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First m43 camera, what should I look at?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by broadway, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    Seeking advice on what cameras that might best suit my requirements, new or secondhand. I intend taking a trip to a decent dealer to have a look at m43, but would like to narrow down my choice first.

    Current equipment is a Pentax K10D with various DA lens. To make the most of this I really need to replace the body and buy a couple more lens, hence the thoughts on moving systems, especially if I can save some weight and reduce body sizes.

    Usage is generally people, city and landscape, not wildlife or sports events so I don't need fast long lens and no need for video at the moment. I have some manual focus Pentax lens that could be used with an adaptor. As I use reading glasses I generally find a viewfinder easier to use.

    I think it would be nice to start out with one of the compact bodies with the 20mm f1.7 lens, I would add a wide prime or zoom, a macro, and maybe a long zoom at a later date. Of course this is probably not the best choice for someone using reading glasses unless I get an EVF. I would probably keep the K10D with a 16-45 for now and replace it with a second m43 body later once I was more familiar with the system.

    Any recommendations?
  2. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    I can highly recommend the "old" original Panasonic G1, if you aren't into video. I would buy a good used one, and then start collecting the Panasonic lenses of your choice, all of which are superb. The EVF on the G1 is terrific. The GF1 may look neater and "classic", and I love owning it, but you can't beat the G1's EVF and its fold out and tilt LCD screen on the back. The camera is a wonderfully well thought out piece of gear - I love mine.

    In the future you can always get a new camera body to go with your increasing collection of these terrific lenses.
  3. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    + 1 voice for the G1 ! If you wear reading glasses, you really need an VF, so the GF's don't seem the best choice to me !

    C U
  4. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    I have both G1 and GF1. If you plan selling the pentax body I would recommend also the G1 or G2 ( if you want video). After that, you can purchase a GF or E-P. I lust for the looks of the olympus bodies, but the panny seems a more balanced option.
  5. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    +1 for the G1, Panasonic got a lot right on their first try (G1 = World's first mu-43 camera). I also have a GF1, but I find myself using the G1 more often because of the G1's superb EVF. I also use reading glasses, so I prefer looking through a diopter adjusted VF vs. a rear lcd.

    If you don't mind spending the $$$, the latest GH2 will cover all your needs including stunning video capability (you never know, you might like video once you try it more).

    Also, if you don't mind an external EVF, any of the Oly bodies that will accept the VF-2 should work for you (EP-2, EPL-1, EPL-2). I've never looked through one, but I read that the VF-2 is every bit as good as the built-in EVF of the Lumix G series.

  6. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    I think there might be one on ebay quite close to where I live, maybe I should go round and have a look. I they have the kit lens will it be 14-45 or was the 14-42 sometimes sold with it?

    I am probably going for a trip to a dealer to have a look at what they have as well.
  7. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    try to find a 14-45mm. I'm sure IQ on the 14-42 is also very good, but the 14-45mm has a metal lens mount (a little more robust than the plastic mount on the 14-42), and the OIS on/off switch on the lens barrel.

    The original kit lens for the G1 was the 14-45mm.

  8. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    I hadnit intended getting the kit lens, but it would be a stop gap and they are easy to sell on.
  9. shoturtle


    Oct 15, 2010
    now if you have glasses when shooting the olympus evf works great for glasses shooter. Never had issues when using the large evf of the only, nice a big picture in the evf.

    And if you are trying to save weight the pen's are smaller bodies the the g or gh form panny. I would go handle the camera first. And take a look at the evf of the g's they are not as good as the vf-2 form oly, the gh2 is the only one that is as good.
  10. iliakoltsov

    iliakoltsov Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 7, 2010
    G1 :
    Viewfinder , twistable screen ( unbelievably useful ), larger size better handling.

    No built in stabilization ( Optical stabilized lenses like Canon or Nikon )

    EPL1 ( EP1 is not compatible with the viewfinder)

    Looks like leica. Stabilization dear god that it useful for old lenses.

    Grip a bit too small

    In my opinion as a second camera the EPL1 definitely small nice , sometimes you do not want to carry your heavy gear, but as a replacement no question G1 or G2 as said before.
  11. mick / Lumix

    mick / Lumix Guest

    Oct 3, 2010
    Cannot really add to that, my thoughts entirely.
  12. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    The E-P1 is prettiest.
  13. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    You might like to check out the Olympus E-PL2 or E-PL1 with the electronic viewfinder which is excellent. I wear progressive lenses..and have to say the EVF is superb. If you want to use adapted lenses that need manual focus, or want to have the manual focus option, I believe these two cameras are excellent. You might want to check out the Adapted Lenses forum to see who is doing what with which camera. (Note here to say that I did not get into manual focus or adapted lenses but have read quite a few threads about both.)

    It's great that you can physically go to a camera store and look through the cameras suggested - the G1, etc., because eyesight and specific needs are so personal.:2thumbs:

    P.S. Please stop by and introduce yourself in the Welcomes and Introductions forum when you have the time.:biggrin:
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010

    You've talked yourself into a bargain : Lumix G1
    Job done.
  15. broadway

    broadway Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 27, 2011
    The camera store I intend going to is a couple of hours away so it not somewhere to pop into on spec. They should have an E-PL1 and E-PL2 to look at.
  16. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Jim R
    While I really like compact gear, I found the G1 to be compact enough - a two-pocket camera is fine for me. The flip screen is quite handy, and VF shows me exposure & white balance errors in real time. That led me to sell my K-7 and most of the Pentax gear; I kept a k200d for its weather seals. Thankfully I have a few nice older PK primes that ported over with great results, but of course on an Oly body they would be stabilized too. If you have some older lenses that's worth considering!

    My informal tests showed the G1 and K-7 each acceptable (for me!) out to iso2000, a little more with more post-proc work. I prefer the random luminance grain of the G1 to the larger-scale chroma noise of the K-7 sensor. I added a GH1 with the recent closeouts, but really the G1 is sufficient unless video becomes a priorty later on. GH1 noise patterns are more linear than the G1 but can be corrected with just a little more effort; banded noise is more common with the GH1 sensor, but not all copies have it. In both cases using jpg removes noise problems to iso800 or a bit more; it's in Raw files that more work needs doing.
  17. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010

    This remark is interesting. When I was working with RAW with the G1/GF1, I got a weird noise when processing with Adobe Camera RAW visible in for example sky viewed at 100% enlargement. Now that I have given up on RAW and am doing all processing in-camera, this noise is not present in the jpegs, even with the sharpenning cranked to +2 (Dynamic film mode) and with the noise reduction at -2, and with further sharpenning in Photoshop. The noise was also not present when I batched converted all my RAW files to jpegs using SilkyPix (before tossing the RAWs away.)
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