Priorities for you as a first time buyer vs you today

Started Apr 29, 2009 | Discussions thread
Esa Tuunanen Regular Member • Posts: 277
Same here.

I had been "forced" to take few shots with basic automatic 35mm camera but that was all of my photographing "experience" except having few times followed my father taking some photos with his SLR.

IIRC it was in the end of 2002 when I started looking for good digital camera with decent controls. For long time I was decided on to Canon's very widely advertised Powershot G3 but in the end I went for camera of Olympus-like less advertising quiet manufacturer, Minolta Dimage 7i, because I liked the idea of mechanical zoom with more reach in both ends and ordered it in start of 2003 from one German shop because prices in Finland were lot higher. After getting to know the camera I fell in love with about every feature of it and mechanical zoom along with 28mm wide angle became must have features and non-menu based controls were also great and EVF turned to be brilliant feature by combining live exposure preview and histogram of digital display to practicality of TTL viewfinder. (stable shooting stance and works well in bright light) After that I knew that I would always want live exposure preview for best adjusting of exposure. Also info LCD on top and EVF's auto on sensor were very useful.

Two years later with situation having changed dramatically after Minolta having merged with Konica and cheap entry level DSLRs having done their first appearance and Minolta's prosumer range's having taken back step by replacing even more control and feature rich (compared to 7i) Dimage A2 with all around dumbed down A200 with its return to low res EVF and removal of second control dial/wheel and lot more menu based controls I got worried because there didn't seem to be any chances of Minolta showing again what they can do. Because of A2 having been out of production possibly for nearly half year search of A2 nearly turned to failure until after couple weeks of searching I found one Swedish shop which had those still in stock.

Needless to say I ordered one as fast as I could and after getting it into my hands in March 2005 I again fell in love with real feature advances of quiet maker. Bigger EVF had superbly high resolution which kept its top podium for nearly five years beating all EVFs by big margin and still keeping up with less usefull LCDs of few DSLRs. (Panasonic DMC-G1 has first better EVF) Second control dial was just what I needed for more effective use of camera as tool for taking photos I want and stabilization was another big improvement. Some time later I decided to get Battery pack/vertical grip and soon also that got added to must have features.

Now in my eyes every fixed fixed lens digicam is just plain point&pray toy and entry level DSLRs are barely better in controls and need "post-preview" of exposure. I would like better image quality of lot bigger sensor but definitely want live exposure preview and neither do I like the idea of thin depth of field causing need for big dimming (my interests are nature/landscapes/sky) with hugely bigger lenses so Micro Four Thirds would seem like ideal compromise. Also I really like good all around 28-200mm range in one lens so Pana Leica 14-150mm looks like very good exception to cheaper consumer grade similar range zooms of other systems. But Panasonic's ergonomics/controls just suck so I'm now hoping that Olympus makes E-30 level m4/3 body with Panasonic's EVF but without fashionable bling bling or extra baggage from SLRs: Panasonic's big LCD just makes camera wide but still eats space from controls and for EVF centered (vs. optical TTL) camera design/layout of Minolta A2 is simply the best.

Also video shooting is now must (although I have now HDV camcorder gotten for 2007's tornado alley trip) because 2005's best thunderstorm had first strong inflow which changed to downburst and without video mode I wouldn't have gotten any material from it.

'The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.'
-George Bernard Shaw

 Esa Tuunanen's gear list:Esa Tuunanen's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Olympus E-M1 II Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm 1:2.8-4.0 SWD Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Leica D Vario-Elmar 14-150mm F3.5-5.6 Asph Mega OIS +6 more
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