Yet another Olympus E-PL1


I was passing my local Jessops store and since I had half an hour to kill, went in to have a look around. I was interested in having a look at the Panasonic G3, which they had in stock. Picking it up I took an instant dislike to it. It felt light and flimsy and the half grip or whatever it is was really uncomfortable. It seemed neither one thing or the other. 

For me the GF1 is still Panasonics best handling camera, and the G3 seemed to me to be further evidence of Panasonics move towards smaller and cheaply made. Despite what they put inside their cameras, which is very impressive, they seem to have thrown good handling and design out of the window as far as I'm concerned, and I thought it was an ugly little thing. No matter how wonderful it might be, I just couldn't see myself using it. 

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Just alongside there were a couple of Olympus Pens, including an E-PL1 at an almost silly sale price. I picked that up and it felt great, so I ended up buying it.

This is my 3rd. E-PL1 (I had an E-PL2 too) and I probably need counselling to discover why I keep buying and selling them! Despite my reservations about m4/3 cameras and the problems working with electronic viewfinders seem to give me I just couldn't resist it. Since selling my other m4/3 cameras and the Fuji X100, I don't have a really light and small (in my terms) camera and there were five reasons why I bought it.

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron
1. The Price. £280 with the kit lens is less than I sold my last one for S/H. They are selling for this kind of price everywhere. I read somewhere that this is now Japans best selling system camera. I'm not surprised if they cost this much.

2. I think its better built than the E-PL2. When I bought my last one I thought it was good and replaced it with the E-PL2 thinking it would be an improvement. I was mistaken.

3. It lets me shoot at ISO100 which the E-PL2 doesn't. Yes I'm aware that 200 is supposed to be the base ISO for Olympus m4/3 and ISO100 is supposed to give worse dynamic range. But thats never bothered me. All I know is that every Olympus Pen I've had has given me cleaner, sharper results at ISO100 than ISO 200. I was disappointed that the E-PL2 didn't have this option.

4. I really want to use the Olympus 12mm f/2, and 45mm f/1.8  and the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 lenses when they come out.

5. The E-PL1 is very well laid out and works very smoothly with manual focus lenses.

So I got it home and put on my Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron and took some pictures.

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

Olympus Pen E-PL1 Voigtlander 28mm f/2 Ultron

How long I hold on to this one is anybodys guess. Its nice to have a m4/3 camera again. I'm very fond of my Leicas and I like the Nikons I've bought very much but m4/3 has always had an appeal for me. I'm sure my buying it is the result of drooling over the E-P3 plus the 12mm f/2. However, I'm glad I bought it, and now all thats left is to find a way of working with it and my heavy duty polarised sunglasses!!