1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

PL-1 or PL-2 or other combinations?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by maxbuzz, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012

    Am a DSLR user who is thinking of picking 4/3 camera for a carry around camera, which given the size even the missus can use. I have tried the NEX 5N and liked the image quality but didn't like the big lenses. The deals from Cameta Cameras are now really tempting me to take a plunge.
    I was thinking of an Oly PL1 or PL2 as given the pricing should be a good body to test the waters.
    My idea is to use it for general carry around and if am happy with the IQ use it for macro and landscapes in the future when I can add lenses
    My queries
    1. Is the PL2 worth the extra $100 over a PL1?
    I have read the diff in specs; larger screen/resolution, start up delay, continuous video focus which seem liveable. Would like to hear about the low ISO performance, shutter lag and ergonomics
    2. I know that the old kit lens isn't rated very well so can I buy just the bare (PL1) and use the saved $70 to acquire another lens, am ok with a used one if it is the same price range
    3. If I need to get lenses for macro and decent wide angles, what would be the cost outlay. Again I am ok with procuring them used and don't mind manual focus for macros, though would like to keep the formfactor small

    Finally am ok to get another body if am able to stay in the same budget

    Thanks in advance
  2. Saichiez

    Saichiez New to Mu-43

    Jun 2, 2012
    Central Oregon
    The r II version of the 14-42 lens.

    The II version of this lens is showing up on various Craigslists, forums, and eBay as "takeout" lenses from EM-5 kits. Have seen new unused versions straight out of the kit box, selling around $90-100.

    I bought one, and now looking for a PL1 or PL2 body. Probably will go refurb for a camera body that has been checked out more than new, and generally sells offering a good warranty, if not new warranty.

    Seeing prices as low as $129 for "refurb" PL1 boxed with all documentation, etc.

    Still wandering through the E-PL2 pricing.

    My sole issue. I bought the E-PL1 purely on the basis of OLY's insertion of a weaker AA filter, which made the camera a crackerjack image maker OOC.

    I worry that the experiment applied solely to the EPL-1 and may not be the same AA filter in the E-PL2. Cannot seem to run this down. However, have seen repeated anecdotal information that one of the enhancements in the EM-5 is a weaker AA filter, creating sharper images OOC.

    I admit to a serious mistake in recently selling the EPL-1:mad: 
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    This is a difficult question to answer for someone else. You've noted several of the differences between the two bodies, but one you didn't mention is the extra control dial the E-PL2 has, which replaces several buttons on the E-PL1. The E-PL1s button/menu driven interface is a common complaint among users (and former users) of this body and the E-PL2's additional dial goes some way toward remedying this. The other major difference is the larger, higher res LCD. As far as performance, the E-PL2 does have better high ISO performance, but its not super dramatic. I haven't been unhappy with the E-PL1's performance in terms of start-up time and shutter lag, but the E-PL2 is definitely snappier and this may be particularly noticeable to you since you're coming from a DSLR.

    Personally, I would recommend grabbing the E-PL1 and spending the extra $100 on lenses...if you find the system works for you, you can easily upgrade the body later.

    The "old" 14-42mm kit lens has definitely earned a bad reputation, but it's not nearly as bad as you may have heard. Although it's probably the worst native :43: lens (outside of maybe the Panasonic 3D lens), it is still a very capable lens. It collapses to a quite compact size and the focal range is very useful. It's not great in low light, but it does well in daytime shooting. You won't really find a lens with similar functionality around that $70 price tag, though you may be able to find a used 14-42 for slightly less than that, so the kit doesn't necessarily offer tremendous value.

    If you want a budget wide angle lens, your best bet is the Panasonic 14mm/f2.5 which can be found "as new" (presumably broken out from a kit) on eBay for $150-175 at which price it's a tremendous value.

    Native :43: macro lenses are relatively scarce. Your choices are limited to the $750 Panasonic-Leica 45mm/f2.8 or the recently announced (and not yet released or priced AFAIK) Olympus 60mm/f2.8. One budget alternative would be to use an adapted lens (the Canon FD 50mm macro would be a good choice), but that's not going to be a particularly small lens. You should be able pick up a legacy macro lens and adapter for less than $100. Obviously any adapted lens (with the exception of some Four Thirds lenses) will be manual focus only.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The E-PL2 has a much better screen. The E-PL1 has the worst screen ever seen on a Micro Four-Thirds camera, no exaggeration. That's not saying it's unusable, just that it's the worst you can find. The feel of holding the camera is about the same, but the E-PL2 looks a heck of a lot nicer (personal opinion). :)  The ease of function on the E-PL2 is a lot better. The addition of a real dial instead of push-button access to EVERYTHING makes a huge difference. Imagine going from f/2.8 to f/11 for instance... would you rather make a simple turn of a dial, or would you rather repeatedly press a button over and over again until you get there? Now think about doing that a hundred times a day. The build is also a lot nicer on the E-PL2. It has a nicer metal casing, in my opinion, and the hinges feel much more solid. For high ISO performance the E-PL2 is superior (not greatly superior, just superior), but in all other image quality respects they are nearly the same. The E-PL2 has double the maximum shutter speed but starts at a stop higher ISO. So it's geared towards greater speed in achieving the same exposure (not always a good thing, but for many it probably is).

    The E-PL2 is one of the best budget body choices around, in my opinion.
    • Like Like x 2
  5. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    That was kind of what i was thinking

    A lot of review sites/articles mention the PL1 as good digital back (never seen mentions of the PL2) dunno if it is for the aforesaid reason or for the price
  6. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    The E-PL2 feels a bit more refined while retaining the same weak AA filter look. I think image processing really changed with the 3rd gen bodies. I'd personally go for the E-PL2, due to the better LCD and slightly better handling. Though at current E-PL1 prices, you can't really go wrong with that either!
  7. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    My bad, I should have said ergonomics and usability instead of assuming one term would cover all. I wanted to refer to button v/s dial which you answered. Another thing that struck me on seeing your reply was that the screen would make a difference, being a DSLR user used to viewing thru the viewfinder didnt realise that.
    So the viewfinder, shutter lag and to some extent the buttons go against the PL1

    Was thinking on those lines too

    Hmm, may be I could drop the kit lens and pick this, but then would be handicapped in range.

    Again my bad, I assumed all native lenses would be AF :redface: Am fine with using an adapter. Please advice which mount would be best suited for quality/size/range of lenses (at affordable prices) If you could name a few lenses or point to resources which rate these it would be highly appreciated
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, that would be because of price. The E-PL1 came in a uniquely affordable price point and was really full-featured for something at that price at that time. The E-PL2 however, is the E-PL1 done right. Besides price point, the E-PL2 is pretty much better in every way. Both are older cameras now though, and the price point is really low on either. That's no longer a defining difference, so I would go for the "better" model. Just like if I were to buy an old legacy lens that's 20-30 years old, I'm just gonna buy the very best I can find... as they're all inexpensive anyways (with a few rare exceptions, of course). Time changes a lot of things.
  9. littleMT

    littleMT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 8, 2012
    Lucille Sanchez
    get the E-pl1, the lean mean little picture taking machine....


    because i said so...
  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Almost all native lenses do offer autofocus. The exceptions are some of the specialty lenses (e.g. the ~$1K Nocton f/0.95's, the Samyang fisheye, etc.). But when you start working with adapted legacy lenses, the ONLY AF options are the Four Thirds lenses.

    I would suggest starting with the Canon FD mount. Canon lenses are high quality, readily available worldwide and cheap. As I suggested previously, the Canon 50mm f/3.5 macro is perhaps the best inexpensive macro option. If you want something longer the Canon 100mm f/4 is nice, although I'd probably lean toward the Tokina AT-X 90mm f/2.5 in that focal range.

    The Canon 50mm f/1.4 makes a very good inexpensive, general-purpose/portrait lens. The Canon 24 or 28mm f/2.8's (or Vivitar 28mm f/2.0 or f/2.5) make nice walkaround/street shooting lenses.

    Konica, Pentax (both K-mount and M42) and Nikon all offer similar lens options and you can't go too wrong with any of them. My advice would be to find the lens you like first and then pick up the adapter that fits. You can find adapters for $20 (or even less), so there's really no reason why you need to stick with one particular mount.
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I could say the same for the E-PL2! :biggrin: Actually, others have made the case quite well. I have owned both - I wasn't really happy with the E-PL1 but I am very satisfied with the E-PL2. Better handling/control setup, mostly.
  12. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    I'm a dslr shooter (Nikon d700) who has started off with a pl2. It's done such a nice job that I sold my backup dslr (d200), am in no rush to upgrade to the 3rd generation u4/3 devices. If you favor rangefinder styling, I don't think there's a prettier u4/3 camera. It's pictured here wearing the Panasonic 20/1.7 pancake lens.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    I picked up the 55/3.5 micro-Nikkor at a bargain price of $100 for macro use. After using it for a while, I added the vf-2 evf, which has greatly improved my mf results.

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    The improved lcd resolution and improved kit lens make compelling arguments for the pl2 over the pl1. Jmho.
    • Like Like x 2
  13. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 24, 2011
    I have a hard time believing that's true. My EM-5 delivers a slightly less bright and definately less sharp jpeg than my E-PL1 although colors with the E-M5 are a bit cooler and more accurate compared to the slightly warm biased E-PL1.

    So overall in most outdoor shooting situations, I chose the E-PL1 over the E-M5.

    The 5 axis image stabilization and stereo audio with adjustable volume and wind filter controls makes the E-M5 a killer video camera, however, and the E-M5's 16 MP sensor also gives it an advantage when shooting indoors.
  14. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    Thanks for the tips.
    Also had a look at your link(in another post) for lenses :thumbup:
  15. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    Thanksevery body for your inputs. My understanding from the discussion and research based on it (from my usage perspective)
    1. PL2 AA filter same as PL1 (good)
    2. PL2's better screen & extra dial does make a difference
    3. The shutter lag could be an issue with the PL1
    4. The improvement in High ISO performance in the PL2 doesn't make that big a difference in real world
    5. The PL2 has a better build and grip

    All in all the PL2 is a much better package but probably not worth extra $100. Would try and see if i can get one that would fit my now slightly expanded budget or else stick to the PL1 with the mark II lens.

    Will update when I actually buy the camera
  16. betamax

    betamax Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 7, 2011
    Illawarra, NSW, Australia
    I think the PL2 also had slightly faster AF from what I read.

    How much is the PL1 plus a MKII lens vs a PL2 with a MkII anyway?
  17. maxbuzz

    maxbuzz New to Mu-43

    Aug 16, 2012
    The best deal i see for 'new' is on Cameta

    The refurb PL1 is $130 + ~$60-70 for used mark II on ebay
    Cameta refurb PL2 + mark II $300
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.