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Author Topic: Stepping up to a larger sensor-advice sought  (Read 4958 times)
Chas2
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« on: February 16, 2011, 10:47:34 AM »
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I used to shoot and process a lot of 35 mm B&W in my younger days, but with family and time just sort of devolved into snaps, because carrying all the gear around plus babies was impractical.

Over the years, I have had and loved playing with Canon P&S cameras, and currently have a SX10IS superzoom.  I have trip to Europe coming in May, and think it might be time to upgrade to a larger sensor.  I like the idea of a Panasonic MFT camera, with a flip out LCD and EVF such as I have been using with my Canon superzoom.  I have discounted the Olympus bodies mostly because I cannot tell you how many times I use the EVF and external flash on my superzoom, and the Oly bodies you can only do one or the other, although in-camera stabilization give one pause, especially since I have a lot of legacy Nikkor AIS glass from the 80's.

I don't take video much, except on a casual basis, but I would say I am 98% stills.

Pansonic EPP store seems to have great deals on their older cameras.

G2 with 14-42 for about $525
G2 with 14-45 for about $550
G2 body only for $450

I can find GH1 bodies on the internet for about $500

I would like to get a GH2, but I cannot find them in stock, or they seem so expensive that the story for a G2, with or without a kit lens, a 14mm f2.5; 20mm f1.7 and 45-200mm f4.0-5.6 is not all that much different than GH2 with 14-140.

Any thoughts on G2 vs GH1 would be appreciated.  While I hope that GH2 supply becomes available, I am doubtful...
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alanscape
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2011, 10:08:14 AM »
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Nikon D5000 and a Sekonic.
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EljaTrum
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« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2011, 07:57:16 AM »
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Sounds like you budget is about 500 dollar?

Then the new Fujifilm X100 will be to expensive.
Would be a nice alternative; large APS-C size sensor with a f/2.0 35mm lens.

Elja
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Chas2
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2011, 10:54:51 PM »
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Yes, budget is a consideration, but I was interested in an interchangeable lens system, and thought the m4/3 might be the way to go.  The $500 just came up because the prices of the GH1 and G2 are about the same, and so much less the the GH2 right now, which is unobtainable.  So if I were to spend $500-600 on a body and lens such as a 14-45 kit or 20mm prime, I was just trying to figure out if I should go GH1 or G2?  I could use the difference in the price of GH2 to get additional lenses, or to go for the much more expensive 14-140 superzoom.
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feppe
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« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2011, 12:46:18 PM »
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I've no experience with Panasonic, but you're probably right about the continued lack of availability for GH2. Another option would be Olympus E-PL1, E-P1 or E-P2, all of them are available and with very good deals. E-PL2 is the latest one and received rave reviews. Olympus MFT cameras take Panasonic lenses, and vice versa.

Also, Samsung NX and Sony -series have received quite good reviews, although their lens choices are more limited.

My advice would be to invest in the lenses at this point, both quality and quantity to cover various focal lengths - although the 14-42/45mm kit lenses cover most everyday uses -, and get a cheap(ish) camera.
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Chas2
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« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2011, 04:51:57 PM »
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Thanks, I will look at EPL2 with a viewfinder.  To me that is mandatory because I have been in too many situations where LCDs on the back of a camera are overpowered by sun, not to mention arms out shooting is not my preferred method.

I am also thinking of getting a Panasonic GH1.  Price is great, and it seems to have good IQ in comparison to G2, and GF2, plus I suppose if I need video, I have that too.  I think $400 for a body is a pretty good price for a GH1.
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David Watson
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« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2011, 03:56:46 PM »
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Don't waste your time on the G1 or G2 wait and save up for the GH2.  Having tried a lot of these compact cameras over the last 12 months including the Leica X1 the GH2 is head and shoulders above the rest - really!
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David Watson ARPS
Chas2
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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 05:42:54 PM »
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Don't waste your time on the G1 or G2 wait and save up for the GH2.  Having tried a lot of these compact cameras over the last 12 months including the Leica X1 the GH2 is head and shoulders above the rest - really!

Thanks!  Decisions, decisions....I will have to think hard about that! Currently I can get a new GH1 body for $300.  The $500 premium for the GH2, if I can even find one, is almost worth a nice Olympus 9-18 zoom (18mm-36mm EFL)  I had figured the GH1 would be good enough for the time being coming from a Canon SX10IS superzoom.

Do you think the 14-140 and a GH2 is good enough for travel?  That package would about blow my budget (after extra batteries, filters, SDHC cards, etc)...I was hoping to keep it to $1700-1800 max

After the other advice about investing in glass, I had thought about taking advantage of the GH1's great price, and using the difference to get a 20 mm and the 14-140 zoom, or instead a 20mm, a 45-200 mm and 9-18 mm.

I had at first, then thought well I ought to at least get a 20mm 1.7 for low light work, then I thought and ultrawide might be nice for all the fantastic architecture and narrow gorges and other tight scenery.

Thanks
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feppe
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« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2011, 06:10:52 PM »
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Thanks!  Decisions, decisions....I will have to think hard about that! Currently I can get a new GH1 body for $300.  The $500 premium for the GH2, if I can even find one, is almost worth a nice Olympus 9-18 zoom (18mm-36mm EFL)  I had figured the GH1 would be good enough for the time being coming from a Canon SX10IS superzoom.

Do you think the 14-140 and a GH2 is good enough for travel?  That package would about blow my budget (after extra batteries, filters, SDHC cards, etc)...I was hoping to keep it to $1700-1800 max

After the other advice about investing in glass, I had thought about taking advantage of the GH1's great price, and using the difference to get a 20 mm and the 14-140 zoom, or instead a 20mm, a 45-200 mm and 9-18 mm.

I had at first, then thought well I ought to at least get a 20mm 1.7 for low light work, then I thought and ultrawide might be nice for all the fantastic architecture and narrow gorges and other tight scenery.

Thanks

A 14-140 and GH2 cover most travel photography needs - although I'm not familiar with the lens or its quality. An ultrawide like the Oly 9-18mm or Panny 7-14mm (below) does give a unique perspective, but it's perhaps not as practical in everyday use as a 14-140mm or 14-45mm. The 20mm is a remarkable lens, reasonably priced, and tiny. A 20mm, 45-200mm and 9-18mm would cover pretty much all bases unless you're into birding or sports shooting - and I don't think an MFT camera is good for those anyway.

I know it's not much help, but what I'm saying is that your budget is certainly enough to build a system which will cover most of your bases.

Olympus E-PL1 with Panasonic 7-14mm @ 7mm f/5.6 1/200 sec.
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Virginia Bill
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« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 08:39:04 PM »
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Micro 4/3 would probably meet your needs, but you need to expand your shopping. Check the big on-line stores (B&H is my favorite, but others are good too). You'll find better prices on most of the models you're considering. You will also find that the GH2 is unobtainable -- out of stock everywhere. So is the 20mm pancake lens.

You might also pay a little more attention to how the various models differ. The GF cameras lack any kind of viewfinder. The GH cameras emphasize video. The G2 is, to my mind, a bargain in the current market if still photography is your chief interest. For me it's also ergonomically better than the comparably priced GH1.

You should also know that the G3 will be officially unveiled later this week. It will be smaller than the G2, have the larger sensor currently in the GH2, and be priced at $600+ with the kit lens.
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k bennett
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« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2011, 06:48:02 AM »
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We own a G1, GF1, and a selection of lenses. I've handled the GH2 in a store in Europe, with the 14-140. It's a fine camera, feels very good in the hand, though a lot heavier than the G1 combo.

If it were me, I would get the G2 with the 14-45 (which is much  better than the 14-42), and spend the extra money on the 45-200 and the 20/1.7. This makes a very nice small travel kit. Image quality is excellent, especially at lower ISO values, but even at 800 or 1600, with some care in processing I have made very good 11x17 inch prints from both cameras. I use the 20mm lens a lot -- more than any of the others, in fact.

The GH2 is nice, but relatively very expensive right now. Reviews that I have seen recently suggest that the 14-140 is excellent for video but not as good for stills. (Of course, I still want one  Smiley.)

EDIT: let me add that using m4/3 for travel photography is great. I bought the GF1 and the 20mm lens as my "everyday carry" camera. Within a couple of months we bought the G-1 kit for my wife, and the 14 and 45-200. The 7-14/4 is on the list, and I already want another body for myself. (The G2 is high on the list, though I'd love a GH2.) We use these for all of our personal and travel work, from family snapshots to garden photos to travel and artsy stuff. The size and weight of a complete system is so much smaller and lighter than even my "small" cameras at work, it's a pleasure to carry all the time. The cameras are easy to use, make great photos, and the lenses are terrific.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 06:52:59 AM by k bennett » Logged

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Chas2
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« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2011, 02:39:03 PM »
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Thank you all for your help.  Schedules and earthquake disasters, or perhaps just bad supply chain management, all conspired to the following state of affairs...

Wanted to the GH2, 14-140 and 20 mm.

I ended up getting the Panasonic GH1+20 mm bundle at a great price, 14-45, 45-200 and a foolhardy splurge on a Oly m9-18mm as I saw prices climbing almost every other day.  In the end, this kit was pretty lightweight, and compact and was comfortable to carry in the city, scrambling up to a glacier or through rugged little villages... 

In Europe, the 14-45 was pretty much a go to lens, although I always felt like I wanted more, and switching to the 45-200 was often inconvenient because of circumstances usually northern European rain-thank goodness for triple layer GoreTex on that trip).  The 9-18 is a wonderful walk around the city lens, though you run out of light quickly when you are on 18 (35mm FF equivalent) at f/5.6 minimum aperture.

Had I to do over again, and I could have gotten a 14-140 (it is still hard to find), I think I would have, and foregone the 14-45 and 45-200.  I use the 20 a lot these days, the 45-200 not that much except in specific situations.

Still getting used to processing RAW through Lightroom, and find, surprisingly, that the Panasonic supplied Silkypix works pretty well to get some quick, decent developments out. 

I am not so sure about the AWB on the GH1 in some instances, and because of the 2x crop, the DOF effects are not as great as what I imagine it would be with APS-C or full frame.  Video is still a mystery to me, and I find that I hit the video record  button by accident a few too many times in handling the camera.  Otherwise the live view EVF is great, and I am so glad that I got a camera with an EVF based on the many shooting conditions I have encountered.  The arms length LCD framing is just not for me.  However, when I do use that style, the 3 inch articulating live view LCD is indispensable...not sure how I would do it with a fixed LCD.  There seems to be a tendency to blow the sky out with the GH1 at the expense of preserving shadow details, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but with the constantly overcast European skies, the flashing red skies in Lightroom is almost ubiquitous.

Thanks again for the help!
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feppe
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« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2011, 09:09:26 PM »
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Sounds like you're from the US. There are plenty of Panasonic (and Olympus) MFT cameras and lenses here, so you could have bought whatever you wanted. Don't know how attractive that is, though, given the weak dollar.
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