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Newbie here from Ohio, trying to figure out what to buy

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by EnviroPhoto, May 9, 2014.

  1. EnviroPhoto

    EnviroPhoto New to Mu-43

    May 9, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Hey all, I'm interested in getting a nicer camera and the micro four thirds system is really appealing to me. As you can see, my current point and shoot was a decent model in its day but is a bit out of date. I'm looking forward to learning many new things and conversing with folks who actually know what they're doing. I'm hoping to buy a new m43 camera in the next couple months, but I'm very much undecided on what to get.

    Anyway, I don't know if it's a thing on this forum, but here are some random pics for clicks courtesy of the E900:

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  2. flamingfish

    flamingfish Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 16, 2012
    Nice photos!

    Well, question one is probably your budget. Question two, which relates back to question one, is whether you are open to used/refurb equipment. Next we go to "how important is size to you?" Do you want to keep your camera as small as possible? Although m 4/3 gear is smaller and lighter than DSLR stuff, even the smallest cameras are larger than most point & shoots (but not much larger). Do you want physical controls (buttons and dials) or are you fine with minimal physical controls and picking most of your settings from a screen? Any m4/3 camera will give you the ability to go fully manual with your settings, but it's a question of how you go about changing those settings.

    The hottest deal going these days is probably the Olympus E-PM2. There are some seriously good prices for camera + lens kits on the PM2. It's among the smallest m 4/3 cameras (maybe the smallest) and highly regarded here. Potential downsides (depending on how much you care about such things) are that it doesn't have a lot of physical controls, and if you want a viewfinder instead of just using the LCD, you'll have to buy an add-on. (You may be able to tell that I like buttons & dials, and that I like an integrated viewfinder, but plenty of people who are MUCH better photographers than I am take the opposite view.)

    I'm not really familiar with the Panasonic cameras. Like you, I'm coming from the P&S world, and I've pretty much stuck with Olympus except for a lens or two. Panasonic lenses work on Olympus cameras and vice versa. The difference is that Olympus has in-body image stabilization, and Panasonic has image stabilization in the lens instead, so if you put an Olympus lens on a Pana body, you have no image stabilization. I have shaky hands, so this is important to me, but might not be important to you.

    If you let us know a little more about why you're interested in upgrading (do you want more manual control? Are there specific types of photography you want to try? Do you want better image quality, and the ability to use higher quality lenses?), it may be easier for people to make recommendations.

    Welcome to m 4/3 land -- but be warned, it's addictive.
  3. EnviroPhoto

    EnviroPhoto New to Mu-43

    May 9, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Thanks for the response and welcome!

    As far as pricing, I don't want to spend thousands on the camera body, and I am interested in picking up a fast prime lens like the Panasonic 20mm f1.7 to join the kit lens. So I'm looking at more entry level models. I think I would like to buy new, especially because I like a warranty and features like WiFi appeal to me and tend to be more common in newer models. Other features I would like include time lapse and possibly HDR.

    Portability is nice, but I don't need something as small as a P&S since I will just use the decent camera in my Motorola X phone for very casual shots. I'm indifferent on physical controls and don't use the viewfinder on my current camera except on rare occasion.

    I take primarily nature photography, but I don't do much bird watching (the image above was in a preserve) so I don't think I'll be needing any super telephoto lenses. I'm also interested in doing some limited astrophotography such as star trails.

    One camera that intrigues me is the not-yet-released Kodak S-1. It has all the features I'm looking for at an affordable price, but as far as I know nobody has much information about it or whether its any good. Seems like the released has been delayed, so I hope it doesn't end up as vaporware. I'm also interested in the Panasonic DMC-GM1 and the Olympus OM-D E-M10.

    I'm already browsing the forums and learning a lot, but any additional help is great!
  4. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    Hello, fellow C-Bus-er! :D 

    I really think that you'd like the Olymous OMD EM10.

    I have the EM5 because I wanted the weather sealing and at the time Midwest Photo did not have the EM10 in stock.

    I'm loving the Olympus camera, more than I thought - especially as I come from using Nikon DSLRs - the transition is seamless in control.

    If you want to save the most amount of money, KEH.com sells EM5s for around $500 used and you get a 6 month warranty from them.

    Lenses, I'd look hard at the 17 and 45 f/1.8 and the Panasonic 14/2.5 - some of the best bang for the buck in m43 lenses right now IMHO. I got the 12-50/3.5-6.3 with the EM5 and am not overly impressed with it at this point. I keep it for the weather sealing.
  5. vm666

    vm666 Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Yes. Even my not-so-old Olympus E-PL5 does not have Wifi.

    I played with HDR at night on my GX7, trying to increase the dynamic range -- as night pictures have a very high contrast when there are street lights in the frame. The results were not dramatically different from the basic picture. Maybe the latest sensors DR is sufficient for 99% cases?

    Then maybe you do not want a Panasonic GM1. Its tiny size is its major quality.

    You did not say if you wanted an EVF. If yes, than go for the OM-D. If I remember correctly, it is not possible to plug an EVF on the GM1.
  6. EnviroPhoto

    EnviroPhoto New to Mu-43

    May 9, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Hey there! Thanks for the recommendation, I've heard of that store, I may go check it out to see what the cameras are like IRL.

    Question on EVFs, is any EVF compatible with any digital camera with a hotshoe or are they manufacturer specific?
  7. Vivalo

    Vivalo Olympus loser

    Nov 16, 2010
    They are manufacturer specific. And only hot shoe isn't enough. For example with Olympus cameras you have to have model with AP1 or AP2 accessory port right below the hot shoe.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    Welcome EnviroPhoto!

    Although living in NYC, I'm visiting Mom in Columbus (well, Gahanna actually) for the Mother's Day weekend... You've definitely found the right place here at MU-43 to hang out and figure out how to navigate the truly exceptional and exciting world of micro-4/3s... That said, although I own quite a few camera systems (including large format 4x5, Hasselblad medium format and a bunch of full frame Nikons as well as an Oly E-P3, OM-D E-M5 and my new toy -- the Pany GH4)) the camera "system" i routinely keep near is my Olympus E-M1 (along with their 12-40 PRO zoom lens and one or two "primes" -- usually the Pany 25 f/1.4 and Oly 45 f/1.8). You can't go wrong with it and it's never let me down... That said, given the leaps and bounds in technology we're all BLESSED to be experiencing, you really can't wrong with just about any M 4/3 camera offering... Have fun and keep us posted!


    • Like Like x 1
  9. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Remember that Kodak just licenses its brand name to some anonymous manufacturer. Even if the specs are attractive, and accurate, the camera is unlikely to have the polished features that Olympus and Panasonic have developed. I would not even consider a Kodak camera until it comes out and gets field tested by Micro Four Thirds photographers.

    I can't comment on the GM1 and I have little experience with Panasonic. The E-M10 looks like a very nice camera, but if you don't need a viewfinder, I suggest you look at the E-P5. It has superior stabilization, but I don't know how it compares to the E-M10 in all its other features.

    Your photos with your old camera are nice, but the camera wasn't able to handle the dynamic range of all the scenes. I know you'll enjoy using a new camera with a modern sensor, so you can capture most scenes without clipping highlights or shadows.
  10. EnviroPhoto

    EnviroPhoto New to Mu-43

    May 9, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    It's my understanding that the Kodak will have a Sony BSI CMOS sensor so that's promising. I think the glass is done by Asia Optical of Taiwan, and they seem to be a reputable company with a fair amount of experience. That being said, I would agree that I need to see some actual tests before I go out and buy one since integration is everything. On one hand it's great to have all this choice, but it makes choosing quite difficult!
  11. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    I'd get my feet wet with one of the Oly E-PM2s. They're going for $200-250 new right now, they are a steal at that price and the kit lens is pretty decent. Once you get your bearings, you can go bigger.
  12. EnviroPhoto

    EnviroPhoto New to Mu-43

    May 9, 2014
    Columbus, Ohio, USA
    Thanks for all the advice. I've been doing a bunch of research in recent days and I'm probably going to stay away from Olympus cameras because of the company's ethical issues. It's too bad because they look like decent cameras.

    So now I'm deciding between the Panasonic GM1 and the GX7 or perhaps waiting a bit to see if the Kodak S-1 is any good.
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