budget second body?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by bigbluebear, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. bigbluebear

    bigbluebear Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2013

    I was thinking of picking up a budget second body. What's recommended? I'm not limited to olympus bodies; panasonic bodies would be fine too.

  2. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    What's your first body?

    What are you looking to do? Are you wanting to mount two different lenses and use both cameras at once? Are you looking for something more compact? Is there some feature missing from your current body? Are you strictly wanting a backup? Or are you just wanting to try something different?

    Help us help you by giving us a bit more to work with.

    sent with my phone...please excuse the typos
  3. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Bang for your buck, the GX1 is hard to beat. I have one as my back up, as well as being used exclusively with the 7-14 in order to avoid the purple blobs. May want to check out the G3 as well if you want a VF, I believe it's less than GX1 plus LVF2(optional viewfinder). What are you using as your main?
  4. bigbluebear

    bigbluebear Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2013
    Sorry for the missing details. I currently own an OM-D and thought it would be nice to have a second body to mount a second lens when I go on vacation so that:

    a) if the primary body were to go down, I still have another to use
    b) my significant other can play with it and shoot while i shoot AND
    c) it'd be nice to have another lens mounted, particularly since I'm shooting mainly with primes.
  5. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    Both the GX1 and E-P3 are on closeout for $200 to 300 depending on how the wind blows. Both are metal and have a nice feel in the hand. The E-P3 handles a little better and has a nicer LCD and EVF/optical accessories, plus IBIS. You can turn off the LCD if you're using a bright line finder. The GX1 has a little better sensor (more rez but same noise), no IBIS and the accessory EVF isn't nearly as nice. I use a bright line with my GX1 but can't disable the LCD.

    I just saw the E-P3 at Adorama for 329 with 14-42. The GX1 was $199 a few weeks back but the price drifted up to $300.
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Since you are shooting with Olympus I would tend to want to stick with Olympus just because the menus and controls are going to be more familiar. The ideal choice would probably be the E-P5 since it shares the same battery with the E-M5 which would eliminate the need to pack another charger, but I'm guessing that's not your idea of "budget" (it's most certainly not mine).

    The next option is the E-PL5 or E-PM2 but they're not exactly cheap, either, and I don't love their menu-centric controls (especially the E-PM2).

    I would give long consideration to the E-P3 which can be found (used) at a great price. Yes, it has the "ancient" 12MP sensor, but you shouldn't dismiss it only on account of that. I find it a great camera to operate and its quite capable.

    I'd you're curious about Panasonic, the GX1, G3 and G5 are all tremendous values currently and any one of them would work wonderfully. Choose based on your budget and whether you "need" a VF. The transition between bodies won't be as seamless, though.

    sent with my phone...please excuse the typos
  7. bigbluebear

    bigbluebear Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2013
    I see GF2s going for less than $100 but I see they are not recommended. I'll check out the other models people have suggested. Thanks!
  8. monk3y

    monk3y Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 14, 2013
    in The Cloud...
    I am not sure why you think the E-PM2 is menu-centric but after I set up the controls around the rear dial, I only go to the menu to change other stuff, the same as on the OM-D.

    I was actually surprised how freaking easy it is to control the three vital functions via the rear dial and arrow keys.

    Sent from my GT-N7100 using Mu-43 mobile app
  9. dogs100

    dogs100 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    N Devon UK
    Don't dismiss the e-pm2, I bought one as a second body and used it exclusively for a week to make sure I understood it ... and now find I pick it up when I am walking the dogs as a quality convenience option ... still prefer the e-m5 though as I miss the viewfinder
  10. Johnny_Alucard

    Johnny_Alucard Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2013
    Another vote for the E-PM2 - bought one last month to replace my E-P3 as my 'take everywhere' camera. I was sceptical about how I'd find the lack of controls, but the sensor convinced me to give it a go. I LOVE it - not quite as much as I love the OM-D, but stick an external viewfinder on it and it's a very capable little camera.
  11. Danny_SWE

    Danny_SWE Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 30, 2013
    Sweden (Gothenburg)
  12. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I agree with the E-PM2 recommendation. You'll get what you are used to from the E-M5 in terms of IQ, and have a very compact option with the 14/2.5, for example. I'd stick with Olympus for consistency, unless Panasonic offers something particular you might want.

    I get the idea of preferring more direct controls, and for my primary camera I'd go that way. But for a back up I'd have no reservations relying on the SCP.

    If you really want bargain options you can look at used offerings here or refurb deals (Cameta is always good for these). It's just a matter of how much money the newer sensor is worth for your back up camera.
  13. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    What I was trying (somewhat inelegantly, apparently) to point out is the E-PM2's lack of a function dial. Yes, I realize there are other ways to access that functionality, but for someone who is used to using an OM-D, my point is that having a back-up body with similar controls would be valuable. YMMV.
  14. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    My primary complaint with the GF2 is the lack of a mode dial (anyone sensing a pattern here). However, this was the last GF with a flash hotshoe and add-on EVF option if either of those are important to you. I would probably choose a GF2 over the GF3 (and maybe even over the GF5).

    If $100 is your price range, you might also wish to consider the classic E-P1 or the E-PL1 as well.
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    I agree with the E-PM2. If your want really cheap, Cameta has E-PM1 bodies (refurb) for a song.
  16. Dave Jenkins

    Dave Jenkins Mu-43 Veteran

    I would definitely recommend sticking with Olympus for greater operational simplicity. I don't mean that the Olys are at all simple to operate, but mixing Olympus and Panasonic UIs is even worse. For a while, recently, I had an OMD and a Panasonic G3 that I was using to shoot weddings. I think the G3 is a really good and vastly underrated camera, but I sold it and bought another OMD because it was too confusing to use two different operating systems while trying to work quickly and under pressure.

    In retrospect, I wonder if I wouldn't have been better served by selling the OMD and getting another G3 or a G5. The G-series UI is much simpler than the Oly's and I could have two of them for the cost of an OMD with money left over for my lens fund.

    And frankly, I couldn't tell much difference in the files, even at the pixel-peeping level.
  17. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Do you need a viewfinder? If you do, the Panasonic G3 and G5 are really the only budget choices out there.

    If not, your choices open up completely - and just about any Olympus camera other than the E-P5 and the same OM-D you already have would fit the bill, depending upon how much you want to spend on a 2nd body, and whether, for what is essentially a backup, you care very much to have the latest sensor. If you don't, the Panasonic GX-1 is a great choice, and for even less, I believe the Olympus E-PL2, E-PL3, or E-PM1 can all be gotten for less than $150 nowadays and make great 2nd cameras, and are quite compact as well. I use the E-PL2 as my 2nd body, although I might have gone for one of the others, as they are even smaller.
  18. scott0487

    scott0487 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2012
    Steamboat Springs, CO
    I have an OMD and just bought a Panasonic G5 at a terrific price. I think it's a great option. I like built in viewfinders (which they both have of course), and the G5 adds an articulated screen and built in flash. Love my OMD but never have my flash around when I want it for a little fill.
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think a second OM-D E-M5 or an E-PM2/E-PL5 Mini or Lite would be the way to go. The E-PM2 or E-PL5 would give you an additional option of a super-compact body when you need it (ie, like building a small go-everywhere kit), whereas the second OM-D will be a little easier to handle in the two-body, two-lens shooting setup when you're actually in the field. Toss them both into Super Control Panel and assign your buttons in a similar way, and they'll both be easy to swap between.
  20. bigbluebear

    bigbluebear Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 2, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses. I'll check out those two Olympus cameras and the g3.

    For those of you that know the history of the olympus line, can you give me a quick pro and con on the E-PM2, e-PL5 mini, and the E-PL5 Lite?

    Sent from my HTC One using Mu-43 mobile app