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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Posts: 133
Hello!

I've been a happy snapper with various compact cameras and a superzoom for years and recently decided to make the move to DSLR to learn to take better photos and video clips. The cameras we have are great when the light/weather is good, but on grey days I'm always disappointed with the results, especially with our superzoom.

My initial plan was to go for something second hand as my budget is very tight, however, through all the researching I've done, with endless hours reading through camera reviews and forum user opinions, I've decided that a CSC mirrorless is the way to go for me - it does appear to be the future... :wink: And I have to admit, the smaller size appeals too

I'm almost decided on the Panasonic Lumix GX1K - the reviews are great and it seems like it would be a step in the right direction towards SLR capability and from what I can gather in the reviews and many, many You Tube videos, the technical wizardry doesn't appear to be too complicated for my non-technical brain. There are also plenty of options for additional future lens purchases, not being restricted to Panasonic only lenses.

I feel that this would be a good all-round camera to use at home, travel on holiday etc, however one of its uses would be for taking photos and video of kite surfers and surfers down the beach, but I can't find reviews on the camera's ability on grey UK days. This is where I need advice please. From what I can gather, this camera has great low light capability, but does this mean that it is good for the dull outdoors and not just indoors? Review sample photos tend to be indoors.

I realise too that some kind of weatherproof cover would be needed, especially on a damp, windy day on the beach, so I would need to factor that into my budget too (although I have seen plastic bags used by keen photographers), as my budget of £3-350 won't stretch to weatherproof cameras.

So, would this camera be a right move for me? I don't live anywhere close to an array of camera shops especially as Jessops are no more, so I'm not able to browse, pick up and get a feel for different cameras. I'm working on the basis that whatever I go for will feel alien to me anyway.

Any advice/experience would be much appreciated. Thank you

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


Last edited by Savlet on Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:19 pm 
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Location: United Kingdom
Savlet wrote:
I feel that this would be a good all-round camera to use at home, travel on holiday etc, however one of its uses would be for taking photos and video of kite surfers and surfers down the beach, but I can't find reviews on the camera's ability on grey UK days. This is where I need advice please. From what I can gather, this camera has great low light capability, but does this mean that it is good for the dull outdoors and not just indoors? Review sample photos tend to be indoors.


"Great low light capability" is relative. Compared to a most compacts/superzooms, yes the GX1 has vastly superior low light performance - I'd say it's amongst the best for £350 though I wouldn't call it great.

I have a GF3 and it works very well in the dull outdoors, it's only at night time when the images and video are noisy to the point that they're bordering on unusable if there's no fill or backing light. With that said, the GX1's noise management is much better.

While Jessops is no longer an option to visit, is there a Currys or PC World megastore nearby? They tend to have cameras on display that you can try out. It may be worth the expense (within reason) of travelling to try the camera(s) out for peace of mind.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:20 am 
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Than you, Rorschach for your time and good suggestion! Yes we do have a Currys/PCWorld nearby. I only ever think of Currys for domestic appliances, but yes they do sell cameras too...

That's today sorted then :)

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:02 pm 
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Well that was a disappointing visit to Currys :( The chap we spoke to was just DSLR all the way. He didn't really listen to my views and according to him he would go SLR over the CSC. I found him very confusing.

I did however get to handle a fair few cameras and I liked the feel of the GX1 and where the buttons were. They seemed a reasonable size too for handling with gloves on.

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Glad we could help... in one respect anyway. :mrgreen:

It sounds like the assistant didn't appreciate that DSLRs and the smaller CSCs don't overlap each over and that he doesn't realise each system has benefits and drawbacks over the other.

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Body: Canon EOS 70D
Lenses: Tokina AT-X 116 Pro DX f/2.8, Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II, Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm 
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Yes it was helpful in that I was able to pick up cameras and get a feel for them. The Olympus Pen E-P3 was a nice looking camera and tends to be reviewed alongside the GX1, but I felt that the little 4-way would be quite fiddly out of doors with gloves on. I was able to handle plenty of the DSLRs too and found most pretty comfortable, but it confirmed that I don't want the bulk to carry around, especially when travelling. I also feel glad that I've spent some time researching various camera systems and not just gone off and bought myslef a DSLR, as I've come to the conclusion that for me, CSC is a good option.

It's just a shame that the Currys salesman wasn't particularly helpful in the way of advice. I realise it must be hard for people to advise without personal opinions coming into it, but that's what I thought the job of a salesperson was. It makes me wonder if he thought he was being helpful at all.

I think I may have to just go with my gut feeling, bite the bullet and go for the GX1. There appear to be some pretty good deals and second hand options out there.

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:36 pm 
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There are a couple of UK suppliers under £300, but DigitalReview have it for £265 delivered. http://www.digitalrev.com/product/panas ... MDAwNw_A_A
(If you do buy from them, by clicking via their link at the top of the forum page, Camera Labs get a tiny bit of commission to help run this site. :wink: )

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:30 pm 
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Thank you oldCarlos for the recommendation, but I have a GX1 already on the way, less than a year old with the Panasonic 14-45 Mega OIS lens and a couple of extra lenses to boot, for not much more than the body only price at Digital Rev. :D I didn't realise about the links for shopping :? but I'll remember to use them in future.

When we got back home this afternoon after our trip to Currys, I went through a lot of reviews again, and then figured I could either spend my time reading and re-reading review after review and lots forum opinions and confuse myself even more, or I could just make the decision myself. After all, no one was going to make it for me and from what I can gather there is always some compromise somewhere with camera performance and ability. Nothing gets 100% :wink: Feeling pretty excited now! :mrgreen:

So, with the imminent arrival of my new (to me) camera and the Introduction to Digital Photography book I have on order with the book club at work, I should have plenty to keep me learning for a long while. I'm sure I will be posting up a few photos on here for critique. I've already warned hubby that he's probably going to become my muse...! :roll:

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:50 am 
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Posts: 671
Congrats on your purchase! But I do have one concern--for surfing, you'd probably want Panasonic's 100-300mm lens (it's what I use), but it appears to be out of your budget. Also, at f4.0-5.6, it's not particularly bright, although I would guess that there wouldn't be many surfers out (due to the cold) on "grey UK days". And a long lens like this (especially when fully extended/zoomed in all the way) can feel unbalanced on a small camera body like the GX1.

Yes, you can use lenses from other brands (Canon, Nikon, etc.) with an adapter, but you will lose auto-focus capability, so this isn't ideal for surfing. And the upcoming native m4/3 fast/bright telephoto lenses--35-100mm f2.8 and 150mm f2.8--are significantly shorter (focal length-wise) and significantly more expensive.

In short, fast/bright (super)telephoto lenses (200mm+) are the one shortcoming in the m4/3 lineup, and I don't see that changing anytime soon (because the thinking is that lenses of that size work against the advantage of the m4/3 format. i.e. small size).

Other than that, I hope you'll be happy with your purchase - Mark

{edit}
P.S. Sorry, I just remembered Panasonic's 45-200mm. It's obviously only 200mm as opposed to 300mm, and at f4.0-5.6, it's not any faster than the 300mm, but it is roughly half the price of the 300mm.
{/edit}


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:03 am 
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Hello Maestro, many thanks for your advice, it's very much appreciated. After my visit to the store yesterday and reading up on the sports photography section of this forum, I quickly realised that it will be quite some time before I could even contemplate a telephoto lens. They're way out of my budget, so that's one of the compromises I realised I'd have to make. I do think that the GX1 will be a good camera to learn with and I'll just have to pick and choose those days when I head down to the beach.

We're lucky where we live in that you can be at the waters edge and still be relatively close to the action, particularly for kitesurfing. When someone is there with a camera, it's amazing how much like a magnet they become to kitesurfers! :wink: We often joke that if you want to be away from the crowds if you're out kiting, ask a friend to turn up with a camera and stand further down the beach, that way you have plenty of space left to play in. I've been looking at some waterproof bags that you can put your camera in for added protection in the wet (future purchase), so that I can be stood in the water if need be and the camera is protected from splashes. A little more research required here though before I consider taking my new camera anywhere near water!

You'd be surprised too how many people still head out into the sea when there's snow on the ground! I know, I'm one of them! If we waited for fine weather and blue sky in the UK, we'd have a very long wait :wink:

Thank you for taking the time to offer your advice. I will make a note of it for future reference, if funds (and my skills) allow. :)

_________________
Camera: Panasonic Lumix GX1
Lenses: Lumix G Vario 14-42mm f3.5-5.6, Lumix G Vario 100-300mm f4-5.6 and Samyang 7.5mm f3.5
with adapter: Nikon 50mm f1.8 and Tamron 24mm f2.5


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