I’d like to share what I think I missed out in my previous post about the comparison between the Panasonic GF1 and the E-PL1. Also, I’d like to share a short summary of what cameras I have been using during the couple of months I went missing from this blog early this year.
Basically, from the E-P1, I switched to the E-P2. At first, my initial impression of the E-P2′s EVF2 (external electronic viewfinder) wasn’t so impressive. Yes, up till today, it is the highest quality electronic viewfinder you can ever find on earth, no other brands can match it yet. The Panasonic GF1′s EVF really sucks badly when you compare them side by side.
But in my then E-P2 Review, I wrote that looking through the EVF is no different from watching Live View through a peep hole. In the months when I went missing from this blog, I found out that this wasn’t true! The Olympus’s EVF2 is about the ONLY thing in the world today which can make Manual Focusing of old SLR lenses, Leica M-Mount lenses, and even the C-Mount lenses on the Olympus PEN E-P2 and E-PL1 POSSIBLE!
I get as high as 10/10 hit rate in terms of nailing my focus using the EVF2 on my E-P2, even when I was using the Voigtlander Nokton 50mm F1.1 lens wide open! Using Live View to manual focus is just too time-consuming, too tedious and too slow!
Yes! The Micro Four Thirds Mount can mount almost limitless types of lenses on it via adapters! And China make most of these adapters at really affordable prices! The Micro Four Thirds System shall rock the world of photography!
I shall write more about using these various lenses in my next few posts, so stay tuned.
After switching to the E-P2, I started my indulgence into using the EVF2 to manual focus with all sorts of manual focus lenses (including old Olympus SLR OM lenses, of course). This is addictive! At the same time, I tried out the Panasonic Lumix MFT lenses.
And finally, the road led me to the E-PL1. (For buddies who have been hanging out with me, they also saw my indulgence into many other types of cameras… Leica being one of my favourites! Haha… sinful… )
An overall experience told me that for AF lenses, my favourite is the Lumix 20mm F1.7. As for MF lenses, there are quite a few I really like: the Nokton 50mm F1.1, and the C-Mount Ampex 25mm F1.4 TV lens in particular.
I prefer the look and feel of the E-P1 and E-P2, but I think the E-PL1 is currently the most practical choice for me. The E-PL1 is a more intelligent camera, produces sharper and nicer images, is smaller and lighter, and more comfortable to hold. However, I really hate the menu system. According to Olympus, this camera is supposed to be simpler and easier to use. But I find it otherwise.
Fiddly Menu in the E-PL1, CW trying hard to find out how to switch apertures. This image is captured with my iPhone.
Both CW and I were having a hard time trying to find out how to switch apertures. We, like most of you out there, don’t read menus! Haha…
And on a separate occasion, I passed the E-PL1 to another of my photo-enthusiast friend to try out, he had a hard time trying to change ISO.
What is this??? Is it just us being “too advanced” to understand the “simpler” menus in the E-PL1, or is Olympus misunderstanding what the consumers need? Sometimes in trying to make something simpler, we made it more difficult. Less is More? Simpler is Complicated? Hahaha….
Just to share some E-PL1 shots here, all with minimum tweaking, Olympus is famous for beautiful digital images straight out of camera!
A quick shot of the busy Satay Man. ISO1600, F5.6, 1/20s.
Trying out the POP UP FLASH in E-PL1 … …
Personally, I wouldn’t bother much about pop-up flashes, since all pop-up flashes in the world do not produce as pleasing results as external hotshoe flashes which can bounce. Bad lighting? I’d rather not shoot. Pop-up flashes aren’t gonna make it much better.
Shot by CW.
The E-PL1 is also perfect for hip shots:
Hip Shot of Uncle, a little post-cropping done. ISO200, F7.1, 1/250s.
Corn Salesman. Shot from hip level using Live View. Something not possible with my Leica M6 and M8. ISO200, F3.2, 1/200s.
The above images speak for themselves Olympus’s image qualities!
I imagine one day, I show my son a photograph of a morning glory and teach him what’s purple, he replies, “It’s BLUE!” And I will say, “Oops! That’s Panasonic!”
I’d rather go for the E-PL1. :p
1. GF1 vs E-PL1
2. E-P2 Review
3. E-P1 Review