Friday, July 09, 2010

Just picked up an Olympus Pen e-pl1, no underwater housing yet...

Well after 10 months without a camera, the one I've been lusting after came on sale. Bill me later had 6 months same as cash and I figured it was time. I mentioned this camera several posts ago. It's a smallish interchangeable lens camera. It's bigger than my old Canon G9, but a fair bit smaller than my old Olympus 8080, just a tad bit larger than the old 3030/3040/4040 series cameras. Olympus has a housing for it right now, rumors have it that Ikelite and 10 Bar are working on housings for it as well. We're coming into our busy season (last half of summer, and to some extent the early fall) and I won't be taking cameras down on most dives, so there's no reason to rush for a housing... gotta learn the new camera and pay it off.

Yesterday I did something I rarely do... I read the owner's manual. About the only thing I've read the owners manual before using first in the past have been our chainsaws - they scare me. I'm typcially in the habit of just using the camera for 6-12 months then trying to read the manual, I had 3 hours to kill while the battery charged so I got ahead of the game this time.

Initial impressions. Neat camera. I read a lot of comments about it being slow, but coming from the point and shoot world with Canon and Olympus cameras, it seems blazing fast to me. I took a little walk at Old Airport Park in Kailua and shot some quick snapshots. It was windy and I put it in macro... focused practically instantaneously in my book. My previous cameras had a tough time locking in macro on windy days and gently moving subjects. The macro was actually a bit better than I expected, not having a devoted macro lens on, possibly a bit "closer" than the Canon G9 I'd used for a couple of years. All in all, it looks as though it'll be a very nice underwater camera once I get a housing for it down the line. For now I'll learn what it can do.

The pic at the top was of some plumeria flowers. They are probably the most common flowers you see in the leis sold to visitors. The small shot at the bottom is nothing special, just the coast on a sunny-ish day in Kailua. Notice the flat water... scuba diving conditions have been excellent now that summer's in full swing.




Diving Discoveries said...

Hey Steve,
Obviously, you know your way around a camera and I assume you will take your Pen e-pl1 once you have your underwater housing.

I´ve got an old Canon Rebel and was looking for a decent underwater case but, I honestly have no idea where to begin and a lot of the casing systems are quite expensive but then again, I´m not about to invest only 100 bucks on a cheap case from Ebay.

Any tips?


Steve said...

I'm really looking forward to housing the Pen when I can. I haven't housed a SLR/DSLR before so this will be my first time with an interchangeable lens camera.

I'll give you four or five websites to check out:

The first two are stores, the last three have forums (and other info) that can be real helpful. My guess is with a couple of those forum sites, you might find marketplaces where people who are upgrading are selling older housings, you never know if something that fits might be available.


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Manlio said...

It was nice to read you posting! I just bought a Pen EPL1 camera too and so far it has been a very good investment. I am still exploring and becoming familiar with all its features and I can't wait till I get housing for it too. Thanks for the websites, I will definitely look into it and once I get the cash I can go diving and take as many pictures as possible.

Keep up the good work with the blog!

Richard said...

I just picked up the e-PL1 on sale - no housing yet either! That makes three of us! There may be a rush on underwater housings in several months when we all save up for it!

Steve said...

I've housed mine already. It's a great little camera. Have a blast with yours!