E-PL2 vs E-PL1 build quality

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by daveproctor, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    None of my local stores have the E-PL2 in stock but I have read very favourable reviews and love my E-P2 so looking to possibly get one as a second body

    One of the things that put me off the E-PL1 was the build quality where, to me, the camera felt it was made of very light plastic. I appreciate the E-PL2 won't be as solid as the E-P2 but I'd welcome views of those that have held both the E-PL1 and E-PL2

    Thanks
     
  2. andyw

    andyw Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Jan 27, 2010
    Surrey. UK
    Hi Dave

    Just buy one already!! :rofl::rofl:

    Seriously i think you need to handle one to see if it's up to spec but remember the plastic they are made from doesn't dent as much as metal!!
     
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    Why do you think the E-P2 is better quality? The skin on the E-P2 is a thin metal skin. Its not all metal. While the PL1 is plastic and feels cheaper, after playing one in the store, I think it would hold up as well, if not better, than the E-P2.
     
  4. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    I would if I could find anywhere local that has it in stock :)
     
  5. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    Because I own the E-P2 and have tried the E-PL1 in a store and the difference in feel is considerable. I appreciate this may not be mean the E-P2 is tougher but I really didn't like the feel of the E-PL1
     
  6. trojancast

    trojancast New to Mu-43

    7
    Feb 20, 2011
    If you don't like the feel of the E-PL1, don't buy one. Life is too short to drag around a camera you don't like the feel of. There are many great cameras out there you will like the feel of, even in Micro 4/3. Just my opinion.:wink:
     
  7. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    I've no intention of buying the E-PL1 :)

    My question was whether the build/feel of the E-PL2 was any better
     
  8. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Yes, E-PL2 is better in terms of build quality. Its front panel is actually made of aluminum - I discovered it the hard way today (got a frostbite after shooting with it for 30 minutes in -20 degrees centigrade).
     
  9. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I just wanted to clarify things. People knock on things that "feel" cheaper and automatically assume it won't hold up, which isn't true. While the E-P2 feels nice, (I have the E-P1), I think I'd prefer the plastic.
     
  10. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    Andy

    Took a trip down to London today and managed to detour via Cameraworld.

    I am now the proud owner of an E-PL2 to go with my E-P2 ...... oh and a 14-150 lens

    And the build quality of the E-PL2 is a HUGE step up from the E-PL1
     
  11. eternallurker

    eternallurker Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Dec 22, 2010
    If you don't mind ellaborating a bit more, in which aspects is the EPL2 a huge step up? front mount? flash? buttons?

    I mean, I think the build quality of the E-PL1 is superb.
    IMO The only weak point on the EPL1 is the flash.
    It definetely feels sturdier than my many times more expensive Canon camcorder, which BTW has handled very well a good beating and abuse over the years.

    So I'm truly curious on how much better the EPL2 is.
     
  12. daveproctor

    daveproctor Mu-43 Regular

    36
    May 27, 2010
    When I have handled E-PL1's in stores they have felt very light - it is a matter of taste but the PL2 feels heavier and more robust, almost as much as the E-P2

    I personally did not like the plasticky feel of the PL1

    The screen on the PL2 is also much better and also a step up from the E-P2

    I'm not saying the PL1 is flimsy, just how it felt to me and the fact I like a bit of weight to my cameras
     
  13. FlyPenFly

    FlyPenFly Mu-43 Veteran

    448
    Feb 15, 2011
    It has a more premium look I would agree than the PL1 but not anywhere close to the P2.
     
  14. chylld

    chylld Mu-43 Regular

    160
    Jan 13, 2010
    +1. I have an E-PL1 and a friend just bought the E-PL2 - the 2 is much more solid feeling and the grip is much much nicer too, as subtle as it may look (the ridge on the back helps a lot.) White balance is much more improved and the screen is significantly better too.

    Unfortunately it's a lot more expensive... about 50% more expensive if shopping from Australia :) And the high-ISO performance isn't noticeably better either.

    as andy said - just buy one already!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. andyw

    andyw Mu-43 Veteran

    410
    Jan 27, 2010
    Surrey. UK
    AWESOME!! Well done and enjoy the new toy!!
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Clearly in the minority

    I have to say that I'm one of the ones that thinks the EPL-1 build quality is nicer. I bought an EPL-2 for the lab I manage and I got to compare them side by side and to me the EPL-1 felt more solid. Also, the battery, charger and new kit lens for the EPL-2 feel and look really cheap.

    It seems like a nice camera...it's not as homely as the EPL-1 and I like the new features but I doubt I'd swap my EPL-1 for one. If I didn't have anything I would definitely consider one but IMHO the overall impression of the kits is that they cut more than a few corners.
     
  17. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    :confused: I had the old kit lens on my Olympus E-P1; sure, its mount was metal, but everything else was just atrocious compared to the new kit lens on E-PL2. The extending barrel was wobbly and zooming action was scratchy and uneven. The new kit lens doesn't wobble at all and its zoom action is very smooth, better even than Panasonic 14-42 (which is much better in that respect than Oly 14-42 Mk I).
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Maybe because the EP1 was first generation? While it's true the 14-42 (version II) that comes with the EPL-2 doesn't wobble I just got a 14-42 (version I) for my EPL-1 and it doesn't wobble either (neither did the one that came with the kit when I got it). I'll go back and check the zoom action. I hadn't noticed much of a difference.
     
  19. eternallurker

    eternallurker Mu-43 Rookie

    24
    Dec 22, 2010
    "Solid", "plasticky", etc.. to me these are very subjective terms.
    I guess I'll have to wait to have an EPL-2 in my hands to see what you guys mean.

    I still find it difficult to see how can it be so much better build quality.
    I mean, to me Plastic does not equal = bad quality. As I think I said before, do you know how resistant ABS plastic can be?

    Perhaps there is a psychological aspect of holding a cold metal body that makes it feel more solid.
    Or is it the weight?
    Maybe my standards are set lower because of my limited knowledge on photo cameras or my video camcorders background.

    But to me build quality is more about the buttons and dials, or if the camera creaks, if a screw seems to be loose, or if the unions of different parts of the body are uneven, etc.
    Basically, any indicator that the camera will hold with many hours of handling an use (abuse).

    So to me the EPL1 seems like a very solid built camera.
    As I said before I think It has a weak spot on the popup flash, which seems very delicate.
    And maybe the painted icons on the buttons might fade away with time.

    I won't go into the lens, because I can only compare it to my old school metal Pentax K mount primes, that are built like tanks (And weight as much).
    Still, I find the kit lens to seem very well built, very light, and I don't forsee mechanical problems in the future.


    Sidenote:
    I rant about this subject always considering that we are living on a consumerist tech evolving age, in which a "long time" might be 5 years. I don't expect tech stuff to last much longer than that, and I accept it.
    Bicycles, guitars, tools, etc.? those should last long enough to give to my kids or grandkids.
    Stuff with microchips inside? 5 years is a good run.

    I mean, we see people today using 30+ year old original PEN's.
    I don't think we will see anyone using an EPL-1 or 2 (or any other Digital camera of this decade) in the year 2040, not even as a nostalgic activity.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    Agreed, though I don't know so much about bicycles these days - the full carbon and alu-carbon frames don't inspire a whole lot of confidence from me looking that far into the future. A well-made lugged steel or titanium bicycle though for sure.

    I'm pretty happy with the build quality of my E-PL1. I agree the E-P1/E-P2 cameras feel better to handle - much more like my old OM-1, but from my experience, on most occasions when related to photography equipment, "better build quality" results in more weight and more weight isn't always better. I like that the E-PL1 is as light as it is - its one of the reasons I bought it so I can carry it around more often than I would my DSLR.

    The mode dial feels especially well made with assertive clicks, the hot shoe seems well made, the strap lugs seem substantial and the lens mount robust enough - and since I keep mine in a leather half case that's about all I notice. I agree the buttons could be a little better though.

    I suppose what I'm saying is that the metal skin on the front of the E-PL2 doesn't really make the camera feel like its build quality is that much more superior to me.