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 Post subject: Which DSLR?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 8:56 pm 
First of all please let me say how much I like the reviews on cameralabs.com. In the main they are clear and I really like the video clips which seem to bring the whole thing together. The trouble is I am still confused :? or perhaps just dumb :cry:

I started the search for a DSLR being convinced that what I needed was a Canon eos 400d. Then when I phoned a shop to actually have a look at one they did not have any and claimed that you get 'more for your mone' with the Nikon d40x. So I found a shop that had both and went to have a look and came home none the wiser really except that in their catalogue they also had the Sony alpha A100.

Throughout this I had been searching the web and found cameralabs.com.

In the comparison test you compare the Nikon D80, the Canon 400D, the Olympus E510 and the Sony A100 (so two of the three I was considering and one that I was not. In the Pros and cons for the Canon and the Sony we learn that an anti dust system is in place but not 100% effective (so its a pro and a con) The Olympus seems to have effective anti dust and anti shake and the anti shake is also on the Sony A100. The Nikon does not have anti dust or anti shake.

One of the problems here is I live in the sticks and I am finding it difficult to find places which have these cameras for me to hold and try.

So where does this leave me. Well cost is clearly a factor. The Olympus look the most feature rich and also seems to be a clear ish winner but although the kit lenses look good the maximum zoom seems to be 150mm and I was hoping for a couple of lenses that covered the 18-55 or 70 mm and 75-300mm ranges. To get this I seem to need to spend a stack of cash on top of the camera and original lenses (am I missing something here?) although the 4/3 focusing seems to be a problem but I am not sure why!?!?? :roll:

So that leaves the Canon, the Nikon and the Sony. The next question is how much of a problem is dust? If it is a major problem then the Nikon can be discarded leaving the Canon and the Sony. The Sony is considerably cheaper and has the anti dust and anti shake built in even if it is not as effective as would perhaps be ideal. In addition it seems to have the lens range I want without braking the bank account.

Have I got the analysis right or am I being dumber than normal. Any help would be appreciated as I was hoping to buy soon.

Thanks in advance


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2007 10:15 pm 
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Hi Alan, welcome to the Cameralabs forums!

I'd say your analysis is pretty much on the mark, although don't let the presence of anti-dust sway your opinon on the Canon or Sony models as they aren't very effective. Of the models you've listed, the Olympus has the most effective anti-dust system.

I still think the E-510 with the twin lens kit (make sure both lenses are the latest ED models though) represents excellent value, but some people just don't like the Four Thirds system. It's true the viewfinder is a bit smaller than the others, it 'only' has a 3-point AF system, and there are technical concerns over the smaller sensor implying higher noise or lower dynamic range, but I'd say look at our sample images and noise results and judge for yourself.

It's s shame you can't pick them up for yourself as that would probably seal the deal for you on a particular model. At this price range, Nikon normally does very well on ergonomics...

If you're thinking of buying more lenses in the future, you may want to check which models are available for each camera, as some companies have advantages in this regard. For instance Canon has the broadest variety, but Nikon has probably the best superzoom available right now.

Hmmm, I'm not sure I've helped you decide at all there! But hopefully given you more to think about!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:46 pm 
Hi Gordon,

Many thanks for your instant reply and I am now convinced of the value of the Olympus E510. The question now is what lenses should I get. I guess this means asking myself what am I going to be taking photographs of? When I have answered this I can answer what kind of lenses I need Correct :?:

Well, of course, I want to do a variety of things. Portraits? certainly but also wildlife photography, mainly birds. I live near a bird reserve on the east coast of the UK that is equipped with hides so sometimes I might be quite close to the subject but also sometimes quite a long way away. It seems a zoom lens will be needed. Something I don't understand is the 35mm equivalent thing. In the specification for the Olympus kit lens (the olympus zuiko digital 40-150mm f4-5.6) it describes one of them as 35mm equivalent focal length 80-300mm does this mean that when I see other lenses describes as 70-300mm that they actually zoom to 600mm. (I am thinking of the sony DT 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 (D) when I ask this question) Sorry I think I am being dim here.

The next question is are there other lenses that would fit onto the olympus body? How would I know what would fit and what would not? Would the Sony lens fit for example? Is it a good idea even?

One last point. The net has been a boon to the photography world as well as a problem. The problem comes from the fact that high street photography shops seem to be dissappearing so that it is more and more difficult to pick up a camera before you buy. The boon is that it pushes down the prices of cameras. This is why sites like cameralabs.com are so important because you provide the really important practical advice that is missing from buying remotely. Keep up the good work.


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 Post subject: focal multipliers
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:26 pm 
Hi there,
I am a newbie too, but I've found that you need to find out what the focal multipliers are for each camera sensor. to get the 35mm equivilent
on the olympus it is 2x
on the Canon it's 1.6
and i believe the Nikon is 1.5
I didn't look at sony (so i can't help you out there)

as you described olympus the 40-150 is == around 80-300
in canon land a 55-200 would be roughly 88-320
in nikon land it 55-200 would be 82.5 - 300

you can find better explanations regarding this by googling focal length multiplier

So, if you can find the Sony's multiplier you'll be able to figure out what the 35mm equivalent is.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 4:44 pm 
Thanks for the quick response. I think I need to learn a lot more about photography in general and digital photography in particular. What camera did you end up with or have you not made the plunge yet?

Have fun


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:53 pm 
nope I havent' fully decided on a camera yet,
just trying to decide between Canon XTI and Nikon D40x
If i wansn't a computer techie and got caught up in the technical jargon, I'd probably just opt for the d40 to begin with and then go from there. However i am too intrigued by the capabilities of the Canon
i had considered the olympus but it is a bit more expensive than the XTI/400D where I am. unless i ebayed it.. which i am leery of doing so that is that..

I have learned that you should build your slr camera like you build your home stereo system.. that is you may think your cd player and amp are important but you should always budget enough for good speakers. after all if you got the best cd and amp, but the speakers don't work worth a damn you can't make use of it.. same as the slr world if you can't get good lenses that will do what you want to capture, whats the point of having a good slr body?

oh ya and the thing about focal multipliers it is all camera dependant as well, there are cameras out there with sensors that do not use a focal multiplier if they are "full frame' meaning the sensor size is the same as a 35mm
e.g. a Canon 400d/XTI has a Focal Length Multiplier of 1.6 whereas the EOS 1D has a mulitplier of 1, since it is supposedly capturing the same frame as a 35mm


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 7:23 pm 
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Sony's multiplier is 1.5x like the Nikon (now) so called DX-format...

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Thomas (beware: Nikon-fanboy and moderator!) My Lens Reviews, My Pictures, My Photography Blog
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Location: Queenstown, New Zealand
All those focal multipliers are correct.

If you want to get into bird photography, you'll want as big a lens as you can afford - maybe not straightaway, but definitely in the future... I'd be looking for an equivalent focal length between 400 and 1000mm. I actually tried a Sigma 50-500mm on the E-510 and zoomed-into an equivalent of 1000mm, it was a really nice (and relatively afordable option) for bird photography...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:10 am 
You should review that lens Gordon!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 6:55 am 
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I intend to in the future! I already have a set of results with the E-510, but want another set with either the Canon or Nikon fits to show a 1.6 or 1.5x factor...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:03 am 
:D Thanks everyone for great input. I have decided on the Olympus e510 with the two lens kit which will have to do for the moment. I will probably have to wait until christmas next year for the sigma lens :roll: but, no doubt, the wait will be character forming. Also, hoefully, by then I will know a lot more about photography so that I will be more sure of what I am looking for. I will still use cameralabs.com for reviews though.

Have fun everyone


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:44 am 
I cant understand why peeps (WHO PROLLY DONT HAVE THE 510) go on about noise at low ISO....There is none, especially at 100 and 200.

Noise is noticable at 1600 but what camera isnt?

There is both an nosie filter and noise reduction on the 510 and set to LOW the images are PERFECT, set the filter to high and the images do tend to get soft.

And I dont say this because I have the 510 the forum is for peeps to be well informed particulary if the person has the camera in QUESTION.

And I will be getting the NIKKON D300 when out.


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