New body or better lens(es)?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by laser8, Sep 26, 2013.

  1. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Hi there

    I am a fairly happy owner of a GX1, a PL25, PL45 and the 14-42PZ. I shoot mostly RAW.

    Now, the PL45 gets it fair use for macro and general photography (I love the look of pictures taken with this lens), as does the 25, especially in low light. Fact is the 25 gets used most as the 14-42 pictures look good only when taken in full sunlight: it seems to me that the GX1 does not have much room in recovering shadows, whilst with the PZ used at f4 or higher, if it's not noon, gets the ISO above 1600 quite fast...

    Before going :43: I was using a LX5, and the most used focal lenght was 24mm(FFeq) - just to say I generally like wide angles.

    I am now wondering whether the EM5/GX7 would allow me to keep the lens setup above giving me more maneuvrability to use the PZ, or if it would be better to get a 12-35 instead.

    Many thanks for your comments!
     
  2. Mookalafalas

    Mookalafalas Mu-43 Veteran

    369
    Feb 22, 2012
    Tainan, Taiwan
    Al
    The GX1's high ISO is pretty good. GX7 is really just like 1/2 stop better (3200 looks pretty rocky when you zoom in), although you CAN lighten the shadows up a lot in post. If you like the GX1 in general, then I would say go for the glass.
     
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  3. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    The 12-35, while sharp, isn't going to draw an image like the two Pana-Leica lenses. The zoom would gain you the wide end, but aside from possible focusing speed, would be a step back from the PL25.

    Since you seem comfortable with primes, a GX7 would be big step up in sensor quality and if cost is not too big an issue, I would consider getting the O12. The P14 is a good low cost option.
     
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  4. 0dBm

    0dBm Mu-43 Top Veteran

    859
    Jun 30, 2011
    Western United States
    Better glass. Always.
     
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  5. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I tend to agree with this, but with some caveats. If laser8 will mostly live with the 12-35 on his camera then I can see making that purchase. If he is more of a prime guy then I'm not so sure it is a good move. The 14/2.5 or 12/2 might make more sense.

    I think the GX1 to the E-M5 is a pretty real improvement in most every way I can remember. I can't speak for the GX7. Cost to upgrade to a used E-M5 is around $400? So laser8 can sell the GX1, buy a used E-M5 and a used 12/2 for not a whole lot more than buying a used 12-35.

    If I were in his shoes it would come down to preference of zoom vs primes.
     
  6. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Thanks for the replies. I might have made the answers easier by being more clear and saying I intend to keep the 45 and 25, they have their place which is quite solid. I was just wondering whether to replace the GX1 for a better body or the PZ for a faster zoom, in order to get some useable "focal length range" when out and about without a proper idea about the focal length which will be used!
     
  7. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
    Love my GX1's, I mostly shoot with faster lenses (7-14, 12-35 & 35-100), though not as fast as some of your primes, and I have some slower zooms too. A couple f-stops will change any camera’s function and output, film or digital.

    We've become very spoilt with digital (which is nice)... It used to be 1600 ASA/ISO was very fast in the film days, and of course fast lenses don't only let you shoot at lower ISO, but also offer more control over DOF.

    I’d also comment that digital bodies (computers) become outdated quickly, an upgrades will always take you further for less money in the future. Lenses are changed/upgraded less often, and the investment you make now in a given system (m4/3) will likely be equally rewarding in the further when/if you change bodies.

    $0.03
     
  8. nathan_h

    nathan_h Mu-43 Regular

    180
    Jan 23, 2013
    Glass not bodies, usually.
     
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  9. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    Oh, well with that clarification ...

    The GX7/E-M5 will get you another couple stops of EV courtesy of the sensor ISO performance across all of your lenses. Probably a lot of other improvements too (resolution, IBIS, etc).

    Replacing the zoom with the 12-35 will get you another stop or two over the kit zoom (assuming you don't have DOF problems) plus 2mm wider. Also a sharper zoom.

    Gaining EV via the sensor is universally applicable. Gaining EV via a faster lens is only applicable for that lens and for cases where shallower DOF is acceptable.

    The other consideration is shutter speed. If you are shooting subjects where shutter speed is limited by subject movement rather than by what you can handhold, then an E-M5 is of no additional benefit beyond high ISO improvement. However, the 5-axis IBIS in the E-M5 is remarkably effective, more so than the Panny OIS in my experience. This could get you another stop of EV effectively for stationary subjects.

    But many feel the Oly's have dodgy video (I'm not a video guy so I don't know/care).
     
  10. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 6, 2013
    Philly
    Steve
    This
     
  11. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    335
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    yup
     
  12. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    619
    Feb 15, 2011
    Toronto
    9 times out of ten I would have said glass but in your case I would suggest the GX7, hands down.

    You own 2 of the best lens already so well covered glass wise. If your worried about how quickly ISO jumps, getting the 2.8 zoom will cause an immediate jump of 2 stops worse.

    The GX7 will give easily give you more dynamic range so an instant pop to your photos and ibis for the 45mm. It has an additonal cleaner ISO stop as well and better dynamic range (how much at high ISO depends on the dxo test results but I would guess about 1.5 ev at 1600...)

    Unless the 12mm and 13mm focal lengths would be a huge benefit in which case its a no brainer as the IQ enhancement would be subtle between the 2 bodies.
     
  13. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    It's not precisely noise where you see gains from the new cameras. You will get much better high-ISO dynamic range from the GX7/Oly, but high-ISO noise performance is 1/3 to 1/2 EV difference at best.

    See: Comparing latest-generation camera sensors is revealing as the Lumix G6, which sports an 'old' sensor too, is lumped in (also, this will either make you feel either pretty good about not using an APS-C camera, or pretty bad about not having a D600 :smile:).

    On the other hand, a faster lens setup is sure to net you at least an EV better performance.

    This. Unless you explicitly need a zoom, I think one of these lenses will aid your high-ISO shooting brilliantly.
     
  14. Mookalafalas

    Mookalafalas Mu-43 Veteran

    369
    Feb 22, 2012
    Tainan, Taiwan
    Al
    Is the GX1's sensor that outdated? I remember I bought one when it came out because it was an updated sensor that was very well reviewed when it came out (I remember reading some detailed comparisons with the Sony Nex, and the consensus seemed to be that the GX1 beat it by an eye-lash). That was a year and a half ago, so no doubt improvements have been made, but would the difference really be that noticeable?
     
  15. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    My bad. I'm not a Panasonic owner and I had a brain fart and thought the GX1 was the previous gen 12MP sensor.

    Buy a lens
     
  16. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Wow, I'm really impressed by the number of replies, thank you all!

    It seems there's an almost total consense to go for a better lens than the pz14-42, which is close to my starting idea (I did not want to influence your suggestions, I hope you understand).

    I'll just have to make my mind on whether to get the P12-35 or the O12. I am more inclined to primes - I'm never tired of saying how shocked I was after I saw the first pictures made with the PL45, after coming from the power zoom!

    I'll most probably go down the lens road, and pass the GX1+PZ to my daughter when she will turn 6 in few years... She has already a better eye for composition than her father!

    Anybody with a spare lens, whilst we're discussing? :)
     
  17. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    I may sell my O12 if/when I get the new O12-40, but that will be Dec/Jan.

    One more thought while we are talking lenses. I think the PL45 renders beautifully, but it is only(!) f/2.8. I used to own one and IMHO, it is a pretty slow focusing m43 lens. I think the O60 is a better macro lens and the O45/1.8 is obviously faster. Both focus a lot faster than the PL, and both have renderings/bokeh not that far behind the PL. Of course there is no OIS which would likely be a deal breaker on a GX1.
     
  18. laser8

    laser8 Mu-43 Veteran

    403
    Jan 29, 2013
    Mare nostrum, Istria
    Oh yes, the PL45 is a slow focuser. Slower than the 25, which is in turn slower than the PZ. I am looking forward, in time, to a body with focus peaking to make easier the manual focusing for macros. But it produces by far the best looking pictures - so much that I can easily overlook the shortcomings.
     
  19. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    I'd get the EM5 personally. The EM5 gains in IBIS and sensor performance and you'd still have a nice compact setup with the 14-42 PZ.
     
  20. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    P14, its cheap, sharp and compact. Perfect for your GX1.