1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

I'm torn.... Looking for what you would do...

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by obie131, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. obie131

    obie131 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 7, 2012
    Yes, I know another newbie post, but I hope to make it interesting....


    Been doing hobbyist shooting for numerous years. Currently own a Canon 5D with about 2-3 lenses, 50 1.4, Tamron medium zoom. No telephoto, no macro.
    Also own a Canon G9 and an earlier Rebel 500 or similar entry level DLSR. Canon G9 is nice, dated and no 1080 Video Panasonic HDD video camera (about 4 years old) which usually sits unused when going out and video quality isn't really that good. Nice (heavy) tripod and ball head (usually sits at home with 5D). Enjoys HDR shooting and if trying to focus on that. Family with two small children who are active. Work as a police officer (walk to work, work in car) and also as a sales rep that travels through the US (no longer carries product). For this company I will be doing some short Vimeo type videos for the company to promote product on the enthusiast level. I am currently 1/2 to convincing the CEO to allow me to invest in some higher end DLSR products to track and video some of our brand Ambassadors (looking at the Nikon D800 or the Canon 5DMKII or MKIII with associated accessories like mic's, viewfinders, etc)

    Wants...Needs, dreams....

    Controls like DLSR (would rather not use menu for most used functions, ISO, f stop, shutter speed, compensation, etc)
    1080 video recording
    10+ megapixel
    EVF (integrated or add on)
    Small but capable (do not enjoy lugging the 5D + lenses and flash around)
    Okay to carry camera w/lens attached and 2-3 other lenses to cover close-up (i.e. street), landscape and zoom.
    Ability to do bracketing HDR shots (do not need in camera HDR processing)
    Acceptable macro abilities.
    Ability to utilize small cheap tripod for those controlled environments for HDR pictures (I understand that outdoor, hiking may be a trade off to weight vs. stability. I think I could get away with a smaller travel tripod for those events).

    Ability to buy an adaptor that will make my Canon lenses work and also the ability to pick up cheaper lenses to work with my system. They can be older manual lenses, no issues.

    Decisions, decisions, decisions...

    I know I want something smaller than a full size or even cropped body DLSR, which has put me towards a 43'rds type system. I want to be able to carry the kit with me daily. I do use a small messenger bag or similar due to kids or work items, so I will always have a bag with me. I find dragging the 5D into the city with my little one to become shoulder tiresome after a few hours and wish to lighten this load. The 5D will still stay as a home or car camera as it takes amazing pictures.


    Every month there is something else new coming out making my initial decision difficult, as I would like this camera to be with me for several years and still provide me with nice quality pics and 1080 video....


    Too many to list. Have looked at the E-P3, the Olympus OM and the NEX 7 (also the NEX 5). Everytime I take a look, I get more and more not confused, but let's say uncertain. I know I will have to take the plunge sometime and want to make a nice, informed decision so I won't have regrets (or too much remorse when the next "big thing" hits).

    Was going through all three:

    NEX-7 with pancake lens.. Downside, all my cost in camera, no extra for lens, etc
    E-P3 with 20mm 1.7 & 45mm 1.3 & EVF
    Olympus OM with 12-50mm kit lens...

    Help requested...

    If this was you and you had $1,500.00 to spend to start out with (say no additional purchases for camera for 3 months), what would you get in regards to:

    1. Camera
    2. Lenses (new, used, older primes)
    3. Adaptor
    4. Accessories.
  2. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Edit: sorry didn't read all your criteria thoroughly :( 
    If you need an evf and video you could get a used GH1 for around $350 or a G3 for close to that. That leaves around $1100 for lenses. If you like your canon 50 1.4 I would still recommend the PanaLeica 25f1.4($500ish), with the 20mmf1.7($300ish) right behind it. You could probably get the 14f2.5&45f1.8 with you're remaining money, but it really just depends on what you want to shoot.
  3. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    There are some great deals on used E-P3s that are in nice condition. I would think about going that way... you could potentially pickup 3 primes and still stay in budget. I think the 20/1.7 is a great all-rounder, hard to pass on the 45/1.8 and then you could always consider the 14/2.5 (maybe the 12/2 if you could stretch the budget).

    But... if you are really keen on video, there seem to be some occasional deals on the GH2 (gray market as low as $600)... that would be a video monster.
  4. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia

    Top value at the moment for a camera that has a built in EVF, fully articulating screen and a 3rd generation sensor. I think you will comfortably manage to squeeze it and the lenses you want and remain inside budget.

    A lot will depend on whether you like the button/dial layout and in hand feel.

    Good luck.
  5. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Good point, man.... G3 is pretty hard to beat on value. Always better to spend money on the lenses, since bodies will update once a year.
  6. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Panasonic GH2 meets all your criteria.

    Arguably the best sensor in m43, (the yet to be release OMD looks to be on par, or at best slightly better), the best controls in m43 (most DSLR like for sure); Best video by a long shot; built in, very good EVF. It'll shoot bracketed shots (for HDR) at 5 fps. As for macro, there's the PL 25mm 2.8 macro, the forthcoming 60mm Oly macro, and any of dozens of manual focus legacy macros. I've been using a 50mm Canon FD macro with good results.

    Not the smallest m43, but dramatically smaller and lighter than your 5D (and the lenses are way smaller and lighter, too):

    Compare camera dimensions side by side

    (The above site has only a front view of the GH2. Here's a comparison of with the G2, which is about the same size and will let you compare top and back views, too:) 


    Adapters for almost any lens you can think of, but keep one thing in mind in terms of EOS lenses on non-Canon bodies: There's no aperture control. And that's true whether you put them on m43, NEX, or anything else. Since EOS lenses have no aperture ring, there's no way to control them off an EOS body (other than a couple of exceedingly expensive adapters aimed at the professional video market).

    I had similar criteria to yours, and found the GH2 by far the best choice. The OMD is another contender, which looks to be better than the GH2 in some respects, but probably not as good in others.

    (The G3, suggested above, is a very good camera at a very attractive price, but lacks the physical controls the OP wants.)

    As for lenses, well, it all depends. For video, the 14-140 is magnificent. In fact, it's darn impressive for stills, too. Better than a 10X zoom has any right to be. The 14-45, no longer sold as part of a kit, is the best small kit lens of any m43 lens, including the 12-50, and the 14-140 is just as good in the same range.

    The 20mm f/1.7 is reasonably priced, very good, and gives you available light capability. Combined with the 14-140 would cover most shooting situations.

    The 14 and 17mm primes are good, but overlap with the 14-nnn zooms are are only a little bit faster.

    The 12mm and 7-14mm zooms are excellent, but pricey. The Oly 9-18 is not quite as versatile as the 7-14, but much smaller and cheaper.

    If video is important, I'd choose the GH2 and 14-140, then add the 20mm 1.7 for indoor work. And grow from there. If the 14-140 is bigger and heavier than you'd like to carry, then the 14-45, and the 20. And maybe the 45-200 for a decent, inexpensive tele.
  7. Livnius

    Livnius Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jul 7, 2011
    Melbourne. Australia
    Absolutely..... I was just about to mention that.

    I would suggest that you balance out the spending of your $1500 budget to get the best lenses you possibly can in the focal lengths that you require and suite your shooting style...and use the rest on the body. The body you will more than likely upgrade within 2 years anyway, but a top shelf lens you will keep for much longer and use in future bodies.
  8. obie131

    obie131 Mu-43 Rookie

    Mar 7, 2012
    Thanks for all the insight everyone. Tough decision still. I am leaning towards putting my money into lenses and letting the camera come second.

    Any other legacy lenses that maybe I could pic up for cheap to soften the blow but get great image quality?
  9. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    There are literally hundreds of decent legacy lenses, from Russian copies of Leica lenses to various and sundry Canon, Pentax, and Olympus OM lenses. I'd suggest reading through the forums here, and on DPReview (if you can stand it). You'll find lots of posts regarding legacy lenses, good and bad.
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I say go for the OM-D E-M5 with m.Zuiko 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 kit lens, or for something faster in lens speed but slower in AF, get the MMF-3 mount adapter with the Zuiko 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5 II.

    The m.Zuiko lens is a semi-macro, but all Four-Thirds Zuiko lenses tend to have pretty good focus capabilities as well. To be more specific... the m.Zuiko is a 1:3 and the Zuiko is a 1:4. Not bad for standard lenses which aren't macro...
  11. zpuskas

    zpuskas Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2011
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Just buy a camera and start shooting. If you don't like the camera sell it and buy something else! You'll probably never get everything you want in one unit, so compromise. (we all do!)
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well...if that was my priority list I'd suggest looking at a Panasonic GH2 (find somebody selling a nice clean, low mileage one because they're buying a new Olympus OMD). I say this because it has terrific handling (very DSLR like) and to date the best IQ of the m43 cameras. The E-5 may be better but so far I can't say because I haven't seen any user reports and photos.

    It has a terrific EVF (and articulating LCD), fast AF, terrific IQ, terrific video, small, easily adapts for legacy glass and is cheaper than a new Olympus OMD. A good used one will set yo back $650 -$700 leaving you $800 or so for a few nice lenses. If you shop around you might be able to fit the Panasonic 14, 20 and Olympus 45 into that.
  13. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    If you want an EVF the GH2 is a strong contender as I can say from own experience; maybe the Olympus E-M5 will be better but at a price! Just these days good deals are coming, probably because Panasonic is making way for a new model.
  14. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    If $1500 is your limit, used GH2 for sure. Throw the 20+45 with the extra for another battery and memory card, maybe new bag, and you're set. You could also probably grab a 14-42 or 14-45 just to have the wider end for cheap.

    G3 is a more compact option, but I'm not sure if the controls would work for you. But a used one here would give you a little more room and maybe do a 12/20/45 combo. The only downside is video is automatic here. Not sure what your goals of video are.
  15. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Yeah, but Ned's an Oly fanboy, so take that into account. :wink:
  16. Get a used GH1 instead and use the money you save to buy an extra lens.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.