Micro Four-Thirds:Fortune at Many Prices
#2. "RE: Micro Four-Thirds:Fortune at Many Prices " | In response to Reply # 1Tue 17-May-11 11:34 AM
I've been running around with an Olympus E-PL1 for a few weeks now. It's very liberating compared to carrying a lightweight DSLR. It's revived a lot of my casual photography where I would have previously been unable or unwilling to pull out a camera.
Aside from the size, the quality of the sensor is head and shoulders above all the P&S compacts I've used to date. You still run into high ISO noise limitations, but overall the usable range is much wider and cleaner. That in of itself is a very compelling feature for anyone considering the format. The sensor is 5x the average size of a P&S, so that tells you alone what a difference it potentially makes in image quality. The number of native lenses (Micro 4/3rds specific) is small at the moment, but growing slowly. However, there are many adapters that allow you to mount different maker lenses, s you have a very diverse selection to choose from. A lot of folks are manual focusers, so both the form and the function lend itself to a more contemplative style of photography. The cameras are snappy enough to get street photography though.
The handling of the cameras (I am also evaluating a Panasonic GF2 as part of a review for another site) varies, but they are all oriented towards a knowledgable photographer. It took some getting used to, but I have figured out most of the nuances of the two bodies. I have to say, Panny is much more industrial and sleek in terms of build and ergonomics (think Apple), but I prefer the Olympus even though it's a bit bulkier - it's probably the old-fashioned shooter in me. Pannys AF is superior in appearance, Oly tends to do the focus, overshoot, back-up a tad, but it also has a lot to do with the type of lens you have mounted.
From a software perspective, Panny's Silkypix is about the worst port of a RAW converter I've ever seen. Even the English directions and pop-ups appear grammatically incorrect, they didn't bother having a native English speaker QA the content. The menus are beyond bizarre and use terms like "Initialize Development" which actually means you just zeroed all your RAW edits to the file. I learned that one quickly. Olympus' Master 2 is okay, but much better than Silkypix. Overall, if you have PS Elements 9, just download Adobe Camera Raw and you're in business. It will even accomodate perspective corrections for specific m4/3rds lens models.
The one thing I have to get used to is not shooting with a viewfinder. Both cameras have optional VFs; Oly's is much better with 1.4 million dots resolution, but they're expensive and scarcer than hen's teeth because of the Japan crisis. I'll probably get one when they're more available, but right now, it's not a problem framing from the LCD - it slows me down a little and makes me think more.
If you're looking to get one, you can't really go wrong with either brand. They're a lot of fun, and that's really the value proposition for me - I've gotten to the point where if I'm carrying around the Nikon kit, it usually means I'm working for someone or something. Compact P&S IQ was what was really stopping me from spending my good money on it. This format addresses that perfectly and the size makes it easy to carry around.
#3. "RE: Micro Four-Thirds:Fortune at Many Prices " | In response to Reply # 2Captain Rich Nikonian since 25th May 2006Thu 18-Aug-11 09:43 PM | edited Thu 18-Aug-11 09:46 PM by Captain Rich
After using the GF2 and having a lot of time with the m4/3 format, what are your current opinions of the GF2? I'm trying to decide whether to replace my defunct LX3, and happened across this deal on the GF2:
At this price ($459), does it make sense to go with a GF2, or is the camera just not what an enthusiast wants/needs (I don't care about video)? Appreciate any opinion you would care to offer.
#4. "RE: Micro Four-Thirds:Fortune at Many Prices " | In response to Reply # 3Fri 19-Aug-11 07:23 PM
The GF-2 is somewhat overtaken now by the advances in Olympus' newest E-P3 and E-PL3. Unless there's a compelling reason to remain with Panasonic, I'd actually would go with one of these models. The sensor tweaks alone are worth the price of admission.
#5. "RE: Micro Four-Thirds:Fortune at Many Prices " | In response to Reply # 4ttoolan Nikonian since 16th Jul 2004Fri 19-Aug-11 10:20 PM
The GF-3 is the camera to compare to the E-P3 and E-PL3, but if AF is important, get a Panasonic GH-2 or a G-3. Consensus from what I read is that the Oly pens have improved focus speed and in good lighting they are probably indistinguishable but in low light the Pannys still win out.
D3, D200, D70, F6, F3/T, F2AS, FM2N
"The Gods have two ways of dealing harshly with us. The first is to deny us our dreams. The second is to grant them."
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