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EPL-1, EP-2, or G1

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by MacBook, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I am going to purchase one of these three cameras. They all produce great photgraphs, obviously, leaving it up to the photographer to be an artist with the tools provided. I'm wondering which of the three make it easier to either change settings that are wanted or gain information. For example, is there much difference for:
    Exposure compensation + or -
    DOF preview
    AF point
    I assume changing aperture or ISO or shutter speed is about equivalent on all three -- is that so?

    Thanks for your advice.
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    EP-2 two dials from which to work exposure (I don't have this camera but I"m working from when I researched it). The G1 allows compensation from a dial on the grip. The E-PL1 requires button pushes in the 4 way on the back. (I have both of these) The E-PL1 being the lesser of the three in regards to ergonomics.

    I don't use DOF preview.

    AF point selection is about the same for all three.
  3. AverageCanadian

    AverageCanadian Mu-43 Regular

    May 22, 2010
    The E-PL1 can be customized to an extent. There are two buttons, FN and Movie button that you can customize, but I can tell you the G2 is a million times easier for making quick changes. Can't comment on the EP-2, but I can say the dial placements on the G2 are fantastic.
  4. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    In looking at the reviews, I'm afraid that the EPL-1 will require too much work on the (smaller) LCD screen. While I have nothing against LCD screens, for me they are better for framing than for reading, since I require reading glasses that I usually do not have when out and about taking photographs. The diopter adjustment in the EVF is critical for my use, and I prefer external controls that can be learned and turned rather than screen adjustments. This probably narrows it down to the EP-2 or the G1, from what I can gather. No local camera stores carry either one, so I guess I just need to order. The G1 is attractive at almost $500 less right now, understanding it does not have movie capabilities and IBIS.
  5. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Just to drive you crazy, the EVF works perfectly with the E-PL1.:wink:

    Read through this thread and take advantage of the links to other threads that are posted within it. I compiled a list of helpful ones in post #3 for another member within this thread: Since I don't know much about the E-PL1. Take your time reading and not the differences.

    Then if you can, go see both cameras in real life. If you can't do that, it is possible to order both cameras from, for example, B & H Photo and try them out. Read each camera store's return policies! Some have an automatic restocking fee and more tacked on, while others do not. B & H Photo has a particularly good return policy.

    I hope this will be of help. I do know how difficult it is to make decisions about spending money on cameras. Compare and contrast and keep your eyes open for changing prices, too!
  6. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Okay, I am predisposed to go for the Olympus, and so will read about the EPL-1, as it is what I would prefer, in many respects. I do not see the VF-2 available anywhere; are there any reports as to how long it takes to get these?
  7. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    figuring out where an item is in stock

    I highly recommend this site NowInStock as a means of tracking when items become in stock, as well as of course one's own obsessive checking, too.:biggrin:

    I also suggest that you call the camera stores you like. For example, one camera store I spoke to told me that they had "no idea" when they'd be getting a particular item in stock and said it could likely be "months". I called another camera store and they told me that they expected the item within the next week.

    And the next thing that happened was that I received a subscription hit from NowInStock and voila - I found what I was looking for and immediately called the camera store (the one that had said they thought they would have it in about a week (B&H)...the customer service person told me they only had a few in stock and that if I wanted it I should order it either on the phone or online right away... I did and the next time I checked their site, the items were temporarily out of stock again. Moral to my longwinded story is - he or she who hesitates misses the boat!:wink:

    P.S. My post was not meant to persuade you regarding any particular camera, but since my personal experience is Olympus related, I remember those threads the best. The search function on the site is pretty good once you get the hang of it, too. So best wishes in your continued hunt!
  8. The Oly VF-2 is a troublesome factor for E-PL1 owners (current and prospective ). In my successful quest in June, I snagged a "buy it now" on eBay, although I'm certain I paid a $25.00 premium( a cost for instant gratification!) If I were to purchase an EP today, I would weigh the cost/availability of the EVF joined with the cost of the E-PL1 and consider picking up an EP-2 kit that includes the VF-2. The costs can be quite close, depending on the source. That being said, there are slight but meaningful differences between them both, which really make this an objective choice.

    BBW is a former EP-2 owner, now enjoying the E-PL1 and I haven't read any regrets about that change. The common thread between the 2 Oly bodies is the option of using the EVF. Anticipate the problem of bright light/LCD framing (it is impossible in many sunlit conditions to see what is framed IMHO), then make your purchase. The various forums occasionally have members who are piecing out their kits, check out the buy/sell list or check with BH daily as their inventory changes without advance notice(or just order one with hope for quick fulfillment). Good luck from a happy Olympus DSLR and E-PL1 user.
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  9. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    Do you have the EPL-1 or the EP-2? I am interested in opinions and advice.
  10. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Apple just released new RAW compatibility so now the E-PL1 is supported!!:yahoo: I'll post more in the software forum.:wink:
  11. Since you asked, I'll answer based on my 6 wk. experience with the E-PL1 (5 with the VF-2, 4 with the Lumix 45-200 and a Lumix MA-1 Adapter for my 4/3 lenses.) I haven't made the complete switch to m4/3, but it's likely when they make a more robust body with weather-sealing. I use my E-3 (E-1 periodically) daily, shooting RAW and mostly in Aperture priority; the controls of the E-1 and E-3 are natural to me. More on this as I refer to the E-PL1!)

    The E-PL1 is a camera that I bought with my wife's use in mind. It's light, it's relatively small, it's got simple automation available with it's multi-scene selection, it initiates creativity with it's nifty short order art filters and it produces outstanding images OOC. Additionally, it packs the ability to grow one's understanding of aperture, shutter speed, ISO selection, brackets, white balance, etc. (I think most of us here, have read such praise before.:rolleyes: ) Anyways, I have a habit of pick up this camera more and more. The EVF was the "must have" for it, and remains so, although I've been practicing with use the LCD and can appreciate thoughts about "streetshooters" more now.

    In terms of experience, I love the PEN camera as a whole, but can't help wondering if I would be happier with an EP-2. It comes down to how the camera fits in my hands and the darn buttons. As mentioned, coming from the larger E-1 and E-3 DSLRs, I'm used to things in certain places and in certain forms; namely dials and wheels where thumbs can work them! The E-PL1 movie button is a PIA and have more "trash videos", taken by accident, than I'd like to admit to. The familiar roll of a dial/wheel is now the "click, click, OK" of the menu pad; something that continues to bother me. Battery life IS a short one; pack at least one extra, better yet two.

    The 14-42 kit lens is decent; my experience with my extensive Oly 4/3 selection has spoiled me however. As an Oly user, I was tempted by the Panny brand, but could not think outside the Oly box as compatibility is a reported issue. My foray into m4/3 was influenced heavily by the notion that I could use All my existing lenses:biggrin: Having said that, the size thing still bugged me as this E-PL1 was to be my wife's camera. It had to have a proper m4/3 telephoto; hence the 45-200. (This way, she may leave my 50-200 alone) The Lumix 45-200 picks up at the upper range of the kit and performs quite well; it is fast, but slightly heavier than my 4/3 40-150 Oly -versionII. Again, praises for the E-PL1 with these lenses and others; it continues with no bad IQ surprises, just good to great ones- allow me for operator malfunctions!:biggrin: A plus for the E-PL1 over the EP-2 is the built-in flash (although minimal). If you know you will need a flash, you've got to buy a decent one in either case.

    Having responded thusly, I've got to say, I'm real glad to have the E-PL1 in the house; I just want more, please! For your choice, it gets to the subjective stuff that you must answer. Either way, figure in the cost/acquisition of the VF-2! Got time, wait and see what Olympus announces in September (rumors of new stuff)! Want it now, simple, find a complete EP-2 "kit" with either the 14-42mm or the 17mm and "Buy It Now". You can't go wrong with either Oly so long as you get the EVF!!
  12. DDG

    DDG Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 15, 2010
    I got a pretty good deal on the E-pl1, and I bought the viewfinder used off Ebay, and the price I paid for the combo is a few hundred less than the E-P2 and viewfinder. That said, if was was buying today, I might go for the G1, since the viewfinder is built in, and it can be had for $500 right now. No regrets, though- I still have time to send this camera back and get the G1, but I'm not going to...I like it too much:) .

    For example, is there much difference for:
    Exposure compensation + or -
    DOF preview
    AF point
    I assume changing aperture or ISO or shutter speed is about equivalent on all three -- is that so?

    Well, I don't know about the G1 and P2, but in the P, A, and S modes on the E-PL1, exposure compensation is changed by pushing the "up" button on the 4-way pad, then pushing the left or right button to make the adjustment. DOF preview can be assigned to the red button normally used to start video. To change the AF point, you bring up the Super Control panel on the LCD (or in the viewfinder , if one is attached) by pushing the "OK" button in the middle of the 4-way pad, use the directional buttons to scroll to that function, push the "Ok" button, select the AF point on a grid, then push the "OK button" again.

    ISO is accessed in the same way from the SCP. Aperture and shutter speed are adjusted in the same way as exposure compensation- you just change the values with the up/down buttons rather than the left/right ones.
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  13. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    All the information helps, as there seems to be consistent threads of information. The G1 seems as though it might be the best combination, especially if I am willing to post-process RAW instead of JPEG. I need the EVF and so would have to buy it for the EPL-1 or get it with the EP-2 kit, both of which would be more than the G1.

    Actually, the main thing holding me back is the thought that I might enjoy the Olympus system more, not worry about RAW, and that brings me closer to the EP-2 because of its controls, larger LCD, and build. I have read the threads that BB suggested and still am not convinced I would enjoy the EPL-1 as much. I guess there is no great hurry, as prices must be pretty much at a peak at this time of year (summer vacations), and come September it may be a new model would be more enticing -- or these might be more discounted, especially the Olympus cameras (as the G1 is discontinued already). I still have a camera for taking photos in the meantime, and it would be just delaying the move to m4/3 a bit.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    If you really think you'd use the evf all or the vast majority of the time, I'd get a camera with it built in - in your case the G1. The Oly cameras form factor lose their advantage if you have the evf stuck on top all the time. Plus, if it was on all the time, I'd worry about breakage or loss. I personally use mine and find it critical in very bright light and nearly critical when using a long lens, but I leave it off whenever possible. Overall I doubt I use it more than 20-25% of the time. But if I did, I'd have likely gone for a Pany body instead.

    As for the ep2 vs epl1, I now have one of each. I bought an epl1 in March. I'm an old film SLR guy but had been shooting point and shoot for most of my child-raising years and had never used a modern/digital camera with anything but buttons on the back. I was perfectly happy with the buttons on the EPL1 and used them a fair amount for chanting aperture, exposure, ISO, etc.

    But then a funny thing happened. I started using a Canon S90 for my REALLY small pocket camera (mostly for bike rides, but other situations too. The S90 has a ring around the lens and one on the back (very similar to the ring on the EP1 and EP2) and I really fell in love with using them. So quick, intuitive, and easy. And fully customizable so you can set them up to use however you like. And then I started to NOT like the buttons on the EPL1 in comparison. It started to feel like a hassle to me.

    With a big trip planned for nearly all of July (just back Sunday night - sleep patterns still screwed up which is why I'm writing this at 4 in the morning!) and deals starting to pop up on EP2s, I bought one and took both of the Olys to Europe with me (as well as the S90). I tended to keep the 9-18 on the EPL1, because I usually am content to set that lens on P mode and not make many changes along the way. And occasionally I'd stick the 17 on it for daylight street shooting, because I generally set the camera at f8 and stick to fixed focus for a lot of that. But for most of my shooting with either of the pancake lenses or the 14-150 zoom, I used the EP2. And, yeah, now that I have it, I greatly prefer it to the EPL1. I find myself changing settings a lot more often because it takes absolutely no thought and I can do it pretty instantly when the need arises. I changed settings on the EPL1 and got fairly automatic with it, but there was always that lag of a second or so remembering the sequence of buttons. Not a big deal until I'd used the S90 with adjustable rings. Then it became a big deal.

    I thought I'd sell the EPL1 when I got back and I may, but I really got used to shooting with two bodies. With my primary lens (often the 14-150, but also used a pancake a lot) on the EP2 and the 9-18 always at the ready on the EPL1, I rarely changed lenses more than a couple of times per day. On a trip to my daughter's college graduation in June with just the EPL1, I was changing lenses a LOT. Like with the control rings, I never minded until I'd tried it with two bodies - I LIKE using two bodies! Not sure that will translate to my day to day shooting around the home turf, so I may yet sell the EPL1, but not just yet. And unlike most people, I DO like the lighter and slightly more compact feel of the EPL1 and I like the grip a LOT - the only ergonomic disadvantage relative to the EP2 is the control wheels vs the buttons.

    That's my experience - very happy with the EPL1. But notably happier with the EP2, which is now my main camera and may become my only one (aside from the S90, which isn't going ANYwhere). May or may not be applicable to anyone else. Or it may be.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina

    Thank you very much for the extended explanation of the EPL-1 and EP-2. Your photo gallery adds to the pleasure, and gives me an idea of how you use a camera, which is quite helpful.

    I would, indeed, use the EVF most of the time, and so realize the G1 may be the best bet. I can get the G1 + 45-200 lens for less than the cost of the EP-2 kit with the EVF. With the very well-received Panasonic lenses, should I decide in time that the G1 is not the cat's meow, I guess I could move to the Olympus side -- especially if a new camera comes to be with an integrated EVF -- with relative ease.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Carol Stee

    Carol Stee Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2010
    I use the EVF on my G2 most of the time because it enables me to frame the composition precisely, I can hold it steadier against my face than at arm's distance, and it's useful in bright sunlight when the LCD won't work.

    I got the G2, and not the G1, because it's the newer model. But now that the G1 has dropped in price to US$499 on amazon.com I realize that I could have gotten the G1 with the 20mm f/1.7 lens for only a little more than what I paid for the G2. So I would go for the G1 unless you want to wait for the GF2 that will come out later this year or early next year. It's rumored to have a built-in EVF on one side, like a rangefinder camera.

    43 Rumors | Blog | Categories | Rumor_list
  17. m43user

    m43user New to Mu-43

    Jul 28, 2010
    I've ask the same questions earlier, I actually had the chance to try the E-P2 and G2 for a couple of days. I say I am more towards the G2 right now. Here are some of my findings, correct me if I am wrong.

    - lack of LCD resolution comparing the G2
    - at auto ISO, when i try to shoot in my room with normal light, it is always at the limit ISO (1600) that i've set after watching the clips that another member posted. Where as the G2 is only shooting at around 400-800 ISO. Is this my camera problem or all of the E-P2 does that. I tried shooting it with 400-800 manually with the E-P2, the picture are still bright enough with less noise too.
    - seperate EVF though the quality is very good but that means you would have to attach and detach it
    - less grip than the G2 but great design vs the plastic body of G2

    - no IBIS but i find it very stable having the Mega OIS off
    - no olympus filter which i will for sure miss if i keep the G2
    - great LCD, built in EVF
    - pictures are not as sharp but after adjustment with the dynamic mode, it's very similar with the E-p2, going to test more to make sure outdoor colours are similiar too
    - touch screen are very useful
    - better auto focus than e-p2 i think
    - built in flash
    - AF asist lamp
    - cheaper
    - easy to locate buttons on camera to change settings
    • Like Like x 1
  18. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    I realized the built-in EVF is the better choice for me. Then, when considering the G1, I checked out the GH1 to see how much more it would be. In the end, I ordered the GH1 with the 14-140mm lens rather than the G1 with the 14-45mm lens. The idea of primarily using one lens on the camera appeals to me as does the supposed somewhat better IQ. The GH1 cost me just $150 more than the G1 + 45-200 lens would have cost, which made it quite attractive.
    • Like Like x 2
  19. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    MacBook, congratulations on your decision! Deciding can be the most difficult part, but that's behind you now. Promise to post when your new GH1 arrives and remember to charge that battery ASAP. Looking forward to seeing your first photos with the GH1.:biggrin:
  20. MacBook

    MacBook Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jul 24, 2010
    South Carolina
    As I wait for the GH1 to be delivered, I am getting a case of mildly cold feet. The new GH1 for $950 was a great buy, but I am wondering if the G1 ($500) or G2 ($750) would serve my purposes better. From reading all the reviews:
    G1 with 14/45mm lens has the better kit lens than the G2
    G2 with 14/42mm lens has weaker kit lens but better controls generally and updated chip. Not sure of the qualitative difference between the 14-45 and 14-42mm lenses.
    GH1 with 14/140mm lens has an all-purpose walkaround lens and somewhat better processor plus excellent video capabilities that could be enhanced through a hack. (Not sure how the video compares to the G2.) However, with the 14-140 lens, it weights about 10 oz more than the G1 or G2 with the kit lens, and even outweighs those cameras with the 45-200 lens by several ounces. Urgh!

    I am most interested still photography, but it is a useful plus to have video available at times, such as at a dance performance my daughter was in a couple of weeks ago. So my order of importance:
    Still photography
    Weight of package
    Low-light capabilities
    JPEG capabilities

    Since I have narrowed down the cameras to the Panasonics because I am interested in the built-in EVF, is there any guidance from people experienced with these cameras?
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