Full frame P&S for under $100

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
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rsn Regular Member • Posts: 463
Full frame P&S for under $100

So this really is in reply to another thread, but the copy and paste types who do it continually drove me away from that thread, to lazy to keep scrolling to find the one sentence that is relevant.

So looking for a P&S, full frame, purchased on a dime, well here is your answer, but it is film. I'd like to introduce you to another cult camera, kind of like the Fuji X100 series, in fact in my head, kind of prototype for future street cameras.

And now to introduce you (drum roll please) to the Olympus Stylus Epic, I will provide links below. But I bought mine brand new for under a hundred, I believe something likw $70 is what I paid but folks have discovered this camera and it isn't unusual to see it going for $250 or more.

Here is a Wiki spiel on it:

The Olympus Stylus Epic, also known as the μ[mju:]-II[1] in other parts of the world, is a 35mm compact camera. Introduced in 1997,[2] the Olympus Stylus Epic followed a long line of fixed focal length, budget priced, consumer level, point and shoot cameras from Olympus that have tended to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals who want a camera small enough to fit in a pocket. It is much cheaper than most point and shoot cameras that are popular with enthusiasts.

The Epic has a fixed 35mm f/2.8 lens, and can focus down to 35 centimetres (14 in). It has a spot meter, and optional red eye reduction. The design is very tough and the camera can be carried in a pocket or handbag without fear of damage. The camera is also very lightweight 145 grams (5.1 oz) and splash proof.[3][4]

The fixed lens on this camera is much faster than other Olympus point-and-shoots many of which include zoom lenses. The zoom lens versions have much slower lenses(f/4.5 at the wide end), and in general, lower quality optics, compared to the fixed 35mm lens.

The "active three spot" automatic exposure system on this camera is quite sophisticated for a point and shoot. It can handle situations that would stymie most point-and-shoots, like focusing properly when aimed at two people, where there is a space between the subjects. Most cameras would focus on the center item (infinity), and the subjects would end up out of focus. The μ-II handles this situation with ease. You can also set the flash to fire regardless of the level of ambient light, to provide "fill flash" functionality.

The automatic exposure tends to favour more wide open exposure. Nevertheless, the lens center is sharp even wide open, though the corners are soft. There is a fair amount of vignetting, wide open. Red-eye can be a problem, with the flash so close to the lens. Red eye reduction is available, but this slows down the shot.

The camera moves the lens after the shutter is depressed, which results in a small (0.25 second) delay. The lens can be pre-focused, but it still doesn't move into position until the shutter button is fully depressed. This is quite common behaviour in film point and shoot cameras.

The flash starts charging when the cover is opened, rather than when the shutter button is partially depressed. This makes the camera much more "ready" for the shot, unless you pre-focus by half-depressing the shutter, compared to most digital point and shoots, most of which don't start charging the flash until the shutter button is depressed.

The Stylus Epic is somewhat of a cult classic among avid photographers due to quality and speed of the lens, a rare attribute among compact cameras.

It only has four DX-code reading contacts instead of the normal six, limiting the available ISO settings to full stops, i.e. 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200.

Flash modes
It has the following flash modes:

Red eye reduction - this camera uses a series of low power pre-flashes rather than a separate bulb
Flash off - This will cause the camera to automatically use a slower shutter speed necessitating the use of a tripod or similar
Fill-in flash
Night scene flash - This also uses a slow shutter speed and is incompatible with spot-metering mode
Red eye reduction night scene flash

If you search locally for this camera and not go to popular markets like Amazon or Ebay you will find it priced as low as $50 or even less, shop at well known photography used camera sites and the price will be higher.

This camera is perfect for shooting street photography and travel. Don't get the zoom model of this camera, the fixed lens is a much better lens.

To see what it looks like:


Here is a user review of it:


Fujifilm FinePix X100
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