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First touch . E5 . Olympus

This entry was posted on Nov 03 2010

Thanks to Olympus Malaysia for allowing me to test out this pre production unit. I have been told Olympus E-5 have excellent performance when come to anti-shake technology which is body integrated Image Stabilization. The new E-5 also latest image engine which is TRUEPIC V+ with fine detail process technology.

A quick check on specification of this machine shows that:

Reliability

  • Large viewfinder with professional-level coverage of 100% and 1.15x magnification for accurate image control
  • Spotless photography with most effective dust reduction system (Supersonic Wave Filter)
  • Splashproof body and lens system
  • Professional quality shutter life of 150K operations
Image Quality

  • High-performance built-in image stabiliser to stabilise all lenses (up to 5 EV steps) with two modes
  • High Speed 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS sensor
  • High image quality with a variety of bright dedicated-to-digital ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses
  • TruePic V+ image processor
Creativity

  • High-resolution 3 inch 921000 dots Dual Axis Swivel Hyper Crystal LCD
  • Dramatic Tone Art Filter and 9 additional Art Filters give endless imaging ideas
  • Nine aspect ratios
  • Built-in Wireless flash control with commander function
  • Multi-exposure mode

For this first touch series, I will only test on few aspect on this machine and I will share my experience and feedbacks from the on the field test. I will not provide feature comparison with other brand, I will not test pixel details on how good or who have better pixel quality picture as well. I must admit that I have no experience handling olympus E system before, the last I tried during photo exhibition booth is E-1 series which is quite impress with toughness of this machine. E-5 offer almost same confident build to me too.


What do I test?

The straightforward is bring it to the field, in this case it’s 9 emperor god event which I covered for years as part of my documentary project, with ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 attached, I try to do some test shot “out of the box”, no manual read. Dummy test.


Camera control

Being non Olympus user before, it’s perfectly understand I need to spent a bit time to navigate around the dials, and settings. I could not comment that those are no good but in shorts, I able to get the right setting I need to get the pictures.

Focusing

Being Canon user, I will straight compare to it but the comparison is not apple to apple to me as the lense I have in my test machine are not the ‘high speed’ range, which I use to use in my usual shooting activities (I use Canon 16-35mm 2.8 L most of the time), selecting the points are easy and I believe with better lense I should able to get the focusing right at ease. I also not sure whether it’s because it’s pre production unit, and I think the actual machine on the market will be have good focusing.

Testing the mage Stabilization

I must admit I’m impress with the end result I got. Why I said that? I like to shot on available lights, so iso and also the IS (Image stabilization) capabilities will be important to me to achieve the result I want from the pictures I took. (psst! hand held, no tripod or monopod help)

Exif data below. Full size picture download here: http://flic.kr/p/8QnEe2

Yes, I’m getting SHARP picture even as low as 1/5 shutter speed which I don’t think I will be able to get that from my canon machine. The picture above only doing minor leveling in photoshop and no USM applied. Sharpness is there definitely.

My initial test is shooting in RAW mode as I’m a fan of raw files, but being too smart, I forgot there are no software available to process these raw files, Adobe lightroom have no updates to read this format neither photoshop or any other software I have to be able to read them. Frankly speaks, I do have some panic moment I only realize that then it will be totally waste of efforts after hours of shooting and I can’t export out as jpg!

No RAW reader? No problem! Here come the helps!

After navigate around the camera, I found actually I can do minor processing and export as jpg from the camera! kind of cool but each time you export the file, the navigation back to first picture which you have to browse through again for next processing. Nevertheless, I’m happy that I able to export out few pictures as jpg for viewing.

Exif below: Full size picture download here: http://flic.kr/p/8QnUJn

High-resolution 3 inch 921000 dots Dual Axis Swivel Hyper Crystal LCD

With the help of swivel LCD, getting shots from high angle become ease for me.

exif:: Full size picture download here: http://flic.kr/p/8Qr1t1

Conclusion

As olympus web site points out, E-5 indeed have the their advantages and I hope the actual unit in the market will have true fast focus and also better white balance handling, image stabilization and LCD swivel indeed handy when in some situation, allow me to achieve better composition picture and desire result. A machine worth a second look.

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