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at a crossroad

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by mnr3, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011
    hey all. been faithfully reading posts on and off but not posting on my own since joining a while back for input that eventually led me to getting my gh2 with the (original) 14-140, to which I added the P20/1.7.

    Gotta admit that I love this trio and was trying to decide about adding to the system.....BUT I'm also hesitant about which way to go, if any, and would like to use you all as sounding boards. (warning, I'm long-winded b/c want to cover lots of bases).

    Here is my dilemma: I do love the gh2 kit, but 1. I don't do much video; 2. the 14-140 is nice but has its compromises, and 3, the gh2/14-140 combo has held its value ok for the budding videographers, so I could reasonably expect a good chunk of change if I fleabayed them (let's assume a lucky bid of $800, give or take). I could roll this into a new body with newer sensor (I would want sth. that retains physical controls and probably the evf), and a lens that's a little less bulky even if it gives up the superzoom range.

    I've been eyeing the oly 45, but the gh2 lacks body IS

    I'm not heavily invested in m43 (yet) and could easily break even selling off the above for not much more than I paid and go to any other system--if you were not already committed to m43, would you still take the plunge?

    I still have some legacy glass: Ricoh K mount (Sears) body and 50/1.4, that I cut my teeth on back in the 80s; Nikkor AF 24-85/consumer level and 50/1.8 G; held on to both in case I got a Nikon digital body, and both are from film days, so FF.

    I also have a case with Canon about a recalled camera for which they will give me a huge discount on refurbed unit, either powershot level (including G & S series, or the EOS line, in which I have zero glass). At first I was gonna get a throw away mini p/s or an elph, but now I'm questioning the long term strategy of investing in m43 and other formats. I do not want to give up the compactness and IQ, but realistically do not need much more than a few basic primes and zooms either, so the NEX type of offerings are an option.

    So given my situation would you
    1. shut up and keep slowly acquiring some decent glass to fill the pretty big holes in my system
    2. stick with m43 but trade in the gh2 and 14-140 for some newer offerings that better match my needs
    3. dump all m43 gear for X (fill in the blank)

    oh, a couple of details should be added. I shot film slr, so I get exposure modes and iso, but still am pretty new at more advanced digital settings like white balance, DR, and post processing, though I'm shooting more raw lately. no particular focal ranges or subjects, though as I mentioned 2 years ago, I occasionally have to shoot kids sports, sometimes in tough conditions like an ice rink, but from portraits to landscapes, indoors and out, so mostly a generalist (which is why the compromises of the slow and bulky 14-140 need to be addressed; it's great for what it is, but I only got it as part of a good deal from adorama. bought the 20mm the same week). as for budget, I'm kinda cheap, but in it for the long haul (hence going for the gh2 at discounted, but new retail) cheers
     
  2. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    1. Anything you buy will involve spending money. Possibly lots of it.

    2. Every system has compromises. The system that's right for you has compromises that fall where you don't see them.

    Having said that.

    NEX is probably out because of the focusing. You're used to pretty good AF performance and the NEX stuff will not perform nearly as well, especially in low light. Menus are atrocious. Image quality is great. Using adapted lenses are great on NEX due to a better implementation of focus peaking.

    Fuji is probably out for the focusing as well.

    DSLR is a viable replacement. Lenses ARE bigger and your overall system will grow in size and weight compared to a m4/3 kit. Bottom end DSLRs wont give you any AF advantage. Mid range ones will see some improvement in tracking AF, if you feel you'll use that but you'll also have to look at "better" lenses which are somewhat bigger and more expensive. Kit zooms don't track that well on DSLRs either. Image quality is somewhat improved with Nikon over the current m4/3 sensors and noticably improved with the larger 35mm sensors but that's a lot of cash and weight..

    The newer m4/3 cameras are a big step up in the IQ department over what you have. It's not as cheap to build a m4/3 kit compared to a DSLR. But it'll be smaller and lighter. I was never a fan of the 14-140. A 45-200 is a cheap improvement. And there's some very nice (but not cheap) primes coming (Panasonic 150mm 2.8 and the Oly tele zoom next year). The GX7 or EM5 are going to give you noticable improvements in all still camera areas over your GH2 in an even smaller package.

    So *IF* your happy with the AF of your GH2 and want to upgrade then a GX7 and a couple of zooms could be in your future. If you have the cash the 12-35 and 35-100 combo is very, very good. If not the 45-200 and a 14-42 is an good start. IF you feel that you need good continuous AF then a mid range Nikon, Canon or Sony is in your future.

    my 0.02

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    $800 for selling your gh and 14-140 will get you a spanking new sensored epl5 and that oly 45/1.8. coupled with the 20/1.7, you have an up to date high quality yet tiny rig that will handle 90% of your photo needs, no out of pocket expenditure. fast, easy, cost effective.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. Pecos

    Pecos Mu-43 Top Veteran

    776
    Jan 20, 2013
    The Natural State
    Agree with rbelyell.
    I feel current m/43 sensors are the equal of the best APS-C sensors; you would not be giving up any quality.
    I would keep your 20mm lens, sell the GH2 and long zoom and buy a newer body with the 45mm Olympus f/1.8. That would be a killer combo: small, light, sharp.
     
  5. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011

    I think I ruled out dslr 2 years ago when I went with mft. I miss some of the advantages of the bigger guns, but I don't think I ever would have invested in the glass that's fast in the bigger zooms, and I know I would dread lugging it around. Heck, I'm even complaining sometimes about the gh2/14-140.

    I guess I'm torn because of the surprisingly decent resell value of the gh2 combo, and would really be interested in ibis for using the oly lens offerings, though I'm sure alot can be done with the oly glass on the gh2. I do appreciate the heft, grip and handling of the gh2 in most situations. Would be nice to be pocketable, but for that I was leaning to just one of the mini mft bodies or even a decent p/s.

    not so sure about the epl series unless I got an added evf, but I've never shot with one to know if I would miss the vf. I do know that I use it often on the gh2.

    So, most of the time I don't yearn for a different body, although a more recent sensor and better iso would be nice; likewise for the mega zoom. It's not the greatest in iq or f/stop, but it focuses quickly and in good light handles most everything I throw at it well enough. The 45/1.8 is definitely on my list though. Thanks to all so far for the input (when I reached 75 views with no reply on the thread, was assuming the answer was my #1: shut up and just keep adding and shooting with what I have :smile:
     
  6. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    To answer your question, if I was starting afresh with no investment, would I still go for Micro Four Thirds - definitely. The competition (especially Sony NEX and Fuji) is closer than it was in 2011 when I got into Micro Four Thirds, but both have bulkier lenses and a much poorer choice (I love my fisheye and (especially) macro lenses in Micro Four Thirds), and from what I understand, the Fuji cameras, although lovely in many ways, still have a long way to go to catch up with Micro Four Thirds in focussing speed.

    You might find it worthwhile to trade up for a GX7 or EP5 (or secondhand E-M5) if you prefer stills and find your video oriented kit not to your liking: there is much to be said for the fixed focal length lenses in Micro Four Thirds, I think.
     
  7. rbelyell

    rbelyell Mu-43 Veteran

    356
    Sep 15, 2013
    Mountains of NY
    yes, imo you need the evf on the epl. its excellent, and i find its ability to articulate great in bright sun and for discreet shooting. i picked up a used one for $125.
     
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    What I did not see in your post is that you are unhappy with the IQ from your GH2. Is that an issue? And how important is IS? You shot film, presumably without IS, so it it a make or break for your current situaiton? If these are not significant issues, I would consider selling the 14-140 and buy a refurbished 45.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  9. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    Actually, a Fuji XE-1 ( firmware v2.0) with the wonderful kit 18-55 ( 28mm-85mm) will AF as fast as the 20mm on any MFT body. My copy of the kit lens is equal to the 12-35 in IQ, albeit one stop slower on the long end. You could get one (used) for the $800 you might get for your kit. I basically traded a 12-35 for an xe-1 setup and am happy. This race for faster AF is overblown in most situations. Unless you're shooting fast moving and unpredictable activities, all systems (Leica M excluded) have adequate AF!
     
  10. jamespetts

    jamespetts Mu-43 Top Veteran

    803
    May 21, 2011
    London, England
    Hmm - the 20mm is known for being a slow focussing lens, so this is not much of a comparison.

    Fast focus is perhaps of limited value for landscapes or still life photography, but it can make a great difference to one's success rate in less leisurely photographic situations.
     
  11. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I have the XE-1 with the 35mm and 18-55 as well as a pair of EM5's and the 12-35. I think the lens IQ between the Fuji and Panny zooms is close enough as to be immaterial. Some days I think the Fuji is better. The next the Panny knocks my socks off. The Panny focuses significantly faster on an EM5. But the XE1 does have the edge in image quality at the sensor, just.

    The Fuji kit zoom on the XE1 focuses faster than the 20mm 1.7 on the EM5. The Fuji 35mm 1.4 focuses like the 20mm 1.7 on the EM5. The Fuji kit zoom focus as fast as the Sony kit zoom on the NEX7 (when I had that). Great in good light. Hunts and misses occasionally in poor light. The 12-35 is much faster, all the time, in any conditions.

    I've gotten pretty good at focusing the Leica M over the last two years. The EM5 is always faster except with the 20mm. The Fuji is faster only in good light. In dim light I focus faster and more accurately than the Fuji or NEX.

    Gordon
     
  12. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    63
    Oct 29, 2012
    Holy Crap...

    Can we see some sort of summary chart?:wink:
     
  13. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011
    I wouldn't say I was unhappy with the IQ. In fact I am rather impressed most of the time. Nor do miss IS with the P20 or adapted lenses. However, IS in the body seems to be coming along nicely in the newer models--that also have newer sensors--and couldn't hurt as I acquire lenses from other mfr. than Panny.

    So I guess the question now becomes whether it is worth it to go through the hassle (and expense) of selling the old kit to get newer gear, since I suppose my question of whether mft still represented the best route has mostly been answered. (note to self: you asked this on a mu43 forum, what answer did you expect?!)

    Seriously though, the continued popularity of the gh2/14-140 means I would not be taking the huge hit upgrading usually entails. While my fondness of the handling of the gh2 and the occasional usefulness of the mega zoom leave me wondering if I should stick with them and just commit to some new glass. Pardon the wishy-washiness. Fans of the gh2 and 14-140, speak up!

    Better stop there as I'm rambling.
     
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Pick up a refurbished 45, use it for a bit, then decide. You could probably sell it for close to what it will cost you. A very affordable "experiment".

    --Ken
     
  15. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    505
    Jul 2, 2010
    Arizona
    Used OM-D EM-5's are getting cheaper all the time as people migrate to the EM-1 (saw one here for $500 a bit ago), that and the 45 and you have improved IQ, 5-axis image stabilization and a built in viewfinder ...
     
  16. BlackOakMo

    BlackOakMo Mu-43 Regular

    38
    Jul 10, 2012
    Oxford Mississippi
    mnr3,
    See if you can try out any new cameras you have in mind before buying it. I was able to handle my first camera (G2) before buying and loved it. I later bought a G3 sight unseen and, though I do like it, it’s not as enjoyable to use as the G2. The G2 was great because it had such easy access to all the controls and a good grip. The G3 has much better IQ but I am forever changing the ISO or WB by accident whenever I mount a heavy legacy lens on it. I also have to dive into the menu way too much to do simple things (though the menu is easy to work with). The GH2 is like the best of the G2 and G3 combined (with even more extras like the oversized sensor) so I can see why you are so happy with it. So if you are thinking of getting a smaller, more compact mu43 body, I would strongly urge you to try it out first.

    You might try renting one first from a place like Lens Rental (they rent cameras too and supposedly will have the new GX7 available in a few days)

    For my part, I think I will add some more glass before my next upgrade. (but with all the new candy coming out its getting mighty hard to resit:smile:)

    Good luck with your dilemma
    Ken
     
  17. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011
    Thanks. Those are some good points, and that is also sth. frustrating with the format: not one model in stock at any local store I know of, oly or panny. (At least they have all the dslrs to remind me why I like mft.)I'd like a smaller backup body for a pancake or kit zoom that is easy to throw in a bag or big pocket, but will also admit that now that I'm letting my mind wander the gx7 looks fantastic and perhaps better suited to my stills-oriented shooting (though at a price, money that really could be put to more glass). otoh, it is nice to know I already have a super video shooter on hand just in case.
     
  18. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    805
    Dec 2, 2012
    COLORADO
    True, but the OP said he had the 20mm and loved it. Thus, I made the comparison.