I got this lens to use on an EM5 I carry as a portable alternative to my SLR, so its an economy solution.
The auto-focus and sharpness cannot compare with a full frame Nikon telephoto. At the long end, it pays to brace the barrel against something, and fine tune with manual focus on digital zoom or focus assist if practical, so the CSC won't replace my SLR yet. (Might be different after Olympus's long focal length 'Pro' lenses come out.)
However, when one looks at 600mm equivalent in about the same size as a full frame 18-35mm, for under $500 after cash-back, it's hard to beat. The camera, this and a wide angle lens, take up just about no space in a bag. I'd be very unlikely to 'happen to have' a full frame alternative with me.
I'm 53 years old and this is the first camera I've ever bought and/or owned (not counting the one in my phone)
I've only had it a few days, so I reckon might be able to provide something resembling a full review in about 5 years when I've actually learned how to use it.
But the best part is that this camera makes me want to learn. It makes me want to pick it up and use it. And from what I've learned so far, it's very impressive indeed...especially at this price-point.
But now on to the really important stuff. Call me an ol' fuddy-duddy, but when I purchase something, especially like this camera, the purchase experience is very important to me. I'm quite used to using and purchasing over the internet and during the several months I've spent researching this purchase I became acutely aware of 'grey market' imports - there are a large number of South-East Asian stores claiming to be Australian and/or Australian owned. Most have the appearance of better prices and some even have reasonable shipping rates. Overall, the price difference worked out to be between $100-$200 cheaper than actual Australian based stores for this product. But that's where the advantages seem to end. Here's a good example - have a look at the customer reviews on this product review site - http://www.productreview.com.au/p/camera-paradise.html. Notice that the folks that are unhappy had an after-sales issue that was either difficult or impossible to resolve.
Enter Ted's. Local store, Australian 2 year warranty and great service. Yep! I'm happy to recommend young Steve from the shop in the Canberra Centre. Just plain excellent, good ol' fashioned service. He was interested, helpful and made the entire purchase process enjoyable. And if ever I have any issues I can physically go and talk to an actual human face to face, that speaks my language and I feel confident that I'll be looked after properly. That's gotta be worth $200 when you're spending $1000+ for sensitive equipment that will last a few years.
Anyway, I'd best shutup now. Great camera, great purchase experience, happy to recommend both Canon 70D and Ted's Camera Store.
I have only had the CamRanger for about a week but it seems to be a great product.
Does what it says on the box!
I have had this lens for three weeks now and tried it in various conditions and with all long Telephoto lens this suffers the same problem with the Maximum zoom in poor light conditions. For sport photography in bright daylight the lens is fine but in overcast conditions the lowest Aperture is not good enough. In Landscape photography I found a lot of the images 1/3 stop over exposed. Not sure if this was a function of the lens or the camera or the high contrast conditions. Dark forest with bright sunlight through the clearings. The images were all high quality and clear and crisp. The vibration reduction was somewhat effective. As a general walk around lens it was very effective but for this I prefer the 24-70mm lens. For sports photography the F-stop at 4.5 to 5.5 is too large for poor light conditions.
Its advantages are relatively light for the maximum zoom (300mm) (compared with other lenses), good build quality, sharp images. On the downside, on maximum zoom poor light is a problem but then to rectify this you are going to pay a lot more then the cost of this lens.
I have used this camera to take photos as well as shoot video for media projects and Youtube. It has absolutely amazing quality, almost as good as an entry level dslr. The zoom is amazing and the lens has a very narrow depth of field when zoomed in. The only bad things about is that you cant shoot and record at the same time, it can't be used as a webcam and it doesn't quite fit in compact camera cases. Nevertheless, an amazing camera that is unbeatable for the price!
This printer is great for taking to different places, printing and sharing proper prints. Wifi connection is easy with iOS devices and in use, it is fun, quick and delivers excellent quality prints that I find more colour accurate than traditional photo kiosks.
A great reminder about how fun photography is when printing and sharing tangible photographs.
Looking to upgrade from my old point and shoot, I spent a while researching a few entry level priced choices - the Olympus PM2 and PL5, the Fujifilm X-M1, Sony A3000, Panasonic GM1, Pentax K5, and eventually decided on the PM2. I've had the PM2 for a month or so now and couldn't be happier with the decision. So - just to run down the pros and cons (and surprises) so far -
* It's by far the least compromised interchangeable lens camera in its price range - if they could get a feature from the higher end Olympus cameras in there, it's in there. Image quality, especially for straight out-of-camera JPG, is amazing and more or less matches the higher end OM-D M-5/M-10 identically.
* It has two axis image stabilisation in the camera body, so for anything shorter than long telephoto lenses, you can pick from a lot more un-stabilised native or converted lenses, cheaper, and need to break out the tripod less often.
* Micro Four Thirds lens mount is pretty bloody good these days, with lots of options in every price range - perhaps could use some more quality wide angle and some faster telephoto options, but for everything else, it's extremely hard to find anything like the same options and optical quality at anything like the same size, weight and price.
* It has touchscreen controls, including touch to point focus and touch to shoot, and once you've gotten confident using the basic interface, you can switch over to a fantastic menu system (super control panel) where just about every setting available is displayed and can be changed quickly. The menu system is very fast and can store 4 quick change presets - not just of common setting options, but of every possible setting on the whole camera. Almost every button on the camera and the dial can be re-bound to different functions.
* Quite fast burst rate for a cheap camera (8fps without stabilisation), extremely fast (and quiet) single autofocus (very good even versus much bigger and more expensive cameras), good selectable face and eye detection, excellent flash setup options.
* Video is not its forte, it's pretty much just "there" rather than "good". It does do proper 1080p rather than 1080i, but only at 30 frames with no other frame rates available. Video compression is sometimes a bit harsh for capturing fast movement of anything detailed. Inbuilt stereo mic is adequate. Overall - fine for better-than-smartphone youtube uploads, maybe not so much for anything else. 2 axis stabilisation is nowhere near as good as the 5 axis on the OM-D E-M5 for action video.
* Continuous/tracking autofocus performance is pretty ordinary - only at 3.5fps shooting speed, and will occasionally mess up without very good light. Perhaps a bit much to expect from a budget camera.
* No inbuilt viewfinder, and no inbuilt flash (a flash comes with the camera body, but it's detachable). You can have one or the other connected, but not both at the same time. That said you do have some excellent options for styles of flash and viewfinder (the new VF-4 EVF is even better than you'll find inbuilt on the higher end OM-D models), it's a shame they couldn't work out a way to piggyback them together.
* Manual is effectively online only, printed manual is totally inadequate. A few options that are critical to enjoying the camera (enabling the super control panel, switching the rear LCD panel to 'fast' refresh mode) require navigating very far down the advanced menus to switch on (seriously - very far!), fortunately this only needs to be done once.
* No focus peaking. On the PM2, you can use the ghetto, 'alternate' art-filter based focus peaking as some other Oly camera users worked out, but it's far from ideal and not the same quality as 'proper' focus peaking.
* Lack of physical controls might constrain you a little - only one dial, 4-way hat, and 6 function buttons (some lenses include another electrical switch button), though being able to store 4 different button binding "mysets" goes some way to address this. That said there is very little "intimidation" factor using it straight off, if you're upgrading from a point and shoot like me, you can use it like one with no hassles and crank out pretty good quality shots straight away.
Pleasant surprises -
* Art filters. Don't make the mistake of turning your nose up at these, they are far from just instant-instagram style filters and can produce some quite interesting pictures very quickly. Also great for turning a messed up shot into an "I meant to do that" keeper. You can even select multiple filters at once - it'll take a RAW photo, then copy it and apply a dozen or so different filters to the same base picture, and you can keep whatever ones look best. Of course, they're nothing you couldn't do in Lightroom, but they don't take hours of messing around in front of a computer to do, either.
* How very small and light it actually is, and how bloody good the output is for something so very small and light. I honestly hadn't thought this would be a factor at all, but having lugged my dad's DSLRs around from time to time, it's amazing. There's none of that pre-planning or hassle involved in "taking along a camera" - just bung it on the strap or in a bag and you hardly even notice you're carrying it. Smaller and lighter than even some point-and-shoots and the output is so much better.
* How good the cheap, bargain basement "bodycap" lenses are - the 15mm $50 bodycap and the 9mm $99 fisheye. Both are so small as to make the camera genuinely pocketable, both are very fun to use just running around and messing about. And they're actually not as terrible as you might think for something basically half the price of a budget lens put together - especially with art filters and a good eye for a shot. These are probably the two best lenses for actually improving photography skills I've found so far - it's all down to you to make them work.
We got the AW1 on a recommendation from the sales rep as we needed something with a higher shutter speed as our kids do athletics. The AW 1 has the shutter speed we love, but the lense that comes with the camera is no existent so we needed to spend another $300 in getting anther lense which fits the camera, although this stops the water proofing that is another selling feature. The second lense has a good lower range zoom which is a big step up on the original lense. Next problem is that there are only a few lenses with the correct fitting for the AW1 so you need to purchase an adaptor which is another $300 or so, so it can become an expensive exercise to get the true camera we wanted and we were probably better off getting another nikon which has the lenses that we were after. Saying all this, the cameras pictures are great, it is easy to use, the camera fits into the hand well, battery lasts the day.
I love my D5300. I use it couple with a Nikon 40 mm MICRO for my food photography. Having the multiple focus points is fantastic. I can do everything in Manual and save a 14-bit RAW file to play with in Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. The convenient self timer button means a steady body and a sharp image for slower speeds in lower light when I want a little more depth of field than usual with food.
Rich and Libby.
I would like to thank you both very much for presenting your 2 day course in Brisbane.
Your patience and instructional ability made the learning experience most enjoyable.
With my upcoming overseas trip I feel much more confident that I can capture far better images now that you have shown me how the camera can be used.
I have recently purchased the two lenses you recommended and have already had a great deal of enjoyment with them, in particular the macro lens.
Tips from the photographer