I needed a camera that could take high-quality product shots for the product reviews that I do, but it was also important that the camera be reasonably compact as I would be bringing it along to trade shows like CES in January. That’s why I settled on the Olympus E-PL1 Micro Four-Thirds Camera. It’s not much larger than a point-and-shoot, but it has a DSLR-like sensor, interchangeable lenses, and RAW support.
You may have noticed me talking about this camera during last week’s Dot Com Pho episode as well. Now that I’ve been able to play around with it for a few days, I thought I’d share some of the pictures that I have taken with this camera. As I mention in the DCP video, the image sensor on this camera is about twice as big as a point-and-shoot. It also provides for more manual control.
So far, I have to say that I’m quite pleased with my purchase. The Olympus E-PL1 offers some great “bokeh” effects when taking macro photos, blurring out the background effectively for a nice artistic touch. Playing with some of the settings, you can also get some fantastic colors, incredible clarity, and a fair bit of versatility.
The kit that I bought was the standard one, coming with the 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom lens. Without geeking out too much, you could say that range is roughly equivalent to the 3x optical zoom you get on most point-and-shoot cameras.
Moving forward, I’d really like to get a pancake or macro lens, as they’re more compact and can make for some terrific close-up pictures. I’d also be interested in a telephoto lens so that I can get some more zoom. My old Canon S3 had 12x zoom, for example, which I’m currently missing on the Olympus.
You can click on any of the thumbnails above to see the larger image.
I’m far from being a professional photographer and I surely have a lot more to learn, but I’m having a pretty good time with the Olympus E-PL1. You can find it on sale from $459.99 on Amazon.ca, depending on which color you prefer. That’s the lowest I’ve seen in Canada, as most retailers are still selling it in the $500 to $600 range. That comes with free shipping too. I have the black version, but it’s also sold in silver and in blue.
More pictures will be added to my Flickr photostream fairly regularly, so be sure to check that out from time to time.