Sometimes it's NOT about IQ

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I just recently sold my E-P1 and picked up a Panasonic GF2 to replace it. I liked the E-P1 quite a lot but the inability to add any sort of EVF was driving me to make a change. I looked at getting an E-PL2 and the GF2 and in the end went with the Panasonic. It was partly because of my affection for my G2. Now that I've had the GF2 for about a week I have a few observations.

    I was initially concerned about the lack of hard controls. As it turns out the GF2 has pretty much everything I need and it is reasonably simple to get to it. In fact, I don't use the touch screen much at all. I can adjust aperture, exposure compensation ISO, WB and metering all from the buttons on the back of the camera. I don't miss the mode dial on the top (probably because I most often shoot in A mode). iA is available from a dedicated button on the top. About the biggest irritation I am finding is that I hit the playback button pretty easily when I am grabbing the camera (it's pretty small). Then again that is part of it's charm...it's very compact so it's easy to take with you everywhere. It's also a lot lighter than the G2. I was actually surprised at how much lighter it felt when I picked them up to compare them. The GF2 is really not much bigger than my LX3 was and really is filling much the same role for me. The LCD is big and bright and useable in bright light. It's not a miracle in that it washes out like any LCD in direct sun but for what it is it's pretty nice. The 460K resolution makes it easy to manual focus. The biggest thing however that I am finding that I like about the GF2 is that it is fast. It's not E-P3 fast but it's easily as fast as the E-PL2 was (actually it feels a bit faster). It also seems to meter well, AF is quick and reliable and the IQ is terrific.

    Now, here is where I am going to disagree with most folks on this board. I actually find that the JPEGs and OOC color are quite good. I really do not see that the Olympus JPEGs are all that much better. I know many thousands of words are dedicated to how great the OOC Color and JPEGs are on the Olympus bodies (and they are terrific) but the stuff coming out of the GF2 is also lovely and I haven't really tweaked it that much. The reviews make it seem like the JPEGs are horrendous. Of course I know that they are not because I shoot JPEG all the time with my G2 but it still strike me as off because the very first shot I made with the GF2 was this...


    It DID get a little BW help from Silver EFX Pro but still very a very nice shot from the little bugger. Below is one showing the straight OOC color. It seems okay to me.

    [​IMG]

    Now, I haven't done any shots of test patterns or brick walls and I'm sure there are a hundred reasons why the shadow noise is unacceptable or high ISO images are too this or that. Quite frankly...I don't care. I can work with it. Now, the BIG question...is it better than the E-PL2? Does it really matter? Well...if it DOES matter than I would have to say a definite...yes and no. It's a better fit for what I needed it for but not necessarily for anyone else. The E-PL2 is a fine camera and truth be told I'd have been fine with it as well. I think we get into splitting hairs when it comes to different models and brands (they are all pretty darned good)...maybe because we need to justify to ourselves why we bought it.

    If I had to list the top reasons I like it none of them are even remotely related to it's qualities as a camera.

    1. I like the way it looks in silver
    2. I like that it's made in Japan vs China
    3. I like the thumbwheel on the back
    4. It fits better in my backpack
    So there you go.
     
    • Like Like x 5
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I'll go one step further and support you here by saying that the reason why people think Olympus JPEGS are good is because Olympus RAW files are marginal at best when compared to Pentax, Canon, & Nikon RAW files....
     
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Back when I had Olympus bodies as well I did notice that the Olympus RAW and Olympus JPEGs didn't seem very different from one another. Whether it's poor RAW files having a really great JPEG engine is up to interpretation I suppose.
     
  4. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    That's the other side of the debate/perspective :smile:
     
  5. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Of course I tend to be pretty ambivalent about the whole RAW/JPEG thing. If the camera is capable of good IQ then I really don't care how I get there. If that means JPEG on Olympus and RAW on Panasonic then so be it. Rather than try and bend the gear to my will (and likely never be satisfied) I'd just as soon figure out what it does best and do it. Can an Olympus camera produce good IQ? Sure. And a Panasonic? Ditto. I'm not sure it needs to be any more complicated than that. If someone sees my images and the first thing that comes to mind is whether or not I shot it in RAW or JPEG than I'd better look for a new hobby.
     
  6. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    579
    May 3, 2011
    Scotland
    I never really get the whole 'better colour' thing anyway - get the camera that suits you; the one you want because the overall package is what you want.

    Colour? Well, if you can't get it right tweaking what's in the camera, something like Lightroom sure as hell can, so it's just a case of saving as a preset and applying it on import.....

    Too much fiddling and pixel peeping and not enough picture taking if you ask me... :rolleyes:
     
    • Like Like x 4
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    Absolutely right.
     
  8. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    I will second that as well, anyone who buys a camera on it's jpeg qualities alone. Is iethe lazy or foolish.
    I have a preset that is support to mimic Oly colour, I pp'd a couple of images to my own satisfaction then did the same with the Oly preset, result - no difference whatsoever.
    You should always choose your camera for how it feels in your hands and how easy it is 'for you' to operate the controls.
    Whether it gives great jgp's ooc is of no concern to me as I only shoot raw, and then only because I want control of what and how my pictures look like.
    If I had wanted jpg's I would have got a compact.
    There are definitely Oly and Pany camps on the forums.
    Me! well I chose what I think is best at the time, I have had Both, but for me Pany has the edge at the moment, others will think differently.
    The only camera you need is the one you have with you at the time.
     
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The funny thing is that with the exception of the G3, GH1/GH2 they all use essentially the same sensor. I also understand that the sensor on the new E-P3 and brethren also use a tweaked version of the same sensor. seems to me that whatever IQ differences exist would be quite small. Now, I can certainly see why one might prefer one over the other. We all have our personal tastes. Features, way it feels in the hand, what kit you like best all strike me as perfectly valid reasons to have a preference...there are a ton of reasons to offer this camera or that but I would think IQ would not be top of the list.
     
  10. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I agree. Both camera lines are excellent and capable of producing quality images. It's not so much about the gear as it is the photographer. The choice between the two really does come down to personal preference. I've discovered that an EVF is not a big deal to me (I was somewhat surprised at this, having shot slr and dslr's for years). I love the IBIS with legacy lenses and I prefer the retro look of the Olympus series. Yet, I could happily shoot with either brand and be confident in a quality outcome. The intense passion some show for one brand over the other is often amusing, and sometimes annoying - (as is the RAW vs. Jpeg debate!):biggrin:
     
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  11. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    You'll get no argument from me - I've been getting great jpegs since the G1 - actually snce the beginning of digital. My guess is that those comments are coming from folks who can only shoot RAW or who don't want to invest the little bit of initial time required to set their camera up to shoot great jpegs, or are invested in proving that jpegs are inherently bad. Nothing could be further from the truth, but no amount of arguing is going to change their minds - they will continue to miss out on the joys of jpegging.
     
  12. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    This goes both ways in regards to the "other" format :wink:
     
  13. pjohngren

    pjohngren Mu-43 Top Veteran

    560
    Oct 15, 2010
    True - there are joys in both formats.
     
  14. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    I have been a long time Olympus user, and it was because of the equipment design and quality. Oh, did I forget to mention that I'm talking FILM era. After a few years and many digital cameras, I found myself back in the Olympus camp(4/3s), E-1, 500. But just had to have the E-p1. Most versital Camera I had ever owned, but still not quite right right. And it wasn't the IQ. It was handling with larger lens combinations. I eventually wound up with the Panasonic G1. The hand grip, combined with the flip and swivel view were the ultimate upgrade for large lens control and macro. Yes I still want another e-P? to go with it some day. But I get more pictures that I like, with the G1. And It's not IQ.
     
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I'm still trying to find a PEN Film camera :smile:
     
  16. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    523
    Sep 5, 2010
    Nope, not looking for a film camera. Wouldn't mind a nice pen lens though.
     
  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I hear you. I get a lot more images I'm happy with with the G2 than any other camera I have ever had (digital). The combination of the EVF, articulated LCD, reasonably quick operation and easy to get to controls has been a real winner for me for me as well. I think a large part of it is I am comfortable with it...whatever works huh? Now, the GF2 has entered as a second body and I find that I am using it much like I would have used a serious compact (little plug there for you Amin) like an LX3 or LX5.
     
  18. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    They're pretty easy to find...now, reasonably priced is another matter entirely.
     
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I checked Adorama & B&H today - nothing used...
    (But I agree about the price) :tongue:
     
  20. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Disregard...I think I just found something...:smile: