Review Date: August 15, 2010
Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur
This Olympus E-PL1 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.
The Olympus E-PL1 is a Digital Interchangeable Lens (DIL, aka “mirrorless DSLR”) camera with an “almost retro” charm all its own, good handling, very good image quality and much improved low noise high ISO capabilities.
Though the build quality does not approach that of the E-P1, the E-PL1 is instantly recognizable from a distance and is as functional as you’d want a DSLR-level camera to be. Advanced photographers may find some controls missing (especially the lack of any control dials), but those coming from a point-and-shoot world will find the familiar design comforting.
The E-PL1 has a pop-up flash, a port to accept an optional electronic viewfinder and, of course, accepts all the Four Thirds lenses. The LCD screen display is 230k-dot resolution, has a fast refresh rate for a clear display, but can be difficult to view in bright sunlight.
It focuses quickly enough in good light and low light, but extreme low light is challenging with the absence of an AF-assist Illuminator.
The Olympus E-PL1 is a perfect step up for someone graduating from a point-and-shoot and a better choice than one of the high end compact digicam. Compact, light and giving DSLR-level image quality, we believe it makes an ideal Family DSLR. Highly recommended.