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03-31-2010, 09:44 PM   #1
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Downsizing, maybe...

EDITED: after looking at the original post, there's no real question in there, just the musings of somebody who can't quite figure out how to get a combination of the two: DSLR IQ plus a compact's superzoom reach and one-lens compact portability. I suspect I'll just stay at the crossroads, trying to decide whether to get a big zoom like the Tamron 18-250 to use with the K20, or go for the compact superzoom. I'll make the decision, but I'd still like input from anybody who's jumped one way or the other, and how it worked out for them,
Brian



Last edited by FHPhotographer; 04-01-2010 at 05:19 PM. Reason: restated question
03-31-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
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Size has been an issue with me. I've found that the K-7 plus a small excellent prime like the FA 43mm is small enough to keep in my backpack at all times. If only the K-7 were as small as the K-x.

Then there's large sensor compacts like the Leica X1 that has me drooling, but at my stage in life it's not worth buying yet. I'm not a fan of micro 4/3rds, as I already feel like I'm letting go of some DOF range (on the narrow side of course) when using APS-C.
03-31-2010, 11:32 PM   #3
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Maybe you should look into the Panasonic GF1, or even that new Olympus EP-L1. They are hardly significantly larger than the LX3, but have image quality like a digital SLR.

To me personally, "enthusiast" point and shoots seem like complete wastes of time and money. They cost as much as a DSLR, are barely smaller than a Micro 4/3 camera, and still have garbage image quality compared to anything with a larger sensor. I think the "enthusiast compact" is a dying market, and good riddance.



G10 vs. Olympus EP-1. The Panasonic GF-1 is a little bit smaller still, and note that the G10 has its lens retracted. Blech.

Last edited by Erik; 03-31-2010 at 11:40 PM.
04-01-2010, 05:06 PM   #4
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krypticid, erik, thanks for the responses. Looking at my post, I realize I'm probably making the question(s) too complex, so I've simplified the OP above. For now I'm just going to focus on getting input on that DSLR/compact question
Brian


Last edited by FHPhotographer; 04-01-2010 at 05:21 PM.
04-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #5
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Have you considered the Panasonic GH1 with the kit lens? The kit lens is a 10x 14-140mm. With the 2x crop factor of M43, that's a very usable 28-280mm.
04-01-2010, 06:15 PM   #6
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Haven't had the chance to check out the Panasonic, but the Olympus E-P1 is a piece of well engineered product. The body feels like a solid brick and AF was faster than expected. Now where are the quality M4/3 lenses?
04-02-2010, 11:34 PM   #7
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wlachan, the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 looks very good, but it doesn't have IS. But with a lens that fast under normal daylight etc there shouldn't be all that much need for IS,
Brian
04-03-2010, 05:37 AM   #8
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I briefly owned a Pentax DA 18-250/3.5-6.3, but ultimately returned to a 2-lens set. According to the reviews, the 18-250 is one of the better superzoom lenses out there, but at the long end, I found my 55-300/4-5.8 to perform better. I have recently ordered a 16-45/4 to replace my kit lens (not too heavy and it is supposed to be optically superior). O, and I also own a Tamron 28-75/2.8 for low-light situations, but I expect to carry around the 16-45 and 55-300 most of the time.

One of the advantages of a DSLR is the ability to swap lenses. If you don't imagine yourself doing that, even in the long run, it's a different ballgame. I myself have found swapping lenses to be less of a hassle than I imagined it would be. But I think it also depends a lot on the method of carrying your gear. Last year I traveled to Vietnam and used a waist pack, and had no significant problems.

On a DSLR + superzoom versus compact superzoom matter, I think of it this way: the DSLR offers a bigger sensor, thus generally allowing for higher ISOs. But you'll need them because the superzoom lenses are often relatively slow, esp at the tele-end. So that probably evens out. What doesn't even out is the control over DOF that a DSLR offers, even with a superzoom lens.

04-03-2010, 06:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Haven't had the chance to check out the Panasonic, but the Olympus E-P1 is a piece of well engineered product. The body feels like a solid brick and AF was faster than expected. Now where are the quality M4/3 lenses?
I dont think there will be any fast, constant aperture lenses in the near future. That said, the lens lineup for oly and panny are getting some updates this year. Panny is releasing a 100-300mm f4-5.6 w/ois, along with an 8mm fisheye and 14mm f2.8 pancake, to go along with the current 7-14mm f4, 14-45, 45-200mm and 20mm.

Oly is releasing a 9-18mm f4-5.6 which has a compact, fold down design like the 14-42mm kit lens they currently have, and also a 14-150mm which I think has a fold down design as well. I dont know if oly is releasing any new primes this year, but considering both brand lenses work on each other's cameras I would say there is a slowly growing, decent lens selection for m4/3.

Edit: the oly 14-150mm is definitely intriguing as a superzoom alternative. 65% smaller and 70% lighter than their closest standard 4/3 equivalent, the zuiko 18-180mm (which would put it at about 130 grams - maybe they mean only 70% of the weight, but I wrote it how it is in the press release, and there isnt a concrete stat sheet yet - the panny 14-140mm weighs 430g in contrast). The route oly is taking for m4/3 is distinctly different from panasonic, which makes buying even the matching focal length lenses a difficult decision (size vs. minimally better IQ)

Last edited by pxpaulx; 04-03-2010 at 06:27 AM.
04-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #10
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krypticid after handling the GF-1 and getting a real sense of the limitations of using the LCD to "see" the image, and ergonomic issues for a big-handed guy, perhaps I could "downsize" from to a K-x/DA-40 and it would only be a few ounces more than the GF-1, plus APS-C and IS. That may be the way to go,
Brian
04-08-2010, 10:47 AM   #11
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Yeah, I'm in love with optical viewfinders myself. I think that might be why rangefinders are intriguing to me. Though I haven't held the M9, I think it might still be too large to put in a pocket, but it's probably easily kept in a backpack with a few lenses.

I imagine the K-x has much better IQ than the micro 4/3 cameras, so that's probably a good bet for you.
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