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epl2 or xz-1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by blb, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. blb

    blb Guest

    On other review sites, I've seen several posts from folks who own both a Pen and an xz-1. I expect several of you are in that boat and will appreciate you insights and advice.

    I'm looking for an everyday, walk around camera, not so much for "in your face" street stuff, but definitely for urban landscape/architecture and abstract shooting. If the xz-1 were $100 - $150 dollars cheaper, I think I would go that way for sure as I like the solid feel and clean looks of that body. But now, as they're virtually the same price, I'm not sure which way to go: fast lens and all-in-one form, or m43 and all that entails. (For what its worth, I have only one legacy lens - a pentax 50mm.)

    Functionally, are the IQ differences really noticeable? And, is it possible to preset the xz zoom to frequently used lengths? (The thought of going from the manual, and easily controllable, zoom of a dslr or m43 back to the herky-jerky toggle controlled zooms of the standard compact does concern me.)

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Image quality is on a totally different level. Get the E-PL2, even if you only use it with the one Pentax prime. :) 
  3. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    E-PL2 hands down!
  4. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    E-PL2. All the reviews say the XZ-1 is excellent image quality-wise, but that's compared to other compacts, not a 4/3 sensor. It depends on what you want to do with the images though? Print large? E-PL2. Web and computer use only. XZ-1.

    I'd like the XZ-1 myself, but only as a second camera.....
  5. tigertiger

    tigertiger Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 30, 2011
    If you want a small camera for urban photography, you might want to look at the Ricoh GRD3. Same price as the XZ-1, and a better camera, IMO.
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The image quality differences are substantial in good light. In poorer light, not so much (unless you put a fast lens on the E-PL2). The XZ-1 does not offer a step zoom feature. That said, the E-PL2 zoom kit is considerably larger than the XZ-1. The XZ-1 fits easily in a jacket pocket. The E-PL2/14-42 does not (and weighs about double). Something to keep in mind...

  7. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    I respectfully disagree. (Maybe you're talking about suit jackets? Then I would agree.) My E-PL2 with the 14-42 fits snuggly in a baggy pair of jeans and easily in any of my coats.
  8. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Hmmm...I'm looking at my "new" (refurb) E-PL2 with 14-42, and there's no way it would fit in the pocket of my relaxed fit jeans...especially if I were wearing them! I guess that's the difference between "relaxed fit" and baggy..

    Do you think the current style of wearing jeans that appear to be falling down came about as a result of the wearers having largish cameras in their pockets?? :smile:
  9. ssgreenley

    ssgreenley Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 12, 2011
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Fellow forum members, I present to you a White E-PL2 awkwardly placed in the pocket of a pair of Lucky Relaxed Fit 181 jeans! Ta-da!
    • Like Like x 3
  10. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Whatever you do...DON'T SIT DOWN! :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. blb

    blb Guest

    While I'm waiting...

    While I'm waiting for the first, "Is that a camera in your pocket or are you just..." statement, I'll thank you all for your feedback.

    I guess I should not be surprised by the fact that the epl2 gets the most votes on this forum, but your comments are pretty consistent.

    I'm not really interested in being able to put the camera in my pocket as I really do prefer to have it around my neck (I've found, with other compacts, that I'm just too lazy to keep putting it in and out of my pocket or its case and end up missing a lot of shots.) So the size is not critical, but at the same time, I'd probably lean towards a pancake or the collapsable kit for most day-to-day stuff on an epl2.

    With that in mind, do any of you also have experience with the nex series? When I look through the flickr "camera finder" feature, I consistently like the looks of what folks are able to do with those cameras, but when looking at them at the shop, even with the pancake, I wonder how they carry on a neckstrap. I seem to remember reading that they are designed to hang with lens down?
  12. Hammerli

    Hammerli New to Mu-43

    Aug 29, 2011
    The nex series are definitely going to hang lens down. While they *might* offer great images, the 3 and 5 I've tried were awkward to use and carry. I personally quickly ruled them out in favor of the Olympus and Panasonic offerings.

    I used an XZ-1 side by side with a GF3, and to be honest at low ISOs there just wasn't that much difference if any in 4x6, 5x7 prints and on-screen at reasonable resolutions. Where the XZ-1 suffers is focusing speed, high ISO quality, and versatility (by that I mean ability to use components of a system), but it and the S95 are the two best small P&S cameras out there IMO.
  13. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    When I bought my LX5 I looked closely at the XZ-1. In the end, The overwhelming factor for me was the wider FOV with the 24mm Leica lens on the LX5. With a compact camera such as this, I find myself much preferring better wider capability vs longer capability. I absolutely LOVE the LX5 now that I've had some time using it... Awesome camera.

    That said, it you want IQ and low light capability, the m4/3 will be a much better choice. For me, there's room in my life for the LX5, a full m4/3 kit, and a full 5DMkII kit for my pro work. I left medium and large format gear a number of years ago.

    Another camera I'd strongly consider for very small with great IQ is the new GF3. The GF3 with 14mm lens is a really nice compact kit. The 14-42 or 14-45 on the GF3 makes a great small set up as well. Still, the LX5 has it beat size wise and convenience wise, but for IQ, m4/3 has that dialed.

    As with everything else in life, there is no perfect choice... there are trade offs you must make with every choice.
  14. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    I don't know here I read it... but I saw an article - or perhaps a series of forum posts somewhere - describing how the XZ-1 at its widest aperture of f/1.8 will gather just as much light as a micro four-thirds camera with kit lens at its widest aperture of f/3.5. Which is fine if you plan to shoot wide open most of the time, I guess. Having the more flexible zoom range without having to change lenses can be useful as well.

    I'm with DHart: There's room in my life for my Pentax K-5 DSLR kit, my micro four-thirds kit and a camera along the lines of either Panny's LX series (I have an LX3) or the Oly XZ-1. But you say size isn't critical and you'd just as soon keep the camera around your neck instead of inside a pocket. Given that, I say go for the E-PL2.

    If you can't find one cheap enough... I suggest the brand-new E-PM1, which is going for $499 with the latest (and fastest focusing) 14-42 kit lens. Yes, there are fewer external controls but, honestly, the camera looks very easy to use.
  15. blb

    blb Guest

    It's looking like an epl2...

    I went to a couple shops and played around with a few cameras today - I really like the feel of the metal nex lens, but I think I'm going to go with the bulk of the advice here and look for an epl2. My toys will then be a t2i, the epl2, and my iphone. I shouldn't miss too much with that arsenal. Thanks for the help.
  16. harlz

    harlz Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Syd, Australia
    I also am considering a XZ-1 but im thinking about replacing my epl-1 with it. Iv found some decent prices on the internet for xz-1 and an ep-2 (which iv always wanted) not sure which way to go.
    I rarely print and if i do its 4X6. Iv also got a Sony A33 which can be used for the more important shoots. Should i go ep2 or xz1... Its hard decision. I dont like the epl2, i need control dials.
  17. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I am in the camp that doesn't see where the high-end compacts fit in anymore... You can pickup a new E-PM1 for roughly the same price, slap a 14mm on there, and you have approximately the same dimensions and much better IQ and flexibility.
  18. harlz

    harlz Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Syd, Australia
    Yes that is an option but then you sacrifice that awesome front adjustment wheel and built in 4X zoom range. Iv had a thought, Could always sell my 20mm pany lens. That would cover most of the XZ-1 and upgrade to EP-2 later after i sell the EPL1...
    Snapsort gave the XZ-1 a higher rating than the EP-2. Same with Dpreview
  19. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Good point on the zoom, but with the Panasonic collapsible zoom on the horizon, this just comes down to a cost issue. I haven't personally handled the E-PM1, but from what I read, the UI is easy enough to change settings.

    I may be smoking something here, but I think dpreview's ratings are relative to their class. For example, a 75% compact does not necessarily perform better than a 70% DSLR. Also, snapsort is interesting, though, it is just an auto-magic-compare search engine of specifications. I wouldn't put a lot of stock in that...

    Do you already have a m4/3 body then?
  20. harlz

    harlz Mu-43 Rookie

    Sep 19, 2010
    Syd, Australia
    Yeah thats true you cant compare scores of a pro compact to a larger sensor 4/3. I have a EPL-1 with 20mm pany and kit zoom. I find iv outgrown the lack of manual control and desperately need to upgrade. Also my fiance owns the a33 so my use of that is limitied as she doesnt like me changing her settings :biggrin:
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