My thoughts on GF1 vs E-PL1 and some questions!

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Akashi, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    Hi all,

    I currently own a EOS/REBEL 400D and a Panasonic LX3. I want to upgrade my portable setup (currently the lovely LX3) as the EOS is way to heavy and bulky to drag around. I have read a lot about both cameras and system (Panasonic and Olympus that is) and I have some thoughts. Comments always appreciated.

    GF1 (+/-)
    ------------
    + High res screen
    + Fast(er) AF
    + Better (?) optics (Lumix/Leica brand)
    - lower Jpegs output (although I also shoot some RAW)
    - NO IBIS
    - price on optics

    E-PL1
    -------
    + Better Jpegs
    + IBIS (see below)
    + Compactness on lenses :)43: is about compactness)
    + Price
    - not so good optics
    - Slow AF (How is this after the recent firmware upgrade?)
    - only 1/2000 shutter speed (is this really an issue?)
    - No wheels for controlling Shutter and Aperture. Is the menu system more difficult/slower to use?)

    The reason I *THINK* IBIS is important is that I own a few old lenses I want to revive. It is not many. This is what I have :

    Olympus OM mount : 50 mm f1.8 & 80-200 mm MAcro
    Minolta Alpha mount: Minolta AF 28-80mm & Minolta AF Zoom 75-300 mm
    Leica mount : Industar -61 53 mm F 2.8

    What is your experience with legacy lenses and IBIS / No IBIS? Also I count the panasonic 20 mm here. This will be a definite buy!

    I really appreciate your comments on this. I am currently leaning towards the E-PL1, as you may have understood from what I write.

    Thanks..
     
  2. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    The af speed difference is pretty much a non issue now, the lenses fit both cameras so cost/quality of optics of the different brands is also a non issue
     
  3. nokiamia

    nokiamia Mu-43 Regular

    102
    May 20, 2010
    Malaysia
    My personal view is that, IBIS is very important especially when you want to use old lenses. That's one reason why I was swayed to the Oly, for my case, the EP2.

    But, I don't mean to make it harder for you, both cameras are just awesome.
     
  4. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Hi,

    Both cameras are very,very, good but I bought the E-pl1 because of IBIS and other minor factors.

    I also have legasy lenses and IBIS for me was very important. I sold my Nikon dslr for the Pen leaving for me some lenses I loved.

    Manual focusing is very easy on these cameras.
     
  5. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Lisa
    I have both the GF1 and EPL1 I enjoy using both. I like the controls better on the GF1, it's easy to change ISO and settings with less button pressing. However I like to shoot macro and have some manual focus lenses for that the add on electronic viewfinder is essential, I like the EVF of the EPL1. I got the EPL1 about 2 weeks after the GF1 and I've shot about the same number of images with both cameras. I am quite happy with both.
     
  6. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    LisaO,
    do you use your legacy lenses with the GF1? If so, how does that work, blurring?
     
  7. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    Thanks for answering. How do you like the menu driven shutter/aperture controls? I mean, is it a one button press and change or is it more? This may be a show-stopper for a PL1 for me..
     
  8. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Two buttons - one to invoke, one more to change. Pretty intuitive, not difficult at all. But if you're used to dials, it'll take you a little while to adapt. I wouldn't let it be the deal breaker, but it could be a factor. I came from very old film SLRs and more recently point and shoots so it was a non-issue for me. But I've also added a Canon S90 for real pocket-ability, and I have to admit I really like having the lens ring and rear dial to change settings on the fly.

    -Ray
     
  9. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I have a GF1. I have spent some time with an EP2 and handled the E-Pl1 in detail, but do not own either of the Oly's. In my view you will not be disappointed by either purchase, but you really have to work through your own priorities to maximize the happiness...

    I chose the GF1 against the then available EP1 because I find the controls far superior. Whether held at arms length or to the eye with the EV, the buttons are easy to find, hard to press accidentally and intuitive in design and action. I prefer the menu system too - I find it more fully considered from a photographers perspective.

    In the end this made the difference to me - I find being able to manage and change the settings on the GF1 utterly simple and intuitive. I did not find this with the EP2, while the smaller Oly has controls more suited to the P&S user: this is not a bad thing, just an observation.

    I find that the GF1 does focus faster. Under some circumstances the difference may be significant, but I have to say that in the time I spent with the EP2 and the Oly 17mm lens, I really didn't find it to be an issue.

    There is no doubt that the IBIS is an advantage. How much so depends on your own considerations. It would make no difference for what and how I shoot.

    I hope these comments are of some use in your decision making.
     
  10. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    The link has a nice diagram on the E-PL-1 controls courtesy of Brian Mosley.

    https://www.mu-43.com/f42/e-pl1-bits-bobs-q-1686/#post16555

    I have an E-PL1 and at first didn't care for the controls but after using them for a bit, I have no issues and actually can make changes very rapidly. The Olympus Super Control Panel (SCP) option also makes fine tuning the most important settings very easy. I sometime miss the extra controls that you find have on the E-P1/2 but not enough to make me regret buying the E-PL1 at this junction anyway.

    Overall, both cameras are top-notch and you won't go wrong with either, imho.
     
  11. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I came from a semi-pro Nikon with 2 dial rings and lots of buttons but I got myself adapted quite quickly.
    It was not a major problem for me but I don't know if it is for you.

    To change almost all setting 2 button press and sometimes only one.

    But for me it is very simple and fast so it's no problem.
     
  12. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    333
    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    Thing is that after using my GF1 for about 3 months, I wanted to use my D200 and found that what I used to do automatically, I found I no longer could. It felt really strange, because I had shot Nikon for over 45 years. It took me a while to figure out my GF1, but now I don't think about it.

    photosbypike
     
  13. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Lisa
    I do use some manual lenses on the m 4/3 cameras.
    I'm not quite sure what you mean about blurring.
    Have a look at my blog or flickr stream.
    I usually list the camera and lens details on the blog.
    Micro Four Thirds User Forum - Lisa O's Photo Blog
     
  14. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    152
    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    I just meant when using manual focus lenses on the GF1, if you notice the lack of stabilization when you shoot.

    I must say that this is a though decision to make. There is a trend in the answers though, GF1 owners sticks with their choice and so does the olympus owners. I guess that means that both are satisfied and, as almost all points out, both a great cameras. I am glad though that the lack of external controls for shutter/aperture does not seem to bother the PL-1 owners.

    As I said I favor portability, IBIS (even though I am not sure how much it matters) and IQ. All of which points to PL-1, but I am extremely happy with my Panasonic LX3 so I have great trust in the brand. In addition I find the menu system on the LX3 easy and I imagine the GF1 has a similar menu-layout.

    Thank you all, I really really appreciate that you took time to type in your inputs. I will let you know how I goes on my side, perhaps the next step needs to be a trip to a good camera store to check the models out. Sadly in my part of the world that is minimum a 2 h flight away :eek: . Next week I go to Baltimore, MD, USA. Hope I can find a good cam store there. :smile:
     
  15. john1027

    john1027 Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Mar 5, 2010
    Alexandria, VA USA
    Akashi,

    When you get to Baltimore, you will be able to see the E-PL1 at most any of a chain we have here called Best Buy (Best Buy). They don't have the GF1.

    There is a local area camera chain called Penn Camera that has a pretty good line of cameras and gear. You will find all of the Oly Pen line, as well as the Panasonic GF1 there. In store stock varies so call ahead and they will get something transferred to your store of choice if they don't have it in stock. Depending on where you are staying, I think the closest to downtown Baltimore will be Laurel, MD.

    ..:: PENNCAMERA.COM - Discount Digital Cameras, Camcorders & Digital Photo Printing. ::..

    If you are on the north-side of the city, the Pikesville branch might end up being closer. I live about an hour south of Baltimore so I don't know if there are any more full service local type camera stores besides Penn Camera.

    Send me a PM if you are going to be down at any point in the Washington DC area and I'll meet up with you somewhere, if you wish.
     
  16. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    798
    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    Real Name:
    Lisa
    With the manual focus lenses the EVF becomes more important, in that case the nod goes to the EPL1 since it has a better EVF.

     
  17. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    I think seeing and handling these cameras in real life will be a big help to you, Akashi. I just want to be clear here - the E-PL1 does indeed have external controls for Shutter, Aperture and EV...If one is using Shutter preferred you change it easily and the same with Aperture preferred.

    My E-P2 was my first serious digital camera. I prefer the E-PL1 (with the electronic view finder) because I prefer its controls. I used to inadvertently change the E-P2's controls all the time. Now I find the E-PL1's controls to be even faster and easier. We're all different and I guess that's what these camera companies are capitalizing on by giving us so many choices.:wink:

    Take your time, and I'm sure you'll find the camera that meets your needs the best but do promise to report back!
     
  18. paultreacy

    paultreacy New to Mu-43

    1
    Mar 11, 2010
    London
    E-PL1

    I've been a photojournalist since 1992 and a Nikon pro system shooter. However, for my street photography I used a Hexar and have missed it badly for years.

    Two weeks ago I got myself an Olympus E-PL1. I chose it for the legacy lens ability and perhaps the flash will come in handy for assignment work on occasion. I thinks it's a gem. I'm astonished at it's capability, quite frankly. The video is brilliant along with the audio through the SEMA-1 mic.

    I've been using the 14-42 lens and thinks it's great, image wise if not entirely in terms of build quality. I need solidity as I can be hard on cameras. I expect them to be tough. I think with this little camera I will need to be careful.

    As regards the manual controls, well it's simply a different system but it's very fast and I have no issues with it at all. And I work fast and need that rapid response ability. I very quickly got used to it.

    My only issue is the record button for video. It's a brilliant facility but I'm not keen on it's placement location. I've a couple of times activated it accidently by simple walking with it around my neck and it knocking against a button on my short. I may construct a tiny cage around it.

    It's a great little camera and it looks better than you'd think from the publicity shots.

    paultreacy.com
    photohumourist.com
     
  19. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus Charter Member

    Welcome Paul, and thanks for posting your take on the E-PL1. That record button gets pressed by accident by me, too...even though I know I can reprogram it, I just never seem to get around to it.:redface:

    Stop by the Welcomes and Introductions forum, if you have the chance.:biggrin:
     
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Paul, you can reassign that button. I didn't like that "feature" either. I also don't like having the camera re-focus every time I hit the shutter button - sometimes I get a topic in focus and just want to snap off a few shots without changing focus if its not moving, or moving too much. So I reprogrammed the AFL-AEL to the video record button. So I focus with my thumb and shoot with my finger, rather doing both involuntarily with the same digit! Suits me a lot better that way. I forget exactly how I did that, but its pretty simple to reprogram that button and the FN button. And if I accidentally hit the video button, the only impact is that the camera focuses again - no problem.

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 2