Looking at the Olympus E-PL1 vs the Leica DLUX 4

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mashinhead, Mar 24, 2010.

  1. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    My camera search has lead me down the path of these two cameras, i'm looking for a good small camera that is easy to carry around, but will give me good manual controls and of course images. I know that i can change the lenses on the Olympus, and thats a nice to have, but in reality i don't think i would end up buying new lenses. Manual focus however is important to me.

    I can't find a direct comparison and I have done a lot of reading on both but can't really decide, so I was looking for some opinions from the knowledgeable MR digicam crowd. Thanks.
  2. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    May 5, 2007
    The sensor in the olympus is much bigger, I would get this if it was to be my only camera. The other one is a good compact though, and I did lust after a DMC-LX3, panasonic's version of the same camera (BUT CHEAPER) for a good while.

    How did you come to these two? You've ignored the Canon G11 for a start.

    Oh, and, what do you want manual focus for? Do you understand that larger sensors are easier to achieve shallow depth of field with (blurred backgrounds and all) than small.
  3. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Unless you need the camera to fit into a shirt pocket I'd go for the Olympus.

    If you do need the compact size (to get the same sort of range in the lens on the E-PL1 you'd need the zoom which makes it quite a bit bigger) then I'd save myself the money and get the Panasonic LX3. It's simply not worth the money going to the DLUX4, they're essentially the same camera but with a slightly different jpeg engine on the Leica.

    The E-PL1 is going to thump the G11 and LX3/DLUX4 for image quality but it's quite a bit larger and heavier so if convenience is more of a priority than pixel-level image quality then that may be something to consider.

    I saw the E-PL1 at JB HiFi (big electronic retailer down here) and it looks considerably smaller than the EP1 - it's a damned nice looking camera.

    dpreview has a great preview of the E-PL1 and also full reviews of the LX3 and G11. It's a good place to start your research.
  4. mashinhead thread starter macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    to be honest i think the G11 is ugly, i'm not a fan of canon's i have had them in the past. I like nikons a lot, and the leica was recommended to me from a friend. The olympus, i like the micro 4/3rds; the small slr features.
  5. Chundles macrumors G4


    Jul 4, 2005
    Fair enough, just throwing out suggestions.

    The Leica DLUX4 is the same camera as the Panasonic LX3 but far more expensive. It's really not worth it.

    The E-PL1 is the new entry level micro4/3 camera, adjusting the settings in the manual modes requires pressing buttons and stuff rather than control dials on cameras like the Panasonic GF-1 and the E-P1. I prefer control dials but the E-PL1 is much cheaper than the E-P1 so I think I could live with it.
  6. rpang macrumors member

    Apr 20, 2009
    So Cal...
    The Panny LX3 is a great camera for its price considering its the same camera as the Leica without the red dot... (Though Leica has a slight edge with processing).

    I have the Olly Pen though. Its my travel camera if I dont feel like lugging my gear around. Olly has had trouble marketing the 4/3 system and it seems that they finally found their niche in the micro 4/3 field.
  7. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    I'd say that the E-PL1 would be a much better choice for you, out of the two. I own a D-Lux 4 and it's a great compact (though I'm certain that it's no better than the LX3), but if you're after manual controls, esp. focusing, it's a bad choice. There's a tiny four-way knob/button that controls aperture, shutter speed, AND manual focus, and it's a pain in the ass to use. I'd much prefer a control dial, especially a circular one on the rear panel a la Canon EOS/G11/S90 and the E-P1/2. Though it seems that exposure controls on the E-PL1 will be assigned to buttons, I can't imagine it being as bad as the D-Lux 4's setup for them, and of course manual focus will be relegated to the lens.

    In terms of image quality, the D-Lux 4 is still a compact, and it just can't compete with something that has a 4/3 sensor when you get much past base ISO.
  8. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the E-PL1 is an interchangable lens, large-sensor compact. its size reflects that. the LX3 is a large-sensor P&S. the D-Lux 4 is an overpriced Lumix LX3 with a red dot.

    basically, you need to decide if size is more important (LX3 or Canon S90) or image quality (m4/3). there is a big gap in IQ between a P&S's and m4/3, and it's near impossible to do selective focus with P&S's as well, if you want to do that.
  9. joelypolly macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2003
    Melbourne & Shanghai
    Try the Ricoh GXR

    You should go and try out the Ricoh GXR with the A12 module. I have one and absolutely love it. It's a bit on the expensive side though but I managed to get the whole set for about 900ish USD (GXR + A12).;)

    It's small and the controls are the best I have ever used.

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