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Is it really better to have a Panasonic body with Panasonic lenses?

Discussion in 'Micro Four Thirds' started by dixeyk, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Before owning a couple of Panasonic lenses (the 14-45 and 20) I would have said "no way". Now I'm not so sure. I find I'm not entirely satisfied with the EPL-1 anymore. Not sure what's up. I never wanted a GF1 before but I am feeling like I'd be willing to jump ship and sell off the EPL-1 and VF2 to pick up a GF-1 body and that it might be worth it. The UI and the layout on the Olympus is just starting to seem so arbitrary (I played with a GF-1 a bit) and I swear the GF-1 is a lot faster. Saw some new red ones on the 'bay for just over 4 bills. Hmmm...

    Am I being delusional? Maybe it's been winter too log up here and I'm going stir crazy.
  2. usayit

    usayit Veteran

    Sep 4, 2010
    Probably should think about nailing down what exactly doesn't satisfy you first. Then figure out if the GF1 or another camera suits your needs.

    I shoot with the E-PL1 and G1. I find the AF is noticeably faster on the G1 across all my m43 lenses; both Olympus and Panasonic. Image wise, either perform admirably on the each camera body. The E-PL1 has other advantages such as IBIS (I adapt a lot of manual lenses). The EVF on the GF1 sucks compared to the E-PL1 and the G1.
  3. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Good point...I thought about this a bit more. There are some things the GF-1 has that the EPL-1 does not. I am really liking the fact that the GF-1 has a thumbwheel that can be used to change aperture (the button setup on the EPL-1 is a pain). I tried an EPL-2 we have at work and that funky thumbwheel on the back is better than nothing but still not that great. I also like the general control layout and UI of the GF-1 compared to the EPL-1. The UI on the EPL-1 is pretty convoluted (although I am used to it) and finally the AF speed on the EPL-1 seems pretty slow to me. I thought that would improve when I got the Panasonic 20 and 14-45 but it hasn't really gotten any better.

    Then there are the EPL-1 positives...the JPEG output is amazingly nice, I would miss the IBIS as I use a few legacy lenses and the VF2 is just plain awesome.

    As far as my needs...well, I don't need a new camera. I was lucky to have sold a few lenses I had paying around so I could do this move with little or no out of pocket cost (and If I sold the EPL-1 and the VF2 I'd actually come out ahead by a good bit).
  4. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have some kind of love-hate relationship with Olympus. Both cameras (E-P1 and E-PL1) have some quirks which I just do not understand. Every camera has some quirks, but Olympus has quirks which are really annoying. I do not know the quirks of Panasonic, but I do know, that my Nikon D90 had no quirks which are approximately as annoying. Even my Canon G12 has no such annoying quirks. I want to love my Olympus cameras, but I use them less than I should due to the quirks. Of course, that depends on what one shoots.

    Well, Nikon is going to release the D5100, which is one of the lightest DSLRs of Nikon ever. If one selects lenses carefully, one will have really light gear, which might not be as light as µ4/3, but light enough. It is very probable that I will buy a Nikon D5100 as soon as I get one. The quality of its sensor, which is in the D7000, too, is marvelous and much better than the sensor of my Olympus cameras and I don't expect this to change soon. I will continue using my µ4/3 gear for hiking and for some fun stuff, but I am tired to be hindered by all those quirks in serious shooting.

    What I wanted to say: I understand very well that one wants to exchange a camera with a rather similar camera because of the UI.
  5. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I've had an epl1, an ep2, and now have a gf1 and gh2. And I can fully understand getting fed up with the UI on the epl1. I never had any problems with the ep2 because it did have two wheels/dials for scrolling through menus and, more importantly, making things like aperture and/or shutter speed adjustments on the fly. I slightly prefer the UI on the Panasonics but its not a huge advantage. But over the epl1, yeah, HUGE advantage, at least to me. In terms of things like AF speed and, more importantly, shutter lag and blackout time, Panasonic just makes faster cameras than Olympus. Notably so. The epl2 is supposed to be the fastest of the Pen series by a good bit, but I haven't tried one to be able to compare the feel. I liked the ep2 a LOT but when it came time to choose which one to sell between that an the gf1, I kept the gf1. But overall I think your analysis of UI and operating speed is pretty much spot on.

    BUT, this really doesn't have anything to do with things like mixing and matching lenses and bodies or IQ (jpegs in particular). I've had fine luck matching Pany lenses to Oly bodies and vice versa. The only slight issue being when you're using a longer Olympus lens on a Panasonic body, at which point you have no stabilization. I have an Oly 14-150 that I use with my Pany bodies and its no problem for the limited circumstances in which I use that lens, but it could be for others. And the stabilization is really nice when shooting with legacy/mf lenses too, though not absolutely necessary. And, of course there's the whole Oly jpeg thing, which is a real issue for some people and a non-issue if you shoot raw.

    In short, there are tradeoffs. In the best of all worlds, you might have one of each. In the real world, you might not...

  6. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    Some good points mentioned above, especially in regards to different jpeg rendition and inbody IS. However I dont think anyones mentioned that Panasonic bodies do all lens corrections (CA/fringing and distortion) in camera on jpegs, whereas Olympus dont, which I found particularly with my G1
  7. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Okay now...that's a BIG difference. I am slowly starting to come to the conclusion that I would willingly trade the spiffy VF2, better JPEG and IBIS for better UI and controls. Maybe a red GF-1.
  8. ajramirez

    ajramirez Hall of Famer

    Jul 9, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    I am fully aware that this is not the most popular choice, but, why not a G2? The EVF is wonderful. The swivel LCD is very handy, and the camera is very quick and responsive. I have both an E-P1 and a G2 and while the E-P1 is a beautiful camera, the G2 really has it beat in the handling department.


  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    Dec 27, 2010
    Kiev, Ukraine
    I've tried E-PL2 and it's as fast as my G2. It also takes better pictures in JPEG. However, toggling between 'normal' and 'small' AF area on Olympus E-PL2 is very cumbersome. Since this is the most used parameter on my G2, I know that E-PL2 is definitely not for me.
  10. vincechu

    vincechu Veteran

    Sep 14, 2010
    In Olympus' defence though, the majority of m4/3rds lenses aren good performers in regards to distortion, fringing/ca and vignetting, so you might not notice too much difference between oly and panny bodies. I think Olympus bodies save the data to RAWs (mayb jpeg) so corrections can be applied quickly in post production, perhaps someone else could clarify that who has more experience with oly than me?

    I guess at the end of the day it really depends what you need. I don't have any m4/3rds bodies anymore, but if i was to get another I'd actually go for an Olympus. Because to me, IBIS and good out of camera jpegs are important to me. I do a lot of lowlight shooting and i dont like spending too much time editing colours - I really disliked Panasonic's jpeg's.

    Remember its down to your preferences, I'd recommend trying two bodies out in store and taking a few photos to see the differences and view the photos on your computer before buying.
  11. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    The G2 is a nice camera but I have always considered it a bit too large for my liking. I will look at it again however.
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    My "it's just stuff" approach that cuts both ways. I don't worked up over the latest gear but when the gear I have starts to bug me I have no qualms about replacing it.
  13. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    I like the nicer JPEG but I can also switch to RAW only (also solves the "Olympus colors" argument). The IBIS is nice but I shot film for years without it so I can live with the rules of light and exposure. Mind you I don't hate Olympus. I am a long time OM1n and OM2n user and still think 4/3 cameras are pretty nice. My favorite AF lens ever was the Olympus 14-54 mk 1 4/3 lens. But...I am finding the EPL-1 more work than I think it should be to shoot anything other than full auto. In iAuto it's great and I have no problems. Try to noodle with the settings and then I think the UI and control layout becomes problematic. I don't however think the GF-1 is a panacea. It has it's own quirks (I don't care for the Panasonic's JPEGs either)...I'm hoping they are quirks that are less bothersome than the current ones.

    If I change and hate it...well, then I guess the GF-1 will go up for sale. It's not the end of the world and I can probably sell it pretty easily.
  14. For the D90, the underexposure when using live view and even without for long exposures is annoying. My Olympus E-P1 is much better in that regard (as close to perfect as you could expect). Noise on longer exposures is why I use the D90 a lot more than the E-P1 these days so I whish Olympus would ditch the crap Panasonic sensors.

    I certainly like both cameras, both have their 'features' and somehow I hope there is never a perfect camera as it would kill the industry and the hobby.
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    After much consideration I think I'll stick with the Olympus for the time being. It came down to one thing. The Olympus VF2 is so much better than the Panasonic equivalent that I couldn't see the change being worth it. When I started this conversation I had forgotten that I have a small number of manual focus lenses that I really like to use and I NEED to use an EVF to use those lenses. I went out and tried the Panasonic EVF at a local shop...WOW that's not even close. The EVF on the G2 or GH2 would be acceptable but then we have a much bigger body. As much as I like the Panasonic UI (it's a lot better than the Olympus) I don't think I could use manual focus on the GF-1 with the Panasonic EVF. If they come out with a better one then I'll look at this again but until then I'll keep trying to make peace with the EPL-1. On the plus side, it's not a terrible camera to be stuck with.

    Thank you for all the advice.
  16. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Plus the price in the G2 has really dropped!

  17. dixeyk

    dixeyk Guest

    Newegg has the G2 with a 14-42 for I believe $420 delivered. It's a great camera. I'm definitely thinking that one over. I'd need to sell the EPL-1 and the VF2 to swing it. I'm still not sure I want to increase the size camera I'm carrying. That's why I sold my E520 in the first place.
  18. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    The G2 is definitely smaller than the E520. I have the EP2 and GH2, and the GH2 is not that much bigger than the EP2.

    Also, if I remember correctly, the G2 is a bit smaller than the GH2.
  19. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Boyzo

    Boyzo Veteran

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have no preference as I shoot with Panasonic and Oly bodies
    The G1 with 45-200 excellent for Birding
    I do like IBIS for non OIS lenses
    I must say tho that Panasonic have Oly beat when it come's to adjusting AF area size and one or two areas of interface. Oly need to pay attention.

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