Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Olympus dSLR

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old May 8, 2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default EPL-1 vs. DSLR....

(if there is an ad, i don't endorse it)

The more I use the EPL-1, the more I love my E-3. I'm not trying to knock the EPL-1, but a DSLR it is not.

My thoughts are based on the EPL-1 without the EVF. Using it has reminded me of all the things I disliked about point and shoot that were forgotten when I switched to the E500 in 2007. Its slow in nearly every aspect when compared to the DSLR. Its not an action camera by any measure. The LCD is not good for determining critical focus in any mode other than magnified view, and composition suffers when using that mode.

For macro, the LCD is not up to the task. I simply cannot see what is in focus and what is close to in focus. The magnified view is not much help here because my macro shooting is more trying to place critical areas in focus, not just one critical area. The rear LCD and limited DOF do not do well together.

For action, the EPL-1 is in a distant second place to the DSLR. I do a huge amount of shooting moving stuff. Its here that reminds me of the frustrations of the point and shoot days gone by. Using something as responsive as the E-3 and replacing it with the lags of the EPL-1 is un-nerving. I won't even give a thought it trying to use the EPL-1 here. The E-3 is worth the effort of carrying it to site. Its responsive autofocus, instantanious shutter release, and most importantly, being able to keep in touch with a moving subject with an optical viewfinder makes it the choice to the point of excluding the EPL-1 as an option.

I thought I'd go one more step here. Phase detect autofocus is far superior in many ways. It may be a surprise that the speed isn't my biggest hit against the EPL's contrast detect system. Its the size of the point being able to hit a small area and choose that specific point. If your using long or fast lenses with limited depth of field, the EPL-1 just chooses what it wants to focus on within its focus area, not what you want. The more the DOF is limited, the more I'm not satisfied with the EPL-1.

There has been alot of positive press for the micro cameras. In their element they are great. There element is the same as the digicam. If you are snap shooting, if you are shooting landscapes, cityscapes, family gatherings with large DOF, the EPL-1 won't disappoint. Interior snapshots put a digicam to absolute shame with the 20mm f1.7 lens. ISO 1600 in crappy light allows 1/60s and great output. In these areas, I'm a fan.

Outside of these areas, the EPL-1 is outside its element. It struggles, it frustrates, and it leads to many frames that must be tossed. A DSLR it is not. I just wanted to add a dose of reality to the praise. Its a good camera ...... in its element.
__________________
Greg

https://dogsportphoto.smugmug.com/
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old May 8, 2010, 12:33 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
zig-123's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 5,158
Default

Hi Greg,

I think your evaluation is spot on.

As long as new buyers realize what they are getting they should be really happy. The folks that will be disappointed will be those who think that because they can interchange lenses, they must be able to take action or sports shots.

Still, having said that, there is a large market that this camera addresses
very well.

Zig
zig-123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 1:05 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

Greg, you are absolutely correct. I've only owned my E-PL1 for a week. I love it and it's better than any point-and-shoot camera I've ever worked with. I'll be using it a lot for situations like vacations and family gatherings. But it's not a total replacement for a DSLR. That's why I still have my Pentax kit. Now, five years down the road, who knows? I can see cameras like the E-PL1 and its mirrorless competition eventually getting good enough that anyone but a true professional may not require a DSLR. We'll have to see. But, in the meantime, I definitely plan on buying the excellent VF-2 electronic viewfinder for use in bright sunlight and when manual focus may be required. And we both have our DSLRs for when we need and/or want them.

Last edited by Biro; May 8, 2010 at 1:08 PM.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 1:15 PM   #4
Super Moderator
 
Hards80's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 9,046
Default

I think your point is right on that you choose the right tool for the job. The mirrorless cameras at this point in time are just not up to the speed of dslrs. The AF speed is not there and the refresh rates on LCDs and EVFs is simply not there.

I was a little surprised though that it isn't working out for you on macro shots. I haven't really done any macro with the EPL1 so I can't offer any alternate hands on experience. I just would have thought the LCD with the magnification would actually be nice for macro shooting. I know I use the live-view and magnification alot on my 50d shooting macro, so figured the EPL1 would be at home in this situation. I am interested to try it out and see if I face similar frustrations.

But since so much of my work is 'scapes and other slow-down take-your-time type shooting, the EPL1 has worked well for alot of my photography.
Hards80 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 1:41 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hards80 View Post
I was a little surprised though that it isn't working out for you on macro shots. I haven't really done any macro with the EPL1 so I can't offer any alternate hands on experience. I just would have thought the LCD with the magnification would actually be nice for macro shooting. I know I use the live-view and magnification alot on my 50d shooting macro, so figured the EPL1 would be at home in this situation. I am interested to try it out and see if I face similar frustrations.
I suppose its my style here too. Most of what I do is near, or in excess of 1 to 1 and DOF is very shallow. It is certainly a MF focus only as the contrast detect AF won't allow a precise focal point. I really expected more here, and I suppose the reason is I used to do macro with my old Fuji S7000 and I did faily well. It may well be there just isn't enough resolution and the colors are too saturated on the LCD to determine focus as well as I'd like.

I'm sure the EVF would help, but I'm reluctant to spend 250 bucks on one.

The EPL-1 IS a nice camera. If you like street shooting it doesn't draw attention, which I like. I'd have a difficult time thinking of a better wedding camera for an attendee. For interior photography without flash it kicks butt. The little Panny f1.7 lens leads to a compact camera that firs into many pockets and is stunning. There is alot to like.

The decision to buy it was because I needed a backup body for a trip to Yellowstone. I REALLY hope the E-3 doesn't fail me as I think the type of photos I'd take would be impacted. The old E-3 hasn't let me down yet, and I'm confident I won't be disappointed. I'm well armed with the E-3/EPL-1 cameras.
__________________
Greg

https://dogsportphoto.smugmug.com/
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 2:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

The VF2 does help out allot, and I really do not like shooting with the lcd. I have had better success shooting the oly 35mm 3.5 macro with the VF2 then with the lcd. It helps that it also has a 90 degree swivel for setting up on a tripod. Here are some handheld with the VF2.

I have try using the C-AF tracking with the VF2 and it yielded way better results then trying to do it with the lcd.

And without the EVF, it really falls back compare to a dslr.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 3:51 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Mikefellh's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Toronto, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,707
Default

The problem is they designed the E-PL1 as a stripped down version; the rear controls reminds me of the D-series or C-series cameras, rather than a high-quality camera...the fact you have to push buttons instead of spinning dials.

Even though the E-PL1 is updated over the E-P2, I'd much rather have the E-P2 due to the controls.
Mikefellh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 4:36 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
And without the EVF, it really falls back compare to a dslr.
I'm not going to argue that, but I already have the E-3. That big optical finder is going to be hard to trump. I don't think I'll add the EVF unless I trip across one at a price I can't refuse.

I'm content to use the EPL-1 where it shines and as a "go anywhere" camera.

Here's one I snapped today with the 40-150 kit lens.

__________________
Greg

https://dogsportphoto.smugmug.com/
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 5:12 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
shoturtle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Frankfurt AM
Posts: 11,348
Default

Did you know that the you can zoom in with the lcd and vf2 by pushing magnifying glass when shooting. And the vf2 is a 100% view.
__________________
Super Frequent Flyer, no joke. Ex Patriot and loving it.
Canon Eos 60D, T1i/500D, Eos1, Eos 630, Olympus EPL-1, and a part time Pentax K-X shooter.
shoturtle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 8, 2010, 6:17 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,241
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by shoturtle View Post
Did you know that the you can zoom in with the lcd and vf2 by pushing magnifying glass when shooting. And the vf2 is a 100% view.
Yep, I knew that. That's the point that I was making with it not helping with the composition.
__________________
Greg

https://dogsportphoto.smugmug.com/
fldspringer is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 2:19 AM.