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Picking up m43 again...

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by dixeyk, Dec 20, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I'm thinking of picking up an m43 kit again to give me some AF options (as much as I love my NEX I have come to believe that NEX cameras do't actually come equipped with AF :eek:). Anyway I want to grab a nice m43 body and throw a Sigma 19 or 30 on it. The leading candidates are the Panasonic G2 which was one of my favorite m43 bodies ever, the GH1 and G3. I think the G3 is the best value in a camera going right now but I have reservations about the handling (the G2 was comfortable and easy to use) and control layout since the G3 relies a lot more on using the touch screen and lost many of the physical controls the G2 had.

    Cost wise the G2's can be had for around $200 (or less) and the G3's are about $50 more...with new ones running $300 online, and nice GH1's going for about $350. Too bad I missed the big G3 blowout at B&H.
     
  2. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    826
    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    The G3 will give you so much better image quality than either of those two, particularly in low light.

    The G3 is certainly more loses manual control options over the G2, but to put that in perspective, in a year of usage I never used the touch-screen on my G3 for anything other than menus and playback. I shoot through the EVF 80-90% of the time.
     
  3. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hi Kevin.. :smile:
    Its nice to see this name again .I miss ur threads and u were the most active moderators we ever had . Please come back and be apart of MFT community again . I think you should think about G5 as well.This will make u feel better as ergonimically G5 seems to be more nice .
    Cheers
    Bhupinder
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Thanks for the compliment Bhupinder...:redface:

    I thought about the G5 (it looks to be really sweet) but I need to think about budget right now. I also considered the E-PL2 (you're favorite) as you can pick the up for $199 new at Cameta right now but my preference for Panasonic cameras has me thinking G series instead.

    So how have you been? Life treating you well?

    Kevin
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The better IQ is a big deal. In fact, I think the G3 is within spitting' distance of the E-M5 in that respect. The biggest issue(s) I have are that I worry about its ergonomics (that grip looks pretty feeble) and t he overall build quality appears to be a bit cheap (hope I am wrong about that). If the build quality is as my GX1 was I'd be thrilled. I heard that the G3 is an aluminum body...is that correct? From the pictures it sure looks plasticky.

    I agree that I could get used to the buttons (or lack thereof). Heck, I am used to my NEX 5n now and it has a horrible UI.
     
  6. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    Hi Kevin, from what you say about needing to buy on a budget and how good you found the handling on the G2, I would say the G2 is a no brainer. Sure, more modern sensors are better, but the G2 was never bad and is just as capable of producing stunning pictures now as it ever was. If there is a particular picture you want to take which really does need the best IQ possible, then you still have the Nex.
     
  7. Whyzor

    Whyzor Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 11, 2012
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    DxOMark is not something I would take as gospel. No doubt E-M5 (and cameras that share the same sensor) are terrific but for best quality I use my NEX which is a step up sensor wise from there. Second, I have spent time playing with a friend's E-M5 and while I can appreciate it I wouldn't buy one myself. As for the other Olympus offerings...I have had several Pen bodies and have discovered through much trial and error that I prefer Panasonic and am willing to sacrifice IQ for usability and ergonomics.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That's what I am feeling. I KNOW the G3 is a better value but I never thought my G2 was lacking and for me ergonomics and handling are a big deal. Now if I could find a blue one.
     
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Stuff like this makes me roll my eyes... :rolleyes:

    Anyways, Kevin I know you have a soft spot for the G2 as I do (G2 fan club assemble). My girlfriend has the G3, I steal it once in a while but I have not used it extensively. Since we feel similar about the G2 I figure my impressions of the G3 might help you out a bit.

    Here are my G3 general impressions:

    1. It's small! Imagine a G2 merged with a GF2 (I own both), that's the best I can describe the size of the G3. In fact I would recommend the G3 as a secondary/compact option for people instead of a GF/GX series. It's small with a lot of features packed in like the built in EVF and flip screen.

    2. Handling is... so so. Laura has no problems with it. However, I've been spoiled by the G2 so it seems like a step backwards to me. I just can't get used to the shutter being on the top plate, feels awkward to me. Also the rear dial has been lowered too much and there is not much of a thumb rest. It's just a weird bulge and your thumb rests on the dial. Once again, awkward.
    I also miss the drive mode switch around the mode dial and the eye sensor.

    3. Build quality: Pretty good actually! The front face is aluminum and it has an aluminum internal frame. Everything else is plastic but feels like good quality materials.

    4. Perfomance. It outperforms the G2 in every way but the most noticeable is the speed. I don't have hard data but it just feels like it shoots faster.

    The G3 as a whole is a very capable package. Lots of features, for a great value. That's how I would describe it.

    Now I'm still shooting with my G2 so obviously I value handling and ergonomics over slight gains in speed and resolution. If you can find a G2 get it. Hope this helps!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    I have to say the G3 is the worst ergonomically of the Panasonic cameras I've owned (GF2, G3, GX1, G5, GH3). I didn't like the plasticky build quality, and the grip was flat out uncomfortable, especially with bigger lenses. I actually got a bruise on my palm from the corner of the grip after shooting with the 14-140mm for a day.

    Right now my recommendation would probably be a G5, it has the best IQ and ergonomics short of the GH3 and the price has dropped pretty dramatically. I just sold mine on ebay and only got a little over $400 for it. If you can wait a while, they may even drop more, who knows with Panasonic's volatile pricing.

    If the price is a bigger factor for you than overall IQ, I'd say go ahead and pick up a G2 - the ergonomics and added manual controls are probably worth it (never used a G2 so I'm assuming based on my experiences with other models that the G2 would be closer to the G5/GH3).
     
  12. Whyzor

    Whyzor Mu-43 Rookie

    12
    Dec 11, 2012
    I understand my comment about dxomark scores sounds like that's all I care about. But I've owned & sold many DSLRs in the past, from Pentax, to Canon, to Nikon and have been doing photography as a hobby for a few years.

    Recently I switched to m43 w/ a PM1 because of the value, small package, and IQ at that price point and the convenience of using manual lenses at a fraction of the cost. Ergonomics is something that I care least about because I can get used to and adapt to anything with enough practice. All this talk about feel this & that, are qualities that are hard to quantify for each person's tastes. I'm more about function over form, even if it's a slight edge.
     
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The G5 looks nice but my return to M43 is going to be quite limited. I'm really just wanting to have some decent AF and a better platform to use my Hex 200 and Vivitar 70-210 with. In the case of telephotos I find that the 2x crop factor of the m43 sensor is an advantage.

    The G2 and the GH2 were without a doubt the best handling m43 bodies I ever used. I might pick up a G5 somewhere down the line but for now it is likely to be either a G3, G2 or maybe a GH1 if I found a deal on one.
     
  14. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    That is really helpful. right now I can pick up a Like new G2 for about $235 and a new G3 for about $290 (I missed out on the BH G3 blowout). The extra speed would be nice and I know that could get used to the G3's ergonomics because it's not going to be my main kit but the affection I have for the G2 is making that a tough sell. I will say however that I found out the G3's EVF is a 1.4x as opposed to 1.1x on the G2. That combined with the speed, better IQ and the fact that there is not much separating them price wise are making the G3 a pretty compelling option.

    BTW, am I the only one that finds the G3 kinda ugly?
     
  15. Was at one time thinking of "upgrading" to the G3 from the G2. Cost at that time, relatively small gain in image quality at the low ISO I shoot at and the ergo issue blew that thought away. No regrets sticking with the G2. G2 works for me. Maybe with the next significant sensor, build improvements an upgrade may be justified.
     
  16. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Nope :biggrin:
     
  17. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Essex
    John
    Noooooooooo! Why force yourself to adapt to a camera which inherently doesn't suit you when there are cameras available which naturally suit you better. I once bought a car in which I couldn't achieve a comforable driving position, but the specs were just what I wanted. I told myself I'd get used to it, but cursed it every day until the day I sold it. It's the same with cameras.
     
  18. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Unless of course driving a really small car you can park easily in the city is more valuable to you than driving comfort :biggrin: :rofl:
     
  19. Easy Answer: GH1. Next question.
     
  20. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Haha yeah right. :wink: