Olympus E-5 Announced

The Olympus E-5 is the new flagship DSLR that replaces the aging Olympus E-3.  The E-5 features a 12.3MP Live MOS sensor, a 3″ swiveling LCD and sensor based image stabilization, among other new features.

The Olympus E-5 carries an initial retail price of $1699.99 and should be available in October 2010.  Check availability on Amazon.com.

Olympus E-5 Key Features

  • 12.3MP Live MOS Sensor
  • 720p HD Video Capture
  • Built-in Image Stabilization
  • ISO 100-6400
  • 11-point TTL Autofocus
  • 5 fps
  • 3″ Swivel LCD (920k dot resolution)
  • Built-in Wireless Flash Control
  • CF and SD Card Slots

More details in the press release below.

Olympus E-5 Press Release

Olympus Imaging Corporation (President Masaharu Okubo) today announced the launch of the E-5, the flagship model of the Olympus E-System series of interchangeable lens type digital SLR cameras. The new camera is scheduled for release on the end of October, 2010.

Main Features

  1. The highest Image quality available from any of our cameras, made possible by a 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor that maximizes the superior imaging potential of ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses together with the “TruePic V+” image processing engine with new “Fine-Detail Processing” technology.
  2. High reliability thanks to a rugged magnesium-alloy body, dust/splash-proof construction, and high-power Dust Reduction System.
  3. Free-angle shooting of both still images and movies using the 3-inch VGA HyperCrystal LCD monitor with the dual-axis swivelling system.

The E-5 is the new flagship model of the Olympus E-Series digital SLR camera lineup. The successor to the popular E-3, which came out in November 2007 and offered image quality designed to meet the demanding requirements of professionals and high-level amateurs, as well as the durability to withstand the most severe operating conditions, the E-5 inherits the highly reliable dust/splash-proof construction of the E-3 and the excellent imaging capability of ZUIKO DIGITAL. In addition, the new E-5 incorporates an array of impressive new features such as the multiple exposure, electronic level gauge and imager AF first introduced on the E-30 (released in December 2008), the advanced image processing engine popularized by the OLYMPUS PEN series, plus new Art Filter and HD movie functions.

Like the E-3, the new E-5 features a dust- and splash-proof body that makes extensive use of seals and is made of lightweight but rigid magnesium alloy. Any dust that does manage to penetrate to the image sensor is quickly removed by Olympus’s industry-leading Dust Reduction System. This make it possible for users to concentrate on taking pictures without worrying about the camera or lenses even under in punishing outdoor conditions.

As for image quality, the E-5 offers truly breathtaking performance thanks to its “TruePic V+” image processing engine with new Fine-Detail Processing technology. This enhances the sense of detail and resolution, maximizing the potential of the 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor to deliver pictures that are sharper and clearer than ever before. All of this works together to make the most of the imaging capability of ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses, which have already built an enviable reputation for outstanding performance.

To make it easy for users to take advantage of all that imaging power, the E-5 boasts the 3-inch VGA HyperCrystal LCD monitor with dual-axis swivelling system for more comfortable and more flexible Live View shooting of movies and still photographs.

Olympus is positioning the E-5 as its flagship digital SLR model, targeting it at professionals and serious amateurs, as well as marketing it as a step-up model for owners of popular-type SLR cameras such as the E-620. Together with the OLYMPUS PEN series of Micro Four Thirds interchangeable lens cameras that can be used as sub-cameras by professionals or as personal cameras by general users, the new E-5 is part of a line of products designed to satisfy the widest possible range of consumers.

Pricing & Launch Date

Category Product Name MSRP Launch Date
Interchangeable lens digital SLR camera OLYMPUS E-5 Body Open pricing Late October 2010

Other Features

  • The world’s fastest AF*1 with 11 Point-Full-Twin Cross AF Sensors
  • High-speed shutter of 1/8000 sec., High-speed sequential shooting of 5 frames/sec.
  • Responsive Live View shooting featuring imager AF compatible with any Four Thirds System lens and High-Speed Imager AF
  • Built-in image stabilization mechanism with compensation up to 5 EV steps*2
  • Ten Art Filters including the new “Dramatic Tone” effect
  • Picture modes, including the newly added “i-FINISH” mode, now control Art Filters to add a sophisticated final touch to images
  • 720p HD movie and HDMI output for high-quality image
  • CF/SD dual slots
  • Large optical viewfinder with 100% field of view and 1.15x magnification
  • Extended function buttons and “My Set”
  • Underwater white balance control
  • Copyright owner information input
  • 2-frame and 7-frame AE bracketing functions added
  • Indication of the level gauge in/on the viewfinder, Control panel, Rear LCD monitor
  • Two dials plus cursor keys with high operability convenient for playback view
  • Multiple-exposure function to superimpose current view on top of previously captured image
  • Built-in flash with Commander function for wireless off-camera flash synchronization
  • Durable high-speed shutter tested to 150,000 releases*2

*1 Among digital SLR cameras available as of September 14, 2010. When the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD lens is used with the E-5 at a focal length of 60mm(120mm: 35mm equivalent).Based on Olympus’s in-house measurement conditions.
*2 In-house testing

Main Feature Details

  1. The highest Image quality available from any of our cameras, made possible by a 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS Sensor that maximizes the superior imaging potential of ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses together with the “TruePic V+” image processing engine with new “Fine-Detail Processing” technology.
    Tested and proven in the E-30 as well as in the PEN series, the 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS sensor renders images with extraordinary fidelity to detail, high resolution, rich gradations and bright, natural colour reproduction.
    To further enhance those images — especially the sense of resolution, the E-5 features newly developed optical filters and the new “TruePic V+” image processing engine with “Fine-Detail Processing” technology. While previous attempts to improve the resolution of fine subjects often led to problems such as pseudo-colours and moiré, Olympus’s new “Fine-Detail Processing” technology uses sophisticated algorithms to enhance the sense of resolution and to reduce pseudo-colours and moiré. The resulting images give the impression of having higher resolution than images with the same number of pixels shot on previous cameras.
    TruePic V+ image processing engine bring out the full potential of the ZUIKO DIGITAL lenses, whose excellent imaging capability has already been widely recognized by the public and the press. As a result, the new E-5 is able to offer the highest picture quality ever achieved by an Olympus SLR camera.
  2. High reliability thanks to a rugged magnesium-alloy body, dust/splash-proof construction, and high-power Dust Reduction System.
    The E-5 features the same rugged magnesium alloy body and dust/splash-proof design and high-power Dust Reduction System whose durability and reliability have been well established by the E-3.
    Made of a “thixomold” magnesium alloy with homogeneous composition, the camera body is extremely strong, durable, and lightweight. The E-5 boasts a rugged camera body featuring a dust/splash-proof construction, with all major parts, including the built-in flash, LCD monitor, and switches, sealed to keep out sand, dust, rain and splashes. When the body is combined with a similarly sealed dust- and splash-proof ZUIKO DIGITAL lens, users can shoot with confidence even under the most severe conditions.
    Olympus’s industry-leading Dust Reduction System features original supersonic wave technology that literally shakes off any dirt or dust that gets into the camera and onto the image sensor during lens replacement, as well the powder generated by friction during shutter movement. The powerful gravity acceleration produced by the supersonic vibrations of the SSWF (Super-Sonic Wave Filter) installed in front of the image sensor instantly flicks away debris to assure a clear, unmarred images. With the E-5′s powerful SSWF system, even tiny particles that are tightly bound by molecular attraction and cannot be removed by simple shaking or anti-static measures can be dislodged and trapped in the dust collection unit.
    This technology has been in use since the Olympus began its development of interchangeable lens type digital SLR cameras and has been highly evaluated by professionals and industry associations, winning of the Asahi Shimbun Invention Award, a special award of 2010 National Invention Awards bestowed by the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation.
  3. Free-angle shooting of both still images and movies using the 3-inch VGA HyperCrystal LCD monitor with the dual-axis swivelling system.
    The LCD monitor on the rear panel of the E-5 uses a 3-inch high-definition VGA HyperCrystal LCD with about 920,000 pixels. This monitor features a dual-axis swivelling system that allows free movement in both horizontal and vertical directions. This mechanism allows the user to easily shoot both still images and movies from any angle, whether high or low, monitoring the Live View image without strain or discomfort. This is especially useful for portrait shooting, which is often performed in the vertical format. As the camera can be held at waist level, the photographer’s view will be oriented downward, making the subject feel less self-conscious and enabling more relaxed, natural facial expressions to be captured.

Other Feature Details

The world’s fastest AF*1 with 11 Point-Full-Twin Cross AF Sensors
The 11-point AF sensor incorporated in the E-5 features a fully crossed array of 11 points, each of which is composed of two horizontal and vertical lines to improve accuracy. Dual sensing arrays on both vertical and horizontal axes are arranged in a unique half-pitch shifted pattern that dramatically improves autofocusing precision, making it possible to detect contrast in both horizontal and vertical directions and prevent subject patterns from interfering with AF operation. Determination of the position of the 11 AF points was based on statistical analysis of the positions of the main objects in thousands of different photos as well as input from professional photographers.
In the C-AF mode, both the focusing rate and the number of successively recordable frames have been significantly increased compared to the E-3.*2

*1 Among digital SLR cameras available as of September 14, 2010. When the ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 12-60mm f2.8-4.0 SWD lens is used with the E-5 at a focal length of 60mm(120mm: 35mm equivalent).Based on Olympus’s in-house measurement conditions.
*2 Firmware updating is required with some lenses. The release of the firmware is scheduled to coincide with the official launch of the E-5

High-speed shutter of 1/8000 sec., High-speed sequential shooting of 5 frames/sec.
The E-5’s maximum shutter speed is 1/8000 sec., with flash synchronization at 1/250 sec. When used with the FL-50R or FL-36R external flash units, it also supports the use of Super FP flash for daylight synchro (fill-in flash) shooting at shutter speeds up to 1/8000 sec., and its maximum continuous shooting speed is 5 frames per second.

Responsive Live View shooting featuring imager AF compatible with any Four Thirds System lens and High-Speed Imager AF
With all Four Thirds lenses, autofocusing in Live View shooting is performed by an imager AF that adjusts focus according to the AF signals received from the image sensor. When a lens compatible with the High-Speed Imager AF is used, autofocusing is possible at even higher speeds, while the expanded-frame AF makes it possible to select the distance-measuring focus points regardless of the predetermined AF points. This makes Live View shooting much easier, almost as easy as the PEN series cameras.

Built-in image stabilization mechanism with compensation up to 5 EV steps*
The E-5 is equipped with a sensor-shift image stabilization system to facilitate handheld, low-light and telephoto shooting. Driven by proprietary Olympus SWD (Supersonic Wave Drive) technology, it applies advanced image stabilization control algorithms to motion data sent from a high-precision gyro sensor, and instantly shifts the sensor via SWD actuators that offer outstanding response and controllability. Thanks to the system’s outstanding effectiveness, users can enjoy the equivalent of up to 5EV steps of image stabilization compensation*.
Because it is built into the camera body, the E-5′s image stabilization can be used with all ZUIKO DIGITAL and other lenses that comply with the Four Thirds System standard, providing effective image stabilization with everything from super wide-angle to super telephoto lenses, as well as fisheye and macro lenses. As a result, users can enjoy blur-free handheld shooting not only on telephoto shots, but also on long-exposure fisheye and super wide-angle shots in low light.

* In-house testing

Ten Art Filters including the new “Dramatic Tone” effect
Introduced to popular acclaim on the PEN series and featured on previous digital SLR cameras, the Art Filter function has proven to be a big hit with users as it makes sophisticated special effects photography one-touch easy. The version found on the E-5 offers all ten of the filter effects available with other Olympus digital SLR cameras, including the new “Dramatic Tone” effect. These filters allow anyone to easily create artistic images that reflect their own unique vision. Effects can be applied to both still images and movies*, and can be used in sequential shooting.

* When a movie is shot with an Art Filter effect, the frame rate and the ability to record audio vary depending on the effect type.

*New* Dramatic Tone
Represents real space in a more imaginary way by applying unrealistic tones of light and darkness based on local changes in contrast.

Pop Art
Enhances colors, making them stronger and more vivid to create high-impact images with a pop-art feel.

Soft Focus
Gives images a dream-like quality that creates a romantic and mystical atmosphere.

Pale & Light Color
Subdues highlights and shadows to assure muted color tonalities that evoke a mood of reflection and nostalgia.

Light Tone
Brightens the image to reveal more shadow detail and evoke a lighter mood.

Grainy Film
Recreates the classic grainy look and tonality of black & white photography, imparting a dramatic feel to images.

Pin Hole
Adjusts color and reduces brightness at the periphery, recreating the distinctive look of photos taken with a pinhole camera.

Diorama
Creates the look of a miniature diorama by enhancing color and contrast, and blurring the periphery to distort distance perception.

Cross Process
Simulates the unexpected color transpositions and look that result when negative film is processed with a positive film emulsion, or vice versa.

Gentle Sepia
Gives images the look of a vintage sepia-tone print, with gentle contrast and well-defined shadows.

Picture modes, including the newly added “i-FINISH” mode, now control Art Filters to add a sophisticated final touch to images

Standard picture modes have been expanded with the addition of the “i-FINISH” mode, which provides colourful reproduction and a greater feeling of presence at the time of shooting, and by putting the Art Filters under their control. This makes it possible to combine functions such as exposure or shutter speed prioritization with Art Filters, increasing the value of the Art Filter function to a more sophisticated class of user.

720p HD movie and HDMI output for high-quality image
HD-quality movies can be recorded with the widescreen 16:9 (1280 x 720, 30 fps) aspect ratio, as well as with the standard 4:3 (640 x 480, 30 fps) ratio. Because the image sensor is much larger than those used in normal camcorders, this camera not only delivers higher image quality but also makes it possible to exploit a variety of effects unique to interchangeable-lens photography, such as the defocused image backgrounds produced by controlling the aperture or the arresting perspectives that can be achieved with different interchangeable lenses. The electronic image stabilization mechanism is built into the body so it can stabilize movie images and reduce camera shake regardless of the lens used.
Manual controls (exposure, shutter speed, ISO sensitivity) and Art Filters can also be used when shooting movies. The camera can be connected to an HDMI-equipped TV set via a commercially available HDMI–HDMI Mini cable to view high-quality HD movies and still images.
Audio is recorded in linear PCM format — an uncompressed digital format noted for its super sound quality. Drawing on Olympus expertise in digital IC recorder technology, it assures outstanding fidelity and dynamic audio presence. After-the-fact audio and sound memos can also be easily added to previously taken photos. The camera body incorporates a monaural microphone but is also equipped with a stereo microphone jack so that stereo recording with higher audio quality is possible using external microphones.

CF/SD dual slots
Two slots are provided to allow use of both a CompactFlash (CF Type I) and an SD card (SDHC or SDXC). Data can be copied between different media and a second card can be used to backup the main card used for recording.

Large optical viewfinder with 100% field of view and 1.15x magnification
To enable accurate framing all the way to the corners of the image, the E-3’s large, high-precision pentaprism employs high refractive index glass, while its eyepiece optics use glass lenses. The result is a large, easy-view optical viewfinder with 100% field of view and 1.15x magnification. A highly reflective silver coating is used in the pentaprism, and all of the lenses are surface-coated to minimize optical loss, thereby ensuring bright, high-resolution viewfinder images.
The focusing screen is equipped with a Neo Lumi-Micro Mat for bright, easy-to-adjust manual focusing.

Extended function buttons and “My Set”
In addition to the traditional [Fn] (Function) button functions, the functions of the [・・・] (AF Target) button and Preview button can also be set as the button functions. This expands the range of camera customization according to suit the shooting style of each user.
Additionally, a Custom Reset function for registering desired reset targets and My Mode for registering frequently used settings, which were provided separately on previous models, are now integrated into a single “My Set” function. This function features greatly improved ease of use; for example, it enables temporary recall using a [Fn] button or setting during exposure mode selection.

Underwater white balance control
The newly developed “underwater white balance” is capable of automatically detecting and controlling the underwater colour tone, which can vary depending on such factors as depth, weather and seawater conditions. This makes it easy to shoot underwater pictures with vivid colours, including taking still pictures without the help of lighting and shooting movies with reduced blue cast. This function can be utilized on land as well as in the water, so there’s no need to change the white balance before and after diving.
As with the E-3, an aluminium-made underwater case from Anthis Co., Ltd. will be available for the E-5, under the model name of “NEXUS E-5″*. The E-5 can also use Olympus lens ports as well as the UFL-2 underwater flash (with the optical cable compatibility), and the release of gears for use with various lenses is also planned.

* For details on the product, release timing and MSRP, please contact Anthis Co., Ltd.

Copyright owner information input
A function has been added to enable input of photographer and copyright owner information in the Exif tag. These items of information can automatically be written in the Exif tag by setting the photographer and copyright owner information in the camera in advance. The information can be browsed on software such as OLYMPUS Viewer 2 or Adobe® Photoshop®.

2-frame and 7-frame AE bracketing functions added
The E-5 is compatible with 2-frame AE bracketing of standard exposure & + correction or standard exposure & – correction. Whether the + or – correction is applied can be selected on a menu. Furthermore, the E-5 is also capable of 7-frame AE bracketing.

Level gauge display in the viewfinder, control panel and Live View monitor
The built-in acceleration sensor of the camera displays two level gauges for the “roll” and “pitch” of the camera. The level gauge display is available in the viewfinder, on the LCD control panel and on the Live View monitor*. These gauges are convenient when the image does not contain a horizontal line or when the monitored image is too dark during nighttime shooting.

* Only the horizontal pitch is indicated when the optical viewfinder is used.

Two dials plus cursor keys with high operability convenient for playback view
The sub dial forwards the image to display while the main dial allows you to magnify or reduce the image as well as to display the divided image. The cursor keys can be used to shift the magnified section while you check where the displayed section is positioned on the screen.

Multiple-exposure function with LCD monitor display of current view on top of previously captured image
Multiple-exposure photos can be taken when using either the optical viewfinder or Live View. During Live View shooting, previously captured RAW image data can be displayed on the LCD monitor and used as the base for a multiple exposure, with currently visible scene overlaid on the base image. Up to 4 exposures can be made on a single frame, with or without auto gain adjustment according to the user’s preference. In addition, RAW format images already recorded on the camera’s memory card can also be composited together in the same way. So in addition to conventional multiple exposure images, they can also easily create multiple exposures of subjects widely separated in space and time.

Built-in flash with Commander function for wireless off-camera flash synchronization
The E-5 is equipped with a GN13 (ISO 100) built-in flash with TTL flash control. It also supports wireless multi-flash control without the use of an external commander unit when used with FL-50R and/or FL-36R external flashes, enabling users to easily control flash mode, brightness, and other settings for up to 3 groups of remote flash units via a menu displayed on the camera’s LCD monitor.

Durable high-speed shutter tested to 150,000 releases*
To withstand heavy-duty, professional use, the shutter unit uses a highly durable focal plane shutter with a vertical-travel metal blade mechanism that has been successfully tested to 150,000 shooting operation cycles*.

* In-house testing
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