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Thread: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

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    ajuett
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    EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Currently I'm using a Canon G11 which I'm happy with however, I've been considering a change. Mainly I do landscape shots with the odd portrait of the kids/family.

    The EP-1 at a local Canadian shop is $200 off which means $699 with the 14-42 lens and $799 with the 17mm lens. I'm really tempted to sell my G11 and move to one of these options.

    My questions are, how true are the stories about slow AF when using the EP-1? Is it really slow or are people just used to really fast AF and therefore complain about the speed? How is the 14-42 kit lens? For the extra $100 the 17mm f/2.8 might be the better way to go, 34mm is still a decent width, I know could make it work for landscapes. Any other things I should be aware of? Thanks for any help with my decision.

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    Super Duper
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Save the $100 get the kit with the 14-42 and put the $100 towards the Panasonic 20mm f1.7.

    AF is slowish with the 14-42 but the collapsing feature of the lens is nice.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    It's all relative. I have an EP-1 and the kit lens - I think it's great. I also have a Panasonic 20 1.7 - with that lens it's even better. Taking pictures at parties, of people, landscape it's perfect. Anything moving at more than a leisurely pace - not so good. I used to have a G9 and this is a much better camera overall.

    Jim

  4. #4
    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    Save the $100 get the kit with the 14-42 and put the $100 towards the Panasonic 20mm f1.7.

    AF is slowish with the 14-42 but the collapsing feature of the lens is nice.
    Thanks TEBnewyork. I'd go for the Panasonic 20mm but, at $500 its a tad expensive for what it is. So it wont be getting my attention. I'd rather a 12 or 14mm f/4 if it was available. The 14-42 is probably the way I'd go as a single prime would limit me somewhat. Aperture amount is not the issue.

    I really need to know the EP-1 is for me or stay with the G11. The G11 is not a bad thing, in fact, I'm shocked at how versatile it is. I'm probably going to sit on the fence a bit.

  5. #5
    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    It's all relative. I have an EP-1 and the kit lens - I think it's great. I also have a Panasonic 20 1.7 - with that lens it's even better. Taking pictures at parties, of people, landscape it's perfect. Anything moving at more than a leisurely pace - not so good. I used to have a G9 and this is a much better camera overall.

    Jim
    Thanks Jim, do you have a site with examples from the 14-42?

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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    The 20mm isn't $500. It is $400 at full retail and can be found here sometime for sale in the mid $300's.

  7. #7
    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    The 20mm isn't $500. It is $400 at full retail and can be found here sometime for sale in the mid $300's.
    I should have mentioned Canadian $ as the 20mm f/1.7 is $500 up here.

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    Senior Member pellicle's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by ajuett View Post
    I should have mentioned Canadian $ as the 20mm f/1.7 is $500 up here.
    well, you sort of did in your first post, but I usually prefix $ with (say) AU$ when I'm talking other dollars. Even the Europeans here on the list will assume $ = US$

    I'm curious however what the costs would be if your ordered from (say) B&H in the US ... what sort of customs fees reach into your pocket that way? The money hungry Aussie (colonial) government normally allow purchases below particular levels to go free of GST or imports.

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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    I have the EP1 and the Lumix 14-45mm and 45-200mm. The camera AF is pretty fast with either lens, so I think the Lumix lens is faster than the Oly 14-42mm. I just bought the Oly 17mm for less than $200 on eBay. The 20mm is impossible to find right now.
    Tullio

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    Member Bill Gordon's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by ajuett View Post
    Thanks Jim, do you have a site with examples from the 14-42?
    before you buy have a look at the E-P2....these were taken with the E-P1

  11. #11
    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gordon View Post
    before you buy have a look at the E-P2....these were taken with the E-P1
    The EP-2 is out of my range in terms of price. In Canadian fund the EP-1 is $699 (sale price) $899 reg.)) with 14-42 and the EP-2 is $1199 with the 14-42.

    Thanks for the advice everyone. However, looking at examples around the net I think I'll keep the G11 until I can afford a decent jump. For that price I think I'd rather move into a K-x with a decent f/2.8 zoom.

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    Senior Member JMaher's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Just one thought - I believe the Kx while a very nice camera does not allow you to pick a spot to focus on. This seems like a fatal flaw to me.

    Jim

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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    I have the E-P1 and the 14-42 Olympus lens as well as the Panasonic 20mm and 45-200 zoom.

    I would get the 14-42 kit zoom and save up for the Panasonic 20mm lens. I paid around AU$450 from Japan about 3 months ago and if you are willing to place an order and wait, you should be able to get it for less from the US.

    Since the latest update to the firmware in the E-P1 (now version 1.2), autofocus is even better. Olympus didn't say there were any changes to AF but there are. The 14-42 focuses about 0.1s faster than before (it is now just slow at around 0.6s and is similar to that of many P&S cameras).

    The S-AF time for the 20mm lens has been cut to around 0.4 to 0.6s. That doesn't sound much but they sliced around 0.4s off the timings. Sure you can get better out of a dSLR, but it won't fit into a jacket pocket. I would doubt that the Canon G11 is significantly faster than this and the flash recycle time in the G11 sucks.

    C-AF is also considerable improved but I still wouldn't use it. I belive the tracking AF in the E-P2 is a much better implementation.

    Oh, BTW, does Canada have the FL-14 as a freebie via redemption?

  14. #14
    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    Since the latest update to the firmware in the E-P1 (now version 1.2), autofocus is even better. Olympus didn't say there were any changes to AF but there are. The 14-42 focuses about 0.1s faster than before (it is now just slow at around 0.6s and is similar to that of many P&S cameras).

    The S-AF time for the 20mm lens has been cut to around 0.4 to 0.6s. That doesn't sound much but they sliced around 0.4s off the timings. Sure you can get better out of a dSLR, but it won't fit into a jacket pocket. I would doubt that the Canon G11 is significantly faster than this and the flash recycle time in the G11 sucks.

    Oh, BTW, does Canada have the FL-14 as a freebie via redemption?
    The S-AF time is about 0.5 to 0.7s according to DPR speed ratings. In Quick Shot mode shutter lag is down to 0.15s. "Based on the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot)."

    As for size, I think its overrated somewhat. I'd rather have something comfortable, not necessarily small, as it plays a large role in your photography.

    The G11 has a flash, for snapshots the built-in flash is fine. I have the option for a 270EX which has the ability to bounce flash rather than an in-your-face blinding light.

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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by ajuett View Post
    The S-AF time is about 0.5 to 0.7s according to DPR speed ratings.
    That was about right for version 1.0 of the firmware in good light and probably with the 17mm lens which was faster than the 14-42. The latter was originally around 0.9 to 1.1s.

    Firmware 1.1 and 1.2 updated those figures on both occassions.

    I take my own measurements with this... http://www.shooting-digital.com/colu..._release_test/

    In Quick Shot mode shutter lag is down to 0.15s. "Based on the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot)."
    That would be about right but for the Panasonic 20mm lens it was somewhat slower but the action described is wrong. Based on the default settings, on the half-press, the camera will lock autofocus and auto exposure. Going from half-press to full press trips the shutter.

    As for size, I think its overrated somewhat. I'd rather have something comfortable, not necessarily small, as it plays a large role in your photography.
    True, anyway, the size with either the 17mm or 20mm lens is around the same as for the G11. If you are coming from a dSLR, it is noticable.

    The G11 has a flash, for snapshots the built-in flash is fine. I have the option for a 270EX which has the ability to bounce flash rather than an in-your-face blinding light.
    I must admit, I don't like flashes that are a similar size or larger than the camera itself. The FL-14 is very tiny although just a simple thing. The low noise IQ on the E-P1 is good enough that I don't need to use a flash often.
    Last edited by PeterB666; 22nd January 2010 at 21:43.

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    ajuett
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I must admit, I don't like flashes that are a similar size or larger than the camera itself. The FL-14 is very tiny although just a simple thing. The low noise IQ on the E-P1 is good enough that I don't need to use a flash often.
    Me too, thankfully, for my uses the G11 is good to 1600 ISO, sometimes beyond.

  17. #17
    jglover
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by JMaher View Post
    Just one thought - I believe the Kx while a very nice camera does not allow you to pick a spot to focus on. This seems like a fatal flaw to me.
    It really depends on your shooting style. The K-x will allow you to choose the focus point as well as automatically switch focus points. However, you cannot choose the focus on the fly through the viewfinder, you have to go to the menu. Also the selected focus point is not displayed in the viewfinder as it is with the K20D or the K-7. Not really a fatal flaw to me, as I have never used the user-selectable focus points. I always set the focus to center point focus, lock focus and recompose. To me that is the most effective way to shoot, trying toi fiddle with focus points on the fly looking through the viewfinder is just too cumbersome and slow.

    John

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Another vote here for the E-P1 with 14-42mm, add the 20mm f1.7 to make a highly capable kit.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    If you think you might get into using MF lenses AND you wear reading glasses, forget the EP1 and go for the G1/GH1 (or perhaps the EP2, which has a viewfinder). Otherwise, you'll be as frustrated as I am. I bought the EP1 thinking that the in-body IS would be a huge plus when using long FL MF lenses. Well, it is but the MF assist is poorly implemented and that combined with the lack of an EVF makes the EP1 very unfriendly for MF photography for people like myself who need reading glasses to see closely. The G1 rocks in that department.
    Tullio

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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by Tullio View Post
    If you think you might get into using MF lenses AND you wear reading glasses, forget the EP1 and go for the G1/GH1 (or perhaps the EP2, which has a viewfinder). Otherwise, you'll be as frustrated as I am. I bought the EP1 thinking that the in-body IS would be a huge plus when using long FL MF lenses. Well, it is but the MF assist is poorly implemented and that combined with the lack of an EVF makes the EP1 very unfriendly for MF photography for people like myself who need reading glasses to see closely.
    I have no problems with the E-P1 and manual focus lenses and yes, I do wear reading glasses and also take a lot of photos at night in available light.

    The key to getting the best out of the E-P1 is to customise the controls.

    I have the LCD auto gain up (Live View Boost set to ON).

    I normally have the Fn button to switch between MF and AF.

    I have MF set to use the AEL/AFL button to do S-AF and the shutter button to only do AEL on a half press. This is strangely set using AEL/AFL, MF, mode 3.

    I have the AEL/AFL Memo set to ON which means it holds the setting after releasing the button.

    I have Reset Lens to OFF. This means any AF lens will be focused the same as it was when last used or the camera was powered off. This even includes when the lens is removed from the camera. I believe the Panasonics don't have this feature and lenses are always reset to infinity on power on. A big pain for night-time manual focus photography.

    I only have the following info screens displayed (LV-INFO) - Zoom. That's it. I also have Level Gauge set to ON as I do a lot of landscape work. That means the INFO button only cycles through full display, Zoom (used mainly with MF) and the Level Gauge.

    I have disabled MF Assist. It is just too sensitive to activate and find it a pain. Now that Olympus has cut the activation time it may be a little less annoying but I still don't bother.

    These settings work a treat for me and I have found it to be much better than an optical viewfinder. Try and get one of those to gain up in the night with a f/4 or f/5.6 lens attached! Although the LCD image does become grainy and eventually loses colour, it works better than any optical viewfinder that I have had before (including Nikons, Pentax and Sony cameras). And the E-P1 is even better with a f/2.8 or faster lens attached. No doubt an EVF is a little better in some situations but I do like framing on a 3” LCD rather than something a bit larger than the size of a small postage stamp. I really do appreciate being able to see the whole image and the controls without having to remove/add my glasses.

    I love the ability to customise the controls on the Olympus cameras. Simply fantastic.

    Maybe the GF-1 is better than the E-P1 in low light but the G1 and GH-1 just don't rate it for me as they are not small enough and have the most uncomfotable grip out (at least for me). I did consider the G1 until I picked one up to handle and shoot with.
    Last edited by PeterB666; 23rd January 2010 at 19:30. Reason: Added a bit.

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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    ...
    I have the LCD auto gain up (Live View Boost set to ON).
    That might help a bit at the cost of battery consumption.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I normally have the Fn button to switch between MF and AF.
    That has nothing to do with shooting with MF lenses. Once you attach that MF lens to the EP1, it will only shoot in MF anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I have MF set to use the AEL/AFL button to do S-AF and the shutter button to only do AEL on a half press. This is strangely set using AEL/AFL, MF, mode 3.
    Again, this may be a good alternative people use the speed up AF, not MF since there is no AF function when using MF lenses (whether the S-AF is set to be performed by the AEL/AFL or the shutter buttons.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I have the AEL/AFL Memo set to ON which means it holds the setting after releasing the button.
    Yes, I have it set that way too but in my case it holds the exposure. There is nothing you can do to set this button in a way that will improve MF.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I have Reset Lens to OFF. This means any AF lens will be focused the same as it was when last used or the camera was powered off.
    This only works with AF lenses.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I only have the following info screens displayed (LV-INFO) - Zoom. That's it. I also have Level Gauge set to ON as I do a lot of landscape work. That means the INFO button only cycles through full display, Zoom (used mainly with MF) and the Level Gauge.
    I like to have the Histogram as I use it 100% of the time to gauge exposure.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    I have disabled MF Assist. It is just too sensitive to activate and find it a pain. Now that Olympus has cut the activation time it may be a little less annoying but I still don't bother.
    Leaving MF Assist ON will not do you any harm since you actually need to do something to activate it. On the G1, it activates automatically if you half press the shutter and turn the focus ring on any AF lens. Many times I mistakenly activated it while trying to zoom in/out.

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterB666 View Post
    Maybe the GF-1 is better than the E-P1 in low light but the G1 and GH-1 just don't rate it for me as they are not small enough and have the most uncomfotable grip out (at least for me). I did consider the G1 until I picked one up to handle and shoot with.
    I find the G1 to be a better camera overall. It offers an excellent swivel LCD, EVF and built-in flash. Sure the body is bigger but I think it's a more versatile camera. Now between the GF1 and the EP1, I think the EP1 is more attractive and it offers many controls the GF1 does not plus in-body IS. But the GF1 has flash and an excellent LCD. I also think that the GF1 focuses better in movie mode.
    Tullio

  22. #22
    Bill Poupore
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by ajuett View Post
    . The EP-1 at a local Canadian shop is $200 off which means $699 with the 14-42 lens and $799 with the 17mm lens.
    ajuett,

    Where did you find the E-P1 for $700 CAN?

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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    I just received a E-P1 yesterday, and when I tried the autofocus the first thing I thought was, "what is all the teeth gnashing about?". It works just fine, not as fast as my 5D2, but fast enough. I'm impressed with this camera so far, a nicely made kit.
    The Panny 20 1.7 performs nicely on it. I haven't tried the kit 14-42 yet.
    Shaun O'Boyle
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    Senior Member Tullio's Avatar
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    Re: EP1 questions/comments from users past and present

    Quote Originally Posted by soboyle View Post
    I just received a E-P1 yesterday, and when I tried the autofocus the first thing I thought was, "what is all the teeth gnashing about?". It works just fine, ...
    My thoughts exactly. I don't believe any one knows what slow AF in low light is unless you have the good'ol Sony R1. That's slooooow. Now, I don't have the 14-42mm kit lens so perhaps this lens is slow. I use the Lumix kit lenses and have tried the Oly 17mm and found AF to be very good with all of them. My EP1 and lenses are at F/W 1.1.
    Tullio

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