New sister for E-pl1?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tino84, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    Hi to all,

    I own an E-pl1, and I love it, it's small, give nice pics, and so many other beautiful things :p it's a very good all-around for me. With evf is easy and lovely to use :)
    But as all cameras, has some cons: low light scene.

    I like to go to concerts and take some pics, but that's not so easy, beacuse of difficult/low lights.
    I have no particular light lenses (the best is cctv 35mm 1.8 and a 28mm 2.8).

    So I'm wondering what to do:

    1- take some good lens, such a 50mm 1.8, or native 45mm 1.8 (but as always, no money :( ), because e-pl1 is still a very good camera

    2- take a new pen body for cheap, like pen e-pm1: does new sensor and new truepic acting better in low light (as I hope, because of Iso up to 12800, but these can facing also lacking of built-in flash?), or m4/3 still has problems in those situation?

    3- take a "big sister" pentax Dslr (but I'd prefer small bodies that m4/3 can offer)

    thanks to all :)
  2. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    An f1.8 lens should be fast enough. You would probably need to move up to an E-PM2 to really see a difference. Even then, 12800 is not going to be very good, you'll have to deal with lots of noise.
  3. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    hi, so do you think it's more a matter of the "right lens" instead of body?
    As you say, I'm not intented to use 12800, it is only a personal consideration that, if olympus brought up iso to these level, maybe improoved camera action in low light (?). Otherwise, if it is only a metter of light lense, no need to take another body :)

    I get about 150€, so if I'll buy a new lens, no new body, and viceversa, and this is the reason why I'm so undecided :p
  4. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    The quality of e-pM1 low-light images isn't much better than e-pL1,
    but the e-pM1 has a lot better low-light focus with all lenses.

    In low light my cheap £99 Sigma30mmF2.8 focuses more quickly than my good value £230 mZuiko45mmF1.8, despite the different max aperture ... which is odd, but there you go. Buy and try the sigma?

    (For indoor low-light focus with pop-up bounce flash I use my e-pL2 instead of e-pL1 because it focuses better with the Sigma lens.)

    Whatever you do, keep your e-pL1 too.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    hi Ulfric, sigma 30mm and 60mm are perfect for my never-enough-budget :p one day I'll buy both :)

    it is very important to me your indication about e-pm1 low light, thanks a lot :)
  6. E-PL1 is first generation and with that a dated sensor. I would skip the E-PM1 and other Olympus Pens (and most Panasonic MFT) of the same time period as they pretty much share the same sensor. It wouldn't be much of an improvement.

    My preference would probably be a DSLR with a larger sensor BUT you didn't mention which Pentax. Is the Pentax really an improvement over the E-PL1? (depends on which Pentax)

    My secondary preference would be to get either the E-PM2 or E-PL5. Newer sensor better low light performance. Also, they use batteries that are compatible with your E-PL1 thus the same single charger on trips.
  7. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    hi, i saw a pentax k200, perfect for my budget, and a pentax k-x, but need more money for it :p

    As written, I'd prefer to stay with m4/3 because of sizes (and because I'm happy with e-pl1), but only if low light performance has seriously increased, if it is a limit due to sensor size, there's no other way as buying an Apsc dslr.
  8. You will not see much of a difference between current MFT low light performance and older Pentax DSLRs like the K200 and Kx.
  9. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I agree that the EPM1 offers no low light advantage over an EPL1, as it has the same kind of sensor pixels, although the onboard circuitry is changed to allow faster focus.It also has an LED for AF focus assist in the dark, which helps speed focus indoors, and having owned both the EPL1 and EPL1, is faster at changing settings via the super control panel. Missing the PASM dial though.

    I'll never use a CCTV lens. Think they are awful. I did use several old 50mm f1.8 lenses at concerts with my EPL1. The Olympus 45mm is better because it's sharper wide open. Still, you have to pay a lot for that. I have several 50mm's and all cost me almost nothing. In America, the kids toss out grandpa's old stuff. Maybe you can find an old 50 for very little Euros. Shoot in RAW, get close, take the aperture down from F1.8 to f2, and use PP software with good noise reduction. You can shoot at ISO 2500 if the subject has enough light and get nice results.

    Are the Sigma 30mm and 60 mm primes sold at reasonable prices where you live? These can be shot at f2.8 and might work well for club bands.
  10. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    I shoot with the E-PL1 in low light with my PanaLeica 25 f/1.4 and have compared it against my work cameras; the Nikon D4 and the new Nikon Df (Lord of Darkness) with the 58mm f/1.4G lens. You know what?!? As long as you get enough stage light on the subject, you can push your E-PL1 to shoot up to ISO 2500 with a 1.4 lens and still get away with relatively clean files. With ISO 3200, I shoot RAW and then use DXO Optics Pro to automatically clean the images and still get usable photos.

    You are not going to get any improved images like what you can get with a Nikon D3s, Nikon D4 or Df until you go up to an OMD E-M1. Even then, the E-M1 is still, or will be outclassed by the Nikon D4 or Df. I tried. Sensor performance on the m43 have only improved to be in the same class as the latest APS-C DX class bodies with the introduction of the E-M5 or similar PEN cameras. Don't bother with anything lower. Instead, go for faster glass of your preferred focal length and try to position yourself to get more light on the subject matter.

    You need to understand that us Pros had been shooting low light since the days of film, and you are only limited up to about ISO 800 or Ilford B/W if you want a bit higher speed. There's no such thing as a clean ISO 12800 images like you can get these days with the E-M1, Nikon D4 or Df, so we developed ways to shoot in concerts that work for us then and work for us now with better cameras.

    Work with your skills and your positioning rather than depend solely on technology alone!
  11. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    ok, so it's better not to waste money, get a good cheap manual lens 50mm (I don't need AF :) ), and go happy until I get the money for an e-m5 :p I'll search for a 50mm pentax 1.8, cheaper of 30/60mm 2.8 sigma that here in EU came about for 160/170€.
    thanks to all :)
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Used E-PM2 bodies are selling for less than half of what used E-M5s are getting, and the low light concert performance of the two are equal. My advice is to get an E-PM2 and continue to use cheap manual lenses until you can get the Oly 45/1.8, which would be great on the E-PM2 for concerts, etc.
  13. Droogie

    Droogie Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 23, 2013
    Washington State
    Ulfric, I also use the Sigmas and the on camera bounce flash on my EPL2 and the focus is super fast. It is a great combo for indoor snaps.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    It does indeed seriously increase with E-M5 and every Olympus since : e-pM2, e-pL5, e-P5, E-M1
    (Sensor size has proven to be a red-herring, sensor technology is the key.)

    With your budget your body option would be to try to find the cheapest of the new sensored bodies : e-pM2 second-hand.
    I did!
    Note : e-pL1 has better daytime sky colours in my opinion, and since that's important to me the e-pL1 (and its siblings) is preferably to my e-pM2 for daytime scenes with sky.
  15. Ramsey

    Ramsey Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2013
    Zagreb, Croatia
    Although lenses are considered a better "investment", for this case i'd also recommend a new body. It's the same reason i bought a new body.

    High iso is not e-pm1s' strongest side. I don't use it above 1250, even with pp.

    +1 for used e-pm2.
    Then save a little, and get a used P20 f1.7, Oly45 f1.8 or OM50 1.8 (if 20/45 are too expensive). Sidenote, P20mm can be slow to focus on Oly bodies...
  16. iliyanb

    iliyanb Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 11, 2013
    +1 for E-PM2

    Sent from my GT-I9001 using Mu-43 mobile app
  17. sgreszcz

    sgreszcz Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 7, 2012
    Just started using my e-pm2 alongside my em-5 and I love it! Using it and the 20mm more than its big brother (with the 45).
  18. bikerhiker

    bikerhiker Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 24, 2013
    Yes. One needs to remember that a high ISO capable sensor "does not make" light and that you need some light to properly expose a photo. It's best to save your money and get at least an E-M5 for low light work. The 5 axis IBIS is simply amazing hand holding at slowwww shutter speeds and can rival Nikon's VR lens stabilization technology!! I don't think the E-PM2 has the 5 axis either. Fast "SHARP" glass is a must when you shoot low light, because if you have a slow and soft lens, you will be itching to use unsharping masking or any sharpening tool to sharpen the photos and as soon as you do that, you'll gain noise and you'll get grainy photos. Fast "sharp" glass I consider to be the best investment in your kit when it comes to concerts. Better get them as sharp as you can before post processing right?!? It's true 20 to 30 years ago and it still holds true today! High ISO capable sensors are great in combination with fast sharp glasses when you want to raise shutter speed to freeze the subject movement. That's useful in sports, but not so much in concerts unless the singer runs like a Kenyan runner.
  19. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    given you're budget constraints, a used E-PM2 body might be the cheapest way to get substantially better low light performance.
  20. tino84

    tino84 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 29, 2013
    hi, this sounds strange to me, I use e-pl1 up to 2000/2500 iso without problems, as you can see in this pic that I take this evening [​IMG][/IMG] (don't take care how photo is made, please :p )

    but e-pm2 costs about x2 my budget..

    as I can read in this thread, it seems that with my budget the only way to face down low light, is to buy sharp lenses :) I'm yet in searching of a 50/55mm 1.8, and I think I also put in to-buy list some flash accessories..

    PS: in this thread seemes there's tie between new body and new lenses :p
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