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Old Jul 29, 2012, 6:29 AM   #1
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Default Advice for a procrastinator

Hi I posted before and after reading the great advice given, I have changed my camera needs slightly and thought it would be easier to post new. It is hard to find the right camera because budget is only $450.

What I need is a camera that can take shots of interior walls and or a good portion of rooms. I do interior design and artistic/decorative finishes on walls and often difficult to photograph.

For prints, a few times a year I take photos of a group of art students that are then blown up to a 16x20 size. Usually 15 in group photo and taken outside. Other uses are general nature photos, family pics.

Wants include compact, something that takes good auto pics at least until I can get proper instruction on how to use all the manual settings.

Last edited by katers; Aug 13, 2012 at 5:44 PM. Reason: change needs
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 11:10 AM   #2
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so you need a wide lens for a good portion of rooms but alas, auto is not likely to do what you want. some cameras do better than others, but when you're talking about indoors, lightbulbs and challenging finishes, you're talking about a fair percentage of misses as far as white balance or ISO that goes too high and causes noisy pics.

while the canon s95 or s100 might be a good choice because of the fast lens, much faster than usually found on digicams, the lens isn't wide enough to get a "good portion of rooms", at least not as i imagine a good portion to be. the panasonic lx7 has an even faster lens, but the lens is the same 24mm width.

not quite as compact, but the panasonic gf3 is a removable lens camera that is sometimes bundled with a fast 14mm f/2.5 lens. keep in mind that once the lens is on, you don't have to take it off, but this lens won't zoom http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-...=panasonic+gf3

the same camera also can be bought with a 14-42mm lens, but while this lens is wide and won't zoom, it's not very fast (which means it doesn't let in that much light) http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-...p_ob_e_title_0
you could probably use a tripod with this setup or the one above - well, or most indoor situations - so that the camera wouldn't have too much hand shake with slower shutter speeds.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 3:04 PM   #3
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If compact is the name of the game- the Panasonic LX-5 might be worth a look.
The 24mm lens is pretty much as wide as you can get in a compact and the fast f/2.0 lens will help in lower light..... and with the LX-7 due out,should fall well within budget...

Samsung's new EX-2 looks interesting also- with a very bright 24mm f/1.4 lens....
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/07...ngreleasesex2f

Last edited by SIMON40; Jul 29, 2012 at 5:02 PM.
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Old Jul 29, 2012, 9:09 PM   #4
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So I think it is between the Canon s100, the Panasonic and someone told me that the Olympus EPL-1 is a good camera and can be found fairly cheap.
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 3:42 AM   #5
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The EPL-1 is a decent camera,with good IQ- but will not be as bijou as the other two with the standard 14-42 kit lens attached- and will not offer as wide an angle (equivalent 28mm v Canon and Panny's 24mm)- never mind the slower aperture.
If you wanted a fast/wide angle AF lens for the Olympus you're looking at their 12mm f/2 lens (equivalent 24mm wide angle), which costs a pretty penny...
Slightly "less fast" but wider- is the Zuiko 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 lens (equivalent 22-44mm wide angle)- again, not cheap..!
Another REALLY wide angle lens would be Olympus's 9-18mm f/4-5.6- giving a really wide equivalent of 18-36mm- but with it's slow aperture would be less ideal in poor light- unless you plan on using a tripod with longer shutter speeds and your subjects stay still...! And again,alas.... not cheap...!

Last edited by SIMON40; Jul 30, 2012 at 3:55 AM.
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 10:03 AM   #6
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just curious - why would you consider the epl1 but not the gf3 with the pancake lens?

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So I think it is between the Canon s100, the Panasonic and someone told me that the Olympus EPL-1 is a good camera and can be found fairly cheap.
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Old Jul 30, 2012, 7:15 PM   #7
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Me? The Panasonic is on my list, but the Olympus is so much cheaper. Just trying to narrow this down and pick the right camera. I admit to getting confused with all the options.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 8:07 AM   #8
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First, eight 100 watt lightbulbs is pretty good in a medium size space with no obstructions. (I'm presuming that you don't have any minivans parked in the garage while you're teaching.)

Second, I think what you need is something that goes wide, but also has little field curvature (sharp center and sharp corners) and little optical distortion (Straight lines don't curve in the corners.) Limited field curvature is tough to get in lenses that project large image circles (large sensors) yet have a small Flange Focal Distance (the distance from the lens mount to the image sensor.) Micro Four Thirds cameras all correct distortion by playing with the pixels, but in doing so they reduce the corner sharpness (even further), then try to increase the corner sharpness by again playing with the pixels to increase the Acutance. For landscapes and family snapshots, it doesn't matter much, but you'll be photographing artwork, so I suggest you be very careful about the system you select, especially since your budget is constrained.

I suggest you go to a retail outlet with plenty of cameras for you to actually take photos with. Take some photos of some appropriately sized artwork. If you have to go to WallyWorld to find cameras, grab a large wall-hanging form another department, and put your own SD card in each camera as you take photos of the wall-hanging with each of the cameras you're considering. Then, go home and go over each of the photos with a fine tooth comb.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 9:07 AM   #9
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the epl1 is a couple generations older, and can't compare with the g3 when it comes to low light. since the gf3 is in your budget, i wouldn't kick it out of bed.

do you have a local camera store you can try some of these cameras out at? if you don't have a fry's or bhphoto video nearby, most best buys have the gf3 as well as several others you might want to check out.

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Me? The Panasonic is on my list, but the Olympus is so much cheaper. Just trying to narrow this down and pick the right camera. I admit to getting confused with all the options.
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Old Jul 31, 2012, 2:06 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Unfortunately the only thing I have in town is a Best Buy and Target. Neither had any of the cameras suggested, so now I am surfing the internet trying to find a good deal. I need a camera in two days. Wish me luck!

Last edited by katers; Aug 15, 2012 at 7:38 AM. Reason: update
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