E-P1 vs. E-PL1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tam, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    Hoping to purchase one of the above soon. Hoping I can get some advice from existing owners here (or even opinion from those that don't :wink: it's all good).

    Ignoring cost for now (say I can get both for the same price with kit zoom), which would you choose and why?

    E-P1 or E-PL1?

    As far as I can see, the main differences are:

    E-P1
    Metal body
    1/4000 shutter
    better controls, dials and the like.
    Bigger LCD
    Better IBIS (? is this right, or is that just e-p2)

    E-PL1
    Touch smaller/lighter
    Flash
    EVF support (unlikely to be able to afford one tho)
    Dedicated movie button (which can be remapped)
    Zoom button
    Better grip

    What have I missed/not considered?

    In terms of use, my main interest is the outdoors (keen mountainbiker) so landscape stuff, and also shots of riders. This can mean challenging conditions with fast moving riders in dark forests. But this would be my only camera, so it'd get used for all sorts of other stuff too, and on holidays etc. I've also some decent MF nikon lenses to use on it, particularly a nice 50mm f/2 and a 135/f2.8 which seems a good length for MTB shots.

    So far the E-PL1 seems the better bet... but that 1/2000 limit on the shutter worries me a bit for shooting wide open in bright light ( I borrow a D40 on occasion and it's not uncommon to be shooting faster than 1/2000). Of course I could use a ND filter - or maybe those with the E-PL1 don't hit this limit often?

    Also the E-P1 with its metal build seems nice and sturdy... and maybe there are other factors I've missed?

    Thanks for reading a long post, any and all input welcomed!
     
  2. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    I think that the E-PL1 could be the better choice for legacy lenses (despite the reportedly weaker stabilisation) - due to the one touch MF assist zoom button and slightly more secure grip... but only if you go for the EVF which transforms the camera.

    The 1/2000s doesn't seem to be too much of a limitation in practice, but the lack of electronic levels has been a real pain at times (especially if only using the smaller lcd for framing)

    If you're serious about not having the EVF, my favourite would be the E-P1... still an absolute classic, and about to get the firmware upgrade for focusing speed.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
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  3. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    the epl1 looks like a fine machine, ive used one briefly and its iq is this side of incredible
    ......personally i think olympus upped the IQ of the epL1 to exceed the output of already surperb jpegs of my e-p1.

    im not mad about this .... i hope olympus secretly includes improvements to iq in its firmware upgrades for the ep1\2 even as it addresses focus speed issues with a a greater degree of transparency . if not, ill chalk up the difference to the generational aspect of the the digital pen bodies moving forward, and not begrudge the march of technology .

    that having been said , the epL1 is a plasticy machine , not crappy ...., but along side the ep1\2 distinctly more mainstream build quality lacking a metal shell and proper control wheels, it takes a great picture its got a built in flash and an evf option
    it difficult to not like this camera..... [ i wouldnt mind having it as a backup \ extra body....shhhhh....]

    they saw fit to reduce the top shutter speed etc , they had to do something to offer it at 599 band not piss off the early adopters
     
  4. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    Thanks for your opinions.

    The VF-2 is a good chunk of extra cash, which I couldn't afford, and also would add some extra bulk (a mu4/3 camera is already on the limit for me size-wise). Is a viewfinder that necessary? In which case I may be aswell to consider a (cheaper) G1 or similar. But then there's the bulk again....

    I've seen the electronic levels mentioned a few times, but never shot with a camera offering them. Is it that big a deal? Something you would use regularly?

    The levels and the screen would seem to be your main pros for the e-p1. Is the different screen that pronounced in use?

    I notice you don't mention the flash? Having a flash appeals for snapshot use when indoors, on holidays or at parties etc. Or is it the case the flash isn't that useful, so it's absence isn't missed? In most cases IME onboard flash photography isn't great, but there are occasions it's useful.

    Cosinaphile, is the IQ difference that pronounced? Any example pics which show it off? I'm not the sort to endlessly study sample jpegs and debate their merits - from what I've seen both cameras are capable of excellent photos.
     
  5. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Yes, the flash is very good for a built in unit... check the E-PL1 bits & bobs thread, and being able to remotely trigger the Oly flashes is a bonus.

    Some people don't use the levels, but I use them all the time... I find them invaluable for getting my shots straight and sometimes avoiding tilting the camera up or down. The E-PL1 has an overlay grid.

    Yes, the EVF is that good.

    The E-PL1 is also noticeably lighter in weight than the E-P1... though don't take that as an indication of build quality - I wouldn't be surprised if the E-PL1 bounced better with less damage than the E-P1 in a drop test (don't ask, I'm not checking! :rofl:)

    Note in that bits & bobs thread also how compact the E-PL1 is for street shooting.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  6. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I have the Pen 1 & 2. Both excellent cameras.
    You should get the Epl because in time, you'll want the finder.
    For mountain biking that would be my choice.

    I don't have that one, I'm not getting one either but your needs seem to be met by the L
     
  7. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    nothing to outright prove it ,............ its an anecdotal opinion based on seeing example on the forums and other shots on the internet compared to what i think the ep1 is capable of, and have experienced in use since June 2009 , if anything i think the difference is dynamic range and noise related , but i cannot offer proof of this.

    i own the ep1 and gf1 , it gives me little pleasure in holding this opinion, i still love the output of the ep1...its given me better out of camera jpegs than any camera ive ever used , but i think the epL1 might have tweaked the equasion
     
  8. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    Consinaphile - no proof doesn't really matter. I posted on a forum so I could get user's opinions, which I think are more valuable than poring over review data. So thankyou for your opinion, it's useful.

    It seems people are backing up my feeling the E-PL1 is a better bet. But it's interesting that the EVF seems to be such a big deal. Would anyone care to expand on that? Is shooting with the LCD that bad? What situations are better with the EVF? The VF-2 adds nearly 50% to the cost of a E-PL1, is it really that big a deal?

    If the EVF is so useful, should I be considering the Panasonic G1 (and variants)? Surely the extra bulk of the EVF makes them a closer competitor than I thought?
     
  9. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    tam, you certainly shouldn't rule out the G1 and variants, but the Pen is a completely different shape... is there any way you can get them in your hands?

    The EVF being removable makes the camera more flexible... you can mount it if you need it, stick it in a pocket if you don't.

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    The EVF is a fantastic tool for seeing in all sorts of different settings. You don't have to buy it now, but if you get the E-PL1 you can get the EVF in the future when prices will probably drop. The Olympus EVF is removable. I never do remove it. I had it on the E-P2 and now use it on the E-PL1. I wear glasses and for me for fine focusing it is mandatory. It's bright, it's clear and it has got a diopter control.

    Go see these cameras in real life if at all possible and look through them, and check out their LCD screens as well as their viewfinders.

    I have no experience with the Panasonic cameras. I chose Olympus because that was my true love camera back in my film days...and I have some OM-1 lenses... I chose the E-PL1 over the E-P2 for a number of reasons (sold my E-P2 body) and one of them for me was that I wanted the built in flash. Is it perfect? No...but it does pretty much what I want it to do. I don't own multiple digital cameras.

    If you haven't read through the E-PL1 threads, you ought to...just to hear from others and see answers to their questions or observations. Brian's posted many helpful observations about the camera, as well. The E-P1 has many owners who love it... It all depends upon what you need and want, taking into consideration that new versions of cameras will continue to come out.

    P.S. You might enjoy reading this thread whose title doesn't really reflect its subject: https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=1839
     
  11. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    I can probably get to a shop with both to try some out (and I've been and had a brief look at the cameras in the flesh already), but how it handles in the shop is only part of the question (albeit an important one). What the camera is like to live with and carry about is a harder question to answer - but one that those with the cameras already can shed some light on.

    I'd ruled out the G1 etc. already on account of its size. It's a bulkier body, and the Panasonic lenses are larger than the collapsible Olympus equivalents. It's getting close to D40 size, and then I may aswell get a D40/D3000 etc. But the attraction of mu4/3 is the compactness, fitting into a bag easier. I rarely go out just to take photos, but often want to have a good camera with me. The less space it takes up, the more likely I can make room in the bag for it.

    However I'm suggesting the G1 to play devil's advocate with myself somewhat. With the praises of the EVF being sung so highly, I wonder if it's essential, or just nice to have. If it's essential, then maybe the most compact mu4/3 option is not the best?

    BBW thanks for your input also. I've been reading the other threads, and that's partly what's pushed me toward the E-PL1. I just like to consider all the options before a big purchase (whilst I appreciate in the grand scheme these are "cheap" cameras, it's not a trivial sum for me). I suspect whatever I get I'll be happy with it and enjoy taking photos, so in some way I'm over-analysing. But I'm stuck in the office avoiding work, so I may aswell ponder the issues! Thanks for your link, I'd missed that thread.
     
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  12. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    The E-P1 owners don't find it essential.:smile: As I said, for me I felt it was essential but there are so many who use the E-P1 and take fantastic photographs! I'm sure you've looked at the E-P1 Image Thread...plus there are so many on the board... I know most don't tag their photos so you can't always tell.

    I can certainly direct you to some great E-P1 photographers here.:thumbup:
     
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  13. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    for what its worth i thought the gf-1 with evf would be useful to me , i knew when i bought it it lacked the resolution to be a focusing aid, but i thought as a device for framing it would be useful in bright light , as as it turned out you kind of need an alternative viewing system with the gf1 in harsh sunlight , the LCD becomes difficult to see.

    the e-p1, by contrast [ no pun intended] is much more visable in bright light than the gf1
    and i almost never have a problem,
     
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    and....after Cosina...the EVF of the Pen is light years ahead of the EVF for the GF1.
    Forget the size issue...if your using it, it already doesn't matter...but
    the EVF for the Pen is better than the LCD screen...it's absolutely amazing.....
     
    • Like Like x 3
  15. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    yes ....

    ive tried it at band h and yes its light years ahead of anyone , an opinion ive posted on the forum before ,some months ago its flat out the best evf bar none , it even has high eyepoint relief like the old nikon finders of yore
     
  16. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    What's really great for me is..you can have an uninterrupted view...just image, no info.....just beautiful......
     
  17. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    my 2 cents on the e-p1...

    1) I never use the level... the ground I'm on is never level anyways.
    1.1) I almost never use a flash, I don't miss it
    1.2) I don't miss the view finder.

    2) I often exceed 1/2000. Enough that I'm glad I have the e-p1 instead of the e-pl. An ND filter is only good for reducing light, not for stopping movement/action.

    3) Recently read on another thread .... the e-p1l does not allow remote shutter release. This is actually a deal breaker for me. I haven't gotten all my stuff together to use it on my e-p1 yet but for me some form of remote shutter control (IR or wired, or transmitter to wired receiver) is important. I'm actually waiting a fancy wired remote right now, one that does time lapse photos etc. From the information I read on the other thread, this is impossible on the e-p1l.

    4) The only thing I really miss about the e-p1 is ... no underwater case. I'm hoping that by the time I go diving again they'll have a new camera out and it'll be my excuse to upgrade.

    If I had to buy a camera all over again, it would be the e-p1 all over again (unless some one had the e-p2 for dirt cheap).
     
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  18. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    Squeegee, thanks for your views - it's helpful to get a contrary opinion.

    What sort of photography do you do, and in which situations do you find your above comments applying?
     
  19. squeegee

    squeegee Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 26, 2010
    I'm not a real photographer, just some one who takes some personal pictures so it's an over glorified p&s for me.

    For the shutter speed, almost any time I take pictures in day light. This is partially because I've only got 2 lenses right now, the 17mm and 20mm primes and they're f2.8 and f1.7. I stop them down a few f stops but not too much or the image gets soft and the depth of field grows. As an example, almost all my pictures from last Wednesday (posted in my gallery) I had to use a higher shutter speed, I was already at iso200, already at 1/4000, and I had to use a lower f stop still because it was too bright. (An ND filter would have done but then that's buying more and carrying more.)

    A faster shutter for stop motion can be useful for sports, also see the snowboard pics in my gallery. I'm also going to do motorcycle pics in the summer sometimes we go a little over the speed limit too... :)

    As for the remote shutter release, I wanted the automatic timer option for timelapse photography - I won't get into details until I get some pictures to post :)
     
  20. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    AE, ISO 400 @ f/5.2 with shutter speed of 1/80 with the 14-42mm and flash

    Tam, I just wanted to show you an example of a casual snapshot I took practically in the dark...well, there was light from the TV screen. I put the E-PL1 on AE (auto exposure) opened up the flash and took this. I'm posting it here from my Flickr account where the full EXIF information is listed. You really have to think about what all of your interests are so that you'll be happy with the camera you chose. For me the in camera flash turned out to be something I really wanted, as I've mentioned before. But that's me.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/otra/4531148780/" title="P4160747 by Otra2004, on Flickr"> 4531148780_e324091637. "500" height="485" alt="P4160747" /></a>
     
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