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Not sure what to buy!

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

  1. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    I've decided to sell off my DSLR gear and start gearing up in the :43: world, primarily due to bulk & weight. I'd like to be able to take the camera to everyday social outings where size and low light handling become important. Initially, I plan to get 2 pancakes (14 f2.5 & 20 f1.7). I use RAW so don't really care about JPEG engines.

    Although the newer sensors like those in the GX1 and the E-M5 appeal to me for high iso reasons, the GX1 feels overpriced and the E-M5 looks bulky.

    Is it wise to pick up a used 12MP camera and hold until these newer sensors come down the line? Is it reasonable to expect this to happen within the next 12 months?

    I was thinking I could get a used GF2/GF3, which I should be able to find with the 14mm as a kit.
  2. ibcj

    ibcj Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 15, 2011
    I'd go with a used body, and staying a generation behind will always save you a good amount of money. I'm amazed how the quick product cycle and rapid depreciation of the M43 bodies. New 14mm 2.5's on Ebay are going pretty cheap at the moment.
  3. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 20, 2011
    Given your feelings about the GX1 or EM5, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't pick up an inexpensive kit or refurbished body.
  4. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I don't think it's going to be realistic to see the GX1 or E-P3 get replaced within the year. I bought a G2 once the G3 was released, so it's definitely valid to buy yourself an older model camera until something comes down the pipeline that you feel you really want. If you want to buy new, the Panasonic G3 is a great value, if you're looking for an viewfinder-fitted camera. It's the same sensor as the GX1.

    If you want a used camera, the GF2 or E-PL2 are probably your best bets with regards to price/performance. The GF3 works well also if you find it cheap enough and don't mind the reduced controls.
  5. RichDesmond

    RichDesmond Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2011
    United States
    I was kind of in the same situation, looking for a smaller system to supplement my DSLR stuff. Picked up a used GF1, the LVF1, and a couple of lenses to try out :43:, been very happy with it so far. It's all personal preference, but I like the GF1 better than the GF2 or GF3.
    If you want the newer sensor the G3 is worth looking at, quite a bit cheaper than the other 3 options.
  6. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    Thanks for you opinions! I think I'll do some research on the older models..

    Although the G3 looks like good value, I'm not sure about the need/desire of an EVF - I don't want the bulk if I won't use it most of the time. Size is clearly a big factor for me..
  7. blaffendespin

    blaffendespin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2012
    Rexburg, ID
    I think it really depends on what you like to shoot. If you are just taking pictures of stationary subjects, then I really enjoyed the images of my E-PL1, which you can get a little over $200. If you are looking for something with a faster AF, then I really like the G3(if your looking for cheaper price). The EVF does add a little more bulk, but not much - it's still very small. Keeping checking the Forums and Ebay and you can find some great deals. I found my white E-PM1w/ kit lens for $300 with only 300 actuations, just took a couple of months :)  Good luck with your search!
  8. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    If you're looking for something smaller than the E-M5 but with nearly as good image quality and capabilities, then I would look at the E-PL3 and E-PM1. The E-M5 is actually rather small, being the size of an E-P3 with additional viewfinder, but the E-PL3 and E-PM1 are MUCH smaller. Just switching from the E-PL2 (smaller than the E-M5) to the E-PM1 has really opened up so much space in packing. Any of the PEN cameras from the E-PL2 and newer will deliver very sharp, detailed images. Don't get hung up on the "12MP" filesize, the resolving power of a system from optics to final capture involves a lot more than pixel dimensions. Remember the old saying, "garbage in, garbage out"? The input to the sensor is more important than the output.

    Start with good glass... The Lumix 14mm/2.5 and Lumix 20mm/1.7 you're thinking of are both great lenses. However, they are rather close to each other in focal range. I think you would get a much more useful range for the same price if you got the m.Zuiko 45mm f/1.8 instead to pair up with the Lumix 14mm f/2.5.

    You mentioned the GF-2... this is a very good camera, and as you say it can be bought with the Lumix 14mm/2.5 as a kit which will save you a lot of money. However, I would pass on the GF-3 you mentioned. That camera is very limited. It has no hotshoe, no accessory port, no dials... It's the most restrictive camera in the entire Micro Four-Thirds lineup.
  9. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    One quick thing on the E-M5 - it looks very small in person. It is very close to the E-P3. That said, I think I am like you and would actually prefer a modular EVF, as I don't use it that often.

    I asked the Oly rep (he was at a local camera store event this weekend) when the PEN line was getting refreshed and he said it would follow an 18 month product cycle (E-P3s started to be available in the US in August last year). Okay, he is a little biased to push that out in my mind, because he wants to me to buy an E-M5. I mentioned on another thread here that there was a financial analyst report that said the PENs were getting refreshed in the Spring. I am going to guess that the reality is somewhere in between these two estimates - I would be extremely surprised in new PENs were not available in time for Christmas.

    Maybe consider a used Olympus body, in the meantime? A lot of great deals on mint copies around here... people selling off gear for their E-M5 preorder.
  10. scotttnz

    scotttnz Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I did what you have decided to do a few moths ago. My 5D and lenses were being used less and less because they were to big and heavy to take with me.

    I bought a GX1 with the 14-42 powerzoom because size and weight were some of my main concerns, and so was image quality. (I now know that the PZ lens has some reported IQ issues, I haven't noticed problems with mine, but haven't done any controlled testing as yet.)

    From what I can tell from using the GX1 for a while, the IQ from the new generation of m4/3 sensors is about as good as my 5D was (better is some respects, not quite as good in others) and although the 5D is 7 years old now, that is a great achievement, and I'm very happy with it. To my eyes the output, particularly at higher ISOs is much better than anything I have seen from the older 12MP sensors.

    I am a RAW shooter too, so I'm not worried about JPEG either. But I did find that the included RAW converter (Silkypics) was not to my liking. So if you haven't got Lightroom or similar, you might find yourself having to buy it like I am. (I have fallen in love with the Lightroom 4 beta anyway.)

    I don't tend to upgrade my camera body often (I had the 5D for around 5 years, and other than the size and weight, didn't feel the need to upgrade) so I think I will get good value out of the higher priced GX1 over its life. And with the portability advantages, I am more likely to be able to justify keeping it as a second body if/when I do upgrade.
  11. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    I've never used an in-body stabilization system - how many stops advantage could I expect from IBIS (on E-PM1 or E-PL1/2) under low light situations w/ something like the 14 f2.5?

    Very good point! I overlooked that combo

    I've already been using lightroom :) 
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
  13. vinay

    vinay Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 18, 2012
    Thanks for your help! I've settled on the GF2 or EPL2 to start my journey (whatever I can find locally).
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