Olympus PEN E-P1 Review
Armed with a 12.30 megapixels resolution and 3x zoom plus donned with a contemporary design, the Olympus EP1 is ideally made for photographers. A small camera with a high quality performance.
Regardless of its modern design, the EP1 is more functionally attractive as compared with its predecessors. The camera's grip is just enough to give something for your fingers to hold on. The front of the camera is made of aluminum and the rest are of polycarbonate. There is a bit of inexpensiveness to the camera if you happen to be an obsessive-compulsive type however, this is not surprising for its kind. All in all though, the camera actually don't have that inexpensiveness feel.
The self-timer lamp, shutter release button and the lens release button are all located on the front portion of the camera together with the lens mount plate. The camera lacks mirror and by default, the shutter is open with the sensor being visible. These are common for Micro Four Thirds cameras.
On the top left part of the camera is the flash that pops up by tweaking the sliding mechanical switch at the rear. Beside that is the hot shoe. Next to the hotshoe is the mode dial which is firm enough, unlikely to turn by itself. The shutter release button is a little stiff however at first press, it seems like you haven't touched anything. Lit with a blue LED inside, the tiny power button is seated beside the shutter release. The two holes for the microphone are in front of the hot shoe.
Looking at the rear portion of the camera, one can see the switch for the Flash release a little above the screen. The LCD has 230, 000 pixel resolution. Beside the screen on the right is the port for hot shoe/accessory followed by the zoom buttons. The button with the red dot is for recording Movie. Also on that same rear portion is the Playback, Menu, Info buttons then the trashcan button. There is a bit of difference with regard to the camera's four-way navigator as compared with its predecessors. Dials for quick aperture and changes for shutter speed are not an option on this camera.
Speaking of performance, the camera is not the best when it comes to speed, quite disappointing same with other PEN series. Less disappointing if you prefer to focus manually yet there are still other features of the EP1 that are disappointing too. From start up, the camera takes around 1.8 seconds which is fine. However in excellent situations the camera takes 0.9 seconds from focus to shooting. The EP1 is especially slower when taking shots in low contrast conditions at 1.4 seconds. The camera is rated 2 seconds for shot to shot time which is quite pokey. When using a flash, the Olympus PEN EP1 stumbles to 2.7 seconds.
Burst performance is pretty satisfactory at 3.3 frames per second but the autofocus can't just surpass. This makes the camera unsatisfactory for taking shots in motion. The camera is better enough for focusing manually despite of its low-resolution LCD however not as operative if you plan to criticize image sharpness. Art filters are pleasant, few of them slows the LCD refresh to the point that you'd rather not use them unless the camera's at a steady situation like using a tripod.
For image quality, there are no issues with the EP1. It offers noise performance like same priced dSLRs though. Going to ISO 800, images are okay. Results begin to soften and detail begins to go down under color noise at ISO 1600. It is best to use ISO 3200 if badly needed. At the cost of sharpness, noise reduction efforts give out well-groomed images. The JPEG images are quite satisfactory under default noise reduction and goes a bit sharper as compared with default settings for raw which has more than necessary color noise on the edges.
The Olympus PEN EP1 camera offers impressive colors in terms of accuracy and dynamic range. However there a little oversaturation and color change. Using the default Natural picture mode, the camera produces fine details and sharpness is not too much taking note that the sharpness is adjusted to normal. For its category, the resulting video quality and manual shooting are quite common. There is not way to tweak shutter speed however, you can manually maneuver the aperture.
-12.30 megapixels resolution
-2.7 inch LCD
-ISO sensitivity 100 to 3200
-supports SD/SDHC memory
-impressive image quality
-can capture raw plus JPEG using any mode
-exceptional build quality
-flexibility in interchangeable lenses
-LCD has low resolution
-short battery life
The Olympus EP1's draggy performance is perfectly a downside for those who would like to take shots of images on the go. However, if you prefer image quality due to a larger sensor and versatility of transposable lenses, this camera is definitely for you.
Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Where to Buy It:
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Prices last updated on: Sun, 21 Apr 2019 19:20:19 PDT