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Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Cameras

3.83 star rating
                      3.83 / 5 (6 Reviews)
MSRP : $599.00

Product Description

A lower-priced, consumer-friendly Olympus Pen Micro Four Thirds cameras. The E-PL1 has a 12-megapixel sensor, 720p video, a pop-up flash, the Accessory Port for electronic viewfinder and an innovative new graphic user interface for beginners called Live Guide. Comes as a kit with the Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm kit lens.

Read The Complete Olympus E-PL1 Pro Review >>

I started out writing a short piece on traveling to Mazatlan with the Olympus E-PL1 digital camera. However, that short article turned into a full review. That’s just as well since the E-PL1 and Olympus’ other Micro Four Thirds cameras deserve more attention. The Micro Four Thirds camera design eliminates the mirror and optical viewfinder in a digital SLR to make a smaller camera that can still deliver digital SLR-like image quality. The E-PL1 is Olympus’ third Micro Four Thirds camera. It has a 12-megapixel Live MOS Four Thirds sensor, interchangeable lenses, 720p HD video and plenty of creative controls. It’s an effective compromise between the performance of a digital SLR and the portability of a high-end compact camera – it could be the ultimate serious travel camera. I bet big on the E-PL1 for my Mazatlan trip and left all my DSLR gear at home.

Olympus E-PL1 Review Contents:

Olympus E-PL1 - front and back

Read The Complete Olympus E-PL1 Pro Review >>

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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Anthony Reiss a Professional

Date Reviewed: October 31, 2011

Strengths:    The 4/3 system is one great modular people's system.

Almost ANY lens, even 30-40 years old, can fit into the camera via an adapter.

The body is cheap! (lenses are not...) Take it anywhere and run it to the ground... broken? Get a new one! It's THAT cheap!

Auto ISO working at it's best!

Weaknesses:    The lens caps of the original zoom kit is so tiny, a tether should be provided to prevent loss and misplacement.

The video "standard"settings tend to blow out highlights. Use "neutral" instead.

Bottom Line:   
One of the most VALUE FOR MONEY cameras to come for a LONG TIME.

Right after I recieved the brand new camera kit, I immediately removed the standard zoom lens and attached an Ai to M4/3 adaptor (and an FD to M4/3 adaptor too!)


All my Ai Nikkor and FD Canon lenses of long ago suddenly took on new life... in movie making! (and photos as well)

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   private negotiation

Similar Products Used:   5D

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Asad Malik a Intermediate

Date Reviewed: June 16, 2011

Strengths:    Superb image quality
Sharp kit lens
Good looking
Very good price
Compact for it's features
Decent grip for size
Good noise performance (especially when compared to Panasonic counterparts).
Good jpeg processing

Weaknesses:    Slow to auto-focus
Sometimes fails to AF in low light
Some accessories are very expensive e.g. VF-II and SEMA-1
Cheap build quality
No control dials
Average screen resolution
Cannot take any release cable or remote
Slow burst mode
Battery and Card compartment at the bottom (problem when mounted on a tripod)
Kit lens wobbles when extended
Zoom ring not smooth
No AF finder light
Choppy video with art filters on
Buttons and mode dial feel very cheap like a Chinese toy

Bottom Line:   
Great little camera, with excellent image quality.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   0-1 years

Price Paid:    $380.00

Purchased At:   Gigantti Finland

Similar Products Used:   Panasonic GF1

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Greg McCary a Expert

Date Reviewed: March 11, 2011

Strengths:    Smalll size, great image quality, nice colors, Ability to use Leica and Voitlander lenses via an adapter. In body image stabilization. Very useable images up to 800iso.

Weaknesses:    Hard to use in manual. I wish there was a thumb wheel for shutter speed changes, weak LCD, Not sure I like the lock feature on the 14-42mm lens.

Bottom Line:   
I bought the EPL-1 to have a light weight street camera that I could use my Voigtlander lenses on. I wanted the EPL-1 so I would have the ability to use a EVF making focusing easier. I have played around with the Voigtlander 28mm and 15mm Heliar. Their incrediable DOF almost makes missing focus almost impossible.
It IQ is very good along with the dynamic range. So far I am pleased. The colors remind me a lot of film and the results are the same. I was really pleased with the black and white art filter which was a let down on the EP-1 which was to grainy.
I think Olympus m4/3rd cameras have come a long way but still have a ways to go before they are perfected. The draw backs are slight shutter lag, weak LCD which is useless on a sunny day and cumbersome manual controls. The best way I have found to come close to using it in manual is to put it in aperture priority and bump the exposure compensate up or down. Also if you use and art filter it takes several seconds for the image to write to the card.
What is needed in the future offering I would think is a way to shoot in manual that is easier, some nice fast lenses and maybe even a beefed up pro body.
I maybe being a bit harsher than I should be the EPL-1 is a splendid camera for what it was designed for. Just some minor issues that needs to be addressed.
The VF-2 is a must and is also a dream.
If you are a novice and really care nothing about shooting in manual and want DSLR quality pictures this is your camera. If on the other hand you are an advanced photographer you might be a little let down. But if you remember what it was designed for and use it a such you will be happy. Nice to have if you don't want to carry your main camera around all day and it's small size makes for a sweet street camera. I will certainly be interested in future upgrades from Olympus I think they are on to something here and have led the pack in design and ideas. The are setting standards not following them. Hats of to Olympus for being bold enough to try new innovations.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   6-10 years

Price Paid:    $350.00

Purchased At:   Used

Similar Products Used:   Olympus EP-1

Type of photography:   Outdoor

Overall Rating:1
Value Rating:2
Submitted by The Big Picture a Professional

Date Reviewed: September 30, 2010

Strengths:    none

Weaknesses:    Screen, relative bulk, shutter lag, pic quality.

Bottom Line:   
This camera type is selling like hotcakes to many enthusiastic consumers. However, conceptually and practically it represents pointless technology to the serious photographer.
AF, pic quality, shutter lag, LCD screen are all unacceptable to anyone who's interested in decisive moment-type photography, likes being able to focus selectively, let alone in sunlight. Other than gadgetry, this camera does nothing most decade old compact rangefinder camera let alone ANY (D)SLR wouldn't do better and even cheaper. With the lens sticking out you have lost the only advantage most digital contacts have already. So, get a Canon S95 or a Nikon D3100 instead and be done with it.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   21+ years

Price Paid:    $525.00

Purchased At:   B&H

Similar Products Used:   a plethora of compact digitals; all are compromises, but slip into your pocket.

Type of photography:   Fine Art

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by n00b a Casual

Date Reviewed: May 10, 2010

Strengths:    Easy to use
Built in Scene presets make shooting for novices a snap
Art filters add some fun
Excellent Zuiko lense
Nicely priced for those that want more than a P&S, but don't want full on DSLR
Ability to switch lenses..

Weaknesses:    RAW support is seriously lacking right now (this may chance in the future, as it is still a new product)
Body loses some of that classic rangefinder look of the EP1 and EP2, looks like it's designed more like the G series of cannon.
SD card/Battery compartment, (please switch the two in the next release!)

Bottom Line:   
I've been intrigued with the micro four thirds format for quite awhile, but had been hesitant to pull the trigger. I liked the idea of a smaller overall package, that would still give me outstanding quality photos. Having been spoiled by L lenses and prime sharpness, I wasn't sure I was ready to leave the bubble that is cannon. But I finally took the plunge, with the E-PL1. Sure it might lack some of the features that the EP2 has, but at the more affordable price range, I think the trade-offs would work out in my favor. I've been using it for a little over a week now, and can say I'm really impressed with the quality of the build as well as the great output of photos. The supplied 14-42 lense has been more than sufficient for everything I've been shooting. Though I am tempted to try the Panasonic 20mm pancake lense, when funds allow it. But for now, this is the perfect camera to carry around, not pocket-able like most point and shoots, but also, not as heavy and bulky as a full size DSLR. The images are worth every penny spent though... Although I do have one complaint, minor as it may be, the location of the SD card and the battery. If they'd swapped the two, it would be WAY easier to access the card. As it is, it's not the most convenient way to get the card out. And I tend to take the card out at least once a day.

Expand full review >>

Duration Product Used:   2-5 years

Price Paid:    $549.00

Purchased At:   best buy

Similar Products Used:   Cannon Rebel
Cannon G11

Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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