Olympus Pen E-PL1

      Photo Review 8.5

      In summary

      The first model in the 12.3-megapixel Olympus Pen series of interchangeable-lens compact cameras with a built-in pop-up flash.The Olympus Pen E-PL1 is a third-generation model in a series of cameras pioneered by Olympus with the aim of providing small, interchangeable-lens cameras with sensors significantly larger than those in digicams. While offering the same 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, SSWF dust removal system and TruePic V image processor as the E-P2, the new model is smaller and lighter in construction, with an aluminium front panel and polycarbonate rear. . . [more]

      Full review


      The Olympus Pen E-PL1 is a third-generation model in a series of cameras pioneered by Olympus with the aim of providing small, interchangeable-lens cameras with sensors significantly larger than those in digicams. While offering the same 12.3-megapixel Live MOS sensor, SSWF dust removal system and TruePic V image processor as the E-P2, the new model is smaller and lighter in construction, with an aluminium front panel and polycarbonate rear.


      The Pen E-PL1 will be offered in a twin-lens kit with the M. Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 and M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm f/4-5.6 zoom lenses. The B]black version of the camera is shown here. (Source: Olympus.)
      Like the other Pen models, the E-PL1 includes body-integrated image stabilisation that works with all lenses. Three modes can automatically compensate for camera shake in low-light situations or when shooting without a tripod. It also provides four aspect ratios (4:3, 16:9, 3:2 and 6:6) that serve as masks to frame shots for particular output formats.


      Front view of the champagne Gold version of the Pen E-PL1 with the pop-up flash raised. (Source: Olympus.)
      The body design is very similar to previous PEN models, although the E-PL1 is slightly smaller and almost 40 grams lighter. There’s a reasonably good grip bar on the front panel and the mode dial sits proud of the body on the opposite side of the body to its position on the E-P1 and E-P2 models. Both the shutter release and on/off button are smaller, with the latter repositioned to near the strap loop edge.


      Top view of the Pen E-PL1. (Source: Olympus.)

      The rear control panel has been simplified by removing both the dial wheels and replacing the rather annoying sub-dial on the on the back of the E-P2’s body with a red ‘direct button’ for triggering movie capture when the camera has been set for shooting still pictures. Users can toggle quickly back and forth between capturing stills and videos by using an index finger to press the shutter button and a thumb to press the red record button.


      Back view of the Pen E-PL1. (Source: Olympus.)

      The monitor on the new model is slightly smaller than those on the E-P1 and E-P2 but has the same, relatively low, resolution. Although the number of buttons hasn’t changed, they’re more logically arranged. However, the AEF/AFL button has been eliminated.

      The Fn. button has been moved to just below the mode dial where it shares duty with the playback zoom/index buttons. Below it are the Play, Menu and Info buttons arranged vertically with the Delete button below them near the lower edge of the panel. A conventional arrow pad replaces the rocker/dial arrangement on the previous models and provides direct access to exposure compensation, flash, drive and AF target settings.

      The memory card slot has been moved into the battery compartment in the base panel. A metal-lined tripod socket is also located here. A lift-up rubber cap covers the USB multi-connector and HDMI ports on the right side of the camera. Not surprisingly, the E-PL1 uses the same BLS-1 lithium-ion battery as the E-P1 and E-P2. However, its power management isn’t quite as efficient, as can be seen in the comparison table below. It takes three-and-a-half hours to charge the battery, according to the user manual.

      The review camera was supplied with the new Olympus Digital 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6L ED lens, which is covered in this review. No adaptor was included for fitting Four Thirds System lenses

      What’s New?
      Aside from its lighter, cheaper build quality, the E-PL1 differs from previous PEN series models in several respects; some are advantageous, others less so. The table below highlights key similarities and differences between the three PEN series models.





      Body material

      Plastic with aluminium front panel

      Stainless steel

      Dimensions (wxhxd)

      115 x 72 x 42 mm

      120.5 x 70 x 35mm

      Weight (grams)

      296 grams

      335 grams

      Image stabilisation

      Up to 3 stops

      Up to 4 stops


      Built-in, pop-up, GN 10

      External flash only

      EVF/accessory port




      LCD monitor

      2.7-inch Hypercrystal LCD, 230,000 dots

      3-inch HyperCrystal III LCD with 230,000 dots

      Max. image resolution

      4032 x 3024 pixels

      Video resolution (max.)

      1280 x 720 pixels

      Direct movie recording

      Yes, via button


      Manual control in Movie mode







      Shutter speed range

      60 to 1/2000 seconds

      60 to 1/4000 seconds

      Flash synch

      1/160 second

      1/180 second

      ISO range

      Auto: ISO 200-3200; Manual: ISO 100-6400

      Shooting modes

      iAuto, Program AE (with program shift), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, Scene select AE

      Scene pre-sets

      Portrait, e-Portrait, Landscape, Sport, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Macro, Nature Macro, Candle, Documents, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach & Snow

      Portrait, Soft skin, Landscape, Landscape with people, Sports, Night scene, Night scene with people, Children, High key, Low key, DIS mode, Macro, Natural macro, Candle light, Sunset, Document, Panorama, Fireworks, Beach and Snow

      Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sport, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Nature Macro, Candle, Documents, Panorama, Beach & Snow

      Art Filters

      Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama, Gentle Sepia

      Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pinhole

      Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama, Cross Process

      Supported accessories

      External flash units, VF-2 electronic viewfinder, EMA-1 microphone adapter, Underwater case

      External flash units, Wired remote control

      External flash units, Wired remote control, VF-2 electronic viewfinder, EMA-1 microphone adapter

      Battery/CIPA rating

      BLS-1/ 290 shots/charge

      BLS-1/ 300 shots/charge

      RRP (body only)



      $1699 (with VF-2 finder)






      The most welcome addition to the new camera is sure to be the built-in pop-up flash, which is a ‘first’ this series. With a GN of 10 at ISO 200, it’s not particularly bright but it can act as a commanding unit for wireless control of the Olympus FL-36R and FL-50R external flash units. These (and other, third-party) external flashes can also be attached to the camera via the hot-shoe.

      The hot-shoe sits above an accessory port, which is similar to the port on the Pen E-P2. It accepts the optional VF-2 electronic viewfinder (which was launched with the E-P2) as well as the SEMA-1 external microphone adapter set (which includes the EMA-1 adapter, the ME-51S stereo microphone and a cord) and is used for stereo sound capture in HD movie recording.

      A new PT-EP01 underwater housing has also been announced for the Olympus PEN E-PL1. Usable at depths of up to 40 metres, the housing is significantly lighter and more compact than conventional SLR camera underwater housings. It enables the Olympus UFL-2 dedicated underwater flash unit to be controlled wirelessly from the camera within the housing via Olympus’ Wireless Remote Control Flash System.
      Other new features include an updated TruePic V image processor, which has been tweaked to handle the weaker anti-aliasing/low-pass filter in front of the imager chip. Other new features aim to make the camera easier for novice photographers to use. Chief among them is a re-jigged interface that’s more like those on Olympus’s high-end digicams (but can still be quite complicated to use). A dedicated button is provided for magnifying the image in Live View mode, offering up to 14x enlargement.

      The new model also features a Live Guide interface in the iAuto mode to help novice users achieve certain digital effects. It’s accessed by pressing the Start/OK button in the centre of the arrow pad. This reveals a strip of icons covering the following camera functions: Change colour saturation, Change colour image, Change brightness, Blur background, Express motions and Shooting tips.


      The Live Guide interface.
      When you select an icon, a sub-menu page opens to reveal adjustments for the selected parameter.


      The Blur background adjustment tool.

      Selecting the Shooting tips icon opens a sub-menu containing five topics, each indicated by an icon. These topics cover: Child photo, Pet photo, Flower photo, Cuisine photo and Framing. There are two tips for Child photo; three tips each for Pet photo, cuisine photo and Framing and four tips for Flower photo. Photo enthusiasts will find most of them state the obvious; however, they may prove valuable to novice users of this camera.


      The Tips interface.


      Shooting tips are very basic in content.
      The E-PL1 also provides 19 Scene-Select modes, including Fireworks, Sunset, Children, Macro and Panorama plus an ePortrait Mode that enables users to smooth out defects in skin texture. The iAuto mode automatically identifies the subject type and adjusts settings to capture the best result for the situation. Face detection can recognise up to eight faces and track them within the image area, automatically focusing and optimising exposure for sharp portraits.

      The in-camera panorama function lets the photographer record three images and stitch them together in the supplied software (see below) to create a single panoramic image. Don’t be tempted to shoot more than three frames for stitching; the software can’t handle it! (More details in the Software section below.)

      Olympus has replaced the Cross Process Art Filter (introduced in the E-P2) with a new Art Filter, ‘Gentle Sepia’, which converts images to a warm brown monochrome tone. The Art Filters remain non-adjustable and they can still be used for both stills and movie capture.
      Unchanged Features
      Outside of the iAuto mode, the shooting controls provided in the E-PL1 are the same as its ‘sister’ models. The iEnhance and ePortrait settings introduced in the E-P2 carry over into the new model unchanged. White balance, stabilisation, bracketing and multiple exposure settings are the same as the other Pen cameras.

      Like its siblings, the E-PL1 supports 12-bit image processing and enables users to capture ORF.RAW and JPEG files, with support for simultaneous RAW+JPEG recording. Users can choose from four aspect ratios for JPEG shooting: 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 6:6, each with three image sizes (Large, Middle and Small).

      Raw files are only recorded in the 4:3 aspect ratio and losslessly compressed by 65% to yield files that are typically around 13.9MB in size. Approximate image sizes for images recorded with the 4:3 aspect ratio shown in the table below.

      Image Size



      Super Fine





      4032 x 3024



      4032 x 3024






      3200 x 2400





      2560 x 1920





      1600 x 1200






      1280 x 960





      1024 x 768





      640 x 480





      The Movie mode is largely unchanged from the E-P2. Autofocusing is possible when shooting video clips but only by pressing the AEL/AFL button. Clips can be recorded in both HD and standard definition at 30 frames/second, using the widely supported AVI/Motion JPEG format.

      There’s only one resolution available for each format: HD clips are recorded at 1280 x 720-pixel resolution, while SD clips are VGA (640 x 480 pixels). Sound recording is monaural only. Class 6 SDHC cards are recommended for video capture and up to 2GB (equivalent to approximately seven minutes of HD footage; 14 minutes of SD) can be recorded in a single shot.

      There’s a setting in the movie menu that allows you to take still pictures with movie clips. But it only records the still frame at the end of the video clip – and it’s only available when the shutter button is used to start and end video recordings.

      Pressing the Menu reveals two pages of shooting controls, one page of playback settings and a page of set-up functions. Shooting controls cover Card Setup, Custom Reset, Picture Mode, Image resolution/size, Image Aspect, Drive, Stabiliser, Bracketing, Multiple Exposure, Flash exposure adjustment and Flash Recording mode.

      The Playback page has only four settings: Slideshow, Edit, Print Order Setting and Reset/Protect, while the Settings page contains the date/time settings, language, screen brightness, record review, Custom menu display and Firmware. Each setting takes you to a sub-menu with further options.

      You can also change camera settings by pressing the Start/OK button, which calls up the following functions: Picture Mode, White Balance, Drive, Stabiliser, Aspect, Image resolution/size, Flash modes, Flash exposure adjustment, Metering pattern, Focus mode, Face detection, ISO sensitivity and, in movie mode, Movie sound recording.

      Another option is to switch on the Super Control Panel in the setup menu. It works like its equivalent in other Olympus cameras but Olympus has added some extra functions to provide users with more information about the camera’s status. Sharpness, contrast and saturation settings are now included, along with the colour space, gradation and white balance compensation setting.

      The arrow pad provides direct links to some of these settings and is often faster to use. The up arrow takes you to Exposure compensation settings (+/-3 EV in 1/3, 1/2 or1 EV steps). It also accesses Program Shift in the P shooting mode. The right button opens the Flash modes (Auto, auto w/red-eye reduction, fill flash, flash off, slow sync (1st curtain), slow sync with red-eye reduction, slow sync (2nd curtain) and four output levels (full strength, 1/4, 1/16 and 1/64).

      The down arrow accesses the drive and self-timer modes, covering single-frame and continuous advance modes plus a 2 or 12 second delay self-timer. The left arrow covers AF target selection. Options include multi-area and single-point. An 11-area array is displayed on the screen and you can move the selected focusing area around with the arrow pad buttons.

      The continuous shooting mode claims a maximum burst rate of three frames/second. The buffer memory can accommodate up to nine RAW+JPEG pairs, ten ORF.RAW files or 17 Large/Fine JPEGs.
      The Kit Lens
      The Olympus Digital 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 L ED zoom lens supplied with the camera is an update to the lens supplied with the camera. It shares many design features with its predecessor, including the collapsing design that reduces the barrel length by almost 50%. A slider on the plastic lens barrel acts as a lock that must be released before the lens can be used.

      The new lens is essentially the same size and weight as its predecessor but comes with a plastic mounting plate. This reduces its weight to 134 grams (without end caps). Consisting of nine elements in eight groups, it can focus to 25 cm and covers angles of view from 75.4 to 28.9 degrees.

      Apertures range from a maximum of f/3.5 to a minimum of f/22. Multilayer film coatings have been applied to minimise flare and ghosting and the lens accepts 40.5 mm filters. Stabilisation and switching between auto and manual focusing are handled within the camera.

      Playback modes are similar to those on Olympus’s DSLR cameras and include single and index views, up to 14x playback zoom, calendar and slideshow playback. Three background soundtracks (Melancholy, Joy and Cool) are pre-loaded in the camera or you can turn the music off.

      The Info display provides shooting data overlays, histogram and highlight/shadow alert displays plus the standard comprehensive display combining them all. Recorded images can be edited and saved as new images and raw files can be converted into JPEG format and re-saved. Editing options include shadow adjust, red-eye fix, cropping, aspect ratio changing, B&W and Sepia conversion, ePortrait processing and adjustments to saturation.

      Shots can be rotated through 90 degrees and up to three ORF.RAW frames can be overlaid and saved as a separate image. Sound bites of up to 30 seconds can be added to still pictures. The supplied AV cable can be used to connect the camera to a standard definition TV set. To play video clips or display still pictures on an HDTV set you must purchase a separate HDMI cable.
      The bundled Olympus [ib] software provides uploading, browsing, editing and photo-organising functions. It has a very slick interface that has obviously been designed for snapshooters since many functions are highly automated. The software takes over image files as soon as the camera is connected to a computer or the memory card is slipped into a card reader.


      Analysing image files as they are imported.


      Transferring images from a folder on the computer to an ib folder.

      You can also transfer selected pictures from an existing folder on your computer to an ib folder via the File>Transfer Images from a Specified Location command. Unfortunately, when uploading images from a memory card, we weren’t able import a selection of image files; only the entire contents of the card. If (like us) you hate software that takes over your images, you can disable this function within the Options sub-menu by un-checking the Auto Start box, as shown below.


      As the files are imported, you are asked to input details of events and the location where the shot was taken. Faces in shots can also be tagged at this point. Images are stored in folders identified by the first shot in the sequence and labelled accordingly.

      The main browser screen provides thumbnail images showing the folders identified by the software. Left of this screen is a file/folder tree listing the folders, number of files in each and year in which the folders were created. Right of the screen is a map showing the country where the shots were taken. If you’ve tagged any shots with GPS data, you’ll get a zoomed-in view showing their location.


      Creating an ib folder.


      Location tagging.


      The face tagging interface.

      When you click on a folder, the shots it contains will be displayed as thumbnails. Double-clicking on a thumbnail opens the image and you can move to an editing window by clicking on the Edit icon in the lower toolbar. Editing tools are pretty standard with rotating (90 degrees right or left), cropping, tilting and distortion adjustments plus an ‘instant fix’ (which appears to be a subtle brightness adjustment), a red-eye fix and a ‘beautifier’ tool (for smoothing out skin blemishes).


      Instant Fix adjustments.


      Tilt correction.

      There’s also a suite of effects (brightness, contrast saturation, hue and sharpness sliders) and another of filters (containing monochrome, sepia, vignette and soft focus filters). Most adjustments are fairly small but adequate for snapshooters. Panorama stitching is provided – but only for three frames and the software isn’t particularly effective (see Sample Images section, below).


      Editing effects options.


      Editing filters.

      Raw files captured with the camera can also be adjusted and saved as JPEGs, bitmaps or TIFF files and the software lets you choose 8-bit or 16-bit for the latter. However, adjustments are fairly limited in range, with +/- 2EV of brightness correction, slider and Kelvin adjustments for white balance and grey point specification. A separate Camera Settings icon lets you tweak the Picture Mode, contrast, sharpness, saturation and gradation and apply B&W, Picture Tone and Noise reduction filters.


      Raw file adjustments.

      Adobe Camera Raw doesn’t support the E-PL1 as yet but an update should be released soon with this support added. This will enable users of this camera to convert and edit the raw files in Adobe’s significantly more versatile and user-friendly applications: Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.

      Overall performance for the review camera was similar to the E-P2 unit we tested recently. Metering bias continues to favour shadows over highlights, leading to considerable highlight clipping. We had to under-expose by 2/3 of a stop to obtain usable JPEG files for our Imatest tests – and even then some highlight clipping was found in files shot at low ISO settings, where images were quite contrasty.

      Raw files provided more scope for recovering highlight details – provided they were recorded. It was also necessary to reduce exposure levels by -0.3EV (or even -0.7EV in bright sunlight) to obtain usable files. Contrast and saturation appeared to be as high as they were in our test shots taken with the E-P1 and E-P2.

      Imatest showed saturation to be relatively modest but slightly higher than we’d like from files straight out of the camera. It also revealed slight warming in skin hues plus significant shifts in reds and smaller shifts in cyan and purplish blues. These occurred in both JPEG and raw files and both were confirmed in our test shots. Other hues were close to the mark.

      The overall resolution of the review lens was slightly lower than the maximum resolution we measured with the lens we used for testing the E-P2. However, its performance at different focal length settings was more consistent and it proved significantly better at small apertures. The graph below shows the results of our Imatest tests.


      Lateral chromatic aberration was lower than we found with the lens we used for testing the E-P2 as all of our measurements put CA in the ‘low’ CA band, the lower edge of which is indicated by the red line in the graph below, which shows the results of our tests.


      High ISO performance was also better in the E-PL1 than we found with the E-P2. Interestingly there was little difference in the results we obtained with JPEG and ORF.RAW files, as shown in the graph below. (It will be interesting to re-run these tests on the raw files when the update of Adobe Camera Raw is released because we have some reservations about the capabilities of the raw converter in the supplied ib software.)


      Autofocusing in low light levels was fraught with difficulties as the camera seemed to be unable to pick up enough light to find focus. To complicate matters, the LCD monitor doesn’t provide a bright enough image to let you focus manually. We had to re-take our test shots several times because the shutter doesn’t lock when the camera can’t focus and many of our test shots were unsharp. (Note: the quality of the LCD isn’t good enough for critical focus checking in the field.)

      Fortunately, the long exposures we managed to record with acceptable sharpness had little noise up to ISO 800. We also found little evidence of the stuck pixels that we found with the E-P2. As expected, flash exposures were sharper and less noise-affected than long exposures at high ISO settings and the flash was capable of illuminating an average-sized room at ISO 200 and above.

      White balance performance was similar to the E-P2 (and also the E-P1). The auto setting failed to correct the inherent cast in incandescent lighting and over-corrected very slightly with fluorescent lighting. Both pre-sets over-corrected slightly, but plenty of in-camera adjustments provided for tweaking colour balance to obtain neutral colour rendition.

      Video performance was similar to other 720p-capable cameras and clips appeared sharp and colourful when played back on an HDTV set. However, contrast was relatively high and the lack of stabilisation was noticeable in hand-held recordings. Best results come from tripod-mounting the camera because the sensor-shift stabilisation system doesn’t work in movie mode.

      The monaural sound recording was of acceptable quality for amateur videos and being able to focus while shooting is a definite advantage. However, like most DSLRs with movie capture, autofocusing with the test camera was painfully slow. It often took two seconds or more for the focus to lock.

      If you zoom in or out while recording a video clip, the AF system will re-adjust gradually and you have to deal with a second or two of unsharp video recording. If the subject tracking function is engaged, the focus will follow the subject – again very slowly. In addition, the re-focusing adjustments may be recorded faintly on the soundtrack.

      Camera response times were similar to the E-P2. The review camera remained slow to power-up because of the need to check the lens and post a warning on the screen if it wasn’t extended enough for shooting. This process took roughly three seconds. We measured an average capture lag of 0.75 seconds, which reduced to 0.15 seconds (on average) with pre-focusing. Both times are slow for a modern camera.

      Shot-to-shot times averaged 1.7 seconds, a marginal improvement on the E-P2. However, adding flash extended the intervals to an average of 3.2 seconds. It took 5.7 seconds, on average, to process each JPEG file, 6.1 seconds for each ORF.RAW file and 6.4 seconds for each RAW+JPEG pair. (Note: using the art filters extends these processing times, often by several seconds.)

      In the sequential shooting (burst) mode, we recorded bursts of 10 Large/Super Fine JPEGs in 2.7 seconds, which is 0.2 seconds faster than the E-P2. However, it took eight seconds to process this burst, a significant increase on the 3.3 seconds we recorded for the E-P2. Swapping to raw file capture, we could only record nine frames in a burst before the camera ‘froze’ and, although capture rates were only marginally slower, we had to wait 25.5 seconds for the raw burst to be processed. Nine RAW+JPEG pairs was also the buffer memory’s limit but we had to wait for 34 seconds to process.

      Buy this camera if:
      – You want a compact digital camera with interchangeable lenses, raw file capture plus in-camera image stabilisation and effective dust reduction technology.
      – You require a built-in flash that can be used to trigger wireless flash units remotely.
      Don’t buy this camera if:
      – You require fast autofocusing. (Long capture lag times and slow burst capture make shooting moving subjects tricky.)
      – You require a wide dynamic range in JPEG shots.
      – You need a camera with an impact-resistant metal body.
      – You require longer focal lengths than the system currently offers and don’t want to use the larger Four Thirds System lenses, which require an optional adapter and may upset the overall shooting balance on the small and comparatively light E-PL1 body.

      JPEG image files


      Raw image files converted into 16-bit TIFF format with Olympus ib software.



      Note: All images captured with the Olympus Digital 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 L ED zoom lens.


      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.


      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.


      14mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/8; Program AE mode, centre-weighted metering.


      18mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/8; Program AE mode, centre-weighted metering.


      25mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/9; Program AE mode, centre-weighted metering.


      35mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/9; Program AE mode, centre-weighted metering.


      42mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/9; Program AE mode, centre-weighted metering.


      Nature Macro Scene mode; 42mm focal length; ISO 200, 1/125 second at f/6.3.


      Close-up with aperture-priority AE mode; 28mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/320 second at f/10.


      Dynamic range recorded with Digital ESP (multi-pattern) metering. 42mm focal length; ISO 200, 1/160 second at f/5.6.


      Strongly backlit subject with centre-weighted metering and Program AE mode; 14mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/800 second at f/11.


      14mm focal length; ISO 100, 1/400 second at f/8; aperture-priority AE mode, Digital ESP (multi-pattern) metering.


      100% enlargement of the above image showing slight coloured fringing (circled).


      30-second exposure at ISO 200; 20mm focal length, f/3.7.


      13-second exposure at ISO 1600; 20mm focal length, f/3.7.


      6-second exposure at ISO 3200; 20mm focal length, f/5.


      Flash exposure; 42mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/60 second at f/5.6.


      Flash exposure; 42mm focal length; ISO 800, 1/60 second at f/5.6.


      Flash exposure; 42mm focal length, ISO 3200, 1/60 second at f/5.6.


      36mm focal length, ISO 100, 1/100 second at f/6.3; iAuto shooting mode. Areas with blown-out highlights are circled in red.


      Hand-held shot in low lighting; 42mm focal length, ISO 200, 1/8 second at f/5.6.


      Distortion at 14mm; ISO 100, 1/80 second at f/4.


      Distortion at 42mm; ISO 100, 1/60 second at f/5.6.


      Still frame from 720p HD video clip recorded with the review camera.


      Still frame from 720p HD video clip recorded with the review camera.


      Three-frame panorama stitched together with the ib software. (Incorrectly stitched area circled in red.)


      What happens when you attempt to stitch more than three frames in ib software.


      Five frames combined into a panorama using the PhotoMerge tool in Photoshop. (No additional editing or cropping has been applied.)


      Transferring images from a folder on the computer to an ib folder.




      Image sensor: 17.3 x 13.0 mm High-speed Live MOS Sensor with 13.1 million photosites (12.3 megapixels effective)
      A/D processing: 12-bit
      Lens mount: Micro Four Thirds
      Focal length crop factor: 2x
      Image formats: Stills- JPEG (Exif 2.2), ORF.RAW; Movies – AVI Motion JPEG/WAV (30 fps)
      Image Sizes: Stills (4:3 aspect ratio) – 4032 x 3024, 3200 x 2400, 2560 x 1920, 1600 x 1200, 1280 x 960, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480 (3:2, 16:9 and 6:6 aspect ratios also available); Movies – 1280 x 720, 640 x 480
      Image Stabilisation: Imager shift; approx.4EV steps compensation with 50mm lens; 3 modes plus OFF; electronic stabilisation for movie capture
      Dust removal: Supersonic Wave Filter
      Shutter speed range: 60 to 1/2000 seconds; X-synch at 1/30-1/160 sec.
      Exposure Compensation: +/-3 EV in 1/3, 1/2, 1 EV steps
      Exposure bracketing: 3 frames in 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1EV steps
      Self-timer: 2 or 12 seconds delay
      Focus system: Imager Contrast Detection AF with 11 focus areas; single AF point selection; manual focus (with enlarged area focusing aid)
      Focus modes: Single AF (S-AF) / Continuous AF (C-AF) / Manual Focus (MF) / S-AF + MF / AF tracking (C-AF + TR)
      Exposure metering: TTL Image Sensor metering with Digital ESP metering (324-area multi pattern metering), Centre-weighted average and Spot (approx. 1% of the viewfinder screen) modes; Highlight / shadow bias spot metering are available
      Shooting modes: Auto, Program AE (with program shift), Aperture priority AE, Shutter priority AE, Manual, Scene select AE (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sport, Night + Portrait, Children, High Key, Low Key, DIS mode, Nature Macro, Candle, Documents, Panorama, Beach & Snow), Art Filters (Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Colour, Light Tone, Grainy Film, Pinhole, Diorama, Gentle Sepia)
      Picture Style/Control settings: Vivid, Natural, Portrait, Muted, Monotone
      Colour space options: sRGB, Adobe RGB
      Special effects: Monotone effects (Yellow, Orange, Red or Green filter), Picture tones (Sepia, Blue, Purple or Green tone available for Monotone); 4 Gradation levels (Auto, High key, Normal, Low key)
      ISO range: Auto: ISO 200-3200; Manual: ISO 100-6400 in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps
      White balance: Auto, Cloudy, Shade, Flash, Daylight, Fluorescent (x3), Lamp, Custom (1 setting can be registered at Kelvin temperature (2000-14000K); WB compensation of +/- 7 steps in each A-B/G-M axis; WB bracketing of 3 frames in 2, 4 or 6 steps
      Flash: Built-in, pop-up flash, GN 10
      Sequence shooting: Approx. 3 frames/sec. for up to 10 ORF.RAW or approx. 12 high-resolution JPEGs
      Storage Media: SD/SDHC memory cards
      Viewfinder: VF-2 Detachable Live Viewfinder, 1,440,000 dots
      LCD monitor: 2.7-inch Hypercrystal LCD, 230,000 dots; 100% field of view
      Video Capture: Yes, HD at 720p, 30 fps
      Live View Modes: Normal, Grid lines (4 types), Histogram, Magnified view, Highlight/Shadow alerts, Comparable view, Off (for EVF use)
      Playback functions: Single-frame, Information Display, Histogram (luminance/RGB), Highlight / Shadow warnings, AF frame, Index Display (4/9/16/25/49/100 frames, Calendar), Zoom (2-14x), Movie (w/sound, FF/REW/Pause), Picture rotation (auto mode available), Slideshow (Still/Movie/Still+Movie, Slide show with background music and/or Sound)
      In-camera editing: RAW development based on camera settings (including Art Filter), Shadow adjustment, Red-eye fix, Trimming, Monotone, Sepia, Saturation, Resize (1280 x 960, 640 x 480, 320 x 240), e-portrait
      Interface terminals: USB 2.0 High Speed, HDMI, Video Out (PAL/NTSC), IR remote (optional)
      Power supply: BLS-1 Li-ion battery ; CIPA rated for 290 shots/charge
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 115 x 72 x 42 mm (body only, excluding protrusions)
      Weight: 296 grams (body only)






      Digital cameras, lenses and accessories with 100% genuine Australian manufacturer’s warranties.
      Ph: (02) 9029 2219

      Camera House



      Ph: 133 686
      The largest speciality photographic retail chain in Australia.

      Camera Pro


      CameraPro Pty Ltd
      Suite 607, 180 Queen St, Brisbane 4000
      Tel: 07 3333 2900
      Australian owned and run company based in Brisbane.




      Retailer of digital camera equipment and more.
      Secure online shopping and delivery across Australia.
      Ph: 1300 727 056


      Ph: 1800 155 067




      Comprehensive range of digital cameras and accessories online (www.camera-warehouse.com.au) and an online print service (www.royalexpress.com.au).

      Digital Camera Warehouse


      174 Canterbury Road 367 High Street
      Canterbury Northcote
      NSW 2193 VIC 3070
      Ph: 1300 365 220

      Electronics Warehouse


      1300 801 885
      Australian retailer of Vapex rechargeable batteries offering factory direct prices and fast, free shipping Australia wide.



      Photographic Equipment & Supplies – Retail & Repairs. Click here for list of stores.

      Ted’s Cameras




      1800 186 895
      Big range of cameras and photographic products with stores in most states and online.



      RRP: $899 (body only); $999 with 14-42mm lens (as reviewed); twin lens kit $1199.

      Rating (out of 10):

      • Build: 8.5
      • Ease of use: 8.0
      • Image quality: Stills – 8.0; Video – 8.5
      • OVERALL: 8.5