E-PL1 versus E-P2 questions

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by buffy1270, Apr 30, 2010.

  1. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Hi. I am trying to decide between these 2 Olympus cameras. I know there is a big price difference and I am trying to figure out if the E-P2 would be worth extra money for me. I had a Canon Rebel XSi DSLR but do not like the bulkiness since I hike with my camera a lot, but I would like to be able to learn about photography so that I can use the manual settings on whatever camera I get. I do know some about photography but I was really just beginning to learn when I found out about the micro 4/3 cameras. I will mainly be taking wildlife photos, macro photos, pet photos, some landscapes and candids. My fiance would use the video features more than I would. I have read some reviews stating the E-PL1 does not go up to a high enough shutter speed (hopefully I stated that right - definitely still learning!:smile:) to give the same depth of field effects that the E-P2 can but that the E-PL1's jpeg output is better and it has a higher IQ than the E-P2. I will likely just be shooting in jpeg for the most part. Which do you think is best for a person taking the types of pictures stated above? I would like to be able to enlarge the pictures to up to 13 x 19 and have them still look good but I am gathering from my research that any of the micro 4/3 cameras do well with that. Thanks.

    Karen
     
  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Karen, I moved your thread into the Olympus forum since you are specifically asking about comparisons between these two Olympus cameras.

    I'm not sure how many of the threads you've read in here, but I recently gathered together a good list in another recent thread regarding the E-PL1 so you might find it helpful to look at this thread check out the threads I posted, including two reviews that are more than strictly technical. This member, 369 asked some similar questions about the E-PL1: https://www.mu-43.com/f42/since-i-dont-know-much-about-e-pl-1-a-2611/

    I now use the E-PL1 with the EVF (electronic view finder). I happen to prefer the controls on the E-PL1 but there are many very happy E-P2 users. I chose to sell my E-P2 because I wanted the built in flash and after reading the reviews of the E-PL1 and reading here about the camera I felt it suited my needs better.. I don't want to try to sell you on either camera. I've posted my own review of the E-PL1 - along with several others - which you can see if you click on the Review tab at the top of the forum. You can also read about the E-P2 there, as well.

    Please do ask your own questions, but I felt that if you hadn't read through the other threads you might want to, as well.:flowers_2:

    P.S. If memory serves me correctly, the only two items that the E-P2 has that the E-PL1 does not have that anyone has mentioned are that the E-P2 has a 1/4000 second shutter speed vs the 1/2000 and apparently there is no way to shoot with the E-PL1 with a "wired remote" https://www.mu-43.com/f42/wired-remote-e-pl1-2275/ Neither of which was a negative to me.

    And of course you may add the EVF to the E-PL1 should you choose to. Many people, especially those of us who wear glasses like the EVF.
     
  3. tam

    tam Mu-43 Regular

    107
    Apr 12, 2010
    An EP2 is basically identical to an EP1 with the addition of EVF support ( see here ).

    Bearing that in mind, you may find the advice from my thread here helpful.
     
  4. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus Subscribing Member Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I have the Pen 1 & 2. They are both very elegant.
    I love working with them.
    The PL1 is a nice camera.
     
  5. Brian Mosley

    Brian Mosley Administrator Emeritus Charter Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Karen, I'm sure you will be very happy with the E-PL1, if you're on a tight budget it's a fantastic option... plan to add an EVF at some staff though - it makes a big difference.

    The 1/2000sec maximum shutter speed is less of a disadvantage than I expected. The controls are also easier to use. I hate not having the electronic levels though!

    Cheers

    Brian
     
  6. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    hi brian,
    i noticed you keep saying this...

    pardon my ignorance (being newbie), but i would very much
    like to know what improvement would the e-levels do to the
    camera?
     
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I believe, though I should not speak for Brian, that he misses being able to make his subjects "straight"...as in level. I use the grid on the E-PL1, whereas I never used the electronic levels on the E-P2 because I found I could never be truly level. Who knows, maybe I'm just naturally off balance?:wink: I just find the grid a more simple option, if needed.
     
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  8. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    I've never really worried much about the level function on any of the cameras I have had or have currently that offer it. I just deal with it in post processing if necessary, and as it is it's pretty rare that I need to. I do however find it useful to use the + grid on the PL1. Does all I require. As for the 1/2000th shutter speed limitation it has yet to render me an unacceptable picture even in broad daylight. I have a 2 stop B+W ND filter just in case for both the kit lens and a 52mm one with step up rings for all my lenses needed (the 20mm f1.7 Panny and 17mm f2.8 M Zuiko). Otherwise the 45-200OIS Panny is already a 52mm ring size. I also have a B+W circular polarizer for the 52mm ring size as well for compatibility. Life is good.........
     
  9. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Just bought an E-P2 to go with my E-P1 and GF1, so far I like the small improvements. I will be buying an EPL-1 for my wife this week, give my impressions after I get a chance to play with it.
     
  10. buffy1270

    buffy1270 Mu-43 Regular

    30
    Apr 30, 2010
    Thanks everyone. My last question is if I want to learn about aperture, shutter speed, etc. so that I can manually use the camera competently when I want to, which of the 2 would be best for this? In other words, which would allow me to progress in photography as a hobby as an alternative to going to a regular DSLR route? Thanks again.

    Karen
     
  11. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Real Name:
    Lee
    Well, the PL1 actually has a menu that will run you through all of those settings and visually give you the feedback as to their effects. I started with a P1 and returned it for the PL1. I find the PL1 to be more than sufficient for having the feature sets for adjustments and such. I prefer the overall setup however and like the one touch video button. The VF-2 use is essential which of course you'd have to move to the P2 to get.
     
  12. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    To be totally and brutally honest, no digital camera can match a Pentax K1000, P30T, MX or an Olympus OM-1 as a photographic learning tool. Match needle metering, manual focus, fast prime, b&w film and darkroom experience is what's needed. Plus old semi-auto SLRs were optimized for user settings (simply because there was no computer to fall back on).

    Digital cameras are a hellish nightmare of wheels, buttons, modes, and programs. Only Leica retained the old controls layout of lore on their digital Ms, but at a prohibitive price.

    If you're serious about photography learning, pick any of the two, but look for a photography club near you with darkroom facility and possibly film camera loan. I promise your efforts will be highly rewarded.
     
  13. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    On the other hand, one can certainly learn about aperture and shutter speed and light and shadow with a good digital camera. Both the E-P2 and the E-PL1 offer all those controls. And if you decided to buy the E-PL1 and wanted to add the electronic view finder, the EVF, you can buy that later when and if you chose to.:thumbup:

    I strongly suggest you go to see both cameras yourself, hold them in your hands and decide. If you can't then do your research pick one and make sure that you buy it somewhere that offers the best return policy, so that if you change your mind you can send it back and make another choice.
     
  14. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Certainly, but IMHO, it's like learning to fly an aeroplane from the deck of a jumbojet. Computers make sure the thing can pretty much fly by itself, but otherwise, it's like any plane, isn't it : there's a gaz throttle, a stick and rudder pedals. So why not train beginners on those ? Because learning how to fly is better done 'by the seat of the pants', and the incentive is higher to get things right by yourself when you can't fallback on an autopilot of sorts to get you out of troubles.

    Any learning is best done by using strictly the bare minimum to understand the principles of what you want to know. It doesn't mean you shouldn't use more modern tools at the same time, especially in photography where (quality wise) digital trumps film in about every aspects, but at least you'd have a basic grasp of what the thing is doing behind your back.

    As an anecdote, one of Maitani big achievement at Olympus was to set up a corporate photography school, with a mandatory 30 days course for *all* new engineer joining the firm to follow, ending up in an examination where the student would, in a single day, have to take a picture on a given subject, and process it all by himself to a 60x40 cm blow up. In colour. Failure meant immediate termination of employment. I read that on a now defunct geocities site, so no reference, but you get the idea.
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I kind of think going back to film as a learning tool would be pretty much overkill - darkroom skills just aren't going to serve you that well anymore and understanding the chemistry of film, paper, and chemicals isn't needed for anything other than film based photography.

    But I agree setting everything to full manual for a while will teach you a LOT about what the various contributing factors are with digital photography. Looking at the screen and using the shutter speed and aperture to get the little exposure indicator to zero and then seeing the results of the different combinations of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO would be a great learning tool, if a little overwhelming at first. Better yet, take a few shots fully manual and take the same shots back to back using iAuto and compare the settings the camera ended up using and see how you like the various results. I have to say, that using dials and buttons to adjust stuff is a bit more confusing than using film with a set ISO, (or ASA back in the day), adjusting the aperture ON THE LENS and adjusting the shutter speed with the little camera top dial. It was good tactile feedback to really understand WHAT you were adjusting, rather than just moving numbers around on a screen...

    But descending into a darkroom for god knows how many hours is no longer part of the process! And it was always such a pain keeping the doors and windows adequately sealed so you didn't let any of the dark get out of the room!

    -Ray
     
  16. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Mauve, I did and do understand what you were driving at but I didn't want the original poster who is quite new to photography to feel overwhelmed.

    Ray's suggestions are more of what I was after.
     
  17. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I'm sorry. I didn't meant to sound patronizing or confusing.

    What I wanted to say was, any Olympus ยต4:3 can be adequately turned into a full manual camera. So any one is good depending on personal preferences; some favour the e-p1/2 wheel, for the speed it gives in altering parameters (I'm quite entrenched in this group). Others would feel the e-pl1 quadrifoil is better, because it's less subject to being accidentally bumped and parameters altered while carrying it. It's a matter of taste, both do the same thing in the end.

    I would not in those days and age, ever say that a beginner should only use a film semi-auto, because digital cameras are now better photographic tools than film cameras. The sensors have much wider latitude than any film on the market. I only suggested that a beginner might consider at least experimenting with film a little. And I suggested a photographic club, with gear you can borrow and facilities you can use might be a good place to find in such an endeavour, because you wouldn't incur the costs of buying this kind of gear.

    As of darkroom work, it depends on a lot of things again, I think having done a lot of it helps me understand better the digital post processing ; tools are different, but the main object of interest remains : it's always about the light in the end.

    I had not so long ago the occasion to run a darkroom as an extra curricular activity in a high school. At first, students were unimpressed, but a handful thought it might be an occasion to skip some personal work time, so 2 or 3 came in. I swear you can't better describe the notion of the 'inner child getting out' than watching a bunch of rap-fed, permanently bored teenagers, lighting up from the inside as they see a white sheet of paper turning into a picture as if by magic in the chemistry. End of the story is word spread, and soon I had to enforce quotas and refuse newcomers. By the end of the year, we setup an exposition of students work that was a great success.

    So my take on the subject is it much depends on your attitude ; if you see it as a bean-counting chore, pinpointing dilutions and watching a clock, and also involving troubles and lots of clean up, sure, it's a pain. Don't do it. Now, you can also have fun, play with chemistry, try a lot of things, make a mess around the trays, and enjoy unexpected results.
     
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  18. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    At the very least, it would let those who came up in the digital era realize how frickin' EASY we have it now! I spent many enjoyable long nights in darkrooms. You'd go in when it was daylight and you'd come out many hours later to find more daylight! A pleasantly discombobulating experience. I'm not sure I'd want to do it again. OTOH, I loved it so I guess it couldn't hurt anyone to learn the fundamentals that way.

    -Ray
     
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  19. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Mauve, you didn't seem patronizing to me. I couldn't agree with both of you more about the joys, labors of love, etc., regarding the film dark room experience. Many hours in my long ago past were spent inhaling fumes, changing color filters, and removing errant bits of dust in a couple of different dark rooms. And yes, it can be magical. But I digress.:wink:
     
  20. blackSP

    blackSP Mu-43 Regular

    54
    Apr 9, 2010
    Amsterdam
    Spend your money on the higher quality EP2. I did too and and I love my camera. Now have the 14-42 kit lens + the 20mm Panasonic. I would go for the EP2 body + 20mm...

    If you like tweaking and full manual control I guess your options are limited!