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Olympus E1

alaTest has collected and analyzed 608 reviews from magazines and websites. Reviewers are impressed by the build quality and image quality. The lens and performance are also appreciated, whereas the screen and flash get less positive views. Reviews about the software and low light performance are different.

value for money, performance, lens, image quality, build quality

focus, flash, screen

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Olympus E1 is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 88/100 = Very good quality.

See all Olympus Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 608 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 268 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 268 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (197)

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1


Well built ; All the benefits of a D-SLR ; Long battery life ; USB 2.0 and FireWire ; Robust performance ; Splash-proof ; Great image quality ; Innovative dust-removal system ; AF illuminator

Expensive compared with other cameras in class ; Nonstandard lenses ; Images sometimes underexposed

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1


The Olympus E-1 is the first removable lens digital SLRwith a lens mount and imaging system specifically designed for digital.As such it is also the first removable lens digital SLR from Olympus andmarks the beginning of a whole new camera system...

Good tonal balance, average resolution, neutral color, almost no sharpening artifacts ; Wide range of image parameter adjustment (color, tone, sharpness) ; Selectable sRGB or Adobe RGB color space (with embedded profile) ; Hybrid white balance system...

Bayer interpolation and moiré artifacts ; Resolution not as good as we would expect from large five megapixel sensor ; Noise levels higher than the competition from ISO 800 upwards (especially RAW) ; Noise filter and lens shading features have only...

The E-1 is the first lens removable digital SLR which is based around a totally new lens system designed specifically for a smaller sensor. This means smaller, lighter lenses and body. Our side-by-side example of the E-1 with the E 14-54 mm lens...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1 SLR


The Olympus E-1 is the world's first 100% all-digital interchangeable lens SLR system. This camera has been designed entirely from digital technology and for digital photography. Olympus and Kodak have partnered to create the new Four Thirds open standard

The Olympus E-1 camera body, lenses and flash firmware are updated through the Olympus Viewer software when the camera is connected to a PC and the Internet. Be sure to update the Viewer software first - click on the HELP menu and select the Software Upda


Expert review by:

Olympus E1 SLR Digital Camera Review: Intro and Highlights


At the Photokina show in Germany in September of 2002, Olympus and Kodak announced plans to jointly develop a new digital SLR system, based on a standard sensor size and lens mount specification, that presumably will be open to other manufacturers to...

To see how E-1's images compare to other cameras you may be considering

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1: Digital SLR with an edge


According to the voice from Mount Olympus, there are two kinds of interchangeable-lens digital SLRs. The most prevalent type mates digital camera bodies with lenses originally designed for 35mm or medium-format film SLRs. But compromises in performance...

Expert review by:

Olympus DSLR at Photokina


Those of you who have read our exclusive Olympus E-400 digital SLR preview may have noticed that we mentioned something about an upcoming answer from Olympus on their current DSLR E-System top model, the Olympus E-1. At the last Olympus press meeting...

Expert review by:

The Olympus E-1 A New Pro-Oriented Digital SLR System


One of the glories of digital cameras is that you have as many options as you could desire in terms of exposure, white balance, file format and compression, sharpness, contrast, color saturation, bracketing, flash modes, and ISO settings, etc., all in...

(Left to right): Set on continuous mode, the E-1 can handle up to 12 frames in its buffer. This sequence, made at the NYC Marathon, follows a set of runners as they near the one-mile marker. I moved the camera as the runners went by to follow a single...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1 DSLR test review © 2004


Pass. There are better choices for less money unless you really are in love with the size of this camera and don't mind toting an external flash. If you are in love with the size go or the E-300 instead.The E-1 has no built in flash. Because of this...

Expert review by:

Olympus E-1


Camera shoppers have quite a few choices when it comes to D-SLRs. How does the E-1 hold up against the competition? Find out in our review

Excellent photo quality, though images sometimes underexposed ; Superb performance ; Very well built (and I mean it) ; Tons of manual controls ; Lenses are designed for the camera ; Very handy dust and hot pixel removal features ; AF-assist lamp ; Low...

Images sometimes underexposed ; Burst mode cannot be used when noise reduction, noise filter, or shading compensation are turned on ; Less resolution, higher price than competition ; Only selectable three focus points ; Getting exposure info in...

If you've already got an investment in Canon, Nikon, or Pentax glass, I'd probably stick with whoever makes your lenses. If you're starting from scratch, the E-1 is an intriguing option. It's built far better than the Digital Rebel, EOS-10D, D100, or...

Expert review by:

RedCard 20-03


Midway continues its extreme brand of Blitz sports and finally brings it to the soccer pitch in Red Card Soccer.

Lots of violent, amusing slide tackles ; Some fun extras to unlock

Very poor control ; Low on options & features ; Only two player and no co-op

Product Specifications

The first camera being introduced in the Olympus Digital SLR System is the professional E-1. The most technically sophisticated, computerized digital camera built to date, the revolutionary E-1 is designed to deliver the best digital images for professional photographers today and into the future. It is a dynamic camera that can handle many types of photographic situations and deliver superior results in a wide range of settings, from indoor to studio, fashion to journalism, sports to portrait photography, and more. The camera features a new, high performance Super Latitude Full Frame Transfer CCD from Kodak, the KAF-5101CE, which delivers the highest dynamic range, lowest noise levels and best color of any camera in its class. This innovative 5 Megapixel CCD outperforms many higher Megapixel count imagers. In addition, the E-1 utilizes new and existing technologies like the exclusive Olympus TruePic Technology to achieve the highest image quality and most realistic digital photographs. Newly developed Noise Filter technology and the existing Noise Reduction technology produce clear, clean files. A newly developed Supersonic Wave Filter significantly reduces the chances of dust settling on the CCD or image and blocking pixels. The E-1 offers build and features quality equal to or better than the top professional quality cameras at the extremely competitive price.


Accessory Type:Battery holder/Focusing screen/O-ring
Compatibility (Camera Model):Olympus CAMEDIA E-10 / Olympus CAMEDIA E-20N/Olympus E-1
Compatibility (Product Type):Digital camera/Underwater flash

Audio Input

Type: None

Battery Grips & Holders

Capacity:4 x AA

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Built-in flash/None

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:CompactFlash / Microdrive/xD-Picture Card / xD-Picture Card Type H / xD-Picture Card Type M

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:1.5in/1.8in
Diagonal Size (metric):3.8cm/4.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Landscape / Landscape-portrait / Night mode / Portrait mode / Self-portrait

Flash Memory

Form Factor:xD-Picture Card
Storage Capacity:16MB

Focusing Screen



Model:1.3x H.Q./300 Digital/B-HLD1/E-1/FS-1/POL-U1
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Olympus/Olympus E

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/3.1-5.2
Lens for SD:Body only
Max Focal Length:17.4mm
Min Focal Length:5.8mm
Optical Zoom:3
Special Functions:Tele
System Type:Lens accessories
Type:Converter/None/Zoom lens


Underwater Use: Yes

Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.51"/13.0 x 17.3mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):10.1 mm ( 1/2.51 ) / 10.1 mm ( 1/2.51" )/13.0 x 17.3 mm
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:3.2Megapixel/5Megapixel

Optical System


Optical Viewfinder

Type:Fixed eye-level pentaprism/Real-image zoom

Service & Support

Type:1 year warranty

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:QuickTime
Digital Zoom:5
ISO (Max):320/3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 3200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800/ISO 320 / ISO 80
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode / Panorama mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Sepia
Still Image Format:JPEG/JPEG / RAW / RAW + JPEG / TIFF
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical