CLASS IN YOUR HANDS

Gadgets and Gizmos (India) - - TEST BENCH - —BY NANDAGOPAL RA­JAN

How would a DSLR that fits in your palms fell? Well, you wouldn’t be able to tell for at least a few more years. But then you can hold a Olym­pus E-PL5, the clos­est you can get to a DSLR in a palm-size form fac­tor.

The Pen de­sign makes it very handy, but this cam­era is not about size but about stel­lar pic­ture qual­ity. The cam­era has a whole lot of di­als and but­tons, but they don’t con­fuse you as there are no pro­grammable func­tion keys or but­tons that have not been flagged. There is a mode dial on top and an­other dial to­wards the left of the screen and th­ese two will take care of most of your set­tings. The 3-inch LCD has a touch­screen and can be flipped up to com­pose self­por­traits or shoot over a crowd. The touch can be dis­abled too.

There is no built-in flash, but there is a com­pact flash unit in the box which you can slide into the hot­shoe. But you won’t need to carry the flash along, for this 16MP cam­era comes with a max­i­mum ISO of 25600. The lat­ter end of the scale will be good enough for you to shoot in pitch dark­ness is needed. But at high film speeds there

is a bit more noise here than the EM-5. An­other great fea­ture of this cam­era is its sprightly auto-fo­cus which does not let you miss any of the ac­tion. With mir­ror­less cam­eras we have had is­sues with auto-fo­cus not latch­ing on to the sub­ject in time. No such is­sues here. Touch the screen and the shot is recorded. The AF is as fast with the 1080p video record­ing too. In fact, this is among the few cam­eras that give you full con­trols on video, even art fil­ters. The cam­era also lets you tweak the frame be­fore you shoot. So you can de­cide how much blur you want in the back­ground, the sat­u­ra­tion and the rich­ness of the im­ages. The im­ages are any­way richer than most ri­val cam­eras, be it macro or land­scape. We would have loved to have a viewfinder and the the abil­ity to change the set­tings on­screen though.

BAG IT OR JUNK IT?

A true all-rounder. Buy it.

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