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Olympus Pen E-P1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 599 reviews from magazines and websites. Comments about the lens and design are on the whole positive. The responsiveness and performance are also appreciated, whereas opinions about the screen and flash are mixed. There are some less positive views about the features and viewfinder.

portability, performance, responsiveness, design, lens

viewfinder, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Compact System Cameras the Olympus Pen E-P1 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 78/100 = Good quality.

Review analysis

(Based on 599 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 122 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 122 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (138)

Expert review by:

Olympus E-P1


Expert review by:

A Retro Design and Thoughtful Shots for the Artsy Photo...


Packaged in a brushed and polished metal casing, the Olympus E-P1 camera screams both brawn and retro chic. Overlook the lo-res LCD and instead appreciate this cam's top-notch stabilization abilities and tidy images.

Solidly built, nostalgically styled 12.3-megapixel cam that rewards a considered approach to picture-taking. Tidy images up to ISO 1600. Manual controls. Mated with the low-profile 17-mm f2.8 lens (s dream. Excellent image stabilization. Magnified...

Lo-res LCD a real disappointment. Complicated menus. External flash only ($200). Subpar low-light, ultrahigh-ISO shots

Expert review by:

Olympus E-P1 Digital Camera Review


The Olympus E-P1 is a kick-ass modern camera in retro-design disguise, with a compact size that finally delivers on the ‘micro' part of the Micro Four Thirds promise.

Olympus has designed a camera that’s bigger than your typical point and shoot but significantly smaller than a digital SLR, thanks to the Micro Four Thirds format (which eliminates the SLR mirror box to shrink a camera’s depth) and some smart...


Expert review by:

Attractive, Innovative Olympus E-P1 Makes a Fine Point


With a focus on design, the Olympus E-P1 revitalizes compact-camera aesthetics.

Mighty Four Thirds sensor dwarfs the imagers used in all other compact cameras. Interchangeable lenses give flexibility, arty possibilities. Shoots fast. Image stabilization + wide ISO range = ability to shoot in low light. Solid, comfortable feel in...

Manual focusing is confusing and difficult without an optical viewfinder. Autofocus not entirely reliable. No included flash. Maximum aperture of f3.5 in the kit lens is disappointing. Kit lens requires a manual “press and twist” maneuver to extend it...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-P1


With DSLR-like functionality in a package no larger than a rangefinder camera, the Olympus E-P1 ($799.99 list, with 14-42mm kit lens) is truly a game changer. The Micro Four Thirds camera offers spectacular image quality in a compact body, but its...

Sharp images from ISO 100 through ISO 800. Low noise from ISO 100-1600. Beautiful aesthetics and design. HD video capture (720p30). HDMI port. 3 inch LCD

Noticeable shutter lag. Slow autofocus. Lens is noisy when focusing, which is recorded when capturing video. Few Micro Four Thirds Lenses available. No optical viewfinder. No built-in flash

Despite slow focusing, the compact Olympus E-P1 offers a well-rounded experience with a great price.

Expert review by:

Olympus PEN E-P1 - Review of the Olympus PEN E-P1


Compact, stainless steel design, Pleasing, accurate colors, Detailed 720p video with good sound, Full manual control and RAW support, Unique filters for photos and movies

Photos slightly underexposed in Auto mode, Slow autofocusing in movie mode, No viewfinder, Lacks on-board flash

When it comes to manual control, the E-P1 has something for everyone. Fairly inexperienced shooters will appreciate Intelligent Auto Mode, which automatically adjusts the settings and selects the scene mode depending on the shooting conditions. More...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-P1 Review



Expert review by:

Olympus Pen E-P1 (with 17mm f2.8 lens and optical viewfinder, Silver)


Looking only a bit like the original Micro Four Thirds concept design Olympus floated last September at Photokina, the company's retro interchangeable lens E-P1 debuts this year to ride the coattails of the 50th anniversary of the company's PEN film...

Striking design; excellent build quality; impressive photo quality; interchangeable lens support

Sluggish autofocus; short battery life; low-resolution LCD; lacks on-camera flash and viewfinder

The Olympus E-P1 is an otherwise excellent enthusiast compact camera hampered by some performance problems and the lack of a viewfinder and built-in flash.

Expert review by:

Olympus’ E-P1; The Return Of The Olympus Pen


The original Olympus Pen was introduced in 1959 and was the first Japanese half-frame 35mm camera produced. Its name? Designer Maitani's concept was that the camera would be as convenient to carry as a pen. Launched in 1963, the Pen F was the first...

Featuring uncompressed 24-bit/96kHz Linear PCM recording capability, the E-P1 is able to record and play back in WAV, MP3, or WMA formats and can record with its built-in stereo microphone or by plugging in an external mic

Expert review by:

Olympus E-P1 Detailed Review


12 Megapixels interchangeable lens camera with built-in stabilization, dust-reduction and digital level.

Product Specifications

The Olympus E-P1 marks an innovative era in digital imaging. The Micro Four Thirds camera upholds the legacy of the celebrated PEN family of cameras, with the photographic optics of an SLR and the size and simplicity of a point and shoot. Combining the still image quality of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) with the A/V quality of both a high definition camcorder and high-end audio recorder, the E-P1 is a virtual full-service imaging studio in one ultra-portable and stylishly retro body. With dozens of advanced features, the E-P1 makes documenting and sharing your everyday life easier and more creative than ever before. The E-P1 is the world's smallest 12.3-mexapixel interchangeable lens system camera, yet has the creative flexibility to give you a true professional experience with ease. A still photo, video and audio recorder in one, the E-P1 creates exceptional photos, inventive slide shows, and remarkable videos both for personal use or for posting on many of today's social networking websites. It delivers professional quality images without the bulk of a conventional DSLR, thanks to its slim body and advanced high-speed imager AF (Live View) technologies. The lens mount diameter has been reduced, enabling the use of smaller, lighter interchangeable lenses that perform at the same level as larger DSLR lenses. The camera fits easily in many pockets and purses. With 12.3 megapixels at its disposal, the E-P1 delivers image quality that makes the difference between ordinary and exceptional still and video imaging. A Live MOS image sensor is complemented by a next generation TruePic V image processor, resulting in excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, fine image details in all highlight and shadow areas, and reduced noise.


Accessory Type:Eyecup
Compatibility (Camera Model):Olympus E-1
Compatibility (Product Type):Digital camera

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Stereo


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Olympus BLS-1

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:Prosumer
Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Anti shake / Beach/snow / Candle / Children / Documents / Fireworks / High key / Landscape / Landscape-portrait / Low key / Macro / Nature macro / Night scene / Night scene with portrait / Panorama assist / Portrait mode / Sports mode / Sunset


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/2.8/F/3.5-5.6
Lens for SD:Body only/Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 14-42mm lens/Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 17mm lens
Max Focal Length:42mm
Min Focal Length:14mm/17mm
Optical Zoom:3
Type:Lens/Zoom lens


CE Product Type:Microcassette recorder erase plug
Microsoft Certification:Certified for Windows Vista
Vista Certification:Certified for Windows Vista

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:13.0 x 17.3mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):13.0 x 17.3 mm
Optical Sensor Type:High speed Live MOS
Sensor Dust Reduction: Yes
Sensor Resolution:12.3Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical (image sensor shift mechanism)

Video Input

Digital Video Format:AVI / MJPEG
Face Detection: Yes
ISO (Max):6400
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100-6400 / ISO auto (200-1600) / ISO auto (200-6400)
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White Green filter / Black & White Orange filter / Black & White Red filter / Black & White Yellow filter / Grainy Film / Light Tone / Monotone / Muted / Natural / Pale & Light Colour / Pin Hole / Pop Art / Portrait / Sepia / Soft Focus / Vivid
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW / RAW + JPEG
Type:Digital camera