EVIL is the way to go, but you must show me the way
February 17, 2011 7:23 AM   Subscribe

I would like a new camera. Please help me find the perfect one for my needs.

Its primary use will be taking pictures of the family (Mrs. Zombie will probably take non-stop pictures of the little Zombie), but I'm really buying it to take pictures of dead trees (it's my thing), daily outside beauty, music festivals and I'll bring it backpacking in my annual excursions throughout the summer [I don't mind the extra weight].

I'm looking towards the EVIL side of things since I've been reading about them for a long while, but I'll let people talk me out of that if the arguments are good.
posted by zombieApoc to Technology (9 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
An EVIL sounds like a good choice for your described needs. I love my Panasonic Lumix GH1, though you might consider the even-more-compact GF1 or GF2 (depending on how much control you want) or the also-good Olympus E-PL1 or the new E-PL2. In the Micro 4/3 system, the Panasonic 20mm f/1.4 is a brilliant lens for most of your needs, though not ideal for portraits. (As of now, the biggest weakness of the system is the lack of an affordable/good portrait prime, but for family snapshots, the zooms will work just fine)
posted by JMOZ at 7:43 AM on February 17, 2011


I should mention that the competitors (i.e. Sony's NEX or Samsung's NX) are fine cameras, but Micro 4/3 is the best-supported system and seems to be taking off with new companies joining regularly.
posted by JMOZ at 7:44 AM on February 17, 2011


So is the Micro 4/3 and EVIL essentially the same thing, just a new name, or are there fundamental differences?

I had been looking at the GF1 and GF2. I currently have a Lumix and love the capabilities of it, I just want something better/more up-to-date
posted by zombieApoc at 8:05 AM on February 17, 2011


Micro 4/3 refers to a specific sensor size and an industry consortium related to it. EVIL "Electronic Viewfinder Interchangeable Lens" refers to cameras with electronic viewfinders (which implies no mirror box) and interchangeable lenses.

So while the Olympus EP-1, Panasonic GH1, and the Sony NEX are all EVIL cameras, the NEX is not a Micro 4/3 camera. The sensor in the NEX is much bigger (APS-C format).

In the Micro 4/3 space, it's hard to go wrong with a Panasonic, they are widely loved and hacked and there are many cheap adapters to use old lenses with them.

I personally have a couple cameras from the NEX line and I love them but my interest in the camera is technical, I wouldn't necessarily recommend them to you.
posted by fake at 8:25 AM on February 17, 2011


wow. thanks for the info!
posted by zombieApoc at 9:01 AM on February 17, 2011


Whatever you get, don't bother with the kit lenses. The Olympus E-PL2 kit lens in particular is horrible. We're a divided househols (E-PL2 and a GF2), but everyone agrees that the Lumix 20mm/f1.7 is a fantasic lens.
posted by halogen at 2:21 PM on February 17, 2011


GF-1. No, you can't have mine.

preciousss...

JMOZ - curious about your point about portraits. We've been deliriously happy with our 20mm headshots - is there something we don't know?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2011


obiwanwasabi- If you're happy with the results, that's the most important thing. Quite frankly, I wouldn't presume to tell anyone what pictures to take.

That being said, photographers traditionally shoot portraits with ~75-130mm equivalent (37-65 mm for m43) due to distortion; with a shorter lens (i.e. 20mm, which is a 40mm equivalent), you get quite close to the subject for a headshot, which tends to result in distortion. Typically, this results in things like the nose looking bigger and other such non-flattering details. This blog post describes these effects quite nicely using m43 lenses as an example.

That post does show you how to get distortion-free photos with the 20mm lens, but I think this highlights the need for a fast (f/2 or better) portrait lens for m43. (Yes, the 45mm f/2.8 Leica macro lens is BEAUTIFUL, but it's also quite expensive)
posted by JMOZ at 5:21 AM on February 18, 2011


halogen: "Whatever you get, don't bother with the kit lenses. The Olympus E-PL2 kit lens in particular is horrible. We're a divided househols (E-PL2 and a GF2), but everyone agrees that the Lumix 20mm/f1.7 is a fantasic lens."

halogen- at one point, the gf1 could be purchased with either a kit zoom or the 20/1.7. I haven't followed what's new or whether that's still true. The kit lens for the GH1 (the 14-140) was a significant factor in my choosing that body; I love having a superzoom that's a jack-of-all-trades, and it's a nice lens. I think most of the Panasonic lenses (including the kits) are at least decently rated, and someone moving from P&S to m43 might like having a zoom. (I do agree that the primes and some of the non-kit zooms are much nicer, though!)
posted by JMOZ at 5:24 AM on February 18, 2011


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