I bought an E-PL5 on a spur of the moment thing. I had sold my E-P3 a couple of weeks back, I missed it and I found a decent price body only on the E-PL5 and thought “what the hell”. Unfortunately, my first impressions were poor. The screen seemed tiny in comparision to either the E-P3 or E-M5.
The spartan controls baffled me (I’m not sure why, I used to own a NEX-5 for dog’s sake) until I adjusted the dial to adjust aperture or shutter speed with the first click (depending on mode).
I do not get why you would want to adjust exposure quickly via the dial but aperture slowly via clicks on the dial, but it’s easily fixable in the menus. The lack of a level gauge isn’t the end of the world but it does seem odd. The Flash air card seems a bit pointless to me – I noticed it most for being chronically slow to write.
What makes all of this worthwhile is the image quality, which is very high.
The controls aren’t as good as the E-M5 and ergonomically the E-PL5 isn’t a triumph, but it’s actually a decent enough camera.
The biggest issue is the screen. It does seem better than the E-PL3 screen I compared it to but that might actually be to do with the glass/gel covering of the LCD rather than using a different panel. It actually isn’t so bad. The issue is exagerated hugely by putting a 4:3 image on a 16:9 screen. See this link http://j.mp/RYcBz2 for comparisons with other similar cameras (noting of course the picture on the E-PL5 appears in the middles of the screen and does not fill it).
The biggest issue with the screen is how little of it is useable. Nonetheless, the fact it is flip out is practical and allows for interesting angles etc. It isn’t a reason to reject the camera.
The IBIS is better than I thought it would be. It isn’t up to the E-M5 5 angle IBIS but it works at least as well as that in my old Sony DSLRs (A700 and A900).
I did get more out of focus shots of moving objects using the small focus point than I was expecting. Nonetheless I don’t think it qualifies as inaccurate.
I guess I should finish by stating that as long as you are buying the camera for the right reasons, you’ll be impressed. The image quality, as we already knew, is stellar. I’m (now) happy with the size of the camera and together with the 14 it is absolutely tiny.
It does feel a little silly with bigger lenses like the 75 mounted, but no more silly than a big lens on a DSLR.
All in all, I think I will keep this camera and I think it’s a nice companion to the E-M5. That of course means I need to sell another of my cameras…