GF! or PEN to Compliment a new GH1 ?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by profoto, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. profoto

    profoto New to Mu-43

    Aug 19, 2010
    Well, I want a camera for street photography, that can slip in my pocket and I can be able to take photos every day any time or place. I was thinking about the Olympus Pen or the GF!. I like the PEN because its just a very cool looking camera. But I am reading the GF1 has better IQ. Is this true?

    Next question: I want the GH1 for more serious work, when doing various projects, fine art stuff for gallery display and print publication. I also dig the video, which I read is on par with pro video. Originally I though the GH1 would be my only needed camera, BUT even though the thing is smaller them my old 5DII, its not that small when compared to the PEN or GF!. I dont think I would want to carry around the GH1 everywhere every day.

    So after weeks of racking my brain, I finally realize, why not just get both!

    Another question with this potential purchase: Maybe I should consider the PEN and GH1 combo as opposed to 2 Panys? Is there any advantage or disadvantage? Like I said above, I read somewhere that the GF! has better IQ then the PEN.

    AND the final problem which is a big one: are new models coming out next month? With my luck, 2 new models will be introduced the day after I buy these 2 cameras. I am not the type to chase technology, when I buy a camera generally I like to keep it 5 years before i even read a camera review or look at a message board (no offense). But it just seems like so many people obsess over the equipment that I dont see how they can find the time to shoot. So maybe I should wait? In your opinions, do you think the Panny will introduce a new GF1 and GH1, and what about the PEN, will there be a better model next month?
  2. twalker294

    twalker294 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 18, 2010
    From an image quality perspective, I think that the cameras are so close as to be inconsequential. If you shoot JPG, the JPG engine in the Olympus is probably the best around so its out of camera JPGs are better than the Panasonic. If you shoot RAW however, I doubt you would be able to see any appreciable difference between the two.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I don't have either camera -- I'll be ordering my E-PL1 next week. I just know what I've read (extensively) on various review sites.
  3. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Well, from a dollars and cents perspective, what lens were you planning on getting to do street photography with? If it was going to be the 20mm f/1.7 (aka. best native m43 lens out there), then you might as well get the GF1. Right now I can find it second hand for maybe $100 more than an E-PL1. If you were to pick up a PEN, any PEN, you would have to add on the cost of buying that lens separately, and also have the kit zoom hanging around as a paper weight.

    As for when new models are coming out, new cameras from both Panny and Oly are expected to be announced in 4 weeks, but I wouldn't expect to see them on retail shelves for another 4 weeks after that. Realistically, I wouldn't expect to see things on store shelves in my neck of the woods until late October/November (and this is a major city!), but that's just how these kinds of products roll out. So the second question is... Do you need the camera at a certain point for something? Are you willing to spend what will undoubtedly be a lot of money for a brand new GH2 the day it is available (figure $1500-2000 new)?

    Perhaps you could pick up one now to give yourself time to learn the camera's ins and outs, then pick up the second after you know for sure what the next generation will be like. will cover any short term photography needs as wel as perhaps save you a little cash/spread out your spending. Heck, you might decide you only really need one camera.
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I agree with this. The only sensor and image processor combo which has any significant differences out of those you're looking at is the GH1. What makes the real difference in image quality is your glass, and since you have a GH1 you should already have a collection of :43: glass.

    If you wanted to use non-CDAF Four-Thirds glass however, then the PEN is the better option as it will allow AF on all the Four-Thirds line, whether optimized for CDAF or not. It just won't be as fast as those which are optimized.
  5. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    I try to think in terms of interface. Going from Oly to Panny is 2 different interfaces.
    I just got a GF1 to work with the G2.
    I still have the EP2 but it's a different method of thinking.
    Their both great cameras and I don't favor one over the other but just appreciate the subtle differences.
  6. flipGTO

    flipGTO Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    Unless you have huge pockets, neither the GF1 nor the pen will fit in there, even with the 20mm lens. I have the GF1 and the E-PL1, and I prefer the GF1's dial, switches, and quick menu setup versus the E-PL1's. I found this surprising because I've been shooting Olympus DSLRs since the E-500 came out.

    If you are looking for a true pocket camera, why don't you wait for the LX5 or the Canon S95?
  7. Jonkobeck

    Jonkobeck Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2010
    New York City
    I don't own either of those, but wouldn't the gf1 slip in a shirt pocket? Its looks like it would from the photos I see.
  8. deirdre

    deirdre Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 9, 2010
    It does, at least in the pockets of the shirts I use.

    View attachment 149181

    That said, it's awkward, but it is nice to know that it fits. BTW, that's with the 20mm pancake. I don't think it'd fit with the Oly 14-42 even retracted.

    Getting back to the original question: if two UIs wouldn't confuse you, I'd personally go for the Oly for the second camera. I'm considering it as an adjunct to my GF-1 for the IBIS and viewfinder. I'm planning to get a blue EPL-1.
  9. flipGTO

    flipGTO Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    I don't wear shirts with pockets, but the camera fits in the big pockets of my cargo shorts. The E-PL1 with the 14-42mm lens retracted is about the same size as my GF1 with the 20mm pancake and lens cap on, but the GF1 is a lot heavier and just feels more solid.
  10. Jonkobeck

    Jonkobeck Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 4, 2010
    New York City
    The advantage of the GF1 over the pad is the 20mm that comes with it. So basically your getting the body for about 400. O
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