EPL-1 with Panny 100-300 first impressions (1 image)
Mar 13, 2011
I took this combo to my local wildlife place. I would normally visit there with the Sony A33 DSLR and Sigma 150-500mm lens and so my EPL-1 combo had quite a bit to live up to.
The first most obvious things is that even with this 100-300mm lens on, the combo is MUCH lighter than my DSLR setup, more convenient to carry and over a longer period.
The second most obvious thing is that I am fully familiar with the DSLR, it is very responsive, it can track and I can change all functions such as continuous AF etc via the viewfinder - there were some moments with my EPL-1 in which I could not respond to the moment in the way I could have done with the DSLR.
However, If I had had the VF-2 on the EPL-1 (it is on order), I think a lot of that would have changed. I use reading glasses, so viewing the back of an LCD without them is a pain and worse, trying to change settings on the hoof can mean the moment is lost. Once my VF-2 arrives, the camera will feel much more responsive in my hands and the controls more intimatem, making the differences with my Sony less obvious (for the kind of shooting I do).
The VF-2 will also add a tad of stabilisation from holding the camera to my face. From what I have read / seen here, I thought I would suffer my fair share of blur (shake) with this combo but generally the lens OIS is superb. I noticed that a fewl of my shots had the slightest bluring (shake) but only when pixel peeped and it was mostly taken out my slight unsharp mask. I can't imagine my DSLR doing any better if I held that out in front of me (especially with it's huge lens) .... so looking forward to the VF-2 from the perspective that it is not essential but certainly desirable on this lens.
Colour wise (JPEGs) I like the results better than from the Sony. I think the image you start out with requires much less post processing later. The only thing I had to think about today when shooting was the EV, as it was a mix of cloud and sun and many of the birds had a lot of white or black in them.
[Above photo cropped, slight adjustment in both levels and Unsharp Mask and then re-sized for uploading - file size 1.1meg]
I used the camera handheld throughout the morning, never leaning on anything and the handling felt Ok (i.e. not as front heavy as I would have expected). A lot of my shooting was at -.3 to -.7 to preserve highlights. Having used the cam today, I feel that with the VF-2, I would be happy to take this out in preference to my Sigma on an understanding that the few compromises are heavily outweighted (for me) by the portability of the EPL-1 with the Panasonic 100-300mm. In fact I am increasingly enjoying the whole PEN experience.
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