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Ordered an Olympus E-PM1!!

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Kelton, Mar 31, 2012.

  1. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Hey all,

    I'm really excited to get my Olympus E-PM1! I ordered it with the 14-42 lens factory demoed for $329. Are there any specific things I should know or any accessories I should get? I'm planning on grabbing the 20mm f/1.7 soon, but I can't find any good used deals on it.... I wasn't on planning on getting the kit lens originally, but I thought for an extra 50$ it might be worth the added functionality! I don't think I'm gonna grab the EVF, I'm sure I'll be perfectly fine with the screen. I originally planned on grabbing the $199 E-PL1 deal, but I decided to get a camera that was a little more "up to date." I then planned on buying the E-PL2, but I really like the form factor of the E-PM1 and I heard the white balance is vastly improved.

    I'm switching from a Canon S95. It's served me well, but it wasn't able to take low light photos as well as I had hoped.

    Also, I read about the IBIS not working properly on the E-PM1? How will this affect me? I read if I use the 20mm f/1.7, it wouldn't affect it all that much...but I may have read it wrong.

    Well, thanks for reading! Sorry if it seems all over the place, I didn't get much sleep :p .

    • Like Like x 1
  2. fgbrault

    fgbrault Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 2, 2012
    Congratulations. The E-PM1 is a great camera. I get 2 to 3 EV improvement with IS on at lower shutter speeds. I think, as has been reported, it occasionally may cause blurring around 1/100. Not sure though. A solution is to have it off, except when you need it. I believe a lot of photographers do this with stabilization for all brands of cameras. It is wonderful to have when you need it though and I would not buy a camera without built-in stabilization. I love my E-PM1. It is so light and compact and the lenses I have are too.
  3. gsciorio

    gsciorio Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 29, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Congrats! I love my Pen Mini and shoot all my jobs with it. I moved from a 5DMKII believe it or not. If you're looking to pimp out your pen I made a blog post with some good info - Pimp Yo Pen | Giulio Sciorio Blog

    Have fun and shoot a lot.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The IS issue is mainly present at intermediate shutter speeds. In the 1/60-1/125 range mostly in my experience, though it does depend a bit on the length of the lens.

    With the 20/1.7, there's no point in using IS above 1/40s to begin with, so it's not much of an issue. IS does seem to be most effective at very low speeds. (1/10-1/20s).

    Regarding the E-PM1, you'll probably want an additional battery (BLS-1) or two. 3rd party clones are fine.

    As to camera settings, the two important ones I'd say are the Super Control Panel (best way to control the camera - enable it) and the Keep WB warm option (results in weird WB, disable).


    • Like Like x 1
  5. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks for all the replies! I'm really excited... the E-PM1 comes tomorrow! ASHDLKAJHDLJHWEUIOHD What should I do first with it?! Any recommended settings?!
  6. sokar

    sokar Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 30, 2011
    Search on this forUm for a user review on the EPM1 by member WT21. He outlines how he set his up. There are various threads on this body and there is plenty of useful info here from experienced users.
  7. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
  8. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Congrats Kelton!!!
  10. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I put some settings suggestions in my review here: https://www.mu-43.com/f102/my-epm1-review-18929/

    Google on how to do this, but find and turn on the Super Control Panel.
  11. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    I've already turned on SCP and I'm still trying to figure out the best settings for me. Too bad it's dark outside now and the lighting in my apartment is horrible! I will take some nice shots tomorrow.

    I'm really really interested in getting the P20, but I don't have another 300$ to spend right now. I'm gonna take some time to get familiar with the kit lens anyways.

    songs2001, thanks for that link. I may buy it from there, but it is a tad expensive because it's leather. Did you also get the wrist pad to go with it?
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Here are some quick setup tips for you...

    Go into Setup => Sprockets => Color/WB => Keep Warm Colors and turn that OFF. As long as you leave that off, then your camera can automatically adjust for indoor lighting and you won't need to resort to the incandescent preset.
    If you don't see the Sprockets menu, then first go to Setup => Wrench => Menu Display and turn the Sprockets ON.

    Also, in order to access your shooting options quickly go to Setup => Sprockets => Disp/PC => Control Settings and for every mode turn Live Guide and Live Control to OFF, then turn SCP (Super Control Panel) to ON in every mode.
    When you return to shooting, you will then be able to press OK and get a one-screen quick menu of all your essential shooting options. If another menu pops up (ie, like Remote Commander, Art, or Scene menus) then just press INFO and it'll cycle you back to SCP.

    You might also want to unlock your turn dial by going to Setup => Sprockets => Button/Dial => ۞Lock and set that to OFF.

    If you want sharper images, then go to Setup => Sprockets => Color/WB => Noise Filter and set that to OFF.

    Also, you might want to take a photo and compare the monitor brightness of the same photo on your camera's playback screen and your computer monitor. The E-PL2 and newer tends to have an over-bright monitor so the images may look alright on the screen but come out underexposed when you open the file on your computer. So if the image doesn't match your computer screen, you can adjust your camera's screen brightness by going to Menu => Wrench and look for an icon that looks like this: View attachment 198303
    I actually have all my PEN cameras set all the way down to -7 to match my print-calibrated computer screen.

    You may also want to consider Back-Button AutoFocus, which is a setup I've used on every digital Olympus camera I've had from DSLR to PEN.

    Rather than me explaining the advantages of back-button focus I'll link you to a handy Canon article on the matter (Canon actually made the first camera which was capable of this): Canon DLC: Article: Back-Button Auto Focus Explained
    The key points are that it allows you to pre-focus without the camera re-focusing on shutter release (which many cameras have a tendency to do even if you use the half-press of the shutter) giving you faster and less frustrating AF, and it separates AutoFocus, AutoExposure, and Shutter Release into 3 separate functions so you have full control over each. This way you don't have to meter off the same subject you focus on.

    So if you decide that's for you, then here are the steps to set it up:

    Go to Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => AEL/AFL. There you can set Single AF, C-AF, and MF modes. Mode 3 is the one that assigns any of those AF types to the back-button. If you set MF to Mode 3, then that will still give you MF capabilities with the focus ring, but will add S-AF capabilities to the back-button. If you set C-AF to Mode 3, that will give you continuous AF as long as you hold down the back-button. You can also set S-AF to Mode 3, but in my opinion this is redundant if you have MF set to to Mode 3. You get S-AF + MF by using MF Mode 3 anyways. I just leave S-AF to the default Mode 1 just in case I ever for whatever crazy reason want to go back to shutter-focus. But I never do. ;) 

    Next, after you have your AF modes set, all you need to do is assign your AFL button, which will be your back focus button. On the PEN cameras this is in Menu => Sprocket => Button/Dial => Button Function, but this is the one part that can vary between models. For instance, on my old E-System cameras there was only one AFL button but it could be swapped to the Fn button so you had two choices instead (if I remember, I think the E-P1 was the same). With the newer PEN cameras your possibilities are much more expandable! The E-P3 has the most customizable buttons yet. On my PEN cameras I set the big red Direct-to-Video button to AFL as my back-button.

    Of course, you then need to go through your regular control panel to set your camera to use one of the AF types that you have set to Mode 3, or use Menu => Sprocket => AF/MF => AF Mode to do that.
  13. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Hey Ned, I actually saw that post from another thread and I did almost everything besides the back-button AF. Thanks! :) 
  14. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    I just got the regular one. There is a camera store that sells it, so I went there to try it out. There weren't that many options there. The leather stretches and I have pretty large wrists, so a regular size should be fine.

    It's a bit more expensive, but it's not camera specific and a timeless design so I think it was well worth it.
  15. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    I'm using this wrist strap for my E-PM1: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001GNQPA4/ref=redir_mdp_mobile
    E-PM1 + 14mm completely replaced my Canon S90. Only slightly larger but much sharper photos with better colors (Canon has always had horrid AWB performance under indoor lightning).
    I hated the performance of Panny 20 w/E-PM1 so
    I sold it. Slow and inaccurate AF in low light, too shallow DoF even at f2.5 for 90% of all pics, not wide enough for indoors. So I switched to 14mm and couldn't be happier. Instant and silent AF in any light, great continous and silent AF for HD video (in good light).
    I recommend spending your money on Oly 45mm - it will give you pro quality photos which can never be achieved wih Canon S95. The difference is absolutely dramatic.
  16. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Thanks. I've actually seen your photos around these forums and I'm really interested at getting the 14mm or 45mm now. I wasn't sure whether the 45 or 20 would be better, but I guess your input has made my decision a little easier. I do like shallow DOF though... It is primarily for low-light shooting... so would the 14mm be too slow in low-light conditions? My biggest concern with the Oly 45mm is that 45mm wouldn't be wide at all.

    For example, let's say I go to the fair at night, a concert, parties, and just general indoor shooting, would you recommend the 14mm or 45mm if you could only choose one lens right now?
  17. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Get the 20 1.7 for low light. The 45 will have much less stuff in focus wide open and because it's longer you'll need twice the shutter speed of the 20 to prevent shake.

    One disadvantage of the 14 is that at 2.4 it's nearly 1 stop less light into the camera, that means that your LCD will have to work harder when the light levels go down.
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    No problem. :)  Glad it was of help, from whereever you first saw it. I got tired of repeating a lot of this stuff so often that I finally got wise and put it into a text file, lol.
  19. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Haha yeah, I was searching around the forums to save people the trouble of repeating themselves.

    I heard the 20 f1.7 is amazing for low light, but there are a few shortcomings when pairing it with the E-PM1, or so I've heard...I might just go for it and if I don't like it, I'll sell it here :) 
  20. Jewood1234

    Jewood1234 Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 8, 2011
    Hey Ned

    Another thanks for the info on settings. Really helpful, thanks!
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