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GF2 or G3

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by okinana, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    If you are to buy a new camera unit with 14-42mm kit lens which would you choose? Both are on sale. The G3 for $499 and the GF2 for $385.

    I already have an E-P3 but I want a 2nd camera. Is the LVF and articulating screen of the G3 a big plus? Is the size difference a big issue? How is the performance of G3 compared to GF2 (IQ, user interface, AF speed, battery life, ease of use). I was originally thinking of buying a used GF1 or used GF2 with either a 14mm or 14-45mm lens. The price of a used GF1 + 14-45mm is $429.95 while a used GF2 + 14mm is $367. I really like the 14mm lens but I am worried about buying a used GF2 and used 14mm. I might be better of getting a brand new camera with 14-42mm and then just sell the lens and buy a new 14mm.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    Yes. Size difference negligible. Neither are "pocket" cameras by any means. I'd take the G3 over the GF2 in a hot hurry. Your options for camera positioning while shooting is significantly better with the EVF and the articulating screen. Shoot with the camera high over your head, down on the ground, off to the side, from the waist, shoot from the waist at a 90 degree angle. These options dramatically increase your potential for more creative images and more varied angles of view. And the EVF is wonderful for the times when you want additional camera steadiness and is especially helpful when manual focusing with a legacy lens... it's much easier to see the focus and hold the camera steady when it's anchored with both hands and your forehead. For me, G3, slam dunk.
     
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  3. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Thanks Don. The problem is, the store selling the G3 is not shipping. It has to be a store pick-up and it is in California.
     
  4. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I'd say keep looking around, perhaps eBay. You can find a good G3 for a great price if you put some work into it. Nice as the GF2 is, the G3 offers you so very much more.
     
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  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I much prefer the mini DSLR form factor and I find the EVF+articulating LCD works great. I wish the G3 had a mode dial and the eye controlled EVF like the G2 but if I were choosing between the GF2 and G3 it would be a G3 without a doubt.
     
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  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Why? And if so, why would you want a kit lens then?

    Obviously, it depends how you use the camera, but I think just about everyone would agree that yes this is a huge plus.

    Totally dependent on you. The G3 is pretty darn small.

    IQ - better, especially in low light
    UI - pretty much identical
    AF - both are quick. G3 is faster
    Battery - they both use the same battery. Life on the G3 is not so good.
    Ease of use - UI is the same, so pretty much the same
     
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  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    tc, you're on a roll. I'm completely on board with you again. okinana, why do you want a second camera with kit lens, if you have an E-P3? What's the point of having another camera body? I see many people here collecting camera bodies like they were Pokemon cards. Just get one body, and sink the rest of your money into gear like lenses, tripod, flash/strobes, etc. Your camera can switch lenses to best suit your situation, don't be afraid to change them out. There's no point in buying yourself a second body, unless there is something wrong with your E-P3. If you want a viewfinder, just get yourself a VF-2, and save the rest of the money on something useful. What lenses do you have now, that you're wanting an old version of the kit lens? If you get a 14-42, you might as well get the new R version of the Olympus, or the X version of the Panasonic, for their improved features (I assume that image quality is overall a wash between all the different kit lenses).

    If you put a gun to my head and told me to recommend you a second body, then first off I would have no hesitation recommending a used camera. Buy from these forums, or your local camera shop (the amazing Calumet is in your city, go there and they'll set you straight). Otherwise, just get the G3.
     
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  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    As often happens, I totally agree with Schnitz. A second body is good to have, but not until AFTER you have a complete set of GOOD lenses (ie, not kit lenses!), lights, and everything else you need (including accessories like the VF-2).
     
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  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    It largely comes down to two questions:

    1. How important is low light shooting to you? If its a big priority, go for the G3 - its sensor is at least somewhat better in low light than the GF2. But assuming the GF2 is good enough in this regard....

    2. Do you want a permanent EVF and if its not a priority, does the hump and rearward protrusion of the EVF bother you? Many people love having a full time EVF and if you're one of them, this is a no brainer in favor of the G3. If you don't use the EVF much, you have to decide whether having one there that you're not using will get in the way of your enjoyment of the camera. For many the answer is no. For some (I'm at the top of this list), the EVFs on a G3 and GH2 really feel like they're obtrusive and in the way to the point that it really has an impact on my ability to enjoy shooting with the camera. If this is true of you, you have a tough choice and have to weigh that against the obvious benefits of the G3. if this is NOT true of you, I can't think of any other reason to prefer the GF2 to the G3. If the EVF is a positive or even if it just isn't a negative, I'd get the G3 in, as Don says, a "hot hurry".

    -Ray
     
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  10. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    305
    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA
    Don, Dixeyk, Shnitz, Ned, tc and Ray,

    Thank you guys for all your insightful comments. I have several legacy lenses, the Panny 20, the Oly 14-42 II R, the VF2 and a Benro tripod. I was thinking of buying a 14mm to have a wider lens than my 20 but instead of buying just the lens, if I can find a decent priced camera + lens combo not far from the lens price then why not. The only reason the G3 came into the picture was because of the sale that they are having at Fry's. Originally I was choosing between the GF1 or GF2 that are used with either a 14mm or a 14-45mm. I can either use the 2nd camera, give it to my dad as a gift or sell it.

    What is your take on the Panny 14 vs 20? Should I get the 14 to compliment my 20? My shooting style is very diverse because I am still trying to find what I want. I like to shoot street and landscape. I also like portraits and architectures. I haven't tried macro.

    How about the Panny 14-45mm? Is it substantially better than the Oly 14-42 II R or it is not worth buying it? I figured I have to have one good 14-40something lens at least. That's why I wanted to try both.

    Thanks again guys.

    :2thumbs::drinks:
     
  11. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    Like the others say, depends

    I've had a GF2 and now have a G3, so I think I know what I'm talking about.

    First, I disagree that the GF2 isn't pocketable. In fact, that would be one of the reasons I would choose it, because it's much more pocketable than the E-P3 (which is just barely pocketable). So if one of the reasons you're looking for a second body is to make it easier to have a camera with you at all times--because the E-P3's just a little too big--then the GF2 is a great choice. The E-PM1 would be another good choice, but you've restricted yourself to the two Panasonics because they're on sale.

    On the other hand, if you're looking for another body because the E-P3 is a little too limited--especially the lack of a built-in EVF--then the G3's a great choice. For all the reasons that have been stated: better IQ, tilting screen, etc. The JPGS are also surprisingly nice (for a Panny), and I really like the way LR converts the RAW files.
     
  12. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Where do you find yourself gravitating when you shoot with the kit zoom lens? If you spend a lot of time at the wide end, I'd highly recommend the 14mm prime. I have the 12, 14, 25, and 45 and owned both the 17 and 20 until recently. I shoot with the 14 a LOT, particularly for street shooting, where I prefer a wider field of view than the 20 allows. If you like a wide angle, I'd definitely recommend a 14, but some people don't. So that's your call, but its a great little lens (and I do mean LITTLE - I'd say the GF2 or GF3 probably is pocketable with that lens).

    As for the Pany 14-45 vs 14-42, I've heard its a bit better optically and if you really like shooting with a kit zoom, it might be worth getting. But I have a hard time imagining its that much better than either the Pany or Oly 14-42, its a good deal larger than the collapsable Oly (did you get that with your EP3?) and its still a slow kit zoom. I'd personally put any lens money into more and better primes or maybe a specialty zoom like a UWA or a superzoom for travel (the 14-150 is the only zoom I ever use that covers the standard focal lengths), rather than slightly upgrading a kit zoom...

    -Ray
     
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  13. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    x2 - and if you really like wide angle, I would add the Oly 12 to the list. Or wait for the rumored bright zooms, which is what I am doing.

    Of course, all this discussion depends on where you lie along the IQ/UI vs portability spectrum since most of the better IQ lenses tend to be a bit larger (the 20/1.7 being the exception)

    To clarify my post above, I can understand having a second body mounted with a different lens so you don't have to swap in the heat of the action.
     
  14. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Personally, I'd think the 45mm would be a better mate for a 14mm. A 12mm would be a better mate for the 20mm than the 14mm woul be. I can't see big reason to get a 14mm with a 20mm... I'd just step back with the 20mm if it were me. ;) A 12mm and 45mm could both go well with your 20mm. If you have any two or three primes in that range though, then I would forget any thoughts of getting a slow kit zoom. There's really no need for it. Your primes will cover all those focal lengths with only a few steps forward or backwards, while retaining superior sharpness, image quality, and lens speed. I don't bother with zooms much until I get into the super-tele range, in which csase a zoom is very useful to back away from the tight composition. The "standard" focal lengths are where primes are easiest to use.
     
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The Panasonic 20 is in a different class than the 14. The 14-45 is IMHO a bit better than the Olympus 14-42 (any version) and don't forget the 14-45 has OIS in the lens (a benefit to a Panasonic body) where the Olympus 14-42 does not as that is handled by the IBIS of the Olympus bodies. I find that the 14 end of the 14-45 is pretty comparable to the 14. The biggest difference is the fact that the 14 is tiny, faster to focus and completely silent. That said, the 14-45 is a lot more versatile a lens. If I had to do over I would have kept my 14-45 and sold the 14 (live and learn).

    Have you thought about the new Panasonic 14-42 compact zoom? It looks to be quite interesting and barely larger than the 20. I haven't heard about whether or not it's good optically but I suspect it would be.