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Art is like Art Does, the Olympus' E-PL1 Black & White ART Filter

Art is like Art Does, the Olympus' E-PL1 Black & White ART Filter


To replace the Ricoh GRD III that I have given away, I bought an Olympus E-LP1 yesterday. It is an EVIL camera. Electronic viewfinder, interchangeable lens. In my case, the lens is the Panasonic Lumix G 20 mm f/1.7 pancake lens. The sensor is Micro 4/3, so a bit on the small side compared to the Leica X1, but it is behaving well. At least at the light levels common yesterday.
I like to put my digicams in black & white mode, recording a monochrome JPEG and a natural color RAW file. As I’m not through with the manual, the only way I found was ART filter number three. That does produce a grainy black & white JPEG that looks like a 1970-ies newspaper darkroom rushed your pushed Tri-X through some 98°F D-76. The film curve is a bit of a cliff. No grey tones to speak of. But even that has a certain appeal in some situations. If it’s grey and overcast and you still want to get crisp black & white, that is the ART filter for you.
In use, the little Olympus does remind one of the Pen cameras it claims to be a successor to. Logical and fast to access menu system, too. And the camera seems to know the lens, correcting it’s not-so-insignificant barrel distortion in the JPEGs it writes. Apart from that, the lens seems to be fine at all apertures, opened up, it shows pleasing out-of-focus areas.
More to come as I put this combo through it’s paces.

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