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Vintage Micro 4/3 Cameras
Old 04-06-2018   #1
vonfilm
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Vintage Micro 4/3 Cameras

I love my Panasonic GF1 which I picked up the body for only $50. It still works great except for the occasional temporary glitch which makes me think it may not last for ever.

In this thread I would really like to hear of the experiences and recommendations of those who use and enjoy the early micro 4/3 bodies that can be picked up for a song.

So, what have you got?
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Old 04-06-2018   #2
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I'm my Olympus E-PL1 works flawlessly. I intend to send it in for a IR conversion.
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Old 04-06-2018   #3
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I am still using quite often my E-PL1 and E-P2.
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Old 04-06-2018   #4
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I've wondered about this too. I have been wanting to get a micro 4:3 body and the E-PL1 seems to be under $100 average price for a body w/batt and charger. Most folks seem to like them, even now. With that body I could fit all my Pen F film camera lenses with a simple adapter.
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Old 04-07-2018   #5
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I like the older Panasonic G bodies, they give you an EVF and the G1,2,3,10 can invariably be bought for less than £100. The G3 is a great little camera and I would opine that the 16mp sensor's output is beyond good enough for most peoples needs. It is the combination of the size of the G3 and good output that makes it a winner to me, though I am not so keen on the kit lens. It is the camera I recommend to people wanting to try out a 'better' camera, plus there are now some really great options for not a lot of cash.
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Old 04-07-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonfilm View Post
...I would really like to hear of the experiences and recommendations of those who use and enjoy the early micro 4/3 bodies that can be picked up for a song.
I once used the Olympus E-p1 and E-p3 as my digital cameras for capturing available light candids at weddings. I loved the images produced by my fast Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lenses. However, I had to abandon the cameras for commercial work because they broke too often for me. I now use them only for my personal work.


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Old 04-07-2018   #7
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I love that grip. Where did you get it? I have an original white E-P1 that I use with a Zuiko 1.2/42mm (original Pen lens). Still love the colors and the camera works like a charm, even after almost 10 years of (intermittent) use. The 12-42 standard lens has long since given up though.

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Originally Posted by narsuitus View Post
I once used the Olympus E-p1 and E-p3 as my digital cameras for capturing available light candids at weddings. I loved the images produced by my fast Panasonic 20mm f/1.7, Panasonic 14mm f/2.5, and Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lenses. However, I had to abandon the cameras for commercial work because they broke too often for me. I now use them only for my personal work.
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Old 04-07-2018   #8
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The major disadvantage for using such a format with lenses that were not made for this format is that the perspectives for such lenses are for double the focal length. So, your 40/1.2 shows a crop for a 80mm lens. In order to get wide angle views we need to use lenses that are made for the M 4/3.

I try to minimize the shortcomings by using the very best lenses I am willing to buy for such a format. The Panasonic Lux 25mm/1.4 is a superb lens, say. I get the view of a 50mm lens, and the camera is AF with IS and 10x focus assist. In many ways, it is "perfect". I can see myself using the M9 with the 50/1.4 Pentax-M (converted to M mount) and the Zeiss Hologon 16/8 while using side by side with the M9 the E-PL1 with the 25/1.4.
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I am interested in a micro 4/3 rd's body
Old 04-07-2018   #9
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I am interested in a micro 4/3 rd's body

Dear Board,

I'd like one with in body IS though. I shoot mostly nature and wildlife pictures and the idea of doubling the focal length while keeping the same aperture has enormous appeal to me. I know you can adapt just about any lens on Earth to a M4/3 rd's camera.

I have a 300mm f2.8 Nikon AF lens but having a 600mm f2.8 lens would make my life a whole lot better.

It won't be used to shoot action and I'd probably wind up buying M4/3 rd's prime lenses in wide to normal focal lengths such as a 14mm or 25mm. I know that I will be shooting a lot with a tripod or mono pod because there is no way I'd trust a camera body the size of a deck of cards to hold on to an unsupported 6 pound lens.

Still, I'd like to try. I am willing to spend up to $ 300.00 for a body and battery with a charger. I'm hoping someone can recommend a camera for me, or tell me if I am just windpissing here?

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 04-07-2018   #10
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Hi Tim,
The M 4/3 is near-perfect for what you seem to need for your photography. The cheap models have 12-16 MP, which is enough for 8x10 or 11x14 enlargements or even larger.
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Old 04-07-2018   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vonfilm View Post
I love my Panasonic GF1 which I picked up the body for only $50. It still works great except for the occasional temporary glitch which makes me think it may not last for ever.

In this thread I would really like to hear of the experiences and recommendations of those who use and enjoy the early micro 4/3 bodies that can be picked up for a song.

So, what have you got?
I have, and still use, a Pany G-1. I have the original 14-45 kit zoom which is excellent, far better than the first of the 14-42 lenses that replace it on the G-2.

The only issue I have the the old beast is that it is one of the colored models, rather than black. I can't speak for the black, but the "grippy rubbery" outer surface of the red, and likely other colors, is beginning to break down. It's a bit sticky these days. I've had other stuff (thumb drives, MP3 players, ...) that have come down with the same "cancer".

The thumbdrive on my wife's desk right now is wrapped like a mummy in blue masking tape, but I've yet to find a good solution for my G-1. I've tried various cleaning techniques and have succeeded in small areas, but haven't found a good solution. The pictures a still very good so I still use it despite its ailment.
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Old 04-07-2018   #12
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My E-P1 that I bought in 2012 as a refurb Street Kit (body, 17/2.8, VF-1) has been one of my all-time favorite digital cameras.
It's still being used, and taking excellent photos.
Last year the image stabilization died, but the camera keeps working.
I might try to find a cheap backup body.
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Old 04-07-2018   #13
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I bought the E-PL1 with kit zoom new for $149. The camera alone was selling for $100 new.
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Old 04-07-2018   #14
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Quote:
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I love that grip. Where did you get it?
I bought it in 2012 for $18 from Adorama in New York.
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Old 04-09-2018   #15
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Despite not owning one, I've always loved the GX1. Available cheap, but not "a song cheap" these days; it was a nice mix of good image quality (16MP with an AA filter), small size, and pleasant user experience.

I think they make an excellent travel camera for people who prefer to compose on the rear screen rather than an EVF.

When they were discontinued, Adorama was selling bodies for $200. I often kick myself for not picking one up at the time.
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Old 04-09-2018   #16
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Also worth mentioning here: the Pentax Q (the older the better). They are hard to find. I would love to have one of these, as it would be the ideal street camera with my (C-mount) Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 16mm 1:2.

See this RFF thread on the Pentax Q.

Edit: oops, Pentax Q is not a micro 4/3... Sorry for being off topic :-/
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Old 04-09-2018   #17
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I've owned Olympus E-P1, E-P2 and Panasonic G1 cameras. I've also used the Olympus standard 4/3 DSLR system that the Micro 4/3 format killed off. Quality-wise, they are all produced excellent results as long as I did my part. Ergonomically, the original Olympus 4/3 DSLRs had the advantage IMO as well as having better lenses on introduction. There wasn't a lot of M4/3 lenses available when the format was first introduced. Today, there's a really great choice of superb M4/3 lenses that should expand the original utility of those early bodies.
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Old 04-09-2018   #18
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I bought a like new Olympus em10 mk ii with SLR Magic 25 0.95 lens for $300 from Steve Huff. m4/3 never was on my radar but this was too good a deal to pass up.

Sold the lens on craigslist for $450. So the camera cost me negative $150.
Did not want that lens as it was massive, and IMO the point of micro 4/3 is to keep it micro. Since been replaced with the incredible, and small, Olympus primes, as well as the Panny 12-32 zoom as recommended by Ming Thein.
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Old 04-09-2018   #19
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Old 04-09-2018   #20
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I really like the 7Artisans 25 lens on older Lumix G bodies. Fast aperture and manual focus, a rather “film-like” shooting experience.
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Old 04-09-2018   #21
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I agree -perhaps my favourite older Micro 4/3 camera is the Panasonic GF1 too. It has always looked good (which I find to be important enough - the shallow being that I am) and had quite nice handling characteristics and Panasonic cameras have and it seems, always also have had nice image rendering in my experience which goes back to the Panasonic L1.

Something about the software I presume, given the sensors are likely to be industry standard ones (though I have never looked into it). The one shortcoming of the GF1 is the poor, low resolution accessory add-on eye-level EVF if that's what you want (and sometimes I certainly do). Nevertheless it can be made to work though it is ultra low resolution by any standards - even those applying back then. Just treat it as a means to compose and frame the image and forget about how well or poorly it represents the image.

Nevertheless the camera works well with its standard LCD screen and handles nicely including with MF lenses. (Bearing in mind too that the camera does not have a rotating LCD or any new-fangled nonsense of that sort). Here is an image shot with the Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 on this camera. Pretty nice output, I say. (Love the bokeh on that lens by the way).

When I want to carry nothing more than a small, near pocketable µ4/3 camera, my GF1 with a Sigma 30mm f2.8 is the camera and lens I will often reach for even today.


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Old 04-09-2018   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defconfunk View Post
Despite not owning one, I've always loved the GX1. Available cheap, but not "a song cheap" these days; it was a nice mix of good image quality (16MP with an AA filter), small size, and pleasant user experience.

I think they make an excellent travel camera for people who prefer to compose on the rear screen rather than an EVF.

When they were discontinued, Adorama was selling bodies for $200. I often kick myself for not picking one up at the time.
I picked up a GX1 as a backup when my GX7 was getting repaired for falling off the tripod and shattering the LCD, and can confirm it's a good little camera. Really hard to tell the difference between the two in normal lighting conditions, though I much prefer shooting with the GX7, especially when shooting adapted lenses.

This model does have a common problem with the LCD delaminating; mine's doing so around the edges and so doesn't yet affect the display but over more time, may well. I hate screen protectors but it seemed prudent to use one here.
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Old 04-09-2018   #23
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Plenty of nice cameras here but is any Micro 4/3 camera old enough to be considered vintage :-)
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Old 04-09-2018   #24
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I've been absolutely sold on micro 4/3 as a format since I got my used Olympus E-PM1 in late 2016. It's almost five years after the release date and I think it's still a great buy. I spent $75 at KEH, and I think I've learned more about photography from this camera, than from a dSLR. Live histogram and focus magnification are now must-have tools. Going back to a dSLR feels a bit of a throwback.

Last edited by mich rassena : 04-10-2018 at 06:14. Reason: incomplete
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Old 04-13-2018   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doitashimash1te View Post
Also worth mentioning here: the Pentax Q (the older the better). They are hard to find. I would love to have one of these, as it would be the ideal street camera with my (C-mount) Schneider Kreuznach Xenon 16mm 1:2.

See this RFF thread on the Pentax Q.

Edit: oops, Pentax Q is not a micro 4/3... Sorry for being off topic :-/
I do have an original Pentax Q in white with the 01 and 02 lenses. It is a great little camera. A big plus for me is that I can use my collection of D Mount Cine lenses. I like to simulate Regular 8 movies with the Kern-Paillard lenses.
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Old 08-10-2018   #26
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Way back when I purchased the G1 new and then a GF1. I used the G1 with MF lenses mostly C mount and a some M mounts. Sold it all eventually and I'm back with another GF1 with 12-32 and a GH2 with 20/1.7. I really like the GF1 B&W images.



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Old 08-10-2018   #27
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Old 08-28-2018   #28
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I still use my E-P1 and my E-PL1 when I'm in a Micro 4/3 mood, or for fun C-mount lenses. I originally bought the E-PL1 used to be a cheap ($75) spare body if the E-P1 died on me, but both cameras work perfectly fine and still give great results.

I also had a travel-worn blue-colored G1 which I had also bought refurbished. I gifted to a friend who was interested in trying a manual-focus setup. As far as I know it's also still in good working order.
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Old 08-28-2018   #29
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Regardless of vintage status, my EP-2 works well. I really should use it more. Its good at macro using adpated lenses (like the micro-Nikkor 55/2.8).

I also use it for long telephoto wildlife stuff, but even with a tripod I often get motion blur. I got a Panasonic telephoto zoom (45-200mm?) that has IS. I also think the EP-2 has IS in the body. I still manage blur, but not every shot . It doesn't help that many of my lenses are slow. The Panasonic is about 5.6 wide open at the long end. My fastest telephoto that can be adapted is the Canon FDn 300/4, it works pretty good but 600mm equivalent begs for motion blur. I guess its a good thing I'm not an avid wildlife photographer...
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Old 08-28-2018   #30
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Bought a GH-1 when they were first out. There was a group who figured out how to hack the video software on the camera and when you combined the hacked GH-1 with cine lenses, we were able to get some pretty nice footage out of it.

Pulled it out over the weekend because my niece asked me to shoot some video of her wedding, and I don't have a video camera. Was surprised that the GH-1 still worked and still produced nice footage (even with the kit 14-140 lens, as I sold off my cine lenses about eight years ago).

Good little cameras, and very well made.

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Old 08-28-2018   #31
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Regardless of vintage status, my EP-2 works well. I really should use it more. Its good at macro using adpated lenses (like the micro-Nikkor 55/2.8).

I also use it for long telephoto wildlife stuff, but even with a tripod I often get motion blur. I got a Panasonic telephoto zoom (45-200mm?) that has IS. I also think the EP-2 has IS in the body. I still manage blur, but not every shot . It doesn't help that many of my lenses are slow. The Panasonic is about 5.6 wide open at the long end. My fastest telephoto that can be adapted is the Canon FDn 300/4, it works pretty good but 600mm equivalent begs for motion blur. I guess its a good thing I'm not an avid wildlife photographer...
Dear rfaspen,

Actually, I think that m4/3's would work well for me if I got a body with wifi capability? I have bird feeders scattered in my yard that get plenty of visitors. But grabbing a camera and sneaking outside to get in position to get a decent shot isn't easy to do when you are 6' 5" and weigh 325 pounds like me.

I could set a wifi capable camera up outside on a tripod, focus it, and shoot remotely from inside the house with my phone or Ipad. I may have to try that!

Regards,

Tim Murphy

Harrisburg, PA
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Old 09-25-2019   #32
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M4/3 is vintage? lol



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