Sunday, April 28, 2013

Camera Hunting - The Winner Is ...

The Olympus PEN E-PM1.

I kept on swaying back and forth between DSLR and Mirrorless.  I think both have their place, and in the end I chose the mirrorless for my needs.  I really love the idea of the DSLR, but I knew that I wouldn't take it everywhere with me; that the camera would get in the way of taking photos.  For me, the photo is the important part.  The Mirrorless camera is smaller, lighter, and more forgiving.  It allows me to stretch and push to get better photos without getting frustrated.  I can get more lenses as I need to, but the kit lens will work for now.  And, the best part?  It was on sale for a great deal at London Drugs - $249.99.  So, even if I decide to eventually get a DSLR, I won't feel like I spent wrong now.  True, it's not the newest, greatest, but it's a solid camera that will do me well.

To show you the difference in how the three cameras I have create pictures I used my handy Slik tripod to setup a position that would be the same for each camera.  I then took each camera, used their Auto setting, and snapped the same photo.

The Canon PowerShot S3IS is the camera that I have used for most of the photos on this blog.  I've always found it makes wonderful outside pictures, but I've struggled to get interior photos that I've been totally happy with (especially night photos).  We got this camera in 2006 and it was fairly expensive at the time.  It offers a 12x optical zoom lens with image stabilizer, 6.0 MP sensor, a viewfinder, and a 2" flip/twist LCD with 115K pixels.  It does 30fps VGA movies with stereo sound.  ISO to 800.  Here's the photo I got with it:

The PowerShot S3IS wanted me to raise the flash, but let me take the photo without.  A little washed out, but acceptable.

Next up, the Canon PowerShot A1000IS - the camera I got when Walter was a baby and I realized I needed something simpler to use, that I could grab and put in my bag.  It offers 4x optical zoom, 10 MP sensor, a viewfinder, and a 2.5" fixed LCD with 115K pixels.  No movie taking possible.  ISO 80 - 1600.  Here's the photo I got with it:

The PowerShot A1000IS wanted the flash too, and could have definitely used it.  It struggled between the dining light and the darker shadows.  Not a very useable photo.

Finally, my new baby - the Olympus PEN E-PM1.  This camera has interchangeable lenses - the kit lens I have is the M.Zuiko 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 (crop factor is 2.0 so this lens would equate to a 28-84mm on a DSLR); there's 12MP for the sensor, no viewfinder (quite common for mirrorless cameras), and a fixed 3" LCD with 460K pixels.  Image stabilization (IS) is built into the body.  Some, like the Sony NEX cameras, have IS built into the lens.  Movie making can occur at 1080i60.  There's a lot more, but I'll leave it at that for now.  Here's the photo I got with it:

No problems with the Olympus.  Nice, rich colours.  Love that it was able to capture more of the room.

I love this camera.  It's just so much fun to use.  I want to have it with me all the time.  It's so easy.  So light and comfortable in my hands.  I'm very happy with my choice.

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