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G3 or PL25?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by neon123, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. neon123

    neon123 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jul 2, 2012
    Some quick background details, I've not really been that into photography until the last year or so. I only really used to take snaps while on holiday, and flying low cost means that lugging heavy DSLR's was pretty much out of the question.

    My girlfriend bought a GF3 with the 14mm / 14-42mm kit lenses, and the improvement over travelzoom's has been great. A bit later I purchased a 45-200mm (still being stuck in the "I need at least 12x zoom!" phase I guess?), and while I like it I've been thinking of getting rid of it.


    That brings me to my main question, we're planning a big holiday later this year and I have a few hundred pounds here as a budget to improve our little kit. I had been thinking of getting a G3 myself, mainly for the EVF, the swivel-screen for video / selfshots and the improved sensor / ISO performance.

    Recently I've been very tempted to skip getting my own camera and invest in a PL25, as I sometimes found the 14mm too wide and the kit lens lacks that super crispness the pancake and the 45-200 have. I've looked at the 20mm as it's about 1/2 of the price of a 25mm here in the UK, but the slow AF and the distortion for portrait shots are putting me off a bit.

    What should give me the biggest upgrade of the two? I'm a bit wary of spending upwards of £400 on one lens without being able to test it (it's never in stock anywhere in retail!), but the results in reviews seem amazing. Would I still be able to get similar details with "just" a GF3?
     
  2. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    How about buying the G3 body and also taking a look at the Sigma 30mm - especially if you are looking to sell the 45 -200? One thing with lenses - I find that if you don't get on with them/use them enough, provided you keep them immaculate you can always get a decent price for them, whereas changing cameras can be expensive because of the constant updates by the manufacturers.
     
  3. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    This is one of the more interesting "this or that" type questions. Because it really depends on what's more important to you, the versatility of a new body, or the focal length and rendering of the new lens. It's a bit of an apples and oranges type of situation.

    Basically, these are my thoughts. If you find yourself shooting a lot at night, the G3 is a slightly better choice. The low-light performance improvement is not insignificant, and it will make all of your lenses "better" in low light.

    However, compared with what you already have, the 25mm f1.4 is going to provide you with an even greater improvement in low light performance, on the basis of solely it's max aperture. It almost 2 stops faster than your fastest lens, the 14mm f2.5, meaning you can almost quadruple your shutter speed and get the same illumination to the sensor. That's probably a greater performance increase than you will get from the G3.

    The other things aren't so simple to assess. I do frequently use the EVF and swivel screen on my G3, preferring the EVF for most instances except for some video and candid sneak-shots.

    Another thing you may want to keep in mind is that the the GF3 is tiny. The G3, while also very small, does not quite reach the same level of portability(mainly because the EVF protrudes back, actually), if that matters to you. Still fits a coat pocket though.

    Also keep in mind the G5 will likely be announced in a few days. Although the improvements seem to be minor, you may want to wait.

    As NickLeon stated, lenses have a very good resale value relative to bodies(especially hard to find ones like the 20mm and 25mm).

    P.S. Since you only have a couple of lenses, and not anything particularly fast for a more portrait range, have you considered using adapted lenses? something like a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 can be had for extremely cheap and provide decent image quality.
     
  4. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
    I think the G3 will be superseded by the G5 pretty soon. When that happens the prices should drop.

    I'd buy the PL25 and worry about upgrades when the G3 drops or when the G5 offers more for a similar price.
     
  5. neon123

    neon123 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jul 2, 2012
    I have thought of this, but I figured I'd end up with a Olympus 45mm anyway at some point which is a _lot_ smaller.

    I've read about the G5, so if I were going to get the G3 it would be sometime when it does get discounted like the GF3 is now.

    On a good note, Panasonic just have announced new cashback deals.. I could get the PL25 for £390 at Jessops, and they have a 0% finance going on on top of that. Very tempting!:eek:
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    It's pretty easy to regret buying a new body but a lot less likely to regret buying good glass. When was the last time somebody said "this lens is too sharp!" or "I wish this lens was slower" :tongue:

    The GF3 is capable of great images and the PL25 will get great results on it. So I doubt very much you'd regret buying the lens, and you could easily pick up a G3 (or some other body) later on. As Aegon noted, the G3 will likely only drop in price as time goes on.

    That said, I came from a GF2 to the G3 and the viewfinder and tilt screen turned out to be items I use all the time. FWIW, I wanted a G3 to get better low light performance and a viewfinder. I have a hard time going back to the GF2 after getting used to a viewfinder; the screen on my G3 is always closed unless I'm doing an angled shot or reviewing images. The high ISO performance is realistically 1-2 stops better, depending on your tolerance for noise. I consider 3200 my max acceptable ISO on the G3 (1600 preferred), whereas on the GF2 I didn't like going above 800.
     
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  7. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012


    I think anything negative gets exaggerated by the echo effect of being endlessly repeated in online forums - I bought the 20mm during the last cashback offer and was expecting the AF to be awful. In reality it's plenty fast enough for me on my GF3 - not as lightning fast as the 14mm but probably just as fast as the kit lens. As for portraits, the 45mm fov is even better than 25mm and the 45mm lens is half the price of the 25mm. :)
     
  8. NickLeon

    NickLeon Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Oct 20, 2010
    Somerset UK
    One other point occurs - have you gone back over the images taken with the kit lens and noted which focal lengths you tend to favour the most?
     
  9. jim_khoo

    jim_khoo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 9, 2010
    Kuala Lumpur
    i'll say go for it!
     
  10. neon123

    neon123 Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jul 2, 2012
    I've mostly just used it for the occasional video clip for OIS, I've tried to leave it at 25mm to try and so far I'm enjoying that FOV.
    Most of the time it just has the 14mm mounted, if anything there were times where I'd wanted even wider. I'll probably pick up that wideangle converter for the 14mm when it gets under £100.