Product Support


Select the topic that best matches your question: 

When recording movies I can hear the sound of the lens focusing, how can I reduce this sound?

When recording sound in a movie, the sound made by the lens and camera operating may be recorded. This is due to the proximity of the microphone to the lens. If desired, you can reduce these sounds by shooting with [AF Mode] set to [S-AF], or by limiting the amount of times you press the buttons. If your camera has the ability to use an external microphone this would allow you to extend the microphone away from the lens. If you are using a non-MSC lens, you may want to consider a lens with this type of mechanism which is near silent during AF operation.

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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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What are the main features of the E-PL5?

The OLYMPUS PEN E-PL5 is tailor-made for people who live active lives online and offline. It blends the high-quality imaging of a digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera with High Definition (HD) video capture, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and creative in-camera multimedia tools into an ultra-compact, yet stylish, metal body. No longer must you choose between powerful and portable; the E-PL5 will make you re-think what a small camera can do.

The E-PL5 showcases the best technologies of the acclaimed PEN Digital series -- a 16.1-megapixel Live MOS image sensor; 35-point autofocus (AF) system; intuitive, Live Control operation; in-camera image stabilization; the proven Supersonic Wave Filter (SSWF®) dust-reduction system; creativity-boosting Art Filters that can be applied to still images and movies alike; and a 3-inch, color, OLED touch screen -- and efficiently packages them all into a miniature frame.

The E-PL5's accessory port accommodates the bundled FL-LM1 external flash as well as the following optional accessories: VF-1 optical viewfinder, VF-2 and VF-3 electronic viewfinders, SEMA-1 external microphone adapter, MAL-1 Macro Arm Light, PP-1 PENPAL Bluetooth adapter and as well as supporting the FL-300R, FL-600R, and FL-14 flashes through the hotshoe.

In addition, the Imager AF Live View autofocus system now features continuous autofocus (C-AF) tracking and AF target registration. Now you can lock your subject into focus, and the camera will constantly adjust focus and exposure on your subject to compensate for your or your subject's motion. This mode helps you to keep fast-moving and unpredictable subjects in focus – from left to right and from back to front – automatically.

The E-PL5 also boasts the world's fastest autofocus when used with the new M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II R MSC, M.Zuiko Digital 12mm f2.0, and the M.Zuiko Digital 45mm f1.8 lenses.

A striking new feature in the E-PL5 is an OLED touch screen monitor. Rather than using the shutter button, you can tap the subject that you want in focus and the camera will autofocus on and shoot that subject. The touch screen feature can also be used with the Live Guide in the iAUTO mode and to scroll through photos during playback.

The E-PL5 also includes a new picture mode called iEnhance that automatically selects the correct exposure settings for subjects such as close-ups, sports and action scenes, landscapes, portraits and night scenes, and then applies additional adjustments to color or contrast, as needed, to make good images exceptional.

The E-PL5 also offers 12 Art Filters -- which automatically process images using special effects -- and a Scene Mode that automatically applies the ideal camera settings for specific shooting scenarios. Just choose one of the 23 available scenes, and the camera instantly becomes optimized for the shot.

The E-PL5’s manual movie mode allows for independent control of aperture and shutter for expanded creative control. This fine control allows you to express your vision exactly how you want in your HD videos.

Once you’ve captured your works of art, seamlessly mix your still images and videos in-camera to create a multimedia slideshow. Dub in one of the available background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation, and play it back in the camera or on any television (A/V cable included; Mini HDMI Type C cable sold separately). When connected to an HDTV, you can use the television’s remote to navigate camera menus and perform playback operations by activating HDMI CONTROL.

Finally, like all of Olympus’ PEN digital cameras, the E-PL5 supports all Micro Four Thirds-compliant lenses natively. With the addition of optional lens mount adapters it can also support Olympus’ Four Thirds-compliant E-System lenses and OM-series film lenses – as well as legacy lenses from a variety of manufacturers. No matter which lens you choose, the E-PL5’s in-body image stabilization ensures you’ll have Olympus’ best anti-blur protection.

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What are the differences between the E-PL5 and the E-PL3?

The E-PL5 has many upgraded specifications and functions, compared to the E-PL3. For example: The EPL-5 features a new tilt LCD "Self Portrait" that rotates 170 degrees so you can see it facing the camera. AF speed on par with the top of the line Micro Four Thirds model, the OM-D E-M5. Same image quality sensor and image processing technology as the OM-D E-M5. Improved ISO sensitivity up to 25,600 for low light photography. New filter options when shooting in Monochrome and ability to change the art filter in use during movie recording. Customizable self-timer so you can take multiple shots at user set intervals. You can also employ a 4x digital telephoto in Movie Mode. Automatic image rotation in playback is now by default. The E-PL5 adds touchscreen capability. Additionally, the E-PL5 also has a removable grip to improve holding the camera where there was none available for the E-PL3. The comparison chart can be found here


  • The number of effective pixels has increased from 12.3 to 16.1 effective pixels.
  • Speed of sequential shooting has increased from 4.1 to 8.0 frames per second.
  • In-camera RAW edit has been enhanced to include more control over the final image similar to the settings available in the included Viewer II software.
  • Flash Air card support

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What types of memory cards can be used with the E-PL5?

The E-PL5 accepts SD media, including SD, SDHC and SDXC cards, in capacities ranging from 128 MB to 64 GB. It supports the SD speed class and the UHS-1 speed class, and it is Wi-Fi compatible when used with an optional Eye-Fi or Toshiba FlashAir card.

When shooting HD movies, please use a card with an SD speed class of 6 or higher or a UHS-1 speed class.

The E-PL5 does not accept xD-Picture Card media or CompactFlash® cards.

Memory cards are optional accessories and must be purchased separately. Olympus does not manufacture memory media. For a list of memory cards that have been tested and are known to be compatible with the E-PL5, please click here.

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Why doesn't this camera have a built-in optical viewfinder?

This camera does not offer a traditional viewfinder because of its compact size. The VF-1,VF-2 and VF-3 are compatible accessory viewfinders. The VF-1 is an optical viewfinder intended for use with the M.Zuiko Digital 17 mm lens; it attaches to the camera's hot shoe. The VF-2 and VF-3 are electronic viewfinders that attach via the hot shoe and accessory port.

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What is the origin and meaning of the SuperSonic Wave Filter (SSWF)? Where does the dust go?

The filter is so named because it shakes dust off the image sensor using supersonic wave vibrations. The displaced dust is affixed to dust-collection components around the filter.

It is not necessary to clean or change the dust-collection components under normal use for several years. The dust-collection system can easily deal with the particles that are shaken off using the dust-reduction system.

If the camera is used constantly in severe conditions, Olympus recommends that the camera body be sent to an authorized Olympus repair service center for cleaning approximately at an interval of three to five years.

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What are the purposes of the different record modes?

Record modes allow photographers to quickly and conveniently vary the quality settings used to capture and save images in-camera. While it is possible to always shoot at the higher-quality settings and process the images down to lower file sizes later using a computer, it may be more convenient in some situations to shoot at other than the higher-quality settings. For example, it may be preferable to shoot using lower-quality settings when the shots are intended for use on the Internet, where small size is more important than rich detail.

The E-PL5 offers several record modes, whose benefits are outlined below.

  • RAW: This is the highest-quality record mode available in the E-PL5, and it allows the photographer the most creative control in post-production. Images are saved to the memory card from the camera sensor with minimal image processing. Factors such as white balance, sharpness, contrast, and color are unchanged so they can be modified later on a computer. Some photographers prefer to shoot RAW all the time for all subjects, while others may shoot RAW in situations that pose complicated exposure problems.

    Each camera manufacturer has its own version of RAW tailored to its cameras; therefore, special software is required to process RAW files and convert them to other image file formats such as JPEG and TIFF. The OLYMPUS ib and OLYMPUS Viewer applications contain RAW processing and conversion software for the Olympus RAW format, which bears the file extension *.orf. Third-party imaging software and operating systems may use RAW plug-ins or updates to process Olympus RAW files. Without them, they would not be able to read RAW images from Olympus digital cameras. Most photo kiosks, printers and photo labs cannot read unconverted RAW images.

  • JPEG: Four record modes create compressed JPEG image files. When the camera processes a captured JPEG image and saves it to the memory card, it uses algorithms to discard some of the data to make the file size smaller. The process of mathematically reducing a file's size by discarding some of its data is called compression. The greater the compression ratio, the more data will be discarded and smaller the file size. When the image is opened on a computer, the JPEG algorithms reconstruct the discarded data.

    The camera permits customization of the JPEG record modes by mixing and matching their quality settings. The factors that define a JPEG record mode are image size (determined by the number of pixels in the image) and compression ratio.

  • RAW+JPEG: Four record modes in the E-PL5 save both a RAW and a JPEG image when a picture is taken. This can be advantageous when shots are intended for use in multiple media or when the medium in which the images will ultimately be published has not been determined.

    The quality settings used to process the JPEGs in the RAW + JPEG record modes are tied to the quality settings defined for the corresponding JPEG record modes on the  menu. The first RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the first registered JPEG record mode; the second RAW + JPEG record mode uses the JPEG settings of the second registered JPEG mode; and so on. Changing the JPEG quality settings via the and PIXEL COUNT menus affects both a JPEG record mode and its RAW + JPEG record mode "counterpart."

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What is the purpose of the SCN (Scene) Mode?

The E-PL5 has a SCN (Scene) mode that optimizes the camera settings for specific shooting conditions. All of the settings applied in the 23 available Scenes can also be applied via controls in the camera menu, but applying them manually can be time-consuming. In addition, amateur photographers may not have a deep enough knowledge of photography to select the appropriate settings for some situations that advanced amateur and professional photographers would employ.

In the E-PL5, the Scenes are:

  • Portrait
  • e-Portrait
  • Landscape
  • Landscape+Portrait
  • Sport
  • NightScene
  • Night+Portrait
  • Children
  • High Key
  • Low Key
  • DIS Mode
  • Macro
  • Nature Macro
  • Candle
  • Sunset
  • Documents
  • Panorama
  • Fireworks
  • Beach & Snow
  • Fisheye Effect
  • Wide-Angle
  • Macro
  • 3D Photo

The Fisheye Effect, Wide-Angle and Macro Scenes are used in conjunction with the optional converter lenses.

The 3D Photo Scene Mode can only be used with a 3D lens.

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What are Art Filters?

Art Filters enable the application of creatve effects in-camera while shooting. The Art Filters available on the E-PL5 are:

  • Pop Art - Increases the saturation of bright colors
  • Soft Focus - Diffuses the image
  • Pale & Light Color - Lightens the color and reduces the saturation and contrast
  • Light Tone - Opens the shadows slightly
  • Grainy Film - Simulates the look and contrast of high-speed black and white 35 mm film
  • Pin Hole - Simulates the look of a pinhole camera with soft edges and vignetting
  • Diorama - Simulates the look of photographing a miniature model by narrowing the depth of focus
  • Cross Process - Emulates the effect of color transparency film processed in color negative chemistry
  • Gentle Sepia - Shoots in a warm-toned sepia monochrome
  • Dramatic Tone - Simulates the look of High Dynamic Range (HDR) digital photography
  • Key Line - Makes images that look posterized
  • Watercolor - Processes images to look like watercolor paintings
  • ART BKT - Processes a captured image with a preset series of selected Art Filters

Art Filters can be applied to still images as well as movies. When Art Filters are in use, the Super Control Panel is not available.

If you want to shoot an unaltered image as well as a copy processed with an Art Filter, shoot using one of the RAW+JPEG record modes. The RAW file will be unaffected, and the Art Filter will be applied to the JPEG.

Some Art Filters have options to modify the processing for variations on the appearance of the image at capture. When selecting an Art Filter, press the right arrow button to see the options available.

The E-PL5 includes all of the variations and effects that have been released on other cameras in the Olympus PEN system. In addition, the following variations and effects are newly incorporated:


  • Pale & Light Color I (Bluish tone, same as previous models' "Pale & Light Color" Art Filter)
  • Pale & Light Color II (Reddish tone)


  • Soft Focus (Adds Soft Focus to another Art Filter)
  • Pinhole (Adds Pinhole effect to another Art Filter)
  • Frames (Adds a frame around an image in another Art Filter)
  • Starlight (Produces traces of light in a night scene)
  • White Edge (Defocuses the four corners of the image)

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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.


  • 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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Can I use an accessory microphone instead of the built-in microphone when shooting videos?

The hotshoe and accessory port of the E-PL5 can accept the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1), which includes the SEMA-1 Adapter, the ME-51S Stereo Microphone, and an extension cable with a tie clip to hold the microphone.

The SEMA-1 Adapter has a 3.5 mm stereo jack that can accept other microphones with 3.5 mm plugs or receivers for wireless microphones that have a 3.5 mm stereo plug.

To order the External Microphone Adapter Set (SEMA-1) click here

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Is there a macro lighting accessory for the E-PL5?

The Macro Arm Light (MAL-1) mounts into the hot shoe and accessory port of the E-PL5 and is powered by the camera. It has flexible arms that each have a directional LED lamp. Each arm has a three position slide switch on the mounting block to independently control the light intensity. It can be used a the sole light source or as fill light.

To order the Marco Arm Light (MAL-1) click here

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I had an Olympus digital camera that accepted wide angle and telephoto accessory lenses. Are there any similar accessory lenses for the E-PL5?

Olympus released three optional lens attachments with the advent of the E-PL5 that attach to the bayonet mount on specific M.ZUIKO Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses.

  • Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01) -- Enables 120° fisheye photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens. To purchase the Fisheye Lens Attachment (FCON-P01), please click here.
  • Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01) -- Shoots wide angle images equivalent to the field of view of a 22 mm lens in 35 mm format when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II or M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R lens zoomed to 14 mm. To purchase the Wide Lens Attachment (WCON-P01), please click here.
  • Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01) -- Supports macro photography when mounted on the M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II, M.ZUIKO 14-42 mm II R, M.ZUIKO 40-150 mm or M.ZUIKO 14-150 mm lens. To purchase the Macro Lens Attachment (MCON-P01), please click here.

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How many images can be shot on a single charge of the battery in the E-PL5?

Although the number of images that can be captured depends upon the shooting conditions and the camera functions used, a fully-charged BLS-5 battery should take approximately 360 images with the Image Stabilization on before it needs to be recharged.

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Do I need a voltage converter to use my charger outside the United States?

The BCS-5 Battery Charger for the E-PL5 is rated at 100-240 VAC (volts of alternating current) and automatically adjusts itself for the local electrical current. However, you may have to get a set of plug adapters for the different wall outlets used in foreign countries. Plug adapter kits are available at electronics and luggage stores.

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Does Olympus offer a remote control for this camera?

The RM-UC1 Remote Cable Release is compatible with this camera.

The RM-UC1 connects to the same USB port on the camera that is used to connect the camera to a computer. The RM-UC1 has a sliding lock to lock the cable release for BULB exposures.

The RM-UC1 is available from authorized Olympus dealers and also online directly from The Olympus Store. To order the RM-UC1 (Item #260237), click here.

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After I mount a lens on the camera, the camera cannot secure autofocus. The problem is intermittent and can occur with any of my lenses. What is going on?

If the problem occurs with every shot taken with every accessory lens, the camera may be broken. However, if the problem occurs sporadically – and chiefly only after attaching a lens – then it is possible the lens(es) may not have been attached properly.

Remove the lens from the camera and look at the silver mount. Eleven gold-colored pins are arranged in an arc. These pins must make firm contact with the gold-colored touch points on the back of the lens. This happens naturally when the lens is attached properly, but if the lens is not locked into place then one or more pins may not receive sufficient pressure to maintain contact during use.

To attach a lens to the camera body, align the lens attachment mark (red circle) on the camera mount with the alignment mark (also a red circle) on the side of the lens. Then insert the lens into the camera’s body. Rotate the lens clockwise and listen for a click. The click is an audible indication that the lens lock pin has snapped into place on the back of the lens and has secured the lens in the proper position.

Do not press or hold down the lens release button while attaching a lens to the mount. The lens release button forces the lens lock pin to retract into the camera so that the lens can be removed without breaking the pin. If the button is held down while attaching the lens, it may not align with the hole on the back of the lens after the button is released. This will result in a situation in which the lens is attached to the camera mount but is not locked into place. It is possible that this condition will prevent the lens from making and retaining a firm connection to the camera. This will inhibit autofocus and may increase the lag time between shots.

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When I enable tracking AF and touched the target image, the tracking did not start. What must I do?

You must press the shutter button halfway down to secure focus on the subject when AF tracking is enabled. The camera will then continue to track and focus on the subject for as long as the shutter button is held in this position. Press the shutter button all the way down to take the picture.

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When I connect my camera to a TV, I don't see photos or movies. Why?

Most televisions manufactured in the past decade provide a variety of input jacks so that multiple audio/visual devices (for example, a cable or satellite signal converter box, a movie player, a computer, a video game console and a digital camera) can display content on a shared screen. This eliminates the need to have separate screens for each device. Although many devices can be connected to the television simultaneously, the television screen usually can display content from only one device at a time. Therefore, when you connect your camera to the television, you must select the proper input source in order to view your images and movies.

The method for selecting input channels varies with brand and model, but in general the TV and/or its remote control will have a button for selecting a desired input signal. This button may be called "Source" or "Aux" or it may be a combination of various device labels, such as "TV/AV" or "TV/Cable/DVD." Pressing this button repeatedly will cycle through all of the input sources available to your television. Keep pressing the button until you see the camera menu on the TV screen. (The display on the camera screen or electronic viewfinder will be blacked out.) If the camera menu does not appear, the signal is not reaching the television. Verify that the cable is properly connected.

If you have connected the camera to the television using the yellow and white AV cable bundled with the camera, look for source options named "AV," "Video," or "Aux." If your television has multiple sets of AV jacks, you may need to further choose between, for example, "Aux 1" and "Aux 2" or between "Front" and "Rear" jacks.

If you have connected the camera to a high-definition television (HDTV) using an optional HDMI cable so that you can view HD movies stored on your camera, look for a source option with "HDMI" in its name.

Please refer to the user documentation for your television or TV remote control for specific instructions and to verify that all source devices' cables have been connected to the proper input jacks.

Note: If the image quality on the screen appears to be distorted, the camera may be set to a video output format that is incompatible with the television. In the camera’s menu, check the VIDEO OUT setting. In North America, the setting should be NTSC. If it is set to PAL, change it to NTSC.

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When I put a formatted card in my E-PL5, the display showing the potential number of RAW images doesn't appear to be accurate. Why not?

When the E-PL5 writes a RAW image file, it performs complex mathematical calculations to convert it to binary data to be saved and later retrieved. Since images are unique, each calculation is unique.

A RAW file recorded by the E-PL5 will be approximately 17 megabytes, but individual file sizes will vary. For example, a winter landscape consisting predominantly of white snow and blue sky will produce a smaller data file than a scene such as Times Square at night. The richness of the latter scene will result in a larger file.

When the camera polls a formatted SD card, it is looking at a blank slate. It has yet to do the math for any images and is programmed to start out with a conservative capacity estimate. As the camera shoots more images, it recalculates the capacity as it “learns” about the image files it is creating. As the card fills up, the estimated capacity of RAW files on the display will become more accurate.

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I have taken pictures using several different memory cards. Now, when I try to download images onto my computer, I get a message that says "Image (file name)jpeg already exists. Replace it with the new file?" What is going on?

When saving image and movies, the E-PL5 creates folder and file names that include a numeric variable. The number in the file name changes with each shot so that the new image won’t overwrite a previous one saved in the same folder. The folder name may also change, depending on the configuration of the camera’s FILE NAME function.

FILE NAME has two settings that govern the naming of files and folders:

  • AUTO – When a new card is inserted, the file name numbers are retained from the previous card. File numbering continues from the last number used on the previous card or, if the new card already contains files, from the number that follows the highest file number on the new card.
  • RESET - When a new card is inserted, the number in the storage folder’s name restarts at 100 and the file numbers restart at 0001. If a card containing images is inserted, the file numbers start at the number following the highest file number on the card. If the card has been formatted, the file names will start with 0001.

RESET can be useful for organizing files – for example, you may choose to use a separate memory card for each event or client. However, if you download all your files to the same folder on your computer and there is a file in the camera with the same name as a previously transferred file, the computer will see the duplicate file name and display the above message. In this scenario, the files with duplicate names will overwrite the original files when they are saved to the computer. The original images will no longer be viewable.

To avoid this costly mistake, save the new files to a different folder or manually rename the files before transferring.

Another way to avoid this problem is to change the first character of the file name using the EDIT FILENAME function in the camera's RECORD/ERASE menu. This has an added benefit of identifying which camera captured each image.

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