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Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 + Oly E-PL5

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds Forum' started by graphicgreg, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. graphicgreg

    graphicgreg New to SC

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    Hi - I am new to the forum and joined hoping to get some advice on a camera purchase. Up until the beginning of this year I had been using a PowerShot G11 as my carry-around street camera. My wife needed a camera for her real estate work and asked me for a recommendation so I suggested the Samsung EX2F for its fast, wide-angle lens. That was in February and I can guarantee you I have used the EX2F far more than she! It is a great little camera with a great lens. I would probably live with it, and might get a second, but above ISO 200 the images are a tad noisy and shooting raw is beast for all settings.

    So in looking for a new rig, I am strongly considering the Oly E-PL5 with the Pany 14mm to start, mainly because of the small size...I need something that will fit in a jacket pocket but want the option of interchangeable lenses (and an articulated lcd). Any thoughts on this combo? Some have suggested the focus might not be as snappy as an Oly lens but at 14mm, I would probably use it zone focused anyway.

    Camera will be used exclusively for street photography

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/streetshooter45/9521276793/" title="Lucky Cafe by StreetShooter45, on Flickr"> 9521276793_ac999577f9_n. "320" height="214" alt="Lucky Cafe"></a>
     
  2. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    E-PL5 w/ 14mm is fast as any oly lens combo if I remember correctly. I think af speed would be speedy enough. It makes a small package as you say. This was with slower e-p2 & 14mm, wide open iso 1600:

    [​IMG]

    E-PL5 has faster and better sensor. For zone focusing there is no distance parameters on 14mm. Oly 12mm f/2 & 17mm f/1.8 lenses have that manual focus option. Other good option if you are OK on the wide side is Sony nex 3n/5n + Voigtlander 15mm 4.5 lens, which should give you 22.5mm equivalency manual lens with everything pretty much in focus. Every Sony nex has the focus peaking. Latest m43 cameras are now have it too, but not on the e-pl5.
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    I have used the PL14/2.5 with my EPL5, and it has a pretty darn fast AF. It's not as pocketable as the Canon or the Samsung though. Here's a link to size comparisons.

    http://j.mp/18XqZmy

    I believe Ray Sachs has used the EPL5 for street shooting quite a bit. Hopefully, he'll chime in here.

    Welcome to the forum!
     
  4. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    I'll only add this: get the E-PL5 with the kit lens. The kit lens is very good.
     
  5. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    I've used the 14mm on my E-M5 which has the same generation sensor, processor, AF, etc as the E-PL5. It usually feels speedy enough for street photography such that you can leave it on AF and use the touchscreen for focus point selection and shutter release, but...sometimes it just seems to get confused and hunt in a situation where there seems to be enough light and contrast. I think there is still the occasional miscommunication between Olympus bodies and Panasonic lenses. In comparison my old GH1 (which has a slower sensor readout so won't achieve the fastest possible focus speeds) seems more consistent.

    I think that maybe I am too harsh on the 14mm sometimes and it is long way from being the worst lens I have used. It is tiny to carry around and very unobtrusive when mounted on the camera, but I've just never been able to love this lens.
     
  6. graphicgreg

    graphicgreg New to SC

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    Thanks guys for the great advice !!! Seems like the 14mm f2.5 is a bastard child that few love. I have a friend who has one and mostly uses an Oly OMD. When I asked him about it he said he's never mounted the lens on the camera...he keeps it on his EP2 in his backpack!!! I forgot to mention that I have a 28mm optical vf and live in sunny Florida ;)
    Is the Oly EV4 compatible with the E-PL5? I like the idea of a modular system and I have read that the EV4 is essantially as good a view as the OMD.
     
  7. serhan

    serhan SC All-Pro

    May 7, 2011
    NYC
    Optical vf might be smaller then the EV4. EV4 came with e-p5 and I think it is better viewfinder then omd e-m5. Only new omd e-m1 has the updated ev4 vf. I think all oly viewfinders are compatible with older bodies.
     
  8. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    The new VF-4 is actually a better viewfinder then you will find in the current E-M5 model, but essentially the same as that fitted to the new E-M1 which is very close to release.

    As for the 14mm pancake, you will actually find a lot of people who do love it with it's tiny size being one of the main reasons for that. Size is the main reason why I have kept mine but at that focal length I would usually prefer to shoot with a zoom lens and as such I don't get a whole lot of use out of the 14mm. I also find 28mm too wide for the type of street photography I prefer and would rather use the 25mm f1.4 lens instead.
     
  9. MiguelATF

    MiguelATF SC Top Veteran

    873
    Aug 27, 2013
    Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
    Miguel Tejada-Flores
    I have the exact setup you are talking about - an E-PL5 which I often use with the 14mm Panasonic pancake lens - and it is a fabulous setup for street photography. Incredibly small, portable, a wonderful lens, a great sensor. I would highly recommend it. The only additional thing which is almost a must-have accessory is an external EVF. I have the original generation one and it pairs beautifully with the camera and only adds slightly to its overall size.
     
  10. graphicgreg

    graphicgreg New to SC

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    Thanks guys for all of your feedback. Yeah, size is a priority, but the E-PL5 w/ 14mm f2.5 looks eminently doable. Just a tad deeper than the EX2F and not much bigger elsewise. So what exactly is the difference between the E-P5 and E-PL5 other than a few hundred dollars, more manual controls and bigger size? They share the same sensor and image processor as the OMD, right?
     
  11. Yeats

    Yeats SC All-Pro

    Jul 31, 2012
    New Jersey, USA
    Chris
    The EP5 has the 5-axis IBIS like the OMD, the EPL5 has 2-axis (which I find works well). The EP5 also has focus peaking & ISO 100, although I don't know whether or not that's a processing trick.

    Oh, and I think (I might be wrong) that the EP5 is the only PEN that can utilize the eye sensor on the new VF4.
     
  12. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin SC Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Nic
    A key difference for me is that the E-P5 has a second multi-function control wheel. The great benefit here is that allied with the Olympus live-view that provides an accurate display of the final exposure, as well as the choice of histogram and shadow/highlight "blinkies", you can use the second wheel to trim the exposure to the right up until the final moment before you release the shutter. This makes it easy to get your exposures right and will help you get the most out of the sensor every time.

    The other reasons I'd pay more for the E-P5 are:
    - 1/8000 shutter (vs 1/4000)
    - Higher quality, higher resolution (OLED) rear screen with a squarer aspect ratio so that the live view display is spread over a larger area. This helps for determining critical focus and allows more pinpoint use of the touchscreen focus point selection.
    - 5-Axis IBIS (vs 2-Axis). I always found the Olympus 2-Axis IBIS to be good but nothing amazing. The 5-Axis IBIS is nothing short of amazing.
    - Built-in flash. The clip-on units on the other Olympus Micro 4/3 bodies (including the larger OM-Ds) are fairly obtrusive.
    - Larger body size. I find the smallest mirrorless bodies almost too small.

    The E-P5 is unquestionably the better camera for mine, but whether it is a ~$300 better camera is debatable.
     
  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    The EP5 in the US body only is $1000. EPL5 is about $400-500. So huge difference in price.
     
  14. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo!

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Andy
    Can I just say that I really like the 14mm f2.5. It's tiny, sharp and the AF is well fast enough for me. Being 28mm equivalent it is pretty perfect for street while keeping the bulk to a minimum. The 25mm f1.4 Panleica would be better but it's huge compared to the 14mm.
     
  15. graphicgreg

    graphicgreg New to SC

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    Thanks for the feedback. I was curious as to whether or not it was worth twice as much. I would certainly appreciate a second control wheel as well as the squarer screen - the other differences, not as much.
     
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Unfortunately, only you can determine that. If faster shutter speed, wifi, better controls and ergonomics, better screen, and better IBIS are important for you, then maybe. Otherwise, the sensor is basically the same. For me, the EPL5's smaller size serves as a backup for my EM5.
     
  17. norman shearer

    norman shearer SC Veteran

    I'm using the E-PL5 with 14mm pancake for street. They make a good pairing and the AF in good light is fast enough to get plenty of keepers shooting blind from the hip or neck strap. In poorer light it's better to zone focus. The 14mm is on another level to the 17mm f2.8 pancake. My only gripe is that the shutter sound on the E-PL5 is a tad loud in some environments and with the 14mm I often end up shooting too early or I "bottle it" and miss the shot! Which is why I now have the 20mm F1.7 on it's way.
     
  18. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    yeah, i agree about the epl5 being loud. why cant we control that, like i was able to on my ep2????
     
  19. graphicgreg

    graphicgreg New to SC

    9
    Sep 23, 2013
    I was wondering about that...thanks for letting me know. I think probably all MILC's have that problem. The Samsung EX2F I have been playing around with has an electronic shutter that you can just turn off. Everything has a compromise!
     
  20. rbelyell

    rbelyell SC Top Veteran

    820
    May 14, 2013
    NY Mtns
    i dont get it, even as a 'compromise', because we were able to lower shutter sound on older ep models...