Trying to decide for another camera body - Olympus E-PM1 or Sony NEX-3

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 SC Regular

    44
    Aug 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    I want a compact ILC camera body under $500. Trying to decide which one I want. Which would you pick? Both will be used for general walk-around photography when not carrying a DSLR. I plan on selling the Olympus kit lens and use a 14mm 2.5 if I get the E-PM1. If I get the NEX-3 I'll get the 16mm 2.8 kit lens. I'll probably use either one to handle MF lenses as well. I like that NEX-3 has peaking, but I like the fact that the E-PM1 has IBIS. I'm having a hard time deciding, help me pick!
     
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  2. Ghosthunter

    Ghosthunter boo! Subscribing Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    London UK
    Real Name:
    Andy
    The Olympus is a realy good camera. It's very fast to auto focus and the images should be really good. I have seen impressive images from the E-P3 so the E-PM1 should be the same. The NEX has a bigger sensor so 'should' create better images from your MF lenses. I would have one JUST for my MF lenses if money allowed. The 16mm lens is very poor in my opinion so i would go for a different AF lens if you feel you need one....just my opinion. The NEX is a GREAT camera for MF lenses.
     
  3. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Hey Jonathan! Welcome aboard. I think I recognize your name from MU-43.

    I have the NEX3 and just played with a EPM1 at Best Buy today. Both are quite portable (as far as large sensor cameras are concerned), but the NEX3 is much easier to hold thanks to the grip. If you don't plan to tweak settings on the fly a lot, either camera's menu and interface system is "satisfactory", IMO. The LCD of the NEX3 is much better as it's bigger, more detailed, and brighter. Arguably, the NEX's have one of the better LCD's in the market. The NEX3 will invariably handle high ISO a little bit better due to the larger sensor, but it also has a stronger AA filter. So at low ISO, the EPM1's photos might seem a little sharper, all other things being equal. The NEX3 also has multi-shot noise reduction, which works surprisingly well. Using the multi-shot noise reduction, you get about 1 stop of better noise signature (i.e. ISO 12800 looks like it's 6400). The EPM1 has more lenses, and has at least three pancake lenses to choose from. Plus, with the Panasonic X lens coming out soon, that's another small lens in the m4/3 lineup. IMO, the Sony 16mm gets a bad rap. I personally like the lens, and get good results out of it. I don't think it's worse or better than the Pany 14/2.5.

    That all being said, I'm dying to pick up one of the new Pens, and I'm actually leaning towards the EPM1 now. I still like the NEX3 (as well as most of my cameras), but that tiny little thing with fast AF just looks like a good camera for me to throw in the bag, and have it with me all the time. If I get the EPM1, I also plan to use it with the 14/2.5 most of the time.

    Decisions, decisions!!!
     
  4. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 SC Regular

    44
    Aug 21, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    That's me! I wanted to ask the question here as opposed to the MU-43 board, just to get a broader spectrum of answers since there are more multi-camera body users here. I already have a G3 and GF2 and I like the combo, but I was thinking of switching out the GF2 for an Olympus just to have a little variety, especially IBIS. My only issue would be to lose battery compatibility that I currently have with the G3/GF2.

     
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  5. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    GF2's are nice too! IMO, they look nicer than the GF3. I like having that thumb wheel to switch aperture, shutter speed or whatever else. Given that you are already invested on m4/3, you might as well go for the EPM1.

    That NEX7 sure looks pretty nice ... maybe you should get a .... :smile:

    Ha, I'm just causing trouble!
     
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  6. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Hey, Jonathan - welcome from across the hall, as we call Mu43! If you have time, please stop by and give us a formal, informal intro here in the Welcomes and Introductions forum.:biggrin:
     
  7. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    Hi Jonathan,

    Welcome to SC!

    I have the NEX-5 and have used it with the 16mm. I must say I have been very happy with the results. I've not seen the E-PM1 in the flesh yet but would recommend that you try it in a shop for size first. I was convinced that I'd be buying an E-PL3 this week but when I picked one up in the shop I was disappointed, it just didn't feel right in my hands.

    I walked away with a GRD III instead since I was in the camera buying frame of mind! :blush: This side of the hall is a dangerous one to walk in, the GAS is very contagious.
     
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  8. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    Naughty, naughty Karen...you'd think as a medical professional you'd have a cure for G.A.S.:tongue:
     
  9. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    When my patients complain of GAS, I just tell them its better out than in. I just let my GAS out and I feel fine!! :drinks:
     
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  10. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    :laugh1: That's priceless! I'm going to start practicing that more often!:blush::biggrin:
     
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  11. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Speaking of GAS, I picked up an EPM1 today ... I gave in ...
     
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  12. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    So Armando......what color?

    R
     
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  13. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    Stealthy black! AKA, the only color Best Buy carries!
     
  14. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    LOL, now that's a pity, that purple one would really have brought out the sparkle in your eyes!

    Have you taken any pics yet?
     
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  15. BBW

    BBW Administrator Emeritus S.C. Charter Member

    Jul 7, 2010
    betwixt and between
    Real Name:
    BB
    I don't even know what the EPM1 is.:redface: I thought it was a typo yesterday in another person's post...until I saw a response that used the same acronym.

    What is the EPM1?????
     
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  16. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    Its the smallest of the three new olympus pens. You can see it here:

    Olympus - E-PM1
     
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  17. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    HAHAHA! Thanks!

    I took a few pics with it, and the IQ appears to be better than the IQ of my ever dust gathering and retired EP2. The AF is indeed faster than the EP2. I'm not sure if it's faster than the GH2 though. Might be about the same.

    BUT, I'm going to return it. It's just way too small for my hands. It's too thin. I bought a grip for it (hasn't arrived yet), but I'm going to return it anyway.

    I thought minituarization would be nice, so that I can have a large sensor camera in a real small package to carry with me all the time. The EPM1 is tiny compared to the EP2 and X100. But now it's too small for my hands. The size and the lack of direct buttons makes it very difficult to use for my hands. Even the exisiting buttons and dial are small. Given that there aren't too many buttons, I end up having to use the little dial and its directional buttons.

    I also did not like the LCD. It's brighter than the EP2's LCD, but it's so much smaller due to the 16:9 format of the LCD.
     
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  18. Briar

    Briar SC All-Pro

    Oct 27, 2010
    Scotland
    Real Name:
    Karen
    I did wonder about the size of the e-pm1. I found the e-pl3 quite small when I picked it up. I thought that it would be fine for the small prime lenses but I wasn't sure how balanced it would feel with the larger zoom or macro lenses on it. I still like my e-p2 so I'm not in a hurry to invest in another micro four thirds camera just yet.
     
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  19. Rich M

    Rich M SC Regular

    162
    May 2, 2011
    Hawaii
    So Armando........big hands........big camera???

    R
     
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  20. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Real Name:
    Jack
    I don't want to brag or anything! Hahaha!

    On a more serious note, I was just having a hard time operating the camera, because the dial and buttons are all so small. Kind of like with the Canon S90.

    It's returned ... onto the next camera!

    I actually charged up the battery on the K5 to give the K5 some love this weekend.
     
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