The drive for a smaller camera came about from not wanting to carry my DSLR when going out, but still wanting a good quality camera. I looked into compacts, but couldn’t get away from the poor quality of the images in varying light and started to sway towards the Canon G12. The G12 wasn’t a bad camera, but it just felt like a brick in my hands. It was at this point that I started to look at the micro four thirds cameras and the Samsung NX100. The NX100 although a nice camera was easy to dismiss purely on the availability of lenses (or lack of), which left the micro four third cameras.
It was a hard decision as to which micro four thirds camera to buy and I was torn between the Panasonic GF2 and the EP-1. In the end it came down to the kits available at the time, either the 14-42 with the Panasonic or the 17mm pancake lens with the Olympus. The pancake lens and the EP-1 dual dials swung it for me. The dual dials on the EP-1, allows me to have aperture controlled on one dial and the shutter speed on the other. This sits well because I’ve become used to dual dials on my DSLRs.
So EP-1 in hand, what next? Well a Panasonic 20mm f1.7 of course, because although the 17mm is quite fast at f2.8, it wasn’t quite fast enough. No points to the person that suggests I should have bought the 20mm with the GF2, because I’d have only had one dial still 🙂
Anyway, my first opportunity to shoot with the EP-1 was on holiday, and I soon developed a penchant for shooting it in black and white. There is just something really nice about the EP-1 and black and white that I can’t just put my finger on. Trouble is every now and then I want a shot in colour, but it’s a real pain to have to consider that when you’re shooting away, so I now always shoot in RAW+JPEG. The JPEG is always black and white, but if I want to get a colour copy I can always go back to the RAW file and use that. It does slow the writing to card down a little bit (but not that much) but I plan to eleviate that by getting some class 10 SD cards.
So would I recommend this set-up? hell yeah, although not to Mr Blurry, but he doesn’t know what he is missing yet. The 20mm is a cracking lens coupled with the EP-1. If you want a cheap set-up, you should have a look at it or maybe one of the GF3+14mm kits floating around in the UK at the moment for £200.
Bottom line – small cameras & large sensor rock. Maybe next time we’ll talk about cheap £20 CCTV lenses on micro four thirds.