|Olympus PEN E-PL1 system camera review
Olympus is making headway with the digital PEN, which is logical. It is a very smart concept and a very nice cross between a compact camera and an SLR camera. The design also makes it appealing to a lot of people. That may be truer for the E-P1 than for the Olympus PEN E-PL1, which has a bit of a plastic and more angular appearance, making it less charming. But that is just the outside.
Olympus E-PL1 offers an excellent image quality
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 range and the color display.
Olympus E-PL1 with 14-42 mm kit lens
A big advantage of the Olympus PL1 in comparison with a compact camera is that you can change the lenses. A standard 14-42 mm zoom lens is included. That is sufficient for most photos. And if you want more tele, or more wide angle, then you can buy another lens. Or a nice compact pancake. Then you won’t have the zoom, but you will have a very compact set. And there is something to be said for that.
Olympus E-PL1 built-in flash
The Olympus E-PL1 is truly meant for the beginner photographer, which makes it logical that the Olympus E-PL1 has a built-in flash. The other models appeal more to the advanced photographer, who doesn’t necessarily need a built-in flash, as they may prefer photography with existing light. This is possible with the PEN, because it also has a built-in image stabilizer.
Olympus E-PL1 with new iAuto mode
The new way of changing settings in the iAuto mode works great. That will certainly appeal to a beginner photographer. You don’t get overwhelmed by difficult terms, you just get clear language. And you see what happens immediately. The built-in tips that Olympus provides to photograph certain subjects are very smart. So that you can learn something from the camera!
RAW photo processing with the Olympus E-PL1
Olympus missed the mark a bit with the RAW processing. This is especially a drawback for Apple computer users. The RAW file has been adjusted again, so that the known software cannot (yet) process these files. Olympus does not include software for the Mac. That’s just not up to speed. If they would just mention that you can download it on the internet in the user’s guide, but Olympus fails to mention that, too. As an Apple user you are left out in the cold. Perhaps Olympus made a ‘mistake’, which would be fairly easy to solve.
Olympus E-PL1 camera review conclusion
Luckily, you can work with RAW and enjoy the photos that the Olympus PEN PL1 can make. Be sure to work with the art filters, they offer a valuable addition to the possibilities. The E-PL1 is the third PEN and a true beginner’s model. It has handy ways of advancing in photography and it stimulates you to take a lot of photos. The Olympus PEN E-PL1 system camera has an excellent price/quality ratio and represents an example of what a Micro Four Thirds System means, as far as I am concerned: the ease of a compact and the quality of a DSLR. Add to that the remarkable good price… what else could we wish for?