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Olympus E-520 or Sony DSLR-A300?
I am debating between the Olympus E-520 or the Sony DSLR-A300 as my first DSLR. As far as features, each seems to have some pluses and minuses. With the Olympus I like the 2x lens factor (although wide may be an issue), the light weight and 10x lcd mag for focusing. With the sony I like the continuous AF on live view, more lenses and 11 point auto focus.What I'm not sure about is the comparison of IQ, Noise and DR between the two.Anyone have any comparison/suggestions?..

Comments (18)

Well, IQ is not just about sensors and Mega Pixels - despite what some salesmen will try to tell you. There is also lens quality..

The Oly kit lenses are just about the best for any camera under about 700 - perhaps more. Unlike many other kit lenses, you won't ever feel the need to discard them later..

The Oly also has some brilliant features - esp the dust reduct, IS and easy button use. It's also very light which you will appreciate a lot over time. And then there are those great Olympus blues and greens - you really can see the difference..

At the end of the day though, hold them both in your hand. If one just doesn't do it, then you have your choice there and then...

Comment #1

Basiley wrote:.

Definitely better..

How about a supporting argument as opposed to 2 words that mean nothing with no backup or opinion..

Better lenses kit/otherwise is a pretty compelling argument for the Oly system..

Dust reduction that actually works is another, size maybe an argument for the Oly as well. improved higher ISO performance from the e510, price/value, those are all valid points...

Comment #2

I ruled out the A350 due to price. I can get the E520 slightly cheaper than the A300, but it's not much of a concern..

The nicer kit lens is definately a plus for the E520, but I will be buying either the Olympus 18-180mm for the E520 or the Sony 18-250mm for the A300. I need one lens for most situations, as I will be hiking with the camera on vacations and don't want to carry several lenses then..

Does anyone know if you can zoom in on the Sony's LCD for easier manual focus?.

That, noise comparison of both, the E520 having only a 3 point AF, and the DR of the E520 concern me...

Comment #3

The Oly also has some brilliant features - esp the dust reduct,.

Sony has dust reduction..

IS.

Sony has IS.

And easy button use..

Not sure what this is, but Sony has tilt LCD that Oly only offer on the more expensive E-3..

Also you forgot to mention, Sony has a great A-mode live view that Oly inovated on the e-330, but don't offer on the E-520...

Comment #4

That, noise comparison of both, the E520 having only a 3 point AF, and the DR of the E520 concern me..

I don't know much about the noise comparison, but I do know that the E520 has better noise than the 510, which had better noise than the E500, and also that the noise factor on the E520 is not much to speak of below ISO 1600. So, it would depend on how often you use that kind of speed and blow up stuff with it..

This is a very good article and not only that if you follow links, you can see an article somewhere on the site showing you the noise at 800 - and you can hardly see it when the pic is blown up a lot:.

Http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/e420-e520.html.

I do know about the AF - it's fine for almost anything you'll ever shoot. Don't forget there is also CF, 11 spot Live view (which you may not use much), Spot metering, and a handy set of buttons to preserve and change metering/AF quickly. How often you'll need more than 3 point is an interesting question. Careful use of DOF (and you may well be using Ap Pri most of the time on a mountain) is easily enough..

The DR is great. It's got better with each E500 series and you can also adjust it - with Shadow Adjustment Tech and also with you're own settings - change contrast etc. The colours are better than you'll find in most other cameras - and that's a big plus if your out in nature..

Anyway, I'll let the Sony folks say their bit, but there's a lot in favour of the Oly...

Comment #5

The Oly dust red system is acknowledged as the best there is. You won't hear many dissenting voices to that..

Not sure about the Sony IS, but the Oly one works very well, is in camera and on the E520, it works in 3 diff lots of axis.Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans...

Comment #6

Not sure about the Sony IS,.

It's generally acknowledged as the best sensor shift IS..

Also the Sony A-mode live view with the dedicated CCD sensor is generally acknowledged as the best live view there is..

The Sony A300 has worthy features worth considering next to the E-520, I would not dismiss it as you suggest...

Comment #7

I certainly don't think that I would dismiss the Sony. I merely point out how good the E520 is.Life is what happens to you while your busy making other plans...

Comment #8

Thanks for all the info so far. I wish there was an easy way to try both out for a couple days and decide...

Comment #9

Adamjt wrote:.

Thanks for all the info so far. I wish there was an easy way to tryboth out for a couple days and decide..

Have you tried both in a store?.

I was thinking A350 or E510 and tried them. A350 is soo much bulkier/heavier. If you are going to the mountains, you might not appreciate that..

I would also reconsider one-lens only. The two lens kit on Oly is much better optically, and both lenses are tiny and light (combined they weight less then 18-180)...

Comment #10

So I sort of ended up ordering both cameras by mistake. I was swayed to the E520, so I was going to cancel the Sony A300, but it just shipped. So they are both on there way....gotta return ship one now..

So here are the two amazing deals I got. The Olympus E-520 with 14-42 lens for $533 shipped and the Sony A300 with both the SAL1870 (18-70mm) and the SAL75300 (75mm-300mm) lenses for only $563 total!!!! (from dell after 6% AAA coupon)..

Are those two sony lenses any good? Gotta figure out which one to refuse now...

Comment #11

Adamjt wrote:.

So I sort of ended up ordering both cameras by mistake. I was swayedto the E520, so I was going to cancel the Sony A300, but it justshipped. So they are both on there way....gotta return ship one now..

So here are the two amazing deals I got. The Olympus E-520 with14-42 lens for $533 shipped and the Sony A300 with both the SAL1870(18-70mm) and the SAL75300 (75mm-300mm) lenses for only $563total!!!! (from dell after 6% AAA coupon)..

Are those two sony lenses any good? Gotta figure out which one torefuse now..

Look, just my opinion and I'm a Nikon guy. IMO, that Sony 18-70 is pretty darn bad for a kit lens while the Oly 14-42 is absolutely top shelf..

Also, have you looked down the Sony tunnel like optical viewfinder?.

In my opinion, unless you're a point and shooter at heart and just love that liveview of the Sony, you'd be way better off with the Olympus..

The only thing I don't like about the Olys are their smaller sensor, but I'd have it just to have their superb optics if I didn't already have Nikon..

I don't mind being bashed by the Sony boys. LOLCheers, Craig..

Comment #12

I have little or no use for live view. I have used 35mm SLRs since 1970 and the through the lens viewing is the whole point of the system. When I used my point and shoot digital, the first thing I did was turn off live view..

When I moved to a digital SLR, I chose the Sony A200 without live view because the lenses from my Minolta Maxxum worked on that body. I have shot a lot of images with the kit lens that came with it, and they are not bad at all. Any loss of sharpness is at the extreme edges and that is the part that you usually crop anyhow. With the Sony, you have a ton of used Minolta Auto lenses that fit and work on that body. You will have a far greater selection of lenses with the Sony than the Oly..

This was a point and shoot snapshot with the kit lens on the A200. You will see a loss of sharpness at the extreme corners, but the lens sharpness is pretty even on the rest of the shot..

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

Comment #13

AlphaDSLR wrote:You will have a far greater selection of lenses with the.

Sony than the Oly..

Oh, not again!.

How many lenses do you need? Oly has a superb selection of zooms, from small/light/sharp (but slow and not weather sealed) consumer range to top-quality pro and top-pro range..

One area they lack is fast primes, everything else is adequately covered..

You want to go really light?: 14-42 + 40-150Want to add more zoom range? Add 9-18 & 70-300Want just two lenses with awesome zoom range? 12-60 + 70-300Or less range but better quality? 12-60+50-200More wide-angle guy? 11-22 + 14-54, or 7-14 if really hardcore...Like F2 zooms and have deep pockets? 14-35+35-100.Don't forget the awesome 50mm F2 macro....

What are you missing there?..

Comment #14

... but noting that one can get good results with any DSLR and if you have weighed up all the options and decided on these two, then I'll go for the Sony..

Http://dakanji.com.

'I make statements based on fact not predictions.'KMSEA: 12:33:17 PM GMT, Saturday, November 12, 2005...

Comment #15

Adamjt wrote:.

So here are the two amazing deals I got. The Olympus E-520 with14-42 lens for $533 shipped and the Sony A300 with both the SAL1870(18-70mm) and the SAL75300 (75mm-300mm) lenses for only $563total!!!! (from dell after 6% AAA coupon)..

The Oly has only one lens for that price? Hmm. Here's my feedback..

The Oly lens is sharper. But one lens is not enough. Are you gonna buy another?.

The Sony - both those lenses are not the sharpest. But two less sharp lenses beats one short lens in book, unless the lenses are so trashy that they are unuseable..

The body is heavy towards the left because of the LCD panel. I didn't like the balance. I bought an Olympus 510 before the Sony 300 came out - I liked the Sony 200 - I have no problems with the grip on the Sony 200 or the Nikon 300.

Anandahttp://anandasim.blogspot.com/http://olympuse510.wikispaces.com/http://picasaweb.google.com/AnandaSim/http://www.flickr.com/photos/32554587@N00/..

Comment #16

All this input is great. I will be buying other lenses. But I need decent lense(s) to start, as I can only afford maybe one more lense before the honeymoon in Hawaii. It sounds like I will be all set with either camera as far as lenses go, although the good kit lense for the Oly is definately a plus..

The reason I chose these two cameras are price range, in body IS and live view. The pentax k200d was nice but no live view. The Canon and Nikon didn't have in body IS..

I will head to circuit city to get another feel for both at lunch today. Unfortunately they only have the E510 and not the E520, no local stores have the E520 in stock yet..

The biggest thing holding me back on the oly now is if I will be happy with 4/3rds sensor and DR limitations I have heard of. For the sony the hold backs are the weight, noise?, and not being 100% sure about the two kit lenses (although the minolota lenses are decently cheap used if I'm not happy with the kits lenses so prob not a big issue)...

Comment #17

Adamjt wrote:.

The biggest thing holding me back on the oly now is if I will behappy with 4/3rds sensor and DR limitations I have heard of..

Please use any of the linked photos in the e520 search to illustrate the DR limitations "you hear of" in real world shooting. my point, is 4/3rds perfect, no, further the point none of them are..

My guess is that the e520 with it's better lenses are a better compromise than living with known poor lenses until you can add to the kit someday down the road..

The DR talk while measurable in a lab has yet to really be illustrated in real world shooting a liability around here..

Http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=e520&w=all..

Comment #18

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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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