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New GF2 User... did I make a mistake...

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Jemo, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Jemo

    Jemo New to Mu-43

    Jul 4, 2011
    Hi everyone, new to the forum and :43: systems.
    I bought the GF2 a week ago (since I could not find a new GF1 with quick delivery) and thought I could have a light, quick systems that I can carry around in interesting geo locations for some street photography.

    I looked at some of the samples and thought the image quality was there at high ISO but since I have the camera, I have sing lot´s of noise @800 (I am spoiled with my 1DsMKII and 5DMKII) and ISO1600 was really lacking in contrast and very noisy.:confused: 

    I had also contemplated this as my go to system for long hikes for landscape and action video, but I find it that glass out there for 16-24mm range in quite lacking and at time expensive.

    So, I was wondering if it is best to stick with my kit GF2-17mm 14-43mm Nokton 50mm 1.1 or:

    Move the the new Pen E-P3 (the looks of the camera is awesome although I would have preferred a slightly larger GF1 look)
    Wait for Pani GF Pro?
    Wait for Pen Pro?

    What I am looking for in the new system:
    Decent video options, like adding a dedicated mic....
    Better IQ on the higher ISO range 800-1600 for street photography.

    And finally, one of the most annoying thing in the GF2 is not been able to trun off or mute the AF beep.

    I would appreciate all your feedback and comment from those in the know.:2thumbs:


  2. rcferraris

    rcferraris Mu-43 Regular

    Olympus Pen E-P3 is also very noisy compared to canon 5d. if noise is an issue for you check sony nex or samsung, both have aps-c sensors but not a lot of lens choices.
  3. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    G3 would be better choice?
  4. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Doesn't sound like the m43's is the right camera for you.

    I'd say go with either an X100 if you want something that is equivalent to a 16-24 on a Full Frame camera.

    If you want interchangable and better iso.. Sony NEX may be a better option. Many of were hoping the new sensors either from Pana or Olympus would have had better ISo and DR but it simply didn't happen.

    Coming down from a 1Ds is a big leap for any compact to try and compete with.

    As for waiting for the PROs.. no quarantee that they'll be any better in ISO then the current crop of cameras and there is no confirmed date of when they'll be launched.

    IF .. and If.. .Fugi does go m43s. That might be worth waiting for.. but then you could always keep the GF2 and unload it a year from now when the PRO's or Fugi comes out if they are a significant step up from current generation ones from Pana or Olympus.
  5. Jemo

    Jemo New to Mu-43

    Jul 4, 2011
    Thanks for the feedback,

    LovingtheEp2, how do compare the GF to the Pen?

    I'm not hopping to get the 1Ds IQ out of GF, I was just a but supried at the noise in the 800iso range, compared to what I had seen from the samples.

    I whant to keep the retro look of the camera thus the G3 is not interesting for me. I am hopping the new Pen will have better DR and IQ then the GF.

    Quick questions: can the AF beep be muted or set off in the PEN?
    Is this possible in the GF2?


  6. dapipoy

    dapipoy Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 31, 2011
    midlands, uk
    I dont have GF2 but on the GF1, it can be turned off under the setup menu-->beep.
  7. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    The sensor is made by Pana with the new PENS having tweaked it. At the end of the day in terms of ISO and DR.. they're nearly identical and once past 800 you won't see much of a difference in noise handling between the current EPs and GFs in my opinion. Any observable difference in JPEGS is a result of in camera NR.

    With respect to performance, I personally don't think there is much between them with respect to image quality as far as camera bodies.

    The main thing about PEN vs. GFs u43s is:

    IBIS vs. OIS
    User Interface
    Look: Retro vs. more modern
    In hand feel

    If sensor noise above 800 (really.. I'd even go as far as to say 400..) is an important and key feature, then other formats may be a better option. NEX vs. X100 is mainly if you want interchangable lens vs. fixed.

    However, NEX is notorious for poor glass .. hence why many stick to u43's for an len interchangable system.

    Unfortunately.. there's no slam dunk here on which direction to go in for an interchangable systems. Even going Leica has glaring issues for orders of magnitude more in $.

    I've been facing a similar dilemna for a long time now. 1st with excitement of the Sigma DP1/2 large sensor but too many draw backs for it to my primary, the u43s (and got one), then with the X100 being a bit large and no interchangable lens. The NEX system just doesn't do it for me..

    Still waiting for that holy grail of a cam.. looks like it won't happen for at least 12-24 months with rumored annoucements.

    More and more I think I may just stick to my EP2 and get an S95 as a backup and get a couple of nice primes (20mm/1.7 or the new 12mm and the 45mm portrait).
  8. rcferraris

    rcferraris Mu-43 Regular

    in that case. the E-P3 should be perfect for you. it's retro ( i get asked so often if my E-P2 is film) and yes, you can turn off the beep.

    not sure if the GF2's beep can be turned off since i do not own one. but I had a chance to play with a lot of digitals and all of what ive tried can turn off the beep. so i think it should be possible to turn that off on your GF2.

    get the E-P3 instead of the E-P2 if you are interested. Olympus claims it has the fastest Auto focus, even faster than a dslr. E-P2 has a slow auto focus and is really a hassle in low light.

  9. LovinTheEP2

    LovinTheEP2 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    From the early reviews I've seen so far, the fast autofocus can be tricky as it doesn't appear to be linked with face detect but i could be wrong on that. It seems to fast focus on things that are often not what you may have intended it too.. unless you simply pick center focus. So you end up tossing a a lot of exposures.

    As for picking your focus point with the touch.. still trying to see how feasible that is when handholding and taking photo and avoiding camera shake/blur... most of the vids seem to have the EP3 on a tripod when testing out the fast focus.

    I agree though the EP3 is a better buy due to the onboard flash, what seems to be 1/2stop improvement in ISO performance (i think think it's a full stop better i.e. EP2 1600 = EP3 3200 (probably more like 2400..), better LCD, dedicated record button and much more control over onboard photo filters for kicks and giggles.

    Would be nice if the lowered too if they autoISO to 100 vs. 200 setting though in a FW update.
  10. Jemo

    Jemo New to Mu-43

    Jul 4, 2011
    Thank you all!

    I guess that the options are limited sticking with the :43: for now. I think I will wait at see what lies ahead while I learn get more out of the GF2 system.

    If the money is there and/or some is generous enough to gift me a new PEN EP3 with a 12mm and an external mic, then I could just sit for the next 12 months and wait an see what pans out!:rofl:

    Ah, end setup > beep does the trick to get silent images... THANK YOU! :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  11. ggcadc

    ggcadc Mu-43 Rookie

    Jul 11, 2011
    Ive got similar concerns having just ordered a gf2, however I figure u43 is still figuring it's market out, so I'll collect some good glass like I did with my nikon and hold back until there's a body I really want. The new oly looks really good, but I need to wait and really see.

    I don't have expectations of this body that are near a dslr, the sensor is older now and there needs to be a drop in pixel density before the noise issue can be dealt with, this next round of sensors is 10% smaller so well see what they do.
  12. faizalmzain

    faizalmzain New to Mu-43

    Jul 17, 2011
    i agree on NEX is much better in noise handling but with kit lens the IQ isn't sharp at all.
    i sold my NEX3 and bought GF2 a few days ago, and yes the noise in high ISO is bothering me. i thought of buying G3 when it's available in my country and if it's sell with the right price.

    the reason i bought GF2 because i want video recording function with better audio, NEX3 audio is very bad when recording concert, the sound is distorted.

    GF3 is not an option for me since it has mono audio.
  13. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Audio capability is one of the awesome things about the PEN cameras. Every single PEN camera from the E-P2 onward (in other words, every single PEN camera but the E-P1), and even the XZ-1 point-and-shoot, can take any standard 3.5mm stereo microphone via the EMA-1 adapter. External microphone on a video camera is just like off-camera flash or studio strobes on a photographic camera, in terms of the jump in production quality.

    Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't the only Panasonic :43: cameras that have an external mic jack the GH series?
  14. faizalmzain

    faizalmzain New to Mu-43

    Jul 17, 2011
    yes but i don't like to carry extra accessory for it, NEX3 also can use external mic but it's very protruding.
  15. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Richmond, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Don't forget there are several software solutions available out there to reduce noise.

    I mostly use Lightroom but there are other options from Nik, etc.

    Plus I think we over estimate the impact of noise - it seems far less of an issue than grain used to be for us old-time film photographers. I remember pushing Tri-X from ASA 400 to 1600 and getting grain like corn flakes.
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    That's nice equipment you've been using. :43: is usually compared to entry to mid range DSLRs, and your experience is pretty high end.
  17. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Jemo, I also have a 1DsMKII (best camera Canon ever made), a 5D ana GF1 ... do not look at the GF2 as a replacement for the Canons ... it just ain't gonna happen in the short term. If you have FF cameras then think of the GF2 as a niche camera ... an easy to lug around camera ... a fun camera to have around and use everyday and everywhere.

    The camera has very good IQ at ISO under 800 and at sizes 8x10 and under. The camera isn't in the same league for action and low light photography as your FF cameras and Panasonic is sorely deficient, (when compared to Canon), with fast, long and wide, primes and zooms.

    Embrace the camera for what it is and it will deliver tons of pleasure and great images. Be aware of its limitations and don't get bogged down and disappointed by thinking that the GF2 is a replacement for your FF cameras. The camera is one thing that your FF cameras are not ... small ... dance with this feature and it becomes an enjoyable experience.


    PS- I just printed this at 8x10 and it looks great ... no significant dif in IQ between the GF1 and the 1DsMKII.
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  18. DHart

    DHart Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2010
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Arguably, you will find the GH2 to be the best choice among m4/3 cameras for IQ, low noise, and video capability. Add in that it has an awesome EVF built right in and an articulating LCD screen and this camera just ROCKS! It has features galore. I think this should be a serious consideration for you!

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  19. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    What the NEX3 has is not what I call an external mic. It's just another attached microphone which does the same thing as the built-in mic inside the camera.

    What the PEN has is an actual 3.5mm stereo mic jack. That allows you to plug in ANY kind of microphone short of XLR, whether you want to mount it on a boom stick, extension arm, hand-hold a mic for interviews, attach a mic to a shirt clip, or operate a mic wirelessly through a transmitter. You can get your audio directly from the source, or you can rubber mount it so that you get no feedback from handling the camera. That is what a real external mic is, not just adding another attached microphone that happens to be outside the camera body rather than inside it, like the NEX does.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If those are your requirements, then I would say the Olympus E-P3, E-PL3, E-PM1, or even the E-PL2 will already answer those needs, as would the Panasonic GH1 or GH2. No need to wait for new versions.
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