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Olympus PEN E-P1 12.3 MP Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera with 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Viewfinder (Silver)
|Price:||$482.08 & FREE Shipping|
|You Save:||$417.91 (46%)|
Overall score: 66%
See review summary and sample images
What is DPReview and its awards?
Digital Photography Review is the most popular dedicated enthusiast digital photography site on the Internet. Our authoritative reviews have earned us the trust of photographers and camera buyers all over the world, for more than 15 years.
Gold and Silver Awards are given to products that deserve special recognition based on how well they perform relative to their competitors at the time of review.
- 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens digital camera; Micro Four Thirds format
- Includes 17mm f/2.8 lens and Olympus optical viewfinder
- In-body Image Stabilization; 3-inch HyperCrystal LCD with Live View function
- Record HD video with high-quality audio; in-camera creative features (for still images and video)
- Capture images and video to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||300 Photos|
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||3 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||230,000|
|Effective Still Resolution||12.3 MP|
|External Memory Included||No|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC card|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/180_sec|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||automatic with manual|
|Form Factor||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|HDMI Type||Mini HDMI type-C|
|ISO Range||Auto (200 - 3200), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400|
|Image Aspect Ratio||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Included Components||Olympus E-P1 Pen Digital Camera Body - M.ZUIKO|
|Item Dimensions||2.76 x 1.42 x 4.76 inches|
|Item Weight||0.78 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Weight||4 ounces|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000 of a second|
|Maximum horizontal resolution||4,032|
|Metering||Multi, Center-weighted, Spot|
|Minimum Shutter Speed||60 seconds|
|Optical Sensor Resolution||12.3 MP|
|Optical Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||TruePic V|
|Remote Control Description||Optional RM-UC1|
|Removable Memory||Secure Digital card|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Supersonic Wave Filter|
|Shipping Weight||3.2 pounds|
|Style Name||With 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Viewfinder|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion BLS-1 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||motion_jpeg|
|Video Capture Resolution||1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
Review summary from DPReview
It's hard not to fall for the E-P1's charms. The unashamedly nostalgic design combines with true SLR quality in a remarkably pocketable package. The lack of flash and viewfinder will put some off, as will the relatively slow focus, but overall this bodes very well indeed for the new system.
Scoring is relative only to the other products in the same category.
Sample images from DPReview
Sample images for Olympus PEN E-P1
From the Manufacturer
A new era of digital imaging begins with the Olympus E-P1. The world’s smallest 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens system camera blends the high-quality still images of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) with High Definition (HD) video, stereo Linear PCM audio recording and In-Camera Creativity within an ultra-portable body. The easy-to-use E-P1 expands your creative horizons and its diverse multimedia features offer something for everyone. Built for today’s visual generation who lead active lives online and offline, the E-P1 will make you rethink what you can do with a camera.
Capture More of the Life You Live
Shooting spontaneous images of your daily life usually means snapping small, grainy images with your cell phone or using a point-and-shoot if it’s handy. A DSLR delivers incredible image quality, but most aren’t compact enough to roam with you. Now, the E-P1 changes the game with a compact body that delivers the professional quality images of a DSLR without the bulk. Moreover, its sharp HD video capture and stereo audio helps you live a better-documented life because you’re carrying one portable camera rather than a DSLR, an HD camcorder and a high-end audio device.
You can share more of your life with the world when the E-P1 travels with you. Make your Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter and personal blog postings unique by capturing and sharing more videos and photos. You can chronicle more of the life you actually lead, rather than just special occasions you prepare for, like weddings, holidays and birthday parties. Since it’s the only camera to offer in-camera art filters for both still photography and videos with high-end audio, even your everyday activities will look and sound amazing!
Beautifully Designed Stainless-Steel Body
The new camera’s high-end, stainless-steel body is easy to handle and carry, and has the styling and refinement of a precision watch. Its retro-chic look turns heads, from tech aficionados and camera buffs to the fashion-conscious and everyday point-and-shooter. Built to be solid, it fits comfortably in a jacket pocket or a handbag for a night on the town, or to take on any spontaneous adventure. The E-P1 lets you do more and go more places while capturing your life, thanks to its compact size--4.75 x 2.75 x 1.43 inches (W x H x D)--and light 11.8-ounce body. Attention to detail is visible in every aspect of the camera’s retro-style metal body design, available in either silver or white with accompanying new small and lightweight Olympus M. ZUIKO Micro Four Thirds lenses: 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 (28-84mm equivalent) and 17mm f2.8 (34mm equivalent).
The new E-P1 offers many great features derived from the E-System, as well as many breakthrough innovations, including:
- Superior DSLR Image Quality
- In-body Image Stabilization
- Amazing 3-inch LCD
- Proven Dust Reduction System
- 12 megapixels with next-generation TruePic V
- HD video with high-quality audio
- In-camera creative features (for still images and video)
- Multiple exposures
- Multi-aspect shooting
- Multimedia slideshows
- Digital leveler
- Magnified focus assist
- 18x18 metering modes
Ultra-Compact Body Delivers Superior DSLR Image Quality
The E-P1 erases all doubts about whether a compact camera can take images that are equal to those taken by a DSLR, because it has everything you need to produce vibrant DSLR-quality images: a large 12.3-megapixel imager, In-body Image Stabilization, fast Imager Autofocus, the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System and the new TruePic V Image Processor.
As the first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus, the E-P1 provides the same image quality as current Four Thirds format E-System cameras because it has the same image sensor size as the E-30 and E-620 DSLR models, but in a much smaller body. This high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas.
Any lens attached to the E-P1 will deliver blur-free images thanks to three modes of In-body Image Stabilization that compensate for up to four steps EV (exposure value). Mechanical Image Stabilization works to automatically compensate for camera shake in low light or when using a telephoto lens. And because the E-P1 is the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera with built-in Image Stabilization, you’ll feel comfortable taking it on the road with you to capture the action.
Small Real Estate with an Amazing 3-Inch LCD View
What you see on the new camera’s 100 percent accurate, 3-inch full color HyperCrystal LCD is what you get. Photographers accustomed to composing and focusing using a point-and-shoot camera’s LCD will appreciate that the E-P1 offers the same easy, seamless experience when shooting still images or videos. With the new Live Control function, icons appear on the LCD, making it easy to compose, edit and shoot pictures or videos without stopping to access various menus. The E-P1’s fast Imager Autofocus in Live View also enables you to compose, focus and capture the shot quickly and easily without ever taking your eyes off the large LCD.
The LCD displays 230,000 pixels in vivid color and includes HyperCrystal technology, which offers many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors for easier viewing in both preview and playback. It also provides a wide viewing angle of 176 degrees, which ensures that images can be composed from even the most obscure angles.
This Camera Leaves Others in the Dust
You don’t have to waste precious time worrying about dust ruining the perfect image; instead, spend more of that time shooting with the E-P1. The proven Olympus Dust Reduction System produces spot-free photos with the exclusive Supersonic Wave Filter, a patented ultrasonic technology that vibrates to remove dust and other particles from the front of the image sensor, capturing it on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.
Unleash 12 Million Pixels on Your Canvas
The E-P1’s Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus’ next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, which produces clear and colorful photos using all the pixel information for each image to provide the best digital images possible. The new image processor is noted for accurate natural color, true-to-life flesh tones, brilliant blue skies and precise tonal expression; it also lowers image noise in photos shot at higher ISO settings (ISO 100 to an incredible ISO 6400), enabling great results in low-light situations.
Olympus pioneered easy-to-use Art Filters for still images captured inside its E-System DSLRs, and now those same In-Camera Creative Features are built into the E-P1 with a fresh twist--they can also be applied to High Definition video recordings to take your videos to a new level of creative expression and put you in the director’s chair.
Your movies and YouTube videos will have the incredible clarity of HD whether Art Filters are applied or not. Just imagine how dramatic and unique your videos will appear with any one of the six in-camera Art Filters applied as effects: Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film or Pin Hole. Whether you’re a videographer, documentarian or established director--or just want to shoot like one--Art Filters set your images and videos apart from the pack. Since they’re built into the camera, you can achieve dramatic results on the go without needing a computer or editing software.
Because the E-P1 is an interchangable lens system camera you have more creative options in composition for video capture, to add to your visual palette. You can attach any one of the new super-compact Micro Four Thirds lenses or, because the camera can accept all other Four Thirds Format lenses with an available MMF-1 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter, you can add anything from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super telephoto lens for a wide range of expressive options. All the while you will have more DSLR-like control over depth of field, focus, white balance and ISO.
What You See Is What You Get
When viewing the LCD in Live View, Art Filter effects and settings like white balance and exposure are viewable right on the LCD, and their impact is seen instantly on the display. This real-time monitoring offers amazing versatility and creative control, and users who apply a setting have instant gratification because what they see on the camera’s LCD is what they’ve captured. For musicians used to applying audio effects like reverb to their instruments before recording them, the concept of setting the E-P1 to capture precisely the kind of image they want before they press the shutter makes perfect sense. For imaging purists who want to shoot without filters, and apply them to unfiltered images inside the camera later, or just edit images back at their computers, the E-P1 provides these options and opens more in-the-field creative possibilities.
Mix It Up with Multiple Exposures
With the E-P1’s Multiple Exposure function available for still image capture you are free to tell a visual story your way, whether in a portrait, a landscape or a combination of both. The image capture options allow you to shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture both shots separately and combine them in the camera later. Overlay your face on top of your pet’s face. Create an "identical twin" of yourself. Put the moon in the sky at noon. Your ability to manipulate space and time makes this new creative multimedia device a veritable time machine.
Frame Your Works of Art Inside the E-P1
You can often achieve greater photographic expression by framing a scene in a unique way. The E-P1 provides four aspect ratios that serve as masks to frame your image to the desired proportions, including: the standard 4:3 aspect ratio that is perfectly suited to an 8 x 10-inch enlargement; the 16:9 aspect ratio that will display your images beautifully on a widescreen television; and other popular aspect ratios such as 3:2 and 6:6. The Multi-Aspect Shooting further expresses your creative vision when combined with Art Filters and multiple exposures.
Stereo Audio Sounds As Good As the E-P1 Images Look
Like the innovative Olympus LS-10 portable audio recording device that puts the power of a recording studio in your pocket, the E-P1 features uncompressed 24 bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording capability to capture the rich sound quality of your scene. When you shoot with the E-P1, it’s like having a sound technician built into your camera to capture the nuances of the audio happening all around you. It has the versatility to record and play back in the WAV format and records with its built-in stereo microphones. Whether recording audio while shooting a video or adding audio by recording a narration to your still images, the E-P1’s audio sounds as great as its images look.
Create Your Own Multimedia Slideshows with Stills, Video and Audio Inside E-P1
Content is king, and with the E-P1 you have your own portable kingdom of still images, HD video, and audio to remix at your command. In playback mode you can seamlessly mix stills and movies inside the camera to create a multimedia slideshow and dub in one of five built-in dramatic background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation. Plug the E-P1 into any HD television with an HDMI cable and show off your masterpieces to your audience before the DVD arrives in stores.
As Easy to Use As a Point-and-Shoot with SLR-Quality Technologies
The E-P1 is equipped with 19 automatic scene modes for effortless picture taking. Standard scene modes like Night-Scene, Portrait and Landscape are easy-to-use solutions for everyday shooting. Capturing beautiful portraits is easy with the new ePortrait Mode. It enables you to smooth your subject’s face--all in the camera and before capture! Additionally, edits can be made post-capture using the ePortrait Fix mode.
Shooting scenes with both highlights and shadows can often be dicey because of the extreme contrast between dark and bright areas. The E-P1 addresses this challenge with Shadow Adjustment Technology that adjusts for extreme light variations and maintains visible detail in both the shadow and highlight areas of the scene. Now users can see and preview the gradation on the Live View LCD and capture images showing the shadow detail they saw. This feature is also accessible in the Edit menu after the shot has been taken.
The E-P1’s Face Detection reduces the chance of blurred subjects in images by recognizing up to eight people’s faces and the background, tracking the faces within the image area, even if people are moving, and automatically focusing and optimizing exposure for sharp, brilliant portrait pictures (ideal for large family or party group photos).
If you don’t want to change camera settings every time you’re shooting something different, then the E-P1’s Intelligent Auto Mode is for you. It automatically identifies what you are shooting (Portrait, Landscape, Night + Portrait, Macro, Sports) and adjusts settings to capture the best result depending on the situation. First-time users will enjoy this quick and hassle-free feature, which does the thinking for them and produces incredible images like a pro.
The New Super Control Panel with Live Control technology, along with the camera’s intuitive button layout, enables you to see both the image and the controls on the 3-inch HyperCrystal LCD, making the camera simple to use. The E-P1 records to SDHC media cards to accommodate large files including videos with In-Camera Creative Features and uncompressed audio.
The E-P1 is equipped with an internal Digital Level Sensor that detects the camera’s pitch and roll and indicates it on the control panel. This Digital Leveler is a tremendous benefit when capturing landscapes. Level the perfect coastline shot on your next tropical vacation without being tethered to a computer and editing software.
Magnified Focus Assist
To enable accurate manual focusing the E-P1 provides MF Assist Function and Magnification Display. In S-AF + MF or MF, the MF assist enables you to zoom up the central part of the image by up to 5 times by turning the focus ring. The Magnification Display lets you magnify the image on the LCD by up to 7x at the touch of a button. Additionally, if you use the dial, you can boost magnification all the way up to 10x for more precise manual focusing.
18x18 Metering Modes
This mode divides the image area into an 18 x 18 grid, metering each of the 324 separate cells to obtain optimum exposure. In addition to 324-division ESP metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering modes are also available.
Smaller Accessories for Small Camera
In addition to the new Micro Four Thirds lenses, Olympus also offers an optional Clip-on Optical Viewfinder for use with the Micro Four Thirds 17mm f2.8 (34mm equivalent) lens. The MMF-1 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter enables all Olympus ZUIKO Digital lenses as well as Four Thirds System lenses from Sigma, Panasonic and Leica lenses to attach to the E-P1. If you have Olympus OM lenses and want to attach them to the E-P1, that is possible with the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter. Additionally, an optional FL-14 flash unit, suitably small for the camera, adds more lighting versatility to your shots.
Olympus Master 2 Software
Use the included Olympus Master 2 software (Mac and PC) to easily download images from the camera or other external device, such as a USB drive, and automatically organize them into albums and groups and by date. Develop high-quality RAW images, apply Art Filter effects, edit and print images. Update camera and lens firmware through the software and download additional menu languages. A direct link makes uploading your images and videos to YouTube easier than ever.
Olympus Studio 2 (Trial Edition Included)
Extend the capability of Olympus Master 2 with Olympus Studio 2. In addition to the functions of Olympus Master 2, this software includes a lightbox mode and selection marks for comparing and sorting multiple images. RAW processing is enhanced with additional controls for finer adjustments. The trial edition can be used for 30 days after installation. After the trial period has expired, a license key is required for further use.
What's in the Box
- PEN digital camera
- Li-ion battery BLS-1
- Li-ion battery charger BCS-1
- USB/Video Multi cable
- Shoulder strap
- OLYMPUS Master CD-ROM
- Instruction manual
- Warranty card
Style: With 17mm f/2.8 Lens and Viewfinder
Top Customer Reviews
This little camera makes me smile each time I use it!
If you don't care to word a long, winding review let me summarize it. The E-P1 doesn't have to make any apologies for being petite, its a full fledged camera on its own merit.
* Great photo quality!
* Built in image stabilization (works pretty well too)
* Customizable and responsive interface/buttons
* HD movie mode with autofocus
* Low profile, doesn't get you noticed
* Quiet. I'd say quieter than my old rangefinders and way more quiet than my DSLR's
Could be better
* Battery life
* Perhaps almost too customizable (pretty good learning curve). Keep the manual handy!
I'm not a people shooter and certainly not a "street" shooter but my week-end was spent at the Mall of America, which is enormous but all in doors. It was an interesting challenge. I found that although I fumbled with the interface and settings a bit, it became very engrossing and almost mesmerizing to shoot publicly with the E-P1. It never drew attention, not once, where as I saw people clearing out from the obvious DSLR guys like fish around a barracuda in the reef.
Lens: My only lens is the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6, which doesn't sound too exciting. However in practice it has been a great general utility lens that has rendered quite nicely, showing nice resolution and sharpness. I can only anticipate what the E-P1 will do with a quality, wide aperture prime.Read more ›
1. There is no pop-up flash. Not a problem for me, I don't ever use them anyway (your mileage may vary).
2. There is no viewfinder. Again not a problem for me, got used to that very quickly.
Now some observations from having used the camera:
- The sensor image quality is excellent. Dynamic range is at SLR quality. Noise levels up to and including ISO 800 is very clean. ISO 1600 has a bit more noise than the Rebel XSI (also 12mp)with the noise increasing relative to competitors from there.
- The user interface is intuitive. I used mostly Aperture Priority and Manual and found it easy to use. Stuff in the menus were also easily found. Changing the settings were at times challenging (like ISO) because of the smaller buttons, but given the camera's small size its something I could forgive
- Its heavy, almost as heavy as a basic, entry level DSLR. Now the lens is light as a feather, however I feel a lot of heaviness comes because of the build quality of the camera, which is superb
- The RAW processing software that comes with the camera is useless. The interface is horrible and the stability even worse. Wait for your favorite RAW processing software to add support and use that.
The deal breakers:
- The kit lens is slow. Really slow. So slow in fact that I found the system to not be very useful when the light levels got low or you were indoors.Read more ›
This is a top notch camera, that I hope will continue to deliver results. The only current drawback for me is that photoshop CS4 doesn't recognizethe Olympus Raw Format (ORF). I have to go through Olympus software to convert, which severely disrupts my work flow, and the software is slow and clunky. Shooting JPGs alongside Raw in case I need the results faster.
If they get the plugin updated soon, I'll be over the moon.
Very happy with this purchase.
Also, I believe this is the smallest device to be able to take 720p video at f/2.8 (m4/3) with stereo audio. Great video device if you ask me.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Okay, why am I reviewing a first-generation micro four thirds camera in late 2014? I must be behind the times, right? Be that as it may, this camera still bears attention. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Andrew D. Lossing
This is an older model camera, but still capable of great shots. It is beautifully made and the price was excellentPublished 16 months ago by Roger L. Wiseman
This is 2009 camera and first digital Pen camera from Olympus. I recently picked it up with 17mm f/2.8 pancake lens. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Shawn C.
Stellar. Bought one for work and one for home. Can not say enough. Easy for beginners to use and does all the fancy stuff too. Very impressed.Published 17 months ago by wishiwereemo
I currently have in my bag a Nikon D7000, a panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ2, a Olympus E-P1, a Canon SX50HS and a Sony DSC-HX9V. Read morePublished 20 months ago by drbob
I purchased this camera when it first came out, and was pleased that it was ahead of its time in maneuverability and image stabilization. Read morePublished 21 months ago by H. Sewall
This camera body is exactly as described and everything I hoped it would be at the best possible price. Read morePublished on November 25, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I don't usually spend more than $125 on a camera, but I was tired of blurry pictures (I like to take action shots and shots in the dark without using a flash). Read morePublished on March 12, 2013 by Robin J Kim