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Olympus PEN E-PL1 12.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Mirrorless Digital Camera with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Digital Zoom Lens (Black)
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- New Live Guide interface simplifies great photography; capture images to SD/SDHC cards (not included)
- Capture HD video with high-quality audio; new "Direct Button" for easy recording
- Includes 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 digital zoom lens; features built-in flash
- 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens digital camera; Micro Four Thirds format
- 2.7-inch HyperCrystal LCD with Live View function; Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) tracking system
- 12.3-megapixel interchangeable lens digital camera; Micro Four Thirds format
- Includes 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 digital zoom lens; features built-in flash
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|Auto Focus Technology|
|Battery Average Life||290 Photos|
|Compatible Mountings||Micro Four Thirds|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||3 fps|
|Display Fixture Type||Fixed|
|Display Resolution Maximum||230,000|
|Display Size||2.7 inches|
|External Memory Included||No|
|Flash Memory Type||SD/SDHC card|
|Flash Sync Speed||1/2000_sec|
|Flash Type||Built-in Flash, Hot-shoe|
|Flash Type||Built In Flash|
|Focus Description||Contrast Detection|
|Focus Type||Autofocus & Manual|
|Form Factor||Rangefinder-style mirrorless|
|HDMI Type||Mini HDMI type-C|
|ISO Range||Auto ISO (200 - 3200), Manual ISO (100 - 3200), 1/3 or 1 EV steps|
|Image Aspect Ratio||4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Included Components||Olympus PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera - 14-42mm Lens -|
|Item Dimensions||2.83 x 1.65 x 4.53 inches|
|Item Weight||0.74 pounds|
|Lithium Battery Weight||4 ounces|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/2000 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||Live MOS|
|Photo Sensor Technology||CMOS|
|Processor Description||Truepic V|
|Sensor Cleaning Method||Supersonic Wave Filter|
|Shipping Weight||3.05 pounds|
|Supported Battery Types||Lithium-Ion BLS-1 rechargeable battery & charger|
|Video Capture Format||motion_jpeg|
|Video Capture Resolution||1080i_hd|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic (optional)|
|Water Resistance Level||Not Water Resistant|
From the Manufacturer
The new Olympus PEN E-PL1 is truly greater than the sum of its parts, with a surprisingly small camera body packed with technology normally found in bigger, bulkier and heavier professional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) cameras and High-Definition (HD) camcorders. This third-generation PEN is built for shutterbugs who always wanted better pictures and considered a DSLR, but were intimidated by the bulky size and complex interface. The new camera's simple design and easy interface enable photographers to easily create amazing images never dreamt possible.
The E-PL1 equals an affordable and powerfully simple all-in-one package that travels with you to capture life in the high quality that your memories deserve.
This third generation of the Olympus PEN series combines powerful features in an easy-to-use package that will make capturing your life more fun. The new direct record button makes taking videos easier than ever and the new Live Guide functionality makes it simple to learn photography techniques without requiring the skills of a pro shooter.
New Direct Button for HD Movies
Recording HD movies with the E-PL1 is simple, thanks to an easy-to-reach red "direct button" (red record button) on the back of the camera body. If you're about to snap a photo and you realize a video would capture the spirit of the scene even better, simply press the record button and instantly you're capturing videos! Easily toggle back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using your index finger to press the shutter button or your thumb to press the red record button. Having the ability to shoot still images and videos opens up a world of imaging possibilities.
New Live Guide Sets the Scene Before You Shoot
The E-PL1's new Live Guide interface simplifies great photography and gets the results you desire at the touch of a button. Want more vivid or muted color in your shot? Want warmer or cooler color? Want a brighter or darker subject, or a sharper or softer background? Or maybe you want to capture the fast-moving action of your subject with a little artistic blur, or perhaps freeze the action? Simply select Live Guide and press the up and down arrows on the back of the camera to slide through numerous photographic effects. Make adjustments and watch the LCD as the effects are made live before the image is captured! Don't worry about learning technical things like f-stops, shutter speed and white balance; jump right in by composing, adjusting exposure and more before the shot is taken.
Seeing the results before snapping the image ensures you are getting the shots you want, and it will change the way you photograph. Shooting Tips are also included with Live Guide, so you can leave the manual at home.
Live Guide is just the start of automated technologies on the E-PL1 designed to free you up to focus on your subjects instead of focusing on your camera's settings.
- 19 Scene-Select Modes: From portraits to sunset shots, the E-PL1 is equipped with 19 Scene-Select modes for effortless picture taking, including Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama, to name a few. Capturing beautiful portraits is easy with the ePortrait Mode that enables you to smooth your subject's complexion.
- Intelligent Auto (iAuto) Mode: When you don't want to use the scene-select modes, the iAuto mode automatically identifies what you're shooting and adjusts settings for you to capture the best result depending on the situation.
- Face Detection: Reduce the chance of blurred subjects in images by recognizing up to eight faces, tracking them within the image area, and automatically focusing and optimizing exposure for sharp portraits.
- In-Camera Panorama: Capture three images and stitch them together to create one amazing, seamless panoramic picture. Or use the included OLYMPUS [ib] software to stitch up to 10 images together for the ultimate panorama.
- iEnhance: With this mode the warm yellow and orange colors of a sunset are heightened to a dramatically lifelike color that's truer to what you see with the naked eye. iEnhance can be used in any mode, and automatically engages when using iAuto to enrich color in any subject.
- Share: Just connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI cable and use your TV remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera's menus from the comfort of your personal front-row seat. The E-PL1 records to SDHC (Class 6 recommended) media cards that can be plugged directly into many devices and accommodate large files, including videos.
The E-PL1 is the first camera in the Olympus PEN series with a built-in pop-up flash that makes it easy to illuminate low-light subjects, reduce red-eye and fill in dark areas. The camera is also compatible with a range of optional external flashes, including the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R, which can be controlled wirelessly by the E-PL1 so you can dynamically control lighting as your photography skills grow.
How do professional photographers capture the stunning images you see in the pages of glossy magazines and coffee-table books? Talent matters, of course, but you also need the right equipment. Rest assured that the E-PL1 has everything you need to produce vibrant, professional-quality images: a large image sensor, in-body Image Stabilization, Imager Autofocus, the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System and the TruePic V Image Processor.
Big Sensor, Not a Big Body
At the heart of the E-PL1 is a large-size image sensor that's the same sensor as the one inside the Olympus E-30 and E-620 DSLR models. The only difference between this sensor and what the pros use is that this big sensor is inside the much smaller body of the E-PL1. This high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor (eight times larger than the average point-and-shoot camera 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.
Stabilize All of Your Lenses
Instead of selling more expensive lenses that have image stabilization inside them, Olympus takes a different approach by having image stabilization built right into the body of the E-PL1. This means that any lens (Micro Four Thirds, Four Thirds and any third-party lens) attached to the E-PL1 will deliver blur-free images thanks to three modes of In-body Image Stabilization that automatically compensate for camera shake, including in low-light situations or when shooting without a tripod. Since the PEN cameras are the world's smallest interchangeable-lens cameras with image stabilization built inside the body, you can take the E-PL1 with you and capture great images, and it won't weigh you down.
Track Your Subjects Wherever They Roam
The E-PL1's Continuous Autofocus (C-AF) Tracking and Autofocus (AF) Target Registration locks your subject into focus and constantly adjusts focus and brightness whether you or your subject is moving. With this mode, a simple push of the shutter release enables you to keep moving subjects in focus--tracking them from left to right and from front to back--within the frame, automatically ensuring that even active subjects, like kids playing sports, are captured clearly.
The E-PL1's Imager Autofocus in Live View enables you to compose, focus and capture the shot quickly and easily without ever taking your eyes off the camera's large, 2.7-inch full-color, high-contrast HyperCrystal LCD for an easy, seamless viewing experience when shooting still images or videos. The LCD 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
If you're just starting out with a camera that has interchangeable lenses, you don't have to worry about dust spots on your sensor ruining the perfect image every time you change lenses. Spend more time shooting with the E-PL1 and less time worrying about dust with the proven Olympus Dust Reduction System that 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 them on a special adhesive membrane every time the camera is turned on.
The E-PL1's Live MOS image sensor is complemented by Olympus' 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 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 ISO 3200), enabling great results in low-light situations.
Easily Expand Your Creative Horizons With Built-in Effects
Express yourself with in-camera creative features. Professional images are rarely unedited images. Video and still image pros use computer-editing software to render their images with effects that set their shots apart from the pack. Olympus appreciates that you may not have hours to spend retouching your images at the computer, so the E-PL1 incorporates editing effects inside the camera to save you time. Whether you apply in-camera creative effects while shooting an image, or apply them later to images captured without the effects, all are inside the E-PL1, so you can achieve dramatic results on the go without a computer or editing software.
The E-PL1 has six in-camera Art Filters, including a new filter called Gentle Sepia. This filter gives your images and videos a soft, warm sepia cast similar to historical images from the early days of photography. The sepia tones are softer and the blacks are a true black, unlike traditional sepia images. The new filter joins Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pin Hole, Grainy Film and Diorama (the filter that makes everything look as small as the E-PL1).
With the E-PL1's Multiple Exposure function available for still image capture, you are free to tell a visual story your way. The image capture options enable you to shoot one shot, then another and combine them in real time, or capture both shots separately and combine them within the camera later. Take a shot of your significant other, and overlay your self-portrait on top to figure out what your kids will look like. If you have kids already, overlay your kid's face on top of a shot of his or her favorite cartoon character for laughs. Your ability to manipulate space and time makes this new creative multimedia device a veritable time machine.
You often can achieve greater photographic expression by framing a scene in a unique way. The E-PL1 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 suited to an 8 x 10-inch enlargement; the 16:9 aspect ratio that will display 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 in-camera Art Filters and Multiple Exposures.
With the E-PL1, you have your own living library 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 three built-in dramatic background music options to provide a soundtrack for your cinematic creation. With so many creative options, there's no limit to what you can create. Choose whether or not you want to play back just pictures, just movies or a combination; also control playing back the whole movie or just a clip.
Open System Easily Grows with Your Ability
With a basic point-and-shoot camera, you get one lens built into the camera. One lens, that's it. And it's likely a small lens, which doesn't allow a lot of light through to hit the image sensor. So, you may have a difficult time in low-light conditions. And without the option of adding more lenses, you're limited to what that one point-and-shoot lens can do. The E-PL1 solves these issues by accepting a variety of lenses to maximize its functionality. Whether shooting still images or HD video, you can add everything from an extreme wide-angle fisheye lens to a super-telephoto lens for a wide range of expressive options.
The M. Zuiko Digital Micro Four Thirds lenses are designed to be more compact and portable like the E-PL1. Choose from the ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 zoom lens (28-84mm equivalent in 35mm cameras) sold with the E-PL1, the ED 17mm f2.8 lens (34mm equivalent), the new super wide-angle zoom ED 9-18mm f4.0-5.6 lens (18-36mm equivalent) or the high-power wide to telephoto zoom ED 14-150mm f4.0-5.6 lens (28-300mm equivalent).
If you want to have even more options, the MMF-2 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter makes the E-PL1 compatible with all Olympus Zuiko Digital Specific lenses and other Four Thirds System lenses from Sigma, Panasonic and Leica. Olympus OM film-based lenses can be attached to the E-PL1 with the MF-2 OM Lens Adapter, and there are third-party adapters developed for lenses from most other manufacturers.
Software & Accessory Options When You're Ready
The E-PL1 incorporates an accessory port for connecting the optional VF-2 live-finder, a detachable electronic viewfinder, or the new optional SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set (which includes the EMA-1 adapter, the ME-51S stereo microphone and a cord) for those who want to capture enhanced audio with any microphone that has a 3.5mm plug. These optional accessories easily slide into the camera's accessory port and hot shoe.
Photographers who wish to hold the E-PL1 up to their eye rather than use the LCD will appreciate that the optional VF-2, which provides 1.15x magnification and a 100 percent field of view with sharp resolution, brightness and contrast. The viewfinder refreshes quickly to minimize image ghosting on fast-moving subjects. It also rotates up to 90 degrees to enable photographers to look down into it, which is useful when shooting subjects from challenging angles. The built-in diopter adjustment and high magnification offer easy viewing with and without glasses.
The E-PL1 offers OLYMPUS [ib] software that includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo-organizing functions. You can organize your photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by location with a Geotagging function or by event. You can easily view photos on an HDTV or on the camera's LCD with the Photo Surfing or Slideshow functions. The name [ib] stands for image bridging, image browsing and image brightening. The software will be available for Windows operating systems only.
Underwater Housing for Aquatic Adventures
The new camera's compact design makes it the perfect companion for all of your dive trips. The PT-EP01 underwater case has been specially customized for the Olympus E-PL1 and is waterproof to a depth of 40 meters (approximately 130 feet). With its durable, high-quality polycarbonate construction, this Olympus housing protects the camera from water while also cushioning it from knocks and bumps on land. The housing enables viewing from either the camera's LCD screen or an optional electronic viewfinder. The flash connectors allow optional use of up to two UFL-2 underwater flash units via fiber optic cable. A nonremovable front lens port accommodates multiple Micro Four Thirds lenses.
New Exterior Design, Same PEN DNA
The E-PL1 streamlines the Olympus Micro Four Thirds PEN series form. Thanks to its compact size (4.51" W x 2.84" H x 1.63" D excluding protrusions) and light 10.4-ounce body, the E-PL1 won't weigh you down when you're on the go.
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Top Customer Reviews
- small size: I hike a lot, and want a light camera that will happily go in my backpack with lunch. DSLR's were just a little too too bulky for my taste. I really like the size of the camera, was willing to pay a bit extra for it. At some point I will probably spring for the 17mm "pancake" lens to trim it down even more. But when I have more cash. :-)
- SLR quality pictures: I was into hobby photography in school and got away from it when work got busy. I want the ability to take some nature and travel pics that can withstand some enlargement. The pictures I'm getting out of the E-PL1 are gorgeous, and I'm really excited about "taking it on the road".
- speed isn't an issue: a major complaint about the camera is that the autofocus isn't as fast as on some other cameras. For sports photography, that's probably an issue. For scenery and portraits, who cares. It's not so bad that I'd have noticed if the reviewers hadn't mentioned it, but then I'm not used to using a DSLR.
- don't care about a viewfinder - I've got astigmatism and with glasses, viewfinders are a pain. I went out shooting at sunset and intentionally shot with the sun on the LCD screen, and while it wasn't ideal,I could still work with it.
Read the reviews at dpreview, steves digicams, photographyblog - lots of good information and analysis. Frankly, I'd ignore most of the message boards and blogs, too many people getting ridiculously passionate about minutia. If you are THAT serious a photographer, this isn't the camera for you. But 95% of us AREN'T so into photography that we will sacrifice our firstborn rather than give up our allegiance to Panasonic/Canon/Nikon/whoever. So be thoughtful about your priorities, and go handle it in a store for a while. For my needs, it just fit.
On the other hand, you have a camera that is slow to focus. It appears to me that it zooms to infinity (and beyond) and then catches the focus on its way back in. If you are taking pictures of forever-in-motion kids you can be sure you will miss quite a few decisive moments. Additionally, this camera lacks the most important camera control there is. This is the control wheel used to change exposure, aperture, and shutter settings in a quick efficient manner. Instead this camera uses buttons which is an unwieldy way of making these changes. Most higher end Point and Shoot (P+S) cameras have some version of this control wheel. I think anyone transitioning to this camera from a DSLR or high end P+S will be frustrated by this. I've seen this billed as a good thing as there are less controls to get confused over. That may be so but all m4/3 cameras can be used as point and shoot by just keeping in the intelligent Auto(iA) mode. This simplifies the menu options and takes great pictures a majority of the time.
I think for anyone who wants to step up from a P+S to take better Image Quality pictures but plans to stay in the iA mode 90% of the time, then this camera will serve you well and will take some amazing images. Just remember P+S type focusing speed.
Anyone, who has a E-P1or E-P2 who want a sensors with a weaker Anti-Aliasing filter (i.e. less detail lost to the AA filter) and a fill flash will enjoy this camera for the IQ but will probably be frustrated with the loss of the control wheel
Anyone either stepping up from a high end P+S such as the LX3, S90, or G11 will be impressed with the images, but not blown away by the difference, unimpressed with the P+S focus performance, and frustrated in the P, A, S or M shooting modes. Additionally, you will be unimpressed with the bigger size of the camera but will enjoy the flexibility if your budget includes other lenses.
Anyone, getting this as a second carry around camera to a DSLR, will be happy with the smaller size and weight but unhappy with the slower performance. And frustrated by the clumsy controls but happy with the video capabilities.
If you don't need or want the video, don't mind IS in the lens instead of the camera, and can put up with a slight decrease in you IQ, ISO, and JPEG performance, then the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 12.1MP Digital Camera with Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm f/3.5-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Lens (Red) offers many upgrades at the same price (Integrated 1.4mp EVF, Swivel Screen, 460k screen, Grip for bigger lenses, faster focus performance, etc)
For the same price, the newly announced G10 matches the E-PL1 with video, and new processing engine (cross your fingers for a JPEG improvement). Additionally, it has a 2kp EVF (I'm not sure how useful that will be), a grip, a control wheel, a 1/4000 shutter speed and faster focus performance. It does not have in-camera IS.
For those planning on getting the EVF at some point or with an ~$200 greater budget, check out the newly announced G2. Take the G1, add 720P 60/50fps video, an improved processing engine, a new dial to change focusing modes, touch screen controls that look to work as slick as an iPhone, and touch screen focus, and you have a really really nice full featured camera.
Finally, if you don't need interchangeable lenses or don't plan on buying any more lenses and you don't mind a degradation of IQ, then the Canon S90, Canon G11, and Panasonic LX3(Leica D-Lux 4) are easier to carry around everywhere (especially the S90) and are cheaper(the gap will close when the price of this camera falls).
Here is a quick list of pros and cons of the E-PL1
The best Olympus implementation of the m4/3 sensor
One of the best JPEG engines in the business
Relatively small and light
Built in flash
In camera Image Stabilization(IS)
Price (The cheapest m4/3 yet)
Optional EVF (A very nice 1.4mp unit but very pricy at $279)
Nice build quality
Slow Autofocus (Panasonic has this figured out. Olympus, not so much)
Missing Control Wheel slows down aperture, shutter, and exposure changes
Only 230k screen?!
1/2000 shutter speed?! A lot of P+S go to 1/4000
Locking lens is annoying to deploy and stow
A competent and nice camera that will take stunning images. Slow autofocus and clunky controls will make this camera frustrating to many people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Included photos were taken with mine.