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Old Sep 28, 2011, 12:15 PM   #1
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Default New body or new lens?

I currently have the Pana G1 with the kit 14-45mm and 45-200mm and Oly EPL1 with its old kit 14-42mm (which I dislike because of its slow AF). Although I really like the G1, it does not handle high ISO very well at all. The EPL1 is a nice camera but the size of the VF2 bugs the heck out of me.

I like the new G3 (not too crazy about the ergonomics but apparently it handles high ISO real well). However, I've been contemplating the Lumix 14mm for it's good IQ but more so for its small size and fast AF. Before anyone suggests the 20mm, let me say that I've had it and did not care for it that much. It's a great low light lens but in high contrast situations, it over exposes very easily, so I returned it almost a month after I bought it.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide where to put my money...on a G3 (body only) or the Lumix 14mm? Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 4:15 PM   #2
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I think there is a general trend to probably jump too quickly for different bodies, whereas going for good glass can really move the quality of your kit on - however, in your specific circumstances, I think going for the G3 would be a good move.

It has very good high ISO performance and fast AF. the shape of the body is in fact like the old GF1 but with a lumpy bit on top for the EFV / flash and a slightly protrudinng grip..... reason why I mention that is that I think if you got the G3, you could sell your EPL-1 and VF2, as the G3 would replicate the size / function of the EPL-1 in addition to being a replcement for the G1.

The EPL-1 has nice out of camera JPEGs, but the default G3 Jpeg is much improved and you can tweak it to get much nearer to the EPL-1 output. I agree about the VF-2. It is a fine bit of kit and I basically kept mine on the EPL-1 all the time, which means you lose some of the compactness of the EPL-1 and you may as well have a built in EFV and brighter flash as offered by the G3.

The only thing I would say is that the feel of the G3 in your hands is different from the G1 and you should really get to hold a G3 to make sure you like it. It grew on me, rather than me taking an instant like to it. it now feels second nature.
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Old Sep 28, 2011, 5:59 PM   #3
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Thanks for sharing you thoughts, norm. Just about everything you said has crossed my mind. The I also keep the VF-2 on my EPL1 but it prevents me from using a more compact camera bag (sure I can remove it from the camera and store it separately but...I can't be bothered). I also thought about the G3 ergonomics and lack of a more substantial grip but that might be OK as the EPL1 does not have much of a grip either. The 14-45mm is a good lens and although the Oly 14-42mm is a bit more compact, it makes the EPL1 a much slower camera.

Another option is to get the GF3 + 14mm from the Pana site ($529+tax), keep the lens and sell the body. That would cut the cost of the lens in half. I don't like the fact that the GF3 has no EVF otherwise I'd keep it instead of buying the G3.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 2:18 AM   #4
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I had the G3 and the E-PL1 and VF-2, but the Olympus camera, viewfinder, and lens were stolen last month when our house was burglarized. I really like just about everything on the G3 better, including the grip, the viewfinder, the responsiveness, and even the JPGs, since for the first month or two there was no LR or Aperture with which to process RW2 photos. Fortunately, that is the camera (and lenses) they left behind.
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Old Sep 30, 2011, 8:55 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your EPL1 but...at least it was not your fav cam. I find the EPL1 to be a good camera but with Pana lenses. The Zuiko kit lens is awfully slow (AF-wise). The LCD is poor but with the VF2 the camera is much more usable. The 14-45mm is a good kit lens and obviously it covers the 14mm wide but it's not very small. I am definitely inclined to get the G3 body for now. The 14mm is already going for $321 and since it's not a widely popular lens, the tendency is for its price to drop further as we approach the holiday season. I think anything below $300 is good.
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