Feeds
75%
Olympus PEN EP-1

Olympus PEN E-P1 Micro Four-Thirds camera

Grown-up compact for DSLR lovers?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In terms of performance, the PEN E-P1 proved to be impressive in some areas, but less so in others. Let’s start with the positive. This camera is capable offering excellent image quality, with sharp, clean images and vivid colours. We especially liked its performance when taking landscape shots. Noise levels are also low, even at ISO 800. The lens quality is superb, with minimal chromatic aberration or distortion.

Olympus PEN EP-1

The compact 14-42mm lens does not make for fast shooting

The 3f/s continuous shooting mode isn't the fastest around, but it worked well and you can take an unlimited number of JPEG shots - RAW files are restricted to ten frames. The image stabilisation system is highly effective, offering around three stops of compensation.

But the camera is let down by a sluggish contrast-detection AF system, which takes a while to settle down. When taking a close-up shot of our euro coin, the AF system often took ages to lock onto it.

The AF system also let down the PEN E-P1’s video performance, with the continuous AF mode having problems tracking objects. You do get a good range of high ISO settings for low-light shooting, but picture quality soon tails off after ISO 2000.

Verdict

When we looked at the Lumix DMC-G1, we asked whether the MFT system was in danger of falling between two stools. The PEN P-E1 merely confirms these fears. It’s too big to appeal to the compact camera user looking to upgrade, and the lack of a built-in flash will also put off a lot of potential buyers from this camp. Conversely, it doesn’t offer a massive size advantage over a DSLR, and while many enthusiasts won’t be put off by the lack of a built-in flash, they will be deterred by the absence of a viewfinder and a shortage of MFT lenses.

This is a shame, because the PEN P-E1 has the makings of a fine camera, although some of its ergonomics need fixing. The problem is that MFT manufacturers seem to be trying to make cameras that will appeal to purchasers from both the compact and DSLR camps, and in the process, they are in danger of appealing to no one. ®

More Camers Reviews...


Nikon
D3000

Sony
Cybershot
DSC-HX1

Canon
EOS
500D

Ricoh GR
Digital III

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

75%
Olympus PEN EP-1

Olympus PEN E-P1 Micro Four-Thirds camera

It’s not a compact, it’s not a DSLR and, in theory, should have wide appeal. But the E-P1 is in danger of missing the target with many potential buyers, despite offering some useful features and a good performance.
Price: Body only: £599. 14-42mm lens kit: £699 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Chipmaker FTDI bricking counterfeit kit
USB-serial imitators whacked by driver update
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
DOUBLE BONK: Testy fanbois catch Apple Pay picking pockets
Users wail as tapcash transactions are duplicated
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.