Deciding which my first PEN camera should be.

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by sam_colbear, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    Hi people,

    Im looking at purchasing my first Olympus PEN camera and think I may go for the E-P3 as I like how robust it feels compared to the E-PL and E-PM.

    Unless the other PEN cameras should be considered?

    I am looking at different lenses and I am unsure which to go for.

    I will be taking holiday photographs when I go to America later in the year and also taking shots of some of my freelance graphic design work.

    The lenses...

    • EZ-M1442 II R
    • EW-M1728
    • EZ-M1250

    Any help would be great

    Thanks in advance

    :2thumbs:
     
  2. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran

    249
    Jan 21, 2013
    It depends how much you want to spend. Cameta have a refurb E-PL3 kit (14-42 II lens) for $300. I have an E-PL5 (got as a kit for $600, cheaper now) and an E-PL1 ($90 used for the body off the forum) and I use both. The Tilting screen on the E-PL5 is good for video (I hold the camera lower on the rig as I am fairly tall) and the 16mp sensor is very nice for high ISO, but the E-PL1 is very capable and was super cheap; I mostly use it with legacy and toy lenses.

    I may be weird, but I find the button system (no rear dial) on the E-PL1 quicker to use. The E-PL5 rear dial I often catch with my thumb while fiddling (all thumbs here). Both are a bit small in the hand to be really comfortable, but they are light (the E-PL1 much lighter than the E-PL5)
     
  3. fin azvandi

    fin azvandi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 12, 2011
    South Bend, IN
    I think the E-P3 is a great body, you probably have already read about the benefits but here is what sets it apart for me:

    1. Thumb dial - having 2 dials to adjust aperture and exposure comp., or aperture/shutter, or whatever combo you prefer, is very handy.
    2. Ability to use a viewfinder and pop-up flash commander to trigger off-camera flash at the same time.
    3. Touchscreen to focus, or to shoot.

    I don't recognize the lens codes, are those the Oly 14-42II, 17mm f/2.8, and the 12-50mm? If you can get the E-P3 body only, the 12-50 might make a nice kit zoom since you'd get a wider wide end and macro ability. You might pair that with the 20mm prime (or 17/1.8) instead of the 17/2.8 though for better low-light and indoor shots.
     
  4. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    Thanks for the info :smile:

    I was looking at this lens click here!

    What do you think?
     
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Hi Sam,

    First question I like to ask when folks inquire about which camera will be best for them is: What sort of camera are you using now and why are you considering a change?

    Your answer to that can go a long way in recommending the camera that's best going to fit your needs.

    That said, you really won't go wrong with any :43: camera. I recently upgraded from an E-PL1 to an E-P3 and I really like the ergonomic improvements (extra control dials, size, etc.)

    As for lenses, all of the kit zooms are capable performers. The 12-50 gives you a bit more reach on each end of the range which is a great benefit (particularly on the wide end), but that comes at the cost of it being much larger than the 14-42. One other consideration with the Olympus 14-42 is that the lens must be manually extended prior to shooting, which I often find a bit annoying when trying to grab a quick shot. Where all of the kit zooms will fall down a bit is when you try to shoot in low light. For that you'll want a "fast" lens with a wider aperture (smaller f/ number).

    The Olympus 17 f/2.8 pancake is also a good lens, but I would consider instead the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5. The Panasonic is a little "faster" (in terms of aperture) and slightly smaller and the wider field of view fits my style better (although that is a personal thing).
     
  6. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Really? I haven't handled them both at the same time, but the specs show that the E-PL1 is just slightly heavier (334g to 325g).
     
  7. AceAceBaby

    AceAceBaby Mu-43 Veteran

    249
    Jan 21, 2013
    I can't see it, though I haven't weighed them. The articulating screen alone adds a lot of bulk.
     
  8. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    I haven't got a camera at the moment and am currently just getting into photography. I've heard a lot about the pancake lenses. I might go for the lense I put a link to in my previous post and look to pick up a pancake one in the near future.
     
  9. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    If you're just getting into photography, then my recommendation would be to look for a camera packaged with a kit lens (generally a 14-42 "3x" zoom). The lens will generally add around $50 to the cost of a camera alone.

    Once you have the camera in hand shoot 500-1000 frames with that kit lens. After you do that you will understand whether that lens is constraining and if so in what way. Will you want something with more tele reach? Something wider? Something faster? Something smaller? If you do that exercise you'll find out BEFORE you spend money on a lens that you're not sure you need.
     
  10. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    If you want light, look at the E-PL2. Aside from the articulating screen and mode dial, it's practically the same camera as the E-PL5. I don't think anyone's needed a mode dial since touchscreens became ubiquitous, and articulating screens (particularly those that only flip up or down) are only useful in very specific situations.

    Prime lenses are fun for learners, as the force you to think about how to framing, rather than just zooming in or out until the subject fills the shot. However kit zooms add so little to the cost, and good primes are likely to cost nearly as much as the camera, so I would probably follow the advice of the chap above.
     
  11. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    901
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Hi I just wanted to clarify that the E- PL2 (an older model with 12mp sensor) and E-PL5 (16mp sensor) are not practically the same cameras
    I absolutely love the E- PL2 but the E-PL5 (and similar but more simplified E-PM2) has a far better sensor in terms of low light response and dynamic range - it being the same sensor as that used in the OM- D
    Just thinking about this - I am now guessing that Liamness actually meant that the 'E-PM2' (rather than E-PL2) is practically the same camera (which is correct) Either way I hope I have clarified in some way ?
    Regards
    Rob
     
  12. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    The control layout of the E-P3 is excellent - I like the tilt screen on the E-PL3 but the button placement makes me crazy. The E-P3 is a bargain because the advent of the OM-D drove the prices down. It's a terrific camera. :cool:
     
  13. Liamness

    Liamness Mu-43 Veteran

    375
    Apr 20, 2011
    Yes that's exactly what I meant, oops. Sorry!

    To throw something else in the mix... maybe a GX1? As in, not a Pen? Not quite as good in terms of image quality as the very newest Olympus bodies, but not all that far off. Some might prefer it for the larger grip and extra physical controls. Some very good deals on at the moment too.
     
  14. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    Thanks for all the help guys. I ordered my e-p3 on Monday and should be here by the end of the week. I'll get a picture up of which combo I decided to go with.

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  15. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    901
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    Great news
    You will love the very high quality purposeful feel of the E-P3
    Let us know how you get on with it
    Regards
    Rob
     
  16. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    As promised here is my e-p3 with the 12-50mm len and case.

    Im looking at the pany 20mm 1.7 in the next few months.

     
  17. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Congratulations and good luck. I'm sure you'll love your new kit.
     
  18. Robstar1963

    Robstar1963 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    901
    Jun 10, 2011
    Isle of Wight England UK
    Robert (Rob)
    First impressions ?
    Rob
     
  19. sam_colbear

    sam_colbear Mu-43 Regular

    29
    Apr 8, 2013
    Yeah liking it so far! Need to get the shaky hand under control!!

    Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
     
  20. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    I find Johnnie Walker Black invaluable for taking care of that. :wink: