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55 Reviews
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit at a great price
I seriously love this camera. I had been using super-zooms (Panasonic Lumix TZ and Canon Powershots) before this so it was definitely a step up from those but i can't compare with DSL-Rs.

+ Great photo quality
+ quite portable with the standard lens
+ Excellent video capture
+ good battery life
+ excellent build quality

- UI not...
Published on 12 Jun. 2011 by Sheheryar Channah

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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice camera, but not sure about the autofocus
I bought this for a better low light experience than my Canon G11. So I traded. I am a bit of an Olympus fan having owned a 5060WZ since 2005 (very good camera, but the images are a bit noisy and it's only 5mp, the colours, focus and exposure are absolutely excellent).
The E-PL1 is easy to use, easy to change settings, reasonably compact. The video is good quality...
Published on 29 Jan. 2011 by Si2005


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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of kit at a great price, 12 Jun. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I seriously love this camera. I had been using super-zooms (Panasonic Lumix TZ and Canon Powershots) before this so it was definitely a step up from those but i can't compare with DSL-Rs.

+ Great photo quality
+ quite portable with the standard lens
+ Excellent video capture
+ good battery life
+ excellent build quality

- UI not too easy to get the hang of - I had to consult the manual just to figure out how to change to manual focus mode.
- The lens cap is easy to misplace (just happened to me) as there is no string etc. to attach it to the lens. A new one will cost around 11 pounds.
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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Olympus PL1 is indeed a great camera buy one, 5 Nov. 2010
By 
G. P. Fletcher (Flackwell Heath,Bucks) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (Electronics)
Like many others and perhaps like the reader of this review, I agonised over buying either a Sony NEX3 or 5 or a Lumix etc etc and went as far as to go and hold all of them, before choosing the Olympus. I am a professional photographer, so need a camera I can adjust and meddle with, I also own some other quality equipment, so the results a camera produces are important to me.
Well I can honestly say I am delighted with this camera. The quality out of the camera is very very good, it holds well in the hand, it is small enough to cart around and flexible enough to expand system wise.
The downside of all thse new formats is the price of the lenses, and its what swayed me away from the Sony in the end, as the Sony telephoto is almost £1000 and that is an often neglected fact which is a killer as far as most will be concerned, apart from the fact that the NEX range is not at all small with anything other than the pancake lens on it.
So there we are for a system camera flexible enough for the enthusiast, small enough to be carried, good enough to leave the big SLR's around ...... buy an Olympus PL1, don't take my word for it read DP review they like it to.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All most of us will ever need, 4 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (Electronics)
Having relied on basic compacts for many years, I discovered (or should I say "rediscovered", as I once had an SLR) an interest in photography after I started using my daughter's Canon G10. I wanted something with interchangeable lenses that could cover the full spectrum of creative photography without the bulk of a DSLR. Frankly, I would be embarrassed to be seen carrying about some of the monster kit that you see these days, particularly when much of it is only used for family snaps. The beauty of the E-PL1 is that gives virtually nothing away to mid-priced DSLR's in terms of image quality (read the review on "DP Review"), but it is understated and much easier to carry. The price is well within a "reasonable" budget for sensible amateurs, and upgrading can be achieved by tapping into the full range of Olympus lenses, although I will probably stick with the (currently somewhat limited) micro four-thirds range.

Compared to a full-size DSLR you sacrifice some convenience as many of the functions can only be accessed through the menu system, but everything is there if you need it. One thing I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND is to purchase a copy of "Olympus PEN E-PL1 for Dummies". This marvellous book has helped me to get comfortable will all the camera's features and to set it up to suit my preferences.

After three months getting familiar with the camera's functionality, I am now starting to shoot in RAW and have recently downloaded the free Olympus Viewer 2 software to do the processing. Compared to the E-PL1's excellent built-in JPEG processing, shooting in RAW delivers small but worthwhile improvements.

My next purchase will be the VF2 electronic viewfinder, which I have heard so many good things about.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Superb travel camera, 8 Mar. 2011
By 
N. Smith - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (Electronics)
I bought this camera specifically as an alternative to travelling with a DSLR. To round out the kit, I bought the 40-150mm as a second lens and I can't believe just how light that second lens is. Between both lenses, you can really cover most of your shooting needs.

We just spent a couple of days in the Lake District (UK) and I carried the camera and second lens throughout my stay and it was no trouble at all, i hardly noticed I had it with me. This is in contrast to my previous outings with my heavier DSLR kit, when by the end of the day, you can start to feel that lugging the camera has made it more central to the trip thatn should be the case. When I came home and checked the shots, I didn't really see anything that I would have done any better had I been using my DSLR.

I find access to the menu to be fine and I can easily change settings on the hoof. There is a sub menu (represented by a COG WHEEL) that is hidden in the default menu, but you can activate it and this brigs up fast access to the more critical settings - This is an important tool, I think perhaps they hid it so that new camera users would not accidentally change settings, but on balance I think the menu is so important that they should have had it clearly on show.

Auto-focus response time is fine, out of camera mage quality is superb, I have the sharpness set to +1 and contrast at zero. I am still doing a bit of post processing, usually just going into levels to drop the mid tones a tad. Colours are nice and warm, White balance looks very accurate and the kit lens gives a good result.

The in body stabilisation is good and helps keep the non stabilised lenses light. In the tests that I have done, it is at the slowest shutter speeds that the stabilisation is most noticable and can save the shot. At higher shutter speeds, I have not found it much of an advantage and since the camera does not have a viewfinder, so you have to hold the camera out in front of you at arms length, the user does have to concentrate on not creating blur through movement. I will probably but the electronic viewfinder in time (VF-2), though I do think that this is a dear accessory.

Bottom line is that this is a good all round take anywhere camera that produces good images, an ideal travel cam for those who appreciate good image quality and the advantages of changing lenses.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crackin' camera, 18 Nov. 2010
I'm very pleased with this excellent camera, just waiting on delivery of the EPL 1 Dummies guide I ordered from Amazon so I can really start to get the most from it. I had done considerable research over several months before making my decision. The most important things to me were ease of use, the ability to take "proper" photos and size; the latter became important when I had handled several of the entry level DSLR cameras and found them to be heavy and awkward to hold. This little beauty feels really secure in your hand and is ready to take pictures in an instant. Having upgraded from a bridge camera (Lumix FZ8) I can confirm the significant improvement in the quality of pictures I am now taking. I'm also starting to experiment; learning to play with depth of field is both challenging and rewarding. It's also noticable when you crop your images that very little noise is in evidence.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars OK but not brilliant, 31 May 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Have to admit to being a little disappointed after about 10 days of use but that is possibly because I built my expectations too high.

Advantages
Price, £280 when I purchased
Sensor 4-5x the area of my old Canon 620
Flexibility - more modes than you can shake a stick at including fully manual
Assorted idiot-proof modes for when you are in too much of a hurry to be creative.
In-body image stabilisation
With £30 adaptor you can use manual OM lenses from the pre-digital era. You have to focus these manually so it is a very hit and miss process. I picked up 70-150 and 300mm lenses from Ebay for ~£20 each. Given the focal length issues, you really need a tripod, especially for the 300mm. Great entertainment for a £280 camera.
Disadvantages
Pictures often seem slightly `smeared' to me, compared to my lowly 7mp Canon compact and I have set the image quality to L SF (the highest non-RAW format I've yet found).
No viewfinder - often hard to see what you are taking in bright sunlight.
Even after updating the firmware to v1.1, focusing is a bit iffy on some shots.
Options are menu driven and you definitely need the manual in the early days to figure out how to do things.
Summary
On balance, I like the camera and certainly liked the price but I'm disappointed with the lack of absolute crispness in many shots. I will persevere but if I stick with this photography lark I can see myself purchasing a Canon or Nikon SLR as a more serious camera in the future, rather than investing more in the PL1
Four stars for the price and the fun.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent backup for an SLR, 25 May 2010
By 
O. Mohatarem (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I bought this for my wife to replace her Canon Powershot S50 and as a backup for my DSLR (for when I don't feel like lugging around a heavy kit). Overall I have been impressed with the camera especially the picture quality. JPEGS are excellent (sharp as well as vibrant) and reduce the need to shoot RAW. The controls are OK - I tend to shoot manual exposure a lot and just about manage with it although some dials/wheels would be useful (like the E-P1/2). Focus speed is acceptable for me. Basically, anyone coming from compact cameras will be perfectly happy but anyone expecting mid-range SLR focus speed is going to be disappointed. My main advice to Olympus would be to make the camera even smaller (like the Sony NEX-3/5)!!

Does it replace my D700? Absolutely not but it is a perfectly acceptable replacement for when I don't want to carry the bulk of the D700.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than you might expect, 11 Aug. 2012
By 
badlymademan (Shropshire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (Electronics)
It took me a lot of researching before I decided to go with this camera. I'd owned an Olympus E-450 DSLR camera previously and had been more than impressed with it so I knew I'd be happy with the micro-4/3 format lens and sensor.

In effect this is that camera but without the mirror and DSLR format body. In fact the resolution is up from 10mp to 12mp, otherwise I find the results very similar.

I visited review sites to look at sample photographs from this camera and, to be frank, was blown away with the quality. All the reviews mention the good quality results and on occasion you do wonder if they've been a little carried away with hyperbole. They haven't. This little camera delivers.

For me I doubt I'll be changing the lens. I don't want dust on the naked sensor and I rarely need very long zoom or macro fish-eye. The standard lens covers a lot of ground and for a camera easily to hand, is a good compromise.

The build quality is very good, lacking a little in that the main body is all plastic, however it's solid and sturdy enough. The tripod bush is metal as are the strap hangers.

The neat feature for me of this camera is the on-screen menu. Press the Menu/OK button in the centre of the arrow circle and you can easily change most of the vital settings in just a few presses. For example shoot JPEG one moment and RAW the next, just press the Ok button, move the selection up a notch and you're in RAW mode. Simple.

Downsides are that simplified control system which desperately needs another dial to give access to the pro options which are indeed there but buried, and the very annoying movie and zoom-in/out buttons. Unlike all the other buttons which click in haptic response nicely, these three are just squidgy rubber presses and feel awful. I really can't figure out why.

Other than that the camera comes with USB and video data cables, a mains charger and CD containing the Olympus ib software for editing and organising your photographs. Very useful for adjusting RAW data files.

This model is becoming rarer now as it has been superseded but this can also mean the price has dropped, if you are lucky, making it a compact DSLR substitute for a fraction of the DSLR price.

Photographically it is a very capable camera with commendably low noise levels up to ISO1600 in my experience. For crystal-clear pictures stick it in "P" mode and set ISO100 as the default.

Great buy!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice camera, but not sure about the autofocus, 29 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Olympus E-PL1 Compact System Camera - Black (14-42mm Black Lens Kit) (Electronics)
I bought this for a better low light experience than my Canon G11. So I traded. I am a bit of an Olympus fan having owned a 5060WZ since 2005 (very good camera, but the images are a bit noisy and it's only 5mp, the colours, focus and exposure are absolutely excellent).
The E-PL1 is easy to use, easy to change settings, reasonably compact. The video is good quality. There is a lot to like.
Tried it with a Panasonic 45-200 lens, worked very well, it's a great zoom.
But I regretted getting rid of the G11. The pictures were better in low light with the E-PL1 - when they were in focus. And that's the issue.

I appreciate that a smaller sensor = larger depth of field on the G11(more things in focus), but with 80% of my shots I wasn't happy with the focus on the E-PL1. It may be down to me, but all I can say is 95% of my shots were fine with the G11 and stood up to being printed at 23"x16" cropped slightly. On the E-PL1 the focus area is too large so sometimes it's difficult to focus on what you want. The manual focus would be great since it blows up the area you are trying to focus on to assist. But to manual focus you have to hold the shutter down half way, then focus manually, while holding the button - to me that means there is no manual focus, if you release the button you have to start again. Sounds minor, but manual focus should not involve holding down buttons. And if the focus worked well enough, then I wouldn't be trying to manual focus in the first place.

The lens is OK, but somebody elsewhere described it as "shonky", not sure what that means, but after using it I understand the description. The lens has to be extended before use and to retract it after use you hold a slider and twist it. It also rotates the front element during focus which means it's useless with a polarizer. Although when I used a polariser with the G11 I just held it in front of the lens and that worked fine.

It is a really nice camera, but I just couldn't use it. So I traded again. I would have gone for a G12, but I bought a Sony SLT-A55 instead. It's in a totally different league (but it's bigger and more expensive so it's not really a fair comparison).

I have had a lot of cameras over the years, the best ones being the Pentax K10D (if you have one - keep it, it's a very underrated camera), Canon G11 and Olympus 5060WZ. Having used the Sony SLT-A55, that will also be added to the list. If you don't need an external flash then the Canon S95 is good, the new Olympus ZX-1 may also be a contender.

If I had £400 to spend today I would go with the Canon G12 and save up for a 270EX flash to go with it. It really is a good combo with edge to edge sharpness. Photos easily go up to A3 size. And it's easier to fit in a pocket than the Olympus or the Sony Nex series (with 18-55 lens - bit blurry in the corners, there are only 3 lenses and the largest zoom costs a fortune....BUT...the pictures do look very nice, very little noise).

If you have the patience you can get excellent photos from the E-PL1, but it's too hit and miss for me.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's red!, 12 Aug. 2010
By 
L8again (Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This camera is red despite what some other reviewers said further down! Not that it should matter. On the quality it does feel good in the hands but this is not a lightweight substitute to point and shoot cameras. I had to buy a hard case for it so I can carry it around my neck but it can also easily go on a belt or under a buggy if you have children. If you go for a hard case, I would recommend one that you can just open and shoot rather than have to take the whole camera out of it first. Quality was good for on the auto setting and I am looking forward to exploring the other features of the camera. Two quibbles being that it's generally slow and the Olympus software is not Apple compatible. Have not tried the HD video capability yet.
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