Capturing Memories with the Olympus PEN E-P1: A Guide to Its Best FeaturesKeywords: Olympus PEN E-P1, Camera, Photography, Features, Memories

The Olympus PEN E-P1 is a popular camera used by photography enthusiasts everywhere. With its advanced features, it is easy to capture memories and stunning photos. In this blog post, we will discuss the best features of the Olympus PEN E-P1 and how they can help you take amazing shots.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Olympus PEN E-P1 article cover photo

Key Features

Jul 29 2009


12 megapixels


Sensor TypeFour Thirds

Other similar cameras

Olympus PEN E-PL1 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-PL1

Released May 17 2010 | 12MP resolution

Olympus PEN E-PM1 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-PM1

Released Nov 23 2011 | 12MP resolution

Olympus PEN E-P2 thumbnail

Olympus PEN E-P2

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Overview of the PEN E-P1

Photography is a great way of capturing memories, and the Olympus PEN E-P1 makes it even better. This camera is packed with amazing features that can help you take stunning photos. Whether you are an amateur photographer or a professional, the Olympus PEN E-P1 is a camera that you should consider. In this guide, we will delve into the features that make this camera stand out and how you can use them to capture unforgettable memories.

Olympus PEN E-P1 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Olympus PEN E-P1 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High image quality
Compact and lightweight
Easy-to-use interface
Interchangeable lenses
Live view LCD screen
Good low-light performance
Stylish design
In-camera image stabilization
Art filters for creative effects
HD video recording


Slow autofocus
Limited dynamic range
No built-in flash
Short battery life
Expensive compared to some competitors
Small viewfinder
Limited selection of lenses compared to other systems
No built-in microphone jack
Limited customization options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Olympus PEN E-P1

Weather sealed
Dimensions121 x 70 x 36mm

Weather Sealing

The Olympus PEN E-P1 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeRangefinder-style mirrorless

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 3.00" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Olympus PEN E-P1 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Olympus PEN E-P1 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the PEN E-P1 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Olympus PEN E-P1 has a 12MP sized CMOS sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 12 pixels. Olympus PEN E-P1 has a native ISO range of 100 - 6400 which can be boosted to null - null. It can also save files in RAW format which gives you a wider room for post processing.

Key Features

Jul 29 2009


100 - 6400

ISO Range

SensorFour Thirds
Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4032 x 3024 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


55 / 102

Color Depth

21.4 / 26.5

Dynamic Range

10.4 / 14.8

Low Light ISO

536 / 4505

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Olympus PEN E-P1 camera has above average color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also average, allowing it to retain low amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is poor, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PEN E-P1 is below average

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: Four Thirds



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC card
Battery Life300 shots
Battery ModelBLS-1
Wireless Connectivity


The Olympus PEN E-P1 supports SD/SDHC card with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Olympus PEN E-P1 uses the BLS-1 model of battery pack. This is rated for 300 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Olympus PEN E-P1 does not have a built-in flash, but it does offer a flash shoe that allows you to attach external flashes. This provides more versatility in your lighting choices.


The Olympus PEN E-P1 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/4000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Olympus PEN E-P1 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 11 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Olympus PEN E-P1?

The Olympus PEN E-P1 features a CMOS sensor

Is the Olympus PEN E-P1 weather sealed?

No the PEN E-P1 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Olympus PEN E-P1 announced?

The Olympus PEN E-P1 was announced on Jul 29 2009

Does the Olympus PEN E-P1 have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PEN E-P1 does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Olympus PEN E-P1?

The PEN E-P1 has a native ISO range of 100-6400, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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