video quality E-P1 vs. E-PL1?


Mu-43 Top Veteran
Aug 18, 2010
OK, my decision has come down to:

Panny GF1
Oly E-PL1
Oly E-P1

Let's leave the GF1 out for a minute. I can get the EPL1 or the EP1 (refurb) for exactly the same price.

The GF1 has better video than the EPL1 and video is fairly important to me as I would like this camera to replace my HD camcorder as well (although its primary use will be to carry a compact instead of my Canon 40D.) Is there any difference in the video quality between the EP1 and the EPL1 or are they the same?

Also, do all of these cameras AF while shooting video? I assume they do but want to be 100%.



Mu-43 Veteran
Aug 4, 2010
Toronto, ON
The main difference between the E-PL1 and E-P1 when it comes to video recording is the fact that the E-PL1 gives you full manual control when recording. You can manipulate ISO, aperture, and shutter speed of the recording. Quality itself shouldn't be too different, but the E-PL1 may have a tad more resolution/definition just as in photo IQ due to the weaker AA filter. The E-PL1 also gives you the option of adding a stereo microphone via the SEMA-1 adapter.

That being said, both Oly cameras are limited by the MJPEG codec limitation on 2 GB file size. It's a fine format quality wise and easier to edit, but it does limit you to about 8m24s of recording per file. If you intend to record anything longer than that in one shot, you need to look at a Panasonic for the AVCHD codec.

A hacked GF1 will give you all of the manual controls in video, as well as the flexibility to adjust/customize bitrates and quality. If you're big on video and stuck on a flat body m43 (i.e. GH1 is out of the question), then you should really consider the GF1. The only downside to it is being limited to the built-in mono microphone, but ou could always record stereo/surround off camera and sync in post.

As for AF, this is really lens dependant on how well they perform. The 20/1.7 is bright but sluggish and noisy. The Oly kit 14-42 is ok, but slow in the AF (you pretty easily spot the AF hunting when watching videos). Both Panny and Oly have video optimized lenses, and in particular both superzooms (14-140 and 14-150 respectively) are video optimized for smooth, silent operation in video.

Brian Mosley

Administrator Emeritus
Dec 15, 2009
Hi Todd, my understanding is that either the GF1 or the even more capable GH1 with the firmware hack will be significantly better for video... but of the E-P1 vs E-PL1, I believe the E-PL1 is more capable (can't remember the detail, but think the E-PL1 can lock exposure / allow more manual control).

As for AF during video, again the Lumix 14-140 is specifically designed for video on a GH1/GF1/G2/G10 so will give smoother auto focus. Incidentally, I've seen a very impressive smooth autofocus with the NEX5+kit zoom lens on YouTube.

Not trying to knock the E-P1/PL1 but they are not optimised for video to same degree as above alternatives. On the other hand, they are optimised for photography :biggrin:

Hope that helps




Mu-43 Top Veteran
Aug 18, 2010
Thanks very much to you both. This is exactly the kind of information I'm looking for. I'm so glad I found mu-43! :)

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