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Another person begging for SLR suggestions...
Okay, I know I'm the 1000th person who doesn't know which DSLR to buy. Well, I just need a little, little help. I am a student looking to get into digital SLR photography, I have shot 35mm before and looking to switch digital. I only want to spend around $600 for a camera kit. I have shot with the D40x and it's a nice camera so I thought that would be it. But, I don't like being stuck to only the newer lenses.

I really liked the Pentax K100D super, but know nothing about Pentax. Also know someone with a E-410 who likes. So there it is, I need you fine folks to help me decide between a D40/D40x, XTi, K100D Super, and E-510. Just maybe let me know what you shoot, and why you like it. I just want something that is durable, somewhat simple, and a good all around DSLR.thanks..

Comments (25)

The Canon Rebel XTi may feel relatively flimsy, especially compared to the Pentax K100D Super, but it's a very capable SLR. I wouldn't dismiss it, especially since there's a huge market of used Canon EF and EF-S lenses out there. There's also a very solid upgrade path for both DSLR bodies and lenses..

In terms of Nikon, have you looked into getting a used D50? It's a fantastic camera for the money. It doesn't have the D40's lens limitation, and I bet you can get a great deal on a used one. It's 6MP, which is more than enough for printing up to 11x17. Also, it's less prone to noise at low light, especially when compared to the D40x and the D80. On the downsides, it has a tunnel-like viewfinder when compared to Pentax and the Nikon D80. Nikon also has a wonderful flash system..

I personally shoot Pentax, and find they have the best viewfinders in the APS-C DSLR world. The only APS-C DLSR that comes close is the Nikon D80. Of course, the full-frame DSLRs are much better, but they are very expensive. Pentax also has the best prime lens selection, bar none. If you're a prime lens fan, choosing Pentax is a no-brainer. My only issue with Pentax is that the low-light autofocus performance isn't as good as Nikon or Canon.

Pentax's AF is more accurate, but it takes 2-3 times longer to lock focus in low light. Pentax's AF is extremely fast in good light, but it's low light AF is slower than it's competitors..

I'm afraid I can't give much insight on Olympus as I have never used one in a photo shoot. Olympus DSLRs use a smaller format sensor, and thus, their viewfinders are relatively small, even when compared to a Nikon D40/D40x/D50. However, I heard some very, very good reviews on Olympus' lenses. They are simply awesome in terms of sharpness and quality..

Fafilms wrote:.

Okay, I know I'm the 1000th person who doesn't know which DSLR tobuy. Well, I just need a little, little help. I am a studentlooking to get into digital SLR photography, I have shot 35mm beforeand looking to switch digital. I only want to spend around $600 fora camera kit. I have shot with the D40x and it's a nice camera so Ithought that would be it. But, I don't like being stuck to only thenewer lenses.

I really liked the PentaxK100D super, but know nothing about Pentax. Also know someone with aE-410 who likes. So there it is, I need you fine folks to help medecide between a D40/D40x, XTi, K100D Super, and E-510. Just maybelet me know what you shoot, and why you like it. I just wantsomething that is durable, somewhat simple, and a good all aroundDSLR.thanks..

Comment #1

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'll check out the D50 as I've heard a lot of good things about that model. As far as the Canon, it just didnt feel right in my hands, and I shoot Canon 35mm and love it, but as far as the XTi, I don't think it's for me. Any thoughts about the K100D? I keep coming back to it, there's just something about the camera that I like...

Comment #2

Fafilms wrote:.

So there it is, I need you fine folks to help medecide between a D40/D40x, XTi, K100D Super, and E-510. Just maybelet me know what you shoot, and why you like it. I just wantsomething that is durable, somewhat simple, and a good all aroundDSLR.thanks.

I highly recommend the Olympus E-510. It has image stabilization built into the camera, which you won't get from a Canon or Nikon DSLR. It also has effective anti-dust technology and pixel mapping. The kit lens with the E-510 is considered to be better than kit lenses with other brand. And there's an affordable upgrade path to the 14-54mm F2.8-3.5 lens which offers pro quality..

Big Mikehttp://www.bigmikephotoblog.com..

Comment #3

You'll do better if you focus (no pun intended) on your lenses and not so much on the body. I know that's tough to do with only a $600 budget, but it's a fact of photography...lenses are much more important to image quality than the camera body is..

Canon and Nikon own about 80% of the digital SLR market, which is likely to continue. As such you might want to make a purchase with an eye to the future. A system you buy today is probably a system you are going to want to use tomorrow. Lenses, if well cared for, can last a lifetime..

If you think you will become a photo enthusiast, I would urge you to consider a used body for around $350, which would then give you a whopping $250 to spend on a nice lens or two. Camera bodies are often replaced within 1 to 3 years and contribute less to image quality IMHO than lenses. As such, I would consider something like the Canon 20D or 30D (or Nikon equivalent)..

Johnny.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/latitudes/..

Comment #4

Fafilms wrote:.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'll check out the D50 as I've hearda lot of good things about that model. As far as the Canon, it justdidnt feel right in my hands, and I shoot Canon 35mm and love it, butas far as the XTi, I don't think it's for me. Any thoughts about theK100D? I keep coming back to it, there's just something about thecamera that I like..

Hi.

The K100d has almost no buffer, a slightly loud shutter, autofocus is slower than other brands, auto white balance is only fair, it's only 6mp, ..you get the picture it is somewhat flawed..

Having said that I love mine. The buffer is more than enough for me, as I mostly shoot af single instead of continous. Its not THAT loud, white balance is only fair with just about all cameras and 6mp is plenty for most applications..

The IQ is pretty much great from any camera made these days..

The K100d is one of the better cameras at low light (af aside). The Shake reduction is a great feature as is the backwards lens compatablity. It has a usable iso 3200 and a works well in dim light (think iso3200 1/10 with a fast lens)...you would probably be better off with manual focus at this light level anyway....though better focusing cameras may not go that low, or the fast lenses they have are not stabilised or not as many..

My favourite lenses are currently a Tamron 17-35 2.8-4... it is af and stabilised, on the Canon it is af but not stabilised, on the Nikon d40 it is manual focus and not stabilised, and a manual focus 50 1.2 this is stabilised for me AND I use a 1.7x afa and it's an autofocus stabilised lens (though now an 85mm f 2.8)...the 1.7x afa now costs more than the camera...if you can find one ..but added together makes the K100d just that much more usable..

If low light is not your thing then maybe the D40 would be a good fit as more lenses will be coming available for it...though as another poster suggested...a D50 maybe for you..

Neil..

Comment #5

Fafilms wrote:.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'll check out the D50 as I've hearda lot of good things about that model. As far as the Canon, it justdidnt feel right in my hands, and I shoot Canon 35mm and love it, butas far as the XTi, I don't think it's for me. Any thoughts about theK100D? I keep coming back to it, there's just something about thecamera that I like..

The XTi does have a toy-like feel to it, it doesn't feel like that at first but after you hold a Nikon in your hand you'll never want to go back, or want that 40D Canon at least. I have a friend who owned the XTi and the rubber-ish coating (I think) at the hand grip is already peeling off and it's because of constant usage. Another friend's XT is even worse, it's like you'll see wear and tear even if you never scratched it once. Nikon never really have this worn out use problem if taken cared properly. Don't know about pentax since I never seen one *old* enough..

Do note that D50 doesn't have the DOF preview button just like the D40, in case you need it..

Tycfung explained everything there is to pentax and I do not know more..

Olympus E-510 is a nice little camera, I tried it once. First impression is that it is as small as the XTi, but it kind of feel as solid as the Nikon (I'd say on par with the D40), but the grip is not as comfy in my hands as the Nikon does. It's not bad, just *different*, kind of encourage you to hold the camera in a different way/feel..

It's feature rich, and all the lens you use will turn into an anti-shake lens. However, the viewfinder is so small and looks square (well, 4/3 system). Lens choice is somewhat limited as well, but like tycfung said, olympus lens is very very good and sharp from edge to edge, but kind of costly. Besides, they're so small that I think they looks cute (the lens)..

My personal list of preference in order and reasons if you ask me to list it out would be:.

1. Nikon (D50 over D40, but I'd get a used D70 instead, and I'm addicted to Nikon ergonomics).

2. Olympus E-510 (After trying it, I got nothing to complain about beside lens choice somewhat limited).

3. (Sony A200, selling dirt cheap in my country with interest free installment scheme, can't get it out of my head, sorry).

4. Pentax K100D (Not big fan of the K100D but liked the K10D. K100D not enough buffer for me, and that leads to missed shots).

5. Canon XTi (Poor ergonomics, poor built quality, small view finder, toy like feeling compare to the rest, oh my! But on the plus side, they take superb pictures, a lot of lens choice, and it's so easy to use that I don't even need to read the manual to know what's what.)..

Comment #6

Fafilms wrote:.

Thanks for the detailed reply. I'll check out the D50 as I've hearda lot of good things about that model. As far as the Canon, it justdidnt feel right in my hands, and I shoot Canon 35mm and love it, butas far as the XTi, I don't think it's for me. Any thoughts about theK100D? I keep coming back to it, there's just something about thecamera that I like..

I used a Pentax *ist DS for about 2 1/2 years, which is the immediate predecessor to the K100D. The bodies are nearly identical in shape, weight and ergonomics. The main difference were that the K100D had the pentamirror viewfinder, as opposed to the pentaprism viewfinder in the *ist DS. This meant that the K100D's view was slightly smaller, but still superior to the viewfinders in the Canon XT/XTi and Nikon D50/D40/D40x. The K100D also has an image stabilizer, which the *ist DS did not..

Overall, I loved the *ist DS. As you have probably noticed, the build quality on Pentax DSLRs is rock solid. If you squeezed it, it didn't feel "crunchy" like the Canon Rebel cameras. The ergonomics were also very good. It was a comfortable camera to use throughout the day, as the handgrip is nicely shaped. Access to the WB and ISO functions was very straightforward, as are the exposure compensation controls.

Switching from AF-S to AF-C, or matrix to spot to center weighted meter, required access to the menu. If you shoot weddings, then this will be an issue. It's not a big deal with most casual and outdoor photography. You may also want to look at the upcoming K200D, which includes weather sealing..

Personally, I feel the *ist D and the K100D series are ideal for landscape photography, travel photography and street photography. They are small, yet highly robust cameras. The controls are logically laid out, and they don't get in the way. Also, the K100D camera is a good option for travel photography, since it uses regular AA batteries. It's much easier to find AA batteries than the proprietary batteries found in other DSLRs. I highly recommend you get the Sanyo Eneloop batteries and a MaHa brand charger.



Pentax is a bit of an oddity in the DSLR world. I've had many discussions with various photographers, and Pentax is generally considered an "old school" camera company - but in a good way. They tend to emphasize the process of photography by putting superior viewfinders into their cameras, and the lens selection is highly biased towards prime lenses. Pentax is a tad old-school with regards to the control layout. Next to the competition, most Pentax cameras look rather basic compared to the competition. However, they have comparable features.



I would recommend you try out the cameras in the shop again. Again, the K100D is excellent for travel, landscape and casual photography. If you were looking to photograph sports and weddings on a regular basis, you should look at a higher class of camera (Pentax K10D/K20D, Canon 40D or Nikon D80). These higher-spec cameras can shoot more frames per second, and have a larger frame buffer. They can also autofocus better in low light..

Good luck with your search. Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax all make excellent entry-level DSLRs...

Comment #7

Rollakid wrote:.

2. Olympus E-510 (After trying it, I got nothing to complain aboutbeside lens choice somewhat limited).

How many lenses do you need? There are 32 digital lenses available now, plus with a cheap adapter you may use OM film lenses (manual focus) and Image Stabalization is available in camera so any lens you use has it..

Http://www.four-thirds.org/en/products/lense.html.

_( '</ ) )//' '~KimR.

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Comment #8

The Olympus E-510 is near your price range and with the two lense kit it's an excellent deal. Image stabilized and the anti-dust system is the only one that really works. (based on several reviews around the net) Olympus lens are excellent since the whole system was designed from the ground up for digital. Although the current number of lenses is less then Nikon/Canon land they cover pretty much everything and have some some of the best wide angle lenses (their standard lens is supposed to released this year) Read some of the reviews on their lenses..

Pentax has a good selection of prime lenses, where Olympus's zooms are excellent. (Their primes are too, just not as many of them).

Every brand makes a good entry level camera. You can't go wrong no matter what you choose...

Comment #9

Kim R wrote:.

Rollakid wrote:.

2. Olympus E-510 (After trying it, I got nothing to complain aboutbeside lens choice somewhat limited).

How many lenses do you need? There are 32 digital lenses availablenow, plus with a cheap adapter you may use OM film lenses (manualfocus) and Image Stabalization is available in camera so any lens youuse has it..

Http://www.four-thirds.org/en/products/lense.html.

The only ultra wide is 7-14mm, which turns into 14-28mm 35mm equiv. Its wider than any other sub-frame dslr can go but then it's too rich for my blood. sigma's 10-20mm turns into 20-40mm <:3.

No 135mm equiv. f/2 but then there's something close..

However for telephoto I see it's going to be heaven....

Don't misunderstand I'm not condemning olympus, like I said, personally I can't find anything to complain except that they do not have enough lens choice, at least for me, they have lots of lens but not of that I want...

Comment #10

Rollakid wrote:.

The only ultra wide is 7-14mm, which turns into 14-28mm 35mm equiv.Its wider than any other sub-frame dslr can go but then it's too richfor my blood. sigma's 10-20mm turns into 20-40mm <:3.

It's true that, at present, there's no affordable ultra-wide. There's an 11-22mm, which is equivalent to 22-44mm, but it costs $700. And the 7-14mm, which no doubt is a fine lens, costs $1600. Ouch!.

If you go with another system, you can get a Sigma 10-20mm lens (which is like 16mm at it's widest on a 1.6 crop factor camera) for $500. This is more affordable than any Olympus UWA lens..

However, I did read on the Olympus forum that Olympus is going to be coming out with a more affordable wide angle in the future..

So I guess if you need to go wider than 28mm, but can't afford one of the above lenses or the 12-60mm lens which costs $950, then you should buy into another system. But do make sure you really "need" this before you write off Olympus. Based on the budget of the OP, I don't think he even the Sigma lens is in his budget. Remember that ultra-wide angle is a specialty lens that you rarely use. Your first upgrade to any system should be a better lens covering the normal range. On the Olympus system, the first lens you should upgrade to is the 14-54mm F2.8-3.5, which is only $425.Big Mikehttp://www.bigmikephotoblog.com..

Comment #11

BigMike1 wrote:.

If you go with another system, you can get a Sigma 10-20mm lens(which is like 16mm at it's widest on a 1.6 crop factor camera) for$500. This is more affordable than any Olympus UWA lens..

Sadly I can't get it for $500 here, my local brick and mortar shop is kind of being monopolized and pretty much overcharge everything, and the cheapest local (as in my country) online shop sells it for about $699 after converted with free shipping. The Tokina 12-24mm is sold at about the same price as in the States though....

But do make sure you really "need"this before you write off Olympus. Based on the budget of the OP, Idon't think he even the Sigma lens is in his budget. Remember thatultra-wide angle is a specialty lens that you rarely use..

Yes, I got a bit over myself there, kind of off topic lol..

I attached the kind of picture that I like to take, mostly wide angle and panoramic. That picture is taken with a 1.3mp webcam/digicam back in the years when I'm still a student, it's the cheapest camera that comes with an LCD screen. Took a dozen picture and stitched together..

Reason I wanted a wide angle lens is because with stitching you can see flaws. That said, I need a fisheye too..

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Tasik Biru - 'Blue Lake'..

Comment #12

Fafilms wrote:.

I went to Ritz today and held and shot with the XTiand it seemed a little flimsy and cheap..

Don't confuse 'small and light' with 'flimsy and cheap'! I *use* my 400D, I don't mollycoddle it, and there isn't a mark on it..

As for ergonomics, mentioned in another post, it is way ahead of some in it's class in that everything you need for shooting is available in one or two clicks, *without having to use menus*. I can literally use mine in the dark, it is so easy to operate..

Third and last point - the lens limitations of the Nikon D40 and D60. Here's a list of my lenses (one recently sold actually, but I'll leave it in because it's relevant to the discussion):.

Canon 50 mm f/1.8 - excellent low light/narrow depth of field/ultra small and light lens. Nikon's equivalent doesn't autofocus on the D40/D60..

Sigma 18-50 f/2.8. The original version wouldn't AF on the D40/D60; there is now a new version for Nikon but it is somewhat more expensive..

Canon's amazing 100/2.8 macro. Nikon's equivalent is equally good but considerably more expensive..

Canon 70-200 f/4L. This is a pro lens but very affordable and hugely popular. Nikon doesn't have an equivalent - only an f/2.8 VR lens at three times the price (Canon has one of those too!)..

That's why people buy Canons...

Comment #13

Steve Balcombe wrote:.

Fafilms wrote:Don't confuse 'small and light' with 'flimsy and cheap'! I *use* my400D, I don't mollycoddle it, and there isn't a mark on it..

Certainly doesn't deserves to be called flimsy and cheap. Some might like it light, but then it is just *too* small for people with big hands. I don't like my little finger left hagging, and my middle finger tired holding the grip. Only Canon give me tired and sore middle finger, but the rest still leave my little finger hanging. D80 and above is just on the edge there with D100/200 just nice. Never hold a Canon semi-pro before..

As for ergonomics, mentioned in another post, it is way ahead of somein it's class in that everything you need for shooting is available inone or two clicks, *without having to use menus*. I can literally usemine in the dark, it is so easy to operate..

Yes agreed totally. It's such a no brainer that anyone who understand camera setup would be able to use it and the buttons are all in the right place. I got confused at the D80 the first time I hold it..

Canon's amazing 100/2.8 macro. Nikon's equivalent is equally good butconsiderably more expensive..

I'm still cursing myself at that. Cheaper lens and IS in pro-normal zoom lens. Something Nikon don't have..

Canon 70-200 f/4L. This is a pro lens but very affordable and hugelypopular. Nikon doesn't have an equivalent - only an f/2.8 VR lens atthree times the price (Canon has one of those too!)..

Nikon's 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR *is* superior, well, at least until Canon come out with a replacement, as far as I dare to say. But Nikon got the 80-200mm AF-D, cheaper too, but no VR..

That's why people buy Canons..

I buy Nikon because I'm a hobbyist and I want to *enjoy* shooting, not selling my photos. And I don't really enjoy Canon as much as Nikon. It's subjective..

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Tasik Biru - 'Blue Lake'..

Comment #14

I bought the D40X with the 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR. Plus a SB 400 until I can get the SB 800. Camera bodies? Well they all have their pluses and minuses. I think ergonomics fits in too. The Canon did not have anywhere for my little finger to go. But in the end I went with the quality of the image when I print either at home or at the local photo finisher.

The photos just seemed better in every way. I was lucky to be able to compare prints from Canon, Nikon, Olympus and Pentax. It was the Nikon glass that did it for me. I think if you want easy choices in lenses and are not to picky about image quality Canon is a great choice. But how many lenses do you need? I'm covered from 18-200mm VR with both lenses.

A macro lens and a 50mm 1.8 would be nice. I can get them used at good prices. Manual focus on the D40X but I'm not concered about that. Macro I would manual focus anyway. I think Nikkor glass is the best.

Just a thought. Darrell..

Comment #15

Bang for the buck no doubt would go towards a used Pentax K10D, w/ anti-dust, in-camera stabilization, some weather sealing, and a list of useful features... Or another non Canon/Nikon camera... Like the Sony Alpha A200 or whatever..

But for the VALUE, I'd say the XTi or a used Nikon D80..

One really strong consideration I'd offer is that you are still buying into a 'system' as much as a singular camera body. And as a student, your budget may disallow you from the expensive pro-sumer gear....

But don't forget the ability to rent lenses. Most $1200-1800 lenses rent for $25-45/day around the USA. Many $300-800 primes (like a 35/2 or 50/1.4) rent for $10/day. That means that if you ever have a critical assignment, photo competition, or any other need... Well, you can rent pro glass and get those images your kit lens(es) may not offer. And don't forget, most shops consider a weekend rental as a one-day rental term..

For whatever reason, rentals seem an often overlooked part of a system. Try to find anywhere in the world that rents Oly, Sony, Pentax, or other mounts- good luck. There's more Canon gear available for rent most of the times, but Nikon is also (usually) a pretty good selection..

Just a thought that I feel is worth considering, YMMV. Best of luck, and enjoy your journey..

Cheers..

~ davidmy flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/prodesma/my website: http://kaptures.net/..

Comment #16

I haven't used it, but only mention it because I recently had to choose between that and the two lens e-510. B & H currently has the GX-10 (almost a K10D clone) kit for $649.00. Depending on how far you intend to take it, you might be better getting something a little heavier duty. Plus you get the advantage of many years of Pentax lenses. It is weathersealed and by all reviews, should be durable. The GX-10, overall, was a bit much for me.

But I can't see myself hauling it and my son to the zoo at the same time..

I opted for the e-510 because of the lighter weight and additional range. Honestly, the two kit lenses may be all I will ever need. Plus, my wife will benefit from the auto scene modes. BuyDig has it for $639.99...

Comment #17

I shoot a Nikon D1H. IMHO, it offers more bang for the buck than the cameras you listed. I used to shoot a Nikon D40 and all I can say is that it is a great camera, you cannot go wrong if you choose to go that route. dont even worry about the AF issues on lenses if you do not have any old Nikon lenses presently, as almost (if not all, I'm not sure) of Nikon's lenses that are being made now are AF-S lenses..

As for the other cameras you mentioned, I cannot comment on them as I have not used any of them..

My vote: Nikon D1H. It goes right now for around $300-$400 used. (its cheaper than the cameras you have mentioned, meaning more money to get a good lens) It has great ergonomics, better feel than the aforementioned cameras, and has a very fast AF, FPS, and buffer and built like a tank. unless you plan to print very big posters, 2.7 megapixels is sufficient. don't get suckered into the "megapixel myth" It is a very, very capable camera..

Caveat: the following is an estimate of prices. it is no way accurate, and I dont claim them to be. it is just a point of reference..

The way I see it: D1H ($300-$400 used) + Nikon 50mm f1.8D ($80 used, older non-AF, series E for around $40 cheaper) + Nikon 70-300 G ($90 used) + Nikon 18-55 AF-S (around $100, or $200 for the VR) = around $580 well within your price range..

With this set-up, you get a "starter" package that covers a lot of focal lengths. BE ADVISED though, that these are in no way a professional set-up. It is, rather, a setup to fit your budget of $600. Personally, I like the set-up. It has it's limitations, but if money is not a problem, you can always opt for the higher end nikon lenses..

Anyway, that is just my opinion. in the end, it is your choice and yours alone..

Whatever camera you choose to buy(and all the cameras that were mentioned by you and the other posters have their merits), enjoy shooting!.

Respects,.

Doni.

...in matters of grave importance, style not sincerity is the vital thing - Oscar Wilde..

Comment #18

Thank you so much for all the suggestions and feedback. I'm still a little indecisive but am starting to narrow things down. I looked around at some used D70s and just couldnt find one in my price range. I still really like the Pentax K100d. I also have been thinking about the Olympus 510. However, I found the Olympus E-500 (body) on amazon NEW for $250.

I have also been seeing a lot of praise for Oly glass, and especially the 14-54mm lens for about $440. So, I am now thinking that maybe the 500 with the 14-54 lens for roughly $700 would be good. Any thoughts on that compared to the K100d? That would be the maximum I'm willing to spend, it's already high. I want a new camera, unless I was able to buy used from B&H or someone trustworthy, but preferably new. So I've kind of narrowed it down.

One final thing, the only thing in my mind that is confused about the Oly is 4:3. Is that a pro or a con? I realize that it is the only DSLR that has that format, thats my main concern. Thank you once again for all the feedback, hopefully I'll be out shooting and active on these forums soon...

Comment #19

Just get the Hasselblad H3D39 ($32,000 MSRP)..

Just kidding..

I second the point made that one should also look at lenses and other accessories (e.g., flashes, photo software, etc.) and build their DSLR system around a wide range of the company's products. It takes some visualization to determine what you want your DSLR system to consist of, let's say, 3-5 years from now. I think everyone who buys into a DSLR system should contemplate for the future..

Brandon..

Comment #20

Fafilms wrote:.

I found the Olympus E-500 (body) onamazon NEW for $250. It seems like it has gotten pretty goodreviews. I have also been seeing a lot of praise for Oly glass, andespecially the 14-54mm lens for about $440. So, I am now thinkingthat maybe the 500 with the 14-54 lens for roughly $700 would begood. Any thoughts on that compared to the K100d?.

I think that if I were buying a new camera, I'd prefer the newer E-510 for the built-in image stabilization, and the E-510 has less noise at ISO 1600, altough there is some debate about whether the E-510 has bad dynamic range..

IS is certainly extremely useful if you are going to use any telephoto lenses. Otherwise you will find yourself having to turn up the ISO in order to get fast-enough shutter speeds..

But $250 certainly is pretty inexpensive.Big Mikehttp://www.bigmikephotoblog.com..

Comment #21

Rule 1: Buy the biggest piece of Silicon you can afford...and one with as few pixels as you can put up with..

Rule 2: Buy the camera that feels best..

Rule 3. Buy the camera that has intuitive controls (if you can't operate it w/o reading the manual, it's the wrong camera!)..

Rule 4: All dSLR manufacturers sell cameras that take good pix. Buy the cheapest one that satisfies Rules 1-3..

Rule 5: All camera owners are nuts about their purchases, bordering on a "religion". But some are worse than others. IMO, the order is N, F, P, C, O, from almost normal to totally wacko. Try to stay on the N/F/P end of the scale if you value your sanity... .

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #22

At your budget, I'd get a used D80 with the wonderful kit lens..

You're almost to a D200 which I've seen being sold for the $750 range lately..

For new, I'd get a D40 with the 18-135 kit..

My gal took this on Monday with that combination... auto everything out of the box, and didn't read instructions. I gave her that camera for Christmas..

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Comment #23

I sell cameras for a living so I get to play with all of them every day..

I personally chose the Oly E-510 for my DSLR needs..

Don't concern yourself about which is better between the APS-C and 4:3 sensors.they both provide excellent result despite what you may read about the 4:3 sensor being smaller..

Between the D40 and the K100D.I'd choose the Pentax..

Both are nice cameras and take good photos that one is not any better than the other, but the K100D has more features and, for the price, a much better buy for the money (although, the Oly E-510 is a better buy for the price than either of these)..

Personally.I wouldn't even consider a used DSLR in the price range you have specified, unless you are buying from someone you know and trust..

Brand new cameras are cheap enough now, not to mention that you will get a warranty with a new one..

You just never know what a used DSLR has been through.and usually, the seller oftentimes doesn't want to reveal the real reason that the camera is up for sale..

Just some food for thought..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

From my E-510 with 40-150 kit lens handheld:.

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Remember.always keep your receipt, the box, and everything that came in it!..

Comment #24

I am in the same position you are, and I think I am about to pull the trigger on the e510..

From what I have heard...the 510 kit lens are very good, or are not considered extremely low end glass..

The IS sounds like it's a huge plus.

I am going somewhere very dusty, so the cleaner is important..

The bad things I have heard is that the Auto Foucs is not good, and it's not great in low light. I have also heard that people make a bigger deal out of it than it actually is, and it's still quite good. I also read that buying a FL-36 flash would help a lot..

I played around with the Xti, and the D40 along with a D50 and D80. I thought the Xti felt cheap to me..but the D40 seemed pretty good. I plan to check out the 510 today or tomorrow at Circuit City. If it fits well in my hands and feels solid enough, I think I am sold...

Comment #25

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