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From Pentax Me Super to Canon A510 to ???

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by gbouchar, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43


    The past

    I have been outside of digital photography until 2003-2004. Before that, my main camera was a Pentax Me Super (I was really happy with aperture priority mode and manual focus) with Pentax 50mm, Sigma compact 70-210 zoom (f4.? ??), Sigma 28mm f2.8 lenses and a 135mm lense. The 50mm and zoom were the most used lenses (street and landscape). I sold this outfit when my interest vanish from photography. I was also using a Canon QL17 (i still own it). In 2005, i bought a Canon Powershot A510 (PS) digital camera and used it exclusively to this day. It's a nice PS for my need. I bought this one for its PASM mode and AA battery. I shoot almost only when hiking, cycling, kayaking now. When i am away on my own several days (1-3 weeks) doing those sports, small size is important. I shoot almost only on Auto mode since it is a pain to change aperture or speed fast on this type of camera.

    The present

    A few weeks ago, my interest for a new camera emerged. It seem to me my Canon is not luminous enough (f2.6 is not bad tough), its 140mm (equiv 35mm) is too short, it is too slow, i can't play with DOF, 3.2 MP is not enough.... Maybe it would be fun to do photography for the fun of it again.

    What i learned is i can't get everything i want from one camera. I can't really get small (pocket), DOF control, PASM, wide angle to telephoto lense in one package. I could bring a bigger camera on my 1 day hiking, cycling, kayaking trip but i don't want to when going for several days.

    The future

    I could keep my A510 for now (Hiking, cycling and kayaking trips). I could buy something like a Canon SX120-SX130 IS (36 - 360mm, AA battery, PASM) camera for my 1 year south america 2013 cycling trip. And, i could buy something bigger to have fun doing hotography again. What i want:

    - Need to be able to do Aperture and Shutter priority
    - Control-wheel, scroll-wheel or real control for Aperture, Speed
    - Ideally an external EV+- control like the Canon G12
    - Ideally exchangeable lenses (Can work with fast lenses, zoom lenses, older prime lenses in Aperture Priority
    - As small as possible
    - AA battery would be nice but not mandatory for this one
    - Inboard small flash
    - Budget max 500$ (excluding older prime lenses)

    Right now, what i have found

    Olympus E-PL2 (over budget but would be nice, not all external control i'd want)
    Panasonic G10 (prefer E-PL2 size and look, only missing EV+- external control)
    Canon Rebel XS, Nikon D3000 (a bit bigger than i'd like)
    Pentax K100D or K200D (Maybe less $$ but a bit big)
    Lumix GF1 (nice but over budget)
    Lumix GF2 (not enough real external control)

    What do you suggest? I know i am on a micro 4/3 forum and my solution may not be a micro 4/3 but i know you are an open bunch! For me, a digital Pentax Me Super would be perfect!
  2. squidbrand

    squidbrand Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 22, 2010
    Hà Nội, Việt Nam
    I think your best bet is to hunt for a used GF1 or E-P2. The GF1 was recently listed on Amazon at $300 body-only, and the E-P2 has dropped to around $650ish with lens, so you should be able to find both bodies on the used market for under $500 — maybe 50% under budget for the GF1.

    The GF1 and ME Super are my two main cameras, by the way.
  3. How critical is the dedicated EV dial? I can't think of anything bar the Canon G-series compacts that have one.

    The GF-1 sounds like your best bet amongst m4/3 cameras according to your criteria.
  4. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43


    I was not thinking dedicated EV but more of an easy EV control like a push button + rotating dial.
  5. penfan2010

    penfan2010 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 12, 2010
    NJ, USA
    I'd suggest the Olympus E-P1 but it doesn't have onboard flash. You should also consider the E-PL1, and the control are easy to get used to, specially if you'll use it a lot on aperture-priority. You can definitely get a body well within your budget now that the E-PL2 has come out.

    By the way, the ME Super was my first SLR, and before I switched to Olympus, I had loads of fun----great size and form factor and very easy to use. I had a very similar lens line up as you do now, with winder to boot---gave the whole kit to my sister over 20 years ago when I got my first OM-1, and she still uses it. Your post made me nostalgic!:smile:
  6. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    To meet your focal length expectations, any interchangeable lens camera is not going to meet your size expectations.

    You are why cameras like the canon G12, S95, Samsung TL500, and Panasonic LX5 exist. None of these will offer much, if any, DOF control, but that may be the better trade off for your use ... Infinite depth of field certainly has it's advantages!
  7. Mustangjoey

    Mustangjoey Mu-43 Rookie

    Jan 22, 2011
    Don't forget about the Pentax kx. Awesome camera, on the smaller side for a dslr, and definitely in your price range. I love mine. Also the panasonic g1 bodies are selling for dirt cheap (can find one new for around $200)... If video isn't a concern that would be a great option too.
  8. BrianK

    BrianK Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 20, 2011
    Lansing MI
    G2 with 14-42 at retail is now around $549, keep an eye on Panasonic's Facebook page and twitter feed for Lumix deals.

    B&H has some nice used deals as well on G2's.
    Even at $150 less I would spend more for the G2 over the G10

  9. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43

    Can you tell me how you change aperture in aperture priority mode on an E-PL1? I have read lots of review, even seen review on Youtube but it is not clear for me. Sadly, i can't test any of this camera locally. I live in a small town about 400km from a bigger one.

    Where do you safely buy used photo gear on the net? 10 years ago, i was heavily into selling and buying camera gear on ebay but it is not fun anymore.

    Thanks for your help!
  10. gbouchar

    gbouchar New to Mu-43


    When looking on lespac.com yesterday (i am from Quebec, Canada) i found (posted a few hours before) an Olympus E-420 four/third DSLR with a 17.5X45mm lense. The price was alright for me and inline with amazon used camera gear. Very low shipping, no tax. Only 9 months old. A bit bigger than what i was looking but all external control i want. Optical viewfinder. Internet review are great.

    Almost at the same time i found a 40-150mm Zuiko lense for a great price too. I am still under my budget with 2 lenses. 4/3 sensor. I will have fun taking picture again:smile:

    Thanks for your suggestions!
  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Super Moderator

    Jan 7, 2011
    The K-x is not appreciably larger than the Panasonic GH series:
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall... by john m flores, on Flickr

    It does take AAs, which is nice when traveling, but with rechargeables it weighs appreciably more than the GH2.

    But if size is a primary concern, cameras like the K-x and the GH2 get bigger once you add a zoom lens.

    Which leads to the high end compacts like the Canon G12 and Panny LX5 and Nikon P7000. Smaller, especially when you consider that they have zooms. Here's a size comparison:

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    Panasonic GH2 20mm F1.7 vs. Canon G10 by john m flores, on Flickr

    You might want to look at the new Olympus XZ-1.

    It's getting some favorable reviews, fits your budget (just) and is small.
    • Like Like x 2
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