Olympus E-P1 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 24, 2019
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Olympus SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Olympus E-P1 has a single SD memory card slot that can not use UHS-I. It can use SD memory cards up to 32GB in storage capacity. Trying to use a memory card that is 64GB or larger can result in an error or reduce the performance of the E-P1's use.

If you want to get the best performance when using the camera in continuous shooting mode or recording video get a Class 10 card. For transferring files a UHS-I card will be significantly faster when used in a compatible card reader.

This is my recommendation for the best SD memory card for the Olympus E-P1:

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC

  • Best value for the money.
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.
  • UHS speed Class 3 (U3) and UHS video speed Class 30 (V30).

64GB or larger cards are not compatible with the camera.

Best SD Cards

Since the launch of the Olympus E-P1, SD card prices have gone down and capacities have become substantially larger. The difference in price between the fastest SD card and a mediocre option is astonishingly small. Price is more closely related to storage capacity, with the bigger cards having a higher price.

Investing in the cards with the largest capacity is worth it if you're going to capture a huge amount of RAW files for action, wildlife, sports or event photography. Another contributing factor could be if you plan to replace your camera or use the SD memory card in a different device.

In my opinion, the SanDisk Extreme Pro line of sd cards are usually the best choice for most circumstances. They are very fast cards which means they have the best shot of working in future digital cameras or devices that also use SD memory cards.

Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance are other cards that I have also had good exeriences with. I have not had pictures or data become inaccessible or unrecoverable on these cards. If that's a situation that did take place, all of them have image recovery software.

When I have encountered problems it has been with generic SD cards. Being a bundled accessory or a low price are the main attractions. However, this is also the most common type of card to have the wrong product description.

A label that says Class 10 speed is very easy to put on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is destined to be an error message or corrupted images if the card's write speed doesn't meet the camera's requirements.

Storage size controls a large portion of the price. You'll be better off by purchasing a card with a smaller capacity to reduce cost rather than using a cheaper brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will influence your satisfaction with the Olympus E-P1.

Recommended SD Cards

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB SDHC UHS-I

  • Best value for the money.
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.
  • UHS speed Class 3 (U3) and UHS video speed Class 30 (V30).
SanDisk Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32GB SDHC UHS-I

  • Quick transfer read speeds up to 90MB/s.
  • Write speeds are not capable of recording 4k video.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.
Lexar 633x 23GB UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

Lexar Professional 633X 32GB SDHC UHS-I

  • High-speed, Class 10 performance.
  • UHS-I technology for a read transfer speed up to 633x (95MB/s).
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow.

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four types of memory cards. These cover all card formats camera manufacturers make use of in all but the most recent professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN reader connects over USB 3.0. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Olympus E-P1 is capable of in USB transfer mode.

There are many positive customer reviews for the UGREEN reader, which I agree with. I think it is a good product because it has been compatible all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have plugged it into.

The cable prevents card slots from interfering with other accessories or devices that are plugged into another USB or adjacent port.

When I searched for a smaller card reader that would be used while traveling, I had to return a couple of orders. I came across the most frequently found problem mentioned in customer reviews, the card readers did not work with my computer.

The ugreen reader can be used with the following cards:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Olympus E-P1 SD Card Compatibility

Only SD and SDHC cards can be used by the Olympus E-P1. For best performance, ensure your camera has the most up to date firmware installed.

SDXC or SDUC cards can't be used with the E-P1.

You should know the 4 different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards that can be bought. They are divided by storage size.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.

Image Capacity

Olympus SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality options on the Olympus E-P1 will control the number of image files that can be stored at once. Higher image quality options will produce bigger image sizes.

In reality, the controlling part to the number of images you can take will be your camera batteries. Take into account that, any time the camera is on, even if you're just scrolling through menu options or using the live view, that will still reduce the battery life.

In low light situations, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be handy. Shutter speeds won't be fast enough without using the flash to prevent motion blur. Using the built-in flash is going to fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries. These environments are when it is good to have at least a couple of Olympus BLN-1 rechargeable batteries for the Olympus E-P1.

The following is an approximation of the number of high-quality JPG images you should be able to store on a memory card for the given storage size:

  • 4GB - 1,160 images
  • 8GB - 2,320 images
  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD memory card is determined by the sequential read and write speeds. SD card speed is very important for continuous shooting and video.

Slows SD cards can cause a decrease in the number of continuous images the Olympus E-P1 can take. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write data to the memory card quickly enough.

When shooting video, a slow SD card can cause an abrupt end to shooting. The video file could also be corrupted. If you intend to capture video, it is critical the SD card you use meets the minimum requirements of the camera.

Read speed is important for file transfers to a computer. If you have cards that are full, a card with a fast read speed will cut down on the amount of time it takes the transfer to complete.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of a memory card is related to the sustained write speed. Cards that have a write speed of at least 10MB/s are rated as Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every name brand memory card that you can purchase will have a Class 10 rating. To determine the class rating of a memory card, try to find a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is built into SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. The UHS bus makes it possible to provide a way to increase file transfer rates.

There are 3 separate versions. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can determine the rating of an SD card by checking the label. The presence of a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label, that is going to be the Rating of your SD memory card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Related Cameras

Taking the specifics into consideration, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro is the best Olympus E-P1 memory card. It also has great compatibility with other cameras.

Here are a few more posts on digital cameras similar to the E-P1:

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