Which is better for backup for me?

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by battleaxe, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Hello all. I am a Panasonic G2 owner, and I am looking for a smaller m4/3 for backup/secondary camera. I am right now deciding between the GF2, E-PM1 or E-PL3(max range of I what I am looking for). With all of them I plan to get the 14mm(maybe 20mm if I can swing it). They all felt nice in person, but part of me wants to go GF2 because of the touch screen and the fact I am use to and like Panasonic's interface. The other part of me wants one of the Oly cameras because of jpeg color(I shoot raw+jpeg all the time) and the faster AF. I have read the comparisons and discussion, but most were in the view of the main camera not a secondary/backup camera.

    My use would be for social event at house parties, bar/club events and a general pocketable camera(which with one of the pancakes lenses should be). I would like to use it as a back up on vacation or when my G2 is not working; therefore, durability would be a good bonus. Another bonus would be better compatibility for underwater usage. So, which one would be better for my needs based on what I have mentioned?

    If it is any helpful, or not I use my G2 for birding, wildlife, and nature shots. I know these more pocketable models aren't the best for those, but I thought I just mention it. Thank you.
  2. I think only the Olympus cams have underwater cases available. More expensive than the camera tho, unless you find a used one for an E-PL1.
    Personally, I'd go for the E-PL3 because of the tilting screen, and it's not a lot bulkier than the E-PM1. You also get the IBIS if you ever go the legacy lens route.
    Truly, none of these are pocketable unless you have really big pockets and your SO can stand the look: but they can often be stashed in a SO's handbag!
    It is a valid quest tho. I reckon there is a good market unfilled for a tough, WA, waterproof and FAST fixed lens camera. Something like a 24/28mm version of the Olly XZ-1, F1.8, waterproof. Perfect for parties and raves, messy restaurants, sight-seeing in the rain and holiday snorkeling. At least a 2/3" sensor, no more than 8-10MP to keep the noise down. I'd buy one, instead of a WA prime!
  3. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I think I would to if the price was fair. I do have a few legacy lenses, but since they are for wildlife it would be unbalanced on the the aforementioned cameras.

    Do you know of anywhere to get the E-PL3 body only, because I don't see it? I don't even see it on ebay. I did find a E-PM1 body only, but it was kind of pricey. And the GF2 in silver with the 14mm is going for a pretty sweet price. Arrrgh.
  4. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    For me, another Panny would be the obvious choice and just for that reason. Why make life more complicated than necessary? Actually, when I have used two bodies they have almost always been identical, but your "pocketable" criterion rules that out.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    Plus, if you stick with another Panasonic, you won't have to purchase different accessories... most notably batteries and battery chargers. I think that alone would deter me from going Olympus.
  6. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I'm an Oly guy, and I agree with Oldracer.
  7. timothysoong

    timothysoong Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 10, 2011
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Good thread, just what I'm looking for. But I'm currently in a situation where I just got a GH2, and find the GF2 with the pancake 14mm not pocketable enough. But I'd most prolly be keeping the GF2 instead of getting a compact camera like a s95 I guess.

    And as mentioned, I think you should go for a GF2 since you are used to the Panasonic interface.
  8. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    Depends a lot on how big your pockets are. For a vest or cargo pants, the smaller m4/3 bodies work, but not for much else. Even with the pancake lens, the bodies are (surprisingly) noticeably thicker than even a mid-sized compact, like the Olympus XZ-1.

  9. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Is the battery of the G2 and GF2 the same, because when I saw the GF2 in person the battery looked smaller? Same goes for the G3 and GF3.

    I would think for social events it would be a suit jacket/blazer pocket. And I thought I read a few reviews saying the GF3 and and E-PM1 with a pancake lens are about the same size as the XZ-1. Is that not the case? I know the GF2 is the same thickness as the GF3 & E-PM1, but it is just a few mm wider and taller(at least vs the GF3). I didn't like the the controls too much on the E-PM1, but the E-PL3 seemed a bit better(only if it came in a body only option).

    Has anyone done a comparison between the clip-on E-PM1/L3 flash vs the GF2 flash? What about low light, which would have the slight advantage here?

    As a note I would go GF3 for the faster AF, better color rendering, and smaller size, but the fact that reviews state the flash position causes a lens shadow is a big no for me. But, not sure if that is the case with the 14mm. Thank you all for the replies.
  10. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Would anyone else want to chime in with suggestions or thoughts? Thanks.

    I kind of swaying to get the E-PL3 for the more/better controls of the E-PM1, but price still has me a deciding between the GF2 and E-PM1. Performance goes to the E-PM1, specially in JPEG and WB, but the I so far better like the GF2 interface and built in flash. Unless I can find the E-PL3 body only.
  11. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    How does the E-PM1 clip on flash compare to the GF2 flash? Which is the brighter and/or better one?
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    When you're comparing two "pop-up" flashes, I don't think it really matters which is brighter or produces any better quality. ;) They're both the same for all intents and purposes.

    The clip-on one will allow the camera to be packed away into a smaller bag (the flash can be put in a separate compartment) and can even be left at home if you don't need it. It also acts as a Remote Flash Commander to control wireless R-Series flashes in 3 different groups. The built-in flash of the GF-2 however, is always there.
  13. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    I take it then both perform about similarly, with the about the same distance? Well the size isn't much of a difference for me as they both are the same size(E-PM1 with the flash off). I guess not it comes down to, which I can find body only for the lowest price.
  14. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    So I looked around a bit, but what is the cheapest I can get the E-PM1 body only, what about with the kit? What about the GF2 body and with the 14mm kit? Thanks.
  15. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I wouldn't bother with the GF-2, personally. If this is going to be a second body, I would just stick with body-only.
  16. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    You wouldn't bother with the GF2 with the kit, or GF2 in general? If the latter what do you suggest as small second body(no E-PL1). Thanks.
  17. starlabs

    starlabs Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 30, 2010
    Los Angeles
    I have both the GF2 and E-P3. Knowing what I know now, and my experiences with both, I would recommend the E-PM1 (or E-PL3, if you have the budget). The GF2 is a capable camera, but I prefer Oly's rendering and metering of images more.

    The UI will be different, but after activating the Super Control Panel on the Oly, odds are you'll find it very useful.
  18. battleaxe

    battleaxe Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Well the issue I have right now is I can't really find the E-PM1 body only, and when I do find it on ebay it is kind of pricey vs the GF2, which can be had for under $300 body only. I am not too fond of the E-PM1 controls, the E-PL3 was better, but can't find that model body only either. However, I kind prefer to go Oly because of the better jpeg color, specially for backup/social camera. Thanks.
  19. bigmack

    bigmack New to Mu-43

    Dec 21, 2011
    None of the above.
  20. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I don't know much about the Olys, but I have a GF2. One of the cool things about the flash is that you can point it up and bounce it off a ceiling.

    Logan and Eric on Eric's birthday by john m flores, on Flickr

    It's not that powerful, so don't expect too much from it. But if you drag the shutter a bit, you can balance ambient light with a little fill flash to good effect.