first E-P1 impressions

Started Jul 12, 2010 | Discussions thread
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PeterLeyssens Senior Member • Posts: 1,519
first E-P1 impressions


I'm still on my decade long quest of finding the perfect replacement for my Olympus OM film SLR. Here's the story so far:

2008: E-420 and some lenses. Despite being close in size to my OM body when looking at the specs, it felt much bigger. Big lenses didn't help. I tried the pancake but it was slow. The whole system felt like it was made out of cardboard with a plastic cover. Not a big success, so I sold it after less than a year.

2009: LX3: much better feel to the camera, but of course limited by everything compact (user interface, DOF, ...). I wanted to keep it a few years, but then I dropped it. Back to film.

2010: I'm back to considering a µ43 system, so I went to a brick&mortar shop today to briefly try out an E-P1 with the 17/f2.8 pancake. The camera had several good and bad points that were immediately clear:

The good:

  • Great size, great feel, solid. I could get used to this camera ! It really does have an old school camera feeling, even more so than the LX3 that felt slightly better built (so it's not just build quality).

  • Autofocus with the 17/f2.8 was quite snappy.

  • Several frequently used controls (i.e. ISO) were very practically laid out on the 4-way controller.

The bad:

  • The two control wheels will need some practice to get used to. Also, I got confused really quickly after pushing a few buttons. But I should get used to that quickly.

  • I really seem to dislike autofocus. I don't know why. So I switched to AF+MF, which switched to zoom automatically when I adjusted focus manually. Nice ! But the screen isn't the most practical for MF: fairly low resolution and it's of course much harder to hold the camera still like with an eye level finder. The E-P2 would be the answer to that worry.

So, a few questions that I should search for here first (but I wanted to jot down my impressions before I forgot them while looking for answers here)

  • How does zoom for MF work with legacy lenses work again ? I seem to remember it's a few button presses to get the display to zoom in, then just one button to toggle ?

  • How well does this camera work with an optical viewfinder like the VF-1 ? How do you get focus confirmation (beep, LED, watch screen, ...) ? Can the screen be turned off to get just a beep or something more subtle ? I'm used to having a rangefinder with 2 different windows for focus and for composition, so I just want to know how people use it.

  • I noticed both wheels changed aperture in A mode. Any way to assign something else to the wheel around the 4-way controller, e.g. ISO ?

  • Can somebody with a Panasonic and an Olympus compare Panasonic's dynamic B&W to Olympus' film grain modes ? I work a lot in B&W and I want the JPEGs to be good B&W out of the camera. The LX3 in dynB&W did exactly that. I will have no time to work in RAW for the next few years, so that is not an option.


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