|Put the E-P1 next to an Olympus PEN F from 45 years ago, and you will immediately see where the inspiration for the E-P1 came from. It is a beautiful camera to look at and thanks to its retro design, it has a modern appearance. A major advantage for street photographers is the fact that the digital PEN isn’t all that conspicuous, which leaves you to freely take your pictures. And that is so much to be said for that. The housing feels sturdy and the size is fine, it's not too small, yet still a lot more compact than most other D-SLRs. Especially the 17 mm pancake makes a good combination.|
|Olympus E-P1 system camera design
The Olympus E-P1 is available in two color arrangements: silver with black and white with beige. The first combination is most likely to be the most popular, although it has to be said the white version also looks beautiful. If you remove the camera lens, you can see the sensor directly. You will also notice the compact build. The lens mount has more contacts than normal Four Thirds cameras, to enable faster and different data transfer. We also see a small LED for the self-timer, and small microphones are positioned on both sides of the brand name to enable stereo sound. The grip has a small bulge which ensures a perfect hand-fit for the Olympus E-P1, despite its compact size.
Hot shoe on the Olympus PEN E-P1
The most striking item on top of the camera is the inscription that reads 'Olympus Pen Since 1959', a nostalgic reminder. Furthermore, there is an indicator for when the built-in image stabilizer is activated; the main dial with an encircling LED indicating when the camera is turned on; the required shutter button, and a hot shoe. The latter can hold the optional external flash unit or the viewfinder for the pancake lens.
|Olympus E-P1 camera settings
A large 3 inch LCD screen covers the back, but unfortunately has a rather low resolution. Nowadays, we see more cameras with a higher resolution appearing. Olympus really drops a stitch here. Above the LCD display, the command dial allows you to select the program settings. Manual mode is also available, just as the full auto mode. The E-P1 is definitely an all-rounder. Right next to the LCD monitor, we find various buttons for playback, exposure lock and the menu button. And right next to these buttons, a button is found to control the screen reproduction and a special Fn button to program at will. There is also a small command dial with a pendant to change the main settings or to change the autofocus. We also see a small dial with a pendant button with which you can change the main settings, or change the auto focal point. Top right, there is a controller for, among other things, the shutter speed.
Olympus E-P1 memory & battery compartment
Both the battery and the SD (HC) memory card have to be inserted in the bottom of the camera where a tripod mount is also available. The HDMI-out and USB 2.0 Hi-Speed connections are hidden behind a cover on the side. The Olympus E-P1 does not have any seals against dust or rain. I don't really expect this from a consumer camera either, but it is still good to keep that in mind if you shoot mainly outdoors and in the streets.