Features & Controls
Micro 4/3 Lens Mount
Here's the E-P1's lens mount system. This is the second model we have seen that uses the Olympus/Panasonic Micro Four Thirds Specification. Because this is a mirror-less system, they have been able to reduce the distance between the mount and the image sensor from 40 mm (Four Thirds System) to approximately 20 mm. This allows for a much smaller camera bodies as well as lenses.
For those of you who are concerned with the fact that dust might fall on your image sensor, Olympus has included their effective Supersonic Wave Filter Dust Reduction System on the E-P1. This system is designed to prevent dust from adhering to the image sensor by vibrating 35,000+ times per second, helping the filter repel dust and other particles. The dust is then trapped on an adhesive absorber at the bottom of the filter so it doesn't return to the sensor later on.
On top is the Mode Dial with positions for iAuto (Intelligent Auto), Program, Aperture priority, Shutter speed priority, Manual, Movie, SCN, and ART. To the right is the SSWF (SuperSonic Wave Filter) dust reduction LED, On/Off button, Shutter release, and the Exposure value button.
We tested the E-P1 as a body/lens outfit, which included the very nice M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-42mm f3.5/5.6 3x optical zoom Lens.
One unique feature about the 14-42mm kit lens is its ability to collapse down when you are carrying or transporting the camera.
Here is a closer look at the lock release that is used to unlock the lens from the storage or retracted position. You can also see the lens release on the camera.
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 (35mm equivalent focal length: 28-84mm) Micro 4/3 lens provides 3x zoom performance. To maximise the mobility this lens features a retractable parking mechanism and the result is a total length of just 43.5mm. Compared to the standard 4/3 ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 this lens is only 65% of the volume and 80% of its weight. This ultra compact lens delivers high image quality and has a excellent close-up shooting capability.
Other features include:
- Compact and lightweight design
- Choose from 2 colors (Silver or Black)
- ED and aspherical lens elements for excellent quality
- Close focusing distance of 25cm
The M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake (35mm equivalent focal length: 34mm) lens is even smaller than the already compact pancake lens for standard 4/3 bodies. This Micro 4/3 lens boasts a mere 22mm in length and 71g in weight. The circular aperture diaphragm with 5 blades enables natural and smooth defocusing. This wide-angle pancake lens with its ultra compact design is ideal for daily snapshots and as travel companion.
To use some of your existing 4/3 system lenses, Olympus does offer the MMF-1 4/3 mount adapter. This lens adapter makes it possible to mount any existing Four Thirds lens on a Micro Four Thirds digital camera. AF shooting using Live View is possible with lenses featuring contrast AF compatibility. When a contrast AF incompatible lens is used, the AF assist function engages.
Olympus also offers the MMF-2 UM lens adapter, which permits the use of Olympus OM lenses to be used on a Micro Four Thirds digital camera.
- Autofocus(AF) is not available.
- Stop-down metering is used.
- Although it is possible to use A (aperture priority AE) mode in auto exposure, the aperture display is not available.
- In P (Program AE) or S (Shutter speed - priority AE) mode, the shutter releases, but the auto exposure does not work.
- The distance scale on the OM system lens may not indicate the actual distance. Always use the viewfinder for focusing.
Hot Shoe for External Flash Units
The Olympus FL-14, FL-20, FL-36, FL-50, FL-36R or FL-50R external flash units can be attached to the E-P1's hot shoe and offer full TTL flash control.
External Flash Units
While designed specifically for use with the E-P1 Digital PEN, through our testing we found that the super compact FL-14 external flash unit is also compatible with other E-series models, like the E-620. With an equivalent GN (Guide Number) of 14 at ISO 100 (or 20 at ISO 200), you can accomplish flash shooting without having to carry around a bulky external unit.
The FL-14 also features an energy circuit that improves recharge rates (approx. 5 sec. recycle time) and enables the flash to operate on just two AAA batteries. In addition, the FL-14 incorporates these features:
- Compact and stylish silver metal exterior
- Guide Number 20 at ISO 200
- 28mm equivalent coverage
- AAA batteries x2 provide about 80 shots at full power
- Approximately 5 second recycle time
- 3 modes: TTL-AUTO, AUTO, Manual
Designed specifically for use with digital cameras, the FL-36 flash offers the robust and full-featured functionality of the larger FL-50 combined with cost effectiveness.
The FL-36 Electronic Flash is specifically designed for digital with an accurate 1/8 step illumination control to provide the precision required by digital cameras, while minimizing illumination reduction. The built-in wide-angle diffuser panel will allow the flash to provide even illumination with wide angle lenses like the Zuiko Digital 14mm-45mm zoom. The inclusion of a lockable bounce and swivel mechanism offers a variety of bounce photography options including left-right, as well as top-bottom in addition to a compact zoom head to accommodate lenses from wide angle to telephoto.
The FL-36 also features an energy circuit that improves recharge rates and enables the flash to operate on just two AA batteries or one CR-3 Volt lithium. In addition, the FL-36 incorporates an ultra-precision mounting technology. The FL-36 is compact, lightweight and extremely portable, and is approximately 25% shorter and 35% lighter than the larger FL-50 flash, a significant space and weight savings.
The FL-36 Flash Compact achieves higher guide numbers than comparable SLR film cameras even while maintaining wide-angle light distribution. The Guide Number is 117 feet (36 meters) at ISO 100. You'll notice the difference when using it in combination with a wide-angle lens on the . Accurate, 1/8-step illumination control provides the precision required by digital cameras, while minimizing illumination reduction near the screen.The FL 36 features the FP mode for syncro at shutter speeds up to 1/4000 sec. In both FP- TTL Auto and FP-Manual modes. Standard TTL-Auto, Auto and Manual flash modes are also available.
Olympus also offers a detachable optical viewfinder. The 3 multi coated glass elements ensure a clear view through the finder with a magnification of 0.47x. The VF-1 is especially designed and with its small size, is a perfect addition to the Olympus E-P1 PEN.
- Detachable design, attached to hot shoe
- Multi coated for a clear view
- For use with the ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens
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Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.