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Hard to decide what is compact, cheap and good enough


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#1 Arthur Macmillan

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 06:57 AM

How about:

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II Mirrorless Digital Camera with 14-42mm EZ Lens (collapsible lens)

...or

PANASONIC LUMIX GX85 4K Mirrorless Camera, with 12-32mm MEGA O.I.S. Lens (collapsible lens)

 

Both cameras have IBIS.  Both rely on CDAF, although it seems to me as though Panasonic may be slightly more advanced in AF and in IS.  Feel my pain, though.  I am a naive consumer who does not have a MILC, and yet I do know some of the basics of photography, and after spending a bit reading reviews I can tell you the people writing the marketing materials are playing fast and loose with the truth.  Well, actually, they are outright lying.

 

Olympus claimed that one of their lenses magnification was doubled because of the crop ratio!  I also had to read about their "software zoom".  P. Lumix was a bit more subtle, but just as slippery.  It is no mean feat even finding specs for their 12-32 lens because it is not sold in the US except for as part of a kit.  Add to that the fact that the international version is different.  It has a plastic base, not metal, and who knows what else!  I'm not saying Panasonic is not straightforward about the difference of their MEGA O.I.S., Power O.I.S, Dual Mode I.S., and there stage 2 DMIS, or that you can't unravel their camera's focus system, and whose lenses it will work on, and on, and on.

 

OK.  They got me!  I have no idea which of the above two cameras are the best.

 

The both seem pretty small.  The both seem pretty capable.  And for $99 Olympus sells and nice telephoto zoom.  (Or it looks that way to me).

 

The Panasonic may be more readily available, although they both seem to be in stock from some vendors.  I realize Klause likes the not EV version of the 12-42mm.  Well...I was boldly told it is the "same optical formula" That's pretty strange if true, because they have significantly different close focus distances.  And while, I don't like the EV's short life expectancy, and long zoom speed, I do like the size, and the close focus, plus...its only 0.9 inches long!  A normal zoom!  That's 22 or 23mm!  The entire camera, with the lens is only 2.8" (72?mm) thick with the lens attached!

 

I'm kind of having to do some estimating on the numbers because the vendors provide such sketchy specs! 

 

But these both seem like decent cameras.  Add the telephoto and...I think we have not one, but two winners! 

 

And yet...I'm not sure what I think I know is true, or just tricky wording.  Can one really have a pretty decent pocket sized MFT set up for way under $1,000?

 

Which would you choose?   Thanks for any input.  A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  And that is exactly what I feel I have right now!

 

I forgot...I think PANASONIC LUMIX GX85 is called GX80 "In other markets", another practice that is killing me!  And yet, I am still so happy that Canon never put KISS on any USA model cameras!


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#2 dave's clichés

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 11:35 AM

 I've been M4/3rds surfing and it seems I need two years of study to get there;

 

  If I was looking for an older S/H "pocketable" M4/3rds camera of decent quality for a small price what choices would I have?

 

  The Panasonic GM1 looks tiny and often comes with the 12-32mm compact zoom, there's some here at around 200 euros and one going for €190.....sounds interesting!



#3 wim

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 07:30 PM

The 12-32 was created specifically for the Panasonic GM5 in the first place, but because it proved so popular, thereafter it was bundled also with other bodies, and you can even buy it separtely these days.

 

Even the 15 F/1.7 was originally packaged with the GM5, actually.

 

The Panny 12-32 obviously is a 24-65 FF equivalent, the Oly 14-42 a 28 to 85. From that POV I think you may need to consider what you find more important, i.e, a little more wideangle, or a little more tele, gettign right into portraiture length.

 

Both zooms are very capable indeed, as are both bodies. Personally, I would go for the Olympus, basically because it actually is quite a bit more compact than the Panasonic, and IMO, more stylish.

 

Also, Oly IBIS (5-axis on E-M10 II) is yet to be beaten by anything Panny (or anybody else) does, the jpegs SOOC are absolutely gorgeous, it has great in-built PP options (you could get away with no PP other than in-camera PP at all).

 

I think the Panasonic might be (slightly) better at, or easier for, videography, but I do think it iS much of a muchness. since I never really look at video features, you may take thsi with a grain or two of salt, however.

 

I own both lenses, own a Panasonic GM5, an Olympus Pen F and E-M1 II, and I also did own a Panasonic GF2 and Olympus E-M10 and E-M5II in the past. Essentially, the GF2 and E-M10 were replaced with the Pen F, and the E-M5 II with the E-M1 II, mostly because of the new battery, and a bunch of better specs.

 

The GM5 I got fairly recently because it is such a nice compact camera - with the 12-32 it actually is pocketable, jacket pocket size. I can do that with the Pen F and 12-42 too, but the fit is much more tight ;). I normally carry the latter in my man purse :). Both are great for street photgraphy, and other types of photography where you do not want to stand out. The Pen F just gives that little extra (20 MP, many in-camera options above and beyond, etc.).

 

Overall, personally, I prefer shooting with Oly these days, the output to me just seems that bit nicer compared to Panny, i.e., without any PP.

 

As to your specific choice: you can't go wrong with either of these. It is really a choice between Oly's better jpegs SOOC, better EVF, better (IB)IS, 24-85 equivalent lens, dslr-type camera (smaller than the old OM analog cameras) vs Panny's bigger and beefier RF-type camera (even if it isn't), better video options, good IS, 24-65 equivalent lens. From a compactness POV, the Oly easily beats the Panny. The lenses are equally compact.

 

There are quite a few differences if you do want to use any of these cameras more extensively (I am sure you will), but for first selection criteria this is probably it.

 

HTH, kind regards, Wim



#4 Arthur Macmillan

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Posted 15 July 2017 - 10:08 AM

Thanks for your answers!  I much prefer the stylish look of the Olympus, as well as the preferring the zoom range.  I have to say, I am pretty much lost in all of the different models. 

 

I think the ability to buy the Oly EM-10 Mk-ii with both zooms at almost the same price as the Panasonic Lumix GX-85 with just the 12-32 lens is just about the right price point for me.  It is to fit in my backpack, but still have the ability to take a decent image. 

 

I still have to have to sell the idea to my companion, but this could be a game changer!

 

=====

Dave, I don't want to catch up, really, I just want to test the waters.  What I hope to do is to get a feel for the MFT experience.  I'm pretty excited about it!

 

Thanks Dave!  Thanks Wim!






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