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Old 13th January 2012
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It's Friday so time for a question

OK, so on the one hand we have compact systems on the rise largely led by Olympus with certain Johnny come latelys like Nikon trying to muscle in. On the other hand we have DSLRs still developing albeit with a degree of hesitancy in some quarters, notable Olympus, although on others it seems to be full steam ahead.

With that in mind my question to the assembled multitude is this.

Who will swap to CSC and who will stay with the larger DSLR like format.

I'll nail my personal colours to the mast and say that in my case it's the larger format for me. The reason is simple and nothing to do with picture quality now or indeed as technology developes. It's handling. For me the CSC format is just physically too small and does not handle well. It also looks very unbalanced when you start putting large lenses on the front.

What I want is the physical size akin to the E series but with the newer technologies such as mirrorless, EVF and bright high contrast screens. All of these I see developing fast and as they improve will bring real benefits . To be Olympus specific I also want to be able to use existing 4/3 lenses but equally for Canikon why should people have to throw out an expensive collection of high quality glass.

Look forward to seeing other peoples take on this.

cheers

Hec
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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

My feet are still firmly in the DSLR camp.

For me the CSC don't do what I want for my choosen type of photography.
Mainly I shot motorsport with some steam railway.

I can't see me shooting at a rally with a 90-250 on a EP-3 can you?
My personal requirement is for a good clear viewfinder, good handling and that is what the E-5 has.

I haven't used a CSC so I can't pass much comment on there performance.

With a 50-200 or 90-250 the E-3 0r E-5 feel right in my hands.

Please Olympus continue developing the E-system DSLR's.
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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

I have a foot in all three camps at present, and I think I will excercise caution for a while.
The E-1 is large, a bit too heavy but oh so well made.

The E620 has all the bells and whistles that the E-1 doesn't have and is about the right size for me, but it feels slightly cheap compared to the E-1.

The E-PL3 also feels nice to use and is about as small as I could manage. I would prefer an integrated veiwfinder. I do have that nasty feeling the VF2 wants to fall off if you don't keep an eye on it.

I have avoided buying any m4/3 lenses. My carefully selected 4/3 lenses suit my needs, I don't want to start spending all over again.

However, if Oly comes out with a "pro" m4/3 body (about Exxx size) and some pro grade lenses with the same feel as the 14-54 then who knows, I could be tempted down that route.

One little observation: I spent a day with the E-1, then the next day with the VF-2 on the Pen. Then I finally picked up the E-620 again and oh - that viefinder: It really is too small. If only they had put a good EVF in the E620 series

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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

Well, for the last fortnight I've been shooting exclusively with a XZ-1. Great results, but too small and fiddly to use except as a go-anywhere pocket camera. Then yesterday, thanks to the gales managing to open a door in the stables no-one has managed to get into for some while, I used my E-P2. Oh joy, what a lovely camera to use. Then I picked up my GH2. Boy, that is some large camera! But ergonomically it is sound.

However, if I were back into motor sports photography (I used to sell a LOT of rally photos when I had film, back in the 70s and 80s), yes, I would have to have a regular DSLR. No question.

So for me it's a matter of not one format being ideal for all. Pick the one that suits the moment. And if anyone's giving away a E-5 setup, .....
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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

I too used to shoot motorsport 25 years ago with my OM-2n and power winder (wow!) but these days I'm just a 'hobby' photographer and shoot mainly static subjects.

As has been said, my E-1 fits me best but is large, E-PL2 gives better resolution but is still too large for a pocket, XZ-1 is the one I pick up 90% of the time. I don't find it too fiddley, even with large hands, have attached a Flipbac G2 grip to the front (I have a spare one Stephen, yours for a song!) which helps handling, and a VF-2 although most of the time I use the LCD as I do with the PL2.

If Olympus came out with a smaller m4/3 PEN body, XZ-1 size, but with a removeable outer housing/grip which improved its weight and size to take 4/3 lenses (a kind of 'Transformers' camera) that would interest me as I'd have one camera for all purposes.

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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

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Originally Posted by DJMC View Post
XZ-1 is the one I pick up 90% of the time. I don't find it too fiddley, even with large hands, have attached a Flipbac G2 grip to the front (I have a spare one Stephen, yours for a song!) which helps handling,

Thanks - I have a Franiec grip which does help, but it's still titchy!
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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

Having spent 30+ years using SLRs I can't see me using a CSC until there's one with a good built in viewfinder, weather sealing and a decent grip.

In other words, one that handles like a SLR.
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Old 13th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

Size is important and a large one suits me and what I want to photograph - most of the time. I agree with the philosophy that a small one is a useful accompaniment as go anywhere kit but the lenses I use just wouldn't suit me on the current crop of CSCs. My first foray into E-System was with an E410 but having before had a Leica Digilux 2 it seemed like a toy. My E30 was a lot more like it but since having acquired an E5 the E30 feels just that bit too marginal itself. I can see a way forward for me with translucent mirror technology but that has a long way to go before I'd be convinced to go down that route - and it would need to be Olympus, I have too much invested in the best lenses etc. that the industry has to offer.

David
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

Hec and David I am with you ! DSLR E-1 or E-5 4 me

I have an Olympus 810 Tough (I bought for the underwater stuff in the Michelles' ) I now tend to use that for the childrens day shots - however, the flash is slow if IS is on or its searching for faces - so its has a tendency to "miss" the best moment this camera is set to small jpeg file - so should I capture a cracker, its only a teeny weeny shot

I find the small compacts, too small, not enough of a handful and I KNOW THEY ARE ok for snapshots - the buttons are teeny weeny, I cannot recall quickly where every function is or underwater set to large 14Mp shots for me I dont know that the battery would last very long ...

I keep the E-5 and E-1 set to .orf . I reduce any shots of the children to 700 -220mb jpeg for web uploading BUT if I capture a CRACKER I know I have all the quality and size for a great print

In between these two are many Olympus cameras - most, left in the top drawer of the shoe cupboard in this house

I like picking some glass, off the shelves or cases in my Den/Study, then cleaning it and packing it for a project/portraits or a walk about and good photography.
Knowing that the kit in my hand is very VERY capable, giving me far more than I use, but its all there. Each time I select Lenses for an outing and clean them, I am reminded of the quality of this glass and, how much I LURVE MY OLY 4/3rds kit old lenses and new E-5

I have looked at the XZ-1 and read Stephen & Cathrine' reports and enjoyed their shots posted; I have read of Marks Pens and Lyns escapades down under and looked at their shots, and much enjoy these ... and I have wondered about buying a smaller, more compact camera - lighter and easy to fit in a pocket - and I wonder SHALL I BUY ONE ? WHY ?

I have a Lowepro rucksack or wheelie aluminium case for my kit on outings.

IF I had to use a Zimmer frame I would of course equip it with 4 x 4 off road wheels and, chunky all terrain tyres and hang my kit bag there ... with Oly E-1 and E-5 and Zuiko lenses ... ok the BIGMA may have to go (unless a grandchild will accompany me and carry it ... )

Kit for me, ? Its a bit like the primary principle of the Sale of Goods Act "Fit for purpose of use?"

PS I am considering purchase of a "QUAD BIKE" because our MPV is 5+ half m long and, a heavy old bird, thirsty too ...our motorbikes are Ducati =no luggage space ... and I often want to "pull up on the grass verges" to grab a shot (the Ducati, being small & two wheels, fits but sinks into soft verges and the MPV is too WIDE ...

so a Honda Quad with "lockable, secured to the body, fibreglass "trunks" is the way to go ... I think, but then I cannot take my dog, or mine & nicks dogs, so how much would I use it ? it wont fit in the shoe cupboard drawer ...
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

I find the CSC developments interesting, as we have another full blown sensor war starting, with each manufacturer choosing different approaches. Looking at this emerging technology, the choice for the consumer is really limited by factors depending on where the users starting point is. Most new CSC owners are likely to be consumers stepping up from P&S compacts, who get sold on the 'takes better pictures' sales talk and gadget gimmicks.

A smaller market share are DSLR owners buying into the CSC for all number of reasons (smaller bodies and DSLR features probably being important factors I would guess, and possibly not brand loyalty, I know that's the pitch for me anyhow)

I acquired my E-P1 in summer 2010. I bought it from a camera retailer by P/eX some medium format film gear I hadn't used for years, and it was meant to accompany my Nikon DSLR gear, but ended up eclipsing it completely, to the point that the DSLR sat getting dusty most of the time. I have since rediscovered DSLR gear, but switched to Olympus (E-620) & Pentax (K-5), but now also have an E-PM1 alongside the E-P1, so they have me by the short and curly's.

I actually want a smaller 'carry anywhere' camera (smaller than the E-PM1) with the functionality of my DSLR's. If it wasn't for the ridiculous pricing of the Pentax Q against the E-PM1, I would have opted for that rather than the E-PM1, despite the obvious loss of IQ due to the Q's microscopic sensor.

Image quality in the Pen range is impressive. The AF in the E-PM1 is super fast, and a match for the K-5 which I also own, and noticeably faster at locking on than the E-P1 & even the E-620 in some situations (seems to be better in low light).

I think over this year camera manufacturers will begin to shrink their entry level DSLR range in favor of the CSC market. Olympus and Pentax have already taken this route, the others will follow in time.
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

I recently purchased a XZ-1 after looking at the pens and the panasonic versions and although very tempted by the pen decided on the XZ-01 due to size as it will fit in my pocket and that i already had a camera system that i could swap lens on.
However I have been so impressed with the results from the XZ-1 that i think i would be tempted to go down the CSC route as they do offer the flexibility on all levels that i am after.
I do agree with Snaarman that if a pro m4/3 came out i would very tempted.
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

I for one will be sticking with DSLR's, I did pick up a PEN a while back while looking for a second camera, and was told if I was shooting anything moving stick to DSLR's plus the live view gives me the ^&&%$#$. I am in the process of finding/making a camera bag that does not look like a camera bag. I refuse to pay $300 for a Jilli bag.
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

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Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
I for one will be sticking with DSLR's, I did pick up a PEN a while back while looking for a second camera, and was told if I was shooting anything moving stick to DSLR's plus the live view gives me the ^&&%$#$. I am in the process of finding/making a camera bag that does not look like a camera bag. I refuse to pay $300 for a Jilli bag.
Roberta
Roberta I use my large handbags often with somehalf inch foam strips with cut out sections to "interlock the foam" around the lens in its OLY pouch (the bottom of these pouches has a nice padded base )
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Old 14th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

My ideals:
  • One high quality compact camera; Reasons - so I can get a photo where-ever, whenever, without worrying about personal security, weight/size, etc.; So Oly XZ-1 or similar.
  • One semi-pro/pro DSLR; Reasons - easier for me to handle, more space for easy access controls, better balance with HQ lenses, etc.

I still have difficulty seeing the advantages of CSC, as they just seem to be a compromise between compacts and DSLRs with resulting flaws, namely lens sticking out of the front so not discretely pocketable, smaller sensor, smaller glass, etc., so in effect a lot more technology needed to cram it all in and to keep the quality levels high. They also seem to be part of the trend to have products ranges that get changed by the marketing departments very regularly, so the life cycles will be reduced, compared to DSLRs.

At the end of the day though, our needs are all so different that, as with cars, the marketing departments are exploring every possible niche by using a relatively standard 'platform' or 'chassis' and then bolting on different features, and clothing in slightly different bodies. Do we really need though all these niches if a car is purely to get one adult and 2.5 children to school and pick up some shopping while passing the local out-of-town mega-supermarket? Well in my case, the lad walks to school and a rucsac passes for a car boot most of the time!

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Old 15th January 2012
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Re: It's Friday so time for a question

Quote:
Originally Posted by catkins View Post
My ideals:
  • One high quality compact camera; Reasons - so I can get a photo where-ever, whenever, without worrying about personal security, weight/size, etc.; So Oly XZ-1 or similar.
  • One semi-pro/pro DSLR; Reasons - easier for me to handle, more space for easy access controls, better balance with HQ lenses, etc.

I still have difficulty seeing the advantages of CSC, as they just seem to be a compromise between compacts and DSLRs with resulting flaws, namely lens sticking out of the front so not discretely pocketable, smaller sensor, smaller glass, etc., so in effect a lot more technology needed to cram it all in and to keep the quality levels high. They also seem to be part of the trend to have products ranges that get changed by the marketing departments very regularly, so the life cycles will be reduced, compared to DSLRs.

At the end of the day though, our needs are all so different that, as with cars, the marketing departments are exploring every possible niche by using a relatively standard 'platform' or 'chassis' and then bolting on different features, and clothing in slightly different bodies. Do we really need though all these niches if a car is purely to get one adult and 2.5 children to school and pick up some shopping while passing the local out-of-town mega-supermarket? Well in my case, the lad walks to school and a rucsac passes for a car boot most of the time!

Regards
Chris
I'm with you on this. A lot of this is to do with targeted marketing rather then real innovation in camera design.

However some good technology results and personally, as I've already said, I would love to see those advances put into DSLR style body and systems based on existing (4/3) glass.

Hec
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