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Return to M43 through an Olympus E-P3?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by mqavila, Jan 15, 2012.

  1. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular

    Hi guys,

    I had entered the M43 world about a year ago when I acquired a Lumix GH2. I had upgraded from a Lumix FZ35 superzoom and was really excited to get worlds-better images and videos. Turned out, I never got to take advantage of all of the advanced features of GH2 since I was a P&S guy at heart. Also, whenever my wife used the GH2, she ended up accidentally pressing something or pulling a lever. As a consequence, she would always come home with awful out-of-focus pictures, etc (she ended up switching to MF or switching it to Program, Aperture, Shutter priority).

    Just last month, I finally decided to "downgrade" to the latest successor to the FZ35, the FZ150, and sold my GH2. I'm happy about the awesome reach of the superzoom again but I really really miss the low-light performance, the bokeh, and the generally better images that a M43 camera is capable of.

    Now, I'm not sure if I made the right move by making the shift. I started surfing the Net again (never a good thing) and I realized that the GH2 is now much cheaper than it was before! Back in February 2011, I bought my GH2 with 14-42mm for $1,000. Now, I can buy the GH2 with 14-140mm for $1,100!! Wowow!! But I'm still surfing and I finally took notice of the recent Olympus E-P3. It looks great! Awesome retro/classic rangefinder look with generally the same capabilities of the GH2 (minus the video capabilities), more vibrant SOOC/JPEG output, and really fun creative filters.

    I now come to my question at long last: if ever I return to M43, should I get the GH2 again at a great price? Or would the E-P3 be a good choice to return to M43? This way, I have a smaller camera that's easy to use and yet is still chockful of capabilities. I'm also taking a look at the Lumix GX1 which also looks good. Incidentally, I'll probably retain the FZ150 for wifey and for the zoom reach. :)

    Also, I still have my Lumix 20mm lens with me.

    Thanks in advance for your two cents! :)
     
  2. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    If you're still a P&S guy at heart, you may want to consider the smaller versions of the Olympus "3" line: the E-PL3 (with its tilt-screen LCD) and the E-PM1 (a powerhouse built into a small and simple body). Both share IQ, focusing speed, and many/most functions with the E-P3. I have the E-P3 and the E-PM1, and the latter has become my primary "grab and go" camera.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    Thanks for your input. Was thinking along the same lines too. However, if ever I do go back, I will probably want a good zoom lens, probably the 14-150mm, as a walkaround lens and was thinking that the smaller Lite and Mini would be a bit unwieldy with the 14-150mm?
     
  4. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    93
    Jan 21, 2011
    If you're a true P&S person, then get the Canon S95 or S100. Both are extremely compact and produce great images and videos. None of the m43 offerings are P&S replacements, they are something between a P&S and full DSLR.
     
  5. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    That's where I'm in a bind. I guess I'm a P&S guy at heart and I don't really photoshop, etc. But, I would want to delve into amateur photography. The GH2 was, for a lack of a better term, a shock to the system and I ended up just using the iA mode 99% of the time.

    But I realize the wonderful possibilities that M43 cameras can offer. The ability to change lenses as the situation requires is simply awesome. And, from what I've seen in this forum, Olympus' in-camera art filters give you the ability to create unique images without having to photoshop. I just need a slightly simpler (and more friendly to my mind) camera to work with and the Pen series seem to be a good place to go.

    Your continuing comments are greatly appreciated! :)
     
  6. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    It still sounds to me that you want a quality P&S. Art Filters are not unique to the Olympus PENs - they have them in the Olympus XZ-1, for example. Do you plan on buying more than one lens if you are set on going to m4/3?
     
  7. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Get an E-PM1. That camera is a P&S on the outside, but has the guts of a full fledged DSLR on the inside. It's wife friendly (my wife doesn't feel intimidated by it), but it has everything you need to grow. I've turned a couple of my buddies onto it already all of whom are working photographers. They're all hooked!
     
  8. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    When I had the GH2, I had the 14-45mm ("upgraded" the kit lens), the 20mm (great lens, hands down), and the 14-140mm (for some reach). If and when I do return to the M43, I'll probably want to have a similar lens complement.
     
  9. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    This is actually a good idea (although I was thinking more of the E-PL3 rather than the E-PM1) but was just thinking that I would eventually want to get the 14-150mm and it might prove to be unwieldy coupled with such a small body...
     
  10. supermaxv

    supermaxv Mu-43 Veteran

    273
    Sep 20, 2011
    Can you expand on why exactly you consider yourself a "P&S" person? Is it the form factor? Ease of use? Pocketability?
     
  11. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    Hmmm... that's a bit difficult to answer. Being P&S not really because of the size but more in terms of ease of use. I don't fool around with settings that much and am probably not as creative as others but I do appreciate a good photographic opportunity and am open to learning new things with respect to photography.

    ....That's probably as vague as I can get. ;)
     
  12. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I am a huge believe in the Oly EPM1, but it sounds like you are a Panny guy, so Id recomment the GX1. It will be a lote more familiar for you, but as I said, I'm a huge fan of the pens, and the EPM1 especially.
     
  13. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 13, 2011
    I'd say get the ep3 and then spend $25 to work through Ben ford's foundations of photography courses on lynda.com. Just learning to use shutter priority and aperture priority modes on this camera will open up a lot of creative shooting opportunities without needing to delve too far into changing settings etc.
     
  14. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 13, 2011
    Actually I'd say watch the courses whatever camera you get...
     
  15. aznick

    aznick Mu-43 Regular

    74
    Mar 4, 2010
    Arizona USA
    Did you mean Ben Long's "Foundations of Photography" course?
     
  16. KS11

    KS11 Mu-43 Veteran

    411
    Jan 31, 2011
    Busan/Hong Kong
    if you want a simpler handling camera (too many buttons on the ep3 anbd customizable things) i would echo other peoples sentiments (for the epm1 and the epl3 and even throw in the older epl2 in the mix if you can find it at a cheaper price.
     
  17. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    62
    Dec 13, 2011
    Haha yes. I knew it was four letters with o.
     
  18. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular


    Actually, you're right. I've pretty much been a Panny guy for several years already but seeing from this forum, I love the Dramatic Art Filter of the Oly cameras. And, it also seems to be a general consensus that Oly cameras have better, more vibrant SOOC JPEGs compared to Panny cams. That's why I'm thinking of the EP3.

    BUT, the GX1 looks great as well. Argh. :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    995
    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Chuck
    The Oly art filters are nice, but after a short period of playing with them, I came to the conclusion that I have much more leeway using Lightroom presets and/or the Nik Efex plug-ins. The ART setting on my mode dial isn't getting much use after that initial flurry.
     
  20. mqavila

    mqavila Mu-43 Regular

    I have another question regarding Olympus PENs.... I read somewhere that the camera uses only digital image stabilization when recording video. In real world terms, how does this affect handheld video recording? Will there be visible shaking?