E-PL1, E-P2, GF1 -- all scored 69%?

Started May 18, 2010 | Discussions thread
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E-PL1, E-P2, GF1 -- all scored 69%?
May 18, 2010

I find it intriguing that three of the most popular rangefinder-styled m4/3 cameras all score 69% on dpreview.com. In a 100-step scale, what are the odds that all three have the exact same score? It'd be less surprising if this was a 10-step scale and all cameras got 3.5 out of 5 -- but 69-69-69? That surprises me.

Maybe this is just me, but two of the most important parameters for the total score of any camera should be 1) its image quality and 2) its price. The E-PL1 and E-P2 have roughly the same image quality, but the E-PL1 is significantly cheaper. Heck, it even has a bit of an advantage in image quality.

So, how come it doesn't score better than the E-P2? Because it doesn't have a couple of control wheels? Because it's more cheaply built and less attractive? Because of a reduced max shutter speed? Because of a reported (by Olympus; dpreview.com doesn't confirm this) slightly less effective IBIS?

Do these seemingly minor things completely balance out the fact that this is a much cheaper camera than the E-P2 that produces one of the best out-of-camera images that we've seen on any m4/3 camera (and many entry-level APS-C cameras as well)?

Or is dpreview.com afraid of calling out a winner in this seemingly (after reading these forums; I don't own a m4/3 yet) highly emotional user segment?

I also find it strange that the E-PL1 can't be compared with the E-P2 because it belongs in a different (and inherently arbitrary) category. In all practical aspects, these two cameras are competing against each other for the same users. They both have roughly the same image quality, size/bulk, lens mount, sensor, performance, and accessory hot shoe. They differ in minor areas like the build quality and the number of buttons and wheels. Does that really make the E-PL1 belong in a separate category of cameras that can't be compared with the E-P2 or GF1? This seems like a disservice to the readers because most people looking for a rangefinder m4/3 camera will compare these three cameras head to head, which dpreview.com doesn't really allow.

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