Shawn Blanc wrote about the nerd vision-quest he took that ended up in him buying a mirrorless Olympus E-PL5 camera last years. I followed this quite closely since I was also in the market. At the time I had one of the early Canon Digital Rebels that was still a fine camera but I found I rarely brought it with me on a whim. Sure I’d bring the big bag for planned family gatherings but never for a trip to Disneyland or just a walk through the local park. It wasn’t just the wieght around my neck that held me up but also the camera’s general “bigness”. The camera body plus my lens simply didn’t make it easy for me to jump on the teeter-totter or run after a frisbee. So instead I left it at home.
So when Shawn seized on the Olympus, so did I. I bought the PL5 shortly after he wrote about it (through Shawn’s affiliate link) about a year ago along with the Panasonic 1.7 20mm pancake lens. With the body and the lens, I was in for about $1,000. I’ve been using it for a year nearly exclusively with that lens and can report the camera was a great investment. It fits in my pocket and takes some really great pictures. A year later you’d think that I’d be itching for a new lens but I’m not. The combination of the small body and pancake lens are perfect for me. (The Panasonic lens is even smaller than the stock lens pictured above.)
If you are looking for a new camera, take a look at Shawn’s update post, which I agree with on just about every point. If you are thinking about buying the Olympus, you are making a good choice. Just make sure to buy it through Shawn’s link since he is the one that started us all on this journey.