Which Olympus PEN as Carry Around?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Abraxsis, May 27, 2010.

  1. Abraxsis macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    Just looking for some advice, hopefully from people who own the Olympus PEN cameras.

    I have a D80, D300, and I am looking for a small functional micro 4/3s camera for a european backpacking trip Im planning on taking in the Spring. I want an Olympus PEN but I don't really want to spend 900+ on the new E-P2 since I primarily use my DSLR. So my choices are between the original E-P1 and the newer E-PL1. Both are running about 600ish, the P1 w/ a 17mm f/2.8 lens and the PL-1 w/ a 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens.

    Ive read lots of reviews and Im seeing some pros and cons to both. The E-P1 is all metal and would hold up to a 2 week excursion through the European rail system, flights, and being packed in a pack. However, it seems to have some low light issues that can be overcome with manual focus. The E-PL1 has seemed to fix the low light issues, added a built in flash, but is made mostly of plastic and comes with a lower quality lens.

    I do plan on using some older screw mount lenses with it (although, in europe only as weight allows) as I have access to some Pentax Takumar lenses as well as a M42 50mm Leica lens.

    So, load me up with your advice! Thanks in advance.
     
  2. G.T. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #2
    Have you considered the GF1 its focusing is meant to be much quicker.
     
  3. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    I have, but as I stated, I would rather not spend 900 or more on something Im not going to use on a day to day basis. Often, on a daily basis, I carry the D80 with a 50mm lens. This M4/3rds camera will only be used in situations where I feel it is a logistical fact that carrying the D80 is not a good idea.
     
  4. G.T. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    #4
    Ah ok well I thought the GF1 and PEN were similarly priced.
     
  5. cutsman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #5
    Have you played with any of these Oly m4/3 cams? The reason I ask is because when I first went to try out the E-P1, I was actually surprised how large and heavy it is. Sure its smaller than my D90 with 24-70mm attached, but it is still, imho, not what I would call a compact or pocketable camera. For me, if a situation doesn't allow me to carry my D90, then I likely wouldn't want to be carrying an E-P1 either.

    Have you looked into a high end compact like the Canon S90 or Panny LX3? That's what I went with when I wanted a portable camera when lugging around a DSLR isn't an option (S90)... and the IQ is actually pretty awesome!
     
  6. Abraxsis thread starter macrumors 6502

    Abraxsis

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2003
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    The newest PEN model, the E-P2 is on par price-wise with the GF1. I am looking at the E-P1 and the E-PL1, which are both roughly 40-50% cheaper than the E-P2.

    Yeah, the Oly M4/3rds are larger, but that is part of the reason I am considering them. The S90 is too small and slick for my large 6'2" frame hands and I like the idea of having full manual control and the ability to use some of the old screw mount lenses I have access to. (especially that Leica 50mm) Also, carrying my D80 (or D300) with several lenses is just too much of a thief's dream, not to mention the added weight.
     
  7. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    #7
    As far as your original question, the autofocus issues of the E-P1 were supposedly improved via the 1.1 firmware update, though I don't know how it compares to the E-PL1 (I would guess they're similar).

    You basically need to decide whether manual control + sturdier build is more important than built-in flash + smaller body.
     
  8. leighonigar macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    #8
    http://bythom.com/olympusep1review.htm

    About half way down Thom says:

    "The camera feels metal, but it isn't exactly metal in the way you think. Most of the "metal" is a thin outer layer. Inside the camera there isn't a metal frame as you might expect. I found this out when I dropped my E-P1 and bent the outer skin badly. When I disassembled the camera to reshape the outer skin so that it fit better again, I noted the mostly frameless nature of the camera. The camera looks good, but it is not going to survive harsh treatment well, nor is it weatherproofed. Thus, it really is a camera you should be pocketing, not hanging from a strap exposed to the elements."

    I'd feel safer with the E-PL1, and it has a flash (which you mentioned), plus the zoom would surely be useful (charming though pancakes are). That said, I think the E-P1 has more dedicated controls. Go play with them?

    Oh, I think I would also consider the Olympus E-450 and 620 DSLRs with the 25mm pancake (are they really too big?), the new Sonys, the weird old Sigma DP1s (which is much cheaper than these others, at least in the UK, it's about £279) and the Lumix G1, which is only about £350-400 here, as it's an older model.
     

Share This Page