Olympus E-PL1 12.3 Megapixel Digital SLR Reviews Roundup

Olympus have just launched the Olympus E-PL1, a new, affordable Micro Four Thirds camera with a built-in flash, sensor-shift image stabilisation and one-touch HD video recording. Sporting a stabilised 12.3-megapixel LiveMOS sensor, the Olympus E-PL1 weighs in at only 296 grams without a lens, battery or memory card. Speaking of which, the Olympus E-PL1 is compatible with SD and SDHC cards, just like the existing Micro Four Thirds offerings from Olympus and Panasonic.

Other highlights include a Supersonic Wave Filter for automated sensor cleaning, a sensitivity range of ISO 100-3200, 3fps continuous shooting for up to 10 raw images, HDMI and USB 2.0 connectivity, and auto gradation adjustment to prevent blown highlights and blocked-in shadows. The Olympus E-PL1 also features an easy-to-understand, non-technical Live Guide with simple direct control over key image effects. Available from March 2010 at a retail price of óG549 for a single lens kit and óG699 for a twin zoom kit, the Olympus E-PL1 is the most affordable Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus to date.

Olympus E-PL1 Sample Photos on Flickr



Olympus E-PL1 Camera Reviews Roundup


Trusted Reviews - Aug 28 2010
"The E-PL1's overall performance is also more like that of an advanced compact than a DSLR. It starts up and is ready to shoot in just under two and a half seconds as long as you remember to manually extend the lens, and the shot-to-shot time in single-shot mode is approximately 1.8 seconds in both Raw and JPEG modes, both respectable times for a compact cam..." More »
90out of 100
Photoxels - Aug 16 2010
"The Olympus E-PL1 has very good image quality including very good low-light performance at ISO 100 with good detail preserved. Image quality is very good up to ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is very usable; at higher ISOs, images suffer from noise and loss of detail. One of the many advantages of a DIL camera is the ability to use interchangeable lenses suited..." More »
Not Rated
MacWorld - Aug 04 2010
"As per its lower price point, the E-PL1 is missing some features that you get from the E-P2. Maximum shutter speed caps at 1/2000th of a second, with maximum ISO stopping at 6400, though neither of these will matter much for most shooting situations. There is no orientation sensor in the camera, so it can't automatically rotate images when you shoot in port..." More »
60out of 100
RegHardware - Jul 23 2010
"The E-PL1 records AVI movies in HD at 1280 x 720 and in SD at 640 x 480, both at 30 frames per second. Maximum recording time is 7 minutes in HD and 14 minutes in VGA or 2GB maximum file size. The E-PL1 lets you shoot movies in Program or Aperture Priority mode or gives you complete control over exposure in Manual mode. It also allows the use of a zoom lens..." More »
85out of 100
NeutralDay - Jul 12 2010
"The E-PL1 in many ways gets more things right than any other PEN camera. It is cheaper, in feel and in cost, but doesn't actually skimp on any of the inherent power of either of its predecessors. Indeed, in many ways it maybe the superior camera, it handles better, provides a pop-up flash for fill and commanding other flashes, provides a dedicated video rec..." More »
80out of 100
Electronista - Jun 29 2010
"The Olympus E-PL1 is a worthy entry to the ILC ranks for those ready to step beyond the constraints of a typical point and shoot camera. Made for the type of person who chooses to go to the next step, but most likely not further, it offers great image capturing ability without all the bells and whistles that are part and parcel of DSLRs available today.&nbs..." More »
70out of 100
infoSync - Jun 12 2010
"If you remember our review of the Olympus E-620, we were jazzed with the DSLR's image quality. Well, the same applied here with the Olympus E-PL1. Beautifully rendered, natural colors, crisp, detailed lines, and an uncanny ability to stave off common image aberrations like fringing and noise. Even at ISO 1600, our images were great, though we'd recommend sh..." More »
80out of 100
Digital Camera Info - May 20 2010
"The E-PL1 still involves a number of trade-offs for potential buyers. Autofocus is not as fast as a digital SLR or high-quality point and shoot, a fact that may come as an unpleasant surprise to Little League Moms and Dads. Image quality is quite good in most respects, particularly when it comes to resolution, and lingering image noise problems will probabl..." More »
74out of 100
dpreview - May 18 2010
"There are, perhaps, three types of potential users who might find themselves considering purchasing the E-PL1, all of who will find things to love and things to be frustrated by in the camera. The first is the compact camera user who wants better images, might be interested in taking some control over the camera but doesn't want to learn about apertures and..." More »
69out of 100
CNET UK - May 11 2010
"The 720p high-definition movie mode is rather good too, because it offers full manual control over shutter speed, aperture and focusing. You have to remember to set the autofocus to continuous mode before you start shooting if you want to use it, and you have to dip into the menus to choose the exposure mode, but all that's quickly learned. The result is an..." More »
90out of 100
TechRadar - Apr 28 2010
"The Pen E-PL1 concept is fairly straightforward - it's a stripped down, easier-to-use version of a high-end camera which can be sold significantly cheaper. It's not the sexiest camera ever, but it really works. Olympus has succeeded in streamlining the PEN E-P2's feature set, while still building a camera with a strong purpose in its own right, which p..." More »
80out of 100
LetsGoDigital - Apr 21 2010
"On the inside, the Olympus E-PL1 resembles the other models in the PEN-series a lot, which is a positive thing. Just like the other models, the E-PL1 offers excellent quality. Noise only becomes a 'problem' in the highest ISO values, but normal sensitivities work well. In any case, it is a lot better than a compact camera. That is also true for the dynamic..." More »
83out of 100
Digital Camera Review - Apr 15 2010
"The Olympus E-PL1 is the cheapest of the Olympus Digital PEN cameras, rolling onto the scene with a 14-42mm kit lens and body for $599. The E-PL1 is compact, stylish and well-priced for its features. It has an image sensor that is larger than a point-and-shoot, and offers the ability to change different lenses. It also comes with most of the same specs as i..." More »
80out of 100
Engadget - Apr 09 2010
"Speaking of video, let's speak of video. We're pretty happy with what we see here. These Micro Four Thirds cameras are turning out to be some of the best ways of capturing video on the cheap known to man, and the E-PL1 turns around quality 720p footage on a budget. The biggest drawback, as pointed out elsewhere, is the audible auto focus noise made by the c..." More »
Not Rated
Steve Huff - Apr 08 2010
"Many of you know that I reviewed and LOVED the Olympus E-P1 and E-P2. I even bought the E-P2 over the Leica X1 due to my wife preferring the overall user experience of the E-P2 over the little Leica. Well, this is the Huff household and if a digital camera makes it for more than 2 months you know it is a winner but cameras come and go in this house and I lo..." More »
Not Rated
Digital Camera Resource Page - Mar 29 2010
"Photo quality was very good -- better than I expected, in fact. The E-PL1 exposes photos accurately, though like other Four Thirds cameras (Micro or regular), it does like to clip highlights. Colors are pleasing, and are especially vibrant if you're using the iEnhance Picture Mode. Images have the "smooth" look that you come to expect from a camer..." More »
Not Rated
PhotoReview Australia - Mar 29 2010
"High ISO performance was also better in the E-PL1 than we found with the E-P2. Interestingly there was little difference in the results we obtained with JPEG and ORF.RAW files, as shown in the graph below. (It will be interesting to re-run these tests on the raw files when the update of Adobe Camera Raw is released because we have some reservations about th..." More »
85out of 100
Photography BLOG - Mar 05 2010
"Importantly for the target audience, the E-PL1 is the first PEN to feature a built-in flash, very neatly implemented with a folding design that raise the unit above the lens and helps reduce red-eye. The new Live Guide is another beginner-friendly addition that makes understanding and changing apertures and shutter speeds to achieve creative effects very st..." More »
90out of 100
Pocket-lint - Mar 05 2010
"When it comes to shooting with the camera, the E-PL1 is fast and responsive, though it does take a brief moment to automatically determine focus and exposure, confirmed with an affirmative bleep. A blocky handgrip to the front enables a firm, steadying hold, yet as the on/off button is located slap bang next to the shutter release button, it's easy for your..." More »
80out of 100

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1036 user reviews


User Review of the camera - Olympus E-PL1

  • 2014-07-05 07:00
    I'm very happy that I picked this brand, annibells. "daydreams of suns and freedoms"
    Verified Purchase(
    As a person who only views photography as an outlet for my creative energy and know nothing beyond what I've learned myself - my opinion is somewhat lacking credit...but, I can attest for the quality of the resolution and color of the photos I've taken with this camera. It's fairly priced and for someone who doesn't need a $2,000 camera it fits my needs and beyond. I adore the settings on this camera. They are clear and informative if needed, and give me options to play with. I'm very happy that I picked this brand.
  • 2014-06-17 07:00
    Greatest camera ever!, Cyan
    Verified Purchase(
    This is the greatest camera I have ever used. I used it in school and when I graduated I knew I had to buy one for myself.
  • 2014-05-19 07:00
    Camera review, Rjussell Sbrizza
    Verified Purchase(
    I purchased this for my daughter it was a Christmas gift. She absolutely loves it . I purchased the same product a couple of years ago for my girlfriend and she loves hers.
  • 2014-05-19 07:00
    Love this camera!, Charles C. Greene
    Verified Purchase(
    I love this camera. Pretty good picture quality. Very portable. Takes multiple lenses which is a big plus. Wish I could get the attachable viewfinder at a reasonable price.
  • 2014-05-18 07:00
    great camera, Joyce Davis
    Verified Purchase(
    this camera was recommended to me as a started camera for my niece. She is now delving in to the world of photography, loving all of the different features this camera has! It takes amazing shots!!! Comparable to some I have taken with my Nikon, which costed far more! great camera for new photographers!
  • 2014-05-08 07:00
    pro quality images for around $100 (now) You can't beat that, Iman Roder
    Verified Purchase(
    Just got this camera (which is now 4 years old) and I am extremely happy with what I got for the price. I essentially got a $400 camera for $100! The speed, resolution, lcd screen and af capability of the camera may not be as good as the latest breed of cameras but it definitely delivers high quality photos, which I think is what counts. It even works great with the larger four-thirds lens on e-series slr cameras (given an adapter). I recommend the Neewer plastic AF Focus adapter. It's much cheaper than the Olympus brand adapter and works just as well. Overall if your on a budget, now is a great time to go for a used digital camera. Just 5 years ago going used was not a good idea because then, older digital cameras were still mediocre at best. But if you go 4 or 5 years back you're sure to find a great quality digital camera with 12 or so mega pixels at a great price. If you're not a professional photographer aiming to blow up your images to billboard size you definitely do not need a digital camera with more that 12 megapixels. Even that is overkill!
  • 2014-04-15 07:00
    Great camera for beginners, Victoria
    Verified Purchase(
    I bought this camera a year ago and I LOVE it! I have been able to capture some incredibly moments. The clarity is spectacular and the camera is lightweight which makes it perfect for on the go photography. This has truly been a fantastic beginner camera. It takes great macro, landscape, portraits, anything! Learn to use this camera and it can be your best friend!
    The cons that I've found:
    1. It doesn't focus as fast as I'd like and sometimes it refuses to focus on what you want. That's where manual comes in, but in nature photography getting the manual just right without a viewfinder took too long and I usually lost the subject.
    2. No viewfinder! This was frustrating with my daylight shots. Sometimes I'd think I got it just right only to come home and realize the glare on the screen fooled me again!
    All in all I've been very pleased with this camera and the quality of pictures it takes. It even gets incredible shots of the moon! If you're on a budget or you're just getting started in photography, this is your camera!
  • 2014-03-23 07:00
    Not worth the money, Stephen Csicsek
    Verified Purchase(
    I've had cheap cameras that took better pictures than this camera. Be careful of the advertising because that sucks you in.
  • 2014-03-23 07:00
    Not worth the money, Stephen Csicsek
    I've had cheap cameras that took better pictures than this camera. Be careful of the advertising because that sucks you in.
  • 2014-02-04 08:00
    Not to shabby at all., Thomas Greber "thkpic"
    I like this little guy. Pair it with the 45mm 1.8 and BANG....in business. Focusing isn't particularly fast but whatever. For the original price I'd probably say pass, but at the price it goes for now...YES YES YES. 1/2000's shutter speed is limited but you can get the ISO down fairly low.
    As far as AF, it doesn't hunt to bad either. It does seem to get a little wonky sometimes and not recognize what I"m trying to focus on, but with the zoom and manual focus I can avoid those few "issues" here and there. It feels great in the hands and looks even better in person.
    If you get this I HIGHLY recommend getting one of Olympus' primes. There simply sublime and with a little post processing you can really do some interesting things. All and all, not a bad little camera and I find the user menu stupid easy. I can't believe I can actually blur the background out on my pics. It's a keeper...so much so I now have two!!!
    By the way, I shot full frame and have 2k lenses on the side as well. This doesn't replace that but the pics are dang impressive for what it is. GREAT walkaround if your not pushing it and casual use.
  • 2014-01-31 08:00
    A Big Dissapointment !!!, Frank
    Verified Purchase(
    Wanted this camera really bad and waited a year for the price to go down .. It's a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT .. The Camer is SUPER SLOW and the Video quality which they claim to be Professional quality "IS Not" I Hardly ever use this camera as its Performance is HORRBLE ! Wish I Never WASTED my Money on it. I'm sorry to say.
  • 2014-01-31 08:00
    A Big Dissapointment !!!, Frank
    Wanted this camera really bad and waited a year for the price to go down .. It's a BIG DISAPPOINTMENT .. The Camer is SUPER SLOW and the Video quality which they claim to be Professional quality "IS Not" I Hardly ever use this camera as its Performance is HORRBLE ! Wish I Never WASTED my Money on it. I'm sorry to say.
  • 2014-01-01 08:00
    like, lynne
    Verified Purchase(
    takes good pictures. i did not get a lens cover is that a separate order? i really dont have anything else to say thank you
  • 2014-01-01 08:00
    like, lynne
    takes good pictures. i did not get a lens cover is that a separate order? i really dont have anything else to say thank you
  • 2013-12-13 08:00
    Good camera, but I prefer something smaller for travel., John R. Williamson
    Verified Purchase(
    The camera works great. I only have the one lens and it isn't enough zoom for me. Too bulky for me to carry around. I found it much harder to use than my Panasonic Lumix travel camera and I really didn't see any improvement in pictures over the Panasonic. I have stopped using this camera.
  • 2013-12-13 08:00
    Good camera, but I prefer something smaller for travel., John R. Williamson
    The camera works great. I only have the one lens and it isn't enough zoom for me. Too bulky for me to carry around. I found it much harder to use than my Panasonic Lumix travel camera and I really didn't see any improvement in pictures over the Panasonic. I have stopped using this camera.
  • 2013-12-03 08:00
    No a bad camera, Fitz
    Verified Purchase(
    Not so great in low light . Also the camera is a little heavy for its size . Overall the camera is ok. I was influenced by the commercial
  • 2013-12-03 08:00
    No a bad camera, Fitz
    Not so great in low light . Also the camera is a little heavy for its size . Overall the camera is ok. I was influenced by the commercial
  • 2013-11-25 08:00
    Cheap fun to use and easy on my wallet, THE AUTISTIC WEREWOLF "Wolf"
    Verified Purchase(
    Nice little camera a baby step up from a basic point and shoot but not a full fledged DSLR. The camera is not great in low light but in all other ways the Olympus PEN E-PL1 12.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens meets my very basic needs. The camera was cheap fun to use and easy on my wallet. I took one star off due to lots of noise in low light. If you are outside or in a brightly lit room this camera is great.
  • 2013-11-25 08:00
    Cheap fun to use and easy on my wallet, THE AUTISTIC WEREWOLF "Wolf"
    Nice little camera a baby step up from a basic point and shoot but not a full fledged DSLR. The camera is not great in low light but in all other ways the Olympus PEN E-PL1 12.3MP Live MOS Micro Four Thirds Interchangeable Lens meets my very basic needs. The camera was cheap fun to use and easy on my wallet. I took one star off due to lots of noise in low light. If you are outside or in a brightly lit room this camera is great.