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Thanks for the feedback on that Paul and Chris.
Paul, can I ask what features you consider the GX1 lacking please so I can get an idea whether or not these are features I would use??
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Firstly its Sensor, its not bad but its lacking by today`s standards, as I have already shown it falls a far way back behind the EPM2.
The GX1 lacks inbody IS, the newer Panasonic camera`s are starting to get this, its extremely handy, inbody IS will give you IS with any lens attached.
The GX1 lacks wireless flash support, the newer Panasonic's are starting to get this as well.
The only thing the GX1 has going for it is handling.
Auto IS is not to good on the GX1, but its superb on the EPM2.
The menu system on the EPM2 is so much better.
The EPM2 has something called live bulb, this is only available on Olympus cameras, see here.
And not forgetting, you can claim a free 17mm if you get the EPM2, its worth a couple of hundred quid.
But don`t just take my word for it.
Forgot to mention, this little thumbs up grip is simply superb on the EPM2, I`ve tried it out.
I have an E-PM2 and everything Paul says is correct.
The E-PM2 is an OMD in a Pen body. EVERYTHING is the same.
I use all my Nikkors on it too...
When it comes down to it Lewis, I think you're wise in comparing the two if you can and choosing which suits you best. In terms of IQ, even at higher ISOs the differences in RAW output noise are tiny - less than half a stop, if that. The Olympus has in body IS - that's true (not the 5 axis of the OMDs though AFAIK). It has optical wireless flash control built in, which the GX1 lacks - it also lacks the 'live bulb' function of the Olympus.
So now to what is better about it. The build and body design - absolutely no comparison. The GX1 is a premium build camera and it grips and handles much better than any PEN. Then there is the ergonomics - I'd say the menu system on the Panasonic is much more logical and intuitive than the PENs (and given that Olympus have purportedly made substantial changes for the EM-1, they perhaps feel something needed addressing). But the single most important thing for me, being that sort of 'camera fanboy', is that the GX1 has a rear dial that changes exposure parameters - aperture if set to A and shutter if set to S. Furthermore it is a clever push dial that means it can be used like a dual control - push in either mode and it will adjust exposure compensation in 1/3 stops.
So it comes down to what sort of photographer you are. If you're happy with point and shoot functionality or diving through menus to adjust your settings and you don't mind a plastic build, I would say go for the PEN - I'd also agree that the free lens is a very enticing offer. The Panasonic 20mm f1.7 is a great lens, but it ain't cheap and its Achilles' heel is that it is slow to focus in low light (the new version is apparently not a lot better in that respect).
For me in spite of its shortcomings in some particulars, the GX1 is much the better camera for the sort of photographer I am. But no camera is perfect and we all have different approaches to how we take pictures. So I'm certainly not going to tell you which one you should buy - all I can say is which one I would choose and why I'd make that decision.
As for brand loyalty, I have just about none whatsoever. My next camera purchase (which I expect to be using for most of my future shooting), will be an EM1 with the 12-40 Zuiko lens. If i shot a lot of video for professional purposes I might be thinking of the GH3, but as I'm a stills shooter, the EM1 it is.
Quote: So it comes down to what sort of photographer you are. If you're happy with point and shoot
That is a very odd comment Chris, we are all photographers here and the camera is merely a tool, and like I said none of the needed functions are hidden away in menu`s like you seem to think.
If you have a problem with plastic`s, I would stay away from the EM1, in fact any modern camera.
The EPM2 has a very balanced build, its small, its light and its very functional in anybody`s hands.
Thank you both for both your views on the two cameras. Personally, with where my images will be going (online, possibly 6x4 prints and to play with in Lightroom and Photoshop), the slight image quality improvement on the EPM2 probably won't warrant the lack of on body controls for me. The main thing for me was the tactile buttons and dials which I love from DSLR's. The fact it has that little wheel on the back is very important to me and i have no intention to be using the menus when I'm shooting anyway, so for that reason I don't think I'm going to go for the EPM2, however I do see, Paul, what you mean and the olympus does have some advantage - but as you said Chris it comes down to the photographer and I like the control the lumix looks like it will offer me. I bid on a few GX1's earlier ( but lost, damn!) but they didn't have the power zoom pancake lens so I don't know whether to be disappointed or not..
Ps. I'm envious of the EM1, great looking camera and if I had the cash it would be up there for me too.. Maybe one day
All the GX1 will give you extra is a mode dial, and you already have that on the rear screen of the EPM2, are you not tempted by the free pancake lens offer.
I'm not denying it's a great offer and would probably be a great addition to the camera, but it doesn't really sway me completely Paul. I'm biased as I have used a GX1 quite a lot in my job, and haven't used an olympus before, but I am going to a store this weekend to try some MFT cameras and will definitely try the Olympus, but I think everything is pointing me to the lumix at the minute, despite the lens offer
Quote: All the GX1 will give you extra is a mode dial, and you already have that on the rear screen of the EPM2, are you not tempted by the free pancake lens offer.
My point exactly - with the GX1 you can spin the dial without taking the camera from your eye and is something I do often. With the EPM2 it is on the screen so you have to take the camera away from the eye, call up the menu and bring it back to the eye. It is one of the little quirks for which I am happy to trade a little bit of resolution and a little bit of dynamic range (differences, I might add, which will be apparent in only a small proportion of what I shoot). They always say that the best camera is the one you have with you - I would add another layer: you are more likely to have a camera with you if you enjoy using it and I enjoy using the GX1 more than I enjoy using my EM-5 for ergonomic reasons alone (and given the close relationship between EPM and EM-5 it would hold true there as well. Chris's comparison strikes a lot of chords with me and just go to show people have different priorities.
Quote: My point exactly - with the GX1 you can spin the dial without taking the camera from your eye and is something I do often
Quote: With the EPM2 it is on the screen so you have to take the camera away from the eye
Not in your case, your eye is already touching the rear screen, is your eyesight really that bad, and the mode dial is probably one of the least used of of any button or dial anyway, its certainly not a function we are constantly using and altering
Quote: They always say that the best camera is the one you have with you
LOl I will remember that the next time I see you arguing over best camera upgrades etc
I think what Mike was talking about was shooting with a viewfinder.
Thanks to everyone who's commented, I've decided on a GX1 and will endeavour to post some pictures when I get the chance.
When you add a viewfinder the identical information is transferred, my point is, the mode dial is not something that is heavily used, and changing mode only takes about a second anyway for both dial and touch screen.
It's not the mode dial Paul, it's the rear dial that sets aperture/shutter speed/exposure compensation.
If you're not the sort of photographer who wants to alter that a lot, fair enough. Some of us do and it's a lot more important than some of those extra features you talk about to a lot of photographers.
This is not some obscure arcana, we're talking about Paul, Panasonic as well as industry commentators are explicit that the GX1 was targeted at enthusiast photographers and those wanting a backup or alternative to a DSLR. Have a look at just about any review - the manual controls on the lower end PENs as well as the GF series (after the GF1, that is), are deliberately missing and meant to appeal to people moving up from point and shoot compacts.
Direct access to those sort of controls are a bare minimum for me in any camera I'd enjoy using. I have a GF5 I acquired really only to get the x zoom. I've used it no more than a couple of times - it's been a bit of a 'lens cap' to be honest. Going cheap if anyone wants one...
Quote: It's not the mode dial Paul, it's the rear dial that sets aperture/shutter speed/exposure compensation, If you're not the sort of photographer who wants to alter that a lot, fair enough.
Last time I checked My GF2 had a rear dial and the EPM2 has one as well, be it in a slightly different place, you argue just for the sake of arguing, yes we all all ready know what the rear dial does, no need for some kind of lesson.
You made out other camera`s lacked in some way for not having a mode dial, and since proving my point you have moved the goal post, but nothing changes.
Quote: Panasonic as well as industry commentators are explicit that the GX1 was targeted at enthusiast photographers and those wanting a backup or alternative to a DSLR
All CSC`s are targeted at enthusiast.
Quote: I have a GF5 I acquired really only to get the x zoom. I've used it no more than a couple of times - it's been a bit of a 'lens cap' to be honest. Going cheap if anyone wants one...
Its a bit of a step down from the GF1 and GF2 and in reality its probably a little more up your street.
The problem with many of the Panasonic units are the restrictions placed when using flash, this includes the GX1.
They want you to use there priority dedicated units and warn you against using others and you are locked to a max of 160s, this is a pretty useless max speed if you want to get creative using radio triggers and third party units.
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