Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:50 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 9:12 am 
Hello

Firstoff, let me say I'm really happy to have found this forum -- I've learnt a lot on here over the past few days.

I will be going away on a "trip of a lifetime" next month, and I've decided it would be worth splashing out on a DSLR.

Although I'm a complete newbie, I would love to try my hand at some creative stuff (I hope to be making use of eg. Aperature priority, Shutter priority and Manual controls). I will be trying out some night/low light photography; taking photos of landscapes and general outdoor photography under the blazing sun. I will also be taking some indoor (perhaps in artificial light).

I should also tell you I am bit of a cash strapped student, so can't really afford anything more than £330.

Can anyone firstly tell me if I can find a DSLR which suits my needs, and which in addition produces good quality images not just resolution wise, but in terms of colour rendition; per pixel sharpness; crispness of images; purple fringing/barrel distortions or lack thereof etc, for under £330 = USD$660 (the £330 also has to include a lens kit). I don't mind if the lens/body is second hand or refurbished.. what matters quite obviously is that the lens is not scratched.

Thanks in advance,

Ibrahim


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:32 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7937
Location: Germany
Hello Ibrahim, and welcome to the CameraLabs forum!

You have a tough task cut out for the forum members: 330GBP/660$/490EUR for a DSLR with good quality. I think that can really be only done buy hunting for a bargain. As eBay and other internet-offers for used cameras/lenses are not really a good way to go, I think you have to look for local dealers who may have some used equipment. There you can test the goods and get a first hand impression of the quality.

Do you have shops like that in your vicinity?

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Tesco Direct
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 6:09 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9822
Location: UK
Hi Ibrahim,

That's a really tough call. As Tom says, you may be better off finding a local dealer with used equipment available. However if you can stretch your budget a tiny bit the task isn't impossible. For example, Tesco Direct have a Nikon D40 Digital SLR with 18-55mm Lens for £350 and a Canon EOS 350D Digital SLR with 18-55mm lens Kit for £359.

Both cameras have been discussed in this forum (use the Search facility to find the posts). Additionally, Gordon has reviewed the D40 here and the EOS 350D here.

Bob.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:09 pm 
Thanks for your reply Tom. Yes, I think physically trying out the camera before buying is a no brainer so I'll def pay a visit to some local dealers.

Bob thanks for the advice about stretching my budget - I'll def look in to those recommendations. My initial concern is that the 18-55 lens might not be versatile enough, especially at the telephoto end.

I've actually found a camera called the "Olympus E-500" for that very price (£330GBP, 490Euro, $660US) - the camera and lens kit are both new, not second hand (Tom what makes you wary of buying second hand lenses?). It comes with two lenses.. 29-90mm wide angle and 80-150 telephoto (35mm equivalent), which seems like a good deal. Here are the specs:

http://www.trustedreviews.com/digital-cameras/review/2006/03/31/Olympus-E-500-Digital-SLR/p4

I've read Gordon's comprehesive review:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE500/index.shtml

..as well as user reviews, and it seems to me that on the whole it is an ok camera. Can I please discuss some of the cons as I understand it:

-It has no Image Stabiliser - is this a really bad thing? I should probably say that I would pull out my camera and take spur of the moment shots so should I expect the camera to shake a little if I spend so little time composing the photo? Ofcourse I could put the shutter speed up, but I worried this will impose harsh constraints on what i can/cant do photography wise.

-I remember reading a comment that implied that the model might be discontinued in the near future. Does anyone know about this? Would I be right in guessing that this kind of speaks volumes about the product itself as it shows that the manufacturers themselves think that it has had its day?

-There are only three Autofocus points. I might be taking photos of moving objects, so would the lack of AF points be a huge drawback?

-Finally this is a really stupid question would I be right in saying that to "focus by wire" is to simply move a lever up or down on the camera, which in turn makes the lens zoom in or out? As I understand it, the lever is very sensitive to movement, so why should this system be "infuriating"?

Many thanks,

Ibrahim


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Olympus E-500
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:12 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9822
Location: UK
Ibrahim,

Looks like you have found a serious contender with the Olympus E-500. One more thing to bear in mind is that when you make your choice you are buying into a lens system. In the future, as and when that pesky student loan allows, you will want to upgrade your camera and this is much cheaper to do if you can reuse your lenses.

Bob.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:39 pm
Posts: 601
Location: France
Bonjour Ibrahim,

If the budget is a strong point, why not to consider purchasing not the very latest model but a camera of just the collection before? It could save you a lot of £/€/$.

Last year, I purchased a Pentax *ist DL bundled with 2 lenses and an SD card, which was end-of-life when the newly K100D was launched. I saved 30% (700 € instead of 1000 €) :!: The camera was new and came with 2 years of warranty :). Eventually, the *ist DL was reviewed extensively with strong positive feed-backs from users while the newly-launched K100D was only pre-reviewed.

May I suggest you another idea? Try to test the camera before you start your trip of a lifetime. Each camera has a learning curve, so analysing the first results will make you more confident and comfortable. A couple of hundreds of shots will help you discovering your new camera. The more pictures you take, the better they are!

Most of all, enjoy your trip!

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:04 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 8:42 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7937
Location: Germany
Hey, that looks like a good deal. My aversion was not for used cameras in general, but for buying them without the ability to have a look at them and test them (which is not possible on eBay and many internet offers.
But that the E500 is soon to be discontinued only means one thing: The E510 is already out and Olympus wants to get rid of the stock of E500 so not to hinder the cmmercial success of the E510.

As for the (missing) anti-shake: millions of photos have beenshot without IS in the past and yo will certainly be able to shoot nice photos too without it. If and when you're ready to upgrade you can buy the latest fancy Oly-body and sure enjoy the benefits of IS.

Well and to your "infuriating" question regarding the focus system: That has to be answered by someone, who has used it! Gordon? Any E500 user else out there??
Bas as Gordon wrote in his review:
Quote:
On the upside, the auto focus performance is certainly very good

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Last edited by Thomas on Tue Jul 10, 2007 4:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:10 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
I wouldn't worry unduly if a particular model is being discontinued, as long as the reviews for that model were good and it's only say one generation old it makes little difference.

Sadly in these days technology is always advancing and the world has become very commercial. This is why there are always new models coming out. Because the "market" demands it, not necessarily because there's anything wrong with the existing tech.

Everybody just has to have the latest kit. It won't make a bad photograph good though, that's down to you.

One camera no-one's mentioned yet is the Pentax K100. I see lots of good things said about that model and it's in the right price-range. Jessop's have some good deals I think, although I'm not particularly recommending Jessop's mind.

Zorro.

_________________
http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

Image

Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 2:40 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:39 pm
Posts: 601
Location: France
Bonjour Zorro,

I agree a 100% with you. The generation before is fully tested and often sold at bargain prices, while the very lastest models are yet to be rated.

Here are some prices in France (19,6% VAT included) I picked today:

Bundles including body + lens 18-55mm + batteries + charger
Pentax K100D + extra bag = less than 490 EUR
Pentax K100D super = circa 550 EUR

Bundles including body + lens 18-55mm + lens 50-200mm + batteries + charger
Pentax K100D + extra bag = circa 700 EUR
Pentax K100D super = circa 750 EUR

Considering the bag at 20 EUR, that makes a 70-80 EUR difference, or 10%-16% :!: Not too bad... :)

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:06 pm 
Thanks for your advice Bob, Tom, rei-vilo and Zorro - really useful.

Thanks also for the brilliant Pentax k100D recomendation - its looks like a very good camera.

So its between the Pentax K100D and the Olympus E-500.

A Pentax k100D body with a 18-55mm lens and camera case will set me back £295=435Euro=$597US. But for £330=490Euro=$660US I can get an Olympus with two lenses (wide angle and telephoto).

As far as I remember an 18-55mm lens is 28-90mm in 35mm equivalent? I won't be taking portrait photos but given what I said about what I'd expect from a camera, do you think a maximum focal length of 90mm will cut it? Can I make photographing the moon a benchmark (I was really inspired by Gordon's tips http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=425 -- I'd love to try this!!) Will I be able to take a good photo (revealing the distinct surface details) of the moon with a 90mm lens?

I'm erring towards the Pentax because it has an anti-shake system, but the Olympus on the other hand comes with two lenses, and it definatly has more advanced features (not that I'd ever need +-5 exposure compensation, or a shutter speed of 60 secs!). I guess I will try both cameras out tommorow, but can anyone personally vouch for either one of them?


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Mooning
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:30 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9822
Location: UK
Quote:
Will I be able to take a good photo (revealing the distinct surface details) of the moon with a 90mm lens?

You have to remember that the moon subtends an angular diameter of only around 1/2 a degree. So a lens with an actual focal length of 90mm will only produce an image of the moon about 0.8mm across. Guessing that your chosen sensor will have around 200 pixels per millimetre (and that may be generous) you can see that a full moon would only be roughly 160 pixels across which wouldn't look good.

That's the bad news. However, even with an unguided camera with normal, if fairly fast, lenses you can get good results. Have a look at Gordon's post Easy Astrophotography with normal DSLR equipment and prepre to be amazed! Of course, it doesn't hurt to live in the Southern Hemisphere and have really clear skies. 8)

Bob.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:31 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7937
Location: Germany
Ibrahim,

the 18-55mm is a 27-82mm film-equivalent.
And, no, you cannot shoot the details on the moon with this focal length. The Oly seems to be the offer that lets you capture more opportunities!

B.t.w. I think the dual lens kit contains the 14-45mm 3.5-5.6 und 40-150mm 3.5-4.5. That would be 28-90mm plus 80-300mm (!) in film-equivalent. That 300mm (equiv) at the long end on a 8MP body certainly gives you a better chance to see something on the moon :)

_________________
Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
D800+assorted lenses


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 8:39 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 12:39 pm
Posts: 601
Location: France
Ibrahim,

Sorry to introduce some technical considerations.

First, the size of the sensor (the electronic part that acts like the film): usually, the bigger, the better.

The Olympus E-500 EVOLT has a smaller sensor with 17.3 x 13.0 mm versus the Pentax K100D with a 23.5 x 15.7 mm. The Olympus has also more pixels on less space, 8 versus 6 M pixels.

However, it is rated 76% at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/OlympusE500/ and the pictures shown look really great.

The size of the sensor has an impact on the translation into 35mm equivalent.
  • For Pentax, take the digital 18-55mm, multiply it by 1,5 to obtain 27-83mm in 35mm equivalent.
  • For Olympus, you need to multiply by 2: so the digital 14-45mm gives 28-90mm in 35mm equivalent, pretty much the same as above.

The Olympus double lens kit is interesting to peek that specific detail and give you more freedom and versatility, especially at that very nice price.

Now, the real point: ergonomics. Have you tested in your very hands both cameras? Is weight an issue? Is size an issue? Is the viewfinder clear enough? Those points could make a big difference between a camera tou're not going to use and a camera you'll to use.

The Olympus is smaller and lighter. That could be a good point. The Pentax *ist DL I had (very similar to the K100D) was not especially discrete.

So make your decision, stick with it and enjoy your camera and your trip :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:03 pm 
Thanks again guys for some gems of information.

After much dithering, I just ordered the Olympus E-500 (although unfortunatly I couldn't try it on for size as none of the local dealers had this discontinued model in stock... I really liked the Pentax's ergonomics which explains my dithering)

Bob your analysis helped me make my decision - a bigger focal length would produce a bigger image of the moon on the camera's sensor. That and the fact that the Olympus has a better resolution than the Pentax. Tom, thanks for astutely pointing out the Olympus telephoto lens goes up to 300mm!

Rei_villo, this is probably a stupid question but why is a bigger sensor generally a better one? I would think a camera with a better resolution (8MP rather than 6MP) is more desirable than a camera with a bigger sensor insofar as you can distinguish finer details in an image if the camera has a better resolution.


Top
  
 
 Post subject: Olympus E-500
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2007 8:36 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9822
Location: UK
Excellent choice. Back in the days of steam I was an Olympus fan myself and owned an Olympus OM-1 and an OM-2. I still have the OM-2 but prefer the convenience of digital these days.

I'm glad my meanderings were useful.

Bob.

_________________
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.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2012 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.
/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs

Webdesign by Alphabase IT
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group