Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice

Started Jan 23, 2013 | Discussions thread
Acrill
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Re: Best MILC for Complete Photography Novice
In reply to Haplo859, Jan 24, 2013

Haplo859 wrote:

Acrill wrote:

Haplo859 wrote:

1. I want to be able to make medium size prints (maybe large prints as well?) without having to worry about noise or blurriness.

2. I'd like a camera that is able to perform adequately in more trying circumstances such as low light shots.

These are good reasons, in fact they are the most compelling reasons for upgrading to an interchangeable-lens camera.

To achieve these things, however, you will need to purchase a lens that can help you do this. Unfortunately, you cannot achieve your goals relying on only the 'kt lens'.

A GF5, for instance, comes with the Olympus 14-42mm which has an aperture of f/3.5-5.6. This lens will work fine in good light but will struggle in low--light conditions due to the narrow aperture which restricts the amount of light reaching the sensor. Such a lens is usually described as 'slow'. A lens with s smaller focal number such as 2.0 or 1.4 is called a 'fast' lens.

Here is a good article that explains lens aperture and the exposure triangle: http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-exposure.htm

You have three options as I see it:

1. Use a tripod for low light scenes. This is possible for static scenes but is not a workable solution when dealilng with moving objects such as family members.

2. Purchase a fast aperture lens. This means a lens such as the Panasonic 25mm 1.4 or Sigma 19mm 2.8. An aperture of 1.4 is considerably faster than 2.8, but 2.8 is still faster than the 3.5-5.6 kit lens. The faster your lens aperture the better it will perform in handheld low-light situations.

3. Purchase a compact camera such as the Sony RX100, Olympus XZ-2 or Panasonic LX7 that has a fast-aperture lens built into the camera.

I agree with most of the other posters here that option 3 sounds like the best fit for your siutaiton if you are not prepared to buy multiple lenses for different uses.

These high-end compacts are great cameras, with full manual controls, and are capable of good prints. Any one of them would make an excellent device for learning the ins and outs of photography without needing to purchase additional lenses.

Thanks for weighing in Acril. I had some questions for you:

1. Are "fast" lens with wide apertures better than lenses with narrower apertures in all situations? For example would you get better shots using a fast lens during bright daylight, normal light, and low light. ..or is a fast lens better for low light and a slow lens better for bright light situations?

2. I don't understand how using a tripod would affect shots in low light. Could you please elaborate why using a tripod would make a difference?

3. How much lag-time do the high-end P&S cameras have? One of the things that drives me crazy with P&S is when I click the button and then have to wait a second or two for the camera to focus and actually take the photo.

4. Any other recommendations for quality P&S. Looks like the Panasonic LX7 (~$400) is about $125 cheaper than the other two options so that looks like a solid option.

1. A fast lens allows you to take better low-light pictures but doesn't necesarrily have any advantage over a slower lens in good lighting. The fast lens does have more creative possibiilites but that is a different topic.

2. Using a tripod allows you to use very slow shutter speeds to achieve a proper exposure on low light situations. The article I linked has a good explanation of this.

3. I haven't used them personally, but in general they have electronic shutters so the newer models should have little to no shutter lag. Your best bet is to visit a camera store and try holding and shooting with some of them.

4. Here is a little list off the top of my head -

Olympus XZ1, XZ2, or the soon-to-be-announced XZ10 which is supposed to be announced at the end of this month. The XZ10 is also supposed to be cheaper than the XZ2.

Panasonic LX3, LX5, or the latest model, the LX7.

Sony RX100

Fuji X10 or the upcoming Fuji X20

Pentax MX1

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Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XC 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OIS
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