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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    Olympus just announced a new Micro Four Thirds camera, the E-PL1. I think this is the camera a lot of people have been waiting for. It's got a pop-up flash and the price is only $599. I had a pre-production camera for a few days, wrote a short article and made a hands-on video. I'm still working on the video but you can see some photos and read my article here:

    Olympus E-PL1 Digital Camera - Costs Less, Has Flash!

    Let me know what you think! I think this is an exciting announcement
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    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Senior Shooter Greg McCary's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    Well now your talking John. For me I got so much invested in the E3 I really can't just jump into another expensive system. But now I have that option. I just hope as this m4/3rd takes off Olympus adds a very nice line of glass to go with it.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  3. #3
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    John - thanks!

    This sounds exciting. I read your excellent pre-review and got psyched. Now, being the owner of the E-P1, what to do.

    It is different in a lot of ways. I googled the E-PL1 and came up with more questions than answers.

    I have a question that is important to me due to my slight camera shake problem. I read that the E-PL1 claims 3 stops with the IBIS - the E-P1 claims 4. Could you tell me if there would be a big difference between 3 and 4 stops? This is important to me.

    Also, it appears from your preview - and the Olympus website that this camera operates more like a point and shoot. It appears that changing actual settings might be more difficult than the E-P1 which isn't easy for "dummies" like me.

    Also, I can't figure out if this camera has the same sensor. Would the IQ be comparable to the E-P1/2?

    I'm still enjoying my E-P1 - but there are a few features that I'm drawn to here. One drawback, though is the fact that it comes kit only and I have the E-P1 14-42 kit lens. So, that means losing more money if I opt to sell the E-P1.

    One thought I had was to sell the LX3 - and replace it with the E-PL1 until I make a decision. Probably the E-P1 and E-PL1 are too close to use the E-PL1 as a companion to the E-P1. I use the LX3 for those times when I need a flash - like surprise requests to be the photographer at a kid's birthday party - in very low light - and I have no time to choose settings. Plus the LX3 is my carry-around-with-me camera for when I run into a photo op.

    Please give me your thoughts.

    Thanks!

    Liz

  4. #4
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    Liz-
    I've still got more material, including a video to post. And it seems like maybe I missed a couple of points in my article. Olympus didn't really cut any corners or compromise performance in the E-PL1. It has pretty much all the same features the first two Pen cameras have, including full manual exposure controls. The Live Guide is just a new addition that's only available in the iAuto mode, where previously, there were almost no controls available.

    All three Olympus Pen cameras use the same sensor. There's no reason that the E-PL1 wouldn't have the exact same image quality as the E-P1 and E-P2.

    I'm not sure about the image stabilization. I didn't see where Olympus claimed the E-PL1 had a 3 stop image stabilization compensation factor. I would assume the cameras have the same sensor unit and perform the same. There's no practical reason why Olympus would make a whole new sensor assembly for this camera. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.
    Photo-John

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  5. #5
    Katherine
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    I'm with Liz about the IBIS 3 vs 4 stops, and if changing the settings will be more difficult.

    From what I was able to find this morning, it sounds like the Digital Level is gone. That's a pretty big bummer to me. After getting a commission for a painting of an old house where the photo I have to work from is really crooked, I'm realizing just how handy that would be. I saw something about a Grid Mode, I just hope that's an overlay option for the displays and not preset scene mode like my old camera.

    Also, I wonder how much that EVF is going to hurt the piggy bank. Ebay has Black and SIlver ones that range from 300-315, but those are from Japanese sellers. I hope the reality is closer to Panasonic's pricing. =P

    Otherwise, I think/hope this is what I have been waiting for!! The E-P1 totally captured my attention, but the lack of a VF bothered me a lot. I decided to wait and see if it would come down in price (I'm just too new to all of this and I wanted to be sure I was going to use whatever I got enough to justify the investment). But the E-P2 had me agonizong over whether I should wait another 6 or 8 months. I will admit that it doesn't have the cool factor of the E-P1/2's aesthetics, but oh well. ;) I can sacrifice that for the accessory port, built in flash and lower price tag. I think I may miss the digital level though.


    For Liz:
    From the Press Release and Olympus website:
    "Big Sensor, Not a Big Body
    At the heart of the E-PL1 is a large-size image sensor that’s the same sensor as the one inside the Olympus E-30 and E-620 DSLR models. The only difference between this sensor and what the pros use is that this big sensor is inside the much smaller body of the E-PL1. This high-performance 12.3-megapixel Live MOS image sensor (eight times larger than the average point-and-shoot camera sensor) delivers excellent dynamic range, accurate color fidelity, and a state-of-the-art amplifier circuit to reduce noise and capture fine image details in both highlight and shadow areas."

    That's what is in the E-P1/2 right? Super cool if so!

    Edit: Oops, I took too long typing my reply and didn't see PJ's second post.
    Oh and on further inspection/reading...the Live Guide thing sounds amazing for Photo Dummies/Newbies like me!
    Last edited by Nyreth; 02-03-2010 at 09:55 AM.

  6. #6
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Liz-
    I've still got more material, including a video to post. And it seems like maybe I missed a couple of points in my article. Olympus didn't really cut any corners or compromise performance in the E-PL1. It has pretty much all the same features the first two Pen cameras have, including full manual exposure controls. The Live Guide is just a new addition that's only available in the iAuto mode, where previously, there were almost no controls available.

    All three Olympus Pen cameras use the same sensor. There's no reason that the E-PL1 wouldn't have the exact same image quality as the E-P1 and E-P2.

    I'm not sure about the image stabilization. I didn't see where Olympus claimed the E-PL1 had a 3 stop image stabilization compensation factor. I would assume the cameras have the same sensor unit and perform the same. There's no practical reason why Olympus would make a whole new sensor assembly for this camera. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it.
    Thanks John.....

    Regarding IS: Here is copy/paste from the Olympus website announcement regarding the stops.

    IS: Effective compensation range: Approx.3EV steps (in maximum effect with 50mm lens)
    Would you "translate" "in maximum effect with 50mm lens" - what does this mean overall?

    Also on the specs page:


    IS: Mode: 3 modes (IS1:2 dimensional activation, IS2:1 dimensional activation in landscape frame to vertical direction moving, IS3:1dimensional activation in portrait frame to vertical direction moving ), OFF
    Here is the link to the specifications page on the Oly website:

    http://www.olympusamerica.com/cpg_se...501&page=specs

    Liz

  7. #7
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Olympus E-PL1 Video Preview Posted!

    Man, I had every sort of technical problem you can imagine trying to get this video finished and posted. But it's complete and live. I think it should clear up some of the questions left by the article and press release. It's hard to beat a demo you can see with your own eyes

    Olympus E-PL1 Hands-On Video Preview >>

    I hope I'm not getting too polished and professional ;)
    Photo-John

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  8. #8
    Panarus biarmicus Moderator (Sports) SmartWombat's Avatar
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    I notice the two rotating controls are gone and we get a red video button.
    I hope the E-P3 gives us all the E-P2 has plus the video button.

    This is like the low end Canons where the controls are d-buttons instead of the wheel/joystick on the rear. So it seems slower to operate but keeps all the functions.
    PAul

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  9. #9
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Video Preview Posted!

    Quote Originally Posted by Photo-John
    Man, I had every sort of technical problem you can imagine trying to get this video finished and posted. But it's complete and live. I think it should clear up some of the questions left by the article and press release. It's hard to beat a demo you can see with your own eyes

    Olympus E-PL1 Hands-On Video Preview >>

    I hope I'm not getting too polished and professional ;)
    Another fine video John! Your initial video about the EP1 pushed me over the fence - and I bought it. This one tends to do the same thing - good job.

    Regarding the IS - I'm still looking for some input. Would you let us know if you see any difference between the EP1 (4 stops) and EPL1 (3 stops) when you try out the camera?

    I have one on order - I'm hopeful. Actually I'm going to sell my LX3 which I thought I would NEVER let go of! However, this camera seems to have a lot more features, and certainly better IQ than the LX3 - although the LX3 is no slouch when it comes to IQ.

    Thanks.
    Liz

  10. #10
    Liz
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    Re: Olympus E-PL1 Digital Pen - Now With Flash

    I'm wondering if anyone (besides me) would be considering this camera. I'm thinking seriously about purchasing it. However, I'm not sure if it would be a good companion to my E-P1 due to the fact that they are similar in many ways. On the other hand, I do need a carry-with-me camera and it seems this would fit the bill more than my LX3 which the E-PL1 would replace. I'm also considering other options at this time, but not as seriously as this option.

    Another plus - I can use the lenses on both.

    Anyone know when this camera will be shipping?

    Thanks.
    Liz

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