Free Shipping on ALL Products
camera reviewsbest cameraslens reviewsphotography tipscamera forumvideo toursphotography bookssupport me
It is currently Sun Dec 21, 2014 8:59 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: Got the D80 + 18-200!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:18 am 
Well, here we go again...Canon 40D...Olympus E510...Finally..D80 and 18-200! That's it! no more!...

I ended up returning the E510 after all. I liked the size, loved the lenses, but could see a darned thing out of that viewfinder! I also had a credit store, so since Olympus are offering their 30-day money back guarantee, I took advantage of it.

I just cold not - repeat: could not, come to grips with the Oly's small viewfinder. I wear glasses and I don't like pressing them against the rubber piece of the viewfinder. Consequently, I really felt the "tunnel" effect, and I also could not see very well the viewfinder's info. It was not a pleasant experience taking photos like that. I thought I could get used to it. No go.

So I took the plunge and decided to get the D80. I remembered Gordon's very flattering review, including the 18-200 review and final comments about the D80/18-200 combo. The bright viewfinder sold me in the shop. Now, that's what I'm talking about! Plus, the size didn't actually feel that much bigger than the Oly E510 - a credit, no doubt, to good ergonomics on the part of Nikon.

There were also a few other things that niggled me over time with the Oly, and which were supposedly superior on the Nikon, according to numerous reviews. The main point of frustration was about the Oly's metering. It was inconsistent, giving me three different exposures taken one after the other, whereby only one was acceptable and the other two were either too bright or too dark (no, I didn't have exposure bracketing ON...). I could not believe that it was so inconsistent; I even called Olympus about it, and they said to send some pics. Eh....In contrast no pun intended!) the Nikon is rock-solid. If it meters a scene in a certain way, then it won't change its mind the next picture around, when that scene is exactly the same as the first one. Very good.

The other thing was that the Oly constantly under-exposed the pictures by about .5 of eV, at least, in my opinion. Yes, you can boost it, but why, wen the Nikon does it just right (I certainly remembered Gordon's comments about how good Nikon's metering is). So fair enough, I rush home with my new kit, put it together and take some same pics that I had taken previously with the Oly,, dialed similar settings (i.e. "vivid" and low noise filtering) and shot away. I had these shots were there was highly contrasted features, i.e. bright sky vs. shadowed building. with the Oly, I swear that each picture was either overexposed so that the shadows were visible, or totally dark if I wanted to see cloud details in the sky. There was no way to get a proper balance. No, I'm sure that my large inexperience played a big part in that, but I also tried all modes, including exposure adjustment, and all three metering systems available. No go. either overblown, or under-exposed in high contracts.
In reply (sorry, I can't use "contrast" here...) the Nikon - and to my amazement, really - exposed these shots perfectly. I don't know how they do it, because it's not like a feature is emphasised over another - dark versus bright areas. No, it's perfect: The sky is nice and blue, and detailed (not overblown), and I could see the shadows perfectly exposed too. How do the do it? I guess that many years experience count for something (but, to be fair, it's not like Olympus started yesterday either, did they?).

Another thing?...Ok, then. What about auto-focusing onto dark objects in the shadow?...you like that?...With the Oly (poor Oly...I'm really giving it, aren't I? I did like it, honest!) The auto-focus was hunting like it was looking for a squirrel. It really struggled with that part. To be fair, it was better wen I had the 14-54mm f2.8-3.5. But not perfect, either. Just a bit quicker than with the 14-42 kit lens. So...same story: I take the D80, and shoot exactly the same dark object in the shadow, and other dark matters. ...And, it's zoomed in on the 18-200mm, meaning that it's on slow aperture (purposely, to really give it some!). Result: no issue whatsoever. I think it fired its focusing light beam (thank God for that - I do hate strobe lights!) and, yes, it did boost its ISO to 1600 (on Auto mode (wanted to see how good ISO noise was, with my eyes - sorry Gordon...). But it focused almost immediately, and the shot was clear, and the noise was low, to my eyes anyway. lower, for sure, than that of the Oly (man, am I giving it! Did I say I liked the Oly?...Yes?...good).

So, so far, Nikon blew me away. Ah yes...the LCD screen... Useless in the Oly. I found it dark and uninviting, even after boosting its brightness to max. Bizzarre. Please bear in mind that all these things really came up later using the Oly quite intensively , albeit for a short period of time. I really don't think that you would pick up on all of them in the shop. Well, mabe some, but not me, anyways...

I could go on...The Oly's live view (with that lcd?...no joy)...

One thing that was really great with the E510, and I think probably better than with many other DLSR is that class, is the way in which you can change settings quickly on the lcd screen. Magical. Really fast. also, that rocker wheel on top right of camera that is used to zoom on pics in view mode. Great! no pushing - and + little buttons... Size and weight were great too.

But, hang on, I'm supposed to talk about the D80 and the 18-200mm, right? Well, Mesdames et Messieurs, I know in which forum I am: Nikonians, nest. No one here needs re-asserting how good the D80 and 18-200mm are, because you're all Nikon fanboys, aren't you?

Question: Room for one more?...

(More later, I'm exhalted, and exhausted...and happy happy joy joy!)

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:26 am 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2006 11:08 pm
Posts: 7972
Location: Germany
Welcome to the club, Ant.
Hope you'd be a happier photographer with your new gear!

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:50 am 
Ant1 wrote:
No one here needs re-asserting how good the D80 and 18-200mm are, because you're all Nikon fanboys, aren't you?


There's only one Nikon fanboy here. ;)


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 12:48 pm 
TelexStar wrote:
There's only one Nikon fanboy here. ;)


With sovereignty of your domain also comes, then, responsibilities... :wink:

are you ready for them - to "fan-out" the knowledge?


:)

A.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 1:11 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9833
Location: UK
TelexStar wrote:
...There's only one Nikon fanboy here. ;)

Oh, and I thought there were only two. :twisted:

Ant1 wrote:
Well, here we go again...

As with the Oly, thanks for sharing. Fingers crossed that the D80 works out for you. It just goes to show what a personal choice a camera can be and that no amount of reading can replace being up close and intimate with a body. Best of luck.

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  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:46 pm 
Bob Andersson wrote:
...Fingers crossed that the D80 works out for you...Bob.


Thanks Bob,

well, let's see, how many brands are there left?...Hmmm... :wink:

Seriously, I not only had enough of this swapping around, but I feel that this time, that's it. I did have a very serious look again at the 40D, although I returned mine the first time around. I do feel that it is, in many ways, superior to the D80: Live view, how easily one can change settings on the fly using the wheel and rocker switch, great display, quick auto-focus, great and consistent pictures, upgradeability, great lenses..the list goes on. but, for me, it was still too big and - most importantly of all - Canon does not have the lens I want, which is an "L" zoom lens at my preferred focal range (starting at sub-20mm onwards with image stabilisation).

Thus, for me, the D80 feels right. it has a great display, nice and bright. I couldn't believe how frustrated I would be with the one on the Olympus. You tend to overlook things like that in the shop, thinking that it'll be ok, especially when taken in the context of all other features that the Oly has.

But, you soon realise how small things matter to you more than others. Image stabilisation, for instance. All good when it's camera-based, but I do, really do, prefer it in the lens as it allows you to see the stabilisation through the lens. Because the Oly's is in the body, it effectively renders live view almost useless for me, unless you use a tripod. Otherwise, the image magnified is just too shaky to use. Add to that Oly's (what I really believe to be a) sub-standard display, and live view suddenly becomes way less worthy that what it seemed in the shop. I remember when I looked in the shop today, having a hard look a the 40D again: how crisp the display is, and how genuinely useful live view is on the Canon. And that big, bright viewfinder. For me, live view, I can live without. It would have ben nice to have it, but in the end, I just want to be able to see clearly in the viewfinder, see the info in there clearly as well, be able to get the lens that I want, get constantly-good pictures (at least, from a technical point of view, where the camera doesn't get in your way), and have an upgrade path that I feel comfortable with, i.e. keep the lens - it's great, and move is required to the D300, or whatever it might be by then.

I have to admit that the upgrade path with the Oly put me somewhat off after seeing what Oly's idea of a flagship camera was (the E3...). Very much of a non-event for me, the E3. And what's with the price?...Certainly not something that I would aspire to had I kept the E510. What they should have done is "professionalise" the E510. Put a better display - maybe 3" - faster fps, improve the ISO noise noticeably, better menu display (the layout looks kinda passé, I think), magnesium body, noticeably better auto-focus...Basically, keep the 4/3 advantage - size - and make that smoke!
Anyway, enough ranting...Thanks for support!

A.


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 3:05 pm 
Offline
Moderator
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:30 pm
Posts: 9833
Location: UK
Ant1 wrote:
...I did have a very serious look again at the 40D, although I returned mine the first time around. I do feel that it is, in many ways, superior to the D80

Quick - Duck! You can't say things like that in the Nikon forum! :lol:

Ant1 wrote:
...Canon does not have the lens I want, which is an "L" zoom lens at my preferred focal range (starting at sub-20mm onwards with image stabilisation)...

It's OK, maybe you don't have to duck after all. 8) I agree that the lack of an 18-200mm IS lens is a big hole in the Canon lens range and one that probably costs them sales. I doubt they would produce an 'L' version though - too difficult with an 11x zoom range. Definite kudos to Nikon for the AF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G IF-ED VR II DX.

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  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:47 pm 
Bob Andersson wrote:
Quick - Duck! You can't say things like that in the Nikon forum! :lol:


:lol:...Note that I said " in many ways", not just "is" :wink: . For instance, magnesium body (40D) is a good thing. Live view is a good thing. Three-inch screen is a good thing. But, I prefer the images that tones out of the D80, better lens integration, I feel, better size (for me), and, if - and when - I upgrade, I feel it would be the D300, so better upgrade path for me. Plus, I loooove the D80's shutter sound! I couldn't stop clicking away yesterday. And, since clicking means taking pictures, ipso-facto, it makes sense, because that's why I bought an ( few :roll: ) SLR.

A. - pending Nikon possé


Top
  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:15 pm 
Ant1 wrote:
Plus, I loooove the D80's shutter sound! I couldn't stop clicking away yesterday.


I've said it before, but I'll say it again: the sound of a Nikon shutter alone is enough to get you hooked. :lol:


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 9:46 am 
Nice to see another D80 owner. I'm sure the D80 will succeed where all your previous cameras have failed. 8)

The D80 does have a nice shutter sound, not too "clicky".


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:48 pm 
I just wanted to add some second opinions about the d80 after a few days of shooting.

The metering is absolutely superb! All of my shots where I didn't goof up came up perfectly exposed. Colours were accurate, tone range balanced, perfect exposure and - impressively - very few blown highlights. I got consistent results in all shooting modes. Very impressive for me (after the E510) was how accurate the D80 exposed with TTL flash. Short distance, longer range, matte objects, shiny and reflective ones, perfect. Wow!

The auto-focus is very impressive indeed. I purposely closed the aperture on the 18-200 either through aperture priority or by zooming hard on dark objects in a very dimly-lit room. A trial - I wanted to see whether it could. No problem whatsoever...and quick focus-lock too. Wow x2!

Great resolution. Enuff' said...

The 18-200mm is very sharp. For a zoom of this focal range, I must admit I was a bit concerned coming from the Oly lenses. I basically don't feel at all that I have compromised image quality because of the zoom factor. Not at all. Interestingly, I called Nikon support because I was concerned about the clicking noise in the lens and also because of the slight mechanical jarring when the lens stabilises. I was told that I should be worried if it did not, and that indicates a perfectly sound lens. Fair enough... my only wish was that it had a better build quality, you know, next category-up, or Canon "L" lens smoothness. Oh well, no matter...

The shutter noise. Ahhhh... music to my ears. Can't get enough of it.

I like looking at it when I eat. The lens, especially, looks good. Weird?...

Love the lcd back screen, and the menu looks great. Not crazy about how small the fonts are in the top display, though...

I love holding it. Feels really good and natural in the hand (the D80...)

Pictures coming out of it look good - no, better - than what I actually shoot. Being not that experienced, I shoot boring. The D80 makes the boring look interesting. We're gonna get along just fine...

But, you know what I feel the most when using theD80? I feel that I actually use an SLR. What I mean, is that it's that much better than an P&S, that it does really feel different, better. You are actually aware that this is a serious piece of equipment, because it delivers that much better pictures in an easy manner, than a P&S. I like this, I like Nikon. it brings me back to when I was using the old Nikon FM many, many years ago. It's like meting an old friend again. I suddenly remembered the same old heavy, positive Nikon shutter sound that I heard with the FM.

Now, for the finale! See if you agree with me. I'm going to use an analogy here. You all know about that British Car TV show - Top Gear?...Yes?...ok.

- Canon 40D feels like a top-class German car. Efficient, performant, but somewhat bland. (i.e., compared to Nikon: the shutter sound)

- The Nikons feel like a Ferrari. Just as performant, but more a feeling of "hand-built", more character to it (them?)...

- The E510 feels like a British TVR (high-class kit car). Good, interesting, plenty of ideas, but the door handle rattles, and the windscreen wiper lifts-off the windshield above 60 mph...

:lol:

A.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:11 pm 
Ant1 wrote:
The E510 feels like a British TVR


Does this mean you consider the Oly to be poorly built? TVRs are generally known for that aren't they?

I think Top Gear is the best show on Earth! :D


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:34 pm 
grahamnp wrote:

Does this mean you consider the Oly to be poorly built? TVRs are generally known for that aren't they?

I think Top Gear is the best show on Earth! :D


Top Gear rules! OK? Love that show too! All 3 guys on the show, what great and individual characters they are!

Re" TVR analogy: no, not poorly built. I found the build quality quite good, actually. Not Nikon-standard, but, as Gordon also pointed out, quite good. No, more like...unfinished. The menu, for example, looked more like a Beta version. LCD quality needs some work still. Flash over/under-exposure, needs further work. Metering not consistent, and under-exposes. Needs some work. Viewfinder. Must make it brighter. That's what I meant - Unfinished. It's all good, but not as good as it could be.

Take the menus. Everyone who's someone makes efforts to have a nice, clean interface, and a clear lcd. I couldn't make the Oly's lcd be bright. I raised the contract to its max. Still, when looking at pictures taken, it felt actually smaller than what it is. Weird. It was...not bright, more like..."luminous". There was "photonic intensity", but it somehow still was hard to look at. Look at the D80 and the 40D. Awesome. Then, the flash issue. I mean, how hard is it to fix this? And to raise the exposure somewhat, etc...Unfinished business


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 2:56 pm 
For some reason it never really occurred to me to go and check the E-510 when I was looking at buying and dslr. I'm quite interested now to see how their interface, menus and screen etc. differ from that of Canon and Nikon.

Unfinished? I remember Clarkson saying that a lot of TVRs in the past were released without being properly finished.


Top
  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 09, 2007 3:00 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jun 01, 2007 12:40 am
Posts: 1330
Location: Scotland
Weird automotive analogy mate, and I can't stand Ferraris, lol.

I'd rather see the D80 as a Porsche 911. Simple and straightforward, does exactly what it says on the tin. The Canon, not that I've used one, I'd probably liken to a Mercedes-Benz. Utterly soul-less. The Oly? TVR? You wouldn't get it out of the front door, and the smell of burning electrics so close to your beak might be a tad off-putting, lol.

Glad you're finally happy with your camera though mate. I think it's a great machine.

Zorro 8)

_________________
http://zorrofox4.deviantart.com/

Image

Various lenses, SB800 & Manfrotto 190 with 460MG head


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


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