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Nikon D300 vs. Olympus E-3?
I'm looking to upgrade from a P&S to a semi-pro DSLR. I've narrowed it down to either the Nikon D300 or Olympus E-3. Can anyone give me any advice?.

Here's what I've gathered as far as pro's and cons:.

OLYMPUS E-3.

Pros:* Edge-to-edge sharpness.

* Crop effect, meaning that it's lenses are equivalent to D300 lenses with a focal length 33% longer (E-3 crop-factor is 2x, D300 crop-factor is 1.5x, a 33% difference)* Excellent color representation* Best weatherproofing for body & lenses of any DSLR* Articulating LCD (flips out, swivels, rotates)* In-body image stabilization* Slightly cheaper than D300..

Cons:* LCD is only 2.5" as opposed to 3", and only 0.23 megapixels vs. 0.92.* At ISO's above 800, noise apparently starts to become an issue.* This is apparently due to the smaller sensor size.* Only 11 auto-focus points, vs. 51; only 11 cross-type A/F vs. 15 for D300.* Dynamic range not as good as D300 at higher ISOs..

NIKON D300.

Pros:* Excellent handling of noise all the way up to ISO 3200.* Larger LCD and more megapixels.* 51 A/F points, 15 cross-type.* Excellent dynamic range at higher ISOs..

Cons:.

* Because lenses are not designed specifically for digital cameras, as 4:3 lenses are, edge-to-edge sharpness is not as good as E-3.* Color may not be as good as E-3.* No articulating LCD..

* Although it is weather-proofed, I've read that the weather proofing isn't as good as the E-3's, especially for lenses. e.

ABOUT MY NEEDS.

Well, I have a wide range of photographic interests, from fast-moving and fleeting things (like someone's natural laughter), to macro, to astro, to birding, to landscapes. I particularly like nature photography. For a visual representation, here is a sampling of some of my favorite pictures that I took at the Outer Banks, NC (with a Sony Cybershot 7.2 MP):.

Http://www.tabblo.com/studio/stories/view/312067/http://www.tabblo.com/studio/stories/view/311970/..

Comments (19)

David J Heinrich wrote:.

NIKON D300...Cons:* Because lenses are not designed specifically for digital cameras,as 4:3 lenses are, edge-to-edge sharpness is not as good as E-3..

Marketing hype promoted by Olympus. At a guess Nikon have introduced 50 new lenses since their first DSLR. They have not produced a new film SLR for years. Logic dictates that many of those lenses are designed specifically for digital. And logic is backed by fact. Many of Nikon's lenses are APS-C (ie DX only).



You will find little wrong with the edge to edge sharpness of say a Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8..

Biggest Con in my book for Olympus (and I used to shoot Olympus) is that their lenses whilst excellent are very pricey and there are few alterantives..

Take that 24-70 for example. With Nikon you have three kit lenses covering that range (18-135, 18-70, 16-85) then there is the 24-70, it's predecessor the 28-70 and the great ancestor still on sale - the 35-70 (all of these three f/2.8s)..

How many Olympus lenses covers thge same range (18-53)? As best I can see it is 3 and none of them an f/2.8 constant. And if your widest aperture at around 50mm is f/4 ask yourself how vulnerable you are with ISO 800 as your max ISO that you feel comfortable using?.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #1

* Color may not be as good as E-3..

I'm curious... what is it about the E-3 that gives it better colors?..

Comment #2

Photoeng wrote:.

* Color may not be as good as E-3..

I'm curious... what is it about the E-3 that gives it better colors?.

Each mfr has their own colour preference. It is mainly a combination of the dyes used for RGB on the sensor array and choice of algorithms but there are other contributing factors..

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #3

Am I the only one that's skeptical of any statement that says one mfr's colors are *better* than anyone elses?.

Is there some gallery online that illustrates this? Some "proof"?..

Comment #4

Photoeng wrote:.

Am I the only one that's skeptical of any statement that says onemfr's colors are *better* than anyone elses?.

You can tune any DSLR to give particular colours either in cam or PP. It is the default JPEG engine that is being described (I think). Olympus are rich but muted. Nikons are bolder..

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #5

OLYMPUS E-3.

Pros:* Edge-to-edge sharpness.

Depends on the lens. I'd suspect that the better Nikkor glass would compare favorably with the Olympus 18-180 f/3.5-5.6, for instance..

* Crop effect, meaning that it's lenses are equivalent to D300 lenseswith a focal length 33% longer (E-3 crop-factor is 2x, D300crop-factor is 1.5x, a 33% difference)* Excellent color representation.

Subjective, but if you like it, that's what matters..

One note, if you intend to shoot raw, in quantity: Olympus Studio 2.x is not the fastest of raw converters..

* Best weatherproofing for body & lenses of any DSLR.

Not sure about best (not too many specify standards, IIRC), but at least they try to be fairly clear about which lenses are weatherproofed all the "high grade" or "super high grade", none of the "standard grade"..

* Articulating LCD (flips out, swivels, rotates).

Yes. Useful for waist-level shooting, say..

* In-body image stabilization.

Yes, and seems to work fairly well..

* Slightly cheaper than D300..

Add lenses. Need to consider total expenditure..

Cons:* LCD is only 2.5" as opposed to 3", and only 0.23 megapixels vs. 0.92.* At ISO's above 800, noise apparently starts to become an issue..

Depends how picky you are. It's mostly fine-grained luminance noise, very little chroma noise unless you're really pushing shadows..

* This is apparently due to the smaller sensor size..

Probably more-so the technology involved with the sensor and the compromises involved. The Nikon D3 doesn't look too bad at ISO 6400, and it uses the same-size sensor as the Canon 5D. Technology matters, and it's still advancing..

* Only 11 auto-focus points, vs. 51; only 11 cross-type A/F vs. 15for D300..

Bigger issue than count is probably the lack of information about how AF points are selected, particularly with moving targets, that makes relying on a 'choose for me' mode considerably riskier..

* Dynamic range not as good as D300 at higher ISOs..

Debatable. Comparing with JPEGs is pointless, because a JPEG engine might throw away either highlights or shadows simply to fit things within the more limited range. You'd want to shoot raw and then lift shadows or recover highlights as appropriate in high-contrast situations, regardless of the camera..

I'd add a smaller range of third-party accessories..

NIKON D300.

Pros:* Excellent handling of noise all the way up to ISO 3200.* Larger LCD and more megapixels..

...although in either case, you may not be using the LCD very often unless you're very uncertain of settings, or need to be using Live View often..

* 51 A/F points, 15 cross-type.* Excellent dynamic range at higher ISOs..

I'd add a larger family of lenses and accessories to the list..

Cons:* Because lenses are not designed specifically for digital cameras,as 4:3 lenses are, edge-to-edge sharpness is not as good as E-3..

Much too general of a statement. Quite a few of the lenses are DX..

* Color may not be as good as E-3..

Probably tweakable via workflow..

* No articulating LCD.* Although it is weather-proofed, I've read that the weather proofingisn't as good as the E-3's, especially for lenses. e.

I've heard that they're a little more opaque about -which- ones are weather proofed. May be worth your time to dig a bit..

ABOUT MY NEEDS.

Well, I have a wide range of photographic interests, from fast-movingand fleeting things (like someone's natural laughter), to macro, toastro, to birding, to landscapes. I particularly like naturephotography. For a visual representation, here is a sampling of someof my favorite pictures that I took at the Outer Banks, NC (with aSony Cybershot 7.2 MP):.

Go through the lens line-ups, and see what you're willing to buy..

For the Olympus, for instance for macro, depends on what type of macro you're thinking of. For something like nervous flying insects, one of the longer Sigma macros might be quite appropriate not much point trying to use the 35mm f/3.5 macro if the subject flees. The 11-22mm f/2.8-3.5 is liked for landscapes. Birding is less obvious there are a number of telephotos including non-Olympus options (e.g. Sigma 50-500mm 'Bigma') ranging in versatility, length, weight and price...

Comment #6

Chris Elliott wrote:.

David J Heinrich wrote:.

NIKON D300...Cons:* Because lenses are not designed specifically for digital cameras,as 4:3 lenses are, edge-to-edge sharpness is not as good as E-3..

Marketing hype promoted by Olympus. At a guess Nikon have introduced50 new lenses since their first DSLR. They have not produced a newfilm SLR for years. Logic dictates that many of those lenses aredesigned specifically for digital. And logic is backed by fact. Manyof Nikon's lenses are APS-C (ie DX only).



But much more than that, the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens is simply performing much better here than the Nikkor DX 17-55mm, even when both are closed to a relatively conservative f8 aperture. As we've seen before, this Nikkor lens can become quite soft towards the edges and corners, but the Olympus lens is sharp across the entire frame. This lens greatly impressed us throughout our tests with the E-3 and is one of the best optics we've had the pleasure of using..

So the Olympus crops below look sharper and better defined thanks partly to greater in-camera sharpening and mostly to superior optics.

Chris Elliott.

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

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/.

Shinndigghttp://www.pbase.com/shinndigg..

Comment #7

Shinndigg wrote:.

But much more than that, the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens is simplyperforming much better here than the Nikkor DX 17-55mm, even whenboth are closed to a relatively conservative f8 aperture. As we'veseen before, this Nikkor lens can become quite soft towards the edgesand corners, but the Olympus lens is sharp across the entire frame.This lens greatly impressed us throughout our tests with the E-3 andis one of the best optics we've had the pleasure of using..

So the Olympus crops below look sharper and better defined thankspartly to greater in-camera sharpening and mostly to superior optics.

It is usual when quoting an article a) to put it in quotes b) to provide a reference or link. Without that your contribution has limited validity. I eventually spotted your Subject line but I cannot easily put the quote in context. (Cameralabs is not the most authoritative of sources and I cannot even find that review on their site).

The Olympus 12-60 is indeed a good lens and an asset to the system (Pity it is not an f/2.8 constant but that would have put the price up massively and/or compromised other features) but I note from the review on this site that DPreview felt compelled to test it on the Panasonic L10 not the E-3:.

"We have chosen to use the Panasonic L10 as our standard test body for Four Thirds lenses purely because it gives the highest numbers in our resolution tests (which we believe is most likely due to it having a relatively weak anti-aliasing filter); this is intended simply to provide the fairest comparison to other manufacturers' systems.".

Http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_12-60_2p8-4_o20/.

Nothing wrong with Olympus lenses and nothing wrong with Nikon lenses either..

E.G - Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - SLR Gear Review:.

"For the premium price, you get a premium lens, with a build quality every bit of what you'd expect, and unparalleled optical performance as well.".

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1121/cat/13.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #8

Regarding color superiority of Oly E-3, this is objectivey measurable fact. There is a website I've seen that shows deviations from ideal color, and Oly has the smallest. Color isn't "subjective"; it is determined in reference to the RGB and Adobe standards...

Comment #9

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Biggest Con in my book for Olympus (and I used to shoot Olympus) isthat their lenses whilst excellent are very pricey and there are fewalterantives..

Do you have any examples of comparable quality Oly lenses being more expensive than lenses for Nikon (accounting for their different 'magnification factor')?.

From PreferredPhoto, I see the following.

Normal Macro 60mm f/2.8D AF Micro Nikkor Autofocus Lens (equivalent to 90mm 35mm) $372.

OLYMPUS 50mm F/2.0 Macro ED Zuiko Digital Lens (equivalent to 100mm 35mm) $403.

That doesn't seem like that much of a price difference to me...

Comment #10

I am sorry to say but I think you are being given a lot of very one-sided information in this thread..

Both the E-3 and the D-300 are excellent cameras and you cannot really go wrong with either one. The first question you should ask yourself is if you really want to move from a P&S to a mid range camera or if you should get an entry level model (in which case both the E-3 or the D-300 would be overkill)..

The Olympus lenses are generally lighter and better than the Nikon ones for the same price (some exceptions apply as will be pointed out by other people as response to this post). The reasons for this are that you do not need image stabilization as it is built into the E-3 body and that you can get away with slightly lighter lenses since the 4/3 sensor is slightly smaller than the APS-C sensor. Of course this has the trade-off that the Nikon system has better DOF control and performs better at high ISO..

To back up my statements, let me just quote from DPreview:.

"The results from the kit lens are some of the best we've ever seen, the SSWF dust reduction system is the most effective on the market" taken fromhttp://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse510/page31.asp.

"Indeed the Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD is quite simply a superb lens, which can lay claim to being one of the very best standard zooms currently available." taken fromhttp://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_12-60_2p8-4_o20/page4.asp.

"The E-3 produces very nice sharp images with plenty of low contrast detail (texture) and pretty good per pixel sharpness (we should note that the Olympus 50 mm F2.0 macro is a very sharp lens and may help a little here)." taken fromhttp://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond300/page26.asp..

Comment #11

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Shinndigg wrote:.

But much more than that, the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens is simplyperforming much better here than the Nikkor DX 17-55mm, even whenboth are closed to a relatively conservative f8 aperture. As we'veseen before, this Nikkor lens can become quite soft towards the edgesand corners, but the Olympus lens is sharp across the entire frame.This lens greatly impressed us throughout our tests with the E-3 andis one of the best optics we've had the pleasure of using..

So the Olympus crops below look sharper and better defined thankspartly to greater in-camera sharpening and mostly to superior optics.

It is usual when quoting an article a) to put it in quotes b) toprovide a reference or link. Without that your contribution haslimited validity..

Whatever. Picking nits. again, here is the quote, in QUOTES just for you..

"But much more than that, the Zuiko Digital 12-60mm lens is simply performing much better here than the Nikkor DX 17-55mm, even when both are closed to a relatively conservative f8 aperture. As we've seen before, this Nikkor lens can become quite soft towards the edges and corners, but the Olympus lens is sharp across the entire frame. This lens greatly impressed us throughout our tests with the E-3 and is one of the best optics we've had the pleasure of using. "Here is the link, just for you...blocked URLI eventually spotted your Subject line but I.

Cannot easily put the quote in context. (Cameralabs is not the mostauthoritative of sources and I cannot even find that review on theirsite).

Evidently, you didn't look very hard. Also, to intimate that their review somehow lacks validity is a sad excuse, usually used when one simply doesn't agree, or the review somehow shows ones personal choice in brand is not as good..

The Olympus 12-60 is indeed a good lens and an asset to the system(Pity it is not an f/2.8 constant but that would have put the priceup massively and/or compromised other features) but I note from thereview on this site that DPreview felt compelled to test it on thePanasonic L10 not the E-3:.

Point being??? We're talking lenses here, as that was what you brought up....

"We have chosen to use the Panasonic L10 as our standard test bodyfor Four Thirds lenses purely because it gives the highest numbers inour resolution tests (which we believe is most likely due to ithaving a relatively weak anti-aliasing filter); this is intendedsimply to provide the fairest comparison to other manufacturers'systems.".

Http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_12-60_2p8-4_o20/.

Since you are quoting dpreview's review of said lens....

"As always, our studio tests are backed up by taking hundreds of photographs with the lens across a range of subjects, and examining them in detail. This allows us to confirm our studio observations, and identify any other issues which don't show up in the tests. This turned out to be a near-futile exercise with this lens, as it performed to a consistently high quality even in the face of some difficult lighting conditions, and proved to be extremely difficult to stress in any way."http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_12-60_2p8-4_o20/page3.asp.

Nothing wrong with Olympus lenses and nothing wrong with Nikon lenseseither..

E.G - Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - SLR Gear Review:.

"For the premium price, you get a premium lens, with a build qualityevery bit of what you'd expect, and unparalleled optical performanceas well.".

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1121/cat/13.

Problem being, these aren't 'equivalent' lenses for their FOV used on crop cameras, which BOTH the D300 and E3 are. In order to get equivalency, you must choose similar FOV..

Don't get me wrong. The D300 is an excellent camera, ARGUABLY the best of the crop cameras, overall. However, to state, as you did, that 'built from the ground up digital' is marketing hype, that not true. It is generally considered by most reviewers that Olympus' lenses, including kit entry-level kit lenses, are among the best. And regarding you contention that they are too expensive, well to quote your quote from slrgear, "For the premium price, you get a premium lens, with a build qualityevery bit of what you'd expect, and unparalleled optical performanceas well." You can't have it both ways....

Chris Elliott.

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

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/.

Shinndigghttp://www.pbase.com/shinndigg..

Comment #12

That was my choice a couple of months ago. I decided on Olympus. For ME this was and is the much better choice. IQ is comparable. Body is more weatherproof/ build quality is massive. LCD is great.

Dustbuster is very effective. And most important to me; in just 2 lenses I carry 24 to 400 mm glass (compared to film); the 12-60mm SWD lens (absolutely beautiful range), and the 50-200mm SWD. With Nikon I would have to by more glass/lenses at a higher cost. Too much weight while travelling..

I made my choice in december and I still would make the same choice. In the past I've shot with several Nikons (film); FM2/ F4/ F100.Good luck deciding!..

Comment #13

Sorry to barge in like this, but:.

Both of those cameras come with a hefty price tag (around 1800$ for the D300 *D300...mmmm*). May I suggest and alternative: Canon's 40D or Pentax's K20D with some good glass attached (You can buy some nice lens for the price difference up to the D300) and at lest the 40D is on par in terms of IQ with the Nikon..

If I were to move up from P&S to a DSLR, I'd go for the cheaper body that fulfills all/most my needs(if you only used P&S all your life, when handling a 400D the first time is at least a bit of "WOW...!!!!") and adding enough glass(lenses) to cover all the situations I'd like to shoot!.

Just my humble opinion:.

Having a 2k $ DSLR to brag about in front of your friends is nice the first month...18-24 months later, that body will be very old news.A nice lens you'll keep and use to take great photos forever!...well, almost forever!..

Comment #14

Shinndigg wrote:.

Chris Elliott wrote:.

It is usual when quoting an article a) to put it in quotes b) toprovide a reference or link. Without that your contribution haslimited validity..

Whatever. Picking nits. again, here is the quote, in QUOTES just foryou...Here is the link, just for you...http: //http://www. cameralabs.com/reviews/Olympus_E-3/outdoor_results.shtml.

(I have added a couple of spaces to make it visible to others).

I eventually spotted your Subject line but Icannot easily put the quote in context. (Cameralabs is not the mostauthoritative of sources and I cannot even find that review on theirsite).

Evidently, you didn't look very hard..

I was looking for a lens review (and I have better things to do with my life than track down your poor attributions).

Also, to intimate that their review somehow lacks validity is a sad excuse, usually used when one simply doesn't agree, or the review somehow shows ones personal choice in brand is not as good..

I read the opinions of others. But it is also my own experience that their testing is not very thorough. And you provided no link so I could not read the review and make up my own mind..

The Olympus 12-60 is indeed a good lens and an asset to the system(Pity it is not an f/2.8 constant but that would have put the priceup massively and/or compromised other features) but I note from thereview on this site that DPreview felt compelled to test it on thePanasonic L10 not the E-3:.

Point being??? We're talking lenses here, as that was what youbrought up....

Sorry to dissapoint you. Come on. Wake up! Smell the coffee! The OP is talking about systems. Lenses are no use without a matching body. The fact is that the L10 has greater resolving power. That is a concern that the OP may wish to take into account..

Since you are quoting dpreview's review of said lens... etc.

I think the OP can read for himself. (At least he can with me. I give a link. :~) ) As I quoted above "The Olympus 12-60 is indeed a good lens and an asset to the system".

Nothing wrong with Olympus lenses and nothing wrong with Nikon lenseseither..

E.G - Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - SLR Gear Review:.

"For the premium price, you get a premium lens, with a build qualityevery bit of what you'd expect, and unparalleled optical performanceas well.".

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1121/cat/13.

Problem being, these aren't 'equivalent' lenses for their FOV used oncrop cameras, which BOTH the D300 and E3 are. In order to getequivalency, you must choose similar FOV..

I was giving an example of excellence not equivalence..

Don't get me wrong. The D300 is an excellent camera, ARGUABLY thebest of the crop cameras, overall. However, to state, as you did,that 'built from the ground up digital' is marketing hype, that nottrue..

I still say it is marketing hype. There is nothing in a modern Nikon lens that is tuned to film. It is absolutely tuned to digital..

The strength of Olympus is undoubtedly the quality of their lens but that is the consequence of the choice of the four thirrds format which allows superior optics for a given size and weight or alternatively a smaller size but not because it is "built from the ground up digital". Nikon could have done the same with a similar size sensor using existing body and lenses and refining the system as it went along as it has done with APS-C. (The recent review of the 70-200 f/2.8 shows you how much they have tuned to APS-C at the expense of full frame - http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_70-200_2p8_vr_n15/).

The downside to the choice is limited high ISO capability and tonal range. Olympus is running out of space on the sensor for more pixels and will hit more problems with high ISO noise as they go up the scale. To quote the Cameralabs review.

"Then theres the bigger issue of the format itself. If were being honest, 10 Megapixels is probably sufficient for most of us (and weve seen some impressive-looking big prints from the E-3), but its important to know theres a future path for your investment in lenses. Its hard to imagine there wont be a higher resolution Four Thirds body in the future, but how close are we to the sensible limit of it's sensor area right now?.

The E-3s sensor certainly performs well up to 800 ISO, but theres not a great deal of headroom in those files for tonal adjustment and at higher sensitivities, there are better alternatives for the money. And remember Canon and Nikon today, with Sony in the near future, have full-frame options for their compatible lenses  thats a big upgrade in sensor area and light gathering power which Four Thirds can only dream of.".

Blocked URL.

Chris Elliott.

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

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

Comment #15

Chris Elliott wrote:.

Also, to intimate that their review somehow lacks validity is a sad excuse, usually used when one simply doesn't agree, or the review somehow shows ones personal choice in brand is not as good..

I read the opinions of others. But it is also my own experience thattheir testing is not very thorough. And you provided no link so Icould not read the review and make up my own mind..

Many others wouldn't agree with you. I find other reviewers, including cameralabs as well as imaging-resource to be better in some regards. Giving REAL LIFE photos for example, rather pinning an entire review on microscopic pixel-peeping. Really, who looks at their photos at 100%? Really???.

Sorry to dissapoint you. Come on. Wake up! Smell the coffee!.

Re: Calm down or you will burst a blood vessel!!Who's about to burst a blood vessel??? Wake up and smell the coffee???The OP.

Is talking about systems. Lenses are no use without a matching body.The fact is that the L10 has greater resolving power. That is aconcern that the OP may wish to take into account..

Funny you should mention that. Cameralabs used the E3 and, if you looked at the real-life samples, the E3 images were considerably sharper..

Since you are quoting dpreview's review of said lens... etc.

I think the OP can read for himself. (At least he can with me. I givea link. :~) ) As I quoted above "The Olympus 12-60 is indeed a goodlens and an asset to the system".

Nothing wrong with Olympus lenses and nothing wrong with Nikon lenseseither..

E.G - Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 - SLR Gear Review:.

"For the premium price, you get a premium lens, with a build qualityevery bit of what you'd expect, and unparalleled optical performanceas well.".

Http://www.slrgear.com/reviews/showproduct.php/product/1121/cat/13.

Problem being, these aren't 'equivalent' lenses for their FOV used oncrop cameras, which BOTH the D300 and E3 are. In order to getequivalency, you must choose similar FOV..

I was giving an example of excellence not equivalence..

Stick that 24-70 on the D3 and see how well it really performs. My guess is that vignetting and corner sharpness would be a HUGE problem compared to the zuiko 12-60, which gets back to the OP's original assertion about Oly lenses..

Don't get me wrong. The D300 is an excellent camera, ARGUABLY thebest of the crop cameras, overall. However, to state, as you did,that 'built from the ground up digital' is marketing hype, that nottrue..

I still say it is marketing hype. There is nothing in a modern Nikonlens that is tuned to film. It is absolutely tuned to digital..

You are entitled to your opinion, as am I..

The strength of Olympus is undoubtedly the quality of their lens butthat is the consequence of the choice of the four thirrds formatwhich allows superior optics for a given size and weight oralternatively a smaller size but not because it is "built from theground up digital". Nikon could have done the same with a similarsize sensor using existing body and lenses and refining the system asit went along as it has done with APS-C. (The recent review of the70-200 f/2.8 shows you how much they have tuned to APS-C at theexpense of full frame -http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/nikon_70-200_2p8_vr_n15/).

The downside to the choice is limited high ISO capability and tonalrange. Olympus is running out of space on the sensor for more pixelsand will hit more problems with high ISO noise as they go up thescale..

To quote the Cameralabs review.

"Then theres the bigger issue of the format itself. If were beinghonest, 10 Megapixels is probably sufficient for most of us (andweve seen some impressive-looking big prints from the E-3),.

Heck, I get impressive 11x14 form 6 and 8 megapixel cameras.but its.

Important to know theres a future path for your investment inlenses. Its hard to imagine there wont be a higher resolution FourThirds body in the future, but how close are we to the sensible limitof it's sensor area right now?.

The E-3s sensor certainly performs well up to 800 ISO, but theresnot a great deal of headroom in those files for tonal adjustment andat higher sensitivities, there are better alternatives for the money.And remember Canon and Nikon today, with Sony in the near future,have full-frame options for their compatible lenses  thats a bigupgrade in sensor area and light gathering power which Four Thirdscan only dream of.".

APS-C has the same 'potential' problems, seeing as the sensor size isn't that much different. What's odd to me is that cameralabs asked the questions, but didn't (couldn't) give the answers. Who really knows what future technology will bring. Most Canfans and Niknuts said that it would be impossible for Oly to get clean images at ISO 800-1600 out of 4/3rds. I get nice (relatively) clean images at ISO 800 from my 3year old E300. Relative to what, you ask? My D50! No, I didn't stutter and say D-D-D50, as in Nikon.

1600? Neither are usable above 5x7. You see, I have a foot in both camps, so I can be a little less biased..

Full frame is an issue for Oly, simply because their lenses CANT'T be used on any FF cameras. However, is the market REALLY going to go FF??? who knows. Only the future will tell..

Blocked URL.

Chris Elliott.

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

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/.

Shinndigghttp://www.pbase.com/shinndigg..

Comment #16

The Olympus E3 is a great camera. It's also a huge camera for it's smaller sensor, but that's just personal opinion. I agree with those who claim that there's something to "all digital design" being mostly marketing hype. When using a lens designed for full frame on a crop sensor, you get the sweet spot of the lens..

Crop factor doesn't mean additional magnification. It means crop. It means the field of view is less for the same magnification. A 300mm lens is still a 300mm lens on a Olympus, Nikon D300 or a full frame Canon 5D. You don't magically get longer focal lengths no matter how one wishes to cut the mustard..

The advantages, in my opinion, for the E3 (never owned one) would be superb build quality, quality Oly lenses, less cost, great dust removal, good in-body vibration reduction, and a solid company..

Some disadvantages to the E3 for me would be smallish sensor, not so good high ISO capability, poor upgrade path for future larger sensors (some say won't happen), poor experience with 3rd party lenses, and less aftermarket accessories..

Some advantages to Nikon D300 would be fantastic build quality, superb glass, huge selection of accessories, huge selection of lenses, superb LCD, great upgrade path to larger sensors, great high iso performance, and great reviews..

Some disadvantages might be, poor automatic dust removal, no in-body vibration reduction, and so many own Nikons that you'll see yourself coming and going..

I've owned Nikon since the late 60s and have Nikon glass going back that far, so the choice was obvious to me. I moved to digital a little late with the D80 and just upgraded to a D300 in January. Wow, what a difference. Let me say this. For years, I've always said that it's not the camera nor the lens that makes a great photograph. It's the photographer, and I still believe that to a degree; but the D300 has made me a better photographer.



For example, I love shooting birds in flight. With lesser cameras, I was stuck at ISO 400 or at best 800 and a lot of noise when cropping and enlarging.. few keepers. With the D300, I can set ISO to auto, set shutter priority to 1250 or faster and let it rip. With it's breathtaking auto-focus system, I can track that inflight bird and with the great high iso performance, I get a great number of keepers. I just let her rip at 6 frames per second, and I get wonderful results.

Sports would be the same conditions, but I don't shoot that..

There's a reason why Popular Photography names the D300 as Camera of the Year and a reason DPReview said there's no better semipro DSLR. You might be very happy with the E3. Many are, and it's a great camera, but I know you'll be happy with the D300...

Comment #17

Shinndigg wrote:.

.....

Chris Elliott wrote:.

To quote the Cameralabs review.

"Then theres the bigger issue of the format itself. If were beinghonest, 10 Megapixels is probably sufficient for most of us (andweve seen some impressive-looking big prints from the E-3),but its important to know theres a future path for your investment inlenses. Its hard to imagine there wont be a higher resolution FourThirds body in the future, but how close are we to the sensible limitof it's sensor area right now?.

The E-3s sensor certainly performs well up to 800 ISO, but theresnot a great deal of headroom in those files for tonal adjustment andat higher sensitivities, there are better alternatives for the money.And remember Canon and Nikon today, with Sony in the near future,have full-frame options for their compatible lenses  thats a bigupgrade in sensor area and light gathering power which Four Thirdscan only dream of.".

APS-C has the same 'potential' problems, seeing as the sensor sizeisn't that much different..

The difference is that Canon and Nikon mounts (and I presume also Pentax, Sony/Minolta et al) can cope with full frame. So if you have FX lenses you can stradle the two camps. Nikon seem to be addressing the issue of FX excellence with their most recent lenses (12-24 and 24-70). (They urgently need to do the same for the 70-200 for FX)..

I shoot a lot at high ISO so I am particularly interested in a cut down D3 to complement my DX D80 and I have a weather eye on that fact when buying lenses..

And What's odd to me is that cameralabs askedthe questions, but didn't (couldn't) give the answers. Who reallyknows what future technology will bring. Most Canfans and Niknutssaid that it would be impossible for Oly to get clean images at ISO800-1600 out of 4/3rds. I get nice (relatively) clean images at ISO800 from my 3year old E300. Relative to what, you ask? My D50! No, Ididn't stutter and say D-D-D50, as in Nikon. In 11x14, I see nodifference at ISO 800.



My Oly E20 was useless at ISO 320 and when I came to move on low available light photography was high on my list of priorities..

You see, I have a foot in both camps, so I can be a little less biased.Full frame is an issue for Oly, simply because their lenses CANT'T beused on any FF cameras. However, is the market REALLY going to goFF??? who knows. Only the future will tell..

I see the semi-pro market being divided FX/DX but consumer DSLRs remaining APS-C. So, using Nikon and Canon as an examples both will have 40D/5D models at mid range and you take your choice with lenses to match. I have some concern about where Olympus goes then. I hope they are developing a 4/3rds P & S to challenge Sigma and the 420 line has considerable potential. (But it has no in body IS and if it did that would add to the bulk considerably. I am not a fan of IS so I would not mind but others would.



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

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

Comment #18

Chris Elliott wrote:.

"My Oly E20 was useless at ISO 320 and when I came to move on low available light photography was high on my list of priorities.".

Priceless. You're referring to a seven year old camera that only had a 2/3" sensor and using it to try to support your argument?.

Is this your entire Oly experience?..

Comment #19

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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