Second lens to add to E-PM1 kit and general observations of getting into m4/3

Started Oct 11, 2012 | Discussions thread
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chd dad
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Second lens to add to E-PM1 kit and general observations of getting into m4/3
Oct 11, 2012

Hello, I recently bought and received a E-PM1 kit as my first foray into m4/3.  It came with the standard 14-42 II kit lens.  Right off the bat I was shocked at how small this body is vs. my Sony DSLR!  I knew it would be smaller, but had never handled one in person until it arrived and I was pretty surprised when I opened the box.

So far I have to say that I am just a little underwhelmed with it all.  I think my expectations were too high!  I wanted something small and easy to carry to capture candids of my three young boys (ages 5 down to 8 months).  Most of these shots are indoors.  All of the shots outdoors look fantastic and the little zoom focuses very quickly.  My problem is that most any modern camera will do really well outdoors in good light.  Indoors, even in what I thought was decent light, I am dealing with ISO1600 and slowish shutter speeds.  I am still new to PP and only have LR 3 so I have been reading up as many online tutorials as possible to get the most of my shots.  I have been impressed with what LR 3 can salvage with all the noise present, but I am still losing detail and sharpness.  I am sure part of that is getting to know LR better.  I have not tried Olympus's bundled software for noise control, just LR 3.

Brings me to my question.  I am going to be taking a trip to Disney in a few weeks and I was wondering what, if any, lens recommendations would come up.  Budget is only $200 for the lens.  I barely paid more than that for the full kit and the wife wont let me spend much more than that prior to the trip.  I was seriously considering the 14mm 2.5 but I really dont think I would be gaining much.  Indoors I have been shooting at 14mm just to get the kit zooms aperture as open as possible.  Gaining what, 2/3 of a stop, I dont think will help much in low light.  Size is much smaller but I have a small Crumpler bag that fits the body/kit zoom perfectly so that isnt an issue.  The 20 1.7 is out of budget plus I keep reading that focus is slow in low light where I would want to use it the most.  I think the only other lens in budget is the 40-150 zoom, correct?  I wouldnt mind the longer reach eventually but I dont know if we will need it at WDW.  We are not going to Animal Kingdom this trip which is where I normally use my long zooms.  I am not sure the kit will get the job done at night during the parades, the lit up Main Street, Castle, etc.  I could bring my little Joby Gorilla pod but that kills the spontaneity of it all setting up a long exposure.

Is there anything I am missing in settings or another lens I should look at?  I admit missing the cheaper primes of most DSLR lines.  My 50mm 1.8 and 35mm 1.8 were both around $100 and do great work indoors and out.  They are not Zeiss glass but they work and are affordable!  I would love the 45 1.8 eventually but I dont see it happening for a long time.  I do want to try my Sony lenses with an adapter at some point.  At WDW I am not sure how well that will work with manual focusing all the time in the dark!

My other option is to send the camera back to Cameta and buy something like the XZ-1, LX5 or TL500.  I was seriously considering that but the larger sensor and higher ISO performance of the E-PM1 won out.  I also thought I would want the small 14mm 2.5 pancake until I realized I would not really gain much other than size.  If I can start getting more consistent, good shots out of the PM1 then I would consider selling off my Sony DSLR gear and I could reinvest that into the Olympus.  Even selling all of it would barely get me a fast prime and the 40-150 (its an older A500)!  I have to say I love the size and my wife likes taking photos with it much more than my DSLR.

Sorry for the long ramble - just wanted to get it all out there!

Olympus PEN E-PM1 Olympus XZ-1 Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 Samsung TL500 (EX1) Sony Alpha DSLR-A500
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