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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 18th February 2015
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When Size Matters

Whilst my OM4Ti was (still is) a good camera, I found the combination of it and the Vivitar 28-105mm F/2.8-3.8 was not discrete hanging around my neck. As I normally carried a T32 flash and couple of extra lenses as well it meant that I was carrying a large camera bag that was even less discrete. Not so good when you are in a more formal social gathering.

So, when does size matter? When you want to put your camera in your pocket.

For this reason I often carried a small Sanyo (smartmedia!) that came from work and later a Fuji compact. The Fuji was ok but its a bit long in the tooth now, terrible in low light (can't push the ISO more than 400 and still see anything), only ok in the speed of focussing, and has a bit of shutter lag.

My E-M5 replaced both cameras but is it pocketable? I recently purchased the 14-42mm EZ pancake zoom to try this theory out. Its a great combination and fits well in a coat pocket - raincoat or modern waterproof. The bulk is not too noticable in these voluminous garments. I then tried the combo in my (lounge suit) jacket pocket. It fits but is really too big, makes the jacket look a mess, and the weight pulls the jacket down on one side.

So now I have a dilema. What do I do for a more up to date but still portable camera? My requirements:

i) Portability
ii) A viewfinder would be nice (saves me having to put on my reading glasses) but normally has a size penalty. May have to sacrifice this.
iii) Flip screen would be nice. I use the flip screen on my E-M5 occassionlly, normally when holding the camera in the air to reduce parallex error and control converging verticals. But this is not essential and adds bulk - did I mention size is an issue?
iv) A backup MFT camera would be nice, but not essential.

The Olympus Stylus 1 is nice but is still a bit big. The advantage is the viewfinder. How about the latest Panasonic travel zoom (TZ60?) as this fulfills the portability aspect perfectly - but doesn't fulfil any other criteria.

As for a small backup MFT camera, what about the Panasonic GM1 - job done you may think. But hang on, Olympus have (had) their own line of Pen Mini MFTs. So how do these compare?

The GM1 is undoubtably small. Its like a pack of playing cards with rounded sides. The clean lines and styling make it look even smaller than it is. The E-PM2 is larger on paper - a centimetre taller and a centimeter wider. Depth wise its more difficult to determine depending on what you measure. The E-PM2 has a nice front grip - but with an attached lens the amount this sticks out is irrelevent. The E-PM2 also has a small rear grip which sticks out when you use a ruler but will that matter in a jacket pocket?. The dissapointing camera here is really the GM1, the body is small but the lens mount protrudes further from the body than that on the E-PM2, almost negating any gains from the smallness of the camera. The E-PM2 looks bulkier and its not just the actual size. The GM1 top plate is flat. The E-PM2 top when viewed side on has shoulders, so the actual top plate is slimmer but as you get down to the screen the camera depth has increased.

Size wise the GM1 is the winner but depthwise the difference is not as large as the specifications would have you believe and I think its only a couple of millimeters from back screen to camera mount. The extra 1cm width and height of the E-PM2 do not, I think, make it less jacket pocketable. The GM1 wins on weight as well, it really is remarkable what Panasonic have done with this camera. The combination with the Olympus 14-42mm EZ lens is about 300g compared with the E-PM2 combo of 360g. Both are miles better than my E-M5 which with the pancake zoom is close to 500g.

So lets look for the advantages of the E-PM2 over the GM1. It has the same very good sensor as the E-M5, it has 2 axis stabilsation, I am used to the Oly menus, and if necessary I can add one of the Olympus viewfinders. Disadvantages - it is bigger but is it too big? Its heavier, by a small amount. Neither take the same batteries as my E-M5, now that would be a real bonus.

So my dilema in a nutshell:
i) is there a compact camera on the market with a viewfinder
ii) do I just go for portability
iii) do I get the smallest MFT there is, hope its jacket pocketable rather than coat pocketable, and have it as a backup for my E-M5?

I would appreciate your views, especially anyone who has experience of both the GM1 and the E-PM2.

Thank you for your patience in reading this far.
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  #2  
Old 18th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by OM USer View Post
<snip>
So my dilema in a nutshell:
i) is there a compact camera on the market with a viewfinder
ii) do I just go for portability
iii) do I get the smallest MFT there is, hope its jacket pocketable rather than coat pocketable, and have it as a backup for my E-M5?
<snip>
i) Canon G16 is probably the best of what's out there.
ii) No! You never know when you may want something with more capability.
iii) Yes! the EPL-5 with a 14-42 EZ lens will fit most jacket pockets.

If you want something that is "tough" the TG-3 is by far the best thing available at the moment. If a viewfinder is a must then the XZ-2 will take one as an accessory.



Let us know which way you go with this.



PS Still got my OM4Ti
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  #3  
Old 18th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
i) If a viewfinder is a must then the XZ-2 will take one as an accessory.
So will the XZ-1 and it is definitely jacket pocket size. The only criticisms are that the ISO performance is not too brilliant and I have read that it is a bit dust-prone though I have never had any problems that way. Perhaps vacuum out the pocket before use

Gus
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Old 18th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

I love the XZ-1

All without a tripod and from RAW

This is from the shard it outprformed the E-620 IMO

London at dusk from the shard crop by alf.branch, on Flickr


Copenhagen

Copenhagen escelator by alf.branch, on Flickr

This was perched on a bridge wall

The river Irwell from Brideg st by alf.branch, on Flickr

A cuty backstreet at night

China town backstreet B&amp;W Explored by alf.branch, on Flickr
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Old 18th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

ISO 400 from RAW

Muse manchester 2012209 by alf.branch, on Flickr
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Old 19th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graham_of_Rainham View Post
...If a viewfinder is a must then the XZ-2 will take one as an accessory....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magus View Post
So will the XZ-1 and it is definitely jacket pocket size.
Graham, Gus, thanks for this info.
Alf, thanks for the sample pictures.

The Canon G16 doesn't float my boat. I did consider a "tough" because of the waterproof nature - the TG-3 looks nice.
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Old 19th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

How about the Panasonic GM5? Basically a GM1 with viewfinder, not cheap though.
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Old 19th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by Miketoll View Post
How about the Panasonic GM5? Basically a GM1 with viewfinder, not cheap though.
Not one I had considered Mike, but looks promising. (I did look at the GX7 but this was too big).
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

"So my dilema in a nutshell:
i) is there a compact camera on the market with a viewfinder
ii) do I just go for portability
iii) do I get the smallest MFT there is, hope its jacket pocketable rather than coat pocketable, and have it as a backup for my E-M5? "

Would the Panny LX100 be of any interest? It has a 4/3rds sensor (with conditions), stunning image quality, high level of controls and a huge feature set for photographic flexibility.
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
"So my dilema in a nutshell:
i) is there a compact camera on the market with a viewfinder
ii) do I just go for portability
iii) do I get the smallest MFT there is, hope its jacket pocketable rather than coat pocketable, and have it as a backup for my E-M5? "

Would the Panny LX100 be of any interest? It has a 4/3rds sensor (with conditions), stunning image quality, high level of controls and a huge feature set for photographic flexibility.
I have a Panny LX100 and love it. It will fit in a large jacket pocket, but is not as small as my XZ-1, although if you add an EVF to the XZ-1 it then becomes a bit awkward to have in your pocket. The only small complaint I have with the Panny is that the focal length is a bit limited.
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Sony RX100 III ? Has a viewfinder, at any rate.

I have the original RX100, which fits nicely into jeans pockets, but doesn't have a viewfinder, which is my one nitpick with it. Otherwise, nice little camera, 20Mpix, RAW, full manual, etc. Never used for anything 'serious' but always in my handbag just in case...
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Seems to me that the GM5 is the camera that most closely fits your needs. It's the only one at its size that has a built-in EVF and it's not much bigger than the GM1. I'd personally avoid the E-PM2 and E-PL5 since they can both suffer from shutter shock and neither has the EFCS fix. If you don't need interchangeable lenses, then the LX100 or Sony RX 100iii are probably the best to go for.

Finally, if a zoom lens isn't essential, the Ricoh GR1 will beat the IQ of any if the above.
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Olympus are no longer leading the compactness stakes any more for any sensor size:

1/1.7:
Panasonic LF1 with EVF ist the star here. The serous Canons, Nikons and the Oly XZs and (OMD/OM-4 sized) Stylus 1 don't compete on size.
Large Sensor with interchangable lenses:
Panasonic GM5, and then the GX7 beat Olympus EVF cameras. But any ILC will be either bulky due to the lens, or will have a limited range lens.
Large Sensor with fixed lens:
Sony RX100III and Panasonic LX100 both have compact, collapsible lenses and an EVF.

Conclusion:
If you don't need a big sensor, the 1/1.7 Panasonic LF1 has an EVF and a good zoom. You will take it to parties as it will slip right into a shirt pocket.
If you really want a big sensor, then go for fixed lens camera.
If want it all, the Panasonic GM5 is your baby.
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian p View Post
If want it all, the Panasonic GM5 is your baby.
Well, most of it, anyway!

I took the GM1 route, bought s/h off here, and am very happy with the compromise. A few more thoughts for you that i don't think have been covered above:

The silent electronic shutter is wonderful for surreptitious street and event use.
The 12-32 is of reasonable quality, and the focussing of the combination via tapping the rear screen or autofocus is exceptionally fast.
GM1 battery life is naff and I don't expect the GM5 is better - get 2 spares.
I wish they'd added a tilt screen to go from the GM1 to the 5 and not bothered with the VF etc.
The m4/3 interchangeable lens cameras will act as a backup away from home in case your E-M5 dies.
I use a JJC auto-lens cap on the GM1 which looks ungainly but works a treat.
The Sony RX100 is very conveniently re-charged from a USB socket, and as long as you avoid the first version they focus reasonably close. I sold on my mkI because this was too restricting. They are nice to use but v expensive IMHO.
All of these options have handling issues, especially fiddly rear roto-dials where it's hard not to alter more than you intended: this is the main price you pay for portability I feel.

Hope that helps
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Old 20th February 2015
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Re: When Size Matters

Quote:
Originally Posted by latestarter View Post
Would the Panny LX100 be of any interest?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaw View Post
I have a Panny LX100 and love it. It will fit in a large jacket pocket, but is not as small as my XZ-1...
Nice idea as its a nice camera but if I go for a fixed lens then the main criteria would be portable and this is fairly large and fairly heavy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MargaretR View Post
Sony RX100 III ? Has a viewfinder, at any rate...
Neat viewfinder Margaret so it has to be considered. Will I miss the touch to focus - I'll have to think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian p View Post
If want it all, the Panasonic GM5 is your baby.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pdk42 View Post
Seems to me that the GM5 is the camera that most closely fits your needs. It's the only one at its size that has a built-in EVF and it's not much bigger than the GM1. I'd personally avoid the E-PM2 and E-PL5 since they can both suffer from shutter shock...Finally, if a zoom lens isn't essential, the Ricoh GR1 will beat the IQ of any if the above.
Paul, the GM5 was brought up by Mike and looks to be very worthy. Its on the shortlist - but I need to consider the price. Sorry to hear those comments about the E-PM2/PL5, and a zoom lens is a must so the Ricoh is out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian p View Post
Panasonic LF1 with EVF is the star here. The serous Canons, Nikons and the Oly XZs and (OMD/OM-4 sized) Stylus 1 don't compete on size.
Ian - viewfinder, reasonable zoom, size, & weight. The LF 1 is on the shortlist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmarkf View Post
...I took the GM1 route, bought s/h off here, and am very happy with the compromise....
Mark, I started the thread to in the hope of hearing the compromises (GM1/E-PM2) and to see if I could live with them so thank you for your comments.
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