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Thread: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Hi All,


    I'm new to register here, but have been reading this forum avidly for the last couple of months thanks to learning from Terry (TEBnewyork) about how great it is. Thanks to you all for your contributions and all of the eye candy, amazing bunch of shooters here!

    Thought you might be willing to indulge me with your opinions about turning away from a DLSR (I currently have the little Oly E410) and returning to the joys of a fixed lens camera. Over the last year and a half I've been trying to find the right camera for myself and have bought and sold the D-Lux 3, the Canon G7, and the Panasonic FZ8. The E410 remains for now, along with a Panny TZ3 for a fun carry-everywhere cam. Sad to say, I really haven't been totally happy with any of them. While the E410 undoubtedly has the best IQ of the lot, I'm really not fond of the 'character' of the shots I'm getting with the kit lenses. There's just no charm to them, if that makes any sense. (???) The D-Lux 3 was my favorite of those I've tried and I would have been very happy with it if only it had some sort of viewfinder ... I really prefer holding a camera up to my eye and using my face as a support!

    So, now I'm pondering the idea of buying either:
    1) Used Digilux 2 (has a new sensor)
    2) Ricoh GX-100
    3) Leica V-Lux 1

    Pros for the D2 are the LENS (love it), good EVF, clean files at ISO 100, sturdy build and high resale/collectible value Cons are "only" 5mp and blotchy noise at higher ISO's.

    Pros for the GX-100 are portability - size is perfect - detachable EVF, 24mm wide end, price. Cons are the 'dust problem' and questionable reliability for the long haul.

    Pros for the V-Lux - good EVF, great lens/versatility with the long zoom, love the aperture and zoom rings, familiarity and comfort with menus and controls. Cons - large, 36mm at the wide end (could get the add-on WA lens though)

    All of these cameras are appealing and I just can't make up my mind which to buy. If you were going to replace the E410 with one of these, which would you choose? I primarily want to have FUN and learn more about photography, have no real requirements for the ultimate IQ, but would like to be able to be proud of the few good shots I may get and hang 'em on my wall. :-) Interests are travel, landscapes, nature, and people watching. Also want to use some of my photos as reference material for paintings (I am a watercolor painter.)


    Thanks for any input you may have,
    Joan

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    HI Joan (and welcome)
    One thing you should understand straight away is that you aren't going to get better image quality from any of these cameras than you are already getting from your E410. Mind you, maybe that isn't the point?

    I keep thinking it'd be nice to have a small camera with a big zoom range . . .and then when I get them I'm fed up with the image quality.

    I've not used an E410, but I use an E3 a lot, and I've had lots of other Oly dSLR's - I like the colour particularly, and I've always felt the image quality is pretty good - mind you, I have used the better lenses.

    I think you're best bet is to nick one of Terry's M8's when she isn't looking!

    Just this guy you know

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    Senior Member simonclivehughes's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Joan,

    Welcome! Well, I have either had, or have all the cameras you're considering. I had the Digilux 2 and loved/hated it for all the reasons you mention. I currently have the V-Lux 1 and the GX100 (as well as the GRD II and the TZ3). Be aware that both the Digilux 2 and the V-Lux 1 are almost, if not as big as a regular DSLR. If you start adding complimentary lenses for wide angle then you may as well stick with a DSLR.

    The GX100 is a great little camera (as is the GRD II) and worthy of trying out. I'd recommend that instead of the available EVF, however, that you get some Voigtlander dedicated viewfinders. They are MUCH more usable. I have the CV 28/35mm which also show the 24mm view, the 50mm and the 75mm.

    Even though I have a pair of M8s, I often will just venture out with the GX100 and the GRD II, typically with the 21mm lens on the GRD II and the GX100 set at 50mm (with appropriate VF).

    The charm of the Ricohs is that you can shoot RAW, and set them up for Snap mode which gives excellent response time for capturing images. They are also very small and ruggedly built. Personally, I wouldn't worry overly about the dust issue. Certainly there is a possibility of dust, but I think it's in the nature of these forums to highlight problems rather than give a good indication of the number of cameras that don't have issues.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    HI Joan (and welcome)
    One thing you should understand straight away is that you aren't going to get better image quality from any of these cameras than you are already getting from your E410. Mind you, maybe that isn't the point?

    I keep thinking it'd be nice to have a small camera with a big zoom range . . .and then when I get them I'm fed up with the image quality.

    I've not used an E410, but I use an E3 a lot, and I've had lots of other Oly dSLR's - I like the colour particularly, and I've always felt the image quality is pretty good - mind you, I have used the better lenses.

    I think you're best bet is to nick one of Terry's M8's when she isn't looking!
    Hi Jono,
    I know you from DPR LTF ( does "joan55" ring a bell?) ... hung out there for a little while when I had the D-Lux 3.

    Yes, I know the E410 has better overall IQ, and am fond of it in many ways, but in others it just doesn't seem to be "me." If I were to invest in the better lenses, I'd also add a lot of weight, which I really don't want to do. If I keep it at all, I'll probably just stick the new 25mm pancake lens on it almost permanently. Strange as it may sound, I find a sort of 'sterility' to the E410's output, although I do agree that the Oly colors are wonderful, plus it's a real bear to control the highlight clipping with it here in bright sunny Florida. If I want to fight with that, I might just as well do it with a small sensor cam, lol.

    Thanks for your comments, and the welcome. :-)

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    ...
    So, now I'm pondering the idea of buying either:
    1) Used Digilux 2 (has a new sensor)
    2) Ricoh GX-100
    3) Leica V-Lux 1

    Pros for the D2 are the LENS (love it), good EVF, clean files at ISO 100, sturdy build and high resale/collectible value Cons are "only" 5mp and blotchy noise at higher ISO's.
    ...
    Get a Digilux 2 and forget the others....

    Those 5 Mpīs are a lot in practical terms; except for when using the very best Nikkors, my Digilux 2 outshoots my 10 Mp D200 at ISO 100. A3 prints are a matter of course; sharp prints!

    OK, I donīt like to use the Digilux 2 at ISO 400 at all, and preferrably only in RAW at ISO 200 (I use jpeg a lot at ISO 100, mainly for the write speed). But since the lens is at least 1 step faster than the others, and very good wide open, you can often get away with using 100 or 200 whery you would have to use 400 with the others.

    I have the D200 with (among others) the Nikkor 17-55/2.8, the D-lux 3, and the Digilux 2. If I had to choose just one camera to keep, it would be the Digilux.

    Donīt know it you saw this thread; there are lots of examples there:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1297

  6. #6
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by simonclivehughes View Post
    Joan,

    Welcome! Well, I have either had, or have all the cameras you're considering. I had the Digilux 2 and loved/hated it for all the reasons you mention. I currently have the V-Lux 1 and the GX100 (as well as the GRD II and the TZ3). Be aware that both the Digilux 2 and the V-Lux 1 are almost, if not as big as a regular DSLR. If you start adding complimentary lenses for wide angle then you may as well stick with a DSLR.

    The GX100 is a great little camera (as is the GRD II) and worthy of trying out. I'd recommend that instead of the available EVF, however, that you get some Voigtlander dedicated viewfinders. They are MUCH more usable. I have the CV 28/35mm which also show the 24mm view, the 50mm and the 75mm.

    Even though I have a pair of M8s, I often will just venture out with the GX100 and the GRD II, typically with the 21mm lens on the GRD II and the GX100 set at 50mm (with appropriate VF).

    The charm of the Ricohs is that you can shoot RAW, and set them up for Snap mode which gives excellent response time for capturing images. They are also very small and ruggedly built. Personally, I wouldn't worry overly about the dust issue. Certainly there is a possibility of dust, but I think it's in the nature of these forums to highlight problems rather than give a good indication of the number of cameras that don't have issues.

    Hope this helps!

    Cheers,
    Hi Simon,
    I am very intrigued by the little GX-100, would very much like to try it if I won't have to send it in for periodic dust removal. Also like the idea of using the Voightlander viewfinders, although they do add up in price for a full set. (I have a rather limited budget, I'm afraid.) Since the kit including the EVF is reasonable, guess I'd see how I got on with it first. The advantage I see for using it (at least while I get to know the camera) is having the live histogram right there, right?

    Thanks for sharing your opinion, helps a lot!

    Joan

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Get a Digilux 2 and forget the others....

    Those 5 Mpīs are a lot in practical terms; except for when using the very best Nikkors, my Digilux 2 outshoots my 10 Mp D200 at ISO 100. A3 prints are a matter of course; sharp prints!

    OK, I donīt like to use the Digilux 2 at ISO 400 at all, and preferrably only in RAW at ISO 200 (I use jpeg a lot at ISO 100, mainly for the write speed). But since the lens is at least 1 step faster than the others, and very good wide open, you can often get away with using 100 or 200 whery you would have to use 400 with the others.

    I have the D200 with (among others) the Nikkor 17-55/2.8, the D-lux 3, and the Digilux 2. If I had to choose just one camera to keep, it would be the Digilux.

    Donīt know it you saw this thread; there are lots of examples there:

    http://forum.getdpi.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1297

    Hi Per,

    Truthfully, I have been itching to buy a D2 ever since I first saw one! Couldn't afford one at full price, but now a used one is in my price range, so it's VERY tempting. Love the shots you all have posted in that thread, they have that Leica "something" that I just love. Unless I win the lottery, I'll never be able to have an M8, so I see the D2 as the next best thing, and no lenses to swap. Glad to hear you believe in it so strongly.

    OK, so far I have one vote for sticking with the E410, one for the GX-100, and now one for the D2. LOL ... this isn't getting any easier yet.

    Joan

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    Senior Member Per Ofverbeck's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Joan, at the risk of sounding like a persistent salesman (Iīm not, and my own D2 is emphatically not for sale, at any price..), I would like to give another link to a D2 thread in the Leica forum:

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...stinctive.html

    Lots of fabulous images there...

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Per Ofverbeck View Post
    Joan, at the risk of sounding like a persistent salesman (Iīm not, and my own D2 is emphatically not for sale, at any price..), I would like to give another link to a D2 thread in the Leica forum:

    http://www.l-camera-forum.com/leica-...stinctive.html

    Lots of fabulous images there...
    Thanks for that link, Per. I think I kind of want to be "sold" on the D2, have almost caved for one on several occasions and then chickened out because I was worried about having the sensor failure in a secondhand unit without a warranty. Now that I can get one with a new sensor, I think my only real worry has been overcome. It'll even fit perfectly in my new Domke bag ....

    Leaning ....

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    I think you're best bet is to nick one of Terry's M8's when she isn't looking!
    Hee hee ... missed this comment the first time around, Jono. Somehow I don't think Terry would be too happy with me if I nicked one of her M8's. She IS going to let me play with one when I go up to visit her in May though. CAN'T WAIT!!

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    LOL.... I didn't miss the "nick" comment on my read through. Very much looking forward to your visit and M8 play date. You know my thoughts on the Digilux2. I guess Leica has spoiled me as I had the fantastic fast lens on that camera and the primes for the M8 are outstanding. Working on lens choices for the Nikon has been interesting as fast = huge + heavy and smaller is really slow. The two or three extra stops you get on the Digilux2 can be very! handy. Anyway, I'm glad you decided to post here and perhaps I will be able to convince you to meet up at a workshop!!!!!

  12. #12
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Joan,

    I don't think the GX100 has any more of a dust problem than any other fixed lens camera (and I test all kinds of cameras). If you loved the D-Lux, just glue a hotshoe on it (as many have done) and use it with optical finders.

    You may have already read this but my review of the D2 is here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...x2-part1.shtml

    Cheers,

    Sean

  13. #13
    pcheywood
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Or...........Just get the GX100, place some black tape over the Caplio legend, and place a red circular sticker in the appropriate position.

    Paul.

  14. #14
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcheywood View Post
    Or...........Just get the GX100, place some black tape over the Caplio legend, and place a red circular sticker in the appropriate position.

    Paul.
    Perhaps, but they'll still be quite different cameras.

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by TEBnewyork View Post
    LOL.... I didn't miss the "nick" comment on my read through. Very much looking forward to your visit and M8 play date. You know my thoughts on the Digilux2. I guess Leica has spoiled me as I had the fantastic fast lens on that camera and the primes for the M8 are outstanding. Working on lens choices for the Nikon has been interesting as fast = huge + heavy and smaller is really slow. The two or three extra stops you get on the Digilux2 can be very! handy. Anyway, I'm glad you decided to post here and perhaps I will be able to convince you to meet up at a workshop!!!!!
    Hey Terry :-)

    Oh yeah, I *know* you will second the vote for a D2. And your great shots with it have done nothing to dissuade me. I'm so with you on the large lens thing. Same problem for the Oly. Although the lenses I'd like for the E410 are a bit smaller than their Nikon counterparts, they're still kinda hefty.

    Will definitely be saving up to attend a workshop, I know I'd love it and learn a LOT!

    Thanks, girl, and keep those M8's warm for my greedy little hands !!

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sean_Reid View Post
    Joan,

    I don't think the GX100 has any more of a dust problem than any other fixed lens camera (and I test all kinds of cameras). If you loved the D-Lux, just glue a hotshoe on it (as many have done) and use it with optical finders.

    You may have already read this but my review of the D2 is here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...x2-part1.shtml

    Cheers,

    Sean
    Hi Sean,
    Yes, I've read your excellent D2 review on LL, thank you! Helped me understand the pros and cons of that camera, so I really appreciate it. Also glad to hear you don't think the GX-100's dust problem is a big worry. I guess reading about it on several forums has spooked me too much. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it did happen, just a pain in the butt.

    Not too sure if I could bring myself to glue a hotshoe on the D-Lux. I have seen a few pictures of that 'mod' but erm, um, it would be so ... un-lovely. :

    J.

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by pcheywood View Post
    Or...........Just get the GX100, place some black tape over the Caplio legend, and place a red circular sticker in the appropriate position.

    Paul.
    LOL, Paul,

    No, I'd be quite content to proudly let the "Caplio" remain unhidden. I like the innovative cameras Ricoh has come up with, no need to "Leica-size" 'em to make them desirable.

  18. #18
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Joan, reading through this thread I'm not sure why you don't like the "character" of your Olympus 410 shots or what you're really after. As I see it — and I don't know the D2 expect for what I've read in Sean's review and the general feel that it's not appropriate for high ISOs — it seems to me that you should decide what type of camera you want in terms of the size of the sensor and and the size of the camera because you're considering such different things: if you're after a small sensor camera for the way it "draws" or for it's small, "carry everywhere" size then by all means get the GX100 — although my own preference would be the GRD2 with the excellent 21 and 40mm EFOV converter lenses. On the other hand, if you;re happy with the size of the 410 and the larger sensor, then why not get new lenses for it like the Plympus 11-22mm, which I hear is excellent and the new Olympus 25mm pancake lens.

    A street photo with a larger camera, the Nikon D300:





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    Last edited by Mitch Alland; 13th April 2008 at 20:52.

  19. #19
    asabet
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    I've had and enjoyed the D2, E-410, and GX100. If the E-410 kit lens lacks that "character" or "charm" from your standpoint, then I don't think you're likely to find it with the GX100 or V-LUX either. Don't get me wrong - both of those cameras have excellent lenses. However, I don't find their lens characteristics to be terribly unique. There is something special about the D2 lens if you can get around the downsides to that camera. If you value small size, lower cost, and faster response, then I'd recommend going the GX100 route. Although we are hearing perhaps more complaints of dust issues than normal, I wouldn't let that deter you if it is otherwise the best choice for your needs.

  20. #20
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Hi Sean,
    Yes, I've read your excellent D2 review on LL, thank you! Helped me understand the pros and cons of that camera, so I really appreciate it. Also glad to hear you don't think the GX-100's dust problem is a big worry. I guess reading about it on several forums has spooked me too much. It wouldn't be the end of the world if it did happen, just a pain in the butt.

    Not too sure if I could bring myself to glue a hotshoe on the D-Lux. I have seen a few pictures of that 'mod' but erm, um, it would be so ... un-lovely. :

    J.
    Pretty is as pretty does. I'd glue one on in a heartbeat if I wanted to work with a D-Lux. Mitch has some good advice for you above.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  21. #21
    VladimirV
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    While I haven't use any of the Leicas since I consider them way overpriced and I do not like the bulk of dSLRs I can only comment on the Ricoh cameras.
    I have used and own the GRD I and II, GX (5MP) and GX100 since I like the handling of the Ricoh cameras very much and for me this is what puts the fun into photography.

    If you look for a small camera that has a distinct character to the images then IMHO only the GRD I and II and the Sigma DP1 will deliver from the images I've seen.

    While I've criticised the DP1 regarding the terrible usability and LCD and also IMO plasticky build the IQ is very good although most people in the Sigma forums tend to overdo it with the saturation of reds and greens. But all this said, the IQ is definitely very good and has due to the Foveon sensor a different look.

    The GRDs have a great lens and the images have a own style since the lens is very sharp and contrasty. The usability is as good as it gets in any camera (IMHO) and the adapter lenses make it very versatile and are optically superb without distortion. This also enables you to have a camera with a f2.4 21mm, 28mm and 40mm interchangable lenses. The GRD I jpgs have a distinct look to them but the GRD II is overall more usable and has less noise without sacrificing this too much.

    The GX100 is not quite there with the GRDs but very capable and produces great images although it does not have this certain character. Still, it has the Ricoh look and renders a blue sky quite different with the "Ricoh blue". Dust is an issue but I would not worry too much about this. It seems to occur more than on the GRD though.

    While none of the cameras will give you an IQ like your E-410 they might just be the right thing you were looking for. I'd recommmend you try the GRD I or II and see if you like the look of it. If zoom is required then the GX100 will do a great job even with the possibility of a required cleanup at some point.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Joan, reading through this thread I'm not sure why you don't like the "character" of your Olympus 410 shots or what you're really after. As I see it — and I don't know the D2 expect for what I've read in Sean's review and the general feel that it's not appropriate for high ISOs — it seems to me that you should decide what type of camera you want in terms of the size of the sensor and and the size of the camera because you're considering such different things: if you're after a small sensor camera for the way it "draws" or for it's small, "carry everywhere" size then by all means get the GX100 — although my own preference would be the GRD2 with the excellent 21 and 40mm EFOV converter lenses. On the other hand, if you;re happy with the size of the 410 and the larger sensor, then why not get new lenses for it like the Olympus 11-22mm, which I hear is excellent and the new Olympus 25mm pancake lens.
    Hi Mitch,
    Thank you for providing your insight. If I do stay with Olympus, I would definitely have the 11-22mm as the first on my list of lenses to acquire. It is wonderful. Rather defeats the "smallest dslr" thing that attracted me to the E410 in the first place though. If I continue along the dslr path, I might just switch to Pentax and go with their small "limited" primes instead to keep the size and weight to a manageable level. I've also considered doing a similar thing with the Nikon D80 and a few small primes. I am just not into hauling a big camera and a mess of heavy lenses around. I have a bad back and neck/shoulder problems, so smaller/lighter=better for me.

    I tend to agree with you about the GRDII, it does have that "character" that I'm looking for. Would definitely have to sell off the E410 to be able to afford it along with the converter lenses. A very good possibility. The GX-100 would be more of a compromise and could fit into my budget along with holding onto the E410 and the lenses I already have for a while until I know for sure which direction I want to go.

    I've looked at and enjoyed your work many times and was surprised to see you with the D300! Quite a change from the Ricohs, eh? Do you think it will change the way you shoot?

    Best,
    Joan

  23. #23
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by asabet View Post
    I've had and enjoyed the D2, E-410, and GX100. If the E-410 kit lens lacks that "character" or "charm" from your standpoint, then I don't think you're likely to find it with the GX100 or V-LUX either. Don't get me wrong - both of those cameras have excellent lenses. However, I don't find their lens characteristics to be terribly unique. There is something special about the D2 lens if you can get around the downsides to that camera. If you value small size, lower cost, and faster response, then I'd recommend going the GX100 route. Although we are hearing perhaps more complaints of dust issues than normal, I wouldn't let that deter you if it is otherwise the best choice for your needs.
    Hi Amin,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and opinion. I've read your posts and blog, a lot of very helpful information! As I just said to Mitch, the GX-100 is kind of a compromise ... and probably the GRD2 would be closer to what I'm after, just a little expensive to acquire the whole package. The D2 is so close to "perfect" in terms of the lens and controls that I think I can put up with its short-comings -- of course I won't know for sure unless I try it!

    Regards,
    Joan

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirV View Post
    While I haven't use any of the Leicas since I consider them way overpriced and I do not like the bulk of dSLRs I can only comment on the Ricoh cameras.
    I have used and own the GRD I and II, GX (5MP) and GX100 since I like the handling of the Ricoh cameras very much and for me this is what puts the fun into photography.

    If you look for a small camera that has a distinct character to the images then IMHO only the GRD I and II and the Sigma DP1 will deliver from the images I've seen.

    While I've criticised the DP1 regarding the terrible usability and LCD and also IMO plasticky build the IQ is very good although most people in the Sigma forums tend to overdo it with the saturation of reds and greens. But all this said, the IQ is definitely very good and has due to the Foveon sensor a different look.

    The GRDs have a great lens and the images have a own style since the lens is very sharp and contrasty. The usability is as good as it gets in any camera (IMHO) and the adapter lenses make it very versatile and are optically superb without distortion. This also enables you to have a camera with a f2.4 21mm, 28mm and 40mm interchangable lenses. The GRD I jpgs have a distinct look to them but the GRD II is overall more usable and has less noise without sacrificing this too much.

    The GX100 is not quite there with the GRDs but very capable and produces great images although it does not have this certain character. Still, it has the Ricoh look and renders a blue sky quite different with the "Ricoh blue". Dust is an issue but I would not worry too much about this. It seems to occur more than on the GRD though.

    While none of the cameras will give you an IQ like your E-410 they might just be the right thing you were looking for. I'd recommmend you try the GRD I or II and see if you like the look of it. If zoom is required then the GX100 will do a great job even with the possibility of a required cleanup at some point.
    Hi Vladmir,

    I agree that the Leicas' price tags can be awfully high ... I love the lenses though and would have an M8 in a split second if money would fall out of the sky and into my hands.

    The more I read and think about the Ricohs, I believe you (and Mitch and others) are right about the GRD's having more character and that "look" I would like to achieve. I know it is also down to the person behind the camera to make these little wonders sing. I think a GRD2 is the route to go if I decide on a Ricoh.

    About the DP1 ... I had high hopes for that to be "my" camera, but have decided that as it is it doesn't quite make it. I will watch with interest how it all shakes out. Maybe the next iteration will be the "one."

    Thanks very much for your helpful input. What a great forum this is! You all have helped me clarify my thoughts, and now I think I have crossed the GX-100 and the V-lux off my list.

    GRD2 and D2 are still in the running!
    Last edited by Joan; 14th April 2008 at 08:00.

  25. #25
    Mitch Alland
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    ...I've looked at and enjoyed your work many times and was surprised to see you with the D300! Quite a change from the Ricohs, eh? Do you think it will change the way you shoot?...
    Thanks for the kind words, Joan.

    I guess it's too early to tell as to how the D300 will affect my photography and I was hoping that people would make some comments in this respect in my thread in which I've posted some D300 street pictures. One thing is certain though: the D300 files are easier to deal with than small sensor files. Also, the D300 lends ifself to other types of photography, like wildlife, which is the reason I bought it three weeks ago before my trip to Namibia; but I must say that I also was dazzled by the technology in terms of the camera's responsiveness, flexibility and the speed and accuracy of the autofocus.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Mitch,

    I just went back and looked through your D300 street photography thread, had looked before while I was still just lurking here on the forum. To me there is certainly a difference in the overall look of the images, a brightness and clarity to them as opposed to the earthier quality of your previous work with the GRD/GX-100. Personally, I tend to like the cleaner look, but that's just me. I do wonder if due to the sheer size of the camera itself it isn't going to be harder to work with in the 'hustle-y bustle-y' street environments you favor. (?)

    What strikes me most is that even someone as experienced as yourself can still be seeking new tools and ways to go forward. I can only guess that working with the new camera will tell you something about the direction you want to go. That has to be a good thing, right?

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    If you like working at 50mm effective, I'd go for the pancake on the E410 and see if you can get your "look" in post-processing.

    Every camera/system is a compromise. I for one love my DLux3, and don't miss having a viewfinder at all. In fact, sometimes with my dslr I don't even bring it to my eye (especially for macro). I don't use live view either...I just "guess". After awhile, guessing can get pretty good. I'm "seeing" the shot in my head and experimenting rather than rigidly framing. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But it really depends on how you *want* to shoot and if you want to try new things. There isn't a right or wrong answer.


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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Joan,
    I had not weighed in earlier, having no experience with any of the cameras you are looking at, save for really wanting to try the Oly 420 with 25/2.8.
    I do however have a Pentax k100d that I use almost exclusively with prime lenses (50/1.4 and 135/2.5) as well as my first gen GRD (with both aux lenses).
    You mention the possibility of getting a Pentax with a pancake prime instead of your 410 and kit lenses.
    Even with the pancakes the Pentax (any of them) are still going to a bit larger and heavier than the Oly.
    I cannot make a valid comparison of image quality with the 410/420 (not having used an Oly DSLR), I can say however the the K100D becomes a very different animal when combined with a really sharp lens.
    The images really sing IMHO.
    I can only imagine the Olympus will do likewise with the little 25/2.8.
    Brian Mosely can answer this better, since he has used the lens.
    And with this lens alll you need do is buy a lens, it will work perfectly on the 410. This would be far less expensive than a whole camera set up.
    Barring that, if you go the Ricoh route, consider the GRD, if you do not do RAW that much it's a bargain right now and I far prefer the jpegs from it over the Next Gen version.

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch Alland View Post
    Thanks for the kind words, Joan.

    I guess it's too early to tell as to how the D300 will affect my photography and I was hoping that people would make some comments in this respect in my thread in which I've posted some D300 street pictures. One thing is certain though: the D300 files are easier to deal with than small sensor files. Also, the D300 lends ifself to other types of photography, like wildlife, which is the reason I bought it three weeks ago before my trip to Namibia; but I must say that I also was dazzled by the technology in terms of the camera's responsiveness, flexibility and the speed and accuracy of the autofocus.

    —Mitch/Bangkok
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/
    Mitch, I paln to mcomment in depth but life has been a bit busy lately. Tonight I hope.

  30. #30
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Hi Amin,
    Thank you for sharing your experience and opinion. I've read your posts and blog, a lot of very helpful information! As I just said to Mitch, the GX-100 is kind of a compromise ... and probably the GRD2 would be closer to what I'm after, just a little expensive to acquire the whole package. The D2 is so close to "perfect" in terms of the lens and controls that I think I can put up with its short-comings -- of course I won't know for sure unless I try it!

    Regards,
    Joan
    Thanks for the kind words about the blog Joan. I don't think you can go wrong amongst the cameras you are considering. I know that's a cop out, but it's true. The D2, if you haven't handled it, is pretty large. Similar to the E-410 with kit lens, only the D2 lens is a bit shorter. For my purposes, the Ricohs are in an "always with me" size class, whereas the D2 never was.

    Based on your comments above, I would advise you not to get the GX100. You have already found that you are incompatible with some really nice compact cameras; if you go into a GX100 purchase thinking you'd really rather have the GRD2, I think its very unlikely that you'll keep the GX100. Instead, it will likely go the way of the D-LUX3. At least that's what would happen to me =).

    Regards,
    Amin

  31. #31
    bigdog
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Hi Joan, and welcome.

    Take a look at my gallery, all images there are shot with the V-lux 1.

    I'll tell you up front I'm a Leica Rep. but this camera has really done a job for me. I just started shooting it in raw, and wow.

    Tom
    Last edited by bigdog; 14th April 2008 at 11:11.

  32. #32
    asabet
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Tom, you have many wonderful images in your gallery. I particularly liked the "Dolphins at Sunset" photo.

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    bigdog
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Thanks Amin

  34. #34
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    Joan,
    I had not weighed in earlier, having no experience with any of the cameras you are looking at, save for really wanting to try the Oly 420 with 25/2.8.
    I do however have a Pentax k100d that I use almost exclusively with prime lenses (50/1.4 and 135/2.5) as well as my first gen GRD (with both aux lenses).
    You mention the possibility of getting a Pentax with a pancake prime instead of your 410 and kit lenses.
    Even with the pancakes the Pentax (any of them) are still going to a bit larger and heavier than the Oly.
    I cannot make a valid comparison of image quality with the 410/420 (not having used an Oly DSLR), I can say however the the K100D becomes a very different animal when combined with a really sharp lens.
    The images really sing IMHO.
    I can only imagine the Olympus will do likewise with the little 25/2.8.
    Brian Mosely can answer this better, since he has used the lens.
    And with this lens alll you need do is buy a lens, it will work perfectly on the 410. This would be far less expensive than a whole camera set up.
    Barring that, if you go the Ricoh route, consider the GRD, if you do not do RAW that much it's a bargain right now and I far prefer the jpegs from it over the Next Gen version.
    Hi Lili,
    I was hoping you might offer an opinion here, been admiring your images since I found this forum and have enjoyed reading your posts.

    I have handled the K100D and it's fine for my hands, and I really like the brighter viewfinder as compared to the E410's. I think as long as I went with the smaller primes lenses, I'd be fine with the size and weight.

    I've not been completely wowed by the samples I've seen so far from the new Oly pancake ... waiting for someone to really sell it to me with some fine images. The form factor is terrific for sure. I do have the Oly 35mm macro which is a nice lens for walking around as well as it's 1:1 abilities. It's a little more interesting than the kit lenses. Here's a non-macro shot that I like from about a week ago:



    If you do want to try Olympus, I'd definitely say to go with the E420. The new sensor and processing approach the E3's, a real step up from the E410, I think.
    If I did go Ricoh, I'd like to shoot raw to get the most out of it, so I believe the "2" might suit me a bit better than the original, but I haven't completely ruled that out. Thanks for that suggestion, it would save me some dough!


    Still mulling ...

    Regards,
    Joan

  35. #35
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Hi Joan, and welcome.

    Take a look at my gallery, all images there are shot with the V-lux 1.

    I'll tell you up front I'm a Leica Rep. but this camera has really done a job for me. I just started shooting it in raw, and wow.

    Tom
    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for the welcome, and you sure DO have some nice shots in there! Love the dolphins, and this one especially has a unique and wonderful look:


    You must have done some special PP for this one, yes?

    OK, so maybe the VLux isn't quite off my list yet! Thanks for sharing your work, Tom ... I think. :-)

  36. #36
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Hi Lili,
    I was hoping you might offer an opinion here, been admiring your images since I found this forum and have enjoyed reading your posts.

    I have handled the K100D and it's fine for my hands, and I really like the brighter viewfinder as compared to the E410's. I think as long as I went with the smaller primes lenses, I'd be fine with the size and weight.

    I've not been completely wowed by the samples I've seen so far from the new Oly pancake ... waiting for someone to really sell it to me with some fine images. The form factor is terrific for sure. I do have the Oly 35mm macro which is a nice lens for walking around as well as it's 1:1 abilities. It's a little more interesting than the kit lenses. Here's a non-macro shot that I like from about a week ago:



    If you do want to try Olympus, I'd definitely say to go with the E420. The new sensor and processing approach the E3's, a real step up from the E410, I think.
    If I did go Ricoh, I'd like to shoot raw to get the most out of it, so I believe the "2" might suit me a bit better than the original, but I haven't completely ruled that out. Thanks for that suggestion, it would save me some dough!


    Still mulling ...

    Regards,
    Joan
    Hi Joan
    smashing shot - really lovely . . . the only thing that's confusing me is what you don't like about the results from the Olympus?

    I agree that Tom's shots are great . . I had a V-lux1 for a couple of months, and I loved the results, but not the size an the EVF viewfinder (horses for courses though).

    Just this guy you know

  37. #37
    Senior Member nostatic's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Pentax has a new 35mm ltd macro that I got last week. It is awesome as a walk around...damn near perfect plus 1:1 and ultra close focus. That lens on the K20d body is pretty amazing. It is bigger than the E410 though. But it also has a pentaprism viewfinder at 95%...huge difference between either the E410 or E510, or K100d for that matter.

    K20d body is bit smaller than D300. D300 has amazing AF, but K20d has image stabilization in the body so every lens gets the benefits, including old manual Pentax glass. It does have a different look though.

    Most of these shots were using DLux3

    http://nostatic.com/photos/hk08/

    I printed a number of those at 16x20 and they hold up very well at that size. No complaints and love the look.

    Most of these were K20d and either 50-135 or 16-45 zoom:

    http://nostatic.com/yos08/

  38. #38
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    If you like working at 50mm effective, I'd go for the pancake on the E410 and see if you can get your "look" in post-processing.

    Every camera/system is a compromise. I for one love my DLux3, and don't miss having a viewfinder at all. In fact, sometimes with my dslr I don't even bring it to my eye (especially for macro). I don't use live view either...I just "guess". After awhile, guessing can get pretty good. I'm "seeing" the shot in my head and experimenting rather than rigidly framing. Sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. But it really depends on how you *want* to shoot and if you want to try new things. There isn't a right or wrong answer.

    Hi nostatic,

    Yep, the pancake is a definite possibility, would really like it if Oly makes some more small primes for the system, especially a wider one.

    That's interesting that you are willing to kind of "guess" about your framing like that. I'm not sure if I could ever get that loose, I really like composing with some boundaries already there for me. I think the D-Lux 3 made it more difficult for me to do without a viewfinder because it also doesn't have a grip. I felt like I was almost waving it around sometimes, resulting in blurry shots. My little TZ3 works out better because I can get a firmer hold of it.

    You're right ... there's always a compromise involved, no matter what. And working within a limited budget also takes a bit of work to get where one wants to go. Even though I'm not sure yet which camera will ultimately suit me best, I've learned something by using each of those I've tried. They all have had loveable qualities and annoying ones.

    Thanks for your thoughts, appreciate them!
    Joan

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    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Whoops, looks like we were posting at the same time...

    I've seen a few people post on DPR Pentax forum with the new 35, looks like a real winner! And the 43 FA is also a beauty from what I've seen. Lots of good choices there for sure.

    Off to check out your D-Lux 3 and K20 shots and I'll be back. :-) Thanks!

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    I've found that shooting with the DLux3 required a different technique than my old Canon elph. I don't use the official thumb spot, but instead put my index finger on top, thumb along the bottom (at the base of the lcd screen), and wrap my middle finger curled on the front. I also put a piece of the soft side of velcro on the front to help with a bit more traction. I can shoot one-handed that way, or also two handed if I want.

    As for framing, that flower shot is with the dslr and I just guestimated. One nice thing about having 14.6MP is that you can often crop and get what your eye was seeing. That and a 16gig SD card means you can snap away and separate the wheat from the chaff after the fact. Other times I will be very deliberate in my framing...just depends on my mood and the subject. On the street beggars can't be choosers sometimes.

  41. #41
    asabet
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Thanks Amin
    Tom, I just saw that you're in our Flickr group. Great to see you there!

  42. #42
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    I'll put in a word for the D-Lux 3. It makes awesome files that print up beautifully, too.

    Here's my work with the D-Lux 3.

  43. #43
    Senior Member Joan's Avatar
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by nostatic View Post
    I've found that shooting with the DLux3 required a different technique than my old Canon elph. I don't use the official thumb spot, but instead put my index finger on top, thumb along the bottom (at the base of the lcd screen), and wrap my middle finger curled on the front. I also put a piece of the soft side of velcro on the front to help with a bit more traction. I can shoot one-handed that way, or also two handed if I want.

    As for framing, that flower shot is with the dslr and I just guestimated. One nice thing about having 14.6MP is that you can often crop and get what your eye was seeing. That and a 16gig SD card means you can snap away and separate the wheat from the chaff after the fact. Other times I will be very deliberate in my framing...just depends on my mood and the subject. On the street beggars can't be choosers sometimes.
    Todd, (I found your real name on your site )

    Lovely stuff with the D-Lux 3, really enjoyed your Hong Kong gallery. K20D is gonna be too big .. that I know for sure, but you certainly are making nice images with it, too. Would you believe I lived out in Wyoming for 2 years but never got to Yosemite? We were so broke at the time that travel was pretty much limited to short day trips. Someday I'll get back out there.

    Great stuff, and again I thank you for your input. I think I've made a decision , since I just got an email with a "too good to refuse deal. More on that shortly!

  44. #44
    bigdog
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Thanks, Joan.
    I just tweaked the exposure a bit. The lighting that morning was unreal.

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joan View Post
    Hi Lili,
    I was hoping you might offer an opinion here, been admiring your images since I found this forum and have enjoyed reading your posts.

    I have handled the K100D and it's fine for my hands, and I really like the brighter viewfinder as compared to the E410's. I think as long as I went with the smaller primes lenses, I'd be fine with the size and weight.

    I've not been completely wowed by the samples I've seen so far from the new Oly pancake ... waiting for someone to really sell it to me with some fine images. The form factor is terrific for sure. I do have the Oly 35mm macro which is a nice lens for walking around as well as it's 1:1 abilities. It's a little more interesting than the kit lenses. Here's a non-macro shot that I like from about a week ago:



    If you do want to try Olympus, I'd definitely say to go with the E420. The new sensor and processing approach the E3's, a real step up from the E410, I think.
    If I did go Ricoh, I'd like to shoot raw to get the most out of it, so I believe the "2" might suit me a bit better than the original, but I haven't completely ruled that out. Thanks for that suggestion, it would save me some dough!


    Still mulling ...

    Regards,
    Joan

    Joan,
    Thank you
    In the case of the GR series, if one shoots RAW then the GRD II is the way to go, by a long shot.
    You find the K100D finder brighter than the E410?
    Oh My...
    I adore that shot btw, what lens was that done with?
    It is razor sharp all through and the exposure and dynamic range is dead on.
    I love the color, a very neutral palette, even next to my K100D.
    Can you quantify what it is you dislike?
    Lili
    Last edited by Lili; 14th April 2008 at 16:08.

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    Hi Joan
    smashing shot - really lovely . . . the only thing that's confusing me is what you don't like about the results from the Olympus?

    I agree that Tom's shots are great . . I had a V-lux1 for a couple of months, and I loved the results, but not the size an the EVF viewfinder (horses for courses though).
    Thank you, Jono! Glad you like that shot, it's one of my faves with the E410.

    OK ... it's really not Olympus that I'm not 100% "one" with. It's just that the kit 14-42 is sorta humdrum and doesn't give much room for controlling DOF all that well. The Oly lenses that DO wow me (the 11-22 for instance) are all so danged BIG on the E410, that's really the trouble. But, I am not going to let it go just yet, still going to work with it a while longer.

    Best,
    Joan

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    not to muddy the waters, but the Oly 12-60 was one of the best lenses I ever messed around with. It is pretty big and heavy though...

  48. #48
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Maggie O View Post
    I'll put in a word for the D-Lux 3. It makes awesome files that print up beautifully, too.

    Here's my work with the D-Lux 3.
    Hi Maggie,

    Just took a quick peek at your D Lux 3 gallery, defnitely want to visit longer when I have more time, saw some fab shots there already.

    I feel badly that I was too clumsy to work with this great little camera. Everyone else seems to make such terrific use of it and I love looking at the results. It just wasn't right for me, darn it.

    Thanks! :-)

    Joan

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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigdog View Post
    Thanks, Joan.
    I just tweaked the exposure a bit. The lighting that morning was unreal.
    I'll say! That's amazing, wish I could have been there!

  50. #50
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    Re: Opinions? Ditch the DSLR for a small sensor camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    ...
    You find the K100D finder brighter than the E410?
    Oh My...
    I adore that shot btw, what lens was that done with?
    It is razor sharp all through and the exposure and dynamic range is dead on.
    I love the color, a very neutral palette, even next to my K100D.
    Can you quantify what it is you dislike?
    Lili
    Yes, the E410 VF is smaller and a bit darker. I've gotten used to it, but sometimes it's a bit frustrating because I wear glasses and if I don't get lined up just right, I can't see the info panel in there.

    Oh, I must not have worded that well - that shot was with the 35mm macro, thanks glad you like it. In this instance, I'm quite pleased with the results, do like this lens better than the kit lenses, and it's a true bargain at about $200. Will have to post a couple of macros done with it. Nice.

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