The Olympus PEN E-PL1 is the perfect compromise between a full-featured DLSR and a compact point-and-shoot. What makes the E-PL1 great for learning is its Live Guide, which takes manual settings and explains them in plain English. For example, to help a user learn how aperture and depth of field work, it has a Blur Background setting. When the blur amount is increased, the camera automatically opens the aperture wider for a shallow depth of field. The E-PL1 also offers an Art mode that allows for some fun in-camera editing, such as filters and effects. This camera is compact, reasonably priced, and offers the high image quality and manual settings of a higher-end camera.