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what to choose?!

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by bnakol, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    Im sorry if you have seen this post a million times before...Im just overwhelmed with options!!

    Im wanting to upgrade to something bettter than my point and shoot but not wanting to make the dslr comitment

    What i'll use it for
    1) photographing my kids
    2) family trips and outings
    3) just everyday things that catch my eye

    I love photography and want to take some courses when i start school next semester but i really dont see anything professional in my future

    I was thinking the olympus epl3 or the sony alpha nex c-3...but im open to suggestions...also, please tell me what extras i may need...price is kind of flexible, obviously i want to save and not but everything i want...at least not right away hah...but i dont want to get a crappy camera because im being cheap :)

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The E-PL3 is a good choice. It has all the options you need to expand it into a fully capable camera system including a large selection of excellent quality lenses and compatibility with hotshoe flash (including triggers for remote flash and strobes), Electronic Viewfinder (great for manual focusing and shooting in bright sunlight), and External Microphone (for quality video capture). The NEX-C3 has none of the above. It's certainly a big step up from your point and shoot, but it won't allow you to go the next step up and take you into the capabilities of a DSLR - whereas the E-PL3 will let you grow with it to any level, without making your camera any larger or more complicated.
    The E-PL3 also has Image Stabilization built into the body as well. This will work on all lenses you mount.
     
  3. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    100% in the same boat as you (well, except taking photography courses, so maybe 90%), and I picked up the E-PL1 - a much older model than the E-PL3 - but it still doesn't disappoint. I'm sure the E-PL3 will be more than capable to meet your demands.

    I have some thoughts about the NEX, but as I don't own it, I'm going to keep my mouth shut, and only say I have no idea about the NEX system. :smile:
     
  4. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    What kind of kid photography are you talking about? If your kids are in to sports and getting action shots is a big priority it can be a game-changer regarding what camera to purchase.

    What is the point and shoot you are using now? What are your issues with it?
     
  5. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    Thanks for the input

    I have a 2 year old and an 8month old...so technically action would be needed as they rarely sit still lol

    The point and shoot i have now is just a little $200.model i bought in 2008 (not sure of the brand off the top of my head)...its very slow...sometimes after i take a pic i have to wait quite a while for it to process befoer i can take another...the pictures are often too dark or completely blown out by a flash (i know lighting has a lot to do with this) and frankly i just want something new :)
     
  6. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Patrick
    The responses you get at this site might be a little biased, since this is the mu-43 site after all! LoL

    Objectively, I would still suggest an E-PL3 for you as starter. Apart from what Ned has already said, have you seen the size of the lenses that goes with the NEX system? They are huge! The PL3 with kit lens is much more portable...

    Also, my guess is you will probably start off shooting with JPEG rather than RAW, the out-of-camera JPEG has better color and white balance than that of the C-3, IMHO.

    Having said that, either model will give you much faster AF and shot-to-shot speed than your current P&S...
     
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    There are a lot fo cameras that would work for you (both point and shoot and mirrorless like m43 and NEX). Kds to require the camera to be reasonably quick but I have an 8 year old and all of the m43 cameras that I have ever had (E-P1, E-PL1, E-PL2, GF2 and G2) worked fine in getting pictures of him. What made the most difference is having a better lens than the kit lens. That's not to say that my G2 isn't faster to focus than my E-P1 but I could make it work with either. What a camera like the E-PL3 has is fast AF and a pretty decent burst rate so you can fore off a number of shots of your children in full running around like crazy mode and get some keepers.

    Right now the Panasonic GF2 is on closeout in several places for under $300 for the camera with kit lens. That's a terrific little camera with touch screen, fast AF and HD video for cheap. The E-PL3 is also a terrific camera and has the nifty flip down screen. If you think you might want to have an EVF then I'd considering the Panasonic G3. It has excellent IQ, great handling, an articulated LCD and a built in EVF for around the same range as the E-PL3. I have a G2 and I absolutely love it. Its got great handling, and the EVF is superb. I personally prefer the min DSLR body style but its not to everyone's liking. You might aso look at an E-PL2. It's also a terrific camera has IMHO a bit more comfortable body to hold (than the E-PL3) and could do what you want.

    I was looking at a NEX recently and I found the UI and handling to be a little odd (of course that is often just a matter of what you are used to). I had no issues with the images it produced (they're lovely) but I also think my m43 gear produces great images. That said I have a friend that has a NEX 3 and loves it so take that for what it is...just my opinion.
     
  8. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    Thanks everyone...ive been quite impressed with the olympus series as ive been researching them for a while, but when i went to best buy the guy said the nex was the best (i know i know, i shoukd have gone to a camera store)...anywho, i guess now my questions is, which olympus? I know the epl3 andf the ep3 are the newest but could i get by with saving a few bucks and getting the epl1 or 2? Or is it just worth the extra $ to go all the way? And what lenses and acessories should i get?

    Thanks again!!
     
  9. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    You can also save a few bucks by going with the E-PM1 (PEN Mini). Coming from a point-and-shoot background, the reduced external controls of the E-PM1 shouldn't affect you much, and might even make you feel more at home. If you want to go with an older generation, the E-PL2 is very capable. It has very similar image quality as the new generation, and has a body design more akin to the high-end E-P3 (not like the new generation "Lite" line). The new generation cameras (E-P3, E-PL3, and E-PM1) are faster in response and autofocus with their new dual processors, but the E-PL2 is no slouch. I would not go with the E-PL1 though. It's slower and lacks any control dials, making it push-button menu driven and more difficult to use. It also has limitations on its capabilities (ie, like maximum shutter speed and remote control compatibility) which deviates from the normal Olympus "full featured" ideology. It's also the ugliest PEN ever made, but that's just my personal opinion. ;)
     
  10. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Herbert
    Ouch (from an E-PL1 fan) !! :)

    As to the question of which lens, I found the 20mm Panny absolutely useful for all those scenarios you mentioned.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
     
  11. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    SoCal
    Your needs/requirements are not very extreme and any of the Olympus and Panasonic cameras will meet and exceed your requirements. The differences between the two systems for one moving up from a P&S are not significant. There will be very little visible difference in Image Quality between the two systems (especially if you shoot in RAW).

    The main dif is the In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS) of the Olympus system. The stabilization is in the camera body so every lens you mount on the camera will benefit from IBIS. Panasonic stabilizes the image in the lens and not in the camera and not every lens has IS.

    I've never used IBIS, but many people on this forum complain that it doesn't work very well. Less people seem to complain about Panasonic's lens stabilization.

    This is a first for me .... typically when a question like yours comes up there are always a few member who state "... go to a store and pick up the cameras and purchase the camera which feels best in your hands." This would send me in a rant saying something to the effect that how a camera feels is the absolute last criterium to use in purchasing a camera. Then I'd toss out a list of, in my opinion, more important factors than 'feel'. But, (the big but), in this case your need are so general and you seem new to an interchangeable lens camera system (manual capabilities) and the micro 4/3 cameras are so evenly match for your requirements ... that I say go pick up a few Oly's and Pana's and which feel better and which has the easiest menu system.

    Where you are now photographically, any µ4/3 camera will not be a disappointment and any µ4/3 camera will easily capture your principal photo opps and any µ4/3 camera will provide a great platform for growth.

    So hit a shop and see what feels best, looks best and fits into your budget.

    Gary
     
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Hehe... One thing I will admit though is that the E-PL1 was the originator which brought about the current form of the E-PL2 and E-P3, in terms of both grip design (if you pick the larger one with the E-P3) and top plate design with flash (useful for remote triggering of flash with EVF attached). It also pre-dated the E-5 for the weak AA filter and sharper images. I just wish they had made it like the E-PL2 in the first place. ;)

    The E-PL2 is the E-PL1 done right, like the E-P2 is the E-P1 done right.
     
  13. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    I found a epl2 with the kit lens for 400 is that a good price?

    Also, what about the red spots or something i read about with the epl2?
     
  14. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    Is a pancake lens something i should get or will the kit lens work well?
     
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The E-PM1 is selling for $420 this weekend where I am (in Canada). It wouldn't be anything but cheaper in the US! $400 is probably a good price for an E-PL2, but I would seriously consider the E-PM1 for that price as well.

    I have never experienced any red spots with my E-PL2.
     
  16. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    Another option?! Lol what would be the advantage of that over the epl?
     
  17. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Over the E-PL2 the E-PM1 has faster response and autofocus speed (dual processor) and slightly higher resolving detail (at least comparing the E-PL2 with the E-P3). It also has a faster burst rate of 5fps as opposed to 3fps (new shutter mechanism). You get a smaller form factor for even tighter packing, but you lose the grip for holding heavier lenses as well as some external buttons, the mode dial, and the pop-up flash (aka Remote Flash Commander). You also gain an AF Assist lamp on the E-PM1, which will help with low-light Autofocus. You get a 16:9 screen on the E-PM1 instead of a 4:3 screen, which is a downgrade if you shoot in the native 4:3 aspect ratio.

    There are many who claim the E-PM1 has inconsistent IBIS though, so the E-PL2 would be better in that regard. But then there's the red dot issue mentioned about the E-PL2, which I have personally never experienced. The E-PM1 (along with the E-PL3 and E-P3) is said to have better AWB than the E-PL2. These things I haven't verified though.
     
  18. Canonista

    Canonista Mu-43 Top Veteran

    563
    Sep 3, 2011
    L.A.
    I would beg to differ on this for the OP's use. While the 20mm provides excellent image quality, it can hunt and be slow to focus, at least on my E-P3. If the OP were to choose an Olympus body, and wished to capture images of active kids indoors, he will be much frustrated.

    Case in point, I started out using the 20mm yesterday with family and relatives over for Thanksgiving. I almost immediately switched out to my 12mm lens because of the poor AF performance. Even the Oly kit lens is much faster to AF and unlikely to hunt than the 20mm.

    I would recommend one of the other fast primes; e.g., PL 25, Oly 45.
     
  19. bnakol

    bnakol New to Mu-43

    7
    Nov 25, 2011
    thanks again for all of the input!!

    i think that i am goign to go with the olympus epl2, since i can get it cheaper and then possibly upgrade from that when something even better than the current comes out lol

    so, i should stick with the kit lens? or should i get something else? i dont full yunderstand what the function of the lens is to be honest, so the 17mm pnacake and the 14-42mm kit lens has me confused as to what all i can do with it...forgive my ignorance :biggrin: