A friend is making the belated move to digital and is unsure of the current landscape and so asked me for suggestions. He'll get the whole lot in one go (via Cameralabs) from the UK. I've included US prices for simplicity though.
-lightweight system for travel and hiking. Mostly nature/landscape & urban with some street/portrait. Not interested in sports/action.
-light body. No frills or gimmicks needed.
-3 lenses for starters: a high quality wide walkabout (ie starting 24mm or less EFL), a bright quality prime, and a decent stabilised tele zoom. needs a reasonable macro ability somewhere too...
Importance: high quality & low weight > cost
I'm familiar only with Olympus, which I originally suggested but am having reservations due to availability - same with Pentax. Please could people familiar with other brands make suggestions or comment on mine...?
Olympus E620, 12-60mm 2.8-4, 50mm 2.0 macro, 70-300mm 4-5.6
Canon 500D, 15-85mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm 4-5.6
Nikon D3000, 16-85mm, 3.5-5.6, 50mm 1.8, 70-300mm 4.5-5.6
Sony A500, 16-105mm 3.5-5.6, 50mm 1.4, 75-300mm 4.5-5.6
Please note I've not considered 3rd party lenses as I'm not familiar with them - but any suggestions would be appreciated. I also know some of those bodies are not the latest gadget - but I don't think he really cares and is more intested in the available glass. Also the bodies have already been handled in a shop as far as I know.
Weight seems to correspond to price, but as I mentioned, price isn't such big deal here.
IMO: Best glass=Olympus, best body=Canon, best system=???
Thanks for any comments/suggestions
Panasonic G3: 9-18mm, 14mm, 20mm, 45mm