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Frustrated with trade off's in choosing a camera

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by gordonramsey, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    No.
    The GF1, and all other 4/3 cameras, has a sensor that has a diagonal measurement 1/2 that of a 35mm film frame hence it needs lenses with 1/2 the focal length to get an image with the same view point. Thus there is no loss of quality from this perspective.

    The 4/3 sensor is more densely populated than a 24 x 36mm sensor so it is rather more noisy but it is much larger than that of a compact camera so, even though it isn't the quietest sensor it will be a marked improvement over your current camera.
     
  2. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Does the Sony NEX use X2 converter lenses or am I correct that this is not the same format as micro four thirds?

    I'm trying to get a definitive view on the best model for quality of images before I go to a store and play with them. I notice when I just looked at the full review of the GF1 that the Canon G11 gets rave reviews and mentions the GF1 as a rival saying 'The GF1 has a much larger sensor (though would require a much larger lens) to match the G11's 28 - 140mm equivalent range'.

    Short list if I can find the answers to some of these questions is:

    Sony NEX does it use the same x2 converters as the GF1
    Panasonic GF1... with max 2 lenses
    Canon G11

    Or is there a Manufacturer making SLR's which have very good intelligient auto features which would produce better 'point and shoot' results compared to the GF1 and others above? This would be an attractive option if it exists? Sure I'm now aware that the SLR's are a technician's toolbox but I'm wondering if there is always going to be a compromise with anything less than an SLR and to address this has a manufacturer made their IA point and shoot features very good to meet this demand of people like myself who are willing to pay for the extra technology and specs without HAVING to learn the MANY complicated features. For example I note the GF1 scores highly over the Olympus because in IA mode focuses much quicker on the target being shot which makes a big difference to the users experience of the camera. Maybe an SLR with all it's extra technology means that in IA mode it is slow due to to all the aspects it has to calculate and in fact a GF1 does this better???
     
  3. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Yeah, it is slightly out of context. What I was explaining is that the P100 give you equiv to 678mm on 35mm. Well lens in this range for full frame 35mm dSLRs are very expensive and heavy. So some photographer who occasions want 600mm and above on their 35mm cameras use a other lens which is a 2x converter. This little lens doubles the lens from 300mm to 600mm. But the price you pay for the little cheat is the exposure has to double and you might lose abit of sharpness in the image because of the extra glass of the converter.

    You should be able to get the same little piece of kit for the GF1 so if you had the GF1 with a 14-140mm and a 2x converter. When you needed it (say the US open) you can add the 2x and the lens becomes a 28-280mm which on the GF1 is like having a 560mm on a 35mm full frame dSLR :)

    The camera's auto should know that you are now shooting with a 280mm lens on it and adjust correctly.
     
  4. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    At the risk of repeating myself, the physical size of the sensor, or film, determines the angle of view of a lens of a given focal length.

    A lens with a focal length equal to the diagonal of the sensor will give an angle of view similar to that of the human eye. So on 4/3 that is 25mm, on APS-C (Nikon DX) it is around 35mm, for 35mm film around 50mm.

    As far as I know no current camera has a lens built in to it that changes the focal length. You are confusing the "focal length multiplier", which is a shorthand for the difference in sensor diagonals, with Tele-converters which are optical devices to increase focal length.

    The "focal length multiplier" comes about because some marketing bod decided that to sell the smaller sensor it was necessary to refer all focal lengths to the 35mm film equivalent. So it was determined that, for a 4/3 camera a 25mm lens behaved like a 50mm lens on 35mm film.

    Now focal length is an absolute so a 25mm lens is a 25mm lens whether used on 4/3, 35mm film or 1/4 plate. This ignores the fact that the same lens will not adequately illuminate all three sizes. The depth of field of a 25mm lens is quite large so although when use on 4/3 it provides an angle of view similar to that of a 50mm lens on 35mm film in other respects it still behaves like a 25mm lens.

    Your Panasonic has a lens that, by the above convention, equates to 28-280mm on 35mm film. Except that it has massively more depth of field because it really has a much shorter focal length. I gets away with that because the sensor is so small. The NE-X has a sensor the same size as APS-C so it is bigger than 4/3 but smaller than 35mm film.
     
  5. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    Totally agree. So for the NEX you would be looking at the SEL-18200 which is 18-200mm which would be like having a a 27mm - 300mm on a full frame 35mm camera. So similar to the the 14-140mm on the GF1. And again you can get tele converter for the NEX to boost the focal length and get abit more zoom.
     
  6. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    To be honest Gordon (may I call you Gordon?) you've been worrying your little socks off about this since May 30th, you might have a nervous breakdown with any more info.

    Before that you went through similar worries about the 'woefulness' of zooms and flapped all over the G series then, so you must have a fair background knowledge of them by now.

    Tbh if I was in your situation I'd go out and get mesen a lovely full frame DSLR with a stonking 2.8 zoom. That would blow the brains out of any of the cameras you're considering. But it wouldn't make the blindest bit of difference to your digital photo-frame. And it wouldn't fit in your cabin bag.
     
  7. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    yes Since May I bought Nikon Bridge camera which was disappointing hence the need to gather some knowledge. Thanks to those who contributed, especially those who felt it was a bane and tiresome to have to repeat themselves and then went on to explain in 5 more paragraphs what was supposed to be the obvious! There were those like P_Stoddart who contributed with class without resorting to patronisation which was noticed and appreciated... thanks, Gordon.
     
  8. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    Dear Mr Ramsey,

    There are many of us, I'm sure, who have watched your research with mounting interest. The number and type of questions that you asked have never been known on this forum before and you have given the term research a new meaning. Your thoroughness and persistence has been a model. (BTW I mean all this - I'm not trying to wind you up. I've added this remark after re-reading the original and realising that it could be misinterpreted.)

    However please, please, don't leave us in the dark. Do have the generosity to tell us your decision. Personally I'd also be interested in your reasons for making the decision. What swung it for you?

    MickLL
     
  9. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    You'll need to try a little harder than this to push my buttons Mike, sorry Mick haha... all good fun!
     
  10. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    What a very strange reaction!

    I asked a perfectly civil question in a perfectly civil way. I went out of my way to add a rider in an attempt to ensure that you didn't think that I was trying to 'press buttons' (assuming that I've guessed that meaning correctly).

    As I said, what a very strange reaction.

    If you don't want to tell us your decision I suppose that I can live with that - but I was interested.

    MickLL
     
  11. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Despite the caveat it was obvious you were taking the pi** so no it wasn't strange reaction. Especially as this came after you had already bowed out of the debate and only came back in to scorn one of the intended viewing methods. To then make out that you were waiting eagerly for me to 'generously' tell everyone of my decision was sarcasm personified.

    I'm probably going to go with the GF1 with the 140mm lens which seems the best option. Despite my current level of ignorance in regard to the technicalities of photography I'm hoping it will be the best option in giving better results and should my lifestyle change and time becomes available I will have a semi pro camera to learn more. The NEX body just looks to small and as said by others I'm sure will be awkward to handle with the larger lenses.

    Just for you Mick the next thorough issue to decide is where to buy the camera as my job takes me all over and I've heard the U.S is a good place to buy cameras and may be cheaper so I may end up buying in the states...
     
  12. MickLL

    MickLL Well-Known Member

    In your head - not mine.

    I bowed out because I thought that you were unnecessarily rude about a post that, as always, I intended to help.

    I came back in because I thought that the point that I wanted to make was sufficiently important to be made again I believed that I was being helpful. I'm not intending to be patronising but there was always the possibility that you may not have realised that a photo frame is incapable of showing the difference between a good and bad camera (a simplistic statement I know - but enough truth to be valid).

    Thanks for telling us the outcome.

    A final attempt to be helpful. There are lots of sharks in the US camera market - with very much sharper teeth than we are used to here. As a traveller you might be aware of that but I'd strongly advise thorough 'googling' about some US retailers.

    Now I really will bow out.

    MickLL
     
  13. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    If you buy in the USA remember you have to pay VAT on bringing your purchases back into the EU, assuming you are based here.

    I can thoroughly recommend B&H in New York as being both helpful and offering competitive prices.
     
  14. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    I'm in Dubai which certainly isn't the cheapest place to buy. The Panasonic FZ38 is known as the FZ35 here and it costs 2800 AED = 480 Pounds which is widely on sale in the UK for 250 - 280 Pounds

    The GF1 is AED 3750/ 640 pounds just for the body...
     
  15. P_Stoddart

    P_Stoddart Well-Known Member

    I don't know myself about these things. But were will that leave you on warranty? Are all Panasonic warranties worldwide? Does anyone know? I would check with the sales guy and check the warranty paperwork. Maybe you could email Panasonic or look at their website and see if they have info on this. Just a thought.
     
  16. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Having thought about it I'm not too concerned about buying in a different country as My airline fly's daily to U.S so even if I'm not working on the flight and I need to return something it's only a matter of days before someone I know is operating on the flight. One of the perks is that we can also swap flights and choose our destinations...
     
  17. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    If you do choose to buy from the States, Adorama and B&H both have good reputations. I've been to B&H in NYC, and it's a fantastic experience, as well as a great place to buy. Lots of places ares suspiciously cheap, and indeed they are too good to be true, up to all sorts of tricks they would never get away with here.
     
  18. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    Thanks for the contacts. I've just looked on both their websites and they're a little cheaper in the states. You get the body and 45mm lens for the same price of the body here in UK
     
  19. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    I've just offered 270 pounds for a used GF1 on ebay which has been accepted and the auction ended early. There is a story to match the price and The seller is nearby and are delivering personally so I can verify the working condition and receipt. The seller has 261 transactions (mainly sales) and has 100% feedback.

    The unit was a shop demo camera and the base was scratched by a tripod so it was sent back to Panasonic who replaced the base without placing the serial number back onto the base. As unlikely as this may seem (I agree) I have decided to take a calculated risk of buying the camera at half the price and either I, or I will ask the seller to contact the retailer whilst they are still obligated to be involved in correcting this error between themselves and panasonic. I am mindful that whilst the retailer has assured the owner that should there be a problem in the future the receipt is enough (which I'm sure Panasonic will take issue with) after 6 months when the receipt and warranty expires then even the retailer is not obligated to correct this.

    So it seems the thing to buy now is the 45mm and 140mm lens with built in IS...
     
  20. gordonramsey

    gordonramsey Active Member

    I've just spoken to the independent retailer who confirmed the story and say the Panasonic repair agents in Ashton-Under-Lyne do not replace the serial number stickers because they are etched onto the bases. They have assured me that there is data stored on the camera which Panasonic have access to should they question the missing serial number and it has a 3 year warranty.
     

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