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Nikon d40 or Oly 510 or?
I have been following these forums (they can become addictive) and I am being persuaded to consider a dslr. Whatever I get will be my only camera as I will be stretching my budget (and my wifes patience) if I have any more..

I will take a lot of indoor and flash pictures and also outdoor holiday travelling pics etc. So I need a good all round camera which takes high quality images..

I have researched a bit and am looking at the Nikon D40 or an Oly 510. There is a cost difference of $200AUS in favour of the Nikon in both single and dual kit lens comparisons. It appears that the kit lens are of reasonable quality to produce very good images?..

I am happy that the 6Mp nikon can produce images that I would be happy with so pixels do not concern me. However the D40 does not have image stabilisation (and no VR lens), no dust control and no live view, all of which come with the Olympus package..

Are these things important enough for me to exclude the D40 from consideration, or do they not matter so much..

Both cameras feel OK to me so that is not a problem..

Can you people advise me of the pros and cons and offer some recommendations or opinions. Prior to this change of direction I was considering the Fujifilm f100fd (which is a much cheaper option) but the allure of dslr is tempting!!.

Thank you and regards - Terry..

Comments (12)

If you'll be shooting with a flash for your interior pics, I would definitely go with the Oly(and have as you can see). The features you mention are a big advantage and the extra 4mp will allow printing larger than the 6mp as well as adding ability to crop a shot. I think you'll like having the extended ability..

If you are going to be shooting a lot of low light without flash, nikon probably gets the nod on that point..

The money difference is worth it for the inbody IS alone IMO and the Oly lenses are quite highly regarded..

Can't go wrong with either really, the e510 is the newer and more capable of the two save the higher ISO advantage the d40 has. IMO.

E1 w/ grip, e510, e300 w/ grip, 8mm FE, 14-54mm, 35mm, 50mm, 40-150mm,50-200mm, fl-50, fuji - 6800..

Comment #1

My brother has a d40...I talked him into getting it since that was one of his choices at that price range...he loves it...its a great entry level camera...RAw + Jpeg is weak due to the lowest level jpeg it saves...NO ISO 100....

It is a nice dslr to pick up & go for sure...light small compact...wide nikon lens base. A "soccor" dad kinda camera..

If I had to do it all over again...I'd still go with my E500. 510 would be the choice now...for me...I love their cameras. Price point d40 beats it. You are missing a lot of features though in comparison to the 510. The d40 isnt even on par with the e500, in my eyes, & it's 3 years old..

'All the technique in the world doesn't compensate for an inability to notice.' - Elliot Erwitt~~~~~~.

Olympus Evolt E500 8MP SLR Digital Camera with 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 and 40-150mm f/3.5-4.5 Zuiko Lenses..

Comment #2

I think that the D40 (and D60) has another limitation compared to higher end nikons, in that it doesnt have a built in autofocus motor which means that you need to buy lenses with the built in motor which rules out some of the cheaper options lens wise. ie you need AF-S rather than AF-D - and there is a significant cost difference between them..

Shoot me down if I'm wrong - I'm still trying to grapple with all this stuff myself...

Comment #3

I've been following these forums for a while, and I'm amazed at the amount of misinformation....

Whichever camera you choose, it'll be merely your tool to get the photos you want; it will serve you well, as long as you have the wits to know what to do with it (not intended to be taken personally; generic "you"). There's little difference in the final result whether you have a D40 or the Oly..

"if you'll be shooting with a flash for your interior pics, I would definitely go with the Oly".

What's wrong with Nikon flashes? I have an ancient SB-15, no TTL, fully manual, and I've taken some absolutely fantastic pics with it. It's all about technique.

"RAw + Jpeg is weak due to the lowest level jpeg it saves...NO ISO 100...".

Only D40 users can tell you the truth about it. I've shot 5000 shots with it in RAW+Jpeg and I've found ONE (1) in which there were visible artifacts due to JPEG. I challenge any D40 user to show (any) difference between the fine and the basic. Here's mine. One is from RAW, the other JPEG basic (WITH extensive PP, btw - that's why the tone is slightly different).

Can you tell which is which???.

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Oh, and what's wrong with base ISO 200? ISO 100 is utterly useless as long as the basic ISO 200 is at the same noise/detail levels. And it is. If someone want the lower ISO in order to shoot at aperture 1.4 against the sun, well...If really, really this is what you want, put an ND filter on the lens.

As for the the lack of in-body AF motor, that's a problem mostly if you already own AF lenses. There's plenty of good (and cheap) AF-S lenses. I have besides the marvellous 18-55, also the fantastic 55-200. Oh, and the D40 can mount a whole bunch of non-AI excellent primes which are very cheap nowadays.

Like I said, both the nikon and the Oly are excellent cameras. You can't go wrong with either..

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Http://www.flickr.com/photos/96953368@N00/..

Comment #4

Both the Nikon and the Olympus will produce very good photos. The Olympus has some advantages. It has in-body image stabliization, the Nikon does not. It also has automatic sensor cleaining. It does have a higher megapixel count but the Nikon will give somewhat better results at high ISO settings in low light..

As for kit lenses, I can tell you from experience that the Olympus kit lenses are very, very good. With the two-lens kit, you get quite a range. The choices in additional lenses are limited and the Olympus lenses are very costly but they are great lenses. With the Nikon you must get lenses that have their own AF motor. That limits you right now to the Nikon lenses with an AF motor, the Sigma HSM lenses, and a Tamron lens that I don't think is released yet.My humble photo gallery: http://ntotrr.smugmug.com.

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Comment #5

Ancient_Mariner wrote:.

"if you'll be shooting with a flash for your interior pics, I woulddefinitely go with the Oly".

What's wrong with Nikon flashes? I have an ancient SB-15, no TTL,fully manual, and I've taken some absolutely fantastic pics with it.It's all about technique.

Nothing is wrong with nikon flashes, my only point was only that the d40 has a high ISO advantage as I mentioned, if you were shooting flash more often than not with the Oly that advantage becomes less so as the Oly with flash is an effective tool negating the need for the d40 high ISO advantage it has as shooting with flash allows you to shoot the Oly at lower ISO. If not shooting flash and shooting a lot of higher ISO in low light then the d40 still enjoys an advantage in that aspect..

As for the expensive Oly glass, there are sigma options that have proven quite effective, used is an option and at the end of the day you get what you pay for, when comparing like EFL/speed to others you will find the differences not as great in most instances. I'm not saying there isn't some premium but in all instances for the high and super high grade lenses you are getting sealed lenses with exceptional optics. quality costs money as we all know..

E1 w/ grip, e510, e300 w/ grip, 8mm FE, 14-54mm, 35mm, 50mm, 40-150mm,50-200mm, fl-50, fuji - 6800..

Comment #6

Twodoh wrote:.

I will take a lot of indoor and flash pictures and also outdoorholiday travelling pics etc. So I need a good all round camera whichtakes high quality images..

Either of your choices will do that....

I have researched a bit and am looking at the Nikon D40 or an Oly510. There is a cost difference of $200AUS in favour of the Nikon inboth single and dual kit lens comparisons. It appears that the kitlens are of reasonable quality to produce very good images?..

Both kit lenses are acceptable for your purposes..

I am happy that the 6Mp nikon can produce images that I would behappy with so pixels do not concern me. However the D40 does not haveimage stabilisation (and no VR lens), no dust control and no liveview, all of which come with the Olympus package..

The Olympus dust control is one of the few that work well. However, I find that it's not such a big deal to clean a sensor occasionally. My business partner owns a D40 with one kit lens and he has yet to need to clean his sensor over the past year. He got the camera to take pictures of his then infant daughter, and she recently celebrated her first birthday. His pictures look fine, and I'd probably blow the dust off his sensor if he needed it, or just take the 5m to clean it with some sensor swabs..

I only own one lens that has VR, and I almost never use it. There are people who swear by it, and people who've gone their whole lives without it. Only you can really figure out if it's an advantage to you..

The same goes for live view, I'd certainly never use it as criteria for purchasing a camera, but some folks love it..

Are these things important enough for me to exclude the D40 fromconsideration, or do they not matter so much..

Both cameras feel OK to me so that is not a problem..

Can you people advise me of the pros and cons and offer somerecommendations or opinions. Prior to this change of direction I wasconsidering the Fujifilm f100fd (which is a much cheaper option) butthe allure of dslr is tempting!!.

You're buying a system. If all you want is a camera and some lenses and you'll never stretch that envelope, then it doesn't matter. If you think you might get into photography as a serious hobby or part-time money maker, then I think the overall choices in the Nikon system become much more favorable choices..

There are way more AF-S/HSM lenses than you'll ever own available, and by the time you've stretched past the kit lenses there will be even more. I wouldn't worry about that aspect unless you really needed a particular lens that hasn't been upgraded to AF-S like one of the fast 50mm's (I almost never never shot at 50mm with a 35mm body or crop sensor body- others love the focal length.).

Remember, the current body will be outdated in 2-4 years, so the next body you buy will be sooner than it was with a film camera. Factor that in to your decision. Nikon offers a wider range of bodies, though some will be outside of your price range for quite some time..

The larger sensor on the D40 is good for about one stop of noise, you can see this in the DPR tests. For most folks printing off a small printer it's not very noticeable, but if you're extra-critical, you'll see the difference..

Finally, if you're going to print to a computer printer yourself, the D40 will need less cropping, if you're going to print to a traditional photo medium through something like a Frontier, then the Oly will need less cropping. It's getting more and more difficult to find 4:3 ratio photo paper (especially at the high end) which may be a factor if you plan to print and hang images..

For me, Nikon's system has many advantages that make it (or Canon) the only choice between systems (not bodies) that's right for my photography. Others will never need the corner-cases and would be happy with any modern system..

Anyone who thinks that outside the corner cases that most people don't shoot any particular camera is that far above any other, especially for two or so body revs. is kidding themselves. Don't agonize too long, just get a camera and start shooting, you're missing shots if you spend too long on the decision that really won't matter much at all (after all, lots of folks are happy with pics from P&S cameras that are easily outclassed by dSLRs.).

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #7

Freealfas wrote:.

Nothing is wrong with nikon flashes, my only point was only that thed40 has a high ISO advantage as I mentioned, if you were shootingflash more often than not with the Oly that advantage becomes less soas the Oly with flash is an effective tool negating the need for thed40 high ISO advantage it has as shooting with flash allows you toshoot the Oly at lower ISO. If not shooting flash and shooting a lotof higher ISO in low light then the d40 still enjoys an advantage inthat aspect..

But the Nikon (at least looking at the tests on DPR) has a 1-stop noise advantage, so you'd have to be able to shoot 2 stops slower- so flash seems to me to be still an advantage on the D40..

The E510 also has significantly less dynamic range (~3 stops!) according to the chart here:.

Http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E510/E510IMATEST.HTM.

That'd be a big difference for most of the images I shoot outside the studio..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #8

Paul Robertson wrote:.

Freealfas wrote:.

Nothing is wrong with nikon flashes, my only point was only that thed40 has a high ISO advantage as I mentioned, if you were shootingflash more often than not with the Oly that advantage becomes less soas the Oly with flash is an effective tool negating the need for thed40 high ISO advantage it has as shooting with flash allows you toshoot the Oly at lower ISO. If not shooting flash and shooting a lotof higher ISO in low light then the d40 still enjoys an advantage inthat aspect..

But the Nikon (at least looking at the tests on DPR) has a 1-stopnoise advantage, so you'd have to be able to shoot 2 stops slower- soflash seems to me to be still an advantage on the D40..

The E510 also has significantly less dynamic range (~3 stops!)according to the chart here:.

3 stops ? just lol... the e410 is rated much better although it has the same sensor/jpg engine, etc. The link you posted is worthless....

To the op:.

I played around with a d40 and a e510 (and a few others) and made a few test pics and in the end decided on the e510. Not because it was the best in everything but because I liked it (and the images it produced) the most..

In the end I'd always recommend to go and try the cams in a store and get a feel for each one and look at the pictures they take. Things like that always are important because if the camera is somehow too big or has badly placed controls it takes some pleasure out of it..

Don't let anybody tell you that canon or nikon are the only cams worth buying because thats just hot air. Look at other brands too. Sony, Pentax and Olympus make great cams too..

But since you narrowed your choices down, I'd recommend to take a cf card, go to the store and make a few pics (jpeg and raw) with both and compare them then. That should help you make your decision because nobody can tell you what you will like....

Anyway, have fun with your cam, whatever it will be.....

Comment #9

Avaron wrote:.

The E510 also has significantly less dynamic range (~3 stops!)according to the chart here:.

3 stops ? just lol... the e410 is rated much better although it hasthe same sensor/jpg engine, etc. The link you posted is worthless....

The software used (imatest) is highly regarded, the tests are obviously easily repeatable- just because you don't agree with the results doesn't make it worthless..

Given the difference in luminance noise, either something is going on with the sensor, the amplifiers, or Olympus has significant sample variation between the two cameras..

The fact that the newer camera is half a stop better that the older one would seem to indicate that the components or software are not identical if sample variation is relatively consistent..

In fact, the linked page actually shows a slightly better dynamic range for the E510 than does the DP Review test..

Http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/olympuse510/page19.asp.

If you read the DPR D40 review, you'll see they also go through 10 stops of DR in raw mode from the D40 (though they give it only 2/3rds of a stop advantage in JPEG mode) giving the D40 about two stops of advantage..

If you scroll down to the step-wedge comparisons for either the E410 or E510 reviews on DPR you can see that the Nikon and Canon cameras both outshine the Olympus and Pentax ones in terms of dynamic range..

This is easy though, show us a raw shot of a step-wedge from your E510 that displays more dynamic range than has been measured by Imaging Resource or DP Review..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #10

Twodoh wrote:.

I have been following these forums (they can become addictive) and Iam being persuaded to consider a dslr. Whatever I get will be my onlycamera as I will be stretching my budget (and my wifes patience) if ihave any more..

I will take a lot of indoor and flash pictures and also outdoorholiday travelling pics etc. So I need a good all round camera whichtakes high quality images..

I have researched a bit and am looking at the Nikon D40 or an Oly510. There is a cost difference of $200AUS in favour of the Nikon inboth single and dual kit lens comparisons. It appears that the kitlens are of reasonable quality to produce very good images?..

Both these cameras are very good and either will do what you want..

I am happy that the 6Mp nikon can produce images that I would behappy with so pixels do not concern me. However the D40 does not haveimage stabilisation (and no VR lens), no dust control and no liveview, all of which come with the Olympus package..

Are these things important enough for me to exclude the D40 fromconsideration, or do they not matter so much..

It depends on you and what you want to do with the camera..

I personally don't have a great problem cleaning the sensor. I only have to do it occasionally. Most of the time, it just needs a blast of air from my RocketBlower. It's not hard...there are MANY tutorials on-line. If I took pix at rodeo's, I would consider the Oly E-510 dust shaker to be a plus..

I'm a bit shaky, but don't yet need IS/VR. Many of the pix I take are of car racing and I'd have to turn off the IS/VR anyway!.

I'm a live-view fan. It's invaluable for "thoughtful" photography...things like landscapes, portraits, and macros. If you are not planning to do these kinds of photos, then LV is of minor utility..

Both cameras feel OK to me so that is not a problem..

Can you people advise me of the pros and cons and offer somerecommendations or opinions..

Here is my #1 Rule:.

1a. Buy the biggest sensor you can afford.1b. Get a sensor with as few pixels as you can stand..

That says the D40 is better, unless you find the added features irresistable! Some of the simplicity of the D40 is to make it easier for beginners to master... .

Bottom line is that the E-510 has some nifty features, some of which you might find useful and it has slightly better "kit" lenses...but the D40 will have slightly better noise and DR and the "kit" lenses for it are better than most others (excluding Oly). The differences are rather small for beginning photographers. Flip a coin?.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #11

Twodoh wrote:.

I will take a lot of indoor and flash pictures and also outdoorholiday travelling pics etc. So I need a good all round camera whichtakes high quality images..

For indoor and flash photography you don't need stabilized lens or sensor..

I have researched a bit and am looking at the Nikon D40 or an Oly510. There is a cost difference of $200AUS in favour of the Nikon inboth single and dual kit lens comparisons. It appears that the kitlens are of reasonable quality to produce very good images?..

If the kit lens is with VR for longer focal lengths then you got it right. If not use the kit lens without VR (18-55 mm) and, contingently, buy 55-200 mm VR. You need image stabilization more at longer focal lengths..

I am happy that the 6Mp nikon can produce images that I would behappy with so pixels do not concern me. However the D40 does not haveimage stabilisation (and no VR lens), no dust control and no liveview, all of which come with the Olympus package..

Live View is a nice thing to have not a must. The same with dust control. The sensor image stabilization will let you down when you need it more (at longer focal lengths)..

VictorBucuresti, Romaniahttp://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m268/victor_petcu/http://picasaweb.google.com/teodor.nitica/..

Comment #12

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