The fine folks at OM System have just announced the upcoming release of their new LS-P5 audio recorder (it’s now available for pre-order). A variety of tutorial-centric videos have been released as part of this announcement, but I couldn’t find a direct comparison of the LS-P5 to its (slightly dated but still pretty good) predecessor, the LS-P4 (update on that situation is below).
Photo courtesy of OM System
So based on available information, I pulled together my own high-level comparison — I’ve got an LS-P4, and wanted to know if the new gadget would be worth the upgrade for me.
First off, here is what hasn’t changed (at least much) from the LS-P4:
- The size: P5 is just 4mm longer, and 1.7mm thicker than the P4, and weighs all of 3 grams more. I don’t think anybody will notice this in the device’s handling.
- File formats — both devices can record PCM / FLAC / MP3 files, and with the same bit rates (up to 96 kHz / 24 bits).
- Recording “scenes” — both handle 7 types of situations (lecture, conference, music, etc.), the LS-P5 adds two custom scene settings.
- Slate and test tones — both devices support them.
- Built-in memory for recording is doubled from 8 GB to 16 GB, and the microSD-based external memory capacity explodes from 32 GB to 2 TB (!).
- The P5 now has a standard 1/4″x20 tripod socket, so the easy-to-lose TR2 adapter is no longer required.
- The P5 carries two AAA batteries (vs. one in the P4), so maximum recording time (on battery) for any given configuration doubles.
- The 3-microphone configuration on the nose of the device has been improved, upgrading its built-in recording quality.
- The P5’s speaker should be considerably louder (230 mW) than the unit in the P4 (150 mW).
- Much like “Pro Capture” on recent OM System cameras, the P5 comes with a pre-recording function that can capture 2 seconds of audio before you press “Record.”
- The P4’s built-in sliding USB plug has been replaced by a micro-B USB socket (sorry, no USB C). This’ll make it easier to provide the device with power while you record.
- Bluetooth is useable for audio playback on both devices, but the P5 now supports monitoring during recording.
- Remote control is dramatically improved. The P4 was released along with an Android app that enabled the user to perform basic remote control functions. The P5 will have both Android and iOS apps, both of which will give you in-depth control of the device.
Again, this is all based on published data. I own an LS-P4 and have pre-ordered an LS-P5 for myself, so stay tuned for a real-life comparison (once the new gadget arrives).
Update (31 Aug., 2022):
OM System has now released a comparison table of the LS-P* audio recorders, click for a full-size version in a new browser tab. I’ve also edited this post to reflect the table’s information.
Update 2 (1 Sept., 2022):
In the comments on one of the LS-P5 release videos on YouTube, Olympus Audio Global added the following three upgrades:
- 125 dBSPL Sound Pressure (LS-P4 120 dBSPL)
- Mic-in/Line-in Jack, switchable via menu (LS-P4: Mic-in only)
- Bright Sound Mode for increased Mid to High frequency levels to offer clearer spoken words for vlogging and lectures (LS-P4: No Bright Sound Mode)
Thanks Eric for the comparison. Especially because YOUR text is suggested by Google search whereas the OM System comparison chart was not. 🙂
One note though:
OMS chart states a slight runtime on battery difference in favor of the LS-P4. You did assume that the P5 might run longer because it has double the battery capacity (which sounds like a resonable assumption). Seemingly the P5 consumes more juice because of the new features 🙁
The small battery footprint of the P4 was actually a big reason for me to buy this device years ago for outdoor recordings. But the upgraded and now useful remote control app for the P5 is very intriguing and I’m still unsure whether I will upgrade or not.
I suspect my post shows up more clearly in Google searches because it’s actual text — vs. the OM System chart, which is only available online as a graphic (so far). Even then, I’m pretty sure the OM System info has only appeared as a response to questions on YouTube – when I think it really ought to be a standard part of the product information pages on their website. Maybe their PR approval process is quicker for social media than for the website?
Thanks Eric for this interesting comparison !
However, I think some users would be interested to know that LS-p5 doesn’t
feature Voice Guidance anymore, whereas LS-P4 did (as welle as older LS-3/7, LS-14 and LS-100). According to me, the loss of this function is a big step down, especially for visually impaired people, or for folks who just like to operate their recorder eyes-free.