How a "semi-professional" photographer can't find a new camera - can you help me?

Started Apr 27, 2014 | Discussions thread
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How a "semi-professional" photographer can't find a new camera - can you help me?
Apr 27, 2014

Hey guys,

I started photography since 2005 and soon I ended up with few several cameras: I started with Konica Minolta Z6, then found out Zenit ET with few prime lens, then bought a film rangefinder (Fed-5B), Canon 450D + 18-200mm F/3.5-5.6 + EX 430II flash + Canon 50mm F/1.4. With the latest set-up, I used to work as an amateur photographer and I participated in 3 photography exhibitions. I found out that my camera now is sold or will be sold on eBay. Well... I don't enjoy paid photography anymore. I don't even share my photos on social networks/flickr (I print them instead). And such kit is quite heavy and bulky for what I enjoy now - mountaineering. So I need a small(ish) camera with a small(ish)! lens for landscape photography, mostly.

Currently I take photos with the Zorki-4, film rangefinder. However, it is very heavy and I find that I use my smartphone more often than the camera itself. Why so? If it's a horizontal rain/snow, your fingers are freezing and you feel terrible, I can't mess around with a light meter, the camera itself, winding it up every time... Don't get me wrong, I like film photography, but not in extreme conditions when moving quickly and keeping your hands warm is essential. The photos look nice, but they really depend on the film and post-processing, which aren't that cheap anymore.

My first idea was to buy Fujifilm X20 or Canon G15. I soon found out that X30 is to be released in less than half a year and hence I delayed my purchase. I also got scared because of small sensor. I still want a camera with a great image quality as I am thinking about my personal photo exhibition at some time. Well, you never know... I am far from the best photographers, but I just want to make sure that the photos I make could be printed in larger format.

Hence, my final choice is Olympus PEN E-PL5 with either Sigma 19mm or Panasonic Lumix 20mm lens. They aren't the most expensive, it would feature a good image quality (not worse than with 450D, I suppose) and most importantly, the camera with lens would be small enough to be carried for a week or two. I don't want highest ISO speeds (won't be using with long lens or at dark, mostly) either. A viewfinder is not present at E-PL5 and I would really appreciate such a feature. I wouldn't buy an external viewfinder for such a ridiculous price, though.

Some thoughts would be welcome... I am new to digital mirrorless cameras and I have spent a great amount of time surfing the internet. Hence, I am confused and I do not really know what I want! I am based in the UK and I am looking for a budget version. As a student, I can't afford X100s (would be a good option for me).

P.s. Oh, and I think I might be using it for events photography as well. I am running a society at the University. I have a Helios 44M-4 (50mm F/2) Full-Frame lens which would add some functionality while doing that!

Thanks a lot and I am sorry for so long post! Probably just wanted to write down my thoughts and get some tips.

Canon EOS 450D (EOS Rebel XSi / EOS Kiss X2) Canon PowerShot G15 Fujifilm X100S Fujifilm X20 Olympus PEN E-PL5
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