Olympus PEN E-P1

Released June, 2009
  • 12.2 MP
  • Four Thirds 18 x 13.5 mm NMOS
  • 3" LCD
If you want to make RAW-level edits, such as white balance or exposure compensation adjustments, you have to go via the RAW edit screens, output as a JPEG or TIFF, then work on that saved file in the edit window.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
8.1 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Olympus PEN E-P1

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Pen E-P5
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Pen E-P5
Focus lag


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Pen E-P5
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Pen E-P5
Reviews from 43rumors.com, trustedreviews.com, techradar.com, photographyblog.com and 2 more


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Pen E-P5

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Olympus PEN E-P1

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

536 ISO
Pentax K-01
1,135 ISO
Pen E-P5
895 ISO

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

1,187 ms
Nikon 1 J1
94 ms
Pen E-P5
196 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

72 ms
Pentax K-01
120 ms
98 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

2,500 ms
Lumix DMC-GF6
800 ms
Pen E-P5
900 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

3 fps
Nikon 1 J1
60 fps
Pen E-P5
9 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

300 photos
Pentax K-01
540 photos
Nikon 1 J1
230 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Olympus PEN E-P1

The E-P1's movies - like those we've seen from most of the first generation of video-enabled digital SLRs - are pretty good; better than most compacts and, thanks to the ability to control depth of field, more cinematic than any consumer camcorder.

Obviously the depth and weight increase when the supplied 14-42mm kit lens is fitted, making the E-P1 instantly more DSLR-like, but the new 17mm pancake lens maintains a compact overall package that will particularly suit street photographers looking for an indiscrete camera.

Control over the main shooting functions such as image quality, ISO setting, metering and AF mode, white balance and drive/self-timer mode is provided by an on-screen quick menu similar to the ones seen on many of Olympus's compact cameras.

Olympus' TruePic V image processor delivers excellent noise performance for this price class, with clean photos up through ISO 400 and good, only slightly degraded photos at ISO 800 and ISO 1600.


7.7 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


The kit zoom lens is excellent, with very little optical distortion.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)
Unlike Panasonic with its 14-140mm, Olympus is having to correct distortion at all focal lengths to match the conventional SLR lens.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
As well as accepting Olympus and Panasonic Micro 4/3 lenses it can also accept 4/3 lenses via an adapter (with full functionality).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)


We know the anti alias filter on the sensor has been reduced in strength (hence the resolution jump over the E-620), and that the new TruePic processor has advanced moiré reduction (as evidenced by the very clean results right up to extinction).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
To their right sits a user-definable function button, which you can assign to invoke face detection mode, provide a depth-of-field preview, set manual white balance, reset the AF area to its home position, use manual focus, override raw settings, take an unsaved test picture, pull up MyMode custom settings, toggle the LCD backlight or disable the button entirely.
by c|net (Jun, 2009)
At 100 ISO the image is pretty clean, although compare this with the Panasonic LX3, which has a 1/1.63-inch 10.1MP sensor.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)


It seems good enough for manual focusing in conjunction with the automatic magnification, but not as useful for judging sharpness for photos you've shot.
by c|net (Jun, 2009)
Mainly as a result of the autofocus speed it's a noticeably less immediate experience than using a modern DSLR.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
While Panasonic seems to be going for the technologically focused dSLR shooter looking for a more compact model, Olympus seems to be targeting the more aesthetically driven enthusiast who wants-and is willing to pay for-the flexibility of an interchangeable lens system in the more compact design of models like the Canon PowerShot G and Panasonic Lumix LX series.
by c|net (Jun, 2009)

Image quality

Overall there's really very little to complain about; metering, white balance (in natural light) and focus are all reassuringly accurate, and Olympus has tuned the E-P1 to squeeze the maximum detail out of whatever lens you put in front of it.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
The E-P1 is available in two equally retro color schemes; good old fashioned chrome (with black accents) and a surprisingly attractive white version with beige/tan accents.
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
Overall dynamic range in camera JPEGs is pretty good, with highlight range that broadly matches the competition - not as good as the best, but certainly in the middle of the pack (interestingly it doesn't do as well as the E-620).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)


We can even forgive the large but low resolution 3 inch LCD screen, thanks to its wide viewing angle and excellent visibility even in bright conditions.
by Photography Blog (Jul, 2009)
It's by no means a bad screen - quite the opposite; the high refresh rate, excellent brightness/contrast, low lag, good sharpness and wide viewing angle are all to be praised, but we were surprised that a premium model like this doesn't have a higher resolution screen (230,000 dots on a 3.0" LCD is pretty low these days).
by DPReview (Jul, 2009)
Colour rendition is also very good, with plenty of detail even in bright saturated areas.
by TrustedReviews (May, 2011)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 12.2 MP
Resolution 4032 x 3024
Size Four Thirds
Area 18 x 13.5 mm
Crop factor 2.0x
Pixel size 19.9 microns
Light sensitivity 200 ISO to 3,200 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG

focus system

Type Contrast detection


Viewfinder mirror None
Viewfinder None


Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 300 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 1,187 ms
Shutter lag 72 ms
Startup delay 2,500 ms


Video 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps
Shoots video in 24p No
Shoots high speed video No


Type LCD
Size 3"
Resolution 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Min 60 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 121 x 70 x 36 mm
Thickness 36 mm
Weight 355 g
Is weather sealed No


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift
Report a correction


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