$150 to spend: new epl1 or "slightly used" gf2

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by blb, May 26, 2012.

  1. blb

    blb Guest

    I saw a "slightly used" gf2 body on craigslist for $175 and just read Kirk Tuck's post pimping the $150 epl1 body through Amazon. I don't have the money, now, for the 20mm lens or a complete kit, but could scrape up the dough for either of these bodies. I have a pentax adapter and the 50mm and a vivitar 28mm from my K1000 days. Assuming I'd be "limited" to these lens for awhile, is thare a compelling argument for one of these bodies over the other?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Between the GF2 and the E-PL1 I'd probably go with the GF2. You won't see a significant difference in IQ but the GF2 has faster AF, MUCH better control layout and handling, HD video, higher resolution LCD and a surprisingly handy touch screen. About the biggest advantage the E-PL1 has is that the external EVF that you can use with it is of better quality than the available EVF for the GF2. Seeing as you're really on a budget I suspect that may not be an issue.
  3. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I'd go with the E-PL1 because I desire images that are bright, sharp and accurately yet vividly colorful straight out of the camera even with the standard and very inexpensive 14-42 kit lens. The E-PL1 delivers all that as you can see in this spur of the moment photo of a classic 1972 Toyota Celica I captured while waiting at a traffic light. Notice all the detail on the horizon of the photo that the E-PL1 manages to crisply resolve:
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Panasonic and Olympus can both produce beautiful color as OOC JPEGs. Olympus cameras come with it as the default settings and with the Panasonic you need to tweak the defaults to your liking (which is easy to do). These are all straight OOC JPEGs from the G2 (same sensor as the GF2). The E-PL1 and GF2 are both good cameras. I have had both and they offer different user experiences but you can't go wrong with either.

    An advantage the E-PL1 does have is that it has IBIS that will help stabilize even your MF lenses. Personally I have never found IBIS to be the must have feature but some folks really like it and and there is no denying that it DOES work.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/6897223578/" title="Finally by dixeyk, on Flickr">[​IMG]"1024" height="768" alt="Finally"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7009834807/" title="Pinkfall by dixeyk, on Flickr">[​IMG]"684" height="1024" alt="Pinkfall"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dixeyk/7134366471/" title="Romantic Dinner by dixeyk, on Flickr">[​IMG]"684" height="1024" alt="Romantic Dinner"></a>
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  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Get the EFL2.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    • Like Like x 2
  7. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hhahahahah I was looking for your reply Ned.We are so clear on EPL2.I would also advice EPL2 if budget allows otherwise get EPL1.

    EPL1 with 17 mm 2.8

    EPL1 with kit lens .ISO 800 handheld and shot by my 6 years old daughter
  8. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    If you take pictures of people then the E-PL1, no question. I think most of the m43 cameras can be tweaked to make flowers and such look nice (no offense intended dixeyk) but skin tones are far better handled by Olympus.
  9. blb

    blb Guest

    Thanks to all who've commented so far. Specifically, is manually focussing easier or more accurate on one over the other?
  10. kahren

    kahren Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 21, 2010
    i've had both e-pl1 and gf2, my vote goes to gf2
  11. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    I'd go with the EPL1 for the IBIS. I have the GF2 and EP1 and while the GF2 takes great pictures, I really do prefer the EP1 for legacy glass due to the IBIS.

    On the other hand, the GF2 plus the 14 is a sweet combo...

    I ordered one of the EPL1 bodies and will be giving my GF2 to my college-bound daughter with the Olympus kit lens.
  12. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    If it's going to be the EPL1, buy it directly from Cameta instead of via Amazon and you get free shipping, which saves $12.95.

    The EPL1 does have a dedicated magnify button, which you will need for manual focus. This can be tricky on days when the sun is glaring off the LCD, but is not impossible if you use a hat or something as a shade. And of course, it has IBIS.

    Staying on the cheaper path, if you can deal with a refurb/demo that still has a 1 year warranty, Cameta has those for $129.95 shipped.
    Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera Body (Black) - Factory Demo includes Full 1 Year Warranty
  13. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I recently took a business trip to China and could only take one camera body and lens. Of all my kit to choose from I decided on the E-PL1 and PL 20mm, and never regretted it once.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    This was taken with my GF2 and an OM50/1.4 legacy lens. I think Panasonic cameras have gotten a reputation as somehow being deficient IQ wise. I have had almost every PEN camera except the OMD. I started with the E-PL1 and once you tweak the image settings to to your liking there is almost no difference on the IQ between them and the corresponding PEN cameras. They are both terrific cameras. In all honesty I see the main differences between them being things like buttons, control layouts and features as opposed to IQ.

    Neither is a bad choice.
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  15. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Real Name:
    E-pm1 from cameta camera for $300 - sell the kit lens if you don't need/want to get the body for $200, otherwise E-pl1 is the way to go - IBIS is a must for manual lenses if you'll be using any.
  16. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Of the two, the GF2 is the better fit. If you're using manual lenses and won't be buying an EVF any time soon, you'll really want a good LCD to frame and focus with, and the GF2 one is significantly better.

    But I'd suggest waiting and keeping an eye out for a secondhand G1. They usually go for under $200, and the EVF will be invaluable for your lenses.

  17. tanngrisnir3

    tanngrisnir3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    I got the EPL1 a few months ago for my Canon 5d g/f as a backup camera (and so that I could justify getting more m4/3 lenses!) for her, at a super cheap price, but we found out while it was underway that there's no way for it to use a remote shutter release, so we searched around for one that would, and found a deal on a new EP2 for $220 (sending the EPL1 back)

    If you can afford the 70 dollar difference, it might be worth it.

    She's pretty happy w/it.

    Dogwood Blossom, Yosemite National Park by Robin Black Photography, on Flickr
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  18. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    I think if you are going to shoot legacy glass for a while, neither of these bodies will be a good fit. I would try to find a G2, much better handling for manual lenses. This is quite significant especially most legacy lenses with adapter will be much heavier than native lenses. Also the built in EVF on them are some of the best out there and EXTREMELY helpful in dialing in that fine focus.
  19. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    There's a pretty clear trend here; owners who place a priority of ergonomics prefer the GF2, or E-P2. Owners who want the brightest and sharpest jpeg pictures regardless of ergonomics prefer the E-PL1. The camera review sites show the E-PL1 produces superior image brightness, colors and clarity. So far, no GF2 owners have attempted to post side by side landscape jpeg images taken with a E-PL1 and GF2 (with same lens) to try and show us their GF2's can match the brightness, colors and clarity of an E-PL1. Heck, not even my expensive E-M5 can match my E-PL1 when put to that test.
  20. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't have an E-PL1 anymore, I traded it for an E-P1 and then bought the GF2. No way to do a comparison.

    FWIW, ergonomics of a camera is an important issue for some. Practically speaking there is very little difference in IQ between these cameras. I have tens of thousands of images and I'd be hard pressed to tell which was the E-PL1, E-P1, G2, GF2, E-P3 or E-PM1 without checking the EXIF data. Any IQ differences are quite small and nonexistent when I print them. The only real differences I see are with the GH2 files and even those are still not hugely different.

    I know the E-PL1 has quite a cult following and deservedly so, it offers a lot for the money but it's not for everyone and thing like the low resolution LCD or the much lower max shutter speed can be an issue for some.

    They're both terrific cameras each with their own strengths and weaknesses.