GX1 or E-P3 or G3? (1st World Problem)

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Antonf, Nov 10, 2011.

  1. Antonf

    Antonf New to Mu-43

    Oct 17, 2011
    Next February I'm taking a year off to move to Beijing and Learn Mandarin.

    Right now I have a P&S and its just not enough, I want more. I've tried my brothers T2i and I like it but I feel its too big and flashy to carry around a city all the time.

    My initial thought was to go G3 (EVF + Articulating Screen) but then the GX1 came out and that got me thinking on the E-P3. I dont know why I want an EVF so bad maybe its cause I've used a T2i before but if feels more pro. I'm a P&S user so I'm used to the screen.

    Should I wait till January to see whats out?

    Here are my options:

    1) GX1
    - Good Sensor
    - Smallest of the three
    - New Collapsable Lens
    - Sleek and great for everyday
    - No articulating screen
    - Power Zoom and Focus seems strange
    - Expensive
    - No built in EVF
    - No IBIS

    2) E-P3
    - Everyone seems to love it
    - Sexy looks
    - Good Kit lens
    - IBIS
    - Older sensor
    - Still pricey
    - No Built in EVF

    3) G3
    - Built in EVF
    - Articulating Screen
    - Good Sensor
    - Amazing Price
    - Biggest of the three
    - Ugly Mini DSLR body
    - No IBIS
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    You've identified the tradeoffs pretty well and you seem to have an idea of your preferences, so you just have to decide whether you want a permanent EVF or not (I absolutely don't, many people absolutely do, some don't seem all that concerned one way or the other - which are you?). If so, you have an easy call for the G3. If not, you have to compare the features/tradeoffs of the EP3 and GX1. If you're a pixel peeper, you may want to go with the Pany with the newer sensor. If you're not, you'll never see the difference. Other than that, the EP3 is great and I'm sure the GX1 will be also. I personally prefer a few things about Oly, having owned a number of both, and I'd personally go with the EP3. But I'm quite sure the GX1 will be great, as was the gf1. Just a matter of which interface you prefer, how important IBIS is to you (pretty rarely matters to me, but some people swear by it), and just the feel of each. If you're in a hurry, get an EP3. If you're not, wait until the GX1 is available in shops and go play around with each - one will probably just feel better to you and you should choose that one because if you enjoy it more you'll shoot with it more and nothing makes you better more than shooting more...

    Sorry, I can't answer your question - only you can. The good news is you don't have any bad choices here!

  3. Wes7

    Wes7 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 22, 2011
    I made the same transition for similar purposes last Spring. Here are a few things to consider:

    1. Coming from a point and shoot, I think you will be happy with the image quality from any of the choices you listed.

    2. What kind of shooting do you want to do? Do you just want a camera that will take better pictures without having to get knee-deep in settings or take manual control, or do you want to use the camera to learn more about photography and take more control of your picture-taking? Are you going to shoot JPEG or RAW most of the time? Don't sweat the Panasonic line's unimpressive JPEGs if you are going to be shooting RAW. Likewise, If you don't intend to use the manual and priority modes, you may not need all the physical controls on the GX1 or E-P3.

    3. None of these camera really fit in anything less than a coat pocket, so you are likely going to carry them in a bag most of the time. In that case, the difference between the "rangefinder" bodies and the "DSLR" bodies is mostly an aesthetic and handling issue.

    4. This is something that I never considered until I bought my E-P1, but that made a HUGE difference for me. I think most people will shoot more and have more fun if they think their camera is cool. Features, IQ, tilt screens, ultra-high-resolution displays and all are great and have a huge impact on your experience, but I think handling and the "IT" factor of the camera are the things that most make me want to pick it up and use it. I know for a fact that I have shot more pictures with my E-P1 than any camera before it because it was just too cool looking to leave it alone.

    Just a few things I learned from my buying experience. Your mileage may vary.
  4. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Yep, that's the point: you can't go wrong whichever you choose because they're all great cameras
  5. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    I think it's a difficult, if not impossible question...


    Well... :smile: If you're talking about value for money and features, it's pretty much a done deal for the G3 - it just offers so much performance for such a good price, and in all reality it's awfully bloody close to the EP3/GX1 for size.... I think the main reason to get the GX1/EP3 is feel, aesthetics and handling. Which isn't to say that these things aren't important. They are. But they're also very personal... I'd get the GX1 because I love the look, I like Panasonic's handling, and it seems like a very well built body, which is important to me and worth $200 over the G3...

    That's not really a GX1 con - it's just a point if you choose to get a certain lens (it's also offered with the conventional 14-42 if you prefer)
  6. dayou14

    dayou14 Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 6, 2011

    All of the above listed cameras are great so it's the handling you'll have to decide. I just want to add that if you seriously want pocketability, the lens choices are important, and putting on the 14-42 doesn't make the cameras as pocketable already. Pocketability is max with the 14mm pancake lens, and most of my friends just use the legendary 20 1.7 lens full-time.

    The other thing you can consider is that Beijing is a market where Canikon cameras dominate, so M43 cameras don't particularly hold value too well. That means that older M43 cameras like EPL2, EP1, GF2, GF1, and even the recently launched GF3 can usually be had for cheaper prices than equivalent in CONUS. Many resellers even open up the GF3 kits, sell them body only, and than re-sell the 14mm pancake lenses for really cheap. On the net. You may want to consider picking up your Body here in Beijing.

  7. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Given Panasonic's track record, the GX1 might not even be a consideration if you haven't already pre-ordered it =)

    I'd say if you're coming from a P&S, the G3 is probably on the bottom of your list. The biggest draw it will have is it's the cheapest of the lot and has the articulating screen.

    Which then leads to the next question, any consideration on the EPL3? This seems like the best compromise.
  8. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Out of interest, why?
  9. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    It's really important that you do not choose on specifications alone. Handling is equally, if not more important and only you can choose on that basis. Try to get some hands on with the G3 and E-P3 (also consider E-PL2 and E-PL3) at a local dealer. Experience of the GX1 will be a little harder, but if you don't like the E-P3 form compared to the G3 it's unlikely the GX1 will suit you better.

    Same with the menus, if you prefer the E-P3 menus to the G3, it's unlikely that would change between the E-P3 and the GX1.

    Personally I wouldn't wait for the GX1, I'd get one that is available now so that you can get used to it before your trip. Don't forget that Sony, Nikon and Pentax now also do mirrorless system cameras - it depends on how vital image quality is to you compared to overall system size. Once again, if you consider any of these do check how they handle for you.
  10. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    What about the E-PL3? It's got that tilting screen you like, and the same IQ as the E-3. Great external VF if you want it, just like the GX1. I'm sure Ray could chime in more, since I recall that's his camera of choice.
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Regarding viewfinders, do not forget that all three models you list have the option of a high-res 1.44 million dot EVF. The G3's is built in, but the Oly E-P3 and Panny GX-1 both take it as an extra accessory. The accessory EVFs are nice because they can be used at variable angle up to 90 degrees, and they can be removed for more compact packing.
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    If you can get out and handle the E-P3 and G3 that wold probably help you decide. I have always been a fan of rangefinder film cameras so when I started with m43 I picked up an E-PL1+VF2 and went to town. It was terrific camera but I just wasn't all together happy with it. I then picked up an E-P1 and later an E-PL2 and finally I picked up a G2. It was a revelation but for me the mini DSLR style and handling of the G2 was what i was looking for. I love the EVF and the flip out screen and although the G2 doesn't win any friend on specifications I love it. That said, it is a very personal thing and really depends on what YOU like not what any of us think. All three cameras are terrific and while I might be inclined to pick the G3 someone else might favor the E-P3 or what-have-you.

    Go try them out if possible. It really will clear things up for you.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    If you are not considering moving to prime lenses for now, then IBIS is not a big issue since the kit zoom are stablized. but if you do want to get a prime lens and take pictures indoors, then I recommend the olympus bodies. even with fast lenses like panny 20mm or oly 45mm, I get shaky pics 50% of the time with panasonic bodies, while less than 5% with Olympus.

    or maybe I just need new lightbulbs at home.
  14. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    I've recently become convinced that this is a real advantage rather than a disadvantage. :smile:
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Another vote for trying out the handling of the G-3 and E-P3. As others have said, from a price-performance-features standpoint, it's G3 hands down. But you have to enjoy handling and working the camera and you need to find out.

    I would also rule out the GX1 - only because I don't think it will be available in time, given Panasonic's track record with new cameras. I also recommend getting to know your new camera before you leave on your adventure, which again is another reason to choose between the cameras you can buy now.

    If you don't have a camera store nearby, you might want to order both the G3 and E-P3 from one of mu-43.com's affiliate partners listed in the tab at the top-right of this page (Amin gets a small cut of the profit that way). Try them out for a few days and return the one you don't like as much.

    Good luck!
  16. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    That "it" factor must be compelling when the E-P3 is equipped with an "obsolete" sensor, lacks most of those features and is still considered amongst a competition running hundreds less on msrp. :tongue:
  17. ripleys baby

    ripleys baby Straw clutcher

    Aug 10, 2011
    As a G3 owner, i'm going to go out on a limb here and say no to the G3.
    Today it lost me a shot because it lacked the eye sensor of the GH2. But it got me a shot because of the flippy screen . I was using it along side my recently acquired olympus XZ1. No viewfinder, no flippy outy screen, I love it. I believe the UI is pretty much the same on the EP3 ? If it is then i would opt for the olympus. I just feel right at home with the controls on the olympus.
    I swapped my LX5 for the XZ1 , so im sure that would rule out the new Pany.:confused::confused::confused:
    I'm just rambling now, I'll vote Olympus. So if anyone out there wants to do a body swap ?
  18. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    How did the lack of the eye sensor made you miss a shot?:eek:
  19. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
    Where are you finding these cheap M43 cameras? I go to Beijing/Shanghai at least twice a year and I've never found any electronic cheaper than in the US. In fact, most things in China are twice what they sell for in the US. Even after haggling it doesn't come close. If I tell them how much I paid in the US, they call me a liar.
  20. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    Mostly because the OP seemed to indicate he wouldn't use the EVF. It's a plus as a feature overall, but I find it a bit annoying vs my GF1 when I'm shoving it into a small bag.

    With that out of the way, the E-PL3 gets a flip screen in a compact body and roughly the same price. Yes, you lose out on high ISO, but not sure if that is a priority for the OP.

    GX1 also a nice option, but I think it's priced $100 too high, and the 14-42X has yet to really fall into "real use" reviews yet (though, I wouldn't suspect it to be bad). And again, this might not even be available by the time the OP leaves =)

    E-P3, eh, I have no opinion really. I just think the E-PL3 is a better buy unless you specifically need certain features (or just simply love the design, it is quite nice).