recommendations - camera on a budget

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by pcake, May 10, 2013.

  1. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    okay, i have a few more bucks than i was expecting to have. i'm looking for a smallish (and definitely light) camera that i plan to carry around, and later on will probably be my backup camera as well as a carry around.

    i'm looking for good low light performance, good (not necessarily fast) focus, a decent touchscreen or very good external buttons/dials, and either has an EVF or has a reasonably priced optional EVF. trying to keep it around $400, can stretch to around $500.

    currently torn between getting another G3, E-PM2, E-PL5 (at the top of my price range) and maybe possibly a G5 (haven't held one, this might be too big for a carry around). i thought about an E-PM1, but i gather lower light isn't all that and the lack of touchscreen and buttons might make it a pain.

    btw, the reason i sold the G3 is that it sometimes wouldn't focus on some closeups (not macros) no matter what i did unless i manually focused.
  2. DynaSport

    DynaSport Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 5, 2013
    I am no expert, only having used the EPM-1 I bought last year. I came from a dslr with lots of external controls that allow me to quickly change aperture, shutter speed, focus point, ISO, etc, etc. Some of that is familiarity with the camera and some of it is just how easy it is to get to the control you want.

    Going to the EPM-1 was a major effort for me. Totally different user interface. Menus, menus, and more menus. Very few buttons and dials. I kind of hated it and regretted my purchase. There were two things I liked very much, though. Size and price.

    Over time I have gotten much more familiar with the camera and can change settings much easier. Still not like I could with my Canon, but much better. I still feel like there are things the camera can do that I am not aware of, however. I must say I am still not a fan of the interface. Maybe if I learned on Olys, things would be much better.

    Anyway, if I was buying today on a tight budget, I would probably look at the G1X and the EPM-2. I like the looks of the EPL-3, but I'd rather have the sensor in the EPM-2. And I still like the size of the EPM-1.

    Not sure if that helped or not, but those are the two cameras I'd look at in your price range.
  3. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    while i do like external controls, i must admit that the e-pm2 sounds ve-ery interesting to me. i'm gonna go to samy's tomorrow and try one out - i'll try all of them, but the pm2 is an interesting mix of features and sizewise, sounds like it will rock as a carry around. also it might be nice to have a little stabilization for my canon FD lenses...
  4. Dalton

    Dalton Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2010
    Portland, Oregon USA
    Dan Ferrall
    The E-PM2

    The controls may take a bit of time to get comfortable with but, the image quality for the money simply can't be beat. The prices I have seen recently are right at $424.99 for the camera and 14-42 kit lens.

  5. caimi

    caimi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2012
    middle US
    Either the G5 or EPL5, both of which I've used, will produce excellent photos. The G5 is more traditionally camera shaped and less compact but still quite small. The EPL5 is like a big cell phone camera. That is, it is very small for all it can do and if you don't mind shooting from the rear screen and don't want to buy the optional viewfinder, it's like handling a big cell phone. I think Amazon has a deal going on the G5 or is about to.
  6. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    There are currently some screaming deals being offered on the E-P3. Great control set, touch screen, ibis, and good photo quality. I've seen it offered with the 17mm pancake for under $400.
  7. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    a screaming deal is always good, but how's the low light image quality and ibis on the E-P3 compared to the newer E-PM2 or E-PL5? i was looking at those two because of the EM-5 sensor and i believe the IBIS was improved a little over the previous generation?

  8. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    G5 is a killer deal right now, as is the GX1. You might be able to swing an e-Pm2 and a 14/2.5 for $500.

    Avoid the 12mp cameras if you place a priority on low light. They are great cams, but the latest gen panasonics and Olys are better.
  9. mnhoj

    mnhoj There and back again

    Dec 3, 2011
    Los Angeles
    John M
    I like the G5 and the GX1.

    Hold out a little and watch the hot deals.

    Both bodies cost me $500.
  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Both provide a bit of improvement over the E-P3 but the E-PM2 lacks many of the controls (buttons and wheels) and both it and the E-PL5 will exceed your $400.
  11. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 26, 2013
    I recently got me a G3 for the princely sum of 150€ (~195USD) used + a 14mm for 170USD... Plenty of used G3's out here (Netherlands)
    (+M42 adapter and a couple of affordable legacy 50/55mm lenses to compare, but that's not to the point here.)
    I feel I got a huge bang out of my buck and a nice intro into the system.

    I have not experienced problems with low light use.. ...Settings/firmware perhaps?

    In terms of ergonomics the G5 is better, a very good product imho. If you want an integrated viewfinder and are on a budget... You know where I'm going with this..

    If you have no need for an integrated viewfinder (or have enough budget to include an external unit) the Oly's mentioned here seem excellent options.
  12. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i came so verrrry close to getting the G5. the ergonomics are superb! but i ended up with the E-PM2 plus the VF-2 'cause i've got a bunch of canon FD lenses (including a 50mm 1/4) and c mount lenses, and i'd love to try 'em stabilized - i still have the adapters from my G3. i also got the VF-2, totally blowing my budget ;-)

    once the battery is charged, i'll turn on the super control panel, turn off "warm" and go from there :)
  13. barbosas

    barbosas Mu-43 Veteran

    May 7, 2013
    I don't know the G5 but I can vouch for the E-PL5, you won't regret it.
  14. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i got the E-PM2, and i do slightly regret that i didn't get the E-PL5 - i was under the impression there was more of a size difference. i would have liked a mode dial and articulated screen, but overall the E-PM2 is a great camera, and it's pretty fast to change modes even without a dial.

  15. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    $199 for a frickin' GX1. C'mon, nothing beats that. It was just posted today, look for it in the Found Deals section.

    Sent from my iPad using Mu-43 mobile app
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real deal on the GX1 right now.
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    If using legacy glass was your priority I would have suggested G5 over that E-PM2 you got. The Pen doesn't have the best handling for manual lenses.
  18. svtquattro

    svtquattro Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 24, 2012
    Vancouver, Canada
    Gx1 for $199. No brainer.
  19. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    The E-pl5 is an awesome camera and if you can afford it it is really a very good piece of kit.

    Gx1 for $199 is a steal, but it all comes up to what you need the camera for.
  20. pcake

    pcake Mu-43 Regular

    May 3, 2010
    i sorta wish i had gone for the E-PL5, but the E-PM2 i got is pretty sweet, and i got it during the oly mothers day sale plus paid no tax 'cause samy's was having an in-store no-tax sale day.
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