Help! (GF1 vs E-P2)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Ritualnet, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    I'm reasonably new, and bought a GF1+20mm (for around £350). Well, the more I read, the more it seems that the Olympus cameras are 'better' so, I was watching some EP1/EP2's, and then in a fit of bidding via Ebay, ended up with an E-P2 (with VF2 and 14-42mm kit lens and a pile of batteries), for around £270.

    That's £620 spent, and I'm not sure what to do now.

    I'd like to recoop some money and I'm already going to sell my D40 and Dynax 5D, to try and make up some cash, but I'm not sure if I should keep the E-P2 or the GF1.

    Another question is, the 20mm pancake is still retaining it's value, while it's a beautiful lens (so I'm told? The picture quality seems on par with the D40's kit lens so far), I can get £200+ for it, and the kit lens has a range that covers 20mm... right?

    Lastly... I've shot around... 40 pictures so far with the GF1. I am having a little bit of a problem adjusting to it. It doesn't feel as natural as my D40, and although it's so much smaller (which is what I wanted, as the D40 gets left at home all the time), it feels less... dynamic? I put the D40 to my eye, I can get the info, twist a few wheels and take a picture. With the GF1, I'm firing on iAuto too much, because I'm not used to any settings at all yet. Should... and I know this is heresy, is this all a fad I'm going through, and should I just ditch the M43 all together and stick with my D40?

    Sorry. I'm just really worried. My partner is not upset, but disappointed that I spent so much money, and that makes me depressed. I thought hobbies were supposed to be fun?
     
  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Debi
    I wouldn't give up the 20mm. You're going to want its larger-aperture capabilities at some point, like the next time you take it to the pub to snap pix of your mates.
     
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    The E-M5 is the only Olympus that beats the Panasonics for sensor performance. I think you have a great camera right now (and at a good price). If you want to improve on sensor IQ you would need to jump up to the G3, GX1 or GH2 on the Panasonic side, or all the way up to the E-M5 for Olympus.
     
  4. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    I'm a freak, I don't drink, or visit pubs unless they do decent food :/

    I don't use RAW, and was reading comparisons, how you need to set up specific memory settings (like PJohnGren's WB/dynamic film mode settings) to get Jpegs that actually represent the picture, while the Olympus has good Jpegs straight out of the camera. I did do research, between the EP1 and GF1, and came to the conclusion the GF1 was better, but.. I never took into the equation the EP2, and didn't realise that the LCD would be a drawback (I'm in the UK and on the rare day it sun-shines, I'm playing squinty-squint with the LCD screen to take a few building pictures).

    I dunno. I suppose, the worst gets to the worst I can receive the E-P2 and stuff and then try to put it up at the marketplace and get what I can back, but then I'm going to have to spend another £150+ on the LVF for the GF1, or give in and get a G1 body (and I think Laura will dump me if I buy another camera!)
     
  5. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    I also bought a GF1 with the 20mm, plus other lenses too. I wouldn't bother with an EVF for it.

    The way I figure it, when the G5 appears the price of the G3 will drop. Dixon's had the G3 for £360 a couple of months ago plus £50 cash back from Panasonic. Sell your GF1 for about £100-125 and the 14-42mm kit lens that comes with the G3 for £70-90. You'll have a much better camera with a EVF for less money than you'll pick up an EVF for your GF1.

    Flog your Olympus kit separately first. That should fund the G3 purchase.

    But make sure you tell your girlfriend your sorry, you made a mistake. I little humility goes a long way. By my reckoning you £200 better off with a great camera lens combo. Use that cash to take her on a city break somewhere. Valencia is cheap to fly too and is a great city for romance and photography. Play it right and you come out smelling of roses.
     
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  6. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    Your advantage is that you can pretty much combine (nearly) everything of your mFT gear.
    So why dont you:
    1. decide which body you prefer. Both are so different from each other that you will soon find out which you prefer. Or not at all.
    2.Likewise with he lenses. Any body with the 20mm means a small, lightweight combo, to be carried without a problem. The kit zoom, on the other hand, is a verxydecent lens. More than capable of doing everything you can throw at it as a "normal" user.

    Personally, I would keep a body and the 20mm, its so much fun NOT to lug around a big DSLR.
    Selling all you dont want to keep shouldnt be much of a problem.
     
  7. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Nov 19, 2011
    Maybe M4/3 is not for you!
     
  8. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    313
    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Daniele Frizzi
    You have almost my same starter kit: GF1, EPL2, 20mm and kit 14-42. And I sold my D40 to get some money for the kit, no regrets.
    I would NEVER sell the epl2 and the 20mm.
     
  9. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    Am I correct in thinking you haven't received the E-P2 yet? With the VF2 attached and the 20mm on the front I think you may feel much more connected. I tried the GF1 for a short while but it just didn't feel anything like as comfortable to use as my E-P1. That kind of talk is heresy to some, I know :) I really ought to see if I can change my username...
     
  10. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    Well the EP2 comes tomorrow. I read a quick comparison of the GF1/EP2 which said the EP2 JUST came out on top... need to do more research. I did all this before, and it's like, the internet deliberately hides things from me! I did a week of research before buying the GF1, and now every site I find is like "oh the Olympus PENs blow the GF1 out of the water!". In body IS, better JPGs, etc.

    Gyles - I was looking at a G1 after buying the GF1. Waiting for a G3 might be an idea, it's as close to a DSLR, without the weight and size (?). Regarding the holiday, it might be an idea. We are going to her family in Florida later in the year, so maybe I'll look into a groupon deal for a spa weekend for her. Thanks for the advice though!

    6x6 - Are the two bodies really that different? Minus a flash, and some in body IS, what differentiates them? (Looking now)

    The Minimalist - Maybe you are right.I just want to get back into photography again, and it's such a mental block to consider having to take my bag-o-DSLR out with me. I've been into photography on and off, my first digi-cam was a Finepix A201 (which I still have, and amusingly for a 2mp camera, it does nice shots!). I just wanted to get back into it, take more pictures and figured the Mu43 was the way to go. Small, compact, expandability.

    Pharaviel - Well I have someone possibly interested in my D40 and such, which I think I'm looking at pricing around £260 (D40/kit lens, 55-200 VR, remote shutter, lowepro bag, spare batteries, sb400), which will recoop some of my cost.

    EP1-GF1 - It is coming tomorrow, sadly I won't be in (my dog is going to be put under for an xray/tests), so I'll probably get it on Wednesday. How is the VF2? I know the GF1's VF was supposedly awful, but not really read the reviews of the VF2 yet.

    I'm going to show how new I am to the camera world even though I've been in it for a long time... is the 20mm really heads and tails better than 20mm distance within the 14-42mm Oly kit lens?
     
  11. EP1-GF1

    EP1-GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    312
    Apr 12, 2011
    The VF2 is very good. And the feel of the E-P2 should be great too - though I've not held one I believe it's an E-P1 with upgrades.

    The 20mm is significantly different to the 20mm point on the zoom.

    I hope all goes well tomorrow and I'll look forward to reading your thoughts when you've received your delivery on Wednesday.
     
  12. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    265
    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    20mm f1.7 is a must have lens. Great performance, size and price. I pair it up with my 14-45mm panny kit lens when traveling. Nice compact light combo. I too miss using a viewfinder, the one for the GF1 is apparently very poor.

    Olympus m43 cameras are supposed to give a nicer jpeg straight out of the camera which might be a clincher too you. Most reviews are just a lot of numbers anyway, what matters is if you're happy with the images and if the camera fits the bill.

    Also Olympus has sensor image stabilization and Panasonic has it in most lenses. The 14 and 20 mm pancakes don't. The EP2 with EVF and panny 20mm and olly kit zoom might be a great combo for you.

    You could also look at some adapted lenses. I've got a bit of a Hexanon habit. I've got a 135mm f3.2 on its way for a bargain price. I've been forcing myself to shoot in manual is not too difficult, but can fun. You cam shoot all day to see what gets results then just delete everything.
     
  13. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    The big difference between the P20 and the O14-42 kit lens (besides the size advantage) is the larger maximum aperture (basically the size of the opening in the lens through which light hits the sensor). When you shoot with a larger aperture (which corresponds to a smaller f/ number) more light enters the camera, which allows you to do one or more of the following:
    • Shoot with a faster shutter speed (to get sharp shots of moving subjects)
    • Shoot in low light without flash
    • Get a shallower Depth of Field (DOF) which allows you to blur your foreground and background and isolate your subject in the image
    The maximum aperture of the P20 is f/1.7 while the kit lens at 20mm is probably at close to f/4.0. This is a significant difference (over 2 f/stops).

    As for which body to keep between the GF1 and E-P2, that will depend more on how the camera fits your working style than anything else, e.g. how intuitive their menus and controls are, how well they fit your hand, etc. The difference in image/sensor quality between the two is negligible. I wouldn't recommend making a decision on which to keep (if either) until you've had a chance to shoot with both bodies.
     
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  14. The Minimalist

    The Minimalist Mu-43 Veteran

    362
    Nov 19, 2011
    This is my opinion on the GF1, I love it, it is my first serious camera. I got it with the 20mm lens. I have also got the EVF and I have no problems with it and I am able to focus manual lenses with it easily with my right eye. My right eye has a flat cornea and it has some loose jelly floating around inside. I have to go to hospital one every 18 months for the doctor to keep an eye on it (see what I did there). It blurs my vision, but I can still use the EVF with it. The Olympus one is better, but the Panasonic one is still very usable.

    Jpegs, I get around this by selecting white balance tempature control and go up and down the scale and match what I see in the view finder or rear screen with real life. It only takes a few seconds to do. Soon you would be able to know which settings to use in any light condition. I have tried other methods that people have suggested, but they weren't to my taste, yours might be different again. Then there is the dynamic black & white, I do use this alot. It is good.

    RAW, until I got my GF1, I only had jpegs cameras and thought post processing was some kind of dark art until I had a go at it. Again not that difficult in fact I find it fun and give me the chance to be creative.

    As you can see my signature M4/3 system has grown and I've only started six months ago. In fact I just bought my second body, a GF3. I use to dismiss this camera as a dumb down version of the GF1, but it is just different, a fun camera that can take just as good photo as any other 12mp M4/3 camera.

    I know you are new so the best advice I can give you is to take your time to learn your camera and take your time. Learn what it's strong points are and it's weaknesses. There is no such thing as a perfect system. All have their good points and bad points and quirks. It is the photographer that makes the pictures, the camera is just a tool. Buying more expensive cameras and lenses will not make a better photographer. One type of camera system may suit you more than another. I know someone who only uses a bridge camera saying that's all he needs and he is perfectly happy. Who are any of us to say he is wrong.

    I hope you do stick with the M4/3 system, because it is a great system, uniquely two camera companies support it and do not sell the 20mm lens. You'll kick yourself stupid if you do.
     
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  15. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    As far as feature differences between the GF1 and E-P2 go, the biggest things are in-body image stabilization (which the E-P2 has and the GF1 lacks) and pop-up flash and AF-assist lamp (which the GF1 has and the E-P1 lacks). Also the GF1 sports a higher resolution LCD, but the Olympus add-on EVF is superior to that for the GF1.

    In short, they are very similar cameras that provide very similar performance. The GF1 (and Panasonic in general) is probably better for video, in that it's hackable to support 24 fps, and higher resolution. OTOH, many people prefer the color-rendering of the Olympus JPEG engine. The cameras are probably more similar to each other than any other set of Oly and Panny cameras.

    Were it me, I would probably keep the E-P2 and both lenses. If I was going to keep only one of the lenses, it would be the P20.
     
  16. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The VF-2 is excellent. You will want to keep that and an Olympus body to use it with. The Lumix 20mm f/1.7 is also excellent, and you will want to keep that. If you must sell gear then sell the GF-1 and the m.Zuiko 14-42mm, keeping the E-P2, 20mm/1.7, VF-2, and spare batteries.

    For what little you'll get for the GF-1 though, I'd think a second body would be more valuable... but that's just me I guess. ;)
     
  17. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    456
    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY

    I'm chiming in a bit late Ritualnet, but wanted to add my two sense!

    With that in mind, I completely agree with Ned, etc's assessment. The Panny 20 is among my favorite lenses of all time (and I own well over 20 top tier lenses!). I have also become very fond of the Oly 45 /1.8. While I also own the Panny 14 /2.5, and I consider it to be a very good lens, it's NOT in the same league as the 20mm. Frankly , it's a bit boring in comparison. That said, for the money, its fantastic!

    Moving on: as some have already suggested, go out and shoot with BOTH cameras, getting to know them as best as possible before making a decision. I recently did this with a GF-1 & an E-P2. Since I own a little Lumix LX5, I was predisposed to the GF-1 (and really wanted to like it over the Oly). Surprise, surprise! Not only did I prefer the E-P2, but it completely astonished me with its image quality. In comparison, I found the GF-1 kind of boring...

    Next, IMAGE STABILIZATION is without a DOUBT one of the most important and amazing inventions implemented into modern cameras. For me, it makes what used to be an impossible shot (without a tripod) possible. The Lumix completely lacks this ESSENTIAL feature. Yeah Yeah, sure several of Panny's lenses have their own stabilization system built-in to the lens, but believe me, it's no where as effective as Oly's in camera system (which makes ANY lens you decide to use -- whether native or legacy stabilized!)

    Third, the OLY feels great in my hand. I love the controls. I love the sensor cleaning feature. I LOVE the VF-2. The Panny? Again, Meh...

    Your experience might be different however. (Keep us posted-please?)
     
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  18. Ritualnet

    Ritualnet Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Jun 21, 2012
    UK - West Midlands
    Seem
    It's not too late, thank you. The camera comes today (and either they will leave it with a neighbour (boo hiss), or I'll go pick it up Wednesday).

    I'm not sure how to do any particular tests, I suppose I could take both cameras and my old metal slik tripod, plonk the tripod down somewhere to use as a stable base, then attach one camera and the 20mm, take some shots on auto, then particular settings, switch to the other, and then back to use the kit lens, and so on.

    In regards to how much I spent, I think I might be able to recoup most of the cost selling my DSLRs, and if I dig in the attic, some of my film equipment. I don't use film now, and although most people would scream at me for such a poor choice, as long as I keep my Centon (Pentax K1000 clone), I'm happy if I ever need to do anything film-wise again.

    In the end, the choices of bodies (unless I keep both), is, a GF1 as is, or a EP2 with VF2. If I keep the GF1, I might eventually have to source the LVF1 (or a G1/2/3 body for the EVF) , as although the LCD use is nice, one sunny day (which is a rarity in the UK!) caused problems trying to view the screen.

    Last thought, before I get ready for the day, if I was going to keep both (shhh don't tell Laura!) what situations would you use one, over the other?
     
  19. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    IMO, Image quality of the 2 cameras should be similar enough, especially with the same lens on, that there is no need to perform a tripod IQ test between the 2 camera bodies. What you should do is take the 2 cameras out and use them in real life situation (how you would normally use a camera) and see which one feels better in your hands, and which one you like better ergonomic-wise.

    I have never tried the LVF1, but the VF2 is REALLY good, so it might be difficult for you to go back to the LVF1 after using the VF2...
     
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  20. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    Between the GF1 without an add-on EVF and the E-P2 with the VF2, the only situations where you would probably prefer one over the other is when the sun is too bright to see the LCD display, or when you want to focus manually (the higher resolution and 1.15x magnification of the VF2 will help).

    Otherwise, I think the 2 cameras are substantially similar enough, performance-wise, that I can't think of any other situation where you would prefer using one over another. If you like the handling of one better than the other, I'm afraid the other camera will only be relegated to back-up duties.