Olympus E-PL1 Review
As one half of the Micro Four Thirds consortium, Olympus was one of the originators of the mirrorless interchangeable lens or system camera. In a little under two years, this new breed has established itself as a credible alternative both to compact cameras and DSLRs. However, while manufacturers regularly talk to us about watching and wanting to exploit the gap between these two established types of cameras, all the models released so far have tended towards the DSLR-end of that space. So far we've seen models from both Panasonic and Samsung that have aped the functionality, handling and even appearance of entry-level DLSRs, while the small, rangefinder-styled MILCs (The E-P1 and GF1) have still behaved like DSLRs without mirrors, rather than compact cameras with large sensors.
Stepping in to fill this void is the Olympus E-PL1, a camera that brings a stripped-down body and simplified interface to the Micro Four Thirds format. This means no control dials (and therefore an awful lot of button-pressing the further away from the automated exposure modes you venture), but it also brings a simple results-orientated 'Live Guide' interface to allow you take control of the i-Auto for people happier to point-and-shoot (sorry Mr Spacey).
Its simplified, button-press based interface dictates that it'll be best suited to compact camera users who want to get better photos straight away and learn about things such as apertures in their own time. Experienced users who regularly want to take control of individual shooting parameters are likely to find themselves frustrated by the sheer amount of button-pressing induced by the loss of control dials.
The cost savings, which extend to a lower-cost, plastic mount version of the collapsible 14-42mm kit lens, means the E-PL1 comes to market with a suggested selling price some $200 (or €150) below that of the E-P1. The body manages to maintain styling cues from the E-P1, mixing them with hints of the company's fondly remembered 'C' series of high-end compacts. The I.S unit has also been simplified, with the company claiming only 3 stops of compensation, rather than the 4 ascribed to the E-P2.
However, it would be a mistake to assume from this that the E-PL1's specification is commonplace - although the body, screen, lens and interface have been pared-back, there are a couple of areas in which this entry-level/beginners model trumps the more stylish, more expensive PEN models. Most obvious is the addition of a built-in flash, which was one of the most glaring omissions from the E-P1 and EP-2. There's also a revised version of the TruePix V image processor, that's been tuned to take account of the lighter low-pass/anti-aliasing filter fitted in this model. The L1 also features the EVF/accessory port under the flash hot-shoe - a feature it shares with the E-P2 but absent from the E-P1.
- 12 megapixel Four Thirds sized sensor
- In-body image stabilization (with claimed 3-stop effectiveness)
- Simplified 'Live Guide' interface
- 2.7" LCD screen (230,000 dots)
- Built-in flash
- Direct record movie button
- 720p HD video (MJPEG compression)
- ISO 100-3200
- 6 'Art Filter' creative effects
- Accessory port for add-ons such as electronic viewfinder
E-PL1 vs E-P2: Key differences
Although the EPL-1 is a less expensive camera than the E-P2 that sits above it, it doesn't give much ground to its big brother in terms of specification. The biggest differences are the more compact-camera-like interface (and loss of control dials), the simplified construction, less sophisticated image stabilization system and the addition of the built-in flash.
- No control dials vs. 2 on the E-P2
- Built-in flash (external flashes only on E-P2)
- Mainly plastic body with aluminium skined front (Stainless steel and alloys for E-P2)
- Image stabilization with claimed 3 stop benefit, vs. 4 stops for E-P2
- Direct record movie button vs. movies as position on E-P2 mode dial
- Mono mic with option to add stereo using adapter vs. built-in stereo mics
- Maximum shutter speed 1/2000th sec, vs. 1/4000th.
|Patrick Finds Inner Peace by ecastellon|
from Your best photo of the week!
|Forks by Kukla|
from Arranged everyday objects
Calumet UK and Wex Photographic, two of the biggest photography retailers in the United Kingdom, are going to officially merge tomorrow.
macOS High Sierra came out today, but if you use a Wacom tablet you need to wait a few weeks before you upgrade. According to Wacom, they won't have a compatible driver ready for you until "late October."
Do you think a $3,000 Canon 80D video rig can compete with an $80,000+ Arri Alexa setup? Well it can't, but check out this video anyway to see how the rigs compare.
Seven simple rules to make sure you get the most out of your next photography outing.
Vitec, the company that owns popular accessory maker Manfrotto, has just acquired JOBY and Lowepro for a cool $10.3 million in cash. The acquisition adds JOBY and Lowepro to Vitec's already sizable collection of camera gear brands.
A master drone pilot has captured one of the most incredible (and highly illegal) drone videos we've ever seen by flying around, inside, onto, and under a moving train.
Intel just debuted their 8th generation desktop CPUs, and the lineup packs a performance boost for 'content creators' that photo and video editors might be intrigued by.
Canon is developing a 'Free Viewpoint Video System' that will turn real life sports games and events into immersive 3D interactive experiences. It's video game-like camera control IRL.
A veteran photojournalist, Rick Wilking secured a spot in the path of totality for the August solar eclipse. While things didn't quite pan out as predicted, an unexpected subject in the sky and a quick reaction made for a once-in-a-lifetime shot.
The new iZugar 3.25mm F2.5 super fisheye lens offers an insane 220-degree angle of view. That means it can basically see behind itself... good luck keeping your feet out of the shot.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll remember that time you took a picture of the frozen pizza baking directions.
A Craigslist poster has discovered the worst possible way to photograph a car: taking pictures of pictures displayed on a cracked and scratched up smartphone screen.
With the iPhone X coming out soon, the title probably won't last, but the iPhone 8 Plus is officially the best smartphone camera DxOMark has ever tested, and the iPhone 8 is second.
Kodak's new Facebook Messenger chatbot is trying to bring back the 'Kodak Moment' by digging up your old social media photos and trying to sell you prints and custom coffee mugs.
Affinity Photo for iPad was touted as "the first full blown, truly professional photo editing tool to make its way onto the Apple tablet." This update makes it that much more convenient.
Yashica has released a new teaser video, and this one claims they'll be releasing an "unprecedented camera" in October on Kickstarter. Ready... set... speculate!
Storage solutions company Synology has just released its very first 6-bay NAS tower. Combined with the DX1215 expansion units, it can hold and control up to thirty drives.
We're always expanding our collection of product overview content, and we've just added videos for the Canon EOS 6D Mark II, the EOS Rebel SL2 and EOS M6.
The venerable Canon PowerShot G1 was announced seventeen years ago this week, marking the start of a line of enthusiast-focused compacts that's still alive and kicking.
Super macro photographer Can Tuncer captured these incredible close-ups of a single peacock feather using a special setup and three different microscope lenses.
After successfully crowdfunding the Biotar 75mm F1.5, Oprema Jena is at it again. This time they're bringing back the Biotar 58mm F2: the world's only lens with a 17-blade aperture.
Adobe's move to a subscription model is treating it very well indeed. The company has posted record revenue for the second quarter in a row, hauling in a mind-boggling $1.84 billion.
More details have emerged about the potential sale of Blackstone's 45% stake in iconic camera brand Leica.
Popular mobile editing app Snapseed just got a major update that includes a new interface and 11 new presets for both Android and iOS, as well as adding the Perspective tool to the iOS version.
It might sound like a strange idea, but taking macro photos of boiling water can actually result in some really cool photographs. A good photo experiment for a rainy day.
The database was created to "break with the narrow lens through which history… has been recorded" by equipping those who commission photography with "the resources to discover photographers of color available for assignments.
Lensbaby has released two new optics for their special "optic swap system." The Lensbaby Sweet 80 Optic gives you that trademark sweet spot of focus, while the Creative Bokeh optic gives you 9 different drop in aperture plate options to play with.
TechCrunch has already posted their review of the upcoming iPhone 8 (not yet the iPhone X), and they're calling it "a look into the augmented future of photography."
Affinity Photo is a $50 photo editing software with no subscriptions. That's it – pay for it once and you're done. And we think it's actually pretty darn good.
Instagram is currently testing a major change to the app's profile layout: replacing the 3-photo across grid with a 4-photo grid... and some users are NOT taking the news well.