Beneath the retro styling of the Olympus Pen E-PL1 is a new Live Guide designed to aid beginners, but does it make photography any easier? We put it to the test

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Olympus Pen E-PL1 review


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Olympus Pen E-PL1 at a glance:

  • 12.3-million-pixel Live MOS sensor
  • Micro Four Thirds system
  • In-camera stabilisation
  • New Live Guide feature
  • Street price around £550 with 14-42mm kit lens

One of the many advantages of cameras now having LCD screens is that it allows a new level of interactivity between the camera and the photographer. As well as allowing photographers to preview the effects of altering the image settings, some manufacturers are now taking this a stage further by using the screen to explain the effects of adjusting the exposure settings.

In its Micro Four Thirds Pen E-PL1 camera, Olympus has introduced a new Live Guide. The feature is designed to make it easy for those not familiar with photographic principles to change the camera settings without having to worry about technical terminology.

Similar in specification to the Olympus E-P1 and E-P2 Micro Four Thirds models, the E-PL1 has a full complement of manual-exposure options that will allow entry-level photographers to develop as their knowledge advances.

When these features are combined with a built-in pop-up flash (a notable omission from the two previous Pen models), the E-PL1 may be ideal not just for those wanting to invest in the Micro
Four Thirds system, but also more generally for photographers moving up from compact cameras.

  1. 1. Olympus Pen E-PL1 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video
  10. 10. Verdict
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