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Which to get for a 2nd body?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by sin77, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    My setup is a G3 plus a few stabilised lenses from Panasonic.

    I am wondering if I should buy another used Panasonic (likely GX1 or GF3) or an Olympus (E-PM1 or E-PL3) body. OMD or GH series might be possible too but too expense or bulky respectively.

    Factors to consider:
    1. In the near future I may add either 12-35x or 14mm+20mm.
    2. E-PM1 is very portable, but I would need to buy an adapter to use the Panasonic lenses and need to do some firmware updates. E-PM1 seems to have an issue with its stabiliser and thus 14mm+20mm may not be stabilised just as with a Panasonic body.
    3. Olympus with older sensor is not as good in low ISO noise department. But OMD may be a bit too expensive.
    4. Olympus has assumably better out-of-camera jpeg output.
    5. I don't know if the built-in HDR of a GX1 is more enticing (in terms of novelty and practicality) than the built-in Panorama of an E-PM1. I have yet to find any photo samples on the internet.
    6. It is troublesome to learn two types of menu, and having to setup different types of system.
    7. I will get more types of creative filters/features if I have two different systems.
  2. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Is this correct? I don't think so.
  3. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    Ok... I would say it should be the smallest/lightest m43 camera out there at least.
    Or do you mean that I can straight away fix a Panasonic lens onto an Olympus body?
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Nope, not true at all. :)  Any lens that will work on your G3 will also work on an E-PM1.

    Also, I would not worry about the IBIS problems on a brand new E-PM1, as it seems to affect an older batch from what I've been able to tell. I have two of them and the newest one is flawless.

    I'm not sure what you mean about poor low ISO noise from the Olympus. ISO200 is the base ISO of the new PENs, and it is perfectly clean. More importantly though, it delivers excellent fne line resolution.
    I wouldn't worry about learning a new menu system. Just turn Live Control and Live Guide on any Olympus camera OFF, and turn ON the SCP (Super Control Pane). You won't have any learning crve to get used to that simple, one-screen menu system, unlike the Panny.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    The second statement is right. :)  Well, I guess both are correct, to be technical.
  6. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    Thanks, Ned. What you have provided here is very informative!

    Now, even though this is rather hard decision for me, some doubts have been clarified.
    1. I may not have to worry about the IBIS issue on E-PM1 anymore, but how do I ascertain that the camera is the problem-free new batch? And how do I accurately test it at the shop or even from the seller of a used set?
    2. The menu system seems rather user-friendly in a way.
    3. I do not have to use an adapter. But do I need to do any compatibility updates before I can use them? Will my shots be stabilised? 45-175x lens doesn't have an OIS switch.

    As for poor low iso noise, I did not make it clear (or even used a wrong expression).
    I mean that there is more noise at higher ISO level for the Olympus sensor.

    And now, whether I can accept the noise level of E-PM1 vs GX1, as well as their size/weight comparison. Price is a factor too.
  7. Linh

    Linh Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Maryland, US
    is that a giant list like nikon's system?
  8. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    It's not a giant list, but rather all the essential controls displayed on one screen.
  9. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    To the OP, may I ask why you feel the need for a second body? Please don't take offense, but it seems to me that you need to spend a little more time with what you have and get to know your system more before deciding on which second body is suitable for you.

    Having said that, I find having two cameras with the same operating system easier to handle than having two different OS. I use 2 Olympus bodies, and the other day, I tried a GX1, but didn't know how to maneuver the OS.
  10. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    In general you may want to stay away from Olympus bodies. They have questionable firmware support and poor resale value, at least when compared to Panasonic bodies.
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    haha... I was being a bit faciteous. I have a Panny G1 and Olympus EPL1 with a mix of Panasonic and Olympus lenses. yup... they are interchangeable. The EPM1 is tiny but feels solid. Felt odd on a big lens (100-300 Panny). IMO, IBIS is an advantage.
  12. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    I have a hard time switching lenses hence getting a 2nd body. If the 2nd body is small enough, I can even bring it to work everyday. My g3 can't get into my slim work bag.

    As for having two systems, it is indeed troublesome. But looking at the benefits of having more creative filters and features, I may give it a try.

    Other than these, IBIS can provide stabilization for non-OIS lenses.
  13. deodeo

    deodeo Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Since you already have a G3, so a small second body may serve you better when you need portability. GX1 is nice and has better sensor but too expensive; E-PL3 is thick and not cheap, but has tilt LCD. So again, for portability GF3 and E-PM1 are the best. I recently had tried both.

    Portability: GF3 wins. It is thinner by 3-4mm (not comparing specs, but comparing real depth from body back to flange). Rounded corners are easier to slip into your pocket. Better grip.

    Operation: GF3 is faster to power on and shot first photo. E-PM1 has higher FPS and has nicer and more customizable button. OS are different but both workable.

    IQ: I like E-PM1 better with both Jpeg and Raw. Noise levels are similar but E-PM1 noise looks like smooth grains, but GF3 looks more like patches, over-processed. Differences are subtle though.

    If my budget allows, I will keep both. GF3 with 14/2.5 stay in my pocket, and E-PM1 when I shoot 45/1.8 (bc I may need IBIS). But reality is I picked GF3 for now for its portability and touch screen (this is a replacement of my Nex5n).
  14. Declan97

    Declan97 Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 3, 2012
    Padang, Indonesia
    I still dreaming to had E3 combining with this Pen #daydreaming
  15. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    I'm using a GF1 as a second body to the G3 even though they're about the same size. I used an Olympus E-P2 for a while and I liked it but, I found the menu system too different from the Panasonic. Not better or worse really, just that I don't have time to master two systems. The Panasonic menus are pretty much alike across the cameras.

    I would rather have the Olympus PM1 but I found the GF1 on the cheap so that's what I'm going with. The GF2 might be better because it shares the same battery with the G3, and it's a little smaller.

    As you can see I'm shooting for the convenience factor...
  16. sin77

    sin77 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 9, 2011
    Now this is getting interesting. E-PM1 and GF2 in my list. Any other Panasonic bodies share the same batt as the G3?

    I'm leaning towards Panasonic because I'm likely to get 12-35x. So I don't really need IBIS. Then again no one knows how much that lens would cost.
  17. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Why not another G3? I certainly agree that often the best second camera is one that shares the same battery and similar operation. I was in the same situation in another system and the mental task switch going between the two very different cameras was an issue.
  18. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    To verify the IBIS problem, take a bunch of shots at middling shutter speeds (1/50s, 30-40mm) with IS on and off. If the IS shots are sharper, you're okay.

    The menu system is what it is, but I don't think the learning curve is that high. Turn on the super control panel and you shouldn't ever need to use the menus after the initial setup.

    As to IS, OIS can't be enabled on Olympus bodies for Panasonic lenses that lack the switch, i.e. your 45-175X won't be able to use OIS. That's true regardless of what firmware you use.

    Well, the sensor is the same one that's in the GF3. Judge accordingly.

  19. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    The GF2 uses the same battery as the G3 as I found out when searching for 3rd party batteries.
  20. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    I was going to say almost the same thing, except that I would use a shutter speed of 1/8s. Maybe my hands are steadier, but to me that's usually the cross-over point between a clear shot with IS and a shaky shot without - if the IS system is good. With my bad E-PM1 it's opposite at that speed, but my good E-PM1 shows every image clear and sharp with IS at 1/8th.

    But he will need the firmware updates for the power-zoom switches on those X lenses, and the power zoom on the new m.Zuiko 12-50mm. I'm not sure if the Manual Focus rocker switch will work on the Lumix X lenses on the Oly bodies with a firmware update, but I think it will.

    The Lumix X lenses are the one exception to compatibility, because of their point-and-shoot switch system and lack of OIS switch... They took away the switches we want, and added the ones we don't. xD
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