E-PL2 on Safari?...

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by eudeboy, Apr 26, 2011.

  1. eudeboy

    eudeboy New to Mu-43

    Apr 26, 2011
    Hey guys,
    complete newbie here, so apologies if this has been covered over and over elsewhere...

    I'm going on Safari in June and need to treat myself to some new kit.
    Having previously used Compact and DSLR cameras, I'm considering going the 4/3rds route, rather than investing in comparatively more expensive DSLR kit.

    I'm looking at getting an E-PL2, with 14-42mm Mk2 kit lens, 40-150mm lens, 17mm pancake and VF 2 viewfinder.

    Do you guys reckon this will be up to the task?
    Given that my alternative would be to buy an entry level DSLR either with an "all day" lens, i.e. Tamron 18-270mm, or with a kit lens and non stabilsed 70-300mm.

    Also, I much prefer to use a viewfinder when framing shots, however having the ability to "shoot from the hip" will allow me to re-live my old Lomo LCA days.
    Does the combo of a PEN and the VF 2 feel like using a regular DSLR, albeit more compact?

    Oh and one more thing, what bag would you recommended for the above PEN kit too?...

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. s0nus

    s0nus Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 13, 2010

    I too purchased my m43 kit before heading off to Africa!

    I ended up with an EPL1, the adapted Olympus 40-150, and the Olympus 14-42 kit.

    I described how I carried it here.

    I did not have an EVF. For all the long telephoto shots (150mm), I focused manually via the LCD, cropping a small portion of the frame focused on my subject and carefully focusing while propping the lens against the door, window, roof rack, etc. Due to the cramped space in the vehicle and the funny angles, I would have taken an articulating LCD over an EVF any day of the week.

    However, I somewhat I regret not having a longer legacy lens with me, something like a 300mm prime, for that extra reach. Regardless, I was happy with the 150mm - we typically were able to get close enough to the animals to get some nice shots.

    If interested, you can see some of my shots in my gallery under the "Wildlife" album. More are available on my Picasa page.

    Where are you going?
  3. Mr Hahn

    Mr Hahn Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 9, 2010
    SLC, Utah
    Real Name:
    The kit you listed will work just fine, but if you want another option then try this...

    1) Why not eliminate 2 lenses (14-42mm Mk2 and 40-150mm) and just get the 14-150mm instead? That way there's no lens swapping if you see something interesting, there's less to travel with, and the 14-150mm is optimized for video like the Mk2.

    2) Having a pancake on hand is also a good idea, and the 17mm is a decent lens, but unless budget or FOV preference is holding you back then consider the Panasonic 20mm for the extra sharpness it provides.

    And in case you don't already know this stuff:

    3) DONT SKIMP ON THE MEMORY CARDS! I strongly recommend carrying a few SDHC cards no bigger than 4gb or 8gb so if you loose or kill a card you don't loose all of the safari photos. Download them at least once per day if your bringing a computer. I use and recommend these, especially for any video work.

    LINK: 8GB SanDisk Extreme SDHC Class 10 30mb/s

    4) Don't forget spare batteries! For camping and outdoors I carry one in the camera and 2 fully charged spares in the bag, and personally I only use Olympus brand batteries. Also, a travel charger will probably be handy and I recommend this one from amazon.
    - It's cheap
    - It has the euro plug adapter (works with 110v or 220v)
    - It has a 12v vehicle adapter
    - It can also charge USB devices like your phone or ipod (this could eliminate other chargers in your bag)
    - And it plugs straight into the wall so one less cord to mess with

    LINK: BLS-1 Wall and Travel Charger

    Good luck, have fun, and post pics when you get back.

    Nate Hahn
  4. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    If you do not plan on shooting big cats sprinting. The epl-2 will do the job on safari. Where are you going, been on couple myself.

    The 150mm is going to be a bit shoot allot of time. I would look at the panasonic 45-200 for the epl-2 instead. Or even the panny 100-300 or the olympus 75-300.

    If you want to shoot big cats running, the entry dslr like the canon t3i or t2i or t1i with the tamron 18-270 with the PZ motor would be the better option. That is where the pdaf of a dslr pays off.
  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    If you can get one of the 300's then get that. You won't regret it. Otherwise get the Panny 45-200. 150 will leave you feeling short sometimes. Lots of cards is mandatory. It's easy to take 300 shots a day on safari. If you're taking a laptop/netbook then get an external drive as well as a second copy and always carry it with you.

    Other than that. Have a great time.

  6. tomas

    tomas Mu-43 Regular

    I'd take the Olympus mZuiko 14-150 and the mZuiko 75-300 and the Panasonic Lumix 20mm as my main lenses
  7. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    that would be a nice setup, the 20 for the evening stuff.
  8. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    With these looong zooms, don't forget a monopod with a good quality ball head. Good aluminum tubing rather than carbon leg, for it will end up pretty much scratched and banged around.
    Don't forget a couple yachting type bungie cords (those with balls rather than crooks at the ends) so you can secure the 'pod to the vehicle railings, else to a tree, fence etc.
  9. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    with the 45-200 in daylight a monopod is not really needed. especially with a vf2 where you can stabilized better. With a 300mm lens, it can be a benefit at times to have a monopod
  10. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    Good advice.

    If you're going to East Africa, you'll most likely end up in a pop top van. A bean bag is best here. Take an empty one and fillet with rice when you get there.

    In southern Africa you'll usually end up in a modified Landcruiser. Here a monopod works well. Take two soft rubber pads. One for under the foot and one for where you bungee to the vehicle. It helps reduce vibration from the vehicle itself.

  11. haakor

    haakor Mu-43 Rookie

    Feb 27, 2011
    Long lens

    My wife and I spent a month in Kenya/Tanzania in early 2010 with a GH1 and the 14-140 kit lens and I just want to reinforce the other voices suggesting a longer lens. I have picked up the 100-300mm and would have loved to have had it at the time since most of my shots were using the 140mm and wishing for a little more reach.