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Old Jul 30, 2008, 7:49 AM   #21
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peripatetic wrote:
And finally for your consideration, there is another option that you might want to look at: keep hold of your D50 and get yourself a great lens [17-55 f2.8 ($1200)] ...
... or the Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 ($450!)
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Old Jul 30, 2008, 6:27 PM   #22
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I am still a bit ambivalent about the Sony A-300, even with additional testing. The Canon Xti which is now down to around $(US)520.00 for the body only might be a better choice.

Even my Olympus 410 seems to do a better job with .jpeg format images. Here is a Oly E-410 sample image. And that image was done with the so called China built Zuiko 50-150mm lens that is much more compact. However, some enthusiasts feel that that particular lens has a lesser quality IQ than the larger 50-150mm lens produced in Japan.

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Old Sep 8, 2008, 8:31 PM   #23
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so, I'm still thorn between the olympus e-520 + 12-60 and the sony a350 + 16-80 zeiss...

I've ruled canon out because of the focal lengths I'd get (hard to get a quality 24mm eq. because of the crop factor) and nikon because of no built-in IS (a good d90 + a good VR lens deal would go way beyond my means).

between the e520 and the a350 and those lenses, seems like a really close call. cameralabs.com puts both cameras and both lenses really close to each other, with slight edges here and there (notably to the oly 12-60 over the zeiss 16-80). right now I'm inclined to go for the e520, because I've always sympathized with the 4/3s system, and the only minus vs. the a350 seems to be the dynamic range (even noise at high iso seems about the same). I can live with that..

so, all in all, for you guys who are into the specs and numbers... forget about what I'm looking for in a camera for a sec, and let me know what your personal opinion on them is... which one of the would you pick and why? I'm not looking for someone to validate my decision, nor trying to pass the decision on to you guys. just wondering what your personal experiences and feelings are towards these brands and models...

as always, any input is greatly appreciated.
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Old Nov 18, 2008, 9:26 PM   #24
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just pulled the trigger on a e520 + 12-60.

the 12-60 tipped the scale. it's just the perfect range, speed and IQ. I like it better than the nikkor 16-85 or the pentax 16-50.

not gonna be advocating any brand now or in the future. I just switched from nikon to olympus, and I could switch brands again whenever I feel like it. but I've found some relevant information, which I thought I'd share with my good friends here at the forum.

it's common knowledge that two of the main downsides of the oly/fourthirds system are noise and DR. well, this new dxomark.com supports my own observations from sample images and shows that, when looking at raw files, the gap between 4/3s sensors and aps-c sensors is much narrower than most think - often non-existant. the e520's signal-to-noise ratio is almost exactly the same as with the nikon d80, and even better than the sony a350 (though the extra megapixels on the latter make up for it somewhat). the same happens with the DR numbers (
I know you could still have early highlight clipping with an average DR sensor, since the latter could be achieved by having more shadow detail). it's interesting to note that one reason why side-by-side comparisons sometimes show the e520 samples noisier is that the actual iso on the e520 is usually higher than stated, whereas with most of the competition it's the other way round. for instance, at iso 800, e520's sensitivity is actually 896, while iso 1600 with the d90 is actually 1125. makers seem to have been lowering the actual iso for a given setting to make their cameras look better at tests - no wonder the nikon d90 does so well at iso 1600. (though it still seems the best sensor out there at its price range)

here's a link to one comparison between the e520, the d80 and the a350.


I could go on and on about the subject, but I'm not advertising anything. some of what I've stated above is personal, I know. but my point is this: when it comes to technology, common knowledge should be revisited every few weeks. when it comes to noise and DR, for instance, looking at actual ISO and noise before in-camera NR were irrelevant just a few months ago. not so anymore.

bottom line: nothing beats actual reading and researching. I've done mine, and I'm happy with my choice


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Old Nov 19, 2008, 7:16 PM   #25
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Your posting has been very useful and pragmatic, thank you.This is my status right now:

I am in a big mess moving from an enthusiast into a serious photographer--although I will not do this for a living. I even have lined up a formal one year photography course for starts. I might go the full three years! So, I have decided I will give me the D300 for Christmas. I like its 51 focus points.

I basically take two types of photos: (a) Pets and people indoors, sort of portrait and groups, although I love to take cat's eyes too, for example. And, (b) I take landscape outdoors. Basically, interesting buildings or streets in my hometown (Lima-Peru). Also, within this line of photography, I would like tophotograph the very interesting face of people from far away. Peruvian people have these amazing faces but hate to be taken pictures.

So basically, I need one lens for home or indoors and another to walk around town.

Again, what I want is to get good, clear pictures. I just hate tobe sharpening themin the computer. Sounds very basic, huh. Well, that's where I am in my growing up.

For these purposes, I am dying trying to find a couple of lenses that would give me a good start in this new stage of my love to photography. What lens(es) would you recommend for my D300?Although neither the camera or the lenses make the photographer, I will be spending some money here and I would hate to have disappointing results. Any comments or advise would be greatly appreciated.

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