This is an interim report on my sojourn in seeking a better camera … a better camera relative to ergonomics and my problems with holding and carrying it due to arthritis. As I stated earlier, I have gone through a number of ideas and trials relative to different cameras. My latest approach is as follows.
I have found that I can minimize the accidental button pushing on the Panasonic G3 camera, with the resulting change in settings, if I only use it with longer, heavier zoom lenses. What I did was take the neck/shoulder strap off and replace it with a wrist strap on the left side of the camera (facing the back of camera). I then put the strap around my left wrist as a safety measure if I lose my grip. I then hold/carry the camera in my left hand by gripping the lens rather than the camera. This keeps me from hitting the buttons while I carry it and raise it up to my eye when shooting. It doesn’t eliminate the problem since I still occasionally hit the buttons with my right hand while shooting, but I notice it immediately since I have my eye to the view finder and can quickly hit the delete button to cancel the unwanted action.
The above partial solution still leaves me with frequent problems while using the camera with prime pancake lenses since I can’t hold it by the short lenses. Since I primarily experience this problem when using my fast prime lenses indoors under poor lighting conditions, I decided to see if I could find a better camera for those conditions. I’m looking for better in two ways: no accidental button pushing while being easy to hold, and better low light capability. At the moment I think I may have found the solution. I ordered a Fuji X100 camera. It has a range-finder profile … small, thinner, control dials, and not too heavy as well as an APS size sensor along with one of the best view finders available. The APS sensor is larger than the micro 4/3 sensors in the G3 and E-P3 and does better at high ISO settings with less noise. In addition it has a non-zoom, single 35 mm (effective) f/2 lens. I have been using my Olympus E-P3 with either the 14 mm f/2.5 or the 20 mm f/1.7 lenses (effective 28 or 40 mm). The Fuji X100 with its lens is a perfect compromise in focal length, with better low light capability, better image quality, and hopefully with better ergonomics and easier to change dial controls.
I won’t know how well this approach works until after I get my X100 and try it for a while. If it solves my problems, I’ll primarily only use the G3 with my Panasonic 45 – 175 mm and 100 – 300 mm lenses while taking short walks with the primary aim of taking wildlife shots. I’ll use the X100 for my indoor photography and as a walk-about camera while traveling, walking city streets, shooting landscapes, etc. It has a smaller profile, is easier to take with me, and has the advantage of being silent and more discreet when taking pictures in crowds of people.