Hands on: Olympus Pen E-P1 review

It's not often that you see a piece of cutting-edge technology take the guise of a gadget that was around 50 years ago, but that is exactly what we have with the Olympus Pen E-P1.

Designed to emulate the look and feel of the Pen series of cameras first released by Olympus in 1959, the E-P1 is stunning proof that the Micro FourThirds format has changed (near) SLR photography for the good forever.

Straight out of the box, the camera impresses. The brilliantly constructed chassis has the feel and look of a Pen; compact yet sturdy, light yet solid in the hand.

The obvious difference is that unlike the original fixed-lens Pen cameras, the E-P1 makes use of interchangeable lenses, more on which we will mention later.

Olympus 1

RETRO COOL: The E-P1 takes its look for the Pen cameras of the Sixties

The controls on the camera's body are kept to a minimum and don't jump out at you on first glance. The most striking is the sunken Mode dial, which can only be controlled by an old-school click-wheel on the back of the camera.

As it's so close to the top lip of the LCD screen, this can take a while to master, sometimes slipping away from your thumb before you have clicked to the right setting. A bit of force and more dextrous finger-play and you'll soon get the hang of it.

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, Shortlist.com at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.