Saturday, February 18, 2012

Olympus E-PL1: Results Matter

Olympus E-PL1 & Nikon D90 - Marin County  2012

Recently there’s been a whole range of options for photographers interested in smaller, lower-weight cameras; I’ve been wanting to try one of them for some time now.

I noticed some time in late December that Costco was selling the Olympus E-PL1 as part of a package deal: body, kit zoom lens and a basic telephoto zoom for a very reasonable price. But that was last year and I wasn't interested . . . then. But when the Costco item showed up again just recently, I went ahead and ordered it.

Now I know that this is an "obsolete" camera: there have been two upgrades since it was introduced. But as I said, I've been wanting to try one of the newer "mirrorless" cameras and this looked like a good opportunity to test drive a “micro four-thirds” (Olympus/Panasonic sensor size description) sample.

I've often thought that the approach that Olympus and Pansonic are taking with these types of cameras is the correct one, that is, a semi-large, reasonably sized sensor with a small body and a small lens. This contrasts with Sony's efforts which pair a tiny body with a relatively large lens. I just don't like the looks of it (I had ergonomic problems with an earlier Sony design, the R1.) Nikon has also introduced cameras in this category that, while the basic concept looks promising, the models shown so far are too rudimentary and simplistic.

Shown above is a photo taken with the Canon G12 contrasting, for amusement’s sake, the new Olympus and my Nikon D90. The Nikon is by far the more capable camera, of course, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of results I get with the E-PL1. Results matter.


Mike Mundy said...

Ah yes. Here are the camera weights as measured on the digital kitchen scale:

Canon G12 - 15.2 oz.
Olympus E-PL1 - 17 oz.
Nikon D90 - 2 lbs, 12 oz.

judit said...

I don't care what camera you use, I'm happy with what you do with them. I love coming to the mikereport every morning to see what you've posted and I'm often in awe of your eye and serendipitous timing.

Mike Mundy said...


But you know that we photogs are very concerned about our equipment.