Going to play with my own money...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by EasyEd, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. EasyEd

    EasyEd Mu-43 Regular

    78
    Feb 16, 2010
    Hey All,

    Well it's time - the money is in hand and I'm going to buy something within the next couple weeks.

    For the past near 15 years I've been able to use "work" cameras that I chose and bought for work and could use for my own use with one key caveat - I break it I buy it. Which is fair - I haven't broken any. So the latest I've been using are a Canon G9 and a Panasonic G1 (14-45 and 45-200). I absolutely love the handling characteristics of the G1 - best handling camera I've used since my Minolta XD5 (50mm 1.4 rokkor). The menu structure also just "works" for me as I seem to find my way through it pretty easily.

    My interest in photography is 80+% landscape and you can consider landscape to be anything from landscape landscape to say a car show - basically non-moving objects with some time to compose an image - meaning you can by and large rule out most street-shooting or sports photography. That said I want very much to not be tied to a tripod - so to some extent some of the characteristics of an action photographer camera apply (high ISO performance and reasonably fast lenses). I expect most of my images to be with lenses <150mm and probably very commonly on the wide end as is typical of a lot of landscape photographers. I also am very interested in HDR style exposure blending (with or without excessive tone mapping - yes I like some of the excessive ones - depends on the subject) so AEB capability I think is a must. I also want to see what I can do with video.

    So based on what I've said well the choice is obvious - right? G2 and be done with it right? Well maybe but... What bothers me about the G1 is really only one thing - a lot of the images I've taken just seem to have a certain "softness" to them and I don't know why. Even when the "edges" within the image are pretty sharp the image as a whole to me still feels soft. I don't know if it's the subject, lens, the auto-focus, software or me. For work it doesn't matter but as my own... I've never tried manual focus and I have to confess I've not yet really emphasized trying to get the sharpest image I can - maybe this weekend. I've seen some really really sharp images on this forum using adapted lenses so... To be honest with you I'm not sure sharpness is the right word for what I mean - crispness is probably better - for a lot of images I'm looking for that overall crispness. I read somewhere that that "crispness" only comes on really high-end cameras but I want it cheap.

    So what cameras are really in the running? Well I think it comes down to T2i, D5000, G2 and maybe something else I haven't considered. This gives you a pretty good idea of my price range.

    My take:

    T2i - 1280P video, 18MP, high ISO performance is pretty good and my wife has old Canon film camera with a FD 50mm (don't recall largest aperature), FD 135mm 2.8, a vivitar 28 and a vivitar 100-300. So in theory I might be able to use some of these lenses. Don't know much about IQ and sharpness of the T2i though but at 18MP I would expect it to be really good. T2i is most the expensive and quite frankly a bigger body than I like but I probably could get used to it - but do I want to?

    G2 - 720P video, 12.3MP and from what I've been able to discern really good ISO performance up to and including 3200 with 6400 marginally usable. I really like Panasonic handling and menu structure (and the tiltable lcd) and could adapt some lenses including my Minolta. Most flexible AEB of all. Mid-priced. Will I get images more like what I'm looking for though? I confess to leaning heavily toward this camera.

    D5000 - 720P video (can't recall if it is 30 fps or 24 - not so good), 12.3? MP and to my eyes generally outstanding IQ in the bulk of the images I've seen - sharp crisp images with great colour - not that the colour in the T2i or G2 is a problem - it isn't especially as I don't mind post processing. Nikon has really focused on IQ and not chased MP to do it and I think it shows. Has a tiltable lcd - not as flexible as the G2 though) Mid-size body of the 3 and cheapest of the 3 cameras but can I use any of the lenses I have?

    So my question is - what would you do and what if anything else should I look at? I don't know if any Olys should be under serious consideration or why.

    TIA -Ed-
     
  2. sebastel

    sebastel Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Jan 18, 2010
    not your business
    hi ed,

    FD lens do not work with the T2i - canon changed the lens mount from FD to EOS. at least not without adapter.

    i do not really get your point about sharpness/crispness, so i cannot wholeheartedly recommend the panasonic, but i can tell that i never has issues with the G1 that mach your description.
    the only thing i disliked (a little bit) about the G1 results were colours in the camera produced jpgs. (i'm happy now with oympus and epson R-D1, but i could live with panasonic, shooting RAW)

    so, i do not see a ral reason not to recommend panasonic, but obviously you do ...

    regards,
    s.
    sebastian
     
  3. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Ed, prior to the Panasonic G1, I had a Nikon D5000 (with AFS 18-55, AFS 10-24, and AFS 35/1.8) and Nikon D700 (with AFS 24-70/2.8, AF 35/2, and AF 85/1.4); before than a Canon 5D with some nice lenses.

    It has been my experience that the G1 produces images with as much sharpness and crispness as any of those cameras. Are you shooting RAW? The G1 in-camera JPEG processing fails to extract the maximum detail from the files. To get that extra crispness, I'd recommend processing from RAW using Lightroom 3, Capture 1, or Raw Developer (Mac only).
     
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  4. et100

    et100 Mu-43 Regular

    80
    Feb 15, 2010
    Chicago area - USA
    Oly E-PL1 has the weakest AA filter of the recent Oly models and is giving me some of the sharpest images ive ever got. You can pair it with 50mm/F2 macro lens (one of the sharpest lenses) in addition to the G1 kit lens you already own.
    You get video and improved high ISO performance too.
     
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  5. ronbot

    ronbot Mu-43 Regular

    98
    Apr 27, 2010
    Unless you get a G2, having FD lenses is a moot point.

    FD lenses will not focus to infinity on an EOS body without the aid of an adapter that has corrective optical element, which will degrade image quality.

    They will, however, work just fine on m4/3 using purely physical adapters. Aside from the crop factor, image quality is practically unchanged.

    Why not consider an Olympus body? They have image stabilization in the body, which will help you "not be tied to a tripod" even when using the manual Minolta and Canon lenses you got.