E-PL1 in 2012, still good?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ace, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ace

    ace New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2012
    Hi all,

    I'm in the market for a new camera to replace my old point & shoot (Canon PowerShot SD1000) and the E-PL1 has really caught my eye (mainly the kit price, only $300).

    I mostly use my iPhone for quick photos so the E-PL1 would be used for when I want a dedicated camera.

    Most of the reviews online dislike the AF speed of the E-PL1 and low-light shooting. I imagine both the AF speed and low-light shooting fare much worse than an SLR, but I imagine I would I see an improvement over my old PowerShot, right?
  2. bitmatt

    bitmatt Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    Real Name:
    I just got one body-only for $150. Pretty awesome value! Go check out the E-PL1 image thread, people are still taking nice pictures with it.
  3. ace

    ace New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2012
    Ah, I guess I should have looked. Thanks for comments, will take a look at the thread and Flickr pool.
  4. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would say no. Regardless $300 is too much to pay. New kits can be had for $250 and refurbs are $200.

    For the same money, you can get a clearance GF2 which IMO is a better camera.
  5. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    The main limitation in AF speed on the E-PL1 is the lens. The original kit 14-42mm lens is very slow. If AF speed is a concern, you can get both an E-PL1 body and Panasonic 14-42mm lens for less than $300 total, and it will be much faster than the standard kit.

    EDIT: if your budget is $300, you should really have a look at the E-PM1. Refurbished kits go for $330 or less, and it has faster AF, better kit lens, better LCD and a bunch of other nice goodies...

    If you find yourself doing lots of low-light shooting, a fast prime lens like Panasonic's 20/1.7 will make a bigger difference than a newer or bigger sensor.

    Also, you probably know this already but while the E-PL1 is small for an interchangeable lens camera, it is quite a bit larger than a compact digicam like your Powershot.

  6. ace

    ace New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2012
    Yeah, I get the size difference. That doesn't bother me since I don't mind using my phone when I want something that fits in my pocket.

    Thanks for the lens tips dhazeghi.
  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    You can get a refurb E-PM1 from Cameta for $330. I didn't think the E-PL1 was anything hot when it came out, and I really don't think that it's withstood the test of time. This question comes up often, and my favorite comparison is to describe it like using a 7 year old laptop; it still does functionally the same thing as a new computer, but the various features and slow speed will probably aggravate you enough that you should go for a newer model.

    The E-PL1 has slower operation, the 14-42mm version 1 is slow, and it has pretty poorly though out controls. The lack of a control wheel especially is rather annoying. Consider the E-PL2 as the oldest PEN to get. Otherwise, as mentioned, the Panasonic GF2 and GF3 are decent enough cameras as well, although the GF3 is also pretty heavily scaled down.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 28, 2010
    The beautiful northwest Georgia mountains
    Real Name:
    Dave Jenkins
    It's as good a camera as it ever was. Mine did not suddenly begin making worse photographs when succeeding models came out.
    • Like Like x 5
  9. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    The AF on the EPL1 is actually slower than a lot of compact cams.

    Also the EPL1 lacks the built in AF assist light that's available in the newer models and compact cams.

    The kit lens is quite a bit slower than a S90 for example.

    I'd recommend the EPM1, faster focusing, built in AF assist lamp, smaller and the dial and high ISP should be a bit better as well.

    I have the EPL and the EPM1 is so much faster operations wise.
  10. ace

    ace New to Mu-43

    Apr 22, 2012
    Definitely going to look at the E-PM1 since it's only $30 more refurbed, thanks to everyone for pointing that out.
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    Consider it a challenge to use the E-PL1 to take better photos than any of the newer Pens.
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    No, it doesn't work any worse, but its shortcomings are more apparent. The Olympus E-1 still takes the same photos as when it was new, but that doesn't mean it's worth using today. I'm still enjoying my Nikon D200 and Panasonic G2, so I'm not some upgrade fiend, but as digital cameras are inexorably linked to processor technology and semiconductor development, time invariably marches on.
  13. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    Cameta is still selling new bodies for $150. I picked one up as a backup camera for me and another for my niece. After holding an E-PM1 and trying it (in-store), it is just enough smaller and shaped wrong so it is not a comfortable camera FOR ME, YMMV. I find the E-PL1 much more pleasant.
  14. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    That's what I told myself. I won't upgrade until the EP3 comes down to $300 dollars. With Olympus prices, it shouldn't take too long.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    -Good glass will make the E-PL1 shine
    -OMD EM-5 with only 14-42 kit lens will have a hard time facing an E-PL1 with awesome lenses

    It's all about the glass :smile:
    • Like Like x 5
  16. Fred S

    Fred S Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2012
    Real Name:
    Fred S
    I am using a Viltrox adapter on my E-PL1
    The 4/3 70-300 and 40-150 also shines with fast AF. Quicker than my E-520
  17. G.Sal

    G.Sal Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2011
    The Philippines
    Was seriously considering an upgrade to an EP3 but just like I have said before, the EM5 made the EP3 overly priced. If I have to shell out the money for the EP3, would get the EM5 instead. :biggrin:

    Nonetheless, EP3 is a still great-looking camera to have. Guess we have to wait probably, another year for it.
  18. downy_ball

    downy_ball Mu-43 Regular

    I recently picked up an E-PL1 online for under $275US. I also wanted to upgrade from my long-time P&S camera, a Sony DSC-W300 (a very capable camera in its own right). Being on a strict budget and weighing my options I'm very happy with the choice I made.

    I feel like I got a great camera to begin working in the micro 4/3rd's world, and at a later time if I want to move to a more serious system, well I'll certainly be prepared. If I had to rely on my equipment as a professional, I would certainly split hairs over functionality and image quality. But as a long-time artist and teacher, I feel a lot more than just satisfied watching my E-PL1 images pop up in Aperture on my computer screen.

    Just my `lil `ol opinion, of course :wink:
    • Like Like x 1
  19. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    EPL1 with 20 1.7, still slow. It's not just AF that's slow. It's the processing of the art filters, the shot to shot time, writing to cards. The amount of time it takes to wake from sleep, the amount of time it takes to turn on.

    The 40-150 in low light, very slow AF.

    The iPhone is a Nikon D3 compared to the EPL1.