E-PL1 frustrations

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by DW99, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    Hi everyone, I am brand new here and hoping to find some help...I think I may be missing something.


    I am a very amateur photographer...however I have a brother and a father that are both professional photographers so I have been around cameras and picture taking my whole life. I did not, however, learn as much as I should lol.

    I spend most of my time in the great outdoors of Alberta Canada and was looking for a high end camera, that was compact, had interchangeable lenses...but that was easy to use.....sounds like the E-lp1 right. well yes and no I guess.

    I am not finding it so easy to use...at least not to do with what I want to do with it. Here are some of my frustrations, and maybe folks can help...

    I find indoors with the OEM lens in the P mode or the iauto mode that image capture is terrible if there is any movement by the subject at all. I know I would get better results in different modes, but I am not able to manipulate the camera well enough to be comfortable doing so. The scene modes help some...but I find it frustrating that when in a scene mode...say macro..that I can only shoot in color, I cannot switch to B&W while in a scene mode. Or am I missing how you would do this?

    I am also frustrated that is I choose to shoot in one of the scene modes and want to manipulate the color, brightness, contrast etc that it only saves those changes for one shot and then I have to reset all over again...and I cannot adjust the color setting as well as the brightness, contrast etc for a single shot...i can only adjust one of those options per shot...am I wrong? I feel stupid when using the thing because I am not getting the results I am used to. My last camera was an older fujis2000 and honestly I found it much easier to get amazing shots with and to "use" than this camera.

    I know I know...just learn how to use M mode or even A or S....but imho a camera of this caliber and this quality that offers these functions should be as usable in those functions as in the ASM modes...maybe I am wrong.

    I love the camera, and hope to soon get the 20mm lens for it...I have played around with the 20mm lens on my body and the results were incredible....just have to save those pennies.

    anyways, I hope some people here will be able to help me.

    I apologize if these issues have been covered in other threads. Also if anyone knows of any video tutorials to help with the issues i have brought up they would be much appreciated.

    Thanks everyone.
     
  2. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    the problem it the lens, for shooting indoors 3.5-5.6 is no where fast enough. You have only 2 options. Add a good flash, or get a bigger aperture lens like the panny 20 1.7, 14 2.5 or with and 4/3 adapter sigma 30 1.4 or 50 1.4. Even f2.8 can be to slow for indoor shooting with there is movements involved. Even at iso of 1600. I shoot a dslr and will need to shoot at 6400iso for some indoor action at 1.4 if I can not use a flash to avoid motion blur.

    Also with big aperture like 1.7 or better, you will need to consider the shallow dof that you will get with the bigger sensor and large aperture.

    A sample of the photo that you are not please with and the exif data would also be helpful.
     
  3. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    yes the 20mm 1.7 lens is definitely in the future for me...however how will that make my outdoor big scenery pics look?

    any ideas on my other frustrations??
     
  4. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    I would really need to see a sample and have the exif data. If you iso is to low in auto, or if you are asking for allot of dof, and the camera is picking a small aperture. It will slow down the shutter speed. And if your outdoor shots are not is really great lighting. The smaller aperture can be the problem.

    So the exif data will let us know what the camera is doing in the auto modes.
     
  5. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    The scene modes leave a lot to desire, but there's one meaningful way to use them : unlike many cameras, the Olympus let you see the shooting parameters of the selected scene mode. Just remember them and go back to P/A/M, and key in those parameters, modifying only those you wish. This would give you training, and strong basis to work on.

    You can also shoot raw+jpg, setup your color parameters afterward, edit raw in camera and apply camera's new settings to the raw (just a shutter click, like taking another image. It creates a new jpeg alongside the old one). Obviously, you can't change speed / focal anymore, but this can be interesting nonetheless.

    Cheers,
     
  6. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    hmmm that makes me even more frustrated. I may have to look at trading this camera in on one that suits my needs and tastes a bit better.

    it is a beautiful machine, but I don't think it fits my purposes.

    too bad.
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have an EPL-1. The kit lens is not particularly fast and indoors you are not likely to get a nice image if the light is less than idea. Outdoors the kit lens works great but indoors not so much. One solution is a faster lens. I have the 20 and it has made taking low light photos much simpler. If you want something that is still capable and needs less fiddling then something like the Panasonic LX5 or a Canon S95 is a terrific option. I have an LX3 and I am constantly amazed at how well it works in a variety of situations. You don't get the interchangeable lenses but you still get a very capable tool for making images. That said, the EPL-1 is capable of lovely images and trading for another camera may not necessarily solve the problem.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    It's a step up from a point'n shoot. Great learning machine, sweetens the steep learning curve of a full blown pro DSLR, but needs some photographic involvement. That's a small price to pay for some, maybe too much already for you.

    Cheers,
     
  9. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    that takes care of the lens issues, still does not solve my frustrations with actually using the settings. To me it seems like I am not "qualified" enough to shoot well and that the settings other than MAS are just there to look like they are helpful...when in reality they do not offer much to those who do not know how to shoot in MAS modes...
     
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Tough to say without getting a better idea of what your expectations are and what you do not like about what you are getting now. If you could upload an image that you find objectionable that might give us more to go on and we could make some more specific recommendations.
     
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have never liked scene modes...on ANY camera I have ever owned. They do work but I feel you have to know a little bit about what they are doing in order to use them properly. Also, if you use M, A or S modes you don't need scene modes. Manual modes are MUCH more flexible.
     
  12. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    the image quality, when outside or with the 20mm lens I find just fine.

    I find the ability to "play" while in the settings other than MAS lacking.

    for example, shooting in macro mode and not being able to switch into b&w
     
  13. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    I fully agree, but I do feel that these modes could be far more user friendly...as they have been on other cameras I have owned. Just a bit disappointed that such a nice camera is not working as well for me as i would like it. Incidentally my brother bought the same camera, as well as the 20mm lens he absolutely loves it and is getting stunning results....but he knows how to work it lol.
     
  14. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    No problem, as I told you : setup raw+jpg, shoot your macro in color, setup your camera to whatever b&w you like, review your pictures, select 'edit raw' and click the shutter. Presto ! a b&w macro jpeg appears along your original color image.

    Cheers,
     
  15. shoturtle

    shoturtle  

    823
    Oct 15, 2010
    If your brother is close by, I would tag along with him to see what he is doing. The more you see and learn about photography the quicker you will get out of scene modes and get much better results in the manual modes.

     
  16. nursenicole

    nursenicole Mu-43 Regular

    76
    Feb 24, 2011
    boston
    The E-PL1 does take a little getting used to but it's a wonderful camera - this is my first step up from a P+S and I do not have the 20mm 1.7 lens yet but it's definitely in my future - indoors I have found using the flash does help to a degree but I don't want to steer you the wrong way with this post--

    my point in posting is just to say it's a great camera but you've got to allow yourself lots of time to really dig in and play with it and take a lot of terrible throwaway photos before you feel comfortable making the adjustments on your own to take some great shots, indoors or out. I grabbed a copy of Peterson's Understanding Exposure and it has absolutely changed the way I interact with my camera - easy read, lots of good info, and I definitely recommend it, whether you stick with this camera or choose something different.
     
  17. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    or shoot with a camera that allows me to function back and forth between black and white and color at a push of a button...
     
  18. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Yup, but the camera you're speaking of doesn't allow you to make 1 color, 1 b&w, and 1 art-filter jpeg of the same image in sequence to choose the one you're going to keep straight from your camera... flexibility has a cost.

    Cheers,
     
  19. DW99

    DW99 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Apr 5, 2011
    very true.
     
  20. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Consider, too, that it took me much more time to write the sequence of operations to perform raw edit than it would take you to apply it.

    Cheers,