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by PowerReviews
OlympusPEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Blue)
 
4.5

(based on 150 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (83)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (61)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good image quality (78)
  • Easy to use (77)
  • Image stabilization (55)
  • Fast / accurate auto-focus (35)
  • Large clear LCD (29)

Cons

  • No viewfinder (34)
  • Lag / shutter delay (18)
  • Poor in low light (13)
  • Short battery life (13)
  • Noisy at high ISO (9)

Best Uses

  • Travel (79)
  • Landscape/scenery (69)
  • Family photos (57)
  • Video (36)
  • Low light (28)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (48), Casual photographer (18), Semi-pro photographer (11), Pro photographer (7)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (60), Yes (12)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

An Almost Excellent Camera

I bought the EPL-1 not as a replacement for my aging E-3 but as a supplement. The original reason I got into the Four-Thirds world was the promise of a smaller, lighter...Read complete review

I bought the EPL-1 not as a replacement for my aging E-3 but as a supplement. The original reason I got into the Four-Thirds world was the promise of a smaller, lighter camera (and associated gear). I started with the E-510 with kit lenses and, desiring more features, moved up to the E-3 and the bigger lenses. Small and light went by the wayside.

Enter Micro Four-Thirds. I choose the EPL-1 over the EP-2 because of price and over the Panasonic GF-1 because of the promise of better autofocus compatibility with my Four-Thirds lenses. Here's what I found:

Image quality: very good - perhaps as good as the E-3 (maybe better). E-3 has better dynamic range probably. With the Panasonic 20/1.7 - fantastic, especially when used wide open.

Focus: Ah. Well, with good light it focuses fairly quickly and accurately WITH micro four-thirds lenses. But, nowhere near the speed of a standard DSLR. In low light, I hope your not shooting moving objects! "Slow" and "hunting" are words that come to mind. DSLR? No contest.

Compatibility with standard four-thirds lenses (using the Panasonic adapter):

14-42 kit lens - works well (this is a contrast detect lens like the micro 43s)

40-150 kit lens - mostly works well (contrast), hunts sometimes,

9-18 (contrast) - work well,

50/f2 macro - works pretty well (IQ is quite good indeed!), somewhat slow focus,

50-200 (non-SWD) - hunts a little sometimes, but IQ and focus accuracy very good, again somewhat slow focus with an occasional balk,

12-60 SWD - awful! Even in bright light has trouble and often just gives up!

General impression with four-thirds lenses: EPL-1 has even more trouble with focusing in low light with ALL four-thirds lenses. With manual focus, the auto-zoom feature lets you focus extremely accurate with any lens.

General impression: I love it (as long as I'm using the right lenses and it's not too dark). IQ is better than I expected and the portability is a godsend.

What I'm not crazy about: not good for snap shots - too slow and can miss the moment. Dynamic range a little lacking. Autofocus compatibility with four-thirds lenses not great - usable (in most cases) but definitely to be used in non-time-critical events (landscape, posed, still life, etc.)

What's next for me: 1) get the electronic viewfinder - it can be challenging in bright sunlight to get the composition right and check the focus, 2) get a tele-zoom.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good Image Quality, Frustrating AF

I purchased this camera for my wife online from B&H after playing around with it in another store. Overall, the image quality is very good, and the fact that I could...Read complete review

I purchased this camera for my wife online from B&H after playing around with it in another store. Overall, the image quality is very good, and the fact that I could mount all my Nikon F-mount lenses on this camera via an adapter was an added plus. The biggest bugbear with this camera has got to be its autofocus system. In decent lighting conditions, it performs fine; however the AF performance is extremely disappointing in low light. Unfortunately, the E-PL1 does not have a focus-assist lamp, and cannot avail of the focus-assist beams generated by the external accessory-mount flashes. Now don't get me wrong, I really liked the image quality, and for a landscape camera, the E-PL1 really shines (great flower macro shots with the MF Nikon 35mm f/2); however, for low light situations, it leaves much to be desired, which was the reason I returned it back.

Reviewed by 150 customers

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(0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
3.0

Excelent Product, Requires a few tweaks

By Cela

from Recife, Brazil

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

        The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is a terrific camera, takes amazing shots and has numerous scenarios. However, if you need it for point and shooting it's not recommendable for it's automatic mode is unsatisfatory.

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 5
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Just amazing camera

        By kazuki

        from Valparaíso, Chile

        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
        • Good Image Quality
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • High ISO Performance
        • Large Clear LCD
        • Quiet

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Indoors/Low Light
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Video
        • Weddings/Events
        • Wildlife photos

        Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Blue):

        From the moment I opened the box I liked the camera. Now that I´ve been using it for some days I liked more.
        The pictures it takes are beautiful, with vivid colors and good high ISO quality.
        If you wander to buy this camera, don't hesitate more because its near perfect.

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 7
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great deal

        By IveShery13

        from Newark, NJ

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy To Use
        • Good Image Quality
        • Good Image Stabilization
        • Large Clear LCD

        Cons

        • No Viewfinder

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Landscape/Scenery
        • Travel
        • Video

        Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

        This is a great camera for someone who is not an expert but still wants nice photos. It's easy to use, it's not too big, I can fit it in my purse. Also the price is great for the value.

        • Ease of Operation:
        • 8
        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Love it but learning

        By Carta

        from Ny, NY

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Good Image Quality
        • Good Image Stabilization

        Cons

        • Poor In Low Light

        Best Uses

          Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

          This camera is great- and takes amazing pictures once you have it on the correct settings. I just bought it so I'm still ahving some trouble figuring out the night shots and ISO settings menu, but the pictures are excellent. You are giving up the "big camera" picture for something you will actually carry around with you and use.

          • Ease of Operation:
          • 6
          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Simple but Good Camera

          By selchupacabra

          from Yonkers, NY

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
          • Fast Shutter Speed
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • High ISO Performance

          Cons

          • Poor In Low Light

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel
          • Video
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

          This is a good reliable camera. The image quality that the camera produces is great. It is very portable and reliable and also simple to handle. The flash is very powerful and bright and your able to change the flash quality of the camera. The macro quality of the camera is great.The only issues it seems to have is that it is poor in low light and it can be loud while taking a picture or just by turning it on. This camera would best good at taking pictures of landscape/scenery, events and urban life.

          • Ease of Operation:
          • 8
          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Works well. Nice size and feel.

          By Jackman

          from Chapel Hill

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Good Image Quality
          • Quiet

          Cons

          • Lag / Shutter Delay
          • Noisy At High ISO
          • Poor In Low Light

          Best Uses

          • Family Photos
          • Landscape/Scenery
          • Travel
          • Weddings/Events

          Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

          Excellent images and good video at 720p.

          • Ease of Operation:
          • 8
          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          D-SLR features, small package

          By Steve

          from Denver

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
          • Fast Shutter Speed
          • Good Image Quality
          • Good Image Stabilization
          • Large Clear LCD

          Cons

          • Lag / Shutter Delay

          Best Uses

            Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

            I have had used SLRs but I no longer want to carry, travel, hike, etc. with a heavy and large camera. This camera gave me the perfect solution. Great quality, features and controls but a much smaller and lighter camera than a SLR. This has the same sensor as a SLR, so you still get great pictures as well. The ability to use different lenses is a great benefit too. Great buy!

            • Ease of Operation:
            • 8
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

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            (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Feature-rich, but..................

            By gulferjd

            from Rotonda West, FL

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
            • Good Image Quality
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • High ISO Performance
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Quiet

            Cons

            • No Viewfinder
            • Short Battery Life

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Landscape/Scenery
            • Travel
            • Wildlife photos

            Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

            This camera needs to come with a wider range zoom lens - the 14-42 standard should be more like 14-70. After almost a month, there is still much to learn and I've had digital cameras for years. The range of features is impressive as is the quality of the build. I do feel that you have to tweak the settings to get print-worthy images Could do without the lens-lock and would relocate the video button (too easy to turn on in the normal handling of the camera). Great value for the B&H price along with excellent B&H service.

            • Ease of Operation:
            • 8
            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            Great Small Digital SLR

            By Photo Enthusiast

            from San Jose, CA

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
            • Good Image Quality
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Large Clear LCD

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Blue):

              I use this camera to take photographs of things I run across in my daily travels, vacations, friends and closeups on items.

              It is the perfect size and has all the options I need on it. I don't need a camera that has all the bells and whistles.

              I really enjoy this camera, I don't have any negative comments at this time!

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 8
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              A Surprise Packet

              By Ooldea

              from Coffs Harbour Australia

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Quiet

              Cons

              • Small LCD Screen

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Blue):

              A real surprise packet photos taken so far on auto mode no real need to correct in Photoshop. The manual appears to be fairly easy to understand and I am looking forward to working my way through it. I originally bought this thinking if I like it would upgrade to a PL3 but am so pleased with this will probably add the other lens, flash and view finder. The minus, on/off button too close to shutter button and lcd monitor not clear enough but maybe that is adjustable

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 7
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Great camera at a great price!

              By tonedogg

              from Vail, CO

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • High ISO Performance
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Lag / Shutter Delay
              • No Viewfinder

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              Easy to use. Takes great photos. Lots of scene and effect options. It is also small and light so it is easy to take anywhere.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 10
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Proud Daddy!

              By Dakota888

              from Las Vegas, NV

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Alternate lenses
              • Choice of colors
              • Compact
              • DESIGN
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Good Image Quality
              • Wireless Flash

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder
              • Pricy extended warranty
              • Short Battery Life
              • Small LCD Screen

              Best Uses

              • Editorial fashion
              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Product shots
              • Video
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I'm really loving the camera. I've used bulkier DSLR's but wanted to go lighter and this fit the bill. I got the all black model which is truly a classic. I like that one can build up on it with various lenses and accessories. At first I had a slight learning curve with the menu's which took some getting use to. There were some area's where I wish it would be a smoother transition to override in certain modes. As far as optics, it's awesome. I still yet have to shoot more to give my total blessing, but so far I'm happy....metering right on, color, and auto focus is sweet. I'm using an 8gb class 10 which i bought with camera, very fast transfer rate. I have the 14-42mm. Overall I like the built, it's solid in the hand. And I've been very satisfied with the images I've been getting out of this camera. I'm not a filter guy, but the built in filters are really cool.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 6
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              3.0

              Great Bargain

              By George

              from Deland, Florida

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization

              Cons

              • Noisy At High ISO
              • No Viewfinder
              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              Purchased as a gift. Excellent camera for the money.
              It is a outdated model as there is an EPL3 out. However,' for the cost difference, this was the way to go.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 6
              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

              Share this review

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Love the image quality

              By mazuzma

              from Salem, MA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Wildlife photos

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

              Bought as a gift for 10 year-old daughter. She wanted a camera with a bit more control than a point and shoot. She took a darkroom course this summer and got the first inkling of what goes into great photography. Blown away by the image quality. The auto mode and the scenes are great ways to stretch an amateur's mastery of a camera's basic controls. Still learning. Wish it had a range finder sight. Shooting in bright sun with the LCD makes composition a bit tricky at times.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 7
              • Was this a gift?:
              • Yes

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Awesome!

              By jnash67

              from Moline, IL

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Video

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I bought this as a easy carry small camera so I wouldn't have to carry my Canon 7D with grip all the time. I also bought a Canon FD to 4/3 adapter, so I can use all my Canon FD lenses. This camera is so fun to use with the FD 50mm f/1.4 and FD 28mm f/2.8. The 14-42mm lens it came with is quite good as well. I recently used it on vacation to take both HD video and pictures, and it does a great job. I bought the Refurbed version, and it is as new.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Good portability, so-so lens

              By InsectOutsect

              from Leonia, NJ

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Image Quality
              • High ISO Performance
              • Large Clear LCD

              Cons

              • Lag / Shutter Delay
              • No Viewfinder
              • Poor In Low Light

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Video
              • Weddings/Events

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I'm still pleased with the portability. It's great for both fine art and casual photography, since it's light enough to carry anywhere and small enough to fit in most mid-size handbags. And, as someone else commented earlier, if you're out taking candid photographs, this camera won't intimidate your subjects the same way a traditional DSLR might.

              My only complaint is with the lens. It's got a maximum of f3.5 IF you don't zoom too far. And you have to unlock and zoom a little no matter what in order to take a photo in the first place. I'm shocked that the standard prime lens (M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8) will only be released this September.

              All in all, this is a great investment if you can wait for that new lens -- and can afford it.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 7
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Small and useful

              By Chesterpig

              from Chester NY

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Price
              • Quiet
              • Size
              • Size and weight

              Cons

              • Low iso speed

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I use this camera as an alternative to a larger DSLR, and as a place to use my vintage glass without shooting film. The kit lens is a more useful focal length range than that of a typical entry level DSLR, and produces sharp results. I have a Leica threadmount adaptor, and use my elmars and summitar to pleasing results. The lack of a viewfinder becomes cumbersome in daylight, as I can't see the LCD clearly enough to focus--only frame, when using manual lenses. Darker focusing is also tricky with auto focus due to a lack of focusing light. Ergonomics are good, effects cute. Movie mode simple and pleasing. Software included not MAC friendly. I will have to invest in an electronic viewfinder to make this camera live up to it's potential as a good medium for vintage lenses.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 8
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Good Compromise of Size/Quality

              By Dr. Phil

              from MS

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • High ISO Performance
              • Large Clear LCD
              • Quiet

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder
              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Indoors/Low Light
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel
              • Video

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I just got this camera refurbished from the manufacturer and have been using it for about two weeks now. I got the camera to use on vacation as a travel camera that would perform better than my phone and wouldn't be nearly as large as my SLR. I have been impressed with the camera thus far. Autofocus is fast for a compact camera and the quality is on par with my much larger SLR.

              • Ease of Operation:
              • 7
              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              4.0

              Nicely done, but room for improvement.

              By Archipelographer

              from Kaneohe, Hawaii

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fun art modes
              • Good Image Quality
              • Good Image Stabilization
              • Quiet

              Cons

              • No Viewfinder
              • Poor AF in Low Light

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Landscape/Scenery
              • Travel

              Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Black):

              I bought this as a more socially friendly camera than my DSLR without sacrificing too much in quality and flexibility. My main complaint with point-and-shoots is low-light performance so it had to produce in that situation. This camera does and doesn't. The image quality is amazing for a small camera, but I've found that in moderately low light, the autofocus is horrible. At a dim restaurant or nightclub and even in a dimly lit living room it often searches endlessly or it will sometimes automatically go to night portrait mode. Even when changing it manually to night portrait it still doesn't focus well. Once it does take a picture, the results are generally rich, bright and excellent, far better than any point-and-shoot.For situations other than low-light, the camera is terrific. Colors are rich, exposures seem spot-on, sharpness is very nice and focus is perfect.The art modes are fun, especially diorama, but they are slow to load and take a while for the camera to process. Macro works well, also. I haven't tried all of the scene modes, but they seem pretty standard.I like to take pictures of flowers and leaves and such, this camera is not so good for that, maybe if I invested in the longer lens it would better, but would rather spend that on lenses for my big camera.Overall, very pleased with the camera and lens. Could be a bit better, a focus assist light or backup AF in low-light would make it a much sweeter package.Very pleased with B&H price [...].

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Fantastic lightweight digital SLR

              By marc the travel photographer

              from Cleveland, Ohio

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Good Image Quality

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Travel

                Comments about PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera (Champagne):

                great for travel

                • Ease of Operation:
                • 8
                • Was this a gift?:
                • Yes

                Share this review

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