Olympus has cranked up the performance levels of its professional camera lineup in the form of the Olympus E-5, a solid, magnesium-alloy FourThirds-format DSLR that can capture high-res stills (JPEG, RAW or JPEG+RAW) at up to 5 fps of continuous shooting as well as HD 720p video with PCM linear audio (mono on camera or stereo via 3.5mm output jack and optional stereo mic).
Designed around a new 12.3-megapixel High-Speed Live MOS imaging sensor powered by a TruePic V+ image processor, the Olympus E-5 also features a 3.0" (920,000-dot) dual-axis swivel-mounted (270°) HyperCrystal LCD with Full-time Live View and Contrast AF that enables easy image framing at extreme shooting angles. And as one should expect from a pro-level DSLR, you can view 100% of the total image area when composing imagery through both the camera's LCD and optical viewfinder. And to better ensure your stills and video are on the level, the E-5 features a Digital Level Sensor, which can be used a visual guide for tilt-free horizon lines.
Other image-enhancing features found on the Olympus E-5 include ISO sensitivity levels that can be tweaked up to the equivalent of ISO 6400, and an in-body Mechanical Image Stabilization System that, according to Olympus, enables up to five steps of blur control when shooting under low-light conditions.
As for structural integrity, the weather-sealed housing on the Olympus E-5 is constructed of lightweight Thixamold magnesium-alloy, and dust is kept under control via the camera's Supersonic Wave Filter-enhanced dust reduction system.
On the creative front, the Olympus E-5 features a selection of creative filters that can be applied to both stills as well as video clips in Shutter priority, Aperture priority, Program and Manual modes. In addition to Pop Art, Soft-Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Filter, Pin Hole, Diorama, Cross-Process and Gentle Sepia, is a new filter called Dramatic Art, which according to Olympus's digital Voodoo developers, applies "unrealistic tones of light and darkness based on local changes in contrast."
Other features found on the Olympus E-5 include Multiple Aspect Ratios, Multiple Exposure capability (four frames), an HDMI output for playing back still and video on HD TVs, advanced wireless flash with up to three Olympus FL-36R and/or Olympus FL-50R flashguns, a twin cross-type (fully bi-axial) 11- point AF system and compatibility with the full line of Zuiko HG & SHG Digital lenses. The Olympus E-5 records images to your choice of CompactFlash (CF) Type 1 UDMA as well SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards (Class 6 or higher strongly recommended).