E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

Started Sep 7, 2010 | Discussions thread
sean000
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Re: I tried the E-PL1 today
In reply to Sam Bennett, Sep 9, 2010

Sam Bennett wrote:

sean000 wrote:

I think my GF1 battery lasts as long as the batteries for my DSLRs.

The GF1 definitely doesn't last as long as my D700 - it's usually good for about 400 shots, depending on whether I'm using IS or not, etc.

The D300 is supposed to get much better battery life than my D200, despite using the same battery... so maybe the same is true for the D700? Not that I really have any complaints about battery life on my D200, and my GF1 seems to do just as well if not better. Tough to say though since so much depends on how you use the camera.

The GF1 will also seem larger than expected...

Hah! After having to use the D700 while my GF1 was out on loan I was just shocked at how light it felt when I got it back! LOL But you're right, some may go into it expecting it to be like a P&S, which it's not. The E-PL1 is definitely chunkier - has more of a "My First Camera" feel to it. That's not to say it feels cheap, it doesn't - but it's not quite as slick (literally and figuratively) as the GF1, imo.

I don't think I would want the GF1 to be any lighter or smaller. It's a nice size for me. Definitely more portable than my DSLR, but not so small that I hate using it. But since the GF1 resembles the LX line, it looked big to me at first when compared to my old LX2...but in a good way.

Since I've essentially stopped shooting professionally, I'm about 95% sure I'll be selling the rest of my Nikon gear after I shoot my last event scheduled this year, next weekend. Spending the last two weeks with the D700 was pretty eye-opening. Not only is the D700 big, heavy and awkward to wear around town, but... I don't like shooting portraiture with it, it's as simple as that. The D700 has absolutely outstanding IQ - especially in terms of DR and noise - but I almost exclusively shoot "socially" at this point, and the D700 is just feels like a somewhat archaic burden at this point. Looking through a viewfinder might make you look cool to others, but it's actually very limiting in a lot of ways. I enjoy the act of photographing more with the GF1, by and large. This has been the most surprising aspect of owning the GF1.

I totally understand where you are coming from Sam. I have a part-time photography business and last Fall I was planning to take it full time because I expected to get laid off from my day job. So I was getting ready to invest in some additional photography gear that included a D700, some additional studio and event gear, etc. When it turned out that my day job would be spared, I decided to avoid professional gigs for awhile since we had a baby on the way (who was just born four weeks ago). I already knew that for my own personal photography I wanted a m4/3 kit, and based on reviews and some of the posts I read here (including yours) I was pretty certain I wanted a GF1.... which I finally bought in January with the 20mm f/1.7. Since then I've probably taken more photos with my GF1 than with my D200, and most of my favorite photos of the year so far have been taken with the GF1. The first photos of our baby girl were taken using the GF1 and 20mm... as well as most of the photos of her since then.

Selling my D700 will coincide with about a year spent with the GF1, so I'll be starting up a thread exploring my experience more. Needless to say, there's some shooting I used to do frequently where I wouldn't even consider shooting with the GF1 and the D700 was and is still fantastic for that kind of work. But like the E-PL1, even the venerable D700 doesn't quite fit my needs right now.

The things I would miss about owning the DSLR gear mostly have to do with professional shooting or types of shots I don't take very often: The convenience of fast f/2.8 standard and telephoto zooms, being able to control the output of multiple off-camera flashguns, etc. I will also use my D200 and pro lenses in harsher conditions than I would my m4/3 gear, but I don't need to shoot in the rain that often. Same goes for sports. I just don't shoot a lot of action, but when I do I appreciate having a camera that can keep up. Then again for most of the "action" shots I take, like my nieces playing soccer or our dogs running around, the GF1 does just fine. For 90% of my personal photography the GF1 is just as good, and I prefer using it in a lot of situations... especially now that we have baby gear to haul around. It's usually the camera I reach for first, even when my D200 is right there. My wife and other friends/family would much rather use the GF1 as well. Even when I set my D200 up so someone just needs to point & shoot, it still intimidates them. So the GF1 is better for times when I want to be in the shot, except for the fact that I can put the D200 on a tripod and program it to shoot a series of timed shots. That's always been handy for impromptu group shots and self-portraits.

So I plan to keep my D200, but thin out my DSLR gear. I have a lot of redundancy, but that's because I've needed backup gear when I shoot a gig. Right now I'm not advertising my services and may not do so for a long time...so I'm thinking about selling some of it so I can get an ultrawide for the GF1. The two systems also compliment each other very well. I love using my Nikon 50mm and Tamron 90mm f/2.8 on the GF1 for portraits, and I like to use the GF1 as an additional camera when I'm shooting with my Nikon. I can keep a telephoto on the D200 and wear the GF1 with the 20mm around my neck. Of course then I really look like a camera dork

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