Please help with choice (perhaps E-PL1 or G2?)


New to Mu-43
Jun 14, 2010
Hi All,

I'm new to mu-43 (and the world of photography beyond point and shoot) and was hoping to get some help.

I'm planning on purchasing a new digital camera very soon. My primary goal is to improve image quality without overly increasing the complexity of the process. I'll mainly be shooting regular stuff - my niece and nephew, travel, holidays, etc., along with some landscapes from hiking.

After searching around for a camera with better image quality and decent portability and ease I stumbled onto the MFT format, which seems pretty cool. I've somewhat narrowed in on the E-PL1 and the G2. I realize they're not exactly comparable (the GF1 being closer to the E-PL1), in particular in regards to size and price.

I've been pouring over your very helpful forums (and those elsewhere, plus numerous reviews) and am still not quite settled on which I prefer, even after trying them both out in the store. Both were relatively comfortable to hold.

Since I'm coming from the point and shoot world I'm hesitant to delve too deeply (at least initially) into post processing. This, along with the camera's compactness has me leaning towards the E-PL1 (from all the people who rave about the out-of-camera jpegs). However, I like the articulating lcd and the controls better on the G2 (the buttons seemed better arranged for my hands, the touchscreen made it easy to chose a focus point or adjust other settings and the way moving the focus ring in AF+M automatically engages the zoom was very cool). The inclusion of a viewfinder on the G2 seems interesting too, though I've never had one before and don't know how much I'd use it (I realize there's an accessory viewfinder available for the E-PL1, though it makes it much closer to the same size and price as the G2).

So I'm left looking for guidance. I realize every camera choice is a compromise. I was hoping that anyone with better knowledge than me (just about everyone here) or who has first hand experience with the jpegs from the G2 (perhaps they are the same as from the G1 - same sensor and processing engine?) could provide some insight about whether the out-of-camera jpegs from the G2 are really substantially inferior to the E-PL1?

Lastly, I'm not trying to incite any brand wars. I'm really just trying to make a good choice and gain the insight of knowledgable and experienced people.

Thanks in advance!


Super Moderator Emeritus
Jan 13, 2010
Near "Playland" outside of NYC, NY, USA
Baseliner, first of all, welcome to!:biggrin: Your plight is familiar and if I were trying to make a decision today, I'd be in the same place. I have the E-PL1 with the evf and really like it, however I have never tried or even seen the G2. I'm also very interested in the jpegs from the G2 because my daughter is in the "want to move up to a better camera" mode, and it is one of the runners in her camera buying process, too.

I'm sure people who've experienced both cameras, or at least similar platforms, will weigh in with their opinions as the day/evening wears on, and I hope you get some definitive answers.:thumbup:

Brian Mosley

Administrator Emeritus
Dec 15, 2009
Hi Dave, welcome to the home of m4/3rds... :friends:

If you're considering the G2, make sure you check out the G1 which may save you a bit, and has pretty much identical image quality (though no video).

The out of camera image quality from the E-PL1 in jpeg is generally regarded as the best in m4/3rds at the moment... Olympus have had an excellent jpeg engine for quite some time. It's easier to use than the E-P1, but do try the EVF - it's very useful for bright sunlight use.




Mu-43 Regular
May 22, 2010
Hi Dave.

I currently have both. I purchased the E-PL1 while I was waiting for the G10 to come out. I'm a very novice photographer but after my honeymoon I feel in love with taking photos so I decided to get the G2 instead of the G10.

Why I got the G10 and why I'll be selling the E-PL1
- My main focus for the camera is birding and as such I tend to use tele lenses. The body type of the G2 is far better suited for longer zoom lenses. While I had the 45-200 on the E-PL1 it wasn't that odd, but it did not feel nearly as comfortable as it does on the G2.

- Another main reason is the EVF. While trying to zoom on small objects like birds I came to the conclusion I really needed a EVF just so I would have an additional point of contact to steady the camera.

Other things I love about the G2, although I've only had it 2 days is the controls. There certainly are more dials on the G2 and it makes it that much easier to switch shutter speed or aperture, especially while your face is in EVF. The touch screen is great for focusing while the camera is on a tripod. Also the auto switch from the LCD to the EVF sold me the second I tried. It was just so damn cool.

The E-PL1, I had a great time with on my honeymoon. Once I got a few days out of it I really enjoyed the camera. There are two buttons you can setup on the camera to perform certain functions(the fn button and the record button). I set one up to turn the LCD off, to save battery power without actually having to turn the camera off and one to switch between AF and MF. However I always had AF+MF on anyways so once I found that option I for the most part stopped using the AF/MF switch.

Like I said I'm very much a beginner so personally I can't tell the difference in jpeg quality between the two, at least not yet. For me, both are far superior to the P&S's I had in the past so for the moment that is more than good enough for me.

Pros of the E-PL1
With my smaller lens the 14-42 kit lens the camera is very light and just much more friendly really. It doesn't feel all the awkward bringing it out in any occasion. I'm sure with the oly 17mm or pany 20mm it will be even easier to bring to every function and not look out of place, whereas the body type of the G2 is far more noticeable. Also the E-PL1 felt like less of a camera while on strap around my body. I barely even noticed it there while walking around whereas the G2 I know is there cause of its size.

If you are not planning on getting tele lenses I would think the E-PL1 would probably suit your needs better if you can get used to the menu system and button customization, unless of course you are changing shutter speeds and iso often, then the G2 would certainly help in that regard. If you're getting a tele lens then I would absolutely go for the G2 body type with an evf.

Hope that helps.

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