New to m4/3's...recommendations for travel camera, please?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Greaser, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    I've got a trip to DC coming up next month, really excited!

    I'm planning on spending a full day at the National Mall area, then heading from there to a Nationals game. I want to get some great pictures of the sights and my friends, but I certainly don't want to haul around my Nikon dslr all day.

    I'm looking for a recommendation for an inexpensive m4/3's (used ok), and a good, small zoom and/or 1-2 prime lenses. I want the whole deal to be "pocketable."

    Thanks!
     
  2. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    I'll add what I'll likely be taking pics of:

    Outdoors of the monuments (hopefully in full sunlight!)
    Indoors at the museums
    Indoors shots of people at my friend's house
    Night-time shots at the baseball game of the field and people sitting around me.
     
  3. silversx80

    silversx80 Mu-43 Veteran

    229
    Apr 27, 2012
    North Carolina
    E-PM1 will be one of the smallest bodies you can get. If you're shooting for a budget, I'd say stick with the kit lens (14-42mm). It won't fit in a pant's pocket, but it'll be a pretty small and light kit.

    For low light, and on a budget, I'd say either the Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, or the Olympus 17mm f/2.8. Both are small lenses, and might give you that "pocketable" camera. Also, you can have either of those lenses for ~$150 used.
     
  4. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    Thanks silver!

    I'd like to just have one of the pancake lenses, but I worry it may be limiting without some zoom. That may be my best option though....because I want it to be small enough to fit in a pocket so I don't have to worry with keeping up with a bag all day, or having it around my neck, etc.

    I'm thinking maybe the EPL1 since it's so inexpensive.
     
  5. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    For price, it's going to be tough to beat the E-PL1. You can pair it with a Panasonic 14mm f/2.5 lens for around $300. You'll have a small camera, but it's really more "jacket-pocket pocketable", and I doubt you're going to be wanting to wear a jacket in the summer in D.C. Even the E-PM1 with a pancake lens is not going to be something I would want to try to shove into a pants pocket.

    You'll also be limited in what you can do with only the wide-angle prime lens. If you expect to capture anything on the field at the baseball game you'll need to have some something like the Olympus 40-150 or Panasonic 45-200 neither of which will be pocketable in any real sense.

    In short, as much as it pains me to steer you away from :43: (which I feel occupies a true "sweet spot" of size and performance), if you really can't be burdened with a bag or even a neck strap and want to shoot such a wide range of situations, you'll probably be happier with a point-and-shoot "compact travel zoom" (something like the Panasonic ZS20 or the Canon SX260. You'll sacrifice image quality and low-light performance with the P&S, but they're really the only option if you expect to have a long zoom in a pocketable form factor.
     
  6. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    Thanks for the insight!

    I don't necessarily mind having it out, holding it while walking around at the monuments, etc., but I would like to be able to put it in my pocket while on the train, and going into and out of the ballpark, etc.

    If I had an epl1 or epl2 + the 14-42 kit lens, and took the lens off, would they fit seperately into pants pockets? There's an Olympus 14-42 for sale on C-list locally for $100.
     
  7. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    EPM1 + 9-18, and carry it in your hand with a wrist strap.
     
  8. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    201
    Dec 26, 2011
    I'd recommend testing the camera and lens in your pockets before buying. Friction can roll a body cap off. Lenses don't come off as easily.
     
  9. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Bill, that sounds like a great combo. Just got the 9-18; will try pairing it up with E-PM1. Thanks!
     
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  10. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    The Olympus 14-42 is collapsible and folds down to be only a little thicker than one of the primes, so it would be a good candidate for your use. $100 isn't an incredible deal on that lens, so I wouldn't let that "bargain" skew my decision. While it might fit your needs at the monuments and museums, I think you'll find that the zoom is a little short for trying to capture much on the field action at the ballgame (unless you happen to have very good seats).

    As for removing the lens from the camera for transport, that seems to me like much more hassle than it's worth. I think if I was committed to a :43: system and needed to "pocket" it, I'd probably opt to wear something with very large pockets (e.g. cargo shorts or pants) that could accommodate the camera and a pancake lens together. The idea of disassembling and reassembling my kit several times a day just doesn't sound appealing to me. Not to mention that you tempt the possibility of introducing dust/dirt to the interior of the camera and the sensor each time.
     
  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Another thought -- how many times have you been/will you get to go to DC?

    If it's a rare trip, then don't skimp on the camera. Buy used and resell used later, or rent from a place like lensrentals.com. Get it insured and don't worry too much about it.
     
  12. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    The wrist strap may be the way to go.

    The 14-42 is the new "II" version if that makes a difference. I'm not really planning on getting field action at a baseball game, mostly just want something that's versatile enough to take in a landscape scene and also be able to take a closer look when I can't walk any closer (monuments, White House).

    Where's a good place to find deals on these lenses (new or used)?
     
  13. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    I've never been to DC, won't go back too many times I'm sure.

    My wife bought me a plane ticket (for Father's Day!) to visit my best friend out there. So I'm really excited to hang out with him and his wife, as well as see DC.

    I'd love to take my Nikon SLR, but I as I said, I don't want to worry with keeping up with it while we're out and about. The trip is more about getting to see my buddy, it just happens he lives in a really cool place with lots of fun things to see and do.
     
  14. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I'd still recommend and EPM1 + 9-18, but the 14-42 will do well, too, but I'll bet you spend most of the time on the wide end!

    Or, get the 14mm pancake for that slight benefit indoors.

    Have fun!
     
  15. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'd definitely recommend a wrist strap if you don't want to use a neck strap

    That definitely does make a difference as that version is better and more valuable than the first version (which makes more noise while focusing and zooming). $100 is in the range of what that lens should be worth, it's just not the type of screaming bargain that you need to rush out to grab.

    If you need a body as well, then your best deal is generally going to be buying a kit. Cameta Camera has the E-PL1+14-42 kit for $240 and the E-PM1+14-42 kit for $300. As far as buying used take a look at the Buy & Sell forum here or try Craigslist or eBay (though true bargains on either site can be hard to come by).
     
  16. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    Well, they wouldn't fit in my pockets. A small bag bag slung diagonally across your body is pretty comfortable and secure. I know I'd find it a lot more comfortable than any thing bigger than a phone stuffed in my pants.

    Fred
     
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  17. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    Fred, I'm with you. The only truly pocketable serious compact I've owned is the Canon S-90 - and I kept that in a small Olympus neoprene sport case on my belt. Pockets are for keys, combs, change...but not expensive cameras!
     
  18. Greaser

    Greaser New to Mu-43

    9
    Jun 18, 2012
    Thanks for all the comments!

    I guess if I would need to carry a bag anyway for a m4/3's camera, then I'll probably either take my dslr in a bag....or I may just leave it and take a little Nikon coolpix I have that will fit in my pocket.
     
  19. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    I'm not sure which Nikon you have or what you generally use it for, but if you consider it too big to take on vacation, then you might want to think about trading it for a :43: system. As has often been said, the best camera is the one you have with you.

    While a :43: system may not allow you to forgo a bag altogether (particularly in the summer when you are unlikely to have pockets large enough to accommodate it), it's certainly smaller and lighter than a DSLR. I think you will find the results you can achieve with :43: are comparable to what you can get with a DSLR with the exception of a few scenarios (fast action/sports, extremely shallow DOF, etc.).
     
  20. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    When I read your user name, it always reminds me of the Bear Man in True Grit (2011)

    Ed Lee Corbin 2011 Highlights - YouTube