Need advice on 2nd Olympus body

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by billgreen, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. billgreen

    billgreen SC Rookie

    Jun 1, 2012
    Catawba, VA
    Started out using only Panny cameras. I have a GX-1 and G2. Cameta Camera had a killer deal on E-PL1 bodies so I picked one up so I would have a body with stabilization. I'm loving this camera but I know little about the Olympus. I'm now looking to get another Olympus body but my budget is only $300 or less. Should I go with an EP1, EP2, or EPL2. Are all these considered a "step up" from the EPL1? Which would have better IQ, build quality, and lower noise at higher ISO?
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    None of those options will improve on the epl1 except in terms of handling. They all have rotary controls which many prefer to the all-button interface on the epl1. The AF is slightly faster on the epl2 but doesn't really get a lot better until you step up to the 3rd generation. In terms of IQ, low light, etc, none of them are better than the epl1 until you jump up to the EM5, which is the first Oly m43 with a different sensor.

  3. billgreen

    billgreen SC Rookie

    Jun 1, 2012
    Catawba, VA
    The fact that they all have the same sensor (which I did not know) is valuable info. I can now evaluate them based on size, weight, function. Thanks Ray.
  4. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I tend to prefer the E-PL models which had a later iteration of the 12mp sensor and also introduced a slightly different control setup. In your price range you could also get an E-PM1 which has fewer external controls but is much faster in operation, particularly AF. Personally, I'm waiting to see if the E-M5 sensor shows up in the future smaller Pens, and hopefully the touchscreen as well.
  5. Crsnydertx

    Crsnydertx SC Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 21, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I really like my little E-PM1, even though it doesn't have all the control buttons found on its siblings/cousins. Hmmm...maybe that's why I like it! Small and fast, yet very capable. It wins out in the "grab-and-go" competition over my E-P3 almost very time.
  6. skywarrior

    skywarrior SC Rookie

    Jun 3, 2012
    Let me know if you'd be interested in a LNIB E-P2. $240.

  7. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi SC Regular

    Jun 4, 2012
    Davis, CA
    In terms of image quality, there's no significant difference among the Pens. If anything, your E-PL1 is actually better at both low and high ISOs than the others. The main reason to upgrade is handling and AF speed. The E-PL2 has a bigger grip. The E-PM1 is actually smaller, but has better controls and much better autofocus. For higher ISO though, your GX1 is still better than any of the Pens.

    Good luck,

  8. Grinch

    Grinch SC Rookie

    Jun 4, 2012
    I'd stick with your E-Pl1 unless you decide to move to an E-PM1 as the other options you listed would only be a lateral decision.
  9. samphoto

    samphoto New to SC

    Jun 4, 2012
    My friend told me epm 1 has better white balance, and is more compact. However, personally, I think you should think about investing more in lenses. 25 1.4 and 100-300 are fun glasses to try out.

    MBBINVT SC Rookie

    Jun 4, 2012
    You might go back to Cameta for one of their refurbed PM1s. Costs $300 with kit lens. Sell off the lens and the body will run you about $200. That's what I did and I'm happy with the decision. I really thought I'd miss the lack of direct controls, but the PM1 has easy enough controls for me once I got the hang of it.
  11. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto SC Regular

    Jun 12, 2012
    I own the E-P1, E-PL1s (Japan exclusive obtained via eBay), and E-P3. I used to have the E-PL1 but recently traded it. Honestly, unless you spend all day pixel peeping there is virtually zero difference between the way the current Olympus Pens render images. The E-P1 and E-P2 are "a little" softer since they have stronger AA filters on the sensors, but I really can't see much difference in image quality in practical use.

    The E-P3 (and E-PL3 and E-PM1) have faster AF and faster art filter processing than the older Pens, but I rarely use the in-camera art filters and the slowest focusing Pen (the original E-P1) is just as fast as the E-P2, E-PL1, E-PL1s and E-PL2 after you update the E-P1 with the latest firmware. Lenses can make a big difference, though (the older 14-42mm kit lens is slower than the newest 14-42mm IIR kit lens).

    Honestly, I tend to use the E-P3 and E-P1 more than my E-PL1s just because they handle in much the same way so I don't have to give much thought to using the cameras. If I was regularly switching between the E-PL1 and E-PM1 I might find myself stopping to remember how I change settings on one camera versus the other.

    Getting back to the image quality, here are images taken with the E-P1, E-PL1, E-PL1s, and E-P3. Other than using different lenses, I can't really tell which camera is "better" in terms of how the sensor renders the image.