Y'all know about the Central Florida Auto Show? It happens every thanksgiving. I went with a Nexus 7 intending to take a mountain of pics and share them on oppo...but...they came out hilariously mega-bad. I took 100 pics, but only like 20 or so are useable. That's not a good ratio.

"That's what you get for being a tabhole, dumbass!" Yeah, yeah, I know. I though the solution would be to get a better (read; not shitty) smartphone. But I like my shitty smartphone, and Micro Four Thirds cameras no longer cost a fortune now, so why not just go full retard? I think it's time for a more-than-decent stand alone camera. Here's a row of cameras I'm considering, along with a plea for some camera advice.

Sony NEX Alpha 3N

Pros: For the money, You will not find a better low noise image sensor. Period. This thing - according to the reviews I've read - is good for up to 3200 ISO, which is simply great. I get the sense that a significantly better device than this would cost a whole lot more.

Advertisement

Cons: While being a good value...it's not exactly a bargain. True to Sony fashion, the lens connector is proprietary, so you get sony lenses, or you get an adapter which would probably break whatever image stabilization this thing uses. That's common though.

Olympus E-PEN PL3

Advertisement

Pros: OMFG, a Micro Four Thirds for ~$200! That's almost 'why not' pricing! It's also an awesome value for what you get, plus it's got the worlds fastest auto focus. At an event like a car show (or a comic/anime convention like I plan to attend soon), I wanna line up, shoot my pic, and move on to the next photo-worthy subject, and that's right up my freakin' alley!

Cons: The pics it takes are great quality, but nooooooot quite as great as the admittedly pricer NEX-3N. Also, that low price might be just for the holidays. If it shoots back up to ~$300 post new years, it won't be such a great bargain anymore (but might still be worth gettting).

Canon EOS M

Advertisement

Pros: Great pics. Richly detailed colors that just pop out at you. Sony has a great low noise sensor, but what the EOS lacks in high speed and low light shooting is made up for in overall picture quality and then some. Like the 3N, I get the sense that better options are many hundreds if not thousands of dollars away.

Cons: I've read that Canon was dragged to the MFT table kicking and screaming, and that the EOS M only exists because they could only go on for so long without providing a product in this market segment. This means that, as everyone else is spitting out their third or fourth-gen MFT, Canon is presenting their first, with all the problems associated with first gen products attached to it. Also, like the sony, The EOS M is not really cheap, so picking one vs. the other would be more of a trade off. Do you want rich colors? Or do you want low-noise, high ISO pics? Come back with ~$1k more monies if you want them both.

Nikon J1

Advertisement

Pros: By far, the smallest MFT camera you can get. It, like the olympus, claims to have the worlds fastest auto focus. I don't know about that, but you can supposedly get 60fps(!) burst shooting out of it.

Cons: That size comes at a price; the J1 also uses one of the smallest image sensors you can find on an MFT, and as a result, the pictures it takes are simply not competitive given the price point. These go for about ~$300 new, and dollar for dollar, there's no way I would take the Nikon over the NEX-3. I feel like build materials, great design (It does look like a great camera) and portability were the priority in building the device.

I don't know which one I'm going to end up with. I'm kinda torn. Anyone out there who's lived with these devices wanna pipe up and share? Any other great MFTs I've missed?

Advertisement

Addendum:

  • A long time ago (I'm talking about when the next iPhone was rumored to get 3G...) I had an okay fujifilm point-and-shoot. Getting great shots at anything below 800 ISO meant getting a tripod, or possessing the ability to become inhumanly still while holding the camera. A lot of cameras now though have optical/software image stabilization, right? Do I even need to get an MFT if today's point and shoots + Optical image stabilization make lower ISO handheld shooting more practical? Am I aiming too high?
  • No DSLRs because those start at $500, and that's a bridge too far. $300 is kind of a crazy amount of money to spend on an occasional event camera, come to think of it, but I can't say I don't want the quality associated with that price point.
  • Any other options I've not considered? Am I an idiot for expecting my nexus to give me ok/decent picture quality? (yes)