Spiderman or Batman? Or maybe Superman?
I need a big brother for my dear old 35mm Olympus mju and I want him to be an entry-level DSLR. The problem is I'm on a shoestring budget, and I've cut my options down to three budget kits:.

Sony DSLR-A200 (18-70mm) at 450Olympus E-510 (14-42mm) at 499, bundled up with an Epson printerNikon D40 (18-55mm) at 399, with an SB-400 flash.

I hope someone with the necessary insight could help me see past my prejudice and give me an objective estimate of which of the three is the best offer..

A few years ago I had a digital compact Sony that I was never happy with, and Nikon just feels like too obvious a choice, so I'm seriously biased towards the E-510. Am I being rational or foolish?..

Comments (12)

Please provide more info... What are your preferences? What is your shooting style?.

Do you shoot indoors often? Do you shoot portraits? If so, go for the Nikon. When you learn to use the flash, you will step into another world of image quality..

If that's not the case, then I cannot advice anything..


Comment #1

Well, the Nikon D40 doesn't have image stabilisation built in. But you are getting the flashgun, which might be handy if you take flash photos a lot. The D40 is 'only' 6MP too, though it almost certainly won't matter, unless you wanted to make enlargements or do lots of cropping..

Is the Sony a bit bigger than the E510? That might be a factor. Otherwise they're pretty close, though the E510 has been replaced now by a new model..

Have you picked them up and handled them? That's often the way to decide. But I'd strike the D40 from this list. Are you sure you can't afford the rather better D40x?.


Comment #2

All three are excellent choices - but if you're biased towards the Oly then go for that..

I have the A200, which is excellent - but I sometimes regret that I didn't go for Olympus. Not because I'm not more than pleased with the Sony but because I for some illogical reason just like Olympus more...

Comment #3

The sensor of the Olympus has 4:3 ratios (like the monitors: 1024:768 = 4:3). Better for viewing on-screen; better if you like the ratio of your point-and-shoot (which is also 4:3)..

The sensor of the other two are 3:2, which is the more conventional in photography, and may be better if you want to print your images..


Comment #4

You're speaking my language, mate. You see, that's exactly what I at least think I would feel if I went for a Sony..

Maybe it's only rational to be irrational...

Comment #5

Thanks for the valuable advice..

The ratio issue is one thing I'd completely ignored. Thinking about it, it's also going to confuse me even further, because I am a hobbyist with two main targets for my photography:.

- People in company (in parks, bars, cafs etc.)- Landscapes (mostly urban horizons, but sometimes hilly landscapes too).

A box-like format would suit the former, a wider ratio the latter. I've taken some (by my standards) spiffing shots of urban landscapes with my old point-and-shoot, but the box-like format never really did them justice..

But abandoning Olympus would feel like cutting off a limb...

Comment #6

Then go for the Olympus - yeah, you might get a bit more high iso noise but you'll be much happier handling the camera  (Oh, and the kit lenses are still the best around along with the Pentax kit lens).

And noise doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing - and if it is Noise Ninja and Noiseware are quite good ..

Comment #7

The problem is, I can't seem to find the D40 or A200 in stores anywhere these days. They're mainly sold over the internet, so I haven't been able to get a hands-on impression of any other model than the E-510..

Size likely won't be an issue, at least not as far as my grip is concerned. My hands are tiny. What I'm looking for first and foremost is a camera that gives me pictures of a quality that won't make me regret I hadn't gone for that other camera instead..

Cheers for your advice nonetheless...

Comment #8

What's wrong with good old Spidey? Sheesh, I hate all these Batman fanboys who can't seem to understand that ...;-D..

Comment #9

KrisKirk wrote:.

What I'm looking for first and foremostis a camera that gives me pictures of a quality that won't make meregret I hadn't gone for that other camera instead..

Image quality is going to come down to the quality of the lens on the camera. All three of those can make good images given a capable user and good glass..

Perhaps at this point you need to consider what lenses you would ultimately like to own. What focal lengths will you shoot and will you need faster lenses for low light situations? Then research what's available for each camera line, both new and used..

Also, just for a heads up, the Nikon flash system can do amazing things if you've got the money for them. I have two flashes now (SB-800 & SB-600) and will be buying more soon.Chefziggy

Comment #10


Fingers crossed and hoping for a decent salary sooner rather than later, I would nonetheless be happy with a kit that didn't require I go out and buy new glass straight away. A bright, wide-angle lense would feature on my wish list though..

Another reason speaking for the D40 is that I've been left with an old Nikon Nikkor AF 35-70mm/2.8 that I might be able to use, albeit only with manual zoom. A fantastic piece of glass otherwise, but there's dust or mould or something inside it that makes pictures look worn and whitish. The local camera shop said he couldn't guarantee it could be fixed to it's original splendour, so I'm not sure if I can really count on it..

Well, I suppose I should be happy for having too much choice rather than too little. Thanks again...

Comment #11

Bka314 wrote:.

The sensor of the Olympus has 4:3 ratios (like the monitors: 1024:768= 4:3). Better for viewing on-screen; better if you like the ratio ofyour point-and-shoot (which is also 4:3)..

The sensor of the other two are 3:2, which is the more conventionalin photography, and may be better if you want to print your images..


Most newer monitors are 16:10, like 1440x900...

Comment #12

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