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Thread: Need Help for a gift

  1. #1
    RMR2416
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    Need Help for a gift

    PhotoJunkies,
    I'm Roland, and I'm a noob. I have done research for the past 4 weeks for a X-mas gift for my wife; her only hobby for the past 4 years has been our young daughter, adn it's time for her to renew with photography (she really needs to get out of the house). About her; she is a school teacher and loves photography (Loves Adams and studied photograpgy in College for her own pleasure). We have a Nikon Coolpix 4300 (we use it often for events but miss 50% of the shots (it's that slow)) and she has a Pentax K100 35mm, all manual, with a couple of lenses. However, this camera has not left it's bag for the past 4 years (too big and bulky when you have a young kid to tote as well).

    She likes to take pictures of landscapes, portraits, birds, some light macro work with flowers and bugs (butterflies...) and of course shot of our daughter (I'm far too ugly). I believe composition is more important to her than actual output quality.

    Here's where I need your help; I have looked at a couple of affordable DSLR, namely the Nikon D40 (no liveview) and the Sony Alpha300 (liveview, good deals on it). Porblem is, she already has a nice 35mm with lenses, and it never leaves the house. Why repeat the equipment, especially if it's use is limited.
    If I was shopping for me, I would get the G10 (I've seen the LL and Hogan work with this camera, and it can make magical shots). I have dismissed the DP1 (too expensive and limited in use, or so I think) and the LX3 (I like it, but I haven't seen any shots made with the LX3 that have the "magic" and color richness of the G10). I have also dismissed the P6000 (reviews are pretty bad). I like the GX200, however was unable to locate one locally to look at it, and same thing applies as with the LX3 (no "magic", but I might be totally wrong). I have found a great deal on Adorama for a GX100 with the EVF(viewfinder is a must for composition I guess?) for $350. Now, I have seen some "magic" shots coming out of this camera, especially at somewhat high ISO in B&W.

    So here's the deal; DSLR (it's pricey and I think you get caught in buying more lenses and equipment), or a one time purchase with a quality compact? And if compact, which one is more suited for her needs? The ideal camera for her would be the new Lumix G1 I think, but it's totally out of our price range (no more than $550). I would be inclined to get the GX100 or the G10. Is the GX100 totally obsolete?

    Tnak you for welcoming me to the forum, and I'm getting the photo bug just looking at your work.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    My thoughts (I have owned GX100, LX3, G1):
    I would go to ebay and buy a G1. With the Live.com cash back and BIN from the Canadian dealer, you should be able to get one in your price range. It has the international warranty, but it saves quite a bit of money. It would include the kit lens which is very nice.

    The LX3 is a wonderful camera, too. It would fit in her purse and always be with her. The LX3 in my opinion would be a better choice with a child than the GX100. The LX3 has less lag time which is a biggie....capturing children. I also think it has better file quality than GX100. Your wife can make the magic.

    If you do choose GX100, on the other hand, I would skip the EVF. Many here do not like it and I personally could not stand using it on the GX100. If you can find one at a better price point without it, I would go that way. The file quality of GX100 is good...it is just that lag time that would discourage me in your case.

    I hope your wife joins us here soon. It is a great place to learn and share.

  3. #3
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Roland,
    Greetings!
    If the K1000 stayed in the bag so long because it was too much too carry along with the child, a DSLR or even the Panny G1 may welll fall to the same fate. The G1 is smaller than any DSLR but not by as much as I had hoped.
    I carry my GRD and/or Samsung L85 FAR more than any of my larger cameras.
    I have seen stunning work done with the GX100 and the LX-3, so I'm not sure if you and I are looking at the same images or have similar expectations.
    I do far prefer the jpeg engine in the GX100 to that in the 200, just as I do in the GRD versus the GRD II.
    I agree that nothing beats actually handling a camera to decide if you like it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member helenhill's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Cindy & Lili brought up Good Points....

    Size & Image the Key
    so
    either the GX100...Tres Fab (Adorama has it for $349.00 )
    or the lx3 (haven't tried it but seems to be a winner)
    will be PURRfect

    Best to You & the Family for the Holidays - H

  5. #5
    Senior Member pollobarca's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    I have the gx100 with evf and its always attached and I use it a lot. Some people like the evf and some dont , depends on your wife but if you buy it later it costs more. There are times its really neccessary to have a viewfinder.
    Go for that offer of 349usd. Then also get the LC1 lenscap (best buy on ebay from japan).LC1 cost me 16 or 18 euro from Japan. Get a spare battery too.
    all the best
    paul
    "I ruined my health by drinking to everyone else's." Brendan Behan
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/pollobarca/

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Everyone has good points here. I hope that you can try it out. I know that shutter lag really is a PITA with child photography (having done quite a bit of it.) I can't imagine that your wife won't want to photograph your child as he/she grows. Maybe someone else with young children will chime in on that.

  7. #7
    RMR2416
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Thank you for the quick responses. I am inclined to believe size matters...
    I am doing a little more research on the GX100 to find out if the GX200 really is a worthy upgrade, or if she will have the same capabilities as with the previous model. If you have experience with either, please post; I value long term user opinion a lot more than the opinions of reviewers that handle the machine for a few days.

    Th G10 is still a strong contender (I can buy it a local store, cash), but the pictures I've seen with the GX100 are unbelievable (maybe the photographer is really good, and I apologize if I cannot apreciate it fully).

    Lili, what I meant was that the color and detail on the GX200 do not seem out of this world; I have seen brilliant pictures out of the G10 (Ken Rockwell http://http://www.kenrockwell.com/ca...10/gallery.htm or Bill Lockhart, http://http://www.bill.lockharts.com...-final-review/, (it could be post processing). I forgot to mention that we do not own any of the processing software (Photshop, lightroom...).

  8. #8
    RMR2416
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  9. #9
    Super Duper
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Roland, Ken Rockwell states those images wre straight from the G10; no post processing.
    They are stunning indeed. He does mention making the most use of the in-camera imaging controls; saturation and exposure.
    This can be done with both the Ricoh and Panny as well.
    I would be interested in seeing Ken's work with either the GX100/200 and the LX-3
    Bill Lockharts article was very telling. Sure his full frame Canon can make better images; but he either coudn't get it out in time or lug it with him.
    And his results simply rocked.
    Were I to be limited to just one camera, choosing from a list of the current cameras I would likely go with the the G10 or the GX100/200. But that is just me. I know the Ricohs User Interface and having played with a G9 the G10 is a compelling upgrade.
    YMMV of course

  10. #10
    RMR2416
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Thank you Lili,

    I have found out that one of my friends has a GX200 and a GRD II; I don't think he likes the GX200 and might want to sell it. It's like new. I asked about the GRD II however, and he simply said; "best kept secret in small photography". Guess he won't sell that one. Why is that little camera so darn expensive? (GRD II I mean). From where I stand, it pretty much looks like a GX200 with a GX100 screen, some GX200 features, and a fixed lens, and a different (is the sensor the reason for the price?)

  11. #11
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Quote Originally Posted by RMR2416 View Post
    Thank you Lili,

    I have found out that one of my friends has a GX200 and a GRD II; I don't think he likes the GX200 and might want to sell it. It's like new. I asked about the GRD II however, and he simply said; "best kept secret in small photography". Guess he won't sell that one. Why is that little camera so darn expensive? (GRD II I mean). From where I stand, it pretty much looks like a GX200 with a GX100 screen, some GX200 features, and a fixed lens, and a different (is the sensor the reason for the price?)
    GRD is very much a niche item. I am not Ricoh so I cannot justify the prices.
    I do know that no other digital camera does in-camera B&W jpegs like the GRD First Gen. The Second iteration does raw extremely fast which is good since the jpegs are not so good.
    These little cameras are terribly fast in operation with a superb UI.
    The fixed focal length lens is not so much a limitation as inspiration to me; shooting street and other candid one starts 'seeing' in 28mm.
    Fewer decisions, more speed.

    As to GX200, it is a very nice camera, the jpegs are not the same as the the GX100, but some folks do not like grain/noise bite and so may love the jpegs it makes.
    Again YMMV
    Its UI with the 3 customisable user modes is awesome.
    Of the posh zoom compacts, the stepped zoom on both version is great; if you set to say 50mm efl and shut down, it comes back to that setting on boot up.
    As far as I know, no other digicam does this.

  12. #12
    RMR2416
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    Re: Need Help for a gift

    Thank you all for the input,

    I chickened out on the Ricohs;the GX200 and GRDII were just out of my price range, the GX100 was in the price range, but I really didn't want to have to buy online. I bought the G10 form Best Buy (USA) for $399, or $100 below retail. I lked the price, loved the feel of the brick- I mean camera. That thing is heavy, but well balanced, and the start up time is the best I've seen for a digicam (no manual lens cover helps). I put te price in the forum so people intimidated by the price could maybe give the camera a shot (at $399, it is only $50 more than a Sony purse Cybershot).

    I hope th elittle lady will like her gift. See you on the forums. I'll make her post her work.

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