Recommendations for first m43 as a gift?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by pisanoal, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 29, 2012
    Hello all,

    I wanted to ask advice for a first m43 set up for my sister as a Christmas gift. She is coming from p&s and is looking for an upgrade. Small form factor is important, as it needs to be something she likes to carry around, so im thinking without an evf since she isnt used to one anyway. Im also thinking something that she can grow in to as she learns manual controls. Im not too familiar with olympus cameras as i only have panasonic bodies so im not sure if there are bodies that dont fit this description, but some with external controls for the basic settings would be good (ss/aperture wheel, iso, etc.) so it isnt cumbersome as she learns to shoot in manual. My first thought was a gx1, but since ive only had experience with panny (g3, gx7), i thought it would be good to hear some contrasting opinions. Budget is around $450 (rather not buy used for a gift but refurb is fine)

    By the way, she hikes a lot and mostly takes summit pictures, mountain scenery, etc. Kit lens should be sufficient.

    Thanks for any and all input!
  2. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    The Oympus e-pl3 is small, full featured, and fits your budget. You can pick one up brand new with the 14-42 kit lens from Newegg for $369.

    And there's a red refurb from Sears for $256.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    Gx1 with the 14mm. My favorite combo on the cheap.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    IMHO, someone coming from point and shoot will prefer a zoom. A wide prime is for someone who knows what they want and how they will use it. I think the best choices within the budget are either the E-PL3, or E-PM2 with a 14-42 kit zoom.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    I agree with Doug. Although if budget allows I'd see if you can't get a pancake too - makes it a little more attractive as a pocket/purse cam. Might also be worthwhile seeing if the flash plays a part in the P&S pics - remember its not built into some M43 cameras and it might be frustrating to miss or get blurry pics with a kit lens.

    If you want to personalize the camera - try outfitting the unit with something from Aki-Ashahi.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. chipshot713

    chipshot713 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    May 24, 2012
    Pearland, Texas
    Pana G5 for less than $300 now.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    For $450 I'd want a refurbed E-PL5 with kit lens. Olympus sells that combo direct for $440 (+ tax, I think). Second choice would be E-PM2 refurb from Oly for $360 with kit lens.

    I think for a P&S upgrade Olympus JPEGs might be a nice safety net as she learns to shoot with more manual control and/or raw. I also think the sensor in E-PL5 and E-PM2 is a step or two ahead of that in the GX1.

    Whichever way you go you deserve a :2thumbs: for being such a good brother!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. wlewisiii

    wlewisiii Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 16, 2011
    Hayward, WI
    William B. Lewis
    Because it's got the best OOC jpg's I'd suggest a E-PL1 with the kit zoom and a 17/2.8 lens. She will probably want the zoom for comfort but if you give the wide and try to show how fun it can be you might just make that little step beyond.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    E-PM2 or refurb E-PL3 or GF6 would probably be the best bodies in the price range.

    Alternatively, you could give her an older body refurbed, like the E-PM1 or E-PL3, plus a couple lenses. You should be able to add a refurb 40-150 and maybe a prime or the body cap lens.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. pisanoal

    pisanoal Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 29, 2012
    Thanks to all that replied! I decided on the epl5 for the tilting LCD that is able to be flipped to face you. She does a lot of hiking with her dog in Colorado and likes to take pictures of the two of them on the summit. Since she hasn't ever had a camera that she can see what she is doing while taking those pics, she can't help but like at least one thing about it :) I'm also very interested in seeing it when she opens it as I've never even put my hands on am oly body.

    Again, thanks for everyone's input.

    Sent from my HTC6435LVW using Mu-43 mobile app
  11. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I think you've made a good choice, and I'm sure your sister will love her gift.

    Couple things that the other didn't mention are: auto white balance works better on the newer Olympus when compared to the E-PL1 or 2; and IBIS on the E-PL5 works better than that on the 3.
  12. Uncle Frank

    Uncle Frank Photo Enthusiast

    Jul 26, 2012
    San Jose, CA
    That's a good decision, and I'm sure she'll love the pl5. Please post her reactions after she gets the gift.
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