First Look: Olympus E-PL1

FIRST LOOK: Olympus E-Pl1: Today I received a shiny new Olympus E-PL1 in black and I was expecting the worst. Why you ask? Well, I have read a few previews on various sites and many say that the E-PL1 was plasticky and with a cheaper build than the E-P1 and E-P2. I guess this is ย to be expected as the E-Pl1 is a “starter” camera for the micro 4/3 format and also the least expensive option.

This will be a quick first look of the camera. Those who are familiar with how I do things will realize that my first looks do not go over technical stats. I focus more on how the camera does at what it is built to do. Take photos ๐Ÿ™‚

So, is the E-Pl1 a cheaply built E-P2 wanna be? After shooting with it today I can say that yes, it is built to a lesser standard than the E-P2 but not really by that much. Yes, it feels more “Plasticky” but it does not feel cheap in the hand. Actually, with the battery loaded it feels pretty substantial.

The E-PL1 is more stocky and boxy, much like the Panasonic GF-1 and it still feels like a decently built camera. Personally, I strongly prefer the build, style, and feel of the E-P2 BUT the E-PL1 is $599 compared to $1100. Almost half the cost.

So, what did Olympus skimp on to cut those costs down?

Well, as already stated the camera is not up to the build of the E-P2. Also, the shutter speed only goes up to 1/2000s which already gave me a problem today when shooting in daylight with a 17 2.8! I was forced to stop down to F5 due to the shutter speed not going up to 1/4000. This is a bummer for me as I am a guy who likes fast glass and shallow depth of field. This makes it tough to shoot lenses like the 20 1.7 wide open on a sunny day.

The control dial is also gone, ISO only goes up to 3200 instead of the E-P2’s 6400 and of course there is no EVF included with the E-Pl1. The E-P2 seems more like a “pro” level m4/3 camera in comparison to the E-Pl1.

The LCD is NOT as nice as the E-P2. It just looks cheaper and it is a little smaller.

The cool thing about the E-PL1 though is what was added. The new built in flash is nice to have for those times when you may want some fill flash, the new video record button on the back is a nice addition as you do not even have to be in movie mode to record video. Anytime you hit the button the video will start to roll.

We still have the same 12.3 Megapixel sensor but with the new “TruPic V Processing”. I am not 100% sure if this is in the E-P2 or not? Anyone?

TruePic V Image Processor
In addition to more detail, the image sensor, combined with the next-generation TruePic V Image Processor, delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity and reduced noise, all the way up to 3200 ISO.

I will be doing a full review of the E-PL1 SOON and just wanted to share my first thoughts as well as some of my first images out of the camera. After a full day with it I can say that it is well worth the $599 asking price but I have been shooting it with the 17 2.8 which I have never tried until today. After reviewing my shots I was VERY pleasantly surprised!! Read onto find out why…

The E-PL1 has cleaner and sharper output than the E-P1 and E-P2. This was clearly visible to me with every image I took. I shot some ISO 1600 stuff and said “where is the noise?” Yep, the high ISO has been improved but it may be due to more aggressive Noise Reduction. I still have to use the camera more to figure it out.

The 17 2.8 is one of the sharpest lenses I have shot with on the m4/3 format and that is saying quite a bit. I know that many say this lens is soft. Not on the E-Pl1. I either got a stellar copy or the E-PL1’s weaker AA filter is showing its stuff.

Anyway, look for the full review SOON. Until then, here are some first shots, all taken in JPEG mode!

The Olympus 17 2.8 is simply beautiful on the E-PL1 – Taken at F5

Again, the 17 2.8, at 2.8

17 F2.8 at 2.8 – ISO 100

17 2.8 at 2.8

and a straight from camera ISO 3200 JPEG w/crop

So in summary my first impressions are good on the build but I like the E-P2 better for build, style, control and audio capability. I am liking the E-PL1 for its improved sharpness and high ISO. I love the 17 2.8. ๐Ÿ™‚ Which one would I buy if starting an M4/3 system from scratch? I will let you know in my review…soon ๐Ÿ™‚

Check back in the next week or two!

[ad#Adsense Blog Sq Embed Image]

54 Comments

  1. Has anyone experienced their E-PL1 screen going black and shutter not being able to fire? I have had this several times. I can still view an image in playback and can chnage any settings on the LCD (overlaid over black) – – – but cannot shoot. The only solution I have had so far is to turn off the camera and then back on – the odd time that didn’t work on the first try. Any suggestions appreciated. I did a preliminary post on my new E-PL1 here – http://finchandchimps.com/imaging-media/index.php/topic,351.0.html and also mention this issue that I have noticed which in all likelihood is a sleep setting that needs to be adjusted.

    Thanks
    Rob

    • I have the same problem, except mine went black and never came back to life. I bought it online from Amazon.com during a short trip to the US, in July 2010.
      Hi Robert, I live in Argentina and my camera has the same problem. The “official” olympus service store here – not only they do not take the warranty cause it was bought overseas, but also after holding on to the camera for “quotation” for over two weeks, they called back saying they have no idea know how to open this “new” model and the only solution they offered was “send your complain to Olympus”. So, basically, I have to throw this 550-dollar camera away after only 8 months of use.
      I am so dissappointed. I loved the pictures I used to take with my E-PL1.
      How did you solve the problem? Any help or ideas will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Steve is very sharp to point out that:
    The EPL1 shutter is 1/2000 max, the F stop would be force down to F4-F5 (for Panny 20mm 1.7 lens in bright daylight). Bokeh would be reduced if still present at all.

  3. Hey Steve !!
    Can’t wait to read your full review!

    2010+ is a great year for the hobby of photography.
    So many cameras, so many markets (& new markets) …

    – The Point & Shoot (JPG only) Market
    – The Point & Shoot (RAW) Market
    – The Micro 4Thirds / Leica X1 Market
    – The SLR Market (crop sensor)
    – The SLR Market (Full Frame)
    – The Rangefinder Market
    – etc !

    Personally, after owning lots of P&S, and lots of big SLRs,
    I’m now in the ยซ MICRO 4THIRDS / LEICA X1 MARKET ยป

    Unfortunately ..
    the GF1 is not a perfect camera,
    the EPL1/EP1/EP2 are not perfects,
    the Leica X1 is far from perfect.

    BUT, all these cameras have amazing features. In the end, you have to make compromises and go with the camera that has the features you absolutely want. Your “must-haves”.
    Arghhhh… So many things to consider …

    Funny, most of these cameras are only at “version 1.0” …
    But man! I don’t want to wait for versions 2.0 ! ahahhahahahaaa…..

    Take care fabulous Steve !

    – john

  4. Really interesting site, great stuff.
    One particular query I have regarding these latest Olympus is that I still have my old OM1 with the 50 mm Zuiko 1.4 lens – anyone any idea how this would perform with these?

  5. Hey Eric! Thanks for the comment.

    I shot these as JPEG (did not even shoot RAW for the above images) and I believe I had the camera in its standard mode that it ships with! These were the very first images out of the E-PL1.

    The first three had some contrast adjust in Photoshop, the B&W was converted to B&W with Silver Efex Pro and the last one is a straight from camera image. No tweaks at all.

    It appears at higher ISO the E-PL1 applies more NR in camera. After a few more days of shooting with it this is what I have been noticing. But, I have managed to get some great shots with it so far and find its output to be better than the E-P1 and E-P2 though not by a huge margin.

  6. hi Steve, nice mini review and excellent photos! now I’m quite curious, but what in camera settings did/do you shoot at – picture mode (natural?), sharpness/contrast +- adjustments, noise filter setting, large super/fine… or, did you leave them all at default JPEGs/RAW and make adjustments in post processing? thanks!

  7. Hi Steve,
    Stumbled across your blog in my quest for more information concerning m4/3, particularly in aiding my decision on the purchase of a GF-1 or E-PL1. Like many that posted before, I’d like to thank you for your reviewing approach- quite refreshing, and one that a novice like myself can appreciate! That said, I’m looking forward to your full review of the E-PL1. Intrigued by your thoughts on the 17/2.8 vs. the 20/1.7 on this body also… and of course, if you have any immediate feelings between the two models now that the GF-1 is starting to drop a bit in price…

    One question I’m unable to find an answer to concerns the video capabilities on both– the E-PL1 allows for one touch recording, and can also capture a still during this. However, once you take that still, the video is ended…

    I am wondering if this is the same on the GF-1? Or, will it continue filming?

  8. This is so light and easy to carry around. It’s a great camera for vacation. I tried both kit zoom lens and 20mm lens on my day to the work in the city and they were so easy to carry in my backpack or in my jacket pocket. I am thinking to buy a small bag that can be strapped to my belt.

  9. I sold my olympus EP2, because I didnt like the controls and the slow AF. EPL1 doesnt seem to do any better in that department. ill wait and see what panasonic will do with the GF2.

  10. I would say that the E-PL1 would make for a GREAT vacation camera. When its strapped and around your body you can hardly tell its there. (with a 17 on it which is how I have been shooting it). I would take this to Disney without any hesitation ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. Wei…would you recommend this as a vacation camera? I’m headed to Disney next week and my neck is already sore just thinking about carrying around my Canon.

  12. Thank you for your E-PL1 review. Enjoy your blog since I found it.

    I was pondering whether to buy e-p2, e-pl1 or gf-1 for about two months. In the end I bought the e-pl1 a week ago. The breaking point was the image quality reported from some blogs. With the money saving, I can indulge myself with a pany 20 mm. I am really happy with the decision after a week’s shooting. The control is not not bad once you get used to it. The image quality is very good even shooting with the kit lens and it is incredible when shooting with leica 50mm summicron. The light weight and clean design make it wonderful to carry and fun to use. The AF speed is fairly reasonable for what I shoot. The lower price also makes next upgrade much easier when olympus or panasonic makes a great m4/3 eventually.

  13. Hey Will, I agree. There are downfalls to the M4/3 sensors and low light is one of them. Dynamic Range is the other. The sensor is smaller than an APS-C so you will not get the same ISO performance. BUT, throw some light in there and the results can be very good. I think m4/3 is all about small size, fun factor and overall a great quality camera that is a step up from a P&S.

    Thanks for the post and your experience!

  14. Just as an addendum to my probably overly-long and slightly confusing post yesterday, I went out last night and really pushed the low light capabilites of the epl1/20mm combo. The IS is incredible – hardly any shots lost to camera shake at all. But I am a little disappointed in the amount noise I’m getting (I’m forcing an 800 ISO limit). I know I’m probably expecting way too much from such a small camera, but I did a lot of night-time street photography with a Pentax K20D/f1.4 combo (which has a larger APSC sensor, but is still a consumer camera) and when taking a night scene, the sky came out nice and black. With this camera, the sky is speckled and blotchy with noise. As I said, I’m probably expecting the impossible – this is a pitch black sky, after-all! – but it’s a shame nonetheless.

    That said, the low light capabilites really are impressive with this combination. And if you don’t get any sky in your nighttime pictures (and there’s at least some light source!) you’ll have surprisingly good results.

  15. Hey docbluedevil! I hear ya man! It can be a tough choice! I think the E-P3 will be THE one but who knows when it will come out or if at all (I am certain it will). In the meantime the E-Pl1 is a great camera and I was thinking of the same plan as you. Keep the E-Pl1 for the wife and when an E-P3 hits, buy one for me! We just sold our E-P2 so the E-Pl1 may be the one to replace it. But, I am not sure if the wife likes it yet ๐Ÿ™‚

    Steve

  16. Been following the site for the past few months and this is my first comment. Thanks for the great work, Steve!

    I’ve been schizophrenic in deciding to buy a GF1, EP2, or EPL1 while waiting for GF2 and EP3 options. I decided on the EPL1 recently prior to reading your review. I like a lot of its features (in-camera stabilization, built-in flash, dedicated movie record button, art filters, etc.) and think it would make for a great all-purpose initial m43 purchase. When the EP3 comes out with likely similar features, the EPL1 can become my wife’s primary camera, and we can even swap lenses at that point!

    I’ll wait a little longer to for your full review and likely order one. Thanks again.

  17. amalric: If you want to contact me look at (my family name).net and do a few clicks to find my email address. I do not want to publish the info you want here.

  18. What is 1/4000 compared to 1/2000 ? Not much ! 1/4000 is still not enough to use my f/1.4 lenses wide open in sunny daylight. Not even 1/8000. Solution ? 3 to 6 stop high quality ND filter, not an issue. Takes only 30 seconds to put on / remove. Sun won’t change to Rain immediately anyway :).

    Will, good decision to get the EVF, save your eyes, get more stable shots, focusing with LCD is counterproductive.

  19. Correction: 2 GB of MJPEG @ 720p is 8 minutes (was looking at the wrong column in the table). Sorry about the mixup.

  20. @ChrisL:

    Panasonic went with a new CDAF algorithm with the G series that was apparently not compatible with many legacy lenses. That’s supposed to be one of the reasons they’re faster, but at the cost of backwards-compatibility. Panny maintains a lens compatibility list here:

    http://panasonic.jp/support/global/cs/dsc/connect/g1.html

    The excellent Zuiko ED 50/2 will only MF on a Panasonic body, for instance, but the Oly 9-18 FT will do AF. Olympus bodies, on the other hand, will AF with any Four Thirds lens that supports CDAF on FT (most do).

    According to my GF1 manual, it can record up to 15mins of 720p at a time on MJPEG, at which point it hits the 2GB limit (AVCHDLite can record up to the size of the SD card). Most reviews I’ve seen of the E-PL1 state a 7 min time for video recording length. Which makes me suspicious that Oly is artificially limiting the E-PL1 (again).

    @ amalric: I’ve heard from several users that Olympus Master works fine with the E-PL1. In fact, it seems to be the only way to upgrade Panny lens firmware on an Oly body.

  21. Thanks for the response Chip! Too bad then – I guess 1/2000 wouldn’t suffice if I want to get a 20/1.7 with it…

    Oh well, lets wait for something else to come up then! ๐Ÿ˜€

  22. Very zippy review, nice to know your direct feelings. Seems a good match to my E-620.

    @ Christer.

    Could you provide the Hamburg shop link here or email? I am desperately trying to find an E-PL1 with 17mm kit, and can’t find it anywhere on the German aggregators.

    More generally, there are reports that the E-PL2 work with Olympus Master 2 if you upgrade it, so I hope that I’ll be able PP RAW on Mac

  23. Voldenult – Have not had the chance to look at the bundled software for the EP-L1 as of yet as to working with the Mac computers….

    I agree that the higher margins cameras seem to be protected by all manufactures in the end….

    As to the video time limit, unless it has changed on the EP-L1 – it is listed as 8.5 minutes at 2gb’s IIRC…

    And that is because Olympus decided not to adapt to the AVCHD lite format like Panasonic did. There must be a reason that we don’t know about maybe…

    As to your envy.. I know of no reason that that the 4/3 Zuiko 50/2 Macro lens behave any different on any m4/3 body. I know some do better that others going Olympus lens to Panasonic bodies, than the other way around.

    Disheartening in some ways since Oly and Pani should be better partners. But given the lens choices that Pani offers for the m4/3 vs Oly at this point one can guess that Pani might be playing hardball on the 4/3’s side of things…

  24. @ChipL: Oly’s decisions mystify me sometimes. The 1/2000 shutter speed is one thing – they want to segregate the higher-margin E-P2. But I can’t for the life of me see why they’d go to the trouble of limiting video recording to 7 minutes. And having no Mac suite is pretty insulting to their customers (and I am saying this as a PC user).

    The bottom line is that there is still no perfect MFT camera. I have a GF1 and love its focusing speed, but am envious of Oly’s lens compatibility (I’d love to be able to mount a Zuiko 50/2 Macro and have it autofocus, for instance).

    However, waiting on the perfect camera means missing out on all the photographic opportunities out now, so even if they ever release the “perfect camera” in the future, I won’t regret my current purchase one bit.

  25. Steve H – Thanks for the quick look. You forgot one thing about the built-in flash though; it will work wirelessly with the FL-36R and FL-50R flashes! Though I have to say that this causes me confusion on some choices that Olympus made with the EP-L1 – aiming it seems at those making the switch to m4/3 from P&S’s. Yet having the remote flash capability. Now surprising that Olympus could not have given that capability with the FL-14 on the EP-1 and EP-2. Also it seems that Olympus Master software is not included… but a new package…

    Add to that in looking at the specs on DPR.. there are features offered that the target market for the EP-L1 might never use… but the market of the EP-1 and EP-2 would love to have.

    I may have to add the EP-L1 to my m4/3 after all. Already have the EP-1 and EP-2. The EP-1 will soon go off for IR conversion. After I get an EP-L1 I will then decide on the fate of the EP-2’s use. I like the control wheels of the EP-1 and EP-2. So when built-in flash is not needed, I would probably go with the EP-L1. Also using the EP-L1 as I have my NIkon kit with Nikon’s CLS off camera flash system.

    Will be interesting to read your full review; and do my own testing as well. Would dislike thinking the EP-L1 would be better. LOL

    Also confused by your mention of the 1/2000 shutter speed and shooting at f/5.0. Even if you had 1/4000 the aperture would have only been f/3.5. To have shot wide open with the 20/1.7 you would have needed a shutter speed of 1/16000 of a second for the same exposure.

    Rob R – you are right about the build quality and/or feel… think some are looking at how the EP-1 and EP-2 felt in judging the EP-L1.

    Shade – Sorry but mostly shutters are designed for an upper limit. So the EP-L1 would seem to be stuck at 1/2000. ๐Ÿ™

    What could be addressed is missing features in firmware maybe as Olympus has introduce the EP-1, the EP-2, and now the EP-L1 with added features like art filters and the such…

  26. Hey Steve, great shot! But I’m kinda bummed that the shutter speed doesn’t go over 1/2000. Do you think it can be fixed via a firmware upgrade in the future? I’d like to have a small camera for a backup on my m8, but like you – I prefer to shoot my lenses wide open! ๐Ÿ˜€

  27. Thanks Steve, I like your approach to photography as you have an attitude where you see the “memory card as half-full” as opposed to someone who sees it as half-empty. You enjoy shooting a $600 camera while you also have a $6000 camera. I’m not in the market for the EPL1 but I’m looking forward to your review and pics anyway.

    Will, I also disliked that crazy control wheel on the EP1 but you can set it in the menu so it only functions as a control wheel for your aperture or shutter speed and it will no longer affect the camera settings (WB, ISO, AF, etc). Now it functions fine in combo with the main control wheel.

  28. I’ve been using the e-pl1 for a week now, and as a disappointed ex-e-p1 user, I could not be happier. I was very nervous buying this and selling my e-p1 but it categorically was the right decision. Although it’s clearly still not the perfect M43 solution, it does have i) built in anti shake, ii) built in flash iii) improved AF, so although the AF still isn’t as fast as the GF1 and the IS is (apparently) one stop less effective than the E-P1 you’re still approaching a great combination of the best of the two main M43’s players. (on the subject of the AF – with the Pan 20mm at least – it is, for me, fast enough that it’s no longer irritating, but obviously you’d still prefer it GF1 speed)

    I bought the e-pl1 body and the pan 20mm and the low light capabilities of that combination are surprisingly excellent. You can shoot, handheld at night in the street on 800 ISO without a problem. As the body is lighter than the e-p1, I seem to be able to hold it without shaking far more easily.

    I’ve also used it with Voigtlander 35mm 1.4 and the output is incredibly sharp and detailed – you wouldn’t know that the pics came from an ‘entry level’ camera (only annoying aspect of that combination is the 70mm equivalent field of view limits you a lot…). The electronic view finder is compatible with this camera and I’m looking forward to its becoming available as a separately orderable item (the EVF doesn’t work with the e-p1).

    It doesn’t feel cheap in the hand to me – it’s just that the e-p1 felt unusually well built and handsome (but, as I mentioned, I’d prefer to have a body that’s easier to hold without shaky hands).

    Downsides? Batterly life is shockingly poor and as Steve mentioned, the 1/2000 limit on the shutter is a cruel decision by Oly. But that’s it, for me. If I was recommending the best M43’s combo to anyone, it would be the e-pl1 and the panny 20mm. Obviously, that’s more expensive than buying either the Oly and Pann kit, but with the anti-shake, the flash and the fact that this is, by a highly notceable margin, the smallest and lightest M43 body on the market, I think it’s a real winner. Moreover, if you’re into low light photography (as I am), the combination of the lighter body, IS and f1.7 makes it hugely more capable than either kits.

    More important than any of that, however, is the fact that I’ve found this combo to be incredibly ‘sticky’, by which I mean I just can’t stop fiddling with it/itching to get out of the house and shoot. The e-p1 (partly because of that awful jog wheel which continually jogged itself by knocking against my hip, thus changing all of the settings – so unbelievably irritating) ended up just sitting on my shelf, gathering dust.

    It’s still not perfect – but it’s exciting, because it demonstrates that a ‘perfect’ combination of the e-pl1, the e-p2 and the GF1 will probably with us before too long (and, if the Oly rumours are true, with a built in EVF…)

    Will

  29. I read on DPR that the AA filter is weaker? Is this true? The images you said were sharper. This is with RAW conversion right? With the new Lightroom processing then maybe the IQ will be up there. Also how is the dynamic range. Will you test the camera with your Leica lenses plus adapter?

  30. You wrote: “forced to stop down to F5 due to the shutter speed not going up to 1/4000. ”

    Why did you not select a lower ISO? Were you already at the lowest possible? What would that be?

  31. E-PL1 is a better camera in terms of IQ than E-P2, there is no doubt, I think a lot of folks knows that already. ISO handling is a lot better, I don’t even use NR and NF, I’ll let Dfine take care of that. ISO 1600 is so good, and 3200 is very usable.

    As usual, I use it with my Leica and Zeiss. Beautiful. Simpler controls, no dials ? Heck, it’s great, reminds me of my Leica M.

    Thanks, looking forward to your feedback ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. Rob, thanks for your review, you make some very good points.

    I am currently at an impasse as my NX10 + 30mm order does not look like it will be filled by the time I go on holiday! (Stock due 3 weeks, plane leaves in 4 days.) I really need a compact high-quality camera for my trip and I need to make a decision asap!

  33. Hi Steve,

    Just a few thoughts as an E-PL1 owner of a couple of weeks now.

    Firstly, I have the thing with me almost all the time, which is fantastic. My coat pockets aren’t huge but with the F1.7 on there it fits nice and snug. The kit lens goes in the other pocket.

    Secondly, I am constantly complimented on the look of the thing. People think (in black at least) that it looks “old-fashioned” and they love it. I’ve seriously lost count of the times I’ve had that remark made. I grant you, the E-P2 is probably nicer, but in isolation, the vast majority of people seem to like the E-PL1 a lot.

    Finally, the build. So much nonsense has been written about this in my view. Let’s put it this way. Anyone who says this camera is lightweight, or plasticky should get a friend to hit them in the face with one. To me it feels very nicely made and properly dense. Also, it’s a MUCH nicer shape to hold than the E-P1 or 2. The grip is actually something your fingers can hook over.

    You’ve got a point about the shutter speed but a couple of ND filters take care of that. And you can buy a LOT of ND filters for the difference between this and an E-P2. And you get a flash.

    Just my thoughts. I’m very VERY happy with this camera. Why anyone would by an E-P2 now is beyond me.

    Great work on the site,

    RR

    p.s. OK. So I thought of a fault. The low light focusing sucks. But that’s pretty much it. Incredible for the money.

  34. Great Steve, I was expecting you do the review for the e-pl1! Thanks a lot! I plan on buying the E-pl1 or the E-p1 and am still hesitating. both have features that attract me. I don’t know what to do. They’re the same price. Ah, good to read your review sooooooooon! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  35. Hi Steve,
    Been waiting for this. Thanks for your first thoughts.
    Would you please try shooting the same shot, same settings, with first the Oly 17/2.8 and then the Panny 20/1.7 to see if there is any appreciable difference? I am intrigued by your first impressions of the 17/2.8 As you of course know, the buzz on the web is about the superiority of the 20/1.7 I just wonder if you can see a real difference when the comparison is carried out on the E-PL1. Perhaps the lighter AA filter on the E-PL1 brings these lenses closer.
    Looking forward to your full review; I really appreciate your down to earth, practical approach!
    All the best,
    Angus

  36. Steve, don’t forget to test the E-PL1’s “bounce flash” trick! When the flash is open, you can aim it up at the ceiling by pulling back lightly on it. This scores big points for the E-PL1 in my book!

  37. Stephane:

    find another dealer! The dealer I went to in Hamburg, Germany offered any combination you wanted and the price difference for the “home made” combinations were the same as for the other Pen models official combinations.

  38. @ Tony S. – I don’t think they set their nominal ISO ratings down with the E-PL1, rather they tweaked the JPEG engine and restricted ISO to 3200 to keep a ‘pro’-distance between the PL1 and the P2. For comparison, the Panasonic MFT cameras rate their nominal ISO lower than the actual sensitivity, which results in MORE noise at the respecitve ISO settings compared to an Olympus camera.

  39. This 3200 ISO limit and the low noise could have an explanation.

    If you look at DxO labs’ E-P1 / E-P2 manufacturer vs measured ISO tests, all the measurings are LOWER than the specified ISO value in the camera.

    Sure Olympus realized that adjusting the ISO numbers down (the labels on the camera and in the menus), the results from this E-PL1 camera would be better considered.

  40. Don’t forget the E-PL1 is being marketed (and priced) as an entry level camera, so they’re cutting corners on the kit lens as well (plastic mount). Bundling it with the 17mm would raise the price of entry (although the 17mm lens doesn’t have very much metal in it aside from the mount anyway). Also, since the E-PL1 is targeted at P&S users wanting to move up, it makes sense that Oly is primarily offering a zoom. The camera is available body only, but that option is only $50 cheaper than the bundle, so it doesn’t make much sense.

    Oly has promised models above and below the E-P1, so for people who want something more than the E-PL1, there’s hope on the horizon (unless they meant the E-P2 when they said that).

  41. Oh and too bad you have to buy the 17mm separately to the camera! (In switzerland at least). This seems so logical to propose this package! I consider not to sell both together as a personal attack from Olympus to myself ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. Hey

    Thank you for this short review. This appear to be the perfect companion for everyday shooting and family stuff. I’m looking to buy one with the 17mm, so I can’t wait for your review.

    There’s just the question of how to deal with the modes (PSAM), because as what I red on other sites, the menus are made for beginners (like in this official video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=absTi7Er4gI).

    Have a nice day

  43. I’m looking forward to your review. Specially i’m interested if there’s a real difference between E-P2 and E.PL1 in terms of image quality and high iso!

  44. Nice shots with the E-PL1. Looking forward to the review.

    This camera is certainly a great photographic tool – it’s a shame that Oly feels the need to cripple the E-PL1 to keep it out of same league as the E-P2, when in many ways it’s a more capable tool.

    Also, it’s well known that the E-P1 and E-P2 are plastic bodies with a cosmetic metal shell, rather than a real metal chassis like the GF1, so the E-PL1 is actually not that far behind them in build, even if it does feel rather cheap and plasticky in the hand.

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Buying a Micro Four Thirds camera - wait? - MacTalk Forums
  2. Olympus PEN E-PL1 Micro Four Thirds Review : DigiCamReview.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.