Getting started in M 4/3

Discussion in 'Olympus' started by Kpfeifle, May 28, 2013.

  1. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Rookie

    Apr 24, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Kevin Pfeifle
    Hi All:

    I have been enjoying the light weight weight of my Sigma DP2M so much, I decided to look at other smaller options with interchangeable lenses. I really like the selection of M 4/3 lenses. Thinking of maybe picking up an Olympus E-P3 on closeout. Will I be OK with this old 12 MP sensor or should I really be looking for something else?

  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    some will try to tell you that the old 12MP sensor is past it's due date. I see a TON of great photos from this sensor every day. ISO 1600 has some noise, but I like the way it looks. 3200 and higher either need excessive treatment and smooth out the files or convert to b/w and embrace the grain. For the price they are at now, to me it's a no brainer.
  3. entropic remnants

    entropic remnants Hall of Famer

    Mar 3, 2013
    John Griggs
    Personally I think it's a great camera. I had one, but have moved on to Panasonic bodies though I still have an E-P1. You can do some great photography with it, 12mp sensor limitations or not.

    Here's a blog post I did about the E-P3 -- not a perfect camera, but a great one: BLOG.ENTROPICREMNANTS.COM: The Olympus PEN E-P3: Overlooking a Best Friend's Flaws

    Here's a couple more I like from it:

    Kensington Flag Football: Two "Wolves" by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    Kensington Flag Football: Loosening Up by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    With a PL 25mm f/1.4 lens at ISO 2000:

    Kensington Flag Football: Strategy by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

    I'd try one somewhere to make sure you like how it handles and all -- but if you like it and find a deal, it's not a bad thing to have.

    Also look into the Panasonic GX1 deals that are around. Great camera and dirt cheap as the GX2 looms on the horizon. They are very different from the Oly's though and you might like them better or not depending on how/what you shoot.
  4. Stan

    Stan Regular

    Apr 19, 2013
    If the Oly color palette is to your liking, then it's fine. I'd still steer you towards one of the newer Oly cameras with the latest 16MP sensors. It's quite a difference! EPL5/EPM2 are the two options I'd consider from Oly.

    At the moment the Panny GX1 is on closeout, so it's the Panny I'd pick right now. The Panny 16MP sensor in the GX1/G3 is a decent sensor, does better with noise than the older 12MP sensor, but has somewhat limited dynamic range, which may or may not affect your style of shooting. If you're doing lots of shadow pulls in post or landscapes, I'd steer you towards the newer Oly 16MP sensors. If you don't test the limits of DR with your style of photography, then you'd be fine with the GX1/G3. The G5 has about a stop more DR and similar noise characteristics.

    Your choice may depend on lenses. Are you thinking of a few primes?
  5. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Rookie

    Apr 24, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Kevin Pfeifle
    Hmm, interesting things to think about. Seems like I'm better off spending a little more and getting a newer 16 MP sensor. Probably leaning towards the EPL5 for the slightly better sensor, tilt screen and the ability to use the new EVF from the EP5. I will probably buy the kit (with the kit lens) because of price...but I'm shooting just about everything with primes these days. I was attracted to the 4/3 system by the availability of nice primes. Probably the first purchase will be the Olympus 17mm/1.8

  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Depends on how you shoot. If you shoot in good light and are careful with exposure, the old sensor will do quite well. But if you try to pull some shadows up in post processing, you'll find it's limits really quickly. And in low light, the newer sensors really are a lot better. I'd go for the newer sensor if you can manage it.

  7. wt21

    wt21 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 15, 2010
    I have a lot of great shots (great to me, anyway) with the EP3 sensor, but I much prefer the newer sensor. Simply less headaches and more freedom to shoot.
  8. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I have taken so many photographs with cameras having the old 12MP sensor and have switched to the E-M5 this year. Of course, I have taken many of my favorite pictures with the older models. A better camera doesn't make one a better photographer. The E-P3 is a great camera and one can take excellent pictures with this camera. However, a better camera lets you take pictures in situations which the lesser camera just cannot cope with, though.

    The newer sensor is so much better and I would not like to be without it anymore. All of my problems I had quite often, namely insufficient dynamic range and bad high ISO capability, are gone now. ISO 800 was the limit with the old sensor and ISO 3200 is my limit with the new sensor. The improvements are so significant, that I would prefer an E-PL5 to an E-P3 without hesitation, although the E-P3 is at least in some respects the higher specified camera.

    However, there are many situations which both sensors can cope with good enough or even equally well. These are mainly situations with good light and not too much contrast and these situations usually allow the use of base ISO. So it depends on what you shoot. If you are in critical situations regularly, then the new sensor is so much better. I am quite often in situations, which I could not cope with the older sensor. Using my new camera I do not even think twice.
  9. pictor

    pictor All-Pro

    Jul 14, 2010
    I really love the tilt screen so much, that I would never like to be with a camera without it. My E-M5 has it, too, and I use it regularly. This is one example for the use of the tilt screen:

    Untitled by pictor / strolling shooter, on Flickr

    I was sitting on the opposite bench when I took that shot. Being able to shoot from the hip was extremely helpful.

    The 17mm is on my list, too. I own the 1.8/45mm, which is the lens I have taken above shot with. In my opinion this is one of the best lenses I have ever owned and I think you should consider buying it, too.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. asterinex

    asterinex Regular

    Oct 23, 2012
    Antwerp, Belgium
    The E-P3 looks and feels so cool !
    The E-PL5 has the better sensor...
    Difficult choice.

    I you have the money, I would go for the E-P5, otherwise.... hmmm... I think the E-P3.
  11. I'd wait out until some detailed reviews start appearing for the E-P5. It looks like a stunning camera outperforming even the E-M5 in several features. Expensive but it looks to be a camera you'd hang onto for a long time..
  12. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Rookie

    Apr 24, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Kevin Pfeifle
    Everybody...thanks for all the help! I placed an order for an Olympus E-PL5 with kit lens today. I'm thinking I will use the kit lens for a little while and get myself familiar with the camera before I acquire any additional lenses...besides, I really want the 17mm in black to match my new camera!

  13. Kpfeifle

    Kpfeifle Rookie

    Apr 24, 2013
    Long Island, NY
    Kevin Pfeifle
    BTW...anybody know the expected availability of the 17/1.8 in black?