E-PL1 Questions from a Nikon DSLR user

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

fermy wrote:

LOL. You don't even own E-PL1, yet write with total conviction as if camera is in your possession right now. Having owned a camera for a couple of days does not make you an expert on it.

I owned it for about a week and took about 800 shots. I've owned a lot of cameras over the years, so I don't think this is an unreasonable amount of time/use in which to form an informed opinion about a camera.

Jerkiness in liveview? Just drop this nonsense. You tried to use face detection and continuous AF, something I doubt many E-PL1 users would do. Stick to Single AF and liveview is very fluid, there is no lag whatsoever. So you can eliminate it completely, not "minimize somewhat".

First off, I was not using AF-C when testing, and not in the video I posted. I love Face Detect and not using it just so that the camera will perform without lag isn't really an option - why would I do that when I already have a camera that performs the way I would expect?

Look, if the lagginess thing isn't an issue for you - great! I'm not saying that the E-PL1 is a horrible camera and that anyone who owns one is a fool. It didn't work for my style of shooting - but that's just how I shoot, YMMV.

Unfortunately people take this video the wrong way and continue to make unnecessary excuses about the camera, all the while not providing any evidence to the contrary that the E-PL1 can perform as quickly as the GF1.

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.

The shot to shot performance is very decent if you are using continuous drive instead of single shot. This is not an action camera by any stretch of imagination, but you can get an action shot if you need it. GF-1, btw is not an action camera either.

There's a difference between FPS performance and shot-to-shot performance. I'm not a "spray and pray" kind of guy - my problem with the E-PL1 is that it's hard to see what's going on through the LCD (even just for framing a non-"action" shot) due to the instable Live View feed and lengthy viewfinder blackout. Spraying-and-praying doesn't help with that because the image displayed during that mode isn't what the camera is currently seeing. The GF1 has this same problem with Continuous drive mode - which is why I don't use it. You're absolutely right that the GF1 isn't a great tool for shooting "action" - but that's missing the point.

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.

Another weird comment. AF speed was a major problem before firmware update.

Yes, I know. You seemed to be boiling what I was talking about and the video I posted down to "AF Speed" (as many others have) - my point was to say that it's not all about AF Speed. While the E-PL1 has had improvements in terms of AF Speed, I haven't seen any evidence that it's improved in the other areas.

Your gripe was that you preferred GF-1 and shipped E-PL1 back instead of learning the camera.

Umm, I "learned" the camera fine. I spent a lot of time tweaking, trying different things, etc. Ultimately I was not happy with the sacrifices I would have to make with it in terms of shooting how I want to shoot. At some point you have to decide whether something is the right tool for the application, and for me the answer was "no".

Which is fine, because if GF-1 works better for your right from the start, there is no reason why you should force yourself to love E-PL1. However, all your complaints remind me a bit another user who found E-PL1 maximum shutter speed of 1/2000 to be "a major PITA".

Well, while we're on the subject - yes, the 1/2000th limit, in combination with the ISO 200 is a major PITA if you want to be able to use the 20mm f/1.7 outdoors, wide-open to get shallow DoF with carrying around a bunch of ND filters. But that's probably best for another thread.

Shrug. E-PL1 with 20mm never pooped on me. So I don't know what "truly low light" you are talking about. Dark basement with no light? Essentially, 20mm has no problems to AF when the exposure is f1.7 1/10 @ ISO 3200 with -1EV underexposure. I certainly doubt that GF-1 is very useful at such light levels.

I think it really depends on the situation, but shooting people in low light was problematic for me and the E-PL1/20mm combo. If you're shooting something in low light that has a lot of contrast, distinct highlights, etc. you may be fine.

Bringing this back to the OP... the above is my perspective as a Nikon dSLR shooter who bought in to MFT. Whether my criteria applies to the way the OP shoots is for him to decide. But facts are facts, and we should be afraid of acknowledging the facts of a situation. The E-PL1 is a wonder of a camera - it provides fantastic portability, image quality, customization, has IBIS which enables IS even with esoteric 3rd party lenses, etc. - there's plenty of reasons to own an E-PL1. But it's not a great camera for everyone - the OP just needs to figure out which camp he falls into. He may, ultimately, decide that neither the E-PL1 nor the GF1 allows him to shoot in the way he shoots with his dSLR currently.

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