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Old Aug 18, 2010, 12:49 AM   #21
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The way this is going the EP1 Shoturtle mentioned looks to be the better bet. No bridge camera is going to meet the low light criteria and portraits not zoom capability is critical.

However .... is the surprise element critical ? My thoughts on this are that if you show her the research you have done so far she will be overjoyed at your demonstration of dedication & love, but she will also then get the added excitement (which lasts weeks if not months !) of getting to choose the camera she really wants ! And maybe in Purple !!
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 1:36 AM   #22
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BTW if you still wanted a full package Kx .... in Purple .... there's a guy here who is selling one in brand new condition. Although the ad says black he has a purple one he'd prefer to sell.

http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/p...worldwide.html
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 6:47 AM   #23
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The ep1 is cuter then the epl-1 but the epl-1 is the better low light camera.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 6:53 AM   #24
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With the fz100, it will be about 400 dollars, and for the difference, you get a much better low light camera, and allot hight image quality.

The slave flash option defeats the compactness and simplicity that the FZ offers, and that increase the size of the rig.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 10:18 AM   #25
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Mercury-

The Pentax Kx remains my #1 choice and IMO it will be better balance and easier to use. With the EPL-1, you would have to stare at a tiny 2.7 inch LCD in bright sunshine at you vainly attempt, while really squinting, to frame your photo. It just not make sense at all.

And you statement about the size of the accessory Slave Flash on the FZ-35 is wrong as well because you do not shoot with a super zoom camera. Take a look at the attached photo. This is a photo of the Panasonic FZ-28, which is the same size as the FZ-35 (my FZ-35 has been sold, as I am considering the FZ-100) and you will very clearly see that the Canon HF-1 Slave Flash unit is less than 2 inches wide and not even as tall as the camera itself.

That will hardly make the FZ-35 "too big a rig" as you called it. I am just attempting to find a camera that will please Mercury's wife. She now uses a Sony H-5, which is a super zoom with an EVF viewfinder. Therefore, the transition to the Panasonic FZ-35 would be a very easy one, giving her an advanced camera that is similar to the camera she is currently using, thus minimizing the learning curve.

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Old Aug 18, 2010, 11:54 AM   #26
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Thanks everyone for the additional input.

Looking at the Olympus a little closer I see that it has no viewfinder, just the LCD. She uses the viewfinder a lot. She actually complained when she saw my coolpix didn't have a viewfinder. She doesn't use it all the time, but I know she'd miss it.

I'm also looking at the size of the Pentax. Comnpared to the Sony H5, it doesn't seem like it's a huge leap, though the lens will add some.

I think I'm going to have to get her into a store and have her look at the Pentax, the Canon, and if she doesn't want a DSLR then the Panasonic might be a good alternative.

So I've pretty much narrowed it down to the Pentax, it looks like a good entry level starter DSLR, and it seems to be a little more economical. The Canon looks like it gives a better image quality and would leave more room to grow. The panasonic would be more of a compromise on image quality, but the video might be easier to use, certainly more economical, and the learning curve would be smaller, not to mention less processing with the JPEG I'm assumming.

I'm just trying to sum it all up. I'm leaning towards the DSLR setup because she has also mentioned in the past that she'd rather take her own portraits of the kids than pay 100+ for 1 or 2 poses at a portrait studio. I'm not so sure she'll get the results she wants with the P&S.

I'm shopping early. My thought was that if I do get her in a store and she got suspicious as to my motives, her birthday is a few months away and she'd forget by then. One can hope, lol.

As for the surprise element, it is kind of important. She hates, absolutely hates knowing what she's getting for Christmas or her Birthday. In my family we were never big on surprises, but she enjoys them.

Thanks again for the help. I'll let you know how the in-store "shopping" goes.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 12:17 PM   #27
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just doing that makes the fz larger then epl-1,
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 12:21 PM   #28
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The epl-1 you have a 250 dollar optional view finder, it is really good, better then all the other evf's I seen on other non dslr camera. I use the optional evf all the time, and it works really well. The ep-2 does come with the camera. But it is about the same price as the epl-1 when you buy the view finder separately. The 800 for the ep-2 and 770 with the epl-1. But the epl-1 is the better low light camera.

Best thing is really to get her into the store to put her hands on the camera.
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 12:49 PM   #29
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Mercury-

In my opinion some of your judgments express might be incorrect. The Pentax Kx is every bit as good in terms of image quality as the Canon T-1i/T-2i. No, the Olympus EPL-1 does not have a viewfinder, that is a $250 optional accessory.

Your judgment that size-wise the transition from the Sony H-5 to the Pentax Kx is 100% correct.

The Kx has a smaller selection of lenses than Canon. However, I have been able to find all the lenses that I need at good prices. If the Olympus cameras appeal to you, take a look at the E-600 or E-620, both would provide good image quality and a nice optical viewfinder.

I own an Olympus EPL-1 and find that I will always pick up the E-600, the E-620, or the Kx before I will use the EPL-1 because of the much better viewfinder capability and the camera balance. An EPL-1 with a long zoom lens attached like the Olympus 70-300mm lens is wildly unbalanced and difficult to handle precisely.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 18, 2010, 1:11 PM   #30
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I have a epl-1 with the viewfinder, and I find myself using the epl-1 more and more over my T1i, as it is a much smaller package. Now if I did not have the viewfinder, that would be a different story.

If it really about your wife's personal preference. So her input is key.
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