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Happy birthday to me!

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, Apr 20, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Got a bit of good news recently. Looks like my job is safe for at least another budget cycle, I'm being honored with an award for creative teaching and my 50th is a little over a week.

    I decided I want to give myself a little b-day present. I want to add to my camera stable. I have an E-PL1, and Panasonic LX3 and ZS3 (fun little carry alongs). I had been thinking about picking up an E-PL2 but practically speaking I don't see that much difference than what I have with the E-PL1. I really enjoy using my E-PL1, about my only gripe is the UI and the buttons are pretty clunky and can be frustrating (but not as problematic as no camera at all). I also have long thought the Panasonic GF-1 looked good but I'm not too excited about the GF-2 and the GF-1 seems to be getting more expensive rather than less now that it is discontinued. Also, I use a VF2 on my E-PL1 and realize that I need to use and EVF and I don't care for the available EVF for the GF-1/GF-2.

    After a few suggestions by some folks on this board (and SC) I have been looking at a Panasonic G2 (the GH1 and GH2 are out of my price range). The G2 Looks like it would be a very nice handling camera and I found a brand new one on FM that can be had at a very appealing price. I do have some concerns about image quality however. Many of the samples I've seen are less than stellar although I am not prone to pixel peeping so I am not sure I would notice in real life. I like the swivel LCD, the fact that it has what is supposed to be a nice EVF built in and all my lenses are Panasonic so I expect they will work a bit better on the G2 than my E-PL1.

    It's down to the E-PL2 and the G2. The E-PL2 is a case of something I am familiar with but I also am feeling it's not much of an upgrade from what I have already. In fact if the samples I have seen are accurate I'd say the E-PL1 has ever so slightly better image quality. The E-PL2 does have faster shutter, faster AF and a slightly better control layoit with the scroll wheel. The G2 however appears to have a MUCH better control layout, better UI and has a few niceties such as faster shutter and orientation sensor.

    Are there G2 owners out there that could let me know what they think of their cameras?
    • Like Like x 1
  2. everythingsablur

    everythingsablur Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 4, 2010
    Toronto, ON
    Happy birthday!!

    I've been mulling a G2 for a little while as well to compliment my GF1. I've only ever used it in store, so my opinions are not based on any long term usage.

    Things I liked: the EVF looks great (miles and miles ahead of the LVF1, but that was fully expected), the touch screen was interesting and I think useful in situations, swivel LCD, well laid out controls (only moved one button from the GF1 arrangement), better ISO sensitivity, stereo mic support, uses the same battery as the GF1, nice comfortable shape and hand grip.

    Things I'm still iffy about: kind of rubbery feeling body material, new kit lens (going by other people's reviews on the 14-42 vs. 14-45; the 3mm means little to me, but loss of external OIS control, a hair physically longer, and not as good optically are sad to see), and the sinking feeling that I'm not going to see that much of a difference in sensor performance other than the better ISO range (though perhaps that's a good thing? I like my GF1's output...)

    Something keeps telling me to wait until I can afford a GH2 or later model, but I guess I'll wait and see how the G3 turns out and if G2 prices fall significantly.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks for the input. I'm not too worried about the kit lens as I already have a 14-45 Panasonic lens so I'm good. I'm looking to score a body that someone bought because they wanted the lens.

  4. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI

    I Love mine, not much more to say : ) within a few weeks of my purchase I sold my Canon 40D and all its "stuff"

  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Bought it

    See...that's my biggest problem...I tend to be impulsive. I found one on FM that a guy was selling brand new for a very good price (he bought it for the lens). Since I'm pretty happy to be reaching the half century mark...after a bit of wangling and a price drop I bought it.

    Looking forward to learning my new tool.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is HIGH praise. My day is just getting more awesome.

  7. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Kevin, happy birthday mate. A half a century old, wow!

    I havn't got a clue about the G2 but let us know how you go. If you're worried about the image output you could always got the Raw route and that fixes alot of the panny shortcomes. I know it made my GF1 really awesome.

    happy birthday to you,
    happy birthday to you
    happy birthday to Kevin,
    happy birthday to you
    hip, hip, hooray!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thank you very much...it's nice to have made it this far. Still around and kicking still employed, have a terrific 8 year old son and a lovely wife. It called for a bit of a celebration. I'll post about my adventures in Panasonic G2 land.

  9. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    I have a G1 and GF1 and the image quality is incredible. Just read up on this mu-43 site re: optimizing it for jpeg in-camera processing, which involves tweaking the white balance and setting up you own tweaked "film mode" - i.e. setting the sharpness, saturation, noise reduction, and contrast to your own taste. Once set, you can take great pictures, and for outdoors, not change any settings except exposure. The default settings on the G's are a bit bland, which is the only reason why Oly's looks better. Once set up the way you want, the Panasonics are terrific.

    If the G2 is anything like the G1, you should be in great shape.
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'll look that up...thanks for the tip. It seemed odd to me that two cameras with the SAME sensor could produce such different results and that it not be somthing fixable in settings.

    Looking forward to playing with mine and getting it dialed in.
  11. Bokeh Diem

    Bokeh Diem Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010

    I have owned both the G1 and now the G2. Aside from the touchscreen there is not much difference.... the sensors are the same. I think that there might be some upgrade to the Venus engine on the newer model.

    I like the form factor very much.. I have big hands and the larger body also accommodates larger lenses over their compact siblings.

    The sensor is the limiting factor for these cameras.... you will notice that blown highlights are a problem. Use the histogram function on the LCD and expose accordingly, and you will avoid most pitfalls. They just don't have the dynamic reach that the GH2 or larger APS-C sensors do, and while shooting ISO 800 and sometimes 1600 on the G2 can be done, working with 400 on down tends to bring out the camera's best attributes.

    One last item: they are very well built, I ran 30K actuations on my G1 in dusty and really crappy conditions for over a year (a construction site) and it never whimpered or failed me.

    I am getting a GH2 soon, but will keep my G2 handy. Getting rid of equipment these days is now starting to look foolhardy when one considers rising prices and scarcity of units on the secondary market.

    For the money these Pany bodies are unstoppable IMO. Congrats!

    Bokeh D
    • Like Like x 1
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks, the GH1 is a very appealing camera but budgets beng what they are I went for what looked to me to be the best bang for the buck. I have a Panasonic 10 and 14-45 so I am starting off with two very useful lenses. I remember shooting Tr-X film so I'm pretty low key when it comes to noise. Thanks for the tip on the blown highlights.

  13. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2010
    This is absolutely true and a great bit of advice. I work in aperture priority, float the histogram live on the viewfinder moving it over to one side and then just adjust the exposure compensation using the little wheel so that the right hand end of the histogram (the highlights) almost touches the right side of the histogram box, and rarely get blown highlights anymore.

    I also tend to stay at ISO 200 or 400, but I have used much higher and don't mind the grain I get in those situations (indoor performances, for example). Since I don't shoot RAW anymore - just in-camera processed jpegs - getting the exposure right is key. With the camera set to taste, the jpegs are incredibly good. The camera is a pure joy!
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