Best really pocketable m43 camera?

Started Jun 22, 2012 | Discussions
Torgny Dellsen
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Best really pocketable m43 camera?
Jun 22, 2012

Normal pockets whatever that is
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highwave
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

My advice might be way off but

If you're gunning for normal pocket pocketability then gf3 +14mm 2.5

Or E-PM1 same lens

But just keep in mind, a camera too small is no fun to use when not in your pocket

So maybe you're better off with a little bit of a compromise on pocketability for something larger like the GX1 or the upcoming E-P3 replacement

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napilopez
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

If price is no object, the GF5 would probably be your best balanced option for performance/size ratio. If you don't need the noise performance, then consider as well the GF3 and E-PM1

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Torgny Dellsen
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to highwave, Jun 22, 2012

That's funny. Keep your pocketable camera in your pocket. That's funny. Only time you take it out being when transfering it to another pocket.

Well, tried the OM-D. Doesn't feel comfortable to me. Big hands. GX1 is much better. Also the font size is better than the Olympus. For me that is

So, on this side of the pond the GF3 is sold with two lenses at a very good price. What's your experience with the GF3?

My thoughts:

GX1 body only + GF3 with the 14mm and the 14-42 non power zoom. The GX1 with 14mm in a pocket. The 14-42 in the shoulder bag (perhaps attached to the GF3)

Batteries the same I suppose?
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peppermonkey
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

Truthfully?
If you want pocketable in normal sized pockets...err...none.

The closest to a pocket camera would be a GF3/5 with either the 14mm, 20mm or the 14-42mm X lens. That's about it (though the E-PM1 may also fit the bill). But you will still need rather large pocket for those. Definitely wouldn't want them in your pant pockets (well, unless you have cargo pants or you don't care if there is a rather large bulge in your pants that people will instantly notice...)

Torgny Dellsen wrote:

Normal pockets whatever that is
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ryan2007
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

Anything that fits. Buy two so you stay properly balanced...One in each pocket.

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Robbster
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Best really pocketable m43 camera? - GF3/5, GX1, 14/20mm or 14-42x, Wrap & Strap
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

First, I'd say even best m43 is only for cargo or jacket pockets in my experience, but that is still a doable proposition for me in many circumstances.

Now, on to the bodies:

Have OMD, GX1, GF3, EPL1.

Clearly the Pany's are a bit better , EPL1 is noticeably thicker, OMD has the EVF hump that makes a big difference in a pocket (I'm testing them in cargo pockets as I write this, BTW, but have also pocket-carried the GF3 and my LX5 in real world).

Between the GF3 and GX1, no difference as long as you don't have the EVF mounted on the GX1.

Regarding the lenses:

Have the Pany 14 and 14-42x as compact lenses , so you could cargo-pocket either body with either lens, the 14 being a bit more compact feeling due to smaller barrel diameter. If it were me, I'd put the Pany 20 on either the GX1 or GF3 for pocket duty depending on what price I could find for bundle/afford. If price is not so much of an issue, definitely the GX1 of course for the low light/high iso performance.

One last point: Pocket Duty Accessories

You can add simple accessories to make pocket duty more practical - I use the Always On wraps and OpTech compact wrist strap for pocket duty, and this makes it much easier to grab the camera by the wrist strap slide the camera out of the pocket without snagging on controls as the wrap covers them. The wrap falls away with a single tug on the velcro and you're shooting. About the fastest way I've found from pocket to shot for m43 or premium compacts (have my LX5 set up this way as well, only using the smaller LowePro Dwrap). Finally, I include good screen protector on all my cameras, which I consider esp. important for pocket duty . Use MircoSolutions for touch screens, and GGS optical glass for non-touch screens.

Here is a shot of my LX5 setup for pocket duty, have my GF3 set up this way as well.

Hope this helps!

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marike6
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

As others have mentioned, it's probably the GF3 with 14 2.5. But even this camera may not fit comfortably in certain pockets. This is one reason why I pre-ordered the Sony RX100 (I can't believe I'm actually buying a Sony, but they've produced a compelling camera) as it's really not much bigger than a Canon S100. My P&S, the X10 is not really pocketable at all as it have a manual zoom lens that protrudes from the body even when retracted.

The GF5 should be nice with it's better grip and nicer LCD screen (460 K of GF3 vs 920 K). I still suggest the extra money for a GX1 as it's a far better stills camera which has all the nice manual controls of the GX1 (and some) and better IQ relative to the GF3.

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nickoly
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

The specific answer to your specific question is ----- none.

I bought a GF-1 with a 14mm lens with this caper specifically in mind. Wrong. It's a great camera and I will be keeping it, but it was certainly a bad idea.

This topic comes up frequently, but reality rarely prevails. There was even one guy who regularly evangelised on this matter but he detatched the lens from the camera and actually used two pockets(!) Yes, I kid you not.

Torgny Dellsen wrote:

Normal pockets whatever that is
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The Skipper
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to nickoly, Jun 22, 2012

It all depends on your definition of a pocket. For me, it is a dress shirt pocket, so the answer is none.

nickoly wrote:

This topic comes up frequently, but reality rarely prevails. There was even one guy who regularly evangelised on this matter but he detatched the lens from the camera and actually used two pockets(!) Yes, I kid you not.

And if he disassembles the camera & lens into all the little pieces, it will fit in any sized pocket.

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007peter
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Panasonic GF3 + 14mm f/2.5 pancake
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

The smallest (with build-in flash) currently is Panasonic GF3 + 14mm f/2.5 pancake lens. The smallest (with attach outside flash) is Olympus E-PM1 + 14mm f/2.5. I prefer the build-in flash. Amazon was selling this bundle for just $314.

It doesn't get smaller than this. I was shocked when I discover that a GF3 + 14mm pancake is the same size as my Canon SD4000 HS point/shoot. I sold the canon soon after.

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leendertcv
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Re: Panasonic GF3 + 14mm f/2.5 pancake
In reply to 007peter, Jun 22, 2012

Or the GF5 for a better sensor....

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Helen
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

Torgny Dellsen wrote:

My thoughts:

GX1 body only + GF3 with the 14mm and the 14-42 non power zoom. The GX1 with 14mm in a pocket. The 14-42 in the shoulder bag (perhaps attached to the GF3)

Batteries the same I suppose?
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Regarding the batteries, unfortunately, no. The GF3 and GF5 share a battery, which is different from the one shared by the GF2, GX1 and G3 (which itself is different from the one used in their predecessors - G1, G2, GH1, G10, GF1). And just for completeness, the GH2 has its own, unique (so far) battery.

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LTZ470
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Helen, Jun 22, 2012

EP3 "T" you'll really enjoy the colors and fast AF...touch screen is awesome too!...
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AndyGM
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to The Skipper, Jun 22, 2012

The Skipper wrote:

It all depends on your definition of a pocket. For me, it is a dress shirt pocket, so the answer is none.

nickoly wrote:

This topic comes up frequently, but reality rarely prevails. There was even one guy who regularly evangelised on this matter but he detatched the lens from the camera and actually used two pockets(!) Yes, I kid you not.

And if he disassembles the camera & lens into all the little pieces, it will fit in any sized pocket.

I agree. No m43 with attached lens will fit in Trousers/Smart Pants pockets.

I have a E-PL3, which is a little smaller than a GX1 and a little bigger than an E-PM1 and GF3, and I have the 20mm lens, which is thicker than the 14mm and comes with a thicker lens cap than the 14mm. The E-PL3 with the 20mm mounted will fit in the inside breast pocket of a coat... just.

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Jeff Tokayer
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

If it's a matter of having a camera with you at all times, then an iPhone will do.

For casual snaps at family or friends gathering, the XZ-1 with it's fast 4x zoom lens is a better choice.

I have the GF-3 and XZ-1. The GF-3 is my backup body for the E-M5, while the XZ-1 disappears in most pockets for family gatherings.
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marike6
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Re: Panasonic GF3 + 14mm f/2.5 pancake
In reply to 007peter, Jun 22, 2012

Panasonic GF3 - (D X L) 2.19 x 0.81" (5.56 x 2.06 cm)

Olympus E-PM1 - (D X L) 2.2 x 1.9" (5.59 x 4.83 cm)

The great thing is they are practically giving these two cameras away at the present time as prices have plummeted.

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mgibbs
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

I just purchased a GF3 + 14mm 2.5 kit from Amazon ($379 at the time). I too wanted a somewhat pocketable m43 camera kit - I already own a GH1 with the 14-140 and a few legacy primes.

The reason I wanted the GF3 is that I found myself only bringing my camera to "events" (holidays, vacations, museums, etc) and not bringing my camera to places that I wish I had - dinner parties, everyday trips to the lake, kiddies visit to grandma's house, etc - simply because I didn't want to lug it around. The GH1 is not large comparatively, but with the 14-140 (which I really like) it is hardly portable. Even adding the 20mm or 14mm didn't make it portable enough (i.e. pocketable or "wife's purse-able") to make it convenient to bring with me anywhere.

So I decided to try the GF3. I have been happy with it. It's not "jeans pocketable", but with the lens in one pocket and the body in another, it is "chino-pocketable", "cargo shorts pocketable", and certainly jacket pocketable. For practical purposes, it is a camera that I don't hesitate to carry with me almost anywhere.

Now, a XZ-1 or LX-5 or S-100 are all more pocketable than the GF3. I chose not to go that route because I wanted to be able to utilize all of my lenses if I chose to carry along a beach bag or backpack with me - easy enough to stash an extra lens or two in one of those than to bring a dedicated camera bag along. If you find this an uncompelling argument, and value true "jeans pocket-ability" over the flexibility of having your small cam as part of a system, then I would be the XZ-1 or LX-5 or S-100 route, provided you can live with the concessions in IQ (some would say meager) that such a choice would bring. For me, the extra size of the gf3 is offset with its functionality within my existing system and its IQ, so I've been thrilled with it.

Hope this helps!

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marike6
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Jeff Tokayer, Jun 22, 2012

Jeff Tokayer wrote:

If it's a matter of having a camera with you at all times, then an iPhone will do.

For casual snaps at family or friends gathering, the XZ-1 with it's fast 4x zoom lens is a better choice.

I have the GF-3 and XZ-1. The GF-3 is my backup body for the E-M5, while the XZ-1 disappears in most pockets for family gatherings.

Am a big XZ-1 fan, but because of the large lens with the fast max aperture it's not really only pocketable in cargo pants/shorts. For truly pocketable cameras I think of the Canon S100 or Ricoh GRD IV, both great cameras. An RX100 for a larger sensor pocket camera with a mostly fast lens will fit the bill. There are tons of JPEG only cameras like the ELPH/IXUS that are pocketable but these aren't really appropriate for anything more than snapshots/home movies.

Personally I don't want to see m43 bodies shrunk much more beacause, as in the case of GF3 vs GF1, usability usually suffers.

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icexe
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Re: Best really pocketable m43 camera?
In reply to Torgny Dellsen, Jun 22, 2012

My E-PL2 w/17mm fits into the inside pocket of my leather motorcycle style jacket with no problems. It's not a loose fitting jacket, so there is a small, noticeable "bulge" when I zip it closed. I also take my 14-42 along most of the time in an outside pocket, that one is not very noticeable at all.

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