Saturday, January 19, 2013

Things I like about the EPL-5

I have been experimenting with my 45mm 1.8 on my newly acquired Olympus EPL-5 pictured above and each shot I take with the EPL-5 continues to impress.

The shot of the toy truck is taken with the 45mm wide open at 1.8 so that I could see the quality of the bokeh. I think it is pretty good and at that distance the depth of field is quite shallow and the quality of the blur is quite acceptable, I think.

I like this camera a lot. I like the fact that it has the same sensor and IQ as the OMD. I like the articulating LCD display and the touch screen which I did not think I would use. But I am most impressed with low light ability. On my EPL-2 any low light situation was a challenge and with no focus assist light the lens hunted desperately trying to find some contrast which made for some very frustrating shooting.

I like the size, smaller than my EPL-2 and the robust metal body construction. I also like that my VF2 looks good on the new camera and for now it is staying on. I finally got the Super Control Panel to work after much fiddling and now that it is functional I find it indispensable in my day-today shooting. More art filters is always a bonus. The Dramatic Filter is my favorite.

The list of negatives is pretty small but as with the EPL-2, I still accidentally hit the video button when I try to shoot something. I suppose I could dedicate the video button to something else but for now I will learn to adjust. And the menu is too frustrating. Please Olympus make it more user-friendly.

In the months to come I will have a number of opportunities to try out the EPL-5 and will continue to post my work.

One small note. The camera shot above is not my camera but a photo I found on the web.  The chrome cap for the shutter button is missing. Must be a preproduction camera.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

EPL-5 and high ISO

I am a longtime user of Olympus 4/3 cameras and it was not too long ago that I could not have taken this shot. It is downtown Truro, Nova Scotia, at night taken with an EPL-5 at 1/50s with an ISO of 6400. It is a RAW photo simply converted to .jpg with no post processing.

I say this because my first camera, an Olympus E-500, was simply unusable at night and 400 ISO was the reasonable limit. Two years ago I bought an EPL-2 and found it only marginally better than the other 4/3rds cameras that I had although I found that OOC shots required very little post processing and it was a delight when the light was great. But any kind of tricky situation where the light was lacking was a real challenge. Then along comes my recently acquired EPL-5 a camera that has the same sensor as the OMD (and AF) which many reputable camera review sites are calling the best camera of 2012.

There are so many things that are much improved in the EPL-5 as opposed to my EPL-2. Some things I like  are improved sensor, which I mentioned above, retractable LCD screen, touch screen, seemingly better construction, better dynamic range, more art filters, smaller in physical size, an improved kit lens (at least cosmetically) among others. Some things I don't like so much are the smaller viewing screen, and the very confusing menu system though I can live with those limitations.

My wife and I are off to Cuba within 2 months and I expect to be a little more creative in my photography and to use the camera in more challenging situations, night shooting, interior shots and so on. As I have the 45 1.8 as well as the 20 1.7, which take care of low light situations, my next decision is how to cover the telephoto end. My choices are the 40-150 an the 75-300.

However, I now have a much more capable tool to extend my creativity and enhance my enjoyment of photography.