Olympus E-P1

Olympus PEN E-P1 front
  • 12MP - Four Thirds Sensor
  • 3" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 100 - 6400
  • Sensor based Image Stabilization
  • 1280 x 720 video
  • Micro Four Thirds Mount
  • 355g - 121 x 70 x 36mm
  • Revealed July 2009
  • New Model is Olympus E-P2
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Lenses
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Olympus E-P1 overview

Olympus E-P1 is Olympus's Entry-Level Mirrorless digital camera first released on July of 2009. It comes with a 12 MegaPixel, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a maximum resolution of 4032 x 3024.

Olympus launched the updated Olympus E-P2 (Read Full Comparison) in an effort to improve this model.

The E-P1 comes in at #113 out of 117 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras & all around #542 out of 1465 for cameras in our list. Remember to check out our Smart camera search to get camera listings based on your customized factors.

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Here is a graph of different criteria used in the scoring system.

Olympus E-P1 history

The Olympus E-P1 is part of a family of cameras. You can read the detailed range underneath.

ModelVisualizeResolutionSensor SizeMax fpsReleased
Olympus-PEN-E-P7 front thumbnailOlympus E-P7
E-P1 vs E-P7
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2021
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-P1 vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images
Olympus-PEN-E-PL9 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL9
E-P1 vs E-PL9
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2018
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-P1 vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
Olympus-PEN-E-PL8 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL8
E-P1 vs E-PL8
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2016
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-P1 vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
Olympus-PEN-E-PL7 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL7
E-P1 vs E-PL7
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-PL6 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL6
E-P1 vs E-PL6
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-P1 vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-P5 front thumbnailOlympus E-P5
E-P1 vs E-P5
16MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2013
Olympus-PEN-E-PM2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM2
E-P1 vs E-PM2
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2013
Photography Glossary
Olympus-PEN-E-PL5 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL5
E-P1 vs E-PL5
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2012
Olympus-PEN-E-PM1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM1
E-P1 vs E-PM1
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL3 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL3
E-P1 vs E-PL3
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-P3 front thumbnailOlympus E-P3
E-P1 vs E-P3
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL2
E-P1 vs E-PL2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1s front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1s
E-P1 vs E-PL1s
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1
E-P1 vs E-PL1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-P2 front thumbnailOlympus E-P2
E-P1 vs E-P2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Photobucket discusses licensing 13 billion images with AI firms
Olympus-PEN-E-P1 front thumbnailOlympus E-P112MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2009

Olympus E-P1 Pros and Cons

Below is a list of benefits and drawbacks of the Olympus E-P1 based on features which are typically viewed as useful in a digital camera.

above average min ISO (100)
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
has HDMI socket
has manual focus
includes face detect autofocus
saves RAW files
screen is a decent size (3 inch)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
swap lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
doesn't posses selfie friendly screen
lack of headphone socket
lack of microphone socket
lack of Timelapse recording
lacks phase detect autofocus
low res video (1280 x 720 resolution)
max fps very slow (3.0 frames/s)
no articulating screen
not so great battery (300 per charge)
pixelated screen (230 thousand dots)
sensor resolution low (12MP)
Japan-exclusive Leica Leitz Phone 3 features big sensor and new modes

Olympus E-P1 Sensor specifications

The Olympus E-P1 houses the TruePic V chip. The size of the sensor in the Olympus E-P1 is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor has the ability to resolve 4032 x 3024 pixels and aspect ratios of 1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera has Image Stabilization (Sensor based). In body stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter can produce cropping.

Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing

The CMOS sensor has 12MP and gives a standard ISO range of 100 - 6400. RAW files are saved which means that you have wider margin for error.

The image underneath illustrates the E-P1's sensor dimensions when compared to other popular sizes. The E-P1 sensor has a crop factor of 2.1 and is displayed in green.

Olympus PEN E-P1 sensor size Cutting-edge AI developed by Apple deciphers subtle nuances in pixels

To get an idea of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-P1 dimensions

Olympus E-P1 has a weight of 0.78 pounds (355 grams / 12.52 ounces) & has external size of 121mm x 70mm x 36mm (4.8" x 2.8" x 1.4"). The weight of normal Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 329 grams so the Olympus E-P1 is on par compared to various competitors.

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Here is a image of the Olympus E-P1 with a softdrink to help you get a feel for its scale.

Olympus PEN E-P1 dimensions scale

The top view just below will show the button layout on the E-P1.

Olympus PEN E-P1 topview buttons dials

Olympus E-P1 Lens specifications

The E-P1 fits the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses to choose from. Below is some of the lenses we have in our database which will fit the E-P1.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Rokinon-24mm-f1.4-Aspherical-Four-Thirds lensRokinon 24mm f1.4 Aspherical24mmf/1.4 580g
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Leica-DG-Summilux-12mm-F1.4-ASPH lensPanasonic Lumix G Leica DG Summilux 12mm F1.4 ASPH12mmf/1.4 335g
Apple Innovates by Creating Next-Level Optical Stabilization for iPhone
OM-System-40-150mm-F4.0-PRO lensOM System 40-150mm F4.0 PRO40-150mmf/4 382g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-ED-40-150mm-f4-5.6 lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f4-5.640-150mmf/4.0-5.6 190g
Samyang-16mm-f2.0-ED-AS-UMC-CS-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 16mm f2.0 ED AS UMC CS16mmf/2.0 583g
Panasonic-Leica-D-Vario-Elmar-14-50mm-F3.8-5.6-Mega-OIS lensPanasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-50mm F3.8-5.6 Mega OIS14-50mmf/3.8-5.6 434g
Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing
Panasonic-Lumix-G-Vario-14-140mm-F3.5-5.6-ASPH.-Power-O.I.S lensPanasonic Lumix G Vario 14-140mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH. Power O.I.S14-140mmf/3.5-5.6 265g
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Olympus E-P1 Connectivity

The E-P1 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Cameras which include NFC and Bluetooth support are able to be used wirelessly through smartphones. You can easily transfer files and sometimes alter settings without the hassle of connecting straight to the camera.

Several applications even enable a Liveview and click the shutter in case you aren't close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it can easily be hooked up to an external screen. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery using the USB port.

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Olympus E-P1 Video specifications

The maximum video resolution in the Olympus E-P1 is 1280 x 720 and you can shoot in Motion JPEG file format. 720p is awful for today's standards. You should target at least 1080p resolution for video recording. The camera doesn't feature a microphone and headphone port which means you get little control over the audio. It is probably a better idea to look at a different model in case you require decent audio for your videos.

Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards

Olympus E-P1 Weather Sealing

There is no weather proofing for the Olympus E-P1 so you need to be cautious in wet or dusty situations.

Olympus E-P1 Screen and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-P1 comes with a 3 inch fixed display screen supporting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

Please be aware that the display has no touch support.

Olympus PEN E-P1 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The View Finder specs for Olympus E-P1 are as follows:

  • ViewFinder None

For sunny outdoor situations which make the camera screens washed out and hard to see, viewfinders can be very valuable.

Olympus E-P1 Shutter specifications

Olympus E-P1 has the ability to shoot continuously at 3.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/4000s.

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Olympus E-P1 Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus E-P1 has external flash ability but is lacking built-in flash. The max flash sync is 1/180s.

Olympus E-P1 Autofocus specifications

Olympus E-P1 has just Contrast Detect AF & is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is more quicker & precise when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing. The camera comes with Face detection which can be helpful for portraits.

The Sensor comes with 11 focus points to pick from. Olympus E-P1 includes manual focus when needed during low light scenarios or you want to have more precise control on focus.

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Olympus E-P1 Battery life

The battery (BLS-1) for the Olympus E-P1 is fashioned to last for 300 clicks with respect to the CIPA measurements which is lesser when compared to it's rivals. The general Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 343. Fujifilm X-S20 has the highest possible (750) battery life within this group of cameras.

Listed below is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras having the best battery life:

Olympus E-P1 for different categories of photography

The following diagram gives a summation of the Olympus E-P1 for different categories of photography. To learn more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Olympus E-P1 Portrait photography advice

The Olympus E-P1 has a rating of 60 which is reasonable, meaning that it is reasonably acceptable to use for portrait photos. Photographing portraits leans heavily to sensor resolution, support for RAW photos in addition to the flexibility to use off-camera flash.

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focusing manually
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
has face detect focus
exports RAW formats
megapixel count low (12MP)

Olympus E-P1 Street photography factors

Having a above average rating of 74, the Olympus E-P1 is a very decent option for street photography. A very good street photography camera gives a fine balance of picture quality plus portability.

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image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
no articulating screen

Olympus E-P1 Sports photography factors

A awful sports photography points total of 40 means the Olympus E-P1 is just not appropriate for taking pictures of sports. A camera needs to have great autofocus and fast continuous shooting for sports photography.

Body cameras now worn by bakery staff to deter stealing
image stabilization (Sensor based)
good sensor size (Four Thirds)
continuous shooting slow (3.0 frames/s)
low resolution (12 megapixels)
terrible battery (300 per charge)
lack of phase detect AF

Olympus E-P1 Travel photography highlights

Portability is extremely critical in selecting a travel camera. Over-all, the Olympus E-P1 gets a awful 43 for a travel camera which makes it just not appropriate to take with you on your trips.

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lack of Time Lapse recording
not so great battery (300 shots)
megapixel count low (12 megapixels)
screen is not selfie friendly

Olympus E-P1 Landscape photography advice

For anybody planning to choose a digital camera for landscape pictures, the most essential factor is going to be image quality. The Olympus E-P1 with it's modest grade of 60 for a landscape camera is relatively acceptable in the current marketplace.

Snapchat Adds Watermarks to AI-Created Images
focusing manually
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
decent sized screen (3 inches)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
nice sensor size (Four Thirds)
exports RAW formats
low megapixels (12 megapixels)
bad battery power (300 per charge)
missing Timelapse function

Olympus E-P1 Vlogging advice

A camera for vlogging should have a moving display, mic port and preferably IBIS. Considering everything, the Olympus E-P1 is just not appropriate for vlogging as it receives a awful rating of 29.

Samsung Releases Faster Versions of EVO MicroSD Cards
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
comes with face detection autofocus
screen isn't selfie friendly
low res video (1280 x 720 pxls)
no external mic port

Olympus E-P1 Alternatives

If you are interested in alternatives to the E-P1, here is a selection of the top scored cameras which fall into the class of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The graph listed below offers you an overview of the E-P1 vs it's highest scored rivals shown earlier.

There are more cameras you might view as alternate options. To go through a detailed comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Olympus PEN E-P1
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
TruePic V
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor measurements
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
12 megapixel
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
1:1, 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Maximum resolution
4032 x 3024
RAW files
Maximum native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Focus manually
Autofocus touch
Continuous autofocus
Autofocus single
Autofocus tracking
Autofocus selectice
Center weighted autofocus
Autofocus multi area
Live view autofocus
Face detection autofocus
Contract detection autofocus
Phase detection autofocus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen sizing
3 inch
Resolution of screen
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch display
Screen tech
HyperCrystal LCD with AR(Anti-Reflective) coating
Viewfinder Information
DXO scores
DXO All around score
DXO Color Depth score
DXO Dynamic range score
DXO Low light score
Slowest shutter speed
60 seconds
Maximum shutter speed
1/4000 seconds
Continuous shooting rate
3.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Inbuilt flash
Flash range
no built-in flash
Flash settings
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
External flash
AE bracketing
WB bracketing
Maximum flash synchronize
1/180 seconds
Multisegment exposure
Average exposure
Spot exposure
Partial exposure
AF area exposure
Center weighted exposure
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Maximum video resolution
Video format
Motion JPEG
Microphone port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
355 gr (0.78 lbs)
Physical dimensions
121 x 70 x 36mm (4.8" x 2.8" x 1.4")
Battery life
300 pictures
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse recording
Type of storage
SD/SDHC card
Card slots
Launch cost