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Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3
  
 
canonfan93
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Hello all, I wonder if I may get expert feedbacks from fellow Micro43 photographers. I am contemplating about upgrading from my Lumix G3. I love my G3 for it's compactness and good IQ and have always brought it alongside my Canon whenever my family travel. I take mostly family photos, including portraits, environmental portraits of wife and kids, and landscape here and there. Recently, I have been thinking if upgrading to one of the newer M43 cameras would yield better IQ overall. I have been looking into a couple options including the GX8 or Pen F. I am thinking if upgrading to a newer camera, then I may as well go into one of these with the newer 20MP sensor. As I have aged and my health is not what it used to be, Micro 43 may become my primary travel camera in the near future, especially for its lighter weight, compactness, and the ability to have fast and relatively smaller prime lenses. For this reason, I will only upgrade if it makes sense from a financial as well as IQ perspective. I appreciate very much for any advice on this topic.


Nov 03, 2017 at 01:31 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


I think you are on the right path here.

The G3 is old, by no means bad but old. There's been a lot of development in m43 since the release of the G3.

So, if your possible goal is to change from Canon to m43 I'll just base my thoughts and advice on that.

If you have the possibility to touch and use the different cameras, even for just a few minutes, I recommend you do that just in order to get a feel for size and ergonomics.

So, I have no idea of your budget or your needs, what lenses you or what lenses you like.
What lenses for your G3 do you have now? What does your Canon system consist of?

The image quality difference from the G3 to modern m43 should be quite big, the "revolution" as far as image quality really started with the Om-D E-M5 and has improved from that.

So, starting from the top and going down on the Olympus side you've got:

E-M1 Mark II: The most expensive in the lineup and also the largest of the Olympus bodies, still much smaller then most Canon cameras and built like a tank. Very fast, 18 frames per second with C-AF, 60 frames per second (RAW) with locked AF and exposure. Great viewfinder, high resolution and fast although no longer industry leading as far as resolution goes. The only OM-D camera with 20mp sensor at the moment. The other Olympus with 20mp is the Pen-F which you already mentioned.

E-M5 Mark II: Smaller, cheaper, lighter and still built like a tank. Weather sealed and can take heavy rain and water without problem if attached to the right lens. Very fast though not as fast as far as frame rates go. Viewfinder and screen same size and resolution as the E-M1 Mark II but the viewfinder is slightly slower (60fps rather then 120fps). Only noticeable when shooting sports I'd say, if even then. 16mp sensor, more or less the same sensor as was released in 2012 for the E-M5 though with some smaller updates.

E-M10 Mark III: smallest of the OM-D line, smaller viewfinder and other cost saving things but still a very good camera. Very very small and light IMO. 16mp sensor. Not weather sealed.

Pen-F: Without a doubt the most beautiful digital camera in my opinion, the looks alone makes GAS go haywire. Not weather sealed but very well built. Perfect travel camera, beautiful looks and small without being too small. Goes great with the smaller F1.8 and F2 primes (12, 17, 25 and 45) but also with the 75mm F1.8. Lots of people use it with the 12-40 F2.8 zoom as well so should be no problem.

What goes for all Olympus cameras is the amazing IBIS, in body image stabilization, easily the best in business. The E-M1 Mark II has got the most updated here and is the best. The other bodies are close behind though and in most cases there won't be much difference.

Panasonic bodies:

I won't mention the GH5 much, it's got a pretty big body, approaching the size of DSLR's. Extremely good camera though with a viewfinder to die for. You pay a premium for the superb video functions which is probably a reason for it's size and weight as well as it can record 4k for unlimited time without overheating. Also with IBIS btw. 20mp.

"G9" or whatever it will be called, it will be announced on Monday, November 6:th and could very well be of interest to you. Wait and see what specs it has. Most likely same EVF as the GH5, same screen and same sensor but more photo oriented rather then video oriented.

GX8, hard to find now a days it seems like but if you do it's probably one of the best bang for buck you can find. It's got IBIS as well though not quite as good as the Olympus lineup. Early on it had some issues with shutter shock but this has been fixed with firmware upgrades and electronic first curtain. The EVF is amongst the best in the industry, big, bright and sharp though not as good as the GH5 and the upcoming "G9" if that uses the same EVF.
Other then that the GX8 is fairly big in the form of a range finder. I'd say it's more or less perfect size for many things. Not too big and not small enough to feel cramped. 20mp sensor, in fact I think it was the first m43 body with a 20mp sensor.

There is also the GX80 and GX800 which are more or less smaller and newer versions of the GX8, for me, when I tried these, I discarded them right away due to the rather poor EVF.

Might be able to help out more with some more exact info from you regarding what you seek.

All in all, you do mention age and health as a possible issue I would say this. Go with something that has got IBIS, most do now so shouldn't be a problem though Olympus is class leading here.
Second, if you use the viewfinder go with one that has got a good enough/great viewfinder. So that would be E-M5 Mark II, E-M1 Mark II (or a used Mark I). Panasonic GH5 or GX8 or the upcoming G9 if it does indeed have the new great EVF.

The Pen-F has got a nice and sharp EVF but smaller then the E-M5 and E-M1, though still good. Might be worth trying it before buying it to see if it is good enough.

Also, the screen of the EM-5 and E-M1 Mark II's is not as sharp as on the GH5 and, most likely the upcoming "G9".

Regards

Rasmus




Nov 03, 2017 at 08:29 AM
canonfan93
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Hello Rasmus
Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed advice on the micro 43 options. I own 2 lenses for my G3: Lumix 20mm 1.7 and the 14mm 2.5. I use the 20mm 99% of the time on the G3, especially on family outings. I usually prefer prime lenses, and so are most of my Canon lenses, except for 3 zooms bought in earlier years mainly for landscape or hiking with family. Even though the Canon cameras and lenses have been my primary system, some of my most memorable and favorite family photos were taken by the Lumix 20mm. In the past few years, I only brought my Canon 35mm F2 IS prime for my 5D, along with the G3 and 20mm lenses when traveling. I have found myself tolerating bulky cameras and big lenses less and less. My type of photography usually centers around family / environmental portraits mostly, less so for head and shoulder portraits of family members, and least for landscape. I usually do not stand in the rain or heavy snow to take photos, so I do not neccesarily require freeze proof cameras. But sometimes I do go to the coast or do some hiking and may got caught up in some sprinkles, so would like a relatively better built body. I also wear glasses, and I have read either the Lumix GX8 or the higher end Olympus may have higher eye point for the viewfinder. I can also adapt to either range finder or SLR camera designs. I have the budget for up to the OMD EM1 Mark III, but I wonder if I truly need to spend money on a camera with many features that I do not use ie fast frame rates, since I am not a sport shooter. I can tell you are very knowledgeable about micro 43 cameras. From your last message, I have a sense you would recommend an OM-D over a GX8 due to better IBIS? Between the EM5 and the EM1 III, will 4MP difference make a difference? As my G3 has 16MP now. Of course, there is also the PEN F with 20MP sensor. Lastly, I wonder if I should invest in a new lens beside my current 20mm and 14mm ones. I wonder if the Olympus 17mm or the Lumix 15mm will be an upgrade in IQ compared to my current Lumix lenses. Thank you very much again for your help.



Nov 04, 2017 at 12:58 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Hello again

@canonfan93 I'm glad to help if I can

First, all the different "Mark" versions are quite confusing. The E-M1 is currently in its second iteration meaning Mark II, as it the E-M5. Only the E-M10 has just recently been released in a Mark III.

I think if you don't need the speed the E-M1 Mark II is most definitely overkill. The only reason to go for an E-M1 in that case would be if you find the body better then the other, but paying an extra 1000-1300 for that alone would also seem a bit overkill

The Pen-F holds a weird hold on my mind, it's so beautiful made and feels great in the hand I want it but I also think that, other then 20mp sensor, you get much more camera with the E-M5 Mark II. You get 16mp in the E-M5.2 instead of 20mp in the Pen-F. However, the E-M5.2 has got a bigger and better EVF, something I my self consider one of the most important things with a camera. If however, you rely more on shooting using the screen this wouldn't be much of a problem. The E-M5.2 is also weather sealed but it doesn't seem as if though this is something you need. Most cameras now a days can take some sprinkle and snowfall but the E-M5 and E-M1 lineup are built to very high and tolerant standards as far as dust, water and cold goes. I shot from a sea rescue boat this summer, my E-M1 and 40-150 PRO lens were both covered in salt water spray, when I got home I rinsed the combo under running water to get rid of the salt then dried it off with a cloth. The Pen-F is superbly built, just not weather sealed.

The GX8 is weather sealed and greatly built. the EVF is amongst the best in the business and the menus are far ahead of what Olympus does (better layout, easier to navigate). Touch screen functions of Panasonic bodies is the best in the business, you can do pretty much anything you want with the touch screen where as Olympus is more limited in what functions the screen can be used for.

The OM-D and Pen-F have the best IBIS in the business, nothing beats them really but the GX8 is actually good as well. It was Panasonic second camera with IBIS. While not up to Olympus standards it's still very good and I wouldn't make my choice on that alone.

The GX8 is no longer sold unless you find one that is part of an old stock or something, at least in Sweden. A few months ago it was sold out from several camera stores for around 700 USD which would be price I consider very fair for it but if you get close to 1000 or so I would say the store is charging too much. The E-M5 Mark II is around 700-800 USD in Sweden which is a good price for the camera.

As far as 4mp difference between the E-M5.2 and E-M1.2 there isn't a whole lot of difference, again, not enough to warrant a 1300 difference in price unless you need the speed of the camera. But shooting family environmental portraits at 60 frames per second might be a bit overkill

If you have the ability to try the cameras, I would try the GX8, E-M5 Mark II and Pen-F and see which ones suits you best and has the best feel in hand.
In the end, if you can find a GX8 for a decent price this might very well be my best recommendation. You already know the Panasonic menu systems, it's weather sealed and it's got a good size body, not too big, not too small. It's got a lovely EVF but I can't say it it works with glasses or not, it should but it's always up to each user. It's also got 20mp which, though not a huge difference, of course makes some difference. If you get the GX8, make sure you update it to the latest firmware as the camera suffered from shutter shock in the beginning but it has been fixed in firmware much thanks to electronic first curtain.

As far as lenses go, it's where the magic happens. An upgrade in lenses usually helps more then an upgrade in next generation camera. In your case, the camera is "old enough" to warrant an upgrade there as well though.

Both the Panasonic Leica 15mm F1.7 and Olympus 17mm F1.8 are very good lenses. The Panasonic Leica should be a bit sharper, specially in the extreme corners. Both lenses should be quite a bit better then what you have today, both the 14mm and 20mm however these two lenses are actually pretty nice! I have used the 14mm and like it a lot though it isn't up to modern standards as far as focusing goes. Both the 14mm and 20mm are pancake lenses though which is a nice thing.

The PL 15mm and Oly 17mm are not pancakes but the image quality is better. In most cases Olympus is a bit more clinical and Panasonic is a bit more characteristic. I very much like the look of Panasonic Leica rendering, I absolutely love my Panasonic Leica 25mm F1.4 and could highly recommend it to you. It's a bit more narrow then what you are used to but it would complement your current lenses rather then replace them. If you want to go wider the Olympus 12mm F2 might be an option or the Panasonic Leica 12mm F1.4 (huge price tag for that one though).

But yes, in short, both the PL 15mm and Oly 17mm would be quite good upgrades on your current lenses. If nothing else for the added speed compared to the 14mm F2.5.

Perhaps hold on the lenses to start with? Get the camera body, use it with the lenses you have now and see if it's enough or if you want an upgrade. Not only the image quality will be upgraded though but also AF is in a different league now.

I'm considering the 15mm my self but not sure if I have a need for it as I have my Olympus 12-40mm.

Regards

Rasmus



Nov 04, 2017 at 12:07 PM
canonfan93
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Hello Rasmus,
Thank you again for taking your time to write a very thorough narrative on the Olympus and Panasonic cameras and lenses, their comparison, and to educate me on this subject. Yes I completely agree with you that a high quality EVF has to be one of the most important feature on a camera, at least also for me. Another important feature for me is a easy-to-navigate menu system with relatively logical layouts. I am not usually an arm length screen shooter and rely exclusively on the viewfinder to take photos. I get a sense that you would recommend the GX8 for me based on my needs and preferences. I like the OMD form factor, but as you have stated, the EM1's features such as the high frame rates may be an overkill for a non sport, non birding shooter like myself. I was thinking also about the EM5, but may be the extra 4MP in the newer 20MP sensor does provide some wiggling room for cropping, which I do here and there.

Here in the US, B&H Photo and Amazon actually still carry the GX8 for about 1,200USD. I was unaware this camera was discontinued in your country. Perhaps it will also happen here soon, to be replaced by the G9? I heard this new camera will also have a lot of high end features, such as high frame rates and high megapixel photo stacking, which I do not use. I will also strongly consider the Panasonic Leica 50mm as you have recommended. I know it has very high ratings from the community.

I appreciate very much again for sharing your insights with me on this very addicting and expensive hobby of ours. Now I will have to come up with another justification for this purchase to my wife, who will undoubtedly ask me why another camera or lens .

Have a wonderful weekend,
Henry



Edited on Nov 05, 2017 at 02:22 AM · View previous versions



Nov 04, 2017 at 02:40 PM
ankur.jhunjhun
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Hi Henry,
Fyi, I bought an open box GX8 from Adorama last week for $649, which I believe is a great deal.
However I returned it and am keeping my EM5 Mkii as I didnít find that big a difference in image quality. I must also admit that I prefer the IBIS of the Olympus to the advantages that GX8 has.
You may keep checking the Adorama website for an open box deal on GX8. They look new throughout.
Thanks
Ankur



Nov 04, 2017 at 04:52 PM
canonfan93
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Ankur,
Thank you very much for your input. I will be looking out for the open box deal. As for the EM5 II, do you have any issue with either the menu or the EVF? Also, if I am correct, for the GX8, is its IBIS about 2 stops with non stabilized lenses? I am trying to make sure I am making a wise decision in my upcoming purchase. This will be a camera that will have to stay with me for a while, at least as long as with my Lumix G3.

Henry



Nov 04, 2017 at 05:52 PM
ankur.jhunjhun
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Henry,

The EVF looks great, however the menu & dials feels clunky. GX8 is better in those regards as per my preferences.
GX8 may have 2 stops IBIS and I struggled to use it with my 45mm 1.8/25mm 1.4 lenses at slower shutter speeds. I much prefer the IBIS of EM5 mkII with non stabilized lenses. GX8 works better with Panasonic OIS lenses while utilizing the Dual IS.
I would suggest you to try both cameras before making a decision. You can either rent them or buy both and return one.

Ankur



Nov 04, 2017 at 11:18 PM
canonfan93
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Ankur,
Thank you again for taking the time to get back to me. I will carefully weigh my decision based on your advice and Rasmus'. Have a good evening.
Henry



Nov 05, 2017 at 02:22 AM
 

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Wilbus
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


1200 for a GX8 now is way overpriced, it is basically what it sold for when it was released. It's been selling for around 600-700 here before it was discontinued. Only the less visited camera shops (including online) still sell them for 1200. Or rather, they have them for 1200 but can't imagine them selling them.

Either go for the E-M5 Mark II if you can't find a GX8 for 700 or less, or compare the E-M5 Mark II with the new "G9" which should be official on Wednesday.

The EVF in the E-M5.2 is really very good, the GX8 and the E-M5.2 EVF's are very similar.

As for your wife, tell here that high quality memories can never be replaced



Nov 06, 2017 at 09:40 AM
canonfan93
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Rasmus,
I am ashamed to tell you that GAS has again taken over my better half. B H has a $500 discount of the Olympus EM 1 II and the 12-40mm package, and I went for it. I figure this camera will be future proof for a while, at least for me. I cannot wait to use its IBIS implementation. Next year I will gradually upgrade my prime lenses.
As for your advice on what to tell my wife, yes I will tell her. I am sure she will be completely convinced
Henry



Nov 06, 2017 at 03:14 PM
ankur.jhunjhun
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


canonfan93 wrote:
Rasmus,
I am ashamed to tell you that GAS has again taken over my better half. B H has a $500 discount of the Olympus EM 1 II and the 12-40mm package, and I went for it. I figure this camera will be future proof for a while, at least for me. I cannot wait to use its IBIS implementation. Next year I will gradually upgrade my prime lenses.
As for your advice on what to tell my wife, yes I will tell her. I am sure she will be completely convinced
Henry


Congratulations Henry! i hope you enjoy your new toy




Nov 06, 2017 at 03:51 PM
canonfan93
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Thank you Ankur, now on to the reading and learning Olympus menu system


Nov 06, 2017 at 06:39 PM
Wilbus
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


canonfan93 wrote:
Rasmus,
I am ashamed to tell you that GAS has again taken over my better half. B H has a $500 discount of the Olympus EM 1 II and the 12-40mm package, and I went for it. I figure this camera will be future proof for a while, at least for me. I cannot wait to use its IBIS implementation. Next year I will gradually upgrade my prime lenses.
As for your advice on what to tell my wife, yes I will tell her. I am sure she will be completely convinced
Henry


Wooohoow!

Congruats!! Sounds excellent, looking forward to seeing some shots from you and hearing your thoughts on the camera



Nov 06, 2017 at 09:41 PM
canonfan93
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Yes,
Thank you, and I definitely will. But first got to do some serious homework studying the Olympus manual. I heard it will be a learning curve coming from Canon, but I really am looking forward to using this new camera.



Nov 07, 2017 at 03:55 AM
Wilbus
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Yes it will indeed be a learning curve, but remember two things:

One, what you need for shooting, everything you need for shooting, is shutter speed, aperture and ISO. That's all and for that you don't need the manual much
The other features are nice but don't let the fact that you can do a huge amount of things, stop you from doing the basics

Also, use the Super control panel, it's the screen that usually comes up when you press OK (the middle button in the 4-way controller). That panel (SCP) gives you access to most useful things.



Nov 07, 2017 at 05:35 AM
canonfan93
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Question on upgrading from my Lumix G3


Rasmus,
Thank you for the helpful pointers. I will let you know how things will be going, and may be posting some of my amateurish photos in the forum.
Best regards,
Henry



Nov 07, 2017 at 03:06 PM







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