GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?

Started May 4, 2012 | Discussions
ZacsDad
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GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
May 4, 2012

Greetings! I've been shooting with GF-1 for a since early 2010. I mostly use the camera for general family shots and as a walk-around camera. I almost exclusively shoot with the 20mm -- but also have the 14-45mm kit lens and the 45-200 zoom.

My real reasons to consider upgrading is I feel like I keep missing shots due to slow auto-focus. I love the images I get out of the camera (I shoot some RAW but mostly jpeg -- and like the Panasonic jpeg look). I also hate the lack of viewfinder but recently ordered a LVF1 to see if that helps.

I'm not a real photo gearhead -- but would make the jump to upgrade (either camera body or lens) it if will really help. So, what does the DPReview Brain Trust recommend and what upgrades make sense?

secretworld
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

Gains will be minimal! Yes the 20mm is a little slow to focus, but also on newer cams. You could try manual focus with it, there are many situations where that is doable, like when spying on playing kids..

The 14mm 2.5 is a very fast focuser, that might work and if you do a search in can be had cheaply.

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Marc
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

I'm in the same position and I'm upgrading to an E-M5. I know the 20mm might not be that much faster but I also have the O45 which should be very fast indeed.

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jeffharris
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to secretworld, May 4, 2012

secretworld wrote:

Gains will be minimal! Yes the 20mm is a little slow to focus, but also on newer cams. You could try manual focus with it, there are many situations where that is doable, like when spying on playing kids.

Auto-focus with the 20mm is fine on newer cameras. It's perfectly acceptable on my GH2.

Focusing the 20mm manually is a pain. Focus-by-wire (it's electronic focus, NOT mechanical focus) is slow and inaccurate compared to manual focus lenses.

Maybe the GX1 would be a worthy upgrade. Or get an Oly 45mm f1.8. Lenses are always a better investments in terms of your system.

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Chas2
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait? Maybe wait
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

If by slow autofocus, I assume you mean the 20 mm, the other two lenses (I have all three also) are pretty speedy.

The problem with the 20 is that it is just slow...you will have some gains with a new body, but how significant, I do not know as I only use these lenses with a GH1 and a GF1. Suggest you ask the specific question as well as research it in past threads.

You could get the Leica 25 mm, but it is big bucks...with a narrower field of view, and a shallower depth of field....the big pro is faster focusing...but the Leica is much bigger also...

So the bottom line is body or lens, and the answer is always, unless you are significantly held back, good glass is "more better". I might wait for the GX1 to come down in price...

But since you just ordered an LVF1, see how you like it..it may be enough for you to soldier on with the GF1. The LVF1 won't make your auto focusing any faster, but it could help in other areas

ZacsDad wrote:

Greetings! I've been shooting with GF-1 for a since early 2010. I mostly use the camera for general family shots and as a walk-around camera. I almost exclusively shoot with the 20mm -- but also have the 14-45mm kit lens and the 45-200 zoom.

My real reasons to consider upgrading is I feel like I keep missing shots due to slow auto-focus. I love the images I get out of the camera (I shoot some RAW but mostly jpeg -- and like the Panasonic jpeg look). I also hate the lack of viewfinder but recently ordered a LVF1 to see if that helps.

I'm not a real photo gearhead -- but would make the jump to upgrade (either camera body or lens) it if will really help. So, what does the DPReview Brain Trust recommend and what upgrades make sense?

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rrr_hhh
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to jeffharris, May 4, 2012

jeffharris wrote:

secretworld wrote:

Gains will be minimal! Yes the 20mm is a little slow to focus, but also on newer cams. You could try manual focus with it, there are many situations where that is doable, like when spying on playing kids.

Auto-focus with the 20mm is fine on newer cameras. It's perfectly acceptable on my GH2.

Focusing the 20mm manually is a pain. Focus-by-wire (it's electronic focus, NOT mechanical focus) is slow and inaccurate compared to manual focus lenses.

Maybe the GX1 would be a worthy upgrade. Or get an Oly 45mm f1.8. Lenses are always a better investments in terms of your system.

Yes, but then his VF won't be compatible. From what I hear the GX1 takes a new uncompatible VF.

For fast focus, I'd advise an E-Pl3 or E-Pm1 or E-P3, the third generation of Pens are really much snappier than the G1 I had three years ago. But it will be the same problem with the VF : uncompatible.

Getting a new lens, like the 45mm F1.8 Olympus would bring you a lot of enjoyment, but not much more speed.

So either you make a big investment in bodies + new VF (third generation Pen or E-M5), hoping to resell the body and VF, or you go with the body you have and add a good lens.

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windflare
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to rrr_hhh, May 4, 2012

I'm in the same position, and had decided to upgrade to an EM-5. For the type of stuff I do, the increased AF speed, high ISO capabilities, and IBIS is more than worth the upgrade. The VF and touchscreen shooting are icing on the cake.

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ZacsDad
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to windflare, May 4, 2012

I have to admit I'm very interested in the EM-5 -- It reminds me of my first camera (a Canon AE-1). After the comments here, I think I'll go see if I can find a good price on a 45mm to hold me over until the EM-5 or GX1 prices drop a little more.

Thanks for all the info. This community is great!

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Len_Gee
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to Marc, May 4, 2012

I'm in the same position and I'm upgrading to an OM-D. I know the 20mm might not be that much faster but I'ver ordered the OM-D which should be very fast indeed.

But, I will pair the OM-D with a 12mm f/2.0, 50 f/1.4 and 45 f1.8 primes.

The 20 will stay on my GF-1. With 14-45 zoom when I need a zoom.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.

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Peterd21
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait? Maybe wait
In reply to Chas2, May 4, 2012

One other thing in favour of the 14mm 2.5 is that the focus is silent - I was amazed at the difference to the 20mm. Read about it but now I have both I really believe it.

Peter

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Aleo Veuliah
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

Wait if you can to see the new things that are going to appear in Photokina

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ZacsDad
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Is the 12mm fast on the GF1??
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

Anyone with experience with the 12mm on the GF1? Is it as responsive as on the newer cameras? I just started reading about this lens and it sounds great.

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Bjorn S
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

I wouldn't pay list price for the view finder. It's OK if you can get one for a bargain price, but I would consider replacing the body rather than paying full price for a rather bad product.

Don't expect any miracles with AF-speed if you upgrade the body. The GF1 is fairly snappy, newer models are only a tad better.

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ZacsDad
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to Bjorn S, May 4, 2012

Thanks for the info! I was lucky to snag a LVF1 for under a $100 ... but pretty happy.

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rube39
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Re: Is the 12mm fast on the GF1??
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

Don't know why some people are always going on about how slow the 20/1.7 is to auto focus. It works just fine on all my m4/3 gear (got some great shots with it on a recent trio to Spain) and is now my #1 choice as an everyday lens on my E-M5.
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rrr_hhh
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Re: Is the 12mm fast on the GF1??
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

ZacsDad wrote:

Anyone with experience with the 12mm on the GF1? Is it as responsive as on the newer cameras? I just started reading about this lens and it sounds great.

People are always complaining that the 20mm is slow, but frankly I don't see much differences between these lenses. The only slowish lens I had was the first version of the Olympus kit zoom the 14-42mm. All other lenses were good on all the Panasonic bodies and a little snappier on the Pen generation bodies.

The 12mm is a special lens. It would allow zone focus easily, being a wide lens on a small sensor. Once stopped at F4, the hyperfocal distance lies at about 2.4 meters and at F5.6 near 1.70m. It is very sharp in the center and only a little less in the corners. But it is rather expensive.

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hello world
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to ZacsDad, May 4, 2012

Lenses are always a better investment i'd say, seems to me the gf1 already fits your needs, and you've just bought the viewfinder... would be wasteful to now jump to another cam and having to drop the VF...

anyway, I'd wait... the current new cams arent that much of a step up compared to the older ones... JPG has improved a lot tho on panny's side. You get a stop more on the ISO side and a bit more DR... but not buckets full of it.

I have a G1, didnt feel any need to upgrade yet... seeing what GH3 has to offer, it's it's really a good step up, I might considder it.... Else, I get more glass

ZacsDad wrote:

Greetings! I've been shooting with GF-1 for a since early 2010. I mostly use the camera for general family shots and as a walk-around camera. I almost exclusively shoot with the 20mm -- but also have the 14-45mm kit lens and the 45-200 zoom.

My real reasons to consider upgrading is I feel like I keep missing shots due to slow auto-focus. I love the images I get out of the camera (I shoot some RAW but mostly jpeg -- and like the Panasonic jpeg look). I also hate the lack of viewfinder but recently ordered a LVF1 to see if that helps.

I'm not a real photo gearhead -- but would make the jump to upgrade (either camera body or lens) it if will really help. So, what does the DPReview Brain Trust recommend and what upgrades make sense?

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SF Photo Gal
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Re: GF-1 user - upgrade body, lens or wait?
In reply to hello world, May 4, 2012

I have both my GF1 and GH1 and been spending money on buying lenses rather than new bodies. I'll probably not buy a new body until I get my hands on the Oly 75 f1.8.

I thought the GF1 has decent focus speeds, but lags a bit with the 20mm lens, so I think it's the lens that is the issue.

All that said, the EM-5 has at least tempted me. But I'll probably wait until I hear more about the GH3 before I do anything. I still enjoy using my GF1. It's not perfect, but it's so fun to use.

SF Photo Gal aka Queer Chick
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George Paulides
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Re: Is the 12mm fast on the GF1??
In reply to rube39, May 4, 2012

rube39 wrote:

Don't know why some people are always going on about how slow the 20/1.7 is to auto focus.
Rube

I agree. The 20mm is plenty fast for what I shoot as well. I have never missed a shot because of it.
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