Olympus E-PL5 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 28, 2019
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Olympus SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Olympus E-PL5 has an SD memory card slot that is compatible with UHS-I. The camera can use cards up to 1TB in size.

So that you can get the best performance when shooting in continuous shooting mode, recording video, or transferring files, it is strongly recommended to buy a memory card that uses UHS-I. All of the fastest memory cards for the Olympus Pen E-PL5 will work with UHS-I.

This is my recommendation for the best memory card for the Olympus E-PL5:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • The best performance at a reasonable price.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.

Best SD Cards

Since the Olympus E-PL5 was introduced, SD card prices have gone down and capacities have become larger. The difference in price between the fastest SD card and an average option is unexpectedly small. Price is more closely related to storage size, with the larger cards being the most expensive.

Purchasing the cards with the largest capacity makes sense if you're going to shoot a huge amount of RAW files for action, wildlife, sports, or event photography. Another reason could be if you are planning to upgrade your camera or use the memory card in another device.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro line of cards are often the best option for most situations. They are fast cards which give them the best chance of working in future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance are other cards that I have also had excellent experiences with. I have not had images or files become corrupted or lost on any of these cards. If that situation did occur, all of the manufacturers provide image recovery software.

When I have experienced problems it has been with generic SD memory cards. Having a low price or being a bundled item are the main attractions of these cards. Unfortunately, this is also the most common type of card to have the wrong product information.

It's very easy to put a Class 10 sticker on a Class 4 card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is bound to be an error message or corrupted photos if the card's write speed isn't good enough.

One of the biggest controls over the price you have is the storage capacity. You will be better off by going one step down in capacity to reduce cost instead of going with a relabeled brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will affect your enjoyment of the Olympus Pen E-PL5.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB UHS-I SD Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 128GB SD Card

  • The best performance at a reasonable price.
  • Capacities from 32 GB to 2TB.
  • Transfer speeds up to 170 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Temperature Proof, Water Proof, Shock Proof, and X-ray Proof.
Lexar Professional 1066X 128GB SD UHS-I Memory Card

Lexar Professional 1066x 128GB SD Card

  • Lexar Professional Silver Card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 160 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Includes Lexar Recovery Tool Software.
  • Designed for durability in harsh conditions.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

PNY Elite Performance SDXC 128GB Memory Card

PNY Elite Performance 128GB SD Card

  • Lower priced card.
  • Transfer speeds up to 95 MB/s.
  • Class 10 & UHS-I.
  • Magnet, Shock, Temperature, and Waterproof.

Check price at: Amazon, Adorama, eBay

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four types of memory cards. These include all memory cards camera manufacturers make use of in all but the most recent professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Olympus E-PL5 can achieve by transferring files with the USB mode.

There are lots of favorable customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I would recommend it because the reader has been recognized by all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have plugged it into.

The cable prevents card slots from getting in the way of other accessories or devices that are plugged into another USB or neighboring port.

When I searched for a card reader that would be used for travel, I had to send a couple of orders back. I came across the most frequent problem mentioned in customer reviews, the memory card readers would not work with my computer.

The ugreen reader can be used with the following memory card types:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Olympus E-PL5 SD Card Compatibility

You are limited to using SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards in the Olympus E-PL5. Check to be certain that your camera has the most recent firmware installed.

The newest SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) cards aren't able to be used in the E-PL5.

You need to know the 4 different types of Secure Digital (SD) memory cards that can be bought. You can identify them according to their storage size.

  • SD (Secure Digital) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • SDXC (Secure Digital eXtended Capacity) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • SDUC (Secure Digital Ultra Capacity) - 4TB to 128TB.

Image Capacity

Olympus SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Olympus E-PL5 will affect how many images you can store. Higher image quality settings will result in larger image sizes.

If you're going to shoot a bunch of RAW files, it can be a good idea to get a larger capacity card.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be better off purchasing an extra camera battery instead of a larger card. A memory card that has 32GB of space would have enough room for days of pictures that would need batteries to be recharged multiple times.

The controlling factor to the number of images you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Remember that, any time the camera is turned on, even if you're just scrolling through menu settings or using the live view, that will eat away at battery life.

In low light environments, like at night or indoors, the flash built-in to the camera can be handy. Shutter speeds will not be fast enough without the flash to prevent motion blur. Utilizing the built-in flash is going to quickly drain the camera batteries. These environments are when you want to have at least two Olympus BLS-5 rechargeable batteries for the Olympus E-PL5.

The following is an approximation of the quantity of high-quality JPG images you can store on a memory card for the listed storage capacity:

  • 32GB - 9,280
  • 64GB - 18,560
  • 128GB - 37,120
  • 256GB - 74,240

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD card is based on the continuous write and read transfer speeds. SD memory card speed is critical for video in addition to continuous shooting.

Slows memory cards can cause a reduction in the number of continuous images the Olympus E-PL5 can capture. This is because the camera's buffer will not be able to write to the memory card quickly enough.

With video, a slow card can cause an unexpected end to recording. The video file could also be corrupted. If you are going to capture video, it is critical the SD card you use meets the requirements of the E-PL5.

Card read speed is important for transferring files to a computer. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a memory card with a fast read speed will reduce the transfer time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of an SD memory card is related to the continuous write speed. Memory cards that have a minimum write speed of at least 10MB/s are rated as Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every brand-name SD memory card that you can purchase online will be rated Class 10. To locate the class rating of an SD card, look for a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed bus (UHS) is available in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS makes it possible provides a way to improve data transfer rates.

Three separate specifications exist. The versions are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To know what the rating of a card, look on the label. A Roman numeral I, II, or III on the front of the SD memory card, that is going to be the Rating of the card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Related Cameras

Taking the details into consideration, the 128GB SanDisk Extreme Pro is the best memory card for the Olympus E-PL5. The card also has great compatibility with other cameras.

Listed here are more posts on cameras similar to the E-PL5:

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