Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck

Started Nov 1, 2012 | Questions
tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 27,283
This is just wrong.....
1

David43Fan wrote:

[snip]     The E-PL2 sensor will give much the same IQ as his XZ-1.      [ Demonstrably false.    Tedolph]

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tedolf
tedolf Forum Pro • Posts: 27,283
Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....
6

in this thread.  Here is the bottom line.  With respect to all of the u 4/3 cameras, the most important element of image quality for most picture taking situations is the lens, not the sensor.  The E-p1/2/3, E-pl1/2/3, E-pm1, GF1/2/3/5, G1/2 all have the same 12mp sensor; and of all those cameras the E-pl1 probably has the best IQ.  It is also the cheapest at $150.00 body only.  The new 16mp sensor will only out perform it, but only in extreme conditions.   All these cameras focus reasonably fast with internal focusing lenses.  The difference in AF speed among the 12mp sensored cameras  using fast focusing lenses really isn't that important.  So, to get the most bang for the buck, get the E-pl1 body only and dump the savings into good lenses.   Tedolph

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PSCL1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,770
Re: Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....
1

Let me add my e-voice to that of Tedolf.  EPL-1 all the way, just unbelievably versatile and sturdier than it has any right to be for its size.

To the OP:  Tedolf is the acknowledged guru on this Forum.  He's up to 12,100 posts and invariably has a well-substantiated opinion to declare.  Take my advice and always take his advice.

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ulfie Veteran Member • Posts: 3,299
Re: Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....
1

I just got a new EPL-1 black body w/ all Oly accessories and 1-yr. Oly warranty for US $139.95 at CametaCamera online.  Great seller by the way.  Refurbed is $20 cheaper.  A veritable steal.

BSweeney
BSweeney Contributing Member • Posts: 903
Re: Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....
1

I also picked up an EPL1 body w battery and charger from Cameta- brand new. Figured it was about the same price as getting a flash for the EP2. It's hard to beat the price, $140 shipped. Kit zooms are very cheap, you are looking $200 for an EPL1 with zoom. About the same price as a fixed-zoom, small sensor P&S.

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Morpho Hunter Contributing Member • Posts: 666
E-PL1.....E-PL1 .....E-PL1
1

...Did I mention the E-PL1?  As a very happy OM-D E-M5 owner..... I still use the former for most of my family pics  ( so do most of family members).  You simply cannot go wrong buying this camera, given current Amazon prices   ,,,,, go take a look!

Cheers

phototransformations
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,846
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck

Randyflycaster wrote:

I presently have the XZ-1. I'm thinking of buying a camera that I can use with a telephoto zoom lens.

(The lighter the camera the better.)

What Micro Four Thirds would be the best bang for the buck? I'm looking at the Pl1 and the Pm1, for example, but I'm confused.

Having a built-in flash is something I could live without.

Randy

My vote would be for the G3, currently $329 on Amazon. Contrary to others opinions in this thread, I've found the new sensor makes significant difference once you get above base ISO, focusing is faster, and the touch articulated LCD is surprisingly useful. Handling is not as good as the G1 or G5, but not bad, and IQ equals the G5 at a much lower price, at least on Amazon.

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MichaelKJ Veteran Member • Posts: 3,466
Re: your comment about Tedolf
1

PSCL1 wrote:

To the OP: Tedolf is the acknowledged guru on this Forum. He's up to 12,100 posts and invariably has a well-substantiated opinion to declare. Take my advice and always take his advice.

I think you could start a very lively thread with that comment, although the forum police would probably delete it. 

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phototransformations
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,846
Re: your comment about Tedolf

MichaelKJ wrote:

PSCL1 wrote:

To the OP: Tedolf is the acknowledged guru on this Forum. He's up to 12,100 posts and invariably has a well-substantiated opinion to declare. Take my advice and always take his advice.

I think you could start a very lively thread with that comment, although the forum police would probably delete it.

How about we don't go there? Tedolf has been pretty well-behaved since he returned from his ban, and hence not the lightning rod he used to be. The forum has been a much more pleasant place without all the digressions.

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pablolie Contributing Member • Posts: 646
A body without lenses doesn't do much good...
1

I will never get rid of my E-PL1, it is a fantastic camera. And a bargain... without lenses.

For anyone that moves up from an XZ-1, which has a fantastic little lens, that should be a huge consideration. What does it take to really take better pictures? The E-PL1 and the kit lens may not quite get the job done. The kit lens is too compromised, you need to at least buy the Panny 20:1.7 to go "Oh I get it" if you step up from the XZ-1.

Which is what my advice to the XZ-1 owner is: save your money until you can get a last gven sensor and a few lenses. It *will* set you back a bit, given the lens investment. And until then, enjoy the XZ-1 and learn to explore it in A and M mode. Its range beats the kit lens first gen m43s.

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pablolie Contributing Member • Posts: 646
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck
1

Agree on all yhe above: I think the E-PL1 and E-P2 are usable up to ISO1600. Newer sensors go way beyond that, even though I am still mentally stuck at 3200. It's a big step up.

And the XZ-1's lens is 1.8-2.5 with 28-112 equivalent reach. Try getting that lens in m43 (and I am a HUGE m43 advocate, but come on, you do need a $1k lens investment to get there, and then you may as well spring for the last gens sensors at under 500...

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ttan98 Senior Member • Posts: 2,327
Re: Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....

tedolf wrote:

in this thread. Here is the bottom line. With respect to all of the u 4/3 cameras, the most important element of image quality for most picture taking situations is the lens, not the sensor. The E-p1/2/3, E-pl1/2/3, E-pm1, GF1/2/3/5, G1/2 all have the same 12mp sensor; and of all those cameras the E-pl1 probably has the best IQ. It is also the cheapest at $150.00 body only. The new 16mp sensor will only out perform it, but only in extreme conditions. All these cameras focus reasonably fast with internal focusing lenses. The difference in AF speed among the 12mp sensored cameras using fast focusing lenses really isn't that important. So, to get the most bang for the buck, get the E-pl1 body only and dump the savings into good lenses. Tedolph

EPL1 has the slowest focus of the lot, furthermore it is difficult to focus in low light, and blurring at certain speed e.g. 1/60-1/80  for mine. If he can tolerate these short falls that's it fine, otherwise these deficiencies can be very frustrating, e.g. missing shots.

Adrian Van Contributing Member • Posts: 684
Re: EPL1 or the EPM2 is the Best Micro Four Thirds Value For the Buck
1

Having used my EPL1 for nearly 2 years, I would say 1600 iso works okay, but has noise in jpeg out of camera, perhaps not if you process raw to remove, but many of us doing personal travel and family photos just use jpeg I imagine, because of Olympus excellent jpeg engine. If I wanted to do more serious photos, I would move up to OMD, or bring along my Nikons with good glass.

That said I really love my EPL1 for many reasons, including the larger buttons for my hands, (the newer ones have small buttons), and it is sturdy and with the right MSC lenses in reasonably good light, picture quality can match APSC cameras in my opinion. I have medium size prints from EPL1 in my house next to APSC prints and you cannot tell the difference. EPL1 has reasonably quick AF focus with MSC lenses, and I like versatility of 14-150mm lens as one lens travel solution and primes, of course are good like the 45mm etc. Pop up flash makes indoor photos with zooms very handy if you mix flash with moderate isos from 320 iso to 800 iso indoors depending on distance to subject (first thing I learned is that the bit higher isos extend the popup flash distance range indoors and is very handy with zooms if you are not using primes indoors and you do not need to add external flash if you do not have one with you) and the TTL on the EPL1 pop up flash is much better, then my LX5 popup which blows out closeup objects constantly unless manually set. EPL1 popup does not blow out highlights in closeups, especially when I focus spot off faces and recompose and this makes jpegs work well.

Oddly EPL1 does not have much resale value despite its great IQ in the right conditions, and I will keep it, despite maybe getting a second body like EPM2 or EPL5 for faster AF focus speed to capture my kids running in activities, which EPL1 can struggle at times and of course the new sensor advantages for low light. EPL1 has very decent quality up to 800 iso for noise, (useable but not totally great at 1600 iso and above) and I imagine the newer generation sensor models will give great photos to 3200 iso with minimal noise.

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homepics Regular Member • Posts: 315
Re: Randy, you've got a lot of non-sense....

Of these cameras, which do you think has the best jpegs, meaning best color accuracy, white balance, metering, etc.?  I read a review that rates the E-P1 very high on color accuracy and white balance, and higher than the E-PL1. Thanks, David

Brian Mosley Forum Pro • Posts: 20,709
And one more time... E-PL1
1

The sensor developments are marginal. Get the E-PL1, an EVF and a 20mm f1.7 lens, work it hard and develop your skills.

Good luck! And please share your images and impressions in due course.

Brian

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aVolanche Veteran Member • Posts: 3,869
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck

phototransformations wrote:

Randyflycaster wrote:

I presently have the XZ-1. I'm thinking of buying a camera that I can use with a telephoto zoom lens.

(The lighter the camera the better.)

What Micro Four Thirds would be the best bang for the buck? I'm looking at the Pl1 and the Pm1, for example, but I'm confused.

Having a built-in flash is something I could live without.

Randy

My vote would be for the G3, currently $329 on Amazon. Contrary to others opinions in this thread, I've found the new sensor makes significant difference once you get above base ISO, focusing is faster, and the touch articulated LCD is surprisingly useful. Handling is not as good as the G1 or G5, but not bad, and IQ equals the G5 at a much lower price, at least on Amazon.

I agree!

My 1st Micro Four Thirds camera was an EPL-1 and I quickly upgraded to the Panasonic G3. The sensor is *much* better.......as is the camera as a whole. I don't think it's even close.

Fred

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BSweeney
BSweeney Contributing Member • Posts: 903
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck
1

Randyflycaster wrote:

I presently have the XZ-1. I'm thinking of buying a camera that I can use with a telephoto zoom lens.

(The lighter the camera the better.)

What Micro Four Thirds would be the best bang for the buck? I'm looking at the Pl1 and the Pm1, for example, but I'm confused.

Having a built-in flash is something I could live without.

Randy

Reading the OP's requirements,

1) use with telephoto zooms; did not specify legacy or u43 system lenses. As cost is a factor, I would assume legacy.

2) does not require built in flash

I would go with the Olympus EP2 with the EVF-2. Cameta Camera has the EP2 body, battery, and charger for $200, new in box. The EP2 has 1/4000th shutter speed, handy for long lenses. I use a Nikkor 300/4.5 on my EP2 without problems, and Nikkor 80~200/4.5 is also a good choice. The one I use was $20. The Electronic Viewfinder is a must, as you will use a long lens at eye-level.

I bought the EPL1 for documentation of camera projects, and "grab shots". It is a good complement to the EP2. But for long-lens work, the EP2 has the edge because of the top end shutter speed. Same reason I keep the M8 after getting an M9.

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Randyflycaster
OP Randyflycaster Regular Member • Posts: 117
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck
1

Folks, thanks so much for all the great advice. Now I feel I can make an educated decision, even if it means waiting until the Spring, when I'll really need the camera.

Randy

AndyPalf Forum Member • Posts: 88
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck
2

My vote goes tot he E-PL2.  I love it and it's easy to use.  I stepped up from point and shoot and have been having great fun learning with this camera.

Try and think ahead if you can about what photography you might be doing in the future.  I didn't do this but luckily the E-PL2 suits the jobs that I ask of it.  For example it has a bulb release so that I can shoot long exposures.  It also has a nice selection of AE bracketing for the HDR shots that I'm trying.  Having these features on the camera opens up more options for you to try and develop.

I think the GF5 ticks a lot of boxes in terms of quailty and features and all in a small package.  The GX1 looks like an accomplished bit of kit going for a good price.

The E-PL1 is hard to argue with if your wallet it maknig the decision.  Like others have said, look at Olympus Market Place to see their refurbished models.  The best bargain I've seen at the moment is the E-PM1 with 14-42 MkII and 40-150R for £300.  The lenses alone cost that!

Have fun buying the new camera

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Jeremy_T Senior Member • Posts: 1,224
Re: Best Micro Four Thirds For the Buck
1

pablolie wrote:

And the XZ-1's lens is 1.8-2.5 with 28-112 equivalent reach. Try getting that lens in m43 (and I am a HUGE m43 advocate, but come on, you do need a $1k lens investment to get there, and then you may as well spring for the last gens sensors at under 500...

The XZ-1's sensor is half the size of a Micro Four Thirds sensor, so that f/1.8-2.5 is equivalent to a f/7.2-f/10 on full frame (very similar to the M43 kit zooms). It's a bit longer than most of the kit zooms though.

I would add this general advice for the OP: if you do not plan on owning multiple lenses, a current generation high end compact (like the RX100 or LX7 (or the upcoming XZ2)) might be a better option than a Micro Four Thirds camera with kit zoom. The kit zoom really will not show Micro Four Thirds in the best light; the compacts are nearly as good and much more, well, compact...

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