Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digicam Help > What Camera Should I Buy?

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Nov 20, 2009, 6:28 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 51
Default Talk me out of a Panasonic G1 (or help me choose lenses/accessories)

Still looking ... This is going to be a bit wordy -- I post it in the hopes that others are likely following a similar path.

I'm a painter, looking to get my first "good" camera. It is correct to assume that
- I am just learning about photography
- I know a lot about color, vision, and have a developed sense of what I like
- my budget, while variable, is limited; I really need to make every dollar count (not willing to spend $400 on a camera I won't like, I have upped my initial outlay)
- I am going to use the camera as a digital drafting implement and note-taker
- I am _not_ interested in snapshots, family shots, or sports shooting
- I will shoot RAW and carefully process the images I like.

I have looked at a lot of cameras and images and read obsessively about cameras for weeks (This forum and site, Photography Blog, Imaging Resource, DP Review, Luminous Landscape, and Reid Reviews -- all highly recommended.) The steps I've climbed in my search for the right photography equipment have gone something like this (with, in brackets, the worthy cameras I have left behind at each step along the way):

• Because I insist on high quality images and I will be examining the colors of individual pixels, I have moved towards as large a sensor as I can afford [all P&S cameras, in particular: Panasonic LX3, Panasonic ZS1/3, Panasonic FZ28/35; Canon SX10/20, Canon S90, Canon G10/11; Sony WX1, etc.]

• Because my budget is limited and I expect to do several kinds of shooting with one camera (portrait/still life, landscape, street/coffeeshop, panorama), I need a versatile camera or camera system. [Sigma DP1/2/1s (I love the Sigma images I've seen), Ricoh GRIII]

• So I've mounted to the DSLRish step, where the path forks. In the middle, the wide and well-travelled path of established true DSLR's, with the entry level ones beckoning up front, and off the side, the Four-Thirds and Micro-Four-Thirds. The mFT cameras appeal to me because, all along, I have wanted a pocketable camera (cargo-pants?), and (perhaps more importantly) I want to be as unnoticed as possible when I shoot. (The Pentax K-x “Korejanai” takes a different route which I considered: it calls attention to itself in a playful way.)

I can't really decide betw. the various "starter" DSLRs and the mFT cameras. (DSLR pro: speed, extensibility, sensor size. DSLR con: size, weight, presence, sound. mFT pro: size, weight.)

The Panasonic G1 seems to be the best compromise for me right now. It can be had (with the very good 14-45 kit lens) for $640 from B&H. I worry about buying a camera that is already a year old -- two product iterations in the fast-flowing digital imaging field.

The GH1 is out of my range and comes with video, which I have no current use for.
The GF1 is more expensive, does not have an articulated LCD screen, and for my use would need the optional EVF (which obviates the savings in bulk (I mean the size of the camera)over the G1, and carries the purchase price to the unreachable $1084.)

So should I pull the trigger for the G1?
If I do, what else should I get right away?
- very fast memory card for RAW
- 2nd battery
- wrist strap
- maybe the 20mm f1.7 pancake for the "cargo-pants-walkaround" setup?
- maybe the 45-200 (=90-400 35mm) Panasonic lens?
- remote control (this is must-have for me)
- desktop tripod (also a must-have)
- white balance disk (??)

Thanks for responses -- and for the great inf. in the forums.

Last edited by Kriekira; Nov 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM.
Kriekira is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Nov 20, 2009, 7:54 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Kriekira-

I am not about to try to dissuade you on a m4/3 camera selection. It is a hot market niche, and it looks to get even hotter.

Based on rumors that are rampant in the camera industry, It might be wise to hold off on a m4/3 decision until after PMA which will take place in January 2010. Nikon, Sony, Fuji and Kodak are rumored to be introducing new m4/3 cameras.

So the odds are fairly good that we will see some real market changes in the m4/3 camera niche. Odds are that we will see a fixed lens m4/3 camera, and the addition of more camera manufacturers in the same market will really put a downward pressure on prices.

Have a great day.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20, 2009, 8:29 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 750
Default

What the heck is a m4/3 camera?
__________________
A77, 28-75mm f/2.8, 16-50mm f2.8, 18-250mm f3.5, 70-300mm f4.5G SSM
Flying Fossil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20, 2009, 8:56 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

An m4/3 camera or a Micro 4/3rds camera, is a camera that is essentially a truncated DSLR camera which does away with the movable mirror, and uses an EVF viewfinder.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20, 2009, 11:03 PM   #5
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flying Fossil View Post
What the heck is a m4/3 camera?
Micro-Four-Thirds (mFT) links:

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_Four_Thirds_System

Cameras: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microft/body.html
Lenses: http://www.four-thirds.org/en/microf...ail.html#20f17

Each of these cameras has generated a bit of buzz. Here are some reviews:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...sonic-g1.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...eras/gh1.shtml
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...eras/gf1.shtml
as well as the usual sites:
http://www.steves-digicams.com/camer...-review-3.html
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...x_dmc_g1_6.php
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/DMCG1/DMCG1A4.HTM
http://www.photographyblog.com/revie...us_ep1_review/
Kriekira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 20, 2009, 11:40 PM   #6
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Based on rumors that are rampant in the camera industry, It might be wise to hold off on a m4/3 decision until after PMA which will take place in January 2010. Nikon, Sony, Fuji and Kodak are rumored to be introducing new m4/3 cameras.

So the odds are fairly good that we will see some real market changes in the m4/3 camera niche.
Hmmm. Good to know -- thanks!

Is it possible PMA 2010 is February 21-23?
Kriekira is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2009, 9:47 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Kriekira-

You are correct, PMA is in February 2010, but all the camera announcements are made in that 4 to 6 week period prior to PMA to get folks jazzed up and really looking for the new cameras.

Sarah Joyce
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2009, 10:44 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 410
Default

I agree with Sarah. The current m4/3 jobs are high priced in my view. If the 4/3 format is key for you, Olympus E-series are better bang-for-the-buck. Though if, and when, other brands jump on the m4/3 bandwagon competition may trim prices.

For a truly unobtursive camera, to sneak shots, I would stick with ultracompacts. In spite of perceived IQ disadvantages.

For top IQ I obviously feel that a "conventional" APS-C DSLR is the top value, that's wut I bought. As an old school photog (with formal Art training) I like the extra bulk of the beast. Nothing beats a real camera.

Many of us end up with both a compact and a DSLR. There is no crime in owning different sized cameras. My view is that expecting one camera to excel at everything is unrealistic.

wude Kelly
KCook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2009, 10:49 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Michigan
Posts: 42
Default

Take a look at the Olympus E-620 or new E-600.
whitepass is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Nov 21, 2009, 11:15 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Posts: 51
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCook View Post
Many of us end up with both a compact and a DSLR. There is no crime in owning different sized cameras. My view is that expecting one camera to excel at everything is unrealistic.
Kelly -- Thanks for the thoughtful reply -- I know you are right. A friend who is adept w. cameras recommended, for my budget, buying a good compact and a used Nikon F100 and shooting film and having it digitized at processing. An interesting idea -- no? -- but I decided the 'free'dom of being able to take hundreds of experimental shots and to see the results on my computer that day was important.

For a compact I'd love something approximating a rangefinder -- but they tend to be costly.

Thanks for the caution flag -- you've given me something to think about.

Last edited by Kriekira; Nov 21, 2009 at 11:20 AM.
Kriekira is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 1:09 PM.