Noise, low-ISO-sensitivity JPEGs

The Olympus PEN E-P5's JPEGs look good up through ISO 400, and OK through ISO 800; by ISO 1600 the noise suppression gets too aggressive.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Noise, high-ISO-sensitivity JPEGs

I really wouldn't shoot with the E-P5 at ISO 3200 or higher. As it is, at ISO 1600, only the precisely sharp areas look good viewed at 100 percent, though 13x19 prints look OK.
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 100 JPEG

The E-P5's JPEGs come out just a tad crunchy at best, but the image quality has improved since the E-P3.

(1/320 sec, f3.2, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 45mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 400 JPEG

ISO 400 JPEGs look very good, without any of the processed-looking smeariness of the E-P3.

(1/100 sec, f2.2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 400, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Bokeh, 17mm lens

The 17mm lens that comes as part of the kit is the better, more expensive f1.8 model, not the cheap f2.8 one. It renders nice out-of-focus highlights; the grainy look in the out-of-focus areas is due to the sensor.

(1/2,500 sec, f1.8, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness, 17mm lens

The lens is reasonably sharp.

(1/100 sec, f5, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Sharpness, 45mm lens

In contrast to the 17mm kit lens, the 45mm f1.8 lens is a little sharper, better showing what the camera is capable of. Note that this is not a direct comparison shot from the previous slide, as the aperture settings are different, but offered for illustration purposes.

(1/125 sec, f4.5, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 45mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 800 JPEG

The harder-to-process areas of JPEGs get pretty mushy by ISO 800 (the out-of-focus and darker areas), but sharp areas are handled pretty well. There's a lot of aberration reduction going on here as well.

(1/30 sec, f1.8, spot metering, AWB, ISO 800, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

ISO 1600, raw vs. JPEG

By ISO 1600, shooting raw gives you a sharpness advantage over shooting JPEG.

(1/60 sec, f2, spot metering, AWB, ISO 1600, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Color

Even the E-P5's default Natural color setting pushes the saturation a bit, and the white balance is a little cool for my taste. It's definitely within the bounds of acceptability, though.
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Color presets

The differences between the camera's most neutral -- and default -- color setting and its automatic setting are relatively subtle, though it boosts reds a little too much.

(1/190 sec, f4, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 200, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:

Red

Though the camera tends to clip bright, saturated reds, the detail is still usually recoverable in raw files.

(1/320 sec, f5.6, ESP metering, AWB, ISO 100, 17mm f1.8 lens)
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Photo by: Lori Grunin/CNET / Caption by:
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