E1 and Epl1 on check...with some good lenses

Started Nov 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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viorel
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E1 and Epl1 on check...with some good lenses
Nov 4, 2012

Hi all,

I am a user of  both m4/3 and 4/3 gear, starting of course with 4/3 then moving on with technology and for convenience. I like both systems but as you may guess I feel something special for my old 4/3 gear.

However, with the unknown regarding future 4/3 development I started to think seriously where should I invest more. M4/3 is currently more advanced technologically but I really love 4/3 lenses, and, they don't work/feel well on m4/3.

So today, since I never did this,  I shot with my both cameras, my E1/11-22 against the Epl1/ with PL 25/1.4, not head to head exactly but in the same location and somewhat similar conditions; I just wanted to see how these look on my monitor. You might say that is unfair, E1 has 10 years old sensor technology vs newer 12 Mpix sensor and PL 25/1.4 is a prime well known for it's capabilities, perhaps the best in m4/3 lenses stable, but I had a feeling about the results.

In fact, I just wanted to see if there is so much a difference between old tech represented by E1 and the new one, admitedly, not OMD. So, among all the pictures I found some that are similar enough to allow a comparison (non-scientific of course).

EPL1

E1

Epl1

E1

Epl1

E1

The first thing that I realized was how well the E1 images still stand against the new tech. Yes, there is visible difference in resolution and (less) in sharpness in favor of EPL1/PL 25 when you zoom out (but not at screen size), and well, that's about it. This is in fact about the sharpest combo you can get in m4/3 world. PL25 is an extremely good lens and is better that 11-22 in sharpness terms (is sharp corner to corner, whilst 11-22 is very sharp mainly in the center) and resistance to flare (the thing that I have noticed today and that impresssed me well about PL 25). Contrast is about the same and color rendition is very natural similar with 11-22. EPL1 has a very weak AA filter vs a relatively strong one for E1.

However, the bad thing about EPL1 was ..noise. It was the first time when this annoyed me. It was noise in the shadows in all photos at ISO 200 (gradation was normal). No noise in E1 files at all. This had an impact in the overall IQ and in some instances the files looked not so good compared with E1 files.

My conclusion: although the Epl1/25 is technically superior, this difference was not that visible in the end result, or there were E1 pictures that looked even better than Epl1 ones.  I am sure however that the conclusion would not have been the same if OMD was used.

I am curious what is your opinion about this, especially from people that have dual systems (4/3 , m4/3) or maybe I see something that's simply not true. Was the E1 sensor/processor that good compared with Pana sensors/processor? I also had a 510 with Pana sensor that I sold because, although I likes many things about that camera, I didn't like the VF and constant work to keep highlights clipping at bay (but may be more processing isues).

At the end, does it still worth investing in 4/3 lenses ...taking out the hope that OMD sensor will make its way to 4/3 division (in that case, the answer is definitely yes)?

All the best,

Viorel

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Olympus PEN E-PL1
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