Olympus E-1

Olympus E-1 front

Olympus E-1 summary

Olympus E-1 is Olympus's Pro DSLR digital camera originally launched on November of 2003. It includes a 5 MegaPixel, CCD Four Thirds sized sensor and has a full resolution of 2560 x 1920.

Olympus released the updated Olympus E-3 (Read Full Comparison) as a way to replace this model.

The E-1 comes in at #33 out of 35 in Pro DSLR cameras & over all #871 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our database. Please use our Smart camera filter to get camera rankings based on your custom criteria.

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Below is a diagram of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-1 history

The Olympus E-1 is part of a family of digital cameras. You can read the full range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-E-5 front thumbnailOlympus E-5
E-1 vs E-5
12MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2011
Olympus-E-3 front thumbnailOlympus E-3
E-1 vs E-3
10MPFour Thirds5.0 fps2008
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Olympus-E-1 front thumbnailOlympus E-15MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2003

Olympus E-1 Pros and Cons

Below is a shortlist of pluses and minuses of the Olympus E-1 based on things which are typically regarded as crucial in a digital camera.

above average minimum ISO (100)
delivers RAW files
environment proof
has manual focus
has phase detect auto focus
lighter than competition (735 grams)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
does not posses selfie friendly screen
missing HDMI socket
missing headphone socket
missing microphone socket
missing Timelapse function
no articulating screen
no image stabilization
no liveview feature
no video shooting
pixelated screen (134 k dots)
sensor resolution low (5MP)
slow continuous shooting (3.0 frames per second)
tiny screen (1.8 inches)
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Olympus E-1 Sensor info

The sensor spec on the Olympus E-1 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor is able to capture 2560 x 1920 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3.

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The CCD sensor has 5MP and features a standard ISO range of 100 to 3200. RAW format is saved which means that you have wider room to maneuver in post.

The graphic underneath shows the E-1's sensor dimensions in comparison to other popular sizes. The E-1 sensor has a crop factor of 2.1 and is outlined in green.

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To get a sense of different aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-1 dimensions

Olympus E-1 has a weight of 1.62 pounds (735g or 25.93 ounces) & has exterior measurements of 141mm x 104mm x 81mm (5.6" x 4.1" x 3.2"). The weight of average Pro DSLR camera is 1,280g and the Olympus E-1 is less heavy when compared to various competitors.

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Underneath is a picture of the Olympus E-1 with a softdrink so you can get a feel for its scale.

Olympus E-1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will highlight the button design on the E-1.

Olympus E-1 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-1 Lens info

The E-1 works with the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses to select from. Below is some of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Panasonic-Lumix-G-X-Vario-PZ-14-42mm-F3.5-5.6-ASPH-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G X Vario PZ 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS14-42mmf/3.5-5.6 95g
Panasonic-Leica-D-Summilux-Asph-25mm-F1.4 lensPanasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.425mmf/1.4 510g
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Sigma-60mm-F2.8-DN-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 60mm F2.8 DN60mmf/2.8 190g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-14-45mm-F3.5-5.6-ASPH-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS14-45mmf/3.5-5.6 195g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-14-42mm-F3.5-5.6-EZ lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 EZ14-42mmf/3.5-5.6 91g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-100-300mm-F4-5.6-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 100-300mm F4-5.6 OIS100-300mmf/4.0-5.6 520g
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Samyang-35mm-F1.4-AS-UMC-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 35mm F1.4 AS UMC35mmf/1.4 660g
Photography Glossary

Olympus E-1 Connectivity

The E-1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras that feature NFC and Bluetooth compatibility can easily be used wirelessly with smartphones. You are able to transfer files and oftentimes alter settings without the hassle of connecting physically to the camera.

Some applications even provide a Liveview and release the shutter when you are not close to the camera. If the camera features a HDMI port, it could be hooked up to an external display. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack through the USB port.

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Olympus E-1 Video info

Olympus E-1 doesn't capture video. If you are looking for a digital camera to take only photos, this might not be a concern.

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Olympus E-1 Weather Sealing

Olympus E-1 features environment proofing which makes it a good option for use for rough locations. This can be particularly handy in case you are unsure about the elements you might face for outdoor photography.

Olympus E-1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-1 includes a 1.8" fixed display supporting a resolution of 134k dots.

Please be aware that the display screen has no touch support.

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The View Finder specifications for Olympus E-1 are below:

  • ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism)
  • Coverage 100 percent
  • Magnification 0.48x

For sunny outdoor situations which make the camera displays washed out and tough to see, viewfinders are particularly valuable.

Olympus E-1 Shutter info

Olympus E-1 continuous shooting rate is 3.0 frames per second. The highest shutter speed is 1/4000 seconds.

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Olympus E-1 Flash and Hot shoe info

Olympus E-1 features external flash support but with missing inbuilt flash. The max flash sync is 1/180 seconds.

Olympus E-1 Autofocus info

Olympus E-1 features both Phase Detect AF as well as Contrast Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is more quicker and precise when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing.

It includes 3 focus points to select from. Olympus E-1 has manual focus when needed for low light occasions or you want to have more precise control on focus.

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Olympus E-1 Battery life

The average Pro DSLR camera battery life is 2438. Nikon D3X comes with the best (4400) battery life for this kind of cameras.

Here is a listing of Pro DSLR cameras with the highest battery life:

ModelVisualizeBattery LifeRAWNFCBluetooth
Nikon-D3X front thumbnailNikon D3X
E-1 vs D3X
4400 yesnono
Nikon-D3 front thumbnailNikon D3
E-1 vs D3
4300 yesnono
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Nikon-D3S front thumbnailNikon D3S
E-1 vs D3S
4200 yesnono
Nikon-D5 front thumbnailNikon D5
E-1 vs D5
3780 yesnono
Nikon-D6 front thumbnailNikon D6
E-1 vs D6
3580 yesnoyes

Olympus E-1 for different kinds of photography

The following bar chart presents a outline of the Olympus E-1 for different kinds of photography. To learn more, have a look at the specific section underneath.

Olympus E-1 Portrait photography info

The Olympus E-1 receives a points tally of 46 which is reasonable, and means the camera is relatively suited to use for portraits. Taking portraits leans greatly towards sensor size, RAW support plus the capability to work with off-camera lighting.

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manual focus
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
does not have liveview
low MP (5 megapixels)

Olympus E-1 Street photography advice

Coming in at a average rating of 57, the Olympus E-1 is reasonably acceptable for street photography. A good street photography camera gives a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

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sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports RAW formats
weather proof
lighter than competition (735 grams)
screen does not articulate
lack of image stabilization

Olympus E-1 Sports photography information

A lousy sports photography points total of 40 indicates the Olympus E-1 is just not acceptable for shooting sports. A camera really should have excellent focusing plus fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
weather sealing
comes with phase detect AF
no liveview
slow continuous shooting (3.0 frames per second)
does not have image stabilization
low megapixels (5 megapixels)

Olympus E-1 Travel photography details

Weight is pretty important when selecting a travel camera. On the whole, the Olympus E-1 gets a average 47 as a travel camera which is relatively appropriate to buy for your holidays.

Photography Glossary
lighter than competition in class (735g)
weather sealing
lack of Time Lapse function
low MP (5 megapixels)
display isn't selfie friendly

Olympus E-1 Landscape photography details

When you're planning to choose a camera for landscape photography, the biggest aspect is going to be image quality. The Olympus E-1 with it's decent grade of 46 for a landscape camera is reasonably suitable within the current market.

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focusing manually
interchangeable lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
exports RAW files
environment sealing
small screen (1.8 inches)
doesn't have liveview
lack of image stabilization
low resolution (5MP)
does not have Timelapse mode

Olympus E-1 as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera really should offer a moving display screen, mic input and if possible IBIS. Taking all things in to account, the Olympus E-1 is just not acceptable as a vlog camera as it gets a lousy rating of 9.

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can't record video

Olympus E-1 Alternatives

If you are looking for replacements to the E-1, below is a number of the highest placed cameras that fall in to the family of Pro DSLR.

The line chart here offers you a summary of the E-1 vs it's highest ranked rivals shown previously.

These are various other cameras you may take into account as alternative options. To look at a complete comparison, click the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus E-1
Physical type
Large SLR
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
5 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
Max resolution
2560 x 1920
RAW files
Max native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
AF touch
AF continuous
Single AF
AF tracking
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
Multi area AF
Live view AF
Face detection AF
Contract detection AF
Phase detection AF
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Type of screen
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
1.8 inches
Resolution of screen
134k dots
Selfie friendly
Touch capability
Viewfinder Information
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder coverage
100 percent
Viewfinder magnification
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Minimum shutter speed
60 secs
Fastest shutter speed
1/4000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
3.0 frames per second
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set WB
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash modes
Auto, Auto FP, Manual, Red-Eye
Hot shoe
Auto exposure bracketing
WB bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/180 secs
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Max video resolution
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
735g (1.62 lbs)
Physical dimensions
141 x 104 x 81mm (5.6" x 4.1" x 3.2")
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Storage type
Compact Flash (Type I or II)
Card slots
Price at release