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GF3 vs GF2 vs something else

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Reversed, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Reversed

    Reversed New to Mu-43

    6
    Feb 22, 2012
    Hello!

    I'm just starting to get into the m4/3 and have been doing tons of research on entry level cameras.

    I have decided to get a m4/3 for the size and for the fact that I travel quite a bit and have access to a DSLR if I need one.

    I have narrowed it down to either the GF2, GF3, or something like the E-PM1.

    I recently came across a deal where I can get a like new GF3 w/ kit lens (most accessories in box, warranty through December, mint condition) and an extra battery for $300.

    The cheapest I can get a GF2 is $375 from amazon, and the E-PM1 on amazon is even more expensive at $424.

    I am just getting into higher-end (well, higher than point-and-shoot) photography, and I'm really not sure if I would be disappointed later on with the GF3 seeing how I will not have the option of external flash or an EVF.

    Is this deal too good to pass up? Any suggestions?
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, you will. If you're thinking now that you'll miss the use of external flash and EVF, then you've already identified enough aspirations to grow in your photography, that this is NOT the camera for you.
    I would skip the GF-3, and get either the GF-2 or E-PM1, preferably the E-PM1. The GF-2 has a hotshoe for flash which is a major consideration in any system camera purchase (otherwise you only have half the system - the lenses. Lights are an important part of a light-capturing system too!). However, the LVF-1 viewfinder available for the GF-2 pales in comparison to either the high-grade VF-2 or the lower-grade VF-3 available for the E-PM1. Also, the E-PM1 has the option of an external mic jack for video. External audio in video is as important as external lighting for stills when you need that professional quality that doesn't feel home-made. The E-PM1 also has significantly improved image processing, incredible Auto White Balance, significantly faster AutoFocus, and In-Body Image Stabilization for any lens you mount on it.

    Also, the GF-3 is control handicapped as well. I've been shooting cameras professionally for years and years, but I still can't get around the GF-3's interface. :( The default menu settings on the E-PM1 aren't great either but once you turn on the Super Control Panel and unlock the wheel, it becomes the best of the entry-levels. You should have no problems with the GF-2 though in this regard.

    The E-PM1 is yes. I wouldn't say the GF-3. ;) The GF-2 is a better deal than the GF-3 as it is a more capable camera for $75 more, but the E-PM1 for only $50 more is that much better than the GF-2. I would consider either the GF-2 or E-PM1.

    However, the GF-3 does retail for more than the E-PM1 (and this discount shows how ridiculous the original price of the GF-3 is for what it does) so for market value this is a very good deal. However, even retail list price for the E-PM1 is a great deal for practical use value.
     
  3. BarefootPilgrim

    BarefootPilgrim Mu-43 Top Veteran

    517
    Dec 23, 2009
    Westchester, IL
    Bob
    :2thumbs::2thumbs:

    Absolutely! Ned is 100% correct... the E-PM1 is far and away the best m-4/3 value on the planet at the moment. Of course, all that will change when the O-MD E-M5 goes on sale... but then you'll need to add another $1000 to your calculations, and that will make the E-PM1 an even better value!

    Stretch your budget a bit and get the E-PM1. After all, you can live without Starbucks lattes for two or three weeks, can't you? :biggrin:
     
  4. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    345
    Jan 24, 2012
    If you are a okay with buying used, the GF2 is one of the best m43 bargains around at the moment (here in the UK anyway) - lightly used bodies sold on ebay UK recently for around £120/£130 and a brand new one sold for £150. (It was red though) :smile:

    You can also look for deals on the GF2 with 14mm lens - in the UK this combo is £290 which makes the body pretty cheap when you factor in the lens value of £190 retail). But then the E-PM1 here (with kit lens) is a similar price:£300, GF3 with kit lens: £300 or GF3 with 14mm £330 - so almost identical price for all 3 cameras.
     
  5. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Feb 20, 2012
    Having shot a friend's GF2, I have to agree with applemint, that it's a tremendous value on the secondary market. It's gotten a bad rep because it's the first of the m4/3 that used a touch screen primarily but now everybody is.
     
  6. riveredger

    riveredger Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern NJ
    Check Unique Photo in NJ. They are a legit and reputable retailer. I bought a GF2 with 14-42 from them last week for $339. They also have an open box on their website for $285.
     
  7. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    I would keep checking Amazon for the $330 GF3 + 14mm deal. Also, Target regularly discounts the GF3 + 14-42mm kit to $325 or so. They put it on sale for $399 and then offer up a $75 GC if you buy it. A Target GC is as good as cash since you can use it to buy a prepaid amex/mastercard/visa.

    $375 for a GF2 is way too high. Check your local Best Buy which has been clearing them out. I got my GF2 kit for $200. I turned my nose up at another for $249. The liquidators get in Panasonic refurb units for $230 or so.
     
  8. riveredger

    riveredger Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern NJ
    I have never seen the kit for that price at my local Best Buy. Where did you buy it at that price??
     
  9. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Feb 20, 2012
    Ya, GF2 KIT for $200 is quite a steal!
     
  10. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
  11. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    It was that price all over the place. I saw it in at least 2 cities.
     

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  12. Aegon

    Aegon Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Nov 3, 2011
    Portland, OR
  13. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Feb 20, 2012
    Time to head down to my local BB!
     
  14. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    BB has silly low prices when they decide to clear things out. They cleared out the Sony A33 for $135. Around the same time I got the GF2, I picked up a Sony HX5 for $20 and a Panasonic FH5 for $15.
     
  15. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Feb 20, 2012
    Damn, I clearly need to stop by the BB more often.
     
  16. Reversed

    Reversed New to Mu-43

    6
    Feb 22, 2012
    Thanks for all the info so far. I'm really trying to look for a good deal on a GF2 (or a E-PM1). I've been checking the buy/sell/trade forums.

    On the best buy option:
    Wow. My local best buy is selling it for $599.99 for an open box model. What the hell?
     
  17. DuckWingDuck

    DuckWingDuck Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Feb 20, 2012
    reversed - depending on where you live, craigslist might also be a good option. It offers the advantage of in person inspection. I've sold some stuff via CL and have generally had good success.
     
  18. riveredger

    riveredger Mu-43 Regular

    130
    Aug 30, 2010
    Northern NJ
    Not in this part of the world, lol. I wish. :smile:
     
  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I think the GF-2 sells for something like $250 or $280 in Best Buy here... definitely not $375! I hadn't noticed that high price in the Original Post until it was pointed out.

    The E-PL1 went down as low as $199 this year at Best Buy, and $399 is still the best price I see for the E-PM1 ($100 off - not bad!). The E-PL2 is hovering around the $420-$450 spot I think. The E-PM1 is generally a better value unless you have a need for the bulk, buttons, built-in RC, or 4:3 screen of the E-PL2.