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Good MFT for Manual Focusing Only

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by edwardconde, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Hi All,

    I am thinking of adding a 2nd MFT body to my gear bag. THis would mostly be used for my MF Lenses... I have an e-pl1 now that I use and was thinking of just getting another from Cameta.. but they have some decent prices on refurbs on E-PL2s and E-PM1s. Looking under $200... I know they have the E-PL3 at $249 refurb right now but I am not sure on the body style. Again this will mostly be for manual focusing and I have a VF-2 I will be using on the body. I am dedicating my E-PL1 to use with my bodycap lens, so I will either use it without a EVF or get the VF1...

  2. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    The good budget choice is E-PM2 - then you would have both the Magnify and the Peaking focus methods to use with your MF lenses. I'm using the PM1 with the VF-2 with my MF glass. Set the 'Record' button for Magnify. Works well IMO. If you feel you need a grip and can't be bothered with getting a custom option to the PM1, then PL2's should probably be the target model.
  3. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    You need to consider the G3. EVF is very important when shooting with MF.
    It is cheap body only is 250$. You lose the IBIS but gain ISO therefor the speed you can shot with is not affected.
  4. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    I second what Elavon just said - I found switching from GF1 to G3 made a huge difference to what I could do with manual lenses - I know some people manage but I simply couldn't get decent results out of, for instance, my Jupiter-9 85mm before and now I can.
  5. asterinex

    asterinex Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 14, 2012
    I would suggest
    1) a bigger body like EP1 or E-P2, because some legacy lenses are rather heavy.
    2) IBIS, so Olympus
    3) Good viewfinder, like VF-2
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Either the E-PL2 or the E-PM1 will work just fine. I use both models regularly with MF lenses and love 'em both. The Mini is the smallest of the bunch and I have one in each of my location kits (including my little murse I carry everywhere with me). The E-PL2 is one of my favorite studio bodies. Its grip is substantial and helps with larger lenses (I don't know why the above poster suggested the E-P1 and E-P2 for a larger body, as the E-PL2 and even your own E-PL1 have much better grip for larger lenses, along with significantly sharper images). The E-PL2 offers more buttons for a little easier control, though if you're only using manual lenses on it I would say you don't need that. The E-PM1 offers much better AWB as well as 1080i AVCHD video with no time limits, as opposed to the 720p AVI with FAT filesize limits (since AVI is in a single file, while AVCHD records in a folder). The AWB of the Mini and newer is something else to behold, as long as you set "Keep Warm Colors" to OFF. Both cameras capture the same great image quality and sharpness.

    If you want a cheaper EVF, the VF-3 retails for $100 less than the VF-2 and is still pretty decent quality. I like the convenience factor of the lock, since I have to keep my VF-2 on a tether. For the 15mm bodycap lens however, I'm sure the VF-1 would work just fine. You don't need the focus viewing ability of the EVF when using that lens, so the VF-1 should work just fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Ned... I was exactly thinking of a VF1 for the body cap combo.... And moving the VF-2 over to the new body.

    I like the body style of both and knowing that i can put a grip on the mini makes me think that would be a better route. The only buttons I usually mess with on my e-pl1 are the dial up top, magnification button and the OK button to get me to the menu. So i really think i can go either way.

    I did not that the E-PL3 refurb is at Cameta Camera for $249... $50 more than what i wanted to pay but... :biggrin:
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The E-PL3 will give you a tilt screen as well as more buttons (along the lines of the E-PL2). At full retail price we were paying $200 for those little extras, but at $50 I would seriously consider it. :)  The Mini is still the most extreme for tight packing, but the difference is not much. From the sounds of your button usage though, I would think the button part should be moot. The E-PM1's should get you along fine, using the video button as your Fn button set to Magnification. So it really boils down to whether or not you want to pay for the tilt screen. :) 
    • Like Like x 1
  9. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    This is probably a dumb question but I new at MFTs so still learning the tech behind them... Is the IBIS the same in all models? (Talking everything under the E-Px5 & OMD) so is there a difference between the IBIS in a PM1 vs the PL2 and PL3?

    Any issues with keeping IBIS on all the time?
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There is a small difference between the IBIS on the E-PM1 and E-PL3 with that of the E-PL2. The E-PL2 is more reliable and effective. It's a time-tested build which has been around since the E-620 DSLR (where it was made more mechanical to fit into the smaller bodies of the time, which is probably how Olympus was the first and only to fit an IBIS system into a Non-Reflex body). The IBIS system was once again revamped to fit into the new Mini body used on the E-PM1 and E-PL3, and all the new Mini and Lite bodies since. The new revamp is not quite as reliable or effective, but it works. :)  A small price to pay for such a tiny body, in my opinion.

    The OM-D E-M5 is the most notable difference, having a brand new 5-axis system which is significantly better than any other IS system around, both OIS and IBIS. The sensor on the OM-D is left suspended freely.
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