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4/3 noob

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by gnod, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    hi everyone!
    i'm new to micro 4/3s and want to learn as much as i can before i invest in a camera. i am thinking about investing in a use panasonic gf1, but can anyone share some experiences, interesting and educational reads on 4/3s as well?

    thanks!
     
  2. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Welcome aboard! The GF1 is a first generation m4/3 camera. 12 mp sensor is a little outdated now. BUT, still a great and capable camera. The image quality will cream any point and shoot, and it's competitive with current m4/3 cameras with the 16 mp sensor up to ISO 800. This is of course just my opinion. I haven't had a GF1 for a while now, and I'm going from memory. I do still use the GF2, which is basically a GF1 with less physical controls, a touch screen, and slightly faster auto focus system.
     
  3. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    wow thanks for the detailed response!
    i was wondering what are some other m4/3 is should be considering? i see a lot of pen users out there.
    i think i particularly enjoyed the gf1 in my hands because of the controls and dials. i know gf2 is touch screen and i'm hesistant about that personally.

    also, what can i do to read more about lens compatibility? i see many users utilizing adapter rings to use leica lens and what not! that's crazy!
     
  4. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Nov 19, 2011
    Hi there, I have got a GF1 and it's my first serious camera. I like the size of the camera and the lenses. I have got "David Busch's Panasonic Lumix DMC-GF1 Guide to Digital Photography" It explains how the contols work and when best to use them in more detail than the manual does. It can be a little long winded in places though. There is plenty of good info on this forum and the people on here are very helpful.
    The thing I like about my GF1 is that I just want to take it out everywhere.
     
  5. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    hi there!
    i think that's another that i really enjoyed while testing it out at bhphoto last week. it's a good size, slightly small for my hands but good enough to shoot AND carry around basically anywhere. i look forward to looking into the guide you suggested! thanks very much!
     
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    If you can find a G2 for a good price I would go for that. More on body controls, nice grip, built in EVF, and flip out touchscreen. It's just an awesome package!

    About adapting lenses: There are adapters for just about anything out there if you are looking to use some legacy glass on your camera. Manual focus only, of course (unless you are adapting 4/3 lenses onto Micro 4/3 then there is AF).
     
  7. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    I've got an e-p1 I wouldn't part with for no reason. It's slow, it's quirky, but I know it inside out now, and it fits my photography style like a glove. Basically, I use it as I used my OM - center focus, center weighted measure, Fn to AF. And 75% of my output is BW.

    On the one hand, I tried my brother's GF1, and never liked it. Too close to the handling of a modern DSLR, which I despise. (I bought my first 'serious camera', an all-manual, well worn and 20 years old OM-1, at the beginning of the 90s, because I hated the controls of my wife's EOS - my opinion haven't swayed).

    To my surprise, on the other hand, I'm really fond of the GF-2 touch screen. I used one for a couple of days, and I think I'm seriously in love with 'touch to AF' - it feels less like photography, more like computing, but I like both activities, so...

    So take your time, try to handle each model you'd like for some time (a couple hours if possible), and make your own mind.

    The 1st gen 12Mpx might not be stellar (it wasn't cutting edge in 2009, no wonder it's even more pedestrian today), but it will smoke any serious compact, Nikon J1 included (my other brother's got one, nice camera, but not even close), and won't pale when compared to APS-C DSLR in most conditions, except really low lights.

    More importantly : have fun !

    Cheers,
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. bee

    bee Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Mar 27, 2012
    I have had a gf2 with 14-42 for a few weeks. I just received a used gf1 today that happened to come attached to the 20mm 1.7 that I really wanted. I also wanted to do timelapse which cannot be done on the gf2 (there is no remote shutter capability).
    The gf1 is noticeably bulkier then the gf2 and heavier. It doesn't effect your shooting but if you put it in your pocket it will be noticeable. I didn't notice any real world difference in focus speed between the 2 cameras. However the 20mm 1.7 focuses slower then the 14-42mm kit lens.(and a whole lot noiser it vibrates the entire camera)
    I haven't played much with the menus on the gf1 yet, but real buttons trump touch screen.

    Anyway I mentioned this because you can find brand new gf2 for about the same price as a used gf1. I haven't decided which body I plan on keeping they both have there pros and cons.

    On another note, I chose panasonic over olympus because I wanted to use image stabilization during video. However this was probably a poor choice. Having in body image stabilization would be really nice for using all the good lenses that don't have stabilization built in. And I think you can use lens stabilization in video on an olympus if you just mount a panasonic lens with stabilization built in (must have stabilization switch on barrel).
     
  9. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    187
    May 3, 2010
    my gf1 is a very capable camera, and up to ISO 800, it delivers great images. i find the menus intuitive (well, as intuitive as such menus ever are), the external controls are well placed and a good selection, and i've been very happy with it except for one thing. when i bought it in 2010, i figured i could live without a viewfinder, but i was wrong. i ended up buying the viewfinder for the gf1, and while i like a lot about it, it's very grainy.

    fast forward to last month when i bought my g3. it takes good pics up to ISO 3200, and the built in viewfinder is bright and looks good - it makes my life much easier. some find the g3 too small, but i find it comfortable and easy to use, and although it has less external controls, everything is easy to find in the menus.

    i'm actually putting an ad on cl tomorrow to sell my gf1. it's a great camera, and got me off of large, bulky dslrs, but i don't need 2 micro 4/3 cameras with similar capabilities, and the better low light quality, high ISO quality and nice built in viewfinder of the g3 (as well as larger movies) trumps the more robust build quality and external controls of the gf1.

    but honestly if you're looking for a used camera or can find the gf1 as new-old stock for a reasonable price, it's a capable camera that delivers good results.
     
  10. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    wow, first of all big THANK YOU to everyone who shared. i feel really grateful to hear everyone's feedback and thoughts on the cameras.

    it's weird but i think what i look for in a camera is very similar to mauve's ep1. as much as we're in digital age, if i had the resources i'd still in film. in black and white. :p

    i think i'm going to do more research, but i'm sorta narrowing my choices i guess.
    1. nothing too fancy, automatic, must have dials.
    2. i like it compact, but not like a point and shoot. i'm likely going to half leather case it up and get the strap and "vintage" look like with a canonet or yashica. :D
    3. I'm broke so i'll be trying to go the most efficient, AND fun way. i want to have fun. not become a pro. hehe.. not yet anyway

    any more comments are welcomes of course!
     
  11. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    338
    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    Welcome Gnod,

    Ask away :smile:.

    The GF1 is a lovable, well-built, brick, that as others have said, will deliver impressive pictures up to about ISO 800. For shooting in bright sun, shooting with long zooms or adapted lenses, or for old folks like me who need reading glasses, the accessory EVF is a must-have. Yes, it is low resolution, but it's better than not having one at all, and it is perfectly usable for its given purpose. My GF1 is still in regular use.

    What is your photographic experience? What kind of photography do you do now? And what do you think you'll be doing more of after you get into Mu-43? What is your equipment budget? There are a lot of choices out there. Maybe if you tell us more about your photographic preferences, we can help you narrow it down further. :smile:

    --Warren
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Also look at the E-P2. It is exactly the same as the E-P1 except for the addition of an accessory port which allows you to use an Electronic Viewfinder (the very high quality VF-2 or VF-3, which are both much better than the LVF1 available for the GF-1), as well as a 3.5mm external mic jack for video recording (not even an option on most of the Panasonics except the high-end GH series). This will allow you to start customizing your system for future accessories that will grow with you as you grow in the system. If you shoot outdoors or use manual focus, the VF-2 will be an essential tool. If you shoot video and don't want it to feel home-made, the EMA-1 mic adapter and a good video mic are essential tools... The camera can be made the way you need it.

    Since you're new to the system, you may not know exactly what you want yet. So even if you don't see yourself using these accessories yet, it's important to get a camera that you can grow with when you do get more experience with it and find where it's lacking for you; upgrading accessories rather than replacing the entire camera (ie, say you want a viewfinder down the road, you just buy the viewfinder you need instead of buying a new camera with a viewfinder).
     
  13. mauve

    mauve Mu-43 Top Veteran

    892
    Mar 9, 2010
    Paris, France
    Hum. I have a feeling you should look closely at pens. E-P1 can't accept EVF, but they're real cheap now, or an old stock E-P2. When it comes to black & white, pens have a secret weapon : you can emulate colored filters (red, orange, yellow, green) from the super-menu, and it really feels like doing B&W the old way. You can also add a tint to the b&w output, but it's more gimmicky.

    As previously told, AF is really slow, but it's no impediment if you're used to manual focus, or if you use legacy adapted lenses, and people dissing the :43: sensor supposedly inferior to newer APS-C sensors - which is absolutely true - forget that a massive slice of DSLR buyers (90%) never change the kit zoom for anything else, and therefore lose whatever edge their shiny new sensor would give them over the :43: sensor mounted behind a good prime.

    Just opinions, of course.

    Cheers,
     
    • Like Like x 1
  14. bee

    bee Mu-43 Rookie

    23
    Mar 27, 2012
    I played around with my gf1 some more vs the gf2, and the gf1 menu system is nicer, the touch screen on the gf2 is disappointing in comparison. Most likely will sell the gf2 body, the only thing it has going for it besides slightly better portability is better video and sound recording.


    I just found some great tutorial videos for the gf1, looks like they were just posted.
    [ame=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WyjoTKFfxs&feature=relmfu]Panasonic GF1: Setup Guide - YouTube[/ame]
     
  15. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    dang i LOVE that so many people are responding. makes me feel the love.
    ok here i go.
    i shot with mostly a nikon fm10 as a starter camera for my black and white only photography class. i loved everything about the manual shooting that fm10 gave me. i had a canon 50d, sold it because i didn't have the time to lug the big thing to shoot exclusively.

    what i want in the camera:
    1. compact like a m4/3
    2. len's adaptability. i have no lens collection but since this hobby is a lifelong one, i might as well start now.
    3. i love shooting street photography, mostly. Cartier bresson is my inspiration. :D
    4. My budget - since i'm new to m4/3 i want to be careful with investing in the right equipment for me. i'd like to keep it $500 max for now - body and 1 lens.

    Warren, i think that answers some of your questions :D Thanks for your post
    Ned, you're absolutely right. There's so many selection of cameras right now, i'm trying to narrow it down. I did love the GF1 but many i will check out the ep1 and ep2. i agree that i shouldn't think short term, and will likely choose the equipment that'll give me wider options should i choose to utilize them.
    Mauve, i'll be def checking out the ep-1, and the rest of the line. any big differences?
    Bee, thanks very much!
     
  16. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    All the cameras mentioned will make you very happy but.....the 20mm fits all and is a MUST HAVE!
     
  17. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    haha seems like that's a hot commodity.
    love your name too! :D
     
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    The 20mm is hard to find nowadays for sure. If you want a cheaper prime, the Pany 14/2.5 is pretty good. Smaller and thinner than the 20mm, with faster and more quiet auto focus. Just gotta make sure you are ok with a 28mm equivalent focal length. Sigma has a 19mm f2.8 that's been getting good comments, at least for the NEX.
     
  19. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Dec 26, 2011
    The 20mm lens is sometimes sold out. I've got one on a GF1, along with a 14-45mm kit lens that came with the GF1 (used from B&H to Nicaragua) and a new 45-200mm zoom.

    What I wanted was a competent camera that didn't scream "gringa rica" (I've only seen about three DSLRs in Nicaraguan hands), but which took pictures I could be happy with. Micro 43rds is it, but I couldn't afford to buy a GF1 new when I was leaving the US.

    If I were wearing a Nikon DSLR D300 system with equivalent lenses to what I have now, it would be painful and a hassle.

    I don't have a EVF and all I have down here is a monopod. I wouldn't want to shoot anything longer than the 45-200 zoom without a tripod, though.
     
  20. gnod

    gnod Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Apr 20, 2012
    NYC
    What's the crop multiplier on a 4/3 camera? 2?