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E-PL2 with VF2 vs. G3: My Experience Today

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by crsnydertx, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I had the opportunity today to photograph a Girl Scouts outdoor activity at the Houston Arboretum; more than 400 girls and 300 adults participated!

    I had every intention of using my G3 with a few different lenses, but at the last minute I decided to bring along the E-PL2 as a backup. However, it didn't take me long to decide on a role reversal: the E-PL2 with 40-150 became primary, with the G3 relegated to a less prominent role.

    Why? Two things: 1) Ergonomics - the grip on the G3 just doesn't do it for me; I've tried to accept it, but compared to the E-PL2 (and G2), it's like a half-grip and very uncomfortable; and 2) Viewfinder - I'm one of those folks who needs a viewfinder for almost every shot; the VF2 is excellent, while the G3 built-in viewer is dimmer and less flexible.

    I know; the G3 is faster and has higher resolution and theretically better image quality. In my experience today, the E-PL2 was fast enough; image quality awaits a run through Lightroom, but I expect it to be acceptable

    I find myself moving toward a decision to let the G3 go; thinking more about what might be gained by upgrading to the E-P3. For now, the E-PL2 + VF2 will likely be first choice for my grab 'n go kit.

    Just one person's opinion....FWIW.
     
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  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I await to hear your results from lightroom, but I'm sure you'll find the E-PL2 images to be more than acceptable. ;) More megapixels doesn't mean a better image, and I've found that the fine line resolution of the newer Olympus cameras from the E-5 on deliver excellent images which meet my very stringent commercial standards. Of course, this is assuming your lens resolves high enough to make use of that full resolution capture of the weak AA filter. I don't know how well the 40-150mm performs. Can't wait to hear your results when you process them!
     
  3. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    What lens did you have on the G3?
     
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    My standard "1 lens" kit is my E-PL2 with 14-150 so I can relate to you here....:biggrin:
    Oh and, I also have the VF-2 :smile:
     
  5. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Welcome to the great photographic secret: familiarity, comfort, and ergonomics are more important than all-out image quality. That's why I traded my Nikon D90 away for a D200, and pocketed the rest, and that's why I chose a G2 (price had a part to play as well, but I wouldn't consider any m4/3 camera over it, save the GH2). That's why professionals are still going for the D300, even though the D7000 sensor has everyone gushing online. It's also why Michael Reichmann says in his G3 review, even though he initially states,"new G3 may well be one of the best Micro Four Thirds camera yet" he puts this disclaimer in italics a few lines later:

    "I'll note parenthetically, that the GH2 may just be the smallest full-featured interchangeable lens camera that I have used. Smaller ones, like Panasonic's GF2, the new G3, let alone even smaller ones like Sony's NEX series, while usable, and maybe even preferable to some, are just too small for me for all-day shooting using a variety of lenses.

    This is an opinion based on the size of my hand, and my shooting style. Others will undoubtedly have different opinions. I am concerned though because the trend we are seeing out of Japan for ever smaller interchangeable lens cameras (the Pentax Q seems to take this to the verge of silliness) is having a negative impact on handling. I know that toys and features sell cameras (as do megapixels), but if a camera doesn't handle smoothly, IQ becomes almost irrelevant.
    "

    Panasonic G3 Review
     
  6. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    ~tc~:

    The rest of the original story, which I omitted for simplicity, was that I had wanted to use the Panny 14-140 lens as the primary outdoor lens. This was based on using that lens with my G2 for a Boy Scout event some months ago. However, when I test-drove the G3/14-140 combination yesterday morning, I realized it was a no-go; the heavy lens attached to the light G3 body was just uncomfortable to balance. Wanting the reach of the Panny lens without the weight, I opted for the Oly 40-150 - but recognizing that the lens was not OIS, I decided to use the E-PL2 with its IBIS. Complicated enough?:redface:

    I did use the G3 with the 14, 20, and 90 primes plus the 14-45 zoom. It's okay with those lenses, and I did use the articulating screen for some shots. But the takeaway for me was that the G3 won't work - for me - with heavy lenses. I either go back to the G2 in those situations or consider the GH2 or the E-P3. In the meantime, the G3 doesn't qualify for all-around duty; it's in "timeout" for now. :smile:
     
  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    When i use my 14-50 f/2.8-3.5, I have had to adjust a little, and hold the camera primarily with the left hand under the lens, then bring the right hand up to the controls. Otherwise, I hit the ISO button a lot. With lighter lenses, I can get away with a more one handed approach.
     
  8. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Thanks for posting. I've been wondering for about a month whether I should try the G3, mostly for the higher resolution and the built in (vs. tack-on) EVF. I'm very happy with the EPL2 otherwise. You've made me think I shouldn't try it, and just stick with shooting with my kit for now, and wait for new bodies (really would like a built-in EVF though).

    Thanks!
     
  9. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Bill, in my case the VF2 was the tiebreaker. If I didn't have it, I would have adapted to the G3 as described by ~tc~. Just old-fashioned, I guess; holding the camera out in front of me is not my first choice.
     
  10. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011
    you guys are killing me as I try to decide on a body! love the rangefinder look and other aspects of the Olympus, but can't imagine not having a VF, which kicks the price up a couple of bills (or an extra lens). How often do the Olympus users out there go without the VF? is this just a case of "you gotta pay to play" i.e. the premium for the Olympus (or put up with the slr-styling and handling of the Panasonics with EVF)? can't say I'm terribly tempted by the new gx1, in spite of its beauty, since it pushes the price range of the gh2
     
  11. Is it just me, or does the huge rearwards extension of the viewfinder on all the Panasonic G and GH bodies make the viewfinder feel almost as tacked-on as the VF-2 and VF-3 look on the Pen bodies? It seems that sometimes when I go to pack away my GH1 the viewfinder gets in the way and occasionally the rubber cup gets dislodged.
     
  12. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I would agree.. I never would have thought the 40-150 would be a acceptable lens, but I bought one.. I put it on my EP3 (with VF-2) and took many shots, brought it home, stuck the card in the computer and I was like.. WOW..cheap lens but works well on EP3.. I even posted by mistake a shot taken with 40-150 on the 45/1.8 thread thinking it was taken with the 45/1.8.. I should have checked the metadata closer:smile:... no one even noticed until I posted a correction.. so, bottom line is for the CHEAPO price of the 40-150, it can fool a lot of folks.. it works well on my EP3.. :smile:
     
  13. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    maybe just the right chemistry.. I compare the 40-150 to the Canon Cheapie 50 1/8 for a cheap BUT great lens for the bucks.. more bang for your buck deal.. the Canon 50 1/8 is one of the sharpest lens ever produced by Canon...I think for a Zoom the 40-150 is in that same category.. CHEAP but GOOD..:smile:
     
  14. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    985
    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I must add..the viewfinder on G3 in much dimmer and and not as clear and bright or as full as the Olympus clip on VF-2. I have had both.. just my two cents..
     
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  15. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    Does it really? I once wanted to take off the rubber cup on my G2 and could not do it.
     
  16. mnr3

    mnr3 Mu-43 Regular

    41
    Nov 3, 2011
    that's a good point; and made me recall the tilt feature of the accessory VF's. my quest to limit these variables is failing miserably. need to pray for some holiday pricing to push me one way or the other (all the while realizing there are no real dogs in either Oly. or Panny line-up)
     
  17. It doesn't come right off as I think there are a couple of screws at the bottom of it to hold it in place. I have had to reseat the top edge of the cup, though.
     
  18. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    In terms of "value for money", if you want a viewfinder at all, it's hard to beat the G3.
     
  19. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    Not just you. But at least my nose isn't smooshed up against the back of the camera.
     
  20. carpandean

    carpandean Mu-43 Top Veteran

    827
    Oct 29, 2010
    Western NY
    If the ergonomics work for you, then the G3 is a great camera. It really is a great value for the price. Unfortunately, for me, the grip just doesn't work. I have long, but thin fingers, which just don't fit the grip no matter how I try to hold it.* The E-PL2 is much easier to hold for me. Hopefully, that the GX1 will be a better fit for me.


    * one exception is if I hold it with no intention of pressing the shutter release button so that even my pointer finger is on the grip.
     
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