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Old 11-15-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
MissMichigan
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Downgrading?

Long story short, I had a Nikon D5100 but ended up selling it because I never used it. It took amazing pictures, and I loved it, but it was just too big, bulky, and restricting for me so I often opted to leave it home.

So, here I am in need of a new camera. I have a little fujifilm P&S that I just keep in my purse for random stuff. I'd like to upgrade from that...looking for something somewhere in between the fuji and the nikon. Smaller is good, but I'd like as much quality in the photos as I can get as well. Budget is also an issue, i'd like to keep it under $300.

I've been looking at these two, leaning toward #1:
Camera 1
Camera 2

Are either of these any good? Is there a camera you would suggest? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
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While I can't give you a recommendation on a point & shoot (there are too many out there to comment on-Canon alone since January 2011 introduced 34 new P & S'), I would suggest going to websites like dpreview.com. They have a camera comparison tool which might be helpful. Maybe some others can suggest other websites.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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That's 2 completely different options. The WX150 is basically the slim, 10x version of my HX20, while the E-PL1 is a m3/4 system camera.

The WX would be a better video camera and has more zoom. I also think it may be nice for someone that only leaves camera on Auto and rarely does any post-processing of photos. If you really like the zoom and compact size, you might want want to look at the Canon SX230 and SX260, or the Panasonic ZS20...nearly the same size, more manual controls and double the zoom, yet within your price range.
If you do not need the zoom, then there is the Canon s95 /s100. You might want to look at the Olympus ZX1 (a bit chunkier, but is now a steal at $199 on Amazon)

But the E-PL1 opens up a new realm of image quality with its much , much larger sensor, and you can upgrade the lens...I've even read of E-PL1 users getting fairly affordable adaptors and using some old full manual 35mm film lenses (if you are looking for cheap lenses to play around with)
My biggest concern with the E-PL1 would be the sensor is not close to your D5100 in terms of high ISO. The E-PL2 would be a step up, if you can swing it. But the only m4/3 with a really close sensor is the newest OMD M5?

Overall I would think that if you are open to the idea of the mirrorless, and you really do not need the zoom right now, I would lean with the Oly.



FYI, although they are a bit above your price range (body only $380 and $350) the Sony NEX 5n and Pentax K01 mirrorless cameras have the same exact APSc sized sensor with great high ISO performance that your D5100 had, but in a more compact body. For some the size difference is quite noticeable, but for others it is not small enough..,
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Another option in that price range that is similar to the Olympus is Panasonic's GF3, also a micro 4/3 camera. It may come down to a prference between fixed lens and interchangeable lens. There is not much point to interchangeable lenses if we never plan to change them although the larger sensor of micro 4/3 does give better low light performance.

The micro 4/3 cameras are certainly closer in performance to your Nikon than the P&S cameras are. They may be a nice smaller lighter alternative to a dSLR. This is what DW and I did about a year ago, switching from Canon dSLRs to Panasonic micro 4/3. We have been very happy with the reduced size/weight and feel we have not given up much in performance.

It seems like a good tradeoff from "downgrading".

Btw, the latest Olympus micro 4/3 (E-PL5 and E-PM2) share the OM-D sensor and are about as good as many dSLRs but they are higher priced than your target.

One more note: as the sensor gets smaller the amount of care required in taking and processing the photo seems to increase. A large sensor has more leeway for exposure errors and to get equivalent results from our micro 4/3 (and Canon G11) we have to be careful to avoid blowing out highlights but also to avoid shadow noise. HDR is often the best option but requires processing. Newer sensors are better and this should not be an issue in the next generation of mirrorless cameras (like the new Olympus EP-xxand Panasonic GH3).
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