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2nd Camera - micro four thirds?

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  • Coming back to that Olympus OM-D vs Panasonic GX7 comparison: The weird thing is that a certain (new) PEN is in fact better than the OM-D. Well, it has better specs. So the advantages of the GX7 are covered by Olympus but in a cheaper and smaller series. Of course this means a successor of the OM-D will follow shortly.

    If you want some of the more advanced features of the GX7 in an Olympus camera then you would need to look at the Olympus PEN E-P5, with 5-axis IS, ISO100-25600, focus peaking, Wi-Fi built-in, built-in pop up flash (GN 10), 400 shot battery life, 9fps continuous shooting, 5fps continuous AF, 1/8000s shutter speed, 3inch 1037k dot touch screen, and a slightly smaller body. The Olympus PEN E-P5 doesn't feature a built-in electronic viewfinder, however, the VF-4 is available and is a tilting electronic viewfinder with impressive specifications.
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    • The other thing about the OM-D E-M5 vs PEN E-P5 is that the OM-D is weather sealed.

      Additionally, Olympus is set to add another product to the OM-D family by the end of the year (announcement in September shipping in October/November). It isn't a replacement for the OM-D but a more high end camera in the same family (same design language, sealed, built-in viewfinder). The trick though is that it's supposed to be compatible with both Micro 4/3 and 4/3 lenses. So a 2 lens mount hybrid system.

      Also, Olympus will release at the same time a new standard zoom (24-70mm equivalent) with fixed 2.8 aperture which is said to be of even higher quality than the fantastic Panasonic 12-35 f2.8 for m4/3.

      But I second the GX-7 with its built-in viewfinder. It's getting rave reviews so far. Right now, there isn't any other camera outside of the m4/3 that can rival with the GX-7/E-P5/E-M5 in terms of features. The Nex line is starting to get a bit outdated even with a larger sensor and the lens selection is poor. The Fujifilm X-System also offers great image quality but seriously lacks in the bells and whistles department with no built-in wifi, poor movie recording features and lack of lenses.

      My little finger tells me that Sony is to be watched. With the recent partnership with Olympus, and the amazing cameras released by Sony recently (RX1 springs to mind), I think we are bound to see a high end ILC by the end of the year with a large sensor, excellent image stabilization and maybe some new lenses.

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      • Thanks for the advice guys, keep it coming.

        I've been eying GX-7 and waiting for DP to do an in depth review. I love its look, grip and the fact it has viewfinder (articulated!), tilting screen and WiFi. Weather sealing is not that important to me, I'm used to protecting my camera from the elements.

        Another thing that is quite important is good video recording. Also, I would like to get a compact and bright lens in addition to or instead of the kit, but I doubt I'll be owning more than two. I don't want to spend a bomb on this.

        E-P5/M5 I haven't researched yet, thank you for pointing them out, I'll add them to my to do list.

        Fujifilm X-M1 looks gorgeous, but it just recently appeared on my radar, so I have to research it a bit more. I was also considering X-E1.

        Sony NEX-6 is a feature loaded camera at a pretty attractive price, though like many others here I don't really like its look. Lens selection is limited, but it might be enough for my needs, since I'm not planing to buy a whole bunch of them.

        Should I still keep OM-D in my list, or do you guys really think it has been surpassed?

        Not sure if I'm willing to wait for any new releases, outside of this list, though. I was hoping to buy a new camera on my trip to Japan this October.
        Sergei - Your friendly neighborhood IT consultant.

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        • If the OM-D had come out now along the GX-7 I would have probably gotten the GX-7 simply because it has built-in wifi transfer and native focus peaking. Gotta love that articulated viewfinder too.

          On the other hand, the OM-D is clearly cheaper right now. On Amazon it's $650 body only vs $999 for GX-7 body only.

          In terms of image quality, I think both cameras shine and the OM-D is clearly not outdated on this front. In fact, the high end OM-D set to be released soon will have the same sensor but with an extra anti-aliasing layer on it, obviously not a massive revolution.

          And for the missing functions on the OM-D, here are some workarounds:
          - Wifi: use an eye-fi SD card or similar. Works a charm.
          - Focus peaking: there is a trick to get a "fake" focus peaking on the OM-D by the use of a certain built-in art filter. Not true focus peaking but does the job. And I have a feeling that we will see focus peaking in a firmware update or through someone hacking the firmware (someone has already figured out that the function exists in the firmware, it's just not active yet. And when you see the amazing stuff you can do on Canon cameras with a MagicLantern custom firmware, I have high hopes!)

          About the fixed focal lenses, you're in luck if you choose the micro four third system, there are so many to choose from! Here's the cream of the crop:
          - Olympus 12mm f2.0* (24mm equivalent): gorgeous lens with metal body. Excellent image quality.
          - Olympus 17mm f1.8 (34mm equivalent): about the same size as the 12mm. Image quality is good but not exceptional.
          - Panasonic 20mm f1.7 pancake lens (40mm equivalent): cheap and light, ideal for street photography.
          - Panasonic 25mm f1.4* (50mm equivalent): one of the best lenses for the m43 system. Fast and sharp.
          - Olympus 45mm f1.8* (90mm equivalent): great little portrait lens. Plastic finishing. Cheap. Excellent image quality and high bang for bucks.
          - Olympus 75mm f1.8 (150mm equivalent): this is the sharpest lens in its category across ALL systems. Nice build quality too. Not cheap.

          *I own these lenses.

          And then there are the special ones from Voigtlander:
          - 17.5mm f0.95 (35mm equivalent)
          - 25mm f0.95 (50mm equivalent)
          - 42.5mm f0.95 (85mm equivalent)

          These lenses have an insanely wide aperture (usually the kind of stuff you see on Leicas), excellent image quality (though stopped down a bit), excellent built quality. The downsides: they are heavy (heavier than the camera itself), no autofocus (not always a bad side), aperture control on the lens (I personally love this but there is no aperture number information relayed to the camera), so damn expensive! I will eventually get the 17.5mm because it sees in the dark and works so well at isolating the subject in environmental portraits.

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          • Oh and about the Fujifilm X series (X-Pro1, X-E1, X-M1), I wouldn't recommend them in your case. If you are after video, these cameras seriously lack in it. And as you said, the lenses are limited.

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            • Hmm... Now where can I find a shop in Jakarta which would let me hold and turn on these cameras to test the menus a little?
              Sergei - Your friendly neighborhood IT consultant.

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              • Originally posted by sergei View Post
                Hmm... Now where can I find a shop in Jakarta which would let me hold and turn on these cameras to test the menus a little?
                Try the electronic solution in PIM1. They have every Fujifilm I believe (except maybe the xm1) and also have the Om-d. Not sure about the ep5. They are behind glass but you can ask a staff to show you.

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                • [COLOR=#333333][FONT=Verdana]I have been lurking in the camera threads recently as I will soon need to splash out, and I will also be travelling soon, so I decided to do a price comparison based on the Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the 12 - 50 mm lens. Prices in Indonesian rupiah and exchange based on XE currency converter on day of posting[/FONT][/COLOR]

                  Indonesia/online
                  http://www.kotarayaonline.com/product.jsp?page=product&productId=407
                  13,500,000

                  http://www.bhinneka.com/products/sku...t_-_black.aspx 13,295,000

                  Changi Airport/online

                  http://www.ishopchangi.com/Product/P...&retailerID=19 14,125,770

                  UK online

                  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Olympus-OM-D.../dp/B0073A1DWE 16,875,200

                  Ireland online

                  http://www.connscameras.ie/olympus-o...2182745pd.html 18,048,850

                  Indonesia obviously looks the cheapest but am I missing something?
                  "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
                  George Bernard Shaw

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                  • You only compare consumer prices and don't take a possible sales tax refund into account. And some of the online stores, also offer VAT / GST refunds. And that could save you quite a bit. But not all shops participate (e.g. MediaMarkt yes, Pixmania no).

                    Also to consider; the Global Blue program (in which many shops participate) is very convenient but also rather costly. In a country with 20% sales tax for instance, you only get 12% back when leaving the country.

                    On the website of Gobal Blue you can find which major stores and brands participate it its VAT refund program: http://www.globalblue.com/brands/media-markt/
                    Last edited by jstar; 04-09-13, 17:02. Reason: Global Blue
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                    • Originally posted by jstar View Post
                      You only compare consumer prices and don't take a possible sales tax refund into account. And some of the online stores, also offer VAT / GST refunds. And that could save you quite a bit. But not all shops participate (e.g. MediaMarkt yes, Pixmania no).

                      Also to consider; the Global Blue program (in which many shops participate) is very convenient but also rather costly. In a country with 20% sales tax for instance, you only get 12% back when leaving the country.

                      On the website of Gobal Blue you can find which major stores and brands participate it its VAT refund program: http://www.globalblue.com/brands/media-markt/
                      All the more so if you compare the price with today's weak Rupiah.

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                      • Originally posted by jstar View Post
                        You only compare consumer prices and don't take a possible sales tax refund into account. And some of the online stores, also offer VAT / GST refunds. And that could save you quite a bit. But not all shops participate (e.g. MediaMarkt yes, Pixmania no).

                        Also to consider; the Global Blue program (in which many shops participate) is very convenient but also rather costly. In a country with 20% sales tax for instance, you only get 12% back when leaving the country.
                        That could alter things a bit in the UK and Ireland but the Singapore price was in duty free so no savings there. I guess the warranty included should also be looked at and also whether bags and other accessories are thrown in. As mentioned, the current exchange rate impacts relative prices at the moment as well.
                        "[COLOR=#000000][FONT=Helvetica Neue]I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.[/FONT][/COLOR]"
                        George Bernard Shaw

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                        • If you visit the EU quite often, there is practically NO reason not to buy there; after the VAT/TVA/BTW/USt refund it can beat any price here, even those in HK or the US. And you have a two year EU warranty on electronics. The Olympus country specific websites also have an online shopping site with promotions from time to time btw.

                          As example: the OM-D can be bought for €1099,- If you subtract the sales tax, you end up at 12,87 million IDR at the current exchange rate.
                          Last edited by jstar; 04-09-13, 18:08. Reason: Added Oly example
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                          • BTW, I checked in camera shops at Ratu Plaza and found Olympus EP-5 and Fujifilm X-M1 there.

                            The X-M1 with XC 16-50mm f3.5-5.6 OIS lens was 8,800,000 IDR (including a free Sandisk 16GB SD card).

                            The EP-5 with 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens was 11,100,000 IDR
                            The EP-5 with 17mm f1.8 lens and electronic viewfinder was 14,750,000 IDR
                            The 17mm lens alone was 4,700,000 IDR
                            The 14-42mm lens alone was 2,500,000 IDR
                            Last edited by sergei; 04-09-13, 22:53. Reason: added Fuji lens info
                            Sergei - Your friendly neighborhood IT consultant.

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                            • Not bad, the cheapest Olympus PEN E-P5 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 lens with VF-4 Viewfinder is €1249 in Europe. That means a consumer price of more than 18 million rupiah. The 17mm combo is €200 more expensive. So not even cheaper than your quotation after the refund.

                              Last edited by jstar; 04-09-13, 22:58. Reason: Added screen shot
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                              • Originally posted by jstar View Post
                                There is also a combination possible of the E-P5 with 14-42mm lens AND ViewFinder.
                                Wasn't available at the Ratu Plaza though.
                                Sergei - Your friendly neighborhood IT consultant.

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