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Old Nov 8, 2006, 7:03 PM   #1
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O.K. Been researching for a couple of week to buy first digital SLR.

Made comparisons galore... want to go with 6 or 8 MP.

THen came down to two Canon 350D and the Olympus E500

So I can get Canon with one kit lens 18-55

or the e-500 with two lenses 14-45, and 40-150 for same price..

Checked reviews specs etc on all the lenses and....

is this a no brainer or am I missing something???
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 8:07 PM   #2
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It's a semi-no brainer.

I have the E-500 so I'm admittedly biased. The following remarks can all be said to be under the blanket qualification of "in my humble opinion".

Either Oly kits lens is better than the Canon lens. As a pair, the Oly kits lenses are the best one-two punch in the business. The E-500 is the great bargain of the DSLR world. There are other features I prefer with the E-500...if it wasn't already included I'd pay extra for the OLY SSWF dust cleaner. Great camera. Great bargain.

Nothing wrong with the Canon...but the E-500 and lens combo is just better.

As SYSTEM, Canon obviously has some advantages. As I've mentioned before, Canon and Nikon enjoy the benefits of extremely wide distribution. That means I can go to any strip mall or small electronics stores and buy Canon lenses and flashes. For the E-sytem. most things have to be ordered (depending on where you live, I suppose). On the other hand, it's not like I' have to buy camera accessories every week...special ordering won't kill me.

So I can't belittle the attraction of the Canon system.

But comparing camera directly to camera and comparing lens directly to lens, The E-500 two lens kits can't be topped by anybody.
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 8:38 PM   #3
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I have done much side by side comparison... what about the difference in the senors?... anything to take note of?
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 10:46 PM   #4
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Again, in my opinion (FWIW), the difference in sensor size is more of a TECHNICAL talking point as opposed to a REAL WORLD issue. This issue came up a couple of days ago in another thread

We know the 4/3 sensor is smaller. That's a fact. Sensor size RELATES to image quality. It's no different in the film world...larger formats will be a factor in better images. It relates to image quality but it does not soley DETERMINE image quality.

However, the sensor size difference between the OLY and Canon is simply not that significant. People looking for an issue gravitate towards sensor size as if it is the prime determinant of image quality...and they tend to exaggerate that minimal size difference. In reality, the difference in sensor size is more like comparing a 6x7 film camera to a 6x9 film camera (roughly). It's just not a big deal and I say that as the owner of both 35mm and medium format film cameras.

Even now I own a Bronica ETR 6x4.5 camera which has a lightly smaller film area than a more common 6x6cm (Hasselblad, Bonica SQ) camera or a 6x7 (Pentax, Mamiya) camera. The reality is that, even when printed using the finest equipment, there is absolutely no detectable variation in quality among the prints from that closley grouped set of film formats.

I would defy anybody to look at a dozen large prints from a 4/3 sensor and an APS-C sensor and honestly be able to tell which sensor was used to capture the various images. In fact, I've printed out about 20 8x10's from my E-500 and the look fantastic.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 10:16 AM   #5
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I suggest you try handling both cameras...then it might be a no brainer to you (most who have done this have said they don't like the feel of the Canon). Also the quality of the Olympus kit lens (especially the 40-150) is much better than the Canon lens.
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Old Nov 9, 2006, 3:23 PM   #6
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O.K. ---- It's a done deal, Held and played with one. Like the feel much better that the 350D .....



E-500 IS ON THE WAY, ordered it last night (Two lens kit)

Hope to post my observations later when it comes in and I get a little time to use it.


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Old Nov 9, 2006, 3:58 PM   #7
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From ISO 100-400 you will see no difference in image qality. And the E500 with the kit lens will beat the quality of the Canon and its kit lens. The difference at ISO 800 is still very small.

But at ISO 1600+ the Canon does have some useful advantage in image quality. I think if you look at sample shots you will see even then that it isn't that great of a difference (especially if you get exposure right). And, it helps also that the Olympus has 1/3 stop steps for ISO adjustment, so you can shoot at ISO 1000 or 1250 sometimes when you don't really need 1600.

Also, the number one complaint I see about the Olympus is the limited selection of lenses available. The main drawbacks here are:

1> No really inexpensive fast prime for low light shooting. Canon and Nikon for example each have a 50 f1.8 for around $100. Oly makes an outstanding 50 f2.0, with a pro quality build (including weather sealed), but it costs around $400. (Sigma also makes a very good 30 f1.4 for about the same price, and has announced a 24 f1.8 for around $340 which is not yet available.)

2> If you want to go wider than the 14mm (28mm equivalent) provided by the kit lens, it can be a bit more costly (the 11-22 from Oly again is outstanding, but for around $650). The 2x FOV multiplier for the four thirds system ends up being a bit of a disadvantage here, as everything has a longer effective focal length than on a camera with a 1.5 or 1.6 multiplier.

3> No inexpensive zoom currently going beyond 200mm. Here the 2x multiplier is really an advantage. The $150 Sigma 55-200 for example, provides a 35mm equivalent FOV of 110-400mm on the Olympus, but only 88-320mm on Canon. But the inexpensive 70-300mm lenses available for Canon will give a 35mm equivalent FOV of up to 480mm. If that were available for this mount, it would have an equivalent FOV of up to 600mm. So what should really be a system advantage here isn't much of one, yet. The good news is Sigma has announced their 135-400mm lens, which should be a very nice birding lens for around $550.

The other complaint I see is that the viewfinder could be brighter.

In the end, I think if you are planning on doing alot of sports shooting, or low light shooting, where you would want to use ISO 1600 alot, as well as fast prime lenses (allowing apertures below f2.8 ) you might prefer the Canon. Otherwise, I think the Olympus does provide better value, especially if most of your needs are covered by either the kit lenses, or the other fine mid priced lenses available.

On edit: OK I missed your last post. Congratulaitions on your purchase, then!


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