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Brunch With a Friend

A little real world comparison of the Olympus PEN EPL 1 and a 4 year old Canon Powershot G7.

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Foyer of the restaurant where a meeting of a point and shoot and PEN 4/3rd's system took place. This can only happen over a good meal.

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This real world comparison isn't based on anything technical or controlled. It is just based on a casual shooting scenario where the PEN was used to shoot a variety of subjects under daylight and night time conditions to the best of my knowledge.

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All photos on this post were all shot with the Canon G7 in jpg and then post processed in Photoshop. Unlike the PEN, the G7 does not shoot in RAW format. But for the sake of casual shooting this is sometimes a bit more convenient. Then again, for all my pro shoots nothing but RAW will suffice.

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The very cool looking pop up flash of the Oly PEN EPL-1. I find this flash doesn't do the job quite as well as my 4 year old Canon G7 on manual and shutter priority mode. Adjusting higher or lower flash output is already a couple of push button into the menu. Sometimes this will be a disadvantage as the moment has passed by the time flash output is adjusted.

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Macro mode on the G7 is only a button push away. The menu on both is very different and I found the PEN's menu really needs some getting used to. On program mode it is just turn on and shoot. If going on manual or any of the priority modes a basic understanding of photography and light is a must.

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Loved the design and form factor of the EPL-1. The weight and the form factor is perfect for those looking to upgrade from a point and shoot. It's great for travel and a pleasure to hold the sturdy construction of the camera.

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As I am so used to the Canon system it was hard to navigate through the Pen menu to get what I wanted. But there is only 1 mode dial on top with the rest of the functions on buttons at the back. Versus the Canon G series with various dials on top to control mode, ISO and +/- EV.

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The backside of the PEN where all feature navigation buttons are located. Very nicely placed buttons for various menu functions but would need to be very familiar with the menu system to achieve full potential of the camera. For convenience and faster shooting I would still prefer the Canon G series.

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The biggest difference among the 2 cams is the speed of locking on a subject on auto focus. The PEN takes longer to lock on and often times hunts for the subject. The G7 (my 4 year old p&s) seems more instantaneous.

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This breakfast was about the 6th time in using my friend's PEN. It still has great appeal in terms of the vintage design and convenience of the 4/3 rd's system-a DSLR type interchangeable lens camera without the bulk. The PEN is just a tad bigger (w/ lens attached) and heavier than my Canon G7.

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It all boils down to is the Olympus PEN EPL-1 worth puchasing for PHP35,000 w/ kit lens (USD599). Without my Canon DSLR's it would be a good buy. Getting into a new system of camera bodies, lenses and flashes is not an easy thing to do. For my own use, a new Canon G12 would be a better buy. Anytime a DSLR is a requirement it's only a matter of grabbing a bag and go.

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There are no winners. It is just a matter of switching form 1 familiar system to a new one. For first timers who are upgrading from a point and shoot the PEN would be a good buy. But to use the PEN to it's full potential one must be familiar with navigating the menu system and be aware of it's sluggish auto focus (compared to the Canon G series). The PEN is a good camera for learning the basics of photography as it is also a good camera for advanced users.

SNIPPETS OF TAGAYTAY PT II

FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A POINT & SHOOT

Does a point and shoot serve it’s purpose over a DSLR? From a most convenient point of view, yes. Especially when documenting a family trip is the main purpose.

Don’t be fooled by more mega-pixels in newer point and shoot models. 10 mp is more than enough for 8×11 inch prints and posting on any social network-where images will need to be scaled down for faster uploads and viewing.

Ever wonder what 5 mp’s look like? A few posts from now I will be digging into my back up hard drives. Until then take a look at the previous post for a DSLR’s point of view of Tagaytay.

These photos were taken with a Canon Powershot G7 p&s with the wife beside me and a running-jumping toddler in tow. Then post processed in Photoshop CS2.

But don’t get me wrong, I do love my DSLR’s for the technical photography.

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MacG7_3265s Tagaytay

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FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A DSLR

Do enjoy these photos from a recent trip to Tagaytay. Since it is only an hour and a half from Manila, Tagaytay can be that little vacation away from the city. Before heading for home always stop to get fresh vegetables.

Photos captured with Canon 50D and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L. All in ambient lighting.

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It was an accident during a sunny warm day. We were looking for a place to have lunch off the beaten path. Lost among the little hilly roads that had confusing road signs and not a soul around to ask for directions. There were nice cozy houses that lined the country road but they looked empty even if there was a car or two parked in the garage.

The place for superb and fresh vegetables. This is the future...

Green house row shot from inside the farm.

We drove on turning at corners that looked liked it would lead somewhere nice. All of a sudden we pass an open gate that had a long stretch of driveway leading into what seemed like rows and rows of green houses. And so we turned the car around, drove down this driveway half expecting to be told to leave the premises. But that wasn’t the case. A hired hand waved us into a rocky-pebbled parking area that exposed a little office that had beautiful vegetables all laid out for sale.

Our wives proceeded to pick and choose our wonderful loot for the weeks meal. I was going to shoot the loot when we got home but it was too late in the night and decided tomorrow morning would be better. Anyway, I get great sunlight coming through a window for a light source.

The treasures to be had!

Part of our loot shot at the store

When I got up the next morning I was stunned to see all the tomatoes: big red ripe ones, cherry tomatoes still on the stem were all picked off and stored in the fridge! Along with the beautiful capsicum and eggplant sitting in the chiller tray… ah, well… Next time I’ll be sure to get extra for my shoot if we can still find the place.

Last month, friends and I were warmly treated to a nights stay in a weekend vacation house (thank you, TC!). A stones throw from Manila, Tagaytay is readily accessible by a less than 2 hours drive.

A warm welcome to those who enter.

A warm welcome to those who enter.

Thats some heart pound, vein clotting goodness.

Thats some heart pounding, vein clotting goodness.

A fresh and peaceful morning in tagaytay.

A lovely morning in Tagaytay.

Wholesome goodness in one roll.

Wholesome goodness in one roll.

...soothing chicken adobo, Vietnamese style!

...soothing chicken adobo, Vietnamese style!

Totally relaxed by the nights stay and waking up to a beautiful, peaceful morning. All we did was pretty much sit at that porch with coffee in hand and talked til noon.

One night will never be enough. Now how ’bout a whole week-that would be relaxing =)

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