The layout of the top of the camera is very much in keeping with the classic design ethos of the whole camera, and to the left of the hot shoe is this unusual sunken mode dial with a knurled thumb wheel poking out of the back, which bears more than a passing resemblance to the film advance wheels found on some of the Pen models (it's a lot easier to use than it looks!). The E-P1 has 7 stills shooting modes plus a movie mode.
Exposure Mode Dial
Fully Automatic Mode
New for the E-P1 is one of the increasingly common intelligent auto modes. According to Olympus this i-auto mode uses advanced automatic detection technology to allow the camera to recognize the six most commonly used scenes automatically.
Programmed Auto (Flexible)
The Program AE on the E-P1 is flexible, this means that you can select one of a variety of equal exposures by turning the main command dial (rear of camera) left or right. Minimum shutter speed in is 60 seconds (at ISO 100) and the maximum is 1/4000th sec.
Example (exact values will depend on EV step value chosen in record menu):
1/160 F3.2 (turn CCW a click) Ps
1/125 F3.5 (turn CCW a click) Ps
1/100 F4.0 (metered) P
1/80 F5.0 (turn CW a click) Ps
1/60 F5.6 (turn CW a click) Ps
Aperture Priority Auto
In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the shutter speed for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Aperture is displayed on the LCD monitor (if INFO display is on), turn the top dial to select different apertures. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the shutter speed, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range the shutter speed will blink.
Range depends on lens max. and min. apertures, in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps
Shutter Priority Auto
In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture for the exposure (depending on metered value; metering mode, ISO). Shutter speed is displayed on the LCD monitor (if INFO display is on), turn the second dial to select different shutter speeds. A half-press of the shutter release causes the cameras exposure system to calculate the aperture, if it's outside of the cameras exposure range (for instance trying to take a shot at 1/500s in darkness) the aperture will blink.
60 seconds - 1/4000 sec (in 1/3, 1/2 or 1 EV steps)
Full Manual Exposure
In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above (and additionally Bulb shutter). You can define which of the dials controls shutter speed and which controls aperture. The info display will indicate how close you are to the metered exposure (+/- 3 EV).
The E-P1's movie mode works in a similar way to most compacts (press the shutter to start and end clips) and there are various options on offer before you shoot. Focus is normally fixed whilst filming but this can be over-ridden by pressing the AFL/AEL button or by activating continuous AF in the menu. There are two movie resolution settings (both are recorded as AVI motion JPEGs):
HD (1280 x 720), 30 fps
SD (640 x 480), 30 fps
Allows you to select one of the six built-in Art Filters: Art Filters
• Pop Art
• Soft Focus
• Pale & Light Color
• Light Tone
• Grainy Film
• Pin Hole
Art Filter / Scene
Allows you to select one of the 14 built-in scene modes (each is shown on the LCD monitor with an image sample and short description): Scene modes
• Landscape + Portrait
• Night Scene
• Night + Portrait
• High Key
• Low Key
• DIS mode
• Nature Macro
• Beach & Snow
Top of camera controls (left)
On the top left of the camera sit the main on/off button (with a cute green glowing ring around it when powered up), the shutter release and the AE compensation button.
Buttons (Shooting mode)
• -3.0 EV to +3.0 EV
• 1/3 EV steps (1 EV or 1/2 EV steps selectable)
Main Power Switch
Buttons (Play mode)
Although not labeled as such pressing the exposure compensation button while in play mode rotates the displayed image through 90, 180 and 270 degrees.