Olympus “Pen” E-P1 Unboxed in the Philippines

The Olympus E-P1 now available in the Philippines
The Olympus E-P1 now available in the Philippines

The year 2009 has been looking good for Olympus since they launched the Olympus E-P1 last June 2009. I’ve been keeping close watch on the development of the Micro Four Thirds format and as of late it has been very promising in pushing the boundaries of design that other companies are already studying on how they could develop their own mirror-less interchangeable lens system just what like Olympus and Panasonic did.

The Olympus E-P1 vs Nokia N82 size comparison
The Olympus E-P1 vs Nokia N82 for size comparison

Even if the Olympus E-P1 was launched worldwide last July, it has only reached the Philippine shores recently. It was launched early this month of September and is now available at Camerahaus and next month on other camera stores as well. I’ve spoken to local Olympus Distributor here and they said that there are already high demand for the camera here that stocks is quickly depleting and it can be hard to source even in the global market but they’ll try to bring in more units soon.

In the meantime, I’m excited to actually test out this camera in the field as I will do in the next couple of weeks. Let’s see if this is the perfect travel camera I’m looking for. Right now all I can say is that it’s a good looking camera. The stainless steel metal finish is an eye-turner and definitely looks classy. I can’t really agree that it’s pocketable as I thought, maybe for large pockets. It’s a little heavier than I expected as well.

Olympus E-P1 with 17mm Pancake vs Olympus E-520 with 25mm Pancake
Olympus E-P1 with 17mm Pancake vs Olympus E-520 with 25mm Pancake

Let me first take note that this is not a DSLR since it doesn’t have a mirror box and it is also not a compact point-and-shoot since it has interchangeable lenses. Marketing would say that it’s simply a “Pen” but in reality, it’s a new breed of camera packing in the features of a DSLR in a compact design which is the aim of Micro Four Thirds. Now here are the key features:

  • 12.3 Megapixel Live MOS Sensor
  • Two new kit lenses (M. Zuiko 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 and 17mm F2.8 Pancake)
  • TruePic V image processor
  • 3.0″ LCD screen (fixed, 230k dot resolution)
  • HD movies (720p) with stereo sound
  • Linear PCM sound recording
  • 3.0 fps sequential shooting
  • Built-in IS with max. 4 EV steps efficiency
  • Optional Adapters for all ZUIKO DIGITAL & OM lenses
  • Newly developed GUI for easier operation via Live Control
  • Automatic recognition of common scenes possible with i-Auto
  • Dual control dials
  • Face Detection & Shadow Adjustment
  • Art Filters, multi-aspect ratios, multi exposure
  • In-camera raw conversion (including application of Art Filters)
  • Small & stylish design
Olympus E-P1 and E-520 Back panel and LCD
Olympus E-P1 and E-520 Back panel and LCD
Olympus E-P1 Legacy sinc 1959
Olympus E-P1 Legacy since 1959

Now we come to the price. Honestly, I find the local price a bit on the expensive side here in the Philippines as I got to see the prices in other Asian Countries which are considerably cheaper. But understand that they have to import this here with all the taxes and all. But the advantage of buying the camera here is that you get a local warranty and support.

Body only – P47,995
Body with 17mm Kit – P56,995
Body with Two Lens Kit (17mm Pancake and  14-42mm) – P64,995
*Each package comes with a 4gig SD Card free
**You can get the camera on 0% on 12 months installment

Olympus E-P1 top back side view
Olympus E-P1 top back side view

That’s it for now. I’ll do a series of post as I test the camera’s capabilities in real world use. The body firmware has been updated to Firmware 1.1 and I’m about to update the firmware for the lenses 17mm and 14-42mm lenses which according to some forums have reasonably improved Autofocus Speed by 30-40%. In the meantime, enjoy these photos as I do some size comparisons on how small this camera is and some detailed shots of the Olympus E-P1.

Olympus E-P1 Front Top Side View
Olympus E-P1 Front Top Side View

By Ferdz

Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.


  1. I get pleasure from, result in I found exactly what I used to be looking for. You’ve ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

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