Downsizing from a Digital SLR
I had all but abandoned my trusty SLR and relegated it to the attic until recently when I took it on a recent trip and rediscovered my fondness for photography, so I have started looking for a decent camera that I can take on trips, something that takes excellent pictures, allows full manual control and is small and light enough to find a place in the most minimalist trekking backpack, motorcycle tailpack or on the back of a climbing harness.
Having recently come across a couple of glowing reviews of the Panasonic Lumix GF-1 / GF-2 cameras (with the pancake lens), and having seen the new entrant on the field - the Nikon 1 series, I'm wondering if one of these may actually be the camera for me.
Continued in the comments below...
The new 5N has an (add-on, adding some bulk) EVF which I've always wanted, and as far as I can see keeps everything that I like about the 5 but improves in some key areas. I've seen issues with the movie mode stated, but that's probably not a big enough reason to not consider it.
I'm interested in the NEX-7 really if I was upgrading the 5 with like for like, but I'm going to wait for more authoritative takes from dpreview and the dedicated photo blogs to see if the major pixel-count boost on the sensor is a good thing or not. If not, then I'm probably going to start looking at DSLRs as a replacement to my 5, as my usage mode has changed a little and I can probably tolerate a bigger device when I actually decide I need to take an interchangeable-lens camera.
But I'd say give the NEX-5N a try in a shop, or hang on for opinions on the 7.
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It has been some time, but have you had any problems with the color space being too warm? This was a problem at one point across Sony's line; but its been 5 or 6 years since I looked at a Sony, and no doubt things have changed.
That said, if you know and accept the limitations, then a Four Thirds is the logical first stop when downsizing. I haven't seen any great reviews of the new Nikons, but they have a sensor that is even smaller than that of a Four Thirds system camera - so - buyer beware. I can't recall his name, but there is a fairly well known pro that is experimenting with one of the Four Thirds cameras. You might be able to learn more from him and his blog.
The other approach is to just go with a full featured digi-cam. An example of the type of camera I am thinking of would be the Canon G12. For your purposes, I would be tempted to start in that category rather than messing around with a tweener camera.
First off - thanks for your response. I take your point about the relationship between sensor size & image quality.
If you do remember the name of the blog that you were thinking of do let me know. I presume you don't mean Ken Rockwell?
I hadn't even heard of the G12 so thanks a lot for that - I will have a look. From first look any purchase of a G12 will be purely based on spec and performance (the sensible side of the brain) - aesthetically it's in no danger of upstaging any of the competition!
Just to add another dimension into the mix, I recently had the need (want?) for a small camera that would be able to survive the wet and shock aspects of goind down river rapids tucked between a wetsuit and a life vest. So I came across this article: www.trustedreviews.com/the-best-waterproof-cameras... and wonder if you or anyone else here has any experience of those cameras?
headed to dpreview to read about the G12!
There is a review of the camera that I think I remember him talking about > thedigitalstory.com/2011/03/my_macworld_review_o.h...
However, there may be yet another pro experimenting with four thirds cameras as I'm sure I remember mention of a trip to South America with nothing other than a four thirds camera - and I'm not sure Derrik was the guy making that trip.
As to dedicated waterproof cameras, my brother has used a couple (borrowed in both cases as I recall); and the results were somewhat mixed. He liked not having to worry about the camera (other than losing it!) on a rafting trip, and he got photos that he probably would never have taken otherwise; but the picture quality left something to be desired. Not terrible, but poor enough that he wouldn't want one as his only camera. I'll see if he recalls the particulars.
The alternative to a dedicated waterproof camera is a housing for one of the cameras that you already have. I've never done this, and can offer no information that is based on first- or second-hand experience.
I find reviews like this one for the GF-1 extremely useful: craigmod.com/journal/gf1-fieldtest/ - someone who has taken the camera on the sort of journey with the same requirements as me and has written a lucid, balanced (albeit slightly gushy) review.
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