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Olympus E-PM1 Ergonomics

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Amin Sabet, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I recently got an E-PM1* and find the ergonomics surprisingly pleasing. Even though I had seen the pictures, the camera was surprisingly small to me. Another surprise was that it's very comfortable to hold. The protruding lens mount is like an extension of the lens, so the tiny 14mm pancake handles more like a regular lens; ie, it allows me to comfortably hold the lens in my left hand while shooting. I find that I can actually handhold this camera a touch steadier than I can the E-P3 when using the pancake lenses.

    I don't find myself wanting for a grip on this camera, although the Franiec grip is a good option for those who do. The key to comfortable shooting with the E-PM1 for me is triggering the shutter release with the inside of my index finger's first knuckle rather than the finger tip. I'll be adding a soft release and expect that to make things even better.

    ---
    *Disclosure: Olympus sent me the E-PM1 as part of their PenReady promotion. More information here.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Amin, this is great! I know you will give us a good review of the EPM1, which is a camera I've been considering, especially now that the 45mm has arrived (I'm thinking two bodies: EP1 with 45mm and EPM1 with 14mm pancake).

    I looked at the "soft button" link -- what are the benefits of that? Why add the soft button?
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    The Mini was a bit small for me. Holding it was an issue. But the bigger issue was the size of the jog dial, and its positioning due to the small size of the camera.
     
  4. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    But it comes in sexy brown! It'll match my Jeep GCOS!

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
     
  5. I saw a pic of a brown E-PM1 the other day and I gotta say that it looked good. However it was pictured sitting next to a Nikon 1, which could make any other camera look good...
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I'm still in the camp that a front grip transforms the camera, be it Flipbac or Franiec. But there's no denying Armanius' point that the controls are small and potentially quite uncomfortable for larger hands.
     
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    But no peptobismal pink like the GF3!!
     
  8. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    I bought a three pack of the Flipbac grips. But I returned the Mini before the grips arrived. So didn't get the chance to try them out.

    I'm wondering if there's a difference in the gripability between the Mini and Lite. Perhaps the extra depth of the Lite due to the flip LCD comes into play when gripping with right hand?
     
  9. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm using E-PM1 for over two weeks now. Controls is not an issue for me at all. While initially I thought I'd get Franiec grip, I don't feel the need anymore as I am already used to holding it. E-PM1 handles nicely with Oly 45mm and pancakes. The only time when I can see the need to add grip is for use with heavier lenses such as Oly 14-150mm which I am using with my E-PL2 anyway.
    I am now using E-PM1 with either Oly 45 or Panny 14 and E-PL2 with Oly 14-150 or Panny 20.
     
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Funny, I've had exactly the opposite experience. When I'm shooting with the EPL3, I don't really care one way or the other about the grip with a longer or heavier lens (100-300) because I'm doing most of the "gripping" and holding up the lens with my left hand and just using the controls with my right hand on the camera. Its with smaller lenses like pancakes and up to the size of the Pany 25mm that holding the camera is primarily a right handed operation and I REALLY like it better with the grip. Having used it a while without and now with, I'll take it with the grip every time. And its not like there's any DOWNside to the grip with the longer lenses - I just don't find it at all critical there.

    I have a flipbac grip also as well as the Franiac - the Franiac gives you a lot more to grab. They arrived the same day and after holding them up to the camera and playing around with them, the Franiac was definitely a better fit for me. In terms of a difference in "gripability" between the mini and light, I doubt it - the flip LCD does increase the thickness of the camera to the left of the controls, but it doesn't come into play when I'm holding the camera with my right hand. And I don't THINK the right side of the camera is a different thickness between the two, so I don't think there's any difference there. Having never actually used an EPM1, though, I can't say for sure - maybe the EPM1 is thinner than the EPL3 on that right edge? But I don't believe so from what I've seen in the photos of them.

    -Ray
     
  11. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Thanks for the info again Ray! You are a well of information!

    I think the Mini and Lite have the same depth, and the only part that is deeper on the Lite is the LCD screen itself.

    The Pany 14-42X might be a nice combo with the Mini or the Lite.
     
  12. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    The Mini and Lite are essentially indistuingishable side-by-side. Put them together once and there's very few cues to identify one from the other at a casual glance.
     
  13. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Jason
    I'm also curious about the soft button. What does it add?
     
  14. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Reminds me of the Staples red Easy button... :biggrin:
     
  15. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
  16. blue

    blue Mu-43 Veteran

    280
    Jun 1, 2010
    UK
    I have a query for anyone who uses these soft buttons. The other thread says that it makes the shutter more sensitive, but how does that work with the "half press" for focus ? Also how easy are they to remove ?