up to a higher step. The shape of the top deck as viewed from above retains that of the OLYMPUS PEN E-P3 to give it the sense of being a piece with the tilting LCD, while the design of the OLYMPUS PEN E-P1 is retained for the silhouette view of the front. The front of the body itself incorporates the leather essence of the OLYMPUS PEN F-which on its debut was the world’s first half-frame single-lens reflex camera-and adds to it a modern metal treatment brings out the texture of the metals and finishes it off with a modern exterior. The character line that creates an overall impression of the camera retains the design of the OLYMPUS PEN F and has the OLYMPUS PEN logo engraved upon it. That logo is the crown of the OLYMPUS PEN brand, symbolizing as it does that this is the flagship model for which advances have been made that are only appropriate for the brand has provided new value as an innovation on cameras from the age of film.

2) Exacting attention to materials, form, texture, and color:

While adhering to the modern flavor expected of the OLYMPUS PEN series, we were exacting when it came to the superiority of the texture of the metal parts used for the top desk, front control dial, rear control dial, mode dial, shutter release button, lens-release button, and the arrow pad cover, increasing the degree of overall perfection. Also, the color of the dials and the treatment method change depending on the color of the body; various elements shine with silver or black from dial to dial on the black body, and we aimed to get optimal texture in each and every place for each color variation. The body is finished so that none of the screws can be seen on the sides, front, or top of the body.

3) Form and operability with a concern for ease of use;

To permit the user to easily take photos even though the body is small, we tried out a variety of patterns to confirm not only the height of the grip and position of the dials but even the places where the strap attaches, and achieved the optimal sizes and positions. Levers and buttons are positioned in a clearly understandable way around the arrow pad, with consideration given to being able to operate them more intuitively. The sides are also shaped so the user can get grip them readily and the tilting LCD can be smoothly pulled out even when a tripod is being used. We have reassessed operability in all respects in our pursuit of ease of use.

  1. First mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera to offer 1/8000 sec. high-speed shutter.

The 1/8000 sec. high-speed shutter found to date only on certain cameras is now available for the first time with a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. It is perfect for photographing subjects that are moving quickly, and what’s more also the large aperture lens can be used at maximum aperture even during bright daytime shooting. The newly added low sensitivity ISO LOW mode (equivalent to 100), used in combination with the 1/8000 sec. shutter speed, also makes it possible to draw out defocusing effects to the maximum, allowing for even more varied photographic expressions.

  1. Built-in Wi-Fi® function enables easy sharing of images and wireless shooting.

1) Easy and convenient image transfer functions:

A built-in Wi-Fi function is new to the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5. You can easily connect the camera to your smartphone by just tapping the Wi-Fi icon. Using the Olympus Image Share (OI.Share) smartphone application, you can easily send the photos you have taken to your smartphone and view them easily. By selecting images to share on the camera and adding them to a list, you can quickly send only those images you have chosen to your smartphone. Photos marked for sharing can be viewed when making a “One-time Connection,” which is convenient for when you want to share photos directly. Up to four devices can be connected simultaneously, allowing to enjoy sharing the photos you take on the spot with family and friends.

2) Wireless Touch AF Shutter remote control permits operating the camera from your smartphone:

Using the remote control features of OI.Share, you can check the camera’s Live View screen while taking photos by remote. By tapping on the Live View screen shown on your smartphone, you can set the AF point just like you would when operating the camera and release the shutter. You can also set the timer from your smartphone, making it optimal for taking group photos. Since you can release the shutter when cued by a voice recorded on your smartphone so everyone can easily recognize when the shutter is going to be released, you can catch everyone with their best smiling faces.

3) Location Information Appending function allows GPS log data to be added to photos recording with the camera:

Geotags (location information) can be easily added on the camera to the photos you take with it by simply sending the high-precision GPS log data recorded by OI.Share to your camera.

4) Advanced Image Manipulation:

Advanced Image Manipulation features include the 12 kinds of Art Filters that the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 supports. You can also make sharing photos even more fun by using for those shots taken using the camera’s PHOTO STORY mode such features as “PHOTO STORY+” for adding a rich variety of stamps and “Signature” for adding a handwritten or original image signature.

5) Easy Wi-Fi connection setup to link the camera to a smartphone:

Use the OI.Share’s private connection to smoothly complete even the most bothersome initial Wi-Fi setup by just reading the QR code displayed on the camera’s display with your smartphone.

  1. 2x2 Dial Control for ease of use and options for customization.

The 2x2 (“two-by-two”) Dial Control is a new system for controlling four commonly used photographic functions-aperture/shutter speed, exposure compensation, ISO setting, and white balance-directly by dial. By default, exposure compensation is assigned to the front dial and aperture/shutter speed is assigned to the rear dial. By switching the Fn (function) lever, ISO setting can be adjusted by the front dial, and white balance by the rear dial. In addition to controlling 2x2 Dial Control operations, the Fn lever can also be used to switch Movie button functions (movie functions and Fn button function) and the focus modes. The easy operability makes it possible to intuitively get what you want into a photo with these customized functions.

  1. Full line of accessories that make carrying the camera a pleasure and using it fun (sold separately).

We have put together a line of separately sold accessories to make taking photos with the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 that much more enjoyable. For details, please refer to the related products page that follows.

Other Features.

  1. 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism that’s a further improved from the OLYMPUS OM-D.

The in-body 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism that corrects the various kinds of shaking that can happen whether you are shooting still photos or recording movies is effective for all kinds of lenses, from Micro Four Thirds lenses to old ones. This image stabilization system that is more powerful than anything that can be provided by in-lens image stabilization systems has been made compact enough to fit in the small body of the OLYMPUS PEN.

1) Newly added IS-AUTO.

The IS-AUTO mode that is new to the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 automatically detects the camera’s movements, provides optimal control of the correction direction for panning regardless of direction-up, down, or at an angle-and corrects only the orthogonal direction of the pan.

2) Correction checking on the Live View screen.

This feature makes it possible to check the image stabilization effects on the Live View screen that had been difficult with in-body image stabilization systems. The user can press the shutter button halfway to check the image stabilization effects on the display and decide on the composition for taking photos. The image remains on the display for two seconds after the shutter button is released, making it possible to stabilize the autofocus point and set framing. 3) Multi-motion IS.

The Multi-motion IS used in combination with the 5-Axis Image Stabilization mechanism produces excellent correction performance even during movie recording. Even the gradual but significant blurring that occurs while walking or due to breathing that had been difficult to correct using conventional correction mechanisms is handled effectively by the Multi-motion IS when using the movie blur-correction mode.

  1. FAST AF and a Short Release Time Lag mode that make quick responses possible.

Thanks to increases in the speeds of both the image sensor and arithmetic processing, the FAST AF system that on the OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5-which already was the world’s fastest has gotten even faster. In addition to the extremely high-speed FAST AF, the OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 also comes with a new short release time lag mode. With a time lag of only 0.044 seconds, instant photo opportunities will not get away from you even if you are photographing a subject moving at high-speed.

  1. Super Spot AF and Focus Peaking make it easier to focus.

1) Super Spot AF.

Further advances have been made to the magnification autofocus that is useful for when you want to be more precise in positioning the focus in a small area such as when shooting macro photos. The newly added Super Spot AF helps you to accurately bring into focus even extremely small subjects, as it allows you to select an area even smaller than the AF point for phase-difference autofocus and set a pinpoint autofocus on its center.

2) Small AF Target.

You can set your focus even more precisely by using the Small AF Target, which reduces the size of the Spot AF target, even for a 35-point full area that permits setting the entire Live View screen as your AF point.

3) Focus Peaking.

The camera has the Focus Peaking function that helps bringing shots into focus manually such as when taking photos using an old lens. The contours of a focus set close at hand are emphasized in white or black. This function used in conjunction with in-body image stabilization will dramatically improve the usability of manual focus lenses.

  1. High-speed sequential shooting at 9 fps.

Capture even subjects moving at high speeds with certainty using the sequential shooting feature to shoot as fast as 9 fps. High-speed sequential shooting as fast as 5 fps can be accomplished when using the Tracking AF (C-AF+Tr), which works in conjunction with the autofocus to follow your subject.

  1. New forms of photographic expression: Art Filter and PHOTO STORY.

The world of photographic expression has been greatly expanded with Art Filters for creatively coloring your photos and the PHOTO STORY for creating the story of the scene through multiple photos. These are unique Olympus features for presenting everyday casual moments in varied and individual ways.

1) Olympus’ Art Filters for expanding the world of photographic expression.

Twelve kinds of Art Filters are offered for stirring the sparks of imagination. A broad range of 398 different variations can be put together between seven Art Effects and Frame Effects, and your powers of expression are further expanded. If you can’t make up your mind about choosing a filter, you can use the Art Filter Bracketing function to generate multiple pictures with Art Filters with a single shot and then view them as a slideshow. Between the fun of seeing ordinary scenes change as though you’re looking at them through a kaleidoscope and the unexpected effects of filters on them, this feature will lead to making new discoveries in ordinary scenes. Art Filter Bracketing can be applied to recorded RAW format data by in-camera RAW processing.

2) Snap a single scene from multiple viewpoints with PHOTO STORY.

By collecting photos, you can begin to tell a story of your everyday moments-a PHOTO STORY. By merely tapping the Live View screen to take your photos, you can enjoy a new kind of photography experiences and of photographic expression by snapping off a given moment from a variety of perspectives. Two thematic modes are available: “Standard,” which offers a rich variety of patterns, effects, aspect ratios, and division numbers, and “Fun Frame,” which makes refined and fun photos possible based around three stylish variations. The PHOTO STOTY feature can help you to turn both everyday scenes and memorable moments into something colorful and unique.

  1. Interval Shooting and Time Lapse Movies.

1) Interval Shooting.

The camera features a new interval shooting function where the time interval (1 second to 24 hours) and number of shots (1 to 99) can be set. With a very simple operation, users can shoot a series of pictures showing the growth of a plant, the drifting of clouds, moving crowds or a butterfly emerging from chrysalis form. 2) Time Lapse Movies.

Users can easily convert a series of pictures taken using interval shooting into a time-lapse movie, in a camera, like those often seen in movies or documentary films. Art Filters can also be used to produce even more creative time-lapse movies.

  1. Movie Teleconverter and Art Fade to expand the scope of moving image expression.

The Teleconverter feature allows the user to select a part of a movie during movie recording by tapping it on the touchscreen panel and switch back and forth between the magnified movies and the wide movies without deterioration. Using it brings more fun to movie recording, allowing the user to capture the atmosphere at school plays, sporting events, and the like while zooming in for close ups of children’s faces matched to a given scene. Also, by tapping on the touchscreen during movie recording and then selecting one of the Art Filters, the user can create more artistic movies with the selected filter in which the image gradually changes.

  1. Superb image quality inherited from the OLYMPUS OM-D.

The camera incorporates three advanced technologies that help it to produce the highest image quality of any mirrorless system.

1) High-performance M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens, a product of traditional optics technology.

To take high-quality photos, you need a lens with superior optical performance. The camera’s M.ZUIKO DIGITAL lens-created with the lens design traditions and manufacturing techniques of that noted optical equipment manufacturer-demonstrate their superb optical characteristics in creating superior image quality.

2) New 16M Live MOS Image Sensor for expanding low-sensitivity options and adding higher speeds.

Speed options have been expanded to range from ISO25600 as the maximum sensitivity to ISO LOW (equivalent to 100) on the low end. Together with the 1/8000 sec. high-speed shutter, this feature further expands the scope of photographic expression by allowing, for example, for defocusing effects to be produced on bright days. The capacity to reduce noise considerably across the high-sensitivity domain will preserve details even for dark places shot at night. The rich dynamic range also makes for smooth gradation expressions of scenes where the contrast is great, allowing the user to beautifully depict light and shadow that previously could not be captured.

3) TruePic VI image processing engine to fully bring out the capabilities of the lens and sensor.

The Fine Detail Processing suppresses the generation of false colors and moiré to produce clear images with a high resolution quality. The camera’s Real Color Technology has made it possible to reproduce even more faithfully such colors as emerald green and yellow that are otherwise difficult to reproduce. The TruePic VI image processing engine technology exclusive to Olympus will fully bring out the capabilities of high image quality lenses and sensors.

  1. Advanced Live Bulb.

If you use the advanced Live Bulb mode, you can look on the monitor to determine the optimal exposure even for photographing bulb-dependent subjects like fireworks or stars where you previously had to rely solely on experience and intuition. Furthermore, when taking photos in the Live Bulb mode the camera automatically reduces the monitor’s brightness to prevent glare. We also made it easier to use by making it possible to display a histogram and the elapsed time of an exposure.

  1. i-AUTO automatically selects from among 42 different shooting modes.

i-AUTO is an intelligent photography mode through which the camera selects from among 42 different photography modes the one matched to the subject to automatically produce the optimal photo. It automatically picks from among such complex photography settings as “Portrait + Backlighting & Vivid Colors” or “Spotlight” and takes the photo. The OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 detects the subject’s movements before taking a photo and instantaneously adjusts the ISO and shutter speed, reducing also any blurring of the subject.

  1. 1.04 million dot, 3-inch Tilt-type Touch Panel LCD.

The OLYMPUS PEN E-P5 is equipped with a 1.04 million dot high-definition tilt-type touch panel LCD. The tilt can be adjusted to face upwards at an 80-degree angle and downwards at a 50-degree angle; this provides a great deal of freedom in the photos the user can take, opting for the high-angle shots used at weddings or sporting events or the low-angle shots suited to photographing children or pets. The highly responsive capacitative touch panel is equipped with a fingerprint resistant coating, easily allowing for taking photographs by tapping the screen. Using a gapless structure that has eliminated air layers, we created a monitor that suppresses reflected light internally and controls drops in contrast at high viewing angles.

  1. High-performance built-in flash.

We improved the flash synchronization speeds of the internal GN7 (ISO100) and the GN10 (ISO200) flashes by 1/320 of a second. That made it easier to take backlit shots and other synchro photo during the daytime. It also has a commander function, so users can also easily take shots with sophisticating lighting using a wireless flash. Users can also make detailed manual flash settings.