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Big call... m4/3 - Oly or Pana?

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Bone_Idle, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Bone_Idle

    Bone_Idle Well-Known Member

    After a recent trip to Germany with my small camera (Oly E-420 with 25mm pancake) I realised that it was still a bit big for my lightweight travel needs. I picked the wrong coat too, and it wouldn't quite fit in the pocket!!

    I've decided I really neeed to head down the m4/3 route but can't decide. I'm after the best bang for the buck. Choices and reasons are :-

    Olympus E-P1 with 17mm pancake (about £660) - Looks good, has IS and also comes with FL-14 flash incentive (worth about £150).

    Panasonic GF1 - like the idea of the 20mm f/1.7 lens, like the look of the camera but the lack of IS is a slight concern (although E420 doesn't have it). Can be had for £620 ish and £50 cash back before end of March! Very temting!!!

    E-PL1 and E-P2 are not considerations due to one not having a 17mm pancake kit and the other being nearly a grand!!!

    What do I buy? I love Olympus and feel a loyalty, but the Panasonic lens and design is sceaming out to me! I'm sure both cameras would be brilliant but I think for a pocket camera the Panasonic just has the edge (maybe!) :D
  2. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Nick, the GF1 is available from Mathers of Lancashire with the 20mm lens for only £619. Take the £50 cash back off that and it's £569, plus if you take a trip to Bolton to buy it you get a 3 year warranty.

    I have to say from my personal experience go for the GF1. It doesn't have IS, but that's never been a problem for me and the Panasonic AF system is much better than the Olympus cameras' AF. The 20mm f:1.7 lens is a beauty, so much more useful than it would be if it were only f:2.8 like the Olympus 17mm lens is, and by all accounts the 14-45mm kit zoom is a cracker too.

    The picture quality is superb and the handling pretty good.

    My GF1 has made my D300 pretty much redundant. Don't just take my word for it though, see here for many many happy GF1 owners' comments (including our own BrianT) :cool:
  3. T_Sargeant

    T_Sargeant Well-Known Member

    It really does depend, I'm a big m4/3 person, 3 lenses and two bodies and love them to bits. I bought EP-1 myself, inbody IS, and the better JPEGS (IMO) swayed me, along with the general styling of it. Also I prefer 34mm (equiv) compared to 40mm (equiv), though having said that I am tempted by the panny lens.

    One of the biggest differences is in speed of autofocus, there's no denying that the Panny is the faster of two. TBH, so long as you're happy, you can't make a wrong choice, they're different cameras and what suits me might not suit you. Try and get a hands on play with both if possible and see what calls to you.
  4. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Nick, if you can make it over to Harrogate you're more than welcome to come and have a go with my GF1.
  5. Bone_Idle

    Bone_Idle Well-Known Member

    Might even be worth a trip to Lancashire for that. Better check my jabs are up to date first though!! :D

    Cheers Barney, I might take you up on that offer. I'm not too far from Harrogate (I'll just have to fish out my Top hat and tails so I don't look out of place!) :D
  6. Bone_Idle

    Bone_Idle Well-Known Member

    I think I need to get my hands on both and see which I like best. When both came out I was drawn to the Oly, but the Panny has grown on me. I think it's the fast lens that I'm craving!
  7. RogerMac

    RogerMac Well-Known Member

    Have you considered an EPL1 body (£499) paired with the Pannasonic lens(£279) - that would get you the IS and the fast lens but of course might be out of budget


    Edit : Typo
  8. Barney

    Barney Well-Known Member

    Nick, Mathers have a very good reputation. I bought mine over the phone from them (if I'd known about the 3 year warranty I'd have driven over there) and many on the TP thread I linked to have had excellent service from them.

    Just don't forget your white gloves and cane! :cool:
  9. AAB

    AAB Well-Known Member

    Just adding my 2p worth....

    The cashback and flash incentives are indeed enticing (because new and/or updated products are in the pipeline). As far as I can tell, the free flash from Olympus is on any E-P1 including 'body only' which is good if you want to mix and match. I spotted a free classic Oly bag too, but the bundle was out of stock.

    There's no reason I know of not to stick the 20mm Panasonic pancake on the front of the PEN if it turns out you prefer the handling, in-body IS, "nicer" in-camera JPEG processing, higher-ISO performance and retro styling of the E-P1 ;-)

    Most importantly, try them both!!

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