Product Support

E-PL5

Select the topic that best matches your question: 


Can I adjust the sound level the shutter release makes?

This model has a true Focal Plane Shutter so the sound you are hearing is the actual sound of the shutter physically opening and closing.  It is not possible to alter the volume of the shutter sound.

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Is movie editing possible with the bundled software?

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 HD Edition for Windows supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the .AVI Motion-JPEG format. With the AVCHD format, only clipping is possible. "Clipping" means extracting a still image from one frame of a movie file. This software can also convert .AVI movie files to the AVCHD format.

OLYMPUS Viewer 2 for Macintosh supports clipping, joining and fading movies in the AVI Motion JPEG format. It does not support AVCHD-formatted movies.

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How do I enable the optional navigation interfaces such as the Live Control and Super Control Panel options?

The CONTROL SETTING function determines which camera navigation options are available in each shooting mode. While the hierarchical menu is always available by pressing the [MENU] button, CONTROL SETTING presents convenient short-cut options to help you quickly access frequently used controls. The control view options are LIVE GUIDE¹, LIVE CONTROL and SCP (Super Control Panel).

The LIVE GUIDE view, designed for novice photographers, lets you fine adjust photographic effects such as brightness, color saturation, color balance and background blur using convenient and intuitive slide bars. As you move a slider up or down with the arrow keys, you can preview the effect of the change on the OLED screen before you snap the picture. A technical understanding of photography concepts and jargon is not necessary.

The LIVE CONTROL view presents narrow banners along the right side of, and at the bottom of, the OLED screen. The banner on the right is filled with icons that represent camera settings such as White Balance and ISO; use the Up and Down arrows to select a setting you wish to edit. The bottom banner contains icons that represent the options available for the selected setting; use the Left and Right arrows to scroll through the options and select a setting. Press the [OK] button to activate the new setting.

The SCP view presents the Super Control Panel, a grid that overlays the image on the OLED screen. Use the arrow buttons to select a setting on the grid and press the [OK] button to activate it.

Before you can access a control view from a particular shooting mode, it must be activated for that mode by changing its CONTROL SETTING value to ON. The CONTROL SETTING function is located in the Custom Menu D icon submenu.

Once a control view is activated, you can access it by pressing the [OK] button. If multiple views are activated for a particular shooting mode, pressing the [INFO] button repeatedly will cycle through the enabled views. To exit any control view, press the shutter button halfway down.

¹ LIVE GUIDE is available only when the Mode Dial is set to iAUTO. Because iAUTO is a fully automated shooting mode, some settings cannot be adjusted when using LIVE GUIDE.

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What is the purpose of the filters in the Monotone Picture Mode?

In black-and-white film photography, different colored filters are placed in front of the lens to modify the tones in the final image. These are called contrast filters. One popular effect created with contrast filters results in a landscape photograph with majestic clouds against an almost black sky. This effect is obtained by shooting through a deep red filter, which makes the blue in the sky darker.

A general rule of thumb regarding the use of contrast filters is: The filter makes its own color lighter in tone and its opposite color darker in tone.

The E-PL5 is able to create these effects without using physical filters by modifying the performance of the red, green and blue color channels in the MONOTONE mode.

The functions of the B&W filters are described below:

  • RED - The red filter darkens blues and greens and lightens reds. In landscape photography, it produces dark skies that make clouds look more dramatic. The red filter can also cut through atmospheric haze to some degree. It can be used in portraiture to diminish skin blemishes on light-skinned people.
  • YELLOW - The yellow filter darkens the blue in the sky so clouds separate from the sky without producing the dramatic effect of the red filter. Many black and white photographers routinely keep a yellow filter on their camera because the effects appear more natural than those of other filters. In copy photography of old documents, the yellow filter brightens the look of yellowed paper.
  • ORANGE - The effect of the orange filter falls midway between that of the red and yellow filters.
  • GREEN - The green filter lightens plants in images. It will also make red subject matter darker and add contrast to sunsets.
  • NEUTRAL - No adjustments are applied. 

The B&W Filter effects can be previewed on the Live View screen before shooting.

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What are the differences among the three Image Stabilizer functions?

The Image Stabilizer has the following three options:

  • I.S. 1 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for camera shake on both the horizontal and vertical planes.
  • I.S. 2 - The Image Stabilizer only corrects for vertical camera shake. This is to allow a photographer to use a low shutter speed and pan horizontally for creative effect. Situations in which this technique can be applied include tracking rapidly moving subjects such as flying birds, running wildlife, racing cars and athletes with the intention of blurring the background for a visual effect in the image. The result would be a sharply defined subject against a blurred background that might otherwise appear cluttered.
  • I.S. 3 - The Image Stabilizer corrects for horizontal camera shake. Use when panning the camera horizontally with the camera held in portrait orientation.

When attaching the camera to a lens other than a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds lens, the Image Stabilizer corrects the camera shake based on the focal length of the lens. You must manually set this value. The focal length can be set from 8 mm to 1000 mm. Set the focal length to the value (or the nearest value) that is displayed on the lens.

Notes:

  • The image stabilizer cannot correct excessive camera shake or camera shake that occurs when using an extremely slow shutter speed. Use a tripod so your camera remains steady when shooting. When using a tripod, set IMAGE STABILIZER to OFF.
  • When attaching the camera to a lens with its own image stabilizer function, turn off the image stabilizer function of either the lens or the camera.
  • The image stabilizer will not operate when you shoot with a shutter speed of greater than 2 seconds.

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I have a lens from another manufacturer that has built-in optical image stabilization. Will I get more image stabilization if I also use the image stabilization in the camera?

In such a scenario, it is recommended to use one or the other, but not both image stabilizers simultaneously. If both lens and body image stabilization are being used at the same time, the combination may be counter-productive because the camera image stabilization would be trying to compensate for the lens image stabilization and may not be able to arrive at a stabilized image.

The E-PL5 has a Lens I.S. Priority menu option. When On is selected, priority is given to the lens function operation when using a lens with built-in image stabilization.

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Sometimes when I turn the camera off, I feel a slight vibration. Why is that?

When the camera is powered down, slight vibration and noise occur as the Image Stabilizer motor resets the image sensor to its default position. The camera takes this action when shooting with the Image Stabilizer function set to I.S. 1, I.S. 2 or I.S. 3. In these modes, the camera moves the sensor during shooting in order to counter the effects of camera shake. When the power is turned off, the camera moves the sensor back into the default position.

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How do I update the firmware in the E-PL5 body and the Micro Four Thirds lenses?

For complete instructions, please download this file.

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Can I use the E-PL5 to update the firmware of any Micro Four Thirds system compliant lens?

The answer depends on what company manufactured the lens.

Olympus Imaging Corp., Panasonic Corporation and Sigma Corporation offer a joint firmware update service that makes it possible to download and install firmware for one another's Micro Four Thirds System-compliant and Four Thirds System-compliant lenses when the lenses are attached to any of the companies' Micro Four Thirds System-compliant cameras. The service is not available for Four Thirds System-compliant lenses manufactured by other companies, such as Kodak, Fuji and Sanyo.

Panasonic/Leica and Sigma lenses mounted on this camera can be updated using the OLYMPUS Digital Camera Updater software. For details on how to acquire the software and how to update the firmware of a Micro Four Thirds or Four Thirds System lens or camera, please click here.

For more information on the joint firmware update service, please click here.

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What are the P, A, S and M Modes and how are they used?

The P, A, S and M modes are exposure modes. These exposure modes allow the photographer creative flexibility by enabling more control over shutter speed and f-stop settings while shooting. The exposure modes enable total access to the menu options, unlike the AUTO and Scene exposure modes found in Olympus consumer DSLRs. They are also the modes required for use with E-System flash accessories.

Briefly, the exposure modes and their applications are as follows:

  • P (Program/Program Shift shooting) – This is an automatic exposure mode that accepts input from the photographer. It is useful when you require more creative control. When powered on with this mode selected, the camera displays P in the lower left corner of the screen.

    In P mode, the exposure is set by the camera. However, holding down the Exposure Compensation button while rotating either dial allows the photographer to adjust the exposure selected by the camera.

    For even greater control, rotate the main dial or subdial until the P changes to Ps. This is the Program Shift mode. Program Shift permits the selection of alternate aperture and shutter speed combinations while maintaining the exposure selected by the camera. If a higher shutter speed is selected, a wider aperture will be set. If a slower shutter speed is selected, a smaller aperture will be set. To cancel Program Shift, rotate the dial in the opposite direction until Ps is no longer displayed. Program Shift is not available when using the flash.

  • A (Aperture Priority shooting) – This mode allows the aperture to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over depth-of-field, that is, the area in front of or behind the subject that appears to be in focus. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any aperture in the range of the lens by rotating the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the shutter speed automatically as the f-stops are changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • S (Shutter Priority shooting) – This mode allows the shutter speed to be set manually, thereby giving the photographer control over stopping action or reducing camera shake. This mode also uses Program Shift, so the photographer can select any shutter speed in the range of the camera body by using the main dial or sub dial. The camera compensates for the exposure by changing the aperture automatically as the shutter speed is changed. If the shutter speed/aperture combination will result in under- or overexposure, the exposure values will blink on the monitor display and on the Super Control Panel (if enabled).

  • M (Manual shooting) – This mode allows the photographer to set the shutter speed and aperture independently. Program Shift is not applied in this mode. Manual mode is invaluable to photographers using studio electronic flash systems and manual hot shoe electronic flashes because it allows the user to set the correct sync speed for flash and set an f-stop determined by a flash meter reading or testing. It also allows for use in exotic photographic situations such as scientific and engineering photography beyond the parameters of the camera firmware. In the Manual shooting mode the shutter speed is set using the main dial and the aperture is set using the sub dial.

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In the CARD SETUP menu, the options are ALL ERASE and FORMAT. What are the differences between these options?

ALL ERASE deletes all of the images from the memory card directory except for those that have been protected. FORMAT deletes all of the images from the memory card directory and overwrites the directory. In both cases, the actual digital images are still on the memory card until new images are shot that overwrite the old images. Therefore, if images are inadvertently erased or formatted, it may be possible to retrieve them via image recovery software.

If ALL ERASE is used exclusively to delete images, over time a buildup of artifacts in the directory may corrupt the memory card. The FORMAT option is recommended to preserve the integrity of the memory card and extend its useful life.

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How do I use the different metering modes?

The E-PL5 provides several metering options that allow the photographer to have greater creative control over exposure.  The metering modes can be set via the Live Control screen, the Super Control Panel or the camera menu.

Descriptions and applications of the metering modes are detailed below:

Digital ESP metering is recommended for general use.  The E-PL5 measures and calculates the light differences in 324 separate areas of the image.
Center Weighted Averaging metering provides average metering between the subject and the background lighting, placing more weight on the center of the frame. Use this mode to prevent the light level of the background from affecting the exposure value of the main subject.
Spot metering meters an area of about 2% of the frame around the center AF frame. This mode can be used to meter a backlit subject. Spot metering must be used very carefully because the brightness of the subject area that the metering spot is centered on can dramatically influence the final exposure.
HI Spot metering performs the same as Spot metering but compensates toward overexposure, allowing accurate white reproduction. For example: with normal Spot metering, snow would be captured as grey rather than white. The HI Spot Metering compensates so that the snow would appear whiter in the exposure.
SH Spot metering is the inverse of HI Spot metering and compensates toward underexposure to keep dark areas from exposing lighter toward grayness. An example would be photographing a black cat on a light background. SH Spot metering would underexpose the cat so that it would expose as black rather than gray.

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What is the purpose of Exposure Compensation?

Metering systems in cameras measure light but do not have a way of determining what the subject matter is, so the exposure decisions the metering system makes may not always be appropriate for the subject matter. This phenomenon is called subject failure. As with Spot metering, the human touch may be required to arrive at correct exposures. Exposure Compensation allows the photographer to set up the camera to under- or overexpose in specific situations.

The Exposure Compensation scale is displayed on the monitor.

It is important to set the compensation back to 0 before shooting subjects in other conditions so the subjects will be properly exposed. When the Exposure Compensation is set to 0, the scale is not displayed on the monitor.

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How does this camera control noise commonly found at high ISOs?

Digital cameras vary the light sensitivity of the image sensor by varying the gain voltage applied to the sensor, much like turning up the volume on a stereo. When the gain voltage is increased, as it is when shooting with higher ISOs, the sensor becomes hot. Hot pixels perform differently under extreme conditions. The result is a graininess known as “noise.”

Noise occurs whenever sufficient heat has built up on the image sensor. Therefore, it can also be seen in images with long exposures, such as night photographs, due to the additional heat generated by charging the sensor for an extended period of time. All digital cameras include technologies to minimize the effects of noise. This camera uses a sensor that dramatically decreases noise. In addition, it combats noise via two methods: NOISE FILTER and NOISE REDUCTION.

The NOISE FILTER function is found in the menu. It has four options: OFF, LOW, STANDARD and HIGH. The majority of digital cameras have a default noise filter that is always on. Some photographers feel that this reduces detail, so Olympus has included the option to not use a noise filter at all.

If NOISE FILTER is set to OFF, it is recommended to set the SHARPNESS setting to –2. If  SHARPNESS is set to 0 it may exaggerate the noise when no noise filtering is being applied.

The NOISE REDUCTION function reduces the noise that is generated during long exposures, and can also be enabled from the menu. After the first exposure, the camera makes a second exposure of equal length with the shutter closed. It then, in effect, overlays the two images, finds the hot pixels in the second image (essentially, any pixels that aren't black) and deletes the corresponding pixels from the first image. This doubles the shooting time. If the first exposure is 12 minutes 30 seconds, the second, black exposure will also be 12 minutes 30 seconds for a total exposure time of 25 minutes.

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Can this camera be used for time-lapse photography?

This camera's Anti-shock function can be used in conjunction with the sequential shooting drive mode to shoot time lapse photography sequences. The series of captured images can later be converted into movies using third-party software.

Anti-shock is used to delay firing the shutter after the shutter button has been pressed. This allows any vibration to dissipate before the exposure is made. Anti-shock allows intervals of up to 30 seconds to be preset.

When combined with sequential shooting, Anti-shock can be used to command the camera to shoot at preset intervals much like the way an intervalometer can control a camera. In this configuration, the camera will take the first picture when the shutter button is pressed and then it will continue to capture images at the preset interval – for example, every 5 seconds – until one of the following occurs:

  • The shutter button is released.
  • The memory card capacity is reached.
  • The camera records the maximum number of images. The limit varies depending on the selected record mode and the speed of the memory card. For example, when shooting with a Toshiba SDHC UHS-I memory card (R95-W80, Premiugate series, speed class 10, 8GB), the camera can capture 17 sequential frames in the RAW record mode or up to the card capacity in the LN (Large size, Normal compression) JPEG record mode.

Using the optional Remote Cable Release (RM-UC1) will be more convenient because the remote can be locked once the button on the remote control is pressed and the camera will continue to shoot unattended. To purchase the RM-UC1, click here.

Notes: Olympus recommends mounting the camera on a tripod or securing it with a camera clamp when shooting time-lapse sequences. It is also recommended to use Manual Focus to prevent focus from shifting during the sequence. A lower quality record mode may have to be used to reduce the size of the frames when creating a movie.

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Can I use my OM-Series lenses on the E-PL5?

Olympus OM-series lenses can be mounted on the E-PL5 with the optional MF-2 OM Adapter. OM-series lenses are unable to communicate with the firmware in the camera's body. Therefore, their use in this fashion has the following restrictions:

  • Autofocus is not available.
  • OM- series autofocus lenses cannot be manually focused.
  • Stop-down metering is used.
  • Spot metering does not work properly.
  • Although it is possible to use the A (Aperture priority AE) shooting mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
  • The aperture display in the M (Manual) shooting mode is not available.
  • In P (Program Auto) or S (Shutter Speed priority) shooting mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure control does not work.
  • The distance scale on the OM-series lens may not indicate the actual distance. Use the Live View screen (or optional viewfinder VF-1) for focusing.

Because the OM-series lenses were designed for film rather than for use with a digital sensor, the image quality may not equal that produced by M.Zuiko® Digital and Zuiko® Digital lenses.

To purchase the MF-2 OM Adapter (Item #260051) from The Olympus Store, click here.

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I have a third-party electronic flash. Can I use it with the E-PL5?

Flash units that are not specifically listed by Olympus as compatible with this camera may pose problems if used on this camera.

Thyristor-type flash units can be used with the E-PL5’s Manual shooting mode as long as the sync voltage does not exceed 24 VDC (volts of direct current). Higher voltages may potentially damage the camera.

Third-party TTL flash units will not have TTL capability but possibly may be used with Manual exposure control. Olympus can only guarantee the operation of Olympus flash units.

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Can I use the E-PL5 with studio flash equipment?

The E-PL5 uses an electronic rather than mechanical sync circuit that is rated at 24 VDC maximum sync voltage. Also, the polarity of the studio flash sync pulse may be opposite the polarity of the E-PL5 sync circuitry.

Studio flash equipment should be connected to the E-PL5 using the Safe Sync Hot Shoe to PC Sync Adapter. The adapter protects the camera from excessive sync voltage up to 400 VDC, and automatically corrects sync pulse polarity.

This item (#200329) may be purchased from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order from The Olympus Store, click here.

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