The Olympus PEN E-PL1 Digital Camera is a dream come true for many photographers with 12 megapixels and technology normally found in much larger cameras and High Definition (HD) camcorders. It features a PEN large-size image sensor that is 8 times larger than the ones in average point & shoot cameras. This sensor, combined with the TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color and reduced noise, all the way up to ISO 3200. With state-of-the art noise reduction technology and 3 in-body image stabilization modes, users will realize clear images with all compatible lenses under most lighting conditions.
I bought this camera although it was obsolete because it came with an underwater housing. Focus is much faster than my sx230 point n shoot. I have since added the 45-150 lens and I am loving this camera; more than my T3i
Purchased this as part of a kit for underwater photography. Much better in my opinion than a big DSLR for underwater handling. Only complaint is the LCD screen, completely fine, just spoiled with the LCD quality of the E-M5
I purchased this camera last year, prior to an extraordinary travel opportunity, because my point-and-shoot couldn't do justice to the situation, but my luggage was limited to a single backpack. I needed a light, versatile camera for the trip and chose this model. In the past year, I've taken more than 450 photos with this camera (I have others). The camera has operated reliably and provided excellent results, so it now accompanies me on every road trip or commercial flight. The built-in flash has been a feature or asset I've often relied upon. There are issues to consider. I must tell you, the "video" button lies beneath my right thumb, exactly where I'd normally grip a camera body, so I've inadvertently tripped video when preparing for a photo. The LCD screen may be difficult to see in certain light conditions, and sunlight may reflect from the screen as you try to compose your photos. Subsequent models are equipped with a tilting viewfinder that addresses that issue. Though entirely satisfactory for static subjects, the shutter release is not sufficiently "crisp" for birds in flight, or for fast-moving sports. These may or may not be relevant concerns. I will tell you that I've enjoyed the camera enough to purchase accessory lenses for it, and I've gotten excellent results with it.
I was looking for a replacement digital camera for underwater photography. I researched several models on several websites and all recommended the micro 4/3 sensor and the Olympus Pen series of cameras. After using this camera with the EP-01 underwater housing and some Sea and Sea YS series strobes in the West Caicos islands I was totally blown away by the excellent results! Rivals my work with the Nikonos film camera series I've used over the years.
When I was first looking for a DSLR I had my heart set on a Nikon D5000, but after playing around with a few Nikons and Canons, they all felt "uninspired" in my hands. As soon as I held this little gem in my hands I was sold! I bought it on the spot! When I first got into photography I wanted to capture sporting events, but as soon as I started using the PL1, I became infatuated with landscape photography, which is where this camera really shines. If you want a camera for high speed or low light photography, I would look elsewhere, it does not do well in low light. But for natural light shots it is amazing. I have pro photographer friends who have been totally surprised by how good a picture this camera can take, and at half the size of a DSLR it is perfect for travelling! I use it with the EVF, which I think is a must because in some lightings the back LCD isn't very accurate. I mainly use the 9mm wide angle lens and am always impressed! So for the travelling landscape photographer who needs a smaller camera, the Olympus PEN series is a must!
I am disappointed in the results with this camera and so have not used it for a year. Smaller Canon Powershot cameras take better pictures
THE CAMERA WAS USED FOR FAMILY PICTURES, LANDSCAPE, AND OTHER OUTDOOR APPLICATIONS. IT IS QUITE HANDY AND EASY TO USE. THE HIGH ISO MAY NOT COMPARE WITH A DSLR BUT I USE THE FLASH ANYWAY WHEN INDOORS AND WHEN THE LIGHT IS LOW.
I purchased the body with the 14 - 42 kit lens and the add-on viewfinder. It is not a comfortable combination for me. I much prefer the Panasonic GH2 because of the viewfinder system plus the Panasonic lenses. The EPL-1 is unbalanced when longer lenses are added and not all that compact. For a smaller camera, I prefer the Pana GF1 with the 20 1.7. I have sold the EPL-1 and it's less than stellar kit lens.
I use this for general photography, having shelved my Nikon D80 and many lenses except for sports, nature, and very critical use where I do not want to take chances. At both full 12mp and casual 7mp, enlargments to 11x14 with 14-42 kit lens are stunning and pix w/Oly kit lens cannot be distinguished from my Nikon 18-55. Do not pay more for EPL-2 and EPL-3; this has it all.