I?m not a professional photographer by any stretch of the imagination. My shots are limited to family holidays and the occasional interesting landscape or building. I do know that exposure is a function of aperture size and shutter speed, and from my pinhole camera experiments as a kid, that smaller apertures result in greater depth-of-field. I also understand the rule of thirds, and can deal with backlit and low light scenes fairly competently.
I present the above as a positioning statement. Over the next week or so I?m reviewing some fairly high-end cameras, staring with the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. I?ll also be reviewing the Casio FH20 and the rather daunting Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
As a rank amateur, I?m not looking at these cameras from an analytical perspective. If you want Pantone charts, barrel distortion measurements, and high-res comparison shots, the camera nerds at DPReview.com have you well covered.
What I?m looking for is basically: can I pick up the camera, turn it on, and generate consistently excellent photos? Does the lens speed and sensor size really make that much of a difference to the hobbyist, or does it only matter when you?re really trying to get those eye-popping, Pulitzer–winning professional shots?
Hopefully I?ll answer a couple of those questions in my own way over the next week or so.