Has someone come up with an acronym for the compact cameras with interchangeable lens? Maybe, say, DILC? Because the world has now another of such product in the market. Olympus PEN E-P1 follows Panasonic Lumix G1 and GH1 to be the next compact camera using the Micro Four-Thirds lens mount.

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Generally, it feels like a compact camera, with the advantages of manual lens control and faster AF and shutter response, no different from the Lumix G1 that I reviewed extensively a few months back. The E-P1 supports up to 6400 ISO, and the highlights look rather clean. What’s lacking is the articulated screen and built-in flash. What I like is the Art Filter mode which you can select effects like Pop Art, Soft Focus, Pale & Light Color, Light Tone, Grainy Film or Pin Hole to capture great arty images. It makes image capturing a lot more fun.

I think compact interchangeable lens camera is the way to go. You get the compactness of a digicam and the responsiveness of a DSLR. The price may be prohibitive since a compact digicam costs half the price, and the E-P1 is priced not any lower than the lowest-end DSLR. So for now, such format camera will be a companion for the serious photographers and early adopters.

Quick specs:
– 12.3 megapixels Live MOS sensor
– 3″ LCD screen
– HD (720p) video recording
– 3 fps


  1. Are you gonna get one for yourself? Very usable pics up to ISO 3200.
    The 17mm pancake lens is a real gem.
    How's the responsiveness of the camera? Any shutter lag?

  2. Priced pretty much up against the EOS 500D, but according to DP Review the internals of the E-P1 are a tweaked version of the E-620.

    Oh, and it shoots 720P HD videos as well – not too bad in good light. The Panasonic GH1 that's upcoming is gonna cost about S$2,000.

    Olympus themselves are using the acronym 'MFTS'. I've also heard the term 'step up camera' used to denote the class – for users who want something better than a compact camera but without the bulk of a DSLR

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