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panasonic g3 vs olympus e-p2?
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Kevin Greene
panasonic g3 vs olympus e-p2? on 08/14/2012 09:31:51 MDT Print View

I'm trying the decide between 2 cameras the panasonic g3 vs the olympus e-p2 (with or without the vf2 EFV). Both with the brands kit lenses (14-42 I think). It's these two mainly because a friend of mine is selling some of his old cameras and giving me a good deal. (Technically I COULD go with something else but for now it's these.)

Now, which is the "best" backpacking camera? Ha, I know that is a loaded question and it all depends...For years I've been carrying the panasonic lx3. I like that camera very much, but I want something that will do better. Of course I am sacrificing size and weight.

For me, the obvious benefit of the e-p2 is the built in shake control. It is also somewhat more pocketable which I would prefer but w/the viewfinder that sort of disappears.

The g3 is higher res 16mp sensor, built in flash (not a big thing for backpacking for me), and will work with some of the newer panasonic lenses from what I understand. (X series). The kit 14-42 lens is twice as big as the olympic one for the e-p2 so that is another size factor. I haven't had a chance to weigh them and weight is somewhat a factor, but a minor difference isn't a big deal. The g3 SEEMS to weigh a bit less. On the other hand, does that make the olympus more durable (better construction)? I trust panasonic because I've used the lx3 for a long time.

I do NOT plan on babying them in a huge padded case. A case, yes, but I would prefer to use it like a point and shoot...careful but not paranoid.

I mostly shoot landscapes but also shoot close up flower/plant shots and always try to get people I'm backpacking with also.

Anyway I'd appreciate any comments. Also, I have to decide today if I want to bring it on my backpacking trip tomorrow!


Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
E-P2 on 08/14/2012 11:17:52 MDT Print View

I have used the E-P2 for years.

It's a great backcountry camera. Compact, reasonably light, with good image quality.

All of the photos in this set were taken with the E-P2

I've got one blown up on my wall at 20x30 and it looks great.

In camera image stabilization is a pretty big plus. It allows you to have stabilization on smaller lighter lenses (like the Oly 12mm, 45mm, and the Pana 20mm and 25mm) in low light. This keeps your ISO down and improves image quality.

Some thoughts on the E-P2 on my blog here:

Even though I now use the OMD-EM5, the E-P2 is still a great camera. I think you will be happy with it.

Kevin Greene
Re: E-P2 on 08/14/2012 11:31:50 MDT Print View

Funny, I found your E-P2 page when researching earlier. :)

OK, well that's one vote for in camera stabilization. The 16mp vs 12mp is a consideration but...well I guess I'd be stuck with just OIS lenses then with the panasonic.

So how often do you use the viewfinder? Is it absolutely necessary? (I guess it isn't THAT heavy though)

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: E-P2 on 08/14/2012 11:54:02 MDT Print View

IMHO it's impossible to ignore the timelapse between the two--the G3 is significantly more up-to-date in the fastest advancing camera category. About all the E-P2 has in its favor are the IBIS and metal skin. And the accessory finder (necessary in sunlight) is pretty expensive and can be lost. The E-P2 lacks the G3 articulated touchscreen as well.

You can use any system lenses as well as others with adapters. Lack of IBIS only means sticking with higher shutter speeds when using non-OIS lenses, somewhat compensated by the higher ISO range.

I'd go with the G3.



Kai Larson
(KaiLarson) - F
Re: Re: E-P2 on 08/14/2012 12:26:11 MDT Print View

I don't use the viewfinder much in the outdoors. I typically don't even carry it with me at all in the backcountry.

If latest and greatest tech is important to you, then get the OMD. It is a big enough step up from the E-P2 to be functionally different and worth the additional $$. The other micro 4/3 bodies on the market are not much different and in my opinion aren't worth the additional $$ and/or increased bulk/weight over the E-P2.

Edited by KaiLarson on 08/14/2012 12:29:08 MDT.

Mark Primack
(Bufa) - MLife

Locale: Cape Cod and Northern Newfoundland
G3 on 08/14/2012 14:00:00 MDT Print View

Image quality on the G3 is supposed to be significantly better than the EP2. The G3 sensor is better at higher ISOs and more good pixels, which makes it easier to crop or blow up pictures. The viewfinder is a big help in bright sun and even more when there is sun and snow. I have the G3 and have taken it backpacking now on 5 or 6 4/5 day adventures, including several mid-winter trips around zero F--It rocks!