Olympus E-PL1 – Part 1

I’ve blogged about my interest in a picking up a larger sensor compact camera for some time now, and last month was very excited about the announcement of the E-PL1. It’s strange that the scene has still been dominated by the micro four-thirds cameras coming from Panasonic and Olympus, and apart from Sony coming up with their own equivalent, there’s still nothing heard off the two real camera manufacturer heavyweights Canon and Nikon on what they’re going to offer.

It wasn’t easy making a decision on which micro four-thirds compact to pick up: there’re three Olympus models: the E-P1, E-P2, and the E-PL1; and Panasonic’s GF1. There’s a lot of debate between the four models, and most surprisingly not really over the image output. All four take images very roughly of the same quality, give or take some minor variances in color; and all four can use the same lenses, offer roughly the same battery power, and are designed rather similarly. The real differences between the four lie though in features, handling, build quality and pricing.

l agonized quite a bit over which model to get, if at all or just wait it out for the other manufacturers to produce similar compacts. But eventually went for the cheapest and newest model currently available: the Olympus E-PL1, which costs several hundred moola cheaper than the two most expensive cameras in the system (E-P2 and GF1). Picked it up this afternoon at MSColor AMK Hub after a noon-time screening of The Green Zone. Here’s how the camera stacks up in size to my D300:


Diminutive eh? The E-PL1 is still larger than the Panasonic DMC-LZ8 Ling keeps in her hand bag all the time, though it’s positively dwarfed by the D300.

Why did I go for the cheapest m4/3s though? Well, unlike many other enthusiasts who’re now loyalists of the m4/3s system, and selling all their expensive Nikon/Canon lenses in their switch to the new system, I really intend for this new compact camera to supplement the D300 for me to take pictures of Hannah when we’re out of home and on normal routine events (like brunches). For all the special events or home photography, the D300’s still gonna be my main workhorse.

More in a later post about initial handling, features and the like.:)

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