So, while in Kingston a little while back, I got frustrated that I didn’t have my camera on me. I sometimes hate to lug the thing around as it can be awkward and heavy, and when I go visit Kyle, I rarely use it. We were walking around and doing a tour of downtown Kingston, and there were more than a few photography moments that I didn’t capture because all I had on me was my cell phone, and the images that come out of it look like they were taken on a cell phone. When Laura asked me if I had brought it, my brain decided that it was now time to act on what I had been mulling over for months and buy a micro four-thirds camera.
I went to Camera Kingston and picked up the Panasonic GF2, a 12 megapixel camera that I can fit in my pocket. I purchased it with the 14mm f2.5 lens, so that I could take shots in low light. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how wide this would feel, and while the lens works great for just some quick snaps, I will have to buy one or two other lenses for it to really be happy. But I do have a camera now that I can easily bring with me anywhere, and that makes me happy.
These types of cameras fit nicely between point and shoot cameras and digital SLR’s in terms of speed and features. I feel like most pocket point and shoot cameras are going to die off as cell phone cameras get better, and as such, people are going to move to micro four-thirds and entry level digital SLR systems in the next few years.
Is the GF2 the best to purchase? I am not sure. What I liked about it was that it was inexpensive, had reasonable performance, and was the last of the GF line to include a hot-shoe for adding bigger flashes, or an optical viewfinder. What I forgot before purchasing it was that it came with a touch screen, which while not the best functioning, can be good in a pinch. I like though that anything you can do with the touch screen can be done with hardware controls, so you can choose how you want to use the camera.
If you are considering getting a small but fast camera that you can change lenses on depending on the situation, then have a look at the Panasonic line, as there is something for nearly everyone. When all was said and done, I spent approximately $500 on the unit, including the memory card.
Interesting side story: Camera Kingston even charged the battery for me while Kyle and I continued to walk around so that it would be good to go by the time I got to Laura’s that evening.
Lastly, for those interested, my ideal kit would be to add on the Panasonic 14-42mm lens to this as a general purpose walk around lens, as well as get the optical viewfinder for outdoor shooting, and framing my shots, and maybe the 100-300mm to sneak into concerts and events from time to time where I know my DSLR will be turned away. It would be easy to hide the camera in one pocket and the lens in another.