Any tips for a new EP-1 owner?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by JohnF, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    Much to my surprise, I just won an auction for an Olympus-refurbished EP1 with the standard kit zoom for less than €330 (with 2 year guarantee!) on eBay from Limal in Germany. :) I've bought an E330 and one of the bridge cameras from them in the past (for my daughters) and they've been a good dealer.

    Been a long-time OM/E510/E30 user and have a slew of legacy lenses, but I'm also heading out for a 24 days trip to the US next week. I'll be traveling with all three cameras and am really looking forward to the EP-1 as the camera to use when walking around with the family sight-seeing, rather than the E30.

    Any tips anyone can give me? I may see if I can find some legacy glass (Leica M, Pen FT) whilst in the US, but this was a sudden decision to pick this up. I've got a Hoodman for the screen, but may see if I can pick up the EV finder as well.

    Anything I should know about the lens? Anything about what kind of SD cards? I have some cards that should be okay, I think (4GB Toshiba class 2 and 4GB Transcend class 6): I guess the Class 6 will be reserved for movies and the class 2 cards for JPG/RAW?

    I've been looking at an m4/3 camera for quite some time: this was an opportunity that was extremely hard to turn down (or, more exactly, the auction price was still very low and I sniped at the last moment). While I would have preferred the EP2, I couldn't justify it at all...yet. :)

    Pretty pleased right now and looking forward to the new kit! :)

    JohnF
     
  2. Mrs T

    Mrs T Mu-43 Rookie

    14
    May 17, 2010
    South Glos
    Hi JohnF,

    Two things that I have found very useful on mine. Firstly I always have the histogram up when I'm composing a shot as I find that helpful, especially in bright sunlight when it's harder to see the screen. Secondly I have the OK button set up to display the Super Control Panel for quick changing of settings.

    I use Sandisk Extreme III Class 6 SD cards.

    One other thing I found a couple of weeks ago when I was on holiday, was that when using the fn button for face detect, it didn't always cancel multi point focusing when I turned it off. It took me a while to work out why it wasn't focusing where I wanted!

    I hope you have fun with the E-P1 and enjoy it. I love mine.

    Amanda
     
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  3. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    Thanks for the tips! I just bought an OM->m4/3 adapter to use my ancient 50mm f1.4 lens for street and evening photography. I also have the 180 f2.8, but I think I will leave that one off... :)

    JohnF
     
  4. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    the evf doesn't work with the e-p1 :-( so dont waste your money

    would seriously consider either of the small wide pancakes, the oly 17mm or the pana 20mm - they make a fun combo.

    Also I would take only one of your other bodies for your big lenses - think you will find yourself using the e-p1 a lot :)

    K
     
  5. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    <slaps forehead>: duh on the EV. Of course.

    Got the kit today: wow.

    Double wow.

    Gonna take a bit getting used to, but this came directly out of the camera (monochrome setting, low key) at work.

    [​IMG]

    :) Sweet, very sweet. Turned out to be simply missing the manual, everything else brand spanking new.

    Thanks again for the tips...

    JohnF
     
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  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    John, good for you - nice photo and I love the power of that design on the pen. Very impressive use of the monochrome in camera setting!

    I'm betting you might be able to order a manual from Olympus, if not certainly read it online and print out some of it.

    Oops, Don and I must both have great minds because we posted at the same time.:biggrin:
     
  8. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    Already got the manual. :) Downloaded it and read it through while waiting for the battery to load. Still digesting bits of it...:)

    JohnF
     
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  9. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    Short update:

    Mind-boggling good. Seriously.

    Was able to pick up a demo 17 f2.8 at Dodd Camera in Cleveland for $200, the box was open and it was in perfect condition (wasn't at the mother store, but at one of the smaller ones, the mother store doesn't have them!). Seriously nice lens, makes the EP1 eminently pocketable (for a certain set of pockets).

    I was also able to pick up the Lumix 4/3-->m4/3 adapter for a good price at B+H, as well as a B+W 40.5mm filter to replace the POS filter I got for $13 elsewhere. Gotta have a good multi-coated filter for the kit lens for high-contrast and nighttime work, otherwise the reflections are deadly.

    The greatest surprise was the sheer quality of the video, as well as the excellent response time of the monitor. I have a Hoodman viewer and that saw use in bright sunlight, but mostly just to see how it worked (very well) rather than necessity.

    I've used it now for ca 2000 images and around 1 hour of video. All told: 45 GB. Yikes! Came back with 74 GB total imagery, so you can see how well it was used. :) I had two external 2.5" drives with me (500GB/1TB) and notebook with me for archiving, the 500GB was in with the luggage and the 1TB in the computer case...

    I've also tried it with the 50 f2 and 12-60 f/3 lenses: while handling is a tad strange (especially with the 12-60, no single-hand fotos there!) the autofocus worked excellently and there were minimal hunting problems except in very low contrast situations. Haven't tried it with the 70-300 (yet), but had a 50mm f1.4 OM lens and adapter with me, but had no call to use it.

    Weakness: battery. Seriously underpowered, I needed to recharge each and every day to ensure that the camera was always available. The camera really, really needs the BM1 rather than the BL1, but extra batteries are on the shopping list. Got ca 450 jpgs or around 1 hour of video (or mixture thereof) per battery load (I get 700 images on the E30 with the BM1).

    You do, however, need to have a really good class 6 or above SD card for video: I was using an inexpensive class 6 card and it couldn't keep up. I added a 16 GB Sandisk and the camera/card combo is perfect.

    It seems that Olympus has reduced the price of the EP1+14-42 (at least in Germany) to €500 or so, that makes mine a tad less of a bargain, but hey, I wouldn't have gotten it even at that price.

    Seriously pleased new EP-1 owner. :)

    JohnF
     
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  10. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    glad to hear you are liking the camera... my only comment and dont take this a criticism... but I have shot a 3 minute continous video without a problem... but that was a unusual situation... a walk through of my new apartment... if you are shooting continuously longer than that then you are heading for a very boring video

    K
     
  11. julienrl

    julienrl Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jul 28, 2010
    Ottawa, Ontario
    The class of the card is less important than its actual speed. I have a class 4 32GB lexar platinum II, it writes at 10.7MBps; the video is under 40mbps (equivalents to under 5MBps), any camera with over 33x will do. one x is 150KB (kilobytes not kilobits).

    The fastest speed cards will actually make their biggest difference in burst mode. My Lexar Pro does 20MBps and I can burst for 20 pics non stop and then under 1 second pause for ever 3 picture burst that follows. my 10 MBps (platinum II) card stalls way more after the buffer fills, but I can still get a goo 15 pics in my burst.
     
  12. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    183
    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    Hi -

    There's a difference between HDR and panoramas (and yes, you can combine the two...).

    HDR is multiple pictures of the same object, varying exposure to be blended together at a later time in order to extend the dynamic range of the photo beyond the usual dynamic range that the camera is capable of. Olympus makes it easy to take three pictures, varying exposure by a full f-stop.

    For panoramas, I use a robotic tripod head called the Gigapan Epic 100, taking as many as 700 pictures to be stitched together on the computer.

    I use the Olympus E510 and a telephoto lens mounted on the Epic 100 head, which is in turn mounted on a medium-duty Gitzo Reporter tripod (don't know the model number) with a Manfrotto three-way head for getting everything centered and in balance. I usually use either the 40-150 kit lens, the 70-300 zoom or, preferably, a Leica APO 180 f3.4 lens via adapter. I take several test shots to determine exposure, then set the robotic head to the field of view, the upper left hand corner of the panorama and then the lower right hand corner, and then let the unit do its thing. The camera is set for manual white balance, exposure and focusing: this is critical when stitching the photos together on the PC.

    I use the stitching software provided by Gigapan, as it is outstanding and very, very fast for very large panoramas. Occasionally I will pre-process in Lightroom based on the final result, but usually it's not necessary.

    Once the photo is stitched together, it is uploaded to gigapan: The GigaPan(SM) process allows users to upload, share, and explore brilliant gigapixel+ panoramas from around the globe. via the stitcher program. You can then view it online. Alternatively, you can export either as a RAW format (Adobe DNG) or as a TIFF file. Given the very large sizes - you can easily generate several gigapixels - you need a better computer than I have to do any additional processing.

    If you go to gigapan: The GigaPan(SM) process allows users to upload, share, and explore brilliant gigapixel+ panoramas from around the globe., do a search on the user "JohnF" to see some of my work.

    JohnF
     
  13. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    For bright sun try turning the liveview brightness level up to aboput 3/4. Found that tip here and it really helped me. I also had trouble tripping the shutter without moving the camera. So, I set the timed release to 2 seconds. Gives me time to restablize the camera before shutter fires. Not for action, but my keeper rate went up for everything else.

    After 50 years of cameras, I am finding this is the most useable camera I have ever owned. Not perfect, but I am very pleased with it after only a couple of months using it. But requires taking time to get aquainted.

    Enjoy!