Olympus Pen E-PL1 Review - Design and Features 2 Review

The main menu is also more like that of a compact camera, with a somewhat limited range of options. Image aspect ratio can be adjusted, but since the Four Thirds sensor has a native 4:3 aspect ratio this gives the largest picture size. For colour control it has the Picture Mode option, a set of tone adjustment pre-sets that can be customised for contrast, sharpness, saturation and tonal gradation, but that is the limit of the creative control.
Olympus Pen E-PL1 zoom lens

Exposure options are also more restricted than on the previous Pen E series models, with shutter speeds of only 60 seconds to 1/2000th of a second available, rather than the 30 minutes to 1/4000th of a second found on the E-P2. The aperture range of f/3.5 to f/22 with the standard kit lens does at least offer more versatility than most compacts, and both aperture and ISO setting can be adjusted in 1/3EV increments.
Olympus Pen E-PL1 side

One of the features of the E-PL1 that is significantly cut down relative to the E-P1 and E-P2 is the video mode. It can shoot in 1280 x 720 HD resolution at 30 frames per second, but audio is only recorded in mono, via a small built-in microphone located just in front of the flash hot-shoe. Both video and audio quality are very good, but the microphone lacks directionality, picking up sounds from behind the camera just as loudly as in front. It has a dedicated button to start video recording. Video is recorded in Motion JPEG format, with a maximum recording time of 14 minutes or 2GB.


The range of Pen E lenses is rather limited, with only four currently available, but there are two adapters to allow both Olympus DSLR and older OM 35mm SLR lenses to be attached, offering a much wider range.

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