As you might already concluded, I like to read non-technical photographers blogs. So, this entry has to thank its existance to this Mike’s post, with my favorite line down in comments stating “… and one has to be somewhat mindful of product lifespans when making recommendations, to avoid annoying people …”. Anyway, if you’re going to wait ’till your next Holy Grail becomes available, you might wait ’till next gnaB giB (opposite to Big Bang, for the uninitiated).
Contrary to Mike’s list, however, this isn’t going to be top recommended cameras. To whom I can recommend anything, anyway? To myself only, obviously. And, what exactly I can recommend? Only cameras tried, if not owned, obviously again. In this case, however, I’m going to make a small, but needed bend in rules. I’ll assume that if a few products of certain camera maker works more-or-less ok, then all others (usually more expensive ones) would behave the same.
Also, all cameras must be available as of this moment, ready to be bought with hard cache, this instant. Note that I didn’t say they must be in store, merely available, so it might be brand new, refurbished or second-hand buy. And again, contrary to Mike, I’ll make my entire list here, in only one post, so no waiting ’till I decide what to write next ;).
My Top 10 cameras:
- Canon EOS 350D, still available as refurbished, and dirt cheap at that. First entry level Canon dSLR which is usably fast, and not crammed with too many Mpixels. My only gripe so far is idiotic design which requires you to press Set button after every change of parameters
- Canon EOS 5D (Mk I), not sure about refurbished, but second-hand specimens are getting cheaper and cheaper. Also not too many Mpixels, and full-frame sensor provides whole new perspective
- Pentax K10D, previous generation top level dSLR, and wasn’t too expensive when in regular sale. Now, as a second-hand offer is cheaper then ever. Pentax lens are also on the cheaper side of story, or offers more for the same money, or you can attach your granddad’s lens. Only problem with Pentax produce is that they’re not available in stores as refurbished items, and second-hand offer, where I live, is really poor
- Olympus E-510, featurefull little dSLR, if you’re satisfied with lens offer for 4/3 systems, that is. I prefer this version to E-520, since it produces a little sharper images, and is also cheaper, while succesor being just an evolutionary step forward
- Sony DSC-R1, compact which isn’t. If you pull out of equation slow RAW performance, and comes to terms with position of LCD, this could be really good proposal even today
- Panasonic DMC-G1, shortest back flange distance among interchangeable lens cameras and third-party adapters saves the day. In plain English, you can choose between just two original lens for this new m4/3 camera. But, you can also attach (via adapters) almost any lens you get your hands on. And the camera is really nice, but with too many Mpixels. Well, nothing is perfect
- Sigma DP-1, compact which shows the way. Its place is reserved for it’s succesor, though. And reasons are pretty obvious. Not just DP-2 will be providing more usefull lens, but faster, better bokeh, with much better color definition (DP-1 reds are bleeding to violet in direct sunlight), and faster speed of operation
- Nikon D700, ‘Expensive’ is my second name. Not only that, lens to be used with this monstrosity are also on the verge of ridiciously expensive
- Panasonic LX3, compact which is. Two shortcomings are nice, but not so great image quality, and question “how much do you really need theeny-wee littl’ prosumer compact”. Because for even less that that you could have a really good dSLR. Of course, then lens get into play, but that’s another story
- Canon PowerShot A640, unassuming compact without pretensions. And yet, it still manages to beat more expensive models for what it does (good images), and how (fast operation) and even hacker(!) support (CHDK, anyone?)
So, what do you think? What would you choose?