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Camera comparable to 40D
Hey guys, I am heading to Hawaii in a few weeks for my honeymoom and I am looking to get a nice camera. I had been thinking about getting something for sometime now, but a coworker of mine just got back from South America and showed me the pictures he took with his Canon 40D. WOW! These pictures convinced me that whatever I get, I want something that is at least comparable in quality to the 40D. It certainly does not have to be quite as good as that, but at least in the same spectrum..

He is not a hardcore photographer by any means, he just wanted to get something good about 6 months ago, so that is what he got. I am thinking (hoping) that there should be a camera that has way less features that he or I would never use, is comparable in quality, and a decent amount cheaper..

Like I said, I dont ever see myself being any kind of hardcore photographer, but I just really want to get something that is easy to use, and comparable in quality. I dont think I need any of the "manual features" that many of these higher end cameras have, and that are hopefully built into the cost..

I would say my max budget for the camera is 750, but something closer to 400-500 would be much more desirable..

I know this is just the camera portion of the cost, and the lenses start getting up there, so I guess I would take some "combination recommendations" but ultimately I just want to see which camera would fit me best..

As far as how I would use it, I would say it would just be a complete mix of environments, indoor/outdoor, etc..

Thanks a ton guys, hope this isnt too vague...

Comments (37)

The most comparable camera to the 40D would be the Rebel XTi or XSi. They're entry-level DSLRs, cheap out on build quality over the 40D, but are very similar in image quality..

But, the real question is, do you want a DSLR? If not, consider a "bridge" camera, such as the Canon S5IS..

Spitz10 wrote:.

Hey guys, I am heading to Hawaii in a few weeks for my honeymoom andI am looking to get a nice camera. I had been thinking about gettingsomething for sometime now, but a coworker of mine just got back fromSouth America and showed me the pictures he took with his Canon 40D.WOW! These pictures convinced me that whatever I get, I wantsomething that is at least comparable in quality to the 40D. Itcertainly does not have to be quite as good as that, but at least inthe same spectrum..

He is not a hardcore photographer by any means, he just wanted to getsomething good about 6 months ago, so that is what he got. I amthinking (hoping) that there should be a camera that has way lessfeatures that he or I would never use, is comparable in quality, anda decent amount cheaper..

Like I said, I dont ever see myself being any kind of hardcorephotographer, but I just really want to get something that is easy touse, and comparable in quality. I dont think I need any of the"manual features" that many of these higher end cameras have, andthat are hopefully built into the cost..

I would say my max budget for the camera is 750, but something closerto 400-500 would be much more desirable..

I know this is just the camera portion of the cost, and the lensesstart getting up there, so I guess I would take some "combinationrecommendations" but ultimately I just want to see which camera wouldfit me best..

As far as how I would use it, I would say it would just be a completemix of environments, indoor/outdoor, etc..

Thanks a ton guys, hope this isnt too vague...

Comment #1

Consider the Pentax K200d + 18-55 mkII kit lens. Also look at the Olympus 420 or 510 offerings. I think they offer great value in terms of build and features for the price..

A smart shopper will also look at the Nikon and Sony models..

Handle all of them in a store before deciding...

Comment #2

I shoot Canon as well, but my best recommendation for someone new to DSLRs and not looking to change lenses is a Nikon D40 (not X version) with a Nikkor 18-200mm VR lens. This represents the least expensive yet capable body that can still be purchased new to go with the best 'all around' lens with the widest focal range and stabilization (VR)..

Depending what lens your friend was using, your shots may very well look better. This lens is awesome! Cameta Camera has this setup for about $1000.

If Canon had something comparable, I'd also recommend it with an XTi...

Comment #3

My coworker mentioned that he used a zoom lens and a "fish eye" lens. But yea, I definitely better include the lenses into the mix considering they are a huge part of the buying process.....

....UNLESS, I go with a "bridge" camera, which seems like it might be a little bit more up my alley..

Here is a little more detail on where/when I plan on using this camera and hopefully that will at least settle the bridge vs dslr debate:.

This will likely be as close to an everyday camera as possible from a camera the size of a small dslr/bridge type. I hope to use this as much as possible, but I cant ever see myself as a big time photo enthusiast, or ever doing it for money. More or less, I think a camera that takes really nice photos that blows your typical ultra-compact digitial camera out of the water will give me alot more incentive to take pictures, have fun with photography, and will make alot of the "boring" events in my life more fun because of the great pictures I could get..

To be honest, the appeal of not having to buy other lenses/carry around multiple lenses/cheaper cost, in combination with the level of photographic knowledge I currently have, makes me think a bridge camera is best for me. The BIG question I have is, will the bridge cameras offer very similar quality to a dslr with a multipurpose lens? Obviously, the dslrs have much greater possibilites/potential because of the ability to change lenses, but I am just not sure I will ever be at that point anyways..

What do you guys think?.

Thanks again for the help, forums like this are so awesome...

Comment #4

Bridge cameras can give you very nice image quality. If you're pixel peeping (constantly poking around at 100%), yes a DSLR such as a 1DsMkIII with all L lenses will be worlds away from a bridge, especially in low-light situations. But the 1DsIII + lenses will easily set you back $10k+  A budget DSLR will also outshine the bridge in many situations, but the difference with minimal investment isn't as dramatic..

If you're looking for a take anywhere kind of camera which has good image quality and versatility, don't need to ultra-small size, and don't like toting around a bag of equipment, then the bridge camera was made for you..

Spitz10 wrote:.

My coworker mentioned that he used a zoom lens and a "fish eye" lens.But yea, I definitely better include the lenses into the mixconsidering they are a huge part of the buying process.....

....UNLESS, I go with a "bridge" camera, which seems like it might bea little bit more up my alley..

Here is a little more detail on where/when I plan on using thiscamera and hopefully that will at least settle the bridge vs dslrdebate:.

This will likely be as close to an everyday camera as possible from acamera the size of a small dslr/bridge type. I hope to use this asmuch as possible, but I cant ever see myself as a big time photoenthusiast, or ever doing it for money. More or less, I think acamera that takes really nice photos that blows your typicalultra-compact digitial camera out of the water will give me alot moreincentive to take pictures, have fun with photography, and will makealot of the "boring" events in my life more fun because of the greatpictures I could get..

To be honest, the appeal of not having to buy other lenses/carryaround multiple lenses/cheaper cost, in combination with the level ofphotographic knowledge I currently have, makes me think a bridgecamera is best for me. The BIG question I have is, will the bridgecameras offer very similar quality to a dslr with a multipurposelens? Obviously, the dslrs have much greater possibilites/potentialbecause of the ability to change lenses, but I am just not sure Iwill ever be at that point anyways..

What do you guys think?.

Thanks again for the help, forums like this are so awesome...

Comment #5

At least consider an Olympus 420 when you look at bridge cams. I don't own the camera but it is your next step up in terms of image quality and size. You owe it to yourself to see what the next step and step down are with respect to the camera type you think is right for you..

A bridge is a far cry from a Canon 40d, a 420 less so...

Comment #6

If you are a perfectionist, who demands the best results in all possible situations, then you need at minimum a $1500 camera and at least twice that much more in lenses. And there are some who would not even be satisfied with that. They need $22,000 Hasselblads, plus another $30,000 in lenses. There is always something "better" if you keep looking for it..

But, if you are like most of us, and just wants something reasonably priced, extremely convenient and versitile, and that can get very good results 95% of the time, then a bridge camera may be for you..

For non-professionals, a good bridge camera is hard to top for an all around camera. You spend a fixed sum of money, then...-you never have to buy any more lenses-you never have to worry about dust on the sensor-you have the advantage of a huge zoom range-you get everything from wide angle to extreme telephoto in one camera-you have built in image stabilization-you don't have to lug around some bag with wheels on it-you can carry it in your purse or in a large pocket-you will be allowed to carry it into sports arenas-you will not intimidate people when you point it at them-you will even be able to take video clips with it-you won't lose a fortune if it's lost or stolen.

Here's something you can get for around $300:.

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And before you listen to all the naysayers, take a look at the sample photos taken by that camera:http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicfz18/page17.asp.

Now I will tell you right up front that a Canon 40D will make technically better images than any lowly bridge camera can. But most people don't view pictures under a magnifying glass, like they would inspect rare gems. And the things that make a "good picture" are subject matter, composition, mood, and message. And no amount of money can buy that. It's essentially free..

You can take very mundane pictures with a $5000 cameras, and you can take some very nice pictures with a $100 camera. A lot is really up to you..

One more point, and I think it's pretty important for people without unlimited budgets. All digital cameras will be replaced by much better cameras every three years. They will not be techincally obsolete, since they will still work, but they will be technologically eclipsed by faster, better handling models with more features and newer technology..

So the question is... would you like to spend $1500 for a Canon 40D, and keep it for 15 years, or buy a new bridge camera every 3 years for the same investment?.

It really all depends on how exacting your needs are.Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

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Comment #7

I find myself in the strange position of defending Olympus SLR's..

For non-professionals, a good bridge camera is hard to top for an allaround camera. You spend a fixed sum of money, then....

One size fits all does not usually fit anyone well. It does depend on your needs and how critical you are with respect to results. In a particular set of circumstances a bridge will take excellent photo's, the 40d or other SLR's will take photo's that a bridge cannot. This post started off looking for a 40d equivalent. No bridge is close. Possibly the wrong question was asked..

It's not about "better", it's about possibilities. Consider shooting in less than bright out sunlight without a flash. The SLR will be clearly superior with respect to noise..

-you never have to buy any more lenses.

Can't change lenses if you want to..

-you never have to worry about dust on the sensor.

Olympus is said to have the best dust reduction system in a SLR. Others are good and getting better. Consider a zoom on a bridge or slr that is not weather sealed will suck in air as you rack it in and out..

-you have the advantage of a huge zoom range.

Or the disadvantage of not having a lens optimized for a particular purpose. Jack of all trades, master of none. The lens matters more than the camera..

-you get everything from wide angle to extreme telephoto in one camera.

Same as above.

-you have built in image stabilization.

Olympus, Sony, Pentax DSLR's also have this feature..

-you don't have to lug around some bag with wheels on it.

I carry a small bag for my large point an shoot, and a slightly larger bag for my slr kit. I also don't require a set of large range lenses that cover all needs. A small set of small fixed focal length lenses spaced at the right focal lengths is sufficient..

-you can carry it in your purse or in a large pocket.

Point for the bridge.

-you will be allowed to carry it into sports arenas.

Possible point for the bridge.

-you will not intimidate people when you point it at them.

Neither will my Pentax SLR with a 43 or 77 ltd prime (and there are smaller pancake primes available). My point and shoot is more intimidating when it zooms out..

-you won't lose a fortune if it's lost or stolen.

Possible point for the bridge..

I'm not trying to convince anyone to buy a slr over a bridge. I have no axe to grind. I do advise consider the tradeoffs. Look at the bridge. Look at high and point and shoot. Look at an entry level slr.



Personally a top end point and shoot with manual controls and a dslr with a small kit of small lenses works for me..

All of this is meaningless if the photographer doesn't have a good eye for composition and light...

Comment #8

Mrx....

We really don't disagree..

I was simply pointing out that ultimate image quality isn't the top consideration for amateur shooters..

And I also feel the Olympus DSLR's are a nice step up from bridge cameras. While people can quibble about the advantage of FF sensors over 4/3 sensors, anyone can see the HUGE advantage a 4/3 sensor has over a 1/2.5" sensor. And Olympus has always made nice cameras. (I still have my OM1 and OM2)..

And that "step up" isn't really that much more expensive. Right now, B&H is selling the E510 with two very nice lenses for around $630!.

The E420 is the smallest DSLR available today, but if you are willing to put up with just a slightly larger size, the E510/520 would be my first choice, due to the built in image stablization. So you do end up with better image quality, but you sacrafice some of the zoom range. 28-300mm is great range (from two lenses) but 28-500mm from the bridge camera is even better..

Personally, I feel the wide end really matters more, unless you like to shoot birds. Bringing the bottom end down 3mm to 25mm is a HUGE difference compared to extending the top end another 100mm.Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

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Comment #9

Marty4650 wrote:.

Mrx....

We really don't disagree..

OK..

I was simply pointing out that ultimate image quality isn't the topconsideration for amateur shooters..

And I also feel the Olympus DSLR's are a nice step up from bridgecameras. While people can quibble about the advantage of FF sensorsover 4/3 sensors, anyone can see the HUGE advantage a 4/3 sensor hasover a 1/2.5" sensor. And Olympus has always made nice cameras. (Istill have my OM1 and OM2)..

And that "step up" isn't really that much more expensive. Right now,B&H is selling the E510 with two very nice lenses for around $630!.

The E420 is the smallest DSLR available today, but if you are willingto put up with just a slightly larger size, the E510/520 would be myfirst choice, due to the built in image stablization. So you do endup with better image quality, but you sacrafice some of the zoomrange..

If you're going to look at the 520 then the Pentax k200d is similar size and cost with the current rebates. The ergonomics are different, so handling by the user is important..

28-300mm is great range (from two lenses) but 28-500mm fromthe bridge camera is even better..

We'll agree to disagree on this one...

Comment #10

Please allow me to mention some obvious options:Canon XSi (450D)Nikon D60Canon XS (1000D)Nikon D40.

These are all very small and range from $480 to $830 with lens. All still larger than bridge cameras. And, less zoom range. But, much better image quality in poor light...

Comment #11

Wow, I really appreciate all the feedback guys - this helps sooo much in the buying process. Thank sagain..

The discussion over bridge vs dslr is great. As was mentioned, I am looking for something that is comparable in picture quality to the 40D - that is the first requirement. I am by no means a photo expert from a technical standpoint, but I am big on image quality and I can certainly tell the difference between the good, really good, really really good, and absolute best. After seeing the difference between the pictures that my coworker took with his 40D and the ones his wife took with her ultra compact, I HAVE to have something MUCH MUCH closer to the 40D than the ultracompact. So, if a little more money and getting a dslr is what it takes to get there, then that is fine..

BUT, I have to admit, the advantages of the bridges are very enticing. For all the obvious reasons, they appeal to me, and they just seem to "fit" me better - considering I dont see myself changing lenses all that often, nor demanding the ABSOLUTE BEST quality that the dslrs provide..

My reservations for getting a bridge would be:.

- I might regret not spending a little more to get better quality..

- It seems like a dslr with a multipurpose lens would be reasonable in price and have potentially much better quality.

- A dslr provides the potential for me to expand down the line if I do get more into it.

Here is what I will say:.

If you guys think that with a solid bridge camera I could get relatively close to the image quality of the D40 in most environments and settings at a reasonably lower price, then that seems like it is what I should go with. Low cost, low maintenance, etc..

BUT.

If the image quality gap is large enough and you guys doubt I will be pleased with a bridge (assuming my reference is still the 40D), and a smaller dslr with a solid multipurpose lens would provide with significantly better quality while remaining in a reasonable price range, then that seems like the better option..

Again, my desired budget (Total) would be in the $500-600 range. Below that would be great, but certainly not at the expense of much lost image quality. Above that (up to 800 or so) is acceptable, but only if the improvement over a $500-600 is significant..

Sorry if I rambled on for too long, but it seems like it makes it easier if I am a little more clear. Thanks again!..

Comment #12

The discussion over bridge vs dslr is great. As was mentioned, I amlooking for something that is comparable in picture quality to the40D - that is the first requirement. I am by no means a photo expertfrom a technical standpoint, but I am big on image quality and I cancertainly tell the difference between the good, really good, reallyreally good, and absolute best. After seeing the difference betweenthe pictures that my coworker took with his 40D and the ones his wifetook with her ultra compact, I HAVE to have something MUCH MUCHcloser to the 40D than the ultracompact. So, if a little more moneyand getting a dslr is what it takes to get there, then that is fine..

Do you have an example or type of picture that you liked? For instance, landscapes, portraits, macro (small stuff, plants, flowers, etc), distant wildlife, birds, etc? Some properties of the pictures you liked (such as small depth of field)?.

A bridge is a compromise. It can't do everything well. Its not going to have the absolute image quality of a DSLR. But it's more compact, self contained, and possibly easier to use...

Comment #13

In most photographic situations photo "quality" is determined 90%+ by the skill of the photographer and less than 10% by the equipment. This may not be true for low light sports photography but it is certainly true for general travel photography..

The better quality of your co-worker's photographs are more likely to be due to his skill as a photographer than to his use of a 40D.Chris R..

Comment #14

If your budget is $500-$750 and you really crave the best image quality in this range, then the Olympus E-510 with dual lens kit is the best choice. The E-510 is a mighty fine camera, not too big and bulky and the two lenses that come with that kit are outstanding. You'll not be disappointed with that purchase.Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #15

Marty4650 wrote:.

-you never have to worry about dust on the sensor.

Never say never. Dust does end up on non interchangeable lens cameras, and the bad part is you can't just remove the lens and blow it off, not to mention a tiny speck of dust shows up huge on a tiny sensor. (My compact has dust and I need to send it in to clean, I have never needed to clean my DSLR yet.).

Anyway on topic, any current DSLR with the same sensor size will have very similar image quality to a 40D. I doubt that the 4/3 size would be too much different to not consider it also.Canon Xti, Xsi, XsNikon D40, D60, D80Pentax K200d, K100dSony A100, A200, A300Olympus e510, e420Any of these models should fit your budget and Image Quality requirements..

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Comment #16

Spitz10 wrote:.

Like I said, I dont ever see myself being any kind of hardcorephotographer, but I just really want to get something that is easy touse, and comparable in quality. I dont think I need any of the"manual features" that many of these higher end cameras have, andthat are hopefully built into the cost..

...buying into a DSLR system overnight for a fledgling photographer can be overwhelming and frustrating without understanding of the basic fundamentals and manual features and you will be even more discouraged and out a lot of money..

Besides,....... it's not the 40D that produces quality images ....it's the lens and the experience of the photographer knowing which to use and when to use it.Why have a DSLR if you're only going to use the Auto mode?.

A compact like the Canon G9 can produce images with DSLR quality under most conditions at a fraction of the cost and has features that will allow you to grow into and expand your capabilities as you learn, plus being easier to transport.Buying the same clubs that Tiger Woods uses won't make you a pro overnight..

Regards,Hank.

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Comment #17

The G9 costs what? 50 bucks less then an entry level dSRL with kit lens (e.g. D40 or A200 or E-420 or E-510) now? I just don't see the advantage of the G9 except it's slightly smaller size..

Hank3152 wrote:.

A compact like the Canon G9 can produce images with DSLR quality.

Regards,Hank.

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Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #18

Dennis Bingham wrote:.

The G9 costs what? 50 bucks less then an entry level dSRL with kitlens (e.g. D40 or A200 or E-420 or E-510) now? I just don't see theadvantage of the G9 except it's slightly smaller size..

That may be true but the point that he is making is very valid - buying a DSLR will not automatically produce the quality of shots that the OP wants. For that you need skill and if he doesn't ahve it he is going to disappointed with the results..

The OP might be better off spending the money on a photography course.Chris R..

Comment #19

Now that is true....or a good book about exposure.Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #20

Dennis Bingham wrote:.

The G9 costs what? 50 bucks less then an entry level dSRL with kitlens (e.g. D40 or A200 or E-420 or E-510) now? I just don't see theadvantage of the G9 except it's slightly smaller size..

Hank3152 wrote:.

A compact like the Canon G9 can produce images with DSLR quality.

That's a great benefit rather than lugging a bag full of gear to achieve the same results. A camera you're more likely to carry will always take better pictures than one that's left on the shelf collecting dust..

Don't get me wrong, I own a 40D and several lenses, not a G9, check my profile, so I'm not knocking DSLRs but know there is a steep learning curve to take full advantage of it's benefits and strengths, but they can also be overwhelming when starting out and new users expect National Geographic quality just because of it and can be disappointed..

Regards,Hank..

Comment #21

I understand. I also have a P&S but honestly my Oly on "Auto" mode is just as easy to operate and especially when compared to a G9, it has the same zoom lenght with the kit lens and on the first day of owning my first dSLR (the e-510) I made better pics in auto mode than I did with any of my previous P&S cams..

I really have to say I don't see much attraction in P&S cams that cost more than $400 anymore. Things like the new Fuji for close to $700 are just not justifiable for a P&S imho..

But of course you're right, portability is a huge factor (which is why I still have a P&S)Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #22

Here is a link to many of the pictures that my coworker took with his camera. The pictures I really liked were some of the close up ones from the different galapagos albums (he said his zoom lens really helped on those), and even just the general landcape/people pictures. The quality just seemed amazing to me. Of course, if you try to look at any of these on the site, the resolution/quality isnt there unless you actually download any of the pictures..

Http://picasaweb.google.com/petepetroski.

Here are a few to note:.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...i/MichaelSGraduation/photo#5201541028632337362.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...lapagosSanteFeIsland/photo#5217123444544074242.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...lapagosSanteFeIsland/photo#5217125732087769250.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...08GalapagosBartolome/photo#5217156680108763458.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...08GalapagosBartolome/photo#5217164064292109218.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...i/6908BallestaIsland/photo#5215847116712712578.

The two lenses he used were a 75/300 canon and a 17/85 canon. I am not sure about exact model numbers, but there ya go. He is definitely not advanced at photography at all, but says that he is learning more and more as he goes. He did recommend to me to get a multipurpose lens, as he does sometimes get frustrated at changing/lugging around multiple lenses..

I am sure this is extremely amateurish, but he says one thing he really likes is the lack of delay when taking shots compared to other digital cameras. I will say that I would definitely like that, but I have a feeling most bridge/dslrs are going to be the same. But I just thought I would mention that..

So anyways, those are just a few examples of pictures that I liked, but more than anything else, I just really had an appreciation for the jump between the type of pictures that my compact digital camera takes, and these pictures. I can totally see myself taking tons of pics if the quality is near this. I guess it is worth noting too that, I can see myself taking EVEN MORE pics, if the quality is close to this AND it is convenient and easy to carry around in most situations, like a bridge would be..

Hope that helps some...

Comment #23

One of the characteristics of many of the shots is limited depth of field. The subject is in focus but the background is not. This has the effect of drawing your eye to the subject and deemphasizing a potentially distracting background..

SLR's provide much better control over depth of field than do bridge and p&s' As a few others have stated you do have to learn how to adjust the camera to give the effect you're after. You are an essential part of creating the photo when using a slr because you have to tell the camera precisely what to do...

Comment #24

There is a very easy way to get shots like these - take any camera to the places that he visited, especially the Galapagos.Chris R..

Comment #25

Chris R-UK wrote:.

There is a very easy way to get shots like these - take any camera tothe places that he visited, especially the Galapagos..

Well stated. Better equipment (sharper lens perhaps) would improve upon these only marginally. Results like this can be gotten with a good P&S camera (bridge if long reach is needed). Not that they're horrible, they are just average photos. Nothing wrong with that. They look fine...

Comment #26

That's true. When I went to the Galapagos I only took my point and shoot digital. It has a fixed 35mm equivalent lens. I got many great shots. The wildlife is not afraid of humans, you can get very close to them. It's a wonderful place to visit..

There were a few shots I couldn't get, such as penguins swimming the in the water 100 feet or so away, or indoor natural light shots on the boat at night...

Comment #27

Fair enough, but like I said, I did compare some of his wifes pictures to these and they werent even close. And again, I was viewing most of these before they were on picasa and they look much better..

Also, on many of those pictures he said he was around 30-40 yards away or so, which seems pretty dang good..

On some of these that werent from the galapagos, I was impressed with the quality as well:.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...i/MichaelSGraduation/photo#5201540891193383874.

Http://picasaweb.google.com/...roski/61408ToBolivia/photo#5216909258527755634.

On the second one, at full size, you can zoom all the way in to see the people's faces, which look crisp and clear to me. But again, I am not an expert...

Comment #28

Ok, just to move things along, let me propose a possible choice (one that quite a few have mentioned):.

Right now, I can get the Olympus E-510 with the 14-42 and 40-150 lenses for 505 shipped (with the microsoft live deal). All things considered, does this seem to be a wise choice? It cetainly fits the budget, but I am not sure if I even need all of this. And, I am little concerned I would not have a lens with more zoom. One last thing - I really would like to get a camera that uses an SD card instead of XD because of the price, and the fact that I already have 2 8GB SD card. So that sucks a little bit. But at this price range, are there better alternatives?.

Thanks again guys...

Comment #29

I think any of the entry-ish level camera's will do fine for your needs. The 510 kit you mentioned sounds like a good value. Do handle the 510 and some other cameras in a store before you buy. I can't stress enough, the ergonomics do matter matter. Some cameras will feel and operate better to one person taste but not another..

Practice a lot before you need to use your gear on vacation..

PS: Beware of buying "starter kits" with your camera. Not always but many times the store makes little margin on the camera and makes up for it by selling kits containing parts of dubious value. Typically it may be a filter or two and a cleaning kit. You will need some accessories, but buy them online separately..

You will want1) camera bag2) lens cleaning kit3) memory cards4) probably a spare battery to use while one is charging..

Comment #30

I think you need to actually visit a camera store and try out some of the cameras side by side and pick what YOU think handles most comfortably. ALL of the entry level DSLRs are capable of taking really nice photos. That Oly 510 combo would be great for the purposes you have described, so if you don't mind changing lenses and carrying the weight then there's no need to look further..

If it were me making the choice I'd also consider the Fuji s100FS (a bridge camera) as I find changing lenses and carrying a lot of camera kit (that Olympus isn't 'small' by any means) to be a pain and could put the very long telephoto on that model to good use, but then I know all the work-arounds that help such a camera emulate a DSLR. It's no good hoping that Auto everything will always work out with one of those, and you'll not be able to crop as much as with a DSLR either (due to the bigger sensors they have)..

Perhaps the most convenient solution for you might be to mount an 18-250 Tamron lens on an entry level Pentax or Sony DSLR (like the Olympus you're interested in they also have image stablisation built into the body) or on a basic Canon or Nikon if you remember to set a higher ISO for telephoto shots to compensate for any shake. The latter two brands have the best systems by far should you ever want to really get into photography big time..

But pondering all of these choices can induce "Analysis Paralysis" and do nothing to get you on the path to learning how to take the kind of photos you're interested in. Wildlife shots need plenty of practice and zoos can be a good place for this if you imagine you can't get quite as close as you'd like to..

If you like the size and feel of Oly 510 then go get one tomorrow..

John.Please visit me at:http://www.pbase.com/johnfr/backtothebridgehttp://www.pbase.com/johnfr/digital_dartmoor..

Comment #31

The olympus E-510 uses the four-thirds system, making you lenses essentially a 28-82mm and 80-300mm zooms. Don't be mislead by the 150mm zoom because you need to multiply this by the factor 2 if you are talking 35mm cameras (like a point and shoot zoom states it's zoom range for example)..

And you don't want a xD card for the E-510 but a CF card. They're cheaper and much faster as well. A 4GB CF card costs only around $30 nowadays if you shop around..

The E-510 is an excellent camera and with it's dual lens kit an extremely good value. And for $505 shipped, I would not even hesitate for a second to get it. It usually costs around $700 for the 2 lens kit and the E-510....

Spitz10 wrote:.

Ok, just to move things along, let me propose a possible choice (onethat quite a few have mentioned):.

Right now, I can get the Olympus E-510 with the 14-42 and 40-150lenses for 505 shipped (with the microsoft live deal). All thingsconsidered, does this seem to be a wise choice? It cetainly fits thebudget, but I am not sure if I even need all of this. And, I amlittle concerned I would not have a lens with more zoom. One lastthing - I really would like to get a camera that uses an SD cardinstead of XD because of the price, and the fact that I already have2 8GB SD card. So that sucks a little bit. But at this price range,are there better alternatives?.

Thanks again guys..

Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #32

Spitz....

$505 is an incredibly good deal for that camera. The best price I have seen was around $630. If you like the E510, then you won't get a better price on it than that one..

Once supplies of the E510 start disappearing, when the E520 comes out, you will actually see the E510 prices rise a little..

And don't worry about the card compatibility issue. CF cards are cheap now. But do make sure you get a spare battery from someone other than Olympus. Amazon sells them quite reasonably.Martyhttp://flickr.com/...photos/7735239@N02/sets/72157604030772272/detail/?page=5.

Panasonic FZ7, FZ30, LX2.

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

Comment #33

For your budget, I would go with the D40. It's a very good camera and several steps up from a P&S. See gallery of Hawaii pictures I took last year with a D50, which is comparable.http://scorsone.smugmug.com/Places/364849Joehttp://scorsone.smugmug.com..

Comment #34

Sorry guys, but for whatever reason, I could not reply to the thread, it kept screwing up when I click "post," but I finally got it figured out on another computer. The following is what I actually typed last night:.

Ok, geez, this is terrible - I jsut spent about an hour typing up this long post, and then my internet messed up when I clicked post and I lost everything, this is going to be so annoying to retype. I apologize if there is any annoyed undertone.....

First, to clarify and be fair to the other options, the 505 price on the E-510 is after 25% cashback from microsoft live, a deal that is available on just about any camera posted on ebay. The actual price is 670, so after the 25% off it gets down to 505. Thought that needed to be mentioned..

There have been so many options thrown out there and I am definitely one to fall into the "analysis paralysis" trap, so before I get waaaay into it, and before that deal expires, I am going to take final suggestions on what to get. Here is a final recap of my thoughts/stance so far:.

- Picture quality is definitely my overarching concern. That doesnt mean I have to have the best, and many other factors are important, I just want to make sure I am not sacrificing much PQ with whatever I get..

- The $500-700 range seems perfect for me. Anything less and I think I would regret not spending a little more to get better quality; any more and I would probably be getting too much. With that said, if a bridge seems like the best bet, then I guess 350 or so would be reasonable, especially with the 25% off deal..

- Having a multipurpose lens that can handle all environments (even if it is not AWESOME at anything) is very appealing. I can definitely see myself using it more if I just have one lens that I use for everything. That could be a dslr or a bridge with a fixed lens. But if two lenses provide me with much better quality and much more versatility, then I dont see having to carry two lenses around being a problem..

- I have no brand preference at all.

- This camera purchase is designed to fulfill my hopes of photography being a minor hobby for me, as well as give me incentive to "capture" more of my honeymoon. I dont see myself ever getting into photography near as much as you guys becuase I have so many other hobbies I am passionate about (music, sports, computers, etc.). My instincts tell me that a bridge could easily fill this role, but again I am worried that I would regret not spending just a little extra money to get something with better PQ and more options..

- Aside from overall PQ, ease of use and simplicity would be my next biggest need. I want as close to P&S as possible at this quality level. I just know I would use it much more/get waaaaay less aggravated if I didnt have to do a whole lot of pre-shoot adjusting. I have way too much other information I have to learn/analyze - if I started delving deep into changing ISOs, changing aperture, adjusting white balance, I am pretty sure my brain would explode. This would obviously swing towards the bridge, but again, not at the expense of PQ..

While I plan on using this extensively on trips/vacations, ultimately at least 2/3 of it's use will be at birthday parties/graduations/get togethers/sporting events. Not sure if that makes much difference, I just thought it was worth mentioning..

I am pretty sure I am forgetting a few other things I listed before everything got erased, but I think this gets my point across. I guess from here, a recommendation with specific model/lens or lenses/estimated price would be AWESOME. Also, a brief explanation why would be nice..

Again, I just wanted to thank you guys for all your help and input and I never could have gotten anywhere without you guys. I know I am kind of asking alot here, but I figure it is the best way to wrap this up and let you guys get back to more important stuff...

Comment #35

Ok, so apparently I had some kind of bad language in my post, but I couldnt figure out what it was. I finally figured out that it was C R A P...

Comment #36

Lol, I still would jump on that E-510 wagon as fast as possible for that price Sony DSC-H50 P&SOlympus E-510 w/ dual kit lenses (28-84mm/80-300mm equiv. 35mm)Canon XTi 400D w/ dual lensesCanon 55-250mm IS LensCanon 18-55mm IS Lens..

Comment #37

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