EPL-1 user thinking of upgrade

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hockey guy
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EPL-1 user thinking of upgrade
4 months ago

I have been using the EPL-1 for nearly four years. I used to shoot film with a Canon AT1 and loved it.

I chose the EPL-1 because I wanted a small high quality camera. I shoot only in JPEG. I do not want to be spending more time in front of a computer making adjustments and, in fact, I probably would not be any good at it. I confess that I am color blind! I have the VF-2 viewfinder, the original kit lens, the 45 mm Olympus, the 20 mm Panasonic, the 14-150 mm Olympus and the FL-36 R flash (which is too big for the body!)

I also own the Olympus XZ-1 (and can use the VF-2 with it as well.)

I mostly shoot while traveling, out with friends and in nature.

It has taken me a long time to get used to not having controls on the camera body as I did on my Canon. I find that I am slow to make changes on the fly. Even the XZ-1 has a dial around the lens.

So I am considering replacing the EPL-1. I am a bit torn because there is nothing wrong with the camera and I have become a bit more accustomed, gradually, to using the interface.

I am traveling in 12 days and wondering if I should replace the EPL-1 before the trip. I would need to order a replacement  over the internet because there is not much in the way of local photo shops.

If I replace it, I guess I would stick with Olympus because I already have the lenses and I shoot only JPEG.

Any thoughts?

I am attaching a few relatively recent photos in case that helps.

ISO 200 15mm 0EV f/8 1/250

ISO 200 20 mm 0 EV f 1.7 1/3 (camera resting on surface, not hand-held)

Insert caption here. If you do not edit this text it will be automatically removed.

ISO 400 150 mm 0 EV f/11 1/200

ISO 200 150 mm 0 EV f5.6 1/500

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jalywol
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Re: EPL-1 user thinking of upgrade
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

There are four Oly models that would work well for you, and all of them have much better controls than the EPL1 (and better performance).

If you would prefer a built-in EVF, the EM10 is the way to go. It has the better IBIS and is still quite compact. If you want to stay with the PEN styling and use your EVF, the EP5 is another excellent option. If the budget is a bit less forgiving, either the EPM2 or EPL5 are available, and both also have the excellent sensor that is in the higher end models, too. Those two have the less good IBIS and smaller rear screens (and fewer diect controls, but what they have will still be better than what your EPL-1 has).

You can't go wrong with any of these!

-J

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Bas Hamstra
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EPL1 is fine..
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

But the newer 16MP sensor found in OMD-EM5, EM10, EPM2, EPL5 is a bit better, especially at higher ISOs. My advice would be to take a good look at the OMD-EM-10 with pancake zoom. It's a beauty with integrated OVF and flash and hardly (it at all) bigger than EPL1.

I have the EPL1 but dropped it and LCD broke, so replaced it with EPL5. I am slightly worried about the build quality of latest Olympus products. Buttons falling off, paint coming off, etc.

Otherwise Oly is great, but to really improve on EPL1 you have to pick the later 16MP sensor and pass on all 12MP sensors.

Bas Hamstra

hockey guy wrote:

I have been using the EPL-1 for nearly four years. I used to shoot film with a Canon AT1 and loved it.

I chose the EPL-1 because I wanted a small high quality camera. I shoot only in JPEG. I do not want to be spending more time in front of a computer making adjustments and, in fact, I probably would not be any good at it. I confess that I am color blind! I have the VF-2 viewfinder, the original kit lens, the 45 mm Olympus, the 20 mm Panasonic, the 14-150 mm Olympus and the FL-36 R flash (which is too big for the body!)

I also own the Olympus XZ-1 (and can use the VF-2 with it as well.)

I mostly shoot while traveling, out with friends and in nature.

It has taken me a long time to get used to not having controls on the camera body as I did on my Canon. I find that I am slow to make changes on the fly. Even the XZ-1 has a dial around the lens.

So I am considering replacing the EPL-1. I am a bit torn because there is nothing wrong with the camera and I have become a bit more accustomed, gradually, to using the interface.

I am traveling in 12 days and wondering if I should replace the EPL-1 before the trip. I would need to order a replacement over the internet because there is not much in the way of local photo shops.

If I replace it, I guess I would stick with Olympus because I already have the lenses and I shoot only JPEG.

Any thoughts?

I am attaching a few relatively recent photos in case that helps.

ISO 200 15mm 0EV f/8 1/250

ISO 200 20 mm 0 EV f 1.7 1/3 (camera resting on surface, not hand-held)

Insert caption here. If you do not edit this text it will be automatically removed.

ISO 400 150 mm 0 EV f/11 1/200

ISO 200 150 mm 0 EV f5.6 1/500

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hockey guy
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Bas Hamstra, 4 months ago

Would you suggest buying the OMD EM-10 body only and then adding the pancake zoom (which I assume is the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ.)

I am committed to being compact.

Thanks for your reply.

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Jeff4500
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Bas Hamstra, 4 months ago

Depending on where you live, I'd go for a refurbished EP5 from Olympus. Might be a camera you'd keep for 8 to 10 years, its really that good. The 5 axis IBIS not that shutter shock ( real or not) has fix, I think the camera is near perfect. Your VF2 will work well with it and the adjustable rear LCD is great.

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hockey guy
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Jeff4500, 4 months ago

I must say, that on paper it looks great. I have never seen one.

If I were to look for a refurbished EP5, where would I look?

For travel, what set-up would you suggest?

Thanks

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Michael M Fliegel
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Jeff4500, 4 months ago

Any of the newer 16mp Olympus PENs will suite you.  Have you also looked at the EM10?

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Bas Hamstra
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

hockey guy wrote:

Would you suggest buying the OMD EM-10 body only and then adding the pancake zoom (which I assume is the Olympus M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 EZ.)

I am committed to being compact.

Thanks for your reply.

Here in Holland the EM-10 is sold as a kit with the 14-42EZ pancake zoom. That's probably cheaper than buying seperately. But otherwise: yes, buy the body only, you already have the lenses. You can decide on the pancake zoom later. You could even consider the pana pancake zoom 12-32 that is MAYBE a tad sharper. But the oly pancake will look better (beautiful combo) and in my experience you get the best Oly color with Oly lenses.

Anyway the sensor is worth it...shooting indoors at daytime no flash my EPL1 fell short of my dslr's, but not the EPL5...

Good luck!

Bas

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Jeff4500
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

hockey guy wrote:

I must say, that on paper it looks great. I have never seen one.

If I were to look for a refurbished EP5, where would I look?

For travel, what set-up would you suggest?

Thanks

You can find then on OlympusAmerica here for $639. For me travel means light and as such, the 14-42 Kit, 40-150mm and the Pany 14mm (really small with out the VF).

In your case the 45, 20 and 14-140 should make for a great travel kit. I started with the EPL1 and use the original kit and the 40-150 for two years. Sold the Original kit to get the 14-42 II R at cameta for $99 and recently added the 14mm pany and the 30 Sigma. If I was going to a big city, I'd probably only take the Pany and the Sigma, out here in the west the the kit zoom and the 40-150mm are what I take.

I still have my Nikon stuff that covers from 12mm to 500mm, so I'm really trying to keep my MFT stuff light and small.

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ulfie
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E-PM2
In reply to Michael M Fliegel, 4 months ago

I too have and appreciate the E-PL1.  And am thinking of upgrading too, though the E-PL1's images are waaaay good enough for an amateur like me.  I'm looking at the E-PM2 body (I have and will keep using the P20/1.7 lens).  You have enough lenses so just upgrade the body.  The PM2 is simple and straightforward, an E-PL5 simplified.  And right now the PM2 is relatively cheap.  The PM2's sensor is the same as the EM-5's.  Just tweak its sharpness and maybe contrast up a notch and you'll have a junior EM5.  I like to keep my gear simple.  The PM2 is that and also offers the advantages of the slightly better sensor and won't bust your budget.  My $0.02's worth.

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RaymondR
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Re: EPL-1 user thinking of upgrade
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

I just upgraded from the E-PL2 to the E-M10 last week and I can strongly recommend the E-M10 (though the E-P5 would bring many of the same benefits if it has the same jpeg engine as the M10).  You will see (and I have seen) noticeable improvement frm the older generation 12 MP Olympus sensor in dynamic range, even more noticeable noise reduction improvements with less loss of detail, and much better AF performance.  And the direct controls on the E-M10 make it a joy to use and greatly reduce the need to menu dive.

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hockey guy
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Jeff4500, 4 months ago

I called Olympus.

They offer a 90 day warranty on refurbished cameras and a 30 day return policy.

That seems pretty fair. Mulling it over.

In fact, I am going to be visiting European cities and I may leave the 14-150 mm at home based upon your suggestion.

Thanks!

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hockey guy
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In reply to ulfie, 4 months ago

What you are saying makes a lot of sense. I actually was considering other lenses (a wide angle)

but there is no urgency.

However, I think that i would like a camera with more external controls than I have and with the articulated screen (to take photos discreetly!)

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jpig
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Re: E-PL1 upgrade
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

I have also used an E-PL1 with VF-2 for the past 3 years, I also shoot almost exclusively jpeg, and I recently got the OMD EM10.

For me, these are the main differences between the cameras:

1) integrated EVF that does not get grainy in low light (as the VF-2 does on the E-PL1)

2) control dials instead of all buttons (though these have become second nature to me on the E-PL1)

3) noticeably faster autofocus

4) better image quality at high ISO, though at ISO 200 I don't see much difference (but I shoot jpeg - maybe the improvements many people claim are only evident in RAW or maybe I'm just not discerning enough)

5) more accurate auto WB in low light, especially artificial indoor lighting

6) EM10 is smaller than the E-PL1 with the VF-2 attached

I can strongly recommend the EM10, but I'm too fond of my E-PL1 to get rid of it (and it's not worth enough to sell anyway), so I'll be holding on to it as well.

I also handled the EP5, and although that is a very nice body with some advantages over the EM10, the integrated EVF and more compact size of the EM10 were a better fit for my needs.

I personally would give myself more than a few days to get acquainted with a new camera before taking it on a trip. The controls on the EM10 are different enough from those on the E-PL1 that they take some getting used to. I needed several days of playing around with the EM10 to decide how I wanted to customize all the buttons, dials, etc. Also, the EM10 is a more complex instrument than the E-PL1, with additional features and functionality that need to be learned. But that's just me. Some people might enjoy learning a new camera in daily use on a trip.

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hockey guy
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Re: E-PL1 upgrade
In reply to jpig, 4 months ago

Maybe I will just sit tight until after I return. It did take me a long time to get accustomed to the EPL-1 controls. At least I know how to use it by now!

I did have the chance to handle the OMD EM-10 once for few minutes in a camera store, locally.

I was pleasantly surprised at how small it was but was not sure if the controls were too closely spaced for me.

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hockey guy
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Jeff4500, 4 months ago

Jeff,

One of the deciding factors is whether I should get a camera with a built in EVF.

I was wondering if  the articulated LCD makes one less reliant on the EVF in bright light, at least.

Thanks!

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Jeff4500
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

hockey guy wrote:

Jeff,

One of the deciding factors is whether I should get a camera with a built in EVF.

I was wondering if the articulated LCD makes one less reliant on the EVF in bright light, at least.

Thanks!

No, I find I use the EVF in bright light.

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hockey guy
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Re: EPL1 is fine..
In reply to Jeff4500, 4 months ago

Ok. Thanks for all the input.

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Rich K
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Re: EPL-1 user thinking of upgrade
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

I also had the e-pl1 since it was first introduced.  Loved its size and only slightly disappointed with the performance of the original 14-42 lens.  Upgraded to the e-p5 last fall along with the 17mm/1.8 and the panny 12-35/2.8.  Couldn't be happier!  Camera is very solid, using the two control wheels is very good, and photo quality is excellent.  However, if you're going to stick with your current lenses, then I'd say it's a more difficult choice.

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Edmund Dorf
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I Sold My PL1 and Replaced it With a PM2
In reply to hockey guy, 4 months ago

And I'm sorry I did. I miss the manual control of the PL1. Took a lot of photos that I really like. It was more than capable of doing what I do.

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