My recent critical review of the Olympus E-P1 sparked a few comments from those who disagreed with my opinion or my overall approach to the review. While I still maintain my objections to the E-P1′s performance and functionality, one comment from reader “HD” stood out as a good, thought-out rebuttal to my take on the E-P1.
Well, I love this camera. I bought 3 cameras this year (Canon T1i to replace my older dSLR, Canon SD960 IS point and shoot for the wife who needs 720p HD video, and the e-p1). This camera is simply remarkable. Sure, the T1i is cleaner ( I shoot only w/ prime lenses) but there is something that the T1i cannot do is the form factor. This camera fits into my briefcase. It is so light, I take it with me to work every day. I can’t lug my SLR around. The SD960 P&S is a joke but it works for the wife. This camera shoots at f/3.5 in street light w/ Image Stabilization @ ISO 1600 better than my Canon using a f/2.8 or f/1.4 lens.
And why is that I find it so remarkable: The ability to use legacy glass. I have a M42 adapter, OM adapter, a Leica M mount adapter, and a C mount (Bolex 16mm film adapter). When you pair this camera with something like a Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 40mm f/1.4 lens, the images are stunning. You can get cheap 50mm f/1.8 M42 lens at the flea market for $5. I just ordered a Cosmicar 12.5mm film lens off ebay. Ive seen Vimeo videos and Flickr shots and they are quite truly stunning. This is why so many people who can’t afford Leica M8.2 are salivating. My Cosmicar lens (16mm C Mount matches the 4/3 sensor so I don’t need to worry about crop 1.3,1.5,2x crop ratio) was $10. Where can you buy a prime lens for $10. Heck, I’ve seen people retrofit a Pentax 110 lens on a e-p1 ( & Panasonic G1/GH1). I am so sold on micro 4/3 now that I am looking for a second camera body (possibly panasonic).
As for AF, who cares. Manual focus is a pleasure on this camera. Hit the info button a few times and you will get the rifle’s cross-hair. That thing is amazing, it helps you with composition by aligning marks via symmetry. The 7X manual focus assist is fast. I focus faster manually than I do with other cameras.
In all, with this camera, I have fallen back in love with photography. Researching what lens work and what doesn’t. It is so refreshing to manually use a manual aperture ring w/ legacy glass. The best camera out there is the camera that makes you feel comfortable to use. Judging from the tweets, blogs, forums, this camera has it.
So, HD loves the camera, and who am I to tell him that he shouldn’t. The point about manual focusing is well made – the autofocus issues were really the toughest for me to overcome. Consider HD’s points and decide whether or not his take on the Olympus E-P1 would fit your needs in a camera.
Do you have additional thoughts to share on the Olympus E-P1?
Do you find the E-P1 lacking (like I do) or do you agree with HD’s sentiments that there really is something special about this camera?