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-   -   HELP! Which Camera to dip toe in water (https://e-group.uk.net/forum/showthread.php?t=21598)

Spy 9th July 2012 10:03 PM

Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
I have always been a Canon DSLR man from the 35mm days and vurrently own a 40D with a bunch of lenses and flash gun. I find myself using this kit less and less due to the bulk and weight and have been contemplating the compact micro 4/3 systems as a viable alternative. Most of my shooting is faily type stuff,i.e. kids, birthdays, holidays, landscapes etc mixed with about 10% motor sport. I was intending on selling up my Canon DSLR kit and getting the Olympus OM-D5.

Having thought about this a little more I think it would be wise to dip my toe in the Compact System water before jumping in feet first and selling up all together.


It will probably be better to pick up a cheap-ish compact system to see how I get on with it first. If it works out I can then sell up DSLR and pick up the OM-D5.

With that in mind, I want to get a compact camera where I could then keep the lenses and use them with the OM-D if I do end up going down that route. Reading up a little, it seems that the Panasonic G series and Olympus PEN series might be the best route to take. If possible, I would prefer to stick to Olympus lenses if I do move up to the OM-D5.

Looking into this, I am confused with the Olympus naming. They have E-P, E-PL and E-PM: what is the difference between these ?

I assume the numbering just indicates the superceded versions i.e. E-PL1 was first (2010), then the E-PL2 (2011) and then E-PL3 (2012) etc - is that correct ?

The Panasonic GF3 also looks attractive at current prices.

Which camera would people recommend I go for that would give me the best DSLR image/features/performance combined with the best value ?

Thanks for your help.

Graham_of_Rainham 9th July 2012 11:00 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
If Argos have any left there is the E-PL1 twin kit, that's a very good deal.

I use one for a lot of my walkabout shoots as well as Macro with the FT lenses.

It is an exceptionally good camera and excellent Value for Money.

*chr

PS Welcome to the forum...

Zuiko 9th July 2012 11:03 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spy (Post 175488)
I have always been a Canon DSLR man from the 35mm days and vurrently own a 40D with a bunch of lenses and flash gun. I find myself using this kit less and less due to the bulk and weight and have been contemplating the compact micro 4/3 systems as a viable alternative. Most of my shooting is faily type stuff,i.e. kids, birthdays, holidays, landscapes etc mixed with about 10% motor sport. I was intending on selling up my Canon DSLR kit and getting the Olympus OM-D5.

Having thought about this a little more I think it would be wise to dip my toe in the Compact System water before jumping in feet first and selling up all together.


It will probably be better to pick up a cheap-ish compact system to see how I get on with it first. If it works out I can then sell up DSLR and pick up the OM-D5.

With that in mind, I want to get a compact camera where I could then keep the lenses and use them with the OM-D if I do end up going down that route. Reading up a little, it seems that the Panasonic G series and Olympus PEN series might be the best route to take. If possible, I would prefer to stick to Olympus lenses if I do move up to the OM-D5.

Looking into this, I am confused with the Olympus naming. They have E-P, E-PL and E-PM: what is the difference between these ?

I assume the numbering just indicates the superceded versions i.e. E-PL1 was first (2010), then the E-PL2 (2011) and then E-PL3 (2012) etc - is that correct ?

The Panasonic GF3 also looks attractive at current prices.

Which camera would people recommend I go for that would give me the best DSLR image/features/performance combined with the best value ?

Thanks for your help.

Hi Spy, and welcome.

I agree that the Pen designations are confusing. The E-P line offers the best build quality, handling and controlls, but not necessarily the best IQ or features! The E-PL line ('L' = Lite) generally has fewer controls, meaning more button pushing, and is less well built, although build quality is still good. The E-PM series is relatively new and 'M' might well stand for either Miniature or Minimalist. The E-PM3 is definitely the smallest Pen to date and the controls are indeed minimalist, meaning a bit more menu delving than with the other models.

If this is just a dipping the toe exercise I would avoid the E-PM3 as it is not typical of how other Olympus cameras handle. I would avoid the E-P1 (the original Pen) as it lacks some important features of the later models and avoid the E-P3, which is an excellent camera but rather expensive if you are just trying the format and likely to quickly upgrade. The E-PL3 is more affordable and has a very nice feature set, but a secondhand E-P2, E-PL1 or E-PL2 would be cheaper. The E-P2 has great build quality and has a great control layout but (if I remember right) lacks a built in flash. The E-PL1 and E-PL2 both have flash; the former is a real secondhand bargain (got mine for 150) but the latter has better handling.

Whichever one you choose, it would be massively improved by the addition of a VF-2 accessory EVF. The E-P1 is the only Pen which cannot use the EVF.

A word of caution, the Pens will do most the subjects you list very well but will not match your Canon at high ISO and especially won't match it for motorsport focusing. The E-M5 will better your Canon at high ISO but still won't match it for motorsport - it can do it but that's not it's strong point.

Hope this helps and doesn't confuse you even more! :)

pvasc 10th July 2012 08:22 AM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
If you can still find one at Argos the E-PL1 with the 14-42mm is a bargain at 199 GBP. I picked one up a couple of days ago and am pretty impressed with the performance so far. You get a free cover, not a bag, and a Kingston Class four 4GB card too.

This is 3200 ISO. Not to bad and it cleans up nice in LR 4. I haven't taken any in low light yet. This picture I was just experimenting and learning the camera.

http://e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/1407/P7090205.jpg

Ulfric M Douglas 10th July 2012 08:32 AM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spy (Post 175488)
I have always been a Canon DSLR man ...

... Which camera would people recommend I go for that would give me the best DSLR image/features/performance combined with the best value ?

My first question : how would you like to use your camera?
With your eye to a viewfinder (like DSLR) or holding the thing out like a modern compact?
Then the choices become clearer.

My immediate advice = e-pL3(focus speed), kitzoom(focus speed), VF-2(useability) viewfinder, Olympus45mmF1.8(DOF), Olympus40-150zoom(range).

StephenL 10th July 2012 11:06 AM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
If you want to keep the DSLR feeling and still use m4/3 lenses, why not see if you can get a cheap used Panasonic G1/G2? Try also to get the Panasonic 14-45mm kit lens as a starter. The image quality of that lens is great, and it also sits well on any Olympus m4/3. For a longer zoom I would heartily second the use of the Olympus mZuiko 40-150.

The "feeling" of the Pens, even if you have the excellent VF-2 viewfinder, is different to that of the E-M5 and Panasonic G series, even though you will get excellent image quality from any of the Pen series.

My reasoning behind this is that the Pens rely on buttons for camera settings, whilst the G series and the E-M5 use the more conventional dials.

Spy 10th July 2012 06:40 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Thank you for all the feedback guys.

I saw the Argos deal but not good for me for two reasons:
- I can't find any at an Argos near me
- I believe the AF performance on it is a little laggy - is that corect?

The Panasonic GF3 kit look like a great deal at only 50 more but as I have my eye on the M5 if it all works out, I would rather build an Olympus lens collection. I understand the Panny lenses are compatible but it is hard enough at the moment working out which camera to buy let alone which are the key lenses to have in a kit.

My preference is for most functions to be dial mounted as opposed to hunting through menus. I understand that the M5 is likely to pose some compromises on the sport front as the 40D is a great sport camera. But as this is only 10% of my shooting I am willing to sacrifice a little loss in performance if it means I actually have my kit with me. At Le Mans the other week, I decided not to take my SLR kit due to lack of space and struggled with my TZ6 :eek:

So, back to the recommendations.
E-PL1: does this perform better than the E-P1 ?
E-PL2 Vs E-PL3: What do I lose if I go for the 2 instead of the 3
E-PL2 Vs E-P2: What are the key differences ?

Thanks

chris 10th July 2012 09:16 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spy (Post 175666)
E-PL1: does this perform better than the E-P1 ?
E-PL2 Vs E-PL3: What do I lose if I go for the 2 instead of the 3
E-PL2 Vs E-P2: What are the key differences ?

Thanks

I went through the whole pros and cons thing... in summary (if I remember correctly)........

"E-PL1: does this perform better than the E-P1 ?"
I discounted both the ep1 and epl1 as first incarnations that (at the time) weren't much cheaper than the subsequant 2's

E-PL2 Vs E-PL3: What do I lose if I go for the 2 instead of the 3
not much? tilt screen I guess... But the EPL3 looks a bit too compacty for my taste and only has accessory flash rather than built in. EPL2 wins here for me.

E-PL2 Vs E-P2: What are the key differences ?
No built in flash on the EP2......... Price...... better build quality on EP2 (but EPL2 seems good to me anyway)


I decided the EPL2 was the best compromise of design, price and feature set. thats what I went for and so far am 100% happy with (until I have a spare grand for an OMD;))


CAVEAT... the above opinions are those of a non-expert*crazy take this advise at your peril.........

Col_Tubbs 10th July 2012 10:09 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
I've done the same as you. I've picked up a E-PL1 within the last month, but within that month I've added 40-150mm zoom & FL36 flash unit.

I find for still life, close up shot it's a good camera but I have found that the AF can hunt at times in low light but that is down to the system in use. For action shot I will still go back to my Nikon D90 any day, but I'm willing to give the camera another go.

I find it's small, light & compact with it's 14-42mm lens and very good for what you get. I still find it strange when framing a shot to bring it all up to my eye and I no need to with the pen.

But at the end of the day it's down to you. If you can pick one cheep go for the E-PL1 it will give you the feel for it, then you can look for better model at a later stage.

Paul19 11th July 2012 12:10 AM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spy (Post 175488)

Having thought about this a little more I think it would be wise to dip my toe in the Compact System water before jumping in feet first and selling up all together.

.

It seems as though you have decided to get the E-M5 eventually, but are a bit hesitant to make the plunge just yet. The route you talk about will end up more expensive in the long run. Take the plunge - you won't regret it.
Two years ago I was using a Canon 5D and for several reasons decided to buy a PEN E-P2. I had so much fun with that camera that after 6 months I realised that the 5D had gathered dust ; so sold all my Canon gear (and bought some more Micro 4/3 lenses). I now have the E-M5 and it is the camera I have always wanted!
You won't regret it...Take the plunge.
Paul

Spy 11th July 2012 08:24 AM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Thanks again for the feedback.

I was going to jump straight into the M5 but thought I better slow down and make sure first.

I figure that if I pick up something like the E-PL2, if it works out, I can move any lenses over to the M5 and sell the PL2 body for not much less than I buy it.

Saying that, I am contemplating still jumping in feet first with the M5 ;)

Spy 12th July 2012 12:31 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Does the lens (14-42mm) from teh Pansonic GF3 kit work on the Olympus PEN series without any adapter or loss of functionality eg AF etc ?

Also, is it a good lens in terms of sharpness etc ?

Wally 12th July 2012 12:45 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Panasonic and Olympus 4/3 lens should fit each other without adapters. Olympus has IS built into the camera, whereas, Panasonic have IS built into the lens assembly. Problems may arise when hardware updates get rolled out as each may require it's own software to detect the various hardware - camera model and lens fitted. Hopefully, someone more aware may shed some light if there are such issues?

StephenL 12th July 2012 12:54 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Spy (Post 175991)
Does the lens (14-42mm) from teh Pansonic GF3 kit work on the Olympus PEN series without any adapter or loss of functionality eg AF etc ?

Also, is it a good lens in terms of sharpness etc ?

It absolutely fits and functions just as if it were from the Olympus factory. The 14-42 doesn't have the external IS switch, so you don't have to remember to switch the IS off when you fit it to an Olympus body. IS on this lens can only work when fitted to a Panasonic body. Derided, as kit lenses tend to be, I found it a perfectly adequate lens. You may find it a little bulkier than its Olympus equivalent, or not quite as "stylish".

Updating firmware is not an issue as both Olympus and Panasonic have long realised that people with one body may want to use another's lens, and have detailed upgrading instructions to cater for this.

Wally 12th July 2012 01:03 PM

Re: Which Camera to dip toe in water
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by StephenL (Post 176001)
Updating firmware is not an issue as both Olympus and Panasonic have long realised that people with one body may want to use another's lens, and have detailed upgrading instructions to cater for this.


Thanks for this info. I'm looking around for micro 4/3 lens and this is something worth noting. *chr


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