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In Another Week I'll Have To Decide

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dcisive, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Well, here I am once more, on the precipice of making a move BACK into MFT after having been away since December of last year. I really loved what the PL1 brought to my table, and have many a great 13x19 print on the wall from my travels with it. Now of course there's the PL3 coming out which would clearly be the ONE should I decide to go Olympus. I sold a 2nd camera I was using and when the funds arrive next week I need to decide if I want to JUMP into a G3 Panny or be patient for a P3. I'm not known for my patience that's for sure. :rolleyes:

    But I've seen and noted more reviews on both cameras than I care to note. It "seems" that Olympus's approach is a bit more aggressive noise reduction and G3's approach is a little less noise reduction with retention of detail. But who can really say as there really isn't a final working version of the P3 being used, and needless to say NEITHER are exibiting true Adobe RAW or Lightroom results. So in a way I'm flying blind. I must admit the idea of the "built in" EVF on the G3 is attractive, BUT the VF-2 is clearly superior in it's overall quality. So it's a tough call there. The OLED ROCKS there is NO doubt. I just bought a new cell phone (the Samsung Infuse) which uses a 4.5 OLED and it was WAY brighter and richer than any other cell phone out there hands down. The focus speed is at least the best out there on the P3 as well.

    My wifes take on this is heck. the P3 is better than the PL1, and I loved what the PL1 produced, so it's more of a no brainer. She has a good point there. I tended to use the VF-2 plenty and it is superb. I prefer the size of the P3 to the taller more DSLR like profile of the G3 as well. The battery life is much better and a 2nd battery won't cost a arm and leg. Here I am talking myself into the P3. The REALLY tough decision is the lenses to add. The 20mm f1.7 Panny is a "No Brainer" for me and would have to happen. The tough part is I really had GREAT results with a 45-200OIS before, and it is certainly small enough. But I am greatly intoxicated with the idea of the 100-300OIS for just $600. I am NOT spending $900 for Oly's 75-300, that's just nuts. I'm very tempted to also add that cute new flash they are offering as it is adjustable for bounce and is considerably more powerful than the built in one just in case. Oh well. Decisions Decisions. We'll all have a very long wait till we get our hands on that P3 however, and I'll be counting away the days. Hope I can last that long, and that its worth the wait over a P3. :daz:
     
  2. thearne3

    thearne3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    807
    Jan 28, 2010
    Redding, CT USA
    There may still be a deal on for Oly's 40-150. At $150, it's a steal. Compares very favorably to the Panny - if you don't need the long end...
     
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I actually prefer the much smaller size of the Olympus 75-300 over the much larger Panasonic 100-300....
     
  4. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    Having the G1, GF1, and now the G3 as well as the 14, 20, 45, 14-45, and 45-200 lenses, I have been and remain totally happy with Panasonic. The G3 is capable of terrific in-camera jpegs and I have written about that under "G3 jpegs." Having sold my years of Nikon equipment, I am very impressed with the Lumix G series and would highly recommend you take a look.
     
  5. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Midwest
    Paul
    Yeah well...The G1 and 100-300mm are shorter and less than half the weight of my sigma 120-400mm (which is on the chopping block) - without a body attached! They are virtually the same focal length as well. I just couldn't justify getting the Oly 75-300mm when it is a slower lens and more expensive just to save a few ounces. I do in general like Oly's tendency toward compact size (i.e. the 9-18mm vs panny's 7-14mm), but a telephoto is the one place I think they should have sacrificed size to get at least the typical wide-open focal range. Especially considering lenses like my sigma which match the 100-300mm on focal range weigh in the 4-5 pound range!

    Having previously owned the panny 45-200mm, I was surprised to see the 100-300mm is not a whole lot bigger; it is quite compact, smaller than any of the aps-c typical 70-300mm lens sizes. I also picked it up from amazon warehouse deals for $467 (paid $12 for 2 day ship as well) - I've unpacked plenty of new electronics and have to say if it wasn't new whoever returned it never actually touched it. Very happy at that price!
     
  6. Dcisive...perhaps not, hmm? Still, P3 or G3 is a tough choice. I'd prefer the Oly, but I do like that Panny articulated screen.
     
  7. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Recently I was really leaning in the direction of the G3, however a board member on another forum suggested I take a look at some samples from both, of which there was great detail shown. At ISO1600 AND at ISO3200 the G3 and E-PL2 samples shown could have been twins. Hmmm. Now I really thought the G3 was supposed to be so unreal at higher ISO's but in these samples, which I consider to be fair, it most certainly did NOT have an edge in RAW. So with that said now I'm leaning BACK in favor of waiting for a P3. I can live with having to attach the VF-2 when needed I guess. But the screen on the P3 rocks. I much prefer the size and build quality of the P3 as well. So with that said as soon as the funds arrive I guess I'll preorder and start the countdown to wait. Sheeh I HATE waiting. The only other quandry I'm in is between a 45-200OIS or 100-300OIS. I really want that extra reach, but it leaves a hole in the middle above 45mm-100mm. I sure used the 45-200OIS a lot when I had one. Perhaps it makes more practical sense, but I must admit the idea of having an equivalent 600mm reach is tempting :tongue: The 20mm f1.7 is a "no brainer" and will most definitely be another choice of lenses I'll get.
     
  8. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    My favorite walk around lens is the Oly 14-150mm. terrific range (28-300mm equiv), small and light. The optics are very good, too. There is some CA in very bright contrasty scenes, but easily corrected in post processing.

    I have the Oly 75-300mm. I picked one up second hand for $600. It is a limited use lens for sure, and a tripod is required when going for the max focal length. But it si a good performer. I am hoping for a 300mm fixed focal length at some point.

    I love the 20mm, but do have on order the Leica 25mm 1.4. Just couldn't resist.

    I use an E-PL2 currently, but have an E-P3 on order. I like having 2 camera bodies, so I may go for the best of both worlds and sell the E-PL2 and pick up a G3.

    In the best tests I've seen I am not seeing a noticeable difference in the noise or the IQ between the G3 and the E-P3.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The articulated screen sneaks up on you. Once you have it you start to realize how useful and awesome it is.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    There are always many compelling reasons to choose a given product over another. In this case the list is long. There is however one thing looming for me I can not ignore. Back in December I tried a GH2 with the assumption it would be the end all be all. Well, I was sorely disappointed and sent it back. It exhibited IMHO way too much (even) low ISO noise in mid tones, which I have little to NO tolerance for. The colors were not to my taste, and I also found it quite challenging to get good sharp shots handheld, as I'm not the steadiest of shooters in the first place. I ended up making a move into a slightly larger body (the Sony A55) and now crave a smaller body that is competent handheld. While I had a PL1 I had no such issues. Perhaps the IBIS was the saving grace or not. Typically it has been said that OIS or in lens stabilization is superior to sensor stabilizers. But perhaps that was not the case, at least for me. So with that history it's a bit like one strike against the possibility of my loving a G3 vs. a P3. The P3 is just a more known quantity if you will. I just don't have a real sense of confidence in the Panny's at this point. Love their lenses however. But as one guy pointed out previously a 14-150 is considerably less costly than the Panny 14-140OIS. All more reasons to consider the P3 I guess. I've still got time :rolleyes: also my inability to potentially return it if not satisfied is a negative, as the G3 is hard enough to find at all let alone from a vendor with a good return policy like B&H.
     
  11. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    856
    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Another point to consider - albeit minor - is third-party battery support (or lack thereof).

    • Panasonic implements protection circuitry on the batteries, making off-brand batteries more incompatible.
      See here:
      Micro 4/3rds Photography: Third party battery for the GH2
    • Even if you wanted to spring the cash for official Panasonic batteries, the supply situation leaves much to be desired (sound familiar?)
    • Looks like the rated battery usage for the G3 is pretty low, at about 270 shots. The E-P3 is rated at 330 - and as a bonus, you can use the same batteries from all the E-Px and E-PLx series cameras on it.

    I do envy the articulated screen and integrated VF. Luckily I've never used a camera with an articulated screen, so I won't know what I'm missing. :tongue:
     
  12. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    The built-in EVF and articulated screen are huge factors for me. I really, really love these features and find them exceptionally helpful and convenient to use. Add-on EVF modules are awkward, cumbersome, and annoying to me. No EVF is something I will only tolerate in a casual P&S type camera. Differences in IQ between the P and O are negligible, in my view. Yep, I'd take the G3 in a heartbeat and enjoy using it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    I found a reason

    I may have to completely rule OUT the G3 from consideration. There are a number of threads on other forums regarding the fact they dropped the Mode 2 for focusing on the G3 which allows for better more stable results. I'm a shaky shooter and need all the help I can get. I understand for many types of subjects this won't allow for good low shutter speed results. So looks like I'm going to have to rule the G3 out after all, even though I really wanted to consider it.
     
  14. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    What is Mode2 ?
    Aha. You meant the stabilisation Mode2, not a focusing mode, right?

    Also ;
    I've never heard that, in fact I've heard subjective users preferring either over the other and have to conclude they're pretty much similar EVFs.
     
  15. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Well, you've heard from me elsewhere, but I'll chime in here too. I've owned two Oly and two Pany m43 cameras and I have total confidence in both. You seem pretty intense on IQ and if you're shooting jpegs, Oly has traditionally been considered better by most, but the G3 seems to have changed that equation a bit. If you shoot raw, this really shouldn't be an issue at all. Then again, Pany was always much better in terms of AF speed and general speedy response and Oly seems to have eliminated THAT as an issue.

    So, to me, at this point, it totally comes down to features and personal preference. I prefer a removable EVF and a flip up screen (NOT a fully articulated one) so the EPL2 is a no brainer for me. I just sold a GH2, which I bought because I wanted SOMETHING that could AF quickly and accurately enough to work reasonably well with a long lens in semi-action situations. Now the bar has been raised and EVERY m43 camera from this point should be able to handle that well enough for my needs.

    So, I'd just go with your gut - you're not gonna make a bad choice here - its just a matter of which fits your shooting style better. I also wouldn't worry about being able to return a Panasonic - unless they get their supply chain issues worked out, you can always sell it and do very well. I just sold the GH2 I bought in January or February and basically spent $50 for the six months of use I got out of the camera. That's not bad! Of course if Pany ever makes enough of these cameras available to make them easy to find new, resale values will drop, but geez, the GH2 has been around since what, last October?

    Then again, if ultimate IQ is what you're after, get an X100 and use it for your casual stuff where a fixed lens will do and use your DSLR for the more involved shooting. The IQ (even in jpeg, ESPECIALLY in jpeg) from that camera is quite remarkable. And it has a built in EVF and OVF. I suspect that's not in the cards here though...

    As always, good luck,

    -Ray
     
  16. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    As someone that has had both I can tell you the VF2 is not clearly superior to the built-in EVF on the G series cameras. Side by side you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference. The VF2 does flip up but the G series cameras have a rotating flip out LCD that IMHO is more useful for odd angle shooting. The only difference I could ever see was that the built-in EVF seamed to tear more in low light. Then again the VF2 tends to be slightly less contrasty under same conditions. That said, the difference is very slight.

    Either way you go you really can't go wrong. It's really down to personal preference. You're the one that is going to have to live with it not any of us so pick what you will be most comfortable with. If you like it it'll be with you all the time and if its with you all the time...you'll take pictures and that after all is what this is all about.
     
  17. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    I agree: whatever you choose you'll not go wrong.
     
  18. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Well I've decided what I'm going to do

    I had a nice conversation with a guy at Kenmore Camera up in the Seattle area. Lots of folks bought their G3's from them thus far and have reported them as a great dealer. Indeed it seems that way. He said I could buy one when the come into stock (probably in the next 2 weeks) and if I can't live with it send it back for a full refund minus shipping. Sound fair enough. I've poured exhaustively over comparison test images at all ISO's and the G3 seems to have a distinct edge in both shear resolving of fine detail and lower noise and detail destruction at higher ISO's as well. Colors I can work with. I'm more concerned with it's noise and tendencies to blow highlights, which had better have been improved. I plan on using the DR extension settings on the G3 to see if it can help out along with trying some RAW as I tend to shoot RAW when I care about what I'm shooting anyway. I'll likely end up with a kit lens adding a 20mm f1.7 and a 100-300OIS for sure. The buyer of my gear's check is on it's way. Now I'd just have to wait for stock next week. Oh well. Like I said it's win win as if for some reason the G3 falls short of my desires it goes back, no harm no foul, then I wait even longer for the P3 I guess.
     
  19. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    460
    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Lee
    Well, Unique Photo in NJ has a G3 2 lens kit on hold for me. I'm thinking Monday I'll order it and give it a try. I suspect I'll like it, but that's the only way to find out. Wish me happy shooting I guess.
     
  20. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Don
    I think once you get to using the built in EVF and the articulating screen... you're going to find them really convenient, helpful, and ultimately indispensable... especially considering the camera remains very compact and smoothly contoured in shape all around. AS far as IQ goes, I'm confident that whatever differences there may be with competing m4/3 models will be negligible in comparison to the feature differences.