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Old Oct 13, 2008, 8:03 PM   #11
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I guess I don't know how often I would actually use the live view feature anyway. I tend to take most all of my photos using my view finder and live view only for macros. I was looking at some pretty attractive pricing on the 510's packaged lens kits. Do you think in my case the focusing issue would be problematic for me?
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Old Oct 13, 2008, 8:48 PM   #12
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PTC wrote:
I was looking at some pretty attractive pricing on the 510's packaged lens kits. Do you think in my case the focusing issue would be problematic for me?
For subjects that don't move around much, I don't think there will be much problem focusing in reasonable light. But the kit lens isn't very fast, and for landscapes they're not very wide. The 14-42mm kit lens has an angle of view equivalent to a 28-84mm lens on a 35mm film camera. If your landscape shots don't go any wider than that, then the kit lens should be fine. But wider will cost you.
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Old Oct 15, 2008, 1:08 AM   #13
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With regards to sensor size, a good discussion can be found here:


the differences between APS-C, foveon and 4/3s are relatively small when you compare it to point and shoot cameras or full frame cameras.

Different brands have certain reputations that might or might not be deserved. But I feel that at the entry level dslr some of the differences are being blown out of proportion.

In the case of the olympus, the "smaller sensor= higher noise" in this market segment is a good example of that. As JimC mentions, pixel density, not necessarily sensor size, is key. And here all are virtually the same (given that the olympus entry level cameras use 10mp sensors, the sony a350 uses a 14mp sensor and the canon a 12mp sensor). Not surprisingly, most if not all tests Ive seen between entry level dslrs find little difference between noise levels:
Canons have a slight advantage over the others, but all are within the same range and will vary depending on your settings and choices between noise and detail.

Similarly, I don't see much of a difference in AF speed and accuracy at the entry level. All 3 camera review sites I generally read (dpreview, cameralabs and, of course, Steves-digicams) describe the AF systems in entry level dslrs the same way: ranging from average to good. Olympus has a slight disadvantage as it only has a 3 point af system, but it is not that big of a deal and you will rarely use more than that. Also, some people might not like the motorized manual focus, but Ive yet to see any clear indications that olympus significantly lags behind other entry level dslrs in accuracy or speed.

Now, with that out of the way, I must agree with JimC once again: the key problem with olympus, and one that might be a deal breaker for you, is not noise or AF, but dynamic range.

The max highlight range of the olympus is almost a full stop lower than that of other entry level dslrs, which means that there is a more pronounced tendency to clip highlights. If dynamic range is a serious concern for you, and that is generally the case in nature landscapes, the sonys and canons generally will do significantly better.

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