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Cameras Reviews
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Olympus PEN E-P1 review

£536.15 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Olympus

The 12.3Mp Olympus PEN E-P1 is larger than a standard compact digital camera such as a Canon Ixus or a Sony Cyber-shot and has interchangeable lenses. Here's our hands-on report.

The 12.3Mp Olympus PEN E-P1 is larger than a standard compact digital camera such as a Canon Ixus or a Sony Cyber-shot and has interchangeable lenses. Here's our hands-on report.

Olympus is celebrating 50 years since the 1959 launch of its ground-breaking PEN 35mm film camera - the first affordable, consumer portable camera and one that Olympus believes was a ground-breaking launch.

This week, it launched a digital version broadly based on the original 1959 design. The 12.3Mp Olympus PEN E-P1 is larger than a standard compact digital camera such as a Canon Ixus or a Sony Cyber-shot and has interchangeable lenses.

It uses the Micro FourThirds standard that Olympus co-developed with Panasonic and can be used with a standard FourThirds lens via an adapter ring. However, it's not an elite model and is aimed at a far broader market than the high-end digital SLR community. In fact, it's aimed at inveterate snappers and those with an interest in rather than an obsession with photography. People like me, in other words.

To chime with this, Olympus has given the E-P1 a more modest price tag than FourThirds cameras generally carry and, though it will cost around £599 at launch for the body only, you can get it with a 14-42mm lens for £699 all in. You'll still need to fork out extra for a detachable viewfinder and the rather fetching leather case shown in many of the press shots though.

NEXT PAGE: first impressions

Olympus PEN E-P1 Expert Verdict »
Olympus Pen E-P1 with 14-42mm lens Scores 9.0 out of 10 based on 79 reviews
Olympus PEN E-P1 digital camera
Micro FourThirds
3in LiveView LCD (230,000 dots)
digital SLR
multi-point auotfocus
image stabilisation
six scene modes
art filters
video capture
HDMI output
335g
121x70x35mm

The retro feel of the Olympus E-P1 is wonderful. It's the sort of camera that puts a smile on your face when you use it and we loved the amount of control it gave us over what we took and its final look. In fact, our main criticism of a camera purportedly for the more general camera fan is its price. The £599 body only headline price makes the Olympus E-P1 seem expensive given that it doesn't claim to be a pro or even semi-pro model. You can buy it as a bundle for £749 with the 17mm pancake lens and separate viewfinder or, better still, the 14-42mm lens for £699. For both lenses it's £899.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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