Moving Away From Canon

Last modified on February 14th, 2011

Take a look at the photo on the right. If you notice, there are four boxes for Canon Digital Elphs, two boxes for Digital SLRs, and one box for a HD camcorder. That photo was taken almost three years ago now, and since then I believe I’ve had at least one more Canon point and shoot camera.

The thing is though, I’m all Canon’ed out. At least in the Point and Shoot realm, I have found myself continually disappointed with the performance of the cameras. Every Digital Elph I’ve owned has suffered from the exact same pixel bleeding issue when exposed to bright lights, such as those in a club. I recently picked up a Canon S90 camera for my trip abroad, and sure enough, it exhibits the exact same problems as every one of its predecessors (despite being one of Canon’s more expensive point and shoots). If you add it up, that’s at least five cameras I’ve owned that have had the exact same issues with the camera – you would think in that amount of time they would have spent the time to fix it.

Part of it is my own fault. For the last three point and shoot iterations I’ve been disappointed, and I’ve told myself that it was time to try something new. But unfortunately I haven’t taken it upon myself to abandon it completely, maybe due to nostalgia.

I’ve had better luck with Canon’s digital SLRs. I’ve owned the 20D and currently have the 40D with me. Granted the 40D is a bit old now, but it’s been a pretty good camera to me. That said, newer cameras perform quite a bit better in terms of noise and features, so I’m definitely looking to try something new.

I’m probably going to toss the S90 onto Craigslist prior to hitting New York, and possibly even eBay. I’m not using it, and truthfully I haven’t been all that happy with it, so I might as well recoup some costs and put it into something new. In my perfect world I would abandon my Canon SLR as well, but the costs with buying all new gear and lenses is a bit too much coin to spend right now. Other than one or two people, almost everyone I know who is into professional photography has switched to Nikon. Not wanting to be the lone sucker in the room with the dunce cap, I don’t think I’m far behind, especially since I purged most of my fancy gear earlier this year.

Panasonic G2 Micro Four Thirds

I’ve actually been looking a bit at the micro four thirds format. It’s a camera system that came out a few years ago that’s meant to bridge the large gap between consumer point and shoot cameras and high end digital SLRs. They are advertised as DSLR image quality in compact point and shoot form factors, so they have the potential to offer the best of both worlds. In addition, all micro four thirds lenses are designed to work on all micro four thirds bodies, a methodology which is in stark contrast to the likes of Canon and Nikon who lock you into their systems for as long as possible.

While I suspect a high-end DSLR will always have a place, I know from first hand experience that walking around town carrying more than one pro-series lens is a big pain in the ass, mainly for the weight factor. So having a smaller camera that can take great photos and is nearly as flexible would be great.

I think one of the best write-ups I’ve seen on a happy micro four thirds user was this guy who left the DSLR at home and took a system on a trip for 16 days. As you can see, the photos are high quality and the camera stood up well in the field.

To buy a basic zoom lens that will keep me modestly happy for the remainder of the trip would cost me around $1,100. For that price I can pick up one of the nicer micro four thirds cameras, the kit lens (which is probably around the same quality as the $1,100 EF-S lens that I would need for my current camera), and also the highly regarded 20mm f/1.7 lens for the micro four thirds system. Unlike the EF-S lens, which I would probably be looking to offload whenever I got back to the Vancouver area, I could definitely see myself holding onto the micro four thirds camera due to the fact that’s it’s easy to pack, light to carry, has really great image quality, and reportedly is very fun to use. So, right now I’m leaning in that direction for a purchase.

Ultimately I’ll decide when I get to New York City, but those are some of the options I’m toying with. Thankfully B&H Photo is right around the corner from the hotel we’re at, so I’m hoping to head down there and drop some coin on some new gear before hitting Ireland.

8 responses to “Moving Away From Canon”

  1. Boris Mann says:

    Nice find on that Panasonic GF1 review. Added to my m43 bookmarks. I think both it and the Olympus are worthy choices.

  2. Duane Storey says:

    Someone we know is about to review the new EPL2, so I’m waiting to hear the verdict 🙂 But that one (thanks to your recommendation) is at the top of the list too.

  3. Kitty says:

    I’m a Canon gal, using DSLRs and I’m happy with them, but for a mid ground camera, the EPLs are the way to go. Last year I used a EPL1 and I fell in love with it. Not buying-right-away kind of love but it convinced me. When I replace my “compact” camera I’ll def be looking for the Olympus!

  4. B&H is great as long as you’re not there during passover. Check their holiday schedule cause they’re closed for like half of April I think :). I have a feeling you’ll probably get there before passover starts though.

  5. Duane Storey says:

    Yah I get there on March 31st, and will probably walk over as soon as I’m checked into the hotel. I don’t really want to be in NYC without a decent camera, so it’s my first stop!

  6. Duane,

    Thank you for your kind mention of B&H Photo. On behalf of all of us at B&H Photo, please accept our warm thanks and deep gratitude for your patronage. We look forward to earning your trust and continued business for many years to come. I invite you and your fellow readers to check out our new informative and entertaining blog at

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  7. John says:

    I’ve had the E-PL1 for review for quite a while (Olympus has been very generous) and just received the E-PL2 yesterday as Duane alluded.

    I’ve been trying to leave my Nikon DSLR at home lately on some of my travels and have been taking the E-PL1 with me quite a bit.

    The full blog post is coming soon but the short of it is that these micro 4/3 cameras are becoming really compelling. They won’t likely replace my pro DSLR gear anytime soon but certainly take amazing photos and I’m happy to take it with me many more places than I’d lug my DSLR.

    I’m hoping to try a wider selection of lenses with the E-PL2 so that might help cement the deal with me. The only downside I’ve found is that the kit lenses are quite bulky and slow (not unlike their DSLR counterparts).

    I’ll be taking the E-PL2 on a upcoming roadtrip from Vancouver to Texas so I’ll be able to really put it through it’s paces.

  8. Duane Storey says:

    I think a kit lens is a good thing to have, but personally I would look forward to having a little pancake lens on it to have some fun. I haven’t held one, so I don’t know how big the cameras are, but from the pictures they seem pretty inconspicuous when they have the little pancake lenses on, so I’m told you can often go places with them that would be more difficult than with a typical SLR (nightclubs for example).

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