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SLR-Beginner: Olympus E-410/E-510 versus Nikon D40/D40x
Hi there,.

I'm searching a nice litte DSLR for my 12year old son who will start 'serious' photography (used actual p&s camera). In my mind actually are the Olympus system (either a E-410 or a E-510) and the Nikon system (D40 or D40x). The body should not be too big (he has small hands) and the system should be possible to grow. Actually I'm not looking for Canon or Pentax but will stay with Olympus or Nikon.What do you suggest?Thanks for any tips and hints.Mike..

Comments (18)

As a system, Olympus DSLRs&lens will occupy less space. However smaller sensor of Olympus results in sacrificing Dynamic Range and higher noise at higher ISOs. So D40/D40x will have potentially better IQ..

Mike wrote:.

Hi there,I'm searching a nice litte DSLR for my 12year old son who will start'serious' photography (used actual p&s camera). In my mind actuallyare the Olympus system (either a E-410 or a E-510) and the Nikonsystem (D40 or D40x). The body should not be too big (he has smallhands) and the system should be possible to grow. Actually I'm notlooking for Canon or Pentax but will stay with Olympus or Nikon.What do you suggest?Thanks for any tips and hints.Mike.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #1

Here is how I responded to a similar question just a bit earlier:.

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1002&message=25723937.

I don't believe there is going to be any significant difference in image quality between the two cameras. The difference in sensor size is minor. There may be some testable difference, but you aren't going to see any practical difference over time..

My advice is if the $ amount is roughly the same, let him select based on which feels the most comfortable in his hand.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #2

Ajay0612 wrote:.

As a system, Olympus DSLRs&lens will occupy less space. Howeversmaller sensor of Olympus results in sacrificing Dynamic Range andhigher noise at higher ISOs. So D40/D40x will have potentially betterIQ..

Mike wrote:.

Hi there,I'm searching a nice litte DSLR for my 12year old son who will start'serious' photography (used actual p&s camera). In my mind actuallyare the Olympus system (either a E-410 or a E-510) and the Nikonsystem (D40 or D40x). The body should not be too big (he has smallhands) and the system should be possible to grow. Actually I'm notlooking for Canon or Pentax but will stay with Olympus or Nikon.What do you suggest?Thanks for any tips and hints.Mike.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

Comment #3

Hi Glen, thanks for your suggestion..

You have an excellent gallery on photo.net. What equipment did you use (I can't read the EXIF): Olympus or Canon I know, it's the photographer who takes the pictures nit the equipment, nevertheless ...)?Regards, Mike..

Comment #4

My older stuff was shot with a Canon G3, the later stuff shot with an Olympus E500 which I am very happy with..

At Photo.net, if you click on the word 'Details' below the photo, it will tell you a lot of the details of that photo.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #5

Glen Barrington wrote:.

My older stuff was shot with a Canon G3, the later stuff shot with anOlympus E500 which I am very happy with..

At Photo.net, if you click on the word 'Details' below the photo, itwill tell you a lot of the details of that photo.STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at myphotos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #6

I am a big fan of starting "serious" photography with a camera body and a compact, reasonably fast, normal lens. The first couple paragraphs in the "Get a body and normal lens" section of Philip Greenspun's somewhat dated article (2006) on building a DSLR system (link below) explains the usefulness of a normal prime better than I could.http://philip.greenspun.com/photography/building-a-digital-slr-system.

Right now, I think the best deal going for those needing entry into a comprehensive system is the Canon XT or XTi with 35mm F/2 lens. From your other posts, however, it seems you have some experience with Canon that makes you want to go in another direction. I find it unfortunate that the D40 will not autofocus with Nikon's current compact primes, such as their 35mm F/2, but manual focus has it's charms as well, and Nikon might give access to a greater range of lenses and accessories than Olympus (the only store in my area that rents photographic has a huge selection of Canon and Nikon equipment available, but nothing for any other brand of DSLR). Not needing a huge range of lenses or accessories, I chose a Samsung GX-1S as it's viewfinder/focusing screen looked best to my eyes and it fits my hands well...

Comment #7

I'm a nikon fan, but the comments about limitations of the D40 autofocus are valid. Not sure why Canon and Pentax are off the table, I shot Canon professionally for years and their gear is very solid. Pentax I feel is providing the best value on the market right now with K100D Super and K10D. I would think that K100D would be a perfect fit for him. Small, tops in 6mp IQ, built in image stabiliazation, AF with excellent Pentax primes, great price...Your choice though. I'm not a 4/3rds fan, or the E500 (terribly confusing menus, horrible image quality about 200 ISO) a friend has. Maybe the 410 is better, I dunno...

Comment #8

Jrtrent wrote:.

I am a big fan of starting "serious" photography with a camera bodyand a compact, reasonably fast, normal lens. The first coupleparagraphs in the "Get a body and normal lens" section of PhilipGreenspun's somewhat dated article (2006) on building a DSLR system(link below) explains the usefulness of a normal prime better than Icould.http://philip.greenspun.com/photography/building-a-digital-slr-system..

Comment #9

I'd favour D40 because it's the smallest and lightest Nikon DSLR ever + it's also the cheapest of your options (about 75% of cost of E-410) just in case he doesn't take to photography! If he does, you've got some good lens options available. Plus, if he wants to upgrade body you've not wasted too much on that part..

I don't profess to know how it's 6 MP results will compare with those of other 3 models with 10 MP you listed - that to a large extent depends on what type of shots/finished article your son will be using it for but following link may be of interest re what's available from the D40 with it's 18-55mm kit lens:-.

Http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d40.htm.

Once again though, it's also a case of letting him handle the cameras and seeing which he has a liking for - could be the E-410's lightness will come into it's own a bit more then..

Good luck + hope you get to use it as well!.

Caster..

Comment #10

The quality of the picture is in the hands of the photographer, not the camera. Some sound advice on what to chose from others on this forum but ultimately it's what takes your sons fancy. At 12 he will have his own ideas as to what looks 'cool' and that's what he will want..

I've been using cameras for more than 40 years and in that time I have seen, and had, better photographs from the 'also rans' like Pentax, Olympus and Minolta (now Sony) than the mainstream types like Canon and Nikon. Don't believe all you read in camera reviews, some are done at the behest of the makers and are, well, a little biased(?)...

Comment #11

Hi Mike:.

Whichever choice you make will be a good one they're both fine cameras. But, if you choose to buy a prime with the camera, you're looking at only a big buck option for the 4/3 camera and no autofocus on the D40 series (unless you go with the Sigma 30 and I figure that may be more than you want to spend on a lens at this point..

That being said, (and to piggyback on what Glen said earlier) pay attention to the camera interface how you switch ISO, aperture, shutter speed etc and buy the one that your son's most comfortable with..

'Nice pen, bet you write good stories with it.'..

Comment #12

Is this horrible image quality?.

Http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6050975.

It's ISO 400..

OR this? Also ISO 400.

Http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=6052441.

I've found no problem with image quality at ANY iso. Is the E500 a bit noisy over iso 800? I'd say so, but nothing that a decent NR algorythm can't handle. And how often does the average person go above iso 400?.

STOP Global Stasis! Change is good!.

Now that you've judged the quality of my typing, take a look at my photos..http://www.photo.net/photos/GlenBarrington..

Comment #13

Obviously your shots are beautiful. Didn't mean to step on toes. I mistyped some. Not sure how I got "about 200" when I was meaning "above 400". I only shot the 500 once in a gymnasium getting shots of a friends daughter and I was really unhappy with the noise. Shot's were all but unusable.

Admittedly I'm a little spoiled by my Fuji S5 that is very clean in that range. In my defense the review on this sight has as a con "Recommended sensitivity ISO 100 - 400, images at ISO 800 usable, ISO 1600 not really". I like great at 800 usable 1600 and there are cameras in the E500/510 price range that can do that such as the K100D which this site has as a Pro "Excellent detail even at higher ISO's, overall noise levels on par with competition", and the 350D which has very low noise...

Comment #14

Just read the 510 review, and while it seems an improvement the issues with lack of dynamic range and noise seem to still be problematic. I'm guessing that sensor size is really strained at 10mp, will be interesting to see what the E3 looks like. Since DR and high iso are paramount to me, it's just not a system I could buy into, for others, that value compactness and good relatively small lenses, it might be great...

Comment #15

I'm new to DSLRs myself, and just received my E-510 on Wednesday. I couldn't be happier with it. The camera fits well in my hands (which aren't all that large) but feels substantial. It captured a flock of gulls in flight with nary a blur. I find the images sharp even in our grey, overcast weather at ISO 400. The shot below was done on a dark afternoon, with a lot of fog.

Never used a DSLR before that..

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

The second was taken the day I got the camera and is my first-ever night shot with it. Again, ISO 400. I had no clue what I was doing. I didn't even know how to disable the flash! Hence, the net on the boat is fluorescent..

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

I think an IQ rating is a useful number, but the person composing the image has the greatest say in how it turns out. I see that dpreview rated this camera at 8.5 before the firmware upgrade so I'd say that is very respectable. I'm not sure what equivalent cameras in it's category received. I do know that a Highly Recommended overall rating isn't exactly peanuts..

I'd just go with whatever feels like the best fit..

Brenda..

Comment #16

My Son has decided ... he tried the D40/D40x, the E-410 and the E-510 ... and then decided for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 ;-(.

These kids ....

Thanks to all for your suggestions and help!Mike..

Comment #17

FZ8 is also capable camera. (One of the few with Raw mode). Best wishes for your son..

Mike wrote:.

My Son has decided ... he tried the D40/D40x, the E-410 and the E-510... and then decided for a Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 ;-(.

These kids ....

Thanks to all for your suggestions and help!Mike.

Best Wishes, Ajayhttp://picasaweb.google.com/ajay0612..

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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