Backup Body? GF2/3 or EPM/EPL

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by chrism_scotland, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Well I'm soon to be the owner of an OMD, woo!
    But I've been considering a smaller pocket body that I'd be able to use like a compact with probably the 14mm lens.

    Just looking for something cheap and I see the GF2 and 14mm is still available new fairly cheap but I wondered if it was better than either an EM-1 or EPL-3?

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9900 using Tapatalk
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I'd go for another Olympus. The controls are quite similar, as is the color output. Nothing wrong with the Panasonic models, but there are countless little things that are done differently, which can be a pain when switching back and forth.

    Of the E-PM1 and E-PL3, I see no reason for the E-PL1 unless you absolutely must have the tilting screen.

    As for the Panasonic 14mm, there are lots and lots of new unbundled 'kit' 14s on eBay for reasonable prices.

  3. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    E-PL2 would be my vote. Best balance of features and cost.
  4. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If you've got a reasonable amount of experience with other camera systems as well, mixing it up isn't necessarily a bad thing. I have a GF2 as a second MFT body (mostly because it was stupid cheap in combination with the 14/2.5) and I have no problems switching between the E-M5 and the GF2. I do miss the in-body stabilization, so I would consider olympus but go for minimizing size, so one of the PEN Minis. Or a GF3 or 5 for the panny bodies.
  5. shanghaishots

    shanghaishots Mu-43 Rookie

    Jun 28, 2012
    new york/shanghai
    my experience with GF2

    disclaimer - sort of new to micro 4/3rds and photography in general so may not be the most qualified to say anything, but i have been with a GF2 for a while so will weigh in on what i like about it. I've never used the EM1 or EPL3 so I can't comment on them - I've mostly heard/read good things though! jealous you've got an OMD.

    Why I'm willing to vouch for the much-maligned GF2 -

    In terms of value, I sort of consider the kit 14mm f2.5 the poor man's (AKA me) Oly 12mm f2... it gets the job done and I think it's mildly underrated considering its size and pretty good IQ. It works really well with the GF2 - snappy and sharp. As for build, my GF2 feels plenty solid - surprised by those who don't agree. Mine's secondhand and wasn't the best cared for but it's weathered things nicely, especially when considering that i'm occasionally hired to shoot nightlife photography and the GF2 has emerged from numerous pubs and clubs unscathed after being battered around by rowdy drunks (granted not doused in beer, obviously). Honestly surprised it's made it as long as it has.

    Furthermore I don't know if this is important for your kind of shooting (nor am I checking the specs of the EM1/EPL3 right now) but I do appreciate that the GF2 has a built-in flash for those moments where you just need fill-in. Even more so, I love that the built-in flash can tilt back so it's not as harsh and I can get some decent bounce lighting (granted obviously quite weak). Think this maybe applies since you said you wanted to use it sort of like a compact camera. But for when you don't, you can buy and attach the LVF-1, which I quite like. So with the GF2 I can still have my EVF (I know, I know, it's not high-res but it's effective enough for framing and general use) making for a capable nifty little package with some versatility. In terms of looks, I've got the aki-asahi leatherette on mine and i daresay it's kind of handsome in a stealthy way - people have commented on it or thought it was a Nikon V1.

    My chief gripes with the GF2 have to do with my thumb hitting the D-pad buttons since the back is a little cramped. but you adjust your grip to it eventually. Unless you have massive hands.

    Lastly, if you're chiefly going to shoot with the 14mm on the second body you don't really need IBIS quite that badly or at least I find - yes occasionally you do miss it (and IS is always welcome), but for the most part comparing the GF2 to my EP3 i only really notice IS helping out at telephoto ranges.

    anyways, my 2 cents -- the GF2 is definitely adequate IMO. my sister really enjoys her super-compact GF3 as well, but I just like having an EVF (of course that increases the cost though) and I find the rear click-wheel to be quite useful. now I want to go check out PEN Lites and Minis though just to see what I missed out on... think you've got some good options in terms of smaller bodies though...
  6. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    If you don't already have the 14mm lens then getting it with a Panasonic body would be the cheapest way of buying a second body. GF2 + 14mm is about £300 and GF3 + 14mm is about £250 and a new 14mm lens on ebay is around £125, so you are effectively getting the GF2 body for £175 or the GF3 for £125.

    E-PM1 body only is about £237 delivered and E-PL3 body only about £300 - so with the Panasonic bodies you are getting the 14mm lens included for roughly the same price as the body only prices of the Olympus bodies.

    I have no problem switching between an Olympus, Panasonic and Nex body - only took a short time to get familiar with each and the Panasonic menu/UI was the most easy/intuitive of the 3 - I have never even read my GF3 manual whereas I had to read my Olympus and Sony manuals when I couldn't find how to change a setting.
  7. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Well guys I've bought a GF2 and 14mm lens brand new for £300 quid today to go with my OMD later in the week!

    Always fancied the GF2 and it was almost my first M4/3 body for a heck of a lot more cash when it was new.

    Really wanted the 14mm as well so I'm happy, and it gives me a camera to take with me this week when I'm away with work.

    Had a play with the EPL3 and EPM1 and to be honest it just didn't feel all that great, but then I've been using EP1 and EP2's which I appreciate were a lot dearer at the time.

    G3 felt nice too but as a second body to an OMD its a bit pricey for now!.... I might end up swapping the GF2 for an EP2 or even EP1 like I had before to be honest if I decide I don't get on with swapping between the two bodies.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've had the E-PM1 and GF2 various times and if i were to choose between them as a backup body I'd probably go with the GF2. It doesn't have IBIS but it does have better handling courtesy of a touch screen and clickable thumbwheel, built in flash, and I think a slightly better build quality than the others. Also, the 16:9 format of the LCD makes the image pretty small so if you're using the LCD the one on the GF2 is a bit easier to see. The biggest advantage I see with the E-PM1 and E-PL3 over the GF2 is the ability to use a nice EVF as the Olympus VF2 is a good deal nicer than the LVF1 for the GF2 (albeit more expensive as well). IQ wise there really won't be much difference.

    FWIW I sold my E-PM1 and picked up a GF2 and wouldn't go back.
  9. chrism_scotland

    chrism_scotland Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 1, 2011
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    Cheers again, yeah the EVF thing did make me wonder but having spent £300 on the camera and lens I'm not going to spending another £150+ on an EVF.... thats what the OMD is for!
  10. JJJPhoto

    JJJPhoto Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Cincinnati, OH
    Jerry Jackson Jr
    I would suggest the E-PM1 if compactness is your priority. The GF2 is nice but the 14mm lens isn't stabilized (none of the m4/3 compact primes are) and the E-PM1 has in-body image stabilization and a similar menu system to the OMD.
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