Here’s a phenomenal deal on a quality SLR camera

Q: I currently have a point-and-shoot camera that is several years old. I was looking at buying a newer point-and-shoot to get better pictures, but was told by a salesman that I would not be getting that much better performance unless I move up to a bigger camera like an SLR. Can you offer a recommendation for an affordable (under $500) camera that will provide a big step up in both functionality and image quality? I’d like interchangeable lenses if it can be done at the price point.

A: Anyone looking for a deal on a camera, read on because wow, do I have a deal for you!

Over the past few years I have had a lot of good things to say about the Olympus Micro Four-Thirds cameras. I love the picture quality and small form factor that makes them perfect for travel and for times when you want interchangeable lenses and much better picture quality than a point-and-shoot, but without the weight and bulk of a digital SLR.

Cameta Camera is a very successful, very highly regarded camera retailer. They can be found online at www.cameta.com and they often have factory refurbished gear at prices that defy belief. The current standout is the Olympus E-PL2 for only $229 with 14-42mm kit lens. Yes, for a little more than $200 you can get an interchangeable lens camera with great looks, outstanding picture quality, image stabilization, a built-in flash and access to some of the best lenses on the market. Many of the lenses are not only excellent but compact and affordable as well. You get a three month warranty from Olympus and another nine months from Cameta, giving you a full year’s worth of warranty.

The E-PL2 has an older sensor and a less sophisticated autofocus system than the most recent models. This means its focusing speed and low-light image quality aren’t in the same league as the most recently introduced Micro Four-Thirds models, namely the award-winning Olympus OM-D EM-5 and its smaller siblings the E-PM2 or E-PL5. Of course, at $229 it isn’t priced in the same league, either. The E-PL2 makes a great starter camera, a fine backup to an existing Micro Four-Thirds system, or a compact supplement to a digital SLR outfit. I’ve tested the E-PL2 and can give it my personal seal of approval. When you see the pictures you won’t believe it only cost you $229.

If you want to get a second lens for it I strongly recommend the Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm zoom. It is extremely sharp and combined with the kit zoom you will have the flexibility for most any photographic task. Cameta sells the 40-150mm for $179.

More in Herald Business Journal

Snohomish County’s campaign to land the 797 takes off

Executive Dave Somers announced the formation of a task force to urge Boeing to build the plane here.

A decade after the recession, pain and fear linger

No matter how good things are now, it’s impossible to forget how the collapse affected people.

Panel: Motorcycle industry in deep trouble and needs help

They have failed to increase sales by making new riders out of women, minorities and millennials.

Costco rises as results display big-box retailer’s resiliency

Their model has worked in the face of heightened competition from online, brick-and-mortar peers.

For modern women, 98-year-old rejection letters still sting

In a stark new video, female Boeing engineers break the silence about past inopportunity.

Tax reform needs the public’s input on spending priorities

The GOP tax plan is a good idea, but the next step should give us a voice on how taxes are spent.

Commentary: GM, Boeing fight a war of words over Mars

Boeing is strongly signaling how crucial deep-space exploration is to its future.

Under cloud of ethics probes, Airbus CEO Enders to step down

He leaves in 2019 after 14 years. Meanwhile, aircraft division CEO Fabrice Bregier leaves in February.

$4.99 sandwich promotion irks some Subway business owners

Management insists that “most franchisees support the promotion.”

Most Read