Review Snapshot
Pros

It's small and light which is perfect for travel. It can be used with Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses, which are simply brilliant. The e pl1 is now considered old technology and is an absolute bargain buy.

Cons

There aren't many accessories available, but this is the same with all mirrorless cameras. Composing photos in bright sunlight using the LCD screen is very difficult and you are going to need the VF2 viewfinder, which is even more money.

Verdict

If you want the manual control and the ability to change lenses of a digital SLR camera but want the small size and weight of a compact camera then the Olympus e pl1 is the camera for you. It is a fantastic little camera that is capable of capturing some amazing images. This is a camera for the globe trotters amongst us.

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Foto_reviewer : A 30 something year old with many interests including digital photography, fishi...Member Reputation 35 • 17 active Krits
Olympus e pl1 digital camera from Olympus
Olympus E Pl1 Review
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Olympus e pl1 Review - The full run down

When I use a camera I like to have full control over the exposure, and I want to decide what aperture, ISO and shutter speed to use. I also like to be able to swap between lenses so I can capture the image I want to capture and not what the camera decides it wants to capture. As we all know the digital SLR camera offers the greatest control however dslr cameras are big and bulky and a bit of a overkill in many situations. Fortunately there is an alternative to a digital slr camera, which is the mirrorless camera. Enter the Olympus e pl1.
The Olympus e pl1 is a small and light weight camera that is perfect for vacations and travelling. In fact, the main reason I purchased my Olympus e pl1 was so I could take a camera that offered interchangeable lenses and full manual control on a foreign vacation. In my opinion, one of the biggest selling points of the epl1 is its small and compact size.  This camera packs a lot of punch for something so small.

The Olympus e pl1 is well made and feels solid however it is not as tough and durable as other digital cameras. The Olympus e pl1 is not shock proof, it is not water proof and you can’t  simply chuck it around and expect it to still work, however if you take care of it you won’t have any problems at all. I have had my Olympus e pl1 for just over three years now and I have never had any problems. If you want to protect the epl1 when it is not in use you only need to store it in a protective case, which is not too expensive.

Even though the Olympus e pl1 only has a 12 mega pixel sensor the image quality is simply superb. Colours are bright and vivid but still realistic and digital noise is well controlled, even at higher ISOs. There are other digital cameras available with more pixels but produce far worse photos than the epl1 does, so don’t let the 12 mega pixel sensor put you off buying one of these awesome cameras.

You can use the Olympus e pl1 as a point and shoot camera should you wish but if you want to get the most out of this camera you need to switch it to one of the semi-automatic modes, such as shutter priority or aperture priority or switch to full manual mode. Once you are using the epl1 in one of these last three modes you will soon see what a powerful camera this is, and what sort of images you can capture with it.

With the Olympus e pl1 you can use any brand of micro four thirds lenses available and still retain auto focus, which is absolutely brilliant. Olympus lenses are ok and can produce some great images, but Panasonic lenses are superior, and since these have the micro four thirds mount you can use them on the Olympus e pl1. In fact, other than the kit lens, i.e. the small zoom that was supplied with the Olympus e pl1 the only other lenses I use are made by Panasonic, which include the 14mm f2.5, the 20mm f2.7 and the 45 – 150mm zoom lens, and all of these are first class lenses.

The Olympus e pl1 is now considered old technology, especially since it was replaced with the Olympus e pl2, which has since been replaced by the Olympus e pl3. The fact the Olympus e pl1 is two models behind is great news since it means the price has gone through the floor and plummeted and, if you shop around, there are loads of bargains to be had. In fact, you can pick up an Olympus e pl1 body and kit lens for the same price as a top end point and shoot camera. Which one would you spend your money on? It really is a no brainer.  

If you want some accessories for the Olympus e pl1 there is not a huge choice, but this is the same with all micro four thirds and mirrorless cameras. These type of cameras are still relatively new and they are still gaining market share, but the amount of accessories is growing rapidly. That said, there are enough accessories available to capture some great images, such as lenses, flash guns and filters to name but a few.

So would I recommend the Olympus e pl1? Definitely. The Olympus e pl1 is a cracking little camera that is simply awesome. It is small and light, which is perfect for travel and vacations or to simply keep in a pocket so it is on your person at all times, you can have full control over the exposure (or use full automatic mode if you wish) and the image quality is awesome. One of the best things about the Olympus e pl1 is the price, and since it is considered “old technology” there are loads of bargains to be had.

Date Reviewed: August 6, 2012, 5:05 pm
Reviewed by foto_reviewer
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