After nearly 5 years of using my venerable old Canon PowerShot S3 IS, I think it’s finally time I took a step up and got a new camera. After much research and thought, I finally decided that the right next step up cameras for me is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2.
This is one of the new Micro Four-Thirds System cameras – also known as “mirrorless interchangeable lens system” cameras, or sometimes “EVIL (electronic viewfinder interchangeable lens)” cameras. (And isn’t that an awesome acronym for a camera system?)
This camera has many of the same features I loved about my old Canon PowerShot S3 IS:
- Swivel screen
- Electronic viewfinder that shows a full view of what the sensor sees
- Good zoom range (based on what lens you use, of course)
- Decent lens speed (again, based on what lens you use)
- Almost the same size & weight (without the lens)
And while it misses out on a few other features I really like (side-mounted memory card slot, standard AA batteries), I think I’m willing to give up on those for the ability to switch lenses and get more depth-of-field and better low-light performance. (The battery thing in particular is something I realized I’m just never going to see – so few cameras these days still use standard AA batteries anymore; and especially not any sort of DSLR or interchangeable lens camera.)
On top of all that, this camera is not too terribly expensive – which is something that always bothered me, since there really was a big gap in price between super-zoom cameras (which is what my old PowerShot S3 IS was categorized as) and any sort of entry-level DSLR or EVIL camera. For example, B&H Photo (which is an awesome store, BTW) has this camera (just the body only, no lens) for just $299 at the moment – and that’s not bad!
On the other hand, lenses for micro-four-thirds cameras are still a bit rare and a bit more expensive than their DSLR equivalents, but hopefully that will change with time. (And if not, well, there’s always adapters!)
So, I think I’m going to upgrade to this camera, because I feel like I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t get any more out of my old camera in terms of creative options. It’ll be interesting to see how I get along with having to switch lenses – something I’ve (obviously) never had to do before. It’ll also be fun to have a camera with a bigger sensor, and thus a larger possible depth of field.
Needless to say, I’m pretty excited! I’ll be sure to post some photos once I get the camera, and maybe even re-do some of my experiments with depth of field for comparison. Should be fun!
(Camera picture by Flickr user senza senso.)