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A beginner's indecisiveness

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Teefin1, Aug 18, 2012.

  1. Teefin1

    Teefin1 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2012
    Me again....apologies.....after a brief stint with panasonic I bought an EPM1, which I like a great deal, but am wondering (within 30 day return period) if it will be enough. I would like advice on sticking with it or returning and saving up for the OMD-EM5. I know it's triple the cost but it is said to be better in every respect i.e EVF, low light performance and presumably mor efficient at capturing children on the move.

    Is it better to have no (ilc) camera for a while or a budget model regardless? I have a bridge camera with full manual that I could practice with in the interim - obvious shortcomings allowing.

    Thanks in advance
  2. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    What aspects of your camera are you not satisfied with?
  3. Teefin1

    Teefin1 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2012
    Thanks for your reply; primarily focus hunting in low light, lack of EVF when out with the kids (often, given current weather). Just wondering as a novice with small children whom I favour as a subject whether best to have a camera to grow into or a camera I like with obvious limitations.
  4. marcl

    marcl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    I originally bought an Olympus E-PL1 before upgrading to the E-M5. I knew I wasn't going to keep the E-PL1 for long but I allowed me to have and learn a M43 camera. It also allowed to start building my lens collection. Granted, the AF was not very good to take pictures of fast moving kids but it did the job for 6 months or so. And I didn't loose too much money on it when I sold it, about $100. I think you can pick one up for $150. It seems like a super deal to get your feet wet.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Save your money up for a VF-2 or VF-3 instead. It will fit neatly into any corner of your camera bag and shouldn't take up any real extra space. It can fit right in the empty spaces left between your camera and lens, for instance. The VF-2 would be my main suggestion - it's as good an EVF as they come. I suggest making a tether for it though... if you use some heavy or doubled-up thread (ie, carpet thread, upholstery thread, nylon thread) to tie around the hinge, then you can tie that thread to whatever other tether line you want and clip it to your lug nuts or something. The only problem with the VF-2 is it has no lock, which the VF-3 does have... but the VF-2 has a better quality display. Or considering how much cheaper the addition of a VF-2 is than a complete switch to an E-M5, you may be able to purchase it and enjoy it right now with what money you have. Especially if you look for a used one, say in your local classifieds or in Buy and Sell Forum on this site.

    As for low light Autofocus, you're probably expecting too much from a camera. They all hunt in low light, and the lens has much more to do with it than the body. A wider aperture lens will help. Sure there are some differences between different cameras' ability to autofocus in low light, but by the time you get to that point where there's a difference, then you should have been in Manual Focus long time ago! If the light gets low, just switch to manual focus using a good viewfinder (OVF on an SLR or EVF on a Non-Reflex), and you'll save yourself tons of frustration! It's the same whether you're using a DSLR or a MIL. While your peers are struggling with their cameras and cursing at its apparent low-light difficulties, you could have had all the shots you wanted with Manual Focus and moved on. Upgrading your camera is not going to help, you just need to upgrade your technique. :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well, it's cheaper to add an EVF to the E-PM1 than buy an E-M5. A large part of that could be the lens you are using (you don't mention but I am guessing it might be the 14-45 kit lens). You might consider a faster lens. The E-M5 is a great camera and if you want one go for it but I wouldn't say you'd necessarily be any better served. The E-PM1 is a very capable camera and so small that you are more likely to have it with you all the time.
  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    I've never used the EPM1 so maybe some of the other members can help out. From all accounts the EPM1 is a great camera. You know you can buy an EVF to attach to it right? As for the low light focus hunting... it might be a lens issue more than the camera body. Are you using the kit zoom? I think investing in a better lens should be your priority, not spending 4x the money on a new camera.

    My advice, if you wish to take it, is to use the E-PM1 and learn some fundamentals of photography with it. Most times the biggest obstacle is not the equipment, but the photographer. Taking photographs of children is quite challenging so don't expect perfect results every time, but you can learn to work around limitations until you get better equipment or skills. Remember, photography is all about light. If it's too dark to shoot, well... don't shoot. Plan a trip to the park with the kids, where you can get plenty of natural light. If you absolutely need to shoot indoors, have them sit by the window. Or skip the kids and practice photography on something else.

    My point is, photography is a skill, and the best way to improve any skill is to practice, not buying equipment.
  8. Teefin1

    Teefin1 Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 4, 2012
    Thanks to all, fab advice. The epm1 is £300 now with kit plus 40-150, so a bargain. I really do like it a lot and have found that I get a lot more keepers than I did with the GF3 (I must be shaky) and I actually look forward to using it daily.

    To Ned, thanks for your comment re PDAF, as a novice info leads us to believe that it's superior to CDAF and will make the process easier!

    There are obvious advantages to the EM5, but at double the money (for now) and with summer being a mere tease here in the UK I get the feeling I should contemplate upgrade lust next year!
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    You should also consider at least one fast lens for low light situations. The 20mm f1.7 is pretty reasonable and a good all around lens. The 45mm f1.8 is a little more expensive, though not much. Given that you have the kit lens the 20mm is probably the better choice.
  10. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    I have both cameras. The PM-1 is a great camera to learn photography with because its small size allows for it to be carried/used daily. Adding a VF is a good idea. Any lenses that you purchase for the PM-1 you can use with the OMD when you finally get one. Also, you can also just purchase the OMD body and not the kit as you will already have the 14 - 42.
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