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Thread: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

  1. #1
    Super Duper
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    GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    I understand the technical specs difference between the 2.
    I would plan to use the cam 80-90% only with a prime (and I would much prefer 35mm FOV over 40mm FOV, but I would prefer f1.7 over f2.8).
    Internel image stabilizer would be great since I thought could be great to use my 90mm Leica Macro M lens on the camera.

    So my main question are (and I am very interested in peoples answers who hve tried both cams):
    -How big is the (AF)speed difference between the EP2 and the gf1?
    -How big is the difference of micro detail (since "they" write the gf1 to have a weaker AA-filter) in RAW?
    -How "bad" is the 17/2.8 compared to the 20/1.7? (Since 17mm is more the focal length I would like. I know this because I have used a dp2 for some time and found it sometimes just slightly too narrow and I do love the 35mm Summarit on my M9.

    I would be interested in the x1, but I guess to get nearly the same from an EP2/gf1 plus I would get video and posibility to use other lenses if necessary.
    Thanks a lot!

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Hi Thomas
    Well, I've used both . . and I had the EP1 and the GF1 at the same time, but sold the GF1 before getting the EP2, so I don't have direct comparisons there.

    AF speed difference:
    This is quite noticeable, but has greatly improved with the EP2 (and firmware updates to the EP1). If you want to use it for action shots, then the GF1 is definitely better . . . . but so is an SLR . I decided on the Olympus when the difference was much greater than it is now.

    Micro Detail:
    The difference is too small for me to notice - I found the colour a little 'better' (by which you can read 'more to my taste') on the Olympus. Shooting RAW both cameras do very well (I did comparisons between the EP1 and the X1, and then gave them as blind tests to people . . . who insignificantly preferred the EP1).

    Lenses:
    The 17 f2.8 is fine - I actually think the combination between the EP2 and the 20 f1.7 is the 'dream ticket' as the Olympus adds IS, but I also have the 17mm, and it does get used - if your low light requirements are small then you should be fine. If you get the kit with the 17, then you really haven't lost much if you decide to get the 20 later. The EP2 kit zoom seems fine to me as well.

    Personally I found that the GF1 was a bit 'plasticky' in comparison with the EP2 - I'd really recommend having a feel if possible, it may be that in the end, the ergonomics is the biggest difference between them.

    For me the sensor IS on the Olympus covering all lenses really tipped the balance, and I haven't regretted my decision (although I might be tempted to add a G2 later . . . . )

    Is this helpful? probably not, but at least I've tried

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Thanks Jono, very helpful.
    If you allow one further question:
    How much overlap do you feel between the M9+35 Summarit and the E-P2?
    Is the EP2 a real advantage size wise?
    Which system do you use for what occasion?

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by t_streng View Post
    Thanks Jono, very helpful.
    If you allow one further question:
    How much overlap do you feel between the M9+35 Summarit and the E-P2?
    Is the EP2 a real advantage size wise?
    Which system do you use for what occasion?
    Hi Thomas


    To be honest, my most used lens on the EP2 is the panaleica 45 f2.8 macro. I tend to keep that on the camera, and use the M9 for what it's good for (pretty much everything else). But the EP2 with the pancake is definitely smaller - it'll fit in a coat pocket (and fall out when you jump over a ditch of water!).

    I do like sticking the 90 elmarit on the EP2 though - a stabilised 180 f2.8 you can fit in your pocket is a wild lens . . . (but of course, all this is also true of the GF1).

    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Thomas


    To be honest, my most used lens on the EP2 is the panaleica 45 f2.8 macro. I tend to keep that on the camera, and use the M9 for what it's good for (pretty much everything else). But the EP2 with the pancake is definitely smaller - it'll fit in a coat pocket (and fall out when you jump over a ditch of water!).

    I do like sticking the 90 elmarit on the EP2 though - a stabilised 180 f2.8 you can fit in your pocket is a wild lens . . . (but of course, all this is also true of the GF1).

    all the best
    Thanks Jono.
    I played with them another time and just like the EP2 user interface and feel better than the gf1. I am also interested to stick the Leica M 90mm Macro on the EP2.
    Another interesting thought would be the Nikon 24PCE for stitching Panos.

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    What sold me on the GF1 is the built in flash. I carry it for indoor parties and the flash is just a life saver............

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    I use the EP2 since 3 months now and have only all the best experiences - AF speed, high ISO performance, IQ, color, WB etc, etc. The most interesting benefit of this camera is the built in IS for me, which I can use with all the lenses not having built in OIS. And the really great EVF which comes with the EP2.

    I never miss a built in flash, this does not work for me and my shooting style anyway. I rather would use the separate flash available for the EP2.

    I have no practical experience with the GF1, just a bit playing around in different stores - I could not see it being so much faster or accurate in AF, but maybe I missed something. I do not count in m-seconds for such a camera.

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Hah, a question asked countless times...

    I've also had both (and am currently reviewing the X1) and I think it really comes down to personal preference and your shooting style.

    To my eye, there is no discernible difference in image quality between the GF1 and EP2. So, unless you are a serious pixel peeper, you can feel safe with either camera.

    Handling is a different story. Even with the new version and firmware upgrades, the EP2 simply feels slow to me and I never was able to get comfortable with the menu interface. Of course there are plenty of people who feel the EP2 AF and interface are perfectly fine so again, your mileage may vary. All I can state is that the GF1 performs exceptionably well - there is a reason it has a reputation for fast handling and AF performance. Funny thing is, when I originally compared the interfaces in the store, I was sure I liked the EP2 much better than the GF1. Once I put both in practice, the GF1 became a clear favorite. I suggest you spend as much time with both as possible before purchasing.

    I originally went with the EP2 for the in camera IS but in application, I didn't find it was doing a whole lot for me and I haven't missed it.

    I did like how the EP2 felt in hand. There is more space for your fingers on the shutter side of the lens. The GF1 places the lens in the center of the body (like the EP1L) to make room for the flash. I use my GF1 with a nice leather half case and that really helps the grip. And speaking of the flash, it is nice to have on camera but may not be a necessity for your style of shooting.

    Good luck with your decision, you'll likely be happy with either camera.

    Chad


    p.s. forgot to comment on the 17 vs 20. I also have both and generally keep the 20mm on but have used the 17mm for published editorial work where I needed a little wider view. Both lenses are great but don't expect the 17mm with the EP2 in camera IS to get you anywhere near the 1.7 in terms of low light capability.
    Last edited by Show Performance; 31st March 2010 at 10:57.

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    Workshop Member ptomsu's Avatar
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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by Show Performance View Post
    p.s. forgot to comment on the 17 vs 20. I also have both and generally keep the 20mm on but have used the 17mm for published editorial work where I needed a little wider view. Both lenses are great but don't expect the 17mm with the EP2 in camera IS to get you anywhere near the 1.7 in terms of low light capability.
    Well - agreed not a cheap solution, but as I have these lenses in place - for low light I would mount my 1.4/21 or 1.4/35 M glass - guess what will be better than the 1.7/20? And this combined with IS of the EP2 is really stunning!

  10. #10
    alc217
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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    I've had both, and have used both concurrently, so here's my take:

    If you're going to be using MF lenses, I find that the GF-1 has a better interface for accessing the Zoom function for fine-focusing. You can access the zoom on the GF simply by depressing the wheel with your right thumb. This allows you to zoom in, focus and press the trigger without significant shifts to your position.

    With the E-P2, there are too many button clicks, and the buttons are not located conveniently to access the zoom function. I find that I end up shifting my framing or my focal plane while I'm trying to move my thumb to the "OK" button in the middle of the wheel.

    Outside of zooming for focusing, I really liked the GF-1 multi-function wheel. Press once and scroll for aperture. Press again and scroll for shutter. (assuming I was using a native m43 lens) It felt more dSLR-like in that regard. I find on the E-P2 that I'm constantly depressing the vertical wheel when I'm spinning it and accidentally re-setting my AF or WB or multi-shot, when all I want to do is adjust my aperture.

    That all being said, I sold the GF-1 and stuck with the E-P2 due to the in-body IS. This has helped me tremendously in the type of shooting I do.

    You'll hear lots of people also say that you can get the focus right with the EVF or even the screen and don't need to use the zoom function on the E-P2. I, for one, find that the zoom's very useful.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Thank you for all that feedback.
    I have decided for the E-P2 with the 17/2.8.
    I have to admit that activating/deactivating the zoom for MF of non 4/3 lenses seems not the best user interface and hope Oly will offer some improvement via firmware. However it seems not the biggest problem. I tried 3 Leica lenses yesterday night on the E-P2 and with the viewfinder focusing was fine even without zoom in.

    I wanted the in body staby for using third party lenses, and also for the 17mm lens which is thelens I plan to use on this camera most.

    Hard decission since I also could use as fast as possible AF. However the E-P2 AF doesnt feel bad IMO. I also thought the E-P2 would maybe have the better in camera optimization for the 17mm lens (I just prefer the focal length over 20 even though I understand the 20 is sharper).

    Overall I like the camera from my first impression- however I still find those m4/3 totally overloaded with functions and settings. (I find the gh1 from my wife even worse).

    Thanks again for all the feedback and I hope to be able to post some images soon.

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    alc217 put it perfectly I think.
    Thomas - I hope you'll be very happy together!
    all the best

    Just this guy you know

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    Re: GF1 vs EP2 experiences?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    alc217 put it perfectly I think.
    Thomas - I hope you'll be very happy together!
    all the best
    Thanks Jono,
    first attemps look like I am fine with both the AF speed and also with the sharpness of the 17mm/2.8 even wide open.
    The 17mm lens does distort quite a bit but it seems to be easily corrected in c1 (and in jpgs anyways).
    Regards, Thomas

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