Gadgets for humans

Olympus unveils the retro-inspired PEN E-P5 with a 16MP sensor, up to 1/8000 shutter speed and Wi-Fi connectivity

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Olympus has unveiled the latest in its flagship range of Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Olympus PEN E-P5, which continues to blend vintage design aesthetics with high-end performance and versatility.

The new mirrorless camera sports much of the same hardware found in the popular, but quite expensive Olympus OM-D E-M5. It has the same 16-megapixel TruePic VI Live MOS sensor, as well as 5-axis image stabilization, a fast AF sysem and more.

The new PEN E-P5 is also the first Compact System Camera to offer a mechanical shutter with speeds of up to 1/8000. That’s an insane shutter speed that should ensure that even the most fast-moving objects, such as insects or racing cars, can be captured with the utmost clarity.

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The speed of the built-in flash has also been greatly improved, with a sync speed of up to 1/320 of a second. Most photographers usually avoid the ‘pop-up’ flash wherever possible, as it tends to flatten and spoil the shot, but it’s a welcome addition all the same.

The PEN E-P5 is also the first interchangeable lens camera from Olympus to support Wi-Fi connectivity. Setup involves scanning a QR code, shown on the camera’s impressive 1.04 million dot high-definition tilt-type display, and pairing the two over a Wi-Fi network created by the camera.

Olympus is also launching a free smartphone capp, called Olympus Image Share 2.0, so that the smartphone and E-P5’s screens are synchronized. Canon has introduced a similar feature for its digital SLR range, enabling users to control the camera and take shots regardless of where they are in relation to the tripod.

As with many other camera manufacturers, Olympus is also offering some new software features to mimick some of the most popular apps found on smartphones and tablets. Photo Story+ lets snappers take a number of photographs from different positions and then stitch them together into a single collage, while also supporting stamps or signatures using the Olympus Image Share app.

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There are also 12 artistic filters, the ability to shoot time lapse movies – with interval times ranging between 1 second and 24 hours, as well as a live bulb mode for reducing monitor glare and displaying a real-time histogram.

The PEN E-P5 is compatible with all of Olympus’ existing Micro Four Thirds lenses, and will be available from May in black, silver or white. It will be sold for $999.99 body only, or $1,449.99 with a black M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f1.8 lens and VF-4 electronic viewfinder.

Image Credit: YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

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Published May 10, 2013 — 08:38 UTC