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The best m4/3 kit for $1300

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

  1. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Seeing as there are a good many folks plunking down $1300 for the new E-M5/12-50 kits, I was thinking it would be fun to see what other m4/3 kits people could put together for that price!

    To keep it fair, should probably stick to new or refurb (not secondhand) pricing.

    My first thought, because it's what I already have:
    • Olympus E-PM1/14-42 kit ($330, refurb)
    • Panasonic 20/1.7 pancake lens ($360, new)
    • Olympus 45/1.8 lens ($320, refurb)
    • Olympus VF2 electronic viewfinder ($225, new)

    -> total = $1235

    Feel free to list your ideas!

  2. okinana

    okinana Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 21, 2011
    Philadelphia, PA

    I would probably get the following:

    E-PM1 body
    Panasonic 14mm f2.5
    Panasonic 25mm f1.4
    Olympus 45mm f1.8

    I might or might not add a 20mm f1.8. Some say it's redundant to have both the 20 and the 25, some say they are quite different. I only have the 20mm. I have not tried the 25mm. If I am getting the 20mm instead of the 25mm, I might add an Olympus 40-150mm for the reach when the need arises.

    I used to have a VF-2. Never really used it with my native lenses. I used it with my adapted lenses before but I have since sold them all. Now I shoot with my E-PM1 without a VF. Not particularly impressed with the VF-2.

    That's my take.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I think the camera is less important than the lenses and since all but the OMD have the sensor (albeit with some small tweaks) I'd opt for one of the older bodies for best value. Also I find the E-PM1 a little too small for my taste.

    In that spirit I think I'd go with:

  4. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Panasonic 7-14: $899 New
    Panasonic G1 Body Only: $399 New
    Total: $1298
    • Like Like x 3
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I'd go with DH on his kit in his original post. I think that's about perfect.

    I don't want the kit lens, but you can't buy the body without it. ;) 
  6. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    I think if you're already going for the viewfinder, the GH2 becomes the best value, as it's $600 with kit lens directly from Panasonic. $550 for an E-PM1 with viewfinder and kit len, versus $600 for a GH2, for me is no contest, but YMMV. So if someone came to me and wanted a "best" kit, I'd recommend:

    - Either the GH2 for $600, or if you're willing to shoot off the LCD and want pocketability (which isn't that bad) an E-PM1 for $330. I don't see any other m4/3 cameras providing the same price/performance as these two.

    - Panasonic 25mm for $600. If you're willing to pay, might as well step all the way up and get your highspeed focus, impressive border to border performance, etc. If I had to spend $1,300 on m4/3 right now, this would be in every potential package.

    -Olympus 45mm for $320 refurb, apparently. With the GH2, this is over budget, so only if you chose the E-PM1.
  7. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Refurb G3 for 500. Sigma 2.8, 200, refurb Oly 45 320, Panasonic 45-200, 200.

  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I see you like primes!

    Interesting comment about the VF2. On the few occasions I've tried the E-PM1 without the VF2, I've had a hard time seeing anything at all on the LCD, so I must be doing something wrong!

    Another prime shooter! For different sensors there are the Panasonic options, though they're not so affordable as the Pens.

    I think you can still find E-P2/17/VF2 packages for $500-600 new or refurbed, so you could probably afford to add another lens in there :smile:

    I'm guessing you enjoy UWA?! I'd say the 7-14 really should be marketed more - it's the sort of lens you really can't get elsewhere.

    Think of it as a large 14mm prime, that can also zoom...!

    Thanks everybody for the ideas. Keep 'em coming!

  9. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Now if we look at used prices:
    Panasonic 7-14: $700 used
    Panasonic G3 Body Only: $399 used
    Total: $1099

    Then add the 20f1.7 or 45f1.8 depending on your style and...
  10. napilopez

    napilopez Contributing Editor

    Feb 21, 2012
    NYC Area
    Napier Lopez
    I'd say G3

    + 20m f1.7 + 45mm f1.8. Even all new it should still be around 1300 dollars. I don't see the point of getting the E-PM1 + vf2 unless you're really attached to olympus bodies or need 2 axis ibis.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    For features and pure IQ, I agree that the GH2 at $600 would be hard to match. Interesting as I've not been able to find it for under $800 from the usual sources. But it takes a better man the me to live with only 25mm and 45mm primes for lens options, however fast they may be!

    I gather you're going for reach here. For $200 that 45-200 looks like a bargain. Which of the two Sigmas did you have in mind?

    Yeah, the G3 is a lot of bang for the buck. For me the advantage of the E-PM1 is mainly that I can put a small prime on it and it fits easily in my jacket pocket. I don't think I could do that with the G3 (EVF/hotshoe protrude).


  12. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 All-Pro

    You can either work for a company that gives you Panasonic's employee purchase pricing (EPP), or you can friend/like Panasonic on facebook, and you get access to their employee pricing store. Since anyone can make a facebook profile and get in on the deal, I consider it valid. Also, it comes with 14-42mm lens, I just didn't explicitly state that in my first post. Although, I pretty much do live with only a normal lens on my usual camera (D200 with 35mm f/1.8), and besides the times when I'm taking photos of groups of friends, I don't really miss leaving my zoom lens at home (Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8).
  13. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    There are reports that people have bought the 45-200 for 170 brand new. So 200 for refurbished seems probable.

    Prob the 19 2.8. I would get the 20 1.7 only if you were using a slim body like GF or Pen series.

    The AF is a bit annoying.
  14. WJW59

    WJW59 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 20, 2011
    E-P3 $580 (adorama demo)
    oly 45mm $320 (refurb)
    oly 14-42 $120 (new ebay)
    Wcon $80 (new ebay)
    Sigma 19 $200 (new)

    I can live without the VF2/3, I Don't shoot much wide so the Sigma & kit/WCON would handle that, and the only lens I consider essential is the 45mm. Adding the kit zoom gives some flexibility for when you don't know what you will be doing and can only take one lens AND gives the option of the WCON/MCON. The other option (for me) would be to drop the kit & WCON and add the Sigma 30mm.

    For just a bit more you could trade the Sigma 19mm for an Oly 17mm.
  15. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    The Oly 45 would be my choice in this case - I got rid of my 20 because I hadn't touched it since getting the 7-14 and the PL45. :smile:
  16. Bokeaji

    Bokeaji Gonzo's Dad O.*

    Aug 6, 2011
    Austin, TX
    $150 Epl1 body only amazon
    $240 panny 14 amazon
    $400 oly 45
    $540 panny 25/1.4

    What am I at now... 1330
    Close enuf! Lol

    Then I'd zone focus my way into st photography heaven and avoid the slow af of the body... Lol

    Or for u tacky zoom fans ;D lol

    $150 epl1
    $500 oly 14-150
    $500 panny 100-300

    For $1150 with some spare cash towards a prime when u realize how silly zooms are!

    I'm teasing
    I've got the 12-60 and 70-300 I'll be using soonish! Lol

    - Eliot
  17. atomic

    atomic Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 3, 2011
    I love my EPM1. But at the current price of $150.00 I'd go for the EPL1 here. More money for lenses
    150.00 EPL1
    215.00 VF2
    400.00 20mm 1.7
    330.00 45mm 1.8
    200.00 45-200mm

    1295.00 just under budget!

    I must add, I'm rather surprised noone has posted a solution full of adapted legacy glass...
  18. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Legacy stuff is usually not new or refurb.

    But challenge accepted

    Manual focus kit bought new or refurb

    Olympus PL1 (150)

    Nikon mount adapter (20)
    M mount adapter (20)

    21 Color-Skopar (420)
    7.5 Samyang fisheye (270)
    50 1.8 D refurb (100)
    85 1.4 Samyang (270)
    Holga lens (25)
    VF2 (220)

    Total price 1305.
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