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new camera

I bought a Panasonic GF1 with a 20 mm pancake lens a couple of weeks ago.

I have been interested in the micro four thirds cameras for a while.  I like having a small camera when I travel for work, or to carry with me when I go for a walk, and don't want to lug my slr kit around.  I have my Panasonic LX3, which is a really good camera, but the GF1 interested me for a couple of reasons.  The larger sensor in the GF1 will give me better quality files to work with, and better control over depth of field.  I also like the flexibility of being able to use different lenses.

I thought about buying a micro four thirds camera last fall when they were relased, but at that time I really wanted a new computer so I bought the computer instead.  A couple of weeks ago I was out shopping for something, an I saw an Olympus G-PL1 in the store.  Playing around with the Olympus reminded me of my past interest, and I started doing some research on the system again.

Another thing I have wanted to do for a while is something along the lines of this project.  I do not 100% agree with everything stated in the linked post, but I agree with the premise that shooting in black and white and using one camera with a fixed focal length could be a good learning exercise.

Colour just works different than Black and White.  Value, or relative light and dark, are more important in Black and White.  I think that learning to compose in Black and White will help me compose in general, because it will make me see things differently.

I think using one lens helps too; because the restriction of one focal length will force me to be more creative in other ways.  One of the reasons I bought the LX3 was because it had a lens that went from wide to normal.  I found myself using long focal lengths on my slr a lot, and I wanted to force myself to try something different.

Staying creative means trying new things sometimes, and challenging yourself.  I think using one camera, a single focal length lens, and shooting in black and white will force me out of my comfort zone and I will learn.

I bought the GF1 mostly because I liked the lens.  The lens has a maximum aperture of 1.7, which will give me really good control over depth of filed.  The focal length is normal, which is not a focal length I usually use.  I actually like the Olympus bodies, especially the in body anti-shake, more than the Panasonic body, but getting the 20 mm lens with an Olympus body would cost me an extra $200.  The difference between the two bodies was not worth $200 to me.

I really like the GF1 so far, and the 20 mm lens seems really good so far.  I am not certain how rigid I will be about the one year with one camera, but in the mean time there is a one project category in the photoblog section of the site.

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