PEN vs G... to go to the country, thinking in flash, viewfinder and stabilization

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by halfhand, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    Hi folks! I've been thinking a bit lately and I have now a lot of doubts.

    The first reason to go to micro four thirds is weight. We don't have to carry 10 pounds of equipment.

    So you go out hiking.

    -Want birds: get the long telezooms
    -Want landscape: there are great wideangles
    -All at once: 14-150mm or 14-140mm, and perhaps close up lens or extension tubes.
    -Long exposures: there are some nice lightweight tripod, even gorillapod could work.

    So I would say that a good versatile and little hiking or backpacking setup would be a m.zuiko 12-50mm and m.zuiko 75-300. If you have time to change lenses, if you must do all at once that would be the 14-150mm or 14-150mm... There are the Panasonic lenses like 100-300mm but we are trying to get the lighter things.

    But now the problems begin.

    -If you have a Panasonic body, you don't have IS if you carry the mzuiko lenses. Ok, just shoot faster or with a tripod.
    -If you have an Olympus body, you have all with IS. But if you have no integrated flash... you either put a viewfinder or a flash.
    -Or even if you have a Panasonic body with integrated viewfinder and flash, you need a stronger light...

    What now?

    Should I chose Panasonic sacrificing the IS because I will still use mzuiko lenses?

    Should I stick to Olympus because same brand should work better together?
    How do I solve my light problem?

    I don't know if there are external flashes...and lightweight... and cheap... that would be used on and off the camera when I want also the viewfinder... for example: to photograph a butterfly.

    I know the omd em5 would solve that problem, but my budget can't go for that at the moment. Perhaps the Panasonics can solve that if I forget stabilization.

    But here comes another doubt (my last, for the moment). Do the provided olympus flash reach enough for little wildlife? Are there any lightweight flashes that could be used on pens with the viewfinder? Should I use that flash for macros, or another closer to the lens?

    I guess I need a micro four thirds macro and lighting course...

    Any help is really welcome, thank you for reading so far.
  2. elavon

    elavon Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 1, 2012
    Tel Aviv Israel
    Real Name:
    Is the list of lens you have or want to have.
    If you do not have any lens then you can get Panasonic G body with Panasonic telephoto.
    You will have OIS and EVF and a basic close range flash.
    For short focal length lenses OIS/IBIS is redundant.

    Regarding flash strong flash come with a cost of money and weight, if you do not need TTL you can get a cheap yongnuo yn560 it is strong and not that expensive.

    For birding you need the 300mm focal length any other solution will cause you to crop.
  3. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Real Name:
    I think people way over-think things. Start with a body you enjoy handling, and get a versatile lens to cover a wide range. Go out and enjoy your hike, and shoot. I bring my camera on hikes and I'll tell you it's very rare I encounter wildlife that requires a long tele. I doubt flash will ever be needed unless you are doing some kind of macro in the woods.

    Of course if you head out with certain intentions, i.e. birds, waterfalls, etc, then pack accordingly. You can ask for advice all you want, but there is no replacement for experience.
  4. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    The Panasonic 45-200 can work for birding as well. Smaller and cheaper than the 100-300, but larger than the 45-150, which is probably the most compact telephoto zoom.

    The Panasonic G5 and G6 are smaller and lighter than a DSLR, but not as compact as the Pens, OMD, or GX1. But they do give you the viewfinder and flash in a single package.

    Panasonic also has some great pancake lenses if you're looking to keep weight down. The 14mm, 20mm, and 14-42 Power Zoom are excellent lenses and all three together probably take as much space as a single zoom lens.

    On the Olympus side you might consider the OM-D -- it has the viewfinder built in, giving you the option of using a flash and VF at the same time. And prices are coming down right now. The E-PL5 is a good choice too, but you'd need an EVF as well as a flash.

    On the Panasonic side, the G5 is the best deal right now, especially if you can get the 2 lens kit bundled with the 45-150. Otherwise the GX1 is a steal right now, though you'll need buy the EVF. And sadly EVFs aren't compatible between Olympus and Panasonic bodies.
  5. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Real Name:
    Doug Green
    The 45-175 is quite a bit lighter and smaller than the 45-200, and you give up very little reach for that. Also, the 45-175 is reputed to be sharper at the long end, so really you may actually give up nothing.
  6. RoadTraveler

    RoadTraveler Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 23, 2012
  7. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Real Name:
    +1 on picking the body that works for you.

    A few of things to keep in mind.

    The built-in/acc flash is OK for fill or triggering another flash. Pretty much useless otherwise. If you don't need TTL the yongnuo yn560 is a great option.

    If you have IS, good ISO performance and a fast lens a flash is much less important (fill is another issue).

    Small(light), fast, big reach - pick two :smile:
  8. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    It's the list of lens I was thinking about, but I have changed a little my mind now. Thinking that I have never used IS, and most of the time I could have it off, I might choose a zuiko75-300 with Panasonic body.

    I have looked at that Yongnuo and seems very promising, thank you! I will probably take one.
  9. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    You are very right. I over-think things. I have had for a few years a very heavy and old equipment and I will find heaven when I get my full micro four thirds gear. The photos I did the most where within 200-300mm range. Weeks could pass without changing the lens. No wide angle, not much macro, not much portrait...they were done with my point and shoot camera.

    Where I leave I have more chances to use the tele than the other lenses, as it is full of birdlife and butterflies. I'll reverse a legacy 50 1.8 to start doing macros with a home-made difuser, and I won't have to spend much money or carry weight. And with that I would have lens to do the photos I'm most interested at.
  10. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    I've found a sigma 19mm 2.8 at a very good price, with that I don't need focal length until a macro lens... due to the kind of photos I like to make. I still have my point and shoot camera if I need a wider angle but I don't often use shorter focal lengths. If I ever need it, I can take the 12-50mm, I like that it's sealed.

    The OM-D is the camera I have been considering since the first moment, budget is the problem! But I think 'a second hand body is just a 'little' more money than the G5 and I get a sealed'. I must say that I do get in some dangerous environments with possible hits, water splashes and sand. And a sealed body will always be cheaper than two G5s... so I guess my choice would be here now.
  11. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    Thanks, and it's almost half the weight.
  12. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    Originally Posted by spatulaboy
    snip... Start with a body you enjoy handling, and get a versatile lens to cover a wide range.snip....
    I agree too. The thing is that I'm looking a bit forward into my photos, have been a long time four thirds user until I sold everything and due to a problem I wasn't able to shoot for many months. Now I'm getting back, or trying, but will focus on what I liked the most.
  13. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    Yes, I would use the built-in flash to trigger another, but something impossible to do with, for example, a E-PL5 and viewfinder.

    Flash would be for cool macros, keeping some dark backgrounds for some not so little targets. Not much interior shooting and no need of TTL.
    I'll get the yongnuo, not sure yet which one.
  14. halfhand

    halfhand Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 20, 2013
    And now that I have answered everyone... thank you for your help!
    I'll try to find a good G5 deal, and when I go back to 'dangerous environments', will change it for EM-5 with the sealed lens. If I don't see a good G5 deal coming, I will wait a little for the EM-5. Perhaps I can borrow a E-PL1 with viewfinder and built-in for a few days and I have got a Sigma 19mm lens. Not bad considering I'm returning to photography. I still have some long legacy lens and I can reverse a 50 for macros.
    75-300 will be my next step, and if I need IS i'll take a tripod.
  15. Hudsonhites

    Hudsonhites Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 14, 2011
    With the Panasonic bodies you're limited to 1/160 sec flash sync speed which is slow for outside flash work especially if you're shooting the flash in manual mode.
  16. Chrisnmn

    Chrisnmn Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 26, 2012
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Real Name: