Sound Advice: Olympus camera is the pick at $299

  • Article by: DON LINDICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 11, 2011 - 2:40 PM

Answers to your multimedia questions.

Q I've read about the Samsung TL350 camera and know you own one. I went to Best Buy and saw the Samsung NX100 on clearance for $299, about the same price as the TL350. The NX100 has a large sensor like an SLR and interchangeable lenses, although I wouldn't buy more lenses. I was told that its large sensor with 14 megapixels would make the image crisper. Is that true?

A The NX100 didn't get good reviews and I haven't been impressed with the pictures it produces. I wouldn't buy one. I would much rather have a TL350 than an NX100.

But if you want a great $299 camera with an interchangeable lens and large sensor, get a refurbished Olympus E-PL1. On a scale of 1 to 10, the E-PL1 picture quality is a 10, the NX100 maybe a 3 or 4. Other Samsung NX cameras are reported to be better than the NX100, but I haven't tested any of them.

Also, I wouldn't say you would get pictures that are "crisper" with a larger sensor, at least at typical print sizes. Pictures from a good large-sensor camera will have better tones, less noise and more detail than from a compact camera, but in terms of crispness the compact's small sensor has a lot more depth of field. This means everything is in focus and looks crisp and sharp, at least when using a high-quality camera like a TL350.

This is often a positive thing, but if you want to isolate a subject from the background it is not. This is important to remember when shopping for any camera. With few exceptions, you will have more creative potential with a large-sensor camera. For daily snapshots, a compact is often a better tool because it gets so much in focus in every situation.

Finally, the TL350 does not compete with either the NX100 or E-PL1. It's a much smaller camera that can fit in a pocket. Its video functionality is better, too. The TL350 is discontinued and is getting scarce, but it's out there if you look around.

Holiday product pick

Sony's NSX-32GT1 32-inch Internet TV is an LED-LCD television with an excellent picture. It recently had a big price drop, from $799 to $499, making it an easy recommendation.

The picture quality and Sony name are enough to recommend the TV, but the Internet capability seals the deal. Using its built-in WiFi and Google TV, you can watch TV and surf the Internet at the same time. It includes a full-featured remote with a QWERTY keyboard. You can even use your Android phone as an additional remote with voice activation and a second display.

If you can find one, the recently discontinued 24-inch version, the NSX-24GT1, has been selling for $299. Either TV makes a great match to the Swan MH200 Mk. II powered speakers I mentioned last week, creating a good-looking, good-sounding system that's perfect for a bedroom.

Submit questions and read past columns at www.soundadviceblog.com.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close