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Jumping on the 4/3 bandwagon

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jameseboy, Jan 31, 2013.

  1. jameseboy

    jameseboy New to Mu-43

    Jan 31, 2013
    Hi All - hoping for some advice.

    I am a amateur but with a keen eye for a good photo. I have a Nikon D80 SLR with 4 lenses and I love it. I am going for a once in a lifetime trip to South America soon with my partner and 2 year old daughter. I have decided that the DSLR is too big to carry.

    I am currently thinking of purchasing the Olypmus E-PL5 with the 14-42mm and 42-150mm kit lenses and adding the 12mm 2.0 and 45mm 1.8 prime lenses. In no particular order my priorities are: IQ, wide angle landscape and portraits of my daughter. Size (and minimising attractiveness for opportunistic theft) is also a major consideration. As we hope to visit the Galapagos Islands, some sort of telephoto capability would also be good. Hence I would take the 12, 45 and 42-150mm with me. I also like the potential low light capability of the prime lenses.

    The advice I am looking for is - will this set up give me the flexibility and image quality that I am looking for? Any other suggestions? I have looked into the 9-18mm for example but not sure??? Would I be better off with the OMD?

    Thanks in advance! I would be gutted if I did not have the right camera set-up on such a great adventure!

  2. PaulGiz

    PaulGiz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 3, 2013
    Rhode Island, USA
    IQ with E-PL5 is excellent, so done.

    14-42 + 40-150 give you an excellent compact setup that goes from moderately wide to quite long in 2 relatively sharp, but not too fast lenses. As an alternate the Oly 14-150 is also a good choice, but at a slightly higher cost.

    OM-D is a better camera but the compactness of the PEN camera is quite nice for travel.

    I think you're on the right track here. My experience with m4/3 has been very, very positive.

  3. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Nov 7, 2010
    James, what you have outlined makes pretty good sense to me. Regarding the E-M5, I don't think it is a must have by any means, unless you value the EVF or weather-proofing (in which case you'd want the 12-50 kit lens). I might go with the 14-150 instead of the 45-150 + 14-42, but that is just me.

    Given your last sentence, one other thing I'd recommend is a back up. Maybe a nice waterproof P&S. Gives you ability to take pics in any weather, and gives you an option if the E-PL5 should fail or get lost/stolen.

    Sounds like an awesome adventure.
  4. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jan 5, 2013
    I have the 14-42 kit lens and recently purchased the Oly 40-150. I would actually like something with more reach, such as the Panny 100-300, or maybe the revised Oly 75-300 if it is available before you leave. But that is just me. I like long telephotos. If you are just doing portraits and landscapes, you probably wouldn't use it. For wide landscapes, I'd consider the Oly 9-18 instead of the 12, to get you wider. But these are just alternatives. What you suggest should be good.
  5. Halaking

    Halaking Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 17, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I have 9-18, 12, 45, 40-150.

    The 12mm is sharper than 9-18, also it takes good low lights at night, but the 9-18 is great for walk around & landscape for day, the 12mm is too wide for walk around for me.

    The 45mm is very sharp.

    The 40-150 is sharp but not as 12 or 45, you need to step down within 40-100 for it's sharpest range.
  6. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    Since you talk about getting a 14-42 and a 42-150, I have only one recommendation. Don't assume that a zoom will work perfectly up to its extreme limit. Frequently zooms don't do that. They come close, but there can be "fall-off" both at the extreme focal lengths and at the extreme apertures. I don't know about the lenses you spoke of (even though I have a 14-42), but generally going to the extremes can not always be trusted.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I would leave the 40-150mm and get the m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 instead, personally. It will be your best portrait lens, and will also give you great mid-telephoto shots with the sharpest quality and great speed if you want to shoot in lower light... which you should try to do whenever you can, as the harsh sun on safari will cast harsh shadows on everything. If you can time your best photos for later or earlier in the day when the sun is low or over the horizon, then you can capture much better looking photos. The 75mm/1.8 will give you enough speed to do that, while also giving you enough focal length to shoot a variety of subjects (ie, like wildlife) along with your 45mm and 12mm lenses.

    You said you wanted landscapes and portraits... I assume the 12mm is for landscapes, but the 45mm is not the best focal length for portraits if you want to get in closer on your subject (I mean, it was the best we had until the 75mm came along - but that's then and this is now), although it's great for capturing a lot of background scenery in a wider angle portrait. A more "standard" type portrait is better suited to the 75mm, especially when you will be outdoors with more room to maneuver in.
  8. Steven

    Steven Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 25, 2012
    If you can swing it, I would get the OMD for 2 reasons - viewfinder and water sealing. If it's a once in a lifetime trip and it happens to rain it's nice to be able to not worry about it and continue taking pictures. You can buy a separate viewfinder for the EPL5, but then you have to worry about it falling off.

    Another option to consider is a cheaper older model as a back up body in case something happens with your main choice.
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Welcome to the forum. I think the setup that you described is a fine balance of cost and quality. There are, of course, other options but these are a good balance in a small, versatile set. The 12 is excellent as is the 45 and the 40-150 is underated. :cool: 
  10. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    I would add an external viewfinder to the EPL5 kit. For me, the VF3 is fine as a framing aid. Others might want the VF2 (I also own that).
  11. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Yes, I second the EVF!! You will probably be shooting a lot in harsh sunlight. The viewfinder will be indispensable whether you use AF or MF in bright light (plus in any kind of light it's indispensable for MF).
  12. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    The main reason you may want the E-M5 over the E-PL5 is the video capabilities. The 5-axis IBIS is nice for stills, but it is insanely good for video. If you have a 2-year-old you will find it invaluable as a video camera, allowing you to take hand-held videos anytime anywhere from almost any angle without jitters. You can even do Michael Bay style low-angle pan shots with relative ease:

    Michael Bay Epic Spinning Shot Supercut - YouTube!
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