Thursday, September 22, 2011

Eyeing a New Advanced Compact Camera

With it being Fall season in a day or so, it's usually the time when new cameras come out and the older models get cheaper and even more cheap as Black Friday nears. The camera craze has been the micro 4/3 cameras for the past couple years and now it feels like Olympus and Panasonic come out with newer models every 6 months or less. Even Nikon jumped on board with the compact camera system craze launching the J1 and V1. Canon hasn't jumped in on the craze nor do they need to with great compact cameras like the G12 or the S95 (S100 is coming out this fall!).

There are so many choices and finding the right camera for me seems somewhat tedious. The main attributes I want in a compact interchangeable lens camera is good image and video quality, as well as portability. Without going too into depth about the features(I've already done so in my mind), I have a camera and the lenses I want pretty much set but not in stone. I'm in the market for the Panasonic GF2 with the 20mm F1.7 and the Lumix G X Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6. 

just waiting for the 20mm f1.7 in the mail now

The camera body is one of the smallest if not the smallest in it's class, the newer GF3 model might be a tad smaller. The 20mm and the newer 14-42mm GX lens are both "pancake" lenses and with either of those lenses mounted on a GF2 would make it look like a normal compact camera.

As you can see the normal 14-42 is much longer and doesn't make it as portable as I would like. The longer 14-42 mm and the 14mm posted above are the lens kit options when purchasing the GF2. Unfortunately those lenses don't suit my needs. If I wanted to go wide or shoot video, I can use the quiet pancake 14-42 and I can use the 20mm (40 mm equivalent full frame) for everything else like night shots or portraits. 

I've seen the GF2(body only) for 299 on Crutchfield recently(normally under 500 online) and I would expect a similar price at some places within the next month or so. The 20mm F1.7 runs about 349 on Amazon and everywhere else. The pancake 14-42 would be 399 when it's made available and would drop to 349 eventually. Pricey, yes but the quality and portability combo that comes with it seems unrivaled...for now anyway.

The lens that even bested the 20mm F1.7 is the 25mm F1.4 which is out in Europe and Asia and hard to get in the U.S. I'll leave you with a fun unboxing and sample video of the 25mm (50mm equivalent full frame). The 20mm  I want should get be able to hang with the 25mm for the most part. cheers.

Pancake Panasonic 14-42mm Amazon link
I might go for the 14-45mm if I can't wait for the collapsible Pancake 14-42 HD lens. Also most reviews say the 14-45mm kit lens is much sharper than the 14-42 kit lens that comes with the GF2.
Panasonic 14-45mm Amazon Link

Edit: link to my first impressions of this camera I now have!

1 comment:

  1. I have the GF2 body now and the Panny 20mm F1.7 will be coming in the mail soon! I'll let you know how things go!