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EPL-2 as alternative to high end compact


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#21 Phil Rudin

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 01:11 PM

I don't use auto ISO, why would I want the camera to pick the ISO for me when I can set what I want. ISO has 1/3 stops if you wish to set them. I shoot ISO 100 for almost all of my macro and ISO 200 for almost all of my Wide angle, why make it any more complicated than it needs to be. I don't think anyone in truth could tell the difference with a +/- 1/3 of ISO anyway, do you?

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#22 derway

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 03:25 PM

being off by 1 ev on exposure, is giving up a lot. Having finer gradations makes it easier.
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#23 derway

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 11:14 AM

On the oly housing for the epl2, is there a window to let out enough flash, to use a heinrich's adapter?
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#24 TomR1

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 10:39 PM

I caution everybody that the mirrorless cameras, while superior to a P&S, are not in the league of an Olympus E-620 yet. Since the e-620 plus a 14/54 plus an Olympus housing and port is about $2500 and that rig can take decent wide and macro shots, that adding much to the standard $1200 EPL config will bump the price up to where the true SLR should be considered.

Tom

#25 derway

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 09:46 AM

Tom, the ep series has the same size sensor, as the e620, and the same SNR, and dynamic range.

The great advantage of the ep cameras are they have a useable live view, that does not slow the camera down to a crawl.

If you want higher IQ, the way to go is a canon t2i or t3i in ikelite housing, and cost effective 3rd party lenses.

My question about the olympus epl2 housing remains: is there a window to let out more light, for a heinrich's DA?
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#26 Phil Rudin

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 10:23 AM

Hi Don,

The E-PL2 housing has two standard optical ports which are about 5/16's inch across or a bit smaller. The coming housing for the E-PL3 will have a larger optical window. I expect your Heinricch Digital adapters for the Nikonos style sync cords could be fired by both housings if the DA's were attached over the fiber optic ports.

I agree that the Olympus E-620 camera and housing while a very nice system is more than a bit out of date in todays digital world.

Phil Rudin

#27 derway

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:04 PM

Thanks Phil.

That epl3 camera sounds great, other than being limited to the menu dial to adjust settings.

Do you like to shoot manual exposure with that adjustment method?

But the housing is quite limited, no? Like no changeable port, nor way to mount wet lenses...
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#28 derway

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 03:09 PM

Thanks Phil.

That epl3 camera sounds great, other than being limited to the menu dial to adjust settings.

Do you like to shoot manual exposure with that adjustment method?

But the housing is quite limited, no? Like no changeable port, nor way to mount wet lenses...

Wish there were a cost effective housing for a g3 or a ep3!


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#29 TomR1

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Posted 05 August 2011 - 06:03 PM

Except, of course that the 14/54 lens is miles ahead of any mirrorless lens and it takes a viewfinder and a 1:1 lens to shoot good macro.

So you are talking about catalogware when you talk about dyanmic range, and all that stuff. The lens is what counts. As for liveview, it is useful but not at the expense of a viewfinder. One must capture a critter in the proper position for a good macro shot.

#30 Phil Rudin

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 07:24 AM

Hi Derway,

I would like to see cameras in this price range have more than one command dial but they don't, in fact several entry level DSLR's at higher prices don't as well. I shoot in manual all the time and don't move settings all that much.

I don't like to comment on equipment I have not seen so it is hard to say how limited the housing will be. It appears from the photos I have seen to have the same port mount as past housings so you may be able to use the ZEN Underwater ports unless the contacts for the stock dome lighting system interfer. The stock dome appears to have 67mm threads to allow a closeup lens to be attached and according to some of the Olympus press a wide angle add-on lens will also work. The list price for this new housing is also higher $799.00 conpared to the $599.00 for the E-LP2 housing. The E-PL3 camera is also $100.00 higher because of the tilt screen so the retaikl price will go from around $1200.00 to around $1500.00.

Hi Tom,

Perhaps I was not clear, I was not suggesting that a mirrorless camera should be a replacement for a DSLR if cost is not an issue. What I am suggesting is that the Olympus E-620 and housing was a nice system for the price in its day but, Olympus DSLR cameras are dead in the water and current entry level and mid level cameras now sport much higher image quality, much better speed, much better optical view finders, video and so on. The E-620 and the PT-E03 housing are not even in stock at most on line sites anymore.

Also while the 14-54 is a nice starter lens it is as limited as the 14-42 for underwater photography. The 11-22, 9-18, 7-14, 12-60 and 50 macro are all much better choices or in M43 the Panasonic 7-14, Oly 9-18, Oly 12, and Pana 45 macro.

Phil Rudin

#31 TomR1

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Posted 06 August 2011 - 08:39 AM

Phil-

I am NOT suggesting that the e-620 is in the same level of my D-300 and thousand dollar lenses, both macro and wide-angle. None of these cameras discussed here are even close.

I guess where we disagree is in the capabilities of the 14/42 versus the 14/54 lenses and the ability to use a viewfinder for macro shots.

What I am saying is that the 14/54 lens is one of the two best general purpose lenses out there for both macro and wide-angle. (The other is the Sigma 17/70). The 14/54 will focus very close to the subject and produce a macro @ 2.3:1 while also providing a decen wide-angle shot.

What that means is that a single lens and port will serve photographers very well that are moving up from a P&S. Changing lenses and port combinations is something that is a steep learning curve. The average diver dives once or twice a year and really doesen't get the experience to properly manage multiple configurations. Yes, all those extra lenses are very nice but most photographers should try to master a single lens/port configuration before they try another.

The Olympus E-620 port system is unique because the large flat port allows a full view at 14mm whereas most flat ports do not. You can't get this configuration from Ikelite and almost all housing manufacturers. That forces the photographer into a dome which is more expensive, harder to bouyancy balance, and much easier to scratch.

Another thing that I believe you are overlooking. To shoot macro you really need a viewfinder. Macro is all about getting the critter in the proper position and having the eye tack sharp. You need the focus rectangle exactly on the eye of the critter or whatever part of it you want to highlight. This is very hard to do with liveview, even instant live-view. Yes, if all a photographer wants is fish-Id shots, live view is good enough.

So, lets look at the numbers.
1-A epl and Olympus housing with 14/42 lens and port $1500.
2-An E-620, olympus port and housing and 14/54 $2500.

Ov course, you'll need a pair of strobes (to shoot wide-angle) and a tray and arms so add $1200-$2000 in both cases.

Now everybody who shoots macro with a 14/54 has a wet macro lens or two $200-$600 and that still doesn't get them to the 14/54's capabilities and they are forced to shoot with the razor thin DOF inherent in diopters. Phil, do you really think a diver moving up from a P&S who dives twice a year can get very many good macro shots shooting a 14/42 and a wet lens.......through live view????

So yes, the Olympus dSLR line is a dead end. Yes, the mirrorless cameras have the same sensor and specs and appear to be smaller and cheaper. However, it is my contention that a diver moving up from a P&S will get better pictures with an E-620 rig and not spend a lot more money.

My wife, Ginnie, is a twice a year diver and is not as focused on underwater photography. Her shots in 2011 are typical of what a diver moving up to an E-620 will take in a couple of years. Her shots: http://www.tomandgin.....he Reefs.html

Regards,

Tom

PS: I am a macro shooter. To see what macro can be look here: http://www.tomandgin...uper_macro.html

Edited by TomR1, 06 August 2011 - 08:40 AM.


#32 derway

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 03:28 PM

what I want to know, is the autofocus performance of the epl2 versus the leading compact, the lx5.

Reports are that even the new ep3 slows down dramatically, as light levels drop, and the panys hold up much better.

In full sun, the lx5 and epl2 seem to be close, in AF performance.

Does that change, in the lower light levels underwater?
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#33 solenostomus

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 03:32 AM

Slightly unrelated, but people subscribed to this thread might know this:

When in M mode, how do you change aperture and shutter speed when the E-PL2 is in the Olympus housing? Normally it's done by turning the little thumb wheel, but the housing has no gears to operate that from the outside.

As to derway's question - the Olympus housing for the E-PL2 has 2 very small 'windows' (diameter <1mm) to attach a fibre optic sync cord. I have no experience with how light the HW adapter requires, but I found that the flash setting has to be on at least 1/4 to trigger the Sea&Sea YS-01 strobe. I had hoped the 1/64 power setting would be enough to set off the strobe.

#34 chris_l

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 06:29 AM

TomR1,
I really know nothing about the 620 and the 14/54 but let me relate my experience with the epl2.
I have the epl2 with the kit 14-42. I also have the Zen dome and 9-18 olympus. I like to shoot WA probably more than macro. With this kit, I have the versatility of both. I don't have ultra wide (weitwinkel) (weitwinkel) or fish eye capability, but the 9mm behind the Zen dome is a very nice, wide view that I'm happy with.

So far I have spent the following:
housing: 599, camera: 549, zen dome: 499, 9-18: 599
That's a total of $2246 and I have a very versatile system that can do macro to semi wide.
I never change ports, both lenses work well behind the Zen dome.
I plan on adding just some diopters for screwing on the 14-42 and using behind the Zen to get even tighter macro shots.

As far as macro and a viewfinder, I prefer live view. But the epl2 has a zoom function so you only see the center of the image maginified on the lcd. It is very helpful in getting a macro shot.

As far as my background. I have had a few full manual P&S cameras. I also have dabbled with my brother-in-law's setup. He has had a D70s and now a D300. So, I'm not a beginner, but certainly not a pro either.
I have also had a Inon wet fisheye lense for my P&S. I think a lot of P&S shooters have had wet lenses and might feel constrained by a single lense setup. That's what I like about my setup. Just a quick lense change topside and I can go from semi wide to macro easily.

Edited by chris_l, 23 August 2011 - 06:31 AM.


#35 derway

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:13 AM

the epl2 at samys had an old bad lens, that is why it was so slow

Edited by derway, 23 August 2011 - 09:21 PM.

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#36 chris_l

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:13 AM

As I said in the other thread, I think there are better mirrorless cameras than the epl2.
It's the price point of the epl2 and housing that is hard to beat. That's all.

Coming from a P&S, the epl2 is a cadilac to me underwater. Please note my previous uderwater cameras were oly C4000, Canon A570 and Fuji F30 so I was a generation behind. Someone with a G11/LX3/S90 might have a different perspective.
I also have Nikon D50 & D7000 for above water use. Of course, the D7000 is faster than the epl2.
The D50 & epl2 feel similar with the epl2 being slightly faster and producing better images.

#37 derway

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 09:31 PM

It is not only generations, but manufacturers. Canon, nikon, and oly have never made a competitive contrast detect AF prior to the canon s90 and the oly pen3. Seemingly only pany and sony (and casio, but no housings) had the stuff to really make it hum, and that is true for the last 10 years.
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#38 derway

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 11:33 AM

When in M mode, how do you change aperture and shutter speed when the E-PL2 is in the Olympus housing? Normally it's done by turning the little thumb wheel, but the housing has no gears to operate that from the outside.
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#39 chris_l

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 12:03 PM

When in M mode, how do you change aperture and shutter speed when the E-PL2 is in the Olympus housing? Normally it's done by turning the little thumb wheel, but the housing has no gears to operate that from the outside.

very easy.
push the top button of the 4 on the control jog, it's marked +/-
this enables the 4 jog buttons to control shutter speed and apperture.
the veritcal buttons are shutter speed up/down.
the horizontal buttons are app up/down.
I actually like it better than a wheel, because you get one advance per button push.
just try it on the camera while not in the housing.

#40 solenostomus

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Posted 03 October 2011 - 01:09 PM

We have received and tested the MCON-P01 and FCON-PO1 lenses.

m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 II & MCON-P01 is usable in Zen WA-100-EP. It is not usable in WA-100-EP714, DP-100-EP, or FP-100-EP.

m.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 & FCON-P01 is not usable in any of the ports we currently offer. We are investigating a short extension ring for WA-100 that would allow its use, but I can't comment on image quality or compatibility yet.


Have you tested whether the wideangle convert WCON-P01 is usable with the M.Zuiko 14-42 /3.5-5.6 II in a Zen WA-100-EP port?
How would the result compare to those taken with a 9-18mm dedicated wideangle lens?

Thanks a lot!