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Panasonic GF2 vs Olympus E-PM1

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Dede, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    Alright, I'm ordering either the GF2 or the E-PM1 tommorrow, but I'm not quite sure which one yet. I was checking out some micro 4/3 reviews, and on one site the GF2 was called the best micro 4/3 camera, which I can't really believe. Alright here are some questions:
    1. I guess the image quality is about the same btw the two, right?
    2. How bad is the lack of auto focus on the GF2 with some pancake lenses? (I can't really judge that bc I just have a P&S atm, the Lumix FZ35)
    3. With which lens should I get the GF2, the 14mm would be 386$ at warehousedeals and the 14-42mm would be 400$ new.
    4. I know that this is no micro 4/3 camera, but how is the Samsung NX 100 compared to those two cameras?
    5. Can I put a EVF on the GF2? If yes, which one and how good is it?

    Thanks a lot in advance
  2. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    1. PM1 will have a slight edge in RAW (one stop max), a substantial edge in JPEG processing (and I don't just mean color).
    2. Only the 20mm pancake is slightly slow at AF, and I guess the 17mm isn't amazing either. The 14 does fine. Nobody was really complaining until the ultra fast AF lenses rolled out.
    3. I love the 14mm, but it's a very restrictive focal length to have. You'll need more lenses. The 14-42 is decent but slow aperture.
    4. Skipping this one.
    5. Panasonic LVF-1, it's not great IIRC. If you need a viewfinder for framing, it will do that, but nothing more.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    Promit nailed it. My 2 cents -

    # 2 - it should auto-focus any native AF capable M43 lens (just like any other m43 camera)
    # 3 - depends on what you like to shoot - I'd start with the 14-42 as a starter for 10 and see if you like wide or zoom or need a pancake-style or prime lens
  4. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    2 - it will focus with any oly and panny m4/3 lens so i don't know what you mean by lack of AF with pancake lenses
    3 - i'd go with the 14. the 14-42 should be cheaper to buy used than the 14.
    5 - the Panny EVF is not the greatest but it's better than nothing.

    The GF2 will be cheaper than the EPM1 so if money is an issue, then obviously the GF2 would be a better purchase.
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I've had both Olympus and Panasonic cameras and I honestly do not see that big an advantage of Olympus JPEGs over Panasonic JPEGs. They look better shooting test patterns but in practice they are almost impossible for me to tell apart.

    The E-PM1 is a nice camera but it almost entirely lacking any sort of physical controls (dials and buttons) so if that is important to you than the GF2 might be a better choice.
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    1. Image quality is comparable.
    2. There is no lack of autofocus with pancake lenses. All m4/3 cameras are fully compatible with all m4/3 lenses, and vice versa.
    3. Do you want a wide angle fixed lens that is very compact, or a zoom lens that will allow you to shoot 90% of what you come up against?
    4. The NX10/NX100 isn't refined enough. I compared the NX10 against the G2, and it comes up short. Seeing as the NX100 is an NX10 with less features, I'm not a betting man, but I know where I wouldn't be putting my money.
    5. The GF2 has EVF capability. It's very usable. It can also take a shoe-mounted flash, which is very useful.

    Of course, if you plan on most always using an EVF, consider the G2, if you can take a small size penalty and lose the better video. Great EVF, more on-body controls. I love mine. B&H has it new for $300, plus save $100 on a lens purchased with it.
    Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2 Digital Camera Body DMC-G2KBODY B&H Photo
    That gives you the amazing 20mm for only $250. If you don't like it, you can sell it for at least that!
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I'd go E-PM1. Olympus does really well with metering and shadow gradations. Plus you get IBIS which does help for low light stills when you want to keep ISO low.
  8. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    Another vote for the E-PM1.

    1. Identical sensor so identical RAW output. JPEGs will be better with the Oly.
    2. All lens that focus on one will focus on the other.
    3. I personally would choose the 14 for the size, but if you don't want to be restricted to one focal length, the 14-42 is not bad.
    4. Stick with M4/3 because of all the lens option available :) 
    5. LVF1, and it is the only EVF I've owned, it's not amazing. You can get the VF2 for the EPM1 which is supposedly amazing.
  9. Dede

    Dede Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    What about E-PM1 vs GF3? I could also get the GF3 for 100$ less. On 2 I meant image stabilisation.
  10. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    For me it's all up to IBIS.

    If you need IBIS or think it will be important then Olympus otherwise GF2 which is more 'camera'.
  11. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    In some ways the GF2 is "more" camera. The handling is way better (thumb dial is great). Touchscreen is ok (should have been capacitive rather than resistive).

    Having said that in some ways the GF2 is "less" camera. For example, you can't set flash strength. It's either on or off.

    The E-PM1 will meter better. I have a E-P3 and a GF2 and I will probably go all-Olympus in the future.
  12. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Interesting thread. For whatever it's worth, I just picked up an used GF2 from Amazon for $380 with the Pany 14/2.5.

    As of last month, I've been through the following camera purchasing cycle:

    (1) EPM1 - Nice and small, BUT returned it because it was TOO small for my hands
    (2) EP3 - Liking it a lot, but is it really worth $900 given that the IQ is the same as the $500 EPM1 ... undecided ...
    (3) G3 - Found out that it's no GH2 (recently gifted that one to Dad). Lack of eye sensor for EVF really bothered me. Control wheel recessed too deeply in the body. So returned it.
    (4) EPM1 (again) - Installed a Flipbac grip on it, BUT still didn't work well, so returned it.
    (5) EP3 - Still liking it, BUT the PL25 I just got last week makes this annoying noise when coupled with the EP3 ... so eventually returned the EP3. Bummer ... :( 

    Thought about picking up another GH2, but then kept thinking about the rumored GFX ... so decided to wait on the GFX. BUT, meanwhile, I need a camera to use with the m4/3 lenses, and which doesn't make the PL25 make annoying noises ... so ...

    I was planning to get a GF3, especially with the low prices in Panasonic Direct. But ended up choosing the GF2 because of the thumb control wheel, more direct control buttons, and the $380 used combo with the Pany 14, especially given that I was planning to pick up a Pany 14 anyway.

    So there! Hopefully, the GF2 will be worthwhile to use with the PL25 (please no clicking noises ....), and it will hold me over until the rumored GFX is released.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    Armanius, have you tried the E-PL3 for comparing?

    I am also interested in the differences, and can get a new GF2 with 14mm for $529.
    For your reference we have the following prices in Sweden:
    GF3, 14mm, $742
    E-PL3, 14-42mm, $826
    E-PM1, 14-42mm, $688
    E-P3, 14-42, $1195
    G3, 14-42, $741

    What's the best deal according to you?

  14. Armanius

    Armanius Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 23, 2010
    Welcome to the forum!!

    This is just my opinion, and I'm sure some will disagree ...

    I think the GF2 and GF3 are pretty much the same camera with slight changes in ergonomics. So GF2 with the 14mm for $529 is better than GF3 with 14mm for $742.

    In the US, the cheapest new GF2 + 14mm that I have seen so far is $499. It's the oldest camera out of all the ones that you have listed, so it essentially is the "best value." For example, a new Pany 14mm alone is about $320 in the US. So if I pay $499 for the kit, I'm more or less paying $180 for the GF2 body. Not bad!

    As to which one is the best deal, that's hard to say, because you may value certain features so much that an expensive camera for Joe Blow (because he doesn't care for that feature) might seem worthwhile to you. For example, if you want a flip LCD, then out of your list, your choices would be the EPL3 or the G3.

    I think it's important that you narrow down what features you want, and then determine what is the best deal amongst the cameras that do offer you all the features that you want. Or come close to offering the features.

    One more thing to keep in mind is that all of the cameras you listed essentially have the same sensor, except for the G3, which does have a better sensor. It's not a whole lot better, but it is better in terms of noise handling at high ISO.

    Let us know if you have more questions! People in this forum are super helpful and friendly.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    I have the GF2 and have fondled the EPL3 but not for very long as it was screaming "pervert" during my go at it. The EPL3 is slimmer/thinner than the GF2 and may not feel as good if you have big hands but the focussing is FAST (the GF2 is not that shabby). Other than that, it's just a little smaller than the GF2 but feels very solid. My fav is the Panny models with the built in EVF - they're sufficiently small and have a nice grip which makes handling easy.

    For what ever it's worth, my friend had to send his EPL3 back (not because I fondled it) as it could only focus when set to continus focusing. It wasn't focussing when set to single (or whatever the setting is called).

  16. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 17, 2011
    I can get the GF2/14 AND the E-PM1/14-42 for the same prize as the E-P3/ 14-42.

    Do you have the same difference? Maybe the GF2/14 + E-PM1/14-42 is a good kit? =)


  17. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Fortunately for me, I haven't noticed the noise with this combination. Maybe I am too used to the loud focusing noise of the 20mm!

    This is a great thread! I was all set on getting an E-PL3 as a second body (just waiting for my month-end paycheck) when I saw this local promotion selling a brand new GF2 + 14mm lens for about US$490, and was really tempted by it. This thread, even though it started off as a comparison between the GF2 and the PM1, brought me back on course to getting the E-PL3 with all the pros and cons highlighted, even though the PL3 costs $200 more. I wanted the PL3 in the first place because of the tilt screen, compact size, and the fact that could share all the accessories with my EP3... OK, I better stop now, before veering too far off topic...
  18. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 3, 2011
    At those prices, I would probably go for the GF2 + 14mm since it seems to be the best value. Quite overpriced compared to stateside :) 

  19. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    Armanius, that's one helluva ride you got there. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  20. KhMeR

    KhMeR New to Mu-43

    Oct 20, 2011
    How about GF3?

    I just canceled my order for Lumix GF3. I could get it for $380 included 14-42mm. How come people only talking about GF2 not GF3? I am looking to get one as well.
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