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E-P1 - my first digital camera

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by odd, Nov 16, 2010.

  1. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    Bought an E-P1 kit with the 14-42mm Zuiko lens for €250 refurbished from a German retailer. I guess the price was very nice although it came sans instruction manual.

    It's my first digital camera and my first camera in almost 15 years. So it's a big step for me into the world of photography. I'm still trying to absorb the most fundamental concepts.

    I also bought a 40-150mm/3.5-4.5 Zuiko lens, but didn't realise that this one's for the larger DSLR format and thus needs an adapter. The MMF-1 is more than €100 even second-hand, so I'm going to sell this lens and try to find one made for the four thirds format. I'd like to know if you think the 40-150mm/3.5-4.5 lens compliments the kit 14-42mm well, or if there's a more obvious choice in the budget range. Or maybe I should stick with the 14-42mm until I know what I'm doing - how versatile is it?

    Another question - I bought a leather 'retro jacket' (model name CS-10B) for the cam. But now I'm not sure if the thing serves any meaningful purpose. At €35 I think it's expensive for what it is. What do you think - should I return it?
  2. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Hello and welcome to the forum. You can download the User Guide here.

    I have a hand-made leather 'jacket' for my E-P2 which cost $90. If you like it - keep it.
  3. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Welcome to the forum.
    You made a good choice with a good deal.
    The camera with the 14-42 will do almost everything you need.
    What software are you planning on using?
    What platform is your computer on?
    These things are more important NOW than other lenses.
    Any questions, the answers lie in the threads on the forum.
  4. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thank you both.

    Streetshooter, I'm on OSX 10.5. I was hoping the included Olympus Master 2 would suffice for now for my very basic needs. But I'm all ears for another user-friendly-interfaced solution. Photoshop is likey going to be way over my head.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Agreed about PS. I use it sometimes but try to keep away from it.
    Light Room on the other hand is a blessing.
    Instead of a lens I would strongly urge you to get LR.
    Eventually you will want to shoot in raw and that's where LR shines like a beacon in the dark.
    I'm on Mac with Snow Leopard and it's a no issue way to process.
    You'll find that the camera is responsive and your photographic juices will start to flow. Then it's time to get the most out of your images for the effort you put in.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    Hello and welcome!

    That's an excellent price for an E-P1, well done on that one.

    Camera accessories are a personal preference, so keep your case if you like it, I have never used one on my e-p1 - going with a lanyard wriststrap on a nude body instead; keeps the weight/profile down and it's very "handy", but then my camera now has a few nicks and scratches on the edges of the baseplate, which I don't mind, but some might.

    Look after your lenses though! (I'm sure you knew that already)

    Were you a serious / amateur photographer before your 15yr hiatus?

    If you are new to digital photography, I can recommend Adobe Lightroom as an excellent (very easy to use) photo editor / organiser... Keeping track of your ever growing digital image archive will soon become important, if you want to find something amongst hundreds (or tens thousands) of jpegs and raw files!

    So if I were starting out fresh now, I'd consider my workflow and choose a method I like with long term capacity.

    Oh, and good luck, it's great :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Odd, first of all - welcome - you now own a very nice camera !
    On the 40-150, sorry if I am redundant, but given the way you mention "Four thirds" in your post, I thought I'd mention this : there are two lens standards, Four Thirds (FT) and Micro Four Thirds (M43). The EP1 is M43, and as you say you need an adapter to use a FT lens on a M43 body, but what you need to make sure of is that you pick a M43 lens - in the case of Olympus lenses, indicated as M.Zuiko instead of Zuiko.

    I'd tend to second Streetshooter about the 14-42 - it does a lot indeed. Olympus Master 2 will also cover most of your first needs - but maybe you should download a free image organization tool too ?
    • Like Like x 1
  8. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks again. I feel welcome here.

    Gwendal, the difference between the terms FT and MFT had totally escaped my attention so I'm duly grateful. Makes more sense now.

    I used to use iPhoto back when I borrowed my friend's camera and/or used the simple webcam built-in my MacBook. I found I could do basic colour-grading, cropping sizes and file management with it and I didn't really feel a need for need more options. Any of you have an opinion on that lowly piece of software? It was suddenly rendered non-functional by a system update (damn Apple folks), but I've read it will soon be offered it as stand-alone application (as opposed to currently being available solely s part of the full iLife suite for which I don't have any need).
  9. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    iPhoto is OK for very basic image corrections -- contrast, saturation, sharpening, etc. But if you want to go much past the basics, you'll quickly run into its limitations.

    You might want to try GIMP as an image editor. It's very Photoshop like but it's open source so it's completely free. However if the complexity of Photoshop is off putting to you, you might want to skip GIMP as well.

    Pixelmator is a great Mac image editor. It's simpler than Photoshop but is very powerful and runs great on the Mac since it's a Cocoa native app and is fully 64-bit compatible.

    My final recommendation would be Photoshop Elements. Again, it does a lot of what Photoshop does but with a simpler interface.

    Best of luck!
  10. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010

    Btw., can I save video recordings in something other than .AVI format? The memory load is really cumbersome and I don't need the video resolution (shooting with ART5 filter - the grainy B/W one). But maximum sound resolution.
  11. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    Unfortunately no. The video file format is definitely an advantage that the GF1 and 2 have over the EPL1 -- they both shoot AVCHD.
  12. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    Okay. Thanks a lot.
  13. mikekiwi

    mikekiwi Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2010
    The Netherlands
    how about converting the AVI-files using Handbrake? O.K., it's another step in the workflow, but might help you out.

    And in the meantime the App Store has both Aperture and iPhoto for a nice price available...(but double check first if the RAW-files fmor the E-P1 are supported by these programs)
  14. odd

    odd New to Mu-43

    Nov 15, 2010
    Thanks for the input.

    Another matter - is there really no possibility of connecting an external microphone to this model?
  15. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    Sorry to confirm your fears; but there is no way to attach an external mic to en E-P1.

    The E-PL1, E-P2, and E-PL2 all support the offical olympus SEMA-1 add on mic. I don't know what the full Pany situation is, but I'm certain the GH1 & GH2 do.

    If however you are handy with a hacksaw and know a bit of electronics, I'm sure you could cut a fitting into the E-P1 chassis and solder the contancts for a better one on. But that's hardly a within warranty solution :smile:

    The E-P1 is a little long in the tooth now, I love mine, but I didn't feel bad about taking it apart to put a custom leather grip on the front - which I wouldn't've done when it was new.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  16. QualityBuiltIn

    QualityBuiltIn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    'Long in the tooth?' It's less than 2 years since initial launch. May I ask, how frequently do you replace your cameras?
  17. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Other mods for E-P1

    Kal - thanks for your post. Have you seen other mods that increase the size of the E-P1 handgrip? That is only one of the few gripes I have about my beloved E-P--I wish it had a grip as big as the E-PL1.
  18. akulya

    akulya Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2010
    qualitybuiltin - I don't have a schedule to keep when it comes to upgrading camera. The e-p1 was a great camera on release, and i've not felt stifled as an artist because of it rather than me - however incremental improvements are made with each iteration of body. Especially in the fast growing market sector like mu4/3.

    The lack of a decent grip was getting to me, so I changed it to the way I wanted it. Now I'm very happy with my camera and I will not be selling it (if only because of depreciation, and that I like the fact it's mine)

    However, when I said that the e-p1 is long in the tooth, I meant it and stand by that. It has the slowest AF, and greatest lack of viewfinder options. Each unto their own. I consider lenses the investment and the camera bodies interchangable. I hope you enjoy your hobby as I enjoy mine.

    FWIW the last camera I bought before my E-p1 was in Jul 2007, and the one before that was film.

    Penfan, i've not seen much in the way of custom grips, except the cork one on this forum, and the flickr set where someone removed the grip entirely. If you want to have a go, send me a pm and ill talk you through it.
    • Like Like x 1
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