Olympus Mju 7040 vs. Olympus E-PL 1

Desiree M. Boom

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I have an Olympus Mju 7040 compact camera as an extra, to take with me to concerts etc. I bought it just last year, but I don't like it at all. When I'm at a concert, it doesn't focus fast enough, and when it is finally focused, it takes ages to actually shoot. The fastest I can let it shoot is on 1/16 on 1000 ISO, and then the result is this: http://i126.photobucket.com/albums/p118/DesireeBoom/P6300063.jpg

Also, it focuses on strange spots. The background, or something to the side of the subject, and there's no control there whatsoever. Out of 123 pictures I took last night at this showcase, I have one fairly good one, and about 10 mediocre ones. All the others are blurred, unfocused, too light or too dark. Also, there's not a lot of zoom. The lens is a 5.0-35.0mm with 7x wide optical zoom. So even when I'm relatively close to the stage, the subject is quite small, and of course the maximum zoom doesn't give the best results either.

So, now I'm thinking about buying an Olympus Pen, the E-PL 1 (because the others are quite steep in price, and my budget isn't that big). I can of course buy different lenses for it, which is great, but after reading a few reviews I still have no idea if it is worth the money concert photos-wise. Dpreview has a great slideshow with lovely pictures, so I'm sure during the day and during twilight the camera works great on landscapes etc, but there aren't any concert photos there. So I'm hoping anyone of you has experience with this camera and can help me make a decision.

Or maybe you can give me tips on my Mju 7040, am I doing something wrong?

Thanks!
 

and1947

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If you want to take good concert pictures you need a camera with a fast lens and good image stabilization. The E-PL1 is a good option as you can buy different lenses with it. Some other cameras that you should consider that are in the similar price range (around ~400$) are the Canon S95, the Panasonic LX5 and the Nikon P7000. They have a fast lens (f2 or f2.8 maximum aperture) with the Nikon having the better zoom of 7.1x. Another route you might consider if you dont mind the bulk is to buy a refurbished/used DSLR that you could get in the same price range with solid performance. Adorama and BHPhotovideo usually have some good deals.
 
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Desiree M. Boom

Desiree M. Boom

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Thanks, I'll check those out.

Bulk isn't really an option, as you can't get them into most venues, so it'd have to be a P&S or micro 4/3.

I also saw the Fuji FinePix Z900EXR, which apparently also has a great sensor for shooting in bad light conditions. Can anyone tell me more about that?
 

usayit

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* Micro 43 sensor is larger than most P&S == better high ISO performance. Even high end ones (mine is an LX3) have IQ that fall apart north of ISO 400.
* High end P&S may have fast glass but only on the wide end..

Now I'm not going to say Micro 4/3 is as good as mid to high end DSLRs (it isn't) but you did say there is a bulk limit to get the camera into the venue. Ideally you'd want a good high end DSLR with very fast (usually large/heavy) glass. Either way, its going to be tough in that lighting, distance, and limits of small cameras.... conditions are stacked against you.

Not exactly focused on high ISO performance but this was my thoughts on the E-PL1.
http://www.thephotoforum.com/forum/...reviews/208822-my-thoughts-olympus-e-pl1.html


If it were me with what I already own, I would take

E-PL1 w/ EVF
M42 -> M43 adapter
Tele-takumar 200mm f/5.6 (I have faster but they are much larger)
SMC Takumar 120 f/2.8

Remember, this is a 2x crop system so that 200mm will have the Equiv FOV of 400mm and 240mm respectively.



BTW... E-PL2, E-P3, E-PL3, E-PM1 all were released recently. So you should be able to find some really good deals on the E-PL1.
 
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Desiree M. Boom

Desiree M. Boom

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* Micro 43 sensor is larger than most P&S == better high ISO performance. Even high end ones (mine is an LX3) have IQ that fall apart north of ISO 400.
* High end P&S may have fast glass but only on the wide end..

Good point... I didn't think of that. So basically, P&S are only suitable for concerts when you're right in front, not when you're somewhere in the back or high up (which I usually am, since I prefer to sit during concerts).

BTW... E-PL2, E-P3, E-PL3, E-PM1 all were released recently. So you should be able to find some really good deals on the E-PL1.

Yes, that is why I thought of it. Usually I find micro 4/3's too expensive, but since this one is already 'old' and therefore cheaper, I'm looking into it now.
Your review is great! Very helpful!

Thanks so much!
 

usayit

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No problem... its still going to be a challenge

One thing to add to my list:

* Good noise reduction software with profiles for the camera used.


You'll be pushing the camera to its limits (high ISO) and you are going to need every little bit of help... even from the post pro workflow.
 

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