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M43 Camera for Technologically Inept Mother

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by Estrellas321, Jul 22, 2016.

  1. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Anyone help a non-technology savvy family member shop for a camera and went with a M43 interchangeable lens camera? Looking for something for my mom to replace her aging Nikon DSLR.

    I am torn between Panasonic (possibly a GF7) for its simpler menu and interface (not that my mom will dig into the menus much at all, and will shoot auto 99.9% of the time anyway). Not sure if the GF7/GM5/GM1 would be too small and not grippy enough for her hands though.

    or

    Olympus for its IBIS, which I'm sure will help my mom's unsteady 65-year old hands, and possibly better JPG rendering (my mom will never edit RAW). I can find used EM5 mark I's or E-M10's at a decent price locally. I know there are many smaller PEN models (E-P5, E-PL7) but those are harder to find used.

    Budget is around $300 USD. If it matters, I may also get her a small and fast lens, like the 14mm or 20mm pancake (outside of said budget). Purpose of use will be mostly for travel, special occasions, and I'm trying to get her to take more photos casually which she never does with her DSLR.

    Opinions or suggestions? Any are appreciated :)
     
  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Does she often change lenses with her DSLR now? I'm guessing that if she's shooting in automatic mode all the time, that she likely never changes the kit lens, and if she does it's to switch to a telephoto kit lens.
     
  3. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    I would not personally recommend an Olympus camera to someone who isn't tech savvy, or a really avid photographer. Their menus ensure that if you are impatient or don't know exactly what you want to get, you'll never find it.

    The GF7 is probably a good recommendation. Very compact, big "iAuto" button on top, nice touchscreen interface, and a good quality, flexible 12-32 pancake kit lens with OIS, so IBIS isn't even an issue.

    Using my own mother as a control group, it took a whole lot of convincing to ever get her to switch from the 14-42PZ on her GF3 to the 25mm/1.7 I got her.

    The simpler the better...
     
  4. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Does she actually want to replace her SLR?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    I bought her a Nikon DX 35mm f1.8 for her trip to Europe because she was complaining about how her kit lens was often out of focus and even the details weren't good when it was in focus. I figured this lens would have faster AF and course better quality. So when she came back from the trip, she showed me the pictures she was happy with using that lens BUT I'm not sure if she ever took it off in favour of the kit lens! And I'm saying that, not because she didn't need to, but she probably didn't know how! (or bothered to figure it out) That's why I think a Panasonic 14mm or 20mm pancake will be a great all-around travel lens that's fast and better IQ than the kit lens.

    That same day, I took her out to the backyard with my GF7. I only had my PL15 with me, so it wasn't a fair comparison, but we took some sample shots and she seemed quite happy with the images.
     
  6. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    She's pretty much indifferent and just wants good quality photos in the end. But I'm trying to convince her that a smaller body that's easier for her to carry around can give her the same or better image quality than what she currently has.

    Also she's one that prefers that everything be in focus. When I show her a photo and she asks why the background is blurry, and I have to explain depth of field to her...well that just flies over her head :p So that's another bonus for m43!
     
  7. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I don't know, I have bad experiences trying to help people who don't really want help. Usually ends badly.

    1" compact probably better than m43 if you do get something. Canon g9x maybe?
     
  8. Turbofrog

    Turbofrog Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 21, 2014
    In that case, maybe a pocketable travel compact with a nice big zoom range? Something like the TZ80? Or TZ100 for some more money, if a longer telephoto range is not as important?
     
  9. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    What does she do with the pictures she takes?

    That would go a long way toward figuring out what would be best.
     
  10. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    She does print all her travel photos in 4x6, and portraits up to 8x10.
     
  11. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Latest 1 inch sensor compact cameras (RX100, LX100, TZ100, G9X, G7X), etc. are good. You need strong reasons to move to a mirrorless. When compared to the kit zoom they may even give you better or equal results with their faster lenses.
    They can be quite expensive but a used one should be within the budget.

    I also wonder if she is ever going to use the EVF, even more if it is the small one found in compact cameras. E-PL7 sounds fine (3-axis ibis) I do not know which is the corresponding Panasonic offer, GF7 I think.

    You are talking about outdoor shots so I suppose light was good so the issue here is not high ISO noise. May be blurry pictures due to unsteady hands. Shooting with a fast lens in shutter priority may help there. But this is just an hypothesis. Maybe she was unhappy because the shots where a little over/underexposes or a thousand other reasons not related to the gear capabilities.

    I mean, if the focus problem is due to the auto AF locking on the background rather then on the intended subject no lens or camera can help there.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  12. warrusty

    warrusty New to Mu-43

    7
    Jun 11, 2011
    P1020568.JPG I second the GF7 with the kit lens and the 35-100mm 4.0-5-6. And if she likes it, get her the 20mm Panasonic for indoors. Simple to operate, small to carry, and images that equal most bigger/more expensive micro 4/3. Panasonic torpedoed sales of the GF7 by stressing the "selfie" abilities, which turned off camera snobs.
     
  13. TNcasual

    TNcasual Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 2, 2014
    Knoxville, TN
    I guess you should look at the focal lengths and subjects she shoots.

    Is she a viewfinder shooter or an LCD shooter?

    I would think something like the Stylus 1 for LX7 would be a good bet. Also any of the 1" sensor cameras out there that fit the focal lengths she shoots.
     
  14. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Does she have a nice phone? Seriously for what you have described (Easy to use, deep DOF, good quality up to 8x10) it sounds perfect.
     
  15. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    With a statement like this, I really wonder if an interchangeable lens camera is the right kind of device for what she wants/needs. There are now tons of great 1" cameras on the market. The two I would recommend looking at would be a Canon G7X or Sony RX100M3. Both cameras feature fast (f/1.8-2.8) lenses, a 1" sensor that performs just as good as the m43 sensor in any camera you're looking at buying, dedicate auto modes, and they're much smaller and lighter to carry around.

    If she's looking for small size, good IQ, and doesn't have a desire to change lenses, why bother with an ILC? The two cameras I mentioned can be picked up for $400-500 used, and would likely deliver everything she needs in a camera.
     
  16. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    What Nikon DSLR does she have? What other lenses, besides the 35, does she have and use?
     
  17. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    390
    Oct 12, 2015
    1" compact zoom. RX100 (even mk 1) or equivalent. Or one of the bulkier super-zoom variants. No point going ILC if you dont IL ;)
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  18. Estrellas321

    Estrellas321 Mu-43 Regular

    106
    Feb 19, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    I'm not sure if it's the D3000, 3100, or 3200. I want to say 3100 because I think that matches what I'm pretty sure was 12 or 14 megapixels. She only has the 35 and the kit lens.
     
  19. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am not sure why you want an interchangeable lens camera for your mother given how you have described her shooting style and use of images. I agree with those above that a quality compact 1" sensor camera is probably better for her. It is compact, which is what she wanted, and the IQ is more than sufficient for her printing needs. I own and like my GF7, but I am not sure I would recommend it as a camera for her. The LCD is not always easy to see in bright daylight, and while it can be operated in Panasonic's i Mode, the menu system is still very similar to most Panasonic cameras, and that is not necessarily a good thing in this situation. Finally, I would recommend that you take her to a store to actually try out cameras if at all possible. I often recommend several cameras to friends and then let them make the final choice based on their level of comfort. You have to look quite hard to find a really bad camera today, so comfort and appeal now play more important roles in the decision process.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
  20. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Yep, used RX100M3 or G7X