What benefit is a second camera body to me?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by ionian, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    This must be an often asked question, but I'll be curious as to your experiences and thoughts on my own circumstances.

    So I've finally taken the plunge and sold all of my dslr gear. It was only being used in the rare occasions I get to shoot in a studio setting, and since buying in to m43 I have enjoyed my photography like never before. As I've said in other threads, the cost to quality ratio is fantastic, as well as the amazing portable size. The main motivator for selling was feeling like I needed a decent portrait lens for the Nikon, but not wanting to keep maintaining two lens systems.

    My current camera is a GX7, and I have the two kit zooms 14-42 & 45-150, as well as the 7.5fish, P20, O45 and S60.

    I have debts to pay down with the sale of my Nikon stuff, but I'm hoping there will be enough left over to get the O12-40 2.8 and possibly the EM-1 as well. Prices have come down remarkably.

    I am a fanatical amateur photographer, and i'll have a go at anything. My real passion is people photography of all types, from street to portraiture. I am picking up the odd commission through word of mouth and I've had to turn down paid work over the past few months - I'd love to make money from photography but have no desire to spoil a hobby I love by forcing myself to take pictures I don't want to take, and my day job is just about bearable!

    With all that said, I love the GX7 for its size and quality, but I'm hankering after the EM-1. Water sealing, stabilisation, and ergonomics are what have turned my head. I can't imagine getting rid of the GX7 for street and portability, or for slapping a prime on it and sticking it in a bag. But for those times I would reach for the Nikon, and for portrait shoots and macro, I think the EM-1 feels superior.

    As a part-timer, does this reasoning sound right? Or am I about to spend on something that just isn't needed?

    I am, of course, aware that the mkII is just around the corner but I don't see the EM-1 price dropping much further and I wouldn't spring for release day prices anyway.

    Wow, that's a rambly post - sorry - help me justify or quash my GAS!
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
  2. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    I feel that having two bodies is more about dealing with situations where lens swaps are not a good option (adverse conditions like dust, water; time constraints). Otherwise you are really just adding a body with a slightly different feature set. I feel that's ok, but only really worth it with bigger differences (say em1 and gm5). Only you can decide if it's worth it and if you need the additionalfeatures. But the question is how much you are going to use the gx7 after you add the em1.
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  3. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    Getting another camera body is the best decision you will ever make. It is the one thing that has been keeping you from finding complete satisfaction in your photography and in your life more broadly. After you make this purchase, you will be able to be truly happy, and you will never want another piece of camera gear again. It is definitely a necessary addition to your photography tools, though to call it a tool would be a disservice. It is, in itself, a masterpiece worthy of display. This won't be some passing infatuation, but true lifelong love. The E-M1 is all you've ever dreamed of, and to not pick one up immediately would, frankly, be completely foolish and bordering on immoral.

    In short, you need the E-M1, and any talk of "GAS" is a ploy of the unbelievers to distract you from the true light.
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  4. bigboysdad

    bigboysdad Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 25, 2013
    Sydney/ London
    The benefit for me is having something smaller with less weight that can be used at a moments notice but has at least the same quality as my m43 set up with all its primes, etc. I can't really carry that in my bag all day.
  5. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Yeah, I guess I asked for that ;)
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  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    A GX7 and E-M1 are different enough for you to keep both. When things get serious, use E-M1, when you want something smaller take the GX7. Or if you are on a portrait shoot, bring both! Besides I bet you will miss your GX7 when you sell it. ;-)
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  7. MoonMind

    MoonMind Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 25, 2014
    I think that getting the 12-40mm will pretty much sort out your needs and options - so I'd really buy that lens first, try it on the GX7 and decide if it feels comfortable enough; honestly, the lens is well worth having, but to use it successfully, I feel it needs a suitable body. The lens is not stabilised, so good I.B.I.S. offers a real advantage, and it's heavy enough to warrant a more substantial grip. The E-M1 is a fantastic base for that purpose - but all OM-Ds can actually do that, and a E-M5 II or E-M10 II (or a GX80 ...) would *substitute* the GX7 much better than the E-M1 with its considerable bulk. That said, if what I read about price cuts all over the world is true (it isn't around here - the E-M1 is still somewhat more expensive than the E-M5 II), the E-M1 represents impressive value for money ...

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  8. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    The only features an E-M1 has over a GX7 is rain proofing and PDAF for slightly improved action tracking. You didn't really mention shooting football in the rain, so not sure what it offers you.

    P.S. - I'd probably get the Panasonic 12-35 over the 12-40 for a GX7.
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  9. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Hmm higher quality EVF, more physical controls, tethering, focus stacking/bracketing, live composite, IBIS for video, EFC (reduced shutter shock), faster flash sync...

    Some aspects are arguably worse, e.g. vidoe quality, long exposure noise, fixed EVF...
  10. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    GX7 actually has more/better physical controls, IMO. Just look at all the programmable buttons. Plus same dual dial setup as the E-M1 except one of the dials is also a button. And you don't have to let go of the lens to change the drive or AF mode. The GX7 also has tethering, Electronic shutter, same 1/320 sync speed

    I didn't think the focus stacking would help with people pictures, nor did he mention being dissatisfied with the EVF, although I will give you those. (The GX7 EVF is actually just as big if you shoot in 16:9 mode, but that's not a lot of people). IBIS for video, sure, but I wouldn't get the E-M1 for video. I'd get a 12-35mm f2.8 instead of the 12-40.
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  11. ionian

    ionian Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 20, 2016
    Kent, UK
    Useful info all, thanks. The GAS has subsided in the cold light of day and I'm back to considering my options. I agree that the lens is the priority for me; the semi-macro capabilities of the Olympus appeals, does the Panasonic also offer close focus?
  12. astrostl

    astrostl Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Oct 4, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Justin Honold
    Second bodies are part of what makes the MFT system so great for me, for the convertible aspect. Did a charity fashion show with a Nocticron on an E-M1 and an O75 on an E-PM2, jamming back and forth with them way faster than I could change lenses. Did a parade with an O12-40 on an E-M1 and a Samyang 7.5mm fisheye on an E-PM2, again, back and forth mid-parade. Love having the "pro feel" big body experience and the tiny one. Around the house, I default to having the Voigtlander 25mm on an E-M1 and a P20 on a GM1 (which I now use instead of the E-PM2).
  13. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Legend

    Not nearly as close. 1:6, which is about the same as the 14-42 kit zoom. The 12-40 is capable of nearly double the magnification at almost 1:3.
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  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Excepting the practical considerations, is having a second body going to cause you to eat packaged ramen for months? Will you be sleeping on the couch because your loved one is pissed at you? Will your children go without clothes or a roof over their head? If the answers to these questions are "no", then its just money and the benefit is the pleasure of owning a second body.

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  15. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    don't bother

    I've got a GH-1 and a GF-1 ... so frequently I waste time wondering which I'll use when back when I only had a G1 I never worried about that at all.

    So unless a good business reason leaps out at you its just GAS ... don't feed it.
  16. panamike

    panamike Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 5, 2016
    Lincolnshire UK
    Going through that at the moment,the reasons to get one far out weigh the reasons to not get one.

    Well they do if i ignore all the reasons not to get one:biggrin:
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  17. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    I personally prefer shooting with 2 cameras, and I even feel a bit uncomfortable if I only have one.

    First of all, I hate changing lenses on the go, and the 2-body setup allows me to avoid this. Shooting with 2 cameras also means that I don't have to worry about battery life that much. I can also have bodies with different strengths (for example, my GX85 is great for shooting in low light because of its newer sensor and excellent IBIS, but I somewhat prefer the GX1's output at lower ISOs). And finally, I need 2 bodies to shoot pictures for the "camera p0rn" thread :biggrin:
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  18. listers_nz

    listers_nz Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 22, 2013
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Re the Olympus 12-40mm vs the Panasonic 12-35mm that has been mentioned, one thing you might want to consider coming from Nikon is that Olympus lenses turn the opposite way to zoom (same as Canon), whereas Panasonic zoom direction is the same as Nikon. That may not bother you, but just in case it does.
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  19. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I prefer having 2 camera with similar controls and that share batteries (or at least chargers) for lens changing and backup reasons.

    I just came back from a big trip. About a week in, I noticed that my GX85 had a big piece of debris on the sensor that was visible in shots. A camera store in Ogden UT was unable to remove the debris and suspected that it was beneath a glass cover on the sensor. Good thing I had a second GX85.
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  20. cptobvious

    cptobvious Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 8, 2013
    A 2-camera setup is really useful for shooting with primes. While my 12-40 is being repaired, I have an E-PL7 with a 15/1.7 and an E-M10 with a 45/1.8. While it is somewhat of a hassle switching between cameras in a bag, it is still far more convenient to me than changing lenses.

    For convenience I would recommend adding a second body that shares the same battery, sensor, and processor as your primary. The battery so you don't have to carry 2 sets, and having the same sensor/processor makes post-processing more consistent with WB and colors.
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