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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:07 pm 
First off, thank you so much for this site and for the contributions that are made to enable a novice to learn so much about cameras/photography. I am in the market for my first DSLR and have been researching for days. Have learned a great deal, but it seems the more I read, the more options I find....I have to narrow down! I think I am settled (at least for today :) ) on one of these four cameras- the E520, the E620, the Sony A230 or if I go with an advanced P & S the Canon G11. I was hoping I could hear from you experts about what you think would be best for me. Here are my requirements:

1. cost- $500 (no higher than 600) budget range
2. Will be using for family photos, cross country/track meets, vacation type photos- love crisp/beautiful colors. Scrapbooking/framing for home
3. want portability...doesn't have to be in a shirt pocket, but don't want bulk either.
4. I wear bifocal glasses for reading (you know- the middle aged, on/off kind :)). I hate using the LCD viewfinder on my daughter's compact Nikon S52. Can't see anything in daylight! A viewfinder I think would really help.
5. I don't care about frills- video recording, art rendering, etc. Just want a great camera I can afford that is easy to use and takes super pictures.

It seems that the E620 is a bit out of my price range...I think it would be great as far as size goes, but at $599 for body only :( Sam's Club has the E520 with two lenses for $500- The G11 has the option of everything inside.....OK I have blabbered on enough, can you share your expertise? Thanks so much and have a nice day!


Last edited by TLC on Sat Nov 14, 2009 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 1:36 am 
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If you're going to use it for cross-country meets, then I assume that involves some action photography. I think you should stick to a DSLR for this, although I haven't tried the G11.

I'd go for the E520, but you'd have to try it first. If budget is a constraint, then it's almost a no-brainer as you'll also appreciate the longer zoom lens. However, I also wear glasses and the smaller viewfinder was almost a deal breaker for me.

The E620's viewfinder is a little bigger, and it's a little smaller, but I still prefer the E520s feel. I've never tried the Sony, can't comment on that.

You should go to a store and check them out in person. I went for the E520 over the Canon D450 after doing this as it felt so much better.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:38 am 
Thanks for the reply. I went tonight to a couple of stores (Best Buy/Walmart) to see what I could "test handle". I have ruled out the Sony- didn't like the way it felt, but could only find the Oly E420 to also check out. It was much better than the Sony. They didn't have the 520, 620, or G11 though.

Is the 520 a lot bigger than the 420? The viewfinder on the 420 was smaller as compared to the Sony, but I guess there isn't going to be a perfect fit given my budget constraints. I much preferred the 420 over the A230, so at least I am knocking out one possibility.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 5:26 am 
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The 520's grip is bigger and much better (IMO) but the viewfinder is the same small size. The biggest difference is the lack of image stabilisation in the 420, which I would sincerely miss had I bought one.

I think (but am not sure) that the 620 is physically similar to the 420 in size/weight/shape

If the E620 is beyond your reach, you could also have a look at the E600 which just has a couple of minor(ish) features missing for a lower price.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 15, 2009 10:23 am 
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Hello TLC, and welcome to the friendly Camera Labs forum!
To enjoy your stay here please have a look at the house-rules!
----
As to your Qs: If you feel comfortable with the 420 viewfinder's size I'd suggest the 520 or even the 510 if you still can find one. the built-in stabilization will pay off in no time! Size/weight of the 520 is 136x92x68mm, 475g vs. the 420 at 130x91x53mm, 380g. So if you highly value lowest weight, the 420 spares you almost 100g. Sensor and IQ-wise both deliver comparable results.
But why not consider the Nikon D3000? It is 126x97x64mm, 485g. See Gordon's review here.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 5:06 am 
The E-520 is a deal of a lifetime. especially for a beginner. I just ordered mine for $506. You can't beat that price for a DSLR. It's a wicked price. I doubt it will go down anymore. but thats what I thought a week ago before it dropped fifty dollars. Maybe after christmas if there are any in stock it will be selling for $399 or somthing. but that would be outrageaous. I say buy the 520. Get use to it and learn from it, then buy a better camera if it pans out for you. The kit lenses are good enough to go right out of the box. so you wont have to invest in lenses incase you want to switch systems. I'm sticking with the 520 untill the E-5 comes out. by then I will hopefully be good enough to deserve to use a better camera. We will see in five years or so becasue thats how liong it will probably take for the E-5. If you order it off amazon make sure you go through Gordons store page. Support the labs baby!

p.s. dont listen to thomas he is an Olympus traitor. try the Nikon 3000!!! burn him! J/K


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 16, 2009 12:42 pm 
Yes, the E520 is a great deal right now. Problem is for me it was a bit large for what I am looking for. The 420 suits me better in that regard, but no in house stablization. That is a problem. Now I have decided to go more toward an advanced P & S. I am looking at the G10/11 or Panny Lumix LX3. The LX3 with no OV worries me, but I did see a hotshoe OV for it, maybe that is the way to go. The G's supposedly have very small OV, but at least they are there. I wish I could afford the E620- honestly that one looks like it may be best for what I am looking for. Do you think they will go down in price soon with the new E model just coming out?


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 Post subject: E-420
PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:44 pm 
I would get the E420 at Walmart for $399 that what i am going to do if canon does not update there Loyalty program offers soon. I got a broken G9 with power issues a common problem so i would stay away from any G series canon and with the E-420 being as cheap as it is why would you want a point and shoot for sport related pics. I think a point and shoot will give you more blur then the lack of anti shake in the E-420. With the 1/4000 seconds and 3.5 fps. how can you go wrong. One more thing i have been searching for a new camera for awhile and looked at every review out there and i have not seen one negative review on the E-420.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:36 pm 
The 520 price on this side of the pond is doing nicely too.

Olympus E-520 Kit 14-42mm €338.00
Olympus E-520 Kit 14-42mm + 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6: €438.00

Ben
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