1. Reminder: Please use our affiliate links for holiday shopping!

it's another PM1 / GF3 thread!

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by jff1625, Jan 14, 2012.

  1. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    Hello,
    Long time reader (OK 2 weeks), first time poster.
    I already read a lot of threads here and elsewhere comparing the GF3 and E-PM1, but none of them seems to answer my specific concerns.
    I'm a P&S upgrader, looking for something to take better shots of my 1 yr old kid and also maybe renew an old hobby.
    I think the most important things for me will be:
    1) jpeg quality (I prefer not to faff about in photoshop / ACR - if I did I would choose NEX-3C!)
    2) low light performance, incl action shots (kid(s)).

    I already have my eye one the pana 20mm f1.7 lens as a future upgrade for low light shooting, and also for nice bokeh in good lighting (I saw some really encouraging bokeh shots on this forum already! If bokeh was my only concern I guess I would go Oly 45mm f1.8, but for now low light and compact size is more important so I think the Pana 20mm Normal is the one for me.) I'm concerned about some of the reports I've read about the PEN series cameras having trouble finding AF lock in low light using that pana 20mm lens. Is this for real? is every PM1 affected? Or is it more of a user-shooting-style thing, like choosing a single, contrasty, AF point? Is the GF3 also affected?

    I'm wondering will the IBIS in the E-PM1 help me out at all in low light either with the kit 14-42, or with the pana 20mm 1.7, particularly as I'll mainly be shooting the kid indoors when dealing with so-so light. Or would I likely experience auto-focus troubles with that lens in those conditions? Would I be better off with the GF3? Does the GF3 also have trouble with AF in low light with this lens?

    What actually constitutes "low light" when talking about these two cameras and that pana 20mm lens? Typical living-room at night with lights turned down on a dimmer? Same room with only moonlight? Lighter? Darker? With my current p&s the flash always fires (a little too late!) in even dark-ish settings so this area is a big mystery to me.

    Another concern I had was the reported lens-barrel shadow from the built in flash on the GF3, and I was a little confused as to how it was possible that some reviews complained about it and some didn't mention it at all. But I understand it only affects shots where the subject is very close to the camera, in which case I should be more worried about the subject appearing over-exposed, so therefore it's more a case of figuring out some other way of getting the shot (maybe take a step back and use the zoom, or crop, or hit the light switch!). So not really a problem with the GF3. Could someone please confrim or deny this for me?

    I tried both out in a shop the other day and I found the GF3 to be more comfortable to hold, particularly with a bigger lens attached such as the kit zoom. And I kinda like using the touchscreen to choose what to auto-focus on. I'm not sure that I would miss that particular feature on the Oly tho. I can get the GF3 for cheaper than the PM1 (with kit zooms only), and I may decide that I need an aftermarket grip added to the PM1 which would only add to the cost. It's hard to tell tho' when the cameras are tied down with those retail security leashes.

    My main issue is the IBIS / low light / 20mm f1.7 stuff tho'
    ummm help! Which camera should I buy?

    thanks for reading!
    Jeff
     
  2. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just made the switch to the E-PM1 from a GF2 (it was gift but I would have made it anyway if it hadn't been). I switched for a couple of reasons.

    - Better WB
    - Better control of video
    - Better option for EVF (if the new Panasonic LVF2 had worked with the GF2 I'd likely have kept it but the VF2 is a lot better than the LVF1 and that's important to me)

    Over the GF3 I like the controls of the E-PM1. I never thought I would but I switched the video button to be zoom for focus assist and it is super handy. I also find that I want a hot shoe at at times and the option to use an EVF (neither of which the GF3 gives me.
     
  3. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London

    I'm not worried about the lack of EVF, thats why the GF3 is still in the running.

    I don't know that I'll be using video very much, so haven't really done my homework on that subject. I did see a demo video of the PM1s video stabilization - ick! I'd rather have shaky video than that freaky perspective distortion effect.

    White Balance my be relevant to my interests tho. How much better is the AWB on the PM1 versus GF3 ? Is it £45 better, or 15% of purchase price better? I've seen a few miraculous-looking examples of the PM1's AWB, but nothing for GF3. Where can I find relevant example shots?

    thx
    J
     
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    E-PM1 vs. GF-3?
    Two words: hot shoe.
     
  5. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    Thanks Ned, yeah I know. Not sure what I'd want to use it for tho, if I'm honest. Viewfinder doesn't interest me. Stereo mic input doesn't interest me. (If I was recording anything where quality audio mattered, I would use separate hardware. But that's not likely to happen.) A gigantic flash would kinda defeat the purpose of such a small camera. (I'll just get closer.)

    How about this issue with the PM1 failing to focus at all with the 20mm f1.7 lens in low light? Should I consider a different lens for low light? Or a different body?....
     
  6. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    A different lens. It's the lens which is not good at AF, not the body. Using that same lens on another body is not going to make much difference

    How about the Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux, m.Zuiko 12mm f/2, or m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8?
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Is the AWB £45 better? I think combined with better metering (which I forgot to mention first time round) then yes, it would be to me. That's not to say the metering is bad on the GF3. It was never BAD on my GF2 it just took more effort to get the page I wanted. That said, if you like the GF3 then I'd say go for it. I have no doubt It's a superb camera (my GF2 was).

    The video implementation with IS is weird...I just turn IS off when shooting video. I have a young child however so HD video is nice to have (as it is on the GF2 and GF3).
     
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    The slower AF of the 20/1.7 is a function of the lens, not the body, at least with newer bodies like the GF3 and E-PM1, so you're not going to gain by choosing one body over the other.

    The main draw of the GF3 is the price, built-in flash, touch-screen, and the availability of the X 14-42 lens in a kit (the lens is a zoom, but scarcely larger than the 20/1.7).

    In all other respects, the E-PM1 is as good if not better.

    DH
     
  9. rex87

    rex87 Mu-43 Regular

    192
    Jun 21, 2011
    winnipeg, mb
    just get an epl2 and 20mm 1.7 problem solved!..
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Honestly, I think it is. :) Before I got my third-generation PEN, I've never before seen a camera adjust for incandescent and mixed lighting like these cameras do. It's like magic, just watching it change in the LCD! :eek:

    I no longer need any WB settings but AWB and Reference (aka One-Touch). I'm really glad the new PENs also added more One-Touch WB slots, as well. ;)
     
  11. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    Thanks guys. Before I posted I was leaning towards the GF3, but the AWB and a bunch of other little things have now made the PM1 the frontrunner.

    Leica 25mm f/1.4 Summilux, m.Zuiko 12mm f/2, X 14-42, E-PL2 - a little outside my budget for now :(

    m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 - for low-light action shots of the baby? In a small London flat? Interesting idea. I'll go read some reviews....

    how about the 14mm f2.5? - there's a huge discount for getting that and the zoom in kit with the GF3 (£180 alone, but adds £60 the cost of the kit.) If it'd make a great low-light action lens I think that'd be the only thing that could sway me back to the Pana.
     
  12. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    100
    Jan 14, 2012
    London
    well I got my PM1 now. :-D !!!
    After just a couple days I'm starting to get really critical of the quality of other peoples photos posted on facebook. I guess I ought to go hang out at flickr or something...
     
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    lol. Welcome to the world of high-quality photography! :biggrin:
     
  14. deodeo

    deodeo Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Apr 13, 2011
    I have been very happy with my PM1 except one thing that the start up is quite slow from power on to take first photo. I played with GF2 at BB store and felt it is lot faster. Does anyone here have both PM1/PL3 and GF2/3? Does GF is quicker than PM1 in starting up when compared shoulder by shoulder? Will a faster card help to boost the start up speed? I am using Sandisk Ultra.
     
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    I had the same problem with my E-PM1. A faster SD card helped some. However, I recently picked up a GF3X kit, and while I've not used it much, it does seem faster completing startup.

    One difference with the E-PM1 is that if you depress the shutter button immediately after turning it one, you can take a photo about as quickly as with the GF3, and before all the info. on the LCD has been displayed.

    DH
     
  16. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    This is true. The EPM1 seems to start slowly, but it's actually ready to take a pic nearly immediately. It just takes a bit longer for the icons to display. Try it out!
     
  17. deodeo

    deodeo Mu-43 Regular

    26
    Apr 13, 2011
    Today, I tried e-pm1 with gf3 side by side in store. I turned on each camera and kept pushing down the shutter with a stable frequency. The e-pm1 will fire its first shutter when I hit the 4th time, while the gf3 can fire the shutter on my 2nd hit. This was done several times and results are quite consistent.

    Except slow start up, I do experience quicker fps on e-pm1.