What camera/lens setup would be suitable for me...?
Hello, Im pretty new to this and would just like to hear some of your opinions about my situation and what lens/camera I should get..

In about a month or so I'm heading to Japan, from there I go to Shanghai and ride a bike from there to Delhi through Tibet and Nepal..

Some of the cameras Im looking at are the Canon EOS 450D, Olympus E510 Double Lens Kit, Sony A300 or the Nikon D60. Im also looking at the Tamron AF 18-250 mm Di-II lens..

I don't have alot of money to spend on the set up so Im looking for a good camera to get started with and them maybe upgrade in a year or so. Because I will be riding it needs to be small and light..

The Tamron AF 18-250 mm Di-II lens looks to be a small light weight solution for both a telephoto and wide angle so that saves me carrying both of them. Would this be good option for shooting landscapes?.

I was leaning towards the Olympus at the start because it comes with the 2 lenses that I will be needing but as I read through some of the reviews it seems to have allot of noise..

Im looking for a decent set up for around that price, Ill be buying it in Shanghai and hopefully getting it there will save me a few dollars..

Any opinions on these or similar cameras and lenses would be greatly appreciated.Thanks for your time...

Comments (7)

The E-510 is more noisey at high ISO settings at lower ISO settings it is no more noisey then ainy other camera and it produces great colors. Lastly if you do prints (without huge crops) even at high ISO there is little difference. The camera and both kit lenses will be lighter then the nikon or Canon bodys alone..

Since you are going to be biking (e.g. potentially bad weather) you might want to look at the Pentax K100 or K10..

Here are some E-510 shots. Judge for yourself..

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Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #1

The camera and both kit lenses willbe lighter then the nikon or Canon bodys alone..

Bit of an exaggeration! The Canon's body is less than 70g heavier than the Olympus's. The Nikon is a bit lighter still..


Comment #2

Considering your plans, I'd have thought lightness and smallness would be your main criteria. Are you really going to take an SLR plus two lenses on a bike ride?.

There are differences in image quality between Olympus cameras and those from Nikon or Canon. But they're pretty small really and probably secondary in this case..

Have you considered the Olympus E420, which is easily the smallest SLR. Perhaps you could make do with just the one lens..

I'm not sure the perfect 'does everything' lens exists for the 4/3 system though. I might be tempted to look at a Nikon D40x or D60 with the Sigma 18-200 OS lens or the Nikon equivalent..


Comment #3

The Tamron 18-250 has a good reputation amongst the 'superzooms' and is certainly a good choice if you want an all-in-one lens for travelling light..

Just bear in mind that if you put it on an Olympus body, which has a somewhat smaller sensor than the others (and a higher crop factor), you end up with a wide angle end equivalent to 36mm on a full-frame camera, i.e. not much of a wide angle. For a trip like yours you really want a wide angle facility; the same lens on any of the other cameras will have a wide angle end equivalent to about 27mm on a full frame camera, which is much more useful. So if you like this lens, get a Nikon / Canon / Pentax / Sony body.

You'll notice that the Olympus camera come with a 14-42 lens as standard rather than 18-55; this is the same effect at work..

If you really want to travel light, have you considered a good compact / bridge camera (Canon and Panasonic make very good ones, with long-range zooms, image stabilisation, etc.all in one small package). The image quality is not as good as you would get fro a DSLR, but how big are you planning to print your pictures....

Best wishesMike..

Comment #4

You are absolutely correct. The 510 with lenses is lighter but not lighter then the Canon or Nikon bodies alone. Thanks for pointing out my error. That's what happens when you look at specs before any coffee..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #5

Hey guys,Thanks for your help so far..

A good point that was made was about the weather conditions, Im looking more towards the Pentax K200 mainly because of the weather proof features, Ill be going in the monsoon season (we have already started our 9-11 month trip around asia and this riding idea wasn't planned from the start so we cant really change dates now)..

I still havent been able to find any camera shops where I am at the moment where I can go in and get a feel of the cameras but I plan to do that ASAP..

Weight is one of the main issues as well as the weather resistance but if I get the Pentax K200 and the Tamron 18-200mm it would only be a few hundred grams heavier than the Olympus..

One thing that Im undecided about is it having the AA batteries. Its got it's advantages and disadvantages what is your opinions about this?Thanks..

Comment #6

If you're going a bit off the beaten track, having a camera that takes AA batteries is a very good idea. You can still use rechargeables most of the time, but a set of the Lithium AA cells can be carried as a backup and will do you 700 - 800 shots (that's what I get). That plus the weathersealing (for the monsoons!) are two good arguments in favour of Pentax for your trip..

Best wishesMike..

Comment #7

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