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Old Apr 18, 2005, 4:44 PM   #1
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So long Canon! It's been fun!

Preface: I think the DRebel and its relatives are all fine cameras and this is not a sales pitch for Oly nor am I trolling for an argument. I just thought that since the folks here graciously spent their time typing answers to my questions I would share the result. I learned about the general issues to consider in my decision rathermajoring the minute details.

After a long hard look at my needs I swerved into an Olympus E-1. I have used a DRebel for about a year, mostly with my 28-135mm IS, but had been thinking about moving up to a 20D with some different lenses (both wider and longer). I had used the kit lens for the wide end but was never quite satisfied with it.

I just wanted to thank you guys for all the informative answers to my questions. The people on the forum here really helped me to look at things from many angles, carefully considering my needs rather than hastily buying one lens and then another because they work for someone else's purpose.

Thank you NHL and Peripatetic especially. I read all the cunningly original posts and was close to going with this lineup:
Canon 17-85 f4.0-5.6 EF-S IS (28-135mm effective)
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX (112-320mm effective)
Sigma 1.4 (448mm effective)

I bought the DRebel as a replacement for my E-10 that had been stolen. At that time, the E-1 was my dream camera though I couldn't afford it. Recently when I saw that the E-1 with the ZD 14-54mm f2.8-3.5 was selling for $1500 USD (less rebate) so I had to take another look at Olympus.

Well I took the plunge. After two days I feel more comfortable with the E-1 than I did with the DR after a year. It just shows how personal these equipment choices are. I bought:
Olympus E-1 DSLR
14-54mm f2.8-3.5 (28-108mm effective)
50-200mm f2.8-3.5 (100-400mm effective)
25mm extension tube
FL36 flash, remotes, tripod/ballhead

Here's what I feel I had to sacrifice in making this choice:

1. High ISO performance - no arguments here, and I like to shoot low light too so this was the hardest one. Nevertheless, I still have up to 3200 and there is Neat Image etc when it really matters.

2. About 3 megapixels (8-5=3) This seemed to be a hard one at first as I like to crop. Two factors partially cancel this out though. With the DRebel I usually cropped the ends. The E-1 is 4:3 aspect ratio instead of 3:2 so it fits the way I naturally compose without cropping. Also I find that the 100% viewfinder allows me to compose the whole picture instead of guessing at the extents, which usually results in unnecessary elements to be cropped fromthe picture .

3. Speed, the 20D is fast, very fast. Guess what! The E-1 is pretty fast too - fast enough for me. There are other specifications in which the 20D is superior but hey, at the end of the day it's not a spec you have in your hands, it's a camera and it either fits you or not.

4. lens selection - really a non-issue with me, The ZD lenses are superb and two fast compact lenses cover the range I want. I'm "good to go" for years.

5. some Bokeh due to the slightly smaller sensor (see #5 below)

What I gained:
1. ergonomics - It feels right. Controls are intuitive. The only menu diving I do other than setup is FEC is 4 button-presses down. No big to me. 100% viewfinder, locking mode dial

2. Weather proof / build quality - It rains here in Hawaii and there are some great pictures when it's raining. Bring it on!

3. So long sensor dust! The dirt shaker has been out for a year now and by all accounts it works. I wouldn't say that dust was a huge problem with the Canon but it was an annoying one.

4. 4:3 aspect ratio - a personal preference but an important one for me, see #2 above

5. Greater DOF due to slightly smaller sensor (see #5 above)

6. Simplicity, Modes are P A S M, that's it! No sports, portrait, night shot, etc.- I like that. Focus modes are M, S and C selected by a manual switch - simple.

There you have it. I know I am sacrificing some image quality now but I am starting over in a system that I am very impressed with. I do hope that by the time I have used upthe E-1 I can migrate my lenses and accessories to an 8-12MP low noise successor. By purchasing a camera that is near the end of it's run, I can afford a professional build which is something I really can appreciate.

Thanks again to this forum. The discussions here really helped me to decide which camera was right for me.


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Old Apr 19, 2005, 2:39 AM   #2
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The current crop of DSLR cameras across all manufacturers are very good tools.

We spend hours debating the relative merits of our various choices that don't amount to all that much. Henri Cartier-Bresson never had a camera as good as an entry-level DSLR of 2005.

You found something that feels right to you and that's the most important thing by far.

Good luck - and put some pictures up in the "post your pictures" forums. :-)
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 12:30 AM   #3
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It's funny, but I considered many of the same factors about a year ago. I'd started with OM cameras, and, due to focussing problems and aging eyes, made the mistake of seeling the best of those (OM4T) to buy a Nikon F70. The excellent metering and focus system were a miracle at first, but couldn't qwite make up for the bulk and awkward user interface. Replaced it with an F80, which was lighter and handled better, but somehow souless.

When the D70 came out, I tried to like it, and tried it and the Canon 20D repeatedly. The I tried the E-1. As much as I--and many a salesman--tried to talk me into the flashy tech of especially the 20D, the E-1 was the camera I ended up buying, and have ended up using, both in the -40 winters we have here and in the rainforests of Dominica.

It hasn't been perfect. The autocus could certainly be better, the meterng more sophisticated and the ISO higher ...but I doubt that I'd even have dared to take a D70 or a 20D along to some of the places and situations in which it took pretty good, and sometimes superb pictures!
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 2:27 AM   #4
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deleted a very sarcastic respone..
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 4:17 AM   #5
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I'd say comparing DRebel with E-1 isn't apples-to-apples, so results and expectations would vary GREATLY.
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