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8.19.2014

Thoughts E-PL5


Looking at the E-PL5 I didn't realize how small it was until I held it in my hand and started using it. I was leaning towards buying the Panasonic GM1 to see what it was like, but no image stabilization held me back. The GM1 is smaller than the E-PL5, about the size of the RX100 II, but after using the E-PL5, I liked the extra size in the hand more than the RX100 II. I tested it out on a Regional Rail shoot, and it worked perfectly; the next time I went out to shoot at a Regional Rail stop in my heart that was the camera I wanted to take.

PROS

  • Size WITH Image stabilization and tilt screen
  • Touch screen focus
  • Just small enough
  • Very nice image quality
  • Surprising dynamic range for sensor size


CONS

  • Battery life short (about 300 shots)
  • Really could use an extra control dial
  • Ugly beast
  • Tilty ruins streamline profile


8.18.2014

Camera Journey 8.18.14 - Nearing the End

I never thought I would be at the point where I would be fighting with myself about sending the 6D back because of how much I love the GX7, and YES, I do love the GX7. I know logically and factually the 6D will blow away the GX7’s image quality, even though the GX7 IQ is very good. But the GX7 is the perfect combination of size, Image quality, and techie gear satisfaction. I took it out last weekend and it just felt like part of my hand. I went to Fort Delaware, (Fort Delaware, DE is a very camera friendly location), and seeing all those people with their big full frame SLRs and all the gear and heavy bags they had to bring and me knocking out great pictures with the GX7 and my 14-140 lens was the transformative moment I was waiting for when I started this reboot.  I have also settled in surprisingly with the E-PL5 as my stealth shooter, and it has made the RX100 II obsolete. I actually use that for my Regional Rail camera trips if I know I need to be low profile, and although I really wish it had an extra dial the compromise of size, Image stabilization, and image quality won me over. The kit glass is not as good as the RX100 II’s lens, but that is just a matter of buying good glass. I will probably just go with the 20 f/1.8 on the E-PL5 when I am stealth shooting. 

I also picked up the GX1, as it was selling for a song ($200.00), and it can be a back-up body for the GX7 with the same interface and once I look at the size, may knock the E-PL5 onto eBay.
I will be taking the 6D out shooting next weekend, and when I get I will look at the images and make a decision whether to put it up on eBay or not. I know the image quality will be better, but the question is will it be so much better that I have to keep it? I would really like to just go Micro 4/3rds all the way, but I will let my gut speak to me when I look at the photos next weekend.

8.11.2014

Thoughts Sony RX10

I have reached the point where I am starting to determine the cameras I will be keeping by the ones I don't want to give up. The RX10 is a very nice camera, but as I used it I kept thinking that there are so many small format mirrorlesss options, that for an enthusiast the RX10 is more a proof of concept than viable camera. The 8x zoom is nice and the glass is fantastic, but Micro four thirds is where you want to be if you want the best combination of size and image quality. Sure, the Sony NEX line is fabulous, but their lenses are overpriced,  the selection is kinda sucky, and I hate the fact that you buy this minuscule body and yet all the lenses except one make the camera as big as an entry level SLR. I have no idea why they are not creating a nice range of pancake lenses like micro-four thirds. Being able to jump back and forth between Panasonic and Olympus has created innovation and price cuts. I could just find no compelling reason after using it to keep it in addition to my GX7, except as a camera collector. I don't shoot much in inclement weather so weather-sealing is not a big thing for me, and the GX7 with the 14-140 lens has more zoom rang and better image quality in the same (if not smaller) form-factor than the RX10. I also find that although the dynamic range in the 1-inch sensor is better than point & shoots it still suffers on contrasty days. Now I have yet to take the E-PL5 or the GX7 out for a spin, but I can't imagine they will be less that the RX10. We'll see.

PROS

  • All-in-one camera
  • Very versatile
  • Great focus tracking modes
  • 20MP give nice image detail
  • A front focus ring that I actually did not hate (does not beat back dials, but not a huge pain)
  • Good battery life


CONS

  • Low Dynamic range
  • Bulky for sensor size
  • Flash does not fully clear lens
  • Controls usable, but not as intuitive as SLRs and micro four thirds
  • No full screen clipping view in playback
  • Expensive
  • Who is it for?