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Decisions for a frustrated menu diver

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by davidzvi, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    After living with an E-PM1 for a year I’ve come to the conclusion I hate menu diving. So I need something else. The new E-P5 and GX7 are out of the question, as is probably a used E-M5 ( $$$ ). The E-PL3/5 or GX1 probably wouldn't really be that much different than the E-PM1 in the need to menu dive.

    As an example I often find myself in Program mode and want to shift the program or adjust the exposure compensation. I find I am often hitting the focus point control. So then I have to reset the focus point and adjust the setting I meant to change. Maybe I just have fat thumbs.:thumbup:

    I think I have narrowed it down to an E-P3 or Fuji X20.

    This is my vacation, carry every day, baseball game (go Sox) camera. Yes I would like to do some serious stuff with it, but personal, not work. I have been using the Mini and 14mm for detail shots at events which I would probably still do with either.

    Thoughts? Experiences? Suggestions welcome.
     
  2. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Dan
    I bought an E-PM1 about a year ago as well. It was my first M43 camera and I bought it because it was a cheap way into the M43 world. But, having come from a Canon 20D, I was used to more buttons and dials and have had a hard time adjusting to the mini's menus. Basically, I just find myself changing settings less often because it is so frustrating to me.

    So, when the Panasonic G5 became so cheap I bought one. I am still learning it, but it does have more controls without going into menus. I haven't read the manual yet, but I have figured out how to do most everything I need without it. It has some neat features the mini pen doesn't as well, such as a tilt/swivel screen that you can set to touch to focus and touch to focus and take the picture if you want. Of course, it doesn't have IBIS, but the IBIS on the mini isn't that great anyway. My main complaint has been a sometimes odd white balance. I am still trying to figure out what causes the problem. Sometimes it works fine, others not.
     
  3. mzd

    mzd Mu-43 Veteran

    241
    Nov 30, 2010
    Wisconsin
    since this is a This or That thread, i will mention that any Panasonic camera that has the rear control dial (everything BUT the GF3, GF5, GF6) will do exactly what you describe. the default function of the control dial in P mode is to shift the exposure - press in the dial and it will then control exposure compensation. very handy!
     
  4. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    The GX1 is a champ when it comes to menus. Not only are Panasonic menus better than Olympus, but the GX1 has a lot more fine adjustments than say the GF line for many of its settings. Plus you have the excellent control wheel mentioned above, which you can press in to control EC or switch between shutter and aperture in manual. Then you have one of the four-way buttons permanently tied to ISO, and two programmable buttons with a huge list of options. Plus a couple more "soft" programmable buttons on the LCD. I love the way this camera controls, even aside from my slight bias, since it is the one I own.
     
  5. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    That camera, with it's lack of controls and horribly tiny screen really makes me mad at being forced to use the menus for everything : and has the gall to add a whole menu selection screen before you can even get to the menus!
    Grr. I sympathise totally.

    I have no problems with the menus in my e-P1 etc. Better buttons, bigger screens, bigger text because lower-res screens all add up to no problem at all.
     
  6. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Size matters, this class is to big. I actually ruled out the E-M5 both on price (first and foremost) and because of the viewfinder. If I get the E-P3 I will probably pick up one but being able to take it off is a big plus.

    If I stay m4/3 more than likely I will sell the kit lens, 45mm, and 45-200 I have in favor of just the 14 and some 14-140/150. I might add a wide/wide converter and/or closeup adapter/filter, but that's it. This goes back to the intended use of the system. I would take this kit to Disney with the family, and it would not get in the way. If I were going on a photo vacation? Well I have more than enough Nikon gear for that. I'm not saying M4/3 can't handle it, just not what I want it to for.

    THIS is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Guess I need to re-read the review. This is something I noticed on the Fuji and one of the main reason I'm leaning more toward it (that, the built in viewfinder, and faster lens).

    Keep them coming.
     
  7. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    Just for the record, I loved my E-PM1.:biggrin: Having said that, it sounds like the GX1 is perfect for you. Similar size with more buttons. I checked at Amazon, and most run between $200 and $300 with the occasional refurb below $200.
     
  8. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Believe it or not, the PM2 has two extra buttons that make a huge difference over the PM1, and is essentially the same size. I love mine. I also find that once I've set the camera up the way I want it I very rarely dive into menus at all. I can access all the frequently used settings with either the SCP, the 4-way controller, or the two programmable buttons.
     
  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    If you shoot RAW, stop reading now.

    One proviso on the GX1. (I'm extrapolating form my experience with the G3) It is the opinion of many that the OOC JPGS are not as pleasing from the Panasonic cameras as the Pens. You need to work the setting a bit to get JPGs you like. Not everyone agrees with this, but many including me did, so be prepared for a bit of fiddling.
     
  10. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I think the Minis are too lite on control, but if I were to stay even close in that line it would be the E-PL5. But they seem to be running a $100+ above the GX1/E-P3 and that difference will almost pay for the viewfinder.

    I shoot RAW, JPeg, and sometime both. Guess I will need to take that into account. It's also one of the reasons I have been looking at the Fuji. OOC JPegs are said to be great. I know they were on my old S5 Pro.
     
  11. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Now, I ran into the issue you mention with the GF3, but the GX1 jpgs have been impressing me. On a well-exposed image I'll shoot there with my editing software open for a while trying to figure out what the image needs until I realize oh, it doesn't need anything. Force of habit.
     
  12. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Well I found a deal on a GX1 that was New/Store Demo (at a real camera store no less). So I guess we'll see how that goes.
     
  13. yehuda

    yehuda Mu-43 Veteran

    200
    Mar 14, 2013
    I owned many cameras over the years.
    Amongst them the Nikon D7000 and Olympus omd em5.
    The gx1 menu and control layout is the best in my experience even though it only has one wheel (which when clicked in has a secondary setting).
    Much better than the em5 and it is in a completely different league from the epm2 and epl5.

    Edit: the D7000 was very very good ergonomically but is out of the comparison scope anyway...
     
  14. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Seems to be going well so far. Had a minor glitch trying to figure out how to use buttons to adjust the AF point. Oddly there are no reviews I could find that talk about it. And (unless I missed it) none of the buttons are set to control this by default. The touch screen is nice, but some times you need to move the point just a little bit.

    Yes the Nikon DSLR bodies are very nice, but those are my work cameras. This one is for personal and play.
     
  15. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I'm away from my camera at the moment, but I think the left button on the directional pad controls AF points? If you give me a little more clarification I'll see what I can figure out.
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    That's the AF Mode. With the addition of the touch screen they changed the default action of the Fn button as that is what it did on the GF1. I set Fn1 to AF Point in the menu so I'm set now.
     
  17. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    Cool! I really like the amount of options the GX1 has for the fn buttons as compared to the more entry-level cams.