Excerpt: The third time's the charm. With the Pen E-PL1 ($600, with 14–42mm f/3.5–5.6 lens), Olympus has finally gotten it all together in a Micro Four Thirds camera: plenty of pixels, attention-grabbing size and styling, and a built-in flash that lets you add light to your scene even when using an accessory electronic viewfinder (EVF). But perhaps even bigger news is the introduction of two new Micro Four Thirds lenses.
Summary: Olympus have built a beautiful-image maker with this
; if you like shooting JPEGs, you’ll love this camera. It is also a camera that is simple to operate, yet can be customised in hundreds of ways, thus appealing to both the newbie and the experienced shooter. Thanks to its menu system, both will feel at home setting it up.
Pros: Compact size (camera plus a couple of lenses can be carried in coat pockets)., Onboard flash can be used for bounce., Auto ISO available in M mode., Beautiful JPEGs out of camera., Surprisingly good kit lens., Surprisingly good ISO 3200., Very customisable., Many options for live view (multiple grids, histogram, shadow/highlight overlay, etc.)., Despite DxO Marks poor score for dynamic range, I find it performs very well in this respect., Focusing direction of the len...
Cons: Cannot assign ISO to one of the two customisable buttons., Auto ISO in M mode not smart enough to compensate overexposure if light gets too bright for ISO 100., ISO tops at 3200., No orientation sensor for vertical shots., No IR/cable remote capability., Won’t display picture until it’s been moved to the memory card., No hood for the lens., Low resolution LCD display.
Summary: Olympus adds point-and-shootability to its retro mirrorless PEN range. A vast array of custom options don't undermine its out-of-the-box capability. Only compact-camera-like controls and build prevent it being a PEN for everyone.
Pros: Excellent resolution with lots of detail in the shots, Point-and-shoot interface that also allows user interaction, Superb JPEG engine makes camera's full capability easily accessible, Reliable metering and white balance (in natural light), Good AF performance (though kit lens holds it back), Hints of retro styling and SLR quality in a compact body, Collapsible kit lens is small and offers decent quality, Superb optional viewfinder aids stable holding and shooting in ...
Cons: Some highlight clipping (and poor dynamic range at ISO 100), Low resolution screen that's hard to see in bright light, No orientation sensor means having to rotate every portrait image manually, Exposure controls slow and awkward to use (by DSLR standards), 1/2000th max shutter speed combined with base sensitivity of ISO 200 limits you to small apertures in bright light, i-Enhance picture mode can't be disengaged when using iAuto, Complicated menu at odds with camera'...
Conclusion: A good value at under $600 with lens, the Olympus E-PL1 offers D-SLR image quality without the clunky build. But if you're looking for speed, sluggish focusing speeds leave this camera in the dust behind Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds offerings and D-SLRs.
Pros: Currently the least-expensive Micro Four Thirds camera you can buy. Beautiful, sharp images. Newbie-friendly features.
Evaluation of Panasonic Lumix GF1, GF2 and Olympus E-PL1 Cameras
Images by William Castleman
22 October 2010
Excerpt: Several micro four thirds cameras (Panasonic and Olympus) were evaluated as a small, light-weight travel camera to substitute for my Canon EOS-40D when space and weight restrictions during travel would benefit from a smaller camera system. The main objective initially was to compare image quality produced by micro four thirds cameras with that produced by the EOS-40D.
Olympus PEN E-PL1 – Good Performance From an Average Looker
21 October 2010
Summary: The Olympus E-PL1 sells at a market operating price of Rs. 22,999. While this may be a decent camera in terms of image quality; this is definitely not the newest. Olympus recently launched the E-PL2 which has a larger screen with more controls. On the whole however, the E-PL1 offers a lot for the price.
Conclusion: Olympus PEN E-PL1 system camera review Olympus is making headway with the digital PEN, which is logical. It is a very smart concept and a very nice cross between a compact camera and an SLR camera. The design also makes it appealing to a lot of people. That may be truer for the E-P1 than for the Olympus PEN E-PL1, which has a bit of a plastic and more angular appearance, making it less charming. But that is just the outside.
Excerpt: So far, Micro Four Thirds cameras have been priced for the early-adopter crowd, with the first models from both Olympus and Panasonic debuting at about $800 (street) with their respective kit lenses. Now, the new Olympus Pen E-PL1 brings the entry price down to a more manageable $600 (street) with a 14–42mm f/3.5–5.6 collapsible kit lens. And without compromising on performance.
Conclusion: Taking the Olympus E-PL1 to Mazatlan was a great test. I don’t regret it one bit. It made air travel and customs easier, it didn’t attract attention while I was shooting in the street, and the image quality and performance didn’t let me down. The photos I shot in Mexico – people, streetscapes and landscapes – represent what most people would shoot with the E-PL1. Shooting action with the E-PL1 is a little harder but with proper technique even that is doable.
Pros: Light and compact, $599 with a lens!, Better image quality than a compact digital camera, 720p HD video, Built-in image stabilization, Pop-up flash, Live Guide creative controls, Auto focus performance not as good as a digital SLR, Image quality not as good as most digital SLRs, No dedicated exposure controls, Not enough dedicated lens options, Not so great for action photos, EVF (electronic viewfinder) is a $200 accessory, Point-and-shoot photographers who want more ...
Cons: Auto focus performance not as good as a digital SLR, Image quality not as good as most digital SLRs, No dedicated exposure controls, Not enough dedicated lens options, Not so great for action photos, EVF (electronic viewfinder) is a $200 accessory, Point-and-shoot photographers who want more control and/or better image quality, Serious photographers who want a compact alternative to a digital SLR, Travel photographers or outdoorsmen who want a small camera that can pr...