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Old Oct 29, 2008, 1:47 PM   #1
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I am looking to upgrade to a dSLR. I like the olympus because of its smaller size and weight and body anti shake.

I am looking for a body <$500 that I can invest in good lenses that will last for years. (Body upgradable later)

My friend with a new sony 350 says to stay away as the 4/3 rds is not going anywhere and will wither away over the next years.

So, I thought this group might have strong opinion. Will four thirds give way to FF ? Can you get as good of pics and canon and nikon at similar price range?

Thanks,
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Old Oct 29, 2008, 3:19 PM   #2
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Hi Hotoru:

I'm sure that there will be plenty to say on that by a lot of people. However, I'm pressed for time right now, and don't have time to write much. Just be sure that the 4/3rds standard is not going anywhere; there are many significant advantages to the all-digital from the ground-up design of the system. But due to my limited time, I'll leave that to the other guys.

It's interesting that your friend has a Sony 350. In this month's Popular Photography magazine is their latest review of the Oly E520. One of their comments is interesting:

..""And we judge the E-520's imaging superior to that of the 14.2MP Sony Alpha 350, whose noise was such that images at higher ISOs lost significant resolution when cleaned up with noise reduction. "


http://www.popphoto.com/cameras/5569/olympus-e-520-camera-test.html

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Old Oct 29, 2008, 7:24 PM   #3
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Hotoru wrote:
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So, I thought this group might have strong opinion. Will four thirds give way to FF ? Can you get as good of pics and canon and nikon at similar price range?

Thanks,
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, your friend included. Its nothing more than an opinion, as there is no basis to back it up.

As to what 4/3 can do, it can do quite well in good light, which includes flash photography. If you mainly shoot in these conditions, Oly is a great choice.

Most Oly shooters are partial to lens quality. The whole lineup is stellar. Its certainly what kept me shooting Oly. From ultra wide to the lenses with the longest reach, the all perform.

Speaking of long lenses, that's where the 4/3 is strongest. The 2x multiplier means you have less size and weight to cart around. I shoot long lenses alot and it was a natural choice.

I'm not going tt knock anyone's camera choice. They are all good. Some lenses should be avoided in some lines, but its possible to put together a good kit with all of them. It comes down to finding what fits your needs best. Make sure to put your hands on the camera to make sure its comfortable. Make sure to price the lense you see yourself wanting in the future. I think you will find a system that will fit your needs. It may be Oly, or Sony, or someone else. There's lots of great choices.

Now, if I may...

E-3/50-200





E-3/50 f2 macro/EC-14



E500/40-150 f3.5-4.5 kit lens


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Old Oct 30, 2008, 10:03 PM   #4
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The funniest part of this thread?: Taking camera advice from a guy who owns a Sony 350! That's like taking car advice from a guy who drives his mom's Kia.

Dollar for dollar, there are no better built cameras than the Oly DSLRs.

You can get darn fancy Nikon and Canon offerrings if you are willing to pony up for their big dollar, high end goodies. Their lower and mid-level cameras are mediocre. A lot of their mid level lenses are mediocre at best. And, if you think the world will end up going full frame, those lenses you buy for the APS-C size Nikon and Canon cameras won't do you much good when move up to their full frame cameras...oh, you can use them...just crop out the black vignetted parts in the corners.

The OLY 4/3 camera system is integrated from top to bottom. The lens on your 420 works on your E-3 without adjustment. Oly glass is great. I have 6 lenses. Three of them are kit lenses.

The best anti-dust system in the business.

On board pixel mapping.

In body image stabilization on many current models. That's one of my favorite features.

Finally, a camera that just FEELS like it's solidy built. Honestly, certain brands (I won't name names) feel really cheap. If I gently squeeze a DSLR body, it shouldn't flex but I've had that happen with non-Oly cameras.
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Old Oct 30, 2008, 11:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the great responses. Some have mentioned there is a price premium on Oly lenses vs the other manufacturers. IS this because there are not as many making 4/3 lenses?
I would think they would be cheaper than the Canons and Nikons with IS included.
How much more do the Oly lenses run than say an equivalent Sony or Pentax lens?

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Old Oct 31, 2008, 3:48 AM   #6
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Hotoru wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the great responses. Some have mentioned there is a price premium on Oly lenses vs the other manufacturers. IS this because there are not as many making 4/3 lenses?
I would think they would be cheaper than the Canons and Nikons with IS included.
How much more do the Oly lenses run than say an equivalent Sony or Pentax lens?
Whoever those "some" are, you need to find better advisors. Here is a price comparison I did a few months ago:

Oly: 300mm f/2.8 ED [600mm equiv.] - $5,900
Canon: EF 600mm f/4.0L IS Image Stabilizer - $7,000 (and f/4!)
Nikon: AF-S Nikkor 600mm f/4D ED-IF II Autofocus Lens - $8,500 (and f/4!)

Oly: 90-250mm f/2.8 ED [180 - 500mm equiv.] - $5,400
Canon: nada
Nikon: Zoom Nikkor 200-400mm f/4 G-AFS ED-IF VR (Vibration Reduction) - $5,000 (f/4 plus a smaller zoom range!)

Oly: 150mm f/2.0 EP [300mm equiv.] - $2,200
Canon: EF 300mm f/2.8L IS Image Stabilizer - $3,900 (and f/2.8)
Nikon: AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/2.8G AF-S ED-IF VR (Vibration Reduction) - $4,300 (and f/2.8!)


Oly: 35-100mm f/2.0 ED [70 - 200mm equiv.] - $2,200
Canon: EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS - $1,700 (and f/2.8)
Nikon: AF VR Zoom Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8D G-AFS ED-IF Autofocus Lens (Vibration Reduction) - $1,600 (but f/2.8)

Oly: 7-14mm f/4.0 ED [14 - 28mm equiv.] - $1,600
Canon: NO ZOOM, Super Wide Angle EF 14mm f/2.8L - $2,000
Nikon: AF-S Zoom Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF - $1,600 (faster, but a smaller zoom range for the same price)

So please explain where Oly lenses are more expensive.

Ted


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Old Oct 31, 2008, 6:06 AM   #7
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Hotoru wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the great responses. Some have mentioned there is a price premium on Oly lenses vs the other manufacturers. IS this because there are not as many making 4/3 lenses?
I would think they would be cheaper than the Canons and Nikons with IS included.
How much more do the Oly lenses run than say an equivalent Sony or Pentax lens?

In addition to Ted's listing of the pricing for the high end of the range as far as lenses go, you should also consider that whatever dslr you decide to purchase most likely it willl come with a"kit lens". In the case of the Sony A350, the kit lens is the DT 18-70mm 3.5-5.6 len. Here is a review of that particular lens:

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/...0_3p5-5p6_m15/

Then read the review of the Oly 14-42mm lens which is also a kit lens:

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/...2_3p5-5p6_o20/

In your original post, you mentioned that you wanted to invest in lenses thatyou usefor a long time and upgrade bodies as need be. Please take a look at the reviews of the Olympus 50mm f2.0 and the 12-60mm lens with the 50mm being a perfect portrait and prime lens and the 12-60 being your standard zoom.

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/olympus_50_2_o20/

http://www.dpreview.com/lensreviews/...-60_2p8-4_o20/

In the conclusion section of the review of the 50mm Olympus lens, here is what the reviewer stated:

The greatest strength of the Four Thirds system undoubtedly lies in the optics, and the 50mm F2.0 macro ranks alongside the likes of the Zuiko Digital ED 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 SWD as one of the finest lenses of its type currently available from any manufacturer.

Zig


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Old Oct 31, 2008, 8:00 PM   #8
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Hotoru wrote:
Quote:
Thanks for the great responses. Some have mentioned there is a price premium on Oly lenses vs the other manufacturers. IS this because there are not as many making 4/3 lenses?
I would think they would be cheaper than the Canons and Nikons with IS included.
How much more do the Oly lenses run than say an equivalent Sony or Pentax lens?
Oly splits things up into three groups.



The standard group includes:

the new 9-18 f4-5.6, The 14-42 f3.5-5.6, The 50-150 f4-5.6 and the 70-300 f4-5.6. There are others, but more rare.

The primes are the 35 f3.5 (outstanding!) and the 25 f2.8 pancake.

This series offers very light weight, reasonable pricing, and are quite good for the buck. I'm astounded by some of the pics I've seen from this group



The mid grade (or pro series) are excellent lenses. Very few venture beyond this series. They are the backbone of most high end amateur's Oly kit. They are not cheap, but they are not out of line with the choices from other companies either. The line of pro lenses are:

The 11-22 f2.8-3.5, the 14-54 f2.8-3.5 (or the new alternate 12-60 f2.8-4), the 50-200 f2.8-3.5

The primes are the 50 f2 macro (excellent) andthe 8mm fisheye.

This group is my most used lenses.



The top pro group is something few get into. The are all excellent. Near flawless in nearly any optical measure. They are heavy, and they are big time expensive. They are:

the 7-14 f4, the 14-35 f2, the 35-100 f2, the 90-250 f2.8, and the primes the 150 f2, and the 300 f2.8 .

I desire the 35-100, but they are not for everone. The price is extreme and the weight is not for packing long distances.



Sigma also makes some lenses, as does Panasonic (Leica). I'm no expert there.



For a list go to:

http://www.wrotniak.net/photo/43/lenses.html



Greg
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Old Nov 1, 2008, 1:42 AM   #9
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fldspringer wrote
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Oly splits things up into three groups.

The standard group includes:

the new 9-18 f4-5.6, The 14-42 f3.5-5.6, The 50-150 f4-5.6 and the 70-300 f4-5.6. There are others, but more rare.
Wow, very helpful post Greg. I looked these up on Amazon and seems you go by multiples of 10x in price moving from one group to another. I will go through the info and see if the holiday season brings any discounts.
Thanks,

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Old Nov 2, 2008, 10:48 PM   #10
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Brent Gair wrote "The funniest part of this thread?: Taking camera advice from a guy who owns a Sony 350! That's like taking car advice from a guy who drives his mom's Kia."

I have to take exception to that remark. I own a sony dslr, and my mom doesn't even HAVE a Kia. I bought sony because of in camera stabilization, which oly has, but I have large hands and could not handle the olympus cameras. Your statement will probably not be read by many sony users, but is a little inflammatory. Don't write a camera off because it is not Olympus, there are many experienced photogs out there that, while not professional, buy cameras for different purposes, and not just YOUR purposes. Robert
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