Sell Pen-F and Keep GF1 (Am I Crazy??)

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dkreindler, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. dkreindler

    dkreindler Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2017
    The Pen-F was my gateway to the world of M43. I shot some wonderful images with it.
    6ix God (2). Karina. TP. TP_BW_Portrait. TP_Tub.
    At the time it was my only camera and I bought it for the retro looks, the IBIS and the wonderful monochrome JPEG mode.

    Since then, I have learned to process RAW (and shoot only RAW now), acquired an EM-1.1 with a 12-40 (that I prefer for most paid shoots or studio work) and also a GF1. I will keep the EM1.1 as my workhorse camera (weather sealed, battery grip and 12-40 are great for when I am working) but the GF1 is making me wonder if I need to keep the Pen-F.

    I have shot some wonderful images on the GF1/20mm combo so far

    The next thee are SOOC JPEGs, which is supposedly a GF1 weakspot. They look ok to me (of course they look better once I've had a go at the RAWs in LR).
    P1030064.JPG P1030066.JPG P1030091.JPG
    Aside from IBIS and the cool looks (not a priority, but I find that the Pen-F looks retro and is a conversation starter at parties and on the street, which allows me to build rapport with people), I really am not sure why I should keep it. The menus on the GF1 are simpler, as are the controls (I can easily one hand it like a Ricoh GR, adjusting shutter, aperture, ISO, WB and exposure comp). I like that the Auto ISO tends to hold to the lowest possible value, rather than the Pen, which seems to go for the highest value. Even the built-in pop-up flash is capable of producing decent images in very dark, almost black conditions (below).
    Another SOOC Jpeg that reminds me more of a Ricoh GR file than any M43 produced camera. The fact that it's "only" 12 MP with 12-bit RAW files seems to be irrelevant. I haven't seen any smearing or noise with the files either, whereas even in good light, I have seen some with the Pen's RAWs.

    I am wondering what I'd be missing, if anything, if I sold my Pen-F and used the EM-1 for my "work" and serious shooting, with the GF1/20mm for street, travel, fun etc. As far as I can tell, the IBIS, silent shutter and the retro aesthetic are the big ones. One big caveat is that the Pen-F has some sort of ineffable joy that comes with shooting it. Everything feels nice, the EVF in monochrome is a real joy to compose images with and it delivers flawless images every single time, so long as composition is good. IBIS is a gift from the gods when shooting in low light.

    On the other hand, the GF1 is a bit smaller, seems to have better AF (no, really), has its own aesthetic charm. And if anything happens to it, I can get another one for $100 ($300 if the 20mm needs replacement).

    Tell me what you think?
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  2. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    If it's suits you, go for it.

    My suggestion take Panasonic GM5 instead GF1. It's more stealth camera.
  3. Mountain

    Mountain Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 2, 2013
    I love my GX-1 for many of the same reasons.
  4. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Legend Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    If you said only cam, then you'd be crazy, but with the EM1, then go with the backup cam you like most

    Try putting the pen away for 2 months and see if you miss it
  5. dkreindler

    dkreindler Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2017
    Smart idea. I'll do that.
  6. dkreindler

    dkreindler Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2017
    GM5 is going for a lot of money on Ebay right now. Almost as much as a Pen-F.
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  7. retiredfromlife

    retiredfromlife Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    I'd keep the Pen F, to me you don't get enough second hand unless you are really hard up for the cash. It is such a nice camera, keep it, it will keep calling to you.
  8. rezatravilla

    rezatravilla Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Reza Travilla
    Last time i bought an used GM5 on Hong Kong is around US$ 300 with the kit lens 12-32mm. Indeed the price on ebay were not normal.
  9. Egregius V

    Egregius V Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Jun 14, 2015
    Massachusetts, USA
    Rev. Gregory Vozzo
    Thankfully, price on eBay (or anywhere else) doesn't mean people are actually willing to pay that amount. Too easily undercut. Such sellers must not be in a hurry and are hoping for a buyer with deep pockets who is.
  10. MillsArt

    MillsArt Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 8, 2012
    I have a GM1, which can be picked up for around $200, and for the money its a quite nice little camera. Its literally smaller than any P&S I've owned (body only at least) so I kind of like it just for that size advantage as I could always pack it away as a backup camera for a vacation etc. Also handles quite nice with smaller primes.

    GF1 is equally good I'm sure, but overall, if you like having something that is totally different than the EM1, I think its a logical move.

    I have a EM1.2 right now and am choosing between that and the GX8. I did try the Pen-F and while nice, I found it kind of big/heavy (relatively speaking) and as such, didn't handle too well with larger lenses which the EM1 and GX8 does as they have nice grips.

    I'd as soon as just carry a EM1 as a Pen-F, so you have to wonder what advantages the Pen-F gives you ? Poorer grip, smaller EVF, etc... does have some god looks though so there is that lol

    I can see times not wanting to take a Em1 and 12-40, so that is where a GF1, or GM1 etc, with a little 25mm f1.7 or similar would be a nice change of pace

    I'm not knocking the Pen F since lots of folks really enjoy it, but I don't think your crazy selling it and keeping your little GF1 either
  11. Aperture Don

    Aperture Don Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2017
    Back in 2008 or 2009, I bought the GF-1 with a few lenses and an EVF. It was the worst camera and worst lenses that I have ever owned. I wanted to like it, but it was absolute sh**. I returned it to B&H, and thought that I would never buy an MFT kit again. I'm glad that I changed my mind since I now own an E-M1.2 and a lot of the best glass that they make. I absolutely love the system. Maybe I got a bad copy, but I don't think so - it was just horrible. Given my experience, I would keep the Pen F, and flush the GF-1.
  12. dkreindler

    dkreindler Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 10, 2017
    We must have different cameras. I'd go as far as saying that the AF on the GF1 outperforms the Pen-F in some situations (quick focusing on a white background), the controls are easier and more intuitive and the monochrome mode is 90% as good, even though I no longer shoot JPEG. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, because this little camera is getting a lot of use while my Pen sits idle.
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