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Can't decide what will get the job done

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by vonvonnie, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. vonvonnie

    vonvonnie New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2013
    Hi all, I'm newly registered, but I've been browsing around here for a few months. Of course, after all of the browsing, I'm completely confused as to what camera will get me the look I want for the price I need to keep it at!

    I'm a pro photographer, and I have a full D700 setup with all the goodies. The thing is, I love taking pics & the 700 is a heavy bring along for quick trips & places where I don't want to be the one with the big camera - you know how it goes. Anyway, I want a small camera, purse sized, and that has pics almost comparable to the D700.

    I don't want to get roped into a brand new kit and everything, I just want a nice camera that takes good low light photos, somewhat speedy, but I love the look of photos with shallow DOF. Mainly, I want a camera to replace the instagram on the phone as my available camera when I take pics of my son & I when out and about.

    So, I've been eyeing everything from Olympus EP3 to Nikon V1. The V1 is excellent on price right now, but oooh, the DOF issue has me on the fence! Then, there is the question of do I really NEED the EP3 to get the look I want? The big thing is, I have about $500 in gift cards to spend at Amazon. I cannot decide what to pull the trigger on! I really want the Pany 20 1.7 lens, but it's going to blow the budget unless I get an older camera (but which??).

    My main picks this week are EPL2, Nikon V1, or EP3 w/kit lens and save for the Pany. Am I making this more complicated on myself? Is there something else in price range that would be a good small camera?

    I know I ramble, but thanks anyway for the help!
  2. gsk3

    gsk3 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 29, 2012
    As a former D#00 and D# user, given your $500 budget and desire for the 20/1.7 and a carry-around camera, I'd strongly advise the GF3 or GF5. The responsiveness (including speedy AF) is on par with the pro-level gear you're used to (except for continuous AF, obviously). And it's *tiny*.

    For this use, I find the usual gripes about the GF3/5 to be non-issues...you don't need a hot shoe, a viewfinder just increases the size of the thing, etc. If you find those arguments compelling, though, consider the GX1 (which is cheap for what it is, but still going to blow your budget when combined with the 20/1.7.
  3. LeeOsenton

    LeeOsenton Mu-43 Button Clicker

    Jun 25, 2010
    Hayes, Virginia, U.S.A.
    Lee Osenton
    Closest fit given your budget is the Panasonic DMC-G3 and 20mm lens. The 16MP sensor in the G3 is much improved over the legacy 12MP sensors (but there are newer cameras with even better sensors now).

  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    Forget the V1 and anything else that uses a sensor smaller than the m43 sensors, period. It's too much of a fight getting shallow DOF on small sensors; the smaller the sensor the tougher the fight.

    Your best choices are one of the m43 offerings, either Oly or Pany, or one of the Sony NEX series. Bang for the buck, I don't think you're not going to beat the Pany G3 closeouts at the present. Deals change frequently.
  5. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    The Panasonic G3 body-only, as of today, is $249.95 at Amazon.com. The Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 is $354.88. That's just over $100 beyond your $500 gift-card budget. Is there no way to stretch that far? B&H has the G3 body for the same price and the lens for $348... both with free shipping. Even a bit closer.
  6. juangrande

    juangrande Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 2, 2012
    Can you use the gift card on used items from 3rd party sellers? A used 20mm might get you there. Or a G3 w/sigma 19mm 2.8?
  7. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Is the panny 14mm f/2.5 an option?
    Not as bright/fast, but has faster AF and at half the price of 20mm f1.7.
  8. vonvonnie

    vonvonnie New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2013
    Thanks for the input everyone, the g3 totally wasn't on my radar! I don't absolutely NEED the 20, especially if the 14 is nice. I still have a pro camera with flashes and low light lenses to take along if I'm going to be in a dark setting and think the G3 just won't do. I'm pretty sure I can use the GC with 3rd party sellers, and I don't mind used cameras or lenses.
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    If you go for the Panasonic models, get the GF3 or 5. It's the only inexpensive one that's really "purse-sized". For Olympus, the E-PM1 is really cheap (under $200) and small but the controls are almost all in the menus. As for lenses, the Panasonic 14 2.5 makes a very tiny kit if the "28 mm fov" works for you.
  10. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Juan's suggestion of a Sigma 19mm f/2.8 to go with the G3 is a good idea. The Sigma is $199. Yes, it's a bit more than a stop slower than the Panny 20 but the general consensus is that it's a sharp lens even wide open. And it will keep you under your $500 limit. The Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 is $298.45, putting you about $50 over the limit. This assumes you purchase everything new from Amazon. You can always add other lenses later.
  11. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    The G3 is an excellent suggestion. If you like that shallow dept of field spend a little more and get the Pana-Leica 25mm f1.4. It will be totally worth it. It sounds like you want mostly portraits and the 14mm and even 20mm might be a bit too wide.
  12. rparmar

    rparmar Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 14, 2011
    Limerick, Ireland
    The Olympus E-PL2 is the sweet spot. IQ was not improved from here until the OMD. It has a built-in flash which can indeed be useful. Wouldn't buy a Panasonic - no IBIS.
  13. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 25, 2012
    you can get the panny 14mm 2.5 from ebay for pretty cheap
  14. 00r101

    00r101 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2012
    Look at the Lumix LX7 or LX5 used. Nice lens. Nice quality. Simple but with full manual control. Not an ILC but you've got one already.
  15. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 goes for $160ish on Ebay. (I know you can't spend the amazon giftcard here, but heck that's $150 savings over Amazon's price. Buy a $200 item off amazon, sell it off for $150 to fund the purchase and you'll still be saving $100 :biggrin:)

    Might want to consider 2nd hand GX-1 too, small rangefinder style with build-in flash (tiltable for bounce).. they should go for $250-300 body-only.

    EDIT: (after rereading your post) f/2.5 may not be shallow enough DOF then. On the other hand, Amazon Warehouse has GX-1 body-only in 'very good' condition at $305. Do read the item's condition before purchasing from Amazon Warehouse (click 'read more').

    EDIT2: Comparison of GX-1 size vs V1:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    An autofocus lens for that job is going to cost money.
    A Lumix G3 with adapter and manual-focus 50mm is going to be cheap.
    Choices choices.
  17. vonvonnie

    vonvonnie New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2013
    I just about have it narrowed down, but I'm looking at Amazon Warehouse deals. Every description so far says exactly the same thing! I cant tell whether these cameras will come with just the body (that's it) or if "used, very good" means that I should assume it comes with battery, cables, cords, and whatever else it originally came with. I hate to assume, you know :rolleyes: 

    After much back and forth, I found a super cheap GF1, cheap enough that I could get the Pany20 + or the Sigma 19 and be in budget (way in budget!) It's also cheap enough that I won't feel bad at all if I want to upgrade this later this year, or next year. But it's one of the warehouse deals w/no specifications in the description! With the GF1, should I just go ahead and get the Pany, or make this a cheap kit with the Sigma. Pancake is very appealing, but the Sigma price means I could get 1 sigma (19 or 30) and the Panasonic 14 also.

    Is GF 1 a good buy, or should I skip to the GX1? I am a chronic over-analyzer. :eek: 
  18. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    It should come with all the original accessories unless stated in the description (ie: 'missing accessory' may mean missing battery and charger). I've purchased several Amazon Warehouse deals (x-xpro-1, gx-1, etc), and on my GX-1 purchase it was missing the lens, battery and charger. I brought this up to Amazon and they refunded me $130.

    Not familiar with GF series, but I think the GX-1's sensor is 1 or 2 generation ahead of the GF1, has better built and more controls. Both of their current prices are faaaaaar from their original offering.
  19. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    GF1 vs. GX1... definitely GX1. But, remember, neither of these cameras have built-in EVFs, just in case that's important to you. You can mount an optional, external EVF on them (but different EVFs for each camera) for more money.

    But don't rule out the G3. At current prices, this camera is a steal and has an built-in EVF and the same sensor as the GX1.
  20. aimawayfromface

    aimawayfromface Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 19, 2012
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