my first, but powerful DSLR...or is it a DSLR?
Hi!Well, I'll try to be short as possible:.

I'm off to buy a new camera, that i'd like to use for a hobby photoing and learning doing amazing pictures. As my knowledege about digital photography is not very good (yet ), of course i'd like some suggestions while i'd point you some directions I have in my mind..

Somehow i'm pretty sure that i'd like a DSLR, but after you read the post, feel free to recommend me some other option. An entry-class DSLR, of course..

First of all, as with little photograpic experience I don't know what is the power of image stabilisator in practise. Because I have somehow limited myself to Nikon D40X, D80 and Olympus E-410 and E-510. One does't have it ant the other does. But those Nikons can be purchased with AF-S DX VR (Vibration reduction) lenses, that somehow will probably do the trick...And let me just add, that I really don't have steady hand and don't want to carry around a tripod all the time. Somehow I'd think, that image stabilisation is a must-have, but don't know how's in practise. I could be wrong..

The other ting is about autofocus at Nikons, which is provided only by lenses (AF-S or AF-I). Do you see a big drawback at that? I think I will purchase a box with 2 lenses included, so end price will probably not be affected much. Is reasonable to think about purchasing another additional lenses for amateur/semi-pro camera? Though macrophotography seems very interesting to me, for which I would probably need another lenses, but i'm not that far already .

Olympus comes with more white-balance features, which seems an interesting feature for me. At this point I should mention, that i'm capable of image editing (photoshop). As none of above doesn't offer white balance override, it seems very important to me to get the accurate (or better: desired) white balance at image capturing. But some of the pics will be edited anyways, so is non-accurate white balance impossible to correct in photoshop?.

In some review is said, that DX (@Nikon) lens projects a reduced image circle and is threfore not compatible to full format SLRs. This reduced size is approx (24x16) format. What does this mean in practise versus standard 35 mm. How's with Olympus cams with that?.

And lats, but not least : olympus has live preview. How useful is that in practise? I mean - if you're using your camera mostly to do hobby/art pics, you probably use viewfinder instead of LCD. I believe the LCD is useful more for "party" pics where you just make pictures, regardless of the artistic end product... Am I wrong?.

What is: Wireless flash control feature at Nikons D40X? Do I gain a lot with bigger models (Nikon D80 instead of D40X; E-510 instead of E-410)? Worth the price? Should I be paying attention to something else? And what's that about Canon EOS 400D dust filter. Can dust be really crucial?.

You probably see where this is going: I'd like to make good photos for max. 1000$ (lens included). On dpreview smple images nikon seems better in picure quality than olympus, ant that's really only thing that matters, but olympus has some good arguments on the papers. Should I consider about buying only a box version of DSLR and additional lenses? Which of the stock lenses are above average quality? Is Olympus a decent competitor to Canon and Nikon?Please help me out ..

Comments (15)

Hi,I'll try and answer what I can:.

Image stabilisation can be good but doesn't work in all situations, in my experience. A tripod is still essential for serious work but IS is OK a lot of the time. Every now and again, I get reminded that IS doesn't work for all situations. I have had is fail on second exposures but have then used my older and larger camera and both hands for success at s..

Olympus WB can be extremely usefull and often eans getting the shot right and no needing to post process..

You ask "How's with Olympus cams with that?" and the FourThirds" system you are asking about has all the lenses designed for all the FourThirds bodies. So the question need not be asked..

Olympus do some brilliant lenses, imo. Give me 6000 and I know the one I would buy....

Have you seen these pages:.


Regards, David..

Comment #1

Thanks. I was pretty much onto Nikon's side, but you and the specs-sheet are leaning me more towards the Olympus now. But there's one more thing i'm wondering, since I read that stock lenses can be low quality. Should I buy DSLR with lenses included, or is it worth giving extra bucks for separate, better lenses? Is an entry-level DSLR capable of exploiting higher quality lenses?..

Comment #2

Entry level DSLRs are capable of using any lens and getting better results from them..

Getting the best from better lenses, however, is not as simple as bolting one on the front of a DSLR. You really need to understand photographic technique to get the best from them, and it does require practice and experience..

An entry level DSLR ( and indeed many non-DSLRs ) are capable of fantastic results in the hands of someone who understands how to get those results. By the same token it's remarkably easy to take a lousy photo with a DSLR..

So if you are getting a DSLR, get the kit lenses and get a good book on basic photo technique to help you. That will be more use that additional lenses..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #3

A couple of quick thoughts....

The biggest important differences between a D-SLR and a one-piece electronic viewfinder advanced camera are:.

Shutter lag is longer in the EVF camera; enough longer to be a real pain..

- the built-in lenses in the EVF cameras usually cover a longer zoom range, and this can be a good advantage..

Moving on to D-SLR cameras; brand does not matter. Any new D-SLR is really, really good..

Nikon AF-S lenses; for the vast majority of people, Nikon has enough lenses that work just fine with the D40 / D40X that there's no problem..


Comment #4

If you can tolerate the awkwardness of using a DSLR as compared to simplicity of a compact or the convenience of single zoom lens slr-like camera, then your choice of DSLR is the right one. (Visit my 'Back to the Bridge' link below to see some of the issues)..

Remember you are buying into a system and that means Canon and Nikon are the best by far as a choice for long term use. Image stabilisation is helpful but not helpful enough, as in real low light or with birding-length telephotos you'll still be needing some kind of support. I have a mini tripod in my camera bag and also a little bean bag to rest the camera on (my DSLR has anti-shake too). You can use either a remote release or the count-down timer to take the shot without virbation..

John.Please visit me at:

Comment #5

Wow, i'm pretty impressed by that Fuji of yours, john. As if I wasn't confused enough  But somehow i'm still a bit more into DSLR side, because it seems more challenging and will probably give me more knowledge on photography..

Now i'm wondering, how's with the IS at canons (350D and 400D) is it supported with any kit lenses. What do you say about 350D with some non-kit (as those are said to be crapppy), some better lenses. I don't care for those megapixles, but maybe in this combination 350D could be still a killer machine? And another thing: Are Olympus E-410 kit lenses worth anytihing?Agrh. I'm not good decision-maker :/..

Comment #6

It looks like a DSLR will be the choice for you. Try not to get over-analytical with lenses and particularly don't imagine that all third party lenses are 'rubbish'. Some are excellent: I'm thinking Tamron 28-75 f 2.8 and Tamron 90mm F2.8 maco as classic examples or really pleasing lenses. (Their factory makes lenses for well known brands too).

You can take a look at this site to check out some lenses:

Also visit and search 'By Camera' to see examples of shots taken by ordinary people in the real world using specific lenses..

Few kit lenses are likely to be 'excellent' but many will describe Nikon's 18-70 as capable. I'd describe the K-Minolta/Sony version similarly..

If you take the Olympus path remember that you are dealing with a smaller sensor and potentially greater noise issues. Some of their lenses are really excellent but tend to be pricey..

You really can't go wrong with the present batch of entry level DSLRs, but consider limiting yourself to Nikon or Canon if you have big plans for investing in a camera system in the future. More third party lens options are available to Nikon & Canon, and they will be more 'EBay-able' should you ever want to change system mid-stream..

John.Please visit me at:

Comment #7

Yes, you're true about that. Point is I can't go wrong with nikon or canon, so I will do so, mainly because of big support and 3rd party options. Probably it will be nikon D40x, but now as canon released EOS 40D, i've noticed very tempting prices of EOS 30D. Now I'm considering if those additional 200 for the 30D has meaning for a SLR beginner...

Comment #8

The 30D is so much nicer to handle as well as being more capable than the smaller entry level model, so unless a smaller size is very important why not see if you can budget for it?.

All these cameras have an Automatic mode and you can learn from there at your own pace..

John.Please visit me at:

Comment #9

What I am missing is how much experience do you have? What kind of cameras have you been using lately?.

If you are just getting started then here's a suggestion. Many DSLR owners end up with a smaller camera to use when they don't want to carry the DSLR. You could get the smaller camera first and use it for six months. Once you do that you will have a much better idea of what you want in a DSLR.Canon G9Nikon P5100or similar camera...

Comment #10

If it will help: I use a lot of Olympus, Panasonic and Leica stuff because I think their standards are very high. Olympus kit lenses are better than you'd expect and they are honest and grade their lenses as "Standard", "Pro" and "Top Pro" but I use their "Standard" lenses and have no complaints. Their 40 - 150 mm Japanese kit lens is a very nice teephoto, for example..

Lots of people point out that the FourThirds" CCD is not as big as the others but it doesn't bother me as the camera turns out nice photographs and I've smaller cameras with 2/3" CCD's in them and I print 32" x 24" from them. Quality is more important than size, in reality. And Olympus, Panasonic, Leica and Sigma all use the "FourThirds" standard for their lenses and so you have a very wide choice..

I expect the dinosaurs thought the same about humans....

Regards, David..

Comment #11

Especially for Olympus the kit lenses are considered very good quality for their price..

I have the old kit lenses and still love them, although I have upgraded my "standard lens". That extra lens cost me as much as the camera, though....

So : by all means get the kit lenses (especially Olys) and use them until the time comes when you feel that you are limited more by the lens than by your own abilities. That will take quite some time...Roel..

Comment #12

As an Oly fan, I must object to C&N superiority..

The fact is that the 4/3 standard is relatively new, but it is gaining reach (of lenses etc. rapidly). And everyone will have to concede that any addition to the 4/3 lineup has almost always been high quality. So I believe the 4/3 system is very much worth considering, also when looking at building a system in the future. It is here to stay, and does have some advantages also (like for instance in the size and weight of the lenses, particularly those very good kit lenses : you cannot get any closer to P&S size and conveninece with a DSLR).Roel..

Comment #13

Not much. No SLR experience, only compact digitals. But i'm more of a technical guy, i'm interested in technical details and having control over it... somehow I was almost sure to get mystelf the Canon 400D with 17-85mm 4.0-5.6 IS which comes for approx. 1000, but lately Pentax K10D came into the consideration. Especially because of live-preview.

But I don't have practise in that. Is live-preview a big bonus?.

And 2 lenses kit (18-55 & 50-200mm) is only 850! The question is, how good are these. Somehow at Pentax I feel like i'm getting the most for the price.....

Comment #14

I can't answer for Pentax, although I had an M series camera and two or three lenses many years ago and wish I still had it..

Have you looked for the Olympus two lens outfit based on the older E-500 which is excellent value? No IS but IS can fool you into trying to take impossible shots. Without IS I use the tripod and get the results I want. With IS I get a few failures just because I'm thinking IS will cope, but it doesn't always. Result: it gives you more to worry about..

As for live view and folding out screens: great when the subject is low down as the camera can be put down low and you don't have to lay on the grass (or mud or carpet etc) to see the viewfinder. Otherwise not used and the camera with it is 5 or 6 years old....

Regards, David...

Comment #15

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