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Considering a PEN to compliment my GH2/G3

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Dave in Wales, Apr 27, 2012.

  1. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I know absolutely nothing about PENS and was thinking of venturing into the Oly camp for a play.

    What do we recommend, bearing in mind excellent IQ/value for money, I never use video.

    BTW....Not a OM-D
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    Do you care about AF performance?
  3. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Olympus PL1 is the best IQ value.

    EP2 is the best usability value.

    EPM1 is probably the best overall value.
  4. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    AF speed no, AF accuracy yes.
  5. Justified_Sinner

    Justified_Sinner Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2010
    Scotland, UK
    Dauvit Alexander
    My partner has a PEN and I have a G1: I found the menus on the PEN infuriating and confusing whereas with the G1, I found it all to be very straightforward.
    Not saying this to put you off - it is a fantastic camera - but it will be a steep learning curve!
  6. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    Thanks for that...!
  7. MexicoMik

    MexicoMik Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2012
    I love my EP3 - most fun camera I have used since my Leica M6 film days but it took me a month of fooling with menus to get it set up the way I want it. I'm not suggesting an EP3 because I don't know anything about the other pens but if they have that in common, the menu thing can be a little frustrating initially. But I totally shelved my Nikon D7000/lenses and only shoot with my EP3 now.

    I still have occasional "Hmm, why did it do that?" moments but I'm comfortable enough now with the menu/settings to figure out what happened and why.
  8. The main reason why the Pens have developed this reputation for having a complex menu structure is because there is so much in there to customise. I find that it is something where I will go in there once to set the camera up how I like it, and then do everything else from the Super Control Panel from thereafter.
  9. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    The E-P3 is undoubtably the best Pen to date on every level, but it is expensive. To test the water and see if you like the concept I'd recommend a used E-PL1, it's a very capable camera and dirt cheap so you won't lose if you pass it on. It's not as stylish and doesn't handle as slickly or quickly as other Pens but everything you need is there.
  10. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If AF performance is not too big of a concern, I think the E-PL1 is the best value at this time. I've seen them go for less than some P&S cameras. Of course, moving up... to the E-PL2, E-P3 etc.. is going bring nicer features but that's not what this thread is about.

    Yes.. menus blah.
    No dials.
    Back LCD is lesser than new models
    AF is slow. IMO, useless in continuous AF and tracking.

    Good IQ
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I'd say either an E-PM1 or an E-PL2. The E-PM1 is usually less expensive, but some find the body a little small. The E-PL2 offers identical IQ in a larger body, but has slightly slower AF.

    I'd avoid the E-PL1 due to the kit lens (very slow AF) and the slightly wonky controls. While the E-PL1 does have marginally better IQ than the others, it has significantly worse usability.

  12. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Depends what you use it for. Static subjects, landscapes, buildings etc are no problem and the OP has already got a GH2 and G3 for action shots. If he just wants to dip his toe in the water and see what the Pen concept is like a used E-PL1 is the most cost effective option. If he likes it and wants to upgrade to a more advanced Pen he'll get his money back on resale.
  13. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Perhaps it's different in the UK but here a refurb E-PL1 kit is ~$250 and an E-PM1 kit is ~$330. That's an $80 difference and IMO even for landscapes, the better LCD, controls and AF are helpful.

  14. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    I think it's a bit different here, used E-PM1's seem a bit thin on the ground. Looking at new prices from typical dealers the E-PM1 sells for around £370 and the few remaining new E-PL1's for around £250 - that's £120 difference.

    As I say, used E-PM1's seem scarce, but one went on ebay recently for £227 compared to an average of £170 for E-PL1's, nearly £60 difference. I recently bought my used E-PL1 body only for £150.

    It's up to Dave to decide how much he wants to spend, whether to buy new or secondhand and whether to buy with kit lens or body only and use it with his existing Panny kit lens.

    I do agree that the E-PM1 is a better camera if he doesn't mind paying the extra.
  15. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Argos of all places, have the E-PL1 + kit lens for £250
    Buy Olympus E-PL1 12MP Compact System Camera with 14-42mm lens at Argos.co.uk - Your Online Shop for Compact system digital cameras.

    Otherwise ebay sometimes has new E-PL1 bodies for £150 or so.

    E-PM1 body only is £250 at SRS or £356 ish with 14-42 II at lots of places (but with £50 Olympus cashback it works out at £306). You could probably sell the 14-42 II unused for £80 to £100 making the E-PM1 body only £200 to £226.

    Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 Black Digital Camera - SALE! - From £249.00 - SRS Microsystems

    Olympus E-PM1 Compact System Camera - Black: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

    If you were after any Olympus lenses the current cashback offers means buying an E-PM1 kit entitles you to claim cashback on a lens too, eg £70 cashback on the 45mm


    The E-PM1/E-PL3 £50 cashback ends on Monday though (unless they extend it again).
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