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Old Feb 20, 2011, 10:40 AM   #1
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Default All advice appreciated! Verrrryyy long :-)

Hello, I am hoping to get opinions from people who have actually owned one or more of the cameras I am considering. As a background, had a Pentax DSLR and some nice lenses, then the Nikon D60 and again, some semi-pro lenses. I found that while I enjoy having the ability to use different lenses and creatively change settings, I don't have the knowledge, desire, or skill to use those cameras to their fullest. I will also often mess around with pictures to get a look I like in Photoshop, but I have no desire to shoot raw and convert or have to adjust every picture to get a decent image.

I also found that after lugging those cameras up numerous mountains and to several different countries that they are simply too big and heavy as well as 'obvious' in town. If I wasn't afraid of theft I would have left them in the car several times.

I am considering the Oly E-pl2 or the Sony Nex5 (or whatever else you all suggest). I want as light and compact as possible, a lens or lenses that cover from moderately wide to at least a 300mm equiv, and images that surpass a compact P&S and can survive an enlargement to 9X11 or larger with out degradation of quality. Most pictures will be of landscapes, castles, ruins, with the occasional shot inside a museum, hotel, etc. At home the camera never comes out except to photograph my menagerie of animals. I don't take a lot of 'low light' shots as most people think of them, but a lot of time in heavy woods or pine forests there is very little light due to the tree cover. I would love good JPEGs right out of the camera once settings are adjusted as I prefer - is either one better at that? Video ability unimportant.

I worry that the Nex5 seems to have few lenses available and feels like a bigger package, but husband likes the 'blur reduction' and 'panoramic' modes. I like the shake reduction in the body of the Oly. I am selling off all the DSLR gear so budget is fairly high though less is always better!

Advice please?
Thanks!
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 11:08 AM   #2
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The NEX doesn't have very many lenses to choose from, and the battery doesn't last very long, so you might have to bring an extra battery or two on your trips up the sides of mountains. Also, while the body is lighter, that's partialy offset by the fact that the lenses are heavier.

The stabilization for the NEX is in the lenses, not the body, which again, narrows the selection of applicable lenses, and if you don't go with one of the (currently) two stabilized lenses for the NEX, you need to get the $200 LA-EA1 A-Mount to E-Mount adapter.

EDIT: The Panorama feature is nice, however.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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I have no desire to shoot raw and convert or have to adjust every picture to get a decent image.
Something of a straw-man. If you use a decent image processing program like Aperture, Lightroom, PhaseOne, BibblePro, etc. Then it's no work to get a good image.

However, I suggest you have a look at the m4/3 cameras.

Give the EP-L2 a serious look. Looks like the format is going to be a real success.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 4:22 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. If I went with the Sony Nex 5, I guess the only reasonable travel lens available at this time (if you can even find it in stock) is the 18-200. Any thoughts on if that is a decent lens to cover those focal lengths or if it has as much distortion and softness issues as people complain about with the 18-55?

For the E-pl2, what would you suggest for best image quality for a travel kit?
Thanks!
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 5:20 PM   #5
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The EPL1/EPL2 with the kit Olympus 14-42mm lens and the Panasonic 45-200mm lenses are best for travel, in my opinion.

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Old Feb 20, 2011, 6:21 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by LKSMWR View Post
Thanks for the responses. If I went with the Sony Nex 5, I guess the only reasonable travel lens available at this time (if you can even find it in stock) is the 18-200. Any thoughts on if that is a decent lens to cover those focal lengths or if it has as much distortion and softness issues as people complain about with the 18-55?
By all accounts, it is a very good lens. However, it is also quite large, which kind of defeats the purpose of small and light. It certainly won't be pocket sized. Also, any large range lens will have its share of distortions and other shortcomings. It shouldn't be a problem with landscapes, but architecture would be a problem.

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For the E-pl2, what would you suggest for best image quality for a travel kit?
Thanks!
The kit lenses are solid lenses, and a good bang for the buck. With the absence of fast primes, or large, constant aperture zooms (at least without using an adapter) any of the micro 4/3 lenses are solid. The Panny's apparently focus faster, so that may be a consideration for you.

I'm kind of in the same boat...looking for a small higher quality cam to go with my two Nikon DSLR's and Canon S90...I was pretty much sold on the EP-L2..until I handled it. I just don't get Oly's menu system, and no matter how much I played with it, could not get to a point where I could use it efficiently. I had the same issue with an E-500 DSLR i owned a few years ago. I then handled the NEX. Despite the complaints of many of the interface, I was able to handle the camera easily and quickly make changes. Also, despite the larger lenses, it still is lighter than the Ep-L1, L2. It also has a better build quality and solid feel. And the inherent advantages of a larger sensor. The lack of lenses is what is most troubling, and although I don't think I need a tele option right now, I can think of lots of reasons why I want one. I know it may be coming, but not being able to get it now is a problem. So I'm kinda stuck...rumor has it, Sony will be releasing another NEX cam and a lens(es) in April...My mind tells me get the Oly...it's got the lenses, it's the right size and has a ton of great features.... but the handling in my opinion is just not good enough.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 7:50 PM   #7
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Currently, the makers of cameras employing micro fourthirds sensors have the edge, in terms of a large supply of lenses built specifically to that format as well as camera body choices to suit almost anyone's requirements.

As far as the smaller sized sensor employed in the micro fourthirds cameras is concerned as compared to the slightly larger sensor employed in the Sony NEX5, unless you're planning on regularly printing your photographs larger than 13" x 19" the difference in image quality is so small as to render it a non issue.

A couple of choices to consider:
Panasonic's GH2 is a very feature rich microFT camera that has a built-in electronic viewfinder, an easy to understand user interface, and is built more like a small dslr. Panasonic's image stabilization is built into the lenses not the body. It also has one of the best in-camera video capability currently available.

Meanwhile, Olympus' E-PL2 camera provides straight out of the camera jpegs at normal ISO settings that are wonderful. All of Olympus' microFT cameras have image stabilization built into the body. Meaning you can use just about any lens manufacturers lens with the aid of an adapter and still use the in-body IS.

A couple of links that might help:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...evisited.shtml


http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympusepl2/


And yes, I do own an E-PL1 camera. I use a 9-18mm microFT lens to shoot landscapes and seascapes. I also use an old Minolta Rokkor 50mm f1.4 lens for portraits (with the aid of an adapter).

By the way, when using the E-PL1, I usually use it in Auto mode. I find that I almost never have to make any adjustments to the photographs in post processing.
As for panoramas, get yourself a 9-18mm microFt lens and crop the top and bottom off the image. You'll be amazed at the results.

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Old Feb 20, 2011, 7:58 PM   #8
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ok first off the nex lenses are not that heavy.......

Nex-5 body = 10oz
16mm lens = 3oz
18-55mm = 7oz
18-200mm = 19oz

i mean sure the big lens is almost double the cameras weight.....but still we are talking oz here not lbs. the camera + 18-200mm lens is still less than 2lbs.......not too heavy at all, PLUS there is serious talk about the 7 more lenses coming out this year AND all the other companies that now have the e-lens specs..........

im just saying............i had the same dilemma a month ago and got the Nex-5 cause it felt best to me.......you need to buy what feels like it will be and work like a part of you.......
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 8:56 PM   #9
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PLUS there is serious talk about the 7 more lenses coming out this year ...
Only four are coming this year: the Zeiss 24mm, and the Sony 30mm, 50mm, and 55-200. The other three, including the 'G', are coming in 2012. Also, there's no word on which are stabilized and which aren't.
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 9:52 PM   #10
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This has been very helpful! Just so I'm clear here, from what I have read in various reviews and forums and from what I am getting from your responses... any Oly or Panasonic lens (4/3 that is) will fit on either brand's version of the 4/3 camera with no adapter and provide full functionality? So they are completely interchangeable?

Nex 5 lenses are the typical DSLR size due to the larger sensor requiring coverage, correct? So smaller body, but normal lenses?
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