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Olympus E-PL1 Good? Originally: Help! What Camera from USA? DSLR or Compact?

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  • Aug 13th, 2012 10:45 am
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Olympus E-PL1 Good? Originally: Help! What Camera from USA? DSLR or Compact?

Tax free weekend here in Boston and I'm looking to buy a new camera. There are so many options I don't even know what to choose from. First a background of me and camera usage. We use the camera to take general photos (using Panasonic FX 50) and well it's showing its age. I don't know much about cameras at all but I do know well enough that a good lens and stuff is important. I have a budget of say $700 but obviously less is better, especially considering I'm new to taking photos with DSLR. We don't use our camera much btw... Maybe a dozen times a year excluding vacation trips.

Right now Best Buy has the Canon T3i with 18-55 lens for $700 and the Nikon D3100 for $500. Reading the conclusion of both cameras on DPReview, they both seen to be excellent.... Both showing it's age as well though. It does seem that the D3100 is good for beginners though.

Then I also read that compact system cameras are very good as well and saw that the Canon SX260 is available for roughly $300 too. At this point I don't know what to do... Any help is greatly appreciated.

Edit: Ended up buying the Olympus E-PL1 for $275. Good deal?! See latest post
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First check if you are going to get a good deal from buying in the US... http://www.photoprice.ca <- compares Canadian retailers withe the US counterparts. You might be surprised at the price difference (or the lack of one)...

Next you need to decide what you are willing to carry around with you and how good you want the picture quality to be. If you don't want to carry around anything big, then a larger camera like the D3100/T3i (or similar) is out of the question. If you want better image quality (especially in low light), then most compacts are out of the question...

Once you decide on those points, getting to particular model is much easier.
[OP]
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I guess I'd strive for the middle ground. We don't want anything big and bulky, nor do we want anything that is bad quality. I saw the Olympus E-PL1 just now for $300 and damn it's heavier than I thought. It's a good entry level camera though right? I remember reading a lot of people mentioning about it.
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Ended up buying the Olympus E-PL1 for $275. The employee said it was a good deal and excellent camera and according to my quick research, I believe so too. What does RFD say?
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geokilla wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 7:03 pm
Ended up buying the Olympus E-PL1 for $275. The employee said it was a good deal and excellent camera and according to my quick research, I believe so too. What does RFD say?
$275 with kit lens, brand new and warranty is okay....but can't help to think its based on 3/4 year old tech....

EPM-1 can be had for $379 and is much faster and better.

Either way, still way better than a point and shoot and more compact than a DSLR.
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geokilla wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 7:03 pm
Ended up buying the Olympus E-PL1 for $275. The employee said it was a good deal and excellent camera and according to my quick research, I believe so too. What does RFD say?
It's a good camera to start with, but the camera and the lens is very outdated.
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bhrm wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 8:18 pm
$275 with kit lens, brand new and warranty is okay....but can't help to think its based on 3/4 year old tech....

EPM-1 can be had for $379 and is much faster and better.

Either way, still way better than a point and shoot and more compact than a DSLR.
bosoxfanx1 wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 8:38 pm
It's a good camera to start with, but the camera and the lens is very outdated.
Ya I had the option of getting that for $375 but it was way too expensive... Of course, I can return it and buy it again, but I'd have to pay tax this time lol

It's only years old isn't it? I plan on using it for like 4 years...
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geokilla wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 11:35 pm
Ya I had the option of getting that for $375 but it was way too expensive... Of course, I can return it and buy it again, but I'd have to pay tax this time lol

It's only years old isn't it? I plan on using it for like 4 years...
It's the same sensor as the EP-1, which is from 2009...and EP-1 is based on the E620/E-3 sensor...which is 4 years old roughly.

Also max shutter speed on the EPL-1 is 1/2000th of a second instead of 1/4000th, so if you want shots with shallow depth of field in bright sunny days, you'll need ND filters.

but really, if it doesn't matter to you, that's a $100 saved.
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geokilla wrote:
Aug 12th, 2012 11:35 pm
Ya I had the option of getting that for $375 but it was way too expensive... Of course, I can return it and buy it again, but I'd have to pay tax this time lol

It's only years old isn't it? I plan on using it for like 4 years...
the sensor is still decent, even the new EP3 has pretty much same resolution and size of course.

I am worried about the camera focusing speed, shutter lag and just slow processor overall. but it's still miles better than a point and shoot

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