Olympus EP-1: Hands-on


This photo was taken with the Olympus EP-1 earlier today. It’s a shot of the product brochure placed on top of a counter. Image above is the zoomed out photo while those text at the bottom is the image at 100%. The depth of field of this camera is amazing. The wide angle lens work very well too. Higher ISO produces less noise compared to the Lumix LX3 or Canon G9 – both cameras which I previously owned. At ISO 1600, images are still fairly useable. Almost equivalent to ISO 800 on a Canon G9. As my earlier impression, physically – the camera is bigger than I imagined. Holding it with the zoom lens felt solid to the hands. What’s missing is the built in flash. The price I was quoted by my regular shop in Sg. Wang is RM2790 with a 8Gb card and screen protector. Not the best around, but such high prices during an early launch of a product is expected. Stock levels are currently low and the white unit will only be available again early next week. For people looking for a great point-and-shoot and not ready for a full fledge DSLR – the Olympus EP-1 should be your camera of choice.


6 Responses to “Olympus EP-1: Hands-on”

  1. 2 BigMacky July 26, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Additional Notes: Sure, there are ton load of good points about this camera. Great photos (most importantly, portability of a point and shoot but advance features of a DSLR) But there are some stuff that irks me.

    What I didn’t like about the EP-1 is the lcd screen. It’s not as bright as others and I foresee having problems with it in outdoor shooting under bright daylight.

    No view finder. Then again, it’s not a DSLR camera afterall. But seasoned DSLR users will need to get over the fact that eventhough one can change lenses on this camera – its still not a DSLR.

    No built-in flash. I try not to use the flash even on my Canon 50D. But not having it on this camera, kinda make you feel you wanted the flash more than you actually do. Human nature. We paired this camera with a black, mini Olympus external flash that cost RM200 – made the camera looked really cute. Like a mini sized DSLR with its black zoom lens … neat.

    Click Sound Fx – Am used to the sound of Canon 50D. So, hearing this which sounded like a toy camera with a weak cliiick – felt weak and fragile. Lacks the kick.

    Stainless Steel body – it gets warm after holding the camera for about 10 minutes playing around with it. Not from overheating of the unit but from your body heat. The stainless steel feels warm.

    The jog dial and scrollers doesn’t feel as solid as I hoped it to be. Things just feel a little … loose.

    Focus – Using Intelligent Auto (iAuto) mode, the camera will look for faces instead of what you are trying to shoot. For example, a salt shaker in the foreground. Shooting in Manual, P, S etc will solve this problem.

    Is it still a highly desirable camera? Definitely. Only if you are clear on it’s strengths and weaknesses. Being a regular at the shop, I was given the opportunity to play with the camera for about 45 mins. Even using my own SD Card to save photos taken with it as well. I think I had a good feel of the camera. And yes, I like it.

  2. 3 Justy July 26, 2009 at 10:42 am

    Thanks for the tips! Will weight the pros and cons.

  3. 4 virtualess July 27, 2009 at 10:53 am

    Hallo there,

    I tried holding it in KLCC – but I prefer to hold the 50D chassis!

    Conclusion is that it is a very capable midsize compact and if I hv the money, I will invest in another EOS body – maybe the upcoming 60D cause I feel holding the full size DSLR / SLR is more comfy and steady. Just feel the body to be quite slippery.

    Then again, I did not sleep with the baby for one nite!

    Chat later

  4. 5 BigMacky July 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm


    Why invest in another EOS when you already have a 5D Mark II? As a secondary camera? Whoah! You are rich! For me, if (and it’s a BIG if) I am getting the Pen, it’s for the size and image quality. A camera that I can put in my bag and snap on-the-go. But I really shouldn’t. As I have stronger wants demanding my attention. As always.

    Also. I don’t subscribe to the idea of paying a premium price for something that I can get cheaper once the craze settles. Ok. I should rephrase. I don’t subscribe to paying for a camera. Ahem ahem! God knows how much I paid for the damn Nintendo Wii when it first came out back then. Sigh.

  5. 6 soohk August 6, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    ISO1600 = to ISO800 of G9? my 1st glance at DPreview, ISO1600 is better than IS0400 of G10.

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