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Old Mar 8, 2006, 7:04 PM   #1
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I am trying to decide between these camera's

Olympus E-500 w/ 2 lens kit $699AR

Canon Rebel XT w/ 18-55mm kit lens $800

Fuji S9000 $550 (quality issues?)

Sony DSC-R1 $850 (no video)

Panasonic FZ30 $550 (lots of noise)

I would like video mode, but its not absolutely necessary. If the Sony had video I think that would tip the scales, but it doesn't. I am mainly buying the camera for an extended vacation and the wider range lens found on the megazoom cameras tends to appeal to me. I know the two DSLR's will have better picture quality and long term expandibility. However, with my last 35mm SLRI never went beyond the kit lens.Money is not the absolute factor, butthe more I save the more I can spend on vacation.Also, my wife will be using it, on all automatic settings. Which would perform best on full auto.

It seems what I want doesn't exist. I don't need the camera until the summer. Is it worth waiting to see if an updated/new model comes out that may meet my needs? Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 9:11 PM   #2
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Larry Fine wrote:
... I don't need the camera until the summer. Is it worth waiting to see if an updated/new model comes out that may meet my needs?...
To answer that part of your question: NO, don't wait vey long. You should have the camera as much in advance as possible so you learn how to use it without thinking much about how to (as an example) use the histogram to get the best exposure. How it works in full auto, and what adjustments you will want for dealing with things like a bright beach background.

Don't wait until you need the camera to learn how to use it.

All digital cameras will operate in an automatic mode.A good habitis to always return the camera to some default setting that will allow you to grab the camera and shoot without worrying that you left it in high ISO or with some extreme EV bias or ... If you do that, your wife will be able to use it with no problems and you will be happier as well.
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 9:26 PM   #3
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From your list I would recommend the Rebel XT.

I own the 20D (Rebel XT's big brother) but I've handled the Rebel XT.

The Rebel XT is an awesome camera, with great picture quality.

You have a cam that if you want to learn more about photography, it will be right there with you.

Yet, it works great in auto or scene modes.

-- Terry
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 9:37 PM   #4
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Just my personal opinion - I was against a dSLR before Christmas, so I got a Panasonic FZ30. While it was a fun camera, I was never happy with the quality of the pictures I took. I didn't think that the Fuji S9000 would be any better (do you want to do the post processing or leave it up to the camera). Since I wanted a longer lens than the R1 offered and buying a teleconverter negates the main reason why I didn't want a dSLR (dragging around other equipment). After lots of frustration, I finally sold the FZ30.

So I went back to my 35 mm roots and bought a Pentax *ist DS, and I'm SO happy with it. I didn't have to buy lots of new lenses - it works with my old, manual lenses that I bought 20-25 years ago, the photoquality is better than any of the fixed lens (not sure about the R1) and it's cheaper than the Canon (a lot cheaper for me since I didn't have to replace my lenses). My vote would be to get a dSLR, but that might not be the best answer for you.

However, there is definitely a learning curve compared to most of the fixed lens cameras, though the Pentax has an auto setting, and it is easy to use. It isn't all that difficult (most of my "ooops" photos have to do with using manual lenses, something you wouldn't have to worry about when using a modern lens) for someone who is familiar with 35 mm film cameras.
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Old Mar 8, 2006, 10:25 PM   #5
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I have a friend that has the Olympus with the two lenses it comes with and she loves it. The results she is getting are very good. For the money and two lenses to start with it is a great value. I own the 20D and am thrilled with it. The Rebel is probably a better camera than the Olympus but it is more expensive. It really depends on what you want to do with it.

Good luck with your decision. I can give you a link to her photos but I don't have her permission to put it on the forum. If needed personal message me.

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Old Mar 9, 2006, 12:44 AM   #6
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If you can wait a little longer, the prices will probably drop for these, but if you are getting a dSLR, I suggest you get the camera at least a month before your trip so you can try it out.

If you are buying your camera online, make sure you go to the store to make sure they fit your hands well. A few people complained about the RebXT's size. There was a rumor that Canon will come out with a RebXT with bigger body by summer, but that's probably just a rumor.

From your list, I'd go with the RebelXT. Is there a reason you're not considering the Nikon D50? I bought mine online a couple of days ago, I haven't received it yet, but it's in the same class as RebXT and E-500.

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Old Mar 9, 2006, 6:12 AM   #7
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I new I wanted a DSLR, I just needed someone to tell me.

I have narrowed it down to the Olympus E-500 and the Canon Rebel XT. They seem to be very similar in terms of picture quality. I like the 2 lenses and the dust system on the Olympus, but I've always had Canon's and been happy with them. I don't think I could really go wrong with either.

I had looked at the Nikon D50, but I already have a 4gb CF card, so I was really looking at cameras that would take CF cards.

Based on what you say about getting used to the camera I think I will order it fairly soon. I will let you know what I decide.

Thanks again
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 2:55 PM   #8
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Before one buys a DSLR, one should have extensive experience with P&S. Only with this experience one can fully appreciate the qualities of a DSLR. Having said that the Rebel XT has more of these DSLR qualities than the E-500, because the sensor of the Rebel XT is significantly larger. On the other hand, I do believe that the 4/3 system will ultimately win over the proprietary systems in the low price DSLR category.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 6:30 PM   #9
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Your post confuses me. I certainly do NOT think that the Canon 350/XT has the best imager. I like the Nikon D-50 imager and the Pentax DS/DL/DS2 imagers that are operationallybetter than the Canon 350D/XT imager, and you know that I own the Canon 350D/XT, as well as a lot of the other dSLR cameras so I am not just whistling in the dark, on this issue.

I also think that the 4/3 format has the greatest long term propsects. but the camera industry is still maturing.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 6:49 PM   #10
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mtclimber wrote:
I also think that the 4/3 format has the greatest long term propsects. but the camera industry is still maturing.
I don't want to get into the crystal-ball-gazing business :?, but to bring us back to the OP's question,
(1) I agree with Bill that Larry shouldn't wait if he wants to get decent pictures for his summer event. Practice, practice, practice.
(2) If he hasn't yet, he needs to get to a camera store and actually handle the cameras to see how they fit his hands and shooting style. I personally avoided the XT for simple ergonomics (I have a left master eye and my right thumb gets pushed into my nose when using it). In that sense, the E-500 is better handling for me. He might also look at this side-by-side comparison of features of the two cameras (or three or four cameras). From everything I've read, the E-500 has better kit lenses than the XT (I would avoid the plastic bases on the XT's kit lenses for sure).
(3) Having said all this, if this is his first digital camera and he has no experience (or desire) at post-processing, it might be better to get a decent fixed-lens digicam with a wide zoom, since the digicams often produce higher-saturated, sharper shots out-of-camera. If he and his wife are going to be using it on AUTO settings anyway, why bother with a DSLR? A 5-6MP digicam will produce outstanding results.

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