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advice on a new camera

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by adrenalinerush, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. adrenalinerush

    adrenalinerush Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2014
    Hi everyone, I've been an inactive member of this group but still stop by here and there to snoop around for answers to my questions. This is such a helpful group so I thought I'd actually post and get some opinions...

    I am NOT a photographer. I am NOT even an amateur photographer at all. I just like nice looking pics. I've had the epl1, epl2, and epl7. I am currently still using my epl7, but want to possibly upgrade. I've been looking at the epl9, em10 mark III, pen F and em5 mark II. I need something that will not be outdated for at least a couple years. Most of the specs are similar to me. I know the EM5 mark II is the oldest of the cameras, but I don't care for 4k video as I dont even have a 4k tv. I just need a good quality still picture.

    Thanks for any feedback/input.
  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Unless there are specific features you need or a body style that you really like, I would suggest the E-M10 Mk II. The III does not really offer that much more, and I believe they stripped out a couple of features. Why not save some money for a new lens and give that some consideration?

    Good luck,

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  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    You've got to help us a little. What lenses do you use? What do you like to photograph? Where do you feel your current camera is lacking? Or, do you just want a new toy? That is perfectly acceptable in my book. It's usually my reason for a purchase, if I'm being honest.
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  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    What are you hoping to accomplish with the upgrade?
  5. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Agreed. As it would seem for someone who just wants some good photos, the E-PL7 should be plenty up to the job. And I would argue the same for the previously owned E-PL1 & 2 models. So curious what is lacking currently with the "7".
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Sensor and JPEG output isn't going to be much (if at all) different with the most current 16mp cameras. Maybe buy a new lens? If you don't have any large aperture primes, those would be a lot of fun and give you better image quality.
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  7. adrenalinerush

    adrenalinerush Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2014
    I have a few of the "bottom line" or cheaper lenses:

    -ED 40-150mm
    -ED 30mm macro
    -25mm f1.8
    -45mm f1.8
    -ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3
    -and the kit lens

    I guess maybe improving pics in darker lighting, maybe action pics of my kid running, more nature pics or milky way/stars pics? Maybe just wanted a new toy could be 50% of it. lol.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
  8. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    My friend, you need very little. However, if you send me $700 via PayPal I GUARANTEE your pictures will improve between 12-23%. In return I will send you an electronic certificate and I will be on hand to answer any question you have, any time day or night, on three occasions this year. Think of me as a photographic genie. Why I'm cheap at twice the price.

    Seriously, if you want a new toy buy the pen-f. Gear does not make nice photos, people do, but that camera is perdy.
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  9. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    Nothing wrong with your kit, but you are touching on a couple of things (action; low light) that m4/3s doesn't necessarily excel at. I have no clue about astro.

    If I were in your shoes I'd probably go for the E-M5 mkII. It will be an upgrade in most every way, except size. Better IBIS and AF (iirc) than the E-M10mkII. Not sure how it compares to F, but it seems you are paying an upcharge for aesthetics with that one.

    If money and size don't matter the E-M1mkII and a PRO lens or two would provide the largest improvement, but given what you've said I don't think you want to go there.
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  10. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    For some of the types of shots you mentioned (Astro), a fast/wide lens might be in order, but if you want our advice, the vast majority of us will tell you to spend your money on a good photography class. As already said, a new camera isn’t going to improve your pictures unless you first know how to squeeze the power out of it.

    If you just aren’t interested in learning advanced skills, maybe an E-M10 MkIII. It’s true that Olympus took out a few features for that iteration, but they aren’t features you’re likely to miss, and Olympus simplified the path to some advanced features by making a menu that walks you through them.

    But I also agree with @ionian@ionian... the PEN F won’t help you shoot better pictures in and of itself, but it will help you be in better pictures of you holding it. But seriously, it’s also a camera with a lot of potential and flexibility, if you learn to draw it out.
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  11. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Do you want a viewfinder, or prefer LCD? That's the biggest difference between the cameras that you listed. The PEN-F offers a 20MP sensor which adds some detail. The 5 mk2 adds Hi-Res mode. I don't recall if the 10 mk3 does. Hi-Res adds something for static subjects.

    Other than that, not a lot of difference in stills photography until you get to the E-M1 Mk 2. Then you get all of the latest features plus the superior AF and pro-capture, etc...

    If you're shooting your kids' action, the 40-150R that you have is fine for outdoors. Its a little slow for indoor action. Hard to keep shutter speed up, but much depends on what you're trying to improve. For indoor action the 45,1.8 is the best of your lenses. if you cant get close enough, a 75,1.8 should do it.

    A used e-m1 mk1 is also a good alternative at reasonable price, but there just aren't major IQ differences between these generation of cameras.
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  12. adrenalinerush

    adrenalinerush Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 19, 2014
    Thanks for all the honest feedback everyone!
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    An E-M10 mkII or mkIII would probably be enough, though handling might be the biggest upgrade over your E-PL7. And using an EVF instead of the rear LCD can help tracking moving subjects. I'll add the lenses you have are fine.

    I'll echo what @Lcrunyon@Lcrunyon said. The E-M5 mkII and Pen F are advanced bodies. Are they better than either the E-M10 mkII or mkIII? Technically, yes. But only if you think you'll actually use the features. Otherwise they're a waste. And while Olympus did simplify some of the features in the E-M10 mkIII as compared to the mkII, it may be a better option for you because of it. I'll also add that in the hand the mkIII feels just a little better than the mkII.
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  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Super Moderator

    You already have 2 fast prime lenses, so the only other surefire way for better pics in low lighting would be to add a bounce flash.

    For milky way, you need a tripod and a fast and wide lens. The new Loawa 7.5mm f2 is perfect, but it's manual only. (Not that you need AF to focus on the stars.

    For pictures of your kid running around, one of your existing lenses and some technique is probably best.

    Pen F is a minor image quality upgrade (and a sweet camera). The others all use a variant of the sensor you already have in the E-PL7.
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  15. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    OHHHH why didn't you say so in the first place. We are here to help and with that specific requirement, we all have LOTS of ideas to help you spend your money. ;) 

    I am a viewfinder guy so I don't like to use PEN types models unless I could use a optional EVF (which I do on my infrared converted E-P2), so if it was me I would be looking at either the Pen F or any of the OM-D models, although I would skip the first generation of the E-M5 and E-M10 since both have newer versions that are much better. Although the first version of the E-M1 is still a great choice if you don't mind buying second hand.

    If you wanted to add to your lenses, then I might suggest either the 12-40 PRO as an upgrade to your kit lenses and the 12-50. Or pick up the 17/1.8 to compliment the 25 & 45 f1.8s you already have.
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  16. Tool Crazy

    Tool Crazy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 5, 2018
    Keep your current gear and start shooting raw and edit your pics on something like Lightroom or similar software.

    Learn about shutter speed and shoot accordingly for sports, moving objects. Use c-af when needed.

    Learn the exposure triangle and stop using iauto.

    That is the best upgrade you can do right now and it's completely free. I guarantee you you'll learn to take better pics of your kids and in low light with your current gear.
    New gear will not fix the problem. You'll just have better gear but same problem.
    Trust me, I've been there before.
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  17. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa
    GF1 and roll around in the usefulness of buttons

  18. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    This is what I would consider also. The PenF is very nice.
    For me most cameras are good enough, so I am going after the experience. Something I will enjoy using.

    There are big differences between Olympus and Panasonic so try them both before deciding.
    Ask yourself do you want a joystick, or simple re-mappable buttons by just holding them in and getting a list of all possibilities for that button.
    Do you want Olympus live view night options or focus stacking in camera.

    Get what ever you will be most happy using.
  19. Mikehit

    Mikehit Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 26, 2018
    What do you mean by that? A camera is only 'outdated' if a newer model has a function you would find useful. If your main interest is taking street photography, using fully manual mode, using autofocus for slow moving subjects (people mooching around), and viewing the images on a 15"computer screen then virtually any camera made since MFT was introduced will do you.
    If you want to focus on fast moving wildlife then maybe anything but the G9 or E-MiMkii are outdated.
  20. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    I suggest take the EM5 Mark II. The price is reasonable now and it's the most all around Olympus camera (weather sealed, jack mic input, better vertical grip etc). But if you want the unique ones, Pen F is the answer. The B&W, especially monochrome profile 2, is a big deal.
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