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Olympus Pen E-PL1

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by theunartist, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    I am thinking of buying a used Olympus Pen E-PL1 complete with Kit lens.

    I am looking for any feedback re: this camera. I will only use manual lenses in manual mode. I've tried to read what I could. My only concern is the lack of "dials" and wondering how metering is adjusted in manual mode, and how difficult or easy it is to focus...

    I have the G10 and pretty happy with it, but I can see that IBIS is a big big plus and now that I can purchase a VF for the Olympus, I'm leaning in that direction.
  2. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA

    The E-PL1 is a good camera overall, and I bought it after my E-P1 so I could use the VF-2 (which I think is very helpful with MF legacy lenses). In addition, it helps that the E-PL1 has a separate button for manual focus assist, so there's no need to keep pressing the info button to bring up the MF assist screen as you do on the E-P1.

    I love the separate dials on the E-P1, so I was concerned that the lack of dials on the PL-1 would be a problem. However, within a few weeks of using the PL1, I found that it was not really a problem, especially if you use it on Aperture priority mode. It does take a few more steps to change settings when you want to dial in exposure compensation on A or when you do set the shutter speed on Manual mode. But as with anything after practicing a few times you get the hang of it.

    The other advantage of the E-PL1 over the E-P1 is that it has better IQ; I do see a noticeable difference in the quality of the images. I now use the E-PL1 for 80% of my photos, and keep the E-PL1 as a second body or for videos.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    I will echo everything that Penfan said. The IBIS definitely makes it the better option for shooting with legacy glass. Although I never use it full manual mode, I just used it in Aperture Priority mode since I found the metering pretty reliable.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Phil B

    Phil B Mu-43 Regular

    May 13, 2011
    The E-PL1 is my first full manual camera and I love it.

    Turn on the Super Control Panel and the most used options all come up on the LCD when you press OK. The arrow pad is then used to navigate, press OK and you're into the menu for that option. Then OK to accept your choice. As my point and shoot only had button navigation I found it easy to use but I find it quite simple anyway.

    In A mode you press the UP arrow and then use UP & DOWN to change Aperture size, LEFT & RIGHT for Exposure Comp.

    S mode works the same but with UP & DOWN controlling the Shutter Speed.

    M mode press the UP arrow and then the arrow buttons control Aperture and Shutter Speed.

    Changing the focus area is only 1 button and then the arrow pad, MF Assist is only a few button presses away too.

    That's really how easy it is to use, and I'm definitely no expert! You'll soon get used to the lack of dials. :smile:
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Alf

    Alf Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 23, 2010
    Northeastern Tuscany
    "what they all said". I love mine, and no dial was no problem for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I really liked my E-PL1. It had great IQ and was fun to use. You cannot beat the price right now. If you're coming from a point and shoot then the button style interface will be very familiar. If you are coming from a DSLR then it might seem a bit clumsy but it's easy to use and after a while it seems like second nature.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Thanks for all the replies, much appreciated!

    I just found out the person used the camera for basically taking videos, said he's probably only taken 30 0r 40 pics and the rest vids. Is this going to shorten life of camera? I know a few Pentax dSLR's have had issues when used heavily for videos...

    Is there a known shutter actuation count (or life expectancy) with Olympus :43: cams?

    Thanks, Rick
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Yeah, depending on the model there is a button sequence to show it. As I recall I used THIS sequence.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Jorg.S

    Jorg.S Mu-43 Regular

    Hi Rick,

    I don't know how good of a deal you're getting on that used EPL1 but I have found some great deals on refurbished ones for $299.00 at cameta.com with a one year warrantee and that includes the kit lens.
    B&H also has them for $309.00 with lens but only the refurb 90 day warranty.
    Both offer free shipping too.

    Just thought I pass this on as I have not found any used deals beating those prices.
    Enjoy your new cam.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. theunartist

    theunartist Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 5, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Wow, thanks for the link and info!!!

    I've 2 choices locally; one at 300 and the other at 175... I have yet look at the 175 but if I could get a refurb for 300 and a 1 year warranty, it's almost a no brainer...

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