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E-P1, E-P2 and E-PL1 screens in bright (sun)light?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by vincechu, Mar 17, 2010.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu Mu-43 Regular

    Hi everyone,

    I'm very interested in buying one of the Olympus Pen's and tried out the E-P1 the other day. I would like to know if the Olympus pen's screens are useable and viewable in bright light or sunlight, my thinking being that if the E-P1's screen is usable in bright light or sunlight then maybe I won't need to pay more for a E-P2 or EVF in future.

    However the store I tried the E-P1 wasn't brightly lit and wouldn't let me try the E-P1 outside in the sun - probably afraid I'd run away ;-)

    So I've searched the internet for answers, but have got many different answers, some say yes it is useable whilst some say you'd be better off guessing what you're shooting.

    So I've decided it would be best to do a poll here :)  and any comments would be greatly appreciated,

    Thanks everyone,

  2. pete

    pete Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 26, 2010
    Phoenix, Az
    hey vince...I owned an ep1....sold it and bought the ep2.....if the sun is at your back....its not good! I had a rather hard time. you can still see but very dull screen. The ep2 eyepiece is wonderful....for those sunny days....hope this helps.....

    good luck

  3. klythawk

    klythawk Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2010
    Nottingham U.K.
    Hi Vince

    Most of these LCD screens are pretty useless in sunny weather, but i use the OVF with the E-P1/17mm & Pana 20mm and there is no problem. A friend at work bought the E-P2 yesterday and the EVF is stunning. I also found the matt black finish round the back gives a better thumb grip that the smoother paint finish on the white model, hope to get the E-P2 soon, mainly for the EVF. Good luck Vince. :smile:

  4. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Vince, good advice above about using the OVF with the 17 or 20mm lenses in bright conditions... but now that I have the Olympus EVF, I'm afraid it's quite addictive for getting the very best preview in all lighting conditions.

    It's a tough thing to recommend - the E-P1 has served me so well, but the E-P2 and E-PL1 are squeezing it out from above and below.


  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    E-PL1 LCD in bright sunlight?

    Bumping this up for another member who is considering the E-PL1 and wants to know how the LCD is in bright sunlight.:bump:

    I have an E-PL1 but don't often use the LCD since I have the EVF from my former E-P2. I'd say that the LCD is on par with the E-P2's, though it is a bit smaller. It is useable but not wonderful in serious bright (as in squint your eyes) sunlight, unless you can shade the screen...which is not that difficult to do in many circumstances, I'd think. I just went outside and tried it and needed to use my hand a bit to get a better view of a very contrasty scene.
  6. amaimani

    amaimani Mu-43 Rookie

    May 26, 2010
    I got my E-P2 with its EVF.. I don't use EVF most of the time, but I am happy to have it with me..
    My concept is buy something complete.. if you get E-P1, sooner or later you will want to have EVF. so why not get it with E-P2. It maybe expensive as a kit, but you wil be happy you got it
  7. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Got an e-p1. The screen is OK most of the time, to my eyes at least. I've toyed with a GF-1 too, and while the pany screen looks better, it's not anymore useful, in my opinion. In fact, I think the e-p1 one, while having lower resolution, has better contrast, which is more suitable for a finder. Cameras are not television sets ! As long as I can tell focus, DOF, and exposition in a single look, I'm happy.

    This said, I've got an above average eyesight, both in terms of accuracy and in terms of low contrast distinction. So I may not be the more representative person about.

    But I've yet to find a picture I missed because of the screen, and I shoot with it 100% of the time.
  8. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I have the Pen1 &2 and still prefer the Pen1. But I mostly use the 17 with the finder.
    The Pen2 with the EVF is great but I try to not use it.
    The LCD screens on all these digicams is less than great.
    What helps is to set the screen to B&W, increase the contrast and shoot raw.
    This helps in bright light.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2010
    I was all set to buy an EPL-1, until I picked one up and looked at the screen (well that and the lack of grip). Really disappointing, way worse than my 5 year old TZ P&S. Compare it to the ones that Panasonic now have on their mfts and you'll see a massive difference.

    I don't understand it really, because the format is supposed to give ease of use, and a proper usable screen would really help with that.
  10. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I see it like this... The evf while bright, limits my view outside the frame. It's the same as a slr camera. With the screen, in bright light I use the boost. Really, the screen is a reference point for framing.
    Once you see your subject, the screen provides a graphic view of the scene.
    So with boost on and in b&w it's easy to see your framing in any light.
    The b&w really alters your perception of reality and let's the brain see the subject isolated from reality. It works fine. I really don't get the negative energy about it.
    I've been using the Pen for almost a year and haven't missed a shot due to the camera....
    • Like Like x 1
  11. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I have an Epl-1 with EVF and use it all the time. For my eyesight it would be quiet impossibile to use the LCD in bright sunlight.
    But this is true for me with all LCD screens; that said if the sunligbt is not directly pointing on the screen is is very usable, even for me.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Personally I don't see the benifit of the higher res LCD when shooting. When chimping, yes, but for me, screen resolution plays no part in the decisions I make shooting. I feel it's far more useful just to learn how to read a histogram and use that for exposure decisions and the "image" for framing only. I have "live view" on my 920K DSLR LCD's and get no usable benefit from having more pixels while shooting.

    • Like Like x 1
  13. sparklehorse

    sparklehorse Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 4, 2010
    Portland, Oregon
    Shooter, this sounds like a great tip! I'm not finding a way to set the LED screen to B&W though, can you point me in the right direction? You're not saying to shoot in Monotone mode are you? Or maybe you are since you mentioned shooting RAW.


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