New Member. Quick advice, please.

JMH

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Hello Everybody. I've lurked in this forum for a couple of years and learned so much. I'm no great photographer, but you've all helped get me from zero experience to having a number of shots that I'm really proud of, and a million others that's aren't bad, so thank you for that!

I've mostly been following tips I find online for specific shooting scenarios and kind of lucking into good shots as I learn some things and build a knowledge base. My setup is way more camera than I need (and probably more than I should have started on), but I fell upon a great deal on a kit, and the glass was very compelling at the price, so I jumped on it.

I shoot with an E-M1 MKII and I have three lenses: [M.Z 25mm 1.8] [M.Z 12-40mm Pro] and the [M.Z 40-150mm Pro].

Here's where I need some help. I have a teenager who would like to start learning photography. Naturally, I'm delighted.

I was thinking we could find a pre-owned body and grab the basic 14-42mm lens for her to get started. I'd prefer to keep her in the same ecosystem so we can learn together and share lenses down the road.


We will be taking an online class, and she has a photography club to join in school.

$300 is my max budget for the body. Less than $200 would ideal.

Was thinking about getting an older 16MP PEN or 16MP OM-D.

Too complicated? Too old?
Should I consider an older Panasonic?

Thanks very much for reading.
I'd appreciate any advice.
 
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Wow. If that's still available I'd be seriously looking at that for your daughters needs.
I started with EM5 1 and for years it was all I had.
It's still an excellent camera IMO.
If you were successful you certainly could share lenses and learn together.

Batteries are different to yours.

I'd recommend a second hand EM5 1 or 2 if money affords.
Not much to lose if either camera packs it in, or she goes cold on photography.

Sounds nice to be able to share in a common interest. Great stuff

Personally I'd get one with a viewfinder, but I just don't get on with taking photos through rear screens.
 

Ed Diaz

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If $300 is your max budget, not sure you can get anything newer than a 16MP m43 camera. My choice would be either an E-M10ii or an E-M5ii as both have dual control dials and a viewfinder. If you're going to purchase a 14-42 separately, I'd look for a used Panasonic 12-60 kit lens instead.
 

DeeJayK

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Wow. If that's still available I'd be seriously looking at that for your daughters needs.
I started with EM5 1 and for years it was all I had.
It's still an excellent camera IMO.
If you were successful you certainly could share lenses and learn together.
It is still available. I'm open to offers.

Would love to get it into the hands of someone who would use it.

- K
 

Michael Meissner

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L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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If you can squeeze the budget I would recommend Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark I, MBP has it in stock:
1633635650029.png
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It has fast AF, good EVF and back screen, very solid build (and drop resistance), weather sealed for any stituation (intentional or not), decent battery life, very good image quality and best ergonomics not because it has so many options but because you have enough tactility to make learning easier then having to dig through menus (compared to more spartan lower end cameras).

For lenses any kit lens is decent this days, be it Olympus 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 (ED, Mark II R, or MSC version or EZ), Olympus 12-50mm f 3.5-6.3, Panasonic 14-42mm f 3.5-5.6 (Mark I, Mark II, PZ), Panasonic 12-32mm f 3.5-5.6, Panasonic 14-45mm f 3.5-5.6, Panasonic 12-60mm f 3.5-5.6 will do. Whatever you can find that fits within your budget, but a weather sealed one would fit better with the camera (I bolded those that are weather sealed).

Olympus OM-D E-M5 (Mark I or II) are decent cameras with a lot of punch for their size and price but depending on what she needs the AF may frustrate her, that's something you need to talk to her about.
 

PakkyT

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My two cents on the subject. First, buy @DeeJayK 's E-M5. You won't find a better deal than that for a camera that was once many publications' "Camera of the Year". Then let her start with your 25mm prime.

Here is what I wouldn't do and why.

Don't get a Pen unless you spend money for an optional clip on EVF or it comes bundled with a body. It will be much harder to use with just the back screen for someone who wants to really learn photography (rather than snapshots like with their phone) and she will want to be able to see clearly what they are shooting in bright daylight when they need to see if they are nailing the focus, DoF looks good, etc. and the back LCD is completely washed out in the bright daylight.

Don't get get the kit lens (unless you find it bundled with a camera for a good price) because what will happen is if she doesn't stick with it then you bought a lens that you won't want to use and will be hard to sell. And if she does stick with it, you know after a bit she will want to try your better lenses which you will let her cause that's what dad's do and again the kit lens will be largely unused and a waste of money.
 
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Bushboy

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Yeah but , she is going to stick with it...
She’s gonna love that M5i and 25mm prime.
I just know it...
Perfect really. You can set the aperture and the shutter speed.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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My two cents on the subject. First, buy @DeeJayK 's E-M5. You won't find a better deal than that for a camera that was once many publications "Camera of the Year". Then let her start with your 25mm prime.

Here is what I wouldn't do and why.

Don't get a Pen because unless you spend money for an optional clip on EVF or it comes bundled with a body. It will be much harder to use with just the back screen for someone who wants to really learn photography (rather than snapshots like with their phone) and she will want to be able to see clearly what they are shooting in bright daylight when they need to see if they are nailing the focus, DoF looks good, etc. and the back LCD is completely washed out in the bright daylight.

Don't get get the kit lens (unless you find it bundled with a camera for a good price) because what will happen is if she doesn't stick with it then you bought a lens that you won't want to use and will be hard to sell. And if she does stick with it, you know after a bit she will want to try your better lenses which you will let her cause that's what dad's do and again the kit lens will be largely unused and a waste of money.
For someone who doesn't have a lot of photography experience, especially when they don't know what they like to shoot (portraits, landscape, action, fashion, macro, wildlife, party/events, night shots, etc) getting used to a prime can be a lot more limiting and potentially frustrating than a zoom. While for us (more experienced) it's easy to think of zooming with our feet, being more creative, and trying harder to get different angles, it's not the same for someone who doesn't find that intuitive enough to just think about it on the spot. I never regretted starting and learning photography with a kit lens ... and nor should anyone else, focal length, perspective, angle a view are better to be learned first than DoF of an f 1.8 prime lens.
 

Bushboy

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Haha your from a different era! We all started with a 50 mm prime that you had to focus by hand... lol
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Haha your from a different era! We all started with a 50 mm prime that you had to focus by hand... lol
Yus, I do regret sometimes that I missed the film era of photography ... but mind you today most phones have 2, 3 or even 4 prime lenses which give you different perspectives and then you would ask a teenager to go just one prime lens, while beautiful as the IQ and perspective to learn, there may be more hindrance than a help.

It took me years to learn and realize what I like to shoot, what my favorite perspectives (or focal lengths if you want to see it that way) are, and for 25mm on Micro Four Thirds is a bit more uncommon to someone who has experienced more of a wide-angle of typical smartphones give (24 to 35mm on their main cameras).

And if she wants to look up tutorials on YouTube and the web if they say, use (or go to, as in zoom in or out) other FL's where she has only 25mm she may feel that she's unable to learn or progress. Something I have experienced in my past when I did not have "more tools/options" at my disposal.
 
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Yus, I do regret sometimes that I missed the film era of photography ... but mind you today most phones have 2, 3 or even 4 prime lenses which give you different perspectives and then you would ask a teenager to go just one prime lens, while beautiful as the IQ and perspective to learn, there may be more hindrance than a help.

It took me years to learn and realize what I like to shoot, what my favorite perspectives (or focal lengths if you want to see it that way) are, and for 25mm on Micro Four Thirds is a bit more uncommon to someone who has experienced more of a wide-angle of typical smartphones give (24 to 35mm on their main cameras).

And if she wants to look up tutorials on YouTube and the web if they say, use (or go to, as in zoom in or out) other FL's where she has only 25mm she may feel that she's unable to learn or progress. Something I have experienced in my past when I did not have "more tools/options" at my disposal.
Regards lenses.
I'd not buy kit lens.
BUT. on the other hand they're cheap, a zoom kit would give the ability to do just what you're alluding to.
It's a dirt cheap way to get a few different focal length lenses rolled into one.
AND they ARE, under the right conditions, able to produce fantastic images.
I'd certainly consider such in your quest to get her started.
At the end of the day you haven't spent much, if you buy a kit zoom, and it soon gets discarded and your Pro lens gets confiscated or claimed as hers :)
How could a dad refuse? "Dad can I have that.....? " :)
 

ac12

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I agree about the value of a viewfinder.
There have been MANY times where I am out in the sun, and the back screen is virtually useless, because of the glare of the sun.
Out in the sun with my P&S, I have often been frustrated, because I could not see the rear screen very well.

If she is NOT shooting action (fast moving people, animals, objects) the EM10 and EM5 should be just fine.
I have no problem with the AF on my EM10-mk2. While I don't shoot sports with my EM10, my brother-in-law uses his to shoot his grandson playing softball.


As for the lens.
I'm a zoomie from WAY back, so . . .
A kit zoom, either Olympus 14-42 or the Panasonic-Lumix 12-60.
I prefer the extra width and reach of the 12-60, which is why I have one.​
I use the P-Lumix 12-60 as my light GP/travel lens, when I don't want to carry the heavy pro lens.​
Because these are "kit" lenses, you should be able to find them somewhat cheaper, from people who bought them as part of a kit, but don't want the lens. That is how I got mine.
The other option is to get her a 14-150 super zoom. But they are more expensive.
 
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EM10 II or III would be ideal, I think. The kit zooms offer a lot of bang for the buck, but a small prime could teach a lot too, even the humble 17mm f2.8. Also, the Panasonic 12-32mm punches way above its weight.
 

PakkyT

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getting used to a prime can be a lot more limiting and potentially frustrating than a zoom.
While I agree with you, since his budget was ideally $200, the suggestion to use the 25mm prime he already has was mostly along those line of keeping the cost down. And coupled with my suggestion of not getting a pen because of the lack of an EVF, this mostly means a mark 1 of the E-M10, E-M5, or E-M1 where ~$200 gets you a body only.

I would also bet the daughter doesn't have the latest and greatest mobile phone with multiple lenses (someone limiting a camera budget to $200 probably isn't buying their teen the $900+ phone model) and so she may be very used to a single focal length already.
 
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If you get the EM10 MkII you can watch all the videos from youtube by Rob Trek.There could not be an easier way into the system, to me anyway

If you buy second hand I would buy one with a warranty. Some of the older Olympus models used to have skipping rear dial issues so keep that in mind

Edit
Rob Trek has also done from memory a few videos using the kit lens and got reasonable results
I think for someone starting out the kit zoom is a good choice
 

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