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Olympus E-P2 vs Olympus E-PL2 vs Panasonic GF3

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Dede, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Oct 10, 2011
    Hi,

    I recently discovered, that I really like to take pictures, but because I only have a simple Point and shoot camera at the moment I really want to buy a better one. So I'm really not sure wether I should get the Olympus E-P2, the Olympus E-PL2 or the Panasonic GF3. I did a lot of research on all of these cameras, but the reviews on different sites say a lot of different things. The main issue with the Olympus E-PL2 would be these red dots that appear when you are facing the sun and take a picture. The Olympus E-P2 seems to have a slow auto focus speed. (This means that it takes longer to take a picture, right?). And the Panasonic Lumix GF3 is supposed to have problems with bigger lenses, like not being able to sit on a tripod and being very difficult to hold. So it would be very nice if someone could tell me how big these flaws actually are, and which is the best camera in terms of image quality.

    Anyways, I'm writing down my main priorities for a Camera: (Maximum price for a Camera + Lens would be smth like 700 $)

    1. Image Quality (Which camera can deliver the best picture without any photoshop or stuff like that)
    2. How fast the camera takes the picture (Don't really know how that's called, but this one isn't as important its just that image quality is really my main priority.)
    (3. Video Quality (Really not that important but if 2 cameras are almost equal I would obviously take the one with the better video.))

    So I really hope you guys have some suggestions for me :)
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Hello and welcome to the forum!

    Have you thought about what type of lens you would like? Do you utilize the zoom on your P&S a lot?

    Given your budget, and priorities, I would recommend you check out:

    1. Oly E-PM1
    2. Oly E-PL2
    3. Pana GF2

    All three cameras would have similar IQ. The Olympus bodies have in-body image stabilization, which I think is a nice feature if you are accustomed to this on your P&S. The E-PL2 will have the slowest AF of the three, but I think still fast enough and will seem improved coming up from P&S.

    With the remaining funds, I would recommend a prime lens - the Panasonic 20mm f1.7. I left the GF3 off the list based on budget only.

    .
     
  3. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Oct 10, 2011
    At first thank you very much for the very fast awnser!
    Yeah I use the zoom on my P&S a lot, but I guess I would at first start out with some 14-45 lens and then built up my lenses over time. Yeah I considered the Oly E-PM1 too, but then I read this on amazon: Amazon.com: mypotbelly's review of Olympus Pen E-PM1 12.3 MP CMOS Sensor Dig.... In the comments they say, that this camera is very noisy, is that true?

    Otherwise my question would be, how good the lens that comes with the Oly E-PM1 is?

    Edit: The GF3 body is only 30 bucks more than the GF2 body, so that wouldn't make such a big difference, is the GF3 actually better? (And how difficult is it to handle it with big lenses?)

    Thanks in advance
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    First off given your budget I would recommend buying used. On boards like this, getdpi and fredmiranda you can find lots of folks that buy cameras, try them out and then move on to something else. That means you can pick up a virtually new camera for a decent price.

    Now as to your list. If it were me looking to get a compact camera with good IQ on a budget I would probably look at the Olympus E-PL2, Panasonic GF2 or GF3 and Panasonic G2. You should be able to find each off these for under $300 (maybe not the GF3) in great condition and then spend the bulk of your budget on a lens or two. They're all good cameras and capable of terrific IQ. The Olympus E-PL2 is going to be the best bang for the buck of the Olympus cameras. It is quick, has IBIS, great IQ and has a nice set of controls. I have an E-PL2 at work that we use and it's quite a good camera. If what you want is pleasing images right out of the camera than Olympus cameras will do that. Now "pleasing" does not mean that they are better. A lot of folks like Olympus colors (including me) but I wouldn't say they produce images that are better than Panasonic. Different yes...better no. Olympus colors (to my eye) appear to be a bit over-saturated and a bit warm. They remind me of the way colors looked on Fuji film. They look great on most things but they can also be problematic. I find that my E-PL2 (and E-PL1 before that) have trouble with purples and vibrant reds. The purples tend to shift toward blue a bit and vibrant colors look way too saturated and need to be tones back in Photoshop (it's easy to fix). Panasonic on the other hand tend to look a bit cool and by comparison the colors look subdued. That can be altered by changing the settings in camera. In the end the cameras are very comparable and are all capable of excellent IQ.

    Of the cameras I mentioned I would probably rank them G2, GF2, E-PL2 and GF3. That's because I put a premium on UI and controls and I like the controls on the G2. The GF2 I would place in fornt of the E-PL2 because it has an AF assit light where the E-PL2 does not and as I do a fair amount of low light that is important to me. The E-PL2 has IBIS (which works quite well) but I find the AF assit light is just a bit more useful for me. Finally the GF3 is in last place because I prefer to have more controls and rely less on a touch screen and I like to have a hot shoe on my cameras.

    My point is that it really just depends on what your need are. Each of these cameras would be a great choice depending on what you want/need.
     
  5. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    I would suggest an EP-2 and Panny 20mm f1.7

    Get used to the camera, then get the EVF for it.

    Cameta has EP2's for $300, the Panny 20mm at B&H for $379 and you can get the EVF a bit down the road... you can use the camera while you save enough to get the VF2.
     
  6. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Oct 10, 2011
    Alright, thanks for all the awnsers. I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get the GF3 or the Oly Pen ep2 now. I would actually go for the gf3 because of better video and faster af, but the fact that it's that little and some sources on the internet say it's difficult to hold with big lenses hold me back. So what do you say, (if you have the GF3), is it difficult to hold with a big lens and does it stand on a tripod with a big lens?
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Well...I have had an E-P1, E-PL1, E-PL2, GF2 and FWIW all of the smaller bodied cameras have some issues with large lenses (nothing that you can't adapt to but not ideal). The again, I wouldn't throw a big lens on an M8 either. The mini-DSLR styled bodies like the G1/G2/G3 do much better with longer lenses as they have a larger grip and are better balanced. I'm curious...why the E-P2? It's less responsive than the E-PL2 and I'm not ure there is much advantage to the E-P2 over the E-PL2 other than build quality and it's not as if the E-PL2 is badly put together.
     
  8. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    94
    Oct 10, 2011
    Alright, I see, thanks for the quick awnser. Well on amazon.com the PL2 got a number of rather bad reviews, but I'd actually prefer it. The only thing which is preventing me from picking up the Oly PL2 right now, are these red spots which seem to occur when you take a picture of the sun, did you experience that?

    Btw: I'm only in the US for 9 more months, because I'm actually just a german exchange student (which explains why I'm not that eloquent), so the warranty thing would be pretty difficult. But I think barely any camera dies in the first 2 years or so + it is like 30 % cheaper in the US than in germany, so I guess it'll be my best bet to buy the camera here.
     
  9. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    Whatever choice you make you can't be unhappy because they are all good cameras. In my experience - I've owned both Pana and Oly - if you want straight OOC jpegs and like the 'punch' Oly is to prefer, instead if you want to mess up with settings Pana is the one for you. That said I also think that choice - if you wnt to put big lens - comes between G2 or similar and Epl2 on Oly's side.
    With smaller cameras the probem is the same with anyone you choose: they will be a bit unbalanced so a little bit more difficult to use at longer end. but nothing impossible.