Olympus E-PL1s

Olympus PEN E-PL1s front

Olympus E-PL1s summary

Olympus E-PL1s is Olympus's Entry-Level Mirrorless camera first launched on November of 2010. The camera comes with a 12MP, CMOS Four Thirds sized sensor and has a full resolution of 4032 x 3024.

Olympus introduced this camera in order to replace the previous Olympus E-PL1 (Read Full Comparison) and subsequently launched the updated Olympus E-PL2 (Read Full Comparison) to update this model.

The E-PL1s comes in at #108 out of 115 in Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras and overall #505 out of 1459 for digital cameras in our collection. Please check our Advanced camera filter to see camera ratings based on your personalized requirements.

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Here is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Olympus E-PL1s family

The Olympus E-PL1s 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-PL1s vs E-P7
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2021
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-IV front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 IV
E-PL1s vs E-M10 IV
20MPFour Thirds8.7 fps2020
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Olympus-PEN-E-PL9 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL9
E-PL1s vs E-PL9
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2018
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-Mark-III front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 III
E-PL1s vs E-M10 III
16MPFour Thirds8.6 fps2017
Olympus-PEN-E-PL8 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL8
E-PL1s vs E-PL8
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2016
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10-II front thumbnailOlympus E-M10 II
E-PL1s vs E-M10 II
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2015
400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
Olympus-PEN-E-PL7 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL7
E-PL1s vs E-PL7
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-PL6 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL6
E-PL1s vs E-PL6
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-OM-D-E-M10 front thumbnailOlympus E-M10
E-PL1s vs E-M10
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2014
Olympus-PEN-E-P5 front thumbnailOlympus E-P5
E-PL1s vs E-P5
16MPFour Thirds9.0 fps2013
Olympus-PEN-E-PM2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM2
E-PL1s vs E-PM2
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2013
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Olympus-PEN-E-PL5 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL5
E-PL1s vs E-PL5
16MPFour Thirds8.0 fps2012
Olympus-PEN-E-PM1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PM1
E-PL1s vs E-PM1
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL3 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL3
E-PL1s vs E-PL3
12MPFour Thirds6.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-P3 front thumbnailOlympus E-P3
E-PL1s vs E-P3
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL2 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL2
E-PL1s vs E-PL2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2011
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1s front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1s12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-PL1 front thumbnailOlympus E-PL1
E-PL1s vs E-PL1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Olympus-PEN-E-P2 front thumbnailOlympus E-P2
E-PL1s vs E-P2
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2010
Handle those 8K RED files like a boss
Olympus-PEN-E-P1 front thumbnailOlympus E-P1
E-PL1s vs E-P1
12MPFour Thirds3.0 fps2009

Olympus E-PL1s Pros and Cons

Below is a collection of pros and cons of the Olympus E-PL1s based on factors which are typically regarded as crucial in a camera.

above average minimum ISO (100)
built-in flash
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
delivers RAW files
includes face detect focus
includes HDMI socket
includes tracking focus
manual focus
sensor size is nice (Four Thirds)
switch lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
bad battery life (290 CIPA)
does not have headphone socket
does not have mic socket
does not have phase detect auto focus
does not have Time Lapse function
does not posses selfie friendly display
low megapixels (12MP)
low resolution screen (230 thousand dots)
max frames per second very slow (3.0 fps)
screen is fixed
screen is small (2.7")
video resolution low (1280 x 720 pxls)
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Olympus E-PL1s Sensor specifications

The Olympus E-PL1s features the Truepic V processor. The sensor size in the Olympus E-PL1s is 17.3mm x 13mm (Four Thirds). The 225 mm² sensor can capture 4032 x 3024 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3, 3:2 and 16:9. The camera includes Image Stabilization (Sensor based). Sensor stabilization is preferable than digital stabilization as the latter may cause cropping.

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The CMOS sensor boasts 12MP and gives a native ISO range of 100 - 6400. RAW files are saved so the user has wider margin for error.

The image underneath shows the E-PL1s's sensor dimensions when compared to other common sizes. The E-PL1s sensor comes with a crop factor of 2.1 and is shown in green.

Olympus PEN E-PL1s sensor size Coronavirus is affecting the sensor business

To get an understanding of specific aspect ratios, you should refer to the visual below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Olympus E-PL1s dimensions

Olympus E-PL1s is 0.74 pounds (334g / 11.78 oz) and features outer proportions of 115mm x 72mm x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7"). The weight of average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera is 327g so the Olympus E-PL1s is similar when compared to other competitors.

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Here is a image of the Olympus E-PL1s alongside a soda to help you to have a sense of its scale.

Olympus PEN E-PL1s dimensions scale

The top view underneath will illustrate the button arrangement on the E-PL1s.

Olympus PEN E-PL1s topview buttons dials

Olympus E-PL1s Lens specifications

The E-PL1s uses the Micro Four Thirds mount and has 162 lenses that are available. Below is a small number of the lenses we have in our collection which will fit the E-PL1s.

ModelVisualizeFocal LengthApertureStabilizedWeight
Olympus-Zuiko-Digital-ED-14-35mm-f2.0-SWD lensOlympus Zuiko Digital ED 14-35mm f2.0 SWD14-35mmf/2.0 915g
Panasonic-Leica-D-Summilux-Asph-25mm-F1.4 lensPanasonic Leica D Summilux Asph 25mm F1.425mmf/1.4 510g
World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
Panasonic-Lumix-G-X-Vario-35-100mm-F2.8-OIS lensPanasonic Lumix G X Vario 35-100mm F2.8 OIS35-100mmf/2.8 360g
Olympus-M.Zuiko-ED-75-300mm-f4.8-6.7-II lensOlympus M.Zuiko ED 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II75-300mmf/4.8-6.7 423g
Samyang-135mm-F2.0-ED-UMC-Four-Thirds lensSamyang 135mm F2.0 ED UMC135mmf/2830g
Sigma-19mm-F2.8-EX-DN-Micro-Four-Thirds lensSigma 19mm F2.8 EX DN19mmf/2.8 140g
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Olympus-M.Zuiko-Digital-300mm-F4-IS-Pro lensOlympus M.Zuiko Digital 300mm F4 IS Pro300mmf/4.0 1270g
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Olympus E-PL1s Connectivity

The E-PL1s has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes
  • HDMI Yes

Digital cameras with NFC and Bluetooth connectivity can easily be controlled wirelessly with smartphones. You are able to transfer photos and oftentimes change camera settings with no need to connect physically to the camera.

A few applications even enable a Liveview and release the shutter whenever you are not near the camera. If the camera boasts a HDMI out, it could be attached to an external display. Most cameras enable you to recharge the battery pack using the USB socket.

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Olympus E-PL1s Video specifications

The highest possible video quality in the Olympus E-PL1s is 1280 x 720 and it can shoot in Motion JPEG format. 720p is terrible by today's requirements. You should shoot for at least 1080p quality for video recording. The camera does not offer a mic and headphone port so you get little control over your audio. It is perhaps best to buy an alternative model in case you require decent audio in your video clips.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100

Olympus E-PL1s Weather Sealing

There is no environment sealing in the Olympus E-PL1s so you need to be careful in wet or dusty conditions.

Olympus E-PL1s Display and Viewfinder

The Olympus E-PL1s comes with a 2.7 inch fixed display supporting a resolution of 230 thousand dots.

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

Olympus PEN E-PL1s screen and viewfinder Unsplash partners with Institutions to bring historical archive photos

The ViewFinder specs regarding Olympus E-PL1s are the following:

  • ViewFinder Electronic (optional)

Viewfinders are really useful in sunny outdoor conditions which can make the camera display washed out and difficult to view.

Olympus E-PL1s Shutter specifications

Olympus E-PL1s can shoot continuously at 3.0 fps. The max shutter speed is 1/2000 seconds.

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Olympus E-PL1s Flash and Hot shoe specifications

Olympus E-PL1s includes both built-in flash and external flash support. The highest flash sync is 1/160 seconds.

Olympus E-PL1s Autofocus specifications

Olympus E-PL1s includes just Contrast Detect AF and is missing Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection focusing is a lot more faster & accurate in comparison with Contrast Detect focusing. The camera comes with Face detect making it helpful for portraits.

The AF system comes with 11 focus points to pick from. It also comes with Tracking AF for objects on the move. Olympus E-PL1s has manual focus when required in low light situations or you require more precise control on focus.

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Olympus E-PL1s Battery life

The battery life (BLS-1) in the Olympus E-PL1s is built to last for 290 photographs as per the CIPA standards which is lesser compared with its rivals. The average Entry-Level Mirrorless camera battery life is 339. Samsung NX mini has got the best (650) battery life in this range of cameras.

Below is a listing of Entry-Level Mirrorless cameras that come with the highest battery life:

Olympus E-PL1s for different categories of photography

The following diagram presents a outline of the Olympus E-PL1s for different categories of photography. To look at more, check out the specific section underneath.

Olympus E-PL1s Portrait photography advice

The Olympus E-PL1s receives a score of 60 which is decent, meaning that it is reasonably acceptable for portrait photography. Taking portraits favors heavily to sensor specs, RAW support along with the option to utilize off-camera flash.

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focusing manually
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
includes face detect focusing
exports RAW files
MP count low (12 megapixels)

Olympus E-PL1s as a Street photography camera

With a above average rating of 74, the Olympus E-PL1s is a respectable choice to buy for street photography. A very good street photography camera has a fine balance of picture quality plus portability.

World's smallest camera makes it into Guinness Book of Records
image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
delivers RAW formats
screen is fixed

Olympus E-PL1s Sports photography information

A really bad sports photography points tally of 45 indicates the Olympus E-PL1s is not very good for taking photos of sports. A camera needs to have very good tracking and continuous shooting for sports photography.

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has image stabilization (Sensor based)
decent sensor size (Four Thirds)
has tracking autofocus
very slow continuous shooting (3.0 fps)
sensor resolution low (12 megapixels)
bad battery power (290 per charge)
lack of phase detect auto focus

Travel photography with Olympus E-PL1s

Size is super crucial in selecting a travel camera. All things considered, the Olympus E-PL1s gets a reasonable 52 for a travelling camera which makes it reasonably appropriate to take on your vacations.

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flash built-in
missing Timelapse recording
terrible battery (290 shots)
sensor resolution not great (12 megapixels)
screen isn't selfie friendly

Olympus E-PL1s Landscape photography factors

When you are looking to pick a digital camera for landscape photography, the biggest factor will no doubt be image quality. The Olympus E-PL1s and it's moderate score of 55 for a landscape camera is reasonably appropriate compared to its rivals.

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focusing manually
change lenses (Micro Four Thirds mount)
has image stabilization (Sensor based)
sensor size is decent (Four Thirds)
supports RAW formats
small screen (2.7 inches)
sensor resolution not great (12MP)
not so great battery pack (290 shots)
lack of Timelapse mode

Olympus E-PL1s as a Vlogging camera

A camera for vlogging preferably should offer a articulating display screen, mic input and preferably IBIS. Considering all things, the Olympus E-PL1s is not very good as a vlog camera as it gets a really bad score of 30.

400 Megapixel mode coming to Fujifilm GFX 100
built in image stabilization (Sensor based)
includes face detection focus
display is not selfie friendly
low res video (1280 x 720 pixels)
does not have external mic socket

Olympus E-PL1s Alternatives

If you want replacements to the E-PL1s, below is a range of the highest placed cameras that fall in to the family of Entry-Level Mirrorless.

The chart here will give you a summary of the E-PL1s vs it's highest rated competitors shown above.

These are various other cameras you may consider as alternate options. To look at a complete comparison, just click on the "compare" link.

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General Information
Olympus PEN E-PL1s
Entry-Level Mirrorless
Physical type
Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Truepic V
Sensor size
Four Thirds
Sensor dimensions
17.3 x 13mm
Sensor area
Sensor resolution
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3, 3:2 and 16:9
Peak resolution
4032 x 3024
RAW images
Highest native ISO
Minimum native ISO
Manual focus
Touch to focus
Autofocus continuous
Autofocus single
Tracking autofocus
Autofocus selectice
Autofocus center weighted
Multi area autofocus
Live view autofocus
Face detect focus
Contract detect focus
Phase detect focus
Number of focus points
Lens mounting type
Micro Four Thirds
Available lenses
Focal length multiplier
Display type
Fixed Type
Display size
Display resolution
230 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch function
Display technology
HyperCrystal LCD AR (Anti-Reflective) coating
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
Electronic (optional)
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
1/2000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Exposure compensation
Set white balance
Image stabilization
Integrated flash
Flash range
10.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Fill-in, Slow Sync, Manual (3 levels)
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Fastest flash synchronize
1/160 secs
Multisegment metering
Average metering
Spot metering
Partial metering
AF area metering
Center weighted metering
Video features
Video resolutions
1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps)
Highest video resolution
Video data format
Motion JPEG
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmental sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
334g (0.74 lb)
Physical dimensions
115 x 72 x 42mm (4.5" x 2.8" x 1.7")
Battery life
290 shots
Battery type
Battery Pack
Battery model
Self timer
Yes (2 or 12 sec)
Time lapse shooting
Type of storage
Card slots
Retail cost