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E-PM1 or G3?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by flexabull, May 14, 2012.

  1. flexabull

    flexabull New to Mu-43

    4
    May 11, 2012
    Hi everyone.

    New to the site, and new to 4/3 cameras. (not new to photography, been shooting for 20+ years) I am considering getting either of the above mentioned cameras, it will mostly be for hiking and backpacking and taking photos of landscapes. (The idea of packing one of these in my bag instead of my Nikon D90 is very appealing)

    So, any advantages to one over the other? Leaning towards the E-PM1 w/the 14-42 kit for $300 (I've had Olympus cameras in the past and enjoyed them), but was also thinking of the G3 w/14 pancake for around $400 because it sounds like that might be a better lens.

    Thanks!
     
  2. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I like both. The G3 + 14mm for $400 is a slamming deal.

    My quick rundown.

    I like a viewfinder so add a VF-2 and you're closer to the price of a G3(normal price). But you can take off the VF-2 for a smaller footprint.

    I prefer the PM1's jpeg output but shoot RAW.

    IBIS is not wholly effective or a huge advantage IMO.

    The G3 is a little better controlling high ISO noise.

    The PM1 feels better with a flipbac attached but not as good as the G3.
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    They're both good cameras. The E-PM1 is smaller and of you are not using an EVF then a bit easier to pack. However when I'm hiking I use the EVF a lot and I found the display on the back of the E-PM1 pretty small. Its nice but Olympus chose to put in a 16:9 screen display so the typical 4:3 aspect ration looks small on it. I also find the flip out screen lik eon the G3 to be very useful in getting odd angle shots (I have a G2 and GH2). If you use the E-PM1 with the VF2 then the sizes are quite similar.

    If you like Olympus you'll be very happy with the E-PM1. It's a great camera. I liked mine. The only significant issue for me was that I found it a bit small to handle comfortably. HAve you handled an E-PM1? If not i'd suggest that before buying one just to make sure you like the feel. If you do get one, I would suggest putting a grip on it...I found that it really made handling a lot nicer.
     
  4. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I've grown fond of the Olympus PEN models, of which the E-PM1 is the smallest and therefore most portable. I wound up putting the Flipbac G4 on mine, and I actually prefer it to the slippery (for me) grip style of the G3. All-in-all an excellent camera.

    But a G3 + 14mm lens for only $400? That must be used, yes? G3 body only still runs $500 on amazon.com. If you could get that kit for the price mentioned it would be a lot of camera for the money: excellent sensor, articulating touch screen, built-in flash and everything John mentioned in previous post.

    Or is that a GF3 perchance? Just looked that one up and it's $394 with 14mm. In that case, I would go with the E-PM1, adding the Flipbac grip for sure and eventually the VF2 finder as suggested by John above.
     
  5. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    G3 + 14/2.5 for $400? Super bargain! I'd jump all over that!
     
  6. flexabull

    flexabull New to Mu-43

    4
    May 11, 2012
    Correct, that was a typo, it's the GF3.

    Thanks.
     
  7. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    If it's the GF3, it does have one distinct advantage over the EPM1 -- the ability to bounce the flash. Other than that, I prefer the EPM1.
     
  8. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    I had the same question to ask a couple months ago. Here's the thread.
    The short version:
    I ended up getting the E-PM1 for the better metering and white balance.
    You also get a hotshoe and a more powerful flash.

    Advantages of the GF3 are the built in flash, touch screen with tap-to-focus, slightly faster startup (especially compared against the collapsible kit-zoom on the PEN), and it's slightly more comfortable to hold. It also has a nifty picture-in-picture zoom-in effect to help with manual focus.

    The GF3 2 lens kit with the P14mm and 14-42mm is a helluva deal and almost swayed me back to Pany-land, but the Oly AWB is virtually miraculous. And others I think have mentioned already the Oly jpeg colours.

    If you enjoy post-processing and are sure you'll never want a viewfinder, get the GF3.
    If you hate post-processing or want a camera that'll give you more options in future (via hotshoe) get the E-PM1.
    If you want a viewfinder, check out the other dslr-style bodies from Pansonic, like G2, G3 etc. They're not that much more expensive than these two.
     
  9. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    I tried bouncing the flash on the E-PM1..sorta. It fell out of my hands while I was trying to mount it on the hot shoe. Fortunately, it was a carpeted floor...:biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Houston
    Muttley
    Good one Chuck!
     
  11. flexabull

    flexabull New to Mu-43

    4
    May 11, 2012
    Thanks for all the quick input everyone.

    Sounds like I will probably prefer the Olympus, smaller size is a big plus for me, as is the ability to add a viewfinder. I very rarely use a flash, so that's not an issue. But I am going to handle these two before I make a final decision.
     
  12. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    if you don't need fast AF, the older models are worth a look too. EPL1 in particular is dirt cheap right now.
     
  13. flexabull

    flexabull New to Mu-43

    4
    May 11, 2012
    I'll have to check that one out too, and you are right, I don't need fast AF for the majority of things I shot.
     
  14. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    $400 sounds expensive for the GF3 - in the UK the GF3 + 14mm is £289 and was £250 a few weeks ago plus there is £50 cashback on top. (Also the replacement model [GF5] is already out). In comparison, the E-PM1 is £229 body only or £295 with 14-42 kit lens. (Usually US prices are quite a bit cheaper than the UK).

    If you can stretch to the E-PL3, a tilting screen can be very useful.

    I find the GF3 much easier /more pleasant to use than the E-PL1 which is quite chunky and clunky and has a smaller inferior lcd screen. [The GF3 also focuses much faster than the E-PL1 although I believe current model (E-PM1/E-PL3) Olympus cameras are just as fast or faster]. Results from both cameras (GF3 and E-PL1) are similar though, although the Olympus jpegs are more pleasing overall.

    If I was to choose between the GF3 and the E-PM1 I would choose the E-PM1 (I got my GF3 really cheap) - but between the GF3 and the E-PL1 would be harder to choose (that's why I am keeping both). GF3 is quite a bit smaller if that's a priority but it's nice that you can add an evf or external flash to the E-PL1. For that reason I am not sure I would want a GF3 as my only camera rather than as a second body but on the other hand the GF3 has some great features like touch to focus, is faster at focusing and has a better screen.

    Lenses are much more important than the body though, so if you want to dip your toes into the m43 waters then the cheapest body (E-PL1) is probably a good place to start - you can always upgrade later.