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I could use some purchase advice!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jorg.S, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    I'm new here and new to mft too.
    My regular gear is a Sony a850 and an a700 with many good lenses but I've been looking for something smaller to cary around with less effort.

    I have pretty much narrowed it down to the Oly Epl1 or Epl2.
    I like both and have played with both at a local store here but I can't make up my mind as to which one.
    Adorama has some great deal right now on both of them.
    Epl1 Refurbished for $330 with the 14-42 lens or $480 with the 40-150 included.
    The Refurbished Epl2 with the kit lens is $450 but doesn't offer the other lens choice with it.

    I like the extra things that the Epl2 offers over the Epl1 like the nicer screen, the better grip and the adjustment wheel too, but money is a huge object right now too.
    I have been looking at pictures and reviews on both of them and they are very close with one another especially in the picture comparison.
    I like the look of both as they sort of remind me of some old school range finder gear.

    So what do you fine people think I should get?
    I want to stay in the $500 and below range to see how I will do with this system.
    As I know that I will eventually buy the add on viewfinder because that is what I'm used to having and don't know yet how I will cope with holding the cam away from me.

    I still have an old Olympus C2100 that I still use because I love the picture output so much, but always use the EVF on it too.
    Some of my best shots were taken with this little gem.

    Thank you for any advice and insight you can give me.
  2. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    I'd say go with the EPL1 and get one of the thin wide angles to match up with your 14-42.. like a 14mm pana or 17mm olympus you can always pickup an old legacy manual focus lens for telephoto later for like 10-30 bucks plus the cost of an adapter.

    Since money is the main focus, that's why I suggest the EPL1. With the new pens coming out, you'll probably want to upgrade an year or 2 times to one of the new twin engine pens and get one of them used perhaps so no point in spending more now then you have budget for.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. leonberdi

    leonberdi Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    +1 for the EPL1...

    and +1 for working with legacy glass.

    I have the Epl1 and I love it. When I compare it to the Epl2 I would love to have the nicer screen, but I have mixed feelings about the extra wheel. The extra wheel basically is the same thing as the 4 buttons of the EPL1 (just giving you an added dial option). From what I understand this can be a double-edged sword. Some love using dials (myself included) and love the feature. However, some have noted that it's too easy to turn the dial by mistake when you really only want to push the buttons (which, again, are on the dial itself). Seems a little frustrating to me since the dial is not entirely dedicated.

    Before I made my purchase, I had misgivings about the reputation of the Epl1 in some circles as being too "automatic," or being too much of a P+S. I can say that I used to use manual cameras from the 70's, and the EPL1 can do all of what the manual could do and more. I find that dialing in settings is a cinch, and does not require endless clicking as some would have you believe. In fact, if you keep a button pressed (say to increase shutter speed) then the button acts much like a dial, and the camera rapidly scrolls through the settings. It's easy and intuitive. It certainly is not like using a manual camera from 40 years ago... It doesn't seem to want to be that type of camera. But why should it? It works fine as it is.

    You mentioned the VF-2. I agree, that will likely be on your to buy list. It's a great add on, even though some have complained that it doesn't attach itself to the hotshoe as tightly as it should. You'll especially want it is you shoot on sunny days, or if you are focusing manually.

    Beware of the Panny 20! It will come calling too! Especially if you need a fast lens in low light (the EPL1 kit lens is pretty bad in those situations).

    Speaking of the kits lens. The main reason why I would consider the EPL2 over the EPL1 is for the upgraded kit lens. (If this info is wrong someone please correct me.)

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd go for the E-PL2. The E-PL1 has been dumbed down and you may regret it later. The E-PL2 makes no compromises so although there will always be something nicer and better come down the road (ie, like the E-P3 and E-PL3), the E-PL2 still stands out as the best of its time, even better in performance than the higher-grade E-P2. The second lens isn't a big deal as it is also a slow lens like the standard kit zoom. You'll probably want to upgrade it for some faster glass anyways down the road, like maybe the new 45mm f/1.8 prime for instance, which will give you a focal length in the middle of your two kit zooms but so much faster than both.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    E-PL2... the lack of any rotary dials on the E-PL1 makes it a pain to change settings.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    If you get a NEX, you can get the LA-EA1 adapter and therefore you can use A-mount lenses...
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If you want to keep it under $500 te E-PL1 is probably the better choice. The thumbwheels are nice but I had an E-PL1 as my entry into m43 (and an E-PL2 at my lab so I have compared them side by side) and I find the E-PL1 quite capable. They are both terrific cameras. Remember that if you want an EVF you are looking at another $200 so you may want to figure that into your purchase decision.

    If you have handled them both and one does not leap out to you then I'd say go with the cheaper one and spend any additional on a prime lens or some nice legacy glass. The nicer LCD, grip and improved features (such as faster top shutter speed and slightly improved IQ) of the E-PL2 are great but the E-PL1 is capable of great results. I suspect if you put two prints from these cameras side by side you'd be hard pressed to tell which was which. The biggest selling point for the E-PL2 (given that cost is a priority) is that the kit lens with the E-PL2 is a good deal better than the one with the E-PL1.

    If you are not tied to Olympus as a brand then take a look at the Panasonic G1 or G2 as well. They are similarly cheap, come with built-in EVFs that are every bit as nice as the VF2, rotating LCDs, have better ergonomics IMHO than either of the E-PLs and still give you a much smaller package to walk around with. If you are wanting to stay with Olympus and are thinking of possibly upgrading later (and don't need an EVF) the E-P1 is also a terrific camera and can be bought for a song these days.

    Finally, you might save money by buying used as opposed to refurbished. No matter which way you go all the options out there are good.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Hold yer horses,
    See if you can find a good Sony dealer who has all the NEX in stock with the NEX-to-Alpha mount adapter.

    Seriously dude!

    Only after finding that's still too huge a combination would you want to go buy a G2 or an e-pL2&VF-2 & 17mm/20mm prime & 40-150. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    +1 for the E-PL1

    I bought the E-Pl1 and then upgraded to the E-Pl2 when it came out. Frankly, it was not worth the upgrade. IMHO, the wheel is over rated. It is too small and too easy to bump and change a setting that you did not intend. Ruined a few shots this way already with the E-PL2. This never happened with the PL1.

    I like the 40-150mm lens. It is capable and fairly sharp. On bright days for travel, it is easy to carry and easy to use. It is slow, but we know that up front. I have some heavy legacy glass for when the light goes down.

    My 2 cents.
    Get the E-PL1 and start finding lenses you like to use.
    Save money for a future body that will significantly upgrade image quality. The PL2 does not upgrade your image quality.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Thank you all for some good advice.
    This has given me some more food for thought on both models.
    Right now I'm leaning towards the Epl1 with the two lenses as this would give me a nice starter setup but I will look at both of them again.

    As for as the NEX from Sony is concerned, well I don't like the look of them and they are disproportionate as the lenses are too big.
    Most of my Lenses are the Zeiss and G lenses and they are huge and would swallow the NEX body whole.
    The reason I want to go with the Olympus system is because I like the output I have seen on them and I like the design of them too.

    Which ever cam I get would be like my P&S so to speak and needs to be portable for that reason but I also like to be able to change lenses.
    If I really come to like this system I will look to get some of the other lenses and gear, I'm pretty sure of that.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for that but I do want to get a Olympus.
    I just really like the retro look.
  13. vzipper

    vzipper New to Mu-43

    Jul 18, 2011
    If you spend some time looking around, you can find a good deal on a used EPL2. I just picked up a like new EPL2 body for $350. I found several with kit lens going for much less than $500 using different photography forum web sites (like stevesdigicams, fredmiranda, etc) and craigslist. At the same time, there seemed to be even more EPL1's available for even less. Hope this helps
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Thanks for that.
    But I could not find any for sale items on stevesdigicams
    am I missing something?
  15. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    I wanted to let everybody that helped me know that I pulled the trigger today and bought the EPL1 with the two lens kit, extra battery and an 8 gig class 10 card.
    This will hold me over till I figure out how much I like it and what kind of other lenses to get.
    It should be here by Wednesday and I can't wait.

    Thank you all again.
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Congratulations! :D 
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Congrats...and enjoy
  18. fcampbell48854

    fcampbell48854 Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 7, 2011
    I'd love to hear what you think of your choice after you get the camera kit and get a chance to try it out a bit.
  19. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Will absolutely let you know how I feel and think about it.
    I'm sure it will be an adjustment coming from full frame and a huge slr kit.
  20. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Yeah I got my Epl 1 today.
    I'm now going through the menus and the book to figure out some of the settings.
    It's allot more complex then I thought it to be.
    Are there any settings and or tricks I should be paying closer attention too?

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