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E-P3 vs GX1 thoughts

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by landshark, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    Has anybody used both, any opinions, even after I have given most of my m4/3 stuff away to my daughters I will still have 4 lenses and one E-P2 body, thinking of maybe adding adding a second body
     
  2. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Yes I have

    Used both at a local camera store and brought my own SD card to check out the files after handling.

    Here is what I found:

    Pros to E-P3
    -Better metering (multi metering) in weird artificial light in camera store
    -Better AWB, albeit a tad warm for me
    -Higher res screen

    Pros to GX1
    - 1 stop better in the noise department
    - obviously higher res sensor if cropping is needed
    - personally like the control layout better, but this is biased since owning a LX5 and GF1

    I didn't test out shot-by-shot for IBIS, however.

    I wonder how far down the road an E-P4 is. As much as I like my Panasonics, I'd like a "no-fuss" metering and AWB that requires less PP, but with the new sensor improvements found in the GH2, G3, and now GX1.
     
  3. Anthonys

    Anthonys Mu-43 Regular

    167
    Nov 17, 2011
    Sydney
    Anthony
    I've also only tried both out in the camera store, but read a few opinions. I think the pros have been summarised well but would add that one pro for the GX1 is that it's lighter and, at least in the UK, the GX1 is cheaper.
     
  4. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I haven't used a GX1, but have used a G3 (which is very close to the same camera except adds an EVF and articulated screen) and have used an EP3 (and currently own an EPL3 which is also largely the same as the EP3 but for the screen and a couple of changes to the controls).

    To me the tradeoffs are clear and obvious. The Panasonic sensor is about a stop better in low light (as shown in that Steve Huff review in the previous post). The EP3 has IBIS in any lens, including fast primes where the Panasonic doesn't (since it relies on stabilization in the lens and none of the fast primes have it). In low light, I found I prefer the 3 stops or so of IBIS to the extra stop of higher ISO. This was a bit to my surprise because I'm usually shooting people in low light and figured the IBIS wouldn't really cut it for that. But I seem to get a lot more low light keepers with the EP3/EPL3 than I could with the G3 at a somewhat higher shutter speed.

    I also prefer the WB of the Olys, but this is a surmountable challenge if you shoot raw with the Panasonic. I had a GF1 for a good while and got along with it fine, so I think that's just a matter of adaptation. I also prefer the layout of the Oly, but just by a little, both interfaces are just fine and it really just comes down to which you're more used to.

    So to me it really comes down to IBIS vs better low light sensitivity and IBIS won for me, but it might not for a lot of people.

    -Ray
     
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  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    That is very interesting that you prefer IBIS to greater sensitivity. All things being equal, (in this case it's not three stops v. one stop), but the greater sensitivity will stop subject action while the IBIS will not.

    G
     
  6. drewbot

    drewbot Mu-43 Top Veteran

    702
    Oct 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    A great point that many people fail to remember. That extra stop will help keep my dog from being blurred.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    I know. I had assumed that would be an issue and why I tried the G3. But I guess I'm not so much shooting "action" in low light as people, usually standing or sitting around. I've done a lot of low light shooting with my EPxxx (EPL1, EP2, EP3, EPL3 at various times) and generally done fine using a top ISO of 1600. I've done similar shooting with a GF1 (also topping out at 1600) and a G3 (going to 3200) and I guess camera shake was a bigger issue than subject movement because I got loads of keepers with the Olympus cams (pretty much all of them) and very few with the Panasonics, at least when pushed anywhere close to the limits, which is where this stuff matters to begin with. So, for ME, IBIS seems to help more, maybe just because there's 3 or 4 stops worth as opposed to 1... But motion blur usually isn't a problem for people who are not moving very fast even at 1/15 or 1/20.

    Oddly, I do very well with my X100 shooting on the street in low light, generally at f2 and iso 3200. And it doesn't have any IS of any sort, so I can't rationally explain any of this. I just know what my experience is. And its not just when I'm using the viewfinder either, so a better braced camera doesn't explain it.

    -Ray
     
  8. zerotiu

    zerotiu Mu-43 Veteran

    222
    Sep 13, 2011
    Indonesia-Singapore
    I think it's missing the point (ISO quality != ISO range != fast lens). I think the real problem is:

    * if someone wants to shoot a moving subject, it will take at least 1/60.. 1/100 or more.

    With the same exact ISO+Shutter speed+F setting, GX1 will have a better result because it has better ISO performance. The quality is better 1 stop. Only the quality, not the range. I mean it's the same if we talk about the body. It will be different if ep3 use f2.0 lens and gx1 use f1.4 lens. It is not that GX1 has 1 stop ISO range (>12,800) or uses fast lens. Still we have Nix Dfine and other ISO reducer software too reduce noise.

    * For lowlight still subject, it's better to have IBIS.
     
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'm going to have to go with IBIS on the E-P3. Until M43 improves continuous AF, high ISO doesn't really do much for moving subjects if the AF can't keep up.
     
  10. landshark

    landshark Mu-43 Veteran

    307
    Apr 27, 2010
    SO CAL
    I think in low light situations I am going to have to side on it is harder to hold a camera still than there is a desire to shoot moving subjects. Thanks
     
  11. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    In Part 3, Steve compares RAW files from GX1 and E-P3:
    Panasonic GX1 vs Olympus E-P3 – Part 3 – RAW | STEVE HUFF PHOTOS

    GX1 Raw color is very dissapointing to my eyes. IMO, noise is usually not seen at normal viewing sizes but the color is obvious at any size. I can clearly see the magneta cast in GX1 raw files meaning that you can forget about simple raw conversion as PP will be necessary for GX1 files. People often compare jpeg color but in this case even raw color is dissapointing. Paying a premium for this camera to spend your precious time correcting color?
     
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  12. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    685
    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    ^ Jealous.

    I wish I could see that "magenta cast" like most of you guys.
    (I have Anamolous Trichromacy, leaning towards red green...in other words, slightly colorblind.)

    With the color distractions out of the way, It's more apparent what is sharper and life-like to me. I'm not going to say which one though, I'm not exactly qualified to comment. :smile:
     
  13. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the GX1 colors look fine. What I'm wondering is if Panasonic has improved their metering? In very contrasty lighting, my previous Panasonic M43 bodies just couldn't meter as well as my current Olympus bodies. Olympus has metering down pat.
     
  14. Art

    Art Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2011
    San Francisco, CA
    If you look at part 2 of that review you'll see that GX1 tends to underxpose while E-P3 nails the exposure every time