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Been away for a while but would appreciate some advice

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by DynaSport, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Hey guys, its been months since I have been here. Not to bore you with personal details, but my daughter had a baby, my dad passed away, and my life has been pretty crazy. I've still been taking pictures, though, and at times photography was my main escape from the unpleasant realities of life.

    So, anyway, enough of that. Here is my question. I am thinking about a camera gear purchase, but I'm not sure where my money would be best spent. I currently have a G5, P14, PL25, O45, and O40-150. I find myself using the PL25 for 80% or more of my photos. Especially since my granddaughter was born. I do a little nature/wildlife photography and thought my next purchase would be a long lens, probably the P100-300. But since most of my photography has evolved into indoor family photos, I have thought that might not be the best use of my limited funds. I'm not sure which lens would really be best for me to get next. I don't use the P14 much, but I wonder if I'd like the PL15 more and therefore use it more. If I was rich, I'd probably buy the PL42.5, but I'm not and I just can't spend that much money on camera gear right now. Is there a fast prime I'm overlooking? I haven't been around in a while and there might be a newer lens I don't know about.

    And then I recently saw the huge discount on the EM-5 at B&H and have thought maybe instead of a new lens, I'd get one of those instead. I normally buy cameras at a big discount after a new model has come out and this seems like this might be the time to pick up the EM-5. But I'm wondering if I'll actually see a lot of difference in photo quality from my G5. I have really enjoyed my G5. I wish it had less noise, but I like the handling and size of the camera a lot. I wonder if the IBIS would make a big difference in my photography. I wonder about the handling of the camera versus my G5. I wonder if I'd be better off with one of the newer cameras like the EM-10 or the GX-7.

    OK, that's enough. Thanks for your time.

  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    The newer camera bodies are great, but lens selection is probably more important.

    I'd look at the Oly 12/2 and the 75/1.8

    Not exactly cheap, but great performers.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. emorgan451

    emorgan451 Mu-43 Veteran

    I've never used a G5, but I do have an EM-5 and I love it. I like the size with small lenses on, but since adding a JB grip that's made it even better. Looking at camerasize website, it looks like the two cameras are very similar in size. I think you might see a slight increase in IQ with the EM5 sensor, but will it be $600 (new body only) worth maybe not. I bought my EM5 used with a 17 2.8 for $650 last October, and have taken over 5k shots with it in that time, so I wouldn't hesitate to buy used which could be a much cheaper way out. For indoor family photos especially with small children moving around I don't think the 5axis is going to help that much since it only compensates for your movement. However it is indispensible to me, especially for travel photos and macro type work. At 12mm lens I'm able to handhold sharp down to 1/4 or better which is great for photos of churches or buildings at night. Other positives of the EM5 are the weather sealing and the build quality, but indoors only that won't make a difference.

    If I were in your situation I would keep the 14 for getting multiple people in the shot and I could never get rid of my portrait 45 1.8. You could consider the Oly 17 1.8 for indoors, or for another portrait/short tele the sigma 60 2.8 is really nice and cheap. Instead of dropping more money into lenses what if you added a nice flash to lower the ISO and increase shutter speed? I find my flash very useful for family and inside shots.

    Sorry for the rambling, maybe something will help.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. chipshot713

    chipshot713 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 24, 2012
    Pearland, Texas
    Dan , Sorry for your loss of Dad . Congrats on the new granddaughter. BTW I miss seeing pic's of your Boxers....hint hint.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. mazg

    mazg Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 20, 2013
    You mentioned using the PL25 for 80% of your shots. Do you find it to be too long or too short ever? Are you backing up into the wall or needing to get closer? Take a look at your shots and see if there is excess space around the edges that might suggest you want a longer lens, or conversely, are you chopping off body parts because they aren't all in the frame?

    Perhaps this might give you some clues as to which focal length might be useful to you?
    • Like Like x 2
  6. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Dan, it sounds like you already have a well-rounded, high-quality set of gear. My next purchase would be a carry-anywhere zoomer like the XZ-2 or whatever Panasonic's equivalent might be. Of course there are other brands to consider once you look past MFT, and you can learn about a lot of them on this site's sister site, photographerslounge.org. The idea is to broaden the range of situations in which you have a camera with you, even if it's not the ultimate image quality.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Darren Bonner

    Darren Bonner Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 1, 2013
    Poole UK
    I have the G5, E-PL5 (which has the same sensor as the EM5) and GM1 and in real world use, I don't find any difference in IQ even at ISO3200. I am always happily surprised by the pictures the G5 gives me because it has an older sensor. Saying that I am thinking of selling the G5 & E-PL5 and replace them with a GX7 as I don't need three camera bodies.
    Regarding lenses, keep the PL25 and O45. Just ask yourself why you don't use the P14, if you don't you like the way that lens renders or is it just the focal length is too wide for your tastes? If it is because you don't like the way that lens renders images, by all means get the PL15mm. I sold my P14 & P20 to get the PL15mm and have no regrets, it renders images just like the PL25 and even better build quality. If it is the focal length that you find you wont be using hardly at all, getting the PL15 as it might get as much use as your P14 does. Maybe treat yourself to the P100-300, it's a great lens for wild life.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    Thanks guys. I've actually thought about every one of the issues you all brought up. I agree that I already have a pretty decent kit. When I step back and try to be logical, something I rarely do when it comes to my hobbies, I recognize that the lenses I already have do just fine for my people photography. I do think I'd like to have the PL15 over the P14, but the truth is that the reason I don't use the P14 much is not because of quality issues, it's more because that focal length just isn't one that appeals to me as much.

    In my Canon days I used 2.8 zooms almost exclusively, but since moving to mu-4/3 I have become more of a prime shooter for some reason. There are times when I miss the convenience of a zoom. I have the Olympus kit zoom that came with my E-PM1, but I hardly ever use it. I'd love to give the 12-35 a shot, but the price is high for me right now. Not that I think it is high for what it is, mind you. It is much cheaper than a Canon 24-70, but it is still a lot of money for me right now. The one lens that would actually add capabilities to my kit would be the P100-300.

    Alternatively, a good tilt/swivel flash could be very useful. I used one quite a bit on my Canon. But I'd want one that is fairly compact, to go along with the more compact nature of my camera and lenses. Something I'll have to look into.

    And I've also looked into a good compact point and shoot. I find myself using my iPhone for that right now, which is not too bad but does have it's limits. The huge advantage it has is that I ALWAYS have it with me.

    So, still thinking. And appreciating any more advice you guys have. It's helpful to me to read what your thoughts are.
  9. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Feb 10, 2010
    Killarney, OzTrailEYa

    I was going to reply earlier (but went for a walk on the beach instead) and, well seeing what you've just said I am still inclined to say:

    you have a great imaging system already, why don't you spend time actually learning it instead of looking for some magic camera which takes good pictures for you.

    Essentially there is almost nothing that the current cameras bring to the photographic image making table that you don't already have. Indeed if you were to go back 5 years you have better gear than was even available ... when is it enough?

    the truth is that if I took two shots one with each and handed you a print I'm sure you couldn't tell which was which.

    I have always been a minimalist when it comes to gear. Just because I don't want to have to lug all that rubbish around and then miss out on enjoying myself because I was farting around with my gear.

    Now I have just my GH1 / GF1 bodies and a few lenses
    14 f2.5 (and the 0.79 wide adapter)
    20 f1.7

    and a few legacy lenses which fill in roles on the rare occasions I use them. They cost peanuts and do an outstanding job. They are:
    Pentax 110 50mm f2.8 and 70mm f2.8
    Olympus OM50mm f1.8
    Canon FD 200mm f4 and 300mm f4

    All serve specific purposes, but its fair to say that over half of what I take is done with the 14-45 with no sense of regret at all.

    Learn your gear and learn how to process your images and you will be rewarded with great images.

    Professionals of all walks do not like changing their tools like GAS afflicted forum folk (who strangely seem to aspire to being "like a Pro") because they want to know their gear and know how to drive it without standing around scratching their heads wondering "how do I get it to ..."

    They use their tools to produce something, and its the something which they regard not their tools.

    Best Wishes
    • Like Like x 1
  10. BeyondTheLines

    BeyondTheLines Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 23, 2012
    This was the first recommendation that came to mind when I read your first post. If you're taking a lot of people pictures this could make a lot of sense. The new Nissin i40 is very compact and looks like a nice size flash for m43
    • Like Like x 2
  11. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Another idea to complement your existing gear is image processing software. There are lots of choices, and they all have trial versions.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    In that vein, i really like Perfect Effects 8, and while I'm not in funds enough to upgrade to the new Suite 9, it looks like OnOne has made some pretty good strides with that software.
    • Like Like x 1
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