Searching for a new camera . . .
After officially graduating yesterday, my days as a graduate student are O-V-E-R, thankfully. I now have more time on my hands and am looking forward to spending my time on a few hobbies. Photography will be one of them. Task #1? Identify and buy a new camera. Of course, I’m looking for any and all advice on which camera to purchase. If you have some, given my personal photography profile which I’ll describe below, I’d certainly appreciate the input via comments.
To this point, we’ve always been a point and shoot family, for the most part. Currently we have a Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ7; it’s a DSRL-Like body style, but it’s a point and shoot. I want to graduate up to an interchangeable lens type camera. Until the last several years, that’s meant a DSLR, but now I’m faced with many more options given the 4/3 and Micro 4/3 style cameras. Before describing what I currently think we need or want, it may be better to describe how and why we use a camera.
We take a ton of pictures. Most of them are of the kids (3 daughters, 10, 6 and 2) in every imaginable kid-type environment: playing outdoors, kids sports leagues from tee-ball to soccer to vollyeball, indoors at home in “around the house” sort of candid shots with typical lighting issues, school related events which are typically in cafetoriums with poor lighting, and a variety of portrait type pictures both indoors and out. My wife and I are also interested in participating in a local photography club which includes a range of different types of photography: nature and landscapes to still life and macro shots. We’ve talked about street, food (to mix this hobby with another: cooking), aerial, stereo and sports photography. I guess there’s not really any genre of photography in which we’re not interested at this point. I guess what we may want to photograph and how – besides family – isn’t real well defined.
We’re also in the habit of using our regular still camera for our primary video camera as well. Carrying one device with one storage format has been proven to be very handy. Unless I can find a very good reason to consider having a dedicated still camera and a dedicated video camera – as separate devices – I’d prefer to have a camera that does both fairly well.
At the moment, I have a great deal to learn about photography; I understand depth of field and very much want to be able to have more focal control to create the images I want: i.e. focusing on my daughter’s face with the background being slightly blurred – or at least more blurred than it is with the point and shoots to which we’re accustomed. I’m interested in external flashes for a variety of reasons. Having a stronger flash for low light situations (described above), being able to bounce/fill light rather than direct flash at the frame etc. I am interested in learning more about shooting in RAW format and processing the photos. I wouldn’t mind tinkering with Adobe Lightroom.
I’ve talked to several photographer friends about the differences between DSLRs and mirror-less cameras. I don’t think my eye is fine tuned at this point that the LCD display in the viewfinder vs. the through the lens view will make much of a difference. At one point, though I’m not sure it’s still true, the mirror-less formats had an advantage over DSLRs in regard to video given the direct, image to sensor, format.
I’ve been looking at the recently released Panasonic Lumix GH2. It’s a micro 4/3 format camera with HD video capabilities. For how we are using and will use, for the forseeable future, a camera, does it have the capabilities and accessories that will allow us to continue to use this camera long term? Are the available range of lenses for the format too limited? What DSLR’s should I consider? Does a converter like this one allow a camera like the GH2 to use Canon lenses, if needed/wanted? Beyond the 14-42mm lens with most kits I’ve seen, I think the first additional lens I would need or want would be a telephoto lens? If so, is 100-300mm overkill (seems like it might be), perhaps a 45-200mm? But, I’m not even sure how long I’ll be happy with the 14-42mm lens; it may last me a while based on how we use our camera, or for all I know, I could be longing for the telephoto lens the day after I get the camera.
Any thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? Advice?
|This entry was posted by cmduke on May 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm, and is filed under EdTechatouille. Follow any responses to this post through RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback from your own site.|