Olympus E-P1 Reviews and Resources

The Olympus E-P1 is a 12.3 megapixel quasi-compact camera that offers users the ability to switch lenses.  It has no mirror box between the lens and the image sensor, so it is effectively a full time live view camera.  Because of the sensor size in Micro Four Thirds cameras, the Olympus E-P1 has a 2x crop factor applied to lens focal lengths.  As a result, a 14mm focal length on the E-P1 is effectively equivalent to the angle of view of a 28mm lens on a 35mm or full frame camera.

Olympus E-P1 Key Features

  • Compact size w/ interchangeable lenses
  • 12.3 megapixel sensor
  • HD video at 720p
  • ISO 100-6400
  • Sensor-based image stabilization
  • 11-area multiple AF
  • 3″ LCD
  • External flash hotshoe
  • 3 frames per second shooting speed
  • Olympus’ popular Art Filters
  • SD card compatibility

Olympus E-P1 Availability



B&H Photo

Photography Bay Resources

Olympus E-P1 Review

Olympus E-P1 Reviews

Camera Labs

The Olympus E-P1 is the camera many enthusiasts have been waiting for.


They have delivered a game-changing camera that may not be for everybody but if the size, shape, and ability to use so many different kinds of lenses, from Olympus and many others appeals to you, as it does to me, you’ll want an E-P1.


Detail is very good and with around two to three stops of exposure and detail headroom in the RAWs there’s plenty of extra detail to pull out of shadows and highlights if you need to.


It surpasses the E-620, offering a leap forward in low-light performance, so much so that the E-P1 is the first Four Thirds camera to offer comparable quality to an APS-C DSLR, despite the smaller sensor size. Olympus have certainly made real strides here.


After examining my 900 images and dozens of HD video clips, I can confirm that the E-P1 and M. Zuiko lenses live up to their full potential.


Well, I was won over by the image quality and that at the end of the day is probably the single most important factor and so makes this a camera one I cannot help but recommend.

Outback Photo

So far we think that the image quality is nice and likely even better than the E-620 (and we like using E-620 a lot).


The Olympus E-P1 is an otherwise excellent enthusiast compact camera hampered by some performance problems and the lack of a viewfinder and built-in flash.

Steve’s Digicams

I was very pleased with the image quality from the E-P1′s 12.3-megapixel Live MOS imager and TruePic V imager processor.

Digicam Review

Image quality is excellent – with excellent colour, and good levels of saturation and contrast with excellent detail. Noise levels were very low and provided useable ISO1600 (and possibly higher) – with less colour noise than even the Canon 450D, and provided much better detail from the Olympus kit lens, than the Canon’s kit lens.


As for things like focussing, The E-P1 makes use of 11-point focus system which worked well under our tests, albeit a tad sluggish.

Pocket-Lint (first look review)

The Olympus E-P1 is a true hybrid, falling into the space between compact and DSLR. It is distinctly different in its offering and may, for some, be appealing as a result

Wired UK (hands-on report)

Its technical proficiency makes this a very good camera. What makes it great is its sense of style, which leaves an SLR feeling clunky by comparison.

Olympus Micro Four Thirds Camera – Summer 2009

Olympus is apparently trying to get the most mileage out of their Micro Four Thirds announcement from last year.  Yet another (or the same one actually) mockup of an Olympus Micro Four Thirds camera was behind glass at PMA.  When asked about the fictional camera, Olympus personnel respond, in a rather mundane chant, that they don’t know anything other than there should be more from Olympus this Summer. [Read more...]

Panasonic LUMIX GH1 Reviews and Resources

The Panasonic LUMIX GH1 is the next step in the Micro Four Thirds digital camera system.  The GH1 is a 12.1 megapixel camera which accepts Micro Four Thirds lenses, along with other Four Thirds lenses when using a special adapter.  The GH1 improves on the popular G1 by offering full 1080p video at 24fps.

Panasonic LUMIX GH1 Key Features

  • 12.1 megapixels
  • 3″ LCD at 460k dot resolution
  • ISO 100-3200 equivalent
  • 3 fps (unlimited JPEG buffer / 7 frames RAW max)
  • 1080p HD video capture at 24 fps
  • 720p HD video capture at 60 fps
  • SDHC compatible

Panasonic LUMIX GH1 Availability


B&H Photo


Photography Bay Resources

Panasonic GH1 Review

Panasonic GH1 Hands-On at PMA 2009

Panasonic LUMIX GH1 Reviews


A fine performer, it’s smaller/lighter and more elegant than a DSLR or a camcorder. This Interchangeable Lens Camera also offers some unique features and provides much faster autofocus than most DSLRs can in Live View.

Digital Camera Review

For those who love gadgets and the folks looking to buy a video camera that also captures still images, the Panasonic Lumix GH1 was designed for you.


There’s no perfect camera – but if you want a combocam, this one is a very solid choice and so far, my favorite when compared against the Nikon D300S, the Canon 5D MK II and the Nikon D90.

Let’s Go Digital

With the availability of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1, we seem to get one step closer to what could be called a versatile camera system.


The GH1 is compact, elegant, well-built and captures great images. And it does that by turning the traditional DSLR world on its head.


Overall performance for still shooting was as we expected on the basis of our tests on the Lumix DMC-G1. In adequate lighting, the contrast-based AF system was fast and generally accurate for shooting stills but AF lag became noticeable when light levels dropped and it took almost a second to find focus in many night shots.

Imaging Resource

We said the same of the G1, but it bears repeating: Panasonic has hit on a good combination that makes us appreciate the original mission of Four Thirds, which was to produce smaller cameras and smaller optics while achieving higher optical quality.


If you’re looking for high-definition video in a DSLR format, then the Panasonic GH1 is easily your best choice. The ability to continuously auto-focus during recording simply isn’t offered by the likes of the Canon EOS 500D or Nikon D5000, which force the user to manually focus.

DC Resource

If you’re looking for a compact, interchangeable lens camera that can record movies in Full HD, then then Panasonic DMC-GH1 is the only game in town (yes, the Canon EOS-5D Mark II can do it too, but it’s not in the same class).


If you’re willing to pay a premium to be on the cutting edge of digital photography and video, and as long as you don’t shoot sports or in dark venues, then you’ll likely love the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH1.

Panasonic LUMIX GH1 Press Release

Las Vegas, NV (March 3, 2009) - Panasonic today introduced the DMC-GH1, the newest member of the company’s revolutionary LUMIX G Micro System – a new digital interchangeable lens camera system that delivers professional-level features and performance in a compact and easy-to-use camera body.

Compatible with the Micro Four Thirds System standard, the new LUMIX GH1 features advanced video photography functions, such as the ability to record High Definition (HD) AVCHD 1080p/24p video.*  In addition, the new LUMIX GH1 comes with a newly developed long-zoom interchangeable lens – the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S.  This lens was specifically designed to support HD movie recording and features a silent motor and continuous auto focusing (AF) capability; two features which distinguish the LUMIX GH1 from DSLRs that offer HD video recording capabilities.

“Photographers of all levels – professionals, amateurs and beginners – will be stunned by the range of creative possibilities that the LUMIX GH1 creates in the world of high-quality photography and HD video.  Users will be equally amazed by the camera’s easy-to-use design and small size,” said David Briganti, National Marketing Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company.  “Beyond its creative potential, the LUMIX GH1, a sister product to the award-winning LUMIX G1, is also innovative and differentiates itself from the pack by recording High Definition video with continuous AF, an indispensable feature for practical video recording.”

In late 2008, Panasonic redefined the traditional DSLR category with its launch of the Panasonic LUMIX G1 – a digital, interchangeable lens camera system that takes the radical step of eliminating the large, internal mirror structure that is currently contained in all traditional DSLR cameras.  This innovation allows for dramatically smaller camera body and lens sizes and permits many new, advanced consumer features such as LUMIX G1 “Live View Finder”.  With its 2008 launch, the LUMIX G1 achieved several honors, including:

  • World’s first entry into the Micro Four Thirds Standard system camera segment
  • World’s first interchangeable lens camera to offer colored body options to consumers
  • Winner, 2008 Camera of the Year (Popular Photography & Imaging magazine)

The new LUMIX GH1 provides cutting-edge video recording features, including the ability to record high-resolution full HD (1920 x 1080) video at 24 fps or smooth HD video (1280 x 720) movie at 60 fps using an AVCHD format (MPEG-4/H.264). The AVCHD format provides the important benefit of doubling the HD quality recording time compared with Motion JPEG. The LUMIX GH1 hosts a dedicated video record button on the back of the camera which lets users instantly start recording videos, even while shooting still photos – removing the fear of potentially missing a must-see video moment.   The LUMIX GH1 also records video in high-quality stereo sound via Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, the global standard of audio recording.  An optional stereo microphone (DMW-MS1) is also available to achieve a more intensive sound recording experience.  Finally, a convenient Wind Cut function is provided to help to block out distracting video background noise.

Like the LUMIX G1, the LUMIX GH1 features the Live View Finder system which enables something that simply is not possible with conventional DSLR cameras – the ability to preview the effects of camera settings (e.g., exposure, aperture, shutter speed) before taking the photo.  This helps take the guesswork out of the camera setting process and helps users ensure that every photo they capture comes out exactly as they envisioned.

The brilliant 1,440,000-dot equivalent Live View Finder system can also display information settings that a user can see without removing their eyes from the subject.  Furthermore, a built-in eye sensor automatically switches on the viewfinder when the user looks into it, then switches it off and turns on the swivel 3.0-inch large 460,000-dot high-resolution LCD when the user looks away from the viewfinder. The 60-frames-per-second Live View is made possible by the Live MOS sensor, which takes real-time signals directly from the image sensor and sends them continuously to the LCD.  Both the Live View Finder and LCD provide a 100% field of view - allowing the user to accurately frame and compose a shot from most any position.

The LUMIX GH1 kit lens – the LUMIX G VARIO HD 14-140mm/F4.0-5.8 ASPH./MEGA O.I.S. -provides a broad focal length range of 28-280mm (35mm camera equivalent) and supports continuous AF using the contrast AF system for both photo and movie capture. The low-noise lens design also seamlessly supports video recording by minimizing the mechanical sound generated by AF/AE actions.

At the core of the LUMIX GH1 lies a newly developed 12.1-megapixel high speed Live MOS sensor and Venus Engine HD, which features twin CPUs for outstanding processing capabilities.  The Live MOS sensor is capable of high-speed readout over four channels to be compatible with full-HD movie recording. This sensor is also advantageous for photo recording with a high signal-to-noise ratio thanks to the new circuit structure that is unaffected by the noise generated in each of the circuits. This results in crisp photos – even those taken at high ISO levels. The multi-aspect type sensor allows users to take photos in 4:3, 3:2 or 16:9 aspect ratios with the same angle of view.  The Venus Engine HD is also energy efficient, supporting long periods of AVCHD video recording on a single battery charge.

In addition to the digital camera’s HD video recording capability, the DMC-GH1 features the LUMIX Creative Movie mode which lets the user manually set the shutter speed and aperture, making their videos more creative and representative of their own personal video style preference.  Changing the shutter speed gives the videos a special look, particularly suitable for shooting fast-moving subjects. Controlling the aperture is convenient when there are several subjects at varying distances, so the user can focus on the foreground and blur the background – or vice versa.

While the LUMIX DMC-GH1 has cutting-edge still image and video capture features, the LUMIX GH1 is also incredibly easy-to-use, thanks to Panasonic’s iA (Intelligent Auto) mode** – a user-friendly setting made popular in the LUMIX line of digital point-and-shoot camera products.   Panasonic’s iA mode is a suite of technologies which engage automatically (no settings needed).  The latest addition to the iA suite of features is Face Recognition, a feature that directs the camera to prioritize focus and exposure on a specific face that that the user had previously registered in the camera.***   This invaluable function makes it especially easy to take sharp and beautifully exposed images of things the user values most in their photos – the user’s friends and family.

Panasonic’s iA mode offers other innovative features which help deliver consistently outstanding photos:  O.I.S. (Optical Image Stabilization) to help reduce blurring from hand-shake; Intelligent ISO Control to help limit motion blur by adjusting the ISO sensitivity if the subject moves as the shot is taken; AF Tracking that lets the camera lock onto any subject and keep it in focus even if it moves; Intelligent Exposure which optimizes the exposure for each part of an image, preventing blocked shadows and blown highlights, and helps ensure that gradation and details are reproduced beautifully; and Intelligent Scene Selector which automatically detects the five most common shooting situations – Portrait, Night Portrait, Scenery, Night Scenery and Close-up – and switches to the appropriate Scene mode.

Best of all, the benefits of Panasonic’s iA mode extend to motion image recording on the DMC-GH1. For example, the LUMIX GH1 motion iA includes O.I.S. and Face Detection, which automatically detects a face in the frame and adjusts focus, exposure, contrast, and skin complexion. Intelligent Exposure continually checks the ambient light level and adjusts the exposure setting as conditions change to prevent blown highlights and blocked shadows.  Intelligent Scene Selector automatically switches between Normal, Portrait, Close-up, Scenery, and Low Light modes according to the environment.

The Contrast AF system adopted by the LUMIX GH1 is accurate, easy-to-use and fast. Users can choose from a wide range of AF modes, including multiple-area AF with up to 23 focus areas, 1-area AF with a selectable focus area, Face Detection, and AF Tracking.   To help keep the images free of spots from dust and particles, the Supersonic Wave Filter dust reduction system helps prevent foreign contaminants from adhering to the image sensor.

After users capture their images using the LUMIX GH1, it’s easy for them to enjoy their photos or HD videos immediately on a large-screen Panasonic VIERA® high-definition television.  All that is required is to remove the SD Memory Card from the LUMIX GH1 and insert it into the VIERA Image Viewer (SDHC/SD Memory Card slot) located in the VIERA HDTV or in the Panasonic Blu-ray disc player.  Alternatively, an optional mini HDMITM cable is available to output the images from the LUMIX GH1 directly to the Panasonic HDTV via VIERA LinkTM.  Then, using the VIERA HDTV’s remote control, users can take advantage of the LUMIX GH1′s advanced playback and slideshow features.

In addition to the new LUMIX G lenses, the DMC-GH1 and LUMIX G Micro System is compatible with any interchangeable lens that complies with the Four Thirds standard.**** This gives users access to the entire range of Four Thirds lenses. Additional Micro Four Thirds lenses will be announced in the future, giving users a large, diverse line of high-performance lenses to add to their photographic toolboxes. With the LUMIX G Micro System and the growing assortment of lenses becoming available, the creative possibilities are endless.

The LUMIX DMC-GH1 is a system camera with a wide variety of options to choose from to match a wide range of shooting situations and styles. Accessories compatible with the LUMIX G Micro System include: External Flash: DMW-FL220(GN22) / DMW-FL360(GN36) / DMW-FL500(GN50); PL Filter: DMW-LPL62; ND Filter: DMW-LND62 (New); MC Protector: DMW-LMCH62; Mount Adapter: DMW-MA1; Stereo Microphone: DMW-MS1 (New); Battery Pack: DMW-BLB13; DC Cable: DMW-DCC3; Soft Cases: DMW-CG1, DMW-CG2 (New); Soft Bag: DMW-BAG1; Shoulder Strap (Stylish) DMW-SSTG1-A/C/R/K(New); Shoulder Strap (Woven) DMW-SSTG2-W; Shoulder Strap (Leather) DMW-SSTG3-T; Remote Shutter: DMW-RSL1.

For more information about the DMC-GH1 and all of Panasonic’s LUMIX G Micro System accessories, please visit www.panasonic.com/lumix.

*Full-HD (1920 × 1080) movies are output by the image sensor at 24p (NTSC)/25p (PAL), and recorded at 60i (NTSC)/50i (PAL). HD (1280 × 720) video is output and recorded by the image sensor at 60p (NTSC)/50p (PAL).

** Some functions in iA mode will not be available depending on the lens to attach.

***Turn Face Recognition item ON and register the person with full-face portrait on the shooting menu in advance.  Recognition performance varies greatly depending on shooting conditions, i.e., according to factors such as angles, facial expression and lighting, so operation under all conditions cannot be guaranteed. Because the camera searches for faces that are similar to registered faces, there are cases where the faces are not correctly recognized when the registered image and the shooting image varies greatly. When facial characteristics are similar, particularly between parents and their children or brothers and sisters, the camera may not distinguish the faces.

****Some functions on DMC-GH1 are not available depending on the lens that is attached

About Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company

Based in Secaucus, N.J., Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company is a Division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation. (NYSE: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. In its commitment to provide consumers with extensive imaging resources, Panasonic LUMIX established the Digital Photo Academy, a series of nationwide workshops designed to instruct consumers how to optimize the features on their digital cameras and produce high-quality photos. Panasonic is honored to support OUR PLACE – The World’s Heritage, a project that will create the world’s largest photographic collection of UNESCO World Heritage sites, with acclaimed photographers exclusively using LUMIX digital cameras to capture all images.

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Olympus Micro Four Thirds System

Olympus has just announced a new Micro Four Thirds System to push the size of DSLRs even smaller. Basically, Olympus has cut out the mirrors, which means that the cameras aren’t really DSLRs anymore. They’ll be more of a glorified point and shoot camera with interchangeable lenses . . . not that there’s anything wrong with that.

The Micro Four Thirds system uses the same 2x crop factor sensors found in cameras such as the E-420 and E-520; however, without a mirror, the bodies will be significantly thinner. Moreover, you will be able to continue to use your standard Four Thirds lenses on the new system with an adapter for the new bodies. In addition to the press release below, Olympus has a dedicated mini-site for the Micro Four Thirds System.

Press Release


Tokyo, 5 August 2008 – Olympus Imaging Corporation (Olympus Imaging) and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic) today announced joint development of technologies and devices for the “Micro Four Thirds System standard,” a new standard that extends the benefits of the Four Thirds System standard for interchangeable lens type digital camera systems by enabling dramatic reductions in size and weight. Under the terms of an agreement between the two companies, they will work jointly toward commercial production of significantly lighter and more compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems.

The global market for interchangeable lens type digital SLR cameras is growing steadily, but still only accounts for a 7% share of the total digital camera market. Considering the much larger share held by interchangeable lens type SLR camera systems when film was the dominant imaging medium, it seems that there is still ample room for sales growth in the category. But compact digital cameras continue to offer an expanding range of features and performance, and market surveys indicate that customers choose compact models because they find digital SLR cameras to be “big, heavy, and difficult to operate.”

Recognizing this market trend, Olympus Imaging and Panasonic have introduced products based on the Four Thirds System standard, and have led the industry in bringing features such as Live View and contrast-detection autofocusing systems to interchangeable lens type digital camera systems.

Now, Olympus Imaging and Panasonic are expanding the potential of the Four Thirds System standard even further, enabling the development of radically more compact and lightweight interchangeable lens type digital camera systems based on the Micro Four Thirds System standard. Together with the existing range of Four Thirds System products, the new range of Micro Four Thirds System products will enable customers to enjoy true interchangeable lens type digital camera system performance.

When compared to the Four Thirds System standard, the primary distinguishing characteristics of the Micro Four Thirds System standard are*:
1) Approximately 50% shorter flangeback distance (mount-to-sensor distance)
2) 6mm smaller lens mount outer diameter
3) Electrical contacts in mount increased from 9 to 11

The Micro Four Thirds System enables users to enjoy the high image quality benefits of the Four Thirds System’s 4/3-type image sensor in a much more compact camera body, and also take advantage of significantly more compact lenses, particularly in the wide-angle and high-power zoom range. The Four Thirds System offers compact, lightweight performance, and the new Micro Four Thirds System will take this even further by making it possible to develop ultra-compact interchangeable lens type digital camera systems unlike anything seen before. The new Micro Four Thirds System also incorporates a greater number of lens-mount electrical contacts, enabling support for new features and increased system functionality in the future. In addition, users will be able to mount their existing Four Thirds System lenses on Micro Four Thirds System bodies via an adapter.

* Image sensor diagonal dimensions are the same for both Four Thirds System and Micro Four Thirds System standards

Moving forward, Olympus Imaging and Panasonic will jointly develop relevant technologies and devices for both Four Thirds System and Micro Four Thirds System standards, and will develop and introduce standards-compliant products in accordance with their respective business strategies.

While continuing to develop Four Thirds System interchangeable lens type digital camera system products, Olympus Imaging will also develop a range of Micro Four Thirds System lenses and accessories, and Micro Four Thirds System camera bodies that are even smaller and slimmer than the light, compact, and widely acclaimed Olympus E-410 and E420.

While continuing to develop Four Thirds System interchangeable lens type digital camera system products, Panasonic will also develop a new generation of compact, lightweight, interchangeable lens type digital camera system products, including ultra-portable camera bodies, interchangeable lenses, and related system accessories.

About the Four Thirds System Standard

The Four Thirds System standard defines design and development standards for interchangeable lens type digital camera systems that fully realize the performance potential of digital technology. Four Thirds System cameras utilize a 4/3-type image sensor that delivers the high image quality expected of interchangeable lens type digital camera systems in a form factor that assures outstanding mobility. The Four Thirds System standard is an open standard that enables bodies and lenses produced by participating manufacturers to exchange information and be used interchangeably with one another.