The E-PL1 very often sets the ISO on 1600 even when there is sufficient light. This especially occurs when you focus on a darker spot. Should I limit that to 800?
And does somebody prefer e.g. the 'portrait mode' when shooting a portrait or do you stick to the P, A, S or M mode for that?
Do you mean that E-portrait mode? I think if you shoot in RAW, you can use Aperture priority to control the amount of DOF then in Master/Viewer use the E-portrait to touch up the photograph.
I would like to know what are your preferred settings on your E-PL1 (and why?):
ISO: AUTO or on a specific value?
Picture mode: i-Enhance, Natural or another?
Mode: iAuto, (a specific) Scene or another?
Scene mode is actually good as a guide. When I first got into using my E-330, those scenes mode do help me a great deal in my photography. Slowly, I moved away from it as I began to learn the finer points. BUT that scene mode is always set at Digital IS.(DIS)
As an example, in DIS, what the camera does is that it use your focal length and calculate a suitable hand holdable speed. To do that, it will open the Aperture to the max, then compensate with the ISO till what it thinks is the most suitable hand holdable speed. BUT this of which is 1/(2X focal length) of a sec. Such as at 150mm, a suggested hand holdable speed should be 1/300s And that is what the camera will give you.
In fireworks mode, the camera will switch on that noise filter and noise reduction.
All this can be done via A S M. but having said that, if you need to shoot a scene fast and have no time to fiddle with the settings, switch to the appropriate scenes mode then fire away. That was also the reason my upgrade from my E-330 was to an E-30 and not that E-3.