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Old Oct 24, 2010, 10:45 PM   #21
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I think I'll just get a KX and forget all about it
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Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 25, 2010, 7:40 AM   #22
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LOL

Sorry, Ira, I don't know the answer to your questions about the lower priced EP-1 versus the EP-L1. Hopefully, some of our Oly shooters that know more about the differences will chime in with their thoughts on pros and cons of both.

But, interestingly, I have noticed that the raw tests at DxOMark show slightly lower noise levels from the EP-1 versus EP-L1. It also shows the EP-1 has having slightly better Dynamic Range. But, the differences are negligible, and could be from sample variation versus any differences in the sensors.

See this comparison showing some of the models you're looking at:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Compare-sensors/%28appareil1%29/612|0/%28appareil2%29/643|0/%28appareil3%29/652|0/%28onglet%29/0/%28brand%29/Olympus/%28brand2%29/Olympus/%28brand3%29/Sony

But, I don't put a lot of faith in those tests, as S/N ratio tests don't usually take actual retained detail into consideration (due to NR at the raw level, AA filter differences and more, which can skew some of the results). Also, you'd probably have very flat looking photos trying to squeeze as much DR as the raw tests show from processed images. In addition, those types of tests don't take lighting temperature differences into consideration (and you can see different sensor response curves with different lighting temperatures, with some cameras doing better in tungsten lighting, where you're more likely to use higher ISO speeds, with most of the tests you see using simulated daylight lighting instead).
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 10:49 PM   #23
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I am not looking for the absolute greatest in images quality, I am sure that any of these cameras will give me results I will be happy with.

My biggest issues are with handling, general "feel" and flexibility. For example, in a camera like this I would like video but I actually don't want 1080, I want something my computer can handle and that will look good on my 42" 720p plasma TV. I don't want a camera that will force me to buy a new computer.

As for resolution, anything over 6MP is just bonus for me because I rarely make large prints (and the 4ft by 6ft print from my wife's 6MP K100D Super looks awfully good in the foyer of our local Co-op Supermarket).

Therefore what I really want is a usable ISO1600 with an acceptable ISO3200, a solid, attractive design, and a good prime lens at a reasonable price. Right now Olympus E-P1 and Sony NEX-3 are both in my sights although I haven't yet discounted the Samsung NX100. Panasonic is a little pricey.

The Olympus looks and feels the part, and is now on sale with the 17mm and the optical viewfinder (A very attractive package). The NEX-3 is a little cheaper with the 16mm prime and includes a flash which makes it a better deal (although I think the 34mm equivalent of the Olympus would probably suit my shooting better than the 24mm equivalent of the Sony). The Olympus has image stabilization, the Sony does not (with that prime lens), The Samsung I mentioned also does not have stabilization with the prime lens, so one more plus for Olympus. Call me shallow but I also like the appearance of the Olympus, it looks like a traditional rangefinder camera from the film era, which I like. Don't get me wrong, I may buy a Sony NEX-3 tomorrow, the decision here is between performance (Sony wins) and aesthetics (Olympus wins), and both will fulfill my needs.

I think we need to know stats on image quality and lens quality but we should not let those factors get in the way of using a piece of equipment that we like. As with automobiles, it is far more fun to drive a slow car fast than it is to drive a fast car slow.

BTW: for those who think this is off topic please note that all of these cameras are available with adapters to use K-mount lenses which is why I want the model with the best prime lens since it will be the compact model I can bring everywhere, and I can still "experiment" with my current lenses. This would make an ideal place for all of those really nice M-series lenses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
LOL

Sorry, Ira, I don't know the answer to your questions about the lower priced EP-1 versus the EP-L1. Hopefully, some of our Oly shooters that know more about the differences will chime in with their thoughts on pros and cons of both.

But, interestingly, I have noticed that the raw tests at DxOMark show slightly lower noise levels from the EP-1 versus EP-L1. It also shows the EP-1 has having slightly better Dynamic Range. But, the differences are negligible, and could be from sample variation versus any differences in the sensors.

See this comparison showing some of the models you're looking at:

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/en/Camera-Sensor/Compare-sensors/%28appareil1%29/612|0/%28appareil2%29/643|0/%28appareil3%29/652|0/%28onglet%29/0/%28brand%29/Olympus/%28brand2%29/Olympus/%28brand3%29/Sony

But, I don't put a lot of faith in those tests, as S/N ratio tests don't usually take actual retained detail into consideration (due to NR at the raw level, AA filter differences and more, which can skew some of the results). Also, you'd probably have very flat looking photos trying to squeeze as much DR as the raw tests show from processed images. In addition, those types of tests don't take lighting temperature differences into consideration (and you can see different sensor response curves with different lighting temperatures, with some cameras doing better in tungsten lighting, where you're more likely to use higher ISO speeds, with most of the tests you see using simulated daylight lighting instead).
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Riverview, NB, Canada
http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Last edited by Monza76; Oct 25, 2010 at 11:37 PM.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 11:39 PM   #24
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Ira... I owned the E-PL1 and really liked it... but it wasn't perfect. For one thing, I found without the optional viewfinder (I had the excellent electronic VF-2), it was nearly impossible to even frame shots in bright sunlight with the rear LCD.

After I lost the E-PL1 on a vacation trip (outlined in the Oly micro four-thirds forum), I strongly considered getting another E-PL1. But this this past weekend, I opted for a leftover Panasonic G1 for US $499. It helped that I already had the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancake... but the G1's physical controls and built-in, high-quality EVF were major factors in my decision. Plus, the E-PL1 with the optional viewfinder mounted on top was just as large, if not a bit larger, than the G1.

Now, I'm not trying to steer you away from Olympus. I still have a warm spot in my heart for the company and if they (or Panasonic) ever bring out a rangefinder-style micro four-thirds camera with a built-in viewfinder, I may very well buy one.

In your case, I can see you're already attracted to the E-P2. I think the camera's metal construction might be better for your environs than the polycarbonate of the E-PL1. Also, the in-body image stabilization of the EP-2 is a bit better than the less-expensive version in the E-PL1. And the E-P2 has more physical controls than the E-PL1, if I'm not mistaken. Just make sure you buy a viewfinder - optical or electronic - because the rear LCD isn't much better than the one on the E-PL1.

Now, Pentax may very well bring out a mirrorless camera next year. Or not. We have no idea and Pentax generally doesn't show its hand until a few days before a formal announcement. But if you like the E-P2 and its current price... I wouldn't have a problem with it if I were you. Remember, Olympus is another small, independent camera company with a long history of going its own way and taking alternative approaches to problem-solving.

I have to tip my hat to Sony for its NEX series. But, at least for me, the compactness of its camera bodies is outweighed by the size of its (admittedly very good) lenses, which still need to cover an APS-C sized sensor. But that's just personal preference on my part. Samsung's NX cameras still leave me a bit cold. Like you say, maybe with some more development, they'll be a lot more appealing.

Options are good... but remember, this is a hobby for us. Assuming all of the cameras you are considering will get the job done well enough for you, I think you should go with the one that moves you.

Last edited by Biro; Oct 25, 2010 at 11:52 PM.
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Old Oct 25, 2010, 11:49 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biro View Post
Ira... I owned the E-PL1 and really liked it... but it wasn't perfect. For one thing, I found without the optional viewfinder (I had the excellent electronic VF-2), it was nearly impossible to even frame shots in bright sunlight with the rear LCD.

After I lost the E-PL1 on a vacation trip (outlined in the Oly micro four-thirds forum), I strongly considered getting another E-PL1. But this this past weekend, I opted for a leftover Panasonic G1 for US $499. It helped that I already had the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 pancake... but the G1's physical controls and built-in, high-quality EVF were major factors in my decision. Plus, the E-PL1 with the optional viewfinder mounted on top was just as large, if not a bit larger, than the G1.

Now, I'm not trying to steer you away from Olympus. I still have a warm spot in my heart for the company and if they (or Panasonic) ever bring out a rangefinder-style micro four-thirds camera with a built-in viewfinder, I may very well buy one.

In your case, I can see you're already attracted the the E-P2. I think the camera's metal construction might be better for your environs than polycarbonate. Plus the E-P2 has more physical controls than the E-PL1, if I'm not mistaken. Just make sure you buy a viewfinder - optical or electronic - because the rear LCD isn't much better than the one on the E-PL1.

Now, Pentax may very well bring out a mirrorless camera next year. Or not. We have no idea and Pentax generally doesn't show its hand until a few days before a formal announcement. But if you like the E-P2... I wouldn't have a problem with it. Remember, Olympus is another small, independent camera company with a long history of going its own way and taking alternative approaches to problem-solving.

I have to tip my hat to Sony for its NEX series. But, at least for me, the compactness of its camera bodies is outweighed by the size of its (admittedly very good) lenses, which still need to cover an APS-C sized sensor. But that's just personal preference on my part. Samsung's NX cameras still leave me a bit cold. Like you say, maybe with some more development, they'll be a lot more appealing.

Options are good.
Thanks, The Olympus E-P1 that is on sale includes an optical viewfinder, it does not support the EVF (it is a first generation micro 4/3) but I don't mind as long as it lets me frame the shot. I would probably only use the 17mm f2.8 that comes with that viewfinder anyway. I am still looking, my budget is in the sub $700Cdn range, the NEX-3, Olympus E-PL1 and the E-P1 are all in the $600-$650 range right now. The NEX-3 offers the highest performance, the E-PL1 the most features and the E-P1 the best look and feel. The E-P2 is still above this price point so hasn't made my list yet. I will give Panasonic another look.
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http://aicphotography.blogspot.com/
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 25, 2010, 11:57 PM   #26
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Ira, take another look at the message you just responded to... I added a few things. And... oh, yes... most of the advantages of the E-P2 over the E-PL1 still apply to the E-P1.

Last edited by Biro; Oct 26, 2010 at 12:01 AM.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 12:02 AM   #27
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I am a bit late in the game.

There is no real clear cut winner in this bracket, you can easily make an argument for any of the cams.

I went with the EPL-1 myself, because at the time it gave the best combination of features and was the king of image quality for m4/3. The DXO marks Jim mentioned show that shooting RAW there is no difference between the EPL1 and EP1, well for dynamic range, iso, and color depth there would be zero difference, as it is the same sensor. however the epl1 has a lighter AA filter, so the sharpness of the EPL1 is a bit better than the EP1. (this difference is not a deal breaker for real image sizes). the epl1 does have a better jpeg engine than the ep1, so if you shoot jpeg, the epl1 will quite easily beat the ep1. actually the epl1 has one of the best jpeg engines around right now.

the nex has the best sensor in the game, that is a clear advantage. there is no arguing that point, its one of the best sensors in the aps-c market. and shooting RAW it will give you outright the best sensor data of any of them. that margin is pretty much equalized by the oly jpeg engine though (strictly speaking jpegs, RAW is always the NEXs favor).

as far as lenses go, the NEX lenses have got a bad rep, especially the pancake. the kit lens less so. comparing kit lenses, the olys have the slight advantage, but again, for normal image quality, and taking in account sensor quality, its really splitting hairs. comparing the prime lenses, the oly 17mm is probably a bit better than the sony prime, but both of them fall short of the Panny 20 1.7, and neither of them are any better than the kit zoom to be perfectly honest, besides portability.

handling/controls. this is so subjective that taking advice from others is difficult as we all have our preferences. the NEX used to be clearly behind the others, until the latest firmware which really helped things out alot. it is still a unique control setup with the touchscreen, but right now i would not say it is worse, just different, and it is really quite good if you get used to it. the ep1 has a control advantage over the epl1 for changing aperture, etc, but the epl1 has a dedicated magnified view (which i use for manual focus) which for me is quite handy. handling, they are all very good. i think they all have a good feel. the sony is front heavy but not necessarily in a bad way. the ep1 has a nice solid metal feel that anyone that has shot with manual cameras will love. my epl1 is not as metal feeling as the ep1, but i actually quite like the small grip, i can hang my fingers there when carrying it on a wrist strap, and gives me a little bit better grip which i prefer over the pinch grip i have to use on an ep1/2. again these are my personal opinions and should only be taken as such.
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Old Oct 26, 2010, 7:41 AM   #28
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Lots to consider here.
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Current equipment
Pentax K5, K3:
FA 35mm f2, FA 50 f1.4, FA 28-70mm f4, FA 28-80mm f3.5-5.6, F 50mm f1.7, Tamron SP 70-200mm f2.8 Di, DA 10-17 f3.5-4.5, DA 14 f2.8, DA 16-45mm f4, DA 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 WR, DA 50-200mm f4-5.6 WR, AF-540FGZ

Olympus E-P2, E-P5, OM-D E-M1: 9mm to 150mm lenses

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Old Oct 27, 2010, 11:04 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
...
I have thought for some time, that a mirrorless body with K-mount lenses would be the way to go, but the manufacturers are opting for compactness and changing mounts for their mirrorless lines. ...
brian
I think they are opting for $$$, actually. By changing the mount, they open the doors for a total new line of lenses they can capitalize on. On top of that, they can do what Oly/Pana did, which is to come up with an electronic adapter so that the old PK mount lenses will also work in terms of AF and such. Those adapters are not that cheap ($110+). Now, at least Sony used a high-res LCD, pretty much eliminating the needs for an external EVF (like with the Oly EPL1, which comes with a pathetic LCD, almost forcing people to spend another $250 on an EVF). Hopefully Pentax will follow Sony's footsteps if/when they come up with their version of the EVIL.
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Old Oct 27, 2010, 2:19 PM   #30
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Wouldn't it be great if Pentax introduced a mirrorless camera that was designed from the start to accomodate existing DA Limited lenses with an additional adaptor? I know all about the difference in register distance between DSLRs and mirrorless cameras - but that can be accommodated if accounting for it at the beginning of the design phase.
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