Just how mediocre are the kit lenses?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
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Gned
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Just how mediocre are the kit lenses?
5 months ago

I thought once my tax return came in that I would have about $1000 for a new camera setup.  Unfortunately, unexpected expenses came up and my budget was slashed to $400.  So here are the two scenarios I'm considering, and I'm curious to hear other people's opinions.

Option 1:  Get the Olympus E-PM2 two lens deal.

Pros:

1.Great value for money

2. Smallest body in the line, would make a great ultra-portable backup should I upgrade in the future.

3. Provides widest range from wide angle to tele.

Cons:

1.Kit lenses.  Are they good enough to represent an improvement over my Canon XSi and 28-135mm lens, which I am growing increasingly unhappy with?

3. No tilt screen and fewer dials and buttons, requiring a lot more digging through menus to change settings.

Option 2: Buy a used E-PL5 and use my existing Canon FD 50mm f1.4 and 35-105 f3.5 (which are both excellent lenses.)

Pros:

1. Tilt screen.

2. More manual controls, less digging through menus.

Cons:

1.  Stuck with only manual control over aperture and focus.

2. Leaves me crippled in the wide angle range.

I'm leaning toward the E-PM2 because of the value for money and because it gives me more options, since I can still use my better lenses anyway.  But I'm concerned that I would be disappointed in the image quality from the kit lenses, and frustrated by the lack of manual control in the cheaper body.  Plus the tilt screen would be a very nice thing to have. What are people's thoughts?  Anything glaringly obvious I'm failing to take into consideration?

Olympus PEN E-PL5 Olympus PEN E-PM2
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