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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Olympus E-P1

Olympus Digital Cameras


Olympus E-P1 Review

Review Date: Nov 23, 2009

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Olympus E-P1

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Digital Interchangeable Lens
Photoxels Editor's Choice 2009 - Digital Interchangeable Lens


This Olympus E-P1 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

It may sound a bit strange to be calling the Olympus E-P1 a revolutionary design with its retro good looks but, underneath the elegant design, Olympus engineers have pretty much succeeded in merging the best of the DSLR and compact digicam worlds to create a brand new category of digital interchangeable lens cameras that give us the image quality we expect from a DSLR and the ease of use and compactness of the digicam.

The Olympus E-P1 is a beautiful camera to behold, handles like a charm, and has a form factor that evokes strong positive emotions the moment you pick it up and hold it in your hands. It has superb build and good handling.

Image quality is very good, retaining lots of detail and with very good low noise high ISO characteristic. You have the whole shutter speed range and apertures available in all PASM shooting modes -- which makes it easy to obtain correct exposure in all situations.

Note that the Olympus E-P1 has no built-in viewfinder, no built-in flash and its LCD is only 230k-dot resolution. These may or may not matter to you. I don't care for the viewfinder though I do miss using fill-in flash and a higher resolution LCD is decidedly an improvement suggestion.

The Olympus E-P1 is not for action or sports photography; though its Contrast Detect autofocus is precise and quick enough (< 1 sec.), it's not as fast as the Phase-detection AF of a DSLR. It is however a perfect landscape camera and its relative compactness makes it easily go unnoticed, hence also perfect for unobstrusive street photography.

See if you fit the Olympus E-P1 User Profile below:

Olympus E-P1
User Profile
Desire a quality 12.3MP resolution digital camera with very good image quality.
Want a camera that handles and operates like a DSLR, including manual Zoom Ring.
Want DSLR image quality in a compact form factor.
Want excellent low-light capability.
For landscape photography principally.
Don't mind the lack of a viewfinder.
Want a camera that both beginners and pros will enjoy using.
Simply can't resist the retro good looks.

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