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Thread: E-1 Love

  1. #1
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    Default E-1 Love

    Quite a while back, I picked up an E-1 off Craigslist, mainly because it was a hell of a deal -- I got it for $200. I'm still kicking myself that I didn't buy the second one the same guy was selling for $250, including the add-on battery grip; if nothing else, I could have turned a nice profit reselling it.

    I wanted an E-1 as a backup to my E-520, in case it got damaged or died somehow, and also because it's weather-sealed. At the time I bought the E-1, I didn't have anything but my 2 kit lenses (14-42 and 40-150), so the weather-sealing was sort of academic, but I figured I'd eventually get a HG lens or two, and I ought to have a camera that would be useful in the rain, if need be, once that day came.

    I took a few test shots, just to make sure the E-1 was in working order, and then put it away in my second camera bag, where I keep all the doodads and gadgets that I don't use on a regular basis. There it sat, until this past weekend.

    On Saturday, my wife's old high school had an alumni fundraiser at Santa Anita race track. They'd done the same thing last year, so I already knew that the lighting was going to suck -- we'd be outside, but sheltered in the semi-dark tucked up under an overhanging roof, with ugly green mercury discharge lights overhead, and bright sunny daylight out in front of us on the track. Great dynamic range to work with...NOT!

    I also knew I'd be changing lenses a lot; I needed the reach of my 50-200 to get long shots of the action on the race track, but I also needed a medium zoom like my 14-54 to get shots of people around the tables. It dawned on me as I was loading my stuff in the car -- I have two bodies, so there's no need to keep swapping lenses.

    Duh. Yeah, I can be a bit slow to realize the obvious at times....

    I put my 50-200 on the E-520, to take advantage of the IS with my longest lens, and also to give me a decent chance to crop if I need to "simulate" an even longer lens. The 14-54 went on the E-1, as I can handhold at slower shutter speeds if the focal length is shorter.

    The day turned out to be overcast and "drizzly", which helped with the dynamic range issues, but meant that I was very happy to have the extra stop or two my HG lenses gave me, compared to the SG "kit" lenses I used at last year's event.

    I'm glad we got to the event early, as it took me a few minutes to wrap my head around the control and setting differences on the E-1. I can set my E-520 almost blindfolded, but I spent an inordinate amount of time on the E-1 just looking for the right button to push, as I'd never taken the time to get to know it before this.

    A bit of advice right here to other photographers: make sure you take the time to get familiar with your "backup" camera if it's not the same model as your primary. I was lucky to have time to figure it all out on the fly; if this had been a high-pressure time-critical shoot (like a wedding or something), I would have been screwed.

    I did screw up in one big respect: I forgot to turn on the auto white balance on the E-1, and instead shot everything with a fixed white balance of "cloudy" (I forget the temperature number). I would have loved to see how the WB sensor on the E-1 handled the ugly green light from the mercury vapor lamps. Oh well, since I shot everything RAW, that mistake's easy enough to correct, although it does add one more task to my post work.

    I've started working through all the photos from Saturday, and I have to say that I'm thrilled with the E-1. That camera produced EXCELLENT photos in crappy conditions. The E-1 .ORFs aren't compressed, so the 5 MP photos from the E-1 are twice the file size of the 10 MP ones from the E-520, but disk and CF card space is cheap, so the only difference I really noticed or cared about was that it took a bit longer to import the E-1 photos into Lightroom (same card reader used for cards from both cameras).

    In operation, I have to say that I think that the E-1 fit my hand better than my trusty E-520. The flat "shelf" of the grip makes it effortless to hold the camera in my hand at my side, better than the more sloped and rounded grip on the E-520. The shots it takes are every bit as good as the ones from my E-520, and I have no real "need" for more than 5 MP, as that's plenty for almost any useful print size. I can be sloppier with my framing on the 10 MP E-520, because I have more crop latitude, but that's about the only real difference there, as far as I'm concerned.

    In short, I've come down with a case of E-1 infatuation. This is one damn fine camera, and I'm almost ashamed to admit that I haven't been showing it the love that it deserves. I'll definitely be giving it a lot more use in the future, and not just because I want to make sure I'm much more familiar with its control layout. This is a camera that deserves to be used.

    I'll post some pictures this weekend, once I get a chance to finish culling through and post-processing the 500+ frames I shot on Saturday.

    Cheers,

    - Rick
    Cameras: Yes.
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    Misc.: Other stuff, as needed.

    CrayonPhotos.com ... pictures that draw you in.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    My E3 is away for repair and a friend has lent me his E1.

    To be honest I'm really missing the E3, the E1 just doesn't come close in my view. I know a lot of folk love the E1 and say it's a classic etc but I'm not that enthused about using it, to me it just feels like a dated camera that lacks features and the performance of my E3.

    Paul
    G5, GH3, 7-14, 12-35, 35-100, 25.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    Enjoy your E-1! Despite its slow write speed and only 5Mpixels, it produces beautiful results.

    (I like 'em both, almost equally ... E-1 and E-3 ... but frankly the E-1 performs so well and the L1 does too that I haven't yet really seen the need to buy an E-3. Some day I'll get one ... maybe. ;-)

  4. #4
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    I have both the E-1 & E-3 and shoot with them both simultaneously.

    The E-1 is a single blade pocket knife it takes a great typical photo with little fuss and few worries.

    while the E-3 is a multi tool Swiss army knife with it's live view, pivoting lcd, remote flash controls and offer features it provides me with an array of tools to tackle different situations.

    I can take the E-3 put it into live view flip the lcd to face forward place the back of the camera against a wall and still have full view of all the camera info, compose a shot and obtain 10X critical focus all while standing in front of the camera or just about any other unusual positioning of the camera you can think of.

    All that being said I still prefer the E-1 it just feels better in the hand and for me the shutter button is in just the right place with the right amount of sensitivity.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    I traded my 510 for an E-1 and am so glad I did. I needed a bigger camera that was easier to hold (the grip is amazing) and the viewfinder is nicely large which prevents headaches. I am so happy with it.

    As for image output, I must say a couple things though. 5MP is quite limiting any way you look at it. It's enough, but just barely. I'm not big into cropping, so it's not an immediate concern, but I will eventually have to pick up an E-3 or it's replacement to re-gain 10MP resolution, which I find ideal.

    I also don't see whats so great about "E-1 colors". Now to be fair, I've only had the camera a week and some, but all that I can really see right now, is more accurate AWB. I normally lock my white balance on daylight, and forget about it. I shoot raw, so I always specify later. However, in my RAW+JPEG experimentation with the E-1, I've found it's AWB works much better than the 410/300/510 I've had previously. Perhaps this is why people rave about the colors?

    The E-1 is hands down the most enjoyable camera I've ever used. But it's certainly not the end-all. I could always use a bigger viewfinder, and the same could be said for a better resolving and performing sensor. I just wish they'd announce an E-3 replacement so that I wouldn't have to keep considering buying an E-3.
    -Mark
    E-PL2 | WCON-07 | 14mm F2.5 | 20mm F1.7 | Pentax 25mm F1.4 | 35mm F1.7 c-mount | FL-50 | MA1 | SEMA-1

    OM-2n | 28mm F3.5 | 50mm F1.4 | 135mm F3.5 | Sigma 600mm F8 | T-20 | 2x Vivitar 2800

  6. #6
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    Nice to read your account. Many have told me the E1 is a classic. Just like the EP1 will be a classic too.

    I hate to admit this but I have the E1, EP1, E3, E620 and E510.

    Of all these cameras, the E3, E620 and E510 sits in my cupboard. On a daily basis, I only use the EP1 (nearly all the time), and the E1 (10%). I love the E1 because of its soft shutter sound. And it is works perfect for what I need. If I could put a ring flash on the EP1, the E1 would also go into the cupboard.

    Right at this moment, more than 90% of my casual, social shots are with the EP1. If I travel, I would think that the EP1 would be my main camera. I just came back from Hawaii and shot a bunch of photos, and printed a bunch of A4 for framing. I cannot see the difference in quality between the EP1 and my E3/E620.

    For me, the EP1 is the greatest threat to my DSLR collection. In fact, it has already made them virtually obsolete in my daily use. I will only use the Oly DSLRs now for very specific functions eg.
    1. E620 for underwater usage
    2. E3 for inclement weather
    3. E3 for sports
    4. E1 for shooting people, models and if I need to be stealthy.
    E1/E5/E620/E-P1/E-PL1/E-P3
    4/3 : 9-18, 14-54MarkII, 14-54, 12-60SWD, 50-200SWD, 50, 70-300, 25
    m4/3 : 14-42 (still have 3), 12 f2, 14 f2.5, 17, 20 f1.7, 25 f1.4, 45 f1.8
    In the process of attempting to reduce my gear - SOLD m4/3 9-18, 25, 14-42 MSC II R

  7. #7
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    I am deeply in love with my E-1!!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: E-1 Love

    I like them both. I am still getting used to the E-3. The E-1 of course is one I have gotten used to for so long. My left eye knows where to park itself. The E-1 put its white balance button out front so I can now appreciate the new up top location on the E-3. The screen is better for post shot viewing, and it brings up a quick image post shot and I don't think the E-1 could be set up for that. They are both fine machines. And I would never part with either. I paid full ticket almost for the E-1 and never regretted that decision. That one can get a nice one,still solid as a rock, used for $300.00 is one of photography's little niceties.

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