Switching to micro four thirds; which body to buy?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by Ranald, May 18, 2012.

  1. Ranald

    Ranald New to Mu-43

    May 18, 2012
    Hi all,

    I currently own a Nikon D3100 with a couple of lenses, however I feel it is not getting enough use because of the size and weight. Therefore, I have decided to make the move to micro four thirds!

    My question is what to buy... I have a budget of around £600, and that has to cover a body and lens(es).

    With regards to the body, I would really like a viewfinder as this is something I am used to. If there are good options without a viewfinder, I would like an external one to be incorporated into my budget.

    For lenses, I only shoot primes as that is my style.

    Oh, and I don't mind buying second hand for body or glass!

    Thanks for your help!
  2. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Panasonic G3 is the best value with built in view finder.

    Or if you want an external one, EPM1 with VF2.
  3. Ranald

    Ranald New to Mu-43

    May 18, 2012
    I heard the G5 is rumoured to be announced soon, is it worth waiting for and what is expected to be improved with it?

    For lenses, I was considering the Panasonic 14mm f2.5 and the 20mm f1.7. Would this be a good combo? I love the size and supposed optical quality of those lenses, not forgetting the price of course!

  4. jff1625

    jff1625 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 14, 2012
    g2 new + p14mm new on ebay + p20mm new would use up your £600 budget nicely. Used prices of the p20mm are not much cheaper than new.

    If you got a g3 new you'd only be able to get one lens, probably the 20, within budget. You might be able find a used g3 and stay within budget with both lenses.

    Any kit that includes the 20mm would be a great place to start, whether you complement it with the pana14 or the oly45.

    Do you care about fast autofocus? The older models are slower but some are very affordable (E-PL1 for example) so you'd have more cash left over to spend on lenses (and VF if you got the E-PL1)
  5. turbodieselvw

    turbodieselvw Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2010
    The G5 with lens kit may exceed your budget as all the new models are premium priced. Your best bet at your budget is the G3 or try looking for a used GH2.
  6. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Rumors say the sensor is the same as G3, the difference would be change in body, some tweaks to the jpeg engine and maybe some video changes.

    I have the 20, some suggest getting the 45 1.8 and the 14 2.5. That's another option to look into.

    G2 has the older sensor and is a bit bigger than the G3.

    Might be worth waiting for the G5 release just to pick up the G3 bodies for cheap.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Real Name:
    Since you're coming from a DSLR and want an EVF, I would steer you toward the Panasonic G or GH series. The only Olympus body with an integrated EVF is the OM-D E-M5 which is outside your price target, and if you've identified a viewfinder as a primary criterion, then I'm not sure you'd be satisfied with an add-on EVF (which also occupies the flash hotshoe).

    The rumors of the G5 are more or less pure speculation at this point, but I wouldn't expect any earth-shattering changes, just an evolutionary product. It will likely be slightly faster and will no doubt have slightly better low-light performance, but since it hasn't yet been announced it's at least six months from availability. Depends on how patient you are, but I'm not sure I'd wait.

    What kind of shooting do you like to do? Do you have any non-electronic Nikon lenses you can see yourself wanting to use with the new system? (If so, you may be more interested in Olympus offerings, since their sensor-based image stabilization will work with any lens).

    Do you see yourself shooting much video? Do you shoot landscapes, street, portraits, sports, low light?
  8. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    I'd throw in a strong vote for the G3.
  9. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Me too :)
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Kelton

    Kelton Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 13, 2011
    San Diego, CA
    Something small and pocketable, you can definitely fit a E-PM1 + 14mm or 20mm prime on it.

    If you want something still small, but has an EVF, then like the others have said, the G3 is your best bet.
  11. applemint

    applemint Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 24, 2012
    Dixons have the G3 with kit lens for £361.90 which is £311.90 with the Panasonic cashback - sell the kit lens for around £70 and buy the 14mm on ebay for £120 and the 20mm for £220 to £230 after £50 cashback.

    Total cost:
    G3 £311.90 after cashback
    14mm £120
    20mm £220 after cashback
    = £651.90
    less proceeds from selling kit lens = around £580: (just under your £600 budget). :smile:

    PANASONIC Lumix DMC-G3 Compact System Camera with 14-42mm Lens - Black | Dixons |

    Brand New Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH H-H014 Silver 00356 | eBay

    An Olympus alternative would be EPM1 body £230 and VF2 £150 plus lenses as above, but I think you can get £50 cashback on the VF2 when buying the Olympus, if so camera and viewfinder would be £330 plus the 2 lenses would total £670 - so just above your £600 budget.

    Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 Black Digital Camera - SALE! - From £229.00 - SRS Microsystems

    Olympus Used VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder - Black - Only £149.00 - SRS Microsystems

    Olympus PEN Accessories
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Grinch

    Grinch Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 9, 2011
    Or wait til G5 is announced and pick p a G3 for cheap. A lot of G3's are likely to show up in the buy/sell forum once the G5 is announced/released since we have so many gear junkies on this forum. If you grab the 14, you may find the 20 is to close to it.
  13. MikeR_GF1

    MikeR_GF1 Mu-43 Veteran

    I didn't want to take the plunge before I tested the waters. With the GX1's announcement, good used GF1 bodies are available for around $200 (sans lens).

    The GF1 astonished me in that in time to start up, focus, recover, etc., it ran rings around my Nikon DSLR.

    Now, in a few short months, I've built up a good lens kit, and if a tempting body shows up ... well, maybe. I haven't hit a wall with the GF1 yet.
    • Like Like x 1
  14. rapsy125

    rapsy125 Mu-43 Rookie

    May 9, 2012
    I have a couple of GF1's with panasonic 20mm lens plus legacy lenses. I have no plans yet of upgrading as I am happy with the results I am getting. They're still around and reasonably priced.

    When you're all ready for micro 4/3, then perhaps an OM-D E-M5 is the way to go. My 2 cents.

  15. foxtail1

    foxtail1 Science geek & photo nut

    Dec 30, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    I wanted a viewfinder as well, so I went with the G3. I have no regrets at all.
  16. Ranald

    Ranald New to Mu-43

    May 18, 2012
    Which is better: G3 or GH2? I have seen a decent 2nd hand deal on the GH2, which looks rather tempting! Also, will the GH2 be better than the G5 well it is announced? Cheers
  17. Chuck Pike

    Chuck Pike Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 3, 2010
    Charlotte, NC.
    So very happy with the G3.

    I shot Nikon for many years, and yes they did get heavy. I wanted something small to take with me all of the time and started with the GF1. Back in Jan there was some very funny pricing going on with Panasonic. They were selling a G3, body only for more than the G3 with kit lens. I bought one from B&H for less than $600 and gave the kit lens and my GF1 to my son. I picked the G3 because of the view finder and the flip out screen. I really have found that there are times when you can really use that flip out screen to your advantage.

    Images for books, magazines and calendars | photosbypike
    • Like Like x 1
  18. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    I would recommend you handle the cameras mentioned here before you make your decision. I bought a G3 sight unseen, and it turned out to have poor ergonomics (grip) for me. Lots of people like it, as you can see, but for me it was a no go.
  19. Ranald

    Ranald New to Mu-43

    May 18, 2012
    Yea, I would never buy a camera without using it in a shop first. Any thoughts on G3/G5 vs GH2?

    Thanks for all your help!
  20. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    I just bought a used GH2 in lieu of waiting for the OMD. I think it's safe to say the GH2 is larger and more DSLR-like, which works fine for me. I haven't had a chance to put it though its paces, but I'm pretty sure it's laid out much like the G2, my other "big-body" m43 camera. I'm ready to stand pat for awhile; my photographs are not equipment-limited!