Zoom lens and body for a non-photography spouse?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by teddoman, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    I hate the photos my wife takes on our P&S. She forgets to use the focus point, and I'm always totally blurry. So I'm thinking it's time for a touch screen.

    My DSLR intimidates her.

    Would an EM-5 (say, with the new 12-32) be too big for a petite spouse? I'm kind of thinking the extra stabilization in the EM-5 would be worth it, since she has zero technique. Would an EM-5 fit in a purse?

    Option 2 is the GM-1 kit straight up.
  2. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    I would say that if the P&S confuses, and a regular DSLR intimidates, the E-M5 is an absolutely terrible choice. Too many buttons, dials, twiddly bits. Has scared off/annoyed/confused many a non-photographer I've handed it to to take a snap, where a 'standard' DSLR didn't (other than eliciting a 'wow, this is HEAVY!').

    I would go for the GM1, or an E-PM2. Its unlikely ever to move off Program or Auto mode (guessing here), so getting something with good face detect and turning on full automatic autofocus point selection is probably the safest bet. Purely from the tiny and cute perspective, I'd probably choose the GM1, but the E-PM2 is cheaper...and has IBIS, though there is some debate about its efficacy..
  3. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    EPM2 is an interesting idea, I know it only has 2-3 axis stabilization compared to 5 axis on the EM-5. So it doesn't have the same robust stabilization although it has the same sensor. True she won't miss the EVF and manual controls of the EM5.

    I guess I'll have to take a look at the GM1 stabilization specs, I don't know if anyone has compared it to Olympus bodies yet.

    Of course, my secret reason for wanting the EM5 is that I could grab it and play with it too, so of course I'd prefer the EM5 :) 
  4. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    EPM2 left in iAuto mode. The face detection is spectacular, you can even select which eye it focuses on. Or give her your LX7 and buy the EM5.
  5. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    OR...you could go for the Olympus XZ-2. Great little camera, got it for my wife, and she took some great travel pics of our family with it during our last trip. AND it's on sale on Amazon for $299 right now, and perhaps other places too.
  6. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    • Like Like x 2
  7. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 22, 2013
    Well, if you want a compact camera that is easy to use and where lenses won't be changed much I'd go with a GM1 or EPM2.

    The lack of IBIS on the GM1 doesn't matter, because the 12-32 lens it comes with has OIS. And I assume she wouldn't be using legacy glass, so the only issue would be if she wants to use some of your lenses.
    An EPM2 body, with either the 12-32 or the new Oly 14-45 pancake zoom would be ideal. Either setup will give her a great camera in a compact package.

    But she may also benefit from a high end P&S. The Sony RX100 is a great camera, for someone who has no interest in changing lenses it probably meets all of their needs except long telephoto. For people who like telephoto, the Olympus Stylus 1 or the Panasonic LF1 are good. But any of the high end P&S could do the trick.

    Other things to consider are the Pentax Q or Nikon 1. Think of them as high end P&S cameras that let you change lenses.
  8. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Your only problem is this ;
    How can that even happen ... unless someone has set it to centre point focus or some other such totally inappropriate mode ...
    Or its a really dumb compact from way back in time.
    We have tiny Canon powershots and they almost always choose to focus on a person in the frame, really good actually, and they're all old.

    So my solution : fix your compact into a more reliable focus mode,
    get a different compact,
    get her a better phone.

    In any case I just think a m4/3rds body & lens would be a bit of a waste and might never get used.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    How practical! You have to realize OP is looking for a reason to get a new camera.
  10. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    A good compact camera takes some beating. Get a small sensor one with nothing more than a 3x zoom. Anything else is a waste. Use the money you saved to replace your DSLR with an E-M10.
  11. teddoman

    teddoman Mu-43 Regular

    Mar 22, 2013
    What I'd probably do is set it to center point AF and run it in M mode with 1/100 or 1/150, aperture always 2.8, and auto ISO. So she'd really never have to touch any of the dials. That's what we do now with the LX7. The settings are all ready to go. She just has to pick it up and set the focus point. But even that she forgets sometimes.

    Yes, I meant to say I need to compare Panasonic OIS of 12-32 used on GM1 against a zoom lens under the 2 axis stabilization of EPM2 or under the 5 axis of the EM5. Stabilization (or good technique) is such an important part of good photos that I want to give her every edge I can so the photos of me turn out better.

    Right now she carries the LX7, but we don't use facial recognition b/c I would prefer that she pick who is in focus. (Sometimes there are lots of kids running around us and I don't want the camera to be picking the wrong people). But compacts right now don't have touch screens (I don't think). We had an RX100 before but w/o a touch screen it was the same as the LX7. Moving the focus point is just slower w/o a touch screen. I figured she would be more apt to not forget to do it if it was ergonomically more accessible via a touch screen which is just so intuitive.

    Actually she's no more likely to use the phone or a camera. She knows she's required to always bring a camera on family outings :) 

    The cost of an iphone is in the hundreds, so it's the same range as a used EM5 or EPM2. And obviously they take much better photos. So for just a little more money, I'd rather get an m4/3 body + zoom lens. Not only do I want to have a chance to play with one, but it also serves as a backup for me because I usually only shoot primes on my DSLR so it's nice to have a zoom lens around just in case. An iphone would just be another prime lens.
  12. bassman

    bassman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Apr 22, 2013
    New Jersey
    The Bassman
    If she's willing to put up with the larger body, the EM5 or GX7 are spectacular on iAuto. It's actually hard to take a misfocused or poorly exposed picture.
  13. faberryman

    faberryman Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 15, 2013
    Why don't you just buy what you want for yourself instead of rationalizing a new camera for your wife. Wives aren't dumb; they can see right through the machinations.
  14. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    rob collins
    A few points....
    1) Usually the inability to focus or misfocusing is a sign of a lack of interest in taking photos rather than being technically challenged
    2) And your comment that 'she knows she is required to bring a camera to family outings' also implies she is taking photos out of duty rather than any particular desire

    That really implies that the camera isnt really the problem, so dont have particularly high expectations of how things will turnout when you buy a new one - and perhaps simply consider that you are essentially buying yourself a back up camera.

    1) Turning off facial recognition because she might occasionally miss a focus with it, doesnt seem too smart when she is missing focus without it.
    2) Setting the camera to fixed manual settings of 2.8 1/100 sec probably isnt that helpful either. The wide aperture gives maximum chance of a missed focus and a fixed shutter speed gives about the maximum chance of an incorrectly exposed shot. While you can probably fix that in PP, it is a bit disheartening taking photos with a 'proper' camera that doesnt take as correctly exposed photos as a phone camera. The 'P' mode on the camera should be just fine.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Sounds to me that any camera is going to be a problem short of a "focus free" P&S....

    I say either spend some time to teach the basics


    get a simply compact or phone.
  16. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    What Ulfric said...

    If she's not interested, she's not interested, and if she's struggling to focus with a P&S then the narrow depth of field from a large sensor camera is only going to make matters worse. Not to mention the fact that lugging around a dedicated interchangeable-lens camera (even a small one like an GM1) is going to get old very quickly if she doesn't want to play.

    I'd even avoid an advanced P&S (LX7/RX100 as suggested) as the option of manual controls is only going to complicate matters for a 'non-photography spouse'.

    My advice? Get her the smartest 'dumb' point and shoot out there (or just her phone...), stick it in auto-everything, and accept that your photographic interest may not be hers.
  17. Ian.

    Ian. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 13, 2013
    Brilliant stuff here!

    Anyway, Google glass anyone?
  18. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Or for more reach & an EVF (like an E-M5) I recommend the Stylus 1 (same sensor as the XZ-2) with 35mm equivalent lens 28-300mm at a constant f/2.8 which works quite nicely in lower light (indoors) & also has a pop-up flash, but still has controls if needed & touch screen.

    It still might have too many options & controls for the purpose though.
  19. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    I would go along with a good advanced compact like the RX100 or LX7.
  20. pixl10

    pixl10 Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 31, 2011
    Phoenix AZ
    Panny G6 and 14-140, my travel, use in day or good light and hand it to anyone camera. Lightweight, and easy to use
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