Olympus PEN E-PL5: Touchscreens Make Micro-Four Thirds Better

Last year's Olympus Micro Four-Thirds cameras were very good. Well, now Olympus is bringing touchscreens to two of the cameras from the line that should make them easier to use than ever.

The 16.1 megapixel E-PL5 has higher resolution than its 12.3-megapixel predecessor. It also goes up to a higher 25600 standard ISO (compared to 12800), which means you'll be able to push the camera sensor to some absurd lengths without blowing up your images with noise. One of our favourite features about the PEN line's top E-P3 was its excellent touchscreen, which has been handed down to the new E-PL5. You'll now be able to use it to touch focus during movie recording -- a nice subtle improvement to the overall system. Another thing handed down to the new cameras is the image sensor from the OMD EM-5 which we liked so much.

Olympus is also updating the affordably priced PEN E-PM2 with a touchsceen. Really the only difference between the cameras is the form factor. The E-PM2 will cost $599 with a 14-42mm f3.5/5.6. The E-PL5 body and kit package will cost $799.

Overall, though, the new Olympus cameras are less exciting than the new compact interchangeable-lens offerings from Sony and Panasonic. These are a far cry from the rad Olympic OM-D EM-5 we saw earlier this year. But who knows, maybe that touchscreen will make a big difference.

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