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Churning...GF1, EPL3, EP2...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by jeffnesh, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. jeffnesh

    jeffnesh Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 29, 2010

    I primarily shoot (and love) an M9. Over recent years, I've shot all kinds of DSLRs and other formats, but am *very* happy with the M9. I'm casting about for a secondary camera that fills other niches and am churning away at the options.

    I've used m4/3s before (GF1, EP1, GH2). I'm looking for something to throw in my laptop bag and bang around with when I don't want the M9 with me (work, shopping, etc.) Video for school events would be nice, too.

    I'm a little jazzed about the possibility of the 'pro' GF...it seems a ways off, so I'm looking for a stop-gap. I've checked out NEX and can't get excited about that. Either with a small zoom or the 20/f1.7.

    I'm churning away though on a used GF1, a now-cheap E-P2, and the new E-PL3. Factoring in controls, image quality, 'modern-ness'...what's the best bang for the buck today?

    Thanks for any insight or inspiration!
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I use a GF2 for that. It's fast to focus, small and has 1080 video. I liked it more than the GF3 as I wanted a hot shoe and I like to have some manual controls (dials and buttons) as opposed to using the touch screen. I chose it over any of the oder Olympus bodies because it has an AF assist light and I often use it in less than ideal light. I also find that I like the Panasonic UI and controls quite a lot.

    I used it paired with an OM 50/1.4 for this...


    It's not an M9 but not bad for what it is. I treat it like a point and shoot and typically have either the Panasonic 14/2.5 or 20/1.7 attached to it. The Olympus E-PL3 is also an interesting looking camera. If I were to buy another Olympus I suspect it would be that one.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I think the current best values in m4/3 on the Olympus side are the E-PL2 and E-PM1. I am guessing the E-PM1 may be a little too close to the NEX with lack of manual controls, though, it will have the latest Oly fast focus. I have an E-P2 and it does have better manual control and it is just feels cool somehow, but the downsides are lack of built-in flash, smaller display, a bit stronger AA filter and slower AF. The E-PL2 is probably the smarter choice on the Oly side.

    On the Panasonic side, I think it is really hard to beat the GF2 right now, particularly the kit with the great little 14mm prime lens. You could always keep the lens and sell the body when you get the upcoming GFX, or if you are not interested in this lens, you could sell to fund much of your GF2 purchase price.
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I agree with the above two posters: for someone with photography experience, the GF2 and E-PL2 currently sit at the top of the list for the best bang-for-the-buck cameras, along with having serious features (like on-body controls, AF assist, built-in flash, etc).

    The E-PL2 is better than the E-P2 in most respects. Better image quality, better electronics (which lead to much faster handling), built-in flash. The E-PL3 is more like an E-PM1 with tilt-screen than a successor to E-PL2. Cameta has the E-PL2 for $500 with lens (they have the E-P2 for the same price, or if not, then Adorama had these as well).

    A used GF1 is good. The advantage of a GF2 is that it's newer, smaller, and while it lost some controls, it retains many of them, along with the thumbwheel.
    The GF1 is still a better shooter's camera though, so if you happen to find one in good enough condition, by all means go for it.
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If you want to have video for those family moments the GF2 has 1080i video. Also the "focus and shoot using the touch screen" that E-P3 users talk about is also on the GF2. It took me a while to warm up to the idea but I have actually found that it is pretty useful. What I feared when I got the GF2 as opposed to a GF1 was that I would feel constrained because of the lack of buttons and dials. In my case changing aperture and exposure compensation are the biggest things and they are both handled bu the thumb wheel. Also, if you hold the shutter button half way you can manually focus a native lens and get the AF assist. In practice I haven't found the GF2 to be constraining.

    That said I can't say anything bad about the GF1...it's a classic.
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