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  1. #1
    Lemur-ing
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    Camera kwestshuns (Olympus & Panasonic in particular)

    I wanna get a new camera. Soon-ish.

    Was intent on a DSLR but am really liking the Panasonic GF-1 right now from what I've read, heard first hand and seen.

    Didn't even consider the Olympus EP-1 coz I wanted to at least have the option of an EVF.

    Now, with the new Olympus, hmm...

    So, what I'm kinda asking, aside from me going out to try them out myself in due time, is, what are y'alls takes on these:

    Olympus E-P2 vs. Panasonic GF-1. I didn't list the E-P1 also because I've read the autofocus is a little sluggish compared to the Panasonic.

    And takes on the Panasonic G1/GH1 and the newer G2.

    Likes, dislikes etc.

    Personally: I like the GF-1 over the E-P2 coz it's cheaper and, I'm also familiar with the Panasonic system since I have a Lumix right now.
    Edit to add: But I like the Olympus in-body image stabilization.

    Also, I'd prefer either of those 2 just coz they're a tad smaller than the G1 (which kinda mirror the DMC FZ series) and I would actually like to take just one camera with me on trips if possible.

    Lastly, I must admit that I do travel a bit and hence, portability/size would make it a considering factor.

    I do like the G1 mould since I have one in that same shape and such and I also consider the fact that the EVF being attached to the camera a bonus rather than having to purchase and optional electronic one for the other 2 smaller models. In fact, it'd be just like using my current camera right now, save for the better image sensor and the interchangeable lenses with minor changes in the camera's back panel. This does seem appealing.

    So, which would you recommend and why?

    MB1? Terry (I know... I was almost set on the GF-1 but I figured I'd get some more info before I decide), Roebuck (I know you just got your camera) and others?

    Thanks ahead.

    I might be lucky enough to get one before summer but if not, then well, maybe after.
    Last edited by uzziefly; 04-22-2010 at 10:45 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  2. #2
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    Fyi, Olympus just rolled out a firmware that supposedly speeds up AF.

    I tried one at my LCS a couple days ago sans firmware update, and the focus wasn't that bad. If you want DSLR performance, get a DSLR.

    If I were you I wouldn't rule out something like the Nikon D60, though the ones you're looking at are good choices.
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  3. #3
    Stumpcake!
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRoebuck
    If I were you I wouldn't rule out something like the Nikon D60, though the ones you're looking at are good choices.
    Or a good condition used DSLR body.
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem."

  4. #4
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRoebuck
    Fyi, Olympus just rolled out a firmware that supposedly speeds up AF.

    I tried one at my LCS a couple days ago sans firmware update, and the focus wasn't that bad. If you want DSLR performance, get a DSLR.

    If I were you I wouldn't rule out something like the Nikon D60, though the ones you're looking at are good choices.
    Well, I know it's not a DSLR per se, but, I'd honestly be happy with those, especially since I would use them for traveling and it'd also encourage me to take them out more in general just coz of the overall size/weight thing.

    I read about the firmware update that's supposed to speed up autofocusing by 20% in general. Which one did you try? The E-P1 I suppose? Oh it can't be too bad I suppose. I think the Panasonic has very slow bracketing FWIW but I'm fine with it coz I rarely use bracketing since I have the live view EVF on my camera. Plus bracketing also doesn't allow for burst mode shooting on my camera that's why.

    Sure the D60/D80 isn't big but you get what I mean.

    Curious on your takes here since you have used a Lumix before: what do you like about your the Olympus vs. your lumix in terms of the settings maybe. Is it very different?

    TCon - still looking at the sites you suggested for a good used camera body. Not ruling that out entirely, just leaning a little towards these choices.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  5. #5
    Jerkhard Sirdribbledick
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    Curious on your takes here since you have used a Lumix before: what do you like about your the Olympus vs. your lumix in terms of the settings maybe. Is it very different?
    I'm intrigued by MFT because the sensor is larger than a P&S and you get interchangeable lenses.

    The Lumix is a great P&S ... IMO the best on the market, at least when I bought it. It has full manual control and the interface for changing other settings was quick and intuitive. Plus it has DSLR functions like auto-bracketing, a customizable Function button, etc.

    The biggest problem was actually using the manual controls. It has one joystick, and you go left/right to toggle shutter speed/aperture, then up/down to adjust. I'm so used to the thumbweels on DSLRs that the joystick thing was just too slow and cumbersome. The E-P1 is more similar to a DSLR in that way, and that was the final push I needed to make the jump.

    This won't have the same image quality as my "real" setup, but I'm hoping it'll be good enough that it can be an adequate substitute when size is a concern.
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  6. #6
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRoebuck
    I'm intrigued by MFT because the sensor is larger than a P&S and you get interchangeable lenses.

    The Lumix is a great P&S ... IMO the best on the market, at least when I bought it. It has full manual control and the interface for changing other settings was quick and intuitive. Plus it has DSLR functions like auto-bracketing, a customizable Function button, etc.

    The biggest problem was actually using the manual controls. It has one joystick, and you go left/right to toggle shutter speed/aperture, then up/down to adjust. I'm so used to the thumbweels on DSLRs that the joystick thing was just too slow and cumbersome. The E-P1 is more similar to a DSLR in that way, and that was the final push I needed to make the jump.

    This won't have the same image quality as my "real" setup, but I'm hoping it'll be good enough that it can be an adequate substitute when size is a concern.
    Hmm...

    I definitely really like my DMC FZ Lumix as well. And I like the functions like you mentioned too. I find the joystick alright since I haven't had a camera with the dial but IMO, the dials are faster and more natural in a way.

    Now, any reason why you went with the Olympus instead of the GF-1 by Panasonic?

    I'm leaning towards either, coz the G1/G2 are about the same size as my current setup with the camera bag and all and if I were gonna get something of that size, I might as well go to a full DSLR set up IMO. But, I just wanna know more about these in general.

    TCon got me thinking about used camera bodies and I've been looking at the D80 in particular, with an 18-135mm as my top choice. I've also played around with a friend's D90 and really liked it. But, I find that I don't need the HD Video and I just don't really like the D5000 in general. The D80 is my favorite thus far. Of course if I had spare cash, then I'd get this (D80) and the Olympus/Panasonic for when size is a concern like you said.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  7. #7
    Shirtcocker
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    Uzzie...I just went through the debate whether to get a compact or a DSLR. If you're gonna spend $700+ on a 4/3 compact why not just get a relatively compact DSLR instead? It'll be about the same size and take better pix. I ended up going with the Canon G11 because I just didn't want to lug around a DSLR and lenses and it was less $$ than an entry-level DSLR, but if I was spending close to $1000 I'd probably just get a DSLR.
    "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark." -S. Hawking

  8. #8
    Stumpcake!
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    TCon - still looking at the sites you suggested for a good used camera body. Not ruling that out entirely, just leaning a little towards these choices.
    Oh I knew you already knew...I'm just poast padding and being a little attention wh0r3 today!
    "Indecision may or may not be my problem."

  9. #9
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    Oh I knew you already knew...I'm just poast padding and being a little attention wh0r3 today!
    You padding? NO!

    Oh hey, have you tried the Blueberry pop tarts by the way? I kinda like them lately.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bocephus Jones II
    Uzzie...I just went through the debate whether to get a compact or a DSLR. If you're gonna spend $700+ on a 4/3 compact why not just get a relatively compact DSLR instead? It'll be about the same size and take better pix. I ended up going with the Canon G11 because I just didn't want to lug around a DSLR and lenses and it was less $$ than an entry-level DSLR, but if I was spending close to $1000 I'd probably just get a DSLR.
    Well.... If I were to get a DSLR, I'd want something around the Nikon D80 kinda camera (no, I want that one actually since I know how to use it, I really like it, and, I find Nikon a tad easier to use than Canon just because I'm used to it) but these, while not large like their full frame counterparts, are still large-ish and heavy-ish and might be cumbersome to lug around everywhere I go at times.

    It'll be nice to have a camera bag about the size of mine and actually have a smaller camera than my current one that I can take along everywhere.

    But based on price, yeah, you make a very valid point. I know I'll probably want a DSLR in future as well, so why not now right? Hmm... It's more for the traveling and portability bit - I usually travel along with my camera and laptop, and hence, a bunch of chargers, cases, sleeves etc so that's why smaller is kinda the factor here. I could just stick with my current camera and use that and still get a DSLR, but I'll have to then take 2 cameras along. Also, this is another reason why I find the iPad very appealing too honestly - I can basically do almost anything I use my laptop for while traveling on that should I have one. Which again brings the issue of lugging around smaller/less things in general.

    I may even be able to take in my jersey pocket (MB1- is this possible with the pancake lens?) when cycling and would give me the incentive to ride and shoot more too.

    I'm a Terry B disciple if you must say

    In all seriousness, right now, I'm hoping to also hear reasons why I should just skip the 4/3 cameras and just go DSLR because on a personal level, the 4/3s is just much more appealing for my uses. IMO of course.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  10. #10
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    I bought a GF-1, a couple weeks ago. I bought it after spending several hours at the Samy's in Pasadena over two visits, handling both it and the Olympus, as well as a variety of P&S's and small-bodied DSLR's.

    I haven't actually taken it on an extended trip yet...the true acid test...but in my many experiments I've grown to really like the machine. I'm a nutcase when it comes to shutter lag-time, and the Panasonic truly satisfies me. It was a lot quicker on the trigger than the Olympus was. I adjusted the Panasonic's viewscreen so that it brightens when I'm in sunlight, and so far I haven't had wished I'd have bought the eye-level viewfinder. At the same time, though, I intend to keep my old Voigtlander viewfinder (which fits into the hot shoe) in my camera bag, just in case.

    The camera feels secure in my hands. One hand operation is very doable, as the camera back is large enough to be able to avoid accidentally pressing any buttons. I truly love the Panasonic's quick access to white balance, ISO sensitivity, focusing options and exposure compensation. Don't think the White Balance is quite right while looking at the viewscreen? Just press the WB button and spin your way to the WB that looks the best in your eyes. It takes about five seconds at most.

    I bought the kit with the 14-45 OIS Mega zoom, so at the moment at least I have image stabilization.

    As for image quality, I haven't looked at the images on anything other than my cheapo ViewSonic Monitor, so I can't truly say if it's world-class. But I can say that the images are a good deal better than from my old (and still much beloved) Canon PowerShot A710.
    You can see some samples in my post in the San Diego Handmade Bicycle Show thread in the Southern California Forum. The shots of the old Legnano were taken at 1600...or perhaps even 3200. I personally think the graininess the ISO speed imparts is quite beautiful.

    Anyway, I like my GF-! a lot.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  11. #11
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mapei
    I bought a GF-1, a couple weeks ago. I bought it after spending several hours at the Samy's in Pasadena over two visits, handling both it and the Olympus, as well as a variety of P&S's and small-bodied DSLR's.

    I haven't actually taken it on an extended trip yet...the true acid test...but in my many experiments I've grown to really like the machine. I'm a nutcase when it comes to shutter lag-time, and the Panasonic truly satisfies me. It was a lot quicker on the trigger than the Olympus was. I adjusted the Panasonic's viewscreen so that it brightens when I'm in sunlight, and so far I haven't had wished I'd have bought the eye-level viewfinder. At the same time, though, I intend to keep my old Voigtlander viewfinder (which fits into the hot shoe) in my camera bag, just in case.

    The camera feels secure in my hands. One hand operation is very doable, as the camera back is large enough to be able to avoid accidentally pressing any buttons. I truly love the Panasonic's quick access to white balance, ISO sensitivity, focusing options and exposure compensation. Don't think the White Balance is quite right while looking at the viewscreen? Just press the WB button and spin your way to the WB that looks the best in your eyes. It takes about five seconds at most.

    I bought the kit with the 14-45 OIS Mega zoom, so at the moment at least I have image stabilization.

    As for image quality, I haven't looked at the images on anything other than my cheapo ViewSonic Monitor, so I can't truly say if it's world-class. But I can say that the images are a good deal better than from my old (and still much beloved) Canon PowerShot A710.
    You can see some samples in my post in the San Diego Handmade Bicycle Show thread in the Southern California Forum. The shots of the old Legnano were taken at 1600...or perhaps even 3200. I personally think the graininess the ISO speed imparts is quite beautiful.

    Anyway, I like my GF-! a lot.
    Nice. Thanks!

    I'm looking to try both out this week hopefully if a store has them nearby.

    I suppose you'll be taking the GF-1 (you like it so much eh? ) for your trip next month?

    For now, I'm hoping my friend lends me her Canon 500D actually. If she does, I won't complain at all and it's also an 18-200mm lens that she has so that'll save me the wishing I had the camera etc crap and allowing me to save up more.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

  12. #12
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    I've been having the same debate with myself, given that I would prefer something smaller than a dslr (after tendonitis resulting from years of carrying a fully-loaded camera bag around), but wont' settle for other than some kind of eye-level viewfinder. Mapei, did you try out the viewfinder for the GF-1? Shutter lag is like a pencil in my eye, so the increased speed would make it preferable to the EP-2....

  13. #13
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    I didn't try the GF-1's viewfinder, but I did experiment with the viewfinder on the Olympus...which I was led to believe is utterly identical and interchangeable with the Panasonic-branded one. It was kind of meh, in my opinion. The image was a little rough. A little too electronicky for my taste. I much preferred the crystalline view through my all analog, steel-is-real Voigtlander viewfinder (which, admittedly, has a bit wider angle than the standard GF-1 lenses). The electronic one does, though, tilt upwards so you can frame a picture Rolleiflex/Hasselblad style, from the top looking down.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Through May 9, or as long as supplies last, Costco (onine only) has the Pen 1 for $549.99 after $100 rebate.
    It is a Schwinn. Bought it new in Sixty Two.

  15. #15
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    I've had the GF-1 for four months and I would highly recommend it. With the 20mm pancake, it fits in the pocket of my soft shell, so i take it pretty much anywhere and everywhere. My main body is a Canon 5D, so it is a little weird going to a system with only one scroll wheel, but the implementation is good. Better, IMO, than the Rebel series. After a day of use, they Panny actually feels pretty intuitive, and I can now work it without thinking.

    I tend to keep it at ISO 800 or below, but will go to 1600 if really necessary, which will still produce good 4x6's. Autofocus is surprisingly fast. Very few situations leave me needing anything faster; the only time I've had a problem was with a fast moving toddler. DOF with the 20mm is pretty shallow, and the lens is as sharp as the reviews say. Oh, and video is pretty nice too.

    If you're interested, I can dig up some shots. Overall, I'd say that it will produce images on par with basically anything in the price/size range. I was pleased enough with it to leave the 5D and L's at home on my last weekend vacation.

    Also, have a look here: http://craigmod.com/journal/gf1-fieldtest/ It's one of the things that made me pick the Panny.

  16. #16
    MB1
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    You think too much.

    If you are really not going to buy right now by the time you do there will be a zillion more choices for you to struggle through.

    The bottom line is; they are all good.

    BTW As you well know I did a fairly extensive review of my EP1 here; Olympus EP1 w/Panasonic 7-14 f4 & 20mm f1.7 Report
    Quote Originally Posted by the_dude
    these are better than i was expecting, and my expectations were already rather high.

  17. #17
    eminence grease
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    This is the last time I'm going to say it - go buy the GF-1, EP or G2 and be done with it.

    I just spent an hour and a half walking around at 14,000' with my 900 pound Canon in my bag mumbling to myself that I will never do it again.

    u4/3 gives you everything and doesn't compress the nerves in your neck when you're traveling.
    You'd be better off with a netbook, they do everything better.

    My travel blog: http://tbaroundtheworld.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vettekid
    Through May 9, or as long as supplies last, Costco (onine only) has the Pen 1 for $549.99 after $100 rebate.
    That's a good price...

    //lens that comes with it isn't very fast though...no optical viewfinder either that I can see.

    M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 14-42mm f3.5-5.6
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  19. #19
    Lemur-ing
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry b
    This is the last time I'm going to say it - go buy the GF-1, EP or G2 and be done with it.

    I just spent an hour and a half walking around at 14,000' with my 900 pound Canon in my bag mumbling to myself that I will never do it again.

    u4/3 gives you everything and doesn't compress the nerves in your neck when you're traveling.
    Yes sir!

    Unfortunately I can't try them out this weekend but I'll make my decision after I try them out.

    The only feeling I get, based on the things I've read at least, is that those cameras are kinda meant for the pancake lenses mainly and it isn't too popular for whatever reason to get the zoom lenses? (say 14-135mm or something) I would like to get such a lens from Olympus perhaps to have a complete kit so to speak.

    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    You think too much.

    If you are really not going to buy right now by the time you do there will be a zillion more choices for you to struggle through.

    The bottom line is; they are all good.

    BTW As you well know I did a fairly extensive review of my EP1 here; http://forums.roadbikereview.com/sho...d.php?t=207399
    Yeap. Well, I do wanna get it before I go on my trip, but I may not end up doing so that's the thing.

    Really? I guess so since this seems to be a trending thing right now. I suppose Panasonic and Olympus will release more in the next few months.

    I re-read your review again and yeah, I definitely agree with both you and Terry for the big portability bonus of the camera.

    Just a curious question here - did you go for the Olympus instead of the Panasonic because of the in camera image stabilization and slightly better high ISO performance or is it coz of the fact you already have an Olympus and are sticking to it?

    I'll test them out soon (hopefully even the new EP2) and 'decide' then. If I don't get it, then well, I'll at least have a reference to compare it to in a few months then.
    Quote Originally Posted by tconrady
    If I can get some more tomorrow.... I thought it'd grow on me but I'm not feelin' it....wait..
    Allez United!

    Glory, Glory Man United, and the Reds go marching on!

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