Looking for an ideal travel camera

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by wrxspdwgn, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. wrxspdwgn

    wrxspdwgn Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    My wife and I have had the opportunity to travel a few times in recent years and I haven't had the desire to drag along the DSLR gear. I've tried a couple of different cameras out before finding the GX1. I really like the rangefinder style and am a viewfinder shooter but also like to use off camera flash from time to time. This has me looking at the GX7, GH3 and with the updates maybe the fuji X-E2. I do like to use my camera on occasion for wildlife photos so if I were to switch systems I would lose some of the reach of the 100-300 I have. Not sure what might be the best use of available funds.
  2. danelkins

    danelkins Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Mar 9, 2013
    Norhtern Illinois
    Take a look at the Lumix G6 as it should be a strong contender for less $$ than the GX7 or GH3. The Gh3 is a great camera but you are paying for the video capabilities and the G6 will offer better handling over the GX7 while using long lenses. For a long lens option the Lumix 100-300 is preety sweet but large compared to the M43 system overall and the 45-200 is a smaller travel zoom capable of 400mm equiv.
    i also use the GX1 and found hand held long zoom work very challenging - much nicer with G6

    Be careful though as the M43 system will have you ignoring you oversized dslr gear.
  3. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    It may be worth looking at the Panasonic G5, there seem to be some sparkling deals out there. Then there is more left over to spend on lenses.
  4. Everhandy

    Everhandy Guest

    Sony NEX-3N.
  5. Sela69

    Sela69 Mu-43 Regular

    Olympus E-PM2
  6. Everhandy

    Everhandy Guest


    E-PM2 would be a great choice however, it lacks a built-in flash and tilt screen, essentials for a walk around camera, in my opinion. The kits lenses also fall short in overall performance. And don't forget video where the NEX-3N has an advantage. If you trust DxOMark, the NEX-3N squeeks past the E-PM2 in every category. Comparing images on IR, the PM2 is quite impressive. Sharpness even at ISO 3200 is equal or better (but just by a hair) to the NEX-3N which is amazing, considering the sensor size difference. Although, the PM2 exhibits more noise perhaps because the terrific Oly JPEG engine sacrifices grain to sharpness. I would expect the RAW file comparison to tip into the Sony's favor.

    Bottom line, the NEX-3N offers superb image quality, tilt screen and built-in flash as well as sharper kit lenses which makes it a better value. I also love the Sigma primes for Sony's E-mount which are also available for u4/3 but the lens crop factor of an APS-C sensor makes the lens focal lenghts (16, 30, 60mm) more usable than they would be on a u4/3 body.
  7. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    I don't think you can go wrong with any of the cameras you mentioned as all the sensors are so good these days. I recently returned from 4 weeks in Singapore and Cambodia. I travelled with two G3s and was pleasantly surprised at the sharpness of the images produced by this little camera that is now a couple of generations old in terms of m43cameras. I bought the G3s at bargain basement prices and had the 14-45 on one the the 9-18 on the other. Travelling with two bodies (and lots of spare batteries) allowed me not to have to stop and change lenses constantly. I have been recently intrigued by the new Sony full frame cameras but I doubt if I'll get one anytime soon as the G3 is able to do everything I need in a camera. I don't even think I will be upgrading to any of the newer m43 bodies as I already have perfectly functional cameras. I may try a new body if they come out with a significantly better sensor but until then, I'm sticking with my cheap G3s.
  8. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    BTW, I'm assuming you drive a WRX.
  9. wrxspdwgn

    wrxspdwgn Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    The G6 does look like a nice camera although I do like a metal body more than polycarbonate. Too bad I missed out on the instant rebate.

    I will have to take a look at Sony although the camera you suggested doesn't have a built in viewfinder.

    Like the Sony this doen't have a built in viewfinder so for off camera flash work I'd be in the same spot as with the GX1.

    G5 might be worth another look.

    I did have a modified 2007 wrx wagon when I first signed up for the forums but traded it in for a 2006 Honda S2000. My wife who has a G3 too loves the S2k! Living in Wisconsin I have a Subaru Forester with a 5 speed for a daily driver.:smile:
  10. wrxspdwgn

    wrxspdwgn Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    Thank you all for your responses!
  11. I wouldn't let the size of the GX-7 put you off using the 100-300mm. I have that combination and it works perfectly well! The GX-7 has a pretty substantial front grip which I find very comfortable. The more I use my GX-7 the more I like it, which couldn't be said for the EM-5, G5 or G6 that I owned.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    Don't overlook the Oly ep5. It features a slim rangefinder style metal body, but you have the option of adding an evf when one is called for. It has a built in flash that you can use to trigger off-camera flashes, and the 5 axis image stabilization is wonderful for low light hand held photography. Read through this thread for more insights and samples.
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Oct 1, 2010
    I just got back from traveling in Spain and Morocco with a GX7. Great camera! Plenty of low-light performance even with my 14-14 and 9-18. In fact I am thinking of selling my fast primes because the ISO 3200 performance is so good.

    For the 100-300 you would like the focus peaking. A couple of years ago in Africa, shooting G1s, I had a lot of trouble with the autofocus locking onto twigs or brush between me and an animal, forcing the hassle of using MF on the G1s. With the GX7 focus peaking this would have been no problem at all. Two advantages: First, by just touching the focus ring you get the colored outlines and can see what the AF has grabbed. Then, if you don't like it, you can adjust the focus point.

    The only major negative is the lack of a fully articulated LCD. I didn't realize how many times I shot low-angle vertical-format pictures until I lost the fully articulated screens on the G1s. I am now hoping that Panny wll correct this shortcoming on the GX8!
  14. wrxspdwgn

    wrxspdwgn Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    Still looking at reviews and videos on possible travel camera upgrades. I really took a long look at the X-E2 as a friend who is a really good wedding photographer just bought one to compliment his Canon gear. The thing is even with the savings being offered for the camera and a few lenses I'd be looking at a cost of around $2500. Therefore I'm back looking at the Panasonic GH3 (I like the thought of the better sensor but don't shoot much video), the Panasonic G6 (better ergonomics than my GX1 but more plastic and same sensor as I have) or the Olympus OMD EM5 (better sensor with ibis and weather sealed like the GH3). The. GX7 might have stayed on my list of cameras but from what I've read the EVF is a good step in the right direction but isn't as good the viewfinders found on the other cameras I mentioned. There's a lot to like about the OMD but I recall reading somewhere that there can be issues when using some of the Panasonic lenses. The current pricing on the M4/3 cameras is definitely more appealing given the fact that I can upgrade without spending over $2k and still utilize my favorite 25mm 1.4 lens. :) . Again thank you all for your input.
  15. There's only two with issues that affect actual picture taking - the 7-14 mm with UV purple blob flaring, and 20 mm with high ISO coloured banding.

    Some people dislike the very occasional tendency for the 25mm to chatter its loud aperture blades (aka 'rattlesnaking') under certain lighting conditions, but I come across this so rarely with my E-M5 that I usually forget about it. It certainly doesn't affect the images from this excellent lens.
  16. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    The E-M5 sure does look like one of the best bargains out there at the moment. Might even get better if Olympus does announce or launch an updated version in January (as rumored). I like the weather-proofing for a travel camera. One less thing to worry about when on vacation.
  17. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    E-M5 gets a vote from me in the bang for the buck category. Certainly over the GX-7, certainly if you don't have the 7-14 (which I do own, and love, and still get great shots from; the purple blobbiness can be a pain though). Used the 100-300 on it with great results, balanced perfectly well.
  18. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    Another vote for the E-M5. Great camera, we also have an E-PM1 for a second travel/have with you always camera. The E-PM1 will be joined/replaced with Panasonic GM1 at Christmas. FWIW - I love the O 17/1.8 on the E-M5.
  19. wrxspdwgn

    wrxspdwgn Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 12, 2012
    How is Olympus for customer support? I wouldn't expect them to be like Canon but are they okay. I just ask because if a sensor cleaning were ever needed the ibis would make it something I wouldn't attempt myself.
  20. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Really depends on if you are a jpeg shooter or not. The Panasonics are great cameras but to the majority the OOC jpeg color rendering is less than idea. They seem to see the world as a cold dark place. If you shoot raw, it isn't as much of an issue. If you shoot raw, the G5 is an amazing value and it is a fun to use camera.
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