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Help with 4/3 Kit

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Mathias, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Little back story. I'm a Marine. I was told yesterday I'm getting deployed again and leave in a little less than 2 months. Really last minute.. Using this opportunity to buy a new camera. Want a 4/3 system. First deployment I had a point and shoot and felt limited, wishing I had brought my dslr, but didn't want the bulk of it. 4/3 fits the bill perfect. This deployment is a meu, meaning I float around on a boat, stop at Ports everywhere and get to see many different countries.

    So I think I want an Olympus omd. Good choice? Better options?
    Would also like 2 to 3 lenses but have no idea where to look. Thinking the kit 12-50 because the weather sealing I'm sure will come in handy.
    Other than that, no idea. I like primes, but we'll look at anything with good image quality. Rather not buy used, but not opposed to refurbished if there are good deals.

    And lastly storage case and mini tripod possibly? Thinking as small of a pelican that will fit, and small tripod for if I come across cool waterfalls and night shots.

    Don't have much of a budget, but also would like to save as much as possible. Need to also buy a laptop to edit my photos..

    Thanks all for any help.
  2. jeffryscott

    jeffryscott Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 2, 2010
    Welcome and good luck on the deployment. The 12-50 and OMD is a great starting point. If you have the money, the 12-35, also weatherproof, would be a better lens optically, but a little less versatile in range and no macro.

    If you need to go wider, the 7-14 is an amazing lens, but pricey. The 45 1.8 is relatively inexpensive, but fabulous and would be great for images in the various ports.

    The Oly 40-150 is an inexpensive but optically very good lens and would fill the need for a longer lens. I own the Panasonic 45-200 and use an OMD and am very happy with that lens.

    Seems as though a relatively simple two or three lens kit with the zooms would be great for what you are doing.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. LVL8hacker

    LVL8hacker Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 4, 2012
    Pinehurst, North Carolina
    Larry Anderson
    First off ...let me thank you for what you do so I am able to do what I do.

    The OMD is a great camera and there is not one thing wrong with the kit lens. Primes are always nice ( my first choice) but for someone like you on the move and needing to keep your kit manageable, good Zooms to cover the vast of your shots and a single prime for those night time/low light situations is a must.
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Marine....I'm USAF, so it's great to see you here! :cool:  (and I can relate to those short notice deployments - I've had 2 of them myself in my career)

    OMD and the 12-50 would be an excellent deployment package in itself. IMHO, one body and one lens is fine enough for me - there's enough stuff to keep one occupied without the additional worry of multiple lenses. Add to it that the 12-50 and the OMD are weatherized.

    Keep your head down & on a swivel! :cool: 
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Hi Mathias

    I thin the OMD, 12-50, and Pana Leica 25/1.4 would make a terrific kit if it isn't too expensive.

    Wishing you all the best on your deployment.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Mu-43 App
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A nice powerful, durable, weather-sealed 2-lens zoom kit would be the OM-D E-M5 with Lumix X 12-35mm f/2.8, MMF-3 mount adapter, and Zuiko 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5.

    This will give you a very broad focal length coverage to capture all the action, and your entire setup will be fully weather sealed for the worst of conditions and even accidental drops in the drink. After all, you're talking about boats and waterfalls and you're on deployment which means you would have no opportunity to replace a damaged camera.

    The 50-200mm will rely more on manual focus (I would suggest using the EVF), while the 12-35mm will have better Autofocus capabilities. Both will deliver as well in speed and quality. You'll have a 12mm wide end up to a 200mm telephoto end, which will be plenty.
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    +1. The 20mm is a nice, small, fast prime that's pretty versatile and great in low light. For a tripod you might try the largest gorillapod. It's strong enough and Joby makes a nice little ball head to use with it. It can be attached to a railing or a post or used like a conventional tripod yet it's small enough to carry around comfortably.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Kevin

    Kevin Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    Vancouver, Canada
    For taking pictures from the ship it might be a good idea to have a lens with some reach, maybe a 100-300mm even though it's not weather sealed. Add the 12-50mm kit lens and a 25mm f1.4 for low light stuff and you should be covered.
  9. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    omd + kit 12-50 for sealing and mini macro mode plus its cheap with the kit
    id add a panny 20/1.7 for night or shallow shots... its the cheapest of the smallest with the fastest ap.

    then id just get one of those gorilla pods, small, foldable, not pricey
    tho its not gonna be TALL unless u have something stable and tall nearby :) 
  10. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    Another vote for the E-M5 and 12-50 kit. I'd also consider the Olympus 40-150, which can be had pretty inexpensively, and is a very good lens. The Panasonic 20mm would be a nice third addition, or for a little more money, the Panasonic/Leica 25mm.

    Those lenses would give you a nice and light 3-lens kit for under $2K. Hell, I'd also pick up the Olympus 17mm on the cheap (if you opt for the 25mm over the 20mm, and used for around $100-$150). That makes the E-M5 very compact with a very versatile focal length and decent optics.
  11. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    First, you said 4/3, I think you meant m43. If you're really looking at a 43 DSLR, the E5 is your only choice.

    The OMD has only one problem - its crazy expensive. I would venture to bet you could get a G3 and an underwater housing (and be waterPROOF, not just splash resistant) for what an OMD costs currently.

    As for lenses, the 12-50 is pretty damn versatile and cost effective, even if it isn't quite as good optically as the 12-35 or even the original 14-45 Panasonic lens.
  12. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Thanks all for the good words and suggestions. Totally forgot about the gorilla pods. That might work. How much does the omd with lens weigh? Not sure which size I would need if I got the gorilla.
    still looking at lenses. The 20 and kit lens seem to be the ones I'm considering most.
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    For those two lenses, you'd be fine with the Gorillapod Hybrid (max 1 kg). The E-M5 plus 12-50 zoom weighs 626gm.
  14. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Gorilla pod keeps sounding better. It's stable enough for long exposures?
    Now just considering using just the kit lens.
    Also off topic, but cannot decide on a laptop to get a well. Thinking MacBook 13 inch running windows.
  15. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    if go Mac, it well be the pro due to the extra storage space. Still skeptical about the lower resolution and lack of ips panel for photo editing, though I hear the Mac has one of the more color accurate TN displays.
    Was planning on using a regular backpack with the camera inside a pelican case. Should I really consider a specific camera bag?
  16. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    I figure I can get a small enough pelican to fit the whole camera kit, plus the hard pelican will protect it better than a soft case during my moving around.
  17. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    If you're going to run Windows, don't get a Mac; the major reason for me to stay with Mac at this point in time is the operating system, and the fact you can also run Windows in VM or Boot Camp if you so desire.

    Otherwise there are other makers offering very, very nice ultra books with similar specs for higher/similar (high-end luxury PCs) as well as quite a bit lower cost. Plus, to do things legally, you'd need to buy a separate Windows license (not cheap).
  18. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    All the pcs I've looked at lack one feature or another. For example good screens but bad keyboards, vise versa, etc. Macs seem to do everything good, minus the operating system in my option. Plus, apple has a military discount, and windows can be had for pretty cheap with some student deals, so overall it will be about the same it'd I got a luxury pc.
  19. Mathias

    Mathias Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 2, 2012
    Alright, thinking about it more. Going to go with the 12-50. Very likely the20 1.7, and really want a telephoto. Cannot decide though between a refurbished oly 14-150, the 45-200, or 40-150. Opinions please?
  20. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    If money is an issue, I'd go with the 40-150 refurb. Otherwise I'd pick the 14-150 for less lens switching.

    On the computer side, I agree that Macs don't make the best Windows machines. I've been running Windows in Boot Camp on Macs for years, and there are minor issues here and there. Seems like you've made up your mind, but I'd recommend taking a look at the Lenovo X230 as an alternative to the 13" MacBook Pro. The Lenovo has an option for a very nice IPS display, has a fantastic keyboard, excellent battery life, rugged build, backlit keyboard. I replaced my last MBP with a Lenovo, and I've been very pleased with the change. The only think I like better about Apple laptops is the trackpad, and I plug in a mouse anyway, so makes no difference.

    If you happen to check out the Lenovo, one tip: find the best deal you can configure on their website and then call them to see if their phone sales people can beat that price. They pretty much always will.
    • Like Like x 1
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