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Old Dec 12, 2005, 5:47 PM   #1
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I`m thinking of buying my first DSLR and i`m considering the following choices :

Olympus E-500 / KM 5D / Nikon D50

I`m looking for real good resolution for A4 format printing...the battery life has to be quite good (4oo pics)...ISO sensibility is important...

Which of the 3 would perform best handheld with low light conditions (night & indoors) ?

Which of the 3 come with the best quality kit lenses ?

I know that DSLR seem to have a problem with dust on the sensor and the Olympus has a good solution to that problem.... Will the KM 5D perform better under low light conditions thanks to its ANtishake system ?

I`ve had all 3 DSLR`s in hand and they all feel great and quite perfect...maybe the Nikon is a little to big for my taste ?

It`s important for me to make the right choice because i`d like to keep it for a couple of years and grow with it.

Thanks for any good suggestions.
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 5:59 PM   #2
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The E-500 is a very good camera.

However, high ISO performance is about as bad as it gets with any current entry level DSLR model (it's MUCH worse than any other DSLR model for under $1000).

This is probably because the Olympus Models have a smaller sensors compared to their competitors (Nikon, Pentax, KM, Canon). As a result, the photosites for each pixel are smaller, requiring more amplification for equivalent sensitivty to light (which adds noise). This can be like turning up the volume on a weak radio station, only instead of static, hiss and hum, you get image noise).

IMO, the KM is your best bet for high ISO/low light performance (with best results shooting in raw, although JPEG is usable with careful exposure).

See this thread for a couple of hand held ISO 3200 examples taken at very slow shutter speeds (1/5 second, 1/4 second). IMO, these photos would have been impossible with any other camera (unless you wanted to use a tripod or a flash).


Disclaimer: I'm biased, as I have one of these cameras. ;-)

As for lenses, none of these camera have kit lenses that are very usable in low light without a flash. They are simply not bright enough for this use.

Your best bet for this purpose is a bright prime (no matter which camera you buy) for indoor use without a flash (although in typical indoor lighting, you could probably get buy with a zoom with a constant f/2.8 aperture like the KM 28-75mm f/2.8 ). Note that f/2.8 is twice as bright as f/4, and 4 times as bright as f/5.6.

With a KM 5D, you can get a 50mm f/1.7 for under $100 new (or around $50 used). This lens is more than twice as bright as an f/2.8 zoom (and dramatically brighter than any of the kit lenses).

My favorite lens for existing light use is the Minolta 28mm f/2

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Old Dec 12, 2005, 7:12 PM   #3
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What do you think about the KMAF DT 18-200mm F/3.5-6.3 lens ?
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 8:34 PM   #4
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I'm also eyeing this camera, (KM 5d) and have been doing some kit lens research at the local camera shops. The consensus seems to be that while not a superb lens, it is better than you could buy for the roughly $80 difference between the kit and body only prices, and is good enough to start with.
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Old Dec 12, 2005, 8:35 PM   #5
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I'll 2nd the KM 5D, however the Nikon D50 will give you better pictures withhigher ISO numbers up to around 1600. But, the KM 5D will allow you to use a lower ISO because of the AS system. It's a tough choice! :?But I'd give KM the edge because just about any lens could make use of the AS.
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Old Dec 13, 2005, 4:40 AM   #6
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I might have found just about the best solution to all the problems in one simple combination.

Buying a KM5D body with a Sigma zoom 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 DC hoping it fits..they say it fits the 7D so will it go on the 5D ?

With this solution i get to take advantage of the Antishake system and at the same time avoiding the problem of the dust getting on the sensor while changing lenses.I`m pretty sure i could manage with only one lens...the Antishake will compensate the lack of brightness at telephoto range or with night & indoor pics.

The alternative would be a Nikon D50 with a AF-S DX VR 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-EDlens but would this be worth the 400 euro difference in price ?

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Old Dec 13, 2005, 6:03 AM   #7
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I think your concern regarding "dust on the sensor" is maybe out of proportion.

I have four lenses for my Canon 20D, change the lenses all the time, and have never experienced dust on the sensor to the point that it would show up in a photo.

Of course I don't change my lenses in a sandstorm, but in the relatively clean and well dusted (by my significant other, of course) office prior to the event I'm shooting.

The whole purpose of a DSLR, other than the obvious picture quailty and performance advantages, is the flexibility of using different lenses for different purposes.

Usually "one lens does it all" is a compromise, although I think lens manufactureres are getting better and better at making those compromises.

Allow yourself the possiblity of wanting more than one lens one day, perhaps a nice portrait lens so that you can get beautiful, sharp portraits of friends and family without softness or distortion.

Or allow yourself the option of getting a fast telephoto, to try taking some of those breathtaking bird pictures I see posted on this forum.

Anyways, every photog is different with different priorities.

It sounds to me like what you reallylooking foris a point and shoot with a DSLR level of sensor installed in it, which is a worthy objective that the manufacturers have yet to meet.

So by getting a DSLR and one lens that covers a wide angle, you hope to meet your objectives.

However, if you decide to progress as a photographer, you may find yourself wanting different lenses for different situations.

-- Terry

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