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New Boy to 4/3

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Neon, Mar 12, 2012.

  1. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    Any help on which camera to choose would be most useful.I have looked at various info both here and elsewhere and realise that its a hard question to answer but any advice would be useful. I need a viewfinder .
    Thanks.
     
  2. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    Get the best... EM5
     
  3. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    Short and sweet........Thanks.
     
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    It would probably help if you gave some hints as to budget, intended use, etc.

    The only m4/3 cameras that can't take a VF are the GF3 and the E-P1. If you want one that's built-in, obviously your options are more limited.

    If you really have no idea what you'll be using the camera for, I'd suggest going with a secondhand model from the previous generation (Panasonic G1 or G2 are good options - flexible, affordable, built-in EVF) and figuring out what your interests are before dropping a lot of money on a camera that may or may not suit you.

    DH
     
  5. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    Thanks , I shoot everything really and have been doing so on and off for many years.
    Looking at the Panasonic G3 price range.
    To start with.
     
  6. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    OM-D EM-5
     
  7. KVG

    KVG Banned User

    May 10, 2011
    yyc(Calgary, AB)
    Kelly Gibbons
    Gf1 forever!!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  8. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    243
    Dec 9, 2011
    Singapore
    If thats your price range, then em5 would probably not for you.

    You can consider either G3 or Gx1.

    Between these 2, I chose G3.
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    For the G3 price range some good models would be the Panasonic G3, Olympus E-PL3, and Olympus E-PL2 (different body style from the E-PL3). For a little bit more, the Panasonic GH2 and Olympus E-P3 are well worth the upgrades.
     
  10. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The GX1 is not in the G3 price range either. :eek:

    That would be in the price range of the Panasonic GH2 and Olympus E-P3. All three models are good, but also not that far off from the Olympus E-M5 if you save up a bit more.
     
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    Well, the G3 is certainly among the best m4/3 available today. If you truly do a bit of everything though, I suspect you'll find the kit lens somewhat limiting in terms of range. It may be worthwhile to go with a less expensive kit and adding a telephoto lens like the 45-200 for more flexibility.

    I wouldn't suggest Olympus E-M5 unless money is really no object. You'd pay 2x what a G3 kit cost for a camera that won't offer a whole lot more in terms of capabilities and image quality. That sort of money is better spent on lenses.

    DH
     
  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    The E-PL3 is nowhere near the same price range as the G3. Not only does the G3 give you incredible sensor performance (equal to the vaunted E-M5 by all current accounts), but the Olympus camera is way more expensive. Looking at B&H for example, the G3 is available body-only for $550 or with lens for $625. The E-PL3 is sold only with lens, for $700. After that, since the OP needs a viewfinder, that's another minimum $180 if you want the crappy viewfinder, or more if you want the expensive high-res one (which doesn't lock onto your camera). Change the camera from the E-PL3 to the E-P3, and you're in the same boat, but $200 more expensive. The G3 is definitely the current bargain buy in the m4/3 world. If I had a G3, you couldn't pay me enough money to "upgrade" to an E-P3 with clip-on viewfinder, as it isn't an upgrade at all.

    It's a toss-up between the E-M5 and GH2; they're about the same price and are both worth what you pay. You have to decide whether you want the GH2's multi-aspect sensor or the E-M5's weather sealing, body stabilization, and wireless flash capability. I enjoy using my Nikon wireless speedlights, so it would be a difficult decision for me right now, but I'd probably be leaning towards the E-M5. If the GH2 were $600 with lens like it was over the holidays at Samy's and Fry's, I'd be leaning the other way, as that leaves 45mm f/1.8 money in my pocket (or 2/3 of the Panasonic 25mm).

    The E-P3 isn't even in the running. The E-M5 and GH2 are mini-DSLRs with great handling and amazing sensor performance. The E-P3 is just another band-aided camera from Olympus (look, we fixed the slow handling and slow autofocus of our last flagship camera, which by the way was literally the exact same thing as our first flagship camera but with an added viewfinder port and new model number!) using the same old sensor.
     
  13. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    Neon, how fussy are you about image detail, sharpness and accurate colors? Do you expect the straight-out-of-the-camera jpegs to be perfect or near perfect in those respects? Or do you like to shoot RAW and tweak the sharpness, white balance/colors? If you consider yourself in the former camp, I'd suggest Olympus, if the latter camp, Panasonic.

    The least expensive Olympus system that would meet your needs is an E-PL1 with kit lens ($300) + the high resolution VF-2 viewfinder ($200). Second most expensive system would be the E-PM1 ($449 + VF-2 viewfinder ($200), or a used, low shutter count E-PL2 ($400) + VF-2 ($200).

    If shooting in low light at high ISO's without a flash is a priority for you, then you should consider one of the 16 megapixel Panasonics or the 16 megapixel Olympus E-M5
     
  14. Neon

    Neon Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Mar 12, 2012
    North Wales,UK.
    Thanks very much for all the replies. I always shot in RAW and from what most are saying I think i will get a G3 and see how it goes.If I like it and 4/3 I will sell my current Canon stuff (7D) etc. and extend my lenses.
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    In a lot of areas I agree with your assessments, but you are basing most of that argument off of specs and features, without considering form factor, design, or personal preference.

    The Olympus PEN system is a modular system. You down the accessory EVF as a missing item, when it was meant to be a modular setup to be used by those who want it with the ability to be removed for those who don't. Every Olympus body uses the same accessories, unlike for instance the Panasonic LVF-1 which will only work on the GF-1 and GF-2, the Panasonic LVF-2 which will only work on the GX-1, or Panasonic's 2.5mm audio mic jack which is only included on specific Panasonic models. That means that if an EVF is important to you then you can purchase the VF-2 or VF-3 (both of which are far superior to the LVF-1) and use it on any PEN camera you choose to purchase in the future. If you don't need the EVF but instead prefer a smaller package to pack into a smaller space, then you don't need to buy the EVF. Or maybe you like the EVF for certain purposes but don't want it taking up space on every camera all the time. This is an accessory catered to your needs - so you can build your future system off the accessories YOU want and not have to re-purchase them. If you require professional quality video then external audio is probably important to you. If that's the case then you purchase the EMA-1 3.5mm stereo mic adapter, your choice of video lenses including top-grade shotgun and boom mics which are generally all the standard 3.5mm if they aren't XLR, and some appropriate video lenses, and you can turn ANY Olympus camera into a mean video machine. When new video technology surfaces in the new bodies (ie, like AVCHD in the 3rd Generation PENs, or IBIS and reduced rolling shutter effect in the E-M5) then you can upgrade your body alone and still have all the accessories you need to have the same capabilities your old camera had. If you buy a Panasonic and you want these kind of features, you have to continue purchasing only the Panasonic bodies which have the features you like. You are not free to cater your entire system to YOUR OWN preferences irregardless of which bodies you want to add. Personally, I have 3 Pen cameras in full working order. My favorite are the Minis, as they are the smallest, most versatile overall package I can find. What makes them powerful is the ability to use the same modular accessories as every other Pen camera I use, allowing me to buy the cheapest, most simplest body and still have the full capabilities of the system that I'm used to such as hotshoe, EVF, microphone, etc. Lenses aren't the only thing in the PEN system which is a cross compatible investment towards all future bodies. Foreseeable future, that is... but even though the E-M5 has its own EVF built-in it still supports the VF-2 and VF-3, which goes to show that Olympus intends to support these accessories for all time, as long as possible.

    So while I agree that cameras like the G3, GH2, and E-M5 are the best all-inclusive packages, to say that cameras like the E-P3, E-PL3, or GX-1 can't compete is comparing apples to oranges! These modular systems fill a completely different function for a different market, and they are all just as good cameras! We have the choice for a reason. I never once heard the OP say that he was only interested in mini-DSLR camera forms, and it's actually safe to say that many people move towards Micro Four-Thirds to get AWAY From that DSLR form.
     
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  16. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Good choice. I suggest the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lenses to go with the G3. That is an absolute kickass kit with high value for what you spend to get it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Dara
    He said he wanted a viewfinder and something in the G3 price range.

    I'd say that precludes the E-PL3, E-P3 or E-M5. Even the E-PM1 is a stretch.

    DH
     
  18. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Actually, all those cameras can use viewfinders. The only thing which precludes them is the fact that he mentioned the G3 by name... which means that he probably researched that model already and is leaning towards it.

    To cut him off from all other options based on that is presumptuous, and that's not what we're here for. I thought the G3 was a good choice for him, and it was first on my list of suggestions. However, there was no call to say the others are no good for him.
     
  19. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    989
    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Price
    Price
    Price
    Price
    Not "G3 range," but "G3 price range." What's the cost of the E-PL3 with viewfinder? $880? If he was looking for a G3 price level camera, you've just sent him straight into GH2 land, which by all measures, except size and built-in stabilization, stomps the PEN-class cameras into utter submission. Casually saying, "Oh the E-PL3 is basically in the same range" is utterly preposterous. How can you flippantly recommend someone to increase their budget by 60%, especially when they get a sub-par product for the money? The E-P3 with viewfinder is MORE EXPENSIVE than an E-M5! When price is concerned, the others are absolutely NO good for him.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    As I explained, accessories for the PEN system are an investment because they are cross compatible, unlike accessories for the Panasonic system. It's just like lenses... it is worth your money to invest in a good lens to start with rather than pouring more and more money into lenses that don't satisfy you. You don't save money by buying a complete collection of slow zooms just because they're cheap, only to replace them with high-quality fast zooms down the road.

    IF... and this is the big question... if the modular system is something that he is interested in (this is HIS decision, not ours), then there is no reason he couldn't put the extra money into a long term investment that will carry him through all his future bodies, saving him money down the road. As I also explained earlier - if I decide I want a cheap and small camera I can pick up a Mini at any time and still have the same accessory support and viewfinder as the E-P3, accessories which I have already bought and don't need to buy again - can you do that when you want to add a Panasonic GF-3 to your G3 kit? The savings you can get from a one-time future investment is not "utterly preposterous".

    It's just like when I invest in a good lens. That lens stays with me through all my future bodies, and its intrinsic value increases through use. A $500 lens is no longer a big deal after using it on 5 different $500 bodies... Olympus extends the same concept to accessories, not just lenses. Would you tell the OP that it's "utterly preposterous" to invest in a good fast prime to go with his new camera, because it increases his initial investment by 60%? If he wants to stay in the Micro Four-Thirds system, he will eventually have to make that investment. Just like if he wanted to stay in the Pen system (again, his choice not ours!) then he would eventually make that purchase of the accessories which fit HIS shooting needs. Not saying the PEN is for him, but hypothetically IF he decided it were, after hearing ALL his options...

    There is absolutely no reason why we should not offer the OP these choices. But he has already decided on a G3, so why are we even discussing this still? He came to us for help, to learn from our extensive knowledge and experience - not to hear us bicker amongst ourselves for no cause.
    The fact that he may not understand that he needs to extend his budget for things like accessories and lenses, and look BEYOND the price point on the tag in front of the body, is exactly why people come to places like this where there are many long-term users who can tell him the pros and cons of different setups through experience and use... and show him the things that AREN'T right in front of his eyes. Anybody can read spec sheets and price tags.