Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions
Jonathan F/2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,060
Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

If you could pick between the two setups, which would be your choice? The EM5 is the better camera, but the 17mm is the better lens. Either setup will be used for general walk-around photography, but trying to stay under a certain budget. Appreciate any comments. Thanks!

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photofan1986
photofan1986 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,024
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?
2

I don't know about either the Panasonic GX1 or the 17 1.8, but I do own the EM-5 and the 14 2.5. I really like the combo a lot. IQ from the 14 2.5 is surprisingly good. Moreover, you get a very useful image stabilisation. I can handhold shutter speeds as low as 1/5 with very good keeper rate. So the slightly slower aperture (2.5 vs 1.8) is really not much of a problem.

Focusing is fast and silent, though probably not as fast as the 17 1.8.

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 33,619
Why not the E-M5 + 17mm 1.8 ? (NT)
1
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dgreene196 Regular Member • Posts: 121
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

I think it depends on several factors:

1. What equipment do you have now?

2. Do you prefer a 28 mm (equivalent) FOV or 35 mm (equivalent)?

3. Do the advantages of one body over another appeal to your style of photography?

I personally have the GX1/LVF2 and the 14 mm 2.5. I like the size of the combo, and I find the 14 mm lens gives extremely sharp pictures (my basis of comparison is my former Nikon D7000 and various zoom lenses, as Nikon has never bothered to created wide-angle primes for their DX bodies). Sometimes, I think I'd prefer a 35 mm FOV, as well as a larger aperture, especially since the GX1 is certainly worse at higher ISO than my old Nikon (and, I think, somewhat worse than the EM5). While the 14 mm isn't as sharp as the 20 mm, it is a good lens, and it can create some really great images. There's been much written on the 17 f/1.8 recently, so I won't get into that. It's also a lens with strengths (as well as weaknesses), and I haven't had the privilege of using it myself (I've ordered it, in black, with my E-M1)

For my own uses, I'm sometimes frustrated by the inability to use an EVF and a stronger on-camera flash, and that would be possible with the E-M5. I may be wrong, but I don't think the GX1 can act as a trigger for off-camera flash (I need to look that up when I have more time this evening). I can also envision uses for a weather-proof body, a tilting screen, twin dial control, image stabilization, a somewhat better sensor, etc.

All things being equally (which they aren't), I'd probably suggest investing in lenses over bodies. Today, bodies lose value somewhat quickly, and you're likely to use a lens for far longer. And you can learn good technique and habits on any body. Good luck on your choice!

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OP Jonathan F/2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,060
Re: Why not the E-M5 + 17mm 1.8 ? (NT)

Bob Tullis wrote:

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Like I said, I'm trying to stay under a certain budget. I don't find the 14mm lacking in sharpness, but the 17mm does have the extra stop or so of light gathering.

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dv312
dv312 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,734
Re: Why not the E-M5 + 17mm 1.8 ? (NT)
1

i'd say bite the bullet and buy this combo

so there're no regrets later

Both are excellent tools

I would ... just save and wait for best deals

cheers,

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Skeeterbytes Forum Pro • Posts: 12,504
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

E-M5 without a doubt. It's at least a generation newer and has many significant advantages, EVF and IBIS being just the most obvious.

Cheers,

Rick

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SeanU Senior Member • Posts: 2,070
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?
1

Bodies come and go, but good lenses last forever. Get the lens you want and the body you can afford now. Upgrade your body when you get a good deal.

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peppermonkey Veteran Member • Posts: 4,583
I would pick the lens...and whatever body comes with it ;) (nt)

Jonathan F/2 wrote:

If you could pick between the two setups, which would be your choice? The EM5 is the better camera, but the 17mm is the better lens. Either setup will be used for general walk-around photography, but trying to stay under a certain budget. Appreciate any comments. Thanks!

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Yehuda_ Regular Member • Posts: 324
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

Jonathan F/2 wrote:

If you could pick between the two setups, which would be your choice? The EM5 is the better camera, but the 17mm is the better lens. Either setup will be used for general walk-around photography, but trying to stay under a certain budget. Appreciate any comments. Thanks!

I understand you want to get a certain camera with a more or less certain focal length for X money.

I don't agree with this kind of rationalization for many reasons but I won't try to change your mind.

I will give you the following advice having owned both EM5 and GX1 for a long long time using (not all at the same time) the following lenses: 12-35 F2.8, 14-45, 14-4 PZ, Pana 20 1.7, Pana 25 1.4, Oly 45 1.8, Rokinon 7.5 fisheye, 12-50 Kit lens.

The GX1 is a much more fun camera to hold, change settings etc. but is absolutely more clunky in actual use.

I'll list my findings:

Focus - the GX1 focuses slower (especially on the Oly 45 1.8), has less accurate focus which is more apparent at shallow DOF and generally has worse implementation of focus settings (for example - the EM5 allows you to shoot center focus for more control and to revert automatically to face detection with eye detection while in central focus mode. In the GX1 it's either center or area focus with face detection. No center+face) and the lack of eye detection is something you'll miss once you're used to it.

Positive stuff about the EM5 compared to the GX1:

5 axis IBIS - I get 100% success rate for sharp and blur free at the pixel level for my lenses at 1/2 second exposures. This makes a huge difference indoors where flash is forbidden and outdoors at dusk etc. Simply marvelous.

Sensor - online reviews do not tell the whole story. I used both cameras for over a year and while sensor differences are much more apparent when shooting both cameras in JPEG (GX1 jpeg engine is pretty bad and the white balance is horrible which is difficult at times to fix for a cooked OOC jpeg) I shoot RAW and this mitigated the problem but the GX1 has this washed out DR about it.

For instance: if you shoot a very mixed lighting setting where both cameras WB is bad, the EM5 is almost 100% of the time fixed (from RAW) with a click or 2 in Lightroom while the GX1 sometimes takes more tweaking to get back to good results. DR is simply not there.

Shutter - the EM5 has a very quiet shutter while the GX1 is much louder and sort of 'clunkier'. Users of both cameras will understand this (I am not talking about the double imaging with GX1 + 14-42 PZ as this never happened to me).

Inbuilt EVF, tiltable screen, faster burst modes, weather sealing, blah blah blah

Positive stuff about the GX1 compared to the EM5:

Form factor - superior to the EM5 as long as the lenses aren't too big. I had the EM5 with HLD6 and still find the GX1 more fun to carry along.

Better grip (unless you buy the HLD6 or similar grip). I have to stress this point - the EM5, for me, is absolutely horrible without an additional grip piece. Even with small lenses like the Pana 20 F1.7. It's THAT BAD! No contours, nothing to wrap even the tips of your finger on and the back pad is nice but not enough for the bare camera (without additional grip piece).

Inbuilt flash (can be bounced off the ceiling with good results), better menu system (even though I know both cameras inside out the GX1 seems more natural for most setting changing even though it only has one dial).

I'm stopping this now - gotta go. I'll just finish what I started with.

The 17 and 14 lenses are very different performers quality wise and in focal length as well. Those 3mm change the perspective more then you'd think.

I haven't used the 17 F1.8 but had the 20 1.7, 25 1.4 and 45 1.8 and from my experience the EM5 crushes the GX1 when accurate focusing (think tack sharp eyes in portraits) is needed for shallow DOF imaging. It's more accurate and faster.

The EM5 could deal with almost anything I threw at it when slow shutters where needed without tripod. The GX1 simply can't.

So my advice to you would be to get the EM5 + Grip + a lens you're happy with.

The GX1 combo you wrote just isn't there... Good luck!

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Bob Tullis
Bob Tullis Forum Pro • Posts: 33,619
Re: Why not the E-M5 + 17mm 1.8 ? (NT)

Jonathan F/2 wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

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...Bob, NYC
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Like I said, I'm trying to stay under a certain budget. I don't find the 14mm lacking in sharpness, but the 17mm does have the extra stop or so of light gathering.

I understand budgets, but I also understand what it's like to settle and have to live with shoulda, woulda, coulda regrets when the difference in cost wasn't all that significant when see in the long run.

You'd likely be very happy with any configuration involving those 4 items, whether catering to your whim or your budget.   You might look into seeing if any of them can be had used or refurbished.

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Oly500Enew
Oly500Enew Senior Member • Posts: 1,008
EM-5 has IBIS, weather proof, etc etc

Just get it.  You can get a 17 2.8 for cheap ...the 14 seems perfectly fine/sharp though from samples I've seen.  I've been shopping it myself.

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OP Jonathan F/2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,060
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

I'm planning to have a back-up camera as well. Would you guys prefer:

2x GX1 + 1x LVF2 + 17/1.8 + 60/2.8 DN

or

EM5/GF2 + 14/2.5 + 60/2.8 DN

This kit would be my travel setup. I really only need two lenses. I know many were leaning towards the EM5, but knowing what the use would be, is the EM5/GF2 combo still preferable? Thanks!

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Michael Kaufman
Michael Kaufman Senior Member • Posts: 2,714
How about the EM-5+20/1.7

Its about midway between the other two lenses in price, but it does give great results on the E-M5.

It actually pretty close to the FL of the 17.5. THey call it a 20, but I think its closer to 18.5.

Having said that, if I had to pick between your two choices, I would go with the E-M5 and the 14/2.5.

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jalywol
jalywol Veteran Member • Posts: 8,910
Why not the EPM2 and 17mm f1.8?
2

Jonathan F/2 wrote:

If you could pick between the two setups, which would be your choice? The EM5 is the better camera, but the 17mm is the better lens. Either setup will be used for general walk-around photography, but trying to stay under a certain budget. Appreciate any comments. Thanks!

You'd get the benefit of the Oly sensor, some IBIS (although not the 5 axis), and you could add an EVF if you wanted.

I'm just not a big fan of the GX1, personally.  I think the DR, color balance, sensor noise, and just general image quality is better on the the Olys with the Sony sensor than the GX1.

-J

OP Jonathan F/2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,060
Re: How about the EM-5+20/1.7

Michael Kaufman wrote:

Its about midway between the other two lenses in price, but it does give great results on the E-M5.

It actually pretty close to the FL of the 17.5. THey call it a 20, but I think its closer to 18.5.

Having said that, if I had to pick between your two choices, I would go with the E-M5 and the 14/2.5.

20mm is too tight for me. The 17mm 1.8 negates my need for either the 14mm or 20mm. Plus I don't like the focus speed of the 20mm on the E-M5. It's quite a bit slower on that body.

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OP Jonathan F/2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,060
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

dgreene196 wrote:

I think it depends on several factors:

1. What equipment do you have now?

2. Do you prefer a 28 mm (equivalent) FOV or 35 mm (equivalent)?

3. Do the advantages of one body over another appeal to your style of photography?

I personally have the GX1/LVF2 and the 14 mm 2.5. I like the size of the combo, and I find the 14 mm lens gives extremely sharp pictures (my basis of comparison is my former Nikon D7000 and various zoom lenses, as Nikon has never bothered to created wide-angle primes for their DX bodies). Sometimes, I think I'd prefer a 35 mm FOV, as well as a larger aperture, especially since the GX1 is certainly worse at higher ISO than my old Nikon (and, I think, somewhat worse than the EM5). While the 14 mm isn't as sharp as the 20 mm, it is a good lens, and it can create some really great images. There's been much written on the 17 f/1.8 recently, so I won't get into that. It's also a lens with strengths (as well as weaknesses), and I haven't had the privilege of using it myself (I've ordered it, in black, with my E-M1)

For my own uses, I'm sometimes frustrated by the inability to use an EVF and a stronger on-camera flash, and that would be possible with the E-M5. I may be wrong, but I don't think the GX1 can act as a trigger for off-camera flash (I need to look that up when I have more time this evening). I can also envision uses for a weather-proof body, a tilting screen, twin dial control, image stabilization, a somewhat better sensor, etc.

All things being equally (which they aren't), I'd probably suggest investing in lenses over bodies. Today, bodies lose value somewhat quickly, and you're likely to use a lens for far longer. And you can learn good technique and habits on any body. Good luck on your choice!

1. I already have the GX1 and the 14 and the 17. I've owned an EM5 in the past, love the camera and agree about all the advantages. Saying that, I've been able to get great shots with the GX1 no problem, but do miss IBIS. The GX1 paired with the 17mm 1.8, I find it good enough to allow me to get close-to-adequate low light performance for all but the most extreme conditions, which the EM5 does excels in. Honestly, I do want to keep under a certain budget, because I own a Nikon FX kit and this is not my priority camera setup.

2. I could shoot with either focal length. 14mm is as wide as I need and 17mm is as tight as I'll go. Either FL works.

3. I like the idea of having two of the same bodies if I go dual GX1 cameras. Shared controls, shared handling and shared image output. Dual EM5s would be over budget, though ideal. As a main camera, the EM5 would be great, but using a GF2 as a secondary camera doesn't sound as appealing. The GX1+17mm would get me close enough to EM5+14mm low light performance, but I'd miss out on the EM5 advantages, mainly IBIS. Though having dual GX1s sounds like a better balance in the field while still giving adequate performance in general use. I could go either way, hence my conundrum!

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brentbrent Senior Member • Posts: 2,884
Re: Which would you pick - E-M5 + 14mm 2.5 or GX1/LVF2 + 17mm 1.8 ?

Why not get a G5? Built in EVF with eye detection, articulating LCD, good grip, some other little improvements over the GX1 (I have both bodies), and not really bigger than the GX1 with LVF2 attached. You can buy the G5 with kit 14-42 new for $359 on Amazon right now. Sell the kit lens for about $100 on eBay (I got $105 for mine), and the body ends up costing you $260, no need to buy the LVF2. Then buy the 17mm 1.8.

That's got to end up being a lot cheaper than the E-M5 with 14mm 2.5, and somewhat cheaper than your GX1 option.  The smaller size of the GX1 (without the LVF2 attached) doesn't seem to be a big factor to you if you're considering the E-M5.

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Steve_
Steve_ Senior Member • Posts: 2,869
the former

The E-M5 is a really great camera. The Panasonic 14/2.5 is a very good lens. The two together are dynamite. I can't see the problem here.

I love the build of the 17/1.8, but it really isn't that sharp of a lens. Although I may buy one at some point (it's one of about three m43 lenses I don't own) because I really like 35mm equivalent FL, I wouldn't let it drive the whole show. But that's just me.

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sigala1 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,818
Get a Ricoh GR instead

Jonathan F/2 wrote:

If you could pick between the two setups, which would be your choice? The EM5 is the better camera, but the 17mm is the better lens. Either setup will be used for general walk-around photography, but trying to stay under a certain budget. Appreciate any comments. Thanks!

If you want a prime-lens camera, forget about m43. Get a Ricoh GR:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52176420

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