Olympus PEN EP-5 first look

I have a confession to make. I am a gear addict. There, I've come clean. There isn't a camera in the world I wouldn't own if I could!

My usual everyday cameras are Nikon full frames (D700 and the D750). Prior to that I was Canon with the 5D but I got sick of fighting it for focus and made the big switch and am very happy; especially now with the 750D which feels like the perfect camera fit for me (the D700 is just a tiny bit big for my hands to be 100% comfortable).

So with all the recent talk of mirrorless cameras I became intrigued. Many of my friends are making the switch completely to mirrorless and I decided it was worth delving into. After a lot of research I decided that the Olympus Pen EP-5 seemed like a great fit for me. It's not as expensive as the OM-D EM-1 but it has great specs and looks awesomely retro!

First look after unboxing! How cool is that styling!

First look after unboxing! How cool is that styling!

I haven't had much chance to use it as battery charging took absolute hours, but my first thoughts on it are:

1. Battery charging takes HOURS! I'm definitely going to have to invest in a spare battery.

2. This camera looks and feels amazing. I absolutely love it. It's a little slippery on the back because of the screen, but the weight feels perfect and I just love the way it looks.

3. This is a complicated piece of equipment. It took me ages to figure out how to change the aperture and even longer to find out how to turn off the annoying beep. The menus are not really intuitive. I couldn't shoot with it straight out of the box; it really involved reading the complete manual first! Having said that, for anyone just shooting straight out in auto it would probably have been pretty quick and easy. I have ways I like my cameras set up which always makes things that bit more difficult.

4. The camera came with the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 kit lens. I also bought the 17mm f1.8 as I'm not a fan of variable aperture kit lenses.  In a quick test, the 17mm is really, really nice. Very sharp and lovely colours. The Olympus definitely has a 'look'. I was quite surprised by the quality of the kit lens too. It is sharp (not as sharp as the 17mm but far better than the Canon kit lens I owned years ago) and really quite useable. I always shoot RAW but I'm curious about how the jpegs straight out of camera would look. I'm thinking pretty nice.

I'm going to spend the next week running it through its paces and will then give my thoughts on it and some example shots after I've had time to spend really getting to know it. Should be fun!