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E-PL1 + Lens, E-PL2 kit, or E-PM1 kit?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sumorez, Sep 1, 2012.

  1. sumorez

    sumorez New to Mu-43

    2
    Jun 19, 2012
    Trying to make the final decision on a camera for girlfriend's birthday. She wants something better than a point-and-shoot but doesn't want a bulky SLR/DSLR, so I'm thinking 4/3 is the way to go. Problem is, I see a ton of reviews for all three of these, and they all seem to go either way.

    E-PL1 body is only $150, which leaves me a bit of a budget to get a decent lens to go with it. However, the E-PL2 and E-PM1 are both around $350 with kit lens. So if I'm spending $200 on a lens for the E-PL1... it seems like I'm already in the territory of the bigger ones anyway. And from what I see doing a quick eBay search, $200 doesn't get much in the way of an "awesome" lens.

    I'd like to keep this as inexpensive as possible since I don't know if she'll actually spend the time to learn it, or get frustrated at all the options and go back to a P&S.

    I know the comparison comes up all the time but prices change and newer revisions of firmware and kit lenses may make an impact. Current opinions?
     
  2. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Chris
    Im looking the same thing for my lady, im going with a white or pink epm1 plus the kit lens or just the p14, she loves wide angle and fisheyes, i think at this time of the year the epm1 body only is less than $200 and the kit lens less than 100 or the p14 for $170 on ebay if you can wait till photokina in 2 weeks price on those pen should drop even more!
     
  3. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    I have an E-PM1 kit, and although it's a fine camera (and handles better with the addition of a Flipbac G4 grip), I missed the lack of external controls when it was my only M43 camera. It's easy enough to access PASM, etc. from the menu, but with only one programmable Fn button, I found it annoying to use when I didn't have time to really think about what/how I was shooting. If your girlfriend is likely to use iAuto or P mode most of the time, she'll probably be very happy with it. BTW, you can pick up refurb E-PM1 kits from ~$250 at Cameta, body only for ~$190.

    Now that I have an E-M5, I don't use the E-PM1 as my primary camera, so I'm much less irritated by its lack of external controls. :smile:
     
  4. Leo

    Leo New to Mu-43

    9
    Sep 2, 2012
    Calgary
    You can't go wrong with the E-PL2! Haha, jk. I just personally love the E-PL2, and you might like it too. :)
     
  5. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Margaret
    The one thing that kept me from buying the E-PL2 was its lack of an AF assist lamp. I shoot so much in low light that I felt I couldn't do without it, especially after owing a Pentax K-x. Great camera with excellent high ISO performance, but no AF assist light, so I often missed shots in low light. I realize that m43 and DSLRs have different methods of AF, so not sure how much of a problem the E-PL2 would have been for me with no AF assist. lamp. I must admit I *much* prefer its ergonomics and footprint to that of the E-PM1. AF speed and lamp were the deciding factors for me. :smile:
     
  6. sumorez

    sumorez New to Mu-43

    2
    Jun 19, 2012
    If I go with a body-only setup as opposed to a kit, is there a recommended inexpensive lens for a first-timer? I considered getting one of the "toy" lenses, such as this one:

    Lo-fi Micro 4/3 Camera Lens

    It's pretty cheap and would allow her to start off doing one of the things she wants the camera for (she makes custom soaps and wants something to take good pictures of them for her site instead of using her phone, and it looks like that'd give a good look for something like that), but spending $150 on an E-PL1 (or $190 on an E-PM1) plus $90 for this lens means I could afford the kit lens with it anyway... and I'm taking a guess here that the kit lens would be more useful in the long run than this one.

    The replies here look like they're still pretty consistent with previous ones that I've read doing tons of searching... the E-PM1 wins on features, the E-PL2 wins on ergonomics, and the E-PL1 wins on price. Since she's currently using the camera in her Evo as her primary (and only) one, I'm sure she'd be happy with any of them... I just want something that'll take a good picture and won't scare her off by needing to read a giant slab of instruction book in order to do anything with it.

    She'll likely want to take low-light pictures since I run sound for bands and events and she's there quite a bit. Is the AF assist light a big deal? I'm guessing that is an auto focus assist light? I am camera-dumb.
     
  7. peter124

    peter124 Mu-43 Regular


    I don't think it's a big deal. Here's a test shot I just took, EPL2, kit lens at 14mm, 1/8 sec @ f 3.5, 1600 ISO, so quite low light. Focus was almost instantaneous.

    P9021038.JPG

    Incidentally, IMO that $90 lens would be a waste of money. The 14-42 kit lens is pretty good and costs about the same, either in a kit or used/refurbished.

    Peter
     
  8. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    919
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I'd suggest one of the refurbs at cameta.com. There are EPM1's down to $249 with kit lens. Only $20 more than an EPL1 with lens. The 14-42 MKII that comes with the EPM1 is better than the EPL1's lens too.

    I would stay away from that Lo-Fi plastic lens. You can find it under Fujian name on ebay for $29. LOL They claim "vignetting, lens flares, and low contrast" are good features, and they want almost $100? Normally, you pay more NOT to have those features. These cheapos are fun for some owners that have $29 to burn and like odd stuff. Even then, I think it's a waste of money.

    For your bands, any PEN has the same capability, but the kit 14-42 is a slow lens. Your G/F can pick up an older 50mm f1.8 SLR lens and adapter for around $40 and after she learns manual focus, it will work nice. Or she can just fire the flash on an EPL1 or EPM1..
     
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    The kit lens withe the E-PL2 or E-PM1 is a surprisingly decent lens - certainly as good or better than any P&S in the same price point. I have the E-PL2 and it's a very versatile little camera.