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First week with the Olympus E-P1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Shinka, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. Shinka

    Shinka Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Jun 19, 2010
    Lawrence, KS, USA
    Hello everyone. I just got my E-P1 last Saturday and would like to share my experiences.

    A little about me. As of last month, I am a semi-professional photographer and self-employed website designer and developer. My own photographic history began with the Sony F707, moved on to the Sony F828, then the a100 DSLR, followed by the a300 and now the a850.

    I have had great experience with all of my Sony cameras and am in love with my a850. The full-frame sensor, amazing viewfinder, fantastic ergonomics and superb image-quality make it a photographer's dream. I am heavily invested in the original Minolta AF prime lenses with the 20/2.8, 28/2, 50/1.4, 85/1.4, 135/2.8 and the 35/1.4 on the way. The 50/1.4 is on my camera more than any other lens, and I really enjoy the 'classic' 50mm FOV along with the a850's wonderful viewfinder.

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    The a850 has a real sense of being a 'photographer's camera'. It's durable, has plenty of external controls, has a good heft to it and the pentaprism shape on the top harkens back to SLRs of old. I can't really imagine much that would take me away from this camera and I plan on keeping it for awhile.

    However, the main problem with the camera is that it is a large, heavy, imposing 'professional-looking' camera. Whenever I use it out on the street, or even indoors with family, I really feel like I'm drawing undue attention to myself and making others self-conscious. I wanted a camera that was more 'friendly' to my subjects that felt a little more casual.

    The GF1 and E-P1 really seemed to fit the bill when they came out and I had difficulty choosing between the two. The E-P2 would have been my primary choice, but not being able to find one much under $1000 was a turn off for a secondary camera. The GF1 has a no-nonsense look about it and what seems like a well-designed interface. Craig Mod's fieldtest really was pushing me into the direction of m4/3 and the GF1 specifically.

    The E-P1, however, drew me in with it's cool retro-styling, and most-importantly in-body stabilization. I knew I was hoping to find some older prime lenses to put on this new body (to keep size and cost down), and I have come to rely on in-body stabilization with my old Minolta prime lenses on my Sony bodies.

    Once I came across the G. Zuiko 40mm f/1.4 on KEH.com, my mind was made up. I had found a vintage Pen lens to go on a new Pen body. After hovering around eBay for a few weeks, I spotted an E-P1 kit from ********** for $450. It seemed like too good of a deal to pass up.

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    On to the camera. It feels great in the hand. I'm so glad that some manufacturers are seeing the value in producing metal-bodied cameras. It feels like more than just a consumer electronic, it feels like an old rangefinder made back in the days before plastic became the go-to material for any and all consumer products. The black and silver 40mm lens matches perfectly with the silver & black camera body. They really do look like they were made for each other.

    I went through Brian Mosley's E-P2 quick start guide (actually, I'm not quite finished with it yet) to familiarize myself with the menu customizations. I think I've gotten things to where I'm comfortable with them.

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    I didn't get out for a good session with the camera until Wednesday when I took a walk on a local bike path. I decided to try out the B&W mode (not the art filter, the normal colorspace mode) initially and shot in JPEG+RAW mode. After awhile my first concerns arose. After shooting maybe about 50-70 shots within about 5-10 minutes of each other, the grip area of the camera seemed to be getting warm. I didn't think much of it until I arrived back home and fired off several shots of my cat in rapid succession (not full continuous mode, mind you, but about 1 shot per second for about 5 or 6 shots). The camera started warming again and the image on the LCD became jerky and slow to update. Has this been a problem for anyone else? Could it be the crappy Promaster SD card that came with the camera, or just having my hand wrapped around the body for too long at once (my wrist strap had not yet arrived)?

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    Other than that, I couldn't be more pleased. I've shot my first HD video with the camera, which looks to be something I'd like to do more of, and I love it's portability. There is also great satisfaction in taking a little more time to compose your shots while you're focusing manually.

    The camera has a surprising amount of customizability and there are only a few things I have yet to figure out (like if it's possible to magnify the image on screen with my manual focus lens while still being able to change WB and ISO settings and without having switching display modes with the INFO button).

    I hope to continue sharing my experiences with you all, and I look forward to what the various manufacturers having coming out in the next few months (more prime lenses, built-in electronic viewfinder, higher-res LCD screen, etc.).

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  2. cosinaphile

    cosinaphile Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    new york city
    i took me a month to realize the wisdom and utility of legacy glass on my ep1 , and of course there is something very special about mounting the original pen lenses on the beautiful metal body of an ep1, its almost poetic , if you can say that about a bit of technology.....

    enjoy your great new [and old!] gear