E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

Started Sep 7, 2010 | Discussions thread
Sam Bennett
Sam Bennett Veteran Member • Posts: 4,402
I'm not just talking about AF...

fermy wrote:

Sam Bennett wrote:

Are you sure? Best Buy carries the E-PL1, but unfortunately not the GF1. But if you're mainly interested in the E-PL1, spending a bit of time with it at a BB should give you an idea of whether the performance will be problematic for your style of shooting or not.

The problem is that it won't. Once there was discussion regarding E-PL1 focusing in low light and it transpired that the reports of horrible focusing were related to the use of kit lens. Once you get 20mm f1.7 Pany lens, low light focusing does not get in the way anymore. The problem is that you won't have Pany lens on E-Pl1 in best buy and E-PL1 kit lens is strictly for good light use.

First off, the performance I'm referring to is not AF performance. The jerkiness of the Live View demonstrated in that video has nothing to do with the lens - it has to do with the stability of the Live View output, which is less stable on the E-PL1 than on the GF1. As E-PL1 owners have pointed out, it's something you can minimize somewhat by only using certain focus modes. The shot-to-shot performance, likewise, has nothing to do with the lens - that's just the viewfinder blackout speed, which is not very good on the E-PL1 regardless of the settings you choose. It seems like a lot of people want to chalk up the E-PL1's performance problems to AF, but that's not the whole story. In fact, even with the pre-firmware update I didn't find the AF to be extremely problematic in of itself - my gripe was always the sum total of a variety of performance issues.

Second, the 20mm is not a magic bullet for the E-PL1's ability to focus in low light. Certainly it helps and will give you better results than the kit lens, but if you're focusing in truly low light the E-PL1 will poop out regardless - that's where the GF1's AF assist lamp can really save the day.

For the record, the linked video was shot with the same 20mm on each camera, but the E-PL1 was not using the new firmware that sped up AF performance.

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