Upgrade from E-P1? On a budget...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by sigamy, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    I purchased a used E-P1 for my wife a few months back. We both like the camera, but the autofocus and overall speed is lacking. I'm looking to upgrade from the E-P1 and stay under $350.

    I'm open to either Panny or Oly bodies. A EVF would be nice, but we also like the small size of the PENs.

    So, what would you recommend. Olympus has refurb E-P3 w/ 17mm for $259. Would this be enough of an upgrade?
  2. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Do you also want a gain in IQ, or just focus speed? An E-PM2 or an E-PL5 should give you both as they have newer 16MP sensors.

  3. phigmov

    phigmov Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 4, 2010
    The Gen 3 bodies from Olympus are a marked improvement in AF performance. If you're happy with the sensor, an E-P3, E-PL3 or E-PM1 are all improvements on the E-P1.

    Note - the older 17mm f2.8 is one of the slower (maybe even slowest?) lenses on any body. On the other hand most of the newer lenses are faster (for example the 14-42 mkII feels slightly faster even on an E-P1).
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    If the only complaint is AF and speed, the E-P3 is a good deal, though the 17/2.8 isn't a particularly fast lens - the kit 14-42mk2 is considerably faster at focusing.

    If you want a step up in image quality, the Olympus online store has refurbished E-PM2/14-42II kits for $360. It's not as stylish as the E-P1 or E-P3, but it's a substantial improvement when it comes to images, especially in low light.
  5. I'll echo what dhazeghi suggests - the E-PM2 is a significant upgrade. You can find lightly used E-PM2 bodies for under $300. Its image quality is, in a word, somewhere between outstanding and brilliant. (The same sensor basically as the OMD M5 - and also featured in the E-PL5 and the E-P5.) That would probably be your least expensive and most serious upgrade.

    If you felt like spending a tiny bit more money, the E-PL5 is the 'forgotten' little brother of the E-P5 - but has more dials & controls than the PM2, and also a cool tilting LCD screen. It's blazing fast and quite a remarkable little camera.

    Good luck.
  6. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Which lenses do you have?
    What qualities are you willing to lose in the upgrade?
    Without a knee-jerk "buy something NEW" you may want to think carefully and get something that will increase your enjoyment of the whole system.
    Do you want to think or just buy?
  7. CiaranCReilly

    CiaranCReilly Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 18, 2012
    Ciaran Reilly
    Agree with this, you need to have a list of the things that are limiting you on your old camera before you can really make a good decision about an upgrade. I went E-P1 to E-PM1 and appreciated the speed, but got little else (in fairness I got a very good deal on the E-PM1, it was almost free with a lens).

    After deciding that I really wanted onboard EVF and flash for fill, a tilting screen and focus peaking for legacy lenses, I'm waiting on a GX7. Sensor quality wasn't really up there on the list of things I really wanted, I still quite like the E-P1 output, perhaps a little more than the E-PM1.

    TLDR List the upgrade features you really want, the things you really don't, and the decision will be easier.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 mobile app
  8. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Think or just buy? Well, let me think about that...didn't I just post a question here to gain input into my thought process? Geez.

    I have Lumix 14-42, Summilux 25, Lumix 45-200.

    Qualities I'm willing to lose in an upgrade? NONE. Else why upgrade?

    I really don't understand your reply. Do you honestly think that the moment I found the E-P1 AF to be too slow was the moment I came here and posted?

    No. I've tried working with the camera and helping my wife get better shots. It's been a process over months. She is shooting kids sports and general family photos. She shot in the past with Nikon D40 and she is frustrated with slow AF on the E-P1.
  9. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    I've noticed some apparent good deals on Panasonic Lumix GX1 bodies "used like new" starting at $209 on amazon. Also on amazon - Panasonic LVF2 external EVF for $160 new and starting at $150 "like new". All your lenses will fit and function.

    I use a GX1 with the LVF2 as my "runaround" camera and like it very much. About the same IQ as the GH2 and this setup with a 14-45 "kit" zoom fits in a small Case Logic bag I can hide in the center console of my Honda CRV so it's pretty much always with me. Video is full automatic and does not allow manual shutter and aperture settings but looks very good.

  10. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    In that case It can't be done.

    However, anything Olympus from the e-pL2 onwards has faster AF, basically anything Panasonic ever has too.
    You should have two camera bodies, share lenses, keep the e-P1.
  11. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    G5 is a great camera, currently at big discounts
  12. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 8, 2013
    The best value buys for you right now are the Oly EPM2 and G5. The EPM2 has IBIS, beautiful Olympus JPEGs, and the Sony sensor with better DR, while the G5 is a mighty camera in its own right, loaded with features - EVF, flip-out screen, plenty of controls, and silent shutter mode... I think it depends on whether you want a rangefinder-style or mini-DSLR model. I'm partial to the G5 myself.

    Other options: The GX1 is can be had even cheaper and has better controls than the EPM2. I own the EPL5 but I find its controls a dreary mess and I don't feel it's near worth the extra premium for a flip-out screen that isn't really that well implemented and some eye candy...
    • Like Like x 1
  13. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    Well, you've posted about having a jittery control wheel on your EPL5, and I can understand how that ruins the camera. Maybe it's still under warranty? I bought a refurbished EPL5 body last month for $359 and am very happy with it. Same image quality as my EM5, and pretty fast. It would benefit from an EVF to be used with the OP's telezoom for soccer though,
    • Like Like x 1
  14. SRHEdD

    SRHEdD Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 24, 2011
    Viera, Florida USA
    E-P3... look at Oly's site for a refurb.
  15. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 23, 2010
    I have an E-P1 and a Panasonic G3 the G3 is a better all round camera and can be had for peanuts, I do not know how much better the G5 is but either of those two give you a built in EVF better AF and a better grip.
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    My e-P1 gets more use than my G3 so your statement might suit some folk more than others : i,e, not always true.
    Mt e-P1 is pocketable and the way I use it gives better Jpegs,.but without EVF I restrict it to a pancake 17mm & OVF.
    G3 has video and good RAW dynamic range, and sometimes better focus.
  17. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    FYI for you budget folks, Only valid this morning, but you can get a 25% discount on a refurbed body at getolymous.com using the coupon code "cybermonday". If I didn't already have the 9-18 zoom, the shopping cart knocked off $140 so it was $419,
  18. Well, as you know, any recent m43 will be faster than the E-P1, as far as AF and processing goes. But the newer the better. I would look at the G5/6, as they are much smaller in the hand than in a photo, and have an evf.

    My own experience with EVF has been that I would never buy a body for myself without one. As far as AF goes, I've been holding out for PDAF on sensor, and will spend the extra on the E-M1 to get that.

    I would venture that PDAF will be on all Olympus m43 bodies released in the from now on. Why do I say this? Because Olympus have always only had one image processor and sensor at a time, they have never gone backwards on these. It just doesn't make economic sense for them otherwise. So, if you can handle the wait, and are willing to spend a little more, get the bottom tier OM-D due to be released next year: it will probably lack the weatherproofing, metal body and hi res EVF of the other OMD's, but I guess it will have the same sensor and image engine as the E-M1, including PDAF.

    Otherwise grab the G3 new or the G5 used for the budget you mentioned.
    • Like Like x 1
  19. sigamy

    sigamy Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 4, 2012
    Thanks to everyone for the information and help.

    After reviewing all the options I kept finding that the E-PM's and E-PL's seem to have some design and ergnomonics concerns. Of course, this is all in the hand of the shooter.

    So, I went with the GX1. Got a great deal on this forum on a lightly used body.

    The "G" series was also tempting. But, I have the GH2 so I wanted a smaller/rangefinder style body. So while I am shooting video on the GH2, my wife can shoot stills on the GX1

    I don't mind having two cams that are basically the same as we've been happy with the stills from GH2.

    I hope to add the LVF2 at some point. I think that will be a perfect mix of portability and functionality.
  20. Bif

    Bif Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 28, 2012
    San Angelo TX
    Bruce Foreman
    I actually ordered the LVF2 from B&H while waiting for the "open box" special on the GX1 body to arrive, they got here on the same day. It makes the GX1 into a far easier to use and far more flexible camera and it's become my "run around" camera when I don't want to mess with a GH3. I found the almost perfect bag for it was a small Case Logic which will hold the camera with LVF2 attached and put no strain on it.

    The GX1 is a fantastic little camera.