Best value for street photography

Started Oct 15, 2013 | Discussions
Pablom
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Best value for street photography
Oct 15, 2013

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a light and compact setup for street photography and for obvious reasons I'm thinking M43 should suit my purpose. I currently shoot Pentax DSLR and it can be a little too much on the shoulder at times, although everything else is fantastic.

My setup has to include a body (obviously...), wide/normal prime lens (preferably fast), viewfinder.

I tried looking at the different models by Oly and Panasonic but I lost myself quickly.

Ideally I'd get something like an OM-d or the new gx7 but they cost more than I'd like to spend. I think around 600$ is my approximate budget but I'd like to know if I can get away with less than that or if I'm too optimistic.

Thanks

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Pablo M.

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FrankS009
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

There is a small camera with tiny 12-32 kit lens and the same sensor as the GX7 being introduced on Thursday that might suit you. The price is "$600 to $700." There are 14mm and 20mm prime lenses that are also good for the street.

F.

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Henry Richardson
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

You might look at the Panasonic G5 or G3. Both can usually be found new for very good prices. You can get one with the 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 with IS kit lens (effective 28-84mm) for just a few dollars more. Try them out. Then for very small you might want the 14mm f2.5 pancake lens.

I have used the G3 + 14-42mm for street life photos in Tokyo. I also have an E-M5 that I use for street life photos. Before I used various DSLRs. The E-M5 is slow to wake up from sleep mode so that is a big annoyance with it for the street. My G3 wakes up a bit faster and just enough faster that it is less of a problem.

Henry Richardson
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tjuster1
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

How do you like to shoot--from the eye or from the hip? Do you want to be stealthy? Do you zone focus with deep DOF or do you like to isolate subjects? Do you tend to use WA, normal, or telephoto lenses? Do you like to MF or AF?

The answers to those questions will help a lot in offering advice.

For zone focusing from the hip, a camera with a flip-up LCD like the E-PL5 or many of the NEX cameras is perfect. If you require an EVF then you have many fewer options in that price range; perhaps a PM2 + VF3 (recently offered at <$100) would work. But a lot depends on how you like to shoot.

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

At $600, I would probably suggest a Panasonic GF5 and the 20 1.7 lens. That comes out to about $675 at B&H but it includes the kit lens which you could sell on eBay.

If you decide you can spend a bit more, I would say the next steps up are

Olympus EPM2+20 1.7 for $750

Olympus EPL5+20 1.7 for $850

Olympus E-M5 (or Panasonic GX7) +20mm 1.7 for $1300

all the way up to what I think is going to be (for now) the perfect street photography system:

Olympus E-M1+17mm 1.8 for $1800.

I prefer a VF for photography in general and for street Photography in particular, buy you are going to have a tough time finding a new camera with a VF in your price range.

Essentially,  I would recommend you get the 20mm 1.7 or the 17mm 1.8 and the best body you can afford. All of the current m43 bodies are pretty good, so you should be ok with any of them. I prefer the 17mm, but the original 20mm is about $150 less.

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Pablom
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to FrankS009, Oct 15, 2013

That does sound interesting. Although I presume I'd have to buy a viewfinder for it, if there will be an option.

I'm not restricted the the newest and greatest, used is an option too.

I can't tell the difference between the Pana G, GH, GX etc. It's very confusing.

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jack Hoggard
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

Fuji X100.

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Fredrik Glckner
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

If you want the fastest lens, then the Leica co-branded Lumix DG 25mm f/1.4 may be interesting for you. This lens is a bit big, though, although if you are coming from DSLRs, you may find it small still.

Otherwise, the Lumix 20mm f/1.7 and Lumix 14mm f/2.5 pancake lenses can be good for street use, as they are small and stealthy. Read about them and their differences here.

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Ulric
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

I say wait for the GM1.

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to jack Hoggard, Oct 15, 2013

jack Hoggard wrote:

Fuji X100.

A great camera, but even used its $150 over his budget.

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JeanPierre Martel
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

Pablom wrote:

I can't tell the difference between the Pana G, GH, GX etc. It's very confusing.

There are two types of m4/3 cameras.

Those with a back LCD but without viewfinder : Panasonic GF, Panasonic GX, Olympus Pen

Those with both a back LCD and a viewfinder : Panasonic G, Panasonic GH and Olympus OM-D.

The difference between G and GH: the latter, High-End model.

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Loga
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

Rumours say it will have a built-in EVF, and its name is Panasonic GM-1. Check it out on the web!

Pablom wrote:

That does sound interesting. Although I presume I'd have to buy a viewfinder for it, if there will be an option.

I'm not restricted the the newest and greatest, used is an option too.

I can't tell the difference between the Pana G, GH, GX etc. It's very confusing.

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Michael Kaufman
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to Loga, Oct 15, 2013

Loga wrote:

Rumours say it will have a built-in EVF, and its name is Panasonic GM-1. Check it out on the web!

I haven't seen any rumors that say it will have an EVF. I'm not sure they could fit an EVF into a body that small. I'll be happy to be wrong.

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JBurnett
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

Pablom wrote:

My setup has to include a body (obviously...), wide/normal prime lens (preferably fast), viewfinder.

Pablo M.

Wide to normal lens -- Olympus 17mm f/1.8 or Panasonic 20mm f/1.7. The 17 focuses slightly faster. The lens is going to eat a lot of your budget, although the 20mm (original version) can now be found at reasonable prices used ($300?)

Body with viewfinder -- Bodies with add-on viewfinders tend to be more expensive than bodies with a built-in EVF. The Panasonic G3 is pretty much gone from everyone's shelves new, but keep an eye out. Used, you can sometimes find them dirt cheap in near mint condition with low actuations. At the end of their cycle, shops were selling new G3 bodies for $230. This may happen to the G5, too. So a bit of patience may net you a great deal. The G5 also has a silent shutter mode, and a better grip.

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BigGG
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

You can buy a GX-1 body for about US$200.00 these days. THen go to eBay for a used Pana 20mm F1.7 for another US$250.00  then about $100 for flash chips, etc. Maybe $100 for the EV2 view finder.

GaryG

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jennajenna
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

Pablom wrote:

Hello everyone,

I'm looking for a light and compact setup for street photography and for obvious reasons I'm thinking M43 should suit my purpose. I currently shoot Pentax DSLR and it can be a little too much on the shoulder at times, although everything else is fantastic.

My setup has to include a body (obviously...), wide/normal prime lens (preferably fast), viewfinder.

I tried looking at the different models by Oly and Panasonic but I lost myself quickly.

Ideally I'd get something like an OM-d or the new gx7 but they cost more than I'd like to spend. I think around 600$ is my approximate budget but I'd like to know if I can get away with less than that or if I'm too optimistic.

Thanks

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Pablo M.

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 with G3 panasonic. That lens is awesomely sharp and cheap ~ $200 used. Get the body for similar price. You can also get a used ep2 with vf2 for maybe $350.

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agentlossing
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Re: Best value for street photography
In reply to Pablom, Oct 15, 2013

The fact that it took so long in this thread for the GX1 to be mentioned is just nuts! The G-series isn't nearly as subtle of a camera. GX1 plus 14mm or 20mm (or both!) hands down. Great camera with awesome controls/handling and awesome image quality, even the grain when you disable in-camera noise reduction looks classic and perfect for street. Both of these lenses are tiny - buy based on whether you prefer to shoot wide or normal.

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Henry Richardson
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14mm f2.5
In reply to jennajenna, Oct 15, 2013

jennajenna wrote:

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 with G3 panasonic. That lens is awesomely sharp and cheap ~ $200 used. Get the body for similar price. You can also get a used ep2 with vf2 for maybe $350.

You can get the 14mm new on ebay for around $160.  I bought a new one there last year for $161.

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Pablom
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Re: Best value for street photography - new Panasonic GM1?
In reply to JeanPierre Martel, Oct 16, 2013

JeanPierre Martel wrote:

Pablom wrote:

I can't tell the difference between the Pana G, GH, GX etc. It's very confusing.

There are two types of m4/3 cameras.

Those with a back LCD but without viewfinder : Panasonic GF, Panasonic GX, Olympus Pen

Those with both a back LCD and a viewfinder : Panasonic G, Panasonic GH and Olympus OM-D.

The difference between G and GH: the latter, High-End model.

Thank you, that is very helpful

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Pablo M.

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Pablom
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Re: 14mm f2.5
In reply to Henry Richardson, Oct 16, 2013

Henry Richardson wrote:

jennajenna wrote:

Panasonic 14mm 2.5 with G3 panasonic. That lens is awesomely sharp and cheap ~ $200 used. Get the body for similar price. You can also get a used ep2 with vf2 for maybe $350.

You can get the 14mm new on ebay for around $160. I bought a new one there last year for $161.

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Henry Richardson
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Thanks, that looks like a good value. Oly 17mm looks interesting too.

Are any of the EVFs not recommended at all, or anyone much better than the others? I've never used an EVF so it is a bit intimidating.

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Pablo M.

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