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Thread: CSC- new camera & system advice

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    CSC- new camera & system advice

    Hi, just joined the forum having been much impressed with the depth and detail of the discussion.
    I used to use an old film slr and laterally a cheapo bridge camera. I always liked the options a long zoom lens enables but was very disappointed with the results. So when I realised that sensor size was an issue I looked at first a Fuji x-s1 and then decided better to go for a compact 4/3 - just seems better quality, more luminous maybe. So I reckon I'm after a compact4/3, second hand, and a longer zoom lens + standard lens. Good value and image quality are paramount as is manual operation and a viewfinder, something like the panasonic G2 maybe. I would appreciate any suggestions or advice, seems to be so many on the market.

    regards Claymore.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Welcome hech to CIC,

    Problems I see with a 4/3 set up right now is the lack of lens and they are costly but that's just my opinion. Other reasons I really don't like them is because of the crop factor. The ratio of the image size, combined with the smaller sensor means that Four-Thirds based cameras give a 'crop factor' of exactly 2, that is to say, a 50mm film lens used on a Four-Thirds body gives the equivalent field of view to a 100mm lens on a 35mm film camera body. The 'crop factor' does affect the apparent depth of field of the taken image: with the magnification of 2, the DOF is effectively doubled (again, it is important to note that this perceived effect is due to the FOV 'crop'; the same depth of field is present, but you are viewing it at twice the magnification.

    In talking about using a zoom lens on one of these then you throw the compact camera thing out the door also it will make the camera unbalance because of it being nose-heavy . The cost of these 4/3 camera runs as much and there are some that cost more than a good mid-level DSLR. I'm not trying to talk you out of buying one but have you also look at some DSLR.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    As Paul mentioned, I would also have a closer look to a APSC size system.
    I use the Fuji X and have no regrets. The only issue I face is that the RAW file from the X sensor is not very well supported by the well known Software as Lightroom. Only silkypix supports it but this SW foe me is a pain since I use LR from the beginning.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    I have an m4/3 (mFT), a couple of APS-C and a full-frame camera, so I have a bit of a different perspective than some. I bought my first DSLR about almost 4 years ago and had a good hard look at mFT at the time and while both Panasonic (Panny) and Olympus made fine products, there were very limited lenses out at the time and the product was new with limited history. Things have certainly improved in the interim. One thing to keep in mind is that while the mFT lenses are interchangeable between brands, Panasonic uses in-lens stabilization and Olympus uses in-body stabilization, so while you can use an Olympus lens on a Panny body, it will not be stabilized. Going from Panny to Olympus is fine.

    I own both the Lumix 14-140mm and the Lumix 100-300mm lens. Both are okay and compare favourably to the amateur lenses that Canon and Nikon put out. Price-wise they are about the same money as the amateur Canon and Nikon lenses as well. They are not in the same class as the pro lenses from Canon and Nikon, i.e. they are fairly slow (low maximum aperture), so not great for handheld shots in low light conditions. I have a Nikon F mount to mFT adaptor I use on my mFT (video) camera and will use the Nikon lenses on the Panny in low light situations.

    The advantage of mFT is the crop factor for long telephoto shots, but the high ISO performance is somewhat compromised. I understand that they are not ideal for macro work either.

    Where they really fall down (and this is somewhat the case for APS-C as well) is that they don’t give you the narrow depth of field that you get out of full-frame camera; you need really fast lenses on the small sensor for that. Cosina has been selling a lot of their Vogtländer line; their Nokton f/0.95 lenses are very popular with the mFT video shooters. They also do not have a lot of good ultra-wide angle choices.

    The other thing to consider is the small body size. I found that the mFT cameras were actually too small for my liking, but that again is personal preference. I don’t have large hands, so for me to find them too small. On the other hand, they take up less room than larger cameras.

    Bottom line, be aware of the tradeoffs and get what works for you. If I were to get into buying a new camera today, I’m quite certain I would not be buying an APS-C sensor camera again.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Many thanks,good, pertinent and useful info all! I note that many of you shoot "in the RAW" and was wondering just how much that does for your photography?
    Also there must be a practical limit regards to sensor size, at what point exactly can you tell the difference? I thought micro4/3 a quality choice against the convenience of a good "bridge camera. Against that there is both the expense and the hassle of lenses and stuff. But a second hand csc in perhaps its second year of existence plus an old film camera zoom lens or two might add up to a cheap, quality and lightweight solution for my relatively humble and basic needs?

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    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    I shoot both jpg and RAW, and it depends on what I am doing with the images. Jpegs are 8-bit images and raw tend to be either 12-bit or 14-bit, so you are throwing away a lot of the data that your camera has recorded. If I post on the internet and do limited post-production (PP), I will use a jpeg. If the image is special and needs some more extensive PP I will work on the RAW file, especially if the lighting is a bit strange. When you shoot jpeg, having the right colour temperature setting in the camera is important, when you shoot RAW, you can do this in PP. A lot of people here on CiC shoot 100% RAW, most of the professional photographers I know shoot mostly jpeg; it really depends on your needs and skills. Also, if you shoot RAW, you will have to buy some post-processing software as RAW files cannot be viewed directly; the are not image files, just data that software has to convert into an image.

    A general rule of thumb with sensors is bigger = better quality, especially if you are making large prints. You tend to get higher quality, lower noise images with a larger sensor. Yes, as a general rule mFT is larger than a P&S or bridge camera sensor; but in photography like anything else, you do get what you pay for. Your lenses for an interchangeable lens camera will usually cost more than the whole bridge camera and this means that it is likely to be faster (better low light performance and shallower depth of field) and less distortion and other lens defects like aberrations.

    I wouldn't bother with old film camera lenses, these were generally not autofocus and frankly trying to manually focus on a modern camera is not something a casual shooter is going to enjoy. Unfortunately, the camera designers have (correctly) decided that most shooters will use autofocus and have designed screens and viewfinders with that in mind. A good quality lens adapter is going to cost you a fair bit of money. My Novoflex Nikon F to mFT cost me over $200. I have a few lenses that cost me less. Modern lenses have built in electronics that communicate with the camera body, you won't have that and you will have to shoot 100% manual, and I don't know how well the cameras you are looking at will let you do that. Remember that when the mFT format was introduced, it had no backwards compatibility designed in. When I shoot my Nikon lenses on my mFT camera, they are 100% manual and if I want to focus, I either have to use an external focusing device, like a Zacuto, a large monitor or fortunately my camera is high-end and has focus assist peaking built in, which is usually good enough.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Melkus View Post
    Welcome hech to CIC,

    Problems I see with a 4/3 set up right now is the lack of lens and they are costly but that's just my opinion. Other reasons I really don't like them is because of the crop factor. The ratio of the image size, combined with the smaller sensor means that Four-Thirds based cameras give a 'crop factor' of exactly 2, that is to say, a 50mm film lens used on a Four-Thirds body gives the equivalent field of view to a 100mm lens on a 35mm film camera body. The 'crop factor' does affect the apparent depth of field of the taken image: with the magnification of 2, the DOF is effectively doubled (again, it is important to note that this perceived effect is due to the FOV 'crop'; the same depth of field is present, but you are viewing it at twice the magnification.

    In talking about using a zoom lens on one of these then you throw the compact camera thing out the door also it will make the camera unbalance because of it being nose-heavy . The cost of these 4/3 camera runs as much and there are some that cost more than a good mid-level DSLR. I'm not trying to talk you out of buying one but have you also look at some DSLR.
    Melkus.....

    Lack of Lenses?

    Ok there is now an equivalent 24-70 and 70-200 f2.8 the 12-35 and 35-100

    there are 24 (12 f2), 28 (14 f2.5), 35 (17 f1.8), 40 (20 f1.7), 50 (25 f1.4) , 90 (45f1.8), and 150 (75 f1.8) equivalent primes. All are fast and none of them are big. The Panny 25 f1.4 (50mm) equivalent is superb.

    The zooms are quite small the f2.8 zooms are MUCH smaller than the Nikon/Canon equivalent lenses.

    And the 14-42 powerzoom lens and the olympus 14-42 lenses don't unbalance the camera!! even the bigger 14-42 from panny balances very well on a g3 and this is still noticeably smaller than a Canon Rebel or Nikon D3xx

    the lens lineup for m4/3 is MILES better than the Nikon DX line up (where is my wide angle prime lens Nikon - both Nikon and Canon make you use FF lenses to substitute).

    lmage quality is very good. Ok not quite at the level of the BEST crop sensors but certainly good enough for most amateur users. The sensor used in the EPM2/EPL5 and EM5 compares very well with the 18mp Canon one.

    http://www.imaging-resource.com/PROD...5/omd-em5A.HTM

    Page down and look at the high iso samples. I appreciate that is a £1000 camera but the sensor is used in the EPM2 which is under £500).

    All that praise aside I'd advise against the G2. Look to the G3 an all round competent camera and a good price now. There are deals on the g3 14-42 and 45-200. You can get a G3 14-42 & 45-200 zoom (so 28-400 equivalent) for under £500.

    if you are looking at bridge cameras. Then a the Panasonic FZ200 is worth a look. Smaller sensor than the XS-1 but the lens is a constant f2.8 so handy at the long end.
    Last edited by thequacksoflife; 10th November 2012 at 05:52 AM.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Quote Originally Posted by hech View Post
    Many thanks,good, pertinent and useful info all! I note that many of you shoot "in the RAW" and was wondering just how much that does for your photography?
    Also there must be a practical limit regards to sensor size, at what point exactly can you tell the difference? I thought micro4/3 a quality choice against the convenience of a good "bridge camera. Against that there is both the expense and the hassle of lenses and stuff. But a second hand csc in perhaps its second year of existence plus an old film camera zoom lens or two might add up to a cheap, quality and lightweight solution for my relatively humble and basic needs?
    Since there is no good support for the Fuji X sensor, I shoot in Jpeg and RAW. Thr quality comming out of this camera are very high. Till now I could manage without the RAW processing. This took some time to convince myself acepting the Jpegs as almostfinal results.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Hansm View Post
    Since there is no good support for the Fuji X sensor, I shoot in Jpeg and RAW. Thr quality comming out of this camera are very high. Till now I could manage without the RAW processing. This took some time to convince myself acepting the Jpegs as almostfinal results.
    I'm pretty sure Ufraw supports the Fuji sensor. You could use that and export the results as 16bit tiff. I does what it states on the can. Raw conversion and only has the needed controls for that. Curves, exposure, sharpening etc.

    I've posted so often about using manual lenses on m 4/3 cameras so often it's getting boring. There is a big problem. The sensor has either 12 or 16mp and taking the expensive clip on view finder as the best example the electronic view has 1.4mp. The camera screen is worse in that respect. This means that the image resolution has to be reduced to fit in with the view. This leaves an inadequate amount of detail to ensure that the camera is actually focused on the subject. To get round this both makes add a focus check / manual focus assist that magnifies the view. By 7x is useful as 7x1.4mp is 9.8mp and does more or less show what the sensor is actually seeing. Some panasonics offer 5x. My Pen E-P3 offers 5x,7x and 10x. The E-PL1 offers 7x. I have found that 5x can be a bit dubious which is a pity as one of the Panasonics has a magnified view in the entire view facility so it's much easier to keep the subject in the frame. The Pen's only show the magnified view and it's often really difficult to keep the subject in it. The problem is down to the apparent increased focal length produced by the magnified view. The standard zooms go up to a bit over 40mm so in 35mm terms a 2x40x7 = 560mm lens is being hand held. Not easy but it is just about possible to use this to focus check if needed. On the other hand if Olympus ever show the add illustrating the focus check again on a distant lady with an umbrella I'm going to complain to the advertising standards authority. It would need a very rigid tripod on the camera to get results like that shows.

    It gets worse. The Pen's have image stability built into the camera which sounds great for manual lenses but it only works while the camera is using it's AF and when the shot is taken. Manufacturers do this sort of thing to sell more lenses. They could also allow the AF confirmation indicators to work which would mean that in many cases the 7x view wouldn't be needed. I'm sure many people would buy these cameras if they did either of these things. As they stand they are dubious proposition for even semi serious photography really even with Olympus's own lenses on them apart from the 14-42mm standard zoom. To try and get round this some including me use Panasonic telephoto lenses on them for their built in image stabilisation that can work all of the time - at the moment - more recent lenses don't have the switch so pass on what they will do on a Pen. The 7x view can be used then even as difficult as it still is. Forget it on Olympus's own telephoto zooms.

    One Panasonic has the magnified view in the entire view which is probably a lot easier to use. No inbuilt image stabilisation in the camera though so longer focal lengths need a tripod or maybe a monopod. The Olympus Pen can produce hand held shake free shots with a 500mm lens on them with a lot of care. Getting a clean focus at even 200m is very hit and miss. Even a 100mm is not easy to use in that respect.

    The AF on both makes is something of a problem. It uses contrast as do most compacts. I always wonder why the old active IR focusing was dropped which would focus even in relatively dark conditions. Cost I suppose rather than performance. Anyway contrast detection needs light. Performance varies even on the same make. My E-P3 is more capable in this respect than the E-PL1. Same gear in the camera so seems to be intentional. There can even be focusing problems in typical dimish living rooms that either of my dslr's will cope with easily. Manual focus seems to be intended to trim rather than set a focus so needs far too many turns of the ring in my view. Low light can even introduce noise into the view making focusing either way rather difficult. Again the E-P3 is better in this respect. It's a curious fact that my sony compact generally makes a better job of focusing. My son' nex does as well. Well the AF can do odd things in many situations. Sometimes it's best to use the multi af points and in others the variations on central AF. I think many of these problems comes from reviews comparing dslr phase focus speed with contrast af. The most important thing really is an accurate focus. It seems sony have added a focus trim button to certain cameras not sure. Just odd comments on the web. I suspect it just slows it down once it's roughly focused. Oly claim the fastest AF in the world now. I don't believe that Pansonics are really any different in these respects. If there is decent contrast levels there both makes will focus and it's a case of making sure it's the right bit of contrast in the scene.

    Lenses. The Olympus 14-42mm is a very good zoom lens. The Pansonic 45-200mm is rather soft at 200mm but rather good at 150mm, better than the Olympus 40-150mm in fact at 150mm. This sort of things is usual when ANY zoom lens goes past a 3:1 range even the so called professional ones. :-) I'm reminded of the much used canon 24-105mm wedding photographers dream lens on full frame which is actually a little soft throughout. The Oly 14-42mm comes out at 28-84mm in 35mm terms and as a result is ideal for what is usually called general photography. It's even possible to crop shots at 100% resolution for web use so for many the long end can be more than 4 times that. There is also a longer focal length range zoom lens made for the Pen covering more than the 14-42mm a lot more. Many moans about it on the web. Unfair really as it was aimed at video use and doesn't need the resolution that a still shooter would expect.

    Really the advantage of these cameras is that it's easy to cover 28mm to 600mm in 35mm terms with relatively light weight compact items that can fit in a small shoulder bag. Pity that this is most true of the Olympus equipment. They are big step up in respect to compacts and bridge cameras due to their sensor size. Also a big step up from some of the other csc cameras for the same reason. If fast apertures are needed then it has to be primes. :-) Much the same as dslr's really except that there will be faster short zoom range lenses available for dslr's that really do offer something over the cheaper lenses.

    Personally for some one who is going to buy a single camera and has a general interest in photography that may drift in any direction eg macro, wild life and the sort of thing that the Pen plus 14-42mm can easily cover they would be much better off buying an entry level dslr. These are very likely to have better sensors too which effectively means less processing. In Canon's case af confirm adapters are available for a large range of manual focus lenses. On the other hand I suspect many people on here would appreciate a Pen with the 14-42mm on and probably be happy to carry a telephoto zoom around with it as well but be warned in the more extreme and not so extreme circumstances the shots will need the same sort of processing a compact needs. Bulk as against problems maybe. Sad really as Olympus could easily do something about the none sensor related ones. Cost are hight. If some one doesn't want to use compact type controls and needs reading glasses so isn't too keen on camera screens, plus the sunlight problems with them, and E-P3 plus view finder is rather expensive for what it is. I look through Panasonic camera manuals and wonder if they are a better option - the iso setting is not buried in a menu for instance. Pass really at the moment. It seems to be swings and roundabouts. Both makes use the same sensor which is well known for fringing, dynamic range limitations and noise etc. The G3 has a magnified view in the whole view but is more aimed at being driven by the camera screen than their others and reviews weren't all that impressed by the 5x mag it uses anyway. I suspect that this is all down to the cameras initially at least being aimed at compact users who want something better so the end results are a bit strange. Not entirely suitable for me or them in my view. I wonder what sort of people make design decisions. Can't help that. It's what I did for a living.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    I like to get out and about on my souped up electric bike, it's very quiet and powerful enough to ride up Ben Nevis! I also like the idea of taking a camera with me hence the reluctance to look at full frame, heavy weight dslr systems. I had thought that a bridge camera like the X-S1 would be ideal until I saw the image quality comparison with a M4/3, APS etc. Ideally I would like to print upto 10*8 and bigger even. The sample photos of the fuji x10 look great but am less impressed with those of the x-s1, maybe someone else has done better? I'm trying to keep this new venture to under £500 or so and appreciate every bit of your advice.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Hi John, sorry to be a bore, bound to ask questions that have been asked many times before, guess I should read more and post less. The wee Olympus looks great but wanting a viewfinder . Didn't realise focus was such a critical issue these days, same with depth of field. Was always perfectly happy with manual focus with the old film slr but take your point about viewfinder definition etc.
    Cheers hech.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    John - I agree with you about the 45-200 being soft at the long end. Still for the money it is decent. I've always used a panasonic m4/3 and though I don't own a g3 I've used a friends and it is a decent camera (only ever used autofocus on it). At the current price it is an excellent buy.

    Curiously I had decided to sell my dSLR and I was in a dealers to buy a camera this morning. Until 2 weeks ago it was going to be the E-M5 (I have m4/3 lenses) but on holding it I wasn't overly impressed. Anyway again this morning I was trying the e-m5 but ended up buying a Fuji XE-1 (a camera i first held two weeks ago). A friend who was with me was expecting to get the e-m5 but again disliked how it felt in the hands. So a warning for Hech see how a camera feels in the hand.

    As to image quality. Yes m4/3 or an APS-C camera will outperform a bridge camera BUT you don't have to faff about changing lenses. The X10 uses the same sensor as the XS-1 doesn't it?

    Horses for courses.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Not a bore - but I will get fed up of posting the same sort of things eventually. The main point really is the number of adapters available for m 4/3 and no hint about problems using MF lenses - or MF when the makers lenses are on them. People these days even pay high prices for long reach lenses without a tripod bush. The need for MF on AF lenses really depends on what people want to shoot. Take a bird in a tree in a wood for instance. I would have extreme doubts that these cameras would cope with that in AF mode. Another problem I have had which I intended to crop was a bee in a flower bed. AF indicator looked ok photo didn't. A duck - focused more onto the near side rather than into it - not a problem in this case really but these sort of things can happen in any shot and the focus check isn't easy to use due to the magnification needed. On a pen 2 button presses are needed as well. Ist one to allow the square that is to be magnified to be moved which personally I feel is pointless and 2nd on to get the magnification. I'd rather point the camera than move a square as it's quicker. One button can be programmed for focus lock and another for exposure lock or the usual 1/2 press used. Not sure what happens on a G3 but this is one area that made me go for a Pen. There are a number of "photographer" options in a menu that is locked out by default. When a shot is previewed over and under exposure are immediately evident. The inbuilt flash is very useful if the iso is pumped up. There is a need to find out how to stop the iso from dropping to 200 every time it's popped up though. There are also a number of fractional flash powers. All this from an E-PL1 too. The E-P3 adds 2 rotary controls with rather poor options on what they can be used for. The main thumb wheel can be used to control aperture in P mode which means that speed or aperture priority can be used really in one setting. It may be possible to do the same thing with the compact type controls on the E-PL1. I spent a lot of time finding out what the camera did in it's standard modes when using that one. Some how I managed to make the auto iso on the E-PL1 default to 200-800 which is safe but allowed the iAuto mode to use the full 1600 iso. At that level it's often best to think jpg and let the camera do it. The Pen's jpg engine received rave reviews for this sort of use - the best ever tested was mentioned. Not sure what has happened to the options I used and can't find them on the E-P3 so far. I treat that like a film camera - dull day set 400 and change if needed as it's tucked away in the menus. It could easily be available from one of the rotary controls even if only via a button. The viewfinder if fitted mimics the camera screen. Handy if some one needs reading glasses and no sunlight problems either. I look at the menu's with the camera in my shoulder bag if that's a problem. The E-P3 adds the touch screen - press a point on it and the camera will focus on it (if it can) and take the shot.

    All in all ok if some one doesn't mind the AF limitations and sensor limitations. Those only show up in some shots such as fringing in back lit high contrast shots. This can be removed with software as can any chromatic distortion that may crop up in similar shots. It's biggest problem really is the manual focus issues and a so so sensor in some ways that will need post processing more often especially if like me you use jpg's a lot. A bit like shooting with many compacts really and with this one I don't think just shooting raw makes best use of the camera. The raw file can be processed in the camera by the way. Not used that aspect so pass. From a photographers point of view it's all a bit of an odd mix and doesn't really make ideal use of what's in the camera.

    I have heard that the OM feels plasticy in a nasty sort of way in places. I don't mind plastics if done correctly. Plastic lens mounts are ok if the mating part on the camera is metal. People have moaned about the build standard of the Pens 14-42mm zoom. The central barrel is a loose fit. Still takes excellent shots. The newer one will focus more closely and the fit is a lot more "solid". I suspect loads of people would buy Pens if they did a plastic one E-PL1 like with sensible controls and a viewfinder especially if they aided focusing manual lenses in some way such even just allowing the af confirm to work. It would be a bit OM like and a lot cheaper. On the face of it IS when needed seems to be an omission rather than a problem. If the camera can't focus it can spend a fair old time in it otherwise there is always a fraction of a second of it as the shutter is half pressed.

    Bridge super zooms etc fine but the pixel counts are miss leading. I might buy one for web shots only but would want to buy from some one where I could just send it back if it didn't match my expectations.

    I don't know anything about Fuji cameras. I do know that a sony nex has a better low light af than a pen but still has low light problems. It's also aimed more at ex compact users. It seems from mine that Pens vary according to how much we pay. I just don't know how Fuji fit into that. One thing for sure the companies that push larger sensor csc cameras haven't had much luck with their dslr sales. They need something else and compacts have probably reached the end in terms of more pointless cheap increases in pixel counts. Bridge cameras too. Great web shots can be taken with any camera from a few quid up it's just that some are more flexible than others, Mirrorless offer more than compacts, the lenses can be changed and are smaller than dslr's. They are also cheaper to make. Smaller sensors mean smaller lenses. This makes me wonder about any aps mirrorless as the bulk of a kit is the lenses. A crop factor of 2 over 1.6 isn't all that apparent. I have a funny feeling Sony will introduce another crop factor at some point going on a sensor they have recently put in a compact. Will it be too much to give adequate near aps dslr performance? Pass. It might just do that given decent lenses.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    It's crazy how the manufacturers are putting out a new camera every year, clearly it can't go on. Just bid £300 for a panasonyg2 with a whole stack of lenses, even though Ive never held one in hand and certainly dont want to get bogged down by a clump of lenses. But I need to do justice to my latent artistic genius and also the splendid countryside in which I dwell so I thought better to bite the bullet and bid. Having done so I came across the olympus e510 which has a decently proportioned sensor, viewfinder, and stack of fine olympus lenses for £250 all. If the camera has built in stabilisation I was wondering if it is such a big deal to set the aperature and distance manually? These ancient machines appear suspiciously cheap!
    regards hech.

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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    As some one pointed out G3's are a bargain at the moment new or manufacturer refurbished. I'm very fond of buying the latter providing they do have a guarantee and that aught to be similar to the one on new gear. These are also about on the G2 still.

    Buying as much as possible used in one go or new for that matter saves money over buying the individual items. The only worry about used really is damage and just how many shots they have taken. Ebay and damage not mentioned in the listing isn't a problem - send it back. I bought my 1st Pen 2nd hand and was told it was hardly used and it turned out to have taken around 1,000 shots. Not too worrying but I do know some one who was told the same thing and it had taken several thousand shots. That would worry me. If it's possible to find out how many shutter actuations a camera has the method will be on the web some where. I bought used because I wanted to see what the camera was like and if I didn't like it I would treat ebay like a loan shop and put it back on there again. I wouldn't rip anybody off but would probably ask my son to resell it for me in case some one looked at my feedback to see if I had bought it recently and was selling it because it had problems. I often check private sellers feedback before buying. I doubt if you will get a G2 with several Panasonic lenses for £250, You may get one with several manual lenses but I have already warned you about that.

    I have not tried or handled the Olympus E series but I have no real problems focusing my canon's manually via the view finder but as the AF on these usually works well I am more inclined to use it to see what is out of focus. I would suspect that the E series is a bit of a bargain now. Lenses too. The E series are dslr's that never caught on in large numbers so using them manually is unlikely to be a problem. It is a dslr. I suspect the built in image stabilisation will be the same as Pen's - just when AF is working and during the shot. The lenses for them are likely to be fairly high quality probably even excellent quality. I have wondered about them actually. The lenses too as there is an insanely expensive adapter available to allow them to be used on micro 4/3

    The new camera every year or sooner will continue. I read recently that the bulk of Canon's and Nikon's profits group wide come from cameras. They probably form a large proportion of other companies profits too. Some have to have the latest greatest etc and manufacturers only make a profit when some one buys a new one. New comers tend to buy the latest greatest too but actually any digital slr type camera with a reasonable pixel count tends to retain a decent 2nd hand price. Not my 300D though with it's 6mp even though that has way more pixels than a PC screen. That was also the camera that rocked the slr world and led to Canon taking the lead in the market. That is also the camera that gave kit lenses a bad name. Given the pixel counts these days they can't be that bad now. On the other hand pixel counts do seem to be getting a bit over the top. I suspect that is why there are beginning to be signs of anti aliasing screens disappearing. It would be interesting to know if these have disappeared on compacts all ready. It could be that diffraction limits can be viewed in an entirely different way once these aren't on the sensor. The web comments on these already don't entirely agree with what happens in practice.

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  16. #16
    rpcrowe's Avatar
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    Re: CSC- new camera & system advice

    Viewfinders make the difference for me in choosing a camera...

    I like through the lens viewing rather than having to rely on the LCD as a viewfinder. While I don't like reliance on the LCD, I also do not like an optical (non-TTL) viewfinder because of the parallax problems reminescent of the older rangefinder film cameras. Most of the more sophisticated rangefinder cameras of older days (such as the Nikon SP) had some sort of parallax correction which is lacking in the optical eye level viewfinders of many digital cameras of today. I tend to frame my images in the camera and having a viewfinder which doesn't show me exactly what I am shooting is a big PITA for me...

    A compromise seems to be a camera which will use both the LCD for live view and an eye level electronic viewfinder. I have not used an electronic eyelevel viewfinder on a still camera but, I use one on my Panasonic HDC-TM900 dedicated video camera and it seems to work quite well.

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