Adding another variation to its popular PEN range of Micro Four-Thirds cameras, the Olympus E-PL1 has done away with the retro style of its siblings, added a pop-up flash and a dedicated movie record button. It has re-designed the menu layout for even simpler navigation, introduced a Live Guide mode for complete novices and …
Having 6 pages of photos in between the 1st and last section of the article is dumb.
Having the specs of the camera on page <random> instead of page 1 or 2 is dumb.
Having a 9 page article with no section descriptions to help me jump to the section I want ... is dumb.
Nice camera. :-)
Camera reviews are ALWAYS too big to fit in that constrained width layout. (Well they ALL are, but photo-heavy camera reviews are the worst.)
The first thing I do is hit the "Print" link.
I don't agree
I spend a lot more time looking at the photos than I do looking at the written article. Obviously if there are serious useability problems or whatever, I want to know, but by far the most important thing about a camera is the pictures it produces, and the photos say that a lot better than any journalist possibly could. I particularly look at the ISO tests and the night time shots as that is what sets apart the good cameras from the bad.
gripe gripe gripe
Wholeheartedly agree with George. It's a matter of preference of course, but perhaps you should look at how Tom's hardware do their articles. I find it easy to navigate their stuff.
CORRECTION: "Optical viewfinder"
You caption this as an optical viewfinder, but without a front element (and no mirror in the camera) it must be an electronic viewfinder. (Particularly thinking of photo on page 8)
Again, title required
Good that they did away with the retro design.
Trip to Turkey? Is the body resistant to sand and dust?
The Reg as usual a dead loss at pricing, Oly E-PL1 here for £375...
It was all going so well...
...until I got to iEnhance mode. I have promised myself never to possess anything that starts with a lower case 'i'.
How good are these things?
I often have to shoot in lowish light from a a couple of feet to twenty feet tops...ie people indoors, ie I value fast lenses with big apertures. I have never found any sort of 'compact' a substitute for an SLR (with the right kit, I don't need a flash a good proportion of the time).
To date, I admit I have never tried one of these. The fact there is no mirror already turns me off to be honest. How does this camera perform in the role I have suggested above?
Re: How good are these things?
I replaced my Nikon D70 with a Pana GF-1 micro 4/3 with a F1.7 pancake lens, a decision driven by portability and movie support.
Great for lowish light indoor portrait shooting. The limitations are more outdoors in bright light - the screen washes out, so you really need the electronic viewfinder which adds bulk and cost. Otherwise, the main disadvantage is that if I wanted a fast zoom which handles HD video, I'd apparently need need to spend £650+ on the "lumix g vario hd" lens.
For shooting people indoors the kit lens is a bit pants, but as you can change the lens then this is not necessarily a problem. Bear in mind though that this is not a 'proper' DSLR, so if you are used to shooting with APS-C or full frame digitals then you may be disappointed. However if you are used to typical compacts (like I was) then this camera will be a revelation. However for shooting indoors get a faster lens - the panasonic 20mm F1.7 pancake (equiv to 40mm on a film SLR) is great but may be too wide for you. Unfortunately there is not much else out there in fast native micro 4/3 lenses, but with an adaptor you can fit 4/3 lenses,and if you dont mind manual aperture/focus only then you can fit almost any SLR/DSLR lens - again with a suitable adaptor. This is great if you already have a (D)SLR lens collection.
Tiny compact sensors can't do everything something like a micro 4/3 sensor can do, and those sensors can't do what something like an APS-C sensor can do, which can't in turn do what a full frame sensor can do and so on to the biggest sensor you can buy.
Most people who know digital photography know this, however Olympus' advertising assumes that the reader doesn't know this. Just like they used to claim the Trip 35 could do everything an SLR could do. And that's what I have against these cameras. It's not that they are bad cameras, far from it I'd rather use one than something like a Canon G11, it's that they are being sold as something they are not. Nobody sells their entry level DSLR as being just as good as their top of the range full frame model so why do the makers of this micro 4/3 stuff sell it as if it will produce results as good as an S2 or a 'blad? Maybe Olympus do it because their attempts at a DSLR have been so lame.
BITD nobody was really fooled by the Trip 35 advertising or the Pentax 110 SLR, but it seems from what I see online people are fooled by the current Olympus advertising.
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