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Olympus E-PL1 vs. E-PL2

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by ronyzmbow, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. ronyzmbow

    ronyzmbow Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 12, 2011
    Is it true that images quality of the Olympus E-PL1 is a bit better than E-PL2? Samples to compare?
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Looking at that link, the E-PL1 file seems a tad sharper (or better contrasted) at ISO200 but at ISO1600 and ISO3200 the E-PL2 retains a lot better detail (all in RAW).

    Theoretically, it would not surprise me if the AA filter on the E-PL1 was a tad weaker.

    The E-PL1 was a prototype for the weak AA system, to basically see just how much weakening they could get away with before they release it in a fully-marketed new imaging system... which happened in the E-5 with "Fine Detail Processing". The E-5 was basically just the E-PL1 system more finely tuned, but Olympus likes to slip these things under the rug first to ensure good customer feedback before committing to it.

    This is basically what happened with the E-510 except in that case people weren't ready for a weak AA filter so instead of seeing the sharp images they complained about the noise, leading us into the softest generation of Olympus cameras from the E-3 right on down to the E-P2 and all cameras in between. That was a sad era for me, though I loved the build of my E-3 but always struggled with the soft output.

    So when they produced the E-5 (which the E-PL2 copies for imaging system), it could very well be that they strengthened the AA filter a little to enable slightly cleaner images (especially at high ISO - you know how concerned everybody is about that). That would make sense, theoretically. I can't see enough difference to concern myself, personally. ;) 
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I have come to realize that tests like that don't tell the entire story. I have hade several Olympus (m43 and E-Series 4/3) and Panasonic m43 cameras I liked all of them in different ways. When I go back and look at the images in Lightroom i can't tell them a apart unless I look at the file info. By far the biggest difference I have found in the cameras form E-P1 to my current E-PM1 is not the IQ but the how the camer performs. Things like faster AF, shot to shot, better metering and Auto WB for example. The E-PL1 was my least favorite of my m43 cameras. It had nothing to do with IQ but I found that I really did not care for the control layout (I prefer dials to buttons), uninspiring AF performance and the shutter speed limit. I don't think it is a bad cameras at all but I much prefer the newer models. They are much nicer to use and that far outweighs what minor differences in IQ there are.

    FWIW my favorite m43 camera so far was the Panasonic G2 (best handling body I've ever used) and the only one I have had that I truly regret selling. If I find a decent one at a good price I'll pick another one of them up.
  4. S38

    S38 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2010
    it comes down to personal preferences. epl-1 is my favorite camera. i've owned e-420, e-520, ep-2, gh-1, and a whole bunch of dslrs but epl-1
    fits my needs the best. i mostly shoot street now and use the 20mm 1.7 and 45mm 1.8 lenses. i find the AF with the 20mm to be fast enough for my needs, with the 45mm the AF is blazing fast...the IQ is better that any camera that i've ever owned with maybe the excepton of the gh-1 at iso100.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. blaffendespin

    blaffendespin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2012
    Rexburg, ID
    I totally agree. I've looked at alot of "comparisons" between the micro 4/3 cameras, and it seems - at least to me - that they are all a little biased. And they almost always test and compare different cameras with different settings. (they don't always use the same lens, shutter speed, or they use iauto, etc) You have to test the cameras for yourself and see which you think is best. I have used an E-PL1 and E-PL2, and I really liked the IQ on both. I would, however, give the edge to my E-PL1 - but thats in good light. In low light, I thought the E-PL2 was better.
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