Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Started Apr 9, 2012 | Discussions
snake_b Veteran Member • Posts: 4,680
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Because you do and the woman in question's wishes appear to be the last priority, with yours being primary.

Take her to a store, pick out a few to try out, see how she likes them, then go from there.

cinemascope wrote:

Why you keep saying that I want it for myself? I just thought some people dismissed it very quickly. I am happy to look at something else, but since I also think it has a lot of pros, I didn't want to just dismiss it too quickly myself too. geroyche did not say go for it, but he acknowledged some pros and cons, and that's how I feel too.

I started this thread thinking we would have a discussion about the EX1 and it's pros and cons, and perhaps look at some samples, but instead it became more of a thread about alternative options...

Anyway, I am really not sure if this is indeed a good idea, but I have looked at alternatives, and while others may do some things better unfortunately nothing seems as nice as the combination of nice lens, swivel screen and metal body that the EX1 provides. However, from the responses here, I'm starting to feel I really better move on and look at something else...

Thanks everyone for their suggestions. The Wi-Fi thing is also a good idea. If anyone has anything to add about the EX1 or perhaps some samples to share, I'm still happy to hear about it though... In the meantime I'll be exploring a few more options...

phototransformations
phototransformations Senior Member • Posts: 2,833
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

I gave a lot of thought to getting a camera for my girlfriend a couple of years ago. She, too, greatly values her photography but is impatient with learning the camera technology. I arrived at the then-current superzoom, the Panasonic FZ-35. Although obviously larger than the Samsung, it is very light, image quality is on par with the EX1, the aperture when shooting wide (which you would do indoors) is adequate, and it opens up a world of shooting not possible with the EX1 due to its much longer lens on the long end. I'd buy her the Panasonic equivalent today, assuming similar specs for sensor and wide end of the lens. She's still incredibly happy with this 2009 Panasonic.

I would never have given her the EX1. Although I use it all the time, I don't mind finding workarounds for all its frustrating user interface shortcomings and quirks, and I carry a m4/3 camera with telephoto zoom for long shots. She would have found it quite frustrating. Also, I find the JPEG output inferior to many other cameras -- way overprocessed -- and that is not the case with the Panasonics I have used.

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OP cinemascope Regular Member • Posts: 100
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Thanks! It seems the EX1 is really quirky and indeed not a good option.

wictred Senior Member • Posts: 1,195
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

if it should be a full-auto compact camera and samsung EX1 is "too much" / "too complicated" (if you want to fully use it) then you could also have a look at http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/
You'll find more compact camera reviews there than on dpreview.

i'd go for one of the canon cameras

they all are superb for shooting full-auto, the image quality is usually decent (not only pure IQ but also what you get out of it when you just point-and-shoot) and there are various different models, each with nice features (e.g ixus ultra-compact) - and they have useful zoom ranges.

the canon powershots or maybe one of the ixus cameras might be interesting - I've seen a few high ISO shots of the IXUS 220 HS (ELPH 300) and they look great for such a small camera - maybe it's the back-light cmos.

cinemascope wrote:

Thanks! It seems the EX1 is really quirky and indeed not a good option.

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SirLataxe
SirLataxe Veteran Member • Posts: 3,863
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Mr Scope,

There might be reasons that the lady you describe would enjoy the EX1:

  • The screen is not only articulated but also of excellent quality. Images can easily be seen & enjoyed in playback on the EX1, as well as when shooting, which is not true of many other P&S screens.

  • The F1.8 lens + image stabilisation + decent image quality up to ISO 400 or even 800 + bright articulated screen means that the EX1 can do well indoors, in dim light. Add a small Samsung flashgun (the one with the bounce head) and it becomes a very good indoor camera, for domestic situations at least.

  • The tele end is just long enough for good head & shoulders portraits also - especially at f1.8 or thereabouts, for some background blur.

  • The 24mm (equiv) wide lens is also suitable for shots of intimate social occasions in a domestic setting. (It a bit "tech" but you can also mount a decent add-on lens to get 18mm (equiv) wide angle - very good for taking in a whole (domestic-sized) room or a restaurant table full of happy family revellers).

  • The EX1 is quite tough yet small enough for the handbag. A tank-like build with a screen that folds in for protection is no bad thing if the camera is to live in a handbag cheek-by-jowel with all those other lady-items jiggling about in there.

Of course, it will be a "waste" if the lady don't use RAW.... although Brian will disagree; and he has the photographic evidence to make a good case for the EX1 in non-RAW mode.

SirLataxe, so enamoured of the EX1 that he has even neglected his Sony R1 of late.

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,192
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

These high end compacts are not a camera to be bought by someone on behalf of someone else. If the person is unable to choose the camera themself without assistance they should go for a camera built to be easy to use such as a Canon Ixus. It might be an idea to avoid a camera with RAW to ensure you are getting a camera designed for simple use. Also avoid high mega pixel cameras (over 12mp) as these usually struggle in difficult lighting conditions which is another reason to go for Canon.

cinemascope wrote:

Thanks! It seems the EX1 is really quirky and indeed not a good option.

jj74e Senior Member • Posts: 1,633
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

The EX1 would be perfectly fine in auto mode. Certainly, Samsung's auto/JPEG renditions aren't the best, but they're perfectly fine for someone who isn't a pro photog anyway.

I don't think the EX1 is overly complicated- as you said, many people use DSLRs on full auto, and conversely, many point and shoots feature more physical controls and manual controls anyway.

Yes, the EX1 has some menu quirks and isn't the smoothest operator, but does that matter in light of your mom's skill level? Will she be using the menu often, if at all?

I don't think menu familiarity will be that big a deal to get a Canon because of it- after all, again, if she's not good with technology, likely she will rarely dive into the menu, if ever.

I think if you want a P&S swivel screen, the EX1 is your best choice- plus, it can be had for very cheap these days.

Perhaps though, she might fancy a pocket travelzoom camera like the recent Canon models (i believe their model line is SX or something). Although, if she will be taking many indoor shots, a fast aperture model like the EX1 would be better.

Based on what you describe, the EX1 seems to be a great fit. She'll probably have fun with the articulated screen, and while Canon's G12 or S100 might be better IQ/Auto wise, I can understand if your mom wants something more "interesting" than the S100- and the G12 is more expensive, and yes, most people generally agree the optical viewfinder is useless- not to mention, it has even more dials and whatnot for your mom to be confused by.

jj74e Senior Member • Posts: 1,633
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

To reiterate, I think the EX1 is a great choice if your mom will not be bothered by its quirky performance/menu/not optimal JPEGs. It's price, fast lens, and overall IQ and build quality is very good.

At the same time, I think the best alternative (unless she might fancy a travelzoom) is the S100. It is light, has Canon's great JPEGs, has a slower, but still fast lens, and is very small indeed.

Either way, show her the two cameras on a website or in store (although i have not seen either in store yet) and ask her which she likes better, or if she would like something else.

It's nice of you go through this searching for her

jj74e Senior Member • Posts: 1,633
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

cinemascope wrote:

Why you keep saying that I want it for myself?

snake_b has a tendency towards trying to pick fights with forum members and accusing them of certain things without make basis. just take his advice as you will and ignore his other sentiments/judgments of you.

snake_b Veteran Member • Posts: 4,680
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Never a lost opportunity to make an attack, begin a troll, eh?

jj74e wrote:

cinemascope wrote:

Why you keep saying that I want it for myself?

snake_b has a tendency towards trying to pick fights with forum members and accusing them of certain things without make basis. just take his advice as you will and ignore his other sentiments/judgments of you.

de_klaas Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

cinemascope wrote:

Do you guys think an EX1 would be an OK gift for a tech-clumsy mother?

No, it's not. Get her a simple P&S camera.

IMO, for people who are not into photography the #1 requirement in full auto is a flash that pops up automatically. The EX1 has a lot of other quirks but this point alone should be a dealbreaker.

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Vygi Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

I plead in favour of following very fine Point&Shot digicam:

PANASONIC LUMIX DMC-TZ25 (a.k.a. DMC-ZS15)

  • very small

  • very versatile (incl. 16x optical zoom and HD video)

  • very simple to use

  • very good picture quality in that class (compact "travel" digicam)

ennex10 Forum Member • Posts: 65
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

jj74e wrote:

It's nice of you go through this searching for her

I'm a near 60 woman and I have an EX1. Based on what you describe I agree with snake (I hope you're all sitting down!) and others who say no - I don't think this is the camera for her. I also have an NX10 and an old IXY Digital 10 I bought years ago in Tokyo which takes great snapshots. Horses for courses.

The lens cap will drive her nuts. I don't think she's going to carry it in her handbag like she probably does her Canon. If she does she will likely forget to turn the swivel screen and it will get scratched.

She uses her camera to takes snapshots and memories. Won't she want a popup flash? Given her interest in photography, please, please take her to a store and let her choose. How it feels in her hand is the most important factor. If you don't then you just both end up disappointed.

Stefan Carey
Stefan Carey Contributing Member • Posts: 811
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

I think it would a bad idea. It was designed for those like manual controls (I own one and I think it is absolutely brilliant) . My wife sounds like your mother, about the same age, same dislike for complexity.

She currently uses a Fuji with a dual sensor (stunning low light capability) and has also used Pentax point and shoots. She was happiest with her Pentax Optio.

I found you can wrong with anything you buy as long it offers scene modes and an easy way to find them.

Good luck

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geroyche Forum Member • Posts: 61
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

i'm perfectly willing to admit that the ex-1 is no "mom & pop" cam.
but i don't think a travel zoom is a good alternative for a prospective user who
will be doing most of the shots indoors at gatherings with friends.

if i had a dollar for every time is see terrible party shots in my family made with
slow lens travel zooms...

MGJA
MGJA Regular Member • Posts: 475
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

ennex10 wrote:

The lens cap will drive her nuts.

I agree with the rest of what you've written, in particular that a camera like EX1 isn't for anybody who isn't willing to actively work it. But I have to say that I find the lens cap issues with "better" compacts like the EX1 to be solved already - just buy a three-part automatic split-on-lens extract cap for a few bucks at your local friendly photo dealer and never worry about handling caps ever again. I wouldn't even consider a compact if it weren't for those brilliant little things.

snake_b Veteran Member • Posts: 4,680
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

The issue with them is protection from direct impacts from objects and dust. Still something not favorable if you just throw your camera in a bag and move. Also makes the camera less compact, with an even longer portion sticking out.

MGJA wrote:

ennex10 wrote:

The lens cap will drive her nuts.

I agree with the rest of what you've written, in particular that a camera like EX1 isn't for anybody who isn't willing to actively work it. But I have to say that I find the lens cap issues with "better" compacts like the EX1 to be solved already - just buy a three-part automatic split-on-lens extract cap for a few bucks at your local friendly photo dealer and never worry about handling caps ever again. I wouldn't even consider a compact if it weren't for those brilliant little things.

Draek
Draek Senior Member • Posts: 2,028
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

No, it's not OK. Trust me, I did PC tech support for years as a teenager: even if it's actually as simple as pressing a button (as in Auto mode), even if it offers superior results without requiring further user input, as long as it looks complicated (and the EX1's controls most certainly do), the user will be intimidated and refuse to use it in a meaningful manner. And then there's the issue of weight, given the EX1's dimensions and metallic body.

My recommendation is to get her a Canon or Panasonic travel zoom instead, or maybe a Canon superzoom; they're not only simple to use (and have superb movie modes to boot), they look simple to use as well. Forget about Fuji or the Panasonic superzooms, for much the same reasons as the EX1.
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mendes Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

The new Samsung WB850F has a 21X 23-483mm equiv. F2.8-5.9 lens, which is wider and faster than other compact superzooms. It also has a AMOLED dispay.

S

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snake_b Veteran Member • Posts: 4,680
Re: Is the EX1/TL500 OK for my tech-clumsy mother?

Why does it HAVE TO BE a Samsung?

mendes wrote:

The new Samsung WB850F has a 21X 23-483mm equiv. F2.8-5.9 lens, which is wider and faster than other compact superzooms. It also has a AMOLED dispay.

S

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