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boltsfan Aug 2, 2010 12:05 PM

New E-PL1 Owner
New owner of the Olympus E-PL1!

We figured it was time to step up to a SLR camera and was considering a Canon Rebel XS for weeks but decided it was too big and we wanted something smaller and more simple to use. We then considered the E-P1 but it had no flash. Loved the size of the E-PL1 and features (art filters, etc.. ) of this camera plus it had built in flash so it seemed like an easy choice. After reading reviews here it looks like we made a good choice.

I always check and trust Steve's Digicam reviews before buying a camera. Our old camera was a Canon Powershot SD that took terrible pics on our trip to Spain and Italy two year ago. So I refused to take it on our trip to Maui next week. Hopefully it will do a good job! We are not camera experts at all and normally take pics outside at the beach , wine country (Napa, Sonoma), snow boarding, golf, etc... but also need to take inside pics during holidays, birthdays, etc... so basically we just need a camera that's easy to use and takes great pics that we can blow up.

Not sure what the major differences are between the E-P1 and the E-PL1. Are they the same technology but the E-P1 has more manual features?

Not a camera expert so still confused if it is a SLR or not. Several online stores list it as a "SLR Digital Camera" and some do not. Can someone please explain.

Do I need to buy a better battery? Sales guy tried to sell me a 2 hour battery for $50 and said stock battery would only last 30 minutes (I doubt this is the case). I also need recommendations on what size SDHC card to get. I know I need a Class 6 but not sure how many pics I can get out of a 2GB card.

Any help is appreciated....

shoturtle Aug 2, 2010 12:13 PM

Congrats on the new camera.

ebay for batteries, you can get 2 for about 12 dollars. If you take videos, get a class 6 card or better. And at least a 8gb, 15 min of video will eat almost 4gb.

The big difference besides the flash with the ep1 and epl-1 the low light ability. The epl-1 is good to about 2000 iso, while the ep1 is good to about 1200 iso.

It will shoot pretty much everything you want, with the exception of snow boarding. The AF system is not the best for action shots.

There is a firmware out for all the pens that speed up the AF system.

boltsfan Aug 2, 2010 12:39 PM

Hey Shoturtle... thanks for the response.

For snow boarding I would never take with me on the mountain... I fall too much :0) but more for pics of the mountain, trees from the lodge\cabin etc...

shoturtle Aug 2, 2010 3:19 PM

Yeah, that would not be to good to tumble around with the camera. But for the scenic stuff it will do a great job.

boltsfan Aug 5, 2010 3:45 PM

I plan to buy a 16GB Class 6 SDHC card this weekend.

Approx how many pics will I able to take at the highest resolution setting?

JimC Aug 5, 2010 4:17 PM


Originally Posted by boltsfan (Post 1125012)
...Not a camera expert so still confused if it is a SLR or not. Several online stores list it as a "SLR Digital Camera" and some do not. Can someone please explain.

It's not an SLR (Single Lens Reflex) camera, since it doesn't have a mirror (the reflex part). Instead, it's in a new class of cameras sometimes referred to as EVIL (Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens), or ILDC (Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera).

I wouldn't worry about the acronyms, as they're far from being standardized given how blurred the lines are becoming between different camera types now.


Do I need to buy a better battery? Sales guy tried to sell me a 2 hour battery for $50 and said stock battery would only last 30 minutes (I doubt this is the case).
That sounds like you were dealing with one of the Brooklyn based scammers that insist on talking to you to "confirm" your order, which is really an excuse to"hard sell" you on extras, since they may not be able to make a profit selling gear at the advertised prices. That's very common with some of the less desirable vendors.

They'll often try to convince you the included battery isn't good enough and try to sell you lots of extras like *very* overpriced memory cards, high priced batteries, junk lens protection filters, extended warranties (that may not be worth the paper they're written on), charge you higher prices for shipping/insurance (sometimes unauthorized) and more. Often, they'll sell gray market gear, too (not intended for sale in the country you live in). If you refuse to buy the overpriced extras, sometimes your order will go to backorder status (as they are not going to lose money on a sale, period, and you can't win at their "game"). ;-)

It's a racket, and it's been going on for years, mostly with Brooklyn based vendors (since they seem to be able to get away with it there). Here's a good read on the subject:

How to buy a Digital Camera without being robbed

JimC Aug 5, 2010 4:26 PM


Hopefully, you got your camera OK without spending too much more than you would have spent buying from a reputable dealer, and didn't fall for the claims about battery life differences.

There are lots of scammers around with nice looking web sites with nice manufacturer logos, etc. Most of the scammers are located in the Brooklyn area, where they seem to be able to get away with it.

When you see prices that are much lower than you find at , or (reputable dealers), there is usually going to be a catch. ;-)

The scammers will usually call you to confirm the order (or send you an e-mail asking you to call them).. Then, you'll also find out that they'll want to sell you high priced batteries, extended warranties, stuff that normally comes with the camera anyway, want to include inflated shipping and insurance charges (sometimes unauthorized), anything to increase their profit (since they usually can't sell the camera alone at the advertised prices without losing money).

If you don't buy enough of the outrageously priced extras, your camera will suddenly go to backorder status (of course, the web sites still show them in stock and your credit card has been charged). They'll often sell gray market gear, too (not intended for sale in the country you live in with a store versus manufacturers warranty).

Again, this has been going on for years. It's a racket.

Make sure to check out any vendor you consider using
(they're a bit better about filtering out fake vendor reviews compared to most)

If they are not listed, avoid them (these guys tend to start up new web sites often under a variety of names). If they have a small number of customer reviews there, avoid them (they tend to try and get away with padding their own ratings with glowing reviews). The scammers even have their own ratings sites now (with all of the stores listed being same old scammers, with the reviews unbelievably good).

Bottom line... if a price looks too good to be true, it probably is. ;-)

boltsfan Aug 5, 2010 6:53 PM

I made a post over in the General Discussion about the Camera Kings crooks. The order has been canceled with CK and I ordered the EPL1 from Amazon yesterday morning and selected next day shipping. I received my new camera today.

Also bought a new 2nd battery on ebay for $9.

Looking forward to learning the camera functions this weekend for our vacation to Maui next week. I'll post some pics when I return.

Hards80 Aug 5, 2010 8:05 PM

good decision on going with Amazon.

The EPL1 is a superb camera, I thoroughly enjoy mine. Good luck getting used to it and take some great shots.

boltsfan Aug 6, 2010 9:40 AM

Bought a 16gb Class 6 SDHC card last night. Looks like I can take approx 5000 pics... or obviously less if I take HD video.

Put the battery in backwards and it almost got stuck... I crapped my pants for a second.

Any recommendations for settings for a complete noob camera user (only used PS cameras in the past)? Should I just stick with iAuto for a while and play with the Art settings? Should I really switch to other Scene modes when taking portraits or landscape pictures?

I am going to Maui next week and want some great shots of the ocean, sunsets, Lahaina at night, etc... and want to take the advantage of my new camera without messing up any pics. I have the Kodak Playsport for taking HD video and pics while snorkeling.

Any preferred Art settings you guys use for certain situations? The Diorama and Pop Art look very cool not not sure what they would be best used for.

Also a little confused on how to zoom properly. Do I use the zoom button then use the lens manually? Or select the zoom button and then use the up\down arrows?

Thanks in advance for any help....

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