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Thread: New camera for a newbie.....

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    Member aland's Avatar
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    New camera for a newbie.....

    Hi, I am new to the forum and I’m looking for a bit of advice.
    I currently use an Olympus XZ-1 and with it have learned to use the PASM modes a bit. Most of my photos are of family and some scenery/landscapes. When we joined the digital age in 2007 we bought a tiny Panasonic FX-30. We found that our success rate was very low, particularly in poor light. The XZ-1 really improved that situation plus gave us the opportunity to narrow the depth of field which we liked.
    We use our photos also to make photo books as well as some enlargements and I’m now interested in upgrading to a camera firstly that has a faster AF response because photographing our kids is basically sport/action photography! A significant number of what would be our best shots come out blurred. And secondly that has a larger sensor.

    I have looked at the Olympus OMD-em1 (with the Pro lens as I like the idea of having a larger aperture) and also the Sony a6000. The Sony has a larger sensor and more megapixels, but it lacks weatherproofing. I like the idea of weatherproofing but is it really necessary? We do camping/cycle touring but none of our previous cameras were weatherproofed. Also, getting a f2.8 standard zoom for the Sony seems to mean getting the adapter to fit A-mount lenses. Should I bother or should I just use a prime lens and make more effort to position myself for photos?

    The Olympus has an advantage in that I already own an FL-36 flash unit which I have used on the XZ-1, and it also has the touch screen, but I wonder if 16MP micro four thirds will seem a little too much of a compromise in a year or two’s time.
    Any thoughts, suggestions or other alternatives would be really appreciated.

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    Hi aland and welcome to the forum,

    I can assure you the EM1 sensor is fine at 16mp, the increase in sensor tech is not as exponential as it was a few years ago. I print big prints up to A1 size (limit of my printer) and I could easily go bigger. Modern sensors are all pretty good. And remember the bigger the mp the bigger the file and the more storage space and more computing power you need.
    Re weather sealing, it is good to have the confidence of not having to hide the camera if it rains or at the pool, I have had my previous cameras soaked in sea water while whale watching and they still work fine 10 years on, like insurance, it is not until you need it that you really appreciate it.
    Focus with m4/3rds lenses is as quick and accurate as anything on the market that is comparable in cost/functionality, i.e you can't compare it to a $6000 1dx. Low light is a compromise but still acceptable.
    Touch screen I seldom use but it works. My biggest concern was the battery life but as it turns out it is ok, not as good as a DSLR but I can get 4-5 hours continuous use out of a battery and with the grip attached it has 2 batteries so goes all day ok.
    The EM1 can be a very complex camera to setup ( it has an extremely customisable setup) but once understood it is quick and easy.
    Have a look at this http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...M5-User-Report from swifty, read the whole thread it is a good unbiased review.
    Regards

    David

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    Quote Originally Posted by davsv1 View Post
    Hi aland and welcome to the forum,

    I print big prints up to A1 size (limit of my printer) and I could easily go bigger.
    Wow! That's some printer you've got there! Nice to know you can do prints that size. If I go with the em1 I'll probably get the 12-40 f2.8 lens. Now all I have to do is convince the wife that it's worth the expense!!! Thanks for the feedback

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    David was on the ball with what he said and being that you already have some Olympus gear, the Olympus is a better choice, seeing as you need to convince your wife too, sticking with Olympus right now may very well be the go.

    I think it's hard to say and compare the quality of shots from the Panasonic FX-30 to a 4/3rds camera, DSLR, Bridge camera, etc (I'm guessing you used the FX-30 to photograph your children). Point & Shoots just are really designed for 'sports', at least not out of all the ones I've used and seen in my life time (and I've seen many of the day to day - who knows, high end pro ones (if any) may actually do okay at sports), just because how they work.

    What you need is shutter control so generally speaking, you'll be fine with the Olympus OMD-em1.

    Anyways, good luck convincing your wife :P

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    Hello I also own the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the pro lens and find the 16mp quite adequate for this camera, you would not need any bigger
    And like David wrote up top I find I need two batteries for a days shooting at places like Sea World I have three batteries now.
    Weather proofing is a great idea, standing on my back decking yesterday shooting the Birds with my larger DSLR and its started to rain so that was the ends of that.
    The E-M1 is a lovely camera to hold it feels right in my hands as you have the battery part to grip on to, and so much lighter for hanging around my neck all day
    I am still learning how to use it and this camera being different to my other cameras I am slow, could be an age thing, though I am getting there
    My 52/2011 Challenge

    I shoot with Canon And Olympus Cameras



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    Thanks for the replies. Bitsnpieces, I'm not so much wanting to compare quality of shots of the FX-30 with something like the EM1, rather the XZ-1. The step up in quality seemed obvious from the FX-30 to the XZ-1. There was no significant variation on the depth of field on the FX-30 so the shots seemed flat and dull by comparison. The XZ-1 though has a small sensor and the EM1 a 4/3 sensor. Out of that I should get better low light performance. But how much better? What else does a larger sensor do for me? Mary Anne, I carry 3 batteries on the XZ-1 and the battery life is similar. Sounds like you are doing well learning the controls on the camera. It's good to head positive reports.

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    Okay, I understand - was mostly just referring to the comment you made about the sports part.

    But here's a quick comparison between the XZ-1 and FX-30
    http://snapsort.com/compare/Olympus-...Lumix_DMC-FX30

    Now here's a comparison between the XZ-1 and OMD EM-1
    http://snapsort.com/compare/Olympus-...s-Olympus-XZ-1

    From those comparisons, I don't know how the FX30 compared to the XZ1, but from the second link, the EM1 has much better low light quality than the XZ1, but nothing special.

    Hope this helps a little.

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    I'd have a read of Thom's article HERE on the topic of fast focusing AND accuracy.

    He's the man(not me) for pointing out what works and what doesn't.

    I've only had limited experience with mirroless cameras, and found them wanting (a bit). Mind you my limited experience only revolved around a few minutes of handling them at camera shows under what amounts to not a lot of light. They've never impressed me enough to have bought into any of their systems .. so much so that they actually frustrated me more than anything else. So I put them down again and move on, never really taking time to work on getting them to work as I like.

    Anyhow read Thom's piece, especially as it gets towards the end of the article(which is probably the important part for you).
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    Hello I also own the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the pro lens and find the 16mp quite adequate for this camera, you would not need any bigger
    And like David wrote up top I find I need two batteries for a days shooting at places like Sea World I have three batteries now.
    Weather proofing is a great idea, standing on my back decking yesterday shooting the Birds with my larger DSLR and its started to rain so that was the ends of that.
    The E-M1 is a lovely camera to hold it feels right in my hands as you have the battery part to grip on to, and so much lighter for hanging around my neck all day
    I am still learning how to use it and this camera being different to my other cameras I am slow, could be an age thing, though I am getting there
    Mary Anne, considering that you have the camera that I'm looking at and that you've obviously been to Sea World. Just wondering if you wouldn't mind posting a couple of photos (of dolphins/seals or whatever). Because I've taken photos there pretty recently and that might give me some appreciation of what the EM1 can do...

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    I think now would be the time to get an EM-1, with the standard kit lens they are available as low as $1099 with JB hifi giving $400 off plus olympus $300 cashback. I kind of wish I had waited since that is LESS than I paid for my EM-5 a months ago.

    The only thing you need to keep in mind with M43 is the crop factor, it affects more than the focal length.
    In order to replicate a full frame photo shot at 60mm F5.6 for example, you need a 30mm F2.8 lens.

    Luckily, fast primes are available, we just need to see some more fast zooms.
    -Gary
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    EM-5 with Olympus and Sigma lenses


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    Ausphotography Regular bcys1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aland View Post
    Now all I have to do is convince the wife that it's worth the expense!!! Thanks for the feedback
    My OMD came with WIFI installed - Wife Is Favourably Inclined!
    The name is Brad ......

    OMD EM-1, OMD EM-5MkII, m.Zuiko 12-40mm Pro f2.8, m.Zuiko 40-150mm f2.8 Pro , m.Zuiko 60mm f2.8 Macro, m.Zuiko 17mm f1.8 , Lee Filters




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    Quote Originally Posted by Faceman View Post
    I think now would be the time to get an EM-1, with the standard kit lens they are available as low as $1099 with JB hifi giving $400 off plus olympus $300 cashback. I kind of wish I had waited since that is LESS than I paid for my EM-5 a months ago.

    The only thing you need to keep in mind with M43 is the crop factor, it affects more than the focal length.
    In order to replicate a full frame photo shot at 60mm F5.6 for example, you need a 30mm F2.8 lens.

    Luckily, fast primes are available, we just need to see some more fast zooms.
    I take your point on the crop factor. That said, I imagine the F2.8 at 80mm equivalent would be astomomically better than the F2.5 or so at 80mm equivalent on the XZ-1. Anyway, I'm about to find out as I've just picked up the EM-1 with the 12-40mm pro lens. Looking forward to testing it out!

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    Good to see that you have got the camera and sorry I missed your reply last month.
    If you had pressed the Thanks Button on the left under my Reply I would have popped back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mary Anne View Post
    Good to see that you have got the camera and sorry I missed your reply last month.
    If you had pressed the Thanks Button on the left under my Reply I would have popped back.
    Oops, sorry Mary Anne. Just a beginner at the forum.

    Anyway, I've got the camera now and only just had a go with it for the first time today. Did a bit of pre-reading of the manual and promptly forgot most of it but still managed to work out most of the main controls. The photos came up well but the 12-40 (24-80) is a narrower range than the XZ-1 (28 - 105) and I miss that a bit. Also was a bit surprised to find that the effect of the narrowing depth of field (F2.8 and 40mm zoom) seemed a bit less dramatic than the XZ-1. I thought the larger sensor size would have compensated.

    My efforts with the autofocus was a bit mixed too. Generally it was good (very quick). I had my kids running around and tried the tracking autofocus (in single shot mode though) indoors and got zero in focus shots. Outside I got a few. Need to read the manual again seemed to focus fast and despite highlighting the right target it seemed to miss. The XZ-1 just slows down indoors to the point where it's pretty useless. In bright light it's OK though. The best thing today though was when after dark I took a couple of indoor shots without the flash at iso 2000. Came up great, now that wouldn't have happened with the XZ-1!!!

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    Loves The Wildlife. Mary Anne's Avatar
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    I do a lot of reading beforehand also, and I forget most of it too, I write down the important things in a exercise book so I can find them quickly.
    I shoot Manual most of the time as I am more into Macro and I dont use AF.. Below are links to some of the photo's you asked to see
    Mind you these were taken on the Auto Setting at Sea World http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...um-At-Seaworld
    And at Movie World for the Stunt riders http://www.ausphotography.net.au/for...d-Stunt-Riders
    On the button on the top left of your camera press the AF half and your metering and focus will come up on the screen you will be able to change both there quickly.
    The ISO is fantastic I agree on that one. Keep on practising and will look forward to your first post on the cc forums soon.

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    Thanks. Great photos. Had a more success today with the autofocus. Moved into higher ISO's for this and even managed a few good shots with my son running towards me inside the house! I'm loving using the viewfinder.

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