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Beginners DSLR
Hi Guys.

After looking over heaps of digital P&S cameras I have decided that I need to go that extra step to the DSLR. I am an avide scrapbooker and have 2 young children that I love to take photos of. I need a camera that has great image quality that I can use as a point and shoot to start off with and then progress. I don't want to have to change lenses too much at first. My main focus will be indoor and fast action shots of my kids. I am open to any suggestions as to what camera set up would be best for me. Joanne..

Comments (33)

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

Hi Guys.

After looking over heaps of digital P&S cameras I have decided that Ineed to go that extra step to the DSLR. I am an avide scrapbookerand have 2 young children that I love to take photos of. I need acamera that has great image quality that I can use as a point andshoot to start off with and then progress. I don't want to have tochange lenses too much at first. My main focus will be indoor andfast action shots of my kids. I am open to any suggestions as towhat camera set up would be best for me.



HI.

Any entry dslr will be fine. Try and get a hold of as many as you can...Nikon, Canon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Samsung...they are all good.You might like something on paper but not when you actually hold it..

I would suggest you get the kit lens to start with and a fast short prime if you can find one you like ( Something like a 50mm 1.4, 1.7 or 1.8 would be good)...even if it is manual focus if necessary..

Some people suggest putting in brighter lights in some rooms so you can increase shutter speed...which you might need to do with kids indoors unless posed or using flash..

Neil..

Comment #1

As the man already said try them all. You must try them hands on. Some will feel much better than others..

Some have better viewfinders than others. That may matter to you..

Have you got any friends with a DSLR? Ask their advice. You may find one who wants to trade up. That might give you the chance to buy used with minimum risk and find what your needs are at minimum cost..

If you want to keep lens changing to a minimum try to find something with a 4x zoom (18-70) rather than 3x (18-55)..

Nikon is particularly strong on kit lenses (18-55, 18-70, 18-135 (and now an 18-55 VR)) but the 4x and greater lenses tend to be sold as kits with the better bodies. If you can find a D40 with an 18-135mm lens that would be very suitable..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #2

Joanne: as the previous posters stated, it's hard to find a "bad" camera these days. Here's some information: http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/recommended-cameras.htm.

Good luck!.

Jeffhttp://www.jhudson.zenfolio.com..

Comment #3

Just bear in mind that Ken Rockwell is a LITTLE biased in his recommendations..

As said earlier, all the current group of entry level DSLR's will deliver great results. Pop down to your local dealer to try them out..

Malcy.

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

Http://www.flickr.com/photos/malcy/setshttp://picasaweb.google.com/lumachrome..

Comment #4

Great lenses last a lifetime and and are passed on in your will; great camera bodies last a few years, and end up in Goodwill.  Choose your DSLR gear accordingly..

I spent months examining reviews of lenses from Olympus, Pentax, Nikon and Canon, in as many head to head comparison as I could construct from tests at Dpreview, Slrgear and Popphoto. For instance, Dpreview's normal lens test show Olympus leads both the high and low end kit normal lenses. Olympus 12-60mm/f2.8 and 50-200mm/f2.8 led their respective classes at Popphoto. The Oly 50mm macro had the lowest blur index at Slrgear, and the highest SQF at Popphoto, of any lens tested in any class..

Since a zoom telephoto was important to me, I found the Zuiko 40-150mm/f4-5.6 tested at Slrgear sharp wide open at 150mm (300mm, 35mm eq) while weighing and measuring roughly the same as Canon's 18-55 kit zoom(!), and costing just over $100 extra in the E-510 kit..

My interest in macro photography led me to the Zuiko 50mm f2 mentioned above. I picked one up used for $325 (Olympus has a 100mm macro scheduled for introduction in Q4 of 2008)..

As to sensors, my conjecture is that we're likely to see monumental breakthroughs in sensor technology in the near-term. The Four-Thirds system was the only DSLR standard I found that was designed just for digital photography, without the compromises inherent to accommodating legacy equipment. I usually shoot my E-510 in RAW mode, applying external noise reduction when necessary (which is rare)..

Also looking forward, Olympus's choice of in-body IS means that any improvement in IS technology is applied across your entire lens collection with each new generation of camera body..

That said, I'm sure you'll be happy with any DSLR you purchase. Good luck and have fun...

Comment #5

Terry Horton wrote:.

Great lenses last a lifetime and and are passed on in your will;great camera bodies last a few years, and end up in Goodwill. Choose your DSLR gear accordingly..

Dpreview's normal lens test show Olympus leads both thehigh and low end kit normal lenses..

Not true.

The highest scoring kit lens was the older replaced Pentax (which has been replaced by a better lens)..

The other lenses tested where not kit lenses and where different for all manufacturers. The second Oly lens was the best tested to the date of the test but was also the most expensive and the only one that was 2.8 (in part)...using your logic Nikon has better lenses because the Nikon 70-200 test just posted this week has even higher scores than the Oly 12-60..though a constant 2.8..

Oly makes some great lenses....so does everyone else..

Neil..

Comment #6

I have been looking at the Olympus e510 and have just realised that not all DSLR have live view. Is this really the case as I am coming from P&S area and just thought that this would carry on. What DSLR's have live view and Image Stabilisers too? Joanne..

Comment #7

All of that information is available in the reviews or the comparison tool that is here on dpreview under buying guide..

There are also any number of threads regarding the pros/cons of each as this question has been born out before..

Good luck with your decision as there really are no wrong choices..

Generally speaking,.

Canon - good hjgh ISOnikon - good all aroundolympus - great lenses & pricepointpentax - good prime lens selectionsony - ? I have no experience..

Comment #8

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

I have been looking at the Olympus e510 and have just realised thatnot all DSLR have live view. Is this really the case as I am comingfrom P&S area and just thought that this would carry on..

The majority of DSLrs do not have it - only the newer mosels. Why do you want it? The main point of a DSLR is to have decent view through the viewfinder of what the lens actually sees..

If you want live view then you really need a sceen that can show you what the camera trully sees. The only one that does that is the D300. which has creen resolution 3 times higher than others..

What DSLR's have live view and Image Stabilisers too?.

All modern DSLRs have image stabilsation available either in body or in lens. If you read the specs you will find which cams have live view..

P.S. I think you wiull find that your need for either is less than you think so do not attach too much importance to them. I have neither and have no plans to get them. Both have some use but marketing men are trying to turn them into "must have" features. Most pros will not use either..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #9

Freealfas wrote:.

Generally speaking,.

Canon - good hjgh ISOnikon - good all aroundolympus - great lenses & pricepointpentax - good prime lens selectionsony - ? I have no experience.

Historically I cannot quarrel with your thumbnail sketch but the Nikon D3 and D300 hold the crown for good high ISO performance and this moment so the picture is changing..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #10

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Historically I cannot quarrel with your thumbnail sketch but theNikon D3 and D300 hold the crown for good high ISO performance andthis moment so the picture is changing..

While accurate you need to take note of the fact she is stepping up from a P&S, I think the d3/d300 introduction into this conversation is the sledgehammer to do the hammer's job. My guess is she's not looking to drop $2k off the bat for a camera setup..

Comment #11

Freealfas wrote:.

While accurate you need to take note of the fact she is stepping upfrom a P&S, I think the d3/d300 introduction into this conversationis the sledgehammer to do the hammer's job. My guess is she's notlooking to drop $2k off the bat for a camera setup.

I would say the D40x/D60 are a dead heat with the 400D. I have seen no reviews of the Xsi to know how that fares. The D90 due in the next couple of months will likely have the same IQ as the D300. Indeed if the D200/D80 is used as the benchmark the D80 is better at ISO 1600 than the D200. The D40 has inherantly less noise at high ISO anyway being 6Mpixel..

So unless the OP is buying used the current crop of Nikons have no high ISO disadvantage..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #12

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

I have been looking at the Olympus e510 and have just realised thatnot all DSLR have live view. Is this really the case as I am comingfrom P&S area and just thought that this would carry on..

The majority of DSLrs do not have it - only the newer mosels. Why doyou want it? The main point of a DSLR is to have decent view throughthe viewfinder of what the lens actually sees..

If you want live view then you really need a sceen that can show youwhat the camera trully sees. The only one that does that is the D300.which has creen resolution 3 times higher than others..

What DSLR's have live view and Image Stabilisers too?.

The affordable 2 lens kit Oly E510 which seems to be a good reason as to why she was considering it and further would quite possibly be quite happy with as are many other owners that enjoy it's live view and in body IS..

All modern DSLRs have image stabilsation available either in body orin lens. If you read the specs you will find which cams have liveview..

P.S. I think you wiull find that your need for either is less thanyou think so do not attach too much importance to them. I haveneither and have no plans to get them..

For you no live view isn't a problem, for her it seems to be a feature she would like to have for whatever her reasons are and that's OK..

And the down side of in lens IS is that you are faced with spending an extra 30-40% for every lens if you want the benefits of IS vs. the non IS lens of the same focal length. Buy a camera with in body IS and you have IS for EVERY lens you attach to the camera even the manual focus lenses that one might add to a kit. so in the end IMO it is quite silly to buy into canon/nikons system of taking more money from you just because they have their IS in lens. that same IS money spent added up could equal the price of lenses, flashes, other important things to have in a simple beginners kit..

The Oly e510 2 lens kit is a tough one to beat regardless of it's price point. it's a very good tool for the beginner, great kit lenses with a big focal length of coverage and dust reduction that actually works. add a fl-36 for indoor shooting and you have what you need for a good while as one learns..

Both have some use butmarketing men are trying to turn them into "must have" features. Mostpros will not use either..

I love how people do this around here, the OP is looking to get started and immediately we are telling them how pros will use this but not this, throwing d300's, d3's, 5d's etc. around like they are the only tools that can get the job done when the OP clearly states entry to a mid level starting point for the kit they are considering. It's more than clear the OP is no pro so who cares if a pro is/isn't going to use LV, she thinks she wants it and that's OK regardless of your desire to have it or not..

Also, ask yourself If there was no market for LV why was it added to the E3 & d300 and I expect every camera regardless of it being pro or not that will be coming out now that LV has been let out of the barn by OLY for dslr's. that's not marketing men at work, that's engineers offering opportunities for everyone who shoots images to use their tools differently than what was once thought giving you the owner the CHOICE to use it or not...

Comment #13

To freealfas.

I didn't mean to start an all out war. Butyou are correct in that I am at entry level. I am very used to the live view with P&S and therefore would find it very strange to go back to viewfinder. I also will be taking alot of action shots of my kids and spur of the moment shots so looking thru a viewfinder is not what I am after as I would miss many shots..

I think my mind has been made up that I will probably go for the e510. We don't have many camera shops around here but we are travelling to Melbourne next week adn will check out some of teh big shops tha have many brands to see what feels right in my hand...

Comment #14

One of the great features I like about the D40 is that it gives you advice when you are in non-auto modes (i.e. it tells you if the shot will be under or over exposed)..

I also liked the price!..

Comment #15

If you want to use live view for action shots , not macro work, look at Sony's A350. It's focuses faster..

You also get built in image stabilisation, but that's not much use for action shots ...

Comment #16

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

To freealfas.

I didn't mean to start an all out war. Butyou are correct in that Iam at entry level. I am very used to the live view with P&S andtherefore would find it very strange to go back to viewfinder. Ialso will be taking alot of action shots of my kids and spur of themoment shots so looking thru a viewfinder is not what I am after as Iwould miss many shots..

Be careful. It is your camera and your purchasing decision but I have severe doubts that any of the current crop of view view implemantations are up to scratch for action shots. The refresh rate of the screen will be too low..

You may not be able to replicate action while in the camera store but do try panning the camrea round in an arc at some speed and see how live view copes..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #17

Freealfas wrote:.

And the down side of in lens IS is that you are faced with spendingan extra 30-40% for every lens if you want the benefits of IS vs. thenon IS lens of the same focal length. Buy a camera with in body ISand you have IS for EVERY lens you attach to the camera even themanual focus lenses that one might add to a kit. so in the end IMOit is quite silly to buy into canon/nikons system of taking moremoney from you just because they have their IS in lens. that same ISmoney spent added up could equal the price of lenses, flashes, otherimportant things to have in a simple beginners kit..

This would explain why those who make 80-90% of all DSLRs (Canon & Nikon) adopt an in lens system? You know very well what the benefits of in lens IS are but fail to mention them. 1. You stabilise the VF image 2. The IS can be tailored to the individual lens 3. Both systems are inherently mechanically more complicated and thus have a higher risk of failure. If a lens fails you lose that lens.



Most equivalent lenses cost broadly the same whether with IS or without..

Again ask yourself if IS is so important why do most pros not use it? It simply does nothing to stop action. The most common complaint among new photographers is "My photos look fuzzy and our of focus". Very often the correct advice is "Switch off IS"..

The Oly e510 2 lens kit is a tough one to beat regardless of itsprice point. it's a very good tool for the beginner, great kitlenses with a big focal length of coverage and dust reduction thatactually works. add a fl-36 for indoor shooting and you have whatyou need for a good while as one learns..

End of Olympus sponsored ad..

Both have some use butmarketing men are trying to turn them into "must have" features. Mostpros will not use either..

I love how people do this around here,.

Glad I brought some pleasure to your bleak existance..

The OP is looking to get started and immediately we are telling them how pros will use this but not this, throwing d300's, d3's, 5d's etc. around like they are the only tools that can get the job done.

You are seeking to raise arguments that have not been advanced and then sneer at them. Pros plainly have IS available to them - usually in lens IS - but rarely use it. They would use it equally rarely on a less expensive camera and if money were a constraint would doubtless say "I don't need that feature"..

It's more than clear the OP is no pro so who cares if a pro is/isn'tgoing to use LV, she thinks she wants it and that's OK regardless ofyour desire to have it or not..

So she should purchase on the basis of marketing hype not her true need?.

Also, ask yourself If there was no market for LV why was it added tothe E3 & d300 and I expect every camera regardless of it being pro ornot that will be coming out now that LV has been let out of the barnby OLY for dslr's. that's not marketing men at work, that'sengineers offering opportunities for everyone who shoots images touse their tools differently than what was once thought giving you theowner the CHOICE to use it or not..

I am all in favour of choice but these features cost money. I would like the choice of a cam without these features. I had live view on my Oly E20 6 years ago and never used it..

Live view makes sense for macro work, self portraits and probably a couple of other application that I cannot bring to mind. It makes absolutely zero sense to hold your camera at arms length away from your body for ordinary shooting. That will induce camera shake and blurred images. The ability of IS/VR to counter that is relative. Axiomatically you will get the sharpest images if a camera is held completely still. It is simple physics that doing that at the end of a long lever is far more difficult than when close into the body..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #18

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

Hi Guys.

After looking over heaps of digital P&S cameras I have decided that Ineed to go that extra step to the DSLR. I am an avide scrapbookerand have 2 young children that I love to take photos of. I need acamera that has great image quality that I can use as a point andshoot to start off with and then progress. I don't want to have tochange lenses too much at first. My main focus will be indoor andfast action shots of my kids. I am open to any suggestions as towhat camera set up would be best for me.



I have similar need as yours, plus I wanted a camera that was not too big and heavy, with an excellent walk-around zoom, and a reasonable price. I wanted to upgrade from a Fuji S6000fd Point & Shoot that I really loved. After extensive reasearch I recently bought an Olympus E-510 with Zuiko 14-54 F2.8-3.5 for $880 total. The body is small and has very effective image stabilization. The lens is sharp, very fast, and not too big. With this setup I can shoot indoor pictures of my children under weak incandescent light with no flash and shutter speeds of 1/40 to 1/60 at ISO 800.

You can spend only $550 by going for the same body and the good 14-42 f3.5-5.6 kit lens, but you will lose one stop and be forced to increase ISO to 1600, which will require a little post-processing to get rid of the noise. I am very happy with my setup and I don't think you can get anything else with equivalent low-light performance for the same price.Cheers..

Comment #19

I'm in the same boat. Want to take pictures of the kids. Hence, I'm researching right now and am about to pull the trigger. It looks like the Canon 450D is the camera to beat. I thought the Nikon D40 would be a good start, too, but I could just feel the urge to upgrade by looking at the paucity of features compared to the 450D (and any other current-gen budget DSLR for that matter). If you're a pro who can do DOF and exposure calculations in your head, then the D40 is sufficient.

I will grow into the advanced stuff, no doubt though it would take some time and effort..

When it comes to cameras, I think it would be best just to get the newest and most feature-packed camera one can afford at the time because life is too short and the kids grow up too fast to go through the hassle of upgrading and obsessing over camera choices again. I think the word "overkill" is used too much around here, as if a person new to photography could never grow into a pro-level camera in a short period of time. Just smacks of elitism to me...

Comment #20

Don't forget that the glass is at least as important as the body..

If you want to stay with the kit lens, IMO the Canon 450D with 18-55 IS kit lens is roughly equivalent to the Olympus E-510 with the 14-42 kit lens. The Canon kt has a slight edge with the body (12MP and a few extra features) while the Olympus kit has a slight edge with the lens (smaller, sharper, better contrast, less flare). However, the Canon kit costs $900 wile the Olympus kit costs $550. You do the math..

On th eother hand, if you follow my advice, for slight less than $900 you can get the Olympus E-510 body with the 14-54 lens. Now we are speaking high quality glass. First of all at f2.8-3.5 it is signiicantly faster than both kit lenses above, and in low light shots of moving targets maximum aperture is even more important than IS. In addition it is sharper and has a much more useful 28-108 equiv zoom range. The disadvantage is that it is larger and heavyer..

Another thingh to consider is that the Olympus E-510 came out a year ago and they are speaking of a E-520 to be launched in the fall, so the price has dropped considerably, while the Canon 450D just came out so you are paying full price. Since new camera bodies are coming out each year, the body you buy now will be obsolete in 3 to 4 years. A good lens will instead last forever. If you get a good lens now, assuming you master all the features the E-510 has to offer, you can always upgrade to a better body in a couple of years. I would save money on the body and use the money you save to get a good lens.Cheers..

Comment #21

I've read many posts similar to the one above, advocating an initial purchase of a cheap body and spending most of your current resources on better lens(es), with anticipated body upgrades in 3-4 years. It's a sound position for the photography hobbyist focused on the present enjoyment of his/her pictures, while conserving resources. Generally, I agree with it..

But, when it comes to documenting my kids, I think the quality trade-off is too great to justify not spending the extra dough on the latest body. Sensor quality is rapidly progressing with each body iteration. And, your kids are not staying still, they're growing. Fast. People say don't get the latest and greatest because megapixels and features only provide marginal benefits over the previous generation. That may be true in the purely aesthetic sense under present viewing conditions.

It's not some artistic picture of a bird or landscape that can be replicated later with newer equipment. It's your family..

In my opinion, get the best technology in your hands that will help the most with getting the right shot with as much detail and clarity because this fleeting moment will never, ever return. I look at it this way, when it comes to family, no matter how much money you save over time, you will never be able to buy back a lost moment. I wish I could afford a Canon 5D or Nikon D3 to take pictures of just my kids with full-frame sensors. I might even take out a loan for this, it would be well worth it..

In the end it'll be about pixel-level image quality. In 15-20 years, we'll have organic LED technology to display huge images on our living room walls. We'll all be "pixel-peepers" then. Things like resolution, dynamic range, and noise matter greatly in the long run. You'll regret having shot your kids with a 6 or 10 mp resolution when you could have captured them at 12 or 14mp. And guess what, for all it's budgetary advantages, the Oly E-510 is poorer than it's competitors in resolution, dynamic range, and noise.

Just pointing out that it's limited by relatively older technology. Heck, I'm an uncommitted non-owner at the moment)..

As for lenses. You'll probably be getting at least one other lens. There's no avoiding it if you want to shoot kids indoors, whether you go for a cheap body or not. You absolutely need f-stops of f/2.8 or faster. But at least, that decision can be put off because lens technology doesn't change as rapidly. Lenses are durable goods that can be found used on auction sites with little wear or tear...

IMHO, get the best body you can afford. Worry about lenses later. And get those pictures of your precious family onto your hard-drive ASAP (remember to backup!). Thanks for reading...

Comment #22

Paul_kew wrote:.

If you want to use live view for action shots , not macro work, lookat Sony's A350. It's focuses faster.You also get built in image stabilisation, but that's not much usefor action shots ..

Take a look at this review:.

Http://www.digitalreview.ca/...ony-Alpha-A350-Compared-to-Nikon-D80-pg1.shtml.

The review is quite critical of the A350 comparing it, unfavourably, to the aging (albeit gracefully) Nikon D80. On paper you would expect therere to be a hands down victory for Sony..

There are two downsides to live view that I have previously failed to mention the first of which is highlighted by this review.a) live view eats batteries.

B) live view means a very warm sensor (because it stays live) that can lead to more noise particularly at higher ISOs. But that is not a problem for the A350 which has a separate sensor..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #23

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

To freealfas.

I think my mind has been made up that I will probably go for thee510. We don't have many camera shops around here but we aretravelling to Melbourne next week adn will check out some of teh bigshops tha have many brands to see what feels right in my hand..

After 6 months with the E510, using it daily, comparing it to some excellent recent introductions such as Canon's XSi, I would buy into the Four-Thirds system all over again..

And, size matters. I sometimes carry the 40-150mm in a shorts pocket, inside a baggie with a packet with a packet of desiccant (moisture + dust protection). Not many pocketable 80-300mm equivalent lenses around. ..

Comment #24

Takes great images and the kit lens it comes with is very sharp. It is also the best selling entry level camera in Japan. Later when you want to add lenses Nikon has great choices for amateurs like the 18-200VR and 70-300VR..

I would also go into a camera store and hold the different cameras to see which ones you like holding. I'm sure Canon, sony, olympus all make competitive cameras.Jake..

Comment #25

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

I have been looking at the Olympus e510 and have just realised thatnot all DSLR have live view. Is this really the case as I am comingfrom P&S area and just thought that this would carry on. What DSLR'shave live view and Image Stabilisers too? Joanne.

There are only two cameras that have both live view and in-body image stabilization..

One is the Olympus. I see that you've already explored this within the Olympus forum..

The other is the Sony A300/A350. Have a look at this Imaging Resource video to explore the features of this camera.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mh35ygusezM&feature=related.

All cameras are compromises. For instance, if you want live view, then you'll have to accept fewer frames per second than a camera without live view. So be prepared to give up on some features in order to get the features that are important to you..

Both the Sony and the Olympus would be great solutions. Both offer a similar experience to the P&S, but with larger sensors to give you better image quality, and with faster response times for such things as autofocus and shutter lag..

Although both are good solutions, you should be aware that the Olympus has a smaller sized sensor than the Sony..

Here is Camera Labs verdict on the Sony A300 and A350.http://wwwDOTcameralabsDOTcom/.../reviews/Sony_Alpha_DSLR_A300/verdict.shtml.

(Note: This competitive site is blocked by DPreview, so replace the DOTs with dots.).

"With built-in stabilisation, Live View and a flip-out screen, it ticks the boxes of most new DSLR buyers. Sonys fuss-free Live View is also arguably the best implementation yet for general consumers. Its quick, quiet and offers uncompromised auto-focusing performance."..

Comment #26

AJLee wrote:.

I wish I could afford a Canon 5D or Nikon D3 to take pictures ofjust my kids with full-frame sensors. I might even take out a loanfor this, it would be well worth it..

In the end it'll be about pixel-level image quality. In 15-20 years,we'll have organic LED technology to display huge images on ourliving room walls. We'll all be "pixel-peepers" then. Things likeresolution, dynamic range, and noise matter greatly in the long run.You'll regret having shot your kids with a 6 or 10 mp resolution whenyou could have captured them at 12 or 14mp. And guess what, for allits budgetary advantages, the Oly E-510 is poorer than itscompetitors in resolution, dynamic range, and noise..

Issues easily addressed with exposure bracketing and RAW post-processing (which anyone contemplating pixel-peeping use). When I was buying last Dec, comparably priced 10mp camera kits all lacked a far more critical IQ component, image stabilization. No Live View or effective dust control either..

Comparing $ for $ the Xsi and 18-55mm IS kit lens, to the E-510 w/ a used Zuiko 50mm f/2 Macro (possibly the best IQ of any SLR lens). There's no doubt in my mind the E-510 would produce better kid images. Another pro quality Zuiko is the 14-54mm f/2.8-3.5, which can also be had for about $350..

Size efficiency is the most significant and misunderstood advantage of the Four-Thirds system (doubt I'd have many kid pics if I had to lug a 3 lb. DSLR everywhere). With the most prominent name in rangefinder cameras embracing 4/3rds Leica I predict we'll be seeing very small, interchangeable lens, non-DSLR 4/3rds cameras in the near future. Even today, one of the most exciiting and capablle camera systems available is the Olympus E-420 with the Leica 14-150 and Zuiko 25mm. The 25mm gives you a pocketable carry-anywhere camera; the 14-150 gives you an image-stabilized do-anything camera that still fits in a purse or small fannypack. It's systems like this that keep me firmly in the Four-Thirds camp..

Best regards......

Comment #27

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

I didn't mean to start an all out war. Butyou are correct in that Iam at entry level. I am very used to the live view with P&S andtherefore would find it very strange to go back to viewfinder. Ialso will be taking alot of action shots of my kids and spur of themoment shots so looking thru a viewfinder is not what I am after as Iwould miss many shots..

Action shots through LiveView? Huh, you're very very wrong here. Optical viewfinder is much better choice for action shots. For many reasons:- much easier to follow your object;.

- I can't imagine how you hold steady DSLR with telelens on stretched hands looking through LiveView;- AF works slower in LiveView (except Sony a300, a350)- LiveView displays image with some delay;.

- no LCD display has come close to quality of a view you get compared to optical viewfinder..

LiveView is useful for macro work you can focus and control DOF very precisely. Also it can be used shooting landscapes, portraits from tripod. In all other cases optical viewfinder is better choice..

Edvinas..

Comment #28

Dennis Phillips wrote:.

There are only two cameras that have both live view and in-body imagestabilization..

Well, no, there are others... Pentax K20d and the Samsung verison..

And then if someone REALLY wants live view and wants a camera that does not have it, they can always buy a zigview to give them the features of other cameras with the tilt swivel live view that a zigview provides..

Live view is not something I have needed..there are a couple of situations when it would have been nice, but I am not slashing my wrists with out it...and most versions of live view worsen the noise ...so in that respect it is not for me.I am happy to have a preview (with histogram if I want it)..

Live view is something I would take, but only as a bonus...good high iso performance, metering and stabilization with a wide choice of decent fast primes and zooms are much more important to me..hence a lowly k100d is just about perfect for ME...others needs will vary..

Neil..

Comment #29

Can also add and thank the Oly E330 to the list for a very effective LV implementation with a articulated screen giving up only the high ISO response to the rest..

At their present prices they represent a screaming deal for another very capable camera..

Comment #30

Other current-gen budget DSLR for that matter). If you're a pro whocan do DOF and exposure calculations in your head, then the D40 issufficient. Me, I need all the hand-holding and convenience I canbuy. I will grow into the advanced stuff, no doubt though it wouldtake some time and effort..

I honestly feel that the D40 does plenty of hand holding..

I own a D40, am a newbie and can get reasonable results in manual mode - without any calculations..

The D40 (as with any DSLR, I imagine) will *tell* you if the exposure is too much/little. It's called the "Electronic Analog Exposure Display". I then adjust shutter speed or aperture, depending on my liking. When the meter reads in the middle, I know the exposure is dialed in..

I throw the histogram on in image review. As I go from one picture to the next, it lets me see, real time, how I'm affecting the pixel distribution with my shutterspeed/aperture settings. I can even set it to blink on the 'highlight' regions where detail is washed out..

To top it all off... it gives you a graphical representation (if you so choose) of the aperture growing and getting smaller as you change the F-stop. In A, S and P mode, you see how both the shutter speed and aperture change in lockstep so that exposure is held constant..

I can't say off the top of my head what sort of handholding the Canon rebels do. DOF preview would be really nice. If it does that, then than might be money well spent. I mainly factored into the equation that the kit lens is more reputable in the Nikon. Based on all the opinions I've heard, if you go with Canon - don't get the kit lens with the Canon slr...

Comment #31

A couple of points about Live View and IS that you guys may not have thought of....

Some people may NEED IS. I for one have always been "blessed" with somewhat shaky hands, even when I was young (I am 61 now). IS is a Godsend to me. Be it in the camera body or in a lens..

I am coming off an S2 IS and A720 IS. I bought the Sony A350 because of it's live view with the tiltable LCD, similar to what the S2 IS had. This was a key differentiator for me. I truly don't think I'd do well with a camera with the optical viewfinder only, for the reasons stated below..

Like I did with the S2 IS, I hang the Sony from the neck strap down against my stomach, and look down at the LCD that is parallel to the ground, with the camera held gently against my body. I can keep the camera steadier that way, steadier than using the optical viewfinder against my face. (I wear trifocal glasses, so it's catch-22 to use the viewfinder. I can get it adjusted so that I don't need my glasses, but then if I need to look at the camera buttons and settings on the LCD, I can't see them clearly with my glasses off. Holding the camera back just a skosh so I can see the viewfinder thru my glasses introduces hand shake.).

So, the live view with IS works very well for me, and it might work for the original poster as well..

Another good thing about the live view at waist level, is that it isn't so obvious you are taking photos of other folks..

I won't get into the IS in the body / vs the lens discussion. The Sony had both IS and a tiltable LCD live view together in one package, so that is why I bought it..

And, I'll freely admit that although I was a pretty good point and shoot photographer, there is enough of a learning curve coming over to the SLR side, so that a tiltable live view LCD similar to my previous camera helps make the transition a little easier.TLIII..

Comment #32

Joanne, we didn't hear back if you ended up getting the Oly or not? kind of curious how it turned out..

It is a shame here that it seems many people here are trying to get you to purchase what they own and often not telling you all the sides of the story in an objective manner...which I think would have been more productive..

If you did get the Olympus, great, I am sure you will enjoy it. You can take comfort in knowing that there really aren't any "bad" DSLR cameras produced today, just different ones..

If you didn't I think you should be aware of a couple of things, image stabilization isn't a cure for blurry photos. It help reduce the effects of camera shake most noticably at slower shutter speeds or longer focal lengths. It doesn't matter if it is a sensor-shift design (built into the body where the sensor moves around to reduce the effects) or an in-lens design (generally additional elements to the lense design). Both are effective within reason. The most obvious difference is that in-lens stabilization also stabilizes the image in the viewfinder (or LCD in the case of live view) whereas in-body does not. In the end, there really isn't a substitute for a fast shutter though...just my opinion.

Most consumer grade lens from companies that use in-lens stabilization are competitively priced to their competition that uses in-body stabilization..

One final thought...I know you think you will use your DSLR like a point and shoot by holding it in front of you with live view turned on...try that out in a store first. I think you will find that the balance of a DSLR makes it not as easy as a point and shoot to do that with. The lenses have more glass and are heavier. I thought it would be a big adjustment for me to start using a viewfinder when I purchased my first DSLR coming from a point and shoot but I was wrong. I have a camera with live view right now and I can tell you that I very rarely use the live view, not because it won't do the job but because I find holding the camera to your eye adds a more natural stablity, especially if you get any heavier lenses. The proper method of holding the lense and camera to me means that it makes more sense to use the viewfinder.



Hope your DSLR journey is going well..

Jslotegraaf wrote:.

To freealfas.

I didn't mean to start an all out war. Butyou are correct in that Iam at entry level. I am very used to the live view with P&S andtherefore would find it very strange to go back to viewfinder. Ialso will be taking alot of action shots of my kids and spur of themoment shots so looking thru a viewfinder is not what I am after as Iwould miss many shots..

I think my mind has been made up that I will probably go for thee510. We don't have many camera shops around here but we aretravelling to Melbourne next week adn will check out some of teh bigshops tha have many brands to see what feels right in my hand...

Comment #33

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