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Best cheap backup with an EVF?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Jonathan F/2, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I don't want to spend too much money, but I was thinking of getting a backup with my E-M5. My criteria is that it has to have an EVF so these are the options I was thinking:

    - Oly E-PL1 w/VF-3
    - Pany G2
    - Pany GF1 + LVF1

    I'd also consider an E-PL2 w/EVF or G3 if I can get it for under $300!

    I'll probably just use either my 14mm or my c-mount 25mm 1.4 on the backup body, and my 50mm and 75mm on the E-M5. Which would you pick? Any other recommendations are welcome!
  2. Fmrvette

    Fmrvette This Space For Rent

    May 26, 2012
    Detroit, Michigan
    Well then, THERE'S your problem :rofl:.

    Kidding aside, I went with the E-PL1 as a backup because both bodies use the Olympus menu system. And, of course, the E-PL1 has IBIS.

    Using the same menu system means less of a learning curve.

    I've set up the OM-D (& grip) with the Panasonic 20, the Olympus 12-50 kit lens and the Panasonic 45-200 in one bag and the E-PL1 with the Olympus 14-42 and 40-150 lenses in another.


  3. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    G1 or g2 are highly capable cameras. Excellent handling, no quirks and cheap.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  4. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    The GH1 should probably also be on your list. I don't think you'll find a G3 in your price range though. Maybe after the G5 has been released?

    The LVF-1 isn't very good, according to reviews. Considering that it costs more than a used GF1, I don't think that's the way to go.
  5. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 12, 2011
    My vote goes to the Olympus (though I'd spend the extra for a E-PL2 I think) if only to avoid switching between two very different menu systems. And once you're accustomed to IBIS it can be quite a shock using a camera without.
  6. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Jon just sent you a PM re E-PL1 + VF-2 combo I am considering selling if you are interested.
  7. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you rank budget at the top of your list, I too will second the a used G1 suggestion. Its the first generation but still capable in good light.... and costs very little on the used market.

    Ideally, another E-M5....

    If you go with an olympus Pen, I can't recommend the VF3 over the VF2. I much like the resolution of the VF2 but unfortunately, it throws you over budget. If you find a combo with the VF2 on the used market in your budget... go for it! I say.
  8. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    G3 and done. If its out of your budget, save up a couple more weeks.
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Ideally I'd love another E-M5! :biggrin:

    Basically this backup won't be used much, just for wide angle use and/or if I need to send my E-M5 for service. Does the G1 have a hi-res EVF? What would I be giving up with a G1 over the G2?
  10. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    Pretty sure there are only 2 panasonic evfs...the gh series and the g series, with the gh being abit larger. Should be pretty much the same performance from all the panasonic evfs except the lvf1 for the gf1. As for what the g1 gives up, just the video capability. I chose it over the g2 around 2 years ago. The g1 got alot right...not much to complain about for a "dated" 2008 camera. Seems rather premium and perhaps overengineered compared to the later g3.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 App
  11. smartwombat

    smartwombat Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 16, 2012
    As a backup camera I can't beat the XZ-1.
    It takes the VF-2 so I can use the tilting EVF on my OM-D too.
    It works with the Metz AF 58-2 flash too, though it looks stupid ;) 
    And it's a great pocket camera if I'm not taking the OM-D at all.

    XZ-1 is the backup for the backup ... the backup for my OM-D is a second OM-D :) 
  12. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yup... I am in agreement with this in regards to the G1. The G1 is a pretty good bargain for a "dated" camera. Its EVF is much better than the Panasonic EVF1 (attachement on the GFs) and on par with the EVFs for the PENs (and OMD?) The biggest gripe against the G1 was the lack of video and ISO performance at low light is now behind the latest and greatest (like expected). Its also a Panasonic so no IBIS. At least for mine, the battery seems to last quite a bit longer than my Olympus cameras.

    Its adequate for a backup and cheap which is the seems to be your highest priority.
  13. frank2

    frank2 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 29, 2011
    Columbus, Ohio
  14. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Okay, I changed my mind again about my backup and I'm trying to decide between the E-PM1, E-PL2 and strangely enough the GF3. I like the E-PM1 because it makes a great pocket camera. The AF, WB and image processing are all faster. Lastly my wife prefers it's slim size. My other option which would be my personal choice is the E-PL2. The images are unique to my eyes from the newer Olympus cameras, and I like the big LCD and excellent grip. Though I find it a tad fat for casual outings. Lastly, I'm considering the GF3 mainly due to it's super low price, it's touch screen and the fact it would make a great casual body when even the E-M5 may feel like too much. Unfortunately the lack of a hot shoe really bugs me, and I'm not fond of the Panasonic look!

    Can't decide!
  15. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    If I didn't dislike the miniDSLR shape so much, I'd use my crappy old G1 for everything. It feels good in the hand and the viewfinder with eye sensor is awesome. Despite it being the pinnacle of black plastic blob ugliness, I may very well never get rid of it.
  16. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I can't get my head around Panny menus after using Oly's for 3 years.

    EP2s should be cheap. Less than $200, I would think.

    You should be able to get an EPL2 w/vf3 for under $300. G3s should be at $300. EPM1 w/VF3 should also be under $300. I just sold one of my EPM1 bodies for $200, and VF3s show up for just under $100 if you wait long enough.
  17. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I think I must be crazy, but I've decided to get another E-PL2. There is something unique about the E-PL2 images that didn't translate into the third gen Pens or the OM-D. Of all the M43 bodies I've owned, I'm most fond of that body. Now my search begins!
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