I Need Some Really Good Advice

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by Rick Waldroup, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    In the next couple of weeks, I will have approximately 1500.00 dollars at my disposal for camera gear. I need a second camera body but I would also like to add a few more lenses. I currently shoot a Panasonic GF-1 and several lenses including the 20 1.7, the 14 2.5, the Olympus 14-42 zoom, and the Panny 45-200 zoom.

    I am very interested in the Olympus EP-3, but I am really leaning towards getting another GF-1 and spend the rest of the money on new lenses.

    I shoot documentary and street almost exclusively. I was initially drawn to the EP-3 for the cleaner images at higher ISO's and it's fast autofocusing speed, but for what I shoot, I am seriously thinking about just getting another GF-1 body and the new Olympus 12 and 45mm lenses.

    Since February, I have gone with owning just one camera body- something I do not ever, ever like to do.

    So, I am really impressed with the Olynous 12mm lens with it's relatively fast aperture and "snap mode". I think it would be ideal for street shooting. And I really would like a fast, short portrait lens like the new 45.

    So, here is my main question- will I lose any significant focusing speed by using the new Olympus lenses on my GF-1's? Will there be any other problems I may encounter?

    The only real complaint I have about the GF-1 is of course, the EVF, which I constantly use. But, I have learned to live with it.

    Or, does anyone think I should maybe go ahead and pursue the new EP-3.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Real Name:
    Since you use the EVF a lot on the GF-1, the question becomes "Are you prepared to buy the Oly VF-2 for the E-P3?". It's close to $250 but it's the best micro four-thirds EVF out there.

    Not owning either of the two new lenses, I can't tell you how AF will work on the GF-1. But I would still be tempted to go for the lenses if I could get some kind of feedback that AF speed will be fine on you current camera.

    One other suggestion: How about a G3? A body only will run you just over $500 from Panasonic Direct - and around $450 if your employer (or a friend's employer) participates. It's no bigger than a GF-1 with the EVF on board and offers big improvements in both AF and high ISO performance. Would this allow you to swing the lenses as well?

    Good luck with your choice - I suspect you can't go wrong either way. So when you do decide, don't look back.
  3. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    There is also a cheaper (and slightly more compact) VF-3, which has barely less resolution than the VF-2 (VF-2 has 1.44 million dots, VF-3 has 906k dots), but WAY more than the Panasonic LVF-1 (which has 202k dots).

    It may vary in different markets, but if you're expecting to pay $250 for the VF-2 then expect to pay about $180 for the VF-3. That's a $70 savings.
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I second the idea of considering a G3. It is small, has wonderful IQ and will be familiar as you already have a Panasonic, is quite a bit less expensive than the E-P3 and comes with a very good EVF (I had my G2 and an E-PL2 with EVF at the same time and they are a lost identical in quality) and articulating LCD.
  5. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I also recommend the G3. If you shoot high ISO the Panasonic 16mp sensor is very good, you get an EVF and it's within your budget to get more glass.
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    That is tough Rick. I'd go with the second body. While the second body would make you stand out more on the street it would also speed up your shooting style and attention to photo ops. Better low light IQ is way up there also. Then work on getting the 45mm or sell the 14mm using the $'s towards the 12mm.

    Either way you go is not a bad deal, one of those win-win situations. Which ever way you choose you'll always regret not going the other way. lol

  7. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    Why not consider the EPL3 or EP3? They're a lot cheaper than the E-P3 and would come with most of its advantages: super-fast AF, IBIS, Oly colors.
  8. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    Rick... Another strong vote for the G3. AF is about as fast as m4/3 gets, IQ approximates basic APS-C DSLR, high ISO noise is fairly low, articulating screen is fantastic for widely varying camera positioning relative to the shooter and great for street photography and if you wish you can select focus point and trip the shutter with a finger touch to the screen, built in EVF with excellent quality and resolution is built in and always available. Body size is nice and compact and price is reasonable. It's an incredible camera... Arguably the best all-around, fully-featured m4/3 camera you can buy, second to the similarly-featured, more expensive GH2.


    I recently used my G3, shooting from waist level with articulating screen and 12mm f/2 lens, for some evening street shooting and I'm thrilled with the functionality of the setup and the image quality. I think the G3 due to image quality, af speed, and extremely versatile shooting positions, with the 20 and either the 14 or the 12 is among the best quality and most versatile setups for street photography available today.



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  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Rick, I love the EP3 and the EPL3 and would recommend either of them depending on which features you value most...


    If you find yourself using the EVF all of the time, I'd get a Pany G3. To me, the EVF hump and rear extension is a huge downside of the G3 and GH2, but that's because I almost never use the EVF and don't want it in the way all the time. If I used one even most of the time, let alone nearly all the time, the G3 would be an easy call for me. The Oly VF2 is a great viewfinder, but why get a portable one just to leave it on all the time?

    Its about the price of the EPL3 and you could get that and the 12 and come up short on the 45. I don't think I'd get another gf1 right now, as good as they are. All of the new models from Pany and Oly have some really serious performance improvements over the GF1 and any of the ones we're discussing have more than adequate controls (I'd stay away from the GF3 or EPM1 because they don't, at least for me).

  10. Jeff Bennett

    Jeff Bennett Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 23, 2011
    Never having used one of these add on viewfinders I'm curious if it gives an accurate representation of whats in frame. Is what I see what I will get? After cutting my teeth on my Pentax K-R for the last year I've really grown to prefer a viewfinder as opposed to the point and shoot style screen. i love my new e-pl2 for it's portability but I hate composing in the display.

  11. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    Rick - I owned a G2 briefly and found no AF issues at all when using my Oly :43: 14-150 and 17mm lenses--in fact, subjectively, it felt like these lenses focused faster on the G2 than on my E-PL1 and E-P1.

    With regards to EVF, in my experience the EVF-2 is much better to use than the built in EVF on the G2, although I will admit the setting read-outs of the G2 are far more intuitive because they are so similar to the ones on many DSLR/SLRs. At the end of the day, I would support your notion of spending more on good lenses first and then get an inexpensive second Panasonic body with a built in EVF like the G3 or G2, since you are already used to Pannys.
  12. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    Another vote for the G3 and 12mm. Sell your 14mm to cover the balance of the cost of the 45. I'd like the wider view of the 12 and if I really wanted the 14 there's the 14-42.
    12, 20, 45 sounds like perfection to me. My old 35mm kit was two bodies and 24, 35 and 85 or 90.

    Good luck with your choice.

  13. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I also think the G3 would be the best choice or an e-pl2 + VF2 because I also don't love composing on the screen.
  14. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Real Name:
    There are a lot of us who are really excited to kit up with 12, 20, 45/1.8! Finally we have a good range of fast primes!!! :smile:
  15. Rick Waldroup

    Rick Waldroup Mu-43 Veteran

    May 28, 2009
    Well, I certainly want to thank everyone here for all of the info and tips. It has really helped. I had not thought about a G3, but I feel I must seriously take a look at one, now. However, I never really gave much thought to the Panny G cameras because of the way they look with the hump and all.

    Decisions, decisions.....At least that is a good thing.:smile:

    Once again, I want to thank everyone for their help.
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    If you want a GF1, I have one for sale in Houston.

    That said, I would go G3. Newer sensor, significantly better performance. At the end of the day, the EP3 high ISO performance is just the most highly polished turd - it's still the same raw signal as your GF1 has.

    Especially since you like to use the VF, I would at least check out a G3 (which I could arrange too)