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Recommending a Pen to a Friend

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by drd1135, Sep 4, 2011.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    My friend is tired of lugging around her Pentax K10D with the 18-250 lens. She brought this DSLR and a little Nikon Coolpix to Paris and the Nikon got all the action. She's considering :43: now and we went to Dpreview and compared the E-PL1, PL2, and PL3 for image quality using their comparison page. Based on that page, it was really hard to push the E-PL3. For $350 at B&H, the E-PL1 was a big favorite. My only real hesitation is the PL1 comes with the original 14-42 and the PL2 comes with the Mark II version. She is also considering the PM1 since it has the same price as the PL2 kit, $499. Any thoughts on this? I really don't think she needs the faster AF speed of the PM3.

    BTW, she thinks the Dpreview image comparison tool is awesome.
     
  2. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    I own all three.

    The EP3 has the same image quality and low-light performance as the others, but as you note:
    1) It's a much faster shooting experience start to finish.
    2) Of the three, it has orientation sensing (no more post-rotation needed, and a horizon level display as well).
    3) The screen is the best of the three, and it is touch capable. It also smudges the least.
    4) It has the best controls of the three (including the most programmable button functions), with the EPL2 in close second.
    5) Its menus are the most easily understood of the three (due to helpful text being presented).
    6) It sports stereo microphones.
    7) Focus assist lamp for many low-light situations.

    There are a host of other capability improvements, but they're much less interesting than the above list.

    Drawbacks of the EP3 versus the EPL2 or EPL1:
    1) Price.
    2) It does not support "manual" flash ceiling-bounce like the EPL2 or EPL1.
    3) battery life.

    If budget was tight, I'd consider the EPL2 of the three. Although I still take my EPL1 out often - canoeing, biking ... anywhere I'm worried about something happening to the camera. The EPL1 has a raised plastic lip around the screen, offering some protection, and ... I'm just less worried about something happening to it.
     
  3. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Sep 3, 2011
    He's looking at the E-PL3, not the E-P3.

    Personally, I would choose the E-PL2 of the three because it seems to be the best bang for the buck. It can be had for ~$400 (on sale at unique photos, not sure if still available) now so...

    - E-PL2 is $50 more than the E-PL1 but you get a higher resolution screen, faster lens, and higher max shutter speed. For $50 more, I would def take the E-PL2.

    - E-PL2 is $300 less than the E-PL2, you lose faster focusing and operation, smaller form factor, and tiltable screen. For such a big price difference, this is really up to you whether it's worth it or not.

    As for the E-PM1, much smaller size and less buttons BUT faster focusing. Looks completely different from the E-PL2 though, at this point, you would have to choose based on aesthetics, assuming both are the same price.
     
  4. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    If they are happy with the focus speed of the K10d, the pl2 or pl1 will suffice, the pm1 would likely be faster but at the expense of a noticeable amount of tactile camera control (something they'll appreciably miss coming down from the k10d). Between the two I would go with the e-pl2, it is quite a step up from the e-pl1 (which is solid too), but it has some extra controls and the newer kit lens version, and larger screen, all of which are worth the minimal price difference. If price is a concern, give it a month or two and the e-pl2 will be breaking the $499 barrier - it will have to when the pm1 is on all the shelves at the same price.
     
  5. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Ah, thanks. I didn't notice the "L." :) Subconsciously, I was thinking "upgrade," which I don't think of the EPL3 being to the EPL2. The "upgrade" is an EP3.

    Definitely the EPL2 of the asked about three. And not even for the flash. The EPL3 is factually deeper. The EPL2 has better controls. The grip is needed, will be missed for all but pancakes on the EPL3.
     
  6. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    Does she even need an interchangeable lens camera? I would seriously look at the new Olympus X10: Fujifilm announces X10 high-end enthusiast compact: Digital Photography Review
     
  7. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Another vote for the EPL2 - fantastic image quality (especially jpegs), some meaningful improvements over the EPL1, and a great deal at the moment :smile:

    If you don't need the faster AF and cost is a consideration it's a no brainer.
     
  8. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    A few points:
    1. She wants a bigger sensor (which rules out the XZ-1 and X-10) and the X100 is too expensive. She also wants the option of using a smaller prime or a longer zoom.
    2. External controls don't matter to her. We were comparing the E-Pl3 but that's because the E-PM1 is not available yet on Dpreview. I'm assuming a similar IQ with the E-PM1, PL3 and the P3.
    3. Since the E-Pm1 and the E-PL2 have the same price, the choice is really based on IQ. She was more impressed by the E-PL2's samples in the Dpreview review.
    4. She also saw the internal vs. clip on flash and didn't care.
    5. I did mention Panasonic but she wants nothing to do with RAW. She understands the difference and was adamant about good JPEGs.
     
  9. CarlB

    CarlB Mu-43 Veteran

    Definitely Oly then for the best "straight out of the camera" jpegs. And the in-camera stabilization also, as most lenses that don't have stabilization built in.

    In "real life," the difference between the tweaked "new" sensor and the E-PL2 sensor is very hard to tell. At least from what I've seen from the E-PL2 and the E-P3.

    E-PM1 ... will need a grip, for the more substantial (heavier) legacy glass. Hopefully someone will come up with a good grip that can't come off for the E-PM1.
     
  10. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    id say epl2... best bang for yer buck id say
    and then get more lenses
    and then she can upgrade bodies later
     
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I also say go for the E-PL2. ;)
     
  12. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Sep 3, 2011
    The image quality should be near identical amongst the PEN cameras, the only difference is the included lens/build/controls.
     
  13. GdenisM

    GdenisM Mu-43 Rookie

    16
    Aug 11, 2011
    Another vote for the EPL 2

    I went for it before the new cameras were announced, and although I paid more, I still think it's an amazing camera - I would suggest to her to save her pennies for a VF-2. It makes a HUGE difference for me with legacy lenses and just the overall "picture taking" experiences.

    Denis
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Or the VF-3, which is cheaper and slightly more compact. It's lower resolution than the VF-2 but still VERY high res.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'll throw in as well for the E-PL2. It's a terrific camera and a real bargain at the moment.
     
  16. anidel

    anidel Mu-43 Regular

    166
    May 13, 2011
    Twickenham, Uk