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Old Jul 2, 2010, 4:59 PM   #1
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Hi everybody!

I've been lurking around trying to find what fits my situation. I didn't see exactly what I was looking for, so I thought I'd register and ask.

I currently have a Sony DSC-H5 as our primary camera. It's been nice for trips, but we'd like to upgrade.
DSC-H5: http://www.amazon.com/Sony-Cybershot...cm_cr-mr-title

We have three activities we routinely use our cameras for:
1) cataloging travel - mostly daytime, but some night
2) taking artistic shots of statues, architecture, etc (composition is important in her pieces, but she doesn't get too indepth into camera settings during her shots)
3) taking high quality photos of sculpted art for publication, submission, and advertisement

We'd like something that can be used as a point-and-shoot, when we are traveling, but that we can play around with to get the best shots possible when we encounter something really cool.

Wants (prioritized):
- stabilization.
- a flash
- Point-and-shoot capable
- portability/dust protection.
- easy on batteries (lots of pics w/ flash per battery)
- inexpensive rechargeable batteries.
- some night capability, but that's not a huge seller.
- ability to change lenses.

Don't care about:
- Video

Budget:
- $600 to $700 range, but can go a little higher, if it's beneficial

What's the best bang for the buck? In my reading here and elsewhere, I keep being pointed to the Canon EOS Rebel T1i.
With this camera, will I be disappointed with its ability to do what I want?

Thanks for your help!
Dave
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Old Jul 2, 2010, 6:37 PM   #2
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Dave-

Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased that you dropped by.

One of the hottest sectors of the camera market today are the Micro4/3 cameras. The Olympus EPL-1 priced at around $525.00 is a very attractive package. It provides a camera body about the size of the old Canon G-2 camera, that can use all of the Olympus 4/3 lenses. It a very versatile package.

Camera action is not quite as fast as a traditional DSLR, but the image quality is great, and compares favorably with DSLR cameras. It seems to be a tailor made camera for your priorities. Here is a link to a full resolution photo taken with the Olympus EPL-1 camera.

http://anchorse.smugmug.com/Other/Ol...1_yDBMs-XL.jpg

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 2, 2010 at 9:05 PM.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 2:43 AM   #3
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I have an E-PL1, which I am very happy with, but you might not get the lens coverage you need for traveling for $700. You will likely want a viewfinder, which will put you well over already without the extra glass.

Have a look at the Canon SX20 IS. It's on Steve's "best" list in the super zooms. I have the SX 10, and have had 2 others in this lineage. I have traveled to both Mexico and Ecuador with them and been very happy. The Canon Digic 4 processor creates excellent photos. Also look at the SX1 IS if you can find one (I saw one in Best Buy in Canada). They have CMOS technology, with much faster burst speed and raw capabilities. These cameras all have 20x optical zoom, articulating flip screens, and good low light capability. So if you want to be an inconspicuous tourist, it's a pretty good tool!

The SX cams run on 4 AA's, which literally last for 400 or more shots. I use the rechargeable ones, and if you run out when traveling, you can get alkalines anywhere.

Here's a couple shots you can look at from my SX 10. You should be able to access all sizes (above photo) to view them a bit larger. I will leave it that way for a few days.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenpix/4757088208/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenpix/4756451335/

HTH, happy travels!
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 6:43 AM   #4
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The epl-1 will give you more options, higher image quality, and way more control. The epl-1 is my travel camera of choice.

To get the coverage range on the epl-1 you may need to add a tele lens like the panasonic 45-200mm, for 280 dollars.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 11:16 AM   #5
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Dave-

Please keep in mind that the Canon SX-20 is a huge camera physically when compared to the Olympus EPL-1. Also I use all my Olympus 4/3 lenses and flash units right on the EPL-1 and those lenses are inexpensive. The 40-150mm which = 80 to 300mm on the EPL-1 can be had in multiple spots for around $115.00 and it is a very good lens.

Sarah Joyce

Last edited by mtclimber; Jul 3, 2010 at 6:18 PM.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 11:43 AM   #6
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Awesome info! Thanks! I had had my heart set on a dSLR, and had never thought of these options. I have a lot to research.
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Old Jul 3, 2010, 3:54 PM   #7
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with the 4/3 lenses on a m4/3 you will need to get the panasonic adapter it is 50 dollars less then the oly version. But they work exactly the same. 120 dollars. With it It will give you access to all 4/3 dslr's made by panasonic, olympus and sigma.
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 3:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Dave-

Please keep in mind that the Canon SX-20 is a huge camera physically when compared to the Olympus EPL-1. Also I use all my Olympus 4/3 lenses and flash units right on the EPL-1 and those lenses are inexpensive. The 40-150mm which = 80 to 300mm on the EPL-1 can be had in multiple spots for around $115.00 and it is a very good lens.

Sarah Joyce
Sarah,

The SX20 (and the SX10 which has the same dimensions) has similar outer dimensions as the EPL-1. I have them on the desk in front of me - the EPL-1 with the kit 14-42 lens, and the Canon with the built-in 20x. The Canon is slightly deeper than the EPL-1, but the EPL-1 will likely be higher with the VF on. The specs listed on this site for the EPL-1 dimensions are "without protusions", meaning the lens, VF, etc. Having said that, the body portion of the Canon is definitely thicker than the EPL-1, and the grip is a beefier SLR style one. The Canon is also definitely heavier, owing in part to the 4 AA batteries.

So, to clarify this for Dave, there is negligible space saving when stowing the EPL-1 as is in your pack/kit/luggage compared to the Canon SX20. In fact, you would need much more volume for the Olympus gear to get the same lens coverage and VF as the Canon. The standard EPL-1 is a 3X lens and the Canon is a 20X. You would actually need a longer lens than the additional 40 -150 you mention, and that lens also needs an MMF-2 adaptor, does it not? Tell me if it's available in M4/3, because I'd like to buy one!
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 9:59 AM   #9
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Now photophreak-

Are you also going to attempt to tell me as well that the SX-20 and the EPL-1 also have the same image quality as well? This is the 4th of July, nor April Fool's Day! Have a great Holiday weekend!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 4, 2010, 1:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtclimber View Post
Now photophreak-

Are you also going to attempt to tell me as well that the SX-20 and the EPL-1 also have the same image quality as well? This is the 4th of July, nor April Fool's Day! Have a great Holiday weekend!

Sarah Joyce
No, I don't think I'll go there...haha. I'm sure the Oly would edge out the Canon for dynamic range, background blur, and low light. But for versatility, the Canon really shines. I ran out to an outdoor Jazz festival last night, and there was no hesitation which camera I needed for that. Interestingly, there was a fellow 20' behind me with an EPL-1 around his neck. I didn't see him raise the camera once. (no VF) With the evening sun at our backs, likely hard for him to see his screen. The 3X zoom wouldn't have given him any waist-ups or closeups of the talent, and with bodies in front of him, well.. The Canon has a very handy flip screen that I use all the time to shoot over crowds, etc.

Here are a couple:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenpix/4760565831/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenpix/4761202892/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/warrenpix/4761228398/

You will see the grain sneaking into the third one, shot at ISO 800 after sunset. All are straight out of the cam.

Have a good holiday yourself! We had ours on the first...
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