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 Post subject: Which body + 3 lenses?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:34 am 
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Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
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.

NEEDS
-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...

BUDGET
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
2kg, $2050

Canon 500D, 15-85mm 3.5-5.6 IS, 50mm 1.4, 70-300mm 4-5.6
2.1kg, $2200

Nikon D3000, 16-85mm, 3.5-5.6, 50mm 1.8, 70-300mm 4.5-5.6
2kg, $1850

Sony A500, 16-105mm 3.5-5.6, 50mm 1.4, 75-300mm 4.5-5.6
1.7kg, $1700

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

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:18 pm 
From all the cameras mentioned above, i would throw out the Olympus. Bad IQ cameras, never would recommend them. All others are in the same budget/low end range, which means the have almost the same performance/IQ. I just a matter preference.


p.s. Olympus don't have "best glass"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 2:26 pm 
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Id like to hear why Olympus isnt recommended as dSLR.
They make great dSLRs, and today no dSLR that you can buy is bad.
The Zuiko lenses are from a high quality, and since many Olympus cameras have built-in IS, the lenses become IS and cheaper too.

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Ruben

Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:00 pm 
Good quality Zuiko glass is not really an investment,because Olympus cameras have a small sensor. So the super expensive glass gives a moderate-good IQ compared to other brands,for the same money.

I would recommand a Nikon D90 or D5000,if the D90 is too heavy for your needs. Nikon has a bigger sensor than Canon,so that will help you with your landscapes.(1,5 maginification vs. 1,6)
I can recommand the 16-85mm for a zoom(at 16mm you have 24mm equiv. focal range),the 85mm F/1.8 for a prime & the 70-300mm,tele-zoom. All of these lenses are very sharp.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 4:49 pm 
If Olympus were so good, you would see professionals shooting with them, not with Canon or Nikon. Compared to other dSLRs they come last. On sensor stabilization isn't effective as in lens stabilization which is far more superior.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:21 pm 
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Location: UK
The original question is a tough one. Far too many variables. The combinations are not exactly comparable, and going up or down a lens here or there could even things up.

Specifically on stabilisation, lens stabilisation is great, but only where it is present. If you haven't used f/1.4 lens with stabilised sensor, you don't know what hand held low light really means.

I'd pass on Olympus purely as it is a dead end system. It really isn't going anywhere.

The other three are a very tough choice, and I think if anything will come down to personal preference.

On the Canon combo, you could replace the 70-300 with say the Tamron one to bring down the cost, weight and probably quality too.

I can't find interest in low end Nikons myself, so starting from scratch, I'd be torn between Sony and Canon. I like the tilting screen of the Sony, but if they might count against it depending on how no-frills is needed. It sure is easier to get Canon kit anywhere than Sony. Also consider any future upgrade plans and what else might be required in future.

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Canon DSLRs: 7D, 5D2, 1D, 600D, 450D full spectrum, 300D IR mod
Lenses: EF 35/2, 50/1.8, 85/1.8, 135/2+SF, 28-80 V, 70-300L, 100-400L, TS-E 24/3.5L, MP-E 65, EF-S 15-85 IS
3rd party: Zeiss 2/50 makro, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Sigma 150 macro, 120-300 f/2.8 OS, Celestron 1325/13
Tinies: Sony HX9V.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Location: The Netherlands
I assume S Povski is a bit of a fan of another brand, and, dare I say it...slightly biased.

I have seen great pictures come out of an Olympus, and Zuiko glass is quite highly regarded in the photography world. I think they are also the only maker of a 70-300 equivalent lens, which is F/2.8 throughout the whole range.

The reason why pro's don't shoot with them?

Limited selection of lenses
No real weathersealing
No UBERtough bodies
No full frame glass, nor sensors
No professional services

Those are things pros desire, but in terms of imagequality...they are pretty good. Noise performance might be beaten by the newer models from competitors, but that doesn't mean the cameras are bad.

I still shoot with a D2H, which is much, much worse than any Olympus out there. And yet I produce images with it which satisfy both me and my clients.

So...if olympus can offer you the performance you desire, and the glass you want....why switch?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:03 am 
@ Citruspers

I'm no fan of any brand. They are all good. But take a look at Oly pictures and it's noticeable from miles away that they lack contrast and sharpness.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:23 am 
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Location: Hanoi, Vietnam
Thanks for the replies and lens suggestions. I'll look into them. Any other suggestions for alternative lenses would be welcome as I'm not familiar with other systems.

As far as Olympus goes, he's used my E520 and prefers its quality to any other entry level body he's used, and their wide zoom and prime lenses above are probably the best of the bunch (according to numerous reviewers) with the tele zoom being equal to the others in quality. Also, the stabilisation is among the best available.

It's true that The 4/3 system seems to be winding up, but the main reason I'm not recommending Olympus or Pentax is due to global availability/support.

All modern DSLR bodies can take superb photos for the vast majority of people's needs which is why my wise old friend just wants a basic, light body and is focusing on the lens side of the equation. As far as bodies go, I'd say the cheaper Canons feel too cheap and the Sonys aren't so comfortable to hold, so I think Nikon could be the best bet although the D3100 is perhaps the one to wait for.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 5:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:52 pm
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Location: The Netherlands
Lack of contrast and sharpness.


What happens if you should RAW...?

Olympus is with lenses a bit too expensive, if you want those lenses, you have to pay alot for it. BUT, you get higher quality lenses than those standard 55-250IS from Canon. And as said youve to pay more, but with Canon, Nikon or any other brand you could buy more expensive lenses too. But those are not all stabalised!

Let him go to a shop and feel the cameras.

Cheers

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Panasonic DMC-FZ18, Panasonic DMC-FZ28, Canon G5, Canon 350D, Canon 50D + BG-E2N
Tamron 17-50 2.8, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L USM,
Canon 18-55 II plus lots of Minolta MD/M42 lenses and bodies


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:49 am 
Oh yes,the D3100 would be a better option. I don't know what the launch price would be.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:41 am 
They are $1,555NZ here which includes the twin lens kit. So roughly $1150US


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:40 am 
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Hi kimchi,

Did you consider the Sony NEX-5 when you constructed that shortlist. Gordon's review was pretty positive and it would seem to fit the specifications well provided 27mm "EFL" is good enough.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:23 pm 
There are plenty of great cameras at both the entry and mid/entry level these days. I wouldn't discount Olympus, Pentax, Nikon, Canon or Sony. The best way to tell what camera will work best for you is to narrow down your list to a few cameras, and get them in your hands. I love my e-620, and had totally discounted Olympus until my camera shop suggest I handle one - and that was the end of the story for me -- it simply felt right in my hands, and was easiest for me to use (i.e. super control panel and direct control buttons). If you are really tied down to a budget, that will also obviously have an impact.

One observation I do have around your list is that I was wondering why you wouldn't be considering the Canon 50D? With the new 60D being announced, you should soon be able to pick up a new 50D (great camera, btw) at a discounted price - with two or three decent lenses for a couple of grand.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 17, 2010 6:31 pm 
well he said the equipment must be as light as possible...& the 50D is anything but light.


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