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Old Nov 17, 2005, 11:56 PM   #1
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I have narrowed my choices down to two cameras & associated lenses. I am coming from adigital P&S, but want to step up the quality of my shots (speed, low light performance).I do have some experience with SLR years ago, but the new DSLRs seem so much more complicated.I realize this is an Olympus board, but I am hoping for some insight on how you think the E-500 compares with the Nikon D50.

Goals in level of importance: family shots (including low light) &portraits, daily life & landscapes, kid's sports & activities (karate, park, etc) &macros (art & jewelry). Most shots will be 4x6 (80%) with the rest being enlargements (most critical).

Choice 1:

$1,350 - Olympus E-500 with 14-54mm & 50mm/f2 macro

I like the idea of the faster zoom since that is likely to be on the camera the most. The 50mm macro also seems to be standout. It seems a lot ($400) for a macro function (less use) but I assume it would also excel atportraits. A larger zoom would come later.

The big pluses of this combination is the quality & weight of the lenses combined with intuitive menus, large display screen & dust sensor.

My biggest concern going this route is the future upgrade path (bodies & lenses) & the 4:3 aspect ratio. It seems this ratio is the worst for 4X6 prints, and those are mainly what I print.While it will notbe an issue with the chosen enlargements, I'm not sure I want that much cropping.

Choice 2:

$1,400 -Nikon d50 w/Nikon 18-70mm,Nikon 50mm/f1.8 (low light & portraits) & Tamron 105mm/2.8 macro.

The 18-70mm seems to be well reviewed & will probably spend the most time on the camera. The 50mm also seems to great low light & portrait lense. I am not sure of the macro part & would likely hold off. I know Nikon's 60mm is a good performer, but it seems too close in size to the 50mm & would diminish its level of use. I rather have a bigger zoom with a macro, but I haven't found something that is both well received & affordable.

The big pluses of this combination is that the D50 feels right. All of the buttons & wheels seem to be in the right place. It also a proven performer out of the camera, minimizing post processing.My main negatives are the the difficulty viewing the top screen,some of the menuinstructionsand the sheer complexity of figuring outfuture growth options (so many choices& price levels).

*****

Overall, I think I would be happy with either combination. They both are comfortable, albeit in different ways. The complexity is figuring out how these combinations will growwith me (seems like a Nikon advantage). Can you share your thoughts between the two combinations? l



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Old Nov 18, 2005, 12:34 AM   #2
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I own both lenses. I much prefer the Olympus 14-54mm on my E-300 over the 18-70mm on my D-70. Simply stated, I get better, sharper images.

And yes, I prefer the E-300 to my D-70 and I am looking to buy the E-500 as well.

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Old Nov 19, 2005, 11:13 PM   #3
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The Olympus 14-54mm lens is a great lens. It far exceeds any Nikon "kit" lens, by a long ways.

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Old Nov 20, 2005, 4:44 AM   #4
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To be honest though, the 14-54mm ISN'T a kit lens...well, it's an E-1 kit lens but it's higher quality than the the E-500 kit lens, the 14-45mm.

I can't tell you anything about Nikons as I've never used them or even considered them a choice when I bought my last digital (the C-700). You have less lens choice with Oly, but it's a digital system from the ground up...you aren't compromising with flim lenses which can be soft around the edges when used with a digital sensor (unless you get an adapter like the one that allows you to use Olympus OM lenses on the camera). The main thing that sold me on getting another Oly was the sensor cleaning system (as I change lenses a LOT).

I admit I'll probably stick with the original 14-45 & 40-150 kit lenses which are enough for my needs, although I may soon be tempted to get either the 8mm or the 7-14mm next year.

p.s. You do know that you have to multiply the numbers on the Oly lenses by 2 to get the 35mm film equivalents. Since it's a digital system from the ground up, the numbers on the lenses are exactly as stated and not equivalents...so the Oly 4/3 50mm macro lens is actually equivalent to 100mm in 35mm film terms. Not everyone knows this when first trying the Oly system, so I appologise in advance if you already know this.
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Old Nov 20, 2005, 12:29 PM   #5
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I think I am torn soo much because the two cameras & lense set-ups are pretty comparable. I like both. The Nikon D50 has consistently gotten rave reviews in the magazines, but thereviews really haven't come out yet on the Olympus.

In some ways the Olympus is in the lead b/c the dust sensor & the lense selection. I know Oly doesn't have thesame depth of lenses as Nikon, but for now they have set-up that easily fit what I am looking for. I can see having the either the kit set-up with the 35/2 macro (yes,70mm) or the 14-54mm with the 50mm macro. I would prefer the 14-54mm setup since that would be on the camera the most & should be decentgood to decent in low-light situations. The longer kit zoom would come later.

They main negative is the 4:3 format for 4x6 prints. While these will not be "the shots (for enlarging)" you still want to know you are gettingimages that are properly balanced. Isome timesmake thiswith my P&S & its a nuisance. It looks fine on the screen, but realize later when printing it could have used more space.Overall,I am not sure how concerned I should be with the cropping. Will it be less of an issue witha DSLR than a P&S?

The Nikon has the advantage if this hobby takes off with having some excellent lenses available (80-200/F2) as well as great line-up of inexpensive & current primes. I also know there will always be upgrade option in terms of bodies.Will Olympus expand to the point of having more than 2 or 3 bodies? The main negativesis missing a few features and dealing with dust.It would be great to have a these two camera directly compared. The biggest concern is investing in lenses & realizing in a few years I rather have the other brand. Hope I am not being redundant.






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Old Nov 20, 2005, 5:50 PM   #6
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macct wrote:
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They main negative is the 4:3 format for 4x6 prints. While these will not be "the shots (for enlarging)" you still want to know you are gettingimages that are properly balanced. Isome timesmake thiswith my P&S & its a nuisance. It looks fine on the screen, but realize later when printing it could have used more space.Overall,I am not sure how concerned I should be with the cropping. Will it be less of an issue witha DSLR than a P&S?
If both the P&S and dSLR are 4/3, than it will be the same issue. The biggest thing of course is what you plan to do with the camera. Me, 99.9999% of the shots I take I never print (of the ones I do share, they end up on computer monitors or being projected, so 4/3 makes perfect sense for me). If you print out a lot of 4x6, then a camera that with a 3/2 ratio makes more sense because it's less work after. Of course if you want to print a different size you're cropping again.

This is something you'll just have to think through, and decide depending on what you're planning to do with your images.
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Old Nov 21, 2005, 2:32 PM   #7
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Mac

I have been looking at these same two plus the d70s and Rebel XT. I currently have Nikon 35mm and several non pro Nikon and other lenses. I originally had all Oly for 20 plus yrs and still have OM4T and other older bodies. I also bought the Oly c-750 point and shoot last yr and it is okay for its size. Hard to shoot in low light.

My son just bought the e500 two lens kit (14-45 and 45-150)at Costco for $799 which is tough to beat. It is light and feels pretty good. I have also looked at D70s and may go that way to utilize my existing lenses. The d50 is still possibility. This months issue of Pop Photo has article comparing kit lens with pro, and there examples are Oly and Nikon. My only problem with going the Nikon way is how much heavier my old lens are compared to the new ones. And the other is that my wide angles aren't anymore with digitals! I'm not interested in the lab details of the lens but howthey do in day to day usage for typical amatuer shooter.

Letus know which way you decide to go
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Old Dec 16, 2005, 2:08 PM   #8
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Mac - have you made your decision? I too am deciding between an e-500 and a d50. Decisions!!! I had an Oly om1N way back when and always loved it so I am a little partial to Oly, but my latest film camera was a Nikon so I have a couple of lenses I could use if I purchased teh d50. For some reason, i am leaning towards the e-500.....

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Old Dec 16, 2005, 2:08 PM   #9
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Mac - have you made your decision? I too am deciding between an e-500 and a d50. Decisions!!! I had an Oly om1N way back when and always loved it so I am a little partial to Oly, but my latest film camera was a Nikon so I have a couple of lenses I could use if I purchased teh d50. For some reason, i am leaning towards the e-500.....

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Old Dec 16, 2005, 8:36 PM   #10
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Yes, I recently opted for the Nikon d70s instead of the original contenders the Nikon d50 & the Oly e-500. Hopefully the selection works wellfor me. In the big picture I think all these choices are excellent.

In terms of the D50, I opted for the 70s instead due to some features which I might want. The hard part, though, is not exactly knowing if you you need or want a feature downthe road. These were the additional flash capabilities and expandedISO adjustments. I current take a lot of low-light indoor shots and like candids & upclose shots.The cost difference was also minimized given I was going with the 18-70mm lense.

The choice b/w the Oly was a lot harder. I think the e-500 is a great value & offers additional features over the D50 that I like.I had initiallyconcerns about the 4:3 format (tried some PP to get an idea of the cropping), but once I learned more about became comfortable with it. Overall, I actually like Oly's approachof starting with a clean slate. I think it shows in their lenses. With Oly, I could have beenhappy with 2 or 3 lenses (14-54mm. 50mm,. etc) whereas with the Nikon it will take 4 (possibly5 lenses) to get to the same place.The negative,albeit minor,was its flash capabilities were less than the Nikon (maybe of importance to me givena lot of low-light shots) and the info. on the right handsideof the VF is a bit small & hard to read. While those points were minor& I couldlive with, I decided on the Nikon b/c it was just more comfortable in my hand.

In the end, I labored over so many details & ultimately decided they all perform well (to me a novice, more exp. people may havea different take). The deciding factor became comfort followed by the additional flash capabilities. While I find the d70 more comfortable than the Oly, its a personal opinion. I highly suggest you handle both the d50 and the E-500. If Ihad to choose strictly b/w the d50 and the e-500, I would go with the Oly. It has more features & a lenses selection which I like. Good luck in what you decide.
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