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GF3 or EPL3 for street work with pancake lenses?

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by norman shearer, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    Browsing E-bay as I shouldn't I noticed the Oly EPL3 body only is now around £200 new (in the UK). This led me to thinking it might be a better street cam than my GF3. The tilting screen is the biggest draw and image stabilisation would help keep that iso low. I would not miss the touchscreen. It also accepts a viewfinder..

    Anyone know how the autofocus compares to the GF3? Will a panasonic 20mm lens focus slower on an Olympus body? Do RAW files correct for distortion/aberations?

    It's mighty tempting!
     
  2. elle s'ennuie

    elle s'ennuie SC Regular

    26
    Sep 30, 2012
    I have an E-PL3 and the Panasonic 20mm, never tried GF3 though. At least as far as my copy of the 20mm is concerned, it's only slow to focus when trying to focus on something that is very close to the minimum focus distance, especially if it's dark and low contrast. I haven't had any focusing trouble in other situations. Mind you, I mainly shoot nature and never street.

    I love the tilting screen, I use it pretty much all the time when shooting (holding the camera at waist level and looking down at it). I find tilting also helps to see the screen better in bright sunlight.

    Edit: As I understand it, distortions are corrected but not chromatic aberration.
     
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  3. krugorg

    krugorg SC All-Pro

    Sep 26, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Kyle Krug
    The 20mm is noticeably slower than the latest generation m4/3 lenses on the E-PL3 (and the other Oly bodies I have used). It is still very useable, in my opinion, just not instantaneous like the others. The E-PL3 corrects, or passes along in RAW, lens corrections with the exception of CA. CA hasn't been an issue for me with the 20/1.7 on Oly bodies, though, and pretty simple to correct in LR these days.

    Do you have the crazy GX1 deals in the UK now? A friend and my sister are proud new owners after the recent deals here ($369-469).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    No the GX1 deals seem to have missed us! About £280 incl p&p is the cheapest. Nice price still but no tilting screen. Makes up for it in other areas though. Certainly worth researching some more - thanks!
     
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    The tilting screen on the EPL3 is a great feature if you're inclined to shoot from the belly or waist and still want to be able to frame the shot in the LCD. The IBIS is really nice but not so much for street photography unless you're looking for really serious motion blur. It helps a lot for low light shooting of static subjects, but is pretty meaningless for street shooting. The AF on either camera should be the same - very fast, but the 20mm lens will not really take advantage of the fast AF because its a very slow AF lens...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    I was thinking the tilt screen would mean instead of relying on face detect I can use single point af and get faster af as a result - albeit still slow compared to other lenses. Shooting street using the tilt screen will be going out of my comfort zone though and I'm not sure how I'll take to it. I should have a go with my 5N and see. I only have manual focus lenses for that camera but I can still use the screen to frame the shot and check exposure. Yep, I really should do that first because if I don't have the balls to shoot that way then the tilt screen will be wasted on me and that would make the GX1 a better option.
     
  7. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    An old Nex 5 was the camera that got me into waist level street shooting with the flip up screen at the very beginning of last year. I loved it and only got rid of it when the EPL3 came along with the same basic screen and a bunch of lenses I already owned. I loved that too. As I now love the OMD with the flip screen. But a funny thing happened. Along the way I got so comfortable shooting without looking at anything on the camera (zone focus so no need to see to nail focus), so comfortable framing with my eyes and knowing what I'd get through the lens, that I very rarely actually use the screen for my typical wide angle street shooting anymore. I still love having it and use it when shooting candid portraits at family gatherings or the occasional street shot with a longer lens. I use the screen a lot, but rarely for street shooting anymore. Which is why I hesitate to recommend it as wholeheartedly as I used to, but I still love having it.

    But yeah, you should be able to get a really good feel for it with the 5n - if you have good lenses you can use for zone focus with that camera, it should be all you'd need...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    Change of plan! Bought a Nikon J1 with 10mm pancake. It was a good price on Ebay with 5 batterys and a screen magnifier. This may well be a very temporary purchase though - I just had to satisfy my curiosity.

    I sold my GF3 body for £5 less than I paid for it new (thanks to the £50 cashback offer which I presume has now expired). Then I went and bought a Panasonic G1 with 14-45mm lens. I only really wanted the 14-45mm lens but I'll keep the body until I have funds to upgrade. I still want the EPL3 but figure it will be a bit cheaper when the EPL5 is released. I really want the EPL5 because it has the better sensor but more importantly (for me) it has touch focus/shoot with the tilting LCD screen. However, I'm reluctant to buy into a camera that has just been released. I was too quick to get a GRD IV and I've learn't my lesson!