Micro 4/3 recommendation?
I'm looking for a recommendation for a M 4/3 camera. I'm a fairly experienced amateur, and am looking to upgrade from my Lumix travel-zoom camera to something with better image quality and more manual control. My shooting is mostly outdoors- landscapes, wildlife, macro, travel, etc, with some portraits and random snapshots mixed in. Not a lot of fast action sports or low-light photography. I would like to be able to make decent enlargements to at least 11 X 14. Want to buy in the next month, and no one in my area (central CT) carries Panasonic. My criteria:
- should be fairly compact (I do a lot of biking, hiking, climbing, etc). A standard DSLR is too big for my taste, but I like the handling of the new Rebel SL1 with kit lens (but probably not anything bigger). Something like a Nikon 1 is just too tiny.
- some degree of external control (I don't want to have to go through a menu every time I want to change shutter speed or aperture)
- should either have built in EVF or option to add one as an accessory.
- under $500 with kit lens (with less being better).
Currently thinking about Olympus EPM2, EPL5, or EP3, or Panasonic GX1 or G5. The main drawback I see with Panasonic is that if you want IS, you're limited to their lenses.
Well of the 4 you mention only the epm2 and epl5 have the newer sensor That the em-5 and gh3 do.
The epm2 is nice and small but very menu driven so changing settings will be more involved than the epl-5
The evf for the epl5 is said to be much nicer.
I have an epm-1 and an em-5 with the new one getting all the use. The kit lens for both companies are ok but if you want to maximize the system really an upgrade lens is best - My main lens is the 4/3 12-60 which is rather large and not cheap.
Have you considered the lx-7? There are a few threads on dpr asserting that if all you are going to use is a kit lens then you can often get similar or better results with a better compact
The lx-7 is a steal at under 300$
for example the lx-7 is f 1.4 at 24 mm equivalent whereas most m4/3 kit lens start at 3.5 or 4 at 28 mm so almost 3 stops faster and 4 mm wider.
certainly 11x 14 could be achieved in good light.
The m4/3 system is great , but not cheap if you want results that will be much better than a compact or rivaling aps cameras
I have a ep2 and om-d and they are great on the trail. I've been carrying them in my Timbuktu Goody box (Extra padding is recommended if you plan on riding rough terrain). I don't think you can go wrong with any of those cameras and even the kit lens. I have both a kit lens and the Panny 20 1.7. I use the 20 1.7 for just about everything.
If I had to choose I would probably go with the epl5 or the ep3. The ep3 has good build quality but is slightly older than the epl5. I don't know much about the epm2 to give an opinion about it.
I started with an EPL1 years ago (good camera at the time, but terrible in low-light) and bought my EPM2 about a year ago when they first came out. I went with Olympus over Panny because, as you mentioned, the in-body stabilization opens up a number of lens choices.
It really just depends what you want to spend as far as i'm concerned. My stepfather has an EPM1 and it's a fantastic camera--best of the "old" sensor cameras by far. My EPM2 takes much better pictures. The downside is that i think the EPM2's menu system kinda sucks. I'm not sure if the EPL5 would be worth the extra money on that account, though. In the end i just wind up shooting RAW and doing post-processing.
Overall i'm really happy with the EPM2. There have been very few situations where i was unhappy with how it performed. I have three lenses: the kit lens, the Oly 150mm lens (fantastic lens for the price), and a Panny 1.4 prime lens. Personally i am not blown away by the kit lens, but it's a $50 lens, so...
I do all the things you mentioned, but i will say for mountain biking that i usually just take a cheap point-and-shoot. The u4/3's are very small for what they are, but they are still quite large with a modest lens and i worry about landing in it in a wreck. Just food for thought!
I have been on board with the m43 thing for about 2 years now and I cam from a much larger Canon system that included "L" glass and a 7D. I now roll with either a GF-2 or a GH-2 depending on my needs. My wife also has a G3. I have looked at Olympus a number of time but everything I have bought a camera they just didn't have what I wanted. That being said the new EP-5 and EPM-2 are some pretty nice looking cameras, that 16mp sensor they have is very good.
If you are looking for cheap look at something like a GF-2 or a EPM-1 you can most likely find them for under 300 bucks new at this point. if you are looking at a more modern camera look at the GX-1 or EPM-2, both can be had for about 500 bucks.
2500 mile goal for 2016
1,381.6 miles ridden in 2015
1067.7 miles ridden in 2014
1868.3 miles ridden in 2013
Just an update: bought the Panasonic G5; with kit lens the price ($350) was just too good to pass up. I also bought the 45-150. Thanks to everyone for their input.
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