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DigitalGal Feb 18, 2007 1:34 PM


I really hope to get some advice here.
Before 3 years I was using this site (not a forum though) as a reference to choose my 1st digital camera (I have bought Sony DSC-V1).

I love to take portraits, some landscapes.. fast moving objects (my kids :D) and always trying to avoid flash.. I would love to try low light shooting too, which is still a blank area in my knowledge (my camera is not very good in that since I don't use a tripod).

Now I think I have explored all the options offered by my small digicam.. no more challenge.. a DSLR could be a really nice option for me. Now I am ready to learn a photography. :D

I am not going to spend a lot of money, because I am always in a lack of time to play seriously. My new camera should be a lightweight (I have no tight muscles and no will to get a bodybuilding course).. well.. I love Sony colours (maybe it can be Sony Alpha?).. My exploration is just in the beginning.

I'll really appreciate ANY advices and considerations (I am reading also other posts in forum trying to understand more).

Thank you in advance! Have a great day!

mtclimber Feb 18, 2007 2:13 PM


I too, had high hopes for the Sony A-100 Alpha. However, I do a lot of low light level, handheld, no flash shooting and after trying a barrowed A-100, it soonbecame rather quickly apparent that the A-100 showed more noise in theirhigh (great than ISO 200) ISO settings, than I really wanted to deal with in the long term.

Keeping mind your desire to ..."not spend a lot of money." that does restrict the possible choices that you might make. The Canon 350D/XT, Pentax K100 and the Nikon D-40 are in the most "inexpensive" category. The Canon XT has 8mp, a wide selection of lenses and a Canon made CMOS imager that some think is preferable for its performance and color, to the imagers made by Sony that are used on the Nikon and Pentax cameras.

The K-100 DSLR is somewaht larger than either the D-40 or the XT. However, it does incorporate in body IS, that Pentax calls SR, or shake reduction. The K-100 is a 6mp DSLR camera, and has a wide selection of lenses avail for it.

The Nikon D-40 DSLR camera, also a 6mp camera, is the newest of these three cameras. Therefore, it incorporates the very latest in-camera processing and retouching. It is marketed as the ideal "transition" camera for folks moving from point and shoot cameras to DSLR cameras. The D-40 has received great reviews and already has a legion of very enthusiastic users who love the D-40 DSLR.


Corpsy Feb 18, 2007 5:43 PM

I own the Pentax K100d, and think it would be a great camera for you, especially if you plan to shoot mostly in RAW which you should if you really want to learn photography. Pentax has weaker in-camera processing than Canon and Nikon, but none of that is important if you shoot RAW. It's also cheap, has the in-camera stabilization, and tons of cheap used lenses you can get for it. If you're learning photography, I think it's nice to be able to get a pile of used manual focus lenses to play with cheap.

coldshot Feb 18, 2007 8:19 PM

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The Canon XTI has free basic Raw if you choose to do so, you rarely need Raw with this camera, it can take pictures like this:

This is anin-camerashot not from a color transfered with an editing software.

mtclimber Feb 18, 2007 8:39 PM

Nicely done, Cold Shot-

Another very impressive Canon XTi shot. I really like it.


coldshot Feb 18, 2007 9:21 PM

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Thanks Sarah,

Here's another shot of the XTI color.

mtclimber Feb 18, 2007 9:44 PM


Thanks for posting. That image seems to have much less dramatic effect, it is almost too scattered in its impact. No offence intended, I am just feeding back my impressions.


coldshot Feb 18, 2007 9:59 PM

No problem,the image is not important, it's a busy group of flowers,just testingthe vibrant color the sensor can produce, how itresponses to a certain lighting at a certain time of the day.

DigitalGal Feb 19, 2007 8:20 AM

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Hi and thanks to all that have left some considerations here..

I really tend to have a closer look on Canon Rebel XTi (I am in Europe, so it's name is a bit different Canon EOS400D.. :)

Low light shooting could be a challange for me.. never have been into it yet - a lot of to learn.

I still don't understand the importance of megapixels in cameras.. 6 or 10? Mine current camera has 5.. How can ir be that 6 mpx camera can be somehow better of 10mpx cam?

Well.. until now I have been an intuitive camera user, but since it has turned into my real and almost the only hobby - I am going to learn more - starting from basics.

More advice needed.. and more shared experience..

Thank you! I am into reading again! :D

Attached immage - me today.. blind shooting - trying to get the most out of my current camera.. :)

mtngal Feb 19, 2007 9:51 AM

It's not so much the number of megapixels, it's the quality of them. One of the reasons why a 6 mp dSLR camera gives you so much better pictures than a point and shoot is that the sensor is much bigger. As you add mp to the same size sensor everything gets more crowded and you add more noise. That's why a 6 mp camera might have better low-light capability - there doesn't have to be so much in-camera/software manipulation of the data to get rid of it.

All three of these cameras are very nice and will take great pictures. I personally have the Pentax K100 and love it.

DigitalGal Feb 19, 2007 10:08 AM

Thank you for the explanation, mtngal! This really gave me an idea about how it works.. I think I have burbed too much info into my head lately.. :) I need a break top process everything..

After all I am getting into the next level.. I dont want a game over.. :D

JohnG Feb 19, 2007 10:41 AM

DigitalGal wrote:

I still don't understand the importance of megapixels in cameras.. 6 or 10? Mine current camera has 5.. How can ir be that 6 mpx camera can be somehow better of 10mpx cam?
First off - nice image - nice framing.

Now, on to this question. How important is megapixels? The answer is - not very. 6mp cameras are fine up to 11x14 prints. The problem is, advertising had to latch onto some metric by which to expound how great a camera is/was. The metric that was landed on was megapixels. So, for the last 5 years that has been the single biggest advertising point. The truth is - for 90% of the hobbyists out there, the practical difference between 6mp and 10 is fairly insignificant. The other 10% are printing larger than 11x14. And for the few pro level or semi pro level photographers where there is a real difference, they are using higher end cameras anyway - Canon xD series or Nikon D2x or similar.

Now, the second part of this question: how can a 6mpx camera be better than a 10mp camera? Two answers: First, when you keep the same sensor size and just cram more MP on to it, quality can degrade - you get more noise and interference. This is one of the problems by the public and advertising focusing so much on MP alone as the indicator of camera quality. Manufacturers have to rush to produce cameras with more MP and don't have time to advance the technology to correct for the problems this causes.

The second answer is: the other 99% of the camera features are important too. So, as a whole, an older 6 or 8mp camera can easily be better because of all it's other features. I'm a sports shooter, and the top sports camera on the market today - Canon 1d mk II-N is only 8 mp. But it's a better sports camera than every single camera on the market (with the Nikon D2x the possible equal). There are 13 and 16mp cameras out there but none of them are a better sports camera. The whole new crop of 10mp DSLRs from Canon, Nikon, Pentax all fall far short because there are other things more important than MP (focus accuracy and speed for sports, customization, usability, durability).

Now, it just might be that a 10mp camera has OTHER features that make it a better choice FOR YOU than a 6 or 8mp camera. But the MP alone is not enough reason to select one camera over another.

As already mentioned if lowlight photography is an interest - Sony and Olympus are at the bottom of the pecking order. Canon, Nikon and Pentax are all good candidates.

bernabeu Feb 19, 2007 10:54 AM

as an example of quality vs. quantity (re: camera megapixel count)

taken with 3 meg fuji finepix 3800 handheld, photo quality printable 8x8 right out of camera

DigitalGal Feb 19, 2007 2:13 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thank you for the having a look on my pic!


You really cleared out my worries about megapixels.. Now, I think, my task became much more easier.. :) I still have time enough to find the best camera for me.. so I am going on..

Today I discovered new things about my Sony camera,, so I can still play with it while researching.. :)

Here is one more image of today..

Steve-S Feb 22, 2007 11:31 PM

JohnG wrote:

DigitalGal wrote:

I still don't understand the importance of megapixels in cameras.. 6 or 10? Mine current camera has 5.. How can ir be that 6 mpx camera can be somehow better of 10mpx cam?
First off - nice image - nice framing.

Now, on to this question. How important is megapixels? The answer is - not very. 6mp cameras are fine up to 11x14 prints. The problem is, advertising had to latch onto some metric by which to expound how great a camera is/was. The metric that was landed on was megapixels.
I wanted both to reiterate what John G said (the "MP race" is largely only important to marketers and the naive buying public; there are so many OTHER relevant attributes that MP-madness does a real disservice to the customer) and disagree (more MP does have other uses than large prints).


In praise of Megapixels -- the core advantage of more MP is there's more *there* there. More image, more sharpness, more data.

Often -- VERY often, in fact -- huge MP's are pointless. No printer in the world can make a 5x7 print ANY sharper from a 10MP (or 12MP, or 20MP...) jpg than from a 6MP (or 5MP) jpg, and the eye wouldn't see the difference even if it could! They interpolate the extra data away. I've heard some people say they can -- barely -- see a 6MP-vs-10MP difference at 8x10 prints; I've not been able to do a really accurate *personal* comparison, so I'm not sure. JohnG's 11x14 (sometimes 11x17) are the numbers I most-often see cited for "when the difference becomes visible."

HOWEVER, sometimes -- maybe fairly often, depending on what/how you shoot -- you may find yourself cropping a pic. Sure, skilled photoshop'ing can clone out a distraction, etc... but sometimes, you just need different/tighter framing, or a large cut that's not suitable for "skilled photoshop'ing." That's the other time (besides large prints) that MP's really come into their own -- when you trim away HALF your image... and you've *still* got a 5MP image to play with (say, to print at 8x10...? You're not going to print large after cropping off half of a 6MP image...)

FWIW & all that.

OTOH, it cannot be denied that shrinking the individual photon-wells of the 10MP cameras *did* make them more susceptible to noise, than their 6MP brethren.

Me, I'm a sharpness-fiend and it's worth it to me; I'd buy the D80 over the D40/D50/D70 without a second thought. Were I a low-light-fiend, however... it'd be the other way around.

I *know* people who've moved from their 6MP cameras to the 10MP sibs, and LOVE the move; I know others who tried it for a month or two, and went back to the lower-resolution, lower-noise camera as their primary tool. I've got a 10MP, and it's my main camera; I *might* pick up a 6MP sib in the line, for a low-light/backup (or, I might not...)

- Steve S.

JohnG Feb 23, 2007 7:54 AM


Nice post. I agree with pretty much all you said.

DigitalGal Feb 26, 2007 6:00 PM

Thank you, guys.. I agree completely about the use of megapixels.. although I need my images cropped quite rarely.. I like to do the framing on site.. but sometimes happens.. :) it's tru that with 3 megapixels cam you ll need to use all the pixels to get a print.. no cropping..

I have been exploring a bit and so far I am for a Nikon camera.. it was very comfy also in my hand.. 40D/50D.. but I am still on my way..

Thanks again! And have a great day! ;)

TCav Feb 26, 2007 8:42 PM

I'm impressed. When seeing the pictures you've taken of yourself (which are very good, by the way), I thought that you must have one of those digicams with the articulating viewfinder so that you can compose the picture while you're in the frame. I was going to warn you that most dSLRs don't have that feature.

But when I read that you have a Sony DSC-V1, and I saw that it doesn't have an articulating viewfinder, I realized that you were taking all those photos blind! That's quite an acomplishment!

BTW, you will find that dSLRs are heavier than the DSC-V1, so you may not be able to take many shots like that anymore.

Our loss.

DigitalGal Feb 27, 2007 10:23 AM


:) you made me smile.. ;) as I say I am a pro user of my camera.. a daily training - and this is a result.. :D ok..ok.. i am kidding.. Finally I have started to learn.. ie.. I am ready to learn..

By the way.. I have mentioned already before that my new camera MUST be a lightwight.. I have no muscles adapted for a big and heavy one.. :D well.. another joke.. but true..

Have a great day! :)

TCav Feb 27, 2007 1:46 PM

Then, I don't think you need or want a dSLR.

I think what you need is a lightweight digicam with a fast lens and maybe an articulating viewfinder.

From Steve's pick for best cameras, I checked and didn't see any that are about as heavy as your DSC-V1 but with a brighter lens.

For something that light, you won't find anything with much better than an f/2.8 maximum aperature, and to get any brighter you'll have to go with a dSLR which (with lens) will weighmore than twice as much as your DCS-V1.

So unless anyonehas any otherideas, I think you've already got as good a camera as you're likely to find.

But don't stop looking. Or shooting.

kenbalbari Feb 27, 2007 7:19 PM

The lightest weight DSLR, the Olympus E-400, with battery and the standard kit zoom, will still weigh 610 grams, or about twice the weight of the V1 (298g w/battery). The Nikon D-40 would weigh 727 grams, the Canon EOS 400D 746 grams, and the Pentax K100D 885 grams with battery(ies) and kit lens.

The E-400 might be an option here, but it isn't quite as good as the others for low light without flash, which you are interested in. This is because it is noisier (grainy images) at ISO 800 and above. I would recommend the Sigma 30mm f1.4 lens (also recommended for the D40 for this purpose), if you decide to go in that direction. It would make a big difference over the kit lenses when you need to shoot in indoor light without flash.

Also, the E-400 is right now only available in Europe. But, a succesor which will be available worldwide is expected to be announced in another week. So you might watch and see if prices fall. It sounds like this model might suit you, but I wouldn't want to pay a price premium for it over the Canon 400D. I'm not sure what prices are in Europe.

TCav Feb 27, 2007 10:46 PM

It seems to me what she need is a P&S With an f/2.0 lens, but I don't know of any.

The Canon Powershot A550 has an f/2.6 lens, but that's not enough to make any realdifference.

A brighter lens means more glass, and glass is heavy.

Frogfish Feb 28, 2007 12:30 AM

Funny - just talking about this in another thread. Not necessarily, I mentioned I have an old Oly 3040 (3.3MP) in the cupboard that sports an f1.8. Just can't work out why manaufacturers don't seem to make them that bright any more (the 3040 was a x3 zoom).

Corpsy Feb 28, 2007 12:52 AM

Frogfish wrote:

Funny - just talking about this in another thread. Not necessarily, I mentioned I have an old Oly 3040 (3.3MP) in the cupboard that sports an f1.8. Just can't work out why manaufacturers don't seem to make them that bright any more (the 3040 was a x3 zoom).
It's probably because of the size of the sensor relative to the size of the lens. For a full frame sensor an f/1.8 lens might be huge, but if the sensor is 1/10th the width, the diamater of the lens only needs to be 1/10th as wide, and you'd get the same field of view with 1/10th the focal length.

When the 3MP is improved to go up to 6MP, if they don't want to increase noise levels they need to increase the sensor size. Then, if they want the same field of view, the focal length needs to be increased, but if they don't want to use a larger, more expensive lens, then they have to make do with a smaller aperture relative to the focal length (the f value being a ratio of the aperture to the focal length, so a 50mm aperture on a 100mm lens is a 1:2 lens.

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 7:02 AM

deleted as double.. hanged while sending the 1st time..

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 7:06 AM

Well.. I have read all the considerations made about what I need.. :)

I ll say one more time.. I have turned into a pro user of my Sony (but still finding new things to try).. but the worse thing about my Sony is that I feel limited by it's ability as a compact digicam.. It's lacking RAW, image stabilizing system could be a favour also.. But the most important thing is zoom, which I find very limited.. A photography is making a big part of my daily activities, I can't imagine my life without it anymore.. :)

Considering the weight and size of camera.. I can explain my consideration.. :) I still want it always with me.. so it cannot be very big and heavy.. Nikon D40 I have held in hand (also Canon EOS400D).. they are OK in all aspects.. Pentaz K100 is heavier because of kind of batteries it is using..

About the battery.. There are two things I am afraid - the weight and the working time.

Another question:

How long does it last in normal shooting session for Pentax and Nikon, and Canon cameras considered by me?
Olympus E-400 that has been mentioned here I still have to see..

JohnG Feb 28, 2007 7:19 AM

On the Canon you should expect over 500 shots on a single battery charge. So quite a bit improvement over most digicams.

TCav Feb 28, 2007 10:15 AM

If weight is no longer a consideration, then you've got all kinds of choices, and a wealth of information has been posted earlier in theis topic.

But the Sony DSC-V1 has a 7-28mm zoom (34-135 equivalent), which you say you find limiting. A standard kit lens for a dSLR will give you about the same wide-angle, but less telephoto, so a zoom lens that would extend beyond what you already have (say an 18-200) will, all by itself, weigh at least twice what your current camera weighs, and that's not counting the dSLR body. And if instead of selecting a single lens for more zoom than you already have, you elect to go with multiple lenses, that will be even more weight.

You may end up growning some muscles.

TCav Feb 28, 2007 10:30 AM

Another option might be the Olympus SP-510 Ultra Zoom or the KODAK EasyShare P712 (from Steve's list of best cameras.) They have a longer zoom than you're used to, and can create RAW image files. The Kodak even has Image Stabilization.

But the lenses on these aren't any brighter than your DSC-V1.

But neither will zoom lenses on a dSLR.

kenbalbari Feb 28, 2007 10:48 AM

"When the 3MP is improved to go up to 6MP, if they don't want to increase noise levels they need to increase the sensor size."

The thing is they didn't increase the sensor size on those digicams, if anything they are making them smaller. There are still some 1/1.8" sensors. You really don't see the 2/3" sensor size anymore either. But I think it comes down to cost.

These were generally the top of the line "pro-sumer" type models I guess. Today, if they put that much into a pro-sumer type digicam, they have trouble selling it because it costs as much or more than a dSLR. People will pay for the big superzooms, because it adds some convenience over changing lenses for that zoom on a dSLR. But, I think there would be more of a market for a smallish advanced digicam with real pro-sumer specs.

If DigitalGal wants to consider more advanced digicams to weigh against the dSLRs, some options might be:

Fuji S9100/9600 - Heavier than the smallest dSLRs (750g). 9MP, 28-300mm f2.8-4.9, hot shoe, manual zoom ring, manual focus ring, RAW, ISO 80-1600. It was basically an improvement of the S9000, with better image processing, shaper jpegs, faster focus, and a better LCD:

Fuji S6000 - Similar, but only 6MP, with no hot shoe for external flashes and no support for adding conversion lenses. 28-300mm f2.8-4.9, manual zoom ring, manual focus ring, RAW, ISO 100-3200. A bit lighter at 700g with batteries.

Kodack P712 - 7MP, 36-432mm f2.8-3.7, optical image stabilization, hot shoe, manual zoom lever, manual focus joystick, conversion lens support, RAW and TIFF, ISO 64-800, . Also quite a bit lighter, at 440g.

Panasonic FZ30 - 8MP, 35-420mm f2.8-3.7, optical image stabilization, hot shoe, manual zoom ring, manual focus ring, conversion lens support, RAW and TIFF, ISO 80-400, flip out LCD, weighs 740g.

Canon S3IS - 6MP, 36-432mm, f2.7-3.5, optical image stabilization, manual zoom lever, manual focus via buttons, conversion lens support, ISO 80-800, flip out LCD, weighs 510g.

Panasonic FZ8 - 7MP 36-432mm, f2.8-3.1, optical image stabilization, manual zoom lever, manual focus joystick, conversion lens support, RAW, ISO 100-1250. Weighs only 340g with battery (about the size of the old V1).

IMHO these would be the models to weigh against the smaller dSLRs, the Olympus E-400, Canon Eos 400D, and Nikon D40.

robbo Feb 28, 2007 12:05 PM

That's quite a nice list and lots of information compiled by Ken.

Ihave the S9100. I like it. However, I think the S6000fd is better than it at higher ISO's and probably significantly better than the other ultrazooms listed. If low light shots at less than full zoom are intended, it might be at the top of your digicam list.

Frogfish Feb 28, 2007 1:24 PM

Portraits, Landscapes, Children, Light-weight, Low-cost & possibly able to handle low light photography as that may interest you. I think that was your shopping list ?

Ken made some good suggestions above - as did one or two others - mentioning that maybe a more advanced digicam was what you may need.

Let me offer another suggestion that I've been hands-on with: Olympus SP550UZ

7.1 MP
US$450 - 499
4.3" x 3.1" x 3.1" (should fit your hands well)
28 - 504mm (x18 and f2.8 - 4.5 means great for your landscape photography & portraits. Add one of two conversion lens to widen or lengthen (up to 850mm) :?
365g - Lightweight
ca 600 shot on 2700mAh (class leading)
AF Assist lamp (low-light help)
IS (Image Stabilisation) (low light help)
10 x ISO settings covering 50 thru 5000 (yes really ! At 5000 it drops to 3 MP and probably the noise will obscur the photo - still it's there to be used in an emergency :O
20 different image resolutions (inc. 3 Raw plus jpeg+raw) (+ in-camera editing of Jpeg & Raw)
2.5" LCD and EVF - both auto adjusting
Full Manual Mode - bulb to 8 mins (however fastest shutter is only 1/2000)
pre-capture (5 frames) and up to 7 fps burst rate for 15 frames (really ! However that's at a lower resolution of 3 mp - still great for the children's & dog's action photos)/ It actually does 15fps at 1.2 MP but not so great for prints although OK for emailing.
AF Predict (good for moving children)
Multiple WB modes (inc. custom) and also WB compensation (adjust red / blue)
20+ scene modes (inc. 2 x underwater)
Underwater housing available
Movie mode (30fps 640 x 480)
and so on and so on, there are many more features.

Obviously none of the features of the 550 on their own will match the equivilant feature on a DSLR, but it is such a feature packed package, that covers all your bases, so it may be just what you are looking for.

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 1:30 PM

Hmm.. Hi guys again!

I have read very carefully what you are saying.. I have another question to ask now..

First I d like to thank Ken for the list sent for to explore.. :) I ll do this ASAP..

The question is about ehmm.. :) well.. dSLR or another compact digicam?

TCav has been keeping up saying that I dont need a dSLR.. I need another compact digicam.. I dont understand the reason - why?

An acquiring a dSLR I am considering as the best way to impove my skills and knowledge in photography, with a posibility to add new features - lenses etc. (as soon I am ready for more). I have posted to this forum only a few pictures, which do not describe all my interests at all.. :D

So - Why don't I need a dSLR and why it should be enough with another compact digicam?

I hope someone is going to clear out this mess from my head, which I can feel growing..

Oh.. while I was writing.. there is one more thing to read.. - from a Frogfish.. ok.. reading.

JohnG Feb 28, 2007 1:55 PM

I believe the recommendation to stay with a digicam is based upon your repeated assertions the solution MUST BE LIGHT. LIGHT and DSLR aren't necessarily associated together. Now, light is a relative thing - so it's open to interpretation how LIGHT you need the solution to be.

You should also realize that the lenses used add significantly to the weight of a DSLR. A DSLR with 50mm lens has a much different weight than a DSLR with a 70-200 2.8 lens on it. So, I think it is this requirement - a light solution which has him spooked. And for good reason - a camera is only good if you're willing to use it. Back in the film days I eventually abandoned my film SLR and just stuck with a zoom film camera because I didn't want to carry around an SLR and lenses - too much trouble. Now I've come full circle and want/require the quality a DSLR can provide but I'm also willing to incur the penalty of bigger camera and more gear to carry around.

So - if you could give a little more precise definition of 'light' I think that would help. How heavy are you willing to incur?

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 2:32 PM

Well.. Let's say, I am ready to grow up some muscles too (this can be included in the package of skills I am going to develop in me.. :D.. )

I have tried a Nikon 50D with a kit lens (18-55mm) on - this is a weight which I can handle without a trouble.. :) and the size is quite ok also..

After all I am not a tiny one.. my hands are quite big.. :D only consideration has been that until now I havent been using tripod in any light situations.. but since I have it already.. no problems to use it when needed.. compact digicam (my sony is not a small one - when i bought it I was looking for one not too small actually, to feel it in hand) - i use to put in my handbag..

So my 'lightweight'can be equal to Nikon 50D (40D is even lighter).. and if I ll decide to get one of these I have to consider another lens.. this is what I understood already.. up to 200mm zoom.. I dont believe I ll need ever more..
[line][line][line]Thank you so far sharing your experience and knowledge!

PS. In addition I have got also Olympus C-4000 ZOOM digicam to play with.. I have made just a few shots last week.. but I am going to explore it more.. I am bored a bit with mine.. :)

Here are those images.. made without any knowledge about this cam.. one is selfportrait.. also another one.. then there is unexpected shot of my kids.. and a few more on my terrasse..

Out of focus totally.. but I saw them and just grabbed the cam as it was.. no time for settings..[line][line][line]
[line][line]This one is a bit modified.. I do this rarely, only for fun.. :)

JohnG Feb 28, 2007 2:40 PM


Since the weight of a D50 is acceptable I would suggest you stick with the plan to get a DSLR. I don't think you'll ultimately be happy until you do have one. So if cost/weight are not an issue there is no reason for your stated requirements to stick with a digicam solution. Now you just need to re-read the discussions regarding which DSLR to go with :G

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 2:57 PM

Yes, John! You are abxolutely right! I really won't stop until I'll get a dSLR. Because I rthink the images you can get with any of them are much more interesting than those with compact digicams.. With mine, for example, I am not able to get a sufficient DOF.. and when I ll have one, I have to be ready to use it.. reading reading reading is a solution..

Thank you! Have a great day! ;)

DigitalGal Feb 28, 2007 3:33 PM

Ken.. I have read a review of Olympus E-400 here:

Very interesting option. And since I dont have any lenses, I don't have to worry about which camera is going to be my 1st dSLR.. no compability issues..

The lens of Olympus OM10 (which I could use, but I find this too expensive for learning purposes).. I love digicams.. and it is not going to fit anyway.. :)

JohnG Feb 28, 2007 3:42 PM

DigitalGal wrote:

Very interesting option. And since I dont have any lenses, I don't have to worry about which camera is going to be my 1st dSLR.. no compability issues..

Compatibility is only part of it. The other part is - when you want to buy a lens now or a year from now or 2 years from now, does the system have the lens you need available. There have been a lot of threads lately discussing this issue - and I think Ken had a nice summary in another thread. But, one of the drawbacks to Olympus is there aren't many lenses out there that autofocus with their DSLRs. Whereas with Nikon & Canon and to a lesser extent Pentax you have a vast array of THEIR lenses to choose from PLUS third party lenses from Sigma/Tamron/Tokina. With Olympus, all those lenses aren't available to you a year from now when you want to buy a new lens. That's what you have to balance against their low price point and exceptional kit lenses

kenbalbari Feb 28, 2007 5:55 PM

I'll point out that I'm not sure I trust the "trusted reviews" site on the issue of high ISO noise. The samples they posted are all crops of a well lit, and well exposed door. This doesn't show the noise problems that tend to occur in more poorly exposed shadow areas, and the natural graininess of the wood may hide a bit of the grain as well.

For more reviews look here:

Here's a couple which I think provide a more balanced view:

The CAmeralabs review provides a nice summary of the differences with the Canon 400D:
"The Canon EOS 400D / XTi is already the best-selling 10 Megapixel DSLR and arguably the E-400's biggest rival. Interestingly though, two of the aspects the 400D / XTi sells itself on – compact size and anti-dust – are both bettered by the Olympus. The 400D / XTi may also offer a wide variety of anti-dust options, but in our tests they were less effective the E-400. The Olympus body is also noticeably smaller than the 400D without compromising comfort. The E-400's kit lens is additionally superior in many optical respects, and unlike the Canon kit, features internal focusing and a lens hood.

So far it sounds like the E-400's winning hands down, but the Canon 400D / XTi delivers lower apparent noise, especially at higher sensitivities and fractionally out-resolves it in technical charts; the view through the viewfinder is also wider. So if you demand silky-smooth JPEGs out of the camera at high sensitivities and prefer a bigger grip to wrap your fingers around, go for the Canon. Crucially, the 400D / XTi is also working out cheaper from internet dealers."

All of the four-thirds lenses will autofocus. The biggest problem with the lineup is the lack of fast prime lenses for more challenging lighting conditions. You can only use older manual focus prime lenses with an adaptor. The Sigma 30mm f1.4 I mentioned earlier may be all you need to adress this.

That tradeoff may be worth your while. For the subjects you so far have expressed an interest in shooting you would do well with the Olympus. And it is about 20% lighter than the XT when loaded with a lens. And the second kit lens, the 40-150, also is very light at only about 220g, and with the 2X factor provides a 80-300mm equivalent zoom range.

Also keep an eye out for new models introduced next week. It is rumoured that Olympus might intoduce in-body stabilization, but I think that might be only in a larger higher priced model. There is a good chance however, that the E-400 replacement might get "live view" - the ability to use the LCD for composing shots. This would be very useful for your macro shots, as it allows you to fine tune the manual focus more easily (using the tripod is also recommended).

The Canon 400D in contrast would be more versatile in challenging lighting conditions. It would easily beat the Olympus in situations like shooting indoor sports, or concert and theatre type shots without flash. The combination of a more usable ISO 1600 and fast prime lenses will give a notable advantage there. Autofocus may be quicker as well.

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