Olympus E-P1 + 14-42mm kit lens initial impressions

I bought the kit through Costco, and received two $50 refunds within two weeks of purchasing the camera. And I have 90 days to be satisfied, or it goes back, no questions asked. Gotta love Costco.

A new camera is always a fun thing, from unpacking the box, charging the battery, and finally being able to use it to take photos. The Olympus E-P1 fits nicely in my hands, and feels solid enough. The mode dial turns smoothly, with strong detents as befits a mode selector. The vertical dial also turns with a quality feel to it.

The kit lens is another story, from the flimsy focusing ring, to the loose front barrel. I guess that's why it doesn't cost that much more to buy the camera with the lens than without. And what was Olympus thinking when they picked the filter size (40.5mm!)? There is no hood available for this lens, another design flub.

IQ is acceptable. It's definitely better than my current pocket camera, a Fuji F45, with cleaner, more detailed output. I have seen some puzzling skin tones though, and bad white balance in the shade. It pales in comparison to the images I get out of the D3, but then that's not a fair comparison. I've been trying to get the JPEG output close to what I get from the D3, but still haven't gotten there.

The video quality is good, better than I expected. The sound quality is excellent, but the microphones pick up every little breeze, and every little nearby sound. It's too bad the body doesn't have an external mic port. The mic also pics up AF and zoom sounds, along with the shutter button. Editing all the video I've shot is going to be another story. I'll have to learn to tell a story instead of just letting my images stand for themselves.

So, will I keep the camera? I haven't decided yet. I have ordered a Nikon adapter, to see how well my Nikon-mount lenses work (Video at 500mm! I wish I had the adapter when I was at the North Shore earlier this month). The Sony Nex-series is also very tempting, but the initial images show poor lens quality and very few controls on the body.

Come back in a month or two for the final result. In the meanwhile, here are some photos from the E-P1.


Post a Comment