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Yet Another dSLR Advice Thread!
This thread is sort of a continuation from one I started in the Panasonic area but now extends well outside of it....

I am a long time digital camera /img/avatar5.jpg looking to become first time dSLR /img/avatar5.jpg...

I have a budget of around $1000US to spend, but some flexibility there. It needs to be 10mp+ and via one or two lenses support minimum 24-200mm range (ie 18-55/55-200 or similar). Image Stabilisation is essential, especially for the longer zoom. I also value image quality, as I am used to the results of the Leica lenses..

I intend to use the camera for travel (inside buildings, landscapes, outdoors (people, animals, plants), outdoor music events (people, decorations) and just normal general photography (no purpose other than exploration of ideas). As a result this covers indoor / low-light situations semi-frequently..

From my research so far (reading DP Review, DC Resource, other camera sites, and visiting numerous camera shops) I have made the following observations:.

Olympyus E-510.

- 'Best bang for buck'. Massive feature set, Liveview (but limited in usefulness), IS onboard, dust cleaner, good lens kits - 4/3 camera..

- IQ is a bit soft, no external AF/MF switch, AF a 'bit slow', low-light AF requires flash opened, AF only goes upto 3 points, stuck with Olympus lenses only (limited, but good quality). Had WB/EV issues but fixed with firmware update..

Canon 400D aka Rebel XTi.

- Best low light quality, good reputation, dust cleaner, solid build, large range of available lenses - 3/2 camera..

- No IS onboard meaning more expenses lenses, kit lens not good as it could be, new IS lenses can be costly, no support for Spot focusing..

Nikon D80.

- Plenty of positive feedback, good IQ, SD support, multiple exposure support - 3/2 camera.

- Most costly out of the lot, no IS onboard, noise starts to become noticable from ISO 400 in some reports.

Nikon D40x.

- New version of D40 with 10mp, Excellent IQ..

- Doesnt have lens flexibility or feature set of D80, can be a bit slow to focus, no sensor cleaning, no built in AF motor!.

Panasonic L1/10- Has Leica lenses, Intuitive, L10 has FZ-like body - 4/3 camera.- (L1, L10?) Noise issues similar to that of their FZ/TZ/etc ranges..

Pentax's K10D - Has some good reviews (better than K100D), but has some noise issues and other things.Sony Alpha has on-board IS, and some mixed reviews..

Currently own Panasonic Lumix FZ20 (+ Tele / WA adaptors, Filters, Macro, etc) and Lumix TZ3..

I am new to the world of dSLR and even though ive spent a lot of time researching this now I still feel unsure which direction to go in..

Much appreciate any assistance provided!.

ThanksPanasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comments (12)

E510 Negatives Listed.

"IQ is a bit soft, no external AF/MF switch, AF a 'bit slow', low-light AF requires flash opened, AF only goes upto 3 points, stuck with Olympus lenses only (limited, but good quality). Had WB/EV issues but fixed with firmware update".

1. IQ a bit soft.I don't think so (keep in mind this is a low res image).

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

2. No external AF/MF switch. True but you can set it to AF/MF. so what difference does it make?.

3. AF a bit slow. Compared to what. it is no slower then the other cameras listed..

4. Low Light AF requires flashtrue.

5. AF only goes upto 3 pointsthat's 2 more then are requred..

6. Stuck with Olympus lenses only. Not true also can get lenses from Sigma and Leica..

7. Had WB/EV issues but fixed with firmware update. Had is past tense..

One of the MAJOR positives you left out was size and weight of both lenses and the camera. Compare with the others that you have listed. Also you get a QUALITY 2 lens kit within your budget.

Guess you know my advice..

Maddog.

Olympus E-500, Olympus E-510..

Comment #1

Sounds like you know everything you need to about the bodies. Since you say you travel a lot, I would strongly suggest you look at a Nikon body mated with the 18-200 VR lens. It IMO is simply outstanding for a lens with that kind of versatility. I don't think there is anything on the market that can really compete with it. The difference in walking around on a trip with a single lens covering that range versus 1 on the camera and another lens in your pocket, or in a case is huge, especially since I don't think you would be giving up ANY image quality in that price range compared to a kit lens + 55-200 type. In fact I think you would be gaining it in the wide end...

Comment #2

Just out of curiosoty, how did you come to the conslusion that you need 10MP? I'm not saying that you, personally, do or don't. It is however rare to find a genuine need over and above 8 (or even 6 for that matter)...

Comment #3

Defintely. I have beautiful 12x18s on the wall from my old 6mp 10D and even a few from an even older 4mp Olympus E10N. Unless you are publishing or going REALLY big you may not really need 10. If someone in a store has convinced you need 10 or if you are trying to compare to resolution of point and shoot, don't buy into it...

Comment #4

Part of the reason re 10mp is that some professional photo services I have come in contact with have listed requirements for image resolution for submitting work, and my FZ20 at 5mp doesn't even cut the mustard resolution wise for some of their most basic sized stuff, my TZ3 covers more, but not their requirements for larger items. I am aware of the ability to upscale, but prefer the idea of not having to do so..

Another part of the reason of the reason is if I'm upgrading cameras, may as well get the best possible resolution camera I can. The MP aspect isnt a major determining factor, but I haven't seen much of a compelling reason to go for an older camera either.Panasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comment #5

The Nikon kits which I can get at quite reasonable prices too, are becoming increasingly more desirable based on feedback ive read on here. But seems as Canon is now offering (or will be very soon) a similar kit at a similar price so that adds further aspects to think about too.Panasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comment #6

Cyberwlf wrote:.

Olympyus E-510.

- 'Best bang for buck'. Massive feature set, Liveview (but limited inusefulness), IS onboard, dust cleaner, good lens kits - 4/3 camera.- IQ is a bit soft, no external AF/MF switch, AF a 'bit slow',low-light AF requires flash opened, AF only goes upto 3 points, stuckwith Olympus lenses only (limited, but good quality). Had WB/EVissues but fixed with firmware update..

Isn't Olympus compatible with all 4/3 lenses?.

Canon 400D aka Rebel XTi.

- Best low light quality, good reputation, dust cleaner, solid build,large range of available lenses - 3/2 camera.- No IS onboard meaning more expenses lenses, kit lens not good as itcould be, new IS lenses can be costly, no support for Spot focusing..

Also low light focus requires flash opened .

Nikon D80.

- Plenty of positive feedback, good IQ, SD support, multiple exposuresupport - 3/2 camera- Most costly out of the lot, no IS onboard, noise starts to becomenoticable from ISO 400 in some reports.

Well, if you're worried about noise of D80 at ISO400 you should be very worried about the same thing about Olympus .

Nikon D40x.

- New version of D40 with 10mp, Excellent IQ.- Doesnt have lens flexibility or feature set of D80, can be a bitslow to focus, no sensor cleaning, no built in AF motor!.

As fast as AF-S lens is fast .

Pentax's K10D - Has some good reviews (better than K100D), but hassome noise issues and other things..

IMHO K10D isn't camera which should be dismissed without seriously considering it. It's at least on the level of Nikon D80 and above the rest of cameras you mentioned. Most rich feature set and very moderate price..

Edvinas..

Comment #7

I occasionally see people mention the Pentax K10D, but it doesnt seem to get mentioned often at all, and the last comparison I did see with it was with a Nikon D80 Vs K10D, with the Nikon coming off seeming the more favourable of the two due to lens options..

I am moving away from the idea of the Olympus offering already based on the majority of feedback ive had so far, but there are people both pushing for the Canon and Nikon, although Nikon seems to have more fans replying on these forums. I will re-read reviews of K10D again on various websites to become more familiar with it's offerings, as it was probably the model I spent the least time investigating (investigated K100D more but wasnt so impressed by the reports of it)..

Panasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comment #8

Seems D40x is the body of choice to go for re Nikon currently (rated as better than D80 on here it seems). But one concering point I read elsewhere re Nikon is apparently the RAW format still has PP applied to it.Panasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comment #9

With the K10 and kit lenses a close second..

I don't know what kind of advice you've been getting against the Oly, but at the under 1K$ price point it's tough to beat..

AF is not slow- it's faster than the K10, A100, D40/X in low light. In good light they're all about the same, maybe the K10 is the fastest..

I don't know where you heard about "soft" images. The 510 has 4 settings for NR including off. It also has sharpness settings so that you can taylor the jpeg output to your liking..

I have a 40D, but if I were buying into the price range you mention the E510 would be the first on my list to look at or buy and check out..

The Xti is a nice camera with good AF, but it's a lot better with better lenses..

I don't know the availability of the new 18-55IS and 55-250IS lenses. But they would add a lot of value..

Oly has some very nice mid-grade lens options should you want to upgrade. It's only when you get into the pro-grade lenses that Oly gets a little more expensive than Canon/Nikon..

You're doing yourself a disservice by skipping over the Oly so quickly..

Gene..

Comment #10

I've actually read in various reviews and forums re soft images for the Oly..

K10D is now one of the contenders as well after reading up more on it, and hearing more about it from people..

I hear conflicting reports about all the camera models ive mentioned from different people and reviews, and being a 'novice' to the dSLR world I find it hard to know what the 'truth' is...... or whatever seems to be the general agreement on things..

I haven't purchased anything yet, so nothing is completely written off yet, just the E-510 seems to come off as inferior by peoples comments in comparison to the other main ones I am currently considering..

Panasonic Lumix FZ20 & Lumix TZ3 + TCon 14BWCon08B + Nikon 5T + Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up LensHoya 62mm Double Sided SHMC Pro-1 UV/CP PL/ND Filters82mm/62mm Hoods + C-Ring AdapterAdditional UV/PL/FD 72mm Filters and more.....

Comment #11

Brand. I'm no different. I like my Canon..

But I personally would not buy an Xti. I don't like the feel of it..

I tried the K10 before going to Canon and the 30D at the time..

I tried 2, both early models that had AF accuracy issues- It's a very nice feeling and handling camera. But it's not without it's quirks..

The jpegs are not the best even with tweaking, AWB and WB in general is poor (IMO) as is metering both regular and flash..

AF in lowlight was very slow- my E-300 was faster..

All and all it was just an OK camera with some unique features..

At it's current price it certainly is worth checking out..

I still would pick the E-510 over the K10 if for nothing more than better kit lenses and more and better mid range lenses..

Gene..

Comment #12

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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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