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  1. #1

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    Olympus Epic/XA4 vs high-end point and shoots

    I'm thinking of grabbing a 35mm and/or 28mm point-and-shoot/scale-focus cameras. The Olympus cameras seem to be the best-value. My impression is that the build, features, and maximum aperture will be inferior compared to the high-end point-and-shoots (Hexar AF, Ricoh Gr1, etc.), but optically, are they noticeably worse?
    Last edited by puketronic; 11-29-2011 at 06:41 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #2
    CGW
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    Frankly, on a value/IQ basis, I think they were oversold. Sure, the Yashica T4, Rollei Prego, Stylus Epic beat the sox off slow zoom p&s models--what couldn't? But the Hexar and Ricoh were also wildly over-priced for what they delivered apart from looking good. At present, all these are suffering from near-cult status with the expected price boost. Problem is, the cheapies got used fairly heavily, often didn't hold up all that well, and are now tough to get fixed or find in nice shape. Who babied a cheap P&S?

    I gave up looking for an affordable Konica long ago and settled for the tiny Nikon FG and the equally teensy 50/1.8 and 100/2.8 E series lenses. Though verboten, I will say if you want a digital equivalent of the Konica/Ricoh cachet and handling, look at the Fuji X10.

  3. #3

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    On a normal day, I would suggest going to the "Point & Shoot" subforum at rangefinderforum.com and browse through the many posted examples from dozens of low-cost alternatives to the high-end cameras so you could make your own judgement, but as rff seems to have dropped off the face of the earth, that's not such good advice today. But in my experience, the T4 and the Stylus Epic are overpriced and overhyped, they are everybody's easy answer. The best value in a 28mm film point & shoot, in my opinion, is the tiny Nikon Lite Touch AF/AF600, and there is a plethora of good performers in the 35mm range that will cost you less than $10, from Nikon, Canon, Ricoh, Pentax, Olympus, Konica and most other manufacturers. And they are cheap enough that you can buy them like candy. Unless you are a major pixel-peeper (and maybe even then), the optical quality on most of the fixed focal length cameras is almost universally very good. Find one that feels good in your hand and you will be happy.

  4. #4

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    i have a tvs iii and its awesome. im not sure if other are as good or not but 30-60 zoom and contax build quality rules. zeiss optics!

  5. #5

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    Thanks for the advice! I didn't believe that the differences were significant based on internet jpegs (which aren't too reliable themselves) so I wanted user confirmation. Even if the results were better, spending serious money on an auto-everything camera is just too much. I think I'll stay on the cheap-end.

  6. #6

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    I have an Olympus Stylus Infinity and the newer Stylus Epic. Both are great and the Epic is a tiny bit better of the two but since the Infinity has not reached cult status you can get perfect ones for cheap. (There's one in the for-sale section right now for $30)

    Out in the world I like using the Infinity more since it feels stronger and operates better.
    - Bill Lynch

  7. #7

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    I have the Oly Epic (called a Mju II in Europe) and I had the Ricoh GR1s. The Ricoh produces noticeably better photos even at 5x7, I think that camera has a great lens.
    Steve.

  8. #8
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    I had an XA4 for a while. While the 28mm lens was o.k. sharp, it did vignette a lot and had some kind of strange distorted look to it (not classical linear distortion).

    My take is that probably any interchangeable 28mm on any M39 or M mount body would give better results.

    The Rollei 35 had a great lens (both the Tessar and the Sonnar), if you are good enough at guess focusing...
    M6, SL, SL2, R5, P6x7, SL3003, SL35-E, F, F2, FM, FE-2, Varex IIa

  9. #9

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    I have a Stylus (not Epic though) and I much prefer my XA and XA-2. The main reasons are the manual ISO selection and the manual/semi-manual focus. I don't like center-point AF which is what teh Stylus has. Also, the corner sharpness on my Stylus is pretty bad and I'm not usually one to care at all.

  10. #10

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    There may be a difference between the Olympus Epic/Mju II and the Hexar, Nikon Ti, GR1, etc, but I doubt it amounts to much, especially if you use faster film to stop the lens down. It certainly won't be reflected in the price difference. The point of compacts is they allow access to a camera all the time so you'll get the kind of shots unavailable any other way, and the smaller it is the more likely you'll be carrying the camera. If you shoot formally, you are better off with an SLR.

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