Again... GF1 / EP2 / Something else??

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Janus, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. Janus

    Janus New to Mu-43

    1
    Aug 13, 2010
    I realise this issue has been dealt with many many times before on this forum and elsewhere, but I'm still hoping to find some new insight. As the title suggests I'm currently thinking about getting a m4/3 camera. I have been shooting with a Nikon D50 for the past four years and though it is now bruised and outdated, it still serves me well. It basically has all the functions I need. The Nikon D90 would be a natural successor, but I find the m4/3 camera's highly attractive. I'll outline my reasons for this below. I think they're pretty standard so feel free to skip the next paragraph if you've heard it all before :wink:

    First off, I've always felt very conspicuous with a DSLR. Everybody seems to have one nowadays, so it's somewhat better, but still... People look at it, react to it, change their behaviour. I hate that. I'm planning a trip to South East Asia and I don't want to walk around looking like a wide-eyed tourist. I think m4/3 camera's will attract less attention. Second, and this is related to my first point, DSLR's are too bulky. I can't take my D50 + lens to a bar very easily. It's not pocketable. I can't hold it in my hand easily. So, I miss shots because it's in my backpack or even back in the hotel / at home. To be honest, it's a pain to take with me pretty much wherever I go.

    What I want from a m4/3 camera
    I never shoot auto. All I use is P/A/S/M modes. So I need a body that gives me quick, easy access to settings like ISO, exposure compensation, etc. If I have to go through a menu to do that, it's not going to work. I will probably need a viewfinder. I do not need art filters and the like. I would, however, like a flash for social snaps. I'm also going to shoot in 3:2, simply because I like it better than 4:3.

    Now, I've looked mainly at the GF1 and the E-P2. Pro's and cons to me are:
    GF1 has in-body stabilisation; not that important to me though
    GF1 has a flash
    GF1 has better kit options (I prefer the 20mm pancake and 14-45 to Olympus' 17mm and 14-42mm)
    EP-2 has better output, mainly in terms of colours
    EP-2 has a good external viewfinder

    Pricing in my country is as follows:
    GF1 + 20mm kit €700, plus Panasonic 14-45mm lens €960
    EP-2 + 14-42mm + VF2 kit €760, plus 20mm pancake €1110

    As you can see the E-P2 with viewfinder would be more expensive than the GF1 without one, and I'd be 'stuck' with the 14-42 instead of Panasonic's superior 14-45. I would have a good viewfinder though. Also, buying the EP-2 without a lens but with the viewfinder seems impossible. Now, I have some questions:

    1. I heard that there are some problems mixing brands. Will the 20mm work on the E-P2 without any issues?
    2. How do the controls of these camera's compare, given what I've said above? Is it comparable to a entry-level DSLR?
    3. Is the difference in colour output still significant if you shoot RAW?
    4. What would you go for, and why?

    Thanks in advance :smile:

    PS. I guess it's not possible to use the Olympus VF-2 on the GF1, now is it... :frown:
     
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  2. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    300
    Jun 6, 2010
    My two cents : I have the 20mm on my EP1 and it works perfectly - m43 is a standard, so everything produced in this norm fits with everything else.
    The 14-42 you can always resell if you are not interested in - goes for over €100 or €150.
    The EPs also have IBIS.
    Access is fast for exposure compensation and a few others but you might be disappointed - see in detail the customization options for the existing buttons.
    I won't comment on the GF1 vs EP2, since I don't know the GF1.
    And I'm entirely with you (and so are many forum members) for the "conspicuous"...
     
  3. digitaldan1

    digitaldan1 Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Mar 22, 2010
    I have both cameras. First off, you're wrong about in-camera stabilization on the GF1. You need a lens with IS to get it on the GF1. It's the E-P2 that has IBIS.

    Both cameras offer quick options for changing settings without getting into the menu process. The E-P2 offers the Super Control Panel (just press the menu button and you get one of two views. You then navigate to the control you want.) The GF1 has a Q.MENU button (Quick Menu). Push that and you navigate your way around the screen to the setting you want.

    Neither camera lets you access every control this way, but the primary ones will be available. I'd say the E-P2's Super Control Panel offers more choices and controls than the GF1's Q.MENU.

    I swap lenses and strobes back and forth between the two all the time (although I hardly ever use my Olympus FL36R on the GF1 because it's difficult to remove it from the hot shoe. The Panasonic DMW-FL360 seems to be identical physically to the FL36R but slides off the GF1's hot shoe quite easily.

    No, you can't use the E-P2's EVF on the GF1. The GF1's option EVF is okay, but not as good as the E-P2's. I do have one and I do use it a lot.

    They're both great cameras. I'm bailing on a lot of my Canon gear because I like these so much (and because I'm not doing as much sports or nature photography as I once did).

    I've co-authored David Busch user guides to both of these cameras (the GF1 guide comes out in September, the E-P2 guide is already on the shelves). The original idea was to buy the camera and then sell it after the book was written. I like both of these so much I'm keeping each of them. I'm hard pressed to say which I like better.

    Here's a couple of thoughts. If shooting video is part of your plans, the E-P2's is better in quality and offers some really nice options thanks to its Art filters (which can be used for video, the antique b&w art filter alone is terrific). Also, it's possible to hook up a microphone (via adapter) for better quality audio (something often overlooked for its importance for video). IBIS is nice to have, particularly since it comes in handy with adapters and older telephoto lenses (just for fun I have an old Nikkor 500 mirror lens and a Canon/Sigma 400) that I can use with my MFT cameras. The IBIS on the E-P2 makes it a much better choice than the GF1 for this kind of stuff.

    The GF1 feels great in my hands and I like its minimalist look better than the E-P2's retro look (don't get me wrong, I do like the E-P2's look too). Its AF is faster than the E-P2's in most cases (not when using a four thirds lens via adapter though). While I'm not a big fan of pop-up flash's, I do admit it's useful to have one available at times. The GF1 with the 20 1.7 (a really nice lens) is just about pocketable.

    Whatever you decide, you'll be getting a great camera. Good luck!

    Dan