Hello from Sonoma Co. (Northern Calif.)

Discussion in 'Welcomes and introductions' started by rplantz, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. rplantz

    rplantz New to Mu-43

    Feb 13, 2011
    A friend just told me about this site. I've been trying several P&Ss in the $200 - $300 range for the past couple of years. Each disappoints me. I'm a retired engineer, and when I first read about m4/3, it really appealed to my engineering sensibilities.

    I honestly don't think that photography will become a significant activity for me, but I like high quality photos. Basically, I expect that I will be doing P&S photography most of the time, but it would be nice to have the flexibility available. I tried an Olympus E-400 a couple of years ago, and it just seemed too bulky for me. The m4/3 seems like an ideal compromise between quality, flexibility, and bulk.

    Right now I'm trying to decide between Panasonic and Olympus. I'm tending toward the Olympus. I admit that I'm slightly biased toward Olympus because of always being very happy with my very old Olympus Stylus. Yes, I realize that has nothing to do with today's technology but not all decisions are completely rational. :smile:

    I'm also working through the feeling that these smaller cameras with fewer features should not cost as much as the entry-level DSLRs. Again, I realize this feeling is not completely rational. I recall buying a Porsche in 1962; my mother thought it was stupid to spend more money for a smaller car. :smile:
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  2. Fiddler

    Fiddler Mu-43 Veteran

    Welcome and Hello from Scotland. Nice of you to join us :smile: M4/3 is a big step up from any P&S, not only in image quality, but also in the handling. The cameras feel much more responsive. I have Panasonic, and Olympus M4/3 cams, and you couldn't go wrong with either. Some people say that the Olympus out of camera jpegs are nicer, but it's a matter of taste. To me the Olympus jpegs have a more punchy look, but I can't say I have a preference between one and the other. One difference is that Oly has in-body image stabilisation, and Pany has in-lens. Both work well. Hope you have lots of fun with your M4/3 cam.

    All the best,

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  3. rplantz

    rplantz New to Mu-43

    Feb 13, 2011
    Thank you, Colin.

    I'm sure that the reason I'm dissatisfied with the P&Ss I've tried is that I used the Olympus E-400 for a couple of months. Even to my untrained eye, the photos it took were in a different league than any of the P&Ss. Whenever I look at the photos I took with it (still on my computer), I realize how much nicer they are. Basically, it spoiled me. But it's bulk bothered me. I wasn't sure that I would get used to it, especially when traveling.

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  4. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    I remember testing cameras in 2008; the E500 nearly had me except for lack of IS inside. Excellent images from that era, but it was replaced by an inferior Live sensor - those test images moved me to Sony. I picked up a great deal on a G1 a while back, and am now convinced that no sensor below 4:3 is worth my time.

    Welcome to the group! I drove through your area just before Thanksgiving, lovely country!
    sadly, I only had the K-7 so this is not a :43: poster child!
    • Like Like x 1
  5. GaryAyala

    GaryAyala Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    Hey, from SoCal. Welcome aboard. It is a glorious day down here .. how's the weather up there?


    PS- You mother was right. (lol)
  6. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    I've been to Sonoma :smile:

    Panasonic and Olympus have a great range in m43

    The Panasonic have built in viewfinders in some models with Olympus the EVF is an add on.

    I have both Panasonic and Olympus and like them both
    Panasonic have a greater range of lenses which can be used on Olympus m43 bodies.

    You can see results of both cameras and lenses in my Gallery

    I would visit a shop and handle a few of the Models in store and also ask in this forum there are many skilled users
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  7. bilzmale

    bilzmale Mu-43 All-Pro

    Hello and welcome Bob. Fortunately there are no really bad choices in the :43: lineup so try and handle a few models and see what is right for you. I started with an E-P2, then a G1 followed by a GH1 and next an E-PL1. The GH1 is my final choice but all were good bits of kit.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    Hi Bob,

    If you still want to try P&S, there are a number of superb P&S from various manufacturers, but they will be in the $300-$500 price range. Some models to consider would be: Lumix LX5 ($400) or Olympus XZ-1 ($500). Both have fast lenses, and useful zoom ranges, 24-90mm for the Lumix and 28-112mm for the Olympus (35mm equiv.). And both will accept the EVFs from their M4/3 cousins.

    I don't have either, but I am considering the LX5 as a compact, companion for my GF1 and G1.

    • Like Like x 1
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Welcome aboard, Bob. :biggrin:

    You're getting some very good advice here already. If you can, I agree that the ideal approach is to go to a good camera store, not a Best Buy or anything akin to that, and hold the cameras in your hands. Bring along an SD card and take some photos even if they are only inside the store. Some stores have very fair return policies, as well and will allow you to bring the camera home use it and then return it for a full refund. Take your time, and please let us know which way you decide to go.
  10. Saelee

    Saelee Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 10, 2011
    Welcome, I am also a new m4/3 user from North Cal, Sacramento.

    I am not sure if you bought your camera already but I just bought a refurb E-P1 from adorama for about $370 with the stock lens. I know it is "outdated" but it seems to work great.