New body (E-M1) or Lens (Oly 12-40mm / Oly 75mm)

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by sushi, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. sushi

    sushi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    Real Name:

    Currently I have the Panasonic GX1 with Olympus 45mm and Panasonic 25mm. I am looking at the Olympus OM-D E-M1, Olympus 12-40mm and Olympus 75mm. I know I will get all of these eventually, but due to budget constraints, I am considering these three options at the moment:

    Option 1: Sell the GX1 (~$300) and buy the E-M1 (Body) to go along with my current lens line up. This option will cost me about $1,200.

    Option 2: Keep the GX1 and buy the LVF2 and Olympus 75mm, which will cost about $1,100.

    Option 3: Keep the GX1 and buy the LVF2 and Olympus 12-40mm, which costs about $1,200 total.

    The reason why I am considering the E-M1 is because of the integrated EVF, tilting screen, weather proof, WIFI, focus peaking, 5 axis IBIS and improved low light capability. I want the Olympus 75mm due to its's amazing portrait capability but I'm worried that it'll feel unbalanced with the GX1 and also worry about the non-stabilized GX1. The Olympus 12-40mm would be nice for landscapes and general photography, especially since I don't have any wide angle lens at the moment, and eventually shooting in the rain once I have both the E-M1 and the 12-40mm :)

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions :)
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    I would usually say go for the glass, but it sounds like you would really appreciate the new body (features and sensor upgrade).
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  3. MZ1

    MZ1 New to Mu-43

    Jan 2, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Real Name:
    I just made the switched to M43 2 days ago and bought exactly what you are asking about in your post. The 12-40mm and 75mm are large lenses but feels and balances very well on my E-M1. On the GX1, I think they would make it head-heavy and you'll have a tiring time using them. The E-M1 is a big step up from the GX1 and if I were in your position, I would go for the E-M1 as you already have the 45mm for portrait and the 25mm is an excellent normal lens.
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  4. rogergu

    rogergu Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 11, 2013
    I faced the similar choice recently, but with EM5. I ended up with 75mm. Before EM5, I owned GX1. Early today, I took a look at my photos taken by GX1, that I have never seen since I purchased EM5. What surprised me was that those photos were not bad at all. The gain of EM5 is almost negligible. I do not have EM1, so I am not sure what difference it could make, but I still believe lenses are better investment if you are still happy with GX1.
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  5. sushi

    sushi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2013
    Real Name:
    Thanks for the comments, I do like my GX1, especially the "bounce" flash, and I think I am getting decent enough (in my humble opinion) images from it, provided that there's good enough light. But the E-M1 is so tempting with all its features. I've held the E-M1 recently and it feeeels soooooo nice in the hand, smaller than what it looks like in pictures. Although it is bit bulkier in the hand compared to the GX1, but I think the improved ergonomics and additional buttons seems worth the increase in size.
  6. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    some thoughts:

    1. weather proofing as a whole system is only when you mount the 12-40 or the 12-50. otherwise you'll get some better protection against accidents on the body only.
    2. wifi only links with mobile devices (i.e. iOS/Android phones/tablets). to my disappointment it does not link up with desktop operating system.
    3. the 75mm is actually quite small and not heavy...although it does feel SOLID!
    3a. great for portraits but unfortunately its too tight for most other uses.
    3b. the 12-40mm is wayyy more versatile, but it is physically larger and heavier. (the measurements are close but i perceive more increase in mass and dimension)

    i would go body first, since it provides the most significant difference in user experience, and you have mid-short tele coverage with good glass. later the 12-40mm, because it gives you wide which i find more useful than tele, and it doesnt make sense to mount it on gx1-sized body. lastly, the 75
  7. tomO2013

    tomO2013 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 28, 2013
    Glass. Glass. Glass! Pick up the 12-40 and the 75. They are phenomenal pieces of glass by any standards on any system.
    Yes they will feel slightly unbalanced (particularly the 12-40) on your GX1, but I don't think it's a deal breaker, especially when you see the rendering quality from both lenses - they really are world class lenses.
    That said, this really is a first world problem and you are not going to put a foot wrong either picking up the E-M1 now and the lenses later or vice versa. Enjoy :)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 5, 2013
    Real Name:
    It sounds to me that you have already decided that you want the EM-1 more than the lenses, so that is what I recommend you do. I have always bought glass first and have tended to stay with an old body way past when most everyone else has moved on. It actually takes me a while for a cameras controls to become second nature to me and to get more comfortable with a cameras strong points and limitations. One exception to that was the E-PM1, which honestly took fine pictures, but I never liked the controls. I felt like I came home when I bought the G5. Buying the G5 improved my photography experience more than a single lens could. But I waited to buy the G5 till they were dirt cheap. So, although it sounds to me that your heart is set on getting the EM-1 and I think you need to follow your heart in this or you won't be happy, I'd wait for the EM-1 to come down in price (which might take a couple of years based on the EM-5) and get the 12-40 first.
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  9. ramseeker

    ramseeker Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2013
    Grand Island, NY
    Real Name:

    Buy Refurb! Grab an OM-D E-M5 (about $700.00) and the 75mm (about $700.00) - Assuming you sell your GX1 that brings you to $1100.00. Sure, the E-M5 isn't the E-M1 but it's close and you get an EVF as it seems you would like and the 75mm too.

    When it comes time to buy either the 12-40 or the E-M1 you might be able to pick up used/refurb of both of these too for even more savings.

    But, I'm new here and this is post number 1 for me so your mileage may vary. :)
  10. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    How about option 4, get the EM1 now and pick up a used 14/2.5 as soon as your budget allows. It gives you the body you want and the wide angle that you're missing.

    • Like Like x 1
  11. jtibau

    jtibau Mu-43 Regular

    May 1, 2013
    Blacksburg, VA
    Real Name:
    Javier Tibau
    When I switched into :43: I bought one of those Robert's Camera GX1 deals with a PL25 and a O45, same as the OP. Very compact, cheapest body and good/compact glass. Really satisfying combo though I missed an OVF/EVF. After having tested the waters I spent a long time thinking that I'd upgrade to one of the larger bodies.

    Around July, I think, my brother asked me help him pick a camera and lenses. Researching prices for him drove me a little crazy and I jumped for an O75 for myself (he got an E-P3, O17, O45). All I could say after getting it was wooow... Without a hood I think it looks and balances fine on the GX1. Here's a fun pick, sorry it doesn't really show much but I think you can see that it is still a fun setup. A JJC hood's on, I don't know why but I don't have the pic she took :tongue:.


    I've been very happy with that camera and lens. Although an unusual setup (very long), they were mostly inseparable. I mostly take portraits of my family wherever we are.

    The Black Friday deals were too much for me though. I struggled between an E-P5 kit, a GX7, a refurb E-M5, the E-M1 or a LVF2 for my GX1. It was a tough decision but I went for the E-M1 although it was the most expensive of the lot. I wanted the possibility of weather sealing (as a possible upgrade) but was afraid I wouldn't like the E-M5 enough, people complain about mushy buttons, cracked screen, too large focusing areas. The large EVF was also one of the deciding factors.

    In the OP's position:
    - I think it makes little sense to get the 12-40 while keeping the GX1. I'm sure that image quality would be excellent but you wouldn't be gaining weather sealing nor image stabilisation. For the wider angle I'd also recommend finding a good deal for a P14, that's what I wanted for a while after my initial purchase.
    - Though very usable and very loveable, the GX1/O75 is far from perfect. Once light drops a little you have to push ISO above what the camera can handle acceptably. When I bought the O75 I didn't really see the need for upgrading my body and the lens was more of an impulse buy :redface:.
    - I'd buy the E-M1 again. It'll allow you to use off-camera flash without loosing the great EVF like the E-P5. The GX7 and E-M5 would also do that for you. Built-in wifi was a strong argument for my wife who now loves that she can have some nice pics on the move to upload to Facebook/Instagram. Having tested the wifi features I love how you can fully remote control the E-M1 through the iOS app. So without wifi built-in there goes the E-M5. And as I've already said, I wanted the chance to later upgrade to weather sealed setup.

    I just read that there are some hopeful thoughts that a coming O25 might be weather sealed. A compact weather sealed lens would be awesome and I'd sell my PL25 just for that feature. I'm not too excited by the zoom possibilities but I'm spent for the moment anyway :biggrin:.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. mcumeda

    mcumeda Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 25, 2011
    I'd buy the glass. Lenses are always a better investment than bodies. Also, there is a rumor that there will be a new OM-D EM-10 announced later this month. You could probably sell the GX1 and pick up an OM-D EM-5 like others have suggested.
  13. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    another option would be to sell the GX1 and buy the 75mm and a G5. The image quality from the G5 is not too far behind the EM 1 or EM5 and the form factor of the G5 will better suit the longer lenses, you also get the EVF which is nice.
    G5s are going cheap so you shouldn't have much change over cost from your GX1. I still have my G5 and use it as a second body in conjunction with my EM1. My 12-35 goes on the EM1 and the 35-100 on the G5, it is nice to use the 2 bodies and at the end of the day it is hard to tell any substantial difference in file quality between the two.
  14. gswpete

    gswpete Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 18, 2011
    I have both the GX1 and E-M5 (with grip).

    With your prime lenses the ibis of the E-M1 will completely spoil you, especially in low light.

    With the E-M5 and a fast lens, I take tac sharp photos hand held in low light consistently. Rarely any photos are blurry.

    Also, the grip on the GX1 is nice but with a lens like the 25mm, it is hard to hold single handed for long periods of time.

    So I'd go for the E-M1.
  15. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    Wifi works on a PC as well, just connect to the ssid and browse to
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  16. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Woohoo, great to know! So tethered (wireless) shooting is now possible?
  17. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    whats the actual functionally supposed to be provided?

    this is whats shown going through http/port 80?

    theres no SMB or AFP share either... seems like dead end. manual only mentions wifi connection for smartphone device
  18. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    Here you can browse the images and copy to the computer. Was also helpful on my girlfriends smartphone which didn't have the app installed.
  19. lightmonkey

    lightmonkey Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 22, 2013
    what did you mean by here?
    theres are no expandable folders on that screen.. the "DCIM" is not a clickable link