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Why an Olympus?

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by bridgemix, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. bridgemix

    bridgemix Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Ok guys, I hope that I don't upset you with my frank questions...

    Can you give me some good reason to pic the e-p3 instead of the Panasonic GX1?
    I'm aware of the in house stabilization thats nice, and I like the design of the Oly.

    I'm coming from a full sized DLSR and shooting everyday life, nature, family. I want to bring my camera with me more often, that's why I'm switching. I'm going to complement the camera with a fast prime for portrait, a normal zoom and maybe later a bird-lens.

    I prefer shooting jpeg instead of RAW (but I'm trying convince myself to use more RAW). I usually using aperture priority.

    There's a newer sensor in the GX1 but will I notice the difference.

    Can you please "sell me" the Olympus E-P3?
  2. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I won't sell you, as I think they are both good choices, but here's my opinion:

    EP3 has a wonderful, capacitive-based touch screen for touch-to-focus and touch-to-shoot. It doesn't sound like much, but especially if you shoot action, or shoot off center, it's VERY handy

    EP3 is beautiful (you already noted that)

    EP3 is likely slightly faster focusing (at least it's faster than the G3 I tested)

    I prefer Oly menus, but that may come from practice. It might be a wash for you.

    IBIS, as you noted, is very nice.

    OOC jpgs on the EP3 are considered generally better than Panny. I shoot RAW, so it's not that big a deal. But, the WB on the new Olys if you shoot under tungsten lighting are much better than any other camera.

    I have heard people talk about inconsistent metering with the Pannys, but I never experienced it myself.

    But there are certainly strengths for the Panny that others might mention. I have mainly Panny lenses and the Oly body and one Oly zoom.
  3. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    You said "jpeg". Olympus jpegs are great straight away. The jpegs from my G3 are nice now I've got the settings sorted but it took a while. IBIS is good but best turned off until you really need it ime. The Panasonic kit zoom is more "normal" in handling than the collapsible Olympus. The Olympus is more compact in the bag.

    If you're considering a GX1 you should at least look at the G3, it could save you a fair amount of cash.
  4. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Really it is less about features, specification and performance - they are both great cameras - and more about handling and personal preference. Best way to choose if you are able is to compare hands on and side by side at your nearest dealer. Check which one feels most comfortable to hold, has the controlls placed where they best come to your fingertips, has the most intuitive menus and the least amount of buttons that you accidentally press from your way of holding the camera. :smile:
  5. bridgemix

    bridgemix Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 9, 2012
    Thanks for the advice...
    I'm interested in the Oly 45mm 1.8, and I think that the inhouse stabilization could be handy?
    I don't know how the normalzoom IQ is on the Oly compared to Panny?
  6. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Very comparable. Wouldn't choose one or the other based on the kit lens.

    • Like Like x 1
  7. sohcsleeper

    sohcsleeper Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 4, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I am new comer onto the photography scene and started 6months ago with an Olympus E-PL2. At that time I was really split between Panasonic GF-1/2 or Olympus E-PL2. Ultimately I bought the Olympus for the following reasons.

    1. IBIS- the ability to shoot hand held, low light, no flash its vastly improved with IBIS. Another perk of IBIS is the use of legacy glass. This in itself is a new art and is much easier due to Olympus IBIS.
    2. Art filters- If you like shooting jpeg then you will absolutely love the Oly inherent art filters. They really make shooting that much funner. Many times the use of an art filter has completely changed the emotional impact of my photographs that would have taken post processing and time to achieve the same effect.
    3. SUPER Control Panel- had to unlock this feature, but makes the Oly experience 100% better in terms with full manual control of all the major parameters you will need.
    4. Styling- I light the neo retro look of the PEN series.

    Currently I have an E-P3 with 2 panasonic lens the 14mm, 20mm, 1 olympus 14-42mm II lens, and 1 legacy Canon FD 50mm f1.8

    I didn't start with another system, but I can imagine the difficulty trying to learn another system. Once I learned the Olympus system and unlocked the "hidden" menu there really not much limitations as far as customizing goes. One feature to unlock is the SUPER Control Panel. I think this makes a world of difference especially when shooting manual mode. However this panel is not a default setting and must be turned on.

    I would definitely go and find a local dealer to get hands on with both cameras. But make sure to unlock the SUPER Control Panel. I don't think there is a 100% perfect camera for anyone its more of a matter if you can live with the small nuances.
  8. flipGTO

    flipGTO Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    San Diego, CA
    One thing that has bugged me about Panasonic bodies is the lack of wireless flash support. I've owned many Panasonic cameras including (L10, GF1, and GF2) and none have had wireless flash support. All my Olympus cameras (with the exception of EP1 which doesn't have a built-in flash) have supported wireless flash capabilities of the FL36R, FL50R, Metz 48AF1, and Metz 58AF1. Wireless flash capability will allow the use of the EVF with external flash. That is one of the reasons why I am about to sell my GF1, GF2, and EP1 in order to buy an EP3.
  9. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Good point, the SCP is da bomb!
  10. grantb

    grantb Mu-43 Veteran

    I haven't been able to test a GX1 myself, but from samples posted here the GX1 sensor has less noise in the ISO 1600/3200 neighborhood. I still wouldn't trade my e-p3 though, for reasons already mentioned in this thread.
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    The sensor in the GX1 and G3 is about one stop better than the sensor in the Olympus in low light. The IBIS in the Olympus is worth somewhere in the 3-4 stop neighborhood, depending on which model and who you listen to. The IBIS doesn't help with motion blur at all, but it really helps get the basic shot and if your subjects aren't moving too fast, I usually find motion blur isn't a big problem on those low light shots (most of my subjects in these shots are sitting or standing around, or at most, walking). So, for ME, I've spent plenty of time with both Olympus and Panasonic bodies and I get a lot more low light keepers with the Olympus, even though the Panasonic has a better sensor. This may not be true of everyone, but its my experience.

    Both produce great looking images in good daylight conditions, but I generally find the colors, WB, etc, are better coming out of the camera on the Olympus. If you shoot raw, you can work around this and get fine images out of both, but its a bit more hassle with the Panasonic. If you're shooting jpegs, Oly is generally considered to have better jpegs and I'd say this is particularly true in those low / artificial light conditions where WB can be an issue.

    To me, those are the key points. The workings and handling of the cameras are both excellent. Any preference there is basically a matter of personal preference. A lot of people find the menus more confusing on the Olympus, but I love them because they allow such a high degree of customization, but you do have to figure them out and get comfortable with the key items. You definitely want to turn on the Super Control Panel, but first you have to find it and figure out how to get it to come on. If you can do that, you've gone deep enough in the menus that you should have seen most of what's there! :smile:

    Stuff like touchscreens don't matter to me, but they might to you and Oly and Pany use different types and enable different functions with them, so that might be something to look into. The Oly used to have a real advantage with the portable EVF, but the new Pany model is supposed to have caught up, so that should be about a wash as well.

    So there you go. I think its mostly about a better sensor vs IBIS for low light shooting and then the color and WB, particularly if you want to shoot jpegs. Those are where the quantifiable differences are. Other than that, its just which one looks and feels better in your hand...

  12. VasManI

    VasManI Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 21, 2011
    To be more to the point, or blunt, the E-P3 is nothing more than a re-polished E-P1 (on the outside). Olympus has not produced a "new" camera since the E-P1, and all they've done is repackage the old design. If you want something, buy a Panasonic body.
  13. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
  14. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I can't imagine you've actually tried the latest pens. Moving from an EP1 to an EP3 to EPL2 to EPM1, I can say the newest gen is most def improved on the inside too.

    Sent from my iPhone using Mu-43 App
  15. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    I was gonna post this link, but you beat me to it! :wink:

    I personally also prefer the look and ergonomics of the E-P3. It just feels better in my hands, and the auto WB is unbeatable!
  16. hkpzee

    hkpzee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 5, 2011
    Hong Kong
    Couldn't agree more! While the sensor in the latest PENs is outdated, everything else inside the camera has improved significantly from the first generation PENs to the third generation...

    I compared every generation of PEN with Panasonic GF or G series, and for SOOC JPEG, I always prefered the Oly outputs over the Panny outputs, which is why I picked a E-PL1 over the GF1 at the beginning, and every generation onward, but even then, none of the previous models of PEN stirred my soul like the E-P3...
  17. derick

    derick Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 13, 2011
    IBIS! I just shot some photos in my living room with a single incandescent light on a legacy 50mm at 1/2 sec shutter speed and they are sharp! Not a hint of camera shake. I know my hands aren't that steady :) 
  18. ZephyrZ33

    ZephyrZ33 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 18, 2010
    Southern California
    :tongue: they didnt even bother to polish the body! Looks exactly like an ep1.

    Reminds me of porsche: same tired 911 design, refined everything else. Now if only Oly can bump the horsepower too so the professional bench-racers can have something to brag about. :wink:
  19. ckrueger

    ckrueger Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 16, 2011
    I've got an EP1, EP3, GH1, and GF3. I like my EP3 because:

    1) The controls are nicer. Dual control wheels are great for a DSLR user and setting a button to AF also works a lot better on Oly than Panasonic cameras. Also, I don't like Panasonic's click wheel. I click it accidentally quite often.

    2) IBIS. Makes my non-IS lenses better. Well, except the telephotos. OIS is better for my 100-300. But for my 20/1.7 and other short lenses IBIS is great.

    3) The menus are nicer. I hate Panasonic's menus. I'm not exaggerating my language. I hate their menus. They might as well call their menus "A", "B", "C", etc, because there is no logical layout to them. Olympus' are not perfect, but they're a mile better.

    That said, Panasonic has better high ISO and better low light AF. Both are very important to me. It's a bit of a toss up, but I reach for my EP3 whenever I can, and use my GH1 or GF3 when I have to.
  20. bridgemix

    bridgemix Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 9, 2012
    God morning, thank you for all the advice thats been produced during my sleep (Sweden time zone).
    Im going to my camera store today with a sd-card and try out these models.
    Is there any possibility that Olympus will release a E-P4 in the nearest future? When was the latest Pen released?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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