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Connections

On the right side of the camera (viewed from the rear) you'll find a small door behind which are nestled the combination USB/AV port and a mini HDMI connection (for viewing your pictures and movies in glorious high definition on a compatible television).

Base / Tripod Mount

The tripod mount isn't centered (there's not enough room inside the camera to have it directly in the middle of the sensor / lens plane) but it's not so far from the middle of the camera as to be unusable. As you can see using a tripod will mean changing battery or card is nigh on impossible.

Flash

As mentioned earlier the E-P1 has been built to be as small as possible using current technology, and this has led to the (slightly controversial) decision not to include even a tiny built-in flash. The E-P1 is fully compatible with all Olympus's FL flashguns or, if you don't want a flashgun that's bigger than the camera, there's a small-ish new accessory gun (the FL-14).

As someone who often uses fill-flash and likes to use a decent camera at social gatherings I find the lack of built-in flash disappointing (if, given Olympus's stubbornly purist approach to designing this camera, understandable). The accessory flash is far from tiny and is just another thing to have to carry, but it does at least match the camera.

The E-P1 has an 'E System' flash hot-shoe designed specifically for Olympus dedicated flash units, however it can also accept third party units (sync contact only). Olympus 'E System' flash units communicate directly with the camera and support various features including zoom control, red-eye reduction, slow sync flash and the use of higher shutter speeds ('Super FP flash'). The FL-14 is a small flash unit designed specifically for the E-P1. It's nice enough (and a lot more powerful than the built-in flash on most compacts), but is another thing to carry. It would also have been nice if the FL-14 had been designed with even a rudimentary bounce function.

Lens Mount / Sensor

The E-P1 is a Micro Four Thirds camera which means that its lens mount / communication system complies to the new Micro Four Thirds System standard. As well as accepting Olympus and Panasonic Micro 4/3 lenses it can also accept 4/3 lenses via an adapter (with full functionality). Adapters for Olympus OM and Leica M lenses are also available (and theoretically you could mount pretty much any lens on it with an adapter, something Olympus pushed in the days of the Pen F, and may well push with the new Pen generation too).

The E-P1 is the third camera (after the Panasonic G1 and GH1) to make use of the new, miniaturized Micro Four Thirds mount. Remove the lens and you'll be confronted with an exposed sensor - it's of the familiar Four Thirds size but rather disconcerting to see it in the nude. The vertical focal plane shutter stays open until the point an exposure is made.

The sensor itself is almost certainly the same as - or very similar to - that used in the E-30 and E-620 (the specs are identical), though we've been told it has been fine tuned for this model (including, crucially, a lighter low pass filter).

"Supersonic Wave Filter"

The "Supersonic Wave Filter" is a method of keeping the image sensor clean by making a very thin filter glass in front of the sensor vibrate at very high frequency. This causes dust or dirt to drop off and be trapped on a sticky tape material. The SSWF is triggered each time you power up the camera (it's a pity you can't disable or modify when it occurs as it does introduce a slight delay). On the positive side we still feel it's one the most effective dust removal systems on the market.

SSWF filter is mounted in front of the sensor Click for a video explanation (15 MB)

Kit options

  • E-P1 Kit Silver/Black (E-P1 body silver & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens black)
  • E-P1 Kit Silver/Silver (E-P1 body silver & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens silver)
  • E-P1 Kit White/Silver (E-P1 body white & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens silver)
  • E-P1 Pancake Kit Silver (E-P1 body silver & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens silver & VF-1)
  • E-P1 Pancake Kit White (E-P1 body white & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens silver & VF-1)
  • E-P1 Double Lens Kit (E-P1 body silver & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm 1:3.5-5.6 lens black & M. ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm 1:2.8 Pancake lens silver & VF-1)
 
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