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E-PL1 - a bit of a sleeper?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Luckypenguin, Aug 26, 2011.

  1. A little backstory first: I didn't find the E-PL1, it found me. I happened to see one going for auction on eBay, put in a tentative, low-ball bid and lost, and then got a second chance offer the next day when the winner didn't complete the transaction. So, without ever really meaning to I now have an E-PL1 to play with, for a while at least.

    I always had reservations about the E-PL1. In pictures it looked a bit cheap and plasticky, the lack of a control dial was a question mark, and I have on occasion heard the words crippled, simplified etc. to describe it. I never thought that it was a bad camera (far from it), but I was never sure that it offered what I wanted.

    Well, to my partial surprise I really like this camera. The quality of materials and construction is greater than I expected. It is quite a solid camera and in terms of handling I would rate it as the most ergonomic m4/3 camera I have used so far. The wheel-less, all button interface has hardly bothered me one bit. If I had one regret it's that once you are framed and focused you don't have the wheel to trim the exposure compensation like you can in the E-P1. The one-touch MF zoom assist when using adapted lenses however is much preferable to the two-touch that I am used to. The difference in the slightly smaller 2.7" screen is barely noticeable compared to 3" screens. The one thing that I think may be an issue is the slower min. shutter speed of 1/2000sec, but I haven't used it in brighter light yet.

    IQ-wise, this is the sharpest Oly camera I have used since the E-510 but with less noise than that camera. The difference to the E-P1 (with the heavier AA filter) is only very subtle but can be seen. Just like the E-510 I can't find any reason to further sharpen the jpeg images in PP from my so far limited use. This is from using the OM Zuiko 50mm f1.8 Silvernose and the very impressive 14-42mm II that came with this camera - hardly the most exotic glass in the world. Consistent with the reviews I have read the jpeg output is very impressive. I'm sure there's still good reason to shoot RAW, but less with this camera than most.

    What I like about the E-PL1 is that while you could argue that the control interface has been "dumbed down", the image output, far from being compromised, has actually been ever so slightly improved.

    Of course, the problem now is: while this was something of an "accidental" purchase for me, the bang-for-your-buck value of this camera makes it very hard to not want to keep it. Oops. In my humble opinion this is a great little camera in it's own right, and even better at the current price point.

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6079563965/" title="OEPL1-P8250075-PR Olympus Pen E-PL1 Brisbane by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">
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    "1024" height="768" alt="OEPL1-P8250075-PR Olympus Pen E-PL1 Brisbane"></a>
    M Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/55915417@N08/6082754026/" title="OEPL1-P8250085-PR Olympus Pen E-PL1 Brisbane - Urban by Nic (Luckypenguin), on Flickr">
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    "768" height="1024" alt="OEPL1-P8250085-PR Olympus Pen E-PL1 Brisbane - Urban"></a>
    M Zuiko 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 II
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  2. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    Agree - I love mine..
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Still in the process of getting to know my G3 (and so far I really like it and it's a great camera), but I love my E-PL1.
  4. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    im married to my epl1 now, and not going to part with it (especially since i have a rare white one) well where i live anyways they don sell white epl1's. been considering a epl2 but after some thinking i appreciate what the epl1 can do other than the shutter speed.:thumbup:
  5. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Been shooting with the E-P3 for a couple weeks now but still love the E-PL1 just as much. If it wasn't for the few times I needed the speed, it would still be my primary.

    Might keep it as a back up or gift to my old man. (Fair trade for his OM-4, ten years over due :biggrin:)
  6. dpj

    dpj Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    My E-PL1 is my first foray into M4/3 cameras, and i can truly say, i'm converted. The little thing produces images way better than anything that came out of my 400d as far as quality goes. I am also loving using legacy lense onit, something i never did with my canon. It has also made me realise that M4/3 is the way to go for me from now on.
  7. fezza56

    fezza56 New to Mu-43

    Jul 6, 2011
    I concur,

    I have come from an all compact affair into the CS world (apart from an old fling with a polaroid instant :rolleyes: )

    Love, Love, Love my e-pl1,

    I have just purchased a Super Paragon 28mm wide angle and an Industar 50mm for my first dabble into manual focusing with my own actual fingers
  8. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    I too love my Epl1, I've had it for about a month now and am amazed at the pictures that come out of this little gem.
    Even the kit lens is very sharp although a little slow to focus in dimmer light but the outcome is always nice.
  9. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
  10. It's hard to measure of course, but it seems that the AF is just a touch faster on the E-PL1 compared to the E-P1 (both firmware updated). The new Olys may be breaking new ground with AF speed, but even a first generation body like this focuses plenty fast enough for my purposes when used with the Oly MSC or Panasonic equivalent AF lenses.
  11. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Absolutely nothing wrong with the PL1 :smile:
  12. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    • Like Like x 1
  13. aw614

    aw614 Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 19, 2011
    I loved how comfortable the epl1 felt with the native lenses, but with heavier manual focus lenses, it did have that off balanced feel to it. The ep1's extra weight balanced things a bit with the heavier older lenses
  14. To lug or not to lug...

    A minor quibble only, but I'm thinking that maybe I prefer the articulated strap lugs on the E-P1 compared to the fixed ones on the E-PL1. When I don't have the camera around my neck I have an odd way of holding the camera that involves looping the strap around my forefinger for security. The articulated lug just allows the strap to sit a little flatter between my fingers.

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