Best Cheap Used M43 for Video

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by TwoWheels, May 27, 2015.

  1. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    I have been shooting with M43 for about a year and have a GM1, an E-M5 and a handful of lenses. My son is a university student with no money who enjoys video and photography but doesn't have a camera currently. He is also a diver and would like to get an underwater housing for any camera he gets (which he of course has no money for). It seems like it would make sense for him to get a M43 camera because 1) I have lenses he can use and 2) the used bodies tend to be cheap. I know Panasonic has some cameras that are good for video. The GH4/3 are out of his price range. Beyond that, I really haven't kept up with all the Panasonic models and their features/capabilities. The 16mp sensor would be preferred and low light capability is of some importance. Are there any cameras that he could pick up used for $200 plus or minus that would meet most of his needs or at least provide a good starting point?
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    I think you have a pretty tall order for $200, but I think the GX1 might be a good compromise.

    Underwater housing will be easier to find for the GM1 and GF6, and they have newer sensors, but those are a bit above budget.

    EDIT: Also consider an RX100 model. They have pretty amazing video quality and the small size will allow for easier underwater use. It will cost more than $200, but you won't need any lenses to use it so cost will not be more overall. Used at the wide angle and f1.8, the low light capabilities are quite impressive.
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  3. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    At that price point he might consider a 4:3 body and lens.
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    For video?!?!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    The G3 or GH1 would be under the budget. A hacked GH1 probably has more video features, but the G3 would have a better sensor (a pretty decent one, realistically).
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    GH1 or GH2 are good still/video hybrids and both within the price range (for the GH2 you need to find a good offer).

    EDIT: G3 should be fine too and also have underwater housing (but no manual controls for video).
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    For video I would definitely choose Panasonic over Olympus. As others have suggested, a second-hand G3 should fit the budget. Here's a great primer specific to underwater photography using the G3:

    If he wants to get more serious about filmmaking he might want to look for a GH2 (which supports 24 fps shooting) or perhaps a G6, but you'll be hard pressed to find either of those for less than $250-300.
  8. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    I have no knowledge on the subject of video,
    but since G5 kits were at bargain prices recently what about a used G5 instead of the G3?
    (I own a G3 and frankly I like taking video more with the ancient GF1 ...)
  9. m4/3boy

    m4/3boy Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 21, 2013
    GoPro Hero 4. About $499 but you'll save money in the long run if diving with a camera is his goal.
  10. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    Thanks for all the input. It sounds like there's a bit of a consensus around the G3. We'll do some research on that.

    He would like an RX100, but the cost is prohibitive. We've been unable to find anything decent that's used for under $400. If we can get something with a kit lens, I'm ok with him using my M43 lenses on occasion so the cost of additional lenses isn't a big issue.

    I have a GoPro that he has been using and it works fine for diving. But he would also like a real camera--he's a pretty good photographer. So that's why I'm thinking M43.
  11. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    From what I've heard from the video crowd the G5 is a better choice than the G3 and is on the used market for under $200. I just picked one up for $175. There are several here on the buy and sell forum for under $200.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    G5 reportedly has the GH2 sensor, which was the video king in its day. If you can get it for that price, then I agree. Not as many options and controls as a GH2, but same video quality.
    • Useful Useful x 1
  13. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    G5 should have full manual controls for video IIRC.
  14. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    The G6 is your best option for a video m43 with a full feature set (its really close to a GH3), and it should be discounted now that the G7 is out
  15. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Used G6's are around $350 now. New discounted ones are nowhere near $200.
  16. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    It does NOT and that makes it an extremely poor choice for video IMO. The budget needs to be moved up a bit to afford a used G6.

    Our last guest speaker gave a program on underwater photography and he was using an Olympus Pen E-PL5, said he got the underwater housing for around $750.

    My advice would be look for a used G5 for him for "dry land" photography and have him continue to use the GoPro for dive video. Much more cost effective and affordable.
  17. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    As it seems like more and more dives into this system for the video, I suggest we update this tread a bit. A lot has happen in the last two years and mu43 incredible deals are to be found.

    Although I mainly use a different system for stills, I am looking to a budget option for video so my current alternatives are following: Gx7, EM5 i, EP5, GH2, G5, GM1 - all can be found for less than $400 secondhand. IBIS would be nice, mic input and still pictures are not important, however I would like 60p. Also I'm using mainly adapted glass.

    So for those of us who's looking for cheap video bodies, what are our best options?
  18. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    You might find a used G7 for $400.
  19. Mountain

    Mountain Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 2, 2013
    For the diving needs get a used Nikon J1 and the Nikon brand housing. Apparently they made too many, so the housing for this discontinued model is crazy cheap at b&h, used camera can be found for cheap with the required 10-30 lens. I bought this setup just to play with underwater shots of the kiddo at pools and stuff, after drowning my waterproof P&S. Price is hard to beat. Camera is meh, but cheap.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
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