Dipping My Toe in the Oly Waters

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by crsnydertx, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    From the beginning of my experiment with Micro Four Thirds, I've been a Panny guy and happy with my GF1 and G2 (still not completely satisfied with my G3, but that's another story).

    But I've noticed here and elsewhere that while Panny users may be satisfied, Oly people are downright passionate. There must be something special that I'm missing about the PENs, I've thought. It's somewhat analogous to PC vs. Mac feelings, I'm thinking.

    So....I took advantage of an opportunity to acquire a refurb E-PL2 with 14-42 II kit kens to become my business travel, JPEG and art filter camera. Many reviews tout the E-PL2 as the pick of the litter, so I figured it would be a good choice to make the comparison without mortgaging the farm...:smile:

    It was delivered this afternoon and I've had little time to play. Had to look up how to close the lens and the menus are very different. It's a little larger and heavier than I expected, but it feels really good and solid in my hands. And the options are numerous and fascinating!

    So....I'm looking forward to putting it through its paces and seeing if I can develop that Oly passion!
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  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Heh, good luck. :) I think you got a good pick of bodies. I love my Olympus, but then I've also been an Olympus user from the Four-Thirds system as well, which Panasonic didn't play in for long.
  3. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I reckon that if you can, it's good to keep an open mind and explore other approaches. My first M4/3 was a Panasonic, and I then grabbed an EP2. It was well built, delivered better straight jpegs and was a very nice camera overall. But it felt very unfinished, like the creators became bored about 80% of the way through the project. Some very small, but significant details in the controls and UI made it less efficient, and less effective than the Panasonic. It just was not nearly as much fun. In some ways I liked it more, but it wasn't quite there...

    The EP3 has covered most of the weaknesses that I felt were present in the 2, and I will happily switch brands when I need to upgrade. When it comes to my photo gear I am loyal to my needs, not so much to brands...
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Real Name:
    oh those Oly menus are horrible and the delay between the time you release the shutter and you see the result (I'm speaking of the E-P1 so maybe this doesn't apply for you) is positively 1990s. Still, the Oly has some magic. I honestly don't know what it is, but I've bought and sold a few and I keep coming back. If they ever learn how to put that unquantifiable Oly magic into the Panasonic bodies.....look out. Oh yeah, and make it Look like an Oly, too.
  5. johnny9fingers

    johnny9fingers Mu-43 Veteran

    Come on in, the waters fine. :biggrin:
    I've shot with the E-PL1, E-P2, E-PL2, Pany GH1, and have come back to Oly as my E-P3 will arrive tomorrow. I've always done quite a bit of research so no big surprises or disappointments when I get a new camera. One thing research will never prepare you for is the OOC jpegs you can get, simply beautiful....
    Enjoy the E-PL2, it's a fine camera....
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I would have upgraded from my EP1 to EPL2, except about the time I was going to pull the trigger, the EP3 rumors hit. So, I moved to an EP3, but that EPL2 sure is sweet. I liked it's feel and look, and the prices are good, too!

    One thing I like about the Oly is that there is always something else you can learn on it (this comes from the menus being confusing, lol). It's so highly customizable.

    I don't know what it is about the Olys, but if I had to take a guess I think it has to do with efficiency vs. emotion.

    If you are a highly efficient person, who wants results quickly and cleanly, ready when delivered, then maybe the Oly isn't it. Should look more to a Panny or a NEX.

    If you are more of an emotive person, particular someone who finds it a challenge to connect with their slightly flawed camera, and coax wonderful things from it, then the Oly is your piece. That's how I feel about it anyway. YMMV.
  7. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 4, 2010
    Heh - I sometimes think its completely irrational - it does seem like Panasonic are pushing the technical envelope further than Olympus who seem to be resting on their laurels a bit.

    Still, the 12mm f2 is a work of genius - lets hope they continue to apply themselves.

    <Wanders off stroking the metallic curves of my E-P1 . . .>
  8. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Welcome, Chuck. I have been an Oly shooter since my film days, and when I first considered :43:, I almost bought the G1 to start, but the Oly loyalty got the better of me. I did own a G2 for 2 weeks, and liked it a lot, but returned it because ---to your point---there was no passion (loads of left brain admiration, though). That said, I do love the Panny lenses, the 14 2.5 and the 20 1.7, both of which I've just recently acquired.

    Enjoy your PL2!
  9. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    So interesting. That's how I felt about my GF1 vs the EP2. The GF1 allowed me to craft my photographs, to focus on the photography, whereas the EP2 was just clumsy. Having said that, I have not handled another Pana that feels and works like the GF1. I think the G3, for example, is a well designed camera capable of great stuff. But I didn't like it when I played with it. And it may not be the most logical thing, but I think it's essential to really like your camera.
  10. avidone

    avidone Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 24, 2011
    Rome, Italy
    since I have just recently gone back to the world of "serious" cameras after a 25 year or so absence, I do not want to do a lot of PP

    it was the OOC jpg examples that caught me on Oly, then I found a good deal on refurb E-PL1

    I like some of the things I read about features and performance on the Panasonic cameras, and have started thinking about maybe a later g1 purchase as a 2nd camera

    but for sure the Olympus OOC pics have grabbed me emotionally; especially using the "vivid" colour setting, which is just enough enhancement to bring me back to the days of my old Pentax MX and Fujicolor film
  11. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    After using my e-p1 almost daily for a year, and meanwhile testing some more supposedly "advanced" cameras, my opinion is that Oly's magic is for a large part the product of its flaws combined with superior jpg "vibrance" out of camera. There's an intense satisfaction in nailing exactly the image you imagined with the e-p1, because the results are very good and at the same time, there's always that little fight you have to wrestle with the camera to win the upper hand : effort and gratification goes hand in hand to produce that warm feeling of being "a photographer" instead of a mere push-button operator.

    The fact the e-p1 is a bit slower than other cameras to operate forces a more thoughtful process on the photographer's mind. You really need to foresee the result before depressing the shutter or you end up missing the picture. But once you bind to that more leisurely pace, the rewards are intensely gratifying.

  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Having recently gone in the other direction (adding a Panny GH1 to accompany my existing Oly E-P1), the two cameras are obviously quite different in looks, feel and operation, but not so much that they can't be operated side-by-side. I don't care so much about OOC results since I enjoy the (mostly RAW, and all RAW with the Panny) processing as much as taking the image in the first place.

    The Oly is the sentimental favourite. Beautiful camera. Using it takes a more considered approach which I think along with using manual lenses has helped me to think a bit more before I press the shutter. The GH1 on the other hand is all clinical and efficient; 99% of the DSLR replacement that I hoped it would be.

    The cross-brand combination suits me just fine.
  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    LOL! Well, it is always so subjective! Though the GF1 was closest in relationship to the pen series, it seems to me. Not sure why Panny moved away from that.
  14. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    Oly's camera's have never really lived up to the standard of their lenses, but they still have that undefinable something that keeps bringing me back to them.... the E-PL2 has to be the best value around at the moment.

    If you've used Oly before the menu's aren't too bad - if you haven't, trying to learn them and remember where things are is half the fun!
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I never got the problem with the Oly menus. I've never had ANY problem with them. When I got my EP3 a few weeks ago, I ran through all of them, set a bunch of buttons and wheels and whatnot, saw where everything was, and haven't had a moment's problem with them since. Never had a problem with my EP2 either. I've had Panasonics also (GF1, GH2, LX5) and I never had any problem with them either. I slightly prefer the thumbwheel/dial combo on the EP1, 2, and 3 to the clickable Pany wheel, but only slightly. And I guess I slightly prefer the Pany clickable wheel to the single dial on the EPL3, but I'll see how much that bothers me, if at all.

    As for the AF and shot to shot speed, I think EVERY Oly owner acknowledged that as an issue with all of the Olys up to the EPL2, which improved it somewhat. Unless you like the more deliberative approach it forced you to take. I figure I can always take that approach if the camera's fast, but I can't take the "push button operator" approach that I also sometimes like to use if the camera is slow. So, all other things being equal, I'd prefer fast. Thb has taken the next step (beyond the EPL2) and has fully equalled, if not slightly surpassed, the new Pany models. And the EPL3 and EPM1 are said to also, but I haven't handled one yet to verify. Rather than taking the Oly magic and putting it in a Panasonic body (not that there's anything wrong with the Pany bodies on their own - I just don't like those darn viewfinders sticking up and out), Oly just took all of the Pany speed and stuck it in an Oly body with the rest of the magic intact.

  16. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Just for the record : your class of SDHC card changes that dramatically - I find with my old class 4, my EP1 gets painfully slow, but things improve radically with class 6 and above.
  17. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    But the write times were the least of the speed issues. The class of SD card could affect that, but not AF time, shutter lag, and blackout time - well maybe some of the blackout time, but there was still a lot.

  18. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Real Name:
    I think part of the blackout time is the time it takes for the shutter to be closed and for the processor to offload the data. I know the E-P1 is horrible about the blackout time.
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I think that in part, this is due to Olympus' rich history in photography that goes back decades. :smile:

    Whereas Panasonic is an electronics company that decided to make cameras. :wink:
  20. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Real Name:
    Daniele Frizzi
    Hey, you've got the same cameras combo I have.

    I've bought them in reverse order (I wanted the evf for the epl2 and a second battery... I almost got a free camera having bought the G2 instead :smile: )

    I think I'm going to collect bodies and lenses to never switch them again :rofl: