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New to 4/3 ready to pick...which one?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by m43baby, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. m43baby

    m43baby Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2011

    So I have decided to get myself an Olympus Pen camera. Now I have three choices: EPL1, EP1 and EP2. Other than EPL1 having a built in flash (I assume if you have a good lens you won't need to use flash), what are other differences between the three cameras? Do you see any of them dropping in price this month or early next month? My options are:

    1. E-P1 with 17mm f/2.8 lens and viewfinder - $549
    2. E-PL1 with 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 Zuiko Zoom Lens - $429
    3. E-P2 with 17mm f/2.8 lens - $635

    I will definitely do a lot of video so from what I read, the 17mm lens is better than the 14-42mm. I'm new to photography and have only used a point and shoot camera. I've seen some amazing videos on vimeo shot with the GF1 and the 20mm pancake lens. Will the video quality be just as good with the Olympus Pen cameras if I get the Panasonic 20mm pancake lens?
    • Like Like x 2
  2. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Hello and welcome to the forum. I'm sure there will be lots of advice but here's my 2c worth.

    The E-P1 and 2 have more 'pro' features with 2 control dials for settings. Shutter speed also goes to 1/4000. They also are all-metal construction.

    The E-PL1 is more of a beginner's camera with less control and shutter speed max of 1/2000. It is a metal + Plastic build. Audio is mono only.

    The E-P2 and E-PL1 being newer can take the VF-2 electronic viewfinder or a video mic.

    The Pen video specs are quite different to Panasonic bodies regardless of the lens chosen. This needs separate research.

    Will let others chime in now and good luck with your decision.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Synaesthesia

    Synaesthesia New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2011
    Well, amongst those three cameras, I'd recommend the E-PL1. It's the best of the 3, it's got the best image quality and a built in flash.

    But then reading that you want to take some movies, I wouldn't recommend any of the Olympus cameras. I'd recommend the new Sony NEX-5. It's much better for video, and actually a better camera overall.

    If you must go M4/3rds, get a Panasonic for video.

    Read some reviews, I recommend Imaging Resource, they're very good, however there are a bunch of sites out there.

    Good luck!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. vtmullins

    vtmullins Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 11, 2010
    I love the EP-2. I get tons of complements on it wherever i take it, and i love the retro feel and look. One thing to keep in mind is that the 20 mm from panasonic is similar to the 17mm, so if you go with option 3 you will have 2 similar lenses and no other ones. I bought the same deal that you are looking at, and will most likely not be in the market for the panny pancake. any money for a lens will go to a telezoom or wide angle. If you are dead set on getting the 20 mm panny (and people reallly like them) then perhaps option three is not the best choice.
    I think i have been going about it the right way and have no regrets on my choice. I also was making the transition from P+S and it has been great :) 
    One other thing to keep in mind is that there are some rumors that the EPL-2 will be announced in the upcoming couple of weeks. browse the forums for some info. However, I doubt that you will be kicking yourself if you buy an EP-2 and an EPL-2 comes out shortly after.
    Edit: that is assuming of course that you arent huge into video and dont need a built in flash (i dont use one and don't have a seperate flash, although it could be something i buy eventually)
  5. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    E-PL1 and E-P2 have a recording time limit of 7 mins (HD) and 14 mins (SD). Is that going to be a problem?
  6. Synaesthesia

    Synaesthesia New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2011
    The Olympus cameras suck for video. I've got an E-PL1, and while it's a fantastic camera, the video is blurry and stored in M-JPEG which is a crap format. The Sony NEX-5 saves 1080i video in H.264 at 60fps. Way better.
  7. m43baby

    m43baby Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2011
    I had the panasonic FZ100 and the video and photos indoors weren't good at all so I returned the camera and now looking to buy a 4/3. The sensor on the Olympus Pen's is 10x larger than the FZ so the quality should be a lot better and from what I can see it is. I was looking at the Panasonic GF1 but the camera doesn't have image stabilization and that might be a problem for me. The Pen video quality looks great to me from these clips:
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/9815002]Homage on Vimeo[/ame]
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/13863781]Honey In the Lab on Vimeo[/ame]

    The GF1 and Pen have the same sensor size so I assume the video quality should be the same. I found these amazing videos with GF1 and the 20mm pancake lens. Is it the lens that gives off such great quality? I'd love to see the 20mm on a Pen:
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/17682548]GF1 Hack on Vimeo[/ame]
    [ame=http://vimeo.com/9855503]learning to crawl.. on Vimeo[/ame]
    • Like Like x 2
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    I see on one of your links the GF1 was hacked - that improves the video quality considerably.

    The 20/1.7 Panny lens is considered by most to be a "must have".

    The GF1 utilizes lens-based IS. If you are planning on using legacy lenses, this could be a problem. If you have to buy lenses anyways, (most) all the Panasonic versions of the lenses have IS and are usually higher image quality than the Olympus, non IS, version.
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    video and the micro four thirds cameras

    m43baby, I'd like to suggest that you take a look at our Video forum with its three subforums since video appears to be your main concern in decision making.

    As a matter of fact, I think that I will move this thread down there right now into Filmmaking.
  10. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    The Panasonic 20mm is a fabulous lens. Sadly, I don't use mine as much as I used to as it's very similar in focal length to my Voigtlander Ultron f/1.9 28mm on my Leica M8 (which is 37mm effective).
  11. m43baby

    m43baby Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2011
    Will the Olympus 25mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens work on a GF1 camera?
  12. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    If you are referring to the 4/3 lens it will need an adapter to work with :43: and depending on the firmware may not AF or do so slowly on the GF1. Try before you buy in this case.
  13. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    I've noticed that Olympus' IBIS isn't very good for video. When you are panning the camera the video starts to jitter. At least that is what I am experiencing with my E-P1 when the IS is active during video recording. So the Panny in lens IS would be better for video. Also the E-P1 records even the slightest sounds coming from the lens, so the external mic would come handy. The problem is with E-P1 that it doesn't support ext.mic.

    If possible you should hold your decision until next week and see if there is going to be E-PL2 announce and what are the specs going to be.

    E-P1 is still a wonderful camera (so E-P2 even better) for photo making and I love its looks and the feeling of metal against my palm. Panny 20mm is also an absolutely fantastic lens and with any PEN it makes a really powerful combination.

    I have FL-36R flash, so the lack of on board flash doesn't bother me.
  14. m43baby

    m43baby Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2011
    I wanted to also throw the Panny Lumix G2 and G10 as it's a bit more and larger than the Pen's. Does it have better video quality/capabilities? I read somewhere that the AF isn't all over the place like it is with the Olympus E-PL1. On Vimeo, the videos with a G2 look really good.
  15. m43baby

    m43baby Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 1, 2011
    G10 and E-PL1 shoots in motion jpeg, which camera has better video quality? on dpreview they said the G10 has excellent video quality.
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