Small travel camera option in addition to EM-1

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Akashi, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. Akashi

    Akashi Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 1, 2010
    Tromso, Norway
    I travel quite a lot and would like to have a smaller option with me on my travels. I have the EM-1, but it is on the larger side of things - not really large but just a bit big, you know? I havent followed the small camera section and have no idea where to start. Perhaps a used EPL or EP something? Or a panasonic?
    The lenses I have are the 12-40 2.8 pro and the O75 1.8 for the bigger camera (EM-1). I also have a Panasonic 15 1.7 that I use to make my EM-1 small - works sort-of. So I would be using the 15 1.7 on the compact travel option and sometimes pop on the 75 1.8 for fun. I will also probably buy a 25 mm prime in the near future.

    I need the IQ in the camera to be good enough. The noise control on my EM-1 is good enough, but I previously had a E-PL1 and that was far from good enough. No other fancy features are needed. I do very very little video. Inputs are appreciated! Perhaps it is a dum idea and I should just stick with my EM-1 for travels?
  2. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    It has been said, and by me that the EM1 is really not that big....but that comes form someone who's primary cameras before m43 are 135 sensor size Nikons.
    Beyond that, one of the reasons I like the EM5 mk II over the EM1 is the fact that it CAN be small (without a grip) or it can be bigger (with a grip). The EM1 does not have that luxury.

    If you want to stay with Olympus the EM5/EM10 series cameras are nice, and offer most of the functionality that you'll probably want. If you need decent AF tracking, then the EM1 is really your only choice at this point.
    I know a lot of people really like the EPM2 with the pancake zoom or a pancake prime.

    If you don't mind supporting 2 different camera brands, there is something to be said for a camera like the Nikon Coolpix A, Ricoh GR or Fuji X100T.
  3. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    I love the GM1 with the 12-32. That with a fast 25 prime is a perfect tiny travel kit. Is it as nice to use as an E-M5? Probably not but the photo quality is the same. It all depends on how small you want to go.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    David Dornblaser
    We travel a lot. My wife travels with an E-M10 and O25 + 14-42 EZ. I know that I will get flack for saying it, but I hardly ever travel with the O12-40 instead taking 2 - 3 primes. The new rumored PEN with a EVF might be an ideal travel body.
  5. summerkl

    summerkl Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 26, 2010
    Kevin L
    I seem to be going through the same process as you are at the moment as I also want a more compact solution to my em1. I have tried some all-in-one compact zooms (RX100, LX7 - but ultimately do not like the ergonomics). In time, I may try the LX100 but will wait for used prices to drop some more.

    Here are my 2 observations so far.

    1 - If you simply want a "compact" em1, try the Panasonic 12-32mm. The image quality is very good from this lens and suits my need when I want a simple snap shot on an informal outing.

    2 - I decided though that I wanted to be have an additional camera when I travel to avoid changing lenses and missing the moment. I thought an epl6 would do the trick as a compact solution but I couldn't personally get used to the ergonomics and the lack of EVF as compared to the em1. As such, I just bought a used em5 with the optional grip. This way I figure I get the EVF and relatively compact form w/o grip when using the 12-32mm and if the ergonomics annoy me too much I can attach the external grip.

    In theory, I have solved my problem ... we'll have to see how reality turns out.
  6. BigTam

    BigTam Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 19, 2012
    Dortmund, Germany
    The GX7 with the 15 f1.7 is my 80% travel pic camera. Backup is a GM5 with a zoom. Both fit in a Hadley Digital, or one on a neck strap and the other in a waist pack.
  7. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    Didn't the gm5 just go on sale at adorama?
  8. Atom Ant

    Atom Ant Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 24, 2012
    Melbourne, OZ
    I uee my E-M5 & prime as a compact alternative to my E-M1 & 12-40/2.8, or when I don't want to choose which lens to have mounted. They have the advantage of using the same battery which simplifies things when travelling.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Alan Yuen

    Alan Yuen Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 9, 2015
    I have a similar lens build and use the GM1 as my small body. GM1+ 15mm is a tiny awesome combo. Plus if you want to go dual camera set up, you can use the EM1 + 12-40mm and the GM1 + 75mm, works really well
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    gm5 is my compact alternative to my em1
  11. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Ditto on using the same battery. Not having to carry a second charger and different set of batteries makes travel a lot simpler and easier. That's one reason why I got rid of my PL5 and kept the old EM5 to backup my EM1.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. SkiHound

    SkiHound Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 28, 2012
    Lots of options. I'd say you need to ask yourself two questions: How much smaller than the E-M1? And do you need an EVF? I recently bought a used GM1 w 12-32 because I wanted the lens and a sort of pocketable combo for things like skiing. The body is really small and makes some compromises, but it's a lot of camera for the size and weight. The GM5 adds an EVF and a few other things. I put the 12-32 on my E-M10 and it's definitely coat pocketable. An EPL-7 would be smaller if you don't need the EVF.
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    GM5 if you want ridiculously tiny
    E-M10 if you want a little smaller

    But if it is your travel camera, presumably it is the only one going on the trip. So you are still only taking one set.
  14. NoSeconds

    NoSeconds Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    GM1 and 14 or 20 for me!
  15. There's a more compact same battery option - EP5. Effectively same IQ and 5 axis IBIS. Personally I don't find the E-M1 large for travel unless I'm just taking 1 backpack or something, it's not really any bigger than say an E-M5II once any lens except a body cap is attached.

    If I'm really tight on space I take the GM5 with the PL15+O45 or just the 12-32. If you're using the larger lenses like the 12-40 or 75 the size advantage is quickly lost. Plus I always miss having the IBIS...
  16. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Bah! ;)  Try traveling with the E-3 for a couple years and you will LOVE the small size of the E-M1. Everything relative I guess.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  17. TwoWheels

    TwoWheels Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2014
    British Columbia
    That's a very good point that I didn't fully appreciate until I got the E-M1. It is a little heavier than the E-M5 but it isn't that much bigger with a lens attached. Yes, the grip is more pronounced but it doesn't protrude more than a lens. So practically speaking, it doesn't take up much more room in a pack. After realizing that, I sold my E-M5. I use my GM1 when weight and size are critical (cycling, backpacking, etc.) and I'll take my E-M1 (with lenses selected based on the nature of the trip) when I'm just doing normal travel.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. DoofClenas

    DoofClenas Who needs a Mirror! Subscribing Member

    Nov 9, 2012
    Traverse City, MI
    No doubt. I used lug my e5 12-60 and 7-14 with me everywhere. My Thinktank v50 would be packed to gills with work and personal gear it felt like there were 3 bowling balls in there.
  19. Holoholo55

    Holoholo55 Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2014
    Honolulu, HI
    Well, I take the EM5 as a spare body to the EM1, and a spare charger along with extra batteries. The spare charger (a smaller 3rd party one) is in case the first one conks out or if I need to charge two batteries at once. Interchangeability of batteries just made it easier. No, I wouldn't buy a P5 for that reason. Already had the EM5. :) 
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  20. shermanshen

    shermanshen Mu-43 Regular

    Jul 28, 2014
    What do you think of the Ricoh GR as an option? I was looking to fill the same need as you in regards to a good quality/small package solution. My short list was a 15mm f1.7, an lx100, or an rx100 iii. I settled on the Ricoh GR as it seemed like the smallest of the bunch (the rx100 iii is smaller but the lens protrudes a bit making the GR slimmer) while offering possibly the best IQ of them all. I have to say that the GR feels like it was designed by a camera nerd and is my favorite camera to take when I want to go light.
    • Agree Agree x 1
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