|Olympus E-PL1 system camera review : Olympus has a lot of confidence in the Micro Four Thirds System. Within a short time after the introduction of the first digital PEN, Olympus has already introduced two new models. The first one was the more luxurious E-P2, and the second one is a model for the regular consumer, the Olympus E-PL1. At first, the three models seem to resemble each other, but when we compare the camera specifications, the differences between the three become clearer.
Olympus PEN E-PL1 with built-in flash
The Olympus E-PL1, in contrast to the E-P1, and the more expensive E-P2, has a built-in flash. That was a much-desired feature for many consumers. For professional photographers, it’s less important, as they would rather have a good viewfinder. That is what the E-PL1 lacks, but moreover, the outstanding electronic viewfinder that comes with the E-P2 can also be purchased separately. There is a special connection for it under the hot shoe. If you do use the electronic viewfinder, you have to sacrifice the external flash. That’s why it’s handy that the Olympus PEN PL1 has a built-in flash.
iAuto mode on the Olympus E-PL1 camera
The biggest difference with the Olympus PEN PL1 is the control. If you photograph in the iAuto mode, meant for the beginner photographer, then you won’t be encumbered by terms such as aperture, white balance and exposure compensation, but you can change your photo by moving a control for more or less sharpness, a warmer or cooler image, or lighter or darker. This is a whole new way of setting up your camera and will surely convince many photographers.
Olympus PEN E-PL1 system camera art filters
An interesting feature for this target group is the art filters. We were already familiar with these from the earlier digital PENs and from other Olympus models. It is an original way to edit your photos without having to use a special program. The filters have been adjusted a bit in the Olympus EPL-1. A new filter is the diorama filter, which gives you a kind of View-Master effect. The cross-negative filter, however, has disappeared.
12 megapixel Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds camera
The specifications of the three digital PENs are not so different from each other. These features are what make the difference for the user. Just like their bigger brothers, the Olympus PL1 has a 12 megapixel LiveMOS sensor, of course with a crop factor of 2x. That is inherent in the Micro Four Thirds System. The maximum sensitivity has been brought back to ISO 3200 and the shortest shutter speed is now 1/2000 sec. Next to photography, you can also shoot video with the Olympus PEN E-PL1, and in High Definition quality (1280p) at that. For an optimal audio recording, you can connect an (optional) stereo microphone. Read our full Olympus E-PL1 review.
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"The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is a camera that is aimed at the amateur photographer that is looking for more quality, but keeping the user-friendliness of a compact camera. The following pictures are made with the new Olympus 9-18mm wide-angle zoom lens, which was a pre-production sample. Do take into consideration that these first photos are not final in terms of photo quality."
Continue to see our Olympus E-PL1 test photos.