Olympus Announces EP-1 Micro 4/3 Camera

ep-1_front While leaks have been making their way around the web for the past few weeks, Olympus has finally announced their new Micro Four Thirds camera, the E-P1 “Pen” camera. The E-P1 is basically somewhere in between a Point and Shoot and DSLR, or more like a Compact with interchangeable lenses.  Combining the still image quality of a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) with the A/V quality of both a High Definition camcorder and high-end audio recorder, the E-P1 is a virtual full-service imaging studio in one ultra-portable and stylishly retro body. With dozens of advanced features, the E-P1 makes documenting and sharing your everyday life easier and more creative than ever before.

The E-P1 is a 12.3 megapixel camera with interchangeable lenses based on the new Micro Four Thirds format. Unlike most DSLR’s with Live View, the Live View system on the E-P1 has a fully functional Autofocus system.

The E-P1 uses a body-based image stabilization system which moves the sensor to compensate for movement versus lens-based systems like most other DSLR’s. This means that any lens you put on the system will take advantage of image stabilization.

E-P1 Features

  • ep-1_back Live View Autofocus

    With the seamless precision and simplicity of a point-and-shoot, the E-P1’s Live View Autofocus system displays the images to be shot in complete focus on the camera’s bright LCD the moment the shutter button is pressed half way down.

  • Multiple Exposure

    Multiple Exposure makes heightened creativity an easily-obtained objective. Two frames can be combined, and portions of one can be combined with those of another in any of the shooting modes. Images can be combined in playback mode or directly on the LCD through the use of the new TruePic V Image Processor.

  • Micro Four Thirds Mount

    The Micro Four Thirds Mount on the E-P1 provides many key benefits, including the effectiveness of a digitally designed image sensor, an ultra-compact design, and expandability and compatibility with all Micro Four Thirds Lenses and Four Thirds System Lens via the MMF-1 Adapter.

  • Art Filters

    A series of six built-in Art Filters for replicating countless striking and dramatic effects can be easily activated for both still and video imaging. The innovative Art Filters include Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film and Pin Hole.

  • 12.3 megapixel

    The E-P1’s powerful 12.3 megapixel Live-MOS sensor packs a powerful high-quality imaging punch for such a compact camera, allowing you to capture more detail than ever before.

  • TruePic V Image Processor

    In addition to more detail, the image sensor, combined with the next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and reduced noise, all the way up to 6400 ISO.

  • In-body Image Stabilization

    The camera’s In-body Image Stabilization system compensates for up to 4 shutter speed steps with any of the system’s interchangeable lenses.

  • Mechanical Image Stabilization

    Mechanical Image Stabilization automatically compensates for camera shake in low-light situations or when using a telephoto lens.

  • Electronic Image Stabilization

    Electronic Image Stabilization compensates for camera shake while shooting in the movie mode.

  • MF Assist

    For accurate manual focusing, MF Assist can be enabled during S-AF + MF operation. With it you can zoom in on the central part of the image by up to five times by turning the focus ring.

  • Perfect Shot Preview

    With Perfect Shot Preview, you can preview and select various photographic effects before you take the shot.

  • Digital Leveler

    The camera’s Digital Leveler function is a highly functional and practical feature for such specialized requirements as architectural photography and other similar needs.

  • Dust Reduction System

    A Dust Reduction System assures spot-free images. Every time you turn on the camera, the patented Supersonic Wave Filter silently vibrates, flinging and collecting dust so that it cannot interfere with the picture imaging at any time.

  • 19 automatic scene modes

    There are 19 automatic scene modes available, including Night-Scenes, Portraits and Landscapes. Edits can be made in the camera after the pictures are shot using the handy ePortrait Mode.

  • ePortrait

    The ePortrait mode is also useful for smoothing out the facial features of your subjects, which is a tremendous plus for High Definition playback.

  • Face Detection

    A Face Detection function reduces the chance of blurry faces when shooting groups of people—up to eight subjects at once—even if they’re moving while you’re pressing the shutter button.

  • Shadow Adjustment Technology

    Shadow Adjustment Technology corrects for extreme light variations with high-tech efficiency. It can also be used in post-editing.

  • Aspect Ratios

    The E-P1 lets you select one of four Aspect Ratios (4:3, 3.2, 16.9 and 6.6) that help frame your images to whatever proportions you’d like, for everything from conventional enlargements to viewing on widescreen monitors.

  • iAuto

    iAuto identifies your shooting intent (such as macro or action photography) and instantly adjusts the camera settings to achieve the best results.

  • Slideshows

    Slideshows have never been easier or more fun to create. The E-P1’s enhanced playback functions allow you to employ effective fade-in/fade-out techniques, add captivating musical soundtracks, and much more.

  • ultra-compact body

    The E-P1 is the definition of state-of-the-art optical engineering in an ultra-compact body. It weighs just 11.8 ounces and measures just 4.75” (W) x 2.75” (H) x 1.43 (D), giving it the facility to slip into pockets or purses and to take with you anywhere.

  • M. ZUIKO lenses

    The accompanying Olympus M. ZUIKO lenses are small, lightweight, powerful and precision engineered.

  • Four Thirds System Lens Adapter

    Other Four Thirds Format lenses can also be used on the E-P1 with an available MMF-1 Four Thirds System Lens Adapter, including extreme wide-angle fisheye and super-telephoto lenses. This further increases your range of creative options.

  • sound recording

    The sound recording function of the E-P1 helps you capture all the nuances of any sounds being recorded. The system is capable of recording and playing back WAV files, and of adding the most professional-sounding narration to digital slide shows.

  • background music

    There are also five separate background music files to choose from that you can add to your still images or video productions.

  • SDHC media cards

    The E-P1 is capable of recording video to SDHC media cards to accommodate large files. (SDHC Class 6 cards are recommended.) Videos, stills and high-fidelity audio can also be output via HDMI cable-direct to any HD television.

  • Full manual control

    Full manual control for all programs and functions, including Aperture and Shutter Speed Priority, is at your fingertips whenever it is needed or preferred. Full automatic control is also a button-press away.

  • Live Control

    Live Control, an advanced camera management system, allows you to see the image being shot and the camera’s controls all at once, on the bright, colorful, high definition 3-inch HyperCrystal LCD. HyperCrystal LCDs offer many times the contrast of conventional LCD monitors, and also provide a wide viewing angle of 176º.


At prices starting at $899 with a lens, the E-P1 is certainly more costly than the best point and shoots but with interchangeable lenses and great features and image quality, it may well become the walk-around camera for Pros and high-end consumers.

For more information, go check out the Olympus E-P1 product page at:



Kerry Garrison lives in Castle Rock, Colorado with his wife and two dogs. With 10 years of experience shooting products and 5 years of experience in the wedding industry, Kerry brings a good deal of technical know-how and can explain topics in easy-to-understand terms.

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8 Responses

  1. markjdos says:

    “Canon Announces” an Olympus camera?

  2. kgarrison says:

    Important tip for would-be bloggers, always have someone else check your work when you are writing articles when highly medicated for a severe migraine. DOH!

  3. Bruce says:

    Great! Oly had the smallest 35mmSLR w/ original Pen-FT, which was, ironically, in the 4/3 half-frame format. Looks like the Micro 4/3 folks are retooling the classic Pen 4 a new generation. Now, all we have to wait for is the Leica DL(replacing the Leitz-MinoltaCL). Will it use the Micro 4/3 or the Leica C/M bayonet???It's too bad the Pen-F mount won't work w/any of the FourThirds SLRs.
    On a different subject, the MkII EOS 5D wasn't the first SLR w/ISO12800 and full-time viewing, or even the first Canon SLR to do so. That honor went to Canon's Pellix, another underrated '60s classic from film's glory days.The pellicle meter and beamsplitter offered virtually uninterrupted view-albeit a dim one-and the Canon Booster add-on increased the meter sensitivity of the Pellix & FT-QL to the EOS 5D level.

  4. hii…people gonna love this camera….i think this snapper with flexible lens system and simplicity of an point and shoot cameras is going to score over the cameras in similar price areas…well done olympus111

  5. hii…people gonna love this camera….i think this snapper with flexible lens system and simplicity of an point and shoot cameras is going to score over the cameras in similar price areas…well done olympus111

  1. June 19, 2009

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  2. June 29, 2009

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