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Olympus EPL3 or EPM1?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by ComputerGeek008, Jul 6, 2012.

  1. ComputerGeek008

    ComputerGeek008 New to Mu-43

    Jul 6, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    My old point and shoot broke, so I decided to upgrade and get a micro 4/3 camera. After some research, I decided to get either the Olympus EPL3 or EPM1. But I can't decide since they all look so good and full of features.

    I just do random street photography and shoot random pictures with friends and family, and view 90% of the photos on my computer and maybe make a few 4x6 prints at the store. I heard some good things about the EPM1, but not much about the EPL3 (not many people seem to have the EPL3). Are the only differences between the EPM1 and the EPL3 is the addition of more external controls and a tilt screen on the EPL3? The EPL3 is about $200 more than the EPM1. Is it worth it?

    So I'm sitting on the fence right now, deciding between those two. What's your opinion?

    Sorry if I sound annoying, but I just can't decide!

  2. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    PM1 is 0.11lb lighter, 3mm less deep, and is rated to shoot 10% more photos on one battery.

    PL3 has a tilt-screen, a dedicated PASM wheel and more buttons, of which two are programmable (FN and record video can be assigned to other functions)

    For me the PL3 was €50 more and it was definitely worth it, for the tilt screen alone. I shoot it like a Rolleiflex TLR most of the time. At $200, I would be not so sure. Maybe you should go to a store and compare them or just have a look at a tilt-screen camera like the NEX to see if it matters to you.

    For your shooting style, you could be looking at the Fuji X10, Olympus XZ-1 and similar enthousiast compacts as well. They come with faster zoom lenses than the m43 kits, offer greater zoom range, closer macro, built-in flash, and X10 is great for direct control. The sacrifice is a smaller sensor of course and worse manual focus. To me, m43 is nice because I can use my old legacy lenses, extend my set with more lenses, upgrade to a better body some time in the future, do more cropping when needed. To me M43 mainly is a choice for a system. If I just wanted to get a camera and be done with it, a compact might have looked more attractive.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong

    You have correctly pointed out that the E-PM1 and the E-PL3 are identical except for the external controls and the tilt screen. If cost is not a concern, I think the tilt screen is a valuable tool, allowing you to take pictures at different angles with greater ease, especially if you have kids or pets at home, but if that's not important to you, you might as well get the E-PM1...

    I believe the E-PM1 is more popular than the E-PL3 in the US because of the $200 price difference, which is a bit much for the tilt screen and extra dial, IMHO. In where I live, the price difference of the two is less than $100, which makes getting the E-PL3 over the E-PM1 a no brainer. I also appreciate the additional mode dial on top, although I must say that the tilt screen makes accessing the left side of the rear dial a little more difficult...

    I am not sure if I am helping you decide between the two... :redface:
    • Like Like x 2
  4. chile7236

    chile7236 Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 4, 2012
    is the E-PL3 limited to ISO200 at it's lowest? i know the E-PM1 is....
  5. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    PL3 has 200 as lowest ISO as well, as does P3.

    Earlier PEN's have a real base ISO of 200, since they have the same sensor. ISO 100 could be chosen but would be actually 'pulled down' from 200. So, to get the same lower ISO, overexpose +1, then correct exposure in post-processing.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. harrysue

    harrysue Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 12, 2011
    Earlier this year, I bought the EPM1 as a second camera to accompany my EPL1. I chose it because it was $179 USD less than an EPL3, both refurbs.

    Having used tilt screens on other cameras, these are a handy feature. I would want a tilt screen on future cameras.

    There has been some question on whether the image stabilization is effective on the EPM1. I've compared the EPM1 and EPL1 using a 45mm lens at shutter speeds between 1/25 and 1/8 second. I can definitely see the improvement with IS turned on. I think the IBIS is the same at these shutter speeds. One difference is that the EPM1 makes a grinding noise when IBIS is on. Don't know if the EPL3 does this.

    Finally, the user interface is a personal interpretation. The EPL3 has the separate PASM mode dial and more buttons. I believe the EPL3 will be more convenient for reviewing images, faster for switching modes, and will go into the setup menus quicker. However, either camera with the super control panel enabled will be identical for speed of changing shooting settings.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. ComputerGeek008

    ComputerGeek008 New to Mu-43

    Jul 6, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Thanks everyone for the input! I just checked my local stores, and apparently, one store has the EPL3 for $549. The EPM1 is $499 at all the other stores. That means it's only a $50 difference. As pheaukus said:

    So for $50 difference, I think I'll get the EPL3.

    Oh, and one more thing for people who use the EPL3 (or similar models): When shooting in 4:3 ratio, there are these black bars on the side, making the screen smaller. Does that annoy anyone? Just asking...because coming from a point and shoot that shoots full screen pictures, having black bars might seem...awkward?
  8. bongestrella

    bongestrella Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 2, 2011
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    You'll get much cheaper e-pm1's (and e-pl3's for that matter) than those prices you just posted if you search online. You might also want to consider refurbished and/or used ones.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    You should be able to pick up E-PM1's for quite a bit less than an E-PL3. They're both good you just need to ask yourself if the flip up screen and the additional controls on the body are worth the extra money. They will have identical IQ and based on what you said you do I suspect either would work great for you.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pheaukus

    pheaukus Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 22, 2012
    It does not disturb me. The sidebars are where shooting parameters can go without disturbing my view of the image.
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Look: all parameters, all image. Coexisting happily. (Histogram can be toggled)
    • Like Like x 4
  11. webmonkey8

    webmonkey8 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 17, 2012
    I was in the same boat as you many months ago debating between the 2 cameras. I ultimately chose the EPM1 because I wanted the smallest form factor. Also, more importantly, I chose it because it was cheaper than the EPL3 and used the money I saved towards other lenses - I got the Panasonic 25mm 1.4f and the Oly 45mm. :)  I hardly use the stock lens as these 2 lenses are so much better.

  12. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    I got a refurb E-PM1 for $299 at Cameta Camera although I'd rather have had the E-PL3 ($479 refurb). What I really want is a PEN body with the new sensor of the E-M5, but such a camera doesn't exist as of yet. And neither my photo skills nor my wallet can justify an E-M5. So I opted for the E-PM1 figuring I'd put the extra cash toward lenses and wait to spend more $$ when a newer sensor is available.

    I've been really happy with the E-PM1. It performs very well, and at $299 with kit lens, it's a bargain. :smile:
  13. ComputerGeek008

    ComputerGeek008 New to Mu-43

    Jul 6, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Yeah, I think for around $50 extra, the tilt screen and extra controls are worth it. I'm used to using external controls on my old camera so this one should be good for me. I'll check online and see if I can find a cheap one.

    Hmm...you're right! I guess it looks alright with the black bars.
  14. redington

    redington Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 28, 2012
    To echo what others have said - several of us (myself included) have been very happy with the refurbished epm1 fro cameta for $299. It's a great price point to get into the system. I don't care about tilt screen, though I do wish there was a touch screen. I like the black bars on the side which shows me options and info without obscuring the image preview. My IBIS doesn't grind, btw.
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I don't have any problem with the black sidebars, but coming from an E-P3 with a larger display (at 4:3 aspect ratio), I sometimes find the display of the E-PL3 to be a little too small to tell if something is in focus or not, but if you are switching from a P&S, it shouldn't be a problem.
  16. ccp

    ccp Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 7, 2012
    +1 on the refurb epm1 from Cameta. Great deal. I really couldn't tell that it wasn't new. My IBIS doesn't grind either. I like the black bars, but I wish the screen were a little larger.
    • Like Like x 1
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