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Hobby Refresh 1.0

It's been about a year since the last time I took a picture. Why? I still love photography, but I just got tired of lugging around all the kit; big DSLR, heavy lenses for specific uses, and filters & flashes. I also hated getting the stinkeye  whenever I was out with my gear; even when I checked ahead of time with some venues to see if they would allow photography, once I got there they seem to be nervous I had so much gear and suddenly they had a “we don't allow photography policy”. But mainly I just got tired of having to lug everything around and having to remember to bring everything when I went out to take pictures.
It got to the point where when I went to special family occasions I just couldn't even be bothered and I would just bring my iPhone. I was at my sister’s graduation, a very special moment for her sitting about 250ft away and I realized I couldn't even see her or take a picture of her go up the aisle, because all I had on me was my iPhone and I couldn't zoom far enough. It was then I realized I really need to think about going small as far as my camera gear and going with portability first and image quality second as scary as that sounds.
There are such good image quality smaller formats nowadays that although not the lowlight monsters or the depth of field amazing experiences that larger sensors are, combined with appropriate software they can definitely get the job done and capture moments and still make great images. I looked around and I picked up the 6 best cameras that are portable and have good image quality and I'm going to test them out by taking each one and use it for several weeks as my only camera and go out on a couple shoots and then whittle it down to my top three cameras.
I did decide to keep one DSLR; the DSLR I am keeping is in line with my portability first, the Olympus e- 620. It has decent image quality( I have heard it does; I will definitely be testing it out. If it doesn't work for me then I have to think of another small portable DSLR, counting the size of the lenses, maybe the Pentax K-5) but I had to have a DSLR If I wanted to take any type of action or fast movement, as mirrorless and bridge cameras at this point still can't really handle action and fast movement. The lenses on the E-620 are dirt cheap and they're really only about two or three lenses that are must-have lenses. I can build out my E-620 kit with basically 1 good primes and two good Zooms all of which would be individually around less than $400 apiece. My hope is to whittle down my Group of Seven to:

  1. DLSR
  2. Ultra portable do-it-all
  3. Portable do-it-all

If possible except for the DSLR I'm trying to stay away from interchangeable lens systems; they just get expensive quick and it still becomes the matter of having to schlep around a whole bunch of lenses and switch them out. If I do happen to get a interchangeable lens mirrorless system then I would really focus on getting like three good primes of different focal lengths and just using them when I'm not in a hurry and someplace where don't have to worry about people giving me the stinkeye because I'm bringing in a camera and a bunch of lenses.

The cameras I bought and that I'm going to use to whittle down to my top three are:

  1. Canon G1X MKII
  2. Sony RX10
  3. Olympus E-PL2
  4. Olympus Stylus1
  5. Sony RX100
  6. Fujifilm f900EXR

Here we go...

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