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New here, new to photography, just bought a used Olympus E-PL1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by scottydsntknow, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    Got it on the evilbay with the Zuiko 14-42mm lens in mint condition for $139 shipped with the battery and charger, kind of hard to pass up on with a limited budget and not needing anything super crazy. I know it is not top of the line or anything but this will be our (primarily my wife's) first interchangeable lens camera and my cousin has one and it takes better pictures than anything we've ever owned.

    If there is anything we need to know about this camera I'd appreciate input. I know it doesn't have the fastest shutter speed and the screen isn't the best but again, this is our first "real" camera and if we really like taking legit good pics we'll for sure upgrade to a full blown DSLR.
     
  2. Blotzphoto

    Blotzphoto Mu-43 Regular

    109
    May 25, 2012
    Cincinnati
    Lou Doench
    Welcome! I started here a year ago with my first pair of Pens, an ep1 and epl1. The epl1 is a nifty little camera for that price. A lot of folks around here think its takes a bit nicer image than the ep1. This is a super fun and supportive community, poke around a bit and I'm sure you'll find some great advice for beginners. Soon enough you'll have an OMD like the one the USPS fairy dropped off on my porch this evening ;)
     
  3. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    Make sure you turn on the Super Control Panel https://www.mu-43.com/f42/newbie-w-some-epl1-questions-30707/ https://www.mu-43.com/f42/how-use-e-pl1-fullest-21160/index2.html, and set up the camera for Back Button Focus. https://www.mu-43.com/f42/e-pl1-camera-settings-manual-focus-22363/

    Changing Auto Gradation to Normal in the SCP is a good idea. I would also recommend using spot metering for better exposure control https://www.mu-43.com/f42/my-new-me-e-pl1-here-36302/index4.html

    The only reason I use spot metering is to have more control over the exposure. Rather than using the average of the whole scene, it's based on what I'm pointing at. Since I use back button focusing, I can lock in the exposure separately from the focus. This let's me lock in the exposure by just shifting the camera around until it looks the way I want (live view boost must be off) then holding the half press on the shutter button. I then frame the composition, focus, and shoot.
     
  4. nuclearboy

    nuclearboy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    850
    Jan 28, 2011
    USA

    My 2 cents.

    I would disagree with turning on spot metering. It will meter only on the tiny area you are centered on and then the rest of the photo is highly likely to be too dark or too light. The weighted metering is better for 99% of the typical shots that I take.

    I would turn on the tiny focus point. The E-PL1 (and many m4/3 bodies) can use a little help knowing what to focus on and the tiny green box should be used on your subject. I used it almost all the time with my E-PL1.

    If you wanted to spend more money, I would recommend buying a used Panasonic 20mm f1.7 lens. This will add speed and IQ to your system at a fairly normal field of view.
     
  5. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    Hey thanks for all the support and responses, I will definitely read those links and see what I want to do with the spot metering. I'll keep in mind the Panasonic lens too. I got the one I did off ebay mainly because it already came with the lens so I didn't have to buy one right away but I'll take a gander at it.
     
  6. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Welcome Aboard!

    Be careful!
    That's the camera that sucked me into Micro Four Thirds! :biggrin: :smile:
     
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Oh boy... you're asking for it now!
     
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Welcome aboard! That's the camera that got me started in :43:. :thumbup:
     
  9. claytonluke

    claytonluke Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 24, 2012
    Austin
    Clayton Hunter
    That was my starter about a year ago. I'm waiting for the em 5 to come down just a bit more before I make an upgrade. It becomes quite an addiction. Good luck.
     
  10. Jesse_S

    Jesse_S Mu-43 Regular

    73
    Jan 7, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    Seriously, those things should come with a Surgeon General's Warning or something.
     
  11. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    Ah crap...

    Whoops, was not aware this was a sore topic at all, I apologize I'm new don't hurt me!

    Yeah I already have enough expensive hobbies, one reason the budget is so limited... also because if it winds up sitting on the shelf a lot I won't have spent much $$$ on it, been there and done that going all out right off the bat and wasted a lot of money... Don't think this will be the case this time though. Not with all the stuff we do together where a nice camera would have made it that much better.
     
  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin

    I won't hurt you I promise, I can't speak for everyone else though. lol kidding.

    You are implying that in order to get legitimate good pics you'll have to get a DSLR. That unfortunately is a perception common to the general public, however it is not completely true. Micro Four Thirds can produce images on par with many DSLRs. Your Olympus may not be the latest, but I've seen some amazing images taken with it. Take your time and learn with your camera, shoot as much as you can. I recommend getting a nice prime lens to really bring out what that camera can do.
     
  13. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    I looked at that Panasonic lens on the evilbay and wow ppl want like $300 for them, I paid $139 for this whole camera! I'll have to look around some more, I know you have to pay to play but dang...
     
  14. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Okay so you're in super-learning mode now...nothing wrong with that :smile:

    "Glass" or lenses are what it's all about....IMHO more so than camera bodies. I'm sure others will add commentary to this :smile:
     
  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    The key is that I'm getting exactly the exposure I'm after, and not something average.

    I agree completely with getting the PL 20mm as it's my lens of choice when I'm only going to take just one with me.
     
  16. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    So let me get this straight... you say you want to take good quality photos, then proceed to say you don't want to invest in good lenses.

    Dude, that's like saying you don't want to buy quality tires and good gas for your new sports car, but you still want good performance. Not happening.

    That 14-42 kit lens can only do so much for you. Use it to practice and learn your camera. Save up for a good lens.
     
  17. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    Lol I am BRAND new to this whole world of photography so no I have no idea how much things should cost, how much lenses are etc... The reason I got the PL1 is because someone in our family has one and the pics it takes look good, at least they look good to me. I just want to get my feet wet at this point, learn and then go from there. If that's how much they cost that's how much they cost, but I am a little leery of a $300 lens on a $100 camera. If I find we are really getting into taking pics I might just buy a whole new unit and then go that route for the upgrades.
     
  18. jpig

    jpig Mu-43 Regular

    88
    Oct 21, 2011
    Congratulations on your new E-PL1. It's a lot of camera for $139. Many here will advise you to go out and buy THEIR favorite lens. Ignore them until you have used your E-PL1 enough to get a sense of what other lenses, if any, you might need for the kind of pictures you like to take.

    The E-PL1 is an older model, but it's still a fine camera. It's not the fastest to operate and the kit lens is not very quick to focus, so it's not the ideal camera (but still usable) for photographing moving subjects or anything in very dim light, but in decent light and if you're not in a hurry, it can produce excellent photos. As with any other tool, you need to learn how to use it effectively.

    I've had an E-PL1 for over two years, and I was not seriously tempted to upgrade until the E-P5 was announced. Even so, the E-PL1 still does 95% of what I need a camera to do, so I'll keep using it for another year or two until the E-P5 price drops a few hundred $$.

    By the way, I don't own a Panasonic 20mm 1.7. I do own the Panasonic 14mm 2.5, which I like a lot, and the Olympus 9-18mm, which is my most used lens, plus 2 or 3 others, but I'm not going to recommend you get any of them because your photographic needs are probably not the same as mine. Until you discover what your needs are, there is no point in buying more lenses.

    Enjoy your E-PL1. Take lots of pictures. If/when you can't get the results you want, come back and ask questions. You might need another lens, or just a better understanding of the camera and how to use it.
     
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    ^^ Best advice in this thread. :thumbup:

    While I agree with the others who say that a good prime (i.e. single focal length or "non-zoom") lens is going to provide the best image quality, the kit 14-42 lens is more than capable of providing wonderful results.

    Since you are new to "serious" photography, there's no need to buy more gear than what you already have, at least to get started. The E-PL1 is a great little camera and an excellent entry point into the system. I got started with one 2 1/2 years ago or so and although I've since indulged in a E-P3, I still shoot with my trusty E-PL1 almost half the time.

    The most important thing you can do right now is to get comfortable with the camera. You can start shooting with it in iAuto mode, but the sooner you can learn enough to venture off iAuto the quicker you'll get the types of results you want. I would suggest a thorough read of the owners manual to familiarize yourself with your new tool. It's a bit dry, but there are a lot of features hidden in the menus and going through the manual (with the camera at hand) is the best way to familiarize yourself with its capabilities. If you have trouble keeping your eyes open while reading the manual, there is a "Dummies guide" to the E-PL1 available. I'm not sure it's worth the $20 its selling for on Amazon, but it's not a bad read. Try to see if your local library has a copy.

    Once you've gained a level of familiarity with the camera, then next thing you need to do is learn some of the basics of photography. The first step is gaining an understanding of the Exposure Triangle. There are plenty of resources on the web for this. Some books you might want to consider are Scott Kelby's The Digital Photography Book -- start with Volume 1. Another great book is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson.

    Now that I've said all that, it's important not to get bogged down in details -- the best way you're going to get better images is practice, practice, practice. The E-PL1 is small enough that you can take with you all the time and have it at hand when the mood strikes. Once you have a shot or two you like come back and share it with the forum. If you're not liking the shots you're getting, come back and let us know that as well...maybe we'll have some tips.

     
  20. scottydsntknow

    scottydsntknow New to Mu-43

    9
    Jul 20, 2013
    Will definitely take a ton of pics with it and post some up and get some advice hopefully and go from there. Supposed to be coming in before the weekend along with the accessories.