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Moving up to DSLR--what is the best first lens? - Page 2

post #31 of 58

Primoz is correct, no lens will make your photos good, but a good lens will make your good photos better.  I'd also caution against buying consumer DSLRs now and in the future- they look to be supplanted by the mirrorless camera with electronic viewfinders, which makes for a much smaller and lighter package.  The future of consumer hobby cameras are models like Olympus Ep-3, Fuji X1-Pro, Sony NEX-7, or Olympus OM-D.  If you are a pro-shooter, you should go DSLR all the way, but then you should not be asking your questions here...

post #32 of 58

 

Quote:
I'd also caution against buying consumer DSLRs now and in the future- they look to be supplanted by the mirrorless camera with electronic viewfinders, which makes for a much smaller and lighter package.

 

It may be going in this direction, but IMO the current crop of "mirrorless SLRs" doesn't look all that attractive.  The cream of the crop is the new Sony A77, but that new 24MP Sony sensor has lousy low light performance (too much noise).  Cramming 24 million pixels into an APS-C sensor is a technical achievement for sure, but optically it doesn't seem to be the best thing to do.  The AF is also apparently still a bit wonky, and some people have reported issues with the EVF, particularly in low light (though these might get fixed in firmware updates.)  If the AF works and the lighting's good, it's certainly a very interesting package.  Shooting 12FPS at 24MP (for short bursts) is very impressive, and the shutter lag is incredibly short.

 

But it's not THAT much lighter/smaller than a compact DSLR.  The A77 with a 35mm F/1.8 lens weighs 902g and is 133mm long, the Canon setup (D60 + 35mm F/2.0) is 960g and 122mm, and Nikon (D7000 + 35mm F/1.8) is 990g and 130mm.  (Those lengths are adding the specified body and lens length together -- the A77 is probably a bit shorter in practice, since a little more of the lens sits inside the camera body when it's mounted.)  With a bigger/heavier lens the difference is even less pronounced.

 

The Micro Four Thirds cameras like the Olympus PEN series are really, really small and light given the lenses you can mount.  But they're not in the same league.  It's a MUCH smaller sensor, and the contrast-detection AF makes it a poor choice for any kind of action photography.  The Sony NEX-5/7 (which aren't quite as small) have the same sensors as the A55/A77, but no fast AF (unless you use their crazy adapter and the Alpha series lenses -- but then, seriously, why not buy the A55/A77?)  Your lens choices are also substantially more limited (though there are adapters available for many lenses, at least if you're willing to focus manually).  Depending on what you want to shoot, this may not be a problem.

 

Now... if someone wants to make a relatively light/compact full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens system with flawless AF for cheap , I'm all ears.  :-)  That may be the death knell (or at least the beginning of the end) for traditional mirror/prism SLRs, but IMO it's going to be a while until that happens.

post #33 of 58

Here's a nice site with common sense reviews.  No anti-kit lens snobbery, if it works he says so and backs it up.

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

 

  Example:

 

The 17-55mm IS is Canon's most expensive midrange zoom designed exclusively for the 1.6x sensor cameras. Forget it for 35mm cameras, full-frame and 1.3x digital cameras.

 

Good News:

1.) Instant autofocus.

2.) Less distortion than other midrange digital zooms.

3.) f/2.8 for use in lower light than other midrange digital zooms.

4.) Image Stabilization for use without a tripod.

 

Bad News:

1.) Expensive.

2.) Same nominal zoom range and performance as the $100 18-55mm. Sorry, but looking at the images from my 8MP and 10MP bodies I don't see any more sharpness, and I got more consistent autofocus accuracy with the 18-55mm.

3.) Doesn't focus as close as the $100 18-55mm.

3.) Big lens; feels heavy on Digital Rebels.

 

 

 

post #34 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthias99 View Post

 

Now... if someone wants to make a relatively light/compact full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens system with flawless AF for cheap , I'm all ears.  :-)  That may be the death knell (or at least the beginning of the end) for traditional mirror/prism SLRs, but IMO it's going to be a while until that happens.


EVF needs to be very fast, too. Electronic viewfinders have some advantages (gain up in the dark, full display of shooting information, zoom for manual focus, pseudo-real display of what the image file will look like, etc.), but their habit in burst modes of showing the image just taken instead of what's happening in real time can make it very difficult to follow sports (or bird or wildlife) action. At 12 fps, the lag isn't much, but it's still problematic. I think this problem will be overcome (if it hasn't already - I've never used an A65 or A77), but it's a significant issue with many of today's cameras if you expect to take good action ski photos. Even at 6 fps, the mirror on my DSLR is down most of the time, allowing me to follow the action.
 

 

post #35 of 58

Have you looked at mirrorless lately?  The AF speed is on par  with consumer level SLRs (I am NOT talking about 1DMkII or D4 level AF, those are in a  different league as they should be at prices of, what, over $3K?).  The EVF is extremely usable and the size and weight advantage is undeniable.  This is the new mirror less Olympus OM-D next to a Canon Rebel Ti, which is as small a DSLR as you can get.  OM-D is fully weather -sealed, has a better control system (two proper dials), most likely faster AF, much better build, much more sophisticated in-body image stabilization system (which works with every lens), etc.   OM-D is built on a smaller m43 sensor, but it is not much smaller than APS-C (this is NOT a point-and shoot sensor), and in 95% of real world shooting it makes absolutely no difference. 

comparedtoRebel.jpg

 

post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post

Here's a nice site with common sense reviews.  No anti-kit lens snobbery, if it works he says so and backs it up.

 

http://www.kenrockwell.com/

 

  Example:

 

The 17-55mm IS is Canon's most expensive midrange zoom designed exclusively for the 1.6x sensor cameras. Forget it for 35mm cameras, full-frame and 1.3x digital cameras.

 

Good News:

1.) Instant autofocus.

2.) Less distortion than other midrange digital zooms.

3.) f/2.8 for use in lower light than other midrange digital zooms.

4.) Image Stabilization for use without a tripod.

 

Bad News:

1.) Expensive.

2.) Same nominal zoom range and performance as the $100 18-55mm. Sorry, but looking at the images from my 8MP and 10MP bodies I don't see any more sharpness, and I got more consistent autofocus accuracy with the 18-55mm.

3.) Doesn't focus as close as the $100 18-55mm.

3.) Big lens; feels heavy on Digital Rebels.

 

 

 



Ken Rockwell is... well...

 

I highly recommend www.fredmiranda.com if you're interested in learning more about cameras and specific gear. The forum structure would probably appeal to the folks here.

 

In response to Primoz (who I agree with) and some of the other posters touching on the topic of sharpness-- I think professional photographers know this, but many amateurs think that the pricey gear is about sharpness, when it is not. Most lenses (crap teles aside) can produce images plenty sharp to run in major publications.

 

The expensive lenses tend to offer usability advantages: wider apertures (to extend shooting into lower light or faster shutter speeds... usually not to "blur" the background), faster AF, sturdier build, more consistency throughout the zoom range, etc. And for these things, which may sound minor, we're willing to pay a lot since making one's job easier goes a long way. 

 

 

post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

Quant, mostly on point. 

 

But the reason for a wide aperture on telephotos (or for sports) has absolutely zero to do with blurring the background for the "money" shot. 

 

The reason for a wide aperture in those cases is to let in more light in order to use a higher shutter speed. At the long tele end-- particularly with fast moving subjects, sometimes under artificial light-- the main limiting factor to a sharp image (AKA stopping the subject) is shutter speed. You can adjust ISO and/or aperture to achieve this, but as we know, more ISO means more noise. 

 

There's a notion that small DOF and highly blurred backgrounds is a "professional" thing that is strived for by pros. I'd argue the opposite, in fact. Tiny slices of DOF are the easiest thing to produce for any pro with basic gear; broad/deep DOF, on the other hand (particularly with ultra-tele lenses), is what's hard to achieve (difficult to fight physics) with a large sensor under light-limited conditions. 

 

 


Sorry, but if you look at most newspaper and magazine photography it is plain that the subject is in focus and the background is blurred.  The reason the editors want this is obvious: the reader is drawn to the subject.  Some great photos want to show the crowd in focus, but those shots tell a story (like when a player takes his last bow to the crowd).  Letting more light in for a fast telephoto was far more important in the old days when we couldn't change the ISO/ASA without replacing the film in the camera.  With the new sensors, you can shoot most indoor and outdoor sports with a kit telephoto lens that is wide open at f/4.5 to f/5.6.  Like primoz says, if you are not a professional that is probably good enough. 

 

Below is a photo uploaded at low res. that  I took last fall during a Jr. Pee Wee football game (9 and 10 year-olds).  It is timely becasue I'm wiping all this old  stuff off the computer tonight (If my kid isn't in the photo I don't want it hogging memory).  I was testing a new lens that day shooting between f/4 and f/8.  At f/4 and f/4.5 the lens was reasonably sharp, the background was mostly out of focus and the bokeh was quite pleasing (it is a good lens).  Note how much more interesting this photo is (shot at f/4.5, 1/750 sec.) because the background is blurred.  Who the heck wants to see some fat coach picking his nose alongside a trash filled fence in the background? 

 

Ski racing might be different since the background is often mostly solid white or blue, but I'll defer to primoz since he is the expert.  But for most sports, a blurred background with nice bokeh is a good thing.

 

imgp4675 (2).jpg
 

 


Edited by quant2325 - 2/11/12 at 2:35am
post #38 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

It is timely becasue I'm wiping all this old  stuff off the computer tonight (If my kid isn't in the photo I don't want it hogging memory).



On the subject of HD space, did you see the specs of the new Nikon D800? 36MP sensor? That should eat up some HD space.

post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post


Sorry, but if you look at most newspaper and magazine photography it is plain that the subject is in focus and the background is blurred.  The reason the editors want this is obvious: the reader is drawn to the subject.  Some great photos want to show the crowd in focus, but those shots tell a story (like when a player takes his last bow to the crowd).  Letting more light in for a fast telephoto was far more important in the old days when we couldn't change the ISO/ASA without replacing the film in the camera.  With the new sensors, you can shoot most indoor and outdoor sports with a kit telephoto lens that is wide open at f/4.5 to f/5.6.  Like primoz says, if you are not a professional that is probably good enough. 

 

Below is a photo uploaded at low res. that  I took last fall during a Jr. Pee Wee football game (9 and 10 year-olds).  It is timely becasue I'm wiping all this old  stuff off the computer tonight (If my kid isn't in the photo I don't want it hogging memory).  I was testing a new lens that day shooting between f/4 and f/8.  At f/4 and f/4.5 the lens was reasonably sharp, the background was mostly out of focus and the bokeh was quite pleasing (it is a good lens).  Note how much more interesting this photo is (shot at f/4.5, 1/750 sec.) because the background is blurred.  Who the heck wants to see some fat coach picking his nose alongside a trash filled fence in the background? 

 

Ski racing might be different since the background is often mostly solid white or blue, but I'll defer to primoz since he is the expert.  But for most sports, a blurred background with nice bokeh is a good thing.

 

imgp4675 (2).jpg
 

 



Quant: I'm pretty familiar with what the major newspapers and magazines run as far as photography goes... because I contribute some of it. And I teach an undergraduate course that covers the subject. 

 

Working with DOF is one of the basic skills in photography. And of course the subject is what's in sharp focus (most of the time), and the background isn't the priority. While controlling dof to keep the subject isolated from the context can be the goal-- it's often inescapable when you're shooting subjects with big teles where the subject fills the frame. If you're trying to stop motion with a long tele it means opening up the aperture and bumping the ISO... and that's going to cause shallow dof (notably when the background is a long distance behind the subject). That is unavoidable.

 

If you look at a lot of 35mm digital images, shot on ultra-teles (400 to 800mm) you'll find that even when stopped down to f/8 or more, there's often a blurry background. For instance, shooting a 1Ds Mk III, with a 400mm lens set to f/8, focused on a subject 100 feet away-- the dof is only 9 feet! Same situation at f/2.8 (light limited), and dof is 3 feet, or barely enough to get the primary subjects in focus.  You can play with the calculator here: http://www.dofmaster.com/dofjs.html

 

 

 

 

post #40 of 58

As an aside-- but relevant, since this is a photo thread-- folks interested in sports photography should definitely check out the Boston Globe's curated, weekly sports photo round-up. It's great:

 

Big Shots: http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/bigshots/

 

They also do a general photo thing too: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

 

There's enough inspiration in there for everyone. 

post #41 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

 

I highly recommend www.fredmiranda.com if you're interested in learning more about cameras and specific gear. The forum structure would probably appeal to the folks here.

 

 



.......a bunch of people arguing, with completely opposite views about the same product.  Interesting, but not real helpful.  Might appeal to some people here though.

post #42 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post



.......a bunch of people arguing, with completely opposite views about the same product.  Interesting, but not real helpful.  Might appeal to some people here though.



I wouldn't characterize it quite like that. But yeah, people (I'm guilty) have opinions about things, and arguing/debating is a useful method for sussing out the truth-- or one's own opinion on a subject. 

 

I mean, on this forum (and I'm a noob here) there are disagreements about the qualities of certain skis, boots, and other gear. And you get opposite views ("X is perfect for groomers" two posts from "X is definitely not good for groomers", or "you always need to hot wax" next to "actually, hot waxing doesn't matter that much")-- but I find that useful. As I get to know some of the people who post here, their preferences, their styles, etc, I end up being able to read the threads and pick up a lot of good information. Works the same way on Fred Miranda. 

post #43 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

I'd vote on the two-lens combo, something wide (17 to X-ish) and something tele (70 to X-ish). I would definitely skip the crazy-range zoom (17 to 200-ish) unless you're more concerned with continuous range than image quality. 

 

But it really depends on what you want to do. 

 

I shoot professionally for editorial publication (and video for online)-- but primarily not skiing. I use a 35mm f/1.4 lens for 80% of my work, followed by a 17mm f/3.5 and a 135mm f/2. Got a couple random lenses that I don't use very often (manual: 24mm f/2.8 and 55mm f/1.2). 

 

The best generic advice I can give is: MOVE CLOSER. A wide lens, and close to the subject, provides a lot of feeling. Tele and distance tend to create flatter, more distanced (big surprise) images. But it all depends on what you're after. 

 

Definitely go ahead and get the kit lens that comes with Canon bodies-- an 18-55 IS. It's not the best, but it's actually a useful range, it's image stabilized, and for skiing you'll have plenty of light to stop it down. And its cheap, small, and light. You won't feel bad when you break it.

 

You might consider using that for a few weeks to figure out how you like to shoot (which end, what kind of images), before investing in more glass. Another wise choice is the 50mm f/1.8, which is foolishly sharp, cheap ($65 used, $100 new), and light. Also not real hardy, but whatever. That will give you a taste of what shooting a prime is like. 

 

The tele lenses in the 70 to 200 range (and the Canon F/4 non-IS is a real winner for price/performance) are relatively big and heavy. I wouldn't want to ski with one in my bag unless I had a real reason to do so (like longish video sequences, or certain jumping/close-in detail sequences in stills or video). 

 

Also, keep in mind that the "effective" focal length of any of those lenses on a non-full 35mm body (anything below a 5D) is actually 1.6 x longer than the lens is listed at. So, that 20mm lens is more like a 32mm lens on film (or full frame digital), and that 200mm lens is more like a 320mm lens. (If you really want to be accurate-- unless we're talking about enlargement and printing-- you're not actually making the lenses longer... you're cropping the center part of the image). 

 

As for a protective filter... nah. Lens glass is very hard/hardy, and protective filters (even really nice ones, which cost around $100) reduce image quality and introduce image artifacts like glare, ghosting, and lower contrast. You might want a circular-pol, but you can wait to add that to your kit down the line. 

 +2. I'm a photog and I agree with just about everything Justruss says. For skiing or landscape with the amount of light that you'll have availabe, I recommend the Canon 24-105L f/4. It has superior saturation, local contrast, and is super sharp when stopped down a bit. It also has image stabilization which would make for professional quality videos.

 

I recommend http://fredmiranda.com for reviews. It's the photographer's equivalent to epicski. There is a review section with hundreds of unbiased reviews on pretty much any lens under the sun. Do your homework and you really can't go wrong.
 

 

post #44 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

As an aside-- but relevant, since this is a photo thread-- folks interested in sports photography should definitely check out the Boston Globe's curated, weekly sports photo round-up. It's great:

 

Big Shots: http://www.boston.com/sports/blogs/bigshots/

 

They also do a general photo thing too: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

 

There's enough inspiration in there for everyone. 


One of the great sites out there is www.500px.com.  Wow.    www.photozone.de is still one of the best sites for lens reviews. 

 

post #45 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post



On the subject of HD space, did you see the specs of the new Nikon D800? 36MP sensor? That should eat up some HD space.



If I didn't have to come out of "retirement" I'd be all over that...and the Phase One backs.

 

Silicon Valley, besides creating another 1000 millionaires (this time from Facebook making Atherton and Menlo Park  real estate hot again),  has created new technology for cameras that a VC friend was recently raving about.  Check out the Lytro, which allows you to focus any part of the image you want.  See:  http://www.lytro.com/

 

Old guys like me who grew up in the manual world, understand the basic science behind all of this (e.g., calculated D-log H curves) and spent a lot of time in darkrooms are blown away by the new technology.  For example, Lytro is onto something big....in fact it may be the next big thing in a few years when they figure out how to make the technology more practical.  Here is the dissertation:  https://www.lytro.com/renng-thesis.pdf   Getting back to the OP, a light field set-up with lenses designed for the technology will be her answer...perhaps within a decade.


Edited by quant2325 - 2/12/12 at 6:51am
post #46 of 58

Funny Quant, I've been bouncing ideas back and forth with an editor about writing a story on Lytro and all that. 

 

Current implementation is extremely limited, but it does hold the promise to be game-changing. The bigger fear is that it ends up being something like Foveon/X3. 

post #47 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by justruss View Post

Funny Quant, I've been bouncing ideas back and forth with an editor about writing a story on Lytro and all that. 

 

Current implementation is extremely limited, but it does hold the promise to be game-changing. The bigger fear is that it ends up being something like Foveon/X3. 



It seems Lytro is rushing to show some revenue to keep their funders happy.  The "job openings" page on their website--at least as of last month when I last looked--shows they want to both get to market and develop this much further.  What concerns me is that the employees are all young techies.  I'd rather see some industry experienced optics people on the team.  Then again, I have absolutely no idea what the real bosses (the VC's) have in mind for an exit strategy.  Perhaps they want to develop this further and then sell the technology to one of the big camera manufacturers?  I dunno.  It does seem that they have come a long way in a decade since the light field theory turned to reality at Stanford.  The concept of pointing a single fixed apeture device, capturing light, and focusing any part of it you want in post processing is certainly appealing. Combined with being able edit any portion of the image at will, the concept is mind boggling.  I'm guessing the big camera manufacturers will pay up for the technology and Lytro will never do an IPO.

 

post #48 of 58
Thread Starter 
I did start the thread over a year ago and am glad to see there is not a definite answer. Even after I went through the process of body, one lens then two lenses and the addiction started. I have had great luck so far with used lenses which helps bring the prices down. My daughter decided she would like to move into a DSLR camera and asked me for advice and even after going through the process I still had trouble saying if she should go with a kit lens or opt for a more expensive one. She did go with the kit lens--great deal--and has taken some very good pictures with it. She is now finding the limitations of the lens--focal length, speed, build quality etc.--and has a good idea of what she needs for her style of photography. Her kit lens has and will serve her well for its purpose, but she now has a better idea of the type (s) of lens she wants to get the photos she is taking. Long story short is start out basic and learn the fundamentals which then point you in the right direction as to the next level of lens purchase. My two cents worth a year later.
post #49 of 58


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ridge Hippie View Post

I did start the thread over a year ago and am glad to see there is not a definite answer. Even after I went through the process of body, one lens then two lenses and the addiction started. I have had great luck so far with used lenses which helps bring the prices down. My daughter decided she would like to move into a DSLR camera and asked me for advice and even after going through the process I still had trouble saying if she should go with a kit lens or opt for a more expensive one. She did go with the kit lens--great deal--and has taken some very good pictures with it. She is now finding the limitations of the lens--focal length, speed, build quality etc.--and has a good idea of what she needs for her style of photography. Her kit lens has and will serve her well for its purpose, but she now has a better idea of the type (s) of lens she wants to get the photos she is taking. Long story short is start out basic and learn the fundamentals which then point you in the right direction as to the next level of lens purchase. My two cents worth a year later.


I think this is dead-on. 

post #50 of 58


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexzn View Post

The AF speed is on par  with consumer level SLRs...

 

IMO, no, it's not.  And the tracking isn't nearly as good on fast-moving subjects.  Of course it depends on the SLR too.  If you're gonna talk the ~$1000 mirrorless cameras, IMO you need to compare to things like the D60 and D7000, not the $400 Rebel Ti.

 

Quote:
The EVF is extremely usable and the size and weight advantage is undeniable.

 

I've heard mostly good things about the newer-generation EVFs, but I've also heard they are still a little quirky, even on the A77.  And they all 'freeze' during continuous shooting, which can be annoying.

 

The m43-based cameras are certainly much smaller and lighter than APS-C DSLRs.  (In fact, they're so small/light that it's a little absurd putting a long, heavy lens on them.)  But you're also taking the tradeoffs of a smaller sensor, more limited lens selection, and contrast-detection AF.

 

Like I said, depending on what you are shooting this may not matter at all.  If you're shooting still subjects and can take longer exposures in low light using a tripod, frankly any modern digital point-and-shoot that gives you full manual control will work great.  You'll only run into problems if you need a super-wide or super-long lens or you want to blow things up to ginormous sizes or crop way down.  (Or if the camera doesn't have a wide aperture and you want to get background blur.)

 

Quote:
This is the new mirror less Olympus OM-D...

 

Which is also not available until April at least.  DPreview had a preview article on it (http://www.dpreview.com/previews/olympusem5/), and they certainly tout better AF performance, but nobody's really seen it in action yet.

 

Look, the high-end mirrorless cameras are getting better by the year, and that may be the direction the whole digital industry goes in.  I'm just saying that IMO they aren't quite there yet.  YMMV.

post #51 of 58
Resurrecting this thread because I'm really stoked on using my new OM-D E-M5 mirrorless this winter. (screw Ken Rockwell BTW - just sayin'). Anybody that doesn't strongly consider this as a very viable contender for skiing should really re-think that. Surely it won't be the only tool for a pro or serious amateur shooting mostly fast moving action, but for what most of us need - a compact lightweight camera with more than sufficient High Quality lens options (and growing) - especially for shooting in good light, and scenic landscape shots, this IMO, will be more than enough camera. Weather sealed, 9 fps, and an excellent EVF. State of the art Image Stability now works very well to take great videos as well. I'm sure it won't supplant my DSLR (Oly E-5) for all occasions, and I have yet to use it on the slopes, but already I love the picture quality and form factor - especially with the added battery grip.

Yes, the E-M5 expensive, but IMO the time to consider moving to a mirrorless camera for most active outdoor folks is now. Start with a smaller PEN camera and get the lenses you'll want as you move up in the system later. You don't have to go Olympus, there are other good ones too, but I'm familiar with Oly and their lens selection is growing very fast. If you have any doubts, you should check out this video. I don't know this guy, but he has some beautiful photos on his website. Check out his take on the E-M5:

(PLUG-I have an Oly E-P3 kit for sale. p/m me if interested - get started with mirrorless now)


BTW - He also shot this entire video with an OM-D E-M5 (stupid name, I know), using the tiny 9-18mm and the 14-150mm lens which he referred to in his blog as amazing.


Edited by carvemeister - 10/14/12 at 8:44am
post #52 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by carvemeister View Post

Resurrecting this thread because I'm really stoked on using my new OM-D E-M5 mirrorless this winter. (screw Ken Rockwell BTW - just sayin'). Anybody that doesn't strongly consider this as a very viable contender for skiing should really re-think that. Surely it won't be the only tool for a pro or serious amateur shooting mostly fast moving action, but for what most of us need - a compact lightweight camera with more than sufficient High Quality lens options (and growing) - especially for shooting in good light, and scenic landscape shots, this IMO, will be more than enough camera. Weather sealed, 9 fps, and an excellent EVF. State of the art Image Stability now works very well to take great videos as well. I'm sure it won't supplant my DSLR (Oly E-5) for all occasions, and I have yet to use it on the slopes, but already I love the picture quality and form factor - especially with the added battery grip.
Yes, the E-M5 expensive, but IMO the time to consider moving to a mirrorless camera for most active outdoor folks is now. Start with a smaller PEN camera and get the lenses you'll want as you move up in the system later. You don't have to go Olympus, there are other good ones too, but I'm familiar with Oly and their lens selection is growing very fast. If you have any doubts, you should check out this video. I don't know this guy, but he has some beautiful photos on his website. Check out his take on the E-M5:
(PLUG-I have an Oly E-P3 kit for sale. p/m me if interested - get started with mirrorless now)
BTW - He also shot this entire video with an OM-D E-M5 (stupid name, I know), using the tiny 9-18mm and the 14-150mm lens which he referred to in his blog as amazing.


There are sharper lenses made by Olympus (tests published by Photozone.de) , but the 14-150mm was judged acceptable and obviously convenient. See: http://www.photozone.de/olympus--four-thirds-lens-tests/645-oly_m14150_456 I am waiting for some more $ before also diving into the world of smaller, lighter and more convenient interchangeable lens cameras. These cameras cannot completely replace a DLSR (e.g., shutter lag and viewing), but for most photographers most of the time they are more than enough. I look forward to you posting some great photos this winter.
post #53 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by quant2325 View Post

....These cameras cannot completely replace a DLSR (e.g., shutter lag and viewing), but for most photographers most of the time they are more than enough. I look forward to you posting some great photos this winter.

I agree, however, if by shutter lag you mean the time it takes after depressing the shutter button for the camera to actually take the shot - it is a non-factor with this camera. It's not like my E-3 was in Live View mode (SLOW) or E-5 in Live View (Somewhat Slow). There is almost none of that. And as far as the EVF keeping up with moving subjects - again, it's not a 1D-X, but there is still less "mirror blackout time" than my E-5 DSLR, assuming that's what you were talking about. But, admittedly, the true test of how it all works out on the slopes will have to wait a few months. beercheer.gif
post #54 of 58

interesting subject, I recently (2 mo ago) picked up the T3i Canon which worked well for me.  I considered the smaller format Point and Shoot cameras but it just seemed I could get similar features in the "lower end" compact cameras or move up to the DSLR's like the T3i I picked up.  Size wise, unless I'm really aiming at high end photo's, the smaller compact versions today do a great job. 

 

Sadly or happily, every couple of years, like your PC, the performance doubles.  So from my perspective, the larger (which really isn't a killer if I can't put it in a pants cargo pocket) isn't a major factor between the two formats.  Plus, the smaller factor while I like it very much, seemed to be in flux right now, more than I liked.

post #55 of 58

I've been disappointed with electronic viewfinders (EVFs) in the snow.  The ambient light is just so strong that it blows the dim image away.

post #56 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xela View Post

I've been disappointed with electronic viewfinders (EVFs) in the snow.  The ambient light is just so strong that it blows the dim image away.

Which cameras did you try?
post #57 of 58

I looked at one of the Sony NEX cameras a few weeks ago and expected the viewfinder to look better. I thought that it would do a better job of faking an SLR, but it does look just like a tiny TV in there. I was wondering for glasses users, where is the focal plane when using this type of viewfinder? Will it work differently for them than a DSLR does?

post #58 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post

I looked at one of the Sony NEX cameras a few weeks ago and expected the viewfinder to look better. I thought that it would do a better job of faking an SLR, but it does look just like a tiny TV in there. I was wondering for glasses users, where is the focal plane when using this type of viewfinder? Will it work differently for them than a DSLR does?


I am not a techie, but it seems from the perspective of the user that the EVIL screens are no different than the "live view" screen of a DLSR. I sometimes ski with prescription polarized lenses, and suspect that there would be an issue viewing any screen wearing them from the perspective of polarization and not have a correction feature for those of us without 20-20 vision.

I occasionally shoot landscapes, portraits and night scenes using relatively inexpensive manual lenses that are sharp. The best way to focus these lenses on a DSLR is using the live view screen and not the camera's automatic system (waiting for the beep). The screen displays the image accurately, but is a pain when the sun is at my back.

If I didn't have so many good Pentax lenses, I'd probably put the SONY and Olympus on my short list. The Pentax K-01 offers superior images, but it isn't compact enough for my liking. The "Q" has too small a sensor for what I want to photograph in the BC. Therefore, I am waiting for now. SONY and Olympus seem to have it right. Pentax seems to have it right in the semi-pro DSLR arena, since the K-5 is weatherproof as are the D* lenses plus it is backward compatible with all K mount lenses. SONY now offers a huge amount of bang for the DSLR $, and the usual Nikon and Cannon offerings are first rate. It is a good the to be an amateur photographer today, because it is hard to make a bad choice in cameras. Lenses are another matter.
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