Thursday, October 6, 2011

For you gearheads

Here is my photo kit from this trip. On the left is a great little travel camera, the Canon SX230 IS. It has a 12x zoom, is very sharp, fits into a belt pouch and takes videos that are fine for the likes of me.

In the middle is the new kid, a Panasonic Lumix GF3 Micro 4/3 camera. This is a new size, with a much bigger sensor than the Canon and most of it's size advantage. It also takes very good interchangeable lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus, and with an adapter, all of the lenses from the Pentax on the right. I got this so as to have a higher quality camera that was easier to carry in towns and on hikes where there would be harder walking.

On the right is the Pentax K-5 with an 18-135 zoom and my favorite lens, the 35mm f/2.8 This is a great camera, very sharp clear pictures come out of it. It has a small issue with autofocus that has to be watched, but I have gotten used to that and am not fooled often. It was the camera that was to be my main unit due to higher quality and great lenses.

The surprise of the trip was how much I liked the GF3. I only had it a week before we left and was not used to it when we arrived. I went with the 14-42mm kit zoom, the fabulous 20mm and the very useful 14mm. Once I got used the the handling and had it set up the way I like it, it became my main camera. It's very light and the lenses are all good, but the 20mm is a gem and a good 65% of my pictures came out of that combo. Also it takes both jpeg files and RAW, my preference. I had a monopod with me, and with the GF3 on top of it I had a great walking stick and a steady platform for shooting.

I still love the Pentax and its great sensor. I will use it from a tripod or when I want that 35mm focusing close. But the Micro 4/3 format will probably be my everyday gear for the near future. The Canon's great worth was that it was always on my belt, had that big zoom and,for up to 8x10s is a very good camera.

Next year I will only use the smaller cameras. They are so light and at no real loss of quality that I'll save my neck and back.

That's it for cameras, back to the pictures they take.

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