Review My EPM1 Review

Mookalafalas

Mu-43 Top Veteran
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Feb 22, 2012
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502
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Tainan, Taiwan
Real Name
Al
I bought a refurb for $227 off ebay, with no flash. It's an adorable little camera, and fun to use. I just got a 40-150mm in the mail today, and from my quick initial testing, I find the IBIS works very well. I have a Canon 5D3, so am not sure if I will stay on the m4/3 bandwagon for long...I've just ordered two more lenses for it, so will have 5, but it's striking me as rather silly to have two whole camera systems with lens collections when I'm just an enthusiast, and not rich. I love how tiny and light it is, but the noise at even intermediate ISOs is a problem for me. When I go out in the day for regular shooting, I use my DSLR, so would like this for indoor night time candids, but that's exactly when good high ISO would be most handy.
Still, it's such a sharp, fun little camera, I am glad I got it and expect to get a lot of use from it.
 

laogu

New to Mu-43
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Sep 24, 2012
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SE Idaho
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Scott
thanks for this review. It was instrumental in helping me decide to purchase an E-PM1.

-Scott
 

MikeinAlexandria

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Joined
Nov 10, 2012
Messages
21
I have been selling off four thirds stuff because I got an OMD. I decided to sell my E-P1 and E-P3 as well, and got a great deal on a metallic brown E-PM1 body. It should be here this coming week. I plan on using it with my 20mm F 1.7 and 12mm F2 lenses, but I have the 25mm as well and will definitely give it a try!

Thanks for the review.
 

wakemare

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Dec 20, 2018
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Adelaide, South Australia
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Matt
dude, i utterly LOVE this little camera for shooting street or totally candid at functions. no one knows you have it. i love it. i may buy one back soon.... i used to just set it up to monochromatic and only B and W, just a little noise reduction in PP and the shots were awesome.
 

mfturner

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
169
Eight years have passed since this great review, which convinced me to add a PM1 as a $50 beater camera for trail running and a very compact travel kit, with a battery that swaps with my e-m10. This review is fabulous, and set my expectations perfectly. Better than I expected, the 8 year old camera only had 1087 shutter actuations, and the battery life is as if brand new with maybe only three full discharge cycles on it. I added a piece of Paracord as a wrist strap, it is a bar of soap ergonomically, and mostly use A or S modes so I'm not digging through the menus much. It slips easily into my running waist pack, which was my primary need. My ancient Ibis seems to be ok, so I'm leaving it on for now, and lets me handhold reliably to 1/10th with the 14-42 EZ on full zoom, but I seem to be a stop or two more steady than most folks. The EZ zoom or 9mm BCL are my best lenses with it, great for carrying while walking the dog, it really wants a small prime or pancake though. The P35-100f4 is ok but pushing it with it's magnification, aiming without an EVF is difficult at 100mm, and tracking anything not sitting still is even harder. Maybe the PM2 sensor would make me a little happier, but then it wouldn't be a $50 beater, it would have been a $130 beater, lol.
 

Paul C

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Oct 29, 2017
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176
2020 Update

Thanks to all of you all who post reviews of "old tech" M43 kit. To some it may be "obsolete" but for others, "obsolete" is just the inexpensive challenge we need to spur our creativity.

I looked at "high Quality" compacts to buy for the summer --- but the price of the 1 inch sensor Sonys and Nikons are very high, even secondhand on auction sites.

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So thanks to this "old" review posted many years ago I now have a £50/$60 Olympus EPM1 - coupled with the excellent manual 25mm Meike Lens, and this fits the bill. Image quality is way ahead of any compact that I own. The Meike has high micro-contrast, great colour renditin with the EPM1, good close focus and delivers the IQ benefits of an "old school" film-era "standard lens" with native M4/3 mount.
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If you add the Olympus electronic viewfinder the cost jumps a lot, so you may as well hunt down the diminutive Lumix G3 with the 16MP sensor if that is what you need and don't mind obsolete tech' sensors. Instead, I've programmed the EPM1 video record button to do view magnification as a manual focus aid. When I get lazy, I switch to the fabulous and very lightweight Lumix 25mm F1.7 for program AF.

The hot shoe is just perfect to slip an inexpensive small rubber "spirit level" into for architecture shots or to set up panoramas, and also reduces the chance of snagging it in my pockets.
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As the review says, out-of-cemera JPEGs from the first generation 12MP sensors are excellent if you take a bit of time to get the exposure right, while setting the JPEG to the high-contrast Back and White "Art Filter" while simulaneously downloading in RAW is a great creative way of visualising monochrome as you take the photo.

So plese, keep the old reviews up online, and for the readers, keep adding new reviews of old kit!

Best wishes - Paul C
 
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phigmov

Probably Not Walter Kernow
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
4,984
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Aotearoa
2020 Update
Thanks to all of you all who post reviews of "old tech" M43 kit. To some it may be "obsolete" but for others, "obsolete" is just the inexpensive challenge we need to spur our creativity.
Don't forget to keep posting pics from older models. Theres one a thread for the 12mp sensor in the early m43 generation cameras - people may think they're old but they can still take a great picture. https://www.mu-43.com/threads/share-your-12mp-images.98507/
 

WT21

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Joined
Feb 19, 2010
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Boston
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #112
That was a great review @WT21. It really makes me miss the old days on this forum and with m4/3s in general.
Now here's a blast from the past! Those were the fun days indeed. Maybe we need more gear reviews on the site!

I noticed some of my sample shots had disappeared (probably broken links from a hosting site), so I've put some more samples back in the review. @Paul C I hope you enjoy your new (to you) EPM1!
 

demiro

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Nov 7, 2010
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3,113
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northeast US
Now here's a blast from the past! Those were the fun days indeed. Maybe we need more gear reviews on the site!

I noticed some of my sample shots had disappeared (probably broken links from a hosting site), so I've put some more samples back in the review. @Paul C I hope you enjoy your new (to you) EPM1!
I just looked at the folks who "liked" the initial post. Kind of like a high school reunion. Lots of great members who have been in the wind for a while now. Enough nostalgia for today. Though this thread has got me thinking about an E-PL1 + 25/1.8. Always thought that camera produced nice images.
 

SilverShutter

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
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22
Location
Ireland
So thanks to this "old" review posted many years ago I now have a £50/$60 Olympus EPM1 - coupled with the excellent manual 25mm Meike Lens, and this fits the bill. Image quality is way ahead of any compact that I own.
I also got the EPM1 last January for 50€, came with the kit 14-42, so I guess I either got the body or the lens for free (or both for very cheap!). The IBIS on mine is toast though, but I have plenty of cameras without it so I don't miss it too much. It's a perfect pocket camera, I use it as a secondary body to my EM10ii, since they share the batteries, and can be used with a flash system too. I think in time I will upgrade it to an E-PL8.
 

mfturner

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
169
This is still my go to camera for walking about, really bad weather, or risk of damage like while trail running. Any upgrade would lessen the inexpensive appeal for when I take it running. I'll get back to posting images using it soon...
 

PakkyT

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Jun 20, 2015
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Massachusetts, USA
Back in 2015 I was looking for a "new" camera to have converted for infrared use. I initially was thinking about the E-PM1 since it was the smallest camera in the line up and second hand was in my budget at the time. Unfortunately, its lack of external controls was the deal breaker as I need to be able to quickly change certain settings such as aperture, shuttle, and/or exposure compensation mostly without have to menu dive or think about which button to press first and then which other buttons changed what since the few buttons on the body were shared across different camera settings. I ended up with an E-P2. But every once in a while I will see one of the PMs selling for next to nothing and consider grabbing one just for the fun of it.
 

mfturner

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Aug 6, 2019
Messages
169
I will say that the PM cameras force you to learn how to simplify the exposure controls, and to make the best use of auto exposure and auto ISO. For me, this has converted me from using aperture priority to shutter priority because I can hand hold much better than the 1/2×FL minimum shutter speed that the A mode defaults to. So in S mode with auto ISO i have decent control over all three exposure settings with the single thumb wheel so long as i keep an eye on the aperture to make sure I'm not getting hazy overexposed f22 images when I come out of deep shade, which I've done a couple of times.
 

SilverShutter

Mu-43 Rookie
Joined
Oct 22, 2020
Messages
22
Location
Ireland
Back in 2015 I was looking for a "new" camera to have converted for infrared use. I initially was thinking about the E-PM1 since it was the smallest camera in the line up and second hand was in my budget at the time. Unfortunately, its lack of external controls was the deal breaker as I need to be able to quickly change certain settings such as aperture, shuttle, and/or exposure compensation mostly without have to menu dive or think about which button to press first and then which other buttons changed what since the few buttons on the body were shared across different camera settings. I ended up with an E-P2. But every once in a while I will see one of the PMs selling for next to nothing and consider grabbing one just for the fun of it.
It's quite a fun camera to shoot, but it's best shot on a priority type mode, either speed or aperture. The wheel control just makes it very easy to do this. Program works well too but I've found it tends to favour smaller apertures than I'd like.
A combination I really like for this one is the EPM1 and the 9mm fisheye body cap lens, just throw it in your pocket as a second camera:
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