Why Olympus cameras are so addicting

Started 4 weeks ago | Discussions
Humansvillian
Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Why Olympus cameras are so addicting
23

Back when I was only 58 years old, and quite impressionable as you might imagine, that sly old Guy Parsons tempted me into spending the paltry sum of $100 for an Olympus PL-1 with a kit 14-42 lens. I fell so hard for it I gave away my Canon Rebel XT to my daughter and spent another $100 for a 40-150 telephoto and another $150 for a Panasonic f1.7 25mm prime.

In daylight, when most people tend to take pictures, that first PL-1 and three lenses I bought for it, cannot be matched by any 35mm film camera I ever owned, and not exceeded by much by the best full frame digital camera today. MFT was like a cell phone, born full grown.

My best MFT camera today is my M5.2 that cost $1.100 back when I bought my PL-1 in 2016. After the sun goes down it’s a better camera. But a PL-1 does, shoot in the dark.

There is a noticeable improvement in high ISO performance from the 12mp to the 16mp sensors.

The improvements in IBIS was markedly better at three axis and phenomenally better at five axis, but you still need a fast enough shutter speed on moving subjects.

What makes MFT so addictive is that new cameras have insanely fun toys to play with such as live composite, high resolution shots, focus stacking, and they work using your phone as a remote.

And you can get all those toys in a used M5 II that is about $350 to $400. Every lens you already have comes along and works.

Olympus still sells $100 telephotos and Panasonic sells $150 fast 25mm primes. Bring more money and you get better lenses.

Olympus supplies a free, and useful image software so you can play darkroom on your computer. If you want better, you can buy better.

With any Olympus MFT camera, and any Olympus MFT native lens, you have a starter kit to build on.

A PL-1 and kit lens, is still $100. It has working IBIS, takes HD movies, and you really need a book to fully understand it.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-E-PL1-Digital-Mirrorless-Camera-w-14-42mm-Lens-/174747395155?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

This book is still useful even with the latest Olympus ca’meras.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-PEN-E-PL1-for-Dummies-Paperback-Julie-Adair-King-/274813584957?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

Nothing takes much better pictures in good light.

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Woody S
Woody S Contributing Member • Posts: 536
Re: Why Olympus cameras are so addicting
2

I understand. As an ex Canon user I fell hard for Olympus and love those little MFT cameras.

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MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 43,712
Olympus and M4/3 are not exactly the same thing.
6

Some people call some parts  Britain “England” when they are not part of England to the bemusement of their native inhabitants.  I have seen sentences where “Britain” (aka UK) and “England” are used interchangeably in the same sentence.

Which gets down to the fact that the M4/3 mount format is not the same as Olympus product even though Olympus has indeed made some pretty good gear that uses it.

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Tom Caldwell

Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: Why Olympus cameras are so addicting

Woody S wrote:

I understand. As an ex Canon user I fell hard for Olympus and love those little MFT cameras.

From time to time, I spend a hundred bucks for a PL-1 kit and another five or six dollars for Julia Adair King’s guide book and pass on the addiction to a relative or friend.

For the money, nothing can ever equal the first Pen Lite camera and lens, and I doubt any other camera and lens ever will.

Look what a hundred dollar Olympus can do, easily.

To be a photographer you need a real camera, with a real lens, otherwise you’re snapping pictures with a phone.

The Olympus PL-1 remains the cheapest way to enter photography with a camera that has a full PASM dial and interchangeable lenses still in production.

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Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: Olympus and M4/3 are not exactly the same thing.
1

These wildflowers have many names, but I’ve always heard them called a wild lily rose.

The clever engineers at Olympus put in about three stops of usable internal stabilization in the first generation of MFT cameras, that allow use of legacy film camera lenses with stabilization.

When shopping for a $100 MFT camera with lens, make sure it has IBIS, and insist on a genuine Olympus.

Otherwise you might get a camera only good, for taking pictures of an artificial rose, not a wild one, growing on the vine.

ARTIFICIAL ROSE

https://youtu.be/17466Z6UrFg

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Chris Noble
Chris Noble Veteran Member • Posts: 4,169
Panasonic cameras, however, are addictive (nt)
12

No text.

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tomhongkong Veteran Member • Posts: 4,329
Re: Olympus and M4/3 are not exactly the same thing.
17

Tom Caldwell wrote:

Some people call some parts Britain “England” when they are not part of England to the bemusement of their native inhabitants. I have seen sentences where “Britain” (aka UK) and “England” are used interchangeably in the same sentence.

Which gets down to the fact that the M4/3 mount format is not the same as Olympus product even though Olympus has indeed made some pretty good gear that uses it.

Nowhere in the thread is it implied that Olympus is synonymous with MFT, although it is mentioned as being part of it.

I would support a statement that Panasonic make some pretty good cameras as well, but the OP is writing about his Olympus experience, not the other manufacturers.

Come off it, the guy is enjoying his photography, good on him!

Let's not try to knock him down

Keep shooting and posting, Humansvillian!

tom

Raist3d Forum Pro • Posts: 45,335
Olympus (ra ra ra) is so addictive because...
15

it does many things other camera models from other brands also do?

Seriously

(Sony / Fuji give you a free capture one and also provide for toys to play with as you put it).

I mean no offense, but this comes across as another justify my Olympus system post. All cameras are good now.

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Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: Olympus (ra ra ra) is so addictive because...
2

I’ve just spent an hour or so playing with my PL-1.

It will take long exposure photographs from a tripod.

Compared to my P-5 or especially my M5 II it’s a dinosaur, but for a hundred bucks, and with a $10 pawn shop 28mm lens, it’s amazing.

The PL-1 didn’t have provisions for a remote shutter release.

Instead you selected a two or twelve second shutter delay.

It doesn’t have focus peaking.

Instead you magnify focus to 14X and focus.

There’s no live bulb, live time, or live composite.

So instead you must practice your photography knowledge a little, take a few pictures, and have a lot of fun.

OMDS sells a much improved Pen Lite 10 with kit lens for $600

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-PEN-E-PL10-Mirrorless-Digital-Camera-with-14-42mm-Lens-Black-/284487810804?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

They need to update it and give it a 20mp sensor and stick it in a PL-1 box.

To make Olympus addicts, there needs to be another PL-1.

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offtheback
offtheback Senior Member • Posts: 1,055
Re: Why Olympus cameras are so addicting
5

Forget the naysayers.As you discovered you are part of the camera system and it you appears you mesh beautifully with the equipment.Joy to you!

jcr1 Regular Member • Posts: 170
Re: Why Olympus cameras are so addicting
5

Such a good heartening thread and good on you Humansvillian - you also obviously know what you're doing with your gear.

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maggiemole Senior Member • Posts: 1,816
Re: Why I didn’t keep my PL-1
1

It had a fixed screen and no EVF. So it was probably only worth 100usd anyway. Since I dislike cameraphones too, I opted for a Panasonic GX7 and now have 2 of them plus other M43 cameras. I’m glad you’re happy with your PL-1, though.

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john isaacs Veteran Member • Posts: 6,397
Re: Why Olympus cameras are so addicting
1

Olympus E-PM2: Very very small 16mp camera, accessory EVF

Olympus E-PL5+: Very small 16mp camera with tilt screen, accessory EVF

Olympus E-M5 Mark III: Small 20mp camera with EVF, PDAF, articulating screen, control dials, accessory grip.

All of these cameras work with the BLS-50 battery.

I add the Panasonic 12-32mm pancake zoom for ultra-compact combination.

All are great with the f/1.7 or f/1.8 prime lenses from Olympus or Panasonic

I personally have the E-PM2, E-PL6 IR conversion, and E-M5 Mark III.

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Felice62 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,304
Panasonic cameras are genuinely awesome!
6

Gm5 speaks for them all

And with the G9 Panasonic taught the world how to make a camera that not only is at the state of the art but also arguably the best handling camera in eons..

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Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
The PL-3 was a lot faster
5

maggiemole wrote:

It had a fixed screen and no EVF. So it was probably only worth 100usd anyway. Since I dislike cameraphones too, I opted for a Panasonic GX7 and now have 2 of them plus other M43 cameras. I’m glad you’re happy with your PL-1, though.

Although it used the same sensor as the previous cameras, the P-1, P-2, PL-1, and PL2 were all replaced with the far faster and more capable PM-1, PL-3, and P-3.

What’s more, Olympus sold a little pancake f2.8 17mm lens for these cameras that could not compete with the Panasonic f1.8 but really wasn’t a bad little lens.

The P-3 was the Cadillac of the group, and featured a gorgeous metal body, touch and shoot OLED display, and cost about a thousand dollars then.

But it’s not any better picture taker than a PL-1, and I’ve always thought no camera except the PL-2 quite equals the good light performance of the best selling Olympus MFT body ever, the PL-1.

For landscapes and portraits, it’s hard to beat a PL-1.  It might be the best JPEG camera ever made, period.

In it’s day the ultimate 12mp Olympus P-3 with a kit lens sold for nearly a thousand bucks.

There’s a stash of open box, as new P-3 and kit lens cameras today being offered on eBay for $179. There are 10 available.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-PEN-E-P3-12-MP-Live-MOS-Interchangeable-Lens-Camera-with-14-42mm-Lens-/313707440048?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&_trksid=p2349624.m46890.l6249&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0

That new kit lens is still in production, and sells for about $100 if you drop your old one.

And of course, the battery is still the same one used in the brand new P-7.

In daylight, there’s not a dime’s difference in image quality between the old and new.

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Olymore
Olymore Senior Member • Posts: 1,895
Re: Olympus and M4/3 are not exactly the same thing.
2

And just to be even more pedantic, the United Kingdom is not the same as (Great) Britain which is a good analogy for the brands that make mft equipment and are not Panasonic or Olympus.

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ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 9,454
GM1 + 12-32/20/35-100

I see your PL1 fills the same place as my GM1.  Having OIS on the two kit lenses really helps, as does the teeny popup flash.

Andrew

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Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: Panasonic cameras are genuinely awesome!
3

Felice62 wrote:

Gm5 speaks for them all

And with the G9 Panasonic taught the world how to make a camera that not only is at the state of the art but also arguably the best handling camera in eons..

Panasonic cameras are the equal of Olympus cameras for still photographs (sensor for sensor) and usually exceed an Olympus for movies.

The Panasonic f.17 20mm pancake is probably the most iconic, best value for the money, what micro four thirds ought to be,  lens ever made, period.

Olympus has only one advantage other than style, which is a personal preference.

Even the first generation Olympus IBIS was amazing.  The ones that came after are phenomenal.

1/4 second

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Humansvillian
OP Humansvillian Senior Member • Posts: 2,830
Re: GM1 + 12-32/20/35-100

ahaslett wrote:

I see your PL1 fills the same place as my GM1. Having OIS on the two kit lenses really helps, as does the teeny popup flash.

Andrew

Another selling point for the PL-1 is that I truly believe it had the BEST pop up flash ever put on any Olympus camera.

They made it for a beginner, to be able to use it out of the box.

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ahaslett
ahaslett Veteran Member • Posts: 9,454
Re: GM1 + 12-32/20/35-100

Humansvillian wrote:

ahaslett wrote:

I see your PL1 fills the same place as my GM1. Having OIS on the two kit lenses really helps, as does the teeny popup flash.

Andrew

Another selling point for the PL-1 is that I truly believe it had the BEST pop up flash ever put on any Olympus camera.

They made it for a beginner, to be able to use it out of the box.

I have no idea how the flash on my GM1 works, but it does.

Using the Nissin with Air Commander on the EM1 takes a bit more thought.

Andrew

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