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Author Topic: Wife needs new Camera - Please help with suggestions.  (Read 6438 times)
SpiritShooter
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« on: May 14, 2012, 01:07:05 PM »
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My wife's birthday is coming up a few weeks. A number of years ago she gave up her Contax G2 for digital and since that time has given up interchangeable lens cameras for compact fixed lens cameras.

Currently, her Canon G10 is falling apart, has been through  all sorts of abusive outings, has been dropped, BUT still works.....well barely.

So, as a good and caring spouse, I want to get her a new camera. No knowing much about todays offerings, I would like some help and suggestions for this gift. The criteria is to get her a compact fixed lens (zoom) similar to her current G10 in that she doesn't want to lug around lenses and LOVES a large zoom range.  Money isn't really an object at this level, so please have at it.

Image quality is the main qualification. I do realize that a compact can not compare with a D800, but I would like to get her something that has the best image quality and zoom range that is available.

Thanks all.
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k bennett
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 03:17:14 PM »
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If your two main objectives are image quality and zoom range, and money is no object, I'd probably look at the Panasonic GH2 with the 14-140mm lens (28-280mm-e). It's not super compact, but it's a lot smaller than, say, a Canon Rebel. The GH2 will also take several excellent small primes from Panny and Olympus, in case she misses that sort of shooting style from her Contax. I use it with the 14/2.5, the 20/1.7, and the 45/1.8 for a nice traditional 3-lens kit that is remarkably small.

If what you want instead is one of the "superzoom" cameras that I see everywhere, I'm not sure what to say except that all of them are probably ok, but none will be stellar from an IQ perspective.

I do have a tiny Panasonic p+s with a 25-300mm equivalent zoom and a sensor apparently the size of a grain of rice. The ZS1, I think. It fits in a shirt pocket and takes unterrible photos in good light.
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 04:14:46 PM »
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The GH2 sounds like it might fit the bill. I need to take a look and check out the size of the lens. 28-280 Equiv would be perfect. And of course I would guess that the image quality would exceed most of the Super Zooms with smaller sensors.
Will repot back.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 06:43:58 PM »
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I would consider the following options:
- Nikon J1 if speed and ease of use is most important,
- Olympus OMD if the best possible image quality is key,
- Sony NEX 5n for a great al round option with good feel,
- Canon G1X for a compact like experience without the stress of knowing that one might have to change a lens some day.

Cheers,
Bernard
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 07:10:35 PM »
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Bernard,

Thanks for your opinions.

I feel like such a newb when it comes to compact and mirror-less cameras as I only really shoot my M9 and D800. This is for my lovely bride and I want it to be a surprise.

I aM quite intrigued by the J1 but wonder how the image quality is. My wife primarily shoots for family events and travel. She prints mostly 4x6 for photo albums and wants a versatile camera that is relatively small yet still has nice image quality. IQ doesn't have to be the absolute best, but she would like some DOF capability. She complains about the lack of shallow DOF and shutter lag as she also like shooting people on the street.

The G1X might also be an interesting alternative as she is already familiar with it's ancestor the G10. Smiley

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k bennett
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 07:14:06 PM »
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I'd forgotten about the Nikon mirrorless option. Kirk Tuck seemed to like it a lot:

http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2011/10/nikon-1-counterintuitive-crazy-and.html
http://visualsciencelab.blogspot.com/2011/12/nikon-series-one-10mm-100mm-kirk-review.html

My wife carries her Panasonic G1 with the 14-45mm lens in the main compartment of her purse. The GH2 is almost exactly the same size, but of course the 14-140 is larger.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2012, 07:20:44 PM »
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Bernard,

Thanks for your opinions.

I feel like such a newb when it comes to compact and mirror-less cameras as I only really shoot my M9 and D800. This is for my lovely bride and I want it to be a surprise.

I aM quite intrigued by the J1 but wonder how the image quality is. My wife primarily shoots for family events and travel. She prints mostly 4x6 for photo albums and wants a versatile camera that is relatively small yet still has nice image quality. IQ doesn't have to be the absolute best, but she would like some DOF capability. She complains about the lack of shallow DOF and shutter lag as she also like shooting people on the street.

Image qualitywise, you can think of the J1 as having D80+ image quality, so very good in fact. The videos are also excellent.

Now shallow DoF is not the forte of the 1 system, the Nex 5n might be the only game in town then. Some may say Fuji, but there are probably too many irritating issues left.

Cheers,
Bernard
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k bennett
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2012, 07:25:50 PM »
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I guess buying her an M9 and a Tri-Elmar crossed your mind, right?

The DOF control thing is harder with the zoom kit lenses, even with the larger APS sensors, and more so with m4/3. With the primes it's not hard at all.
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2012, 07:36:43 PM »
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Of course I did....... Shocked

Fortunately I use all primes and that is another of her "pet peeves". She is lazy and like zooms. Lucky for me.  Grin

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BJL
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« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2012, 10:12:41 PM »
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If you want more quality than a tiny-sensored fixed-lens super-zoom gives, the the Nikon V1 (294g w/o battery) with the Nikon 10-100/4.5-5.6 (95mm long 515g) is worth looking at for the big zoom range that you say she wants. Pricey for a small camera kit ($900 for the V1, $750 for the lens), but nothing is too good for her, right?

At the next step up in, one big question is the viewfinder: if your wife can work with an LCD most or all the time, there are some nice little Contax-like options, like the new Panasonic GX1  and that Panasonic 14-140/4-5.8.

But if she is going to haul around a wide-ranging zoom like that 10-100 or 14-140, a tiny body may not be so much of a priority, and then one might consider the Olympus E-M5, which could then be use with the surprisingly small Olympus 14-150/4-5.6.

I grabbed some weights and lengths, and was a bit surprised at which is the shortest and lightest, and also which is the heaviest and longest:

Nikon V1 (294g w/o battery) + Nikon 10-100/4.5-5.6 (95mm long 515g) total weight about 908g without battery.
Panasonic GX1 (272g w/o battery) + Panasonic 14-140/4-5.8 (85mm long 460g). total weight about 732g  without battery or EVF.
Panasonic GH2 (442g with battery) + Panasonic 14-140/4-5.8 (85mm long 460g). total weight about 902g  _with_ battery.
Olympus E-M5 (425g with battery) + Olympus 14-150/4-5.6 (83mm long, 280g) total weight 725g _with_ battery.

Is the absence of IS from the Olympus lens responsible for that big weight reduction, outweighing the addition of IS to the Olympus body?
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 10:14:13 PM by BJL » Logged
Paulo Bizarro
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 03:06:35 AM »
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Did she enjoyed the G10? If yes, then there is nothing wrong about going for something like the G12 or the Nikon P7100, they will fit the bill perfectly. Especially if she does not print above 6x4.

I currently use the P7100 for "family outings" and unpreocupied phoography, it is a great little camera, with a very good lens.
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 04:03:40 PM »
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Hi,

Yes, my wife liked her G10.  However, she told me that she really would like a camera that gives her the ability to obtain a more shallow depth of field, yet at the same time maintain resonable compactness and light weight.

I have to say that trying to buy a gift for your wife when she wants everything her way is a serious undertaking.

So, after 3 days of nonstop reading, chatting and searching I am going to look at the Nex 5n and Nex 7 tonight a the Sony Style store. I still think that she won't like carrying multiple lenses, but I can try. I looked at the Canon G1X and wan't very impressed.  I think the G12 is ok, but she can do better with respect to her DOF requirement.

One item that I think she may object to is the lack of a built in flash Personally, I rarely utilize flash except in rare instances or for work.

Also, still have to check out a few more of the mirror less wonders before I take a shot.

This is a birthday surprise for her, so unfortunately I can't drag her to the stores with me.
Thanks

Steve
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 04:39:33 PM by SpiritShooter » Logged

SpiritShooter
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 09:43:20 PM »
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OK, so I went to the Sony Store and Best Buy this evening. Checked out their array of cameras and wound up getting her the Sony Nex 7 with the 18-55 lens. I suppose if she likes it I can get her another lens with more zoom range.

After reviewing and looking at a large array of cameras, I decided on the Nex 7 because:

1. Larger sensor giving her the ability to obtain a shallower DOF
2. Built in EVF
3. Built in pop-up flash.

I considered the new 5n, but I also know that she wants a built-in flash and hates to carry extra stuff.
So I want to thank everyone for their input and help.

And for the record, please do not tell her that my M-Lenses will fit this camera. Smiley
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 10:52:20 PM »
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I'm more than happy with my Canon G1X it's a point and shoot 7D!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2012, 06:29:30 AM »
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After reviewing and looking at a large array of cameras, I decided on the Nex 7 because:

Good choice. Our medical school photographers have one of these, and I got to play with it last week. It's well designed and the usability is quite good. And the built-in EVF is in its proper location Smiley

Hope she likes it.
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2012, 03:28:41 PM »
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Last night I  gave the little lady the the new Nex7 for her b-day present.  You should have seen the look on her face.

The initial comment she made was "WOW, is that for me?" I said yes. Then after unboxing she said, "WOW, that is a small camera, but I like my Canon G10". Hmm, I Then responded telling her that it's image quality is quite good, she said, "But I like my Canon".   I explained that the Nex7 can produce a shallower DOF than her G10. She said "Thats nice, but I really like my G10, I know how to use it and it works".

At this point I was getting a bit downtrodden. So I added, that there is virtually no shutter delay. Her eyes opened wide and she said "Really?, you mean I can shoot the dogs running and capture the moment?" Yup, I responded. She then thought for a moment holding the Nex7 in her hands, turning it over, looking at it, and asked "Can you order me one of those cool Barton braided leather straps in purple? I said sure...she stood up, pumped her fist and exclaimed "Yes, thank you, I love it!".

Damn, a woman's priorities simply baffle me.........a purple braided leather strap?
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Schewe
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2012, 06:15:03 PM »
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Damn, a woman's priorities simply baffle me.........a purple braided leather strap?

How long have you been married? If over seven years, you should have known better than to try to buy a camera for her. Far better to gift wrap the purple braided leather strap and give her a gift certificate for the camera of HER FRIGGN' choice in the box with the neck strap. Cameras tend to be real personal while accessories are a fashion statement–which is much easier for a husband to choose as a gift :~)
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SpiritShooter
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« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2012, 01:44:45 PM »
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So Schewe, this AM show woke up and immediately started checking out the camera and instruction booklet. Told me she can't wait to use it and make images.

They have amazingly short memories. Oh yeah, been married 34 years.
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fredjeang
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« Reply #18 on: May 19, 2012, 01:55:05 PM »
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Strange thread indeed.

I know I know, it's not been said directly but it smells behind the scene the: wich easy car for my wife? 

you know, those clumpsy women... The 1Ds for the real men, and the colored gadgeteries for the ladies?

mmm...

It makes me think: I want to meet this woman driving her Porshe at 300 (on a german autobahn of course !)

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Rob C
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2012, 02:41:19 PM »
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Schewe's absolutely right, and on top of that, I'm afraid they certainly don't have short memories: they fake better.

I'd hate anyobody to buy me something expensive without my being there at the moment of truth, the purchase. Imagine: all your life you fancied that Rolex and when you open the box, a Breitling! Your heart's set on a Maserati but come the morning and Santa's left you a Ferrari instead. You'd have accepted it in red, but this mother just squats there, mocking you in yellow!

These things are all too personal for anyone else to make the decisions on your behalf! After all, you can hardly take them back to Marks for a refund.

I speak only for myself, of course, and other matrimonial situations will have a different set of characters.

;-)

Rob C
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