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Gear advice for a return to m4/3 please

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by vincechu, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I've decided to move back to micro four thirds after a long spell with my Pentax gear, because I'm fed up of missing photo opportunities from not having a camera on me and also I just want something small and light - everytime I use my canonet or LX5 I feel liberated.

    So I just needed some other peoples opinions on my gear selection, budget being £2000GBP. I shoot a little bit of everything, travel, casual portraits, the odd bit of sport (soccer) and am getting into street photography

    Currently I'm definately going for:

    • 25mm Panasonic Leica (£500).
    • GF2 with 14mm (costs £300 together, seperate it would be £200 body £230 lens, so might as well go for both together and keep the GF2 and 14mm on me pretty much all the time)

    This leaves £1200 to spend. I'd like something with better IQ and a viewfinder for a second body and it doesn't matter if its much bigger. My brother has a GF-1 and 14-42, and we plan to share lenses, so no need for a kit lens. So what I really need help thinking about is a:

    1. a GH2 with 14-140mm (£1090) or the E-P3 14-150mm and VF2/3 (£1150) - so Both would use the remainder of my money.

    2. A cheaper, perhaps used, body with a VF. My reasoning being is that bodies always depreciate heavily and the next generation is probably just around the corner - Bought my k5 for £1100 now they're around £800, so I have to sell around £650-700, big loss :frown:.

    3. Buy a EVF (£150) for the GF2 and save £1050? Sounds good because it can b used on my (mum's) LX5 and brothers GF1 too.
    So my budget is £2000 from scratch, or £1200 if I go with what I've got up top. Here are some new UK prices for reference, as we're a global forum:

    Olympus VF-2 £180, VF-3 £150, E-PL1 body £180, E-P2 body £300, E-P3 body £680 + 14-150mm £1000.

    Pansonic GH2 body £650 with 14-140mm £1050, G3 £430, 14-140mm £680, GF-2 with 14mm £300. Panny cameras come with LR3 in a promo until the 31st Aug.

    Thanks in advance guys, hope this doesn't set off GAS attacks too ;-)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    hmmm... after typing this option 3 does sound very good afterall lol. Though I might not like the high ISO of the GF2
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    If high ISO is going to be a concern, then GH1/2 and G3 would be the best options for m4/3. The G3 seems to be a little bit more portable than the GH2 (and cheaper too). Maybe get just the G3, forget the GF2, and load up on lenses? For a small kit just add 14/2.5, 20/1.7, 45/1.8 and 40-150. Or wait for the motorized tele from Pany, although I'm not sure if it's any smaller than the 40-150. Or for the expensive kit, go for the 12/2, 25/1.4, 45/1.8 + tele.

    It's so fun to talk about what gear other people should buy. :smile: Almost as much fun as buying gear myself!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Vince

    Why not just buy one camera and a lens them add to it as soon as you can't live without option (X)? I bet in the long run you will save money and get better uses out of your equipment you aquire.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  5. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Thanks guys, ironic as this sounds (considering I started about this thread) I don't really care too much about ISOXXhundred or thousand or the gear itself as long as its reliable, simple to use and compact. I guess it's because I've got better at post processing and LR3 is great with noise reduction. Lens wise, i guess its pretty simple I normally get by with a fast standard prime and a zoom. I guess I've learned the hard way that gear isn't everything, and just want a fairly liberating set up which I can develop my skills with.

    The Pentax gear will definately go to fund the micro four thirds stuff.

    Grant - Thanks for the good idea, I guess I do want to save money, which is why i don't really want to buy too new a body as they depreciate. Perhaps I should just go with the GF2 14mm and 25mm, and share my brothers kit zoom for now. Oh btw I visited your brilliant site, loved the part about and I thought you were serious about your parents and upbringing... til i read the next paragraph lol. Also love your contrasty black and white images and the colour photo of St Johns (on the 1st page) is stunning.

    Armando - Good point about the G3's size nearly forgot about the GH2's sticky out grip! lol If i go for the GH2 with 14-140mm I make a lot of a saving than getting the G3 and 14-140mm later, so I guess its down to how much i think I'd use the zoom :S If money was no problem I'd definately have the 14mm, 20mm and a small body for travel, then a GH2, 14-140mm, 25mm and 45mm and 100-300mm at for everything else lol and then an m9 and nocti... lol better stop before I get carried away with the money no problem thing :wink:

    Your small travel kit's a good idea, though I'm not too much of a tele shooter and seem to stay under 50mm (35mm equiv). I do miss the 24mm wide end from my LX5, so could do one of 7-14mm (used) or 12mm and 17mm, 25mm and later add the 14-140mm if necessary. I guess I'm really want the 25mm even though its pricey and not that small for the fast aperture and smooth bokeh - bokeh's just something I can't live without!

    Hmmm too many primes to think about lol... 14mm, 20mm and 25mm (28,40,50) also sounds good :(
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    The 14-140 would ruin your small kit approach. If you stay with GF2, you can combine it with the new pancake 14-42 if you really want a zoom. The Oly 14-150 is much skinnier and lighter than the 14-140 as well. But you'd lose the IS.
     
  7. Grant

    Grant SC Veteran

    249
    Nov 12, 2010
    Lunenburg Nova Scotia
    Vince

    Thank you very much and I am happy you like my site. As you can guess I'm not at all serious until it comes to photography.:rolleyes:
     
  8. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Jul 3, 2010
    If the GF2, 14.2.5, and 25/1.4 are all definites, then I think one good option would be to add a G3 (body only) and Oly 45/1.8.
     
  9. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Just read about the specs of the new X line 45-175 from Pany. The Oly m4/3 40-150 is smaller and lighter. So for a tele for the "small kit", it looks like the 40-150 is the way to go. Just no IS though.
     
  10. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Thanks for all the input everyone.

    Strange thing happened today, I went to the camera store hoping to pick up a G3 and a few primes and tried the g3 to make sure it was what I wanted... and I somehow felt a little underwhelmed(? hope thats the right word). I just couldnt get on with the grip and I didn't really like the build quality. Perhaps I've got high standards coming from the K5 or something lol, but I remember the Panny G1 being a much more comfortable camera - so perhaps the GH2 would be better for me?

    In the end I didn't buy anything, I think I'm going to think a little more and perhaps revisit the store on thursday, when the owner said he'll have some PL25mm 1.4's in.

    Maybe its just a sign that, for now, micro four thirds bodies aren't for me yet. Hopefully the rumored pro-GF will be better. I'm also thinking of other options for my 'everywhere' camera, for example I still really like the GXR for user interface/build/ergonomics - just its so pricey and the AF is a little slow. I'm also hearing a lot of good things about the GRDIII too.

    I feel that my GAS may have returned ;-)

    EDIT: The GXR might also be useful for my long term Leica M aspirations, though I know the rangefinder experience isn't there properly with the M-mount module, but for the price of a used M8, I could get a GXR, 28, 50 and EVF and the M-mount lol.
     
  11. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The smaller m4/3-style bodies will always be more difficult to handle than a full-sized DSLR (unless you have very small hands, I suppose). The Canon 50D has a perfectly sized an ergonomically sound grip for my hands. In comparison, my GH1 it feels like I am pinching the grip rather than holding it, but the weight of the camera means that over a period of time it is no less comfortable to hold. The feel and operation of a camera is at least as important as the fractional differences in output. If you don't love it, leave it.

    The GXR seems like a wonderful camera but my feeling is that it is a long way off (if ever) becoming an expanded system camera, which unfortunately strikes it off my list.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  12. wolfie

    wolfie SC Veteran

    299
    Sep 19, 2010
    Know where you're coming from ...

    I've just got my E-P3 after having a K-7 for last 18 months, but the P3 has a good metal panels and a reassuring "heft" despite being so much lighter. The main thing is getting used to no internal VF. I may yet be seduced into getting a VF2 or VF3.:rolleyes:
    The lenses are the real shocker- they look so small and toy-like, but the results are every bit as good as the DSLRs I've owned. Good on you for not rushing the process at the shop - there is so much happening now and in the next month or so that it may be wise to hold off and see what arrives in the market place.
     
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  13. silverbullet

    silverbullet SC Regular

    133
    Oct 20, 2010
    Germany
    My E-P2 brought back the joy for (color)photography. Getting at first a G1 I sent it back after one day because the body shape as a mini-DSLR was very uncomfortable for my right hand contrary to my D300. So at the end at first a E-P1 with optical viewfinder did the job for diving into Oly menues. Directly after the launch of the P2 I switched especially for the EVF.

    What a pleasure and joy to use this cam! Small, not so light and the color output is really good.
    For me a logical upgrade would be the E-P3 for my lenses but when I look at my Leica lenses (b&w film shooting) the Ricoh GXR with the new M-module is a strong rival......
     
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  14. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Maybe tread water for a bit Vince...but if you're going to make a move you might want to sell some things to be ready to pounce.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    It's Thursday now! Did you revisit the store? Buy anything? Yes, I'm living vicariously through you given that I haven't bought any new camera related stuff for almost a whole month now! :)

    Speaking of slow AF, I'm finding the AF of the X100 to be one of the weaknesses in the camera (other than the stupid menu). Although things have improved since the firmware upgrade, the X100 is super slow when compared to the GH2. During my recent California trip, it was so much easier to capture candids using the GH2. So the GXR's slow AF might be something to really think hard about. On the other hand, the X100's APS-C sensor and fixed lens combination consistenly gave me some very nice results, and IMO, looked better than the GH2 + 14/2.5, which is the lens I ended up using the most for the GH2 during my trip.

    I sure would love to try out the PL25/1.4 with the GH2. Maybe that's the combo you should go for! :)

     
  16. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    BB
    Something for Ripley's Believe It or Not!:biggrin:
     
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  17. vincechu

    vincechu SC Veteran

    316
    Sep 14, 2010
    Thanks for the ideas everyone.

    Nic (Luckypenguin) - I just read your thread: https://www.photographerslounge.org/f16/less-less-interested-trying-different-gear-4133/ - and am feeling the same. I'd recommend everyone take a look :)

    BB - I do have some of my Pentax lenses up for sale, so I guess sooner or later I'll have the money to pounce :) however I'm having a lot of thoughts at the moment, mainly that I wasn't 100% convinced that moving back to m4/3 was the right thing for me, so I guess don't really want to sell all my gear just yet incase I regret it.

    Armando - I did visit the store, however all the PL25mm's were sold out - preordered/reserved and shipped off that very morning so no chance to try unfortunately. I agree with the AF. I was blown away by the new light speed touch screen AF - for candids and street it's absolutely perfect, it pretty much is instant. The only thing is I'm not 100% a fan of the G3 body and still haven't found somewhere with a GH2 in stock to try. So I guess I'm hanging on to my k5 body and 30mm 1.4 for now, the rest will be sold.

    On a different note, I've been shooting film rangefinder recently and absolutely love how its making me think/anticipate shots more as its 100% manual. So I might get an M8 instead - there's some very tasty M mount glass and I might be able to keep the K5 + 30mm 1.4 for lowlight