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Nikon d40 vs. Olympus evolt e-510 vs. Pentax k10d vs. ?
I'm about to take the plunge into dslr-land and can't decide between the above. I like the Nikon because it's a Nikon, but does the d40 come with a dust-cleaning system (is that something to worry about)? The Olympus looks like a very nice package, as does the minolta (I don't know why Canon's have grabbed me, but that could change). I don't want to spend more than $6-700. For that I think I can get the Nikon with 2 lenses (not sure if I can get the vr on the 18-55 for that price - any thoughts?). I think I can get the Olympus with 2 lenses also for that price, and the minolta with one. I like the Pentax for it's seals (i have two littel boys at home and want a camera that isn't too delicate).

On a final note, where do you come down on the megapixel debate - is more better? Thanks for your time and I look forward to your comments. Convince me which way to go! Thanks...

Comments (14)

Hi.

I can only comment on Olympus as I have an E500 - the E510 is the upgrade. The E500 is a great camera and the two lenses you get are very good quality..

They take lovely sharp pictures with great colours..

This was my first DSLR too and the think I have come to appreciate is the feel of the camera in my hands and the easy to use menu system..

I can do everything such as adjust aperture and shutter, White Balance, ISO etc very quickly with one or two button pushes..

I wish you well with your search - my suggestion. Go feel the camera in your hands, turn them on, try the menus, look through the view finder and check the reviews on this site..

Jenko..

Comment #1

You are greatly confused. I think you meant the Pentax K100D, not the K10D? What Minolta? They were bought by Sony 2 years ago....

BTW, more MP is worse now-a-days. Back when we had 1 MP, then 1.3 MP, then 2 MP...more was better. But when we passed 6 MP, things stayed the same until we passed 10 MP. After 10 MP, it's just bragging rights about your new camera that has worse IQ than all those "old" 6 MP models..

If you are embarassed to tell your idiot relatives that you bought a NEW 6 MP camera, then lie to them. .

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I'm about to take the plunge into dslr-land and can't decide betweenthe above. I like the Nikon because it's a Nikon, but does the d40come with a dust-cleaning system (is that something to worry about)?The Olympus looks like a very nice package, as does the minolta (Idon't know why Canon's have grabbed me, but that could change). Idon't want to spend more than $6-700. For that I think I can get theNikon with 2 lenses (not sure if I can get the vr on the 18-55 forthat price - any thoughts?). I think I can get the Olympus with 2lenses also for that price, and the minolta with one. I like thePentax for it's seals (i have two littel boys at home and want acamera that isn't too delicate).

On a final note, where do youcome down on the megapixel debate - is more better? Thanks for yourtime and I look forward to your comments. Convince me which way togo! Thanks..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #2

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I'm about to take the plunge into dslr-land and can't decide betweenthe above. I like the Nikon because it's a Nikon, but does the d40come with a dust-cleaning system (is that something to worry about)?.

It doesn't. It depends on how often you change lenses, how you change them and how scared you are of cleaning a sensor as to how important it is..

The Olympus looks like a very nice package, as does the minolta (Idon't know why Canon's have grabbed me, but that could change). Idon't want to spend more than $6-700. For that I think I can get theNikon with 2 lenses (not sure if I can get the vr on the 18-55 forthat price - any thoughts?). I think I can get the Olympus with 2lenses also for that price, and the minolta with one. I like thePentax for it's seals (i have two littel boys at home and want acamera that isn't too delicate). I'd love to hear your thoughts onwhat I should, or shouldn't, consider.

Convince me which way togo! Thanks..

After 6MP, diffraction rears it's head and you actually get worse shots at smaller apertures (f/11 on my D2x for instance is about the smallest aperture you'd want to shoot.) The Pentax will offer the best bang-for-the-buck, the Nikon the best path forward. Canon and Nikon are about equal though the Nikon kit lenses tend to be a bit better than the Canon ones. Your best bet is to try to handle them all, as they all feel different and ergonomics will determine a lot for you. Most folks prefer Nikon ergonomics to Canon and Pentax. Minolta got borged by Sony, I'm still on the fence as to their long-term viability. The Oly is a 4/3 system, so the sensor is smaller- that's a non-starter for me, but some folks like smaller cameras and the promise of interchangeable lenses over the whole 4/3 system..

I tend to recommend that my friends go with the Nikons, but that's because I'm more easily able to help them with their questions because all the cameras in the line have a basic familiarity. My choice is generally Nikon, then Canon then Pentax for DSLR bodies..

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #3

I agree I may be greatly confused (I realized I wrote Minolta instead of Pentax after I posted the initial question). Is it your belief that the Nikon d40 will be just as good (or better) than the Olympus? I'll admit the whole megapixel thing gets overwhelming..

Thanks again for your help - I do appreciate your time...

Comment #4

There generally 2 ways to thinking with starting a DSLR system. One says pick the body you want then accessorize it, the other is pick lens first, then the best body you can afford. I tend to lean towards picking a body you like and there shoudl be enough lenses to choose from for most people..

Certainly of the 3 the Nikon system has the most lenses to choose from, and IMO the best flash. Here's the stickler...the D40/D40x will not work with 80% of them because it lacks an AF motor. This is fine little camera if you plan on putting one all purpose lens on like the great 18-200 VR, but a poor camera to build a multilens system on..

Olympus. You will find rampant, loyal Olympus fans here. I personally find the performance of the smaller 4/3 sensor limiting. As noted in the recent E510 review here, it still suffers in high ISO noise and limited dynamic range compared to competition. Nice features for the money though..

The Pentax K10D is simply in a whole different class from a build standpoint. Compared ot the other 2 it is a tank. It is a 40D/ D200 /E3 class camera for half the price. I don't own one, I own both Canon and Fuji S5, but I picked one up the other day and was very impressed with how it felt and how responsive it was. Unbelievable deal for $600. Only negative I have read is that it's jpg processing doesn't extract all the detail the camera is capable of, but just shoot raw if it's gonna get enlarged over 8x10 and it provides class leading resolution. Pentax lenses are more limited, but there are some good ones and most things can be covered...

Comment #5

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I agree I may be greatly confused (I realized I wrote Minolta insteadof Pentax after I posted the initial question). Is it your beliefthat the Nikon d40 will be just as good (or better) than the Olympus?I'll admit the whole megapixel thing gets overwhelming..

It'll be slightly better due to the larger sensor, which will really only be apparent probably at about 11x14" prints..

There are very few bad choices these days, more like interesting trade-offs..

Unlike the previous poster, I believe that Canon has the larger lens choice, and the D40 will work fine with most older lenses, it just won't autofocus with ones that aren't AF-S for Nikon or HSM for Sigma. Frankly though if you find yourself in the camp that needs more, you'll probably be upgrading to one of the other bodies and keeping the D40 as a backup..

Pentax has everyone beat for backwards lens compatibility, but if you don't already own the glass I'd recommend going with the Canon or Nikon. Longer-term, Canon's lens choices are better and cheaper if you're looking at $3000+ lenses, if you're not going there, then I happen to think the Nikon is a better bet (and I wish I'd really thought about that more when I decided to get a 400/2.8!).

Paulhttp://PaulDRobertson.imagekind.com..

Comment #6

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I'm about to take the plunge into dslr-land and can't decide betweenthe above. I like the Nikon because it's a Nikon, but does the d40come with a dust-cleaning system (is that something to worry about)?.

As noted, the problem of dust depends on use. Shoot with non-sealed lenses or bodies, especially varifocal lenses that change length, in dusty environments and with a need to stop down frequently, and dust might be a significant problem..

As for the D40, it doesn't. Nikon's only introduced 'em on the latest models, if memory serves. Remains to be seen whether they actually work remotely well..

The Olympus looks like a very nice package, as does the minolta (Idon't know why Canon's have grabbed me, but that could change). Idon't want to spend more than $6-700. For that I think I can get theNikon with 2 lenses (not sure if I can get the vr on the 18-55 forthat price - any thoughts?). I think I can get the Olympus with 2.

Helps to know what you plan to shoot. Don't buy lenses just to buy lenses buy a lens because it'll be useful for what you plan to shoot..

Lenses also for that price, and the minolta with one. I like thePentax for it's seals (i have two littel boys at home and want acamera that isn't too delicate). I'd love to hear your thoughts on.

Seals note, seals are mostly meaningful with sealed lenses, and most available Pentax lenses are not sealed are meant to deal with contaminants such as dust and water. If it's going to be knocked 4' onto hard kitchen tile, seals aren't going to help much..

What I should, or shouldn't, consider. On a final note, where do youcome down on the megapixel debate - is more better? Thanks for your.

Better for what?.

If you want an highly detailed poster-print of a landscape, and you want 'real' detail instead of interpolated results from upsampling algorithms, more megapixels -can- be helpful, provided that it's not pushing the lens or sensor too far..

If you're photographing a wife, it's quite possible that she's not going to appreciate very fine detail sufficient to clearly depict every little skin imperfection, so in such a case, more resolution might not be the best thing to have. Granted, you can reduce unwanted detail in post-processing..

Time and I look forward to your comments. Convince me which way togo! Thanks..

I saw nothing indicating what you'd actually be photographing, under what circumstances, and what you want from your end results like poster-size prints, pictures to upload for eBay auctions, or whatever...

Comment #7

I went through this several months ago. Coming from Canon FD film cameras, I really liked the controls and features of the Pentax K10d since it seemed like a philosophical extension of a good old film camera, and seemed to have more flexibility than those cryptic "mode" icons the others borrowed from point and shoot cameras. But, it was as heavy as the Canon T90 that I had become loathe to lug around anymore..

The Nikon D40 (not the D40x, which seemed like a "me too" excuse to cram in more megapixels at the expense of IQ) seemed like a good deal except for the lack of a focus motor..

Canon 30d looked interesting, but was too expensive to buy with decent lenses and I really didn't care for the feel of it. Seemed it would be the best for burst mode telephoto shots of sporting events, but I don't shoot that sort of thing..

Nikon D80 was a top contender over the D40 (also too expensive, but I might have bitten the bullet for it if I'd planned on doing weddings or studio style photography since it has the best features for slave strobes and lighting gear)..

I would have probably talked myself into going way over budget and gotten the D80 if the E510 hadn't come out about the time I was looking. So, I wound up with the E510, mainly on the basis that it is light and easy to carry and I could get it along with decent glass, to cover the 28-300mm film range, for less than the price of a D80 body. Also figured that live-view could help with taking photos through my microscopes or telescope (when I get around to buying a T adapter)..

So far I'm quite happy with it. I don't groan at the thought of lugging it around, and have no complaints about IQ, DR or noise (I prefer to shoot raw and handle all that in post processing anyway) I did add the 50mm f2 macro to the kit later though, as it was reasonably priced, especially with a rebate, has good resolution, a nice bokeh and also makes a nice portrait/street lens...

Comment #8

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I agree I may be greatly confused (I realized I wrote Minolta insteadof Pentax after I posted the initial question). Is it your beliefthat the Nikon d40 will be just as good (or better) than the Olympus?I'll admit the whole megapixel thing gets overwhelming..

The information curve for digital cameras is very steep. Combine that with lots of misinformed "experts" that have nutty ideas and it is indeed overwhelming. Even I have been found to be misinformed a few times. Gosh! .

Go read this:.

Http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/?page_id=11.

I wrote it months ago to help people sift through the morass of IQ variables, myths,,and lies..

It depends to some extent exactly how you will use your camera. There are advantages for both lots of photosites and for big photosites. Unfortunately, manufacturers ignore the size of the photosites and only stress the number. We believe that they do this because 1) the people who market the cameras don't have a clue about the technology involved and 2) they conclude that most consumers are like them. Thus, they tend to avoid complicated issues and try to simplify. Note also that they never say that more pixels is better! They just put the number of pixels on the outside of the box in big, colorful numbers.



If you could go inside these companies, you would find a constant battle between the scientists and engineers (who want to build better products), the marketeers (who want to sell more products), and the accountants (who want to make more profit). You would stupidly think that all these goals support each other, ie, if you build a better product, you will sell more of them and make more profit. Also, high production volumes allow lower production costs, which can help the profits. But lately, it appears that most want to value engineer their products so that they can be really cheap, add dumb features to keep up with the others, and play it safe by not doing anything really outstanding (new)..

If your goal is to take good low-light pix, then you should place more weight on large photosites. If your goal is to be able to crop pix in PP, then you should place more weight on high pixel count..

The 6MP, 1.5 crop factor D40 has the biggest photosites. The 10MP, 1.5 crop factor K10D is next. The 10MP, 2.0 crop factor E-510 has the smallest photosites. The size differences are substantial. The photosites on the D40 sensor are 61.5 square microns, whereas the photosites on the E-510 are only 22.5 square microns...that's 2.7X smaller. Thus, the E-510 sensor has more noise and less dynamic range.



Good luck with your choice....

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #9

Jps99jps99 wrote:.

I agree I may be greatly confused (I realized I wrote Minolta insteadof Pentax after I posted the initial question). Is it your beliefthat the Nikon d40 will be just as good (or better) than the Olympus?I'll admit the whole megapixel thing gets overwhelming..

For $100 more, the Olympus E-510 blows the Nikon D40 right out of the water!.

Dust buster on the sensor that really works (yes, it IS a very important feature), in-body image stabilization, live view, and the best kit lenses of the lot.and that extra 4 megapixel does come in handy, despite what all the pixel-peepers say!.

Makes the Oly E-510 a sweet deal!.

The D40 is a nice camera, but you are getting so much more for your money with the Oly..

I sell cameras for a living and handle them all each and every day (except today.my day off), so I do have a handle on the differences..

Not just a fanboy approach..

And I did choose the Oly E-510 for myself!.

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

From my E-510:.

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

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #10

The Pentax soft JPEG is an issue that often pops up. I have an older model that was accused of soft, low resolution JPEG's. The solution is to adjust the settings. People do it on Pentax and high end Nikons with good results. I actually get RAW resolution JPEG's by adjusting the settings. ..

Comment #11

That's a great photo. What lens did you use? And if you have the time, talk to me about sensors - is the Oly one smaller than the Nikon's and does that matter? I'm leaning toward the Nikon or Oly (Nikon because of price and the pictures I've seen it take look great; but now that I've seen this one you took, the Oly looks great as well)..

What would be a good price for the Oly with the two lenses?.

Thanks!..

Comment #12

I'm looking to buy my first digital SLR. I currently have an Olympus C-700 with 10X Optical Zoom. I took a dig SLR class the other day...I would want to shoot mainly in aperture priority mode, I think. I'm leaning towards the Pentax K10D, but wanted to know what people thought or recommended. I'd mainly be shooting family (portraits, pets, vacation photos, etc) - I'm an avid scrapbooker so want to learn to take good photos. Would not be blowing up very large, except with maybe occasional shots, if they turned out fabulous.

I like the K10D because of the anti shake, the weather seals, and all the 'bells and whistles' - I figured if my skills improved, it would be a camera I could grow with, rather than having to upgrade. (if I'm mostly printing 4 by 6 or 5 by 7, will the 'soft' jpeg affect my prints, or do you only see a difference if you really print a big size?) I was also looking at the Nikon D40 or D40X, but am nervous about having to clean the sensor if it gets dust. I tried a friends Rebel XT, I wasn't that impressed with the shots in low light, but it may have been due to the lens (Tamron 70-300, F4-5.6)...people's skin tones looked orange in low light. How does the Rebel XTi compare to the K10D, vs K100, vs Nikon D40? (or Olympus E500 or 510)? I'd really appreciate your input, it's a big decision. (how does the Pentax K100 compare to Nikon D40?).

Thanks again.

Beth..

Comment #13

That moon shot was taken with the 40-150 Oly kit lens..

As for the size of the 4/3rds (OLY) sensor, while it is smaller than the APS-C sensor, it is not that much smaller..

The size difference is mainly in the aspect ratio, which makes the Oly sensor not as wide..

J. D.Colorful Colorado.

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

Remember.always keep the box and everything that came in it!..

Comment #14

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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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