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Old Dec 11, 2010, 8:27 PM   #1
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Default EPL1 with Kit lens very very slow

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I am not exactly a photo pro, just like the speed and quality of DSLRs, and always use the auto mode. I have an old and faithful D50 - over 5 years old.
My wife has been cribbing about the lugging the d50 around and carrying the camcorder on the side, so after some research (primarily on photo quality), we got a EPL1.

Everything is great with the EPL1, the quality is wonderful, takes great pictures without flash - even better than the d50, wonderful HD viedeo.

The biggest issue is that the autofocus is slow, there is quite a bit of shutter lag. By the time the camera finally takes the picture, my toddelers have already started to move out of the frame, we are missing some good shots.

It is so bad that I am thinking of returning it. Speed is a key for us.

Any advice?

One option I can think of is I can get the fixed focus lens, panny, which is supposed to be faster. But it costs quite a bit, almost as much as the epl1.

The other option is give up on 4/3rd and go to the standard PS, Nikon P7000 or Canon G12. I believe they are faster.

Will appreciate your input.
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Old Dec 12, 2010, 11:55 PM   #2
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Hi rpg 007, Couple of suggestions, upgrade the epl-1 to the latest firmware as it focuses slightly faster. The kit lens is one of the slowest focusing m4/3 lens to begin with. the panny is a "fixed focal length" lens not "fixed focus" so it still has to autofocus before the shot. "Shutter Lag" is actually almost non-existent with the e-pl1, but by default the "Release Priority" is set to off in the menu. The Release Priority "off" prevents the shutter from releasing until critical focus is achieved. You could turn this on and "shutter lag" (as you described it) would be zero but you would have more out of focus shots. You are going to get nowhere near the image quality & low light performance (ie, indoors) out of the nikon p7000 or canon g12 as what the e-pl1 is going to give you.

I have had several clients that have asked me after photo shoots to do some recommending to them of a good point & shoot or low cost DSLR for shooting their children playing. I am not trying to be harsh here but this is what I tell them.

Shooting children successfully playing & running about, contrary to what camera manufacturers may advertise is one of the most demanding of equipment & skill of any type of photography. The conditions are usually in tight quarters, low & constantly changing light, & very fast paced. You need a camera capable of very high clean iso, fast lenses f2.8 as a minimum. Think of the large camera rigs you see at sporting events & you get the idea of what is required. Now flash (best if & should be used off camera) can significantly lower the required equipment by providing extra light for the camera to work with.(ie faster shutter speeds, less or no motion blur).
But flash & big rigs still require you learn to get the camera off auto. so developing skill through practice is going to be required regardless of camera type or manufacturer.

Again I am just trying to be honest with you for what you want to shoot, I shoot with an e-3(Fastest autofocus camera made) off camera flash & fast lenses, still my keepers (top quality images) shooting highly active children is less than 20%. developing the skill & practice is going to be your best investment in the long run, auto on any camera is not going to get you there with active children.

hope this helps
Charles

p.s. read the 1st. sticky in this forum named changing focus box size this will help with focusing also in certain situations.




'

Last edited by cshanaberger; Dec 13, 2010 at 12:21 AM.
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 2:41 AM   #3
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Default thankyou

Thanks a lot!

I agree with you. But given the fact that my wife will use it most of the time, its best to get a camera which does the magic in the auto mode.

I did upgrade the firmware and saw a little bit of an improvement. But not enough.

I am returning the camera.

I have been researching the Sony NEX series (3 and 5), and they actually seem to be a better fit (only minor disadvantage is they dont have a hot shoe for an external flash other than their proprietary tiny flash - but I dont really care that much about it).

They are a bit beyond my budget limits right now, waiting for the prices to fall.

Regards
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Old Dec 19, 2010, 10:09 PM   #4
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i too am pondering getting this e-pl1...........and have 2 toddlers with another baby on the way.... any more info from anyone on the speeds? i dont want to miss shots either.........
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 12:49 AM   #5
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The Olympus kit 14-42 lens is the slowest focusing Olympus micro lens out there. There's a new, upgraded 14-42 on the way with the same super-fast focus system they use in the micro 40-150, 14-150 and 9-18 Zuikos, although there's no telling how long it will take Olympus to get it out there in the market for purchase and it will almost certainly never be offered with the current E-PL1 in a kit option. Most likely it will be the kit lens for whatever model replaces the E-PL1.

If the E-PL1 were my only camera, I would be buying the 14-150 Zuiko as my standard lens. Better coverage, much better image quality than the current 14-42 zoom and very, very fast AF.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 1:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
The Olympus kit 14-42 lens is the slowest focusing Olympus micro lens out there. There's a new, upgraded 14-42 on the way with the same super-fast focus system they use in the micro 40-150, 14-150 and 9-18 Zuikos, although there's no telling how long it will take Olympus to get it out there in the market for purchase and it will almost certainly never be offered with the current E-PL1 in a kit option. Most likely it will be the kit lens for whatever model replaces the E-PL1.

If the E-PL1 were my only camera, I would be buying the 14-150 Zuiko as my standard lens. Better coverage, much better image quality than the current 14-42 zoom and very, very fast AF.

would that be THIS LENS? i ask because im still pondering between this camera and a T2i......but i REALLY dont think ill use all the t2i has to offer, plus the larger dslr's are too bulky for my wife and she is not even wanting us to get a camera at all if it has to be "that big" LOL, but with having small kids and animals i just dont want to miss a shot, therefore speed is key, and so is size and functionality
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 1:15 AM   #7
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That's the one. It's almost a lens you could just mount and never take off, which would be another big advantage in shooting fast as well. The field of view is equal to using a 28-300mm lens on a 35mm film camera.

Here's a few images linked by another user who has the E-PL1 and 14-150..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=36814966

A few more 14-150 shots....not sure which camera he used..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=36541441

and a few more..

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...ssage=36103376

Last edited by Greg Chappell; Dec 20, 2010 at 1:24 AM.
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 1:28 AM   #8
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i have another question for you then if you dont mind, i made another thread about this, but if i can get a faster answer here thats better, with the e-pl1 is it true that it only shoots 7 minutes of 720p video?
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Old Dec 20, 2010, 11:54 AM   #9
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I see your other post, which I am sure someone will reply with an accurate answer. I do not have my manual to refer to and rarely shoot video so I'm not going to be a good person to answer any video questions!
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