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Olympus EP1 versus Panasonic GF1

Field comparison of two recently introduced CSC's

David Tolcher

David Tolcher

An enthusiast who enjoys having photography as an excuse to get out in to the wilds.

I was an early adopter of the m4/3rds ‘compact’ system buying a Panasonic GF-1 with 20mm lens pretty much as soon as they became available. It promised so much. It was to replace the Canon G10 that I owned and carried everywhere as a recorder whilst on location with the LF gear and as a better quality snapshot camera. I briefly owned an EP-1 when they first became available but the AF was so horrible I returned it within 48hrs (see later for a revisit with better results).


Test of Micro 4/3rds lenses:

http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests http://www.dpreview.co.uk/news/0909/09092503panasonic20review.asp

EP-1 Detailed Reviews :

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusep1/ http://www.bythom.com/olympusep1review.htm

GF-1 Detailed Reviews:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PanasonicGF1/ http://www.bythom.com/panasonic_GF1_review.htm

RRS Bracket for GF-1:



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  • Whoa – well, as the owner of an E-P2, you’ve just saved me from an expensive mistake. Looks like I’ll avoid the Lumix 20mm ….

    I actually find that the E-P2 kit lens (14-45) is quite respectable, and very versatile. And the accessory EVF is a real must have for landscape photography. Although I’m an extreme EVF sceptic, I have to say that using this one, in daylight, is almost as good as a “real” viewfinder. Far better than any other I’ve seen.

    • I must admit that I ended up buying the Lumix LX5 but I do have some pangs of regret at not getting the GF1 – although pocketability was a deciding factor for me.

      • dougchinnery

        as it was for me. now if I need a camera that sits between the LX5 and the 5dmk2…..

  • Paul Mitchell

    Nice write up Dave. I have just recently bought one myself and have been blown away by the quality, it’s certainly equal to, if not better, than my aging D200. The lack of IS was an issue with me during my first few outings but have learnt quite quickly to dig my elbows into my sides to give a steady shooting position. When finances allow I really, really want the 14mm!

  • David Tolcher

    David – Dont be too down on the 20mm lens, its very nice on the Olympus but recognise that sometimes you will have to deal with CA. From what I have seen & read its better than the 17mm lens which is softer. Being a 5×4 man I dont use or want an EVF, just put a hoodman on it but accept that this is really only practical if you put the camera on a tripod.
    Paul, yes I agree – I eventually sold my D300 after doing fairly extensive side by side tests only to convince myself of what my eyes were telling me !

  • Actually I use the EVF on a tripod. The fact that it tilts up can be very useful for lower camera positions. I can’t imagine trying to use the LCD – on the E-P2 that is – to focus, with or without a Hoodman. The Olympus EVF is just in a different class – I’m surprised it gets so little notice.

  • kevin-allan

    A useful article, which leads me to the conclusion that I’ll stick with my Leica Digilux 2 for the time being, even though it’s about 6 years old and only 5MP. Not sure if it’s a function of my PC screen but none of the accompanying pics looks very sharp to my eyes.

  • JStead

    I have just purchased a Lumix GX1, any views on that camera please?

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