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pessoa Nov 3, 2011 8:04 PM

Ep3 or epL3, white or silver, which lens?
This could also belong in the "which camera should I buy" forum, but I'm posting here because I've narrowed it down to either the Olympus PEN E-P3 or the E-PL3.

I'm leaning toward the E-PL3 because:
It's lighter
The swivel screen seems useful
I rarely use flash so the built-in flash of the E-P3 doesn't mean much to me
It's $200 cheaper

Any reasons I should reconsider? The E-P3 does feel more solid, though the E-PL3 doesn't feel flimsy by any means.

In terms of color, I think the white looks great, but I'm wondering if owners of previous models could speak to how well it holds up over time.

And finally, I'm looking for advice on which of the lens kits to choose:
1) a re-sculpted M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 14-42mm II R f3.5/5.6 II R zoom lens (28mm-84mm equivalent) or 2) the M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 17mm f2.8 prime lens.

I initially went with the zoom but my partner is advising me to go for the flatter lens and invest in a bigger dedicated zoom lens. My fear with that is that the zoom will stay at home and I'll kick myself.

I was initially looking at the travel zoom camera category and the switch to micro 4/3 has already caused me to spend twice what I initially intended, but I want this to be a camera to fall in love with, so I want to get the lenses that will allow it to perform at its best.

I am an amateur and am definitely jumping up a class with this purchase but when I held the PENs in my hand they just felt right.

I am not much interested in landscape photography, mostly pictures of food in outdoor markets, kids hugging goats, grandmothers smoking cheroots, stuff like that. I loved my old Sanyo Xacti but it had only a really bad digital zoom so I am looking forward to some zoom ability, but am not thinking I need a real telephoto lens.
Not interested in party effects like fisheye, just lush bokeh and good portraits of the subjects above.

Thanks in advance for any tips! I've been lurking around Steve's for a while and it seems like a good bunch of folks.

shoturtle Nov 3, 2011 10:23 PM

The 17 2.8 is a nice lens, but there are better options. The panny 20 1.7 is a much faster lens for low light shooting. And I find the 20mm an good walk around lens. I would invest in the panasonic 20 1.7 over the olympus 17 2.8. I would go with the 14-42 and save up for the 20 1.7 instead of the oly 17 2.8.

With the 14-42 it is a good lens, works for walking around as well. If you are looking for a 2 lens set up the 14-42 and the olympus 40-150 works well together. And I think olympus as a deal if you buy a pen and you get the 40-150 for 90 dollars. Not sure if it is still going on.

If you want more reach, the panasonic 45-200 will give you more reach, and it works well with the pen's also.

If you are looking for just 1 lens, the olympus 14-150 is a great travel lens with the pen's. It has become my super light travel setup. Just the 14-150 and 20 1.7 when I do not want to bring much camera gear. It is a more expensive lens, but it gives you a excellent all in one daytime lens.

also, the flash is quite useful. It is a good filler flash. And if you ever get into flash photography. You can use the built in flash to control off camera flash units.

But if you do not see yourself really using the flash, the epl3 fits well. And it is cheaper, so you can put the savings to say the panasonic 20 1.7.

color, I like the white and silver. Tough choice if I had to choose.

pessoa Nov 4, 2011 8:28 AM

Thanks for the advice! I wasn't aware of the 14-150 and it does look so versatile...and will save me from buying the $900 12mm that Steve Huff raves about!

I think I will take your advice and start with the 14-42 kit lens, save up for the Panasonic 20 1.7 pancake, and then go for the 14-150 and/or the portrait lens.

Uh oh, I can see I've embarked on a long and pricey road!

Tullio Nov 4, 2011 9:03 AM

The 14-150 is a good lens but since you already have the kit, which starts at 14mm, I'd go for the M.Zuiko 40-150 instead. It's cheaper, lighter, very sharp and its FL starts where the kit ends.

James Emory Nov 4, 2011 9:40 AM

" And I think olympus as a deal if you buy a pen and you get the 40-150 for 90 dollars. Not sure if it is still going on."

Deal is no longer going on. Checked B&H and Olympus sites.

Tullio Nov 4, 2011 9:49 AM

Costco has the EPL1 with the two lenses (kit + 40-150) + case + 4Gb SD card for $399. It's a great deal. One can keep the zoom lens and sell the body+kit probably for $250 on eBay or Craigslist and come out ahead.

pessoa Nov 5, 2011 7:30 AM

Wow, that is a deal! I've also seen the 40-150 for under $150 several different places.

In terms of deciding between the EP-3 and the EPL-3, here's a crucial point I hadn't considered until I was holding both cameras yesterday: I'm left-handed, so although the EP-3's grip is an asset in theory, in practice it does nothig for me, because I keep wanting to grip with my stronger left hand, thus putting my thumb on the touchscreen.

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