I know, I know, another new camera post but thats what I spent yesterday evening playing with, unless you'd rather I post about packing my suit for a wedding at the weekend :-).
I haven't really gotten to use the camera in anger yet but I already have a couple of observations.
Nice Zoom. It's much handier having 28 to 300 in one lens rather than the 2 I had on the film SLR
All the functions, and more, that I had on my film SLR (Sigma SA7) seem to be present, except depth of field preview, but with a digital I can see the real photo. Really I don't use a lot of the more advanced features that others use, I'm a glorified point and click user.
Tilting LCD. I never thought about it before but while testing the camera I realized how useful it it.
xD Memory cards are interchangeable between it and my olympus compact. I hadn't realized the DCIM folder was actually part of a standard (pdf link). The photos from each camera just go into the appropriate sub folder and can be viewed on both cameras.
Dell Axim views the photos on the compact flash. Just insert the compact flash and it picks up the photos. Plus the card did not need to be formatted so the old pda files are still on the card. Now I have to get the Axim uploading photos to flickr and everything will have fallen into place.
Cons: (more like nitpicks)
Manual focus is strange. The focus ring is small and while it does work it seems to require a lot of turning compared to my older SLR lenses. Focusing now takes a little more effort than I like, I'll probably get used to it. That said, I need glasses for a short sighted astigmatism so manual focus if always fun and I tend to depend on the camera to tell me when I am in focus.
The Electric View Finder is frankly, bollocks. It works but a real SLR view finder would be a lot better. The colors are washed out and there is a refresh lag, you get used to it but its there. On top of that I cant use the EVF with my clip-on sunglasses (made for the glasses before anyone laughs :-)). The polarization on the lenses screws up all LCDs, so with the EVF it puts a big black line through the picture. I have to try it with proper sunglasses and see what happens. However I'll live with that because at the end of the day, it's not an SLR.
It's hard on batteries, the alkaline ones that came with the camera yesterday are already on red. Alkaline batteries were always just going to be a backup anyway since I plan to buy NiMh rechargeable ones, I'm told they last several hundred shots. (Update: I bought a set of 2600 mAh ones at lunch time, the guy in the camera shop estimated they would last 200 shots and they take 14 hours to charge. Hopefully I'll try them at a wedding over the weekend and see how long they last. I have normal batteries as a backup)
This is probably a complaint of other digital SLRs but there are a hell of a lot of buttons to press while spinning dials and looking through the view finder. I have a lot of things to learn before it becomes second nature.