Are m4/3 cameras too expensive when you…

Started Apr 30, 2013 | Discussions thread
Guy Parsons
Guy Parsons Forum Pro • Posts: 29,414
Not really.......

G1Houston wrote:

tron555 wrote:

I’ve decided to look at getting an E-PL5, the Panasonic 14-45mm and Panasonic 45-150mm lenses. After reading many reviews on the Internet and this forum, I think this system would be

You are missing a "fast" lens to shoot in low light without flash; thus, the 20/1.7 is really critical for a starter kit.  You could get the 17/1.8 but it is more expensive and not sharper.  While the Panasonic 14-45 is slightly better, IMO, it is still a slow kit lens and not worth the trouble of paying more than the kit that comes with E-PL5.

That's what I thought when buying a bunch of stuff with my E-PL5 body. The 20/1.7 wasn't available in time so second choice was the very nice and very cheap Sigma 19/2.8.

Then in real use on my holiday I found that the low light performance of the E-PL5 with kit lenses was perfectly fine, I don't think I used the Sigma even once on that trip. In fact I hardly ever used flash at all in some of those dim corners and old building visited on holidays. I kept thinking when shooting "there's no way my E-PL1 could have taken this shot".

The Pana 14-45mm is attractive because of the more robust non-collapsing design with a metal mount plus it still has very good image quality wide open, the other kit lenses don't do so well wide open.  I bought that lens for the switched OIS which is more convenient than menu diving and it also works better for any videos (rarely do so not really important to me).

For traveling, and general use, you may find a 14-150 + 20/1.7 to be a very versatile kit.  You use the 20 when the light is low and the 14-150 can stay on most of the time without having to change lenses.  If I remember correctly, the 45-150 is not a stellar lens, so if you are sensitive to price, get the very best lens you can afford and make do with what you have before buying another lens.

The 14-150mm while very easy to use and reduce lens swaps certainly is not quite as good as separate kit lenses. Despite always using the proper lens hood the 14-150mm seems prone to flare in my estimation, plus at 150mm is definitely soft at the sides unless always using f/8 when it is a bit better.One day I'll do some side by side tests to see if my impressions are correct.

Currently I'm reviewing thousands of images taken with the 14-150mm on a Japan holiday taken in 2011 and I see quite a few times where the lesser quality of the 14-150mm is a bit annoying, where I know I could have done better with the separate Panasonic kit lenses that I own now, and of course way better with the E-PL5 now instead of the E-PL1 then.

Changing to the Pana 45-150mm makes things nicer and for me all round it appears to deliver better results throughout the matching range compared to the 14-150mm.The metal mount and supplied lens hood make the deal nicer.

The big bonus of course on the E-PL5 is the ability to use the lens un-switched OIS and at 150mm with 2x turned on then that makes the preview much easier to view. Turning the OIS on/off via appropriate MySets assigned to the Mode dial makes that a non-menu/SCP diving operation as well. I would say the possibly very slight image quality difference between the Oly 40-150mm and the Pana 45-150mm is way more than made up for by the better usefulness n terms of OIS and build quality.

Ultimately I plan to have two E-PL5 bodies, one with 14-45mm (or maybe the rumoured Oly large aperture standard lens) and the other with 45-150mm. Plus a 9-18mm rattling around in the bag. That should keep me happy for a few years, reduce lens swaps which really do make you miss photo opportunities when travelling, and provide body backup as I am wary after one of my E-PL1 bodies went bad and could not be fixed.

Maybe too much information, but it may better explain why I chose the Pana lenses over the Oly kit lenses.

Regards..... Guy

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