Four from the road with the Olympus E-PL1

Man oh MAN! I have been so busy lately with traveling, driving and moving across the country. Ugg. I still have a lot to do but am excited to get back to FULL TIME work on this site! I just got back home last night at 2am from the airport and have been packing boxes all day long so I have not been able to update until now. While I was traveling these past few days I mostly shot film but did get a few snaps off with the Olympus E-PL1.

In my review of the E-PL1 I asked the question…”Is this the best JPEG camera EVER?”.  After looking at some of my recent images I am going to say that for me, YES it is and that is my opinion and I am sticking to it! I am amazed at what the Olympus 17 2.8 and E-PL1 gives us for $599 for the body and $230 for the lens. Again, this lens is gorgeous on the E-PL1. It’s the only lens I want to use on this camera because it has the perfect combination of color, smoothness, detail and speed. Sure, I wish it was faster but we have the Panny 20 1.7 for that. IMO, the 17 renders a bit smoother and I love it!

Anyway, these images will not show you any of that as they have been converted to B&W using Silver Efex Pro where I added grain and applied my own custom settings. These were just shots taken out of the car window as my wife drove but I still like them, especially after the B&W treatment. Anyway, here are a few from the road with the E-PL1! IMO, the best buy in the m4/3 camera bodies right now!

I will have more cool stuff over the next few days so check back soon!

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  1. Hi Steve.
    My latest decision was to go for a Cheaper body Epl1 due to the fact im reading there is no real difference between this one and the current Olympus M 4/3 models.( am i right in thinking this?)
    Its small and has a nice grip. It does look great also. Only thing i have not found it in Silver , only the Epl2 has this colour although these are minor qualms.
    Thanks again for this review

    • The E-PL1 has the same sensor as the E-P3 even (besides the in cam processor) but the E-P3 is better in every other way – speed, AF, touch screen that works fantastic, OLED display, etc. BUT for IQ, the E-PL1 is just as good really, and they can be found cheap.

  2. after 2 mounts of doubts what the purchase, Ep2 or the EPL1 ? I decided to go for the EPL1 The money I saved on the body I spend again and I bought the panasonic 20mm 1.7 lens. I really like the combination especially for inside as I did not needed the flash. True the colors are cooler but I do think that the color temperature is closer to reality then the pictures I have taken with the standard olympus kit lens. BTW one of the remarks that was made was that the video record button on the back could be pushed by accident. It is indeed easy to hit. You do not really need it as you can also just set it to video using the switch on top of the camera so I gave the record button another function I found out that that button and the FN button are user definable. So I changed the record button to Preview button, but there are many more other options to chose from or you can disable it if you prefer that . So far I’m pretty happy with what I bought.

  3. Steve, i think its been open about a month at 14740 N. Northsight, full contact info if you need more is available at My mother’s husband was excited as he is a born and raised Chicago guy. The owners seem to be nice people too, and they import the necessaries from chicago.

    You can also buy sausages to cook yourself from them, however if you haven’t tried Schreiner’s sausages yet, you should – they make great ones, plus it is right down the street from Mcalpines, which is just a near soda fountainesque burger / antique shop – perfect for a burger with style for lunch with a sausage stop for later right after. The latter two are both on 7th st south of Indian school.

    One last rec, since you are just returning. Forget Pizzeria Bianco now, it has become awful. A ‘new to you’ pizza place that is great is called The Parlor at 20th st and Camelback. The Arcadia district has also really changed and is becoming the culinary hot spot (well by AZ standards), the vig, la grand orange, german sausage company, etc…ok i am really done now!

  4. I agree that the E-PL1 is a GREAT camera for the money. Looking for a compact to grab when I don’t want to take my Canon DSLR and lenses, I have been shooting with both the E-PL1 and the E-P2 side by side for a few days. I was about ready to go with the bargain E-PL1 until I started looking more closely at higher ISO shots (1600). The E-PL1 looks cleaner but it looks like it’s just more aggressive in-camera NR. No one had any pores left. : )

    If I decide to go with the m4/3 format, I’ll go with the E-P2. It strikes a better balance between detail and NR in my book.

    Many thanks Steve for your reviews of the lenses and the m4/3 bodies! Big help.

    – b

  5. Hi Steve,
    Could you possibly provide us a link to download your original ORF files of these four great E-PL1 shots with the 17, before you converted them to B&W? I would love to see what they look like on my monitor as I run them through LightZone. I’m planning on getting just that set-up…E-PL1 with the 17.

  6. Excellent! Maybe I will have the pleasure of meeting you one day. Sorry in advance for your moving back during summer! I will be very interested to see what you shoot here for sample shots, I have a hard time getting motivated to shoot desert stuff. On a positive, an Al’s Beef opened if you miss some chicago staples. 🙂

  7. Yes, I am moving BACK to AZ. I have lived in IL, near Chicago for almost 2 years now. I am from Chicago but lived in AZ for 14 years so we are going back due to my wife’s career/job. I’m happy to go back 🙂 My wife is now in AZ and me and my son go back at the end of May. Tough to be away from her that long but my son has to finish 8th grade here before we go.

    We are meeting up with her in 2 weeks though in Mexico for a party we are attending. Can’t wait!

  8. Thanks for the shots. I am also interested in your comments about rendering vs the 20mm Panasonic, if you get time. I though your trip was just a vacation, where is the new home? Arizona?

  9. Efix, that is too funny 🙂 I agree on the 20 1.7 being cool and I find the 17 to be the opposite with warmer/richer colors. I do miss the speed though not as much as I would think. I actually do not have the 20 right now as it is 1800 miles away with my wife.


  10. In German we have a saying: “Zwei Dumme, ein Gedanke.” It roughly translates as “Two fools, same idea.” 🙂

    (Incidentally taken when my wife was driving — E-P1 + 20/1.7 @ f/4)

    On the 17/2.8 – What exactly do you mean by “renders a bit smoother”? Also, why exactly do you prefer it over the 20/1.7? My personal quarrels with the 20/1.7 are the colors – I find it renders a bit too cool (which of course can be dealt with in pp). How would you compare the 20/1.7 and 17/2.8’s rendering? Also, do you have a 20/1.7 at hand and could you do a comparison (if you find the time)?

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