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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    filled out photo survey-need advice opn new camera

    **Apparently I didn't understand what post a new thread meant so I filled out the survey in the section that I first posted under and someone got annoyed and locked the thread. I hope I've posted this in the correct spot.*


    * What budget have you allocated for buying this camera? Please be as specific as possible. I am willing to spend around $700.00 for the G1, but if possible I would love to spend a ton less.

    * What size camera are you looking for? Or does size not matter at all to you?
    It doesn't have to fit into a pocket. However, as I've held the G1 so I'll use that as an example it's not the body that's to large it's the lens on the body that to me makes that size in total feel a bit to big. However, if I have to get used to something that large I guess I could, but my preference if poss. would be somewhat smaller. Features

    How many megapixels will suffice for you? 8 99% of the time I print 4x6-afraid to over MP and end up with grainy photos, but maybe at 4x6 it's not an issue?* What optical zoom will you need? (None, Standard = 3x-4x, Ultrazoom = 10x-12x, Other - Specify) around 4
    * How important is “image quality” to you? (Rate using a scale of 1-10) 10

    Do you care for manual controls? Not really, but I suppose I should learn to use them.General Usage

    * What will you generally use the camera for? Pics of child, pets, on vacation

    * Will you be making big prints of your photos or not? no
    Will you be shooting a lot of indoor photos or low light photos? Indoor (museums, homes), but not really low light
    Will you be shooting sports and/or action photos? Toddler and pets-sport will be coming up soon

    Are there particular brands you like or hate? NoJust want a quality camera
    Are there particular models you already have in mind? Possibly the G1 due to it being fast, other than that I don't need all that one can do with it. I just despise the thought of a cheap P&S that yields tons of red eye(If applicable) Do you need any of the following special features? (Wide Angle, Image Stabilization, Weatherproof, Hotshoe, Rotating LCD) Would like image stabilization. A cover so that I could take it to the beach if it's an expensive camera would be nice. With my current Nikon P&S I take it to the beach no cover and don't care.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    With a large-sensor camera like the Panasonic G1 or an entry-level dSLR, you can avoid redeye in three ways: 1) skip the flash, because your high-ISO performance is better than a P&S, 2) use the built-in flash, because it's further from the lens and it's the direct bounce-back that causes redeye, or 3) use a hotshoe-mounted flash for bounced-from-the-ceiling light, which will totally avoid the problem and give much nicer light overall.

    The Panasonic G1 looks very nice. I was hoping Olympus would have their equivalent models out by now — they promised to be more compact — but nothing so far.

    You're right to note that the lens adds a lot to the bulk of the camera. For their dSLRs, Olympus makes a really cute little "pancake" normal lens, which when paired with one of their small dSLRs makes a very compact package. (For example: E-420 SLR w/ 25mm Lens — $499.)

    Pentax also makes a 40mm pancake for their system, and it's my favorite lens — almost-flawless image quality and really fun to use. Unfortunately, the entry-level Pentax camera is only sold at a reasonable price in a kit with the regular cheap zoom lens + an entry level hotshoe flash. (The flash will reduce redeye by being even further from the lens, but can't bounce.) An advantage of the Pentax system is that most of the camera bodies (excepting that entry-level one) are sealed against dust and weather, which would be nice for your beach photos.

    There's also a pancake lens for Nikon, but it can't autofocus. Either way, these are "normal" range prime lenses — very versatile for many different uses but neither telephoto nor wide angle. (And they don't zoom at all — this takes some getting used to but isn't as crippling as you might imagine.)

    If image quality = 10 is really, truly the case, you're going to want to get a dSLR, start on a collection of lenses and other accessories (I think I nice flash is a must-have for indoor family shots), and learn to use the controls. Not necessarily to use in full-manual, but to have a good grasp on what you're doing. No camera is going to magically do that for you. (You can get a pretty good reliable "7" IQ from automatic modes, but it takes work to go beyond that.)
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    No zoom? Good info.

    No zoom? Arrrrgh!!! I never knew about a pancake lense as I'm just a P&S girl, but I can see how it would reduce the bulk. However, at least the Nikon D40 which is entry level, seemed heavier to me than the G1. What if I dropped my image quality insistence down to an 8 would you then have more suggestions? Can a hot shoe flash be added to a better quality P&S? I guess I am kind of dreading the move to a dslr because while it gives me image and speed, it seems like it's just too much for me to carry. Maybe it seems to serious. Do I want to lug it to a birthday party? I realize for the men out there the entry level dslr's arent' heavy, but for me they seem kind of weighty. I'll go out and handle the 2 that you suggested to give them a try. Maybe they are smaller than I think.

    Thank you for all of your information!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    There's no such thing as "10" image quality of fast moving subjects (kids are fast moving) in a small compact lightweight package. Seriously. And it probably doesn't exist for $700 either. I'm leaving for Jamaica in a few days. I'm shooting a wedding there. Similar to everyday photographic life, I need to be prepared for just about any shooting scenario. "10" image quality is pretty much required. And dammit I can't get the bag under 45lbs.

    If all you ever do is 4x6 prints, you don't need 8mp. 3 would be plenty, but there aren't any 3mp cameras around anymore that I know of. You also don't need "10" image quality. "6" would be plenty. Tiny prints hide defects.

    Oh yeah and if you're anything like my sister and the old camera is frustrating only because the kids will hold still but not long enough to wait on the camera, all you need is a modern point and shoot. I recommended a Fuji f60 to my sister and she LOVES it. She won't be getting shots of her kids running around with it, but it doesn't lag for general snapshooting.

    If you expect "10" image quality in sports, don't even bother unless you have at least $2500 to spend and are prepared to carry around 6lbs+ of equipment.
    Last edited by cdifoto; 05-03-2009 at 07:04 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Olympus E-420 is a tiny bit bigger than the Panasonic G1, but is actually lighter. (And that's not even taking the lens into account.) Unfortunately, brands other than Nikon and Canon sometimes have trouble getting into stores so you may not easily be able to handle them in person before trying. That's too bad because the physical feel is so important -- but on the other side, you can't really get a sense of how a particular camera feels without using it for a couple of weeks anyway.

    Using a non-zoom lens isn't for everyone. Specifically, it's great if you're interested in taking photographs for the sake of photography, and less so if your primary goal is to take snapshots of what's going on -- although that's basically what I do. (And I don't mean that the converse is necessarily true -- nothing against all of the people doing great work with zoom lenses.) I'm harping on this because although I agree with cdifoto that you probably don't need Image Quality 10, these are good things to think about if you aspire to it. (Further reading: http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...nst-zooms.html)

    By the way, the Nikon D40 or D60 with the new 35mm f/1.8 lens wouldn't be quite as compact, but looks pretty appealing to me.
    Looking to buy a Pentax flash? Check out my Definitive Guide to Pentax P-TTL Flash Options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    I appreciate your post. May I ask you to clarify then when reviews discuss noise, does that NOT apply to me as I print 4x6 only? Some say noise starting at 100 ISO. That scares me off. Please explain.
    I probably don't need image quality 10. My 5 year old Nikon Coolpix 4800 gives me what I consider to be almost perfect, crisp pics which pro's would consider abominable I suppose. What I DO NEED is some speed. Maybe not SLR speed, but significantly better than what I have. Everytime I think I've found the right P&S for me I find something that isn't negotiable. I am not a fan of totally flat faced cameras where I must absolutely where a wrist strap or the camera will be dropped... My search must end soon as I resent using my camera at this point. It's find for my inlaws, but not for me who has a moving subject. I've been review Panasonic ZS3 and FS25 ( I never zoom more than half way on my 8 zoom as it is). Know anything about these?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Brisbane, CA
    Quote Originally Posted by fitgirl View Post
    May I ask you to clarify then when reviews discuss noise, does that NOT apply to me as I print 4x6 only? Some say noise starting at 100 ISO. That scares me off. Please explain.
    Usually in the DCRP reviews Jeff says what the max print size the ISO could be used for. Of course the acceptable print size depends on how bad the noise is.

    Camera: Anonymous
    I could tell you but I wouldn't want you to get all pissy if it's the wrong brand


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sydney, Australia
    Did you read DCRP Review: Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1? There are sample images as well.
    On ISO test, there is a comment "As you'd expect from a large-sensor camera, the first three crops are free and clear of noise." That refers to ISO100, 200 and 400.

    "You start to see a bit of noise reduction at ISO 800, but not enough to concern me. Details start to soften up more noticeably at ISO 1600 where, again, I've shown you the advantage of shooting RAW."

    Personally, I don't think you will notice noise on 4x6 prints even from ISO1600 straight off JPG. This is just a portion of 100% crop from a larger image.

    Keep in mind that in Jeff's ISO lab tests, it was done in well exposed condition and you tend to see more noise in real life. The test is good indication though.

    If you are not comfortable with images from a G1 don't even think of those smaller sensors cameras such as Panasonic ZS3 and FS25.
    Last edited by tim11; 05-10-2009 at 08:26 PM.
    Nikon D90, D80
    Nikkor 16-85mm AF-S DX F/3.5-5.6G ED VR, Tamron SP AF 28-75mm F/2.8 XR Di LD Aspherical (IF) macro, Nikkor 50mm F/1.4D, Nikkor 50mm F/1.8D, Nikkor AF-S VR 70-300mm F/4.5-5.6G IF-ED, Sigma 105mm F/2.8 EX DG Macro ||| 2x SB800 | SB600 ||| Manfrotto 190XB

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    Here are the prices and weights of the G1 and three Olympus cameras with two kit lenses. As you can see, all 3 Olympus DSLR's are lighter and cheaper than the Panasonic G1 with telephoto lenses, though its because the Panasonic zooms in farther. If you don't have the telephoto lens, the G1 is lighter than the the Olympus E-520 and E-620, but not the E-420. Its also cheaper than the E-620. Part of the reason is that Panasonic adds IS to every lens, which becomes slightly heavy.

    Olympus is expected to announce it's micro four thirds camera in June, and it would be available sometime after that. It will presumably have smaller lenses because Olympus uses in-body IS. Panasonic will also release a smaller camera sometime, though the lenses will not change. Pentax is a good choice, if you like pancake lenses.

    Olympus E-520+kit lens 758g
    Olympus 40-150mm lens 220g
    Total Weight: 978g
    Current Price: $560

    Olympus E-420 630g
    Olympus 40-150mm lens 220g
    Total Weight: 850g
    Current Price: $500

    Panasonic G1 640g
    Panasonic 45-200mm lens 380g
    Total Weight: 1020g
    Current Price: $630 + $300 (telephoto lens) = $930

    Olympus E-620 711g
    Olympus 40-150mm lens 220g
    Total Weight: 931g
    Current Price: $800

    Prices from B&H or Amazon

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