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You might also want to consider the Canon G10 - though real photo enthusiasts might disagree, but it's more portable and I've found that to be a very important consideration; I'm much more likely to take the Lumix with me than previous SLRs. I'm thinking of upgrading to the G10. The quality of the images is "somewhat amazing" according to this pro:


I had become very impressed with the Canon G10 after just a few days of earlier light-duty testing. Each evening that week I would sit with my 15" Macbook Pro reviewing the day's files. At one point I found myself looking at raw files on-screen and not being sure if I was looking at Hasselblad P45+ files or Canon G10 files. That includes at 100% onscreen enlargements.

Now, I'm no newbe. After some 50 years in this industry I know what I'm looking at, be it a screen blow-up or a print, and I certainly don't confuse how something looks on a 15" laptop screen (though properly profiled and calibrated) with how it will turn out on a critically produced exhibition-quality print. But nevertheless, I was curious about what I was seeing. In fact I was more than curious, I was somewhat amazed [that's like being "a BIT astonished" :-)  - Friday open thread].

...

Over a two day period I invited photographers and local industry professionals to come to my print studio and look at a series of 13X19" prints
...

In every case no one could reliably tell the difference between 13X19" prints shot with the $40,000 Hasselblad and Phase One 39 Megapixel back, and the new $500 Canon G10. In the end no one got more than 60% right, and overall the split was about 50 / 50, with no clear differentiator. In other words, no better than chance.

In fact it was the H2 system's narrower depth of field that occasionally was the only clear give-away. Some viewers eventually figured out that the prints with the narrower depth of field were from medium format, while other photographers chose the G10 images because with its wider depth of field it created an overall impression of greater sharpness.

Needless to say there was much shaking of heads and muttering. Could this be? Could a $500 digicam equal a $40,000 medium format digital system in image quality, at least in prints up to 13X19" (Super A3)?
...
But, with all of these caveats, the take-away as I see it is that the new Canon G10 has crossed a threshold; one in which an inexpensive pocket camera can produce very high quality images, at least on moderate sized prints, which is what most photographers end up making.

Will I be selling my Hasselblad and Phase One back? No, of course not. Why would I? Each system has its place and specialized function. Indeed I'm really excited about testing the new Phase One P65+ and to acquiring one as soon as it becomes available.

 But, the next time I take a walk in the woods, or go on a family vacation, I know which camera is going to be along for the trip, nicely tucked away in my jacket pocket. The Canon G10.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/kidding.shtml

You don't get anything like focal range of the lens recommended by Len, but then this whole camera - with video too ! is cheaper than that lens, and another pro finds it OK:

Another change from the G9 is the lens. It has a shorter maximum focal length, but gets wider. Instead of the G9's 35mm to 210mm (equivalent) lens, it has a 28mm to 140mm (equivalent) lens. The wider angle is frequently appreciated, and I rarely miss the longer telephoto on the G9.
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Canon has now demonstrated that a small camera with a small sensor can provide the ergonomics, speed, flexibility, and image quality that would please most serious photographers.

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2008/10/canon-g10-revie.html

From Amazon:


I was able to get extremely sharp photos in macro mode (closeups of bees in flowers, that kind of thing), again without a tripod.


Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 09:17:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd agree - I don't think anyone should buy an SLR unless they can see hobby or semi-pro (or pro) photography taking up a significant part of their time.

The cheaper not-quite-SLRs with fixed lenses give you 90% of the image quality with much less weight and bulk. You'll be able to shoot from tele to macro with just the one unit without needing to buy or carry around extra lenses.

A photo you miss because you didn't take out your camera because it was too heavy and/or valuable, or because you had to pause to swap a lens, is a photo that's gone forever.

The sub-SLRs make it much more likely you'll get that photo. The differences in image quality aren't noticeable unless you know exactly what to look for.

I've used my Fuji sub-SLR far more than I've used my Fuji SLR, even though the complete SLR kit cost something like ten times as much.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 09:54:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That Brit Guy,
That is exactly how I feel also.
 Most of my images are taken with "sub-SLRs" & one of the reasons is, as you mention, the ease & convenience of its use.
 I would also point out that many people seem to think that buying an expensive SLR makes them better photographers.
It won`t, but more than that, it might tend to discourage one from pursuing a fantastic hobby, when those amazing images (that do not come with a new camera) are not forthcoming.
I`m a strong advocate for exactly what you say.
Get a small comfortable camera, that does not make you self conscious, & shoot the day away. To me a good example is this.
When electric guitars first became popular, many parents bought them for their demanding kids, only to have the things sitting in a corner unused, till they were given away or sold at a loss. I recommend the Coolpix 5400, the P5000, both Nikons & possibly only available online.
I just bought a P5000 a few months ago for $200.00 to replace another P5000 I had a mishap with. I also have a D2H Nikon  that I also use, mostly for large format panoramas & sunsets. I do always have both sub-SLRs & the D2H right at hand though.
For a comparison, see if you can tell which camera was used in the respective images I posted above.
 

The difference between theists and atheists is that the atheists don't set the theists on fire for refusing to agree with them.
by Knucklehead on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:16:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You take superb photos, Knucklehead. :)
by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 03:22:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Obviously I agree with you. However:


For a comparison, see if you can tell which camera was used in the respective images I posted above.

 with 500 pixel wide jpegs at 72 dpi one wouldn't expect much of a difference - now with 13 x 19 inch prints, as in the review of the G10 - that was "somewhat amazing" :-)
 

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Sat Oct 25th, 2008 at 04:31:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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