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Old 07-11-2012, 12:47 PM   #1
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I am in the market to upgrade my camera and need some advice. I currently have a pretty good Panasonic PnS (Lumix ZS-3 I think it is, from about 2009) and it does take some pretty good pictures, I would like to step it up a notch. At first, I was just going to look for a low end dSLR like a Canon Rebel 3TI (cant really go wrong with Canon SLRs right?) however the only thing really stopping me from pulling the trigger is just the overall size of SLRs in general. Talking to one of my pals over the weekend, he just put some money into one of these new form factor compact 4/3 deals, Olympus something or other. The chassis is not much bigger than a PnS, but it still has interchangeable lenses and lets you have more control than normal, dumb user cameras. Anyone have experience with these 4/3 cameras? The Canon SLR is about $750 on newegg and there are a few 4/3 cameras about $150 less

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Old 07-13-2012, 07:50 AM   #2
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Have you looked at the compact sized Nikon slr? My photography teacher raves about his, they're pricy... I also have a Lumix along with my Canon 40D slr.

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Old 07-16-2012, 10:03 AM   #3
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The Olympus PEN series! There's several M43 / Mirrorless cameras that are good buys. The Sony NEX series uses an APS-C sized sensor that is the same size as the sensor in Nikon crop sensor DSLRs. It's a nice small form factor, but expensive. Panasonic has a line of M43 cameras with interchangeable lenses as well.

I have experience with the Oly brand though. I had an E-P3 that I gave to my dad when I got the new OM-D. The kit lenses with the E-P3 was mediocr and uninspiring, but I'd have to say that about the majority of kit lenses for most systems. I spent aout $700-$800 on a Panasonic Lumix 20 f/1.7 prime and an Oly 45 f/1.8 prime. After getting those two lenses in the same week, the E-P3 became one of my favorite cameras. My main camera is a somewhat large Canon 5D MKII with a full camera bag that weighs over 30 lbs. It's hard to fit on the motorcycle and isn't something I want to lug around everywhere with me and I was never really interested in P&S cameras. The Oly cameras I own/have owned filled that gap and let me enjoy photography like when I first started and wasn't too lazy to carry around a DSLR and a bunch of lenses.

The nice thing about the M43 cameras are that you can get lens adapters for cheap and use old legacy glass with manual aperture rings and manual focus. You can find some good deals on e-bay and they're always fun to shoot with.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:29 AM   #4
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I was thinking about that Olympus PEN, but it doenst come with a pop up/built in flash which is annoying. Now Im leaning towards the Panasonic GF5 which, I think, just came out. Ive been reading some reviews/previews of that cam and its pictures are just about as good as the Olympus but has the pop up flash which is important.
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Old 07-16-2012, 10:42 AM   #5
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Some of them do, but a pop up flash is not usually a desirable feature of a camera. A speedlight that you can use on the hot shoe or take off an use remotely will probably be your best bet.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:13 AM   #6
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Some of them do, but a pop up flash is not usually a desirable feature of a camera. A speedlight that you can use on the hot shoe or take off an use remotely will probably be your best bet.

Like hell its not. All the compact SLRs that I was looking at have it, Rebel 3Ti, 4Ti, D5100, etc. Its one less dumb thing you have to carry around and worry about. If these new cameras want to fill the gap between dumb consumer PnS cameras and full blown SLRs, that is a feature they should have
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:41 AM   #7
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Like hell its not. All the compact SLRs that I was looking at have it, Rebel 3Ti, 4Ti, D5100, etc. Its one less dumb thing you have to carry around and worry about. If these new cameras want to fill the gap between dumb consumer PnS cameras and full blown SLRs, that is a feature they should have
Like hell it is. On axis flash is really only good for fill and if you're using it as a main light source, which the pop up auto flashes so like to do, you're usually going to get red eye from the lght bouncing off the retine into the lens. It has to do with family of angles, which is an important thing to consider when shooting anything reflective. Not to mention it's also harsh light and the shadow from being almost on axis looks amatuerish. In order to fix it, you still need one more "dumb" thing to carry around that would let you either diffuse the light or bounce the light if you were in an environment where you could do that and even then the on board flash is a dinky little thing with barely any power.

Your statement about the Olympus PEN series not having an on board flash is wrong. The PEN E-PL1, E-PL2, and E-P3 all have pop up flashes.

Now, learn about light so you can see why photos with pop up flashes and mostly on axis flashes are considered something an undesirable trait instead of trying to argue with someone that might have a little bit more experience with you. And yes, there are people that use flashes on wide angle photos, wild life, and landscape.

Here's a start:
Strobist: Lighting 101

And read Light Science and Magic by Phil Hunter.

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