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  1. #1
    Markok765's Avatar
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    Is a Olympus Stylus Epic as good as a manual SLR?

    What advantages does the Manual SLR have over the Olympus? Why is the olympus better? What would you carry when you are taking photos?
    Marko Kovacevic
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  2. #2

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    That's a pretty open ended question, Marko! Olympus has a long history of making rangefinders, viewfinders and P&S cameras that rival the image quality of the best SLRs. The Stylus is certainly among these. It is also very compact, light and easy to carry.

    But the whole point of a P&S is to let the camera make all the decisions for you. So you have no manual control over the shutter speed, aperture or exposure compensation. You can't change lenses with the Stylus (although various models have zooms). You can't do macro photography with the Stylus.

    To ask which one is "better" is a meaningless question. They are designed for completely different purposes. Use the one that fits your needs.

  3. #3
    Sean's Avatar
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    I like my Stylus but it always leans toward a wide aperture so just keep that in mind..

  4. #4
    Mark Fisher's Avatar
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    Which are you willing to carry? I have an Olympus XA in my pocket all the time. The lens is sharp enough and it can be handheld at a really low shutter speed. The Stylus is much the same. It is much harder to get the focus you expect, exposure is a little more hit or miss, and the viewfinder is not great. So, Oly for portability, SLR when you can.

  5. #5

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    Picture-quality-wise, it's really quite good for its size, but for me the biggest trade-off is Standard P&S Syndrome (TM, Patent Pending): in standard focussing mode, it has a tendency to assume a wall behind a subject is the main focal point, not the subject itself. This isn't unique to the Stylus Epic from what I've seen, it's a relatively standard P&S quirk.

    It can be somewhat overcome by using the spot mode, but on the Stylus Epic that's a bit of a pain as you have to press 2 tiny buttons together on the back of it (changed, thankfully, in the Stylus zoom models - at least in my Stylus 120 it's now a separate button).

    Obviously, with an SLR, you have the option of focussing on whatever you want.

    However, there's the old adage, "You take pictures with the camera you've got" - eg, if you have no camera because you don't want to carry around an SLR, you won't get the shot - if you have a more portable camera, such as the Stylus Epic, you'll at least get a pic - even if it isn't quite as nice as with the SLR.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  6. #6
    Markok765's Avatar
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    So, bring a SLR if you can? What about for street photos?
    Marko Kovacevic
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  7. #7
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    Well, in between pressing the shutter and having the camera actually take the picture many eons elapse. The spot meter only works with the point you've actually focused on, so you'd better hope what you focused on is a mid-tone.

  8. #8

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    Well, this is all subjective - if you're happy with the Stylus Epic, great. If you want more control, an SLR is good.

    Also, you might want to add rangefinders to your consideration, not just SLRs - some of the great street photographers of the past used them (HCB, Garry Winogrand), and although Leica is the granddaddy of rangefinders, some of the fixed-lens rangefinders of the 1960's and 70's go for well under $100 and are perfectly fine. It's a different experience than an SLR, though - you have to try one to see what I mean.

    But again, it's really a personal thing.
    i can't wait to take a picture of my thumb with this beautiful camera.

    - phirehouse, after buying a camera in the classifieds

  9. #9
    MattKing's Avatar
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    Or, you could pick up a really inexpensive scale focusing camera (e.g. the Retinette in my avatar), learn how to estimate distances, and exposures, and experience a wholly different learning experience.

    Matt

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by mabman View Post
    Well, this is all subjective - if you're happy with the Stylus Epic, great. If you want more control, an SLR is good.
    Or something like Contax T3, which is an expensive P&S camera but has enough manual functions that help in certain situations. I used to have a Stylus and I was happy with it. But for several years now, I have had a T3, and I'Ve been happier.

    And I always carry a compact SLR (Nikon FM) with a small lens (Ai 50mm F1.8 S pancake) with it, and that's my shooting style for street photography.

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