Olympus PEN E-P1

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    Highlights

    • 12 MP Micro Four Thirds CMOS Sensor
    • 100 - 6,400 Native ISO
    • 11 Focus Points
    • Image Stabilization
    • 3.0" 230k dot Fixed Screen
    • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
    • 1280 x 720 Video Shooting
    • 30 min Video Recording Limit
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    Disclosure: We earn money from the affiliate links to products associated with content in this article.

    Overview

    Olympus PEN E-P1 was announced in 2009 and is a Micro Four Thirds (17.3 x 13 mm) Mirrorless camera with 12 Megapixel CMOS sensor. Its native ISO ranges from 100 to 6,400. The camera has a Fixed 3.0" screen with 230k dot resolution. It has a built-in Sensor Shift in body image stabilization.

    Olympus PEN E-P1 can capture video up to 1280 x 720 resolution.


    Here is the Olympus PEN series lineup, where you can view and compare the main specifications of the cameras within the same series.

    Olympus PEN series lineup
    Model Date Sensor Native ISO Screen Price
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-P7 June
    2021
    20 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    1,040k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL9 February
    2018
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 6,400 Tilting 3.0"
    1,040k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL8 September
    2016
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    1,037k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN-F January
    2016
    20 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 25,600 Articulated 3.0"
    1,037k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL7 September
    2014
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    1,037k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL6 August
    2014
    16 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    460k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-P5 October
    2013
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    1,037k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PM2 May
    2013
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 25,600 Fixed 3.0"
    460k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL5 September
    2012
    16.1 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 25,600 Tilting 3.0"
    460k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PM1 November
    2011
    12.3 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 12,800 Fixed 3.0"
    460k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL3 September
    2011
    12.3 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    200 - 12,800 Tilting 3.0"
    460k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-P3 August
    2011
    12.3 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 12,800 Fixed 3.0"
    614k dot
    Touchscreen
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL2 February
    2011
    12 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 6,400 Fixed 3.0"
    460k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL1s November
    2010
    12 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 6,400 Fixed 2.7"
    230k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-PL1 May
    2010
    12 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 3,200 Fixed 2.7"
    230k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-P2 April
    2010
    12 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 6,400 Fixed 3.0"
    230k dot
    Image cannot be found Olympus PEN E-P1 July
    2009
    12 MP
    Micro Four Thirds
    100 - 6,400 Fixed 3.0"
    230k dot

    You can view their side-by-side comparison here: Olympus PEN E-P7 vs PEN E-PL9 vs PEN E-PL8 vs PEN-F vs PEN E-PL7 vs PEN E-PL6.

    Pros and Cons

    In this section we present pros and cons of Olympus PEN E-P1.

    PROS

    •   Video Capture
    •   Face Detection
    •   Live View Autofocus
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   HDMI Output
    •   Light - 355 g (0.78 lb / 12.52 oz)
    •   Orientation Sensor

    CONS

    •   Small Sensor
    •   Low Resolution Sensor - 12 Megapixel
    •   Timelapse Recording
    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Fixed Screen
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Viewfinder
    •   Low Max Continuous Shooting - 3.0 fps
    •   Low DxO Overall Score - 55
    •   Low Video Resolution - 1280 x 720
    •   Low Video Recording Limit
    •   No Microphone Input
    •   No Headphone Output
    •   No Built-in GPS
    •   No Built-In Wi-Fi
    •   No Built-In Bluetooth
    •   No Environmental Sealing
    •   Short Battery Life - 300 shots

    And here are some specifications which fall into average criteria and are neither in PROs nor in CONs category:

    AVERAGE

    •   100 Lowest Native ISO
    •   6,400 Highest Native ISO
    •   Screen Size - 3.0"
    •   Max Shutter Speed (Mechanical or 1st Curtain) - 1/4000 sec
    •   Max Flash Sync Speed - 1/180 sec

    Successor

    In 2010 Olympus PEN E-P1 was replaced by Olympus PEN E-P2. Let us now have a look at some important differences between Olympus PEN E-P1 and its successor.

    UPGRADES Olympus PEN E-P2 vs Olympus PEN E-P1
    Viewfinder Electronic (optional VF-2) vs
    Higher DxO Color Depth 21.5 vs 21.4
    Higher DxO Overall Score 56 vs 55
    DOWNGRADES Olympus PEN E-P2 vs Olympus PEN E-P1
    Lower DxO Low Light ISO 505 vs 536

    For more detailed comparison between the models please visit Olympus PEN E-P1 vs PEN E-P2.

    Screen

    Fixed screen

    Olympus PEN E-P1 has a 3.0" Fixed screen with 230k dot resolution which is quite low by today's standards.

    Sensor

    Olympus PEN E-P1 features a 12 megapixel Micro Four Thirds CMOS sensor with dimensions of 17.3 x 13 mm and a total area of 224.9 mm2. Its native ISO range is 100 - 6,400.


    Here is a sensor size comparison chart where you can see how Olympus PEN E-P1's Micro Four Thirds sensor compares with other types of sensors:

    Sensor size chart
    Sensor Dimensions Area Aspect Ratio Crop Factor
    Image cannot be displayedMedium Format44 x 33 mm1452 mm24:30.79x
    Image cannot be displayedFull Frame36 x 24 mm864 mm23:21x
    Image cannot be displayedAPS-H27 x 18 mm486 mm23:21.3x
    Image cannot be displayedAPS-C23.6 x 15.6 mm368.2 mm23:21.5x
    Image cannot be displayedAPS-C (Canon)22.3 x 14.9 mm332.3 mm23:21.6x
    Image cannot be displayedMicro Four Thirds17.3 x 13 mm224.9 mm24:32x
    Image cannot be displayed1-inch13.2 x 8.8 mm116.2 mm23:22.7x
    Image cannot be displayed1/1.7-inch7.44 x 5.58 mm41.5 mm24:34.7x
    Image cannot be displayed1/2.3-inch6.17 x 4.55 mm28.1 mm24:35.6x

    Photography Features

    Camera is equipped with TruePic V processor and can take pictures up to 4032 x 3024 resolution. It can also take pictures with lower resolutions like 3200 x 2400, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480 with 1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 aspect ratios.


    Lens Mount

    Olympus PEN E-P1 has Micro Four Thirds lens mount. Due to Micro Four Thirds sensor its crop factor (also called lens multiplier) is 2x. This means that a 35mm equivalent focal length of the mounted lens will be equal to its actual focal length times 2.


    In-Body Image Stabilization

    The camera has a built-in Sensor Shift in-body image stabilization (IBIS). This means that you are still getting vibration reduction when camera is paired with non-image stabilizied lenses. It also works with lenses with optical image stabilization and in combination can achieve even better compensation.

    Check out the cameras which are frequently compared to Olympus PEN E-P1.

    Connectivity, Battery and Storage

    USB Input and HDMI Output

    Olympus PEN E-P1 has a USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec) input for data transfer. There is a Mini type C HDMI connector for video signal output.


    Battery

    Olympus PEN E-P1 comes with BLS-1 battery pack with battery life of 300 shots.


    External Storage Slots

    The camera has a single SD/SDHC card slot.

    Other Features

    Shutter

    Olympus PEN E-P1's shutter speed can go up to 1/4000 sec. Camera can shoot continuously up to 3.0 fps.


    Flash

    Olympus PEN E-P1 has no built-in flash but an external flash may be connected via Hot Shoe. The fastest flash synchronization speed is 1/180 sec.

    Physical Parameters

    Olympus PEN E-P1 has dimensions of 121 x 70 x 36 mm (4.76 x 2.76 x 1.42"). It weighs 355 g (0.78 lb / 12.52 oz), so it is a lightweight camera.

    121 mm (4.76")

    70 mm (2.76")

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    70 mm (2.76")

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    36 mm (1.42")

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    Olympus PEN E-P1 dimensions

    Olympus PEN E-P1 for Different Types of Photography

    We give scores to the camera for different type of photography based on its features and specifications. Let us see how Olympus PEN E-P1 is suitable for six different types of photography.


    Landscape Photography

    AVERAGE
    64

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 64 and is AVERAGE choice for Landscape photography.

    •   Small Sensor
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Built-in GPS
    •   No Environmental Sealing

    Sports Photography

    AVERAGE
    68

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 68 and is AVERAGE choice for Sports photography.

    •   6,400 Highest Native ISO
    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Face Detection
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Viewfinder
    •   Low Max Continuous Shooting - 3.0 fps
    •   Short Battery Life - 300 shots
    •   Orientation Sensor

    Wildlife Photography

    AVERAGE
    60

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 60 and is AVERAGE choice for Wildlife photography.

    •   6,400 Highest Native ISO
    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Viewfinder
    •   Low Max Continuous Shooting - 3.0 fps
    •   No Environmental Sealing
    •   Short Battery Life - 300 shots
    •   Orientation Sensor

    Portrait Photography

    GOOD
    81

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 81 and is GOOD choice for Portrait photography.

    •   Small Sensor
    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Face Detection
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Screen Size - 3.0"
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   Max Flash Sync Speed - 1/180 sec
    •   Orientation Sensor

    Street Photography

    GOOD
    82

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 82 and is GOOD choice for Street photography.

    •   Small Sensor
    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Fixed Screen
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Viewfinder
    •   No Built-in GPS
    •   No Environmental Sealing
    •   Light - 355 g (0.78 lb / 12.52 oz)

    Travel Photography

    GOOD
    83

    Olympus PEN E-P1 gets a score of 83 and is GOOD choice for Travel photography.

    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Fixed Screen
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   Low Video Resolution - 1280 x 720
    •   Low Video Recording Limit
    •   No Built-in GPS
    •   No Environmental Sealing
    •   Light - 355 g (0.78 lb / 12.52 oz)
    •   Short Battery Life - 300 shots

    Olympus PEN E-P1 Evaluation

    We evaluate Olympus PEN E-P1 and give score of 61 out of 100. We also give separate scores for 7 different categories according to the available features and specifications some of which are listed below. These evaluations are relative and may change each time a new camera is added to the database.


    OVERALL
    61

    Sensor

    AVERAGE
    65

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 65 for Sensor parameters.

    •   Small Sensor
    •   Low Resolution Sensor - 12 Megapixel
    •   100 Lowest Native ISO
    •   6,400 Highest Native ISO
    •   Low DxO Overall Score - 55

    Photo

    GOOD
    72

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 72 for Photo parameters.

    •   Timelapse Recording
    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Max Shutter Speed (Mechanical or 1st Curtain) - 1/4000 sec
    •   Low Max Continuous Shooting - 3.0 fps
    •   Max Flash Sync Speed - 1/180 sec

    Video

    POOR
    42

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 42 for Video parameters.

    •   Image Stabilization
    •   Low Video Resolution - 1280 x 720
    •   Low Video Recording Limit

    Focusing

    AVERAGE
    67

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 67 for Focusing parameters.

    •   11 Focus Points
    •   Face Detection
    •   Live View Autofocus

    Screen and Viewfinder

    POOR
    52

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 52 for Screen and Viewfinder parameters.

    •   Fixed Screen
    •   Screen Size - 3.0"
    •   Low Resolution Screen - 230k dot
    •   No Viewfinder

    Connectivity

    AVERAGE
    65

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 65 for Connectivity parameters.

    •   HDMI Output
    •   No Microphone Input
    •   No Headphone Output
    •   No Built-in GPS
    •   No Built-In Wi-Fi
    •   No Built-In Bluetooth

    Battery, Storage and Physical

    POOR
    41

    We give Olympus PEN E-P1 a score of 41 for Battery, Storage and Physical parameters.

    •   No Environmental Sealing
    •   Light - 355 g (0.78 lb / 12.52 oz)
    •   Short Battery Life - 300 shots


    For a full specification list please go to the specifications page:

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