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Old 01-30-2013, 08:48 PM   #1
sabrinadv1
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Please make my head stop spinning.

I am looking at getting a 4/3 camera for my upcoming Disney trip in April. I currently own a Pentax K-X. Due to getting divorced after it was bought I have not bought any additional lenses for it. I want something smaller and lighter to carry around with me in the parks. I have been doing research for days and I can't make up my mind. I thought I had narrowed it down to the Olympus Pen E-pl2, but then I found a kit at Adorama for the E-PL1 that includes the underwater housing for a very reasonable amount of money for both items. I have looked at the Panasonics and really like them too. I have noticed that everywhere seems to recommend the Sony's but I can't afford them. My thought was to go with the older E-pl2 or E-pl1 so that I could afford to buy another lens or two to go with it. One of the biggest draws for me on this trip is the Flower and Garden festival at Epcot. Is there really that much of a difference in the size of the pen's to my K-X? Should I just buy another lens for it? See my head is all over the place Photography is just a hobby for me but I would like to get good shots and not feel like I wasted all my time taking shots that weren't worth taking.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:32 PM   #2
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Getting good shots is a lot more about the photographer than the camera. But that aside, have you been to the store to play with the cameras? I'd do that before deciding on anything.

The Sony's get all the attention because they have the larger APS-C sensors. I've seen great shots posted from all of the brands though.
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Old 01-30-2013, 10:44 PM   #3
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I have been to a few stores. I can't find any of the cameras that I am considering in stock. I understand that the shot quality is more about my abilities than the camera . I just can't decide if buying the smaller camera is worth it or if I should just buy new lenses for the camera I already have. Plus there are so many choices to comb through.
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:29 AM   #4
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I just saw the Panasonic GF5 with 14-42mm lens for $399 at Amazon. While it is an "older" model I believe it is still less than a year old and it appears to be a very nice camera. It does seem like a good time to be buying a micro 4/3 camera if your willing to pick up last years models, because they have been nicely discounted.

Now I just have to make sure I don't look at them. even though I know they are probably ideal for my trip in June, I just can't afford it right now. I know I would also have to get an addition lens or two if I were to buy it. I also bought a Canon 4ti about 4 months ago, so a micro 4/3 is out of the picture for me right now!

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Old 01-31-2013, 05:27 AM   #5
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I own the Olympus E-PM1 which is very similar in quality and size to both the E-PL1 & E-PL2. I've been so impressed with that camera and m4/3 lenses that I'm considering selling all of my DSLR gear to purchase the more advanced m4/3 O-MD.

As others have said it's more the photographer than the equipment, but in terms of image quality the m4/3 camera images are very good.
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:14 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrinadv1 View Post
I am looking at getting a 4/3 camera for my upcoming Disney trip in April.
To help stop your head from spinning first we will look at the state of the art micro 4/3 cameras: since it appears you are not interested in a SLR style the top choices are Olympus E-PL5 and E-PM2. These both have the same really good sensor of the OM-D/E-M5 (stupid numbering system). Next is Panasonic's GX1. All of these are 16 MP and over $400 (the Oly models are new) but the GX1 has some good sales sometimes when people think the GX2 is about to be announced. In Tier 2 are the models with older sensors, any Olympus E-PL before 5 and E-PM1 along with Panasonic GF5 and GF3. Afaik all these share the same 12 MP sensor which is pretty old but still good, just not up to the newer sensors especially in terms of dynamic range and high ISO noise.

E-PL5 is about $550, E-PM2 is about $450 at B&H (a very good online store), GX1 is about $450 also. If you are ok with the price these are probably the best of their type at this time. If not then one of the older models will still provide great photos, some of the ones posted in the micro 4/3 thread are proof of that! All of these are *much* smaller and lighter than any dSLR.
DW and I switched from Canon dSLRs to Panasonic a little more than a year ago and are still amazed at how tiny the cameras and lenses are. For some idea of what these cameras are capable of you can look at any photos on our website taken since November 2012 (we use Panasonic G3, same sensor as GX1).
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Old 01-31-2013, 07:55 AM   #7
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Thank you that does help a lot. I knew there was a difference in the megapixels of the cameras but I did not know about the censors. That.was basically my dilemma. I didn't want to buy a camera that was out of date when I got it, but also didn't want to spend a grand on one either. I did look at the gx1 but there were so many different panasonic models I couldn't make heads or tails of them. Thanks for the help. I swore the next camera I bought would be a Nikon or cannon because accessories are easier found for them but their smaller cameras are just not up to par for the money.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:33 AM   #8
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Panasonic's numbering system is not much better than Olympus!
Their current models that look like a SLR (and have a viewfinder) are: GH3 ($$$, sort of large, great for video); G5 (small, 16 MP). The older models are GH2 and G3.

The current ones without a viewfinder (LCD screen only) are GX1 (16 MP) and GF5 (12 MP). GF3 is the older model (but not much different from GF5).

If I were getting one today it would be G5 because I like a viewfinder. Olympus OM-D has better image quality (and costs more) but I don't like the styling and it has no built in flash.
If I didn't want a viewfinder my choice would probably be Olympus E-PM2. But that's just my choices...

Btw, you probably already know that all Olympus and Panasonic micro 4/3 lenses fit all the micro 4/3 cameras!
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:55 AM   #9
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I have the E-PL2 and also the OM-D EM-5. As mentioned before, the E-PL5 and E-PM2 share the latest sensor (made by Sony) as the EM-5. The E-PL2 has a 12mp sensor made by Panasonic. The EM-5 is fantastic but the E-PL2 is no slouch either.

One thing I like about the E-PL2 is that there is a built-in flash which is hinged so that it can be bounced. The E-PL5 and E-PM2 both come with a detachable flash (same as the EM-5). The new Sony sensor though delivers much better high ISO shots so you may be able to get by with no flash in many cases.

The latest models feature the touch screen which the EM-5 has. I thought I wouldn't use it much but I find that I quite like it.

As far as lenses go, the Oly 40-150mm can be had for relatively cheap and is a nice quality lens. B&H Photo has both the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 and 30mm f/2.8 for $199 together. Mine should be coming today. They get good reviews and you can't beat that price. Sigma has discontinued those models and introduced a new 19mm and 30mm.

Traveling with the micro 4/3 kit is sooo much easier than with my DSLR and bigger lenses, especially in the Florida heat.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:04 AM   #10
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I think I am going to go with my instincts and get the pl2. I can get a refurbished one with a year warranty for $229. That leaves a lot more room in the budget for more lenses. I wont be selling any of my work its just for me so to me it makes more sense to spend less on the body and get more toys with it . I really want a fish eye lens. I've seen holga lenses that are cheap. Are they any fun to play with? Thanks for the heads up on the sigma lenses they sound exactly like what I'm looking for.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabrinadv1 View Post
I have been to a few stores. I can't find any of the cameras that I am considering in stock. I understand that the shot quality is more about my abilities than the camera . I just can't decide if buying the smaller camera is worth it or if I should just buy new lenses for the camera I already have. Plus there are so many choices to comb through.
Surprised nobody has asked you about this --- What other lenses would you consider and why?

If you're looking to cut back on size, then the 4/3rds system could really be a great option.

But the Pentax K-X is hardly an outdated camera. It's still a very solid camera, with high image quality and low light performance.
While the various 4/3s cameras can be VERY GOOD, they will probably be a step down in image quality from the K-X.

But if you already own the K-X, with the kit lens, not sure why you are suggesting you need to buy anything extra?

While additional lenses do carry quite a few advantages (I own 6 lenses), for many people the kit lens is all they will ever need.
And the K-X is probably already a "better camera" than most of the 4/3rds you are looking at, though it is bigger.

So yes, if size is your number 1 issue, it could be a very good reason to get a 4/3rds camera. But otherwise, I'm not sure of why purchasing lenses for the K-X is even a consideration. What are you hoping to achieve with a new lens?

And then based on your budget, what will give you the most bang for your buck for your next trip.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:13 AM   #12
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Check out Cameta Camera online. They are an official Olympus dealer and have plenty of refurbished m4/3 lenses on their site. I recently got the 40-150mm lens from them at a fantastic price.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:31 AM   #13
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I want a lens with a longer reach for sure. My boys play football its hard to get the shots I want with the lens I have. I also want a fish eye and a macro. I love to take simple shots of small random items. I think the flower and garden festival is going to be a great event for that.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:38 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I want a lens with a longer reach for sure. My boys play football its hard to get the shots I want with the lens I have. I also want a fish eye and a macro. I love to take simple shots of small random items. I think the flower and garden festival is going to be a great event for that.
Truthfully, since you already have a very very good camera body, I'd stick with the Pentax, and add lenses in that case.
Otherwise, you will be buying the lenses AND a new camera body.

I buy all my lenses from ebay (though I'm careful who I buy from and what I buy), so I tend to get my lenses at very good prices.
Good fisheyes and macros are not cheap at all.

While there are plenty of lens options for the 4/3rds system, and they certainly have choices of fisheye, macro and telephoto, you will find even more lens options for your dSLR.
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Old 01-31-2013, 11:03 AM   #15
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But the Pentax K-X is hardly an outdated camera. It's still a very solid camera, with high image quality and low light performance.
While the various 4/3s cameras can be VERY GOOD, they will probably be a step down in image quality from the K-X.

And the K-X is probably already a "better camera" than most of the 4/3rds you are looking at, though it is bigger.
If the OP's main concern is low light performance (meaning jack up the ISO) then yes, stick with the K-X and not the E-PL1 or E-PL2. Otherwise they will not be a step down in image quality in my opinion.

Also, Olympus, Panasonic and Sigma make some very good fast prime lenses that can help with the low light performance.
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