Considering E-PM1 as second body/stop gap

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by marko, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    Hi All,

    Enjoying the forum and decided to register to get everyones thoughts. Sorry for the longish post.

    I have a Panasonic GF1 the Pany 20mm pancake and the Olympus 45mm, it's been a good little setup but the GF1 is starting to get a little long in the tooth. I've always enjoyed Olympus JPG "look" and almost went with the EP1 over the GF1 but finally settled on the GF1 (mostly due to the faster AF).

    I've been considering a new camera (I considered NEX for a bit, played with one in the Crutchfield outlet store near where I live, just didn't like the feel of it. The lens felt cheap AND HUGE honestly, and put me off of the whole system.)

    I also looked at the E-P3, it seems very nice, but what I really want is a Pen Pro pro or something like the GF1/GX1 but with a built in viewfinder, which sadly does not exist yet. Also with the E-P3 seems like I might be paying a premium for a sensor that is getting a little old.

    Enter the E-PM1. While lacking in features it seems like a fun little camera that I can use my existing two lenses on (plus pick up a kit zoom!). I realize it has the same older sensor from the E-P3, but with the Mini I am paying much less for it. Additionally, it seems from what I read it's going to give me a little better low light performance than my GF1 (which is terrible in that regard).

    I am not really a technical shooter or a pixel peeper. I mostly just shoot in A priority and love taking snapshots of life and my family. The framing and content of the shot are more important to me than perfect sharpness, etc. I think thats why I almost enjoy not carrying a huge DSLR anymore, it lowers my expectation of a PERFECT shot every time. E-PM1 seems like it would be fun because it's small and I will end up taking it more places with me.

    Here are some of my photos: Flickr: bpmarkowitz's Photostream

    So, I'm considering E-PM1 as a new VERY well priced camera, and a stop gap for a few years until either Oly or Panasonic put out a body I feel like I can really throw some money at. Love to get some thoughts!
     
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Have you tried/held an EPM1? I think for the price its a fantastic camera, but you need to either buy it used, so you don't lose a lot of money, try it in a store, or buy it from someone place with a good return policy. The ergonomics and limitations will not fit everyone, but it's a great buy and a very capable camera.

    The GX1 or G3 (with the EVF) are also good choices. There's not guarantee for a Pen Pro. It's more a light rumor (not even a serious rumor), so don't hang your hat too much on that, especially with the issues Oly is having financially. Get a good camera and start shooting!

    In terms of low light performance, a better lens than a kit lens will help better there. What lenses do you have?

    edit: One of your pics on your flickr stream seems to indicate you have the 20/1.7. If you do have that, what's the issue for you in low light? High ISO or focusing? The newer bodies do have better high ISO jpg processing and better AF in low light. The EPM1, IMO, has the best indoor white balance in jpg that I've seen, and I find the jpg rendering very pleasing. So much so that I haven't shot RAW on that camera in a month (while I still shoot RAW on my EPL2).
     
  3. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    I am going to a best buy today to try one out

    I have the Panasonic 20mm and the Olympus 45mm primes
     
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    And the 45? Good lenses. Yes, you might benefit from a new body. The EPM1 (or EP3, which I find too expensive) are both rendering good jpgs, if that's what you prefer to shoot.

    Ask the best buy guy if he'll take the camera out of the security wrap, or if you could try to hold one from out of the box. That security brick gives the camera a different hold. I tried one at Best Buy, but they didn't have any, so I came home and ordered one from the internet. It was a different hold at home than at BB. Even if you can't hold it outside the security brick, at least have a play with the menus and buttons, and also test the AF and burst speed. The thing is FAST.

    Remember the IBIS issue on the EPM1, though as a GF1 owner, maybe that doesn't matter to you as much.
     
  5. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    Yeah, I have the 20/1.7 and the 45/1.8. The issue is the ISO.

    Inside in the evenings with a few lights on, things just get a little noisy.
     
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    IMO (having written the top page EPM1 review, I guess my opinion's not exactly new here) the EPM1 is the best buy for MFT right now for price, performance, jpgs and portability (and looks, too). But you've got to be comfortable with the small body and lack of buttons.

    Good luck!
     
  7. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    Your review was actually what put this camera on my radar (had previously been scheming some way to get an e-p3).

    It really does seem like a great value and also a good fit for my style of shooting.
     
  8. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    I really do prefer shooting jpg. I have and do shoot raw sometimes but I just honestly Can't justify the extra time in the workflow with my current lifestyle and the style of shooting I do.

    The ibis issues are a little concerning. Ibis has always been one of the reasons I have coveted an Olympus over the life of my GF1. I'm hoping with a little more ISO range and these fast lenses I will be ok. Also seems from what I read it does work sometimes - and maybe we can get a firmware fix.
     
  9. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    Is the body metal or plastic? I wish the black body came with the silver kit zoom.
     
  10. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Epm1 body is metal.

    I got the white which comes with the silver kit. I'll be selling that at some point, and others have them for sale from time to time.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I second the idea of going and trying one out. I think one of the biggest mistakes we all make is buying something without handling one first. Of course given that the internet is the best (and sometimes only) source for buying some of these cameras it understandable (it's a 100 mile drive for me to get to stores that would stock an E-P3 for instance).

    A few moths back I bought a GF2 form another board member. It was a very cool little camera, had terrific IQ and a great feature set. It sat unused because I found it uncomfortable to use. It wasn't until I picked up an E-P1 that it dawned on me that it was because it was too small for my hands and the controls were arranged in such a way it interfered with the way I gripped the camera. It's not the cameras fault, it was designed to be compact and they did a great job with it it was just not something suitable for me.
     
  12. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    Well I played with the epm1 at a best buy. Didn't pull the trigger today but I think it's going to be a purchase. They even let me unhook it and hold it without the security block. Just have to decide on the color now :)

    The on screen menu seemed really intuitive. Quickly put it in PASM mode. Overall shooting and everything seemed much snappier than my Gf1. Pushed the ISO some just messing around. Certainly blows the gf1 Away in that capability.

    If I can put these good prime lenses on this camera that is essentially an E-p3 with less buttons and much lower cost, seems like a fun combo.

    Played with the NEX cameras again. They are certainly compelling little gadgets. I've just been burned by Sony in the past, so I will always be careful of them. Also I already have invested in some nice m4/3 lenses and My wife is currently learning to shoot on a G2 we got a good deal on. Looks like we are going to be on the m4/3 bandwagon for a while.
     
  13. marko

    marko Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Dec 10, 2011
    For the reviewer with the white E-PM1, how is that working out for you? Is the body painted metal or is it plastic/polycarbonate? Does it seem durable?

    I've only every had black cameras, but the white does look sharp. I especially like how it pairs nicely with the black and the newer silver lenses.

    If anyone else had any input, please chime in!

    Ordering tonight, just need to decide on the color!
     
  14. steve16823

    steve16823 Mu-43 Regular

    181
    Sep 26, 2011
    Brookfield, IL
    I don't have an E-PM1 but I have a white E-PL2 (which is half-metal, I believe) and the finish seems to be as nice as the white finish on my metal-bodied Stylus 410 which has been used and abused for years and the finish still looks pretty good. I guess you'd call it painted metal but it's pretty tough stuff.

    I'm thinking about trading the E-PL2 for the E-PM1 and I'll definitely go white if given the choice.